Cold Cream

Cold Cream

Cold cream has been around for almost 2000 years.  The first known cold cream was created by Galen, a physician from Greece around 2nd century A.D. Traditionally cold creams have been a combination of a carrier oil, rose water and beeswax.  Cold creams are known to be highly moisturizing and protect the skin.  They are most commonly used to pre-cleanse the skin, remove makeup as well as a shaving cream.

Galen’s Cream

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Beeswax
  • 9 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Rose water

In a double boiler over low medium heat combine the beeswax and olive oil.  In a separate pot heat up the rosewater for 5-10 minutes over a low heat, making sure not to let the liquid come to a boil. Once the beeswax has completely melted remove it from the heat and add in the heated rose water and mix together with a held hand mixer or stick blender.  This should yield 6 to 8 ounces.

Note: Remember, if you’re adding essential oils you want to wait at least 10 minutes for your mixture to cool down before incorporating them.

Basic Cold Cream

  • 6 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Calendula Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Rosemary or Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Steraic Acid
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoon Emulsifying Wax
  • 1/2 cup Distilled water or Aloe Vera Gel or Juice
  • 5 drops Lavender EO*
  • 2 drops Tea Tree EO*

In a double boiler over medium low heat combine the waxes and coconut oil.  Once the waxes have completely melted remove mixture from heat and let stand for five minutes before adding in the avocado, calendula and vitamin E oils.  With a stick blender or hand held mixer slowly add in the liquid while blending.  Once all the liquid has been incorporated mix for another five minutes.  The mixture will start to thicken up a bit.  Finally add in the essential oils and rosemary or grapefruit seed extract and mix for another five minutes.  Yields 6 to 8 ounces and should last up to 6 months in a cool dark place.

Apply a generous amount to the face and gently massage it in.  Gently massage it around the eyes as well taking care not to get it into your eyes.  Remove the cleanser with a wet wipe or warm washcloth.  Then cleanse your face or follow up with your normal facial care routine.

*Lavender essential oil beneficial in the treatment of acne and helps to regulate the over excretion of sebum and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal.

*Tea tree essential oil is known for its antibacterial and microbial properties.  It’s also known to heal wounds and protect from infections.

Citrus Oil (Citrus Essential Oil)

Citrus Essential Oil

Citrus oil also known as citrus essential oil contain an antioxidant known as limonene, which has been demonstrated to have anti-tumoral properties.  Be sure to add at least one of these to your arsenal.

  • Grapefruit is nourishing to dry skin and it’s traditionally known to cleanse the mind and body
  • Lemon has cleansing and purifying properties
  • Orange supports cellular function and its known to have calming effects

You can create your own linen spray, facial toner, face serum or massage oil. Check out some of these easy DIY recipes.

Flu Fighter-add 4 drops orange, 4 drops tea tree and 2 drops lemon to an oil diffuser or humidifier

Fresh Linen-add 4 drops lemon and 2 drops rosemary to 8 oz. of distilled water in a spray bottle and use as a linen spray

Skin Refresher-add 3 drops sweet orange oil and 3 drops lemon oil to 2 to 4 oz. of distilled water, aloe vera juice or witch hazel

 

Back to Basics-Facial Toner

Back to Basics Facial Toner Blog Post

A good facial toner is known to help remove the traces of oil and dirt from the skin.  The toning of the face is usually done after cleansing your face and it’s great for those with oil or acne prone skin and those that like an extra cleansing.  Here are some other great benefits of facial toners.

  • Brings pH balance back to the skin
  • Helps to shrinks pores while smoothing and drying oil prone T-zone areas
  • Adds a layer of protection to the skin
  • Refreshes and moisturizes the skin

Here are some quick recipes for facial toners for various skin types:

#1 Facial Toner for Oily Skin

4 Tbsp of Witch Hazel

3-4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

2-3 drops of Basil Essential Oil

Add Witch Hazel to desired container (use a funnel to add the Witch Hazel to a 2 oz. bottle).  Next add in essential oils.  Shake before each use. Apply using a cotton ball or pad, making sure to be careful around the eye area.  Wait a few minutes before following up with a moisturizing cream.

#2 Facial Toner for Dry Skin

3 Tbsp Aloe Vera Juice

1 Tbsp Rose Water

Combine liquids in in desired container and shake.  Apply using a cotton ball or pad, making sure to be careful around the eye area.  Wait a few minutes before following up with a moisturizing cream.

