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Antibacterial Agents and Microbeads are OUT! Natural and Healthier are IN!!

Earlier this year President Obama issued a ban on all microbeads (tiny plastics that are used as an exfoliant in cosmetics products) in cosmetic formulations. The US ban is to begin taking effect between the beginning to middle of 2017. Earlier this week, the UK followed suit and issued a similar ban on all microbeads in cosmetics formulas.These little plastic beads were banned in the US and then the UK because of their propensity to end up in marine life and pollute our waters as well as endanger our marine life. Score one for a more natural, healthier way to better skincare! There are more natural, healthier and safer for our environment ingredients that can help to exfoliate our skin and keep it looking healthy! One such product is cornmeal and you will find that in our body polishes. Other great, natural exfoliants are sugar and yes, even coffee!

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Our natural body polish uses cornmeal instead of microbeads for that spa-like feel right in your own home! Our Carib Lime Body Polish was even featured in Essence’s 2016 August issue!

Then earlier this week, the US FDA announced that all companies were to remove antibacterial agents like triclosan, triclocarbon, and 17 other chemicals out of their soaps. There was no science to show that having these agents in the soaps did anything for keeping us safe and “cleaner” than just using plain soap and water. The marketing ploy that many of the larger skincare companies has been under review since 2013 and this week the US FDA finally issued the ban on these chemicals. Some of the science may even show that the prolonged use of these chemical agents may cause detrimental harm to the human body over time. Most harmful bacteria can be simply handled with plain soap and water and the mere nature of how handmade, cold processed soaps, and other similarly made soaps makes it very difficult for most of the bacteria to survive once they come into contact with a natural, handmade bar of soap and water. At itiba, we manufacture and create a healthier, safer, more natural soap that does NOT contain any of the 19 dangerous chemicals that the US FDA has recently banned.

danish soaps itiba

Our cold processed, naturally handmade soaps uses only the best natural and unrefined vegetable oils and butters to provide you with a clean, antibacterial agent free soap which is perfect for both face and body, and even hair!

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Summer Time Fine with itiba Beauty

0131_073A0383Summer time is finally here and itiba has everything you need to maintain flawless, glowing skin in the season’s heat and be summer time fine! One of the biggest concerns for many during this steamy season is the appearance of dry skin. Being outside in the blazing sun for hours on end at the beach, in the park or doing other outdoor activities exposes the skin to the harsh elements of the sun. This can cause the skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles while appearing dehydrated, peeled, irritated and inflamed. Couple that with harsh soaps plus extra long baths & showers and you’ve got yourself a recipe for dull, dry skin. How can you avoid the appearance and annoyance that comes along with dry skin? Here are itiba’s four ways to protect and care for your skin from head to toe this summer and keep you summer time fine!

 

  1. Water Does The Body Good

When the summertime heat turns up, our bodies can become dehydrated very quickly. Who can remember to drink water throughout the day when we’re busy lounging on the beach drinking boozy beverages and sugary drinks? However, it’s important to drink plenty of water when the weather is a scorcher to ensure your skin remains hydrated and your energy levels stay high. Give your recommended 64 ounces a fun twist by infusing it with fruits and herbs like strawberries, lemon, mint, lime and cucumbers.

 

  1. Twice is Nice

Washing your face too often is another common cause for dry skin. During the summer, our bodies produce more sweat due to the increase in temperature, causing many to take more showers and wash our faces to rid ourselves of that sticky, yucky feeling that comes with 90+ degree temperatures. Wash your face only twice a day to prevent excessive drying of the skin. itiba’s Midnite Rain Body Soap is the ideal product for facial cleansing due to its detoxification capabilities. For oily and acne-prone skin, our Carib Lime Body Soap will cleanse and clear the skin without stripping it of oils.

 

  1. Cool as a Cucumber

Change up your long, hot shower routine this summer and take a 5-10 minute cool (not cold) shower instead. Hot water strips oils from the skin and the longer the shower, there’s a greater chance that your skin will lose its moisture, becoming dried out and dehydrated. Sooth and nourish dry skin with our Papaya Body Polish! Made with smoothly blended cornmeal, unrefined Shea Butter and natural oils, the luscious scent of papaya nectar will whisk your senses away to a tropical paradise while it gently exfoliates and moisturizes without drying your skin like many sugar and salt scrubs do.

