Moroccan Rhassoul Clay

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Okay I'm always looking for a new natural thing to add to my arsenal of natural products for face and hair. I think I may have found a winner in Moroccan Rhassoul Clay.  Rhassoul clay comes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco..often called Moroccan Red clay this burnt red colored clay is a wonder.  It has been used for centuries to cleanse and beautify. The clay is naturally fine and only needs the addition of water to become effective.

When I think of a clay for beauty i think of a face mask. This clay is wonderful for the face. I use about 1 tablespoon of clay to just enough water that makes a paste and apply it over my face for a mask. A thin layer is enough to give results of soft and wonderful skin after about 15 minutes. Rinse face with water and pat dry then feel that baby softness of your skin. If you have acne it also is supposed to dial it back and help eliminate. I can attest to the drying out of blemishes and the dialing back of breakouts. Complete eradication..not there yet, maybe a few more uses of the clay. The reason: Rhassoul clay is rich in minerals such as silica, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and sodium. It helps detoxify the skin while it exfoliates gently. It balances skin’s natural oil production, and is hydrating to dry skin and calming to oily skin.  It improves clarity, removes dead skin cells, and improves skin texture.

I've also used the clay to remove makeup. I use mineral makeup and a primer one for my face and one for my eyes so i have two products with silicone which can be difficult to remove without drug store removers or using an oil cleansing method. I'm not comfy with using oil on my eyes all the time even though it's effective, also I'm not liking having to buy cotton balls all the time or wash wash cloths over and over (laundry of an infant 4 yo and two adults is a lot already) also, I think eliminating those items is just a little more green.  Back to the Rhassoul clay. Using the Rhassoul clay as a makeup remover is amazing. Letting the clay powder become a full on clay and remove my makeup and reveal soft cleansed and balanced skin is AMAZING. My skin is soft, firm and not really in need of my nightly grapeseed oil moisturization (if i do use the grapeseed oil i use!). Also it takes me a lot less time to scrub away my makeup with the clay than it does with the oil cleansing method. This to me is a great aspect of the clay because with an infant, time is a precious commodity.

For the hair, Rhassoul clay can be used in two methods: as a cleanser and as a hair mask.  The clay is a gentle cleanser and will not strip the hair of essential oil while it cleanses strands and the scalp.  Being gentle and having anti-inflammatory properties, Rhassoul clay is said to be a great help for those with dry scalp or dandruff. As a hair mask this is great to increase volume, if you have curly hair it will help control frizz and tighten your curls ( my personal experience). Hair is soft and manageable and frizz free. Mix enough clay and water to produce a mud like consistency rub into hair and wrap with a warm towel or shower cap and leave on for about 15-20 min. wash out thoroughly with warm water.

All in all I am so pleased with the Rhassoul clay.  It's an inexpensive and multiple use clay that I am fortunate to have found.

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Beauty in a DIY manner

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Hi all:

I know it's been a REALLY long time since I have last posted but life has been very busy. Kids growing hubby changing careers and going to school and me trying to keep a float with the constant changes.  However, summer is coming ..or rather it's already here in sunny South Central Tejas as the temps are already in the 90's. I already have a tan on my arms and await the day when the rest of my body will tan in like oh 10 minutes. No fake tan necessary here.

Today I hosted the third annual Women's Spa Day at the library I work at. It's a women's day out with DIY spa treatments and a chance for ladies to relax from their hectic schedules and take time to care for themselves using beauty products made from grocery store found items.  I enjoy this program so much. It's  my big program that I put on at the library. It is so fulfilling to help other learn to relax and take moments to recharge so they can be their best not only for themselves but for others in their lives.

This year I adopted a theme to keep things a little simpler on the ingredient list. The ingredient of choice: Green Tea. I usually do 3 products the ladies can make on site and take home, then one face mask so they can take time to let the mask set and rest before closing their Spa session.

On the Spa Menu:

Green Tea Sugar Facial Scrub
Green Tea Toner
Coffee Body Scrub 
Avocado Face Mask

For the green tea Sugar Scrub i found an excellent recipe from bubzbeauty on YouTube:

I adjusted the oil of choice and used sweet almond oil for my attendees.

