Many of you may wonder why you would even consider raw honey in the first place. Raw honey is a universal beauty tonic for all skin types because of its potent yet gentle healing benefits for skin. Raw honey does wonders for acne, rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, sensitive, mature, and dull lifeless skin.
With so many beauty products on the market, we sometimes think that every product that we use must be extremely complicated and full of tons of ingredients. That notion is completely wrong. Although what we wash our face with doesn’t stay on our skin that long, soap based products quickly strip the skin of its natural oils and create an imbalanced in the skin’s pH which causes many skin problems and forces the skin to produce excess oil.
When you find people who have beautiful skin that claim to wash their face with only water, yes they do have good genetics, but they are also not creating any imbalance in the pH of their skin with harsh cleansers and toners. Maintaining a balanced pH in the skin consistently will allow the skin to do its job so much better. Products that dry, strip, then replenish the skin continue the cycle of skin distress. Less really is more.
Maintaining a healthy pH in your skin is an important anti-aging secret. The less the stress your skin endures from drying cleansers and toners, the more elastic it will remain over time. Any thing with a pH of 4.5-7 is usually considered pH balanced since water is a neutral pH of 7, yet skin thrives when using products with a pH of 4.5-5.5.
Raw honey has a natural pH of 4.5. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of honey make it wonderful for healing cuts and burns by killing bacteria and fungus. Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that is amazing at brightening the complexion, evening out the skin tone, and lightening scars and age spots.
Most honey contains iron, silica, copper, vitamin B, manganese, chlorine, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, aluminum and magnesium depending on where the honey is collected from. This rich mineral content makes it excellent for skin. Raw honey’s intense moisturizing abilities with gentle cleansing agents makes it perfect for even very sensitive skin. When honey is mixed with water it released peroxide properties which helps heal fades and also prevent bacteria causing more acne.
Not all honey is created equal. Most of the honey found in grocery stores is “adulterated honey” meaning it literally has no nutrients. When honey is processed and refined with heat the live healing enzymes are killed. You are instead left with liquid sugar. Raw honey will give your skin the healing benefits that it needs and you will also experience the best results.
To use raw honey as a face wash simply add a quarter size amount of honey or more to wet hands and massage into your skin. Rinse your face, then tone and moisturize as usual. You can also leave honey on your skin for as long as you like as a honey mask, or combine it with other ingredients for more cleansing and brightening. My favorite ways to use raw honey is with rhassoul clay or as anexfoliating treatment with sugar and lemon juice. I’ve also used raw honey in place of vegetable glycerin in my DIY hair recipes. Raw honey has been used for centuries for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. There truly is such beauty in simplicity.
How have you used honey in skin or hair care?
There’s a whole lot of hoopla going on around sunscreen safety and regulation and while we’re waiting on the FDA to get their act together, the EWG
has hooked us all up with great research and studies on the best and safest sunscreens.
Though black doesn’t crack, protecting our brown from harmful UVA and UVB rays that can lead to skin cancer is a serious issue ladies. You don’t have to panic. Just apply your daily layer of sunscreen and check out my list of great sunscreens that won’t break the bank.
Aubrey Organics SPF 30 with Green Tea
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2
Climb On! Mineral Sunscreen
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 1
Desert Essence Organics Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 1
Jason Natural Cosmetics Pure Natural Sun: Mineral Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen, SPF 45
EWG Skin Deep Hazard Score: 2
EWG’s 2012 Guide to Safer Sunscreens
Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, writer, speaker, social entrepreneur and creator of the blog OrganicBeautyVixen.com - “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Eco-Glam Living”. Sherrell believes that going green with your beauty routine doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your fierce and fabulous style. Connect with her on twitter and facebook for all things beauty, green, eco-friendly, organic, sustainable and of course… Eco-glam.
What sunscreen do you use? How does it rank on the EWG guide?
I’m that weird person who hates the taste of water, I knoooow I knooooow…weird! However my curls and body demand it for healthy looking skin and hair. Here’s an amazing little article that helped me drink more water throughout the day.
Avoid the unsightful drama (did I mention it’s hard to rock my Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Chere lipstick with flaky lips) and get your fill of the agua with these tricks I learned to spruce up the taste and kick in some nutrients.
- Change your habits – Instead of ordering juice, soda or even a cocktail when you’re out to eat, stick to your glass of water. All will be fine and you’ll even save on the calories and sugar you’ll avoid. If you can’t stand to skip your afternoon or evening guilty pleasure you have my permission to order whatever you like AFTER you’ve consumed at least one entire glass of water.
- Add frozen fruit – Frozen fruit is the perfect treat to keep in your freezer. It helps me kick my sugar cravings and they’re perfect for making smoothies. Drop a few frozen strawberries, mangos, blueberries or even bananas into your water. Their coolness works like an ice cube but the flavor they bring to your water makes them a perfect summer time treat. And don’t forget the loaded anti-oxidants you’re packing in there as well.
