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Homemade Face Masks

Friday, February 18, 2011

I have really sensitive skin, have acne, and probably have rosacea. I have been experimenting with all-natural face care products over the past year, and have had unfortunate luck with commercial natural products. So, it's time to go back to what worked for me. My 10-pound weight loss reward was to stock up on Olay products that I have used with success.

However, I have also enjoyed experimenting with homemade face masks, and I will continue to use these several times a week. It's fun to mix these up, and most of the ingredients are readily available in the kitchen. The only equipment needed is a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. These masks can be applied several times per week depending on the skin's needs. Follow the mask with a toner such as pure witch hazel or Thayer's Alcohol-Free Rose Toner and/or a creamy moisturizer. You may also apply plain green tea or rub a cooled used green tea bag on the face as a toner--great all-around non-stinging toner!


emoticon The Cafe Mocha mask is a good all-around antioxidant and exfoliant mask. The coffee and cocoa powder provide antioxidants directly to the skin and the oatmeal provides mild moisture and exfoliation. The coffee powder also acts as an exfoliant, but make sure it is ground to a very fine powder to avoid damaging the skin. The honey provides antibacterial properties that is great for promoting clear skin.

Cafe Mocha Mask:

Grind together into a fine powder:
1 tablespoon regular coffee beans (unflavored)
1 tablespoon pure baker's cocoa powder
1 tablespoon oatmeal

Put the powder in a bowl. Add enough honey to make a thick paste. Drizzle in a small amount of water or brewed coffee to make into a spreadable consistency. Mix very well. Gently massage onto face and leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes (longer is better). Gently remove with a washcloth and lukewarm water.



emoticon The Minty Green Tea mask provides antioxidants to the skin and is great for acne and redness.

Minty Green Tea Mask

Grind together into a fine powder:
1 tablespoon green tea leaves (fine to use from an unused tea bag)
1/2 tablespoon chamomile flowers or tea
1/2 tablespoon peppermint leaves or tea

Put the powder in a bowl. Add enough honey to make a thick paste. Drizzle in a small amount of water or brewed green tea to make into a spreadable consistency. You may also add 1-3 drops of tea tree oil if desired (tea tree oil is great for acne). Mix very well. Gently massage onto face and leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes (longer is better). Gently remove with a washcloth and lukewarm water.



emoticon The refreshing Summer Iced Green Tea mask has the astringent power of lemon and promotes exfoliation with glycolic acid. Lemon is known for helping with acne, but can be a little too strong for very sensitive skin. Decrease the lemon as needed to avoid irritating the skin. This mask should not be used more than 2 times a week.

Summer Iced Green Tea Mask

Grind together into a fine powder:
1 tablespoon green tea leaves (fine to use from an unused tea bag)
1/2 tablespoon of peppermint leaves or tea

Put the powder in a bowl. Add enough honey to make a thick paste. Squeeze a lemon into the paste and mix into a spreadable consistency. You may also add 1-3 drops of tea tree oil if desired (tea tree oil is great for acne). Mix very well. Gently massage onto face and leave on for 10-30 minutes. Gently remove with a washcloth and lukewarm water.



emoticon The Baking Soda Acne mask renews the skin and helps with acne. Careful not to scrub too hard with this mask. The salt must be at least as fine as table salt to avoid harming the skin. Grind if necessary.

The Baking Soda Acne Mask:

Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt in a bowl. It is optional to add a generous pinch of finely-ground peppermint and/or chamomile flowers. You may also add 1-3 drops of tea tree oil if desired (tea tree oil is great for acne). Add honey to make a thick paste. Drizzle in water, green tea, or coffee to make into a spreadable consistency. Gently massage onto face and either rinse immediately, or leave on for up to 5 minutes. Gently remove with a washcloth and lukewarm water. This mask may be a little drying (helps with acne pimples), so make sure to moisturize after using.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSME1223 2/23/2011 11:22PM

    thanx for sharing these...my daughter and I also have acne...we will have a good time trying these



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LHLADY517 2/19/2011 12:54AM

    Thanks for sharing these.

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TWOTIMESS 2/18/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon
Thank you for these!

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HEIDIC75 2/18/2011 1:59PM

    Thank you so much for these face mask ..I am going to try one this weekend ..Like you have very sensitive skin.. emoticon

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When your best friend hurts you

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I've done it since I was a child. I always tried to do it in private, I was so embarrassed with my habit. I've kept it hidden since I was very young, stashing stuff all over my bedroom where my mother wouldn't find my stuff. I stole spare change from my mother when I was a child just to fuel my habit. I would do it in the middle of the night just so my mother wouldn't know. I stressed about when I would get my next fix, would worry that it wouldn't be satisfying enough, that I'd have to do more the next time to satiate the hunger...

