Pamper Me Wednesday: Coffee Cellulite Body Wrap

Coffee grounds

Now that the Holidays have officially begun, I’ve decided that now is the best time to start getting myself ready for the summer! No, I’m not talking diets or anything un-natural like that, I’m talking firm and smooth skin. This Pamper Me Wednesday we are going to harness the cellulite busting power of caffeine.

This post contains a recipe for creating either a Cellulite Coffee Wrap or a coffee ground body scrub. Getting used coffee grounds are very easy, even if you are not a coffee drinker. I like to go to one of my local coffee shops and simply ask for a large cup full of already used coffee grounds. Of course, it will help to show up before or after any customer rushes and willing to purchase an item or two.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, go ahead and get prepared. One of the first things I like to do is to line the dry bathtub with a few towels to sit and lean on comfortably. I always do these wraps sitting inside the bathtub because it’s messy! This treatment is more of a functional/medicinal spa treatment rather than a relaxing one, so I either listen to upbeat music or I read a good book or magazine. After completing my wrap, I always take a quick shower to rinse away any additional coffee grinds.

Here’s what you need:
½ cup warm used coffee grounds
2 tbsp of olive oil
Roll of plastic wrap
Several towels
Small trash bag
Small bowl

What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a term used to describe the dimpled appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin. It is mostly seen in women on skin in the abdomen, lower limbs, and pelvic region, usually after puberty. It can occur in men, too. Cellulite is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat (top layer of fat just under the skin surface) within fibrous connective tissue (septae), leading to a padded or orange peel–like appearance. With time, the septae become a fiberous honeycomb-like structure that traps fat cells. This causes the large bumps that are the hallmark of cellulite. These areas will have very poor blood supply, which is why the skin where cellulite occurs often feels cool to the touch. Cellulite is not caused by body weight, but it can be aggravated by body weight. Other factors are a poor diet, water retention, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Cross section of skin

Cross section of Cellulite: Hypodermische Vetcellen = Hypoderic Fat & Diepliggende Vetlagen = deep fat tissue

What is caffeine?
Caffeine, the most widely used and unregulated drug known to man, is a bitter substance found in coffee, tea, and chocolate. It dilates blood vessels, increasing the speed and volume of blood flow throughout the body and makes the heart pump faster. Caffeine can also provide significant benefit when used as a topical agent.

What does caffeine do to cellulite?
Caffeine combats poor circulation by increasing the speed and volume of blood flow. When someone suffers from poor circulation, the body cannot get rid of toxins and excess water. Caffeine’s ability to increase circulation, even when applied topically, can help stop water retention. Water retention can cause fat to be pushed against the skin, emphasizing the lumpy appearance. With regular use caffeine gives the skin a more toned and firm appearance – rather like the results of exercise. This also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Why coffee?
Coffee beans have more caffeine than any other plant. Coffee beans are ground and treated with hot water to release the large amounts of caffeine within. When using coffee grounds as a cellulite fighter, make sure to get warm, recently used coffee grounds. Make sure that the coffee grounds were not soaked in water for an extended period or burned – both of these things will mean that there is very little to no caffeine left in the coffee grounds to use.

Coffee grounds

½ cup warm used coffee grounds
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Roll of plastic wrap

Thoroughly mix the coffee grounds with the olive oil in a small bowl. Once complete, place the mixture in the microwave to heat for about 15-30 seconds. Once sitting in the bathtub, apply coffee mix to all areas to be treated then cover area in plastic wrap. Leave the body wrap on for 20-30 minutes. When you are finished, remove the plastic wrap (carefully!), trying to catch as much of the coffee grounds as possible. Toss the used plastic in the small trash bag. Take a quick warm shower to rinse off any left over coffee grounds. Pat skin dry and apply your favorite skin moisturizer.

This treatment can be done up to twice a week. The effects of this body wrap are temporary.

Photo Credits:

Diepliggende Vetlagen = deep fat tissue
Hypodermische Vetcellen = Hypoderic Fat

Information Credits:
What Causes Cellulite:
Your Cellulite Solution

Rosemary Lavender ACV Rinse

Rosemary Lavender AVC Rinse

I have to make a confession: I’m a product junkie. I LOVE to get and test new hair and skin products. So much, in fact, that reason is what started me making my own beauty products – to keep some chemicals out of my system and some money in my pocket.

