The year is winding on down and it’s time to take a walk down memory lane of the new things I’ve tried this year. It’s been a fun and interesting year trying new things for skin, health, and beauty. Let’s see how it all turned out!
Oil Pulling for Teeth
- Take about a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 5-20 minutes.
- Brush your teeth afterwards
- Repeat daily or as often as you want
- Helps fight germs, cavities, whitens teeth
- The germs stick to the oil and rinse off as it is swished around
I’ve read about oil pulling last year and tried it only a few times in 2016. Now that I have a gallon of coconut oil, I have more to spare and use for other things besides hair. I typically use oil pulling about 3-5 times a week right before bed and swish the oil in my mouth while I’m in the shower. I have a cavity that needs a filling and to postpone it getting worse, I took oil pulling a lot more serious.
Salux Exfoliating Cloths
- Replaces your usual shower loufa
- Dries overnight
- Can be washed and reused
- No damp or moldy towel smell
I first heard about Salux Exfoliating Cloths from HeyFranHey of The Friend Zone Podcast. I love listening to this weekly wellness podcast and was excited to try these Japanese exfoliating cloths. The heels of my feet were always problem spots for me and I really wanted to use a thorough exfoliating cloth that could relieve my skin of the dead cells. I previously used exfoliating gloves that from the Dollar Tree or Ross. I think using this cloth takes my exfoliating to the next level. I bought a pack of 3 from Amazon for about $12. It’s not too harsh on my skin but definitely gets the dirt off and is easier to scrub my feet without spending forever in the shower trying to soften my feet. It dries so fast so I don’t run into the problem of that wet towel smell in my bathroom anymore.
African Black Soap
- Exfoliating scrub for skin and face
- DIY shampoo – using a small piece to form a lather
I hadn’t quite figured out the hype of African Black Soap until this year. When I was in Ghana, I got a huge tub for about $6 USD and brought it back with me. My prior experience was that the soap made my skin feel too dry and tight. Now, I only use a small amount and leave it on my skin for about 5 minutes. I always apply shea butter afterwards. African Black Soap cleanses my skin deep down to the pores. It easily removes makeup and gets the remaining traces that other makeup removers don’t reach. I also use African Black Soap for my entire body, in congruence with the Salux cloths, about 2-3 times a week. While I was at it, I looked towards black soap as a hair shampoo. I saw it as an ingredient for Shea Moisture’s African black soap line so I wanted to try it out in its natural form. Taking a dime size piece and lathering the soap in my hands, I use the lather to gently scrub my hair. I’ve tried this about 2 times and want to try melting the soap first in hot water, and adding some oils to it next time.
LCO(Liquid, Cream,Oil) Method for Skin
- Directly after showering apply a body butter or cream to your skin
- Follow with a light oil
This method is often used for hair and up until this year, I never put on lotions after showering. I always thought the point of a shower was to get all of the products off your body but I was forgetting the important step of moisterizing. Like with hair, seeling the moisture after a wash is so crucial. I use shea butter each night after showering. This, combined with the Salux exfoliating cloths, have soften my feet enormously and I haven’t had dry peeling feet ever since.
DIY Oatmeal Mask
- Helps skin retain moisture
- Soothes skin
- Natural exfoliator
- Mix 2 tsp of oats with 1 tsp of honey
I had some extra plain oats one day and thought I would give a DIY oatmeal mask a try. It was a fun little activity but in the end I felt like I was just making a mess. Didn’t really feel or see a difference. I only used it once or twice so I don’t have that much to base it on but maybe I’ll try some other concoctions in the future.
ACV for my Whole Existence
I basically tried all forms of use for apple cider vinegar. First, I continued to use it in my hair for monthly cleansing rinses. This year I added a little to my leave-in conditioning sprays or sometimes to my deep conditioners. I applied diluted ACV to my skin during breakouts but didn’t notice any changes even after over a week of using the mixture. For a while, I turned to drinking 1/4 ACV and 3/4 water to prevent colds. It tastes so nasty but before drinking 3 liters of water, drinking ACV or eating an orange helped me feel better when I felt nauseas or slight cold symptoms. Now, I mainly use ACV just for hair.
Body Waxing – Sugaring vs Hard Wax
- Smooth Finish
- Minimizes ingrown hairs
- Lasts longer than shaving
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that sugaring is better or the least painful compared to hard wax. With this last appointment it was a little painful at first but was painless once I knew what to expect. My first Brazilian wax was actually in Morocco last year. Compared to the prices in the US, the price was unbeatable in Morocco. I felt like it was torture and was sure I’d never do it again. That was until spring break, when I wanted a perfect wax for the beach. In the U.S, the best deals are on Groupon and I always check when there are happy hours at waxing spas near me. For the past few months, waxing/sugaring has been my hair removal of choice and I think it’s worth it.
Detoxing with Infused Water
- Changed the frequency of my cravings for sweetened drinks
- Helped ease my way into increased water intake
- Can help with weight loss
- Good source of vitamin C (with lemon water)
My most recent blog recounted my experience with drinking 3 liters of water daily but before that challenge, I was drinking fruit infused water. During the summer months, I was very interested in the idea detoxing with lemon water. I had this really cool infused water bottle that had a little tube for fruit and I would cut up lemon slices and sometimes cucumber slices. I liked that it added a taste to water and I began to drink this over juices and the free pops at work. After a while, I really couldn’t stand drinking sweetened drinks that weren’t water. I started to notice how much sugar was in the drinks once I cut it out of my daily diet. I don’t drink infused water anymore because I got tired of the taste. It was better when I mixed up the flavors because too much lemon became unbearable and the cucumber flavor sometimes left a musty flavor in my mouth lol. Eventually, I just opted for pure water.
What beauty or health hacks did you try this year?
Thanks for checking out my blog. Have a great holiday!