Five Ways I Love Using Shea Butter:
Living in South Africa where shea butter is incredibly hard to find, I consider myself lucky to have family in Nigeria that visit once in a while and bring over hoards of jars full of raw shea butter. This leads to me having an abundance of this glorious creamy gold.
Being the slight cheapskate that I am, I make sure I get the most out of shea butter and use it for as many different things as I can. From a lip balm to a body butter, these are my top five uses for raw unprocessed shea butter:
- Body butter: Raw shea butter can be slightly firm at room temperature, unless your in a really warm room, but I find that the heat generated when I rub it between my palms for a few seconds is enough to melt it a little. But to make it have a really desirable buttery feel, and to give it some extra nutrients, I add either extra virgin coconut, jojoba or olive oil and whip it all up. To give it a pleasant smell, add some peppermint oil. You can also add mango butter for a better scent.
- Deep conditioner (natural hair): Shea butter is a primary ingredient in many natural hair products and makes for a great deep conditioner. It’s rich in vitamins A, F and E, helps strengthen and protect your hair’s cortex, and softens your hair cuticles. Use shea butter with extra virgin coconut or jojoba oil, aloe and your regular hair conditioner, whip them together and voila.
- Lip balm: Shea butter is rich and thick, and great as a moisturizer. Warm it for a few seconds to make it softer, or add some mango butter and olive oil.
- Body scrub: Add shea butter, with brown sugar, coconut oil and olive oil, whip it all together until soft. Use it after a shower or leg shave.
- Foot cream: Use it for soft feet. Get the recipe here.
(image via fem-fatl)
moistcucumber asked: hey! your skin is beautiful. idk if this is too broad of a question but what foods do you eat and what products do you use to keep your skin glowing and healthy looking?
hey darling <3
first off, thank you so very much! for me, good healthy skin is a effort. Some of you magical heffas are born with beautiful skin and small pores and your cell turnover is incredible. God bless y’all for that, but I got to work at it. lol. I drink lots of lemon water and water with added pH drops. I did some research about hydration and filtration systems and I found out that the typical American diet is so acidic and filled with toxins and our bodies need to be alkaline to function properly. So imagine all the water we drink in a genuine attempt to be healthy, but really we are adding to the imbalances of our body (that also come out through our skin). You can add them to any water you drink. I add about 6 drops to my 1L smart water everyday.
I am a fruit girl and fruits do wonders for the skin, but I also love juice. Like juice could be a food group for me. Imagine me in the cut with a can of Goya mango juice and u got an accurate ass image of me. But girl juice got a lot of sugar and isn’t the wave if you get hormonal, breakouts (like I do, every month but I use Maca powder in my smoothies to minimize the PMS symptoms here’s a video [x] ) and if you are trying to be as healthy as possible. So I cut back on processed juices and started drinking more healthy cold pressed juices. So you can get healthy juice anywhere. Ideeply fuck with anything with ginger or beets b/c ginger is a great detox and beets are a super amazing food for your skin. I also eat mad spinach (b/c I really don’t like the taste of kale, but you will benefit from kale if you like it!) I put it in my smoothies about 3 times a week so I can get in my daily folic acid/green quota. But for me, skin-wise, making sure that I consume fruits and veggies with dense nutritional and vitamin value is essential.
I take liquid chlorophyll too, it turns my mouth green and one time i took some before putting my nephew to bed and he told me that my mouth looked like “an alien”. Funny ass kid, he ain’t know that this is a peak ass product that literally sucks and purifies your body and takes all kinds of metals and toxins out, including germs, bad bacteria and it’s amazing for digestion (which is essential to aid you stomach in digestion if you eat gluten and processed foods). The benefits are endless and it’s really simple. it tastes very much like a plant, but you’ll get over it when u see how good your skin looks and how bright your eyes are and how light you feel. (I double up on this, if i’ve been out with my friends on a long night as a next morning boost and it’s great!)
