Toners – Their Uses, Benefits, and So Much More

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. I am slowly but surely drowning in homework (so much fun!)

Today’s post is on toners. I know, I know….

Why am I talking about toners?

Well, because not everyone understands what they are or what type they should be using for their current skin conditions. Don’t worry, I’m also in this group, I only figured out what toner I needed this past summer.

Toners are used right after cleansing but before serums/essences. They are used to add moisture back into the skin barrier.

In other terms, our society is obsessed with things that foam and having our skin squeaky clean. This is bad because using harsh surfactants disrupt the delicate skin barrier by getting rid of / shrivelling up the lovely microbes (the good bacteria that heals and protects you and your skin).

What do they do exactly?

Toners are water-based liquids with a very liquidy consistency that generally contain certain active ingredients and extracts. They are used to prepare the skin for the products coming after it. By using a toner, it balances the skin’s PH to a safer level and moisturizes skin so that it can also get rid of any last remnants of dirt, oil, or makeup.

They also soothe skin (or should) and contain large amounts of extracts and nourishing ingredients.

Think of it this way: You know when you’ve just woken up from a 6-8 hour sleep in the morning and you’re really thirsty? Think about eating a sandwich or something that is pretty dry without any water to help push it down. That’s what you’re doing to your skin when you skip toner and move on to your next product (unless you’re only using an oil cleanser).

What Type of Toner do I Need?

To be honest, toners differ and cater towards individual needs. But there are certain ingredients everyone should steer clear of.

Personally, I use toners that focus on hydration because that is what my skin lacks. Not in moisture, but in hydration.

Mature/ Dry/ Dehydrated skin: nourishing and hydrating

Sensitive: soothing

Normal: hydrating

Oily: Calming, relaxing

Either way, always look for something that is alcohol free because (more often than not) alcohol will dry out your skin and speed up the aging process (over time) and cause wrinkles and stress faster.

How to Apply

There are two ways of applying toners — either with a cotton round that you can swipe all over your face, neck, and chest (this is very important. Don’t forget about this other delicate places!)

You can also use your hands and pat it into your skin which will give you the full benefits of the toner as well as being absorbed quickly.

How often should I use it?

Generally, morning and night. If it’s a spray then use it whenever you feel like. Especially when your skin is dry. I also recommend doing a few layers of toner in the morning and at night for extra hydration that really sinks in. This practice is referred to as ‘skins’ and anywhere between two and six skins is great.

Do I need a Toner?

Depends on the type of cleanser you use and your skin concerns.

If it’s a foaming cleanser, don’t skip a toner because foam strips the moisture barrier and speeds up aging and attributes to other problems.

As long as the toner doesn’t have alcohol or mineral oil in it, there is no downside to a toner. They are used to restore skin moisture after cleansing and I really think they’re great.

Some of my favourites:

Make P:rem Hydrate Me Micro Essence Toner

Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner

Rose Water

Belif Bergamot Toner

I recommend the Make P:rem toner to everyone because it’s a hydrating toner and everyone can benefit from a little more hydration.

Do you use a toner? If so, which one?

Homemade Night Body Oil with Natural Plant Based Oils

Hello, everyone! Hope you’re day is off to a great start.

Okay, I’m going to start doing this as a weekly thing because I love helping people. Every Friday will now become DIY Friday! I will be sharing some of my favourite and trusted recipes for get skin, wellness, and everything in between.

As a person with extremely dry skin, I really need as much moisture as possible. However, I dislike the feel of body butters because they’re pretty thick. This night body oil is jam-packed with nourishing properties like omega fatty acids and antioxidants that protect the skin barrier from dryness. It also lightens pigmentation and scars, quickens the healing process of wounds, and leaves skin smooth and insanely soft. I suggest putting it on at night because some of these oils need a little extra time to really sink into the skin. But it’s so worth it.

Below I have included two versions of the body oil-a short one and a long one. The short one is cheaper to get the ingredients because oils can get a little pricey.

So, for this body oil to work, it should be used alongside a lotion. I love this one from skinfix because it’s lightweight and crazy nourishing.

As I also hate long intros, here are my secret formulas!