- Try sparkling – Sometimes I just crave a soda. I have to have a sip of a Coke or Sprite to get my fix for a few months and I’m fine. But then I feel guilty afterward. If you’re an intermittent flirt with soda like me, try sparkling water that gives you the carbonation without the icky artificial flavors or tacky ingredients. It curbs that craving and you can still meet your H2O goals.
Lots of companies are toting their “enhanced water” products all over the super market and bodega shelves. Don’t be fooled people. Many of these enhanced water products are either full of sugar, questionable ingredients, dyes and other sinful things you don’t want running through your veins.
Steer clear of products like Crystal light, Vitamin Water, etc. that are often made with aspartame – the crack that gives you the sweet taste without the sugar and has been linked to blood cancers and tumors.
What other ways do you trick out your water to drink more of it?
Before discussing what may be the most important step in your hair care regimen, I want to touch on an important practice that could make a huge difference in how your hair looks and feels after it’s washed and conditioned.
The reality is that if you want to have beautiful natural hair, you need to invest the time upfront to do what is necessary to take care of it. Your hair cleansing and conditioning process is not to be done hurriedly and without attention. You do need to make time for this because if it’s not done properly, dry brittle hair with resulting breakage could ensue.
Every time we shampoo and condition our hair or even add significant amounts of water to our hair the hair shaft needs to expand in order to accommodate the extra water. When our hair dries the opposite occurs – the hair contracts. Repeating this process over and over again can create damage to the hair cuticle initially because it can be chipped off. Subsequent damage can be caused to the hair fiber leading to split ends and breakage. Textured hair tends to absorb more water during this process than other hair types and is therefore more susceptible to damage. This contraction and expansion of the hair fiber is known as hygral fatigue
Textured hair needs moisture; it thrives on it to ensure proper hydration. Additionally, when cleansing your hair water is pretty much a requirement if it’s to be done properly. So how can we minimize or prevent this damage that occurs from wetting our hair? Research has shown that using specific oils can protect the hair fiber against hygral fatigue. Not every oil has this ability but a well-researched oil is good old coconut oil.How does this work?
When coconut oil is applied to the hair as a pre-shampoo or pre-wetting treatment a small amount of the oil can be absorbed into the hair and can penetrate under the cuticle when the hair fiber swells. Coconut oil has a strong affinity for hair proteins and can protect the hair by binding to these proteins. This reduces the protein’s ability to bind to water molecules resulting in less swelling, less contracting and less trauma.
Try using coconut oil as a pre-shampoo treatment the next time you cleanse your hair. Coconut oil is typically solid at room temperature so you’ll need to heat it to liquefy it.How to Pre-poo:
1. Apply coconut oil to the hair in sections.
2. Place a plastic cap over the hair and allow the oil to penetrate into the hair
shaft for at least 30 minutes.
3. Shampoo and condition as usual!
Pre-shampooing my hair with this treatment has improved my hair’s ability to maintain moisture and the shine softness to my styled hair. It’s made a huge difference.
What about you? Do you pre-poo? If so what are the results?
* Apples: remove toxins from the intestines; stimulate peristalsis and bowels; flush kidneys; natural acids for digestion.
* Apricots: potassium and magnesium for energy and stamina; iron for blood building; silicon for hair and skin. High in beta carotene = anti cancer.
* Bananas: potassium * Bell pepper: silicon vitamin C * Celery: potassium, sodium * Cherries: iron, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamin A * Citrus: vitamins C and A * Cucumbers: silicon * Dandelion greens: magnesium * Ginger root: zinc * Dinosaur Kale: selenium, calcium, Iron * Parsley: calcium * Watercress (for acne - mineral needed is silicon).
* Strawberries/ Raspberries: ellagic acid: anti-cancer Ellagic acid is usually stored as ellagitannin (tannin) in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, and various other plant foods. Hydrolysis of ellagitannin yields ellagic acid and the dilactone of hexahydroxydiphenic acid.
RESEARCH FINDINGS /CANCER
The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates, especially when they are freeze-dried. Studies have shown that ellagic acid is able to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. Some also claim that it can prevent the binding of carcinogens to DNA, and strengthens connective tissue, which may keep cancer cells from spreading Studies demonstrate that ellagic acid is able to reduce heart disease, birth defects, liver fibrosis, and to promote wound healing.
1⁄2 pineapple juiced 4 handfuls dark leafy greens
2 strong brewed Cups comfrey tea (1 C herb – 1C Water)
Calcium drinks, any combination including1 or more of the following: Broccoli, Lacinato, Mustard, Spinach, Swiss chard or Turnip greens + Tangerines.
SUPER TEETH & GUMS
Citrus - Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons Vitamin C Purple/Red Seeded Grapes
FATIGUE BE GONE
4 Carrots 2 Celery 2 Parsley Sprigs
FATIGUE NO MORE
1⁄2 Pineapple 3 radishes 2 Celery
1 Fennel 4 Apples 4 Celery
A few pieces of crystallized ginger
SHINY HAIR BLASTER
Stir 1 teaspoon honey, 4TBSP Soul conditioner into 4 cups (1quart) warm water. After shampooing, pour 2 cups of mixture through hair. Do not rinse out. Style normally.
FRUIT SMOOTHIE HAIR MASK TREATMENT
Blend 1⁄2 banana, 1⁄4 cantaloupe, 1⁄2 avocado, 1TBSP wheat germ oil and 1 TBSP plain yogurt. For extra conditioning, squeeze in 2-3 vitamin E capsules. Wrap hair in saran wrap cover with hot towel and leave on hair for 15 minutes. Rinse as needed may need a light shampoo depending how you are styling the hair.
HONEY & SOUL OIL HAIR MASK
Mix 1⁄2 cup honey and 4 TBSP Soul oil. Work a small amount at a time through hair until coated. Cover hair with saran wrap; leave on 30 minutes. Shampoo lightly and rinse.
Boil 14 heaping TBSP dried thyme in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Pour 1 cup of mixture over clean, damp hair. Massage into scalp, do not rinse. Use the remainder of the solution for further treatments…
HAIR SETTING LOTION
Dissolve a teaspoon of vegan gelatin (agar agar powder) or vegetarian (fish powder) gelatin in 2 cups of warm water and use this as a setting lotion before styling hair. You can use this as a liquid in a spray bottle or chill it and use it as a hair gel.
Warm 6TBSP Soul oil (Sit bottle in a glass of hot water 10 min.) then gently apply to scalp with fingers. Let set for at least an hour and then shampoo as usual. Part the hair in 4 sections for easy application.
Have you ever passed by someone and thought, “Wow, they look awesome!” Some people just exude confidence. You can tell by their walk, how they hold their head high and how their eyes seem to sparkle. I liken this to a peacock, strutting around full of pride. Sometimes, as a natural, building self-confidence can be a long journey, almost like your natural hair journey. You may not feel like yourself rocking your own curls initially, but it will come with time.
See, Believe, Achieve!
Working on self-acceptance and appreciating your coils and curls is just one part of the journey, but it’s an important one.
- See it! One way to work on building your curly confidence is to see it in action. You can choose to do this by journaling your hair journey. Taking pictures along the way of your growth can work wonders in boosting your confidence. Many naturals create blogs to record their journey, and I wish I had done one when I first started. It’s great to reflect on how far you’ve come, and it also helps you to set goals for where you’d like to be.
- Believe it! Once you’ve discovered that seed of curly confidence, it’s time to cultivate it. Just as you would do for your hair, your self-confidence needs to be nourished and replenished too. I always wake up with the mantra that no one knows if I’m having a bad hair day unless I say so! That simply reminds me that no matter what I may be thinking or feeling on the inside, it doesn’t have to reflect on the outside. It’s amazing what adopting a positive attitude can do!
- Achieve it! So you’ve seen it, you’ve believed it, now you’ve got to achieve it. Once you’ve found that comfort level with your hair, you will feel more at ease with your curls. Having the extra confidence in yourself and your hair may lead you to try new hairstyles. You can learn all sorts of new things from your favorite vloggers and your curly friends too! When you have the confidence and with a little practice, you’ll be able pull off just about any style you try.
When you’re a natural gal, you can never have too much support. If you believe in yourself and have self-confidence, then you can be in a position to encourage and motivate others. Pay it forward within the natural hair community and help someone else who may need some uplifting. Confidence is contagious and you can be confident knowing you are beautiful no matter what! As the old adage says, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” What better way to do that than through your gorgeous mane of hair?
Fruit & Veggie Juice For Naturally Healthy Hair and Skin
Many fresh juices have powerful healing, energy boosting and rejuvenating properties that can assist with hair and skin disorders. It has been proven that consuming fresh pressed juices helps the organs and the body cleanse itself of unwanted toxins, which can result in softer and healthier looking skin and hair. The body’s largest excretory organ is our skin so taking care of the skin can be easy with a diet which consists of eating healthy nutritional foods along with fresh pressed juices.
These recipes contain fruits and vegetables, which are known to promote wellness and enhance the skins natural beauty. Juicing is great as an additional regimen for skin care. Consuming fresh organic juice daily will assist in achieving healthier skin and hair. As you make juicing a natural part of your daily diet routine, you will notice a difference in increased energy levels and a healthy vibrant looking complexion.
1 lg. Beet (with leaves)
3 Cups spinach
1 Cup of parsley
**Spinach is rich in iron and orange juice is full of vitamin C, which is wonderful for a clear complexion. Watercress + 3 times a non-green juice for eczema treatments
4 Passion fruit
2 Lg. Papayas peeled/seeded
Ginger root-1 inch, peeled
2 Mangoes peeled
**Papaya and pineapple are rich in vitamin C, E and iron to improve skin complexion and metabolism.
Feel free to add sweet fruit to any of the recipes above to add a sweeter taste!!