As for what I use on my face, I AM A FIRM STAN OF THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD!!!! YES GIRL! HERE’S SOME GREAT VIDEOS ON THE METHOD FROM HEYFRANHEY, [x] [x] AND IT THOROUGHLY EXPLAINS THE METHOD AND I DO EXACTLY WHAT SHE DOES EXCEPT I USE 100% RAW SHEA BUTTER AND COLD PRESSED ORGANIC CASTOR OIL. You can try other oils, I know almond oil is very effective, I might try that one since it’s summer time and I want something a little lighter. But here’s a list of oils and their comedogenic ratings so you can choose from what oils you think might suit you best! I also use rose hip oil for fighting hyper pigmentation and keeping the lipid layer on my skin on point (which is really the part that gives u the glow internally). Here’s a good skin science post on the benefits of rose hip oil for balancing the skin (even if you don’t get breakouts) [x]. My favorite brand of all natural witch hazel is Thayers, they go so hard and they make a lot of different concoctions and products and scents! I STAN THE ROSE WATER ONE! BUT HERE’S THE SITE, HAVE A LOOK!
I also take vitamins and supplements. Go to your local health food store, co-op or whole foods and try talking to the people who work in the vitamin section. THere is a reason why everyone who works in the vitamin section has great skin. Pick their brains but I got the most utility from talking to the people at my local health food store. They have an insane amount of honed in knowledge about everything and can help u pinpoint imbalances and holistic regiments that can address your issues. For me, it’s about balancing out my vitamin D and C (which Black people are deficient in) and also my progesterone and estrogen levels. So adaptogens like Maca root and detoxers are essential to my overall health.
When your body is healthy and balanced, your skin will be and it’s a process. It doesn’t require a complete overhaul and grand investment, but take it step by step. try an oil and increase your vitamin and produce intake, see how you feel, start alkaline-ing your body with some chlorophyll and some pH drops, see how you feel. You never want to just overhaul b/c your body can freak the fuck out and turn on you. Just try some stuff and see what’s good for you and what makes you feel better. If you try to balance out your body, your skin will be healthy too.
But please don’t take this as me being a health nut, I literally am not, I had a huge ass plate of platanos and ropa vieja with frijoles dormidos and ya girl is currently typing this whole post with a bag filled with pan dulce from the mexican bakery next to her. but trust I’m taking my chlorophyll and drinking lemon water tonight!
I hope this helped baby girl. As always, let me know how you doing with your journey to slay everyone! keep me updated and good luck!!!!
update: now that it’s humid and gross outside, i cleanse with almond oil. it’s still bomb, just lightweight bomb!
YOUR HEALTH COMES BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE.
Your physical and mental health is way more important than anything else in your life.
Your health comes before school, before work, before seeing your friends, before spending time with your family.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health for other aspects in your life.
Your health comes before anything and everything else.
kimkbj asked: How do you use your face/skin essential products? Like what do you use the different items for?
I can do a really quick breakdown for you. This is just my own regiment that works well for me. I try to stay as organic/oil focused as possible, since commercial brands usually mess with my skin. For reference I don’t get acne often, I just get very oily around my t-zone.
1. Josie Maran Argan Oil- ofthemoons got me on this brand a few months ago (and her skin is flawless!) This is an oil cleansing “soap.” If you haven’t tried oil cleansing I highly recommend you look into it. I’ve found that this is very lightweight and pulls dirt, oil, makeup off well. There is a cheap travel size version on the website if you want to just test it out, since it’s a bit pricey. If I run out of this, in the meantime, I also use castor oil and jojoba oil together for cleansing.
2. Thayers Witch Hazel Toner- I use this after I wash my face. My face is always very dry after I’ve rinsed it off, this helps to pre-moisturize a bit before I add on my moisturizing oil without making my oily-prone t-zone, even more oily. It’s alcohol free and truly goes all the way off.
3, Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant- I’ve only tried this once, but I loved it. It’s a exfoliator. I use to use this before oil cleansing. Now I usually just use a washcloth for the same effect since my skin is under control. This is great if you’re prone to clogged pores. There’s a travel size of this on amazon for like $10 if you’d like to try. A little goes a reallllly long way with these though. Try not to exfoliate too much with certain products because sometimes it can mess with your skin’s pH. I think this worked well for me though.
