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Mother Nature is a genius! The wealth of incredibly nourishing 100 percent natural ingredients out there are practically infinite! To narrow it down for you, here is my Top 10 list of favorite summertime ingredients to nourish your skin and hair. So whether you’re crafting your own products at home or buying them at your local health or organic store, keep an eye out for these raw ingredients:
#10: Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is created when roasted cocoa beans are pressed to separate the dry cocoa mass from the liquid cocoa butter, which gives it a rich, chocolaty aroma. But not only does cocoa butter smell great, it is extremely nourishing when used directly on the skin. Cocoa butter has been used as a skin care agent and hair care aid for centuries in countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brazil and many African nations. It is solid at room temperature, so a chunk can easily be swiped across your skin as a moisturizing “lotion” or diluted with other oils to be used for massage or to pre-shampoo hair and scalp conditioner. Cocoa butter can also improve the look and texture of skin and is safe for use during pregnancy to assist your skin with maintaining elasticity as it stretches.
#9: Shea Butter
Shea Butter is made from the Shea nut which is found in Togo and Ghana, Africa. Shea butter in its raw and unrefined form has a nutty, earthly scent and can range in color from beige, to grey to dark brown. The unrefined form may also be slightly grainy and sticky, but this is a good sign as this reflects a high quality product. Shea butter is what I call wonder butter; it is an excellent skinconditioner and can improve the look and texture of skin with just a few uses. Shea butter is great for treating eczema, psoriasis and dry, cracked skin and can be massaged into the scalp to treat dandruff or itchy scalp conditions. Unrefined Shea butter has a natural SPF of 6-10, so it can be used everyday for minimal sun protection.
#8: Monoi de Tahiti
Monoi de Tahiti is exclusively made by hand in Tahiti by combining freshly pressed virgin coconut oil and the Tiare gardenia flower of Tahiti. The result is a fresh floral, coconut smell that is absolutely intoxicating! Monoi de Tahiti is traditionally used in Tahiti for many skin and hair care rituals. The undiluted Monoi can be used in small portions as a facial moisturizer or natural “anti-aging” serum under the eyes, as well as around the mouth and neck. If you massage it into your hair and scalp before going to the beach, the sun will help the Monoi to penetrate and nourish your skin and hair follicles while you enjoy the sun. Just don’t forget to rinse it out afterwards.
Rose oil (Shutterstock*)
#7: Rose Oil
Pure rose essential oil has been scientifically proven to be the essential oil with the highest energy frequency on earth. That means it is extremely beneficial for your skin, even in even small amounts. In Egypt and many other Middle Eastern countries, rose oil has been used for thousands of yours as an elixir for both skin and hair care in addition to playing an important role in ritual ceremonies. Rose oil can be used on the face as a natural moisturizer or “anti-aging” serum as it absorbs into the skin almost instantly, leaving a youthful glow. Add a few drops to your next bath and allow the scent to work its magic. Massage a drop or two onto your fingertips to both strengthen nails and soften cuticles. Place a drop on your crown chakra before meditation and let the naturally high frequency relax you and awaken your spirit. Rose oil can also be mixed with other essential oils to create intriguing natural perfumes.
#6: Sandalwood Oil
Like rose oil, sandalwood oil originates from the Middle East and India. Its rich, earth smell is grounding and is excellent for use in ceremonies and mediation. Sandalwood oil can be added to baths with salts to create a detoxifying bath or added to carrier oil, such as sweet almond, apricot kernel or rice bran, for massage and after-sun oil. Warm a drop between fingertips and press gentle under the eye for a natural eye cream.
Seaweed is rich in minerals that can improve the look and texture of your skin while drawing out impurities. Seaweed mask and body wraps have been used in European spas for their effectiveness of improving the condition of the whole body. Seaweed can eliminate allergic reactions, increase circulation, diminish the look of cellulite and acne and even reduce the pain of arthritis. Try using a pure seaweed mask once a week or add seaweed and sea salt to your next bath.
#4: Aloe Vera Gel
Pure aloe vera gel can range from clear and thick to cloudy and thin depending on how it is processed. Aloe vera gel is an all-around wonder of nature that can ease the pain of burns, help heal scars, tone skin and sooth bug bites. Aloe vera gel can also be used as a natural hair gel or it can be blended with essential oils and used as a light facial moisturizer. Aloe vera gel is also great for use after being out in the sun.
#3: Titanium and Zinc Oxide
These natural minerals are excellent for use in natural sunscreens because they produce the same sun protection effect as chemical sunscreens. Look for natural sunscreens containing these ingredients in your local health food or organic super markets.
#2: Catnip Oil
Who knew catnip oil could do more than just intoxicate your cat? Amazingly, catnip has been found to be an effective natural bug repellant when used on its own or with other essential oils. Pure catnip oil has a fresh grassy scent that repels bugs as well as many Deet-based repellants. However, just like most essential oils, look for catnip that is diluted with jojoba or almond oil. Since catnip oil may not be readily available at your local health store, look for a natural bug repellant that uses it as one of the main active ingredients.
And my #1 spot goes to…
#1: Dead Sea Salt
Summer is a season where we are shedding our winter layers to expose more skin. Dead Sea Salt is a great natural exfoliant – just mix with a bit of olive, almond or jojoba oil, massage over dry or wet skin in the shower, rinse off and pat dry. The exfoliating and detoxifying effects of the sea minerals in the salt combined with the moisture of the oils will leave you skin glowing! Or, add a cup or two to your next warm bath as a way to relax and detoxify!
This article was originally published on www.NaturallySavvy.com