 

  1. Minutes to Moisturize

Time is of the essence when it comes to moisturizing your skin. Be sure to moisturize within 3-5 minutes of taking a shower or washing your face and hands to lock in the skin’s moisture. Always pat your skin dry with a towel after washing your body, face or hands to ensure skin remains damp prior to moisturizer application. For instant relief of dry, patchy and irritated skin, get your hands on our Tranquil Sea Body Butter. Like all of our body butters, its non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into the skin while deeply conditioning and moisturizing.

 

Get your summertime fine by implementing these small changes in your routine. They will make all the difference in the quality and texture of your skin this summer, even all year round! For products rooted in Mother Earth from the teachings of our Caribbean ancestors, use itiba’s skincare line of lotions, soaps, body butters, polishes and more. Made with the natural ingredients of plant oils and butters plus no synthetic detergents or harsh chemicals, each itiba product is carefully and thoughtfully handcrafted in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Discover a new skin care with itiba, a natural skin care company, at www.itibabeauty.com!

Summer is coming…exfoliation made simple.

As part of a project that I have been working on for some months now, where I have experts in their respective fields speak to you about skin care, we are continuing our discussion on exfoliation and today I am so honored to have weighing on the subject one of our own family members, Aisha Massac, owner of Mankind Grooming For Men. She is also a Licensed Estheticians & Professional Makeup Artist based in Washington, DC. So sit back and enjoy the read on exfoliation 🙂 and Thank you Aisha Massac!

Exfoliation made simple

 

What is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the removal of surface dead skin cells, with the ultimate goal being to clear debris and free the retired cells to allow for better absorption, circulation, and brighten dull skin by promoting skin renewal. 

 

These dead skin cells, left on the surface, slow down healthy cell renewal, increase the depth of wrinkles and create a dull, sluggish appearance. The more you effectively exfoliate, the younger the skin looks and the better your skin care products can penetrate the skin.

 

However, too much exfoliation can cause redness and skin sensitivity. You should exfoliate no more than three days per week, as to not cause irritation or sensitive skin. If you already have sensitive skin as well as skin that easily hyperpigments, I would not recommend exfoliating since it can make your skin more sensitive and hurt your skin barrier. If you just HAVE to exfoliate (even outside of my recommendation), use an emollient based exfoliant and ONLY once a week; a light AHA would be a great option being that it’s moisturizing. A great option would be Dr. Perricone’s Advanced Face Firming Activator.

There are two types of exfoliation methods:

PHYSICAL

The most common form of exfoliation is physical exfoliation, which is mechanically removing superficial layers of the skin. This can be done with a face loofah, brush, washcloth, or with exfoliating cleansers. Mechanical exfoliators that utilize abrasive agents with sharp edges actually scrape and cut the skin. Abrasive agents such as apricot seeds (St. Ives being the most popular), granulated peach kernels, corn cob, silica, walnut shells and sugar instituted a major following in the ‘80s, followed by brushes, sponges, and loofahs. These all resulted in pulled, torn, stretched, abraded and traumatized skin that was covered with microlesions. Microlesions can lead to bacterial invasion, further leading to acne and/or wrinkles. Better options for physical or mechanical exfoliation are the Clarisonic skin brush and/or home microdermabrasion device (using aluminum oxide crystals). The Clarisonic has different skin brushes for different types of skin (Acne, Sensitive, Normal), and it allows you to adjust intensity for light or deep cleansing, and to avoid irritation. Other than the clarisonic, a mild exfoliating scrub is a great way to go to get a refreshed and clean look to the skin. An option for a more mild mechanical exfoliant would be almond meal, corn meal, or even baking soda, which can be added to your cleanser.

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A gentle and mild exfoliant, like corn meal, can be found in itiba’s body polishes. Great for getting your skin ready for summer!