4. Aztec Healing Clay- I swear by this clay, I honestly think it should be a staple in anyone’s regiment. I use this once a week after a steam mask (just some boiling water and any of your favorite essential oils and a little bit of Epsom salt and put it in a bowl and then put a towel over your head and hover over the bowl for about 5 minutes- sometimes I do 10, just to open your pores). I know SO many people who have used this mask and have gotten great results, myself included. It’s a pain to get off when it dries though, just use a warm washcloth and be gentle with your skin.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar- I use that to mix the healing clay.
6. Ayate Wash Cloth- LISTEN mangoestho will let you know that this will not steer you wrong. I prefer to use this for my body along with dry brushing (Ill explain that in a minute) but it’s literally like $5 bucks on amazon, you can wash it and reuse it for a long time. I prefer these over loofas, washcloths and sponges.
7. Raspberry Seed Oil has a very high SPF! It has a high proportion of Vitamin E, vitamin A and omega fatty acids. You can mix this with coconut oil and shea butter for a great sunscreen. Carrot Seed Oil also has a high SPF and works great as an “anti-aging” oil. I really stress getting into a sunscreen regiment because a lot of people are vitamin d, deficient and it can be even more harmful to not get enough sun than too much, so get a regiment and get outside when you can! I think 20 minutes of sun exposure is all you need!
8. There are LOTS of benefits to dry brushing. I do it before hopping into the shower. You feel very tingly and after a while there is something really invigorating about it. It’s a great way to sort of drain the body of toxins. I don’t use this on my face, just my body. Dry brushes are available on Amazon, they’re easy to clean and a beneficial way to exfoliate the body.
9. Dr Bronner’s GOES ALL THE WAY AWF. You can use it to wash your hair, you can use it for your body, you can even use it to clean your house. When I can afford it, I use it strictly for washing my body. It’s just a very simple healthful cleanser.
I hope this clears some things up. Again, I’m not a doctor or beauty/health guru of any kind, this is just what I found has worked for me. My skin just works and reacts well when I keep things as organic/natural as possible.
Hair Porosity Test - Low Porosity
So after 3 years of being natural I finally decided to do a porosity test on my strands. From looking at various descriptions I always thought I had medium to low porosity hair but the strand test I did confirmed that my hair is severely low in porosity.
For the strand test, you are supposed to lay your clean strands in a bowl of water and wait to see how quick it sinks. If it sinks in less than 2 minutes, you have higher porosity hair, and if it takes longer or doesn’t sink at all you have low porosity hair. Based on this test, my hair was very low porosity. The strands never actually sank. This means that my hair has a very hard time soaking up the water.
After doing a lot of research on low porosity, the main pieces of advise I have found are -
- Focus on moisturising rather than sealing - the problem with low porosity hair is getting moisture into the strands to begin with. Moisturisers with a high water content are a must, which is probably why my DIY Leave-In Conditioner works so well on my hair. Oils that penetrate the stead such as coconut oil are also good.
- Steam / deep condition - To encourage moisture to penetrate the strands, heat/steam can be good to lift the cuticles. I recently bought myself the Heutiful steamer and have noticed the difference it makes in my hair so I will definitely be using it every time I deep condition. I have previously used Hair Therapy Wraps which work well as well.
- Avoid heavy sealants - heavier sealants such as butters will tend to just lay on top of low porosity hair, weighing it down. I tend to only use heavier sealants like shea butter on my ends and use a lighter oil for the rest of my strand and have found that this works well.
The hair porosity test is something I would definitely recommend anyone do as it can help you shape your regimen more suitably to your needs.
Love this post! Porosity is often overlooked when naturals are figuring out their hair regimen. It’s extremely helpful to understand how your hair absorbs moisture. Even more so than following hair typing and charts. More “Hair Porosity 101" info here.
13 Herbal Balms & Salves For Everyday Ailments
Hello Natural writes:From headaches to cracked heels (so, literally, head to toe), herbal balms are a game-changer. And we promise, they’re really easy to make, just as long as you’re patient enough for your herbs to dry and oils to infuse. From there on, the possibilities are endless! Read more about the dos and donts of herbal balms here, and have a look at some of the best balm and salve recipes we found.Find the 13 recipes here.