#3 Facial Toner for Normal/Combination Skin

4 Tbsp Distilled Water

2-3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

1 drop Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Add distilled water to desired container and add in essential oils.  Apply using a cotton ball or pad, making sure to be careful around the eye area.  Wait a few minutes before following up with a moisturizing cream.

Herbal Oil: The Benefits of Calendula Oil

Calendula Oil Blog Post

Check out some of the great benefits of calendula oil.

  • It’s a great moisturizer for dry, severely chapped or split skin
  • The anti-inflammatory action helps lessen swelling from injury
  • The antiseptic and antimicrobial action helps speed up healing of minor cuts, wounds, insect bites and acne
  • It helps soothe the effects of eczema, psoriasis and other skin problems

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Dried Calendula petals
  • Carrier Oil (Olive, Coconut, etc.)
  • Glass Jar with lid

Directions

Place desired amount of petals in glass jar and cover completely with carrier oil of choice.  Set jar in a sunny place and let infuse for 4 weeks.  Drain the petals from the oil.  Store the infused oil in a dark colored bottle for up to six months.

Skin Care Regimen

Skin Care Regimen Blog Post

It’s important to pay attention to the type of skin that you have and what works best for it’s health and care. Be aware that as you age your skin will go through changes due to hormones and general care and maintenance.

Cleansing helps to clean and clear the face of any oil, dirt and product.

Glycerin Face Cleanser
2 Tbsp glycerin, vegetable
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water, distilled

Mix ingredients until smooth. Heat in a small double boiler pan until mixture is thick and clear, it will have the consistency of pudding. DO NOT let it come to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool completely before applying to skin. Rinse off with warm water or washcloth.

Lavender Rose Oil Cleanser
6 Tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rose essential oil

Combine oils in a small bowl and gently mix or stir. Pour (and store) in a dark colored glass bottle. Apply a small amount to face and massage in circular motions to cleanse. Rise with warm water and wash cloth.

Exfoliating your skin helps to get rid of dead skin cells from the surface thereby giving the skin a natural, healthy glow. It’s recommended to do this once or twice a week.

Olive Apple Facial Scrub
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp apple sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Scrub face with mixture in circular, upward motion for 1 to 2 minutes then rinse with warm water.

Baking Soda Lemon Exfoliating Face Cleanser
2 Tbsp baking soda
Lemon juice

In a small bowl slowly add lemon juice to baking soda. Mixture will foam and fizz. Add enough juice to make a thin and loose paste. Apply to skin in circular, upward motion for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Toning the skin is important because it helps to close the pores and restores the skin’s natural pH balance. Aloe Vera gel, apple cider vinegar, basil and lemon juice are are excellent natural toners for the skin. Check out the recipe Basil Lemon Facial Tonic.

Oily Skin Toner
3 oz Witch Hazel
10 drops Grapefuit Essential Oil
5 drops Tea Tree Oil

It’s important to moisturize the skin so that you’re soothing and nourishing the skin.  Sun Protection is important to help prevent any skin cancer from the sun’s UV rays.   Patience is the most important thing to remember when updating or changing your skin care routine all together.

Herbal Scalp Cleansers

Herbal Scalp Cleansers Blog Post

Spring is here and summer quickly approaches, which means more outdoor activities that leaves your hair prone to the elements (sun, wind and water) and styling manipulation.

Herbs are known for their healing abilities on the scalp and of the hair itself. They add luster and shine to fine, limp hair. Herbs have been shone in the aid hair growth and treating hair loss. Here are few examples:

Lavender is known to promote hair growth and prevent balding
Rosemary strengthens weak hair follicles from the shaft
Nettle stimulates hair growth
Horsetail rejuvenates the hair and stimulates hair growth
Sage helps to prevent gray hair
Basil heals and sooths the scalp
Chamomile is healing and soothing; known to soften the hair, soothe and condition the scalp and stimulate hair growth

Here are few simple scalp cleansing recipes.

Herbal ACV Scalp Cleanser
2 Tbsp ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 1/2 cup Distilled water, hot
1 tsp Lavender
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Mint, crushed
1 tsp Green tea leaves
1 tsp Hibiscus flowers
5 drops Lemon essential oil
5 drops Lavender essential oil
5 drops Sweet orange essential oil

Tie the herbs up in a coffee filter, tea ball or doubled up cheesecloth and add to hot water and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Add in the apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Give a quick stir and pour into applicator bottle. Apply cleanser directly to scalp and massage it in gently with the pads of your finger tips.   Do not rinse out.