Short version of Night Body Oil

  • 4 oz dark amber glass bottle

Full Ingredients List for Night Body Oil

  • 4 oz dark amber glass bottle
  • 1/2 oz Avocado oil -smooths skin, high in vitamin E
  • 1/2 oz Macadamia nut oil- locks in moisture
  • 1/2 oz Safflower oil -heals wounds, soft skin
  • 1/2 oz Tamanu oil -Heals wounds, protects skin, tones body, helps with hyperpigmentation
  • 1/2 oz Hemp seed oil -antioxidants, omega fatty acids
  • 1/4 oz Kukui nut oil -smooths skin, gives nice glow
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil -anti-bacterial
  • 20 drops Grapefruit essential oil -anti-inflammatory, natural preservative
  • 10 drops Cypress essential oil -reduces appearance of cellulite
  • 5 drops Carrot essential oil -helps with hyperpigmentation

Don’t laugh…I know the full one is pretty extensive. But this is my secret to soft skin. The order really doesn’t matter because they’re all oils. I also like to close the bottle and gently swirl it upside down rather than shake it.

And although this oil will last you a few months, you might be wondering why or how it’s any better than store bought ones.

Well, store bought ones tend to contain fillers and preservatives and you spend a lot of money on them. With this, you have at least enough to refill your 4 oz bottle two or three times. Or you can use the rest on other places like your hair!

Side note, if you want some nice lingering scent, I suggest using a few drops of geranium essential oil because it’s beautiful and fresh smelling.

And here is what the finished product looks like. It’ll look the same despite which recipe you use.

What are your thoughts? Do you already use a body oil?

Top 10 Benefits of Oolong Tea for Your Well Being

Are you a fan of tea? Do you drink it often, fully reapping in the benefits for one or more cups a day?

As the second most consumed beverage in the world, very few people drink oolong tea.

As a person who drinks at least 1 cup a day but strives for 4, oolong is one of my top favourites.

What is Oolong Tea?

Oolong (wu-long) is partially fermented tea between 8% and 85%. It is known as the in between tea as it is in between green tea which is not fermented at all, and black tea which is completely fermented. It is grown mainly in China from the Camellia sinensis plant which is the plant that all tea except herbal come from.

This type of tea is extremely popular in China and Taiwan where there are many different types of oolong and even rare types too!

Oolong tea contains flavonoids, theanine, and tannins.

Flavonoids: One of the best types of antioxidants because they fight free radicals and slows down aging.

Theanine: An amino acid found exclusively in the camellia plant. 

Tannins: Also found in all three types of tea (green, oolong, black). This is what calm nerves and relaxes the body.

Now, let’s talk about these benefits.

The Benefits

High in antioxidants

Because it’s partitally fermented, the leaves are loaded with tons of antioxidants that fight signs of aging, free radicals, and stress that is visible on the skin.

anti-inflammatory

Drinking Oolong tea actually soothes the skin because of the amount of flavonoids present within the tea. Flavonoids are amazing and eating onions, which also contain large amounts of flavonoids clears up skin congestion and redness. Score!

promotes weight loss

All tea actually promotes weight loss because it fills you up. Great to have tea before a meal because it will keep you feeling full. So, with this, there’s no need to buy into those ‘detox’ or ‘skinny’ teas because all teas do this. Of course for better results, get better quality teas like loose leaf teas not bogus teas.

lowers risk of cancer

Like green tea, it has the ability to limit the growth of cancer due to flavonoids found in food.

aids digestion

After a nice meal, it can take up to a few hours for the stomach to fully digest food. Oolong tea aid digestion by absorbing fat and moving fats quickly in the body and away from fat cells. One of the greatest ways to loose fat is to drink tea right after meals.

calms nerves

Like mentioned before, tannins are really present in oolong and black teas which give them a sort of bitter taste (some people get headaches from this so please be careful). Tannins are the plants chemicals that relax nerves despite having a large amount of caffeine (it’s strange, I know).

Why is Oolong better than other teas?

While all teas have their own unique benefits and amounts of antioxidants and properties, oolong has beautiful characteristics.

Each kind of oolong taste different

Because they are fermented differently and then fried or roasted differently, they have different tastes. Like wine, they can be sweet and floral, savoury and meaty, smoky, spicy, etc. It’s amazing! So many different types it’s hard to ever get bored or need a different type of tea (though I do like changing it up).

Contains Depth

Green tea is very light and refreshing while black tea is deep, bold, and quite bitter. Oolong is in the middle. It is generally light but full bodied with so much depth yet still has that sweet flavourful hints that many black teas lack because they are so strong.

The leaves and the colour

Okay, if you haven’t had oolong before, the colour is generally a yellow colour, usually a dark yellow one. What’s amazing about this tea is that it blossoms from these tight balls in full blown leaves. This is different from both green and black tea which are generally straight and thin.

Multiple steeps

Most types of teas, especially green tea should only be steeped once because of its delicate properties. Oolong however, can be steeped so many times. I remember actually buying one type that could be steep 6 times! And still contain all of its flavours and strength. That’s a blessing for anyone who drinks tea daily because good tea is not cheap.

