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S L O W A N D E R L U S T E R is a blog devoted to daily slow wandering and storytelling, travel, architecture, lifestyle, and finding the beauty of any kind in the everyday. 

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How to lose your sanity over scent-ity.


So many things are happening right now and it feels like time is passing by at the speed of light. At times, it’s even hard to keep sane considering all the things that are happening, simultaneously. Let alone take good care of ourselves; mind and body. It’s true. What is my absolute favourite part when it comes to beauty tips is when nature gets involved. I am so excited to be sharing with you some of the techniques that I am practicing recently!

With the arrival of each new season our skin and hair are changing tone, texture, and could become healthier or worse. It is important even at busy times to maintain a good health inside out. And I am a huge supporter of 'doing whatever makes you and your skin happy'. Always with caution. We recently visited Sri Lanka and spent part of that trip exploring different ways in which we could incorporate nature in our lives. My father is a herbal geek and from a very young age he made sure to introduce me to the world of herbs and a less toxic way of living. He is very famous for his infused ice tea cocktails in the family. Traveling around Sri Lanka we came across tea factories and herbal parks that gave a new meaning to everything I have known by that time about pure organic products -edible or plain beauty products.

At home, I have a decent collection of herbal teas -most of which have been shipped from Cyprus, from my dad with love-, essential and carrier oils and some unique spices from Asian, African and Mediterranean countries. Today I will speak some more about a few of my new acquisitions from our Sri Lanka trip, and my dad's all time favourite cumin oil, or else black seed oil as it's more widely known.

It's been many many years now since my dad first discovered the secrets of cumin oil. Since I moved to the UK, I'd been constantly complaining about hair loss and slow hair grow and my dad had been repeatedly advising me to try cumin oil. I sometimes take it he is incredibly romantic in his believes about the power of nature and naturopathic medicine, and as a result I don't always take him seriously. Until this one day, that I received a little bottle of cumin oil by post. Anonymously... [lol] I then decided to give it a try.

I don't want to overanalyse the beneficial properties of cumin oil and all that stuff one could potentially find through wikipedia. Although I must say, whether was pure luck or a combination of a healthier diet and a bomb of natural medicine I don't know. I noticed, however, an evident improvement in my hair texture and growth. Not to mention the discrete, light smell of the oil that I just love! While black seed oil has a lot of benefits for your hair, it is important to do a patch test as your skin type may not react well to it. I don't usually follow recipes and I most likely experiment with products to discover what's more suitable for my skin and hair types by myself. I try different mask combos and I make sure to leave them on for at least a few hours before washing them off -minimum two rounds of shampoo- or even better, overnight.

Cumin oil/Black seed oil & Castor oil

Cumin oil/Black seed oil & Coconut oil & Jojoba oil

Cumin oil/Black seed oil & Olive oil

Cumin oil/Black seed oil & Aloe Vera gel

As I was saying, during our recent trip to Sri Lanka we visited some herbal parks. Throughout that short journey in the world of plantations I was extremely cautious. Typical me. Everything looked too good to be actually true and working. Those two products though, caught my attention a little more. The cinnamon oil extract and the white sandalwood oil. You know how a perfume can take you back to a place in your life you feel you’ve outgrown? I am not quite sure if it was the smell of sandalwood that I sincerely love, or the deeply fragranced in cinnamon Mediterranean cuisine that I am so familiar with that affected my decision. Deep down I knew it was probably my dad lecturing me on the back of my head about how beneficial cinnamon oil is and so on.

Sandalwood oil it's been used in combination with a sandalwood cream with jojoba and several other herbs aiming to improve the firmness of the skin and soften black spots, wrinkles and marks. No wonder Sri Lankan women have amazing skin texture and shades. I started using it on a daily basis -you are supposed to try it for a month to be able to see good results. I found the pungency -spiciness- of it quite irritating for the eye, there was a noticeable change on a skin discolouration that I have on my forehead though, which appeared to be slightly brighter.

Following an hour boat safari in the Madu river we arrived in a small oasis of cinnamon plantations. An old lady showed us how the oil is naturally extracted off the cinnamon. Apparently, this is quite beneficial for eