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DIY Strawberry Sugar Scrub

Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre. They are sweet, delicious, and satisfying to eat. Their nutritional qualities, which nourish our bodies from the inside, combined with their unique acidic nature, which beautifies our skin from the outside, lets them do double duty as a great food and DIY beauty product ingredient.

This recipe is for a leg and foot scrub that will slough off dead skin cells, rejuvenate your tough skin, and enable your moisturizer, sunscreen, and body serum to penetrate fully and work as best they can.

You will need 1 cup of ripe fresh strawberries and 1 cup sugar. The rest is up to you.

For the strawberries, you can mash them with a fork for a chunky texture or puree them. Use the texture that you prefer.

As for sugar, I like raw sugar, or anything a bit chunkier, white or brown, to add some depth and vigor to the scrub.

Add sugar to the mashed or pureed strawberries until you achieve the texture you prefer – a denser texture or something creamier. Apply to legs below the knees, and scrub the soles of your feet. If you can, leave it sit for a few minutes to allow for better exfoliation, then rinse off. This particular scrub is fun to do in the backyard while your kids are playing in the sprinkler, and then you can just hose yourself off. My kids like to apply it to their own little limbs for fun, and if they eat some it is fine: the ingredients are safe, edible, and delicious!

Strawberries contain an anti-oxidant called ellagic acid, which preserves collagen in our skin, acting as an anti-aging tool. Ellagic acid also has a photoprotective effect, which means it assists in protecting our skin from harmful UV rays, and may help protect our skin against wrinkles.

The acidic quality of strawberries is effective in lightening scars and reducing dark spots on the skin, as well as aiding in exfoliation.

Finally, this scrub just feels great. So slather on and enjoy!

The post DIY Strawberry Sugar Scrub appeared first on Crystal Hills Organics.

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A few summers ago, a miracle happened.

My babysitter’s eighteen year old brother picked her up after work. I was standing in the door frame, saying good-bye to her, wearing cute little jeans, a light top, and a white linen boyfriend blazer. I had just had my hair done that day, and was probably looking more angel blonde than usual, and feeling lighter and happier than usual, having just spent a free day getting my hair done and doing some fun uptown shopping. He was waiting at the curb in his vehicle, and was clearly blinded by the sun. Nonetheless, my sitter told me that he thought I was another nanny and asked her to give him my phone number. He had no idea that I was actually her thirty-eight year old boss.

Obviously, this is one of those miracle moments that was a total mistake on his part, yet it gave me a lift and made me feel just a little bit younger and more fun.  I would like to create another miracle. For this, I look to my lovely friend Anjali for inspiration. Her skin is a lovely even tone, fit and unlined. She eats mostly chickpeas and turmeric, and inspired this face mask, which I intend to use any time I need a youthful lift. Turmeric, when ingested, is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and to protect against cancer. I am told that Indian women have used turmeric as an ingredient in their traditional beauty recipes for its nourishing properties, and that it contributes to a radiant glow. Since I strive to be radiant, I have to say that it feels soothing, nourishing and moisturizing. I do not care that it leaves a slight yellow tinge on my skin, as I simply view that as a base for my self-tanner safe-sun-kissed summer glow.

The recipe is as follows:
½ cup chickpea flour
1 ½ tbsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. avocado oil
6 tbsp. water

Mix the flour and turmeric, then add the oil and water to make a paste. Apply to your face and throat area, and relax about 15 minutes until it dries, then rinse off in the shower and cleanse normally. Be sure to be naked or wearing a dark coloured robe, as this spice will stain clothing.

Try this mask and let us know what you think. Just be sure to be backlit for maximum impact.

The post DIY Facial Mask for a Youthful Lift appeared first on Crystal Hills Organics.

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My husband laughs at me for being so critical of myself. When we are on the beach, for example, I will look at another woman and say, “I wish that I had her legs,” or “I would love to have a chest like that.” He finds it so odd that women think this way, and tells me that he doesn’t look around and say, oh, “I wish I had those abs.” I agree with him that we women can be far too critical of ourselves. I believe that it is important to be healthy, and to strive to be the best person you can be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. That being said, I also think that we need to start loving ourselves and accepting the things we cannot change.

Sometimes, somebody will catch us by surprise with a compliment or observation that we have not heard before. For example, I recently met this gorgeous, sophisticated Italian woman named Raffaella. We were chatting in the locker room, and she was staring oddly at my face. Finally, she asked me in Italian, “But your nose! You have the most perfect nose! Have you had your nose done? Bello. Proprio aquilino!” Naturally, I was pleasantly surprised by her compliment; I had always just accepted my nose but I had never really considered it beautiful before. I guess somebody thinks I have a good nose, and that gave me a little lift.

