The Oil Cleansing Method and The Clarisonic

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I started playing around with natural beauty remedies a couple of years ago and two of the strangest (and increasingly popular) beauty treatments I read about were the no-poo method of cleaning your hair without the use of shampoo, and the oil cleansing method. The oil cleansing method involves washing your face with… you guessed it, OIL! I’m someone with combination skin that tends to get oily and shiny in the t-zone so the idea of putting oil on my already oily face was absurd. How could that work? I’ve spent so much time finding and buying products that are oil free, wouldn’t it just be throwing all that I’ve learned out the window? Yes. But guess what, it works!

Why using oil actually makes your skin LESS oily:

Oil dissolves oil. It’s that simple. When we put oil on our skin it actually dissolves any excess oil and dirt just like a cleanser would, but it doesn’t contain any harsh irritants that lead our skin to produce more oil to compensate. We actually need a healthy balance of oil on our skin. That’s why when many of us use harsh or stripping cleansers (don’t get me wrong, not all cleansers are harsh and stripping) to get rid of oily skin the skin actually starts to produce more oil to keep skin in balance. The oil cleansing method is a gentle and natural way to remove makeup, dirt, and oil buildup from the skins surface which helps keep pores from getting clogged and irritated.


What to use:

Oils that are perfect for the oil cleansing method include

  • Castor oil (This oil is highly antibacterial but also drying, so it should be used in combination with another oil, called a carrier oil. The oils listed below are all perfect carrier oils)
  • Jojoba oil (Good for acne prone skin. This oil’s chemical structure is very close to the chemical structure of the natural oils in skin and hair, so this oil is absorbed quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue)
  • Grapeseed oil (Good for all skin types, especially oily)
  • Avacado oil (Good for dry and aging skin)
  • Sunflower Seed oil (Good for all skin types)

Notice coconut oil and olive oil are not listed here. It’s because these oils are much heavier and aren’t absorbed into the skin as effectively, so they tend to leave excess oily residue on the skin, clogging pores and creating dry patches. I actually used coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer for a long time but I wasn’t happy with the results. When I switched to a mix of Jojoba oil and castor oil I was really happy. Through my bad experience with coconut oil I realized that finding the right combination of oils for your skin type is very important.

The right oils for your skin type:

  • Dry skin: Because castor oil can be drying, those with dry skin should use a minimal amount of castor oil. Avocado oil, Jojoba oil, and sunflower seed oil are all good for dry skin. Try using 2 parts jojoba oil and 1 part castor oil and don’t be afraid to play around with the carrier oils (anything I listed that isn’t castor oil). You can use 1 part sunflower seed oil, one part avocado oil and 1 part castor oil if you want. It takes awhile to figure out what works best for your skin, but you will amazed with the results when you do.
  • Combination Skin: People with combination skin should use a bit more castor oil. Think 1 part castor oil and 1 part jojoba oil (or grape seed, or sunflower seed oil). Once again, don’t be afraid to play around with the oils you use.
  • Oily Skin: People with oily skin should use 2 parts castor oil and 1 part carrier oil.

I bought my Jojoba oil at Market of Choice but I know the oils can be ordered online or found at many natural food stores. I have a container of castor oil combined with jojoba oil but many people like to just combine them every time they’re going to use them. Essential oils can also be added to your mixure. Tee tree oil is a great essential oil for acne prone skin. Whatever your skin care need, there is an essential oil to fill it.

What to do:

Many oil cleansing method lovers recommend taking your time to massage the oil mixture into your skin then heating up a washcloth and laying it over your face to steam the skin. This opens the pores and allows the oil mixture to penetrate deep into the pores and cleanse them of dirt and impurities. Once the washcloth has cooled they recommend gently rubbing the washcloth over the face to remove any excess oil, dirt, makeup, ect. from the skin. This steam and rub method can be repeated a couple of times or until you feel that your skin is clean and any excess oil has been wiped away. With this technique just make sure you don’t get the washcloth too hot. This can end up drying your skin out or shocking the skin which leads to extra oil production. Also don’t scrub your skin with the washcloth as this is irritating. After you’re finished you can choose to apply night cream or go without, depending on how you’re feeling.

Oil Cleansing method and the Clarisonic:

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I love my Clarisonic so I am always trying to find natural cleansers and skin remedies to use with it. A couple weeks ago sanseref commented on one of my posts:

Do you think it [The Clarisonic] could be used with just honey? What about combining this with the oil cleansing method? Rub the oil on, use the Clarisonic, then steam the face?” ]

This is such a great question and after trying it my answer is, yes, the clarisonic can be used with the oil cleansing method. The Clarisonic helps massage the oil into the pores for further absorption eliminating the need for the towel. I also skipped the steaming step when using the clarisonic and just rinsed my face with lukewarm water after I was finished using the clarisonic. If you do have a Clarisonic and try this method, just make sure to clean your brush heads THOROUGHLY after use. Actually, even if you’re not using it with oil remember to clean it after every use. If you don’t,  bacteria can form on it and be transferred to your skin. I always rinse mine with hot water, then use a little witch hazel on it, then rinse it with hot water again. Cleaning it with an antibacterial soap would work as well, just rinse it thoroughly. I also lightly dry my brush head with a clean towel, then take the clarisonic apart to let each part dry. Storing your Clarisonic in the shower or another moist humid area can also encourage bacteria growth so try not to leave it wet.

How often should I use this method:

It’s different for everyone. I like to use this method when my skin is feeling particularly dirty  and oily but I don’t use it every day. This is also the perfect thing to use if you wear a lot of makeup and want to remove it completely. It’s not necessary for some people to use this method every day, other people love to use it every day and swear by it. It really just depends on how you and your skin are feeling. Play around with it, and most importantly, give this method about a month or two before you give it up completely. It can cause flare ups of acne for the first couple of weeks because your skin is expelling more impurities than usual or just because your skin isn’t used to it yet. Try it a couple days a week for a month or so then decide if you like it or not. As with all beauty remedies, it isn’t for everyone. It’s also important to give up any harsh or irritating cleansers while trying out this method as using them both together can really confuse skin and cause acne flare ups and excess oil production. If you’re trying out the oil cleansing method but only using it a couple days a week, use a gentle cleanser the other days of the week to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Good luck! Let me know how the oil cleansing method works for you!

Supermodel Miranda Kerr’s Beauty Secret: Noni Juice

About a week ago my sister told me that she had read about an interesting juice that she wanted to try. She admires Miranda Kerr and read an article about the supermodels love of Noni Juice. Kerr says “it’s not only great for your skin, but it’s also great for your general well-being.” My sister was intrigued, so kept reading about it and found that Noni Juice is somewhat of a miracle health supplement. She has been drinking the juice for about a week now, and inspired me to try it as well. Before I get into my initial impression of Noni Juice I’ll explain just what Noni is and outline a couple of it’s buzzed about benefits. 

What is Noni:

Noni is actually a tropical fruit found in the South Pacific that has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine. This is what the Noni fruit looks like!

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Nutrition:

Noni Juice is amazing for the immune system and contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin and iron. The polysaccharides, fatty acids and protein in Noni also contribute to a generally healthy and balanced diet. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in Noni have anti-aging benefits that can help users look and feel younger for longer.

Digestive Health:

Noni helps cleanse the digestive tract and improves digestion. Because of this Noni is an effective  but be careful, Noni has traditionally been used as a laxative, as well as a natural treatment for constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gastric ulcers, food poisoning, dysentery and colic. 

Weight Loss:

The weight loss benefits of Noni are not scientifically proven (nor are most of it’s health benefits), but many Noni users have experienced weight loss and swear by Noni. Noni Juice could cause weight loss because drinking the juice increases the amount of nitric acid in the body, which increases the amount of triglycerides that are removed from fat cells. This results in weight loss. I’m not sure if this is more effective in people who have more weight to lose, or if it will help anyone lose that extra bit of weight and tone up their body.

Antibacterial:

Because of it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties many people use Noni as a natural treatment for acne and scalp irritation. Many claim that it also helps soothe dry and irritated skin. 

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My Noni Experience: 

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This is the Noni Juice that I purchased at Market of Choice for around $20. There are many different Noni Juice’s on the market for slightly different prices, but most of them range from $15 to $40 based on where the juice is imported from and where it’s being sold. After I bought the Noni the first thing I did was smell it (my sister had warned me about the pungent smell) and I was slightly shocked by just how bad it smelled. It’s not really a smell that’s easy to describe, you’ll just have to smell it for yourself! After that I read the bottle and determined that I would begin by drinking 30ML in the morning, 30 minutes before eating. It also recommends doing the same at night but I’m slowly working up to that. The first morning that I drank the juice I poured it into a shot glass (about 30ML) and drank it straight. It was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. After that I started taking my shot of Noni Juice with a chaser of a little bit of pineapple juice which really helps take the flavor away. Orange juice also works. I have only been taking it for a few days so I haven’t seen any results yet but most Noni users claim the benefits of Noni juice usually can’t be seen for at least 3 weeks to a month, so I’ll stick with it. The first week is also usually when users experience Noni’s detox benefits so it can cause an upset stomach (be ready to head to the bathroom quite a bit). Overall I’m excited about continuing this experiment with Noni Juice and I’ll keep updating my blog with any results or changes I see after drinking the juice for longer. 

Cheers to Health!

 

College Graduation Party Planning in Eugene, OR

With my own college graduation right around the corner (ok, in 9 months) I have started thinking about whether or not to have a graduation party and what it might look like. I was talking to a friends mom the other day who asked me if my parents had booked their hotel room yet for graduation because they were filling up fast, and if we were having a grad party. It made me realize that with the amount of college graduates celebrating, and families flying in to celebrate with their graduates, party planning actually does have to start now. So here are a few of my ideas for what a college graduation party could look like and what resources could be used to plan and execute the perfect graduation party.