  A professional mechanical exfoliant favorite of mine is the Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which uses a rice-based enzyme powder, that when mixed with water, activates the papain and salicylic acid. 

CHEMICAL

Chemical exfoliation, in essence, dissolves the “glue” that binds the dead skin cells together. Chemical exfoliation involves applying products containing a form of alpha hydroxy acid and/or beta hydroxy acid that dissolve this “glue” around the skin cells, hastening the shedding of several layers of the epidermis. Estheticians throughout the world have long preferred enzymes for exfoliation such as pineapple, papaya and pumpkin, typically found in a mask form, to exfoliate the skin. These enzymes are natural forms of AHAs. My favorite type of chemical exfoliation is enzyme exfoliating products over the AHA’s and BHA’s. I absolutely love June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque. I also love Jan Marini’s SkinZyme Papaya Mask. Other popular chemical exfoliation methods, found in the skincare world are retinoids. Retinoids are in the same family of Vitamin A and is used to treat some forms of acne, aging, and even psoriasis. Although retinoids can cause flaking, they don’t typically cause dryness – this flaking is the sloughing off of dead cells. Retinoids are also known to cause irritation or sensitivity and must at all times be used with caution in sunlight. *Note: look for retinoids that are encapsulated.Regular use of alpha- or beta- hydroxy products or clay-based masks is of utmost importance to help reduce breakouts and remove dead skin buildup that could clog pores. These are among the most effective exfoliating ingredients. Because AHAs are water-soluble, they can penetrate deeper into the skin’s surface to lift the dead cells. However, caution must be given as they may irritate sensitive skin if used in too high a concentration. On the other hand, BHA (or salicylic acid) is fat-soluble, and doesn’t penetrate below the epidermis. 

**Note: If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, such as rosacea, eczema, seborrhea, or dermatitis, you may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist to find the most effective exfoliating method for your skin type.

**Note: Do NOT use products that contain more than one of the above in one product

To exfoliate: 

1. Wash your face

2. Take medium to large amount of exfoliant (about the size of a dime to a nickel) and gently apply to damp skin. 

3. Massage the exfoliant over your skin. Never press into your skin – you are not sanding wood! Avoid your eye area, as this is a delicate area.

4. Use a washcloth or damp cloth to wipe clean with warm water

5. Apply your moisturizers and serums. 

 

Written By: Aisha Massac, Licensed Esthetician & Professional Makeup Artist based in Washington, DC

Summer. Zika. Skin. pt. 2

 

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The Carib Lime line of products contain Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil as well as Geranium, Lemongrass, Lime and other citruses and essential oils that have been shown to be effective natural insect deterrents.

Is there ONE essential oil that will keep away the sting of the dreaded mosquito? The short answer is no. But using a combination of essential oils that have been shown historically through time to be effective deterrents will definitely help in keeping you safe from the bite and possible exposure to harmful mosquito born illnesses like Zika, Dengue and others.

While DEET is the best known synthetic applicant for mosquito repellents and one which is still recommended by the CDC for use in protecting from mosquito bites, the prolonged use of it can be dangerous as it accumulates in the body. The jury is still out on its long term use and safety to the human body, but there are other natural deterrents that if used correctly, can be as effective at being a deterrent for the dreaded mosquito. Recent studies have shown where the oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been extremely effective in keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Will it outright prevent a mosquito bite, not alone, but combined with other essential oils that have historical uses for deterring mosquito bites, Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil becomes extremely effective.

“One of the earliest studies on eucalyptus essential oil as an insect repellant was in 1996. The study was conducted in Bolivia and showed that a eucalyptus-based insect repellant was able to protect the skin from Anopheles mosquito bites from 6 to 7.75 hours. The females of the genus Anopheles is responsible transmitting malaria. [2]

A study published in 2012 focused on Aedes egypti, the kind of mosquito that is responsible for dengue fever. Dengue fever is characterized by sudden onset of fever, joint pain, and in worst cases, massive bleeding. Essential oils from a variety of eucalyptus plants were found to have fumigant and adulticidal and larvicidal characteristics. [3]

