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Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY rice scrub and seaweed mask



Friday evenings are for the month of February are going to be my "Fresh Fridays" where I'm going to use a DIY beauty treatment in place of a conventional store bought product. While these DIY recipes mimic a conventional product by no means am I saying these are a dupe for a store bought item.

Today's Fresh Friday is a DIY rice scrub and a seaweed mask.

Rice Scrub
What you will need:
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (if you have a coffee mill that you're not using for coffee you can make your own rice flour out of whole rice, just make sure the coffee mill you use is clean and that you mill the rice to almost a fine powder).
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons baking soda
(If you want to make this for a one time only use then use 1 tablespoon of rice flour to 1 to 2 teaspoon of baking soda.)
In a bowl combine the flour and baking soda then set aside. I'm reusing my old Dermalogica bottle that I've washed and dried. If you don't have a a similar bottle then a plastic sugar shaker from a dollar store would work. Rice flour has the same texture as most baking soda so it's pretty gentle and it's pretty fine so it shouldn't be too abrasive sensitive skin however if you do have sensitive skin make sure you test this on a small portion of your skin before using it all over your face.

What the baking soda does is act as the actual exfoliating product while the rice is suppose to have whitening effect on the skin with long time use. I'm not going to claim that this DIY scrub will whiten your skin only that it will gently exfoliate your skin. The reason I chose to use rice flour over milling my own rice is simply because I don't own a coffee mill and blending the rice in a blender or a food processor doesn't give me a more fine powder so it's too coarse for the skin. Remember, the purpose of a DIY is to use something more gentle than a bunch of chemicals and if the rice is too coarse then it defeats that purpose.

To use: Cleanser your face to remove any makeup or dirt from your skin. If you're not using this immediately after a shower then I'd apply a warm wash cloth to your face and allow it to sit on the face for a couple of minutes. After sprinkle a small amount of your DIY scrub into the palm of the hand and with damp fingers on your other hand pick up the scrub and apply it to your forehead repeating along your cheeks and chin. In a circular motion gently scrub your face then rinse with warm water.

Keep in mind you don't want to use a lot of this since it is a flour based scrub. Too much going down the drain could potentially clog your drain.

Seaweed Mask

What you will need:
There are two variations to a seaweed mask - one using the yogurt and one not using the yogurt. If you want to use just the seaweed simply spritz it with a bit of water to soften it, since it's dry seaweed, and cover your face with it then apply a warm, damp cloth over it, sit back and relax for 10 minutes. Once done, remove the seaweed mask and wipe your face with the cloth.

The alternative method is to crumble one nori sheet and mix in 1/2 tablespoon of plain yogurt in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to your face and rinse off after 10 minutes.

I do want to point out that there are so many flavors to the nori sheets. At Uwajimaya in Seattle for example, they have large sheets and small sheets that are smaller than an index card and come in all types of flavors from plain to shrimp to wasabi. If you get the small sheets you'll need to use at least four sheets.

So what's the benefit of a seaweed mask? Seaweed is used in Japan for a lot of things including in wound dressings. It's chalk full of vitamins, such as B6, and minerals. According to one site, "the minerals will absorb into the skin and the fatty deposits in your body will be broken up." Yogurt contains lactic acid swhich is suppose to help "soothes and softens dry, itchy skin; help moisturize, while at the same time tightening wrinkles and refining pores." While I don't believe that these things will happen with a DIY seaweed mask the skin does feel really nice after using it.

(I'll have more pictures of this tomorrow since I ate the yogurt before taking pictures of the seaweed mask which I used earlier tonight.)

So did I like the DIY items? Yeah, I did and I'd most likely do this again. The rice scrub felt nice, not too harsh, and my skin felt clean after. It was less harsh on my skin than most other commercial scrubs and exfoliating products I've used. It's also really inexpensive to make. A bag of rice flour at my local Asian market was only $1.09, a box of baking soda is under 50 cents. So for under $2 I have a very inexpensive and decent scrub/exfoliant. The seaweed mask I had issues with, and that's I eat nori paper as snacks so for me the issue was I kept eating the sheets rather than taking the pictures. Seriously though, my skin felt nice after using and again it's an inexpensive mask with nori sheets being under $2 here and a cup of plain Greek yogurt being under 60 cents so for under $3 I get a nice mask and a snack! lol

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