Try this skin-saving cocoa and coffee mask

Beauty aficionados have been raving about the beauty benefits of cocoa and coffee lately – and when I tell you why, it’ll all make perfect sense!

When you use cocoa and coffee in combination, they brighten up your complexion, wake up tired eyes, decrease puffiness in your face, and even treat breakouts!

No matter your skin type, the cocoa and coffee mask recipe I’m sharing with you is sure to work wonders for you. I just love this mask because it’s simple to mix up, and only requires a couple of kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Cocoa and coffee are the staples of this chocolaty mask, but feel free to tailor the recipe based on your skin type and the ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen. For dry skin, add full-fat yoghurt. For oily skin, add lemon juice. Try it out!

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Cocoa and coffee mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (your basic Nestle Cocoa works fine)
  • 4 tbsp finely ground coffee beans or espresso (instant coffee works too if you don’t have
  • your own grinder)
  • 8 tbsp dairy product (such as heavy cream, plain yoghurt, whole milk or nut milk)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

How to make the mask:

  1. If you’re using whole coffee beans, finely grind them in your grinder. Make sure they’re super-finely ground so that they don’t scratch your skin! If you’ve just made coffee, you can use the freshly brewed coffee grounds. They just won’t contain as much caffeine (and your skin loves caffeine!)
  2. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder in a small bowl.
  3. Add in your dairy product of choice and stir until you form a smooth paste. For a thicker paste, use less dairy.
  4. In a separate bowl, warm up the honey in a warm water bath or in the microwave, then stir it into the concoction.

How to apply the mask:

  1. Use your fingertips to apply the mask to your clean skin. You can use it all over your face and neck.
  2. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes or until dry.
  3. Wet a facecloth and press it onto your face gently to loosen the mask, then rinse the mask off with warm water.
  4. If you’ve got sensitive skin, avoid rubbing your face – the coffee grounds could potentially get scratchy!

You can store the leftover paste in your fridge for up to three days.

Three amazing “green” ways to treat breakouts

If you suffer from acne or regular breakouts, you may think that running to the pharmacy or your doctor is the easiest and best thing to do every time your skin flares up … but it really isn’t!

In fact, it’s the all-natural, homemade remedies that best treat acne in the long-term. This is because antibiotics and analgesics only help reduce symptoms immediately. In the long term, they can actually cause severe problems and side effects.

On that note, I’m sharing three super-simple ways to treat your acne the “green” way. Your skin is sure to thank you!

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Three all-natural breakout treatments

#1: Yoghurt, honey and cinnamon mask

Honey and cinnamon both pack impressive antibiotic properties, while yoghurt soothes irritation and reduces redness.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened full fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply the mask to clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash the mask off with warm water and pat dry.

#2: Face steaming

If you’re looking for an easy, non-invasive way to loosen oil and dirt that’s clogging your pores and causing your breakouts, look no further than face steaming. Steam is an excellent immediate cleanser, and practising it regularly can help improve your skin health in the long term.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pot boiling water
  • Handful of organic mint, basil or lavender
  • 1 fresh towel
  • Large bowl

What to do:

  1. Pour the boiling water into a heat-safe bowl and toss in the herbs.
  2. While you wash any make-up or residue off your face, let the water cool.
  3. Carefully hover your face about 15 cm above the surface of the water and drape the towel over your head so it catches the steam.
  4. Steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to breathe deeply to inhale the herbs you’ve added … they’re a great source of aromatherapy!
  5. When you’re done, pat your face dry.

#3: Honey and lemon toner

Both honey and lemons are antibiotic, so this is a powerful combination to help deep-clean your pores and treat any blemishes you may have to prevent future breakouts.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add in the honey, then stir to combine.
  2. With clean hands, carefully apply the tone to your face, gently massaging it in as you go.
  3. Leave the toner on your skin for five minutes, then gently rinse it off with cool water.

Share your top natural breakout treatments and tips with me in the comments below!

My ten-minute morning make-up routine

I don’t know about you, but between finalising my outfit for the day and scrambling to make breakfast, I never find myself with loads of time to spend on primping in the mornings!

If you can relate to this everyday struggle, you’ve come to the right place. I’m spilling some of my best make-up secrets to get you prepped and pretty in less than ten minutes!

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Apply foundation

Who’s got time for prepping and priming their skin in the mornings? I know I don’t! That’s why I skip that step and head straight to applying foundation. I use a stipple brush to apply it because they get the job done fast and evenly.

Add a dab of concealer

If your skin still needs a bit more coverage in some areas, add a dab of concealer using your fingertip. It’s also a good idea to apply to under your eyes to brighten up tired eyes in a snap.

Brush on some blush

Using a large blush brush, apply just a dusting of a neutral tone blush to the apples of your cheeks, down your nose and the centre of your chin to give your face some dimension.

