Untangling my hair has been a constant battle since I was a child, my hair is thick and has a mind of its own. I brush out all of my tangles before entering the shower, but without fail, my hair is in knots when I emerge. The wet brush has prevented many tears, but has failed to completely irradiate my tangled tresses. My new cure for knotted strands comes from the kitchen: apple cider vinegar. It is a natural detangler and as an added bonus, it makes your mane extra shiny. Simply shampoo your hair and rinse with a premixed concoction consisting of 2-4 TBSP apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. I have very long hair so I added 4 TBSP to 2 cups of water. Be sure to avoid pouring the apple cider rinse over your eyes, it will sting for hours. I conditioned my hair afterwards, as usual, and my hair was unusually easy to brush upon exiting the shower. Because apple cider vinegar can be harsh on hair, I only use it once every few weeks. Be sure to buy organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Other hair benefits of using an apple cider vinegar rinse:
-Treats dandruff, or itchy and dry scalp
-Encourages hair growth
-Help to balance pH of scalp
It also has many uses beyond the bathtub.
My husband grew up in Ireland where home remedies trumped prescription medicine and doctor visits. We’ve adopted the same school of thought even though we don’t have the fresh ingredients right outside our doorstep. It may take a google search, time spent reading reviews and a subway ride to hunt down the dried ingredients needed to make the home remedies of yesteryear, but it isn’t without cause. My mother-in-law remembers being forced to drink nettle tea as a child, but never knew why. Last year, a friend of mine told me about the women’s health benefits of drinking raspberry leaf and nettle tea. Most people assume red raspberry leaf and nettle tea is for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are already pregnant, but that isn’t the case. I don’t fall into either group, I simply want to drink a tea that has health benefits opposed to sugar and caffeine which work against me.
Red raspberry leaves and nettles are high in iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. The combination of these vitamins and minerals help aid in preventing hormonal acne, regulating mood, lessening painful and heavy periods, reduces inflammation, alleviates diarrhea, supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid and spleen.
Once I began drinking it, I couldn’t stop. The hardest part was locating the ingredients. I ended up at Flower Power in the East Village, they have been there for over 20 years. It is a bit dusty and crunchy inside, but the women who work there are very helpful and knowledgable about healing any ailments you may have.
The simple steps to making Nettle Tea:
1/4 cup red raspberry leaves
1/4 cup nettles
4 cups of boiling water
Add ingredients to a bottle or jar, cover and steep tea for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain and store in the fridge for up to one week. If the tea tastes too strong, simply add more water. Enjoy hot or over ice. It’s safe to drink up to 3 cups a day. Feel free to add other ingredients including lemon or ginger.
Like most things in life, you learn from your friends. My friend Elizabeth got me hooked on clean beauty and I still take her recommendations. When she told me that the JustBe Santal Face Mist reduced redness, hydrates and helps prevent blackheads, I couldn’t ignore it. I have to be honest, I bought the product a few months ago and just got around to using it within the past few weeks, but I am in love. I think it is better than my usual rose water sprays, especially for wintertime. Between the steam heat in our apartment and the brisk wind outside, my face needs all the hydration help it can get.
I use this spray between 2-4 times a day. After I wash my face in the morning or evening, I will generously spray my face with 1-2 mists. After it has absorbed and reduced the redness in my face, I apply my moisturizer. If I am going makeup free for the day, or heading to bed, I will mist my face once more to lock in the moisture. This keeps my skin supple and hydrated throughout the day/night. It’s also super refreshing when you need a mid-day pick-me-up, it’s not as strong as espresso but it might just be the next best thing.
I especially love the sprayer on this product. You have to keep it about 8-12″ from your face when spraying because it is so powerful. The smell is a bit woodsy, but perfectly pleasant. Over the past few weeks I noticed my skin has a smoother texture, reduced redness, less blackheads and breakouts in general. For the first January in years, my skin isn’t completely dehydrated and flakey.
Do you have a clean beauty resolution for 2017? If you have a chance, browse my clean beauty archive for all the products I’ve tried since I made the switch in 2014. If you don’t have time for that (because who really does) I rounded up the best of the best clean beauty products that I continue to use on a weekly basis. While some beauty products come and go (like this and these), others are here to stay. Let’s discuss. Like most things in my life, less is better and when it comes to beauty products, that couldn’t be more true. I am lazy, I barely wear makeup and often times forgo makeup altogether. So here are the products that have staying power in my weekly routine. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, I am always willing to help others transition into clean beauty and personal care products.
Click on the brand to read my original review of the product and click on the product type to shop the product.
RMS Volumizing Mascara // Glossier Boy Brow (brown) // Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (smashed) // Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (medium) // Surratt Relevee Lash Curler // John Masters Organics Rose Foaming Face Wash // Boscia Luminizing Face Mask // Dr. Haushka Rose Day Cream // Glossier Stretch Concealer (light)
Not pictured, but still in the mix: organic jojoba oil and organic vitamin e oil.
As much as I love my homemade DIY dry shampoo, I don’t always have the ingredients on hand so I like to have a backup. If you remember, I always had a hard time finding a dry shampoo that wouldn’t make my forehead breakout in tiny bumps. Even when trying non-toxic versions, this would still be the case, until I found the Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo. I appreciate that it sprays on clear, but it doesn’t give the extra volume that so many dry shampoos are known for. It doesn’t dry powdery, which is probably why the volume isn’t restored, but the smell is delicious. As a bonus, for every can sold, a financial contribution will be made to help reduce global carbon emissions. While this is my favorite non-toxic dry shampoo on the market at the moment, I still prefer my DIY organic version.