At home graduation party:

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This party could take place near your University if your family and friends live close enough. Or could take place back in your home town after your graduation. This is easier for some students whose family members can’t all fly to their university for the graduation ceremony. If you do live close to your school, having one of your favorite restaurants from your days as a student would be a fun way to let your family and friends experience your towns best food. My favorite restaurant in Eugene happens to be Qdoba Mexican Grill, and they happen to cater! Here is Qdoba’s catering website in case you love them just as much as I do and want more information.

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If you’re looking for more finger foods and desserts I would recommend Lewis and Clark Catering company or Sweet Life Patisserie. I will get more into Lewis and Clark Catering later in this post, but Sweet Life is a favorite of many students in Eugene and they custom make beautiful cakes and desserts such as these:

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Here is Sweet Life’s website  for more information on special orders and contact information. If your home just isn’t big enough or doesn’t have the backyard for a graduation party, having your graduation party at an event venue or event center is another wonderful option.

Event Venues in Eugene:

Lewis and Clark Catering Company is my new favorite place for any kind of event or catering needs in Eugene. Their 200 plus dining and banquet facility overlooks the Willamette River and Alton Baker park. If you don’t need room for two hundred plus people, they also offer more intimate settings, and will design a food menu, or just hor d’oeuvres, specifically for your event. They also can arrange Party rentals, Tabletop design, Photography and video, Styling, Decor, Bar and cocktail service, and Music and dancing. I am definitely keeping this place in mind if I’m ever planning a wedding in Eugene as well! http://lewisandclarkcatering.com/Image

Here’s an idea of their inside seating and decor. And here is a picture of their gorgeous Willamette River view.

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If you’re looking for something a little less fancy the Amazon Community Center on Hilyard street is a little closer to campus and a little less expensive (Their rates can be found on their website). The Amazon Community center doesn’t provide catering or any of the other services offered by Lewis and Clark, but using this venue may allow you and your family to be a little more hands on in your graduation planning process. Meaning you bring your food, decorations, and set-up crew. I have actually been to a college graduation party here and helped with the set-up. As a venue the meeting room was the perfect size for a casual drop-in group of around 20 people at any given time. There is also a larger room that holds up to 90 people that would be perfect for bigger groups. A venue like this one would allow for a much more casual graduation party while still giving family and friends enough room to mingle and congratulate the graduate.

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I love this idea for cupcakes that would be perfect at any venue or at home graduation party!

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Not so sure about having a Graduation Party:

If you’re like me and you’re more worried about finding a decent (or any) job after college than eating cupcakes and receiving graduation gifts for the new apartment you may or may not be moving in to (depending on the job you may or may not get), then you may be wondering if holding a graduation party is really worth the effort. Sometime it is, sometimes it isn’t. When I asked my family if they would want to have a graduation party for me this coming spring, they asked me if people actually had graduation parties for their college students, I mean they already had a party for me when I graduated from high school, right! If your family is like mine and doesn’t really care if you have a party or not, no party might be the best option for you (you as a student probably don’t want to get stuck with all the planning and costs that come along with planning a party). But if your family is excited about coming together to celebrate your graduation, do it! A graduation party can be about more than cupcakes and gifts. If you are concerned about finding a job and eventually moving up the ranks, ask all of your graduation party guests to bring a good contact for you or job search tips instead of gifts. Instead of telling grandma for the hundredth time that you’re not sure what you’re going to do now and that you’re still looking for jobs, you can network during the party. Maybe you have a cousin that just landed a great job in the city (like my cousin!) who now has tons of interesting new friends and contacts that could help land you a job in the future. It can be surprising how helpful one family member or friend with one good contact can be. If you have already found a post college job and just need items to fill or decorate your new apartment (lucky you!) you can opt to go for a somewhat controversial graduation gift registry to help give your family and friends an idea of what you actually need as you go forward and start your own life after college. Here’s an ABC news article about the controversial nature of the graduation gift registry. And here’s a link to myregistry.com, a site that allows you to create your own registry for any occasion. 

Finding a Hotel for graduation/graduation party attendees:

Holiday Inn Express is probably one of the closest hotels to the University of Oregon campus, and has always been a popular place for parents and friends of students to stay when visiting, but because of that it is also often full during busy times like graduation. If you want a room there, book early, really early (We’re talking booking in August for a June stay). Another beautiful hotel that is just a bit farther away is Inn at the 5th which is right in the middle of the 5th street public market. A location filled with boutique shops and amazing dining.

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As with Holiday Inn Express try to book early for the graduation season.

Good luck planning and executing the perfect graduation party for you and your family! I hope this post can be used as a helpful resource along the way!