Note: If there’s a considerable amount of build up on the scalp then follow up with a baking soda wash. Or use a clarifying shampoo, concentrating on the scalp.

Herbal Scalp Cleanser
1 tsp Horsetail
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Nettle
1 tsp Lavender
1 tsp Chamomile
1 tsp Sage
1 tsp Basil
1/3 cup Castile Soap
1 1/2 cup Distilled water, hot

Tie the herbs up in a coffee filter, tea ball or doubled up cheesecloth and add to hot water and let steep for 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and add the herbal water to the castile soap in an applicator bottle. Wet scalp and hair with cook to lukewarm water before applying mixture to scalp. Massage into scalp with pads of finger tips. Rinse out with cool to lukewarm water.

These cleansers also work well for those that have locs, braids or twists.

Natural Hair Q&A II

Natural Hair Q&A II Blog Post

Vonda, the Decadent Beauty is back with more questions regarding natural hair care and maintenance.

Vonda: I’ve been using olive oil as a hot oil treatment, is there a certain hot oil treatment that’s better to use?

DB: Not really. You can use any oil of that you like. As long as you’re saturating the hair from root to tip and getting the scalp as well.  Olive oil is good on it’s own. You can enhance the olive oil by adding some coconut oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E if you like.  Here’s a simple recipe:

1/2 to 1 c Olive oil (adjust depending on the length and volume of your hair)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 tsp Jojoba oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil

In a double boiler heat your up your coconut and olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes over a low heat. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Add in jojoba and vitamin E oil and pour into an applicator bottle.  Coat the entire scalp and hair shaft from root to tip.  Put on a plastic cap/bag and wrap a towel over that and leave on for 15 minutes.
Wash hair thoroughly to remove the oil.

DB: How’s your hair in the front doing? How many inches of new growth would you say you have?

Vonda: It’s still straight with a slight wavy pattern to it. It’s almost like it’s a totally different texture.  I have about 2 to 3 inches of new growth.

DB: That’s ok, 2 to 3 inches is good.  Just give it time and you’ll learn how to deal with it as time goes on.

Vonda: Yeah, it’s grown a lot. I’m excited about it this time around and it seems a lot healthier.  I’m going to get braids pretty soon so I don’t have to worry about it for a while.  Are micro braids good for natural hair or should I get twists?

DB: That’s good.  Overall health is what’s most important.  Whether it’s twists or braids make sure that your hair isn’t braided or twisted tightly at the root, especially your edges.  Let the braider know that up front because you can always go back in a few weeks time to get them touched up.  Also, I suggest doing a deep conditioning treatment the night before and take in your own hair butter or favorite moisturizing styling product.

Vonda: So a braider can use hair butter when they braid your hair?

DB: Yes, some braiders will braid your hair with a product and some don’t.  If the braider uses a hair product on your hair while braiding make sure it isn’t a petroleum and/or mineral oil based product. You want your hair to be moisturized and the scalp and hair shafts to be able to breathe. Also don’t be afraid to ask the braider your questions before hand so that you feel comfortable.  Remember that it’s your hair, time and money.

Vonda: If I run out of distilled water can I use boiled water instead as a base for my hair spritz?

DB: Although distilled water is best, boiled water will do when you’re in a pinch just be sure to add a natural preservative like honey, tea tree oil, vitamin E or grape seed extract.

Vonda: What are some good YouTube channels that I can watch to learn how to do some styles besides two strand twists?

DB: There are so many of them out there.  The ones that come to mind at the moment are MahganyKnots, Glamazini, MsVCharles, Mahogany Curls, MyNaturalSistas, Naptural85, PrettyDimples01 and ToniDaley80

Vonda: Is Kool-aid a good coloring agent to use on natural hair?

DB: No. I would recommend that you stick to natural dyes like henna and indigo are just a few that come to mind.  If you’re going to use store bought hair dyes or go to a hairstylist then I recommend doing a hot oil treatment at least 24 hours before and a deep conditioning treatment afterwards. Commercial hair dyes have alcohol in them, which can be very drying to the hair. Check out this website to look up the ingredients of Kool-aid.