Where can I buy this amazing stuff?

If you live in Canada or the United States, I absolutely recommend Taotealeaf because they only sell the best stuff. They actually go to China for tea tours and bring back their favourites for us to try. Moreover, they actually created Toronto’s tea festival (something I am forever grateful for!)

SOe of my favourite types is Jade (very floral and lovely), Taiwan ginseng (can’t go wrong with ginseng!), and Rou Gui (This is the one that can be steeped 6 times. Has a beautiful cinnamon taste and a bit smoky)

Of course look for yourself on the benefits of oolong from some of your trusted sources. But I do love oolong and enjoy drinking it because if not for the benefits, just for the taste and the one of a kind flavours. I hope you give it a shot and fall in love with it as much as I have.

This is Why Dry Brushing is Amazing for Your Body

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. Time to get back at it (for me, that would be school).

It’s also time to take your detox game to a whole new level.

Now, I’ve spoken about the amazing benefits of chlorella for detoxing the inside of our bodies but what about the outside?

What’s the largest organ in the body? Skin. What probably doesn’t get as much love as it deserves? Skin. What organ visibly reflects the results of toxicity?

That’s right. Skin!

How can you give your body some love while increasing blood circulation, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and get some soft silky skin?

By dry brushing of course.

With winter comes dry and flaky skin. And who likes that? As someone with severely dry skin, dry brushing has helped a lot. It’s exfoliating but without the mess. It’s the key to getting naturally softer skin.

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is the practice of brushing the skin with a specific type of brush. The proper way to dry brush is to start at the feet and move upwards to the heart. This process naturally tones, softens, and detoxes the skin.

The Benefits

Lymphatic Support

Dry brushing releases toxins caught in the blog and naturally detoxes the skin.

Exfoliation

By running a firm brush over the body, it removes dead skin cells and leaves skin soft and smooth without disturbing the delicate layers beneath. After dry brushing and a nice shower, applying lotion, oil, etc. sinks into the skin faster for better absorption. This type of exfoliation can be safely done daily because it’s not abrasive.

Fades Appearance of cellulite

Ah. Those pesky signs that show the world that we are human. How I hate those!

But all joking aside, brushing increases circulation to the skin which releases toxins. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. This will roll the, smoothing out their appearance and potentially reducing them appear smaller. (Fat cells do not disappear. They can only be smoothed out).

Increases Blood circulation

Once you start dry brushing, you’ll feel this warm rush flow throughout your body. It’s exhilarating and a great pick me up in the morning!

Tones the body

While it won’t give you amazing definition, it will tone the body enough to notice a nice outline and more defined muscles and curves. Why? Because it’s all about circulation!

How to Dry Brush

With short yet firm strokes, divide the body into parts (eg. foot to knee, thigh to hipbone). Always start from the feet upwards towards the heart. The stomach should be done in a circular motion as well as the chest. Skip over the boobs if you have them! This delicate area is too fragile for that firm brush and might lead to micro tears which are never fun. In the future, I will be posting a great recipe for what to do for increasing the circulation for this delicate area. For the arms, start out but brush inwards.

Taken from The Health Nut Mama

The best time to dry brush is right before getting into the shower/tub because the water will wash off any lingering dead cells and give you a nice, thorough clean.You can also add some essential oils like grapefruit to the bath to get a nice hydrated feel before going in with lotion. It will also let you apply lotion better!

I love going over each part of my body two or three times. This way I can make sure I’m hitting every part and getting rid of some dry skin.

How to Properly Clean Your Brush

Simple is always better. I clean mine once a week because I use it everyday. I use Dr. Bronner’s soap with a few drops of tea tree oil. Make sure to only soak the bristles for about ten-fifteen seconds face down in the solution. After this, hang it (again, face down) over a ledge. I use my makeup brush drying rack to dry it.

Last Note: Please do not dry brush your face. Your face is super delicate and does not need the same firm touch as the rest of the body.

I use this one because it’s made from plant fibres rather than boar.

This essential step in a great skincare routine will do wonders. It will change your life whether done daily or simply three times a week. It’s also a crazy cheap alternative to regularly buying exfoliators.

How to Create Your Own Natural Oil Cleanser

Let the record show that this is an old bottle and this is not how Boscia’s oil cleanser looks lie. What’s currently in it is my own recipe that works really well with my skin.

Oils are the best. No really, they are. Most oils moisturize, replenish, and protect the skin from free radicals and uv rays. There are also the super cool and super underrated oils which can do everything a popular oil can do and so much more (hello, tamanu oil!).

