Sunday, 30 September 2018

I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa

Hello lovelies! As a member of the Do-It-Yourself Beauty Brigade, I wanted to share some of my homemade beauty secrets. The best bit about them is the all revolve around CHOCOLATE.

Yeah, you heard me correctly. Chocolate. Cocoa. The baking stuff. So not only is this good for your skin and hair, it is edible. Bonus.
Tesco Low Fat Cocoa Powder 100 g

I use cocoa in a variety of beauty treatments and I'll tell you why.

It is natural.
It smells amazing.
It s cheap.
It really works.

The website BEAUTY MUNSTA has this to say about the benefits of cocoa powder (with a few notes from me):

Skin repair: Yes, cocoa powder helps repair skin cells! That’s because it is packed with antioxidants that fight off free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal oxygen from skin cells to balance themselves. In the process, they make skin cells lose oxygen and become lifeless. This causes a variety of skin problems like blemishes, dull looking skin and more. So, make a cocoa powder face mask to repair your skin cells and rejuvenate your face!

 Improves Skin’s Hydration:  Did you know that cocoa powder can actually improve its natural hydration? This works when you consume cocoa powder or apply it on your skin!  

Exfoliates Dead Cells: Cocoa powder has a gentle exfoliating texture that helps slough off dead cells on skin. It is good for carefully exfoliating sensitive or acne prone skin without irritating it. Personal note:  This really works. I have been making a face mask and applying it every “Self -Care Saturday” and have seen my skin be brighter and softer.

Face mask: In a little dish mix 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp oil of your choice. I like sunflower oil as in is non comedogenic (won’t break me out) and is high in vitamin e. I have very combination skin, so my skin is can’t decide if it wants to be an oily teenager or a mature adult. Wet your skin with warm water then mix all those ingredients into a paste and carefully rub all over your face avoiding the eye area. It is ok to put it on your lips because it can help exfoliate dry lips and if it gets in your mouth it’s fine because it is edible. Leave on while relaxing (preferably while resting with closed eyes on a yoga mat while listening to Enya) then using wet hand carefully scrub your face letting the sugar exfoliate and rinse off with warm water.

 Fights Acne & Pimples: This cacao face mask for acne works wonders in reducing the appearance of acne and pimples. Cocoa lessens redness and inflammation caused by acne. Find the cacao face mask recipe here: DIY Cacao Face Mask for Acne

 Prevents Sun Damage: You know when they say ‘eat your sunscreen.’ Well add cocoa powder to your list of sunscreen foods because it helps prevent sun damage! A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 showed that a group of women given a flavanol rich cocoa drink showed 15% less reddening of the skin when exposed to UV light. This is due to its high antioxidant content which fights off free radicals generated when UV light hits the skin.

 Improves Skin Complexion: Cocoa can improve your skin complexion, making it brighter and clearer! The flavanols in it nourish the skin, boost its elasticity and help reduce blemishes that make skin dull.

 Firms Skin: The caffeine and theobromine found in cocoa powder make skin firm, taut and toned. That’s because they help break down fats and eliminate excess fluid retention. So, if you have sagging skin, puffy skin and even under eye bags, try making a mask out of cocoa powder and applying it to your face for a few minutes.

Makes Hair Shiny & Soft: Cocoa powder isn’t just good for skin, it’s great for hair too! It contains a significant amount of sulphur, which is one of the most important minerals for hair health. Consuming cocoa powder makes your hair shiny and soft naturally.

 Darkens Hair Naturally: This delicious powder doesn’t just stop at making hair soft and shiny! It also gradually darkens hair and helps cover up greys. So, if you’re a brunette, try making a cocoa hair mask or even mixing cocoa powder in warm water and using it as a hair rinse. Personal note: This really works. I have stopped dyeing my hair and have successfully darkened my light brown hair to a lovely medium brown shade by doing this.

Hair darkener: Mix equal quantities of unsweetened cocoa powder and your favourite shampoo. It will be the texture of that ready to spread canned frosting you can buy in a shop. Store it in a jar. With dry hands scoop a little out and rub your palms together until they are evenly coated. Rub into your hair and really massage it in. Then rinse, but don’t over rinse. I have crazy oily hair like a teenager and this has actually helped to dry it out a bit. If you do not have teenage hair, then feel free to mix equal parts of the cocoa powder with your favourite conditioner as well

Slows Down Ageing of Skin: Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants called flavanols. The powerful 
antioxidant properties of flavanols help fight free radicals, hence making skin youthful for longer. Consume cocoa powder and also use it externally to plump your skin cells and fight premature wrinkles!

 Reduces Cellulite: Enjoy the cellulite clearing powers of cocoa powder! Because of its caffeine and theobromine content, cocoa powder helps drain fatty cells, promote flow of excess fluids out of the body which helps clear off cellulite by firming and tightening the skin. Drink cocoa powder and also make a cocoa coffee scrub to help you with this!

Cocoa Coffee Cellulite Scrub: In a large bowl, add ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ cup ground coffee and ¼ cup liquid coconut oil. Now add 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Mix everything well to form a soft scrub. Transfer the scrub into an air tight container. To use, place 1 tbsp in a bowl and take the bowl to the shower with you. Scoop up a little and rub in circular motions over wet skin that has cellulite. Leave it on for a couple of minutes then rinse off and wash your body as usual. Use every other day in the shower.

Personal note: if you'd like a body scrub, but like me don't drink coffee so don't have any coffee grounds just hanging around try this body scrub. It makes you smell like a York Peppermint Patty (US Version) Fry's Peppermint Cream (UK version.) 

Chocolate Peppermint Body Scrub: In a jar mix 1 cup sugar, 2 TB liquid soap (helps it to wash away easier), 3 TB cocoa powder, a few TB oil to make it a paste, 10 drops peppermint essential oil. With dry hands (water can aid in breeding bacteria) scoop out and bit and scrub your body in the bath or shower. Your body will be soft and smell amazing. 

Add to your Dry Shampoo: DIY dry shampoo is all the rage these days and what’s more is that it’s so easy to make! Cocoa powder is one of the main ingredients for brunette or dark hair types. Here’s how to make dry shampoo with cocoa powder:

Amazing DIY Dry Shampoo: In a bowl, mix up 1 tbsp arrow root powder, 1 tbsp baking soda, ½ tbsp cocoa powder and 3-5 drops lavender essential oil. Dip a brush into the bowl and dab it on your hair roots starting from one side going to the other. Let it sit for a couple of minutes then brush your hair and voila! Your hair will be soft, fluffy and look and feel clean!

So, that's the wonders of cocoa! Let me know if you have a go at any of these beauty tips.

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