DIY Intermediate, Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Daytime Blemish Busting Stick

Hello Donald! Good afternoon fake tanner! Holy smokes why have you got an orange circle on your face? Are you trying to be a clown? So you made the Nighttime Blemish Busting Stick and everyone knows it! They can see it!

IMG_4391I handed my pot of Nighttime Blemish Busting Stick to a co-worker of mine and she said she loved it. But, can’t use it during the day as it is too colourful for her skin. Granted, even I can’t wear it during the day. So I asked her what she wanted in a daytime blemish stick, and she told me, she wanted something to help with scars AND spots/acne.  And that got me thinking. And then I had an aha moment. Which usually means I’m in my kitchen for many hours playing with various ingredients.

And this is what I came up with. A Daytime Blemish Busting Stick. The companion stick to the Nighttime Blemish Busting Stick.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 5.38.13 AMThis stick is still filled with lots of goodies to help the skin work on those pesky scars. And, I included some essential oils in this blend too. I used mainly tea tree oil as it was the only essential oil on the various essential oil lists that could help with scars and with acne. And I know chamomile helps with redness. Which is always good in my books!

IMG_4399I used some Cetyl Alcohol to give this recipe some structure and stability so it would easily stay in the tube without falling everywhere, and because I wanted the powdery feel that cetyl alcohol leaves on the skin. I used mango butter as the skin drinks that stuff like crazy leaving your skin hydrated and happy, but feeling dry and not oily. I used argan oil for that same reason. And because I have over 270mL left of argan oil to use up before I move! And I used sea buckthorn SEED oil in this recipe instead of the FRUIT oil.

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You can see the difference between the seed oil and the fruit oil colouring in the Blemish Busting Sticks.

Applying this powerful oil to the skin is known to reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles, blemishes, scars and age spots. This is due to the diverse range of antioxidants and tocopherols, which can prevent oxidative stress in the skin, boost collagen production, and stimulate healing. 

-Organic Facts

After washing your face in the morning, apply some Daytime Blemish Busting Stick to your spot or scar, and with a clean finger tip, gently massage the oils into your skin for 10 to 20 seconds. OR, apply and leave it alone, and your skin will absorb it on it’s own!

 

 

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  1. Prepare your work space; wipe down all your tools and beaker with rubbing alcohol. Set up your double boiler, and the containers of choice. I used lip balm tubes. Feel free to use  pots for finger application!
  2. Weigh out your sea buckthorn seed oil, cetyl alcohol, argan oil and mango butter into your beaker, and place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
  3. Stirring constantly, let your oils melt.
  4. Once melted, removed from the double boiler and wipe off the water from the outside of the beaker.
  5. Stirring constantly until a thin trace forms.
  6. Decant into your desired containers and allow to cool. About one to two hours.

 

 

In this picture you can see I applied the Daytime Blemish Busting Stick and the Nighttime Blemish Busting Stick to the back of my hand at the same time. Within three minutes you can see how much my skin drank them up! 

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DIY Intermediate, Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Morning Moringa Magical Mask

When you get to run around looking like Jim Carey in “The Mask”, how can life ever be bad?

It has been so long I cannot even remember where my love affair of the stinky moringa powder came from. But it’s been something I religiously buy and keep a stockpile of for use in masks and in soaps. I used to add some to my smoothies, but found moringa burps were not something I or those around me were comfortable with.

Moringa has been said to help heal blemishes, improve dull skin, even skin tone, fight the signs of aging and bring Santa Claus to your house for tea. There is currently not a lot of studies on moringa, and the studies that have been done appear to have some benefits when taken internally. I know in my own skin care DIY projects, moringa is a star as I find it helps brighten my skin. Look at the breakdown of moringa powder:

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This nutritional value chart is from ScienceDirect.com

Look at that vitamin C and E count! Not to mention all those minerals? I know the skin doesn’t absorb all that much but there is always a chance it might absorb some of those goodies right? Like magic! It could be magical or it could be magic with strings attached. Who knows! My skin loves it!

img_5902Kaolin clay is a very common clay and is a very gentle clay great for sensitive skin or very oily skin. It gently helps to remove uglies from deep in the skin. It’s a star in many of Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin products!

