Monday, 28 March 2016

Using Chamomile Tea as a Toner | 3 Day Update

If you're new, here is why I began this skin experiment. Before I used chamomile tea, my skin had been dry, red and scaly and nothing would calm it down. Here are the pictures after three days of use.

LEFT: day 2
RIGHT: now, after 3 days

My skin is almost back to normal! The scaly feeling as well as the dryness has completely vanished, and so has most of the redness. The picture below is of all three days. I don't think the camera captured how red my skin actually was on the first day, but even after a night's use, the redness was the first thing to dramatically improve (as seen on picture two).

Chamomile tea is definitely something to look into if your skin is sensitive or red and inflamed. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, as well as many other benefits which all seem to work in union to improve skin health.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Chamomile Tea Toner | 1 Day Update

Here's a quick update on using chamomile tea as a toner. Last night I brewed chamomile tea and applied the cooled down bag on my skin (where it was dry/red) as well as using the tea as a 'toner'.

Here is what my skin looked like before and after one day of use

The shot on the right is after a night and morning of using the tea. The before shot is after I used a facial oil, so excuse the shiny skin! I use oil almost every night, and tried using rosehip and coconut to calm the redness a few days before - it didn't work, which is why I began this skin experiment! So, it is definitely not the oil that has calmed the redness. I mention this in my previous post too.

I explain what happened to my skin here - in a few words; it was dry scaly, red and inflamed. The redness has definitely gone down, and the scaly feeling has also disappeared, but it still feels dry and dehydrated (I've tried everything). It is slightly softer though. Considering it has only been a day, I would say that the results are amazing. And a little surprising, since I was a tad sceptical when I was making tea from a dingy teabag.

The brewing, waiting and storing of this toner can be a bit of a process, so if you're looking for something more convenient, pre-made chamomile toners and hydrosols are a great option. The hydrosols can also double up as a setting spray.
If you have red, inflamed skin or rosacea, here's a post of ways you can add chamomile products into your skincare routine from cleanser to serum.

I'll still be updating this week, so stay tuned to see if this really works and bookmark or follow me on twitter to see when my posts go live!

xo, Amali

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Using Chamomile Tea as a Toner | Day 0

So, this week's beauty experiment will be about using chamomile tea as a toner. While it is a great tea to drink, topical application of chamomile also has its benefits.

I'm mainly doing this because something strange has been happening to my cheek; it's red, and dry to the touch. It feels like it's flaking and scaly, but looks fine (apart from the redness). It might be a spot treatment I used, or a new moisturiser, I still don't know. So, until then, I'm going to be trying this toner and see what happens! Chamomile is supposed to be soothing and calm redness.

I've tried green tea as a toner before and it got rid of my small dry spots, but this is different. It's more inflamed, and not your usual case of winter skin. I've tried coconut oil, rosehip oil and exfoliating, but nothing has helped. Hopefully this does!

If you would like to see my previous skin experiment on green tea, here's the

For now, join me as I update you all on my progress with pictures in the following days. Stay tuned and follow me on twitter for when my posts go live!

UPDATED: chamomile tea

xo, Amali

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Clay for Skin: French Green Clay | Part III

Part III of this series will be on a clay that is not so common and may go under a few names. Rich in minerals, it can draw out toxins, dust and dead skin cells.

French Green Clay: a clay mineral composed mostly of illite clay.

Where is it found: first produced on a huge scale in France, hence the name, but deposits are also found in Wyoming, Montana and China.

  • medium cation-exchange capacity, but higher than kaolin (absorbing toxins)
  • mainly a non-expanding clay
  • antibacterial (Williams et al., 2011)
  • contains many minerals: calcium, copper, potassium, silicon, iron, magnesium.
  • not as 'powerful' as bentonite clay, is slightly more gentle
Colour: green, which is due to a combination of iron oxides and decomposed plant matter.

'Green Landscape' modified by Ron Brinkmann licensed under CC BY 2.0

What to buy
Popular masks with French Green Clay or Illite

French Green Clay would be a great clay mask for those with less oilier skin, and do not like the 'pulling' sensation that comes with bentonite clay.