Oil cleansing is the only proven way to completely take off sunscreen since oils clean to the natural oils on the face and everything along with it. These also leave the skin smooth and supple, not drying or damaging the skin barrier.

I love making my own oil cleanser because I know exactly what’s going in it. Also because I am fortunate enough to be able to. I find that mixing roughly four oils together with some awesome essential oils like grapefruit and lavender it the way to go. Below I’ve listed the oils I use and some trusted sellers.

My cleanser is:

1/2 oz Hazelnut oil – This oil is amazing at unclogging pores and controlling sebum.

1/2 oz Avocado oil – Jam-packed with vitamin E, it reduces redness and heals wounds.

1/2 oz hemp seed oil – soothes redness with vitamin A and E.

1/2 oz jojoba oil – similar to the skin’s microbes, effectively removes makeup and dirt.

10-15 drops grapefruit essential oil – Natural preservative, also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Also smells amazing.

15-20 drops lavender – Reduces redness and quickens the healing process of wounds and pimples.

 

And that’s it! I don’t use tamanu oil in this cleanser because I find it needs more time on the skin since it’s slow absorbing. Hopefully you decide to create your own oil cleanser, it’s very simple and saves you money as you only need a bit of each oil and they last up to two years.

 

sincerely

How Important is a Skincare Routine?

Really important, actually.

One of the most important things the body needs is consistency. A routine that the body can conform and take from every day or every week, etc. Rarely do things work after a few times of use. Rather they take a lot of time and patience in order to see improvement, your skin especially.

Skincare routines are important as they continuously give your skin the vitamins needed in order for it to rejuvenate itself. Due to its many layers, the stable routine will slowly but steadily penetrate the layers and aid the skin.

Moreover, this is why it is essential to have both a morning and nighttime routine (even if it’s just three products each). Morning routines should be lighter and easily absorbed into the skin. It’s not fun looking like a grease ball during the day. At night, it’s all about restoring and repairing the epidermis due to free radicals, stress, and pollution.

Without a skincare routine, the percentage of bacteria and dirt clogging pores, large amounts of sebum creation, and acne–all things that suck.

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to have a 10-step night routine (but if you’re already doing this and/or have the money to do so, then hey, go you!) It’s unnecessary because most of the products do the same things or do nothing at all.

A good skincare routine should include:

  • Cleanser 

It should be something super light and non abrasive.

  • Toner

Alcohol free toners are always best. They do not remove any of the good bacteria or strip your skin but toners should restore the skin’s natural PH. I love this hydrating toner from Make P:rem, a lovely Korean brand. 

  • Moisturizer

Lock in moisture and aid in protecting your skin. This doesn’t always have to be a cream, I really enjoy using oils on my face.

This is What Chlorella Does for Your Body

Chlorella is one of the coolest things ever. With it’s deep dark slytherin green complexion it takes ‘healthy’ to a whole new level. 

Chlorella is a single cell algae lot like its cousin, Spirulina which is multi-cell as they are both water algae. They are both full of great minerals however Chlorella is jam-packed with protein, iron, magnesium, and an impressive B-vitamin complex. It’s also amazing for detoxifying the body and removing metals. 

Due to its hard outer shell, it’s important to get this supplement with the words ‘broken cell wall’ or something similar. Getting one that has a broken shell allows humans to digest the algae. The amount of chlorophyll gives the algae its green colour and responsible for the colour of leafy greens. Chlorophyll also helps neutralize bodily odours. 

Chlorella Benefits

Immune support

Because of it’s amazing nutrients, helps fight inflammation and  increase the amount of Natural Killer cells, helps fight illnesses. 

Detoxification

Chlorella detoxifies the blood and lowers blood sugar. It’s great for those who eat fish regularly, have silver fillings, or have been undergoing chemotherapy.  In Japan, it is one of the highest consumed supplement as Japan contains most of the algae and they eat a large amount of fish, yet live relatively long lives. 

Weight Loss

Moreover, Vitamin B has shown to aid in weight loss through metabolism increase. It also improves hormonal balance and lowers glucose levels in the blood resulting in less cravings and a fuller appetite. 

 

Disadvantages 

Taste

The taste and smell of chlorella is the only downside. It is absolutely awful and ruins the smell of just about everything. I enjoy mixing the powder with vanilla almond milk with ginger and cinnamon. Although this recipe doesn’t completely hide the taste, it does make it easier to swallow. If you have a strong sensitivity to taste, I suggest checking out the capsule version of Chlorella rather than the powder.

I buy my powder from this brand

But this brand has great capsules as well.

 

Have you tried Chlorella? What are your thoughts on it?