Be kinder to yourself.
And then let your kindness flood the world.
And then let your kindness flood the world.
How I turned my personal Self Care regimen into a business endeavor.
This product started out as my affordable and natural solution to dandruff and hair breakage. I stopped relaxing my hair in the spring of 2016, and I transitioned to my natural form with a year of protective styling. I wore kinky and Marley twists using synthetic hair. For as long as I could remember, I suffered from dandruff, so wearing a protective style for up to 8 weeks was an itchy, flaky mess. I did some research and learned that tea tree oil--a natural antiseptic and antibacterial--increases blood flow to the scalp, keeping it moist and thus reducing dandruff. I started applying the oil to my scalp and I was very satisfied with the outcome--no more itch or dandruff! (I applied a tea tree growth oil that I purchased from the beauty supply. Do not apply undiluted essential oils to your skin.)
The following year when I decided to start rocking my ‘'fro, I was on the hunt for the perfect products for my coily hair. It was my first time wearing my hair in its natural form, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of products on the market as well as the endless library of YouTube tutorials on how to maintain and style my TWA. It seemed like it would take me another year to find what would work for me! One spring afternoon though, I saw a YouTuber using a homemade mixture of shea butter and coconut oil that she had mixed by warming the ingredients in the microwave. Her hair looked great and I had seen some DIY creams using shea butter on Pintrest, so I thought I’d try it… (Microwaving your products is not recommended. Microwaving not only alters the properties of the ingredients, but also allows chemicals from the container to enter your product.)
You may be thinking like me--that you can just make your own cream at home and save your money instead of buying another natural hair product. You are right, but I told you that story to tell you this: I have spent the last year trying out different combinations and ratios of shea butter and essential oils to create an effective, natural product for my daughter and myself...and we’ve had great results that I want to share with all my kinky/coily Sistahs and Brothas. My Hair Butter is perfect for protective styles and low manipulation styles on kinky and coily hair (4A, B, C). It locks in moisture for up to two weeks, and promotes hair growth and strength by providing nourishment from all natural ingredients. Offerings include a Coconut Hair Butter that features Jamaican Black Castor Oil and a Papaya Hair Butter that features Golden Jojoba Oil.
I have been using raw Shea butter for about 4 years now to moisturize my skin--especially in the winter. Two years ago I decided it was all I wanted to use because I knew that it was the only ingredient that I was putting on my body. I knew where it came from, and I was very pleased with the results it had on my skin. It faded scars and stretch marks better than any product on the market I had tried, and I was never ashy--quite the opposite! I also noticed that because it was thicker than lotion and even some creams that I had to massage it into my skin. At first it seemed like a chore when I was tired and wanted to get in the bed as soon as possible after my shower--but in time I realized how calming and stimulating it was to massage the butter into my skin after a long day. I would melt into my bed and sleep like a baby.
This experience led me to create my Stress Relief Body Body. I have infused it with lavender essential oil to give myself and all of you a spa-like treatment with every application. Not only will the shea butter correct and moisturize the skin, but the lavender essential oil helps improve circulation, relieve achy joints and muscles, and calm the senses by reducing anxiety. It's exactly what a Queen needs at the end of the day! This was the first butter I whipped up, but I now offer two additional body butters that use essential oils to nourish our skin and stimulate our senses for healing inside and out!
My biggest inspiration for transitioning to a more natural beauty and skin care regimen and then turning that into a business was the issues my daughter and I were having with our skin. Since birth she has had eczema and I have tried so many products that only provided a greater level of moisture, but no real evidence of healing. I know eczema is one of those conditions that you have to live with and treat for most of your life, but when I made the switch to natural, plant-based moisturizers I saw what looked like complete healing! I have also had several fungal infections that I will basically burn with cortisone and other steroid creams--but that didn’t sit right with me because I knew that the unknown harsh ingredients were making their way into my blood. And the minute I stopped using the drugs my skin would itch and break out all over again. The vicious cycle ended when I decided it was time to use the medicine God had prescribed in the resources He made available to us when He designed Mother Earth as our home!