The primary ingredient in most commercial insect repellants is DEET, which stands for diethlytoluamide.
DEET remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged and products range in strength from 10% to 100%, though over 50% concentration should not be used on skin. [4]

A 2002 study compared eucalyptus with DEET and the Eucalyptus scored 96.89 percent effectiveness, compared to DEET’s 84.81 percent against Anopheles (Malaria carrying) mosquitoes.[5] Similarly, a more recent 2014 study revealed how lemon eucalyptus oil is as effective as DEET, greater than with a 32% solution of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil scoring 95 percent effectiveness – compared to a 40% solution of DEET’s 100 percent. [6]

Another mosquito-borne disease is Filariasis, which is caused by Culex mosquitoes. Filariasis causes blockages in the body’s lymphatic system, leading to the enlargement of different body parts. The results of a June 2014 study concluded that the nanoemulsification of eucalyptus oil has larvicidal activity against the Culex genus.” [7] http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/study-finds-lemon-eucalyptus-essential-oil-is-better-mosquito-repellent-than-deet/

My suggestion in searching or even in creating a natural, safer alternative to the synthetics out there to deter mosquito bites are to look for products that contain most of, if not all of the following essential oils you will find in this link from American College of Healthcare Sciences. Creating your own natural insect deterrent can be fun and have wonderful results. And you can feel confident in knowing that you are protecting yourself and loved ones by using something that is good for you and the environment.

 

How To Use Essential Oils To Keep Mosquitoes Away

http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/cdc-confirms-lemon-eucalyptus-oil-as-effective-as-deet.html

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods

 

Did you know…

HAPPY FRIDAY FAMILY!! ‪#‎DidYouKnow‬ that you can reduce the amount of breakouts on your face by simply NOT touching your face all the time? Our hands touch EVERYTHING and by proxy, so does our face. Practice using a hand towel or napkin to wipe your face rather than your hands. To help control the amount of breakouts, also try making a lime (lemon if you cannot get limes) solution and rinsing your face with it. The deep cleansing and antibacterial properties of the lime juice help in getting deep into the pores to remove dirt and acne causing bacteria.

HOW TO…make the lime rinse? Simple, you want to start out with about 1 part lime juice to about 1 part water. You can make it stronger if you wish by simply adding more lime juice. But be careful, the stronger it is, the more likely it is to sting. Use this rinse in the morning and then again in the night just before bed time to ensure that the day’s dirt has been removed from your face. And remember, anytime you wash your face, ALWAYS make sure you put back the moisture. So use a light oil to keep your skin healthy and looking young after EACH facial, mask, and wash.
And now you know!

Fight Oily Skin With…Oil?

jojoba-oil-for-skin stock photo

Yes…that is correct. The best way to treat your oily skin is to use…oil!

What?! Are you crazy? I am trying to get RID of the oil. NOT add more oil to my already oily skin! I won’t do it!

Ahhh…but  you should. And here is why!

Your skin produces oil to protect and moisturize as well as clean itself. With out the sebum that is produced by the sebaceous glands, our largest organ would not function properly. What we have traditionally done throughout the years, especially those of us with oily skin, is use harsh cleansers and astringents to strip away the oils. So when we go and use these harsh detergents and soaps and strip away our naturally occuring sebum, the skin goes into overdrive and produces even MORE oil to replace and compensate the oil that has been removed.

But my skin feels so icky and tacky and I have dirt all on my skin. How is putting more oil on top of the oil that is there make it any better? Basic chemistry lesson…like dissolves like. Meaning, oil will dissolve oil. It will also clean and replace. So instead of taking that harsh astringent or detergent to remove dirt from your face, take a cotton ball, dipped in oil, and clean your skin. The fresh, clean oil will dissolve the dirty, old oil and replace it with clean oil. Castor oil, which is very antibacterial, is the best oil to use for cleaning your skin. But Castor oil can be overly cleansing and may actually cause your skin to dry out, so you want to dilute it with another oil. An oil that is lighter in weight and not as strong in cleansing as Castor oil. Here comes Jojoba oil (my personal choice). This oil is the BEST oil to use. Jojoba is actually a liquid wax. Much like the sebum that our own skin produces. When it comes to cleaning and replacing the oil on your skin, Jojoba is the best oil to use as it is the only vegetable oil that closely matches human sebum. The following is a list of oils that can be used with Castor oil to help with the cleaning and moisturizing regimen for your skin. You will also see which oils are good for the type of skin your have.

  • Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
  • Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
  • Olive (all skin types)
  • Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
  • Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin … very pricey)
  • Tamanu (all skin types … very pricey)

Depending on your skin type, you are going to want to blend one or two of these oils with Castor oil to do your oil cleansing routine. Use the following ratios as guidelines, but keep mixing until you get the right combination for you. So I would recommend that you start with very small amounts at first until you get that perfect ratio!

For Oily Skin, you want to use MORE Castor oil than the other oil. So your ratio may be something like 3:1. Meaning 3 parts Castor Oil to 1 part carrier oil (any of the above oil)

For Normal Skin equal parts Castor oil to any of the carrier oil.

For Dry Skin you will do the reverse of Oily Skin and do 1 part Castor oil to 3 parts carrier oil.

Now keep mixing until you get a comfortable ration. This is on the diluted end but you will know your own skin best and you can mix it up how you like. Just remember, the oilier the skin, the more Castor Oil you want in your formulation. The drier the skin, the less Castor Oil you want in your formulation. A quick note about using this method to cleanse the face. With the first several applications, you will see your face actually look a bit…worse. Meaning more breakouts and the sort. Do Not Worry! This is normal. I remember when I did this years ago…I used only Jojoba Oil. My face broke out and I was freaking out! But after a couple of days it cleared up. Why did this happen? Remember the cleansing action of the oils? What the oils do, especially Castor Oil, is break up the dirt and draw out the impurities in the skin. So while you are starting this method of treatment, you will notice a change in how your skin looks and how it feels as the oils pull out the dirt and impurities. But be strong! The clear, even balanced skin will shine through.

How to use this method to clean the face!

OF course you have now found your favorite blend and ration. CONGRATULATIONS! Now you will begin putting it to you on your skin. The best time of course to do this is at bedtime.

1. You have your dirty face!

2. Rinse lightly with warm water.

3. Take your oil blend and pouring some in the palm of your hand and gently massage into your face and skin in an upwards movement. Do this massage for about two minutes. You can let the oil sit on the skin for an extra 30 seconds to let the oil combination to penetrate your skin and remove the dirt and impurities.

4. Rinse with very warm water. Take your clean wash cloth and soak it in the warm to hot water. Make sure the water is not so hot that it burns the skin.

5. Wipe clean with the washcloth.

You are finished! Remember, when you are first using this method of cleansing, your skin will react funny. It will take some time to get accustomed to and you may find that this is not the method for you. But if you do choose to use this method to clean your skin, you will notice a difference within a couple of weeks. Your skin will begin to balance out and you will see your problems slowly disappear.

Now you can fight or clean your oily skin with…OIL!

This post was put together with information gathered through research, personal use and online research via medical blogs and health and beauty blogs (Crunchy Betty and WebMD)

Hair, ACV and Mud! A New start for 2012.

I have been on a natural hair care journey for the better part of 15 years. And funny, I always wondered why my hair always seemed to be suffering so much. I tortured it for years with harsh chemicals trying to tame it and make it easier to control and then decided, one day after some real neglect, that I would wear my natural hair. Well, after doing that, I think I have finally gotten my hair to at least feel something close to healthy. And I am enjoying it now! 🙂 Late last year I discovered hair masks. That is not to say I have not heard of them before, but I frequently wore my hair in locs and just never thought I could use one. Last year, while my hair was still in the locs I tried my first hair mask and LOVED IT!  Now, one thing I will have to say before i go on is that I LOVE to change things up and will frequently cut my hair to suit a mood. I have worn my hair in cornrows, an afro and locs over the past 15 years. And for 2012 I decided to go back to an afro. We will see how long this lasts, but so long as my hair continues to feel this silky soft, I guess the natural afro will be the style for a while 🙂 Anyway, back to the mask. I tried the mask with locs (something I recommend if  you want to start to revitalize your locs) and I LOVED how my hair looked afterwards. Of course, it being locs there was more detail to washing to make sure that I got out all of the product I had just made, but still, my hair actually LOOKED ALIVE!