Studies Referenced

Williams, L., Metge, D., Eberl, D., Harvey, R., Turner, A., Prapaipong, P. and Poret-Peterson, A. (2011). What Makes a Natural Clay Antibacterial?. Environmental Science & Technology, 45(8), pp.3768-3773.

B. Williams, L., E. Haydel, S., F. Giese, Jr., R. and D. Eberl, D. (2008). Chemical and Mineralogical Characteristics of French Green Clays Used for Healing. Clays Clay Miner., 56(4), pp.437-452.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

7 Ways to add Turmeric into your Skincare

My last Tea for Skin post was about the benefits of turmeric for skin, as well as overall health.
Drinking and topically applying turmeric onto skin has been shown to helpful for many conditions according to numerous studies and anecdotes.

A Summary of Benefits
  • acne fighting
  • antioxidants
  • anti-inflammatory
  • wound-helaing
  • psoriasis
  • evens skin tone
  • brightens skin

Turmeric II by Steven Jackson licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here are some ways to included turmeric into your skincare routine

Turmeric Root Powder
Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Flavor Of The Earth Organic Turmeric (Curcumin) Powder 

Clear Face Turmeric Cream Cleanser Paraben Free Organic

Serums and Treatments


KIEHL'S Turmeric & cranberry seed energizing radiance masque
Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask 

Drink Tea

Adding turmeric into a DIY mask is also a good option for when you have time, and is something I will review soon!

xo, Amali

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Current Favourite Hand Creams

Here are the hand creams I currently use. Not all are traditional 'hand creams'. If you want to keep your hands soft and your nails strong, a hand cream is great in general, especially after washing your hands with soap, which can dry out your skin.

Monday, 14 March 2016

10 Science-backed Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on your Skin

My last post was about how using coconut oil in it's purest form has kept my skin soft and lush. This post will be about all the studies and journals that support this claim. Get ready for some evidence, because I definitely haven't been imagining how good this stuff has been to my skin!

'Coconut oil' by  Meal Makeover Moms licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

  • natural healing properties of virgin coconut oil (CO) in healing atopic dermatitis. A 2013 study found that compared to mineral oil, CO was superior and showed significant improvements (Evangelista, Abad-Casintahan and Lopez-Villafuerte, 2013)
  • this study also showed improvement of transepidermal water loss (leading to dry skin, less 'moist') (Evangelista et al., 2013)
  • improved skin hydration and increases skin surface lipid levels (Agero and Verallo-Rowell, 2004)
  • anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial (DebMandal and Mandal, 2011)
  • has a natural sun protection factor of SPF 8 (Saraf and Kaur, 2010)
  • wound healing properties (Nevin and Rajamohan, 2010)
  • lauric acid, the main acid in coconut oil works well against acne (Yang et al., 2009)

What happened when I Used coconut oil on my face

You're probably eating it by now, right? Might as well put it on your face. Here's what happened when I did.

The First Time
I've mentioned this briefly but a few years ago, I used coconut oil and broke out about two days later with three or four cystic pimples that seemed to be clogged and hard to the touch. So, I stopped using it straight away, and they took quite a while to calm down and go away. So, I never went back.

The Last Time
About a week ago, I ran out of moisturiser, so I took the risk.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment Review

When I was at the hairdresser's they used this in my hair and then blow dried it straight. My hair had never looked as shiny and as sleek as it did then.

Apply a small amount to clean, towel-dried hair, from mid-length to ends. Blow-dry or let dry naturally. Moroccanoil Treatment can be applied to dry hair to tame fly-aways or condition dry ends.

  • versatile, nourishing and residue-free formula
  • used as a conditioning, styling and finishing tool
  • blends perfectly with other products and even speeds up drying time
  • transforms and repairs as its formula transports lost proteins for strength; fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins for shine; and antioxidants for protection
  • absorbs instantly to fill gaps in hair created by heat, styling and environmental damage

Monday, 7 March 2016

What happened when I used Oils instead of Moisturiser

A few years ago, I went on an all-natural skincare kick. I decided I needed to throw out my silicone filled moisturisers and just use oils. What could be bad about just using something without preservatives, colours, fillers and who knows what else? I think I did this for a couple of weeks. This is what I learned from my experience.

