Why You Should Use Konjac Sponges

For the past year I have been cleansing my face with a konjac sponge. What is a konjac sponge, you may be asking? Well it is a facial sponge made of 100% natural vegetable fibers.

I discovered them after watching a YouTube video by Shannon Sullivan. She was using one to wash her face and I was intrigued, to say the least. I immediately opened a new tab and googled it. I am almost positive I spelled it wrong, but in the end I found the elusive konjac sponge and I have been hooked ever since.

When you first get the sponge it is very hard, you need to run it under water for several minutes to let it soften and expand. After this first time, you will just need to run it under water for a few seconds before each use.

After each use I run mine under the faucet and squeeze out the excess water and cleanser that is still on it, then I leave it to air dry.

I store mine in a soap dish on my bathroom counter. I thought that is was a cute and a simple alternative to putting it in a drawer or just leaving it on the counter.

Konjac sponges are a much gentler way to cleanse your skin; they are definitely gentler than a Clarisonic or any other type of oscillating face brush. I found these others to be too harsh and seemed to make my skin feel tight and dry after I used them.

I find the sponge to be gentle enough for my skin to use both day and night to cleanse my skin with. I know that some people like to just use it once a day or only one to two times a week for a gentle exfoliation. Whichever method you choose, the sponge leaves your face feeling smooth and refreshed.

When using mine I have found that it does a very good job of helping to remove my makeup, along with a cleanser of course. I have used it with just water, but only in the morning as the sponge cannot remove makeup alone without sometime of cleanser.

I also found myself using fewer products when cleansing with the konjac sponge. It is very absorbent and creates a nice lather with a smaller amount of product compared to when I use my hands or a facial brush.

Like any sponge or brush they do have an expiration date which is between 1 to 2 months. I find that the 2-month mark is when I start to notice that I need to toss my sponge and get a new one. They are fairly inexpensive, especially compared to other facial cleansing products out there, so I don’t mind replacing it every 2 months.

The sponges are readily available online and in stores. I have purchased them at both Sephora and Ulta.

 

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The Benefits of Using Soy Candles

 

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They are natural (a big reason for me personally) they are made from (shocker) soybeans, which is a vegetable oil and a renewable resource. Paraffin candles on the other hand are made from (a not so natural) petroleum by-product.

  • Paraffin candles also produce soot, which becomes airborne when burning the candle and can be inhaled. Soy candles burn “clean” and do not produce soot.
  • You will also be supporting more eco-friendly, and for the most part, smaller companies, as well as farmers, when you buy soy.
  • Soy wax burns at a cooler temperature than paraffin candles, which means that they will burn longer, about 30-50% longer to be semi-exact. Because soy burns at a lower temperature than Paraffin candles, they will not make your house warmer and are not as hot to the touch.

However you do need to be careful when purchasing your soy candles. Standardized labeling of soy candles is not enforced or regulated, so just be sure to do some research on the company you buy your candles from, or buy them from a local farmers market, where you know the ingredients are pure.

I buy most of my candles online from companies that I trust. With everything that we buy online these days I think it is perfectly fine to buy candles online as well.

I have also dabbled in making my own soy candles at home, which was fun, but tedious. It is however a great alternative if you are looking to save money and a several hour-long project.

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DIY: Lavender Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

A few months ago I was staring at a huge tub of coconut oil that was sitting on my bathroom counter wondering how I was ever going to use all of it when I thought to myself; maybe I can make something out of this that will get rid of a bunch of it. That is when I decided to create a body scrub.

Ingredients

Coconut oil is very moisturizing and nourishing and sugar is a great exfoliator, and I had run out of soap; it seemed like a great idea.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of Organic coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of Organic sugar
  • 3-8 drops (I used 5) of Essential oil
  • A container to store it in

Coconut Oil

Add a ½ cup of softened coconut oil into a bowl (You can put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it, but you do not want it to be completely melted as the sugar will settle at the bottom of the jar separating from the oil. Once the liquefied oil hardens, the two ingredients will not be combined well).

 

Then add in your sugar and essential oil. I used lavender but you can choose whatever you like, orange or lemon would be very refreshing for the summer.

Mix until everything is combined well.

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You can put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to help the oil harden up faster for immediate use, or just put it in your shower and use it tomorrow!

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Book Review: Skin Cleanse

I just recently finished reading Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore, the founder of S.W. Basics of Brooklyn. Along with being smart, witty and an easy read, this book was very informative and straightforward. I thought that Adina did an amazing job at breaking down the different elements and steps to living a healthier and cleaner lifestyle.

The book is broken up into 8 chapters, each focusing on a different, yet interconnected, part of cleansing your skin from the inside out.

The beginning of the book talks more about the food that we eat and figuring out which foods are good, and not so good, for us to eat. If you’re like me and have already done this on your own before reading this book, these sections might be a bit tedious, but don’t just skip over them. Even though I knew a lot of the information and had done many of the things she suggested when it comes to our food choices in this section, I still did come across many helpful recipes and information about food and supplements that I did not know before.

The most interesting part of this book for me was the later chapters about our skin, and the Skin Cleanse, as this book is so aptly named. I have started to use more natural skin and beauty products in my day to day routine, but I was still wary that something that was “natural” still had so many ingredients in them. I have wanted to start experimenting with making my own skin and beauty products, but I have always been too scared. What if the recipes I make up don’t work, or worse break me out? I was just too chicken to make up concoctions on my own. Enter the last half of this book, Adina has created and tested tons of recipes for natural, minimal ingredient, recipes. I was so excited and a bit nervous to try them out. They seem easy and interesting and a great alternative to buying natural products at the store. I probably won’t open up an apothecary in my kitchen and start making every beauty and skin care products from scratch, but it will be great to supplement with these more natural and simple products and hopefully begin to incorporate a few of them into my daily routine.

I have just finished step 3:Detoxify, in Adina’s “beauty rehab” which basically meant that I cut myself off from all beauty and skincare products, literally everything besides toothpaste, for three days. It was a bit hard and a bit gross at times, but this step is supposed to detoxify our skin and help us to pinpoint products that might cause flare-ups and irritation when we go back to using our products again. It is also cleansing our skin in preparation for a more natural skincare routine.

Skin Cleanse

I would say though, if you are new to the natural skin and beauty care lifestyle you might want to check out No More Dirty Looks first. It is another natural beauty book, but it goes into more detail explaining the harmful and dangerous chemicals that are found in our products and how to avoid them. The book provides lots of more natural alternatives that are available easily online or in stores. No More Dirty Looks is more helpful when you are just beginning your journey to a more natural lifestyle, Skin Cleanse is more for people who already know that they want to make a lifestyle change, and have already, but not necessarily, begun trying to make the switch.

Overall I found this book to be very informational and inspiring. I will definitely be creating some of the food and skincare recipes provided in the book.

 

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