This is a guest post from my BFF, Ibby Hartley, a Venice, CA-based fashion designer and self-taught expert on natural beauty! Ibby provides recipes for all-natural and safe beauty regimes like face masks, hair rinses, and dry brushing techniques. Check out her story on how she learned about natural beauty, and enjoy her recipes for a matcha-manuka honey face mask, an avocado face mask, a papaya face mask, a fermented rice hair rinse, and more!
When Mimi asked me to do a guest blog I was so excited but also nervous because doing this involves me sharing some things that I’ve always been a little embarrassed about! I started having trouble with my skin at around age 10 or 11. There’s nothing like a big zit on your chin before most of your friends hit puberty to inspire experimentation with treatments and concealer skills.
From there things progressed and by the time I reached 9th grade I was in full acne mode. My face, chest, and back were covered with cystic acne and my already round face had ballooned due to a high dose of Accutane paired with steroids. The Accutane eventually helped to clear my skin but the process was emotionally painful (some hardcore periods of depression) and physically challenging (I have minimal scarring on my face but I still have scars on my chest and back from cysts that turned into lesions and open wounds). I spent the rest of teens and 20s in and out of dermatologists’ offices taking a pretty aggressive approach to everything skin related.
It wasn’t until recently that I started taking a more natural approach to caring for my skin, hair, body, and general health. This isn’t to say that I don’t love a Derm, because I 1000% do, but discovering how to make homemade face masks and treatments to simultaneously target skin problems and help me feel more beautiful has been transformative! After much trial and error, I’ve found a mostly natural and often-times edible beauty routine that works for me.
I think a lot of us are becoming more aware of this, but recognizing that health and beauty are interchangeable — hydration, exercise, eating well– has had a massive impact on me (and my bank account!!). This process wasn’t just a breeze, I’m a bonafide candy addict who loves chicken tenders with all her heart. These days I try to work with my body to understand what makes it tick and treat root causes as best I can. My breakouts are in a place I feel pretty good about, my psoriasis is still around but is under control, and I think I’m the healthiest I’ve been in quite awhile! That being said, obviously PLEASE make sure you are up to date with your doctor(s); a pap smear (etc) can save your life, y’all!
While I’m not a medical professional or trained aesthetician, hours of hands on experimentation has led me to pampering routine that works for me and I’m excited to share with you! All of the masks and treatments I’m suggesting below are very gentle unless otherwise noted. Also, the foundation of all of this is to drink water (I still don’t do it enough)… everyone says it, no one wants to hear it, but DO IT. And exercise too. My favorite form of exercise is going to a class or doing a video by the wonderful human Karen Lord of Karen Lord Pilates Movement. She will kick your ass in the kindest most loving way.
Dry brushing is something I really enjoy; it takes so little time, makes me feel fired up and helps to exfoliate my VERY dry skin. I do: bottom of feet, top of feet, legs, butt, tummy, back, palms, top of hand, arms, armpits, and a figure 8 over my chest. Be gentle on the boobs and décolleté, ok? Then I’ll hop in the shower.
After I dry brush and shower, I often smear shea butter all over my body and will sometimes put it on my face is things are very dry. I love shea butter — it’s super moisturizing and doesn’t make me break out. I’ve found that coconut oil does make me break out, but I know it works great for other people — so to see if it works for you, I’d suggest trying it out on a small test patch on the inside of your arm or side of your face before use all over. I also use a spoolie (I took a free one from Sephora, I’m sorry) to brush it through my brows and lashes.
I love, love, love to mask. My favorite is a mask comprised of matcha, manuka honey, tocotreinols , and chlorella from the CAPBeauty book, High Vibrational Beauty. I suggest doing this mask in the morning or before a late night out because it really gives me a boost of energy. I usually eat a little nibble of the mask too. Also, only use manuka honey or else there isn’t much point. Recipe for this mask is at end!
I’m very into looking after my hair but I’m pretty lazy so I like to set a solid foundation with a good cut (Kat Cali of Lost Hills Salon is INCREDIBLE, go to her if you’re in LA) and then keep my strands happy and healthy.