Oily Skin?
I think most people are hesitant to try facial oils because of the idea that they will make your skin erupt into a million pimples. This is definitely not the case with most oils. Oils may sit on top of the skin or be absorbed, either fully or partially. Before I started using just oils as moisturiser, and especially before I started using oils at all, I had diagnosed myself as having oily-combination skin. Using oils has helped my skin become more 'normal', and this is something I started to notice from the very beginning. It's as if, my skin was actually dry and producing more oil to compensate for all the 'oil-free' moisturisers and anti-acne products I was slathering on to tame my temperamental skin.

Dry Skin
Towards the end of my "oil moisturiser" journey, I started to notice some dryness on my forehead and smile lines. It wasn't so much that the skin was patchy, but in some places. it wasn't as 'plump', so either I actually developed fine lines or they became more obvious. So this is when I decided using oils was not such a great idea. Had my skin had become dry? Or was I just creating a barrier where it couldn't "breath?"

'Oil Drop' by Mark Vegas licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Tea for Skin: Turmeric (5)

Turmeric has traditionally been used in Asia and the Middle East as a spice and medicine. The past few years have seen a huge interest focusing on turmeric, accompanied by the rise and surge of the supplement market, where turmeric and it's components can easily be found in capsule and tablet forms.

Here are just a few benefits of turmeric, that are specifically great for skin.

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, which would otherwise harm our cells. They can be caused by many factors, including age, the environment and diet. Studies have found that oxidative stress (imbalance of free radicals compared to antioxidants) is increased in acne patients (Arican, Kurutas and Sasmaz, 2005), as well as rosacea (Tisma et al., 2009).
Curcumin, a significant component of turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant that can help treat a variety of diseases, including skin conditions.

A lot of skin conditions produce inflammation, or are exasperated by it. From redness to acne, adding turmeric into your diet can help alleviate some of these symptoms. Curcumin (discussed earlier) also possesses anti-inflammatory properties (Menon and Sudheer, 2007) which is why a lot of people take this supplement for arthritis.

'Turmeric' by Steve Jackson licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wound Healing
Curcumin acts on different stages of wound healing process that speeds up the time it take (Akbik et al., 2014). Turmeric's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also aid in its wound healing ability. Broken skin, scratches, acne, acne scars and other skin conditions all go through the skin healing process.

A 2015 study showed that topically applying turmeric to have positive affects on psoriasis (Sarafian, Golnaz, et al.).

Turmeric is said to be great for healing acne through it's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions, which have been shown in studies. There are also many anecdotal accounts and reviews online about how turmeric masks and supplements have helped those with acne.

While you can add turmeric root to hot water and have it as a tea, it's powdered form makes for a great addition to a homemade mask.
You can also add it into your food.

You can find turmeric easily online: Jiva Organics USDA Organic Turmeric Powder
or in most South Asian grocers.

Studies Referenced

Arican, O., Kurutas, E. and Sasmaz, S. (2005). Oxidative Stress in Patients With Acne Vulgaris. Mediators of Inflammation, 2005(6), pp.380-384.

Tisma, V., Basta-Juzbasic, A., Jaganjac, M., Brcic, L., Dobric, I., Lipozencic, J., Tatzber, F., Zarkovic, N. and Poljak-Blazi, M. (2009). Oxidative stress and ferritin expression in the skin of patients with rosacea. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 60(2), pp.270-276.

Thangapazham RL, Sharma A, Maheshwari RK. Beneficial role of curcumin in skin diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:343–57.

Menon, V. and Sudheer, A. (2007). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol, 595(105), p.25.

Akbik, D., Ghadiri, M., Chrzanowski, W. and Rohanizadeh, R. (2014). Curcumin as a wound healing agent. Life Sciences, 116(1), pp.1-7.

Sarafian, Golnaz, et al. "Topical Turmeric Microemulgel in the Management of Plaque Psoriasis; A Clinical Evaluation." Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR 14.3 (2015): 865.
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