Remedying Dry Hair

Remedying Dry Hair

Dry hair happens when oil and moisture escapes your hair and it becomes dry and lacks sheen and softness.  It feels rough, looks dull, appears frizzy and breaks off easily.  The longer hair stays dry the more prone it is to become brittle and dull.  Some people will experience dry hair that comes and goes due to various outside influences such as excessive washing, weather (sun and wind) stress, diet, health (illness or disorder), etc. Also try to avoid shampooing with shampoos laden sulfates, rinsing with hot water, and using heated appliances (flat irons and hair dryers).

Healthy hair has a moisture content of 10%. So if your hair’s moisture content falls below that then the ability for your hair to retain moisture decreases, which causes the hair to lose elasticity and suppleness.

There are many different cost effective and natural ways that you can remedy your dry hair.

Vitamins – Take a look at the vitamins you’re taking or not taking. Biotin has been known to help strengthen hair. Fruits (orange colored) and vegetable (dark leafy greens) that contain vitamin A not only taste good but help to keep the hair from drying out.

Moisturizing – Drinking lots of water provides moisture to your hair. Spritz your hair and/or apply an oil to moisturize the hair strands helping to keep them healthy.

Deep Conditioning – This process helps to bring much needed moisture to the hair and allows the conditioning treatment to penetrate the cuticle and shaft of the hair.

Avocado Hair Mask
1/2 avocado (or 1 over ripe banana)
3 1/2 oz coconut milk (half a can; can also use yogurt if desired)
2 oz coconut oil
1 Tbsp castor oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

Combine avocado and coconut milk in a food processor and puree until smooth (you don’t want any chunks or lumps). Add in remainder of ingredients. Section hair and apply mixture from root to tip and cover with a plastic cap (or bag) then cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse out with cool or lukewarm water.

Hot Oil Treatment – It’s been proven many times that hot oil treatments are an effective way to adding moisture back to dry and damaged hair. They are most effective when applied to the hair anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks (this depends on how dry or damaged your hair may be). Click here for an easy recipe.

Protein Treatment – These treatments work to build the hair shaft back up so that it can retain much needed mositure. Click here for some basic and inexpensive recipes.

Natural Hair Q&A

Natural Hair Q&A Blog Post

The following questions are from a decadent beauty who’s transitioning from relaxed to natural. At the moment she wishes not to have her picture posted.

Q: I just did a partial big chop. Is it normal that my hair is always shedding?
A: Shedding is normal especially after a “big chop”. Because you’re a newly natural it may seem a bit excessive because of the adjustment your hair is going through. Just know that our hair sheds on a daily basis unless of course it’s in a protective style and there are those of us that shed more hair than others and that’s normal. Now if you notice that there are some bald spots where you have shed some hair than that’s a different matter all together like alopecia. I recommend seeing a doctor if that’s the case.

Q: Ok, because it was a lot of hair. I didn’t know if it was because I wear a lot of headbands or if it was thining.
A: Try not to wear headbands as much because the hair is trying to regenerate so the band is pulling and stressing the hair follicles. Thus why I suggest not using a brush. If you want to smooth down the edges of your hairline then spritz it with water, apply castor oil or gel and place a silk/satin scarf on it for about 10 minutes.

Q: Ok, I’ll try that. Thanks. I have a long way to go with this natural hair thing. I just hope it begins to grow.
A: It will. Just remember to be patient, that’s the key. On average our hair grows half an inch a month, which gives a total of 6 inches a year. Figure out a regular hair care routine and moisturize daily. You’ll be fine.

Q: Is there a reason why my hair has two different textures? The front is straight with a slight curl to it and the rest is curly. Did the perm maybe change the texture?
A: It is normal to have more than one texture in your hair. And it is possible for the chemical of a relaxer or texturizer to change the texture of your hair. Watch that area as it grows out and if the ends are still straight while the new growth is curly then the ends of the hair is still relaxed and needs to be trimmed/cut off.

Q: How long does it take for a relaxer to grow out?
A: It depends on how fast your hair grows. Remember on average we get a total of 6″ of new growth a year. There are those of us where our hair grows faster. You might want to trim off the relaxed ends every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how much growth you’ve acquired.

Q: Do you recommend micro (braids)?
A: Micro braids are fine as long as your edges or any thin/weak parts of your hair aren’t braided to tightly. You don’t want the hair pulled so tight that when you take them out your hair comes out with it.