So now 2012 has rolled around, the locs are gone and I am nurturing an afro 😉 My hair was feeling neglected again so I continued with the monthly ritual of deep cleansing my hair and daily moisturizing and sealing. But for the purposes of this blog, I will focus on my deep cleansing routine. I had read up on ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) and Rhassoul or Moroccan Red Clay and their great benefits for the hair. Since I know was daily moisturizing my hair, build up would begin to occur and I needed to make sure that I did not begin to stress my hair so a monthly detox and cleanse for my hair and scalp is needed. So, to help my scalp along, I am doing a little detox! But first to remove the monthly residual and assist with the natural pH of the hair. One part ACV to three parts water. This is great and you can see immediately all the residual on the hair as it will turn milky white. Prepare this in a plastic bottle with a spout tip, easier to work into the hair this way. I applied directly to my hair and scalp, making sure that I massaged the scalp with the ACV/Water mix. I left this mix on for about 5-10 minutes to let it really help with clarifying my hair.  That will help to start the clarifying process and remove any and all build up on the hair. I should have rinsed out from my hair, but decided to leave on and added the hair mask. (If you are doing this I do recommend rinsing out before following with the hair mask).

This particular blend consists of Activated Charcoal, Henna, and Moroccan Red Clay. Mixed in the mask are Lavender Essential Oil, Rosemary Essetial Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, and Clove Essential Oil. I combined all and mixed with warm water and Baobab Oil. Olive oil is a good hair oil, VCO (Virgin Coconut Oil) is also another one I recommend. Use enough of the oil and water combination until it is a thick paste. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. After all this I put the mixture in my hair and cover with a plastic cap and left on for about 20 minutes. Rinsing this particular blend out is very important. And it is very important that you use a good clarifying shampoo. Or, any shampoo with SLS or that is sulfate based to make sure that  you get out ALL of the particles that will be there as a result of the henna. Usually I don’t use henna, but since I wanted to cover some greys and henna is a GREAT conditioning agent for the hair, I added it to the mask.  I shampooed until all the mud and particles are out of my hair. Until the water runs clean. My hair feels EXTREMELY clean at this point. Literally squeaky clean…and dry. This will happen once you have done the ACV/Water mix AND the clay mixture. That is why this next step is so important in taking care of the hair…CONDITION AND MOISTURIZE!

This next step is very important, you MUST deep condition your hair. So after a thorough shampoo and rinse, I condition my hair. Rinse this out and use a deep conditioner. I cover my hair with a clean plastic shower cap and left on for about 20-30 minutes. If you want to speed up this process you can sit under a hair dryer for about 10 minutes. Again, rinse until water runs clean. I make sure I dry out my hair and then I add a light moisturizer to my hair. This is important because the hair will be dry and the only way for the hair to feel and look lustrous is to make sure the hair is always moisturized. I moisturize my scalp and hair and then use a nice light oil to help seal in the hydration I just did. I made my own hair oil, a simple one of coconut and avocado oil with a touch of lavender essential oil. You can use whatever oil you want, preferably one containing coconut oil (VCO if possible) olive, essential oil Rosemary, essential oil of Lavender, or essential oil of Clove.

Lavender Flowers and oil.

I can honestly say that I have noticed a HUGE difference in the feel and even appearance of my hair since I started to treat it differently now. My hair is softer and more manageable. Definitely less stressed! Of course, drinking water helps with keeping the softness of my hair there, but also moisturizing and sealing my hair helps also. I chose the following essential oils because of their wonderful properties for hair, and I love the fragrance they leave. Lavender and Rosemary essential oils make great hair tonics. Also, both Lavender and Rosemary essential oils combined make great headaches relievers. Lavender essential oil aids in the stimulation of the hair follicles which aids in growth. Rosemary essential oil helps also with stimulation and circulation of the scalp and overall hair growth. A mix of Rosemary essential oil along with Tea Tree oil and Basil helps with most scalp problems and dandruff.