As I continue to research and learn more about essential oils and plant-based butters and gels I am continuously inspired to create products that are an answer to our skin woes. Not only that, but I am inspired to create products that enhance our natural beauty--naturally! My daughter and I use these products everyday, and it is my wish that they will become a part of your daily beauty and skin regimen too! Visit my Self Care page to see all offerings and their unique benefits.
The benefits of coconut oil are numerous! I use it for my hair and skin in a variety of ways, but my favorite use for coconut oil is for makeup removal. I would hate when trying to wash off my makeup in the shower and I come out with mascara smudged all around my eyes because it didn’t wash off completely with just soap and water. I would also hate using makeup removal wipes because it felt like I was wiping forever, and never getting it all off. So a year ago I started using coconut oil for its anti-fungal properties ( a plus for controlling my acne), how smooth it left my skin while easily getting all the makeup off (even waterproof mascara), and mainly because I knew exactly what I was putting on my skin and essentially into my body.
My main reason is the theme of this entire post! I keep seeing studies come out about food and products that we’ve been using in our communities for decades "suddenly" being harmful to our health, so I made the commitment to myself to live more consciously. I've also become passionate about sharing the knowledge related to healthier living! I’m no expert by any means, but I can share information I come across and point you in the direction of the experts, as well as share what’s been working for me.
Back to the coconut oil makeup remover!
Your face will be a little oily but that’s fine! It’s well-moisturized! Get some sleep! The coconut oil doesn’t typically cause acne since it’s an anti-fungal so no need to wash your face after removing your makeup. The massage you just gave yourself also helps with lines, blemishes and the overall appearance of your skin.
Coconut Oil Scrub
If you have oily skin like me, you may be worried about cleaning your face with an oil. I can testify that this method does not leave me super oily or cause me to breakout. But if you want a deep clean maybe once a week, you don’t have to use a harsh scrub or cleanser with unknown ingredients. You can make your own scrub with virgin coconut oil and baking soda.
If you have sensitive skin, the baking soda may cause your skin to burn or tingle a little. This doesn’t bother me, but you may choose to use less baking soda and more coconut oil in your mixture. This scrub gets deep down into the pores to remove dirt and oil, and it leaves your skin moisturized and more radiant.
Aloe Vera Facial
I’m always tempted to try those masks packets I see a lot now in Target, Walmart, and other drugstores, but I don’t know what’s in them! I can’t read or pronounce half the ingredients and that’s a No-No for me. I’m also cheap, so I want a facial that’s not going to cost me more than a few dollars for a one-time use..
My favorite, low cost, and highly effective facial has only one ingredient--aloe vera. You can buy aloe vera leaves from the supermarket for no more than $3.
Other benefits of the aloe vera facial include clearing up acne when used regularly, fading of scars, and it relieves irritation and rejuvenates skin.
African Black soap
After trying different brands of cleansers and soaps, making my own body wash, and buying natural handmade soaps, I’ve finally found the perfect soap for all my skincare needs. Raw African black soap--not its cousin that we typically see at the drugstore or beauty supply store--is made from all natural ingredients including: Coconut Oil, Cocoa Pod Husk, Unrefined Shea Butter, Plantain Skin Ash, and Natural Vitamin E. It fades scars and evens out skin tone; it’s an anti-fungal, and a natural shampoo. I love how it naturally cleanses my skin without stripping it, and leaves me glowing. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can purchase a bar for only $4 from my Etsy shop.
Body Butters of course!
Visit my Self Care page to read my story about how I started making body butter as a solution to my dry skin woes.
I took a day to get away...
Spend some intimate moments with my surroundings
Spend some intimate moments with my Creator
Admiring myself in relation to the rest of creation...as far as my eyes could see
At times just me
And He who created me to be
These are some of my favorite shots from a day hike I took on Earth Day last month. It was my first hike, and I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it. A big, huge thank you to Wellness Rebirth for organizing this event. It motivated me to get outside more and just enjoy Mother Earth. I’m making it a goal to hit the trail or the park at least once a month to reflect, reset, and set my thoughts above--away from the noise and the busyness of everyday life.
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