Making a mask is pretty simple. You take a small bowl, add in your ingredients and stir. I always add my powders first, then my liquids and oils.

So what are you waiting for? Whip this mask up and give it a go!

Ingredients:

1 tsp moringa powder
1 tbsp kaolin clay

1/2 tbsp liquid (I like to use coffee, but you can use: various milks, water)
1/4 tsp honey
10 drops moringa oil or another carrier oil of choice

Optional: no more than four drops of your favourite skin essential oil

Mix together, I like a nice thick mask, but if you prefer yours to be thinner, add in 1/4tsp of liquid at a time until you get the consistency you like.

Apply to a freshly washed face, neck and chest area and sit back and relax! Or do the dishes or clean the bathroom, or answer the door. I’d strongly not suggest hanging up your laundry while wearing a mask!

Leave on the face for 15-20 minutes then wash off.  I find it gentle enough to not cause my skin to go into oil overdrive and putting it on in the morning doesn’t cause any issues later on through the day. This is a one time only mask, so please do not put any left overs in your fridge for tomorrow.

But, moringa powder is stinky! You’ve been warned!

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DIY Intermediate, Face, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Cucumber Mint Toner

I got so lost in the deep dark abyss that is Susan Barclay-Nicols blog “Point of Interest” before the technical drama of the past week and decided we needed to order in some cucumber extracts. And we needed not just one, but two different types of cucumber extracts. And we needed more hydrolised oat peptides, and green tea, and grapefruit, and papaya, and comfrey, and liquorice extract and about five or six other extracts too. I just really wanted to stock up the fridge with all the winter scrubs, exotic oils, luxury waxes and extracts till the door wouldn’t close.

YAY! I think I might finally have enough to play with!

Yeah, no.

Two and a bit weeks in, and I still love it!

My DIY addiction runs very deep.The Cucumber Mint Toner came about because I needed a new toner and so did Sonia and I wanted to see how my skin would take to a different style of toner after all these years. I’ve been using the Bee Happy Toner for so many years hardly changing the recipe since I created it, and since I’m not getting any younger, I should try something new! And to see how my skin likes cucumber products. Because everyone around here goes on and on about cucumber products, I wanted to see what all the hype is about.

Aloe juice has become quite the staple in my face care of late, the more I learn about the skin the more amazed at the various ingredients I can choose from to do one thing or another or combine them and have a super power. I have found the more I work with aloe, the more I respect it. I love how it deals with the redness in my skin! Then there is this cucumber extract which everyone and the witch’s knee has gone on about but it is new for me to play with in a liquid form so I’m treating it like it is new. I really like the thought of the cucumber being astringent, which makes the skin feel (and possibly look) tighter after use. There are a few properties in cucumber and aloe that are similar, both are soothing and hydrating and both contain polysaccharides.

Polysaccharides provide our skin with a hydration boost, emolliency, and create a light gel barrier for the skin. Basically, both aloe and cucumber help to keep water IN where it should be for awesome looking skin.

Cucumber Toner 1

There is also a bunch of vitamins in here too! And because this was being made specifically to test to see how the cucumber extract works, I decided to make it cucumber minty. So there is some peppermint hydrosol and peppermint essential oil in here too for some tingle and cool factor! I cannot wait till next week when I can make the mint tingle summer spray that’s been playing around in my head of late.

Some of you who have known me from some various DIY blog’s, know I’ve never been keen on using hydrosols as they have their own types of issues chiefly exactly how fresh are they? Are they contaminated? Ok, let’s be honest here. I was really into hydrosols years ago, took one out of the fridge, shook it and opened it and it exploded. I have a wee little scar on my forehead and I have never wanted to use hydrosols again and used the “freshness” as a reason.  Anyways….

I really like to keep a bottle of this in my fridge for after work, walk in the door, reach into the fridge for my version of a cold one, shake some out on a cotton face pad and sigh with bliss on these ridiculously hot June days! I’ve been using this toner for a few weeks now and have been loving it!

Ok! So are you ready to make this toner? Sleeves rolled up? Apron on? Everything been wiped down and you are ready to create?