Literally, the hunger.

Food has been my best friend since the car accident that caused my older brother's death when I was 5 years old. That is when the depression and binge eating started. In the midst of major depressive episodes, food was there for me, always, comforting me. There is a lot of debate about whether "food addiction" is a real addiction, or if those of us who struggle with binge eating disorder are simply weak-willed and choose to "let ourselves go." Some argue, "How can you be addicted to food? You have to eat, so if you can't control yourself, then you should be ashamed." I can understand if you've never had the impulse to overeat, to want to binge so badly that you are trembling, that it would be easy to dismiss someone with binge eating disorder as someone who doesn't care about their well-being. I can understand if you've never obsessed over food--whether it be during a binging phase or a phase where you're neurotically restricting food--that binge eating disorder would be viewed as an excuse to eat whatever we want.

It is only recently that binge eating disorder is being acknowledged and addressed as a true eating disorder, but the American Psychiatric Association has yet to officially define binge eating disorder as a true eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. Bringing up overeating problems with my doctors has been dismissed with, "Just stop eating so much." I assure the nay-sayers that binge eating disorder is a very real impulse control disorder, like any other addiction. Recent brain imaging studies have shown that the same addiction pathways are triggered even by the sight of food in people who have binge eating disorder (for example, Schienle, Schafer, Hermann, & Vaitl, 2009). This poorly-understood disorder is starting to come to light, and hopefully that means that better treatment options are on the horizon. The medical field must recognize binge eating disorder as a true addiction to lift the cloud of shame surrounding this impulse control disorder.

I'm done with letting my best friend hurt me and with being ashamed of struggling with this disorder. Rather than being an excuse, acknowledging that I have binge eating disorder has allowed me to more easily recognize my eating patterns and control them much faster. Being at peace with binge eating disorder has given me something to work with, rather than just a vague notion that I have no "willpower." I am now much better at recognizing situations that will trigger me to want to binge, and I can avoid them, or at least have a good plan to avoid a binge. I don't allow food to rule my life any more. Food is fuel, and don't get me wrong, I still enjoy every bite, but without that panicky and frantic feeling that I must stuff myself until I'm nauseous. My best friend and I have some new rules to live by now.

So if you have ever struggled with these same problems, do not be ashamed. My struggles are all too common, but people are reluctant to discuss it because we feel that we should just magically be able to stop eating so much. We are used to the instant gratification of binging, and we get frustrated when we don't see the same instantaneous results in weight loss. Take the time to heal your mind, and the rest of the changes will follow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GWENAEL 2/15/2011 1:51PM

    I can so relate to you! Thanks for sharing this! If she's not being supportive, she's not your friend! I'd say time to get a new BF!

Gwen

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ABB698 2/14/2011 3:42AM

    Great post! Time to get a new bff! emoticon
I so get what you are saying and how you are feeling. One of the things I learned on my journey to meet my goal, was that you really need to eat to live, instead of living to eat. Powerful statement for sure!
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BILBY4 2/13/2011 11:54PM

    Well said. Probably one of the best blogs I've read on this subject.

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ALISHAB3 2/13/2011 7:57PM

    You have true grit. It is not easy to admit that kind of a problem. I have found a great deal of support from Renee Stephen's podcast Inside Out Weight Loss. Its free as a download from either the website or iTunes.

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THISYEARSMODEL 2/13/2011 3:04PM

    The American Psychiatric Association really needs to get with it. You can be emotionally addicted to anything, according to Dr. Drew Pinsky (tv's "Dr. Drew"--he's an M.D. who specializes in Addiction Medicine), He says behavior is what defines addiction, and he classifies addiction as behavior that continues regardless of consequences. He also believes everyone has the power to control their addiction, and that no one is untreatable. Although I'm not a binge eater, I am an emotional one, so I can relate to what you're saying & wish you all the best. You can do this!!! emoticon

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FLORIDAGHOST 2/13/2011 2:03PM

    Thanks for sharing this - I'm glad to hear that the binge eating disorder is coming to light. It isn't easy to deal with but I think you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. Thanks.

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Zzzzzzz...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We all know we should get enough sleep, we hear it all the time. "Yeah, yeah, sleep is important, got it." But who has time to just lay there and do nothing? Fortunately, SparkPeople has taught me the value of restful sleep.

I now track the number of hours I sleep each day and have a goal of getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every day (preferably all at once). Additionally, I have set a rule that I need to skip working out (or do something very low-intensity) if I get less than 6 hours of sleep. I have found that I just don't function well if I get any less than 6 hours. Workouts exhaust me when I'm too tired and then I get discouraged. The neurotic exerciser in me fights back, and sometimes says, "C'mon, do it anyways," but I have learned to respect my limits.