Set your brows

Filling in your brows with a pencil or powder can take serious time out of your morning, so opt to simply brush a tinted gel through your face-framers to get them looking chic instead. A brow gel will also set your brows to keep them in place all day.

Apply mascara

To perk up your eyes even more, apply mascara to your upper and lower lashes. If you’re a fair-toned girl, you may want to use a dark brown mascara instead of a black one to go with the rest of your toned-down look.

Add a touch of lipstick

Make your lips the star of your look by applying a bright or bold lipstick. If you’re not a loud lip kind of gal, you can choose to apply a clear lip oil or tinted lip balm instead.

Do you have any quick and easy steps to add to my morning make-up routine?

Beat Dry Skin With BioNike PROXERA Intensive Face Serum

Dry skin isn’t so pretty, is it? I’ll admit that I struggle with a dry skin type, which can often be very frustrating to handle and treat. If you can relate to this skin issue, you’ll be ecstatic to know that I’ve found a single product that can help you beat dry skin in a heartbeat – say hello to BioNike PROXERA Intensive Face Serum!

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Both affordable and locally available (you can pick a tube up at Dis-Chem Pharmacy at R235 a pop), this silky smooth serum exploits the properties of hyaluronic acid, which it combines with a number of fragments to prevent water loss and help hydrate even the deepest layers of your skin.

The serum also helps normalise the cell renewal process, and protects your skin from damage caused by external agents. The result? Improved elasticity and tone – voila! Plus, it’s designed for “dry to very dry skin”, so you can bet that it will work its magic on even the driest of complexions.

When I first came across this product, I had no idea it would work this well. I apply it both day and night after cleansing my skin. My skin drinks it up quickly and within an hour of applying, usually looks and feels fresh and plump. Plus, a little goes a long way – two generous dollops are all you need to moisturise your entire face.

Since I started using this magical product just over a month ago, I no longer suffer from severely dry or flaky skin. Not even in the areas prone to dryness, such as my forehead, chin and nose. Instead, my face feels fresh and hydrated, and I feel confident about my skin!

If you suffer from dry skin, I highly recommend you try this product out. Even if you don’t, remember that winter’s coming up. What I’m saying is that during the colder months of the year, everyone’s skin is prone to dryness, so you might find this serum very handy. Let me know your thoughts!

Six tips to get your skin holiday-ready

So summer is here, and you’ve put away your sweaters and pulled out your shirts – but have you started paying some much-needed attention to your skin? Even if you don’t plan to strut around in a bikini this holiday, you still want your arms, shoulders, back and legs to look soft and sun-kissed, don’t you? Luckily, only a little extra TLC is required to get your skin into tip top shape. Here are my top six tips for getting your skin holiday-ready!

 

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#1: Scrub away dull, dry skin

If you neglected to exfoliate and moisturise regularly over the course of the cold, dry winter, you’re probably suffering with parched, lacklustre skin right now. Luckily there’s a quick-fix for that, though – to get rid of dull, dry skin all over your body, simply use a salt or sugar scrub two or three times a week to gently exfoliate. I like to towel dry and then apply a moisturising body balm to my skin after exfoliating to penetrate it better after sloughing off that flaky, dead layer.

Try: LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub, made with cleansing lime, coconut and sea salt, to cleanse and refresh dry skin in an instant.

 

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#2: Treat chest and back breakouts

Breakouts on your chest and back aren’t pretty. But because you sweat a lot more during the summer, you’re prone to such breakouts, which happen when your clothing traps sweat and oil in your pores. A body wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help kill bacteria and unclog your pores. If the redness still lingers after the bumps have gone down, try an alpha-hydroxy peel two or three nights a week until your skin clears up completely.

Try: Garnier Pure Active Daily Pore Scrub Wash Oily to Combination Skin, which is enriched with salicylic acid to fight pesky breakouts.

 

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#3: Relieve rough feet and cracked heels

A season of stomping around in boots and skimping on pedicures can leave your soles and heels with dry, dead layers of skin that don’t look good and can feel rather painful. To help with this, apply a lightweight foot lotion every morning to help soften your feet. If your feet are extra dry, try soaking them in a foot spa with a cup of Epsom salts for ten minutes before bed. Follow up by slathering them with a thick cream and covering up with socks.

Try: The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion, which contains hydrating cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and lanolin to get your feet beach-ready in a snap.

 

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#4: Replenish moisture in your face and body

Applying a good moisturiser to your face and body will help keep your skin happy and maintain a beautiful, healthy glow. It will also lock in moisture, which will essentially maintain your skin’s protective barrier. The best time to apply moisturiser to both your face and body is after a shower or bath, when your skin is fresh and your pores are open. I find that a lightweight day cream and a rich, thick body cream works best during the summer months.

Try: L’Oreal Even Perfect Moisturising Day Cream, formulated to give your skin a moisture boost while perfecting your skin tone, for your face, and Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream, loaded with natural hydroxy acid extracts from sugar cane and apply to smooth and relieve dryness, for your body.