Raffaella is jazzy, elegant and refined, and she smells of roses. Her hair is blonde, but her face is Cleopatra. This DIY beauty recipe is inspired by her.

You will need:
1. Two cups of whole powdered milk;
2. Half a cup of baking soda; and
3. 8-12 drops of rose essential oil (or another essential oil of your choice).

Before filling the tub, combine the milk powder and baking soda in a bowl and mix to blend. While the tub is filling, add the mixture: more if you want the water to appear denser and milkier and less if you want the water to be less opaque. When the tub is full, before getting in, add a few drops of the rose oil and swish it around with your hand. You can add fewer drops if you prefer a subtler scent, and more drops if you want the scent to really envelop you. Then just soak and enjoy.

Adding powdered milk to the bath water will leave your skin feeling softer and very touchable. The lactic acid in milk acts as a mild exfoliant to dissolve proteins and reveal fresher, younger looking skin.  Cleopatra was renowned for her delicate and perfect skin, which she apparently got by bathing in milk every day. Since milk baths have survived through the ages, there must be truth to her mythical beauty regimen.

The baking soda is an added skin softener which can calm minor skin irritations and promote healing.

Andrea recently posted a blog describing our love affair with all things roses. For me, that includes the texture and shape of the petals, and the evocative scent, which brings to mind thoughts of love, romance, and classical beauty.

Enjoy your hot, Cleopatra-style milk bath, and follow by moisturizing your body with the Crystal Love Body Serum. The scent of rose is delicate and feminine, yet subtle and sweet.

Finally, if I want to really revel in roses, I finish with Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion, Infusion de rose nourishing oil, and crème for face. If you accessorize with some Crystal Hills rose quartz jewelry, chances are your lover will be so enchanted that (s)he will not be able to resist! If you are alone, just close your eyes, inhale, and imagine that you are happily ensconced in a lovely, romantic rose garden on a hot Italian summer night.

The post Cleopatra-Style Milk Bath with Roses appeared first on Crystal Hills Organics.

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Benefits of using a Sugar Scrub

Take a second to think about all the products you have used in your shower over the years. There have likely been items such as fragrant hair products, silky body washes, and even foamy shaving cream. But have you ever incorporated a fabulous sugar scrub into your weekly repertoire? A regular sugar scrub is an absolute must for silky smooth, luminous skin.

Our face is not the only place that can benefit from regular exfoliation

Sugar scrubs are more than a sumptuous treat for the skin and can actually improve the health of your skin. As we age, our skin cell’s turnover rate slows down causing it to look dull and feel slightly rough. A sugar scrub is a body treatment that is specifically created to exfoliate the skin, sloughing off dead and damaged skin cells, unclogging pores, and increasing blood circulation to the skin. This promotes the continuous renewal of skin cells to reveal younger, healthier skin that has a natural radiance and is unbelievably soft.

What is an Emulsified Sugar Scrub?

Rather than just oil mixed with sugar, an emulsified sugar scrub is a creamier, thicker concoction. It allows the sugar extracts and skin boosting ingredients to stay uniformly suspended throughout the scrub, preventing the sugar and oil from separating. This also means no more messy, dripping oil. Emulsified sugar scrubs rinse cleanly away without leaving a heavy or greasy residue on the skin.

How to use a scrub

Use in the shower on wet skin. Allow the warm water to soften your skin for five to ten minutes to prepare it for exfoliation. Step out of the running water while you exfoliate. Gather a small amount of sugar scrub into the palm of your hand and apply to skin. Gently massage onto your arms, legs, torso, shoulders, back and even your derriere using small circular motions, with lighter pressure applied to décolletage and any areas that feel more sensitive. Rinse off with warm water to reveal beautifully cleansed, silky smooth skin.

How often to use an emulsified sugar scrub

Sugar scrubs are safe for frequent use due to the fine texture of sugar and the moisturizing properties of the butters, oils and botanical extracts. Most people choose to use our sugar scrubs one to three times a week. Your skin is your largest organ, and the removal of dead or damaged skin cells through regular exfoliation results in healthier skin. This leads to a noticeable difference in the way your skin looks and feels.

The post Benefits of using a Sugar Scrub appeared first on Crystal Hills Organics.

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