So what we are going to do is break this recipe into two parts. Pre-heat and Post-heat.

Preheat:

  • 59% distilled water
  • 20% aloe juice (the cosmetic kind, not the drinking kind)
  • 1% vegetable glycerine
  • 1% allantoin
  • 1% niacinamide

Post Heat:

  • 10% liquid cucumber extract
  • 5% peppermint hydrosol
  • 1% panthenol (I use the liquid)
  • 1% water soluble Vitamin E
  • 1% preservative NOTE 

Optional:

4 drops peppermint essential oil

Measure everything in the preheat group into your heat proof beaker and set it in your double boiler on a barely there simmer. Now whistle a jaunty tune while you wait.

About tenish minutes or so later you should have everything dissolved and now it’s time to take it out of the double boiler. Stir and allow to cool till about 40C. You are looking for your liquid to be transparent with no crystal formations or white powders to be on the bottom.

Mix the post- heat ingredients into the beaker and stir well. Add in your peppermint essential oil and fragrance oil if you’d like. Decant into a 100mL bottle, and allow to cool. Once you’ve brought your toner to room temperature, cap, label and enjoy! Remember to shake before use!

NOTE: My preservative is the Chinese version of Liquid Germall Plus. My useage rate is 1%. Be sure to read your preservative information guide and go with what they recommend. If you do not need as much preservative, remove some of the water. 

So, what did you think about this product? How are you enjoying it?

Toner 3

 

 

 

 

Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Bee Happy Toner smells like….

Let me first start off by saying, Happy Skin Toner smells pretty rank. And rather than try to cover the smell or hide that fact, let just set the record. It stinks.

Like vinegar.

Because that’s one of the ingredients!

IMG_2742When I first went about looking at more natural ways to get rid of my acne, but not dry the skin, or make the skin feel shiny and tight… it was at a time during the initial hype of Apple Cider Vinegar from Braggs. At the time it was one of those magical “cure alls” that I sadly fell into. But I have to say, it did and still works like a charm on the occasional bout of acid reflux and in my toner. For the rest of it? Meh. Who knows these days about all the fads.

The one thing that science seems to be agreement on, apple cider vinegar does have some keratolytic effects: this helps break the bond between dead skin cells which helps the pores on the skin open. And that makes my skin smile!

Another great ingredient in our toner is bee pollen. Bee pollen is amazing on the skin. There is a plethora of information on the benefits of these tiny granules on the skin. They are jam packed full of stuff to help like zinc and silica (I could stop right here I mean silicia!!!!), lots of B vitamins, vitamins c, f, d, e, h and even vitamins K and P! I know, should just have listed the alphabet. Studies done on bee pollen have shown it to have anti- inflammatory properties and helps to promote skin health by encouraging healing.

And then there is the honey and glycerine which are both humectants. A humectant is something that attracts moisture from the air and deposits it into the skin. And here is where I really get my panties into a twist. Some commercial products use synthetic humectants like; silicones, urea and proplyene glycol to name a few. The synthetic humectants are just cheaper than natural ones like aloe, glycerine and honey. The commercial companies are being cheapos!

Shake before use!
Shake before every use!

And just when you think I’m done? There’s more! Dead Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt! Studies have actually shown that applying salt to the skin can actually help improve the function of the skin barrier.

And to round it all off? There is silk, vitamin b5, vitamin b3 and allantoin!

You see allantoin a lot in the Scrub Me Down Kitchen. It is a fantastic and brilliant ingredient. It is reported to heal wounds and skin irritation and stimulate growth of healthy tissue. Can you see why I add it to everything I can that goes on my face?

I really love my B Vitamins on my face. They are the heroes of vitamins for the skin! And while everyone talks about vitamin E, don’t get me wrong, vitamin E is grand for the skin. It truly is. Think of it like, Vitamin E is the Tony Stark and Vitamin B’s are the Thor. Both are great, but you’ve the charismatic Tony Stark, confident, everyone knows your name, powerful, full of himself and arrogant. Doesn’t quite work well with anyone else because he thinks he knows best. Then you’ve got Thor. Confident, quiet, powerful, works well with others, and is ok to let Tony Stark have his limelight. Vitamin E and The B’s, they are like that. Everyone knows about Vitamin E. But very few know about Vitamin B and what they do for the skin. We use Vitamins B3 and B5*. B3 helps the skins elasticity, the barrier, and revive the skin’s healthy texture and tone. While Vitamin B5 helps to soothe and moisturise and regenerate the skin.