Q: Can I use the mayo conditioner every week?
A: You can I would also recommend adding 5 to 10 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oils because they’re known to help promote hair growth.

Q: Are texturizers ok to use?
A: No. Although they’re advertised to bring out the natural curl pattern of one’s hair it’s still a chemical. There are lots of natural products such as flaxseed gel, castor oil or shealoe that can enhance your natural curl pattern.

Q: I don’t like how my hair looks and feels after doing the “big chop”. I want it to look and feel softer. It was badly damaged, broken off and had varying lengths when it was relaxed. That’s why I was considering a texturizer. What do you recommend?
A: Alternate between co-washing and shampooing, moisturize daily (whether it’s with water, oil or a combination of the two), deep condition once a week and do a protein treatment once every 6 to 8 weeks. After about three months or so (if not sooner) you should notice the difference in how your hair feels.

Q: What if I decide to put my hair in a protective style for three months? Will that cause my hair any damage?
A: No. With your hair in a protective style it won’t be prone to the daily manipulation of styling. Just be mindful to clean your scalp like with a ACV or rosemary/tea tree oil spritz and moisturize your hair and scalp as often as needed. Take care to shampoo or co-wash it as needed and seal in the moisture with a good hair butter. Wear a stain scarf or bonnet or sleep on a satin pillow case. Just a side note to that, if you’re going to keep your hair braided for the better part of a year be sure to give your hair a 1 to 2 week breathing period. You don’t want to risk thining edges or breakage/damage.

Q: Do you have a recommendation for a homemade hair spritz ?
A: 1/2 c distilled water, 1/3 c oil (coconut, almond, olive or any oil of your choice), 1/3 c vegetable glycerin or aloe vera juice and 5 to 10 drops of the essential voice of your choice (rosemary, lavender, etc.).

Q: Do I have to moisturize my hair with a water based spritz?
A: No. You can also use an oil (coconut, olive, etc.) or butter (cocoa or shea) of your choice to moisturize your hair and scalp.

Q: Is Argan oil an essential oil?
A: Actually Argan oil is a carrier oil. Essential oils are a concentrated oil derived from a plant or herb and have a strong natural fragrance to them.

Decadent Beauty – Whoissugar

Decadent Beauty Spotlight-Sugar Randle

I’m honored to be featuring one of my favorite YouTubers. Check her out.

How long have you been natural and what led you to go natural?

I wanted to go natural for some time but didn’t have the nerve to cut off all my (LONG) hair. Also, I didn’t have the patience to transition and battle with two different hair textures.That was 6.5 years ago, 2 December 2004 was when I re-established my nappiness.  I was inspired to go natural after professing how “I know who am.”, but I didn’t know a basic characteristic…what texture my natural hair was.

 

What do you think is the best thing about being natural?
The best thing about being natural is having a uniquehead of hair. NO ONE will ever have the same hair as you. *flips natural hair*

 

What is your hair care regimen?
My hair care regimen is simple. Drink lots of water. Detangle. Condition. Shampoo when dirty (real or imagined), which is about once per week. Condition (again) after I shampoo it. I use coconut oil and jojoba oil for moisture. I made avideo about it. Like to see it? Here ya go:

How do you maintain moisture?
I drink LOTS of water. I water my hair (shampoo) weekly. While wet, I seal in moisture with coconut and jojoba oils.

Decadent Beauty Feature-Sugar Randle 3

 

Any words of wisdom that you’d like to share with transitioners or newly naturals?
Hang in there. Be patient. You may have many different textures on your head. Shrinkage is real; 12 inches of naturalhair can look like 3 inches of natural hair. Heat (flat irons, blow-dryers, curling irons) is the devil. Be careful,you can ruin your natural hair texture with too much heat. Don’t try to getyour hair to something that it is not meant to do.  Don’t chase the curl pattern or that “good hair”. Love your hair as is. There will be some days where your hair iscompletely busted…and that is ok. Don’t give up. Also, I didn’t transition. O_O I could not deal with the 2 different textures. I will say, the demarcation linebetween your relaxed hair and natural hair is fragile. Be gentle with it. Well, what do you know? I made a video about this topic too:

Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Watch out for random people touching your hair! Oh, welcome. Bless.

Decadent Beauty Feature-WhoisSugar 2

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