Green Tea is wonderful for the skin. It has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and can protect skin against the sun and slow the aging process. The caffeine in the tea can also help to tighten the skin giving a younger appearance.

A face scrub helps to remove dead skin from the face and increases blood flow to the face to give the skin that natural  healthy glow (think J-Lo Glo).

Next We toned the skin with a Green Tea Toner.  Here I divert from most recipes. I love Witch Hazel as a inexpensive and natural toner. Green tea when cooled can also be used as a toner by itself. In the summer for a really cooling toner freeze your brewed green tea in ice cube trays and simply remove a cube when you want to tone your skin. This is great for everyday usage. I like to add witch hazel to the mix. I love the feeling witch hazel gives the skin.

So 3 parts green tea to 1 part witch hazel. Place in bottle and gentle shake to combine. Store in cool dark place or freeze or refrigerate. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid toner and for the cube use a paper towel so melting toner doesn't go all over your arms and clothing while applying. Kindred Spirit Mommy has a great entry in her blog about her journey with Green Tea that includes the usage of the tea ice cubes. It's a great read.

Coffee Body Scrub was next. This didn't have green Tea, but it had caffeine a plenty. I'm very loose about the recipe here because i love Epsom salts (inexpensive and great for the skin) and i love oily body scrubs.  That is, the mixtures has to be quiet wet and just luxurious. I  like to feel the oils first rather than the grains and salts or sugars of the scrub. If you don't want to much carrier oil, then just reduce the oil amount to the slushy consistency that works best for you. Happiness in your relaxing body scrub is always paramount. So I will list 2 versions and you can try one or both to see which fits you best.

Christina's Coffee Body Scrub

2 Cups Coffee Grounds (fresh or used)
1.5 cups Epsom Salts
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Sweet Almond Oil

Place grounds and salts into a glass jar and stir to combine.
Add as much carrier oil to dry ingrdients as you like until desired slushiness is achieved.
Place on damp skin and use gentle sweeping circular motions to increase circulation and massage body. When finished luxuriating simply rinse with warm water. Pat skin dry. Smile.

Basic Coffee Scrub Recipe:

2 cups Coffee Grounds
1/2 cup Raw Sugar or Sea Salt
2/3 tbsp Massage Oil
The first step would be to add coffee grounds, raw sugar or sea salt and massage oil, in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
Apply the above blended mixture to a damp body in a circular motion and rinse off. Finish off by applying your favorite moisturizer.

Lastly, the face mask. Face mask are used to remove impurities from the skin and impart nutrients deep down into the pores. Kinda like deep condition does for the hair. It's an intensive treatment for your face that can help to balance and nurture your skin. My mask didn't use green tea but i used the green part from the Green Tea idea and went with a Green Avocado face mask.  Avocados are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, fiber, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper and potassium. They are known to have a anti-fungal, anti-bacterial flesh that has been used for centuries.  Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol.  They may also regulate blood pressure due their concentration of Potassium.  They can also guard against stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  What's not to like? Also they make guacamole..hello! Goodness from God! 

Back to DIY beauty.

Avocado mask for my Spa Ladies i simply had them mash a half an avocado and apply directly to the face. leave on for no more than 30 min and rinse with warm water. Pat dry.  Simple goodness.

A popular partner to the avocado when making a mask for the face is honey. It is a humectant and has anti-bacterial qualities as well (for more info on honey ireferr you to the National Honey Board which has great skincare recipe along with food recipes). It adds moisture to the skin and seeks out moisture to add to the skin. Love Honey! So to one half avocado add 1 Tbs honey blend well and add to face leave on more than 30 min then rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Ladies enjoy the time you take to create and execute these simple but effective spa treatments. Making time for oneself is important. It helps you to recharge and center. Moments of solitude are important in this world on constant information, sound and sights. Relaxing helps you to be a better you and be the best you for family and friends. Relaxation is such a  vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Start in little bites. Take 5 min to your self and use the face scrub on your hands ( so much tension is in our hands with all we do everyday). The take it up a minute each time and add these spa treatments or increase your time to pray meditate or just rest. Set aside your lists and cares of the day while in your spa time or "me time" moments.

I hope my Spa Day recipes help you to pamper yourself and seek that restful moment away from everything to rejuvenate and relax.

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