That being said, in the course of a regular week my hair usually gets slathered with whatever product on my radar at that time. Oils, creams, leave-ins, moisturizers – they’re all invited to the party. All this partying can lead to some serious product buildup, however. This is where apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses come in. ACV rinses are great for removing product build up and they are especially great for your hair after a deep conditioner or protein treatment.

One of my favorite ACV rinses is my rosemary lavender rinse. I love the smell and the color created by the mixture of herbs and ACV. I also really like the way it looks. In order to get better photos, I made this rinse using a clear plastic bottle, but you can use multiple types of bottles. Clear or translucent bottles work best, however, so you can visually check the readiness of the rinse.

close up

Rosemary Lavender ACV Rinse
Rosemary helps prevent thinning hair and hair loss. It slows premature graying and can gradually darken existing gray hair (or any hair!). Rosemary is also beneficial for dry, flaky scalps, and dandruff. Lavender stimulates hair growth and degreases hair. Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH of your hair and remove buildup. An ACV rinse can also help to close your hair cuticles, enhance shine, and to (temporarily) reduce the porosity in the hair.

Note: Rosemary darkens the hair over time

2 sprigs Rosemary
2 tbsp dried lavender
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
25 oz distilled water
Applicator bottle

Put rosemary, lavender, and ACV inside of applicator bottle. Boil distilled water then pour into applicator bottle (make sure bottle is heat-resistant and will not melt). Allow to seep until water is cool (1-2 hours) – one sure way to be sure that the rinse is ready is to watch the lavender. The dried lavender will float, at first. After an hour or so the flowers will start to sink to the bottom of the container and the liquid will start to turn a beautiful pale purple. Once about 50% of the lavender flowers sink, the rinse is ready for use. Pour over hair as a rinse. Rinse out after 3-5 minutes.

floating Lavender

Knots on the Street – DC: Patrice


How long have you been natural?
9 years

What made you decide to lock/go natural?
I decided to go natural in high school. I was looking at my hair and felt like the perm made my hair look dull and dead, so I cut it off.

Who does your hair?
I go to a salon.

If you go to a salon, what is the stylist’s name and salon?
Stylist: Ashley
Salon: Noire Salon
8225-A Georgia Ave
2nd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

What hair product could you not live without?
I love olive oil!

Knots on the Street: DC – Donna and Dana

Donna (afro) and Dana

How long have you been natural?
Donna – 7 years
Dana – started transitioning in Jan 2, 2010

What made you decide to go natural?
Donna – perm burns on my scalp/ scabby scalp
Dana – It was just something I wanted to do. I wanted to do my own natural hair. It was time

Who does your hair? How long does it take?

What hair product could you not live without?
Donna – Magic lasso (to make my afro puff)
Dana – Tie between extra virgin olive oil and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk

Pamper Me Wednesday: Pumpkin Honey Facial & Buttermilk Acne Bath

Welcome back to being Pampered!

This Pamper Me Wednesday is all about anti-aging and anti-acne. We are going to give ourselves an acne fighting bath, an acne face wash, and a skin firming facial. This is a great combination to help clear up both facial and body acne as well as reduce large pores.

This post contains 2 different relaxing spa recipes, which are listed below. Most of the ingredients should be available in your kitchen cupboard (or pantry). There is a Buttermilk Acne Bath that doubles as an acne wash and a Pumpkin Honey facial.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, set the mood and start your bath. For me, this is more of a functional/medicinal spa treatment rather than a relaxing one, so I like to listen to upbeat music while bathing. I typically apply facials before climbing into the tub, but since this week there is a face wash as well as a facial, I don’t apply my facial until after the face wash (while sitting in the tub). I always keep a clean washcloth and bowl of cool water in arm’s reach. While in the bath, I sink down and rest my head on a bath pillow and read until it’s time to remove the facial mask. Here’s where the washcloth and water come in handy.

Here’s what you need:
Bath pillow/Rolled towel
1 small pumpkin, boiled and peeled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp honey
2 small bowls
2 soft washcloths
1 ½ cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 ½ cup milk & 1 ½ tbsp vinegar mixed)
½ cup sea salt
6 tbsp honey (runny)

Buttermilk Acne Bath Ingredients

Buttermilk Acne bath
Buttermilk naturally softens and soothes inflamed skin- it will also help remove the dirt and oils from your skin that cause acne breakouts. Sea salt is excellent for skin and makes a great acne treatment. Use of sea salt in the bath will soften skin and help remove acne causing dirt and oils. Sea salt is also an excellent source of minerals that will nourish your skin and help it look healthier. Make sure to use sea salt that does not have iodine added as it is very drying to skin.

