понеділок, 18 січня 2016 р.

My favorite natural oils

I’m not a beauty guru and I will never be one. I don’t really care about make-up that much and even though I put it almost every day, I tend to always use the same limited amount of things – mascara, eye pencil and liner, eye shadows (once in a blue moon), concealer and lipstick/lip gloss. I use foundation only when it’s really cold outside, and I almost never use powder. Last year I introduced an eye shadow base into my routine and it was a very interesting experience. I don’t have a huge make-up stash and I don’t think I would even know what to do with all the colors on Naked palette if I will ever hold it in my hands.  

But on the other hand I love to take care of myself and I love to use natural products. And what can be more natural than a pure oil? Over the years I’ve learned about the magical properties of some oils and now want to share my recipes with you. Some of this things I’ve learned during my travels, some – from friends, some - from Google (and I’m not ashamed of it). I’m not a doctor, a dietitian or a beautician, so please don’t quote me on anything and check up with your specialist of choice before trying any of this out. I’m just sharing my experience and the things that are working for me.

So my favorite oils!   

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Tea tree oil

My absolute favorite. I discovered it powers many years ago, when I was in a summer camp in Western Ukraine. One day we went for a tour around Lviv and walked for a crazy amount of hours. My shoes were not the best, so the next day, when I had to go on a one day hiking trip, I could barely walk – there were two huge blisters on the soles of my feet. I’m not the person that can easily let go of an opportunity to see something interesting just because of some blisters, so I still went. On the top of the hill we got under a horrible torrential rain, and as I was walking faster, one of the blisters burst… That hurt like hell, and I had about 4 km left to walk – down the slippery hill. That day I will never forget for two reasons – the beauty of the place and the horrible pain, brought to me by every step. When we came back to the camp one of the girls gave me a small vial of tea tree oil and it saved the rest of the trip for me. Yes, I will admit – I danced a crazy dance when I just put it on the blister, but the next day I didn’t feel a thing. Everything healed over the night. Ever since that summer I don’t travel without tea tree oil and it saves me every time.

When I was living in Thailand, I tried out the tea tree oil face wash and it was also amazing – refreshing, cleansing and perfect for hot weather.

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Coconut oil
In Thailand you can find coconut oil everywhere, especially if you go to the islands like Koh Phangan (also known as Fool Moon Party island, but that’s a completely different story). But I wasn’t using it that much until later, when I started losing my hair like crazy. There’s a thing – you lose hair after you live through some sort of a stress. But it doesn’t happen immediately. So I managed to already forget about all the stress and start enjoying my life in Chiang Mai, when I got a new reason to freak out – every time I was washing my hair, a great part of it was remaining on my hands. I talking handfuls of hair! One day, when I couldn’t taking it any longer, I went to a big beauty store(*) and asked a consultant what can she suggest to me. She gave me a small bottle of coconut oil that change my hair completely. Not only it stopped it from falling out, but also made it stronger, softer, much long and healthier.

I like to massage it into the roots, distribute along all of my hair and either leave it overnight, or to warm it with hair dryer for about 15 minutes to allow oil enter inside the hair and then wash it and leave it dry naturally. I don’t know any better (also cheaper and easier) way to make my hair soft and grew it long.

That’s just one of many, many ways you can use it. Coconut oil is perfect to cook with, to apply to your skin, to restore wooden furniture (yes!) and even eating a spoon of oil a day can really help with digestion. Also it smells amazing, so win-win-win.

(*) for those who’re interested – I’m talking about the big store at Santitham market. They sell a lot of brands, but I suggest to check out the local products. This oil and the face wash with tea tree oil I mentioned before were so amazing I’m still kicking myself for not buying few more bottles.

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Cocoa butter

This one I found by accident – through a Ukrainian blogger I used to read. She was very fond of natural oils and wrote a lot about them, and once had a post on why she loves using cocoa butter on her face so much. I have to tell you – at that moment she was 45, but looked 32. I was very impressed and decided to try it out.
Pretty soon I realized I cannot use it all over my face – it was way too heavy and oily. But at the same time I discovered one amazing thing – cocoa butter treats all the spots and inflammations on my skin very fast. When I see even a hint of a spot on my face, I just put some cocoa butter on it and in the morning it’s gone without a trace.  
So it’s my absolute must-have – I always keep a small jar in my toiletries bag wherever I go, as well as tea tree and coconut oils.  

Orange oil
Perfect for the flu season. When we get a quarantine warning, I usually start putting a few drops of orange oil into an aroma lamp – it disinfects the air and also makes it smell like winter holidays.

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Rose oil
Smells like a dream to me. Ever since I was 12 and read about the Rose Valley for the first time, this oil is the one thing that makes me relax in a matter of seconds. Divine, luxurious smell that can change your day.  Also, as far as I know, it’s good for skin and even helps treating PMS.

Almond oil
Perfect not only hair treatment, but also to make natural salt or sugar scrubs to gently exfoliate your face. I use it all the time – it does a great job and I know exactly what I’m putting on my face. It reduces dark circles under eyes and makes my skin radiant. Also it smells amazing, which is always good. I bought a rather big bottle for 3.5 euro and now can use it also as an additive to a massage oil and lip exfoliator (oils that are also good for this are apricot and peach kernel, as well as grape seed).

Argan oil
A great moisturizer that you can use both for your hair and skin. I love how it smells and how it makes my hair look. Unfortunately I don’t use it that often because I’m still so dedicated to coconut oil, but I know a few people who do, and the results are amazing.


Those are my most often used natural oils – the ones I always use and take with me. Some other oils I love to use are lavender, pine, peppermint and geranium. I also use some truly magical oil mix from Nepal, that helps with headache and dizziness, and also treats muscle pain, but unfortunately I don't know the name of the mix and what it consists of. 

Once I started using oils, I knew that this is just meant to be.  It’s easy, healthy and also cheaper than other products. Even here, in Italy, I can buy a bottle of coconut oil only for 2.5 euro and use in many different ways – as face cream, hair treatment, cooking oil, etc. I’m also always looking for new oils to use, so I will be happy to hear your suggestions.

The only oil I really can’t stand is eucalyptus. When I was very young, my mom used to use it to treat my flu. Ever since then I can’t even smell it – childhood traumas can stay with you forever.  

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