I lost some patches of hair 3 years ago when my psoriasis got really bad and it pushed me to look after my hair in a thoughtful, anti-damage kinda way.
After shampooing and conditioning I gently squeeze the water out of my hair, saturate it with fermented rice water (recipe at end), and let sit for 5-10 mins. I stay in the shower throughout to stay warm but you could do a mask in this time too! You can also leave in for longer amounts of time but I usually shower in the morning and am often running late.
I’ve found that the fermented rice makes my hair more voluminous, soft, shiny, and most importantly, LESS TANGLY. My scalp is much more healthy too (imp for me because my psoriasis pops up there but scalp health is important no matter what you have going on). Highly suggest this to everyone. My boyfriend has told me it smells bad, but I was blessed (cursed?) without a strong sense smell, so doesn’t bother me. You can add essential oils if you wish to mitigate the fermented rice aroma! And also be sure to rinse thoroughly with water. Once I rinse I do not follow with any other hair products.
If I’m feeling fancy before bedtime, I’ll coat my hair and scalp with shea butter and wind my hair into a low bun. Keep it in all night, you’ll be very happy. You will definitely want to wash your hair thoroughly in the am unless you love a Kim K esque wet look.
All of the ingredients I use for the following masks are things I regularly eat and keep at home! Except for papaya because I think it’s gross.Print
This mask contains high levels of antioxidants and vitamins D and E, is anti-inflammatory, purifying, calming, and has gently exfoliating properties.
Whisk or stir ½ tsp matcha into 1 tablespoon water and set aside. Add ½ tablespoon tocos, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon chlorophyll to a small bowl and mix with a brush. Pour the brewed matcha into your mixture until it reaches a paste-like consistency. If the mixture gets too thin, add more tocos and honey. Apply to clean face with a brush and let sit for 20 mins. [I usually do dishes and random stuff around my apt during this time. You could also take a bath or meditate!] Remove with warm or cool water, scrubbing gently to promote light exfoliation [this will feel really good ☺!]. I follow with a moisturizer to lock dewiness in ASAP.
Keywords: natural beauty, diy face mask, edible beauty, replenishing mask
DO NOT wear clothes or use a towel that you love because the turmeric will stain.
- 2 tablespoons full-fat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons manuka honey
Mix and apply with a brush.
Keywords: face mask recipe
You will need to lie down for this mask because it is runny. The fruit acids are an excellent chemical exfoliant. I, personally, always like to follow exfoliation with something hydrating like an avo mask.
- The meat of ½ papaya
Smash the papaya fruit to as much of a paste as possible and spread on your beautiful mug.
Keywords: face mask recipe, DIY, papaya
A super moisturizing masque – great to follow on an exfoliating mask.
1/2 a very ripe avocado
Smash the avo and put on your face. Eat the other half with chips!
Keywords: face mask recipe, avocado, Diy
This recipe is adapted from various articles I read online. There is a range of preparation recommendations but I’ve found that the following has the best results. Historically, rice water has been used by women in Japan for centuries for skin and hair health. The Yao women from Hangluo, China also use a fermented rice wash for their hair. I use Shirakiku Calrose Rice (Extra Fancy) because it seems to give me the best results and thickest consistency.
- 8 cups (a half gallon) of water
- 2 cups of Shirakiku Calrose Rice
- Fill a gallon pot with water and add approx 2 cups of rice. Cover and let simmer for about 30 mins. Remove rice and now milky water from heat and strain into a large bowl (I use a bowl with a little spout because it makes pouring easier). Reserve ¾ of the cooked rice for eating 🙂
- Separate the remaining rice and rice water into glass containers. Cover and let sit at room temp for 12-24 hours. Leaving some rice in with the water will help speed up the fermentation process.
- After 12-24 hours strain fully and refrigerate! How long you choose to keep your fermented solution is up to you. I keep for about 2 weeks.
- When I shower, I put the fermented rice wash into a condiment bottle I got from Smart and Final for easy application (would love to upgrade to this set of bottles + funnel, my bday is in September 😉 ). I use the wash every time I shampoo and condition my hair.
Keywords: japanese hair rinse, rice rinse recipe, diy, rice