(DIY) Coconut and Lavender Night Cream

So I know it’s not Monday but this post is linking in with Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity for Inspiration on Monday because I love the idea of getting to share a little bit of the rest of my life – including my recent attempts at do-it-myself skincare. If you are feeling creative or crafty, head over and share…

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It seems everywhere you look on the internet and in magazines at the moment, someone is extolling the virtues of coconut oil. There is nothing, it seems, it can’t be used for, from cooking your tea to boosting your energy levels; helping you lose weight to being the cream in your coffee.

Its skin care benefits are some of the most often quoted and it was these that caught my eye as I have been slowly replacing my store-bought lotions and potions with home-made ones. So, always one to jump on a bandwagon and in need of a new night cream, I thought I’d give this wonder oil a go*

Initially, I used the oil neat. My skin did feel skin softer the next morning but I found that it didn’t absorb as well as I had hoped/expected. Marks on my pillow seemed to suggest a fair bit wasn’t absorbing at all. I don’t know if this is because of the type of oil I bought (though it was recommended for hair and skin) or if my skin isn’t dry enough to soak up the amount of oil I used.

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Next, I tried cutting it. I use Sweet Almond Oil as a carrier for essential oils and have actually found it does a good job moisturising my skin when added to my bath. Liz Earle, who I am a huge fan of, recommends it in her book Skin Secrets. Sweet Almond oil contains vitamins E and D, is lightweight and doesn’t clog pores. It is also very mild so non-irritating for sensitive skin.

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This worked much better. It felt lighter on my skin and absorbed much more quickly. Again, my skin felt softer on a morning and there was no marks on my pillow, suggesting more had been absorbed.

The only other issue I had was the smell. It smelt vaguely of coconut but only just. I must admit to liking my products to smell nice (although, strangely, I don’t like to wear perfumes). It makes them feel a little bit more special, so I added a favourite, lavender. This also seemed appropriate for a night cream as it helps you relax, unwind and get to sleep.

I’ve been using this “recipe” for about four weeks now and it seems to be working well…at least for me. I can’t say my wrinkles have disappeared (another claimed benefit) but it’s possible my skin is a little firmer, especially around the eyes, and no new lines have appeared so that can only be a good thing.

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If you would like to try, simply combine:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sweet almond oil
3 drops of lavender oil

This should give you a two week supply.

As coconut oil is solid (hence me calling it cream), you will need to melt it before use. I simply put the mixing bowl I’m using in a slightly larger bowl of warm water and it melts in minutes with a little gentle stirring.

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Once combined, put in an airtight jar and let solidify – this will take a couple of hours.

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To use, take a pea sized amount, rub between your palms to melt then apply to your face as you would any other cream/lotion.

The next day, wake up looking 20 years younger ūüėČ

Emma

*I say jump but it was more a cautious step. Because there was so much information out there it was hard to know what to believe so I made sure I read up on coconut oil on sites I know and trus before using it. The consensus on these was that whilst most claims are unproved it is known to be good for dry skin and has no known side effects when used as a moisturiser and the like.

(DIY) Yoghurt and Honey Cleanser

I have to admit I love lotions and potions, anything¬†to make me look younger, prettier, brighter (…you get the picture) and can’t resist buying more than I need most times. A few years ago, I started to use organic products when I could and noticed a real difference. They do, however, tend to make my bank balance groan and I have been feeling particularly broke of late. So, following on from my success at making my own bath oil, I decided to try making something else. The only criteria was that it was easy….which is how I came to start using my own yoghurt and honey cleanser.

One of the most difficult things I actually found was finding the right recipes out there – there are so many. A lot also seem quite complicated. As I was new to this I wanted simple. I also wanted to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. In the end, I decided if I couldn’t find the ingredients in my local Sainsburys or Holland & Barrett, it wasn’t for me. The Yoghurt & Honey cleanser was, therefore, a perfect starting point. This recipe is my own but a result messing around with a number I found on Pinterest.

To make your own mix:

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Use a pin to burst the vitamin e capsule and squeeze into the mixture.

The lavender oil I added as I didn’t like the smell of the cleanser otherwise and is optional.

Store the mixture in an air-tight container in the fridge. I have kept mine for a week. Some sites I have seen say to make larger quantities and to keep it for longer but I wasn’t comfortable with that.

Use about a teaspoon and massage into your face. Wipe off using a muslin cloth and warm water.

Emma

p.s. I have worked out that this costs me about 50p a week or ¬£26 a year…not bad at all!

Linking in with Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity for Inspiration on Monday.
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How (not) to work from home

10You may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t been doing much blogging in the last week or so.¬†¬†The blame for this lays firmly at the door of work, too many deadlines, and my inability to find a work-life balance.¬† Too many deadlines I’m¬†used to.¬†I’ve been doing¬†the same job for¬†a long time now and it is very much driven by timeframes I’ve no control over setting.¬† The¬† not being able to find a work-life balance I’m not so used to.¬† In fact, I’d say it was the opposite.

I work from home which means I normally find a way, even when more than 9 to 5 is required, to fit¬†work around home.¬† Last night, with my project submitted, I had time to sit back and think about everything I’d done wrong over the last seven days.¬† And so, before normal service resumes, and for anyone else who struggles the way I have, I thought I would share my top tips for¬†how not to work from home.

1. Don’t get up,¬†log-in at 5.30 AM and work until midnight. Working 17 hour days does not make you more productive, it makes you tired and irritable and that has a knock on effect on everyone around you.¬† If you have to work more than 8 hours¬†a day, set a limit and stick to it or risk turning your brain to mush and waking up¬†to discover most of what you did was rubbish and needs to be done again anyway.

2. Don’t go to work in your pyjamas. The plus side of working from home is that you don’t need to be “suited¬†and booted” to go to the office.¬† The downside is that, when you are busy, you might be tempted to not get dressed at all.¬† Whilst it’s one thing to check your email over that first cup of coffee, staying in your pj’s all day? Not a good idea.¬† It blurs the lines between work and the rest of your life, making you more likely to work those 17 hour days. Plus, by the end of the day, you are likely to feel slightly grotty and more than a bit stinky.

3. Do not skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner.¬†And definitely don’t skip all three, not just because food gives you energy but stopping and taking time to eats gives you the breaks away from your computer you need. Otherwise, you’ll end up fuzzy headed, distracted by hunger and, if you’re like me, you’ll all loose all ability to not reach for chocolate and spend the next month dieting.

4. Don’t keep saying yes. When you are stretched to capacity, people you work with will still keep asking you to do things because their lives go on and they still have deadlines to hit. Saying yes every time someone asks you for something not only makes your to do list longer but piles on pressure you don’t need. If you’re already pushed to work too many hours the chance of you being able to more is limited. Say so!

5. Don’t forget you have a life. When all is said and done and you’re old and grey (or in my case, older and greyer), your boss won’t be checking in to see if you are ok, your friends and family will. Or at least they will if they haven’t forgotten about you because you never made it to the pub for a drink or their first ballet performance.

For me, this last one is most important and I’m lucky everyone has been so understanding this week. They might not be again so this is my official promise to not forget my new rules, work less and live a little bit more. ¬†Any more “not to’s” I should add to the list?

Emma x

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