DIY Plastic Free Aloe Vera

An essential part of my skin care routine involves aloe vera. I have come to rely on the cooling, healing elements of this amazing plant. The reason I feel so strongly about it is partly because I found a microbiologist’s blog about skin care and her views aligned with everything I already felt and was basically the routine I had intuitively been following for a while. I’ll be honest though, I’m not always the best practitioner of skin care on a regular basis. I love masks, and oil cleansing, even rose water and making facial sprays, yet I still am just not as disciplined with doing these steps every single day.

The easier thing would be to just own an aloe vera plant, and I do. However, it isn’t large and I think I would end up using it up super fast. I don’t live in the climate the plant needs and therefore the growth is stunted and is really only for decoration. There are places where I have sliced off the ends, and it heals well, so this is an option.

When I spotted very large aloe leaves at my local co-op, I snatched one up and decided to get started on making my own liquid.

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First, I sliced it into manageable pieces. Working with one piece at a time, I took a serrated knife around the perimeter, in between the pulp and the skin and was able to squeeze out a large chunk, then used the knife to scrape out any pulp still attached to the skin.

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The leftover pieces go into compost, and the pulp now will get blended up.

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An immersion blender will work, as will a stand up blender.

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When done, it is frothy and smooth. Now is the time to strain it using a mesh strainer or even a nut milk bag, or some tripled cheesecloth. There wasn’t much pulp left over, so not much is going to waste or the compost gods.

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Pour the strained liquid into a container of your choice. It is best to keep it in the refrigerator, which has been heavenly since it reaches 100° every day in the summer. You will notice it is less viscous than anything bought in the store, but it still works really well and has no additives.

I have read that this lasts a month, but I’m going to see how long it stays fresh and update. I don’t know if it could go in a freezer, but I know I won’t be able to use this much in one month, and I don’t have a way of getting more aloe during winter months.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Matcha Honey Face Mask

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This mask is heavenly, luxurious, and perhaps even a bit extravagant.

It’s also easy, cheap-ish, and fun.

It requires only three ingredients, one of them being water.

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To make mask:

Place 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder into a vessel. Add 1/2 teaspoon water. It could be warm water, leftover boiling water, or straight from the tap. Mix together well.

Add in 1/2 – 1 teaspoon honey of choice. I use Manuka due to its great skin benefits and I can find it in my local health and herb shop (where I also purchased the matcha powder in bulk). It’s quite expensive though, so any raw honey would work just fine and make this face mask more economical.

The mixture will be more serous than viscous and that is why a paintbrush may be useful. I paint the mixture onto my face and it feels relaxing, cooling, and sensuous.

Leave on for as little as 10 minutes, up to a few hours. Then simply wipe off with a warm, damp washcloth. Your face should be the smoothest it has felt in a while and have an undeniable glow.

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I like to go out gardening in this mask in the front yard to scare my neighbors.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Green Sea Monster Mask

Is it a self-care Sunday for you, too?

I love taking a day to pay attention to my needs and indulge in some healthy rituals.

Here I have a super simple face mask that is good for you and is not so harmful for the planet nor your wallet.

Three ingredients are all you need. Well, four if you include the water that is diluting the vinegar.

  • Clay of choice (French green, kaolin, bentonite, etcetera)
  • Spirulina
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar

My recipe is 1:1 of clay and spirulina, then an equal amount of liquid. Water works, but I have found vinegar to mix more thoroughly for some reason.

Yes, spirulina smells like the sea, and you will look like a monster for a few minutes. I love scaring my husband when I wear this mask.

Wash off with a warm washcloth after 5 – 10 minutes. You will feel the blood in your face for sure and your skin might turn reddish. I usually spray some rose water immediately after, then moisturize!

What’s your favorite self-care ritual?

Peace and love,

Kristan