1 small mixing bowl
1 soft washcloth
1 ½ cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 ½ cup milk & 1 ½ tbsp vinegar mixed)
½ cup sea salt
6 tbsp honey (runny)

Heat buttermilk on stovetop over low heat. Stir often to avoid scorching. Once buttermilk is warm, add sea salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add honey and stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Pour 1/4 cup of mixture in a small bowl and pour rest into running bathwater. You do not need a full tub of water for this bath – ½ full should be sufficient.

Soak in tub for 20 minutes. Wash face with remaining mix in separate bowl while soaking.

Pumpking Honey Facial

Pumpkin Honey Facial
Fresh and cooked pumpkin is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants – it is full of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein, which help to help nourish and brighten the complexion. These nutrients help soothe and reduce inflammation, helping skin recover from acne-related damage. Egg white nourishes the skin, refines pores, reduces oiliness, tightens skin and lightens dark spots. Egg yolks can improve the look and feel of skin, making the skin soft and glowing, reducing the appearance of pores, and reducing acne. Honey is naturally anti-bacteria and will kill germs and bacteria and help prevent acne breakouts. Milk exfoliates, softens and nourishes the skin.

Note: If you are allergic to poultry or eggs, you should not use this facial.

1 small pumpkin, boiled and peeled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp honey

Take the small (peeled and boiled) pumpkin and puree in a blender or food processor until lump free. Add egg, honey and cup milk. Blend until well mixed. Apply to cleaned face and neck. Leave facial on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Honey Mayo Protein Hair Mask

Honey Mayo Hair Mask

Every winter the cold damages my hair. Natural hair needs a lot of moisture and winter rips it away much faster than I can add it, so my locks have been shedding a lot lately. In order to combat this hair stress, I’ve been treating my hair with a protein mask (recipe) that I got from Freakz & Geekz. This recipe has been the savior of my hair for a couple of months now.

Honey Mayo Protein Conditioner
Because hair is a protein, protein conditioning treatments penetrate easily, getting deep into the hair-shaft. Use of protein masks/treatments stop hair breakage, rebuild hair structure and makes your hair shine and grow. If your hair is healthy, only use a protein treatment once a month, if necessary. If your hair is damaged (chemical damage, shedding, etc) use a protein treatment 2-3 times a month, no more than once every other week. Protein treatments are great right after having a chemical service (color, bleaching, highlights, etc.), too.

Note: Do not use protein treatments daily or weekly! Protein treatments penetrate the hair-shaft, so too much protein will cause the hair to become brittle and have breakage.

Eggs are rich in protein, which helps to make the hair follicle stronger (thus less split ends). Eggs also smoothes the hair, has thickening agents, and adds body and shine to hair. Mayonnaise adds moisture and shine to the hair. Honey helps soothe itchy scalp and stops hair loss. Olive oil helps to tame frizzy hair, relieves hair damage, and moisturizes (especially in winter!)

1 cup hair conditioner (I use Aussie Moist)
¼ cup olive oil
2 eggs (shoulder length hair, 1 egg if hair is shorter)
3 tbsp honey
½ cup mayonnaise

Mix the conditioner, olive oil, honey, and mayo until blended. Add eggs. Whip until frothy and smooth. Separate hair into four sections. Apply conditioner – one section at a time – until hair is evenly saturated. Wrap hair in plastic and let sit for 5 hours or overnight.

Rinse conditioner out and wash with moisturizing shampoo if needed.

I start by parting my hair into four sections. I braid each section loosely and tie them off with a covered rubber band. Section by section I apply the conditioner, making sure to completely saturate my hair, especially the ends and any damaged sections of locks. Once I have completed a section I re-braid the hair.

Once I am finished applying the conditioner I take bobby pins and pin the sections of hair onto the top of my head (nothing fancy, I just want it off my neck), then I wrap my hair in plastic. Because I sleep with this conditioning mask on I also cover the plastic with a scarf before sleeping at night.

Knots on the Street: DC – Melba

How long have you been natural?
4 years

What made you decide to go natural?
I was tired of relaxers plus my sister is natural and I loved the way her hair looked and felt.

Who does your hair? How long does it take?
I do it myself.

What hair product could you not live without?
Curl Activator Gel with Aloe Vera and IC Gel – The curl activator gel is moisturizing without being greasy

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