So what makes this toner special you might be asking. Well, it is jam packed full of goodies to help hydrate the skin, protect the skin barrier, and drop a vitamin bomb on your face. Not to mention, you will be falling in love with the scent of vinegar once you’ve seen the beautifying effects of this toner!
How to use:

  1. SHAKE BEFORE USE
  2. Afternoon Refresher: apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe face
  3. After washing your face: apply toner to a clean face and suck it up! That smell is good! It goes away quickly and you get used to it! Apply lotion and serums as needed. Serums, lotions may or may not be needed depending on your skin type

Ingredients: Aqua (water), Acetic Acid (Apple Cider Vinegar), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Bee Pollen Extract, Honey, Glycerine (Glycerine), Sodium Chloride (Himalayan Salt), Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Allantoin, Niacinamide (vitamin b3), Panthenol (vitamin b5), Hydrolyzed Silk, preservative. May contain: essential oils/fragrance oils

Size: 100mL

Shelf Life: 5 months

Notes: it might smell like vinegar, you might be put off the scent, but truly, give it a go! The scent dissipates quite quickly.

Warnings: Not to be used by anyone with bee allergies. Keep out of reach of small children, avoid contact with eyes, do not consume. Not suitable in internal use.

 

 

*Notes on Vitamin B. Topically applying vitamins to the skin is all well and grand, the best way to have all these skin benefits we’ve listed is to eat foods high in these vitamins.

 

Face, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Summer Worthy Face Cream

I often get asked about making a face lotion. Others want a face cream. Some want it thick, and others want it thin. Some want it for oily skin. Some want it for dry skin. Yup, Goldilocks is in my kitchen.

I posted in the Happy Skin group on WeChat (China’s social media platform) that I needed to make myself some new face lotion. I posted the ingredients I planned to use and asked if anyone wanted a bottle of it. I received a bunch of “yes” replies. So sat down and began to formulate the recipe for a new summer lotion/cream.

Since I was making this for my skin needs, there were a few things that were not up to negotiation. It had to have evening primrose oil. It had to have moringa oil. It had to have sea buckthorn seed oil. And I really wanted to try out some olive squalane. And silk, vitamins, allantonin and more goodies for the face. I wanted this lotion/cream to beautify, even out my skin tone, help get a handle on acne, sink in pretty quick, hydrate, moisturize and give age a kick in the seat of its pants.

Yup. I wanted something hard core. I wanted Beyonce’s airbrushing artist in a bottle.

Let’s talk ingredients here (links for further reading are at the beginning of each ingredient)

For more information

Olive Squalane is newerish to my arsenal of oils (eight months is newerish!) It’s found naturally in our skins sebum, but after the age of about 30 we no longer produce as much which contributes to dry skin (I must not have gotten that notice!). Squalane, like vitamin e produces a protective barrier locking moisture in. It is said that it has a positive effect on evening out skin tone and reducing pigmentation (age spots anyone?). Due to the fact that squalane penetrates the skin so deeply, initial studies are encouraging on its affect as an anti-aging product.  

Moringa Seed Oil is an oil I’ve been using for quite a number of

WechatIMG10
For more information

years, straight up/neat, diluted in various tinctures and recipes and it quickly made its way into my “must have” ingredients when it comes to the face. Moringa oil was used by the ancient Romans and Egyptians to protect their skin from the harsh desert sun. What caught my attention when I was learning about moringa oil was that it rejuvenates dull, tired and aging skin as it is filled with antioxidants. It is also said that moringa oil helps to reduce fine lines and repair damaged skin due to the vitamin C content.