I have been much more energetic since making an effort to get more sleep. So thanks, SparkPeople, for giving me permission to do "nothing." Okay, well--*yawn*--that's all for now. Nighty night!

  


My B.S.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota in December, 2010. The journey of this degree started almost 15 years ago when I took my first college classes at the University during high school. I was very excited to start college back then and did fairly well. I continued with college after high school, working towards a B.A. in psychology. I struggled with depression from age 19 onwards and eventually flunked out and was put on academic probation.

When I was 24, I went to school to earn an associate's degree in veterinary technology. I was in a good place and earned straight As. I have had a satisfactory career as a certified veterinary technician. But that incomplete Bachelor's degree nagged at me. It taunted, asking why I wouldn't finish. I returned to the University in 2005 to take another stab at it, and earned decent grades for the 2 semesters I attended, but my work was very inflexible and it became impossible to continue.

I started my current job doing poison control for animals in 2007. It's a good job and they were much more education-friendly, so I decided to try, once again, to finish my degree. I found an individualized degree program where I could incorporate my previous psychology coursework with coursework in kinesiology to complete a B.S. I attended full-time while working full-time so I could finish within a couple of years.

Sometimes I wanted to give up, sometimes I wondered if I would make it through, and sometimes I questioned if all of the stress (mental and financial) was worth it. And then, one day, it was over. I had reached my goal and all of that perseverance and hard work had paid off. It was a slow, not-so-steady, and sometimes painful process, but I did it. I have worked hard on my mind, and now I can put forth the same effort to make my body strong and healthy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KESTREL500 2/13/2011 12:56PM

    Congratulations on your degree! I got my BS just a year before you at the age of 46 so I know how hard it can be balancing an adult life and school. So I decided to continue and go for my PhD! Go figure.

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PIXIESOMEDAY 2/7/2011 11:39AM

  I've been in school what seems like forever. For. Ever. I'll graduate next year though, which is so exciting. Congratulations on your degree!

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ALISHAB3 2/6/2011 2:43PM

    Congratulations on graduating! Hey, I had many similar experiences, I had the depressions at 19 and it took me 10 years to complete my BA. I am always impressed with people who actually finish.

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BEMORESTUBBORN 2/5/2011 5:03PM

    You should be very proud of yourself! What you accomplished took tenacity, dedication and unwavering belief in your convictions. Congratulations on earning your degree and on everything that comes along with it. Much success and my best wishes to you, always!

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VALERIEMAHA 2/5/2011 2:54PM

    emoticon
...and I LOVE your process from academic achievement (you went up "The Rough Side of the Mountain" as the gospel song says) to now desiring the same success in self-care. YES! The same effort, determination, persistence will little-by-little, baby-step by baby-step result in sweet success!

I copied this quote off some SFriend's page and I think it speaks to where both of us are at. We need only to "Press on!":

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful [wo]men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
-- Author unknown

We're all in this together...this journey toward health of body*mind*spirit! That's one of the MANY amazing characteristics of SparkPeople -- the community of support!

Spark on!
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Maha

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LEONALIONESS 2/5/2011 2:14PM

    Huge congrats!

I think, since you had to work so much harder, it means so much more. I didn't have any struggles and was able to do the Standard Life Script™ of 4 years of college right out of school. I took it for granted and it was more a fun diversion than a goal to be met. It was hard in places - coursework-wise - but it was more fun than stressful. I know, stfu! right? ;)

I don't seem my BS (in Art! Oh, how I LOL) as any big deal... because it was "easy". Reading this just made me realize how much for granted I took/take my college years and my degree. It's really awesome that you were such a trouper and made it a serious priority and gave it the sort of weight and appreciation higher education deserves! :)

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Back in the "swing" of things...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I graduated with my Bachelor's degree a little over a month ago, and let's just say my fitness and weight loss goals were a little derailed with working full-time and going to school full-time. I am finally feeling a bit more "settled" into a routine, and a less hectic one at that. I have made health goals my first priority and have been diligent about eating better and working out, feats which seemed impossible during school.

The New Brighton Triathlon is just 6 short months away, and I am doing the bike leg with a team. I have done many triathlons in their entirety before, but I feel so out of shape compared to those days! I am building my cardio base and am happy to have an acheivable medium-term goal to prod me forward. I have been enjoying learning how to use kettlebells--it helps so much to have a novel fitness goal to keep things interesting.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 1/23/2011 3:22PM

    Nice! Tris scare me with the open water swim. You're going to do awesome and rock it! :D

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