 

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#5: Remove any unwanted hair

Because the skin on your legs doesn’t produce much oil, adding moisture rather than removing it is key to avoid irritation. This is why I opt for hair removal cream over shaving during the summer months, when I want to be feeling silky smooth all the time. Hair removal cream is easy to use and quickly dissolves hair under your arms, on your legs and on your bikini line. It also gives results that last a few days longer than shaving. Just be sure to always moisturise your legs afterwards for best results.

Try: Veet Hair Removal Cream for Dry Skin, enriched with shea butter and scented with a subtle lily fragrance, which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

 

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#6: Give your skin a safe, bronzed glow

Safe, sun-kissed skin is now easier than ever thanks to all the fabulous self-tanning products on the market! Be sure to prep your skin first by exfoliating – focusing mainly on dry areas like your elbows, knees and ankles. Your skin should also be completely free of any deodorants, perfumes and lotions before you start. Then, pin your hair up in a bin and apply your self-tanner of choice. Maintain your tan by using a body oil or lotion on your entire once or twice a day.

Try: Piz Buin Bronze Tanning Spray, made with Melitan to help you achieve a natural-looking tan twice as fast, and Caribbean Tan Milk & Honey Hydrating Body Butter to maintain your gorgeous glow.

 

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Combat acne with this honey and cinnamon face mask

Raw honey – ah, how sweet it is! Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, to bake sweet treats, or to enhance the nutty flavour of a pecan pie – it’s pretty versatile. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it’s a fantastic moisturiser, and it also has antibacterial properties that can help you spot-treat acne.

 

The honey and cinnamon face mask recipe I’m about to share with you is amazing. It will brighten your complexion, soothe any irritations, and clear up acne. Please just note that cinnamon can irritate very sensitive skin, so do a patch test before applying the mask to your entire face if your skin is sensitive.

 

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Honey and cinnamon acne face mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 3 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Mix the honey and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your face with warm water and finish off with your daily moisturiser.

Six beauty buys with SPF in them for summer

Repeat after me: “I will apply sunscreen every single day, just like my mom taught me.” Okay, now here’s how you follow through and actually do it! These fabulous beauty products make sun protection way easier because there’s killer SPF right there in the formula. Even better, they do it without compromising effectiveness, texture or scent. Now go forth and add them to your beauty routine right away!

 

#1: Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50

This luxurious lotion provides your face with serious sun protection as well as intense hydration. The formula is surprisingly very lightweight, and feels comfortable on your skin. Botanicals like red and brown algae work to limit your skin’s own melanin production, which helps fight hyperpigmentation and improve an uneven complexion. Go here to locate a Dermalogica stockist near you.

 

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#2: Physician’s Formula Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30

This ultra-fine pressed mineral powder can be worn alone or over your liquid foundation for a flawless finish. The hypoallergenic, paraben-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic formula is suitable for all skins types – even the most sensitive skin. The powder helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores and sun damage. You can purchase Physician’s Formula cosmetics at your nearest Dis-Chem Pharmacy.

 

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#3: MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15

If you want to avoid sunburned, chapped or flaky lips this summer, this protective lip balm is your best friend! It comes in three different shades – Petting Pink, Fuschia Fix and Soothing Beige – all of which offer an all-natural sheen with a sheer wash of colour. Ingredients like almond oil, shea butter, avocado extract, wheat germ oil, and vitamins A and E help condition your lips by locking in moisture. Go here to find your nearest MAC store or counter.

 

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#4: Bobbi Brown Protective Face Base SPF 50

This multi-beneficial daytime moisturiser provides a high level of sun protection and creates the perfect canvas for make-up, too! The light formula is loaded with antioxidants and stabilised avobenzone to protect you against the signs of ageing, and works best on normal to dry skin types. Ingredients like geranium and lavender oils give the product the most divine fragrance! Locate your nearest Bobbi Brown store or counter here.

 

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#5: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

If you have dry, oily or acne-prone skin, you need to give this product a try. It’s a fabulous alternative to heavy coverage foundation for the summer. The thick yet creamy-soft formula blends easily and meshes well with skin. It provides a light to medium coverage and a gorgeous natural-looking satin finish that keeps excess shine in check for a good few hours. The range offers eight different shades, so you’re bound to find your perfect match. You can pick up Smashbox products at your local Woolworths, Foschini, Edgars or Red Square store.

 

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#6: Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact SPF 15

Looking for the sun in powder form? Then look no further! This pressed powder product is the only one you’ll need to fake glowing, sun-kissed skin this summer. The mineral-enriched bronzer is perfect for adding instant radiance to your complexion. It’s also fabulous for enhancing and contouring features like your cheekbones and collarbones. Click here to shop Clarins products online now.

 

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Do you own any of these fantastic sun-protective products?