 

 

For a tasty recipe 

Sea Buckthorn Oil in western publications there are tons of jibber jabby hype hoopla surrounding sea buckthorn oil. And not a lot of sciencey type from western studies. So, in order to give you a bit of the oils profile, I’ll have to give you the technical stuff translated from some Chinese studies. High in, vitamins A, B1, B12, C, E, K and P. And you can tell it is high in carotenoids simply from the bright orange colour. There have been some TCM studies that have shown that sea buckthorn oil can actually improve the skins metabolism and retard the signs of aging. And, due to the carotenoids and Vitamin C, can possibly also help with sun damaged skin.

 

Evening Primrose Oil– I suffer from hormonal acne that means my jaw line usually has a

Hair loss

few nasty and itchy pimples for about a week every month. I wanted those gone. I found that by using evening primrose oil which is high in Omega 6 has helped to reduce the amount of acne each month. With evening primrose being used to help with anti-inflammatory issues, it makes sense that on the face it can help with redness, aid in skin regeneration, reduce moisture loss and strengthen the skin barrier.

Holy hannah that’s a lot of skin goodies! And, I’m not done yet. We’ve included some silk, glycerine, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and our main liquid of choice is aloe juice and a little water.

Oh yeah.

So. How to use this Summer Worthy Face Cream?

  1. wash your face
  2. apply your toner
  3. apply any serums or hydration boosters you choose
  4. take a small/desired amount of Summer Worthy Summer Cream and pat it over your entire face.

Summer Worthy1Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (aloe juice), Aqua (water), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil (moringa seed oil), Emulsifying Wax NF, Hippophae Rhamnoides Seed Oil (sea buckthorn oil), Squalane (Olive), Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin e), Niacinamide (vitamin b3), D-panthenol (vitamin b5), Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate

Net weight: 50mL +/-5mL

Shelf Life: 5 months from date of purchase

Note: It is common when switching facial products for your skin to go through a “purge”. This is very common. Please continue using it for at least a full thirty days before you decide you like or don’t like your new facial product. One easy way to prevent the “purge”, is to gradually introduce your new product to your skin. Use it at night or morning every second day for a week or two then a few times, use it twice a day.

Warnings: keep water and moisture out. Not for internal use or consumption. If any adverse reactions occur, please discontinue use and consult a medical professional.

Future Changes: I’d like to change this recipe a little thinner the next time I make it for summer use.

Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Cleansing China Clay Cream Balm

This new Cleansing China Clay Cream Balm, is not new for me. I’ve had this on my mind since way back in early 2016 when Marie posted “Cold Snap Cleansing Balm” on her blog HumbleBee&Me.  And then! She went ahead and posted an “Orange Wax” cleansing balm and I was drooling with want.  I whipped them up as soon as I had all the ingredients and was immediately in love with them! Then I sat down and calculated how much they cost me to make it. And almost shat my drawers. It was a pricy tub of product that I had to find a way to make something just as awesome, but a little easier on my DIY budget.

So, along the way, I developed some hybrids of clays and oils/waxes, some just oils/butters/waxes and essential oils, and one horrible horrible horrible product that sent me screaming for the hills as I got it in my eye and it burned so horribly I thought I was going to go blind. Needless to say, that one went straight into the trash and has made me totally rethink working with mint crystals and peppermint essential oils.

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It was only after a friend of mine suggested trying it again with her recipe, was gold struck. I changed a fair bit of the recipe to suit my needs and I think this small tub of baby poo hits the nail on the head with what I need it to do.

I knew I didn’t want any soap product near my face. No matter how awesome any of the Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin soap is, my face is temperamental. I find all commercial facial products and all soaps, to be way too stripping of my skins natural oils and as a result, I am left with that squeaky clean feeling. And because I have oily skin, that is not a feeling I want to have. Ever.

Those precious oils my skin naturally makes are the ones I want left on my skin. I want all that dust, dirt, student cooties, yuckies to go away when I wash my face. I want those oils left behind! They are the ones that keep us looking beautiful and young!

So using soap for me was not an option. Anything I make has to leave those oils on my skin and if I get any sort of tight feeling after I wash my face? It’s gone right into the trash. No second chances.