My Day of Experimentation :-)

Decided to take some ME time today. Always a good thing to just let the world function without you for a minute. All the problems and chaos will still be there tomorrow. Anyway, I saw on FB with this group I am on, Texture Me Natural, a post about Rhassoul Clay and Hair Mask. I read with interest and thought, this is something I should try! Let me warn you though, doing a hair mask is messy…but so much FUN!

Ok. So I decided from the night before that I would make the time to do the hair mask today. I wear my hair in locs and I have been contemplating creating a hair care line for years now. I did with my previous company and I have been tinkering around with it with itiba. (I currently do a private label for a local natural hair salon hair) so I figured, why not try this out. No worries, I can fashion something else quite quickly. What did I have on hand…let’s see…I have Moroccan Red Clay (which by the way is the same as Rhassoul Clay fancy that), Kaolin Clay, Activated Charcoal, my supply of lovely essential oils and carrier oils. OK, I can begin to formulate! I mixed my special brew of esesntial oils and carrier oils: Baobob oil, Turmeric Essential oil (YES, there is an essential oil distilled from the root), Lavandin essential oil, Peppermint essential oil (I think EVERY hair care product should have this in some quantity, it sure wakens the scalp!), Lemongrass Essential Oil and Clove Essential Oil. Then I mixed my Moroccan Red Clay, the Kaolin Clay and Activated Charcoal in a separate bowl. Then I mixed in some ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) the Baobob oil mixture, olive squalene and enough water to hydrate and make it thick like batter. Of course it took a while cause I wanted to make sure that all the clays and charcoal were thoroughly mixed. Covered with Saran Wrap and left it in the oven for 20 minutes (only to warm the mixture – my oven has a pilot light so that was heat enough). Then I applied to my hair and left on for about 20 minutes to a half hour. It was messy but fun!

Next came the interesting part…rinsing this mask out of my hair, especially with locs. It took a while and about 4 shampoos, but I finally got it all out! Conditioned, rinsed and that was it! When I looked at my head of hair in the mirror I wondered if the greys that were making a guest appearance would still be there. They were, but they were not as shiny as they were before. And my hair was BRILLIANT! It looked so shiny and healthy! I was amazed and now TOTALLY SOLD on the idea of hair masks. Of course my shower wasn’t, but that is another story, LOL! One thing I want to make sure I emphasize (especially since my daughter is a cosmetologist and would KILL me if I did not make mention) make sure you have warm water to rinse the mask out of the hair. Try doing an alternate between warm and cold water, especially when rinsing the hair. The warm water helps to open the pores while the cold closes them and the hair cuticle as well. It also helps with stimulating the scalp (of course the Peppermint Essential Oil will also aid in that just fine as well, LOL!).

I am sorry there are no pics this time, but the next time I do the mixture, I will be sure to do a video so that you can see the process from beginning to end. So, are you going to try a hair mask also?

What is an itiba woman?

The itiba woman is a natural woman, a caring woman. Not necessarily a mother in the literal sense, but nurturing to herself and to others. Her beauty is apparent not because of her features, but because she just radiates beauty with her smile, her actions. She is sexy and sensual.  An itiba woman is a strong, intelligent woman. An itiba woman is confident in her skin, yet versatile to wear any skin she finds ;-).

An itiba woman is A NATURAL BEAUTY (as we all are, thank you Etta-Lee)! An itiba woman is each and every one of us who welcomes the joys of being a woman and welcomes the challenges because we know we can turn them into triumphs! An itiba woman is

Strong

Graceful

Beauty

Fierce

Loyal

Intelligent

Loving

Sensual

Nurturing

Versatile

Powerful

She radiates

Light

Love

Peace

Beauty

Strength

An itiba woman is in each and everyone of us. When we look in the mirror she smiles back at us and tells us we can do it. She loves being a woman and enjoys her strengths and weaknesses. She knows how to turn those weaknesses into strengths!

She is you and she is me.

She is…Nature. She is…Earth. She is…Beauty!