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I had used the Oil Cleansing Method for a long while and I am lazy when it comes to my routine. I want to wash my face, toner, lotion. The OCM takes FOREVER to do. You need to steam, massage, massage, steam, wipe and more. This method of cleaning the face is lovely and nice and great especially for those that suffer from black heads. But I don’t. Now, hormonal acne on the other hand… it’s like my chin and jaw line are trying to remind me that I’m a woman and that I’ve won the monthlyjackpot of getting a period next week! Huzzah for me! I forgot all about it!

According to W.N Logan (2009), Indiana Division of Geology, Kaolin clay is used as skin detoxifying and cleansing agent. The clay contains high content of silica that helps in removing the dead skin and makes it to regenerate. This also purifies and detoxes the skin and makes it moist. In addition, it has unique minerals and phyto-nutrients present, which helps in eliminating toxin and oil from the skin.

Can you guess why I wanted Kaolin Clay in my recipe? You guess right! It’s high in silica!
So, how do you use this tub of wonder?

  1. with DRY hands, scoop out a pea sized amount (or more, or less, whatever suits you best).
  2. apply some warm water to your hands and lather the cleansing balm between them till you get some thick foam going on.
  3. then massage over face, spend some time over your nose, jaw line, and wherever you need a little extra TLC. Treat your neck and decolletage too!
  4. rinse clean, use a face cloth if you’d like, but there is no reason too. Try it both ways and see what you like!
  5. pat dry
  6. follow up with a toner and some lotion if desired.

Ingredients: Kaolin Clay, ewax, wheat germ oil, castor oil, coconut oil, orange wax, candelilla wax, sea buckthorn fruit oil, essential oils

Net weight: 50g +/-5g

Shelf Life: five months if you follow the directions and keep water and moisture out.

Note: we purposely made this a hard product as Chinese summers are very unforgiving and we didn’t want it to melt too quickly. If we end up keeping this product, in the Autumn, it will be a wee bit softer.

Warnings: keep water and moisture out. Not for internal use or consumption. If any adverse reactions occur, please discontinue use and consult a medical professional. 

Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Turmeric Clay Face Mask

The mask being made
Look at that lovely colour! I promise no Oompa Loompa colour.

When you decide to make something new for the very first time, generally, it’s because you saw a picture from a cook book or Facebook (thanks Mrs. Richardson!), well, crafting and DIY is the same. I had to stop reading all the blogs and articles as I was never making anything and narrow my reading to a select few blogs where I can get the most inspiration from.

And SoapQueen.com is one of those rare blogs I continue to follow for various forms of inspiration. This new mask I whipped up today in the Scrub Me Down Kitchen has had me humming and haaing for a while thinking of how to tweak it to make it mine and to give it more of an oomph. I woke up this morning with this very bright light in my head of exactly what I was going to do.

Where the original recipe had avocado oil and meadowfoam oil and both are lovely oilsIMG_2087 just very expensive here to get in China- and its wicked hard to find meadowfoam oil, I needed to change up the oils. When choosing which oils to use in projects, I need to make sure I can get the oils regularly, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg to use. I settled on rice bran oil, camellia seed oil and unrefined evening primrose oil. I also decided to make this mask pack more of a punch as it is just going to sit on your face for 15 or so minutes. So I added in some silk peptides, niacinaminde (vitamin b3), and some allantoin. Kaolin is the clay I decided to keep for it is well known as a gentle, oil absorbing clay. And its white. So the awesome yellow colour of the turmeric continues to shine on!

This Turmeric Clay Face Mask would be best suited for people with redness issues, dull  and oily skin.

Ingredients: water, kaolin, rice bran oil, camellia seed oil, silk, evening primrose oil, MRH ewax, BTMS-50, preservative, organic (imported) turmeric powder, niacinaminde, geranium essential oil, allantoin

How to use:Apply a medium amount of mask to clean and dry skin. Avoid getting into the eye and do not eat. Leave on for about 10-15 minutes, rinse off with warm water. You do not need to wash your face after this mask I found. But, if that is what you’d prefer to do, have fun!

 

Learning Curve
While decanting into the 100g pots, I discovered that these 100g pots were way to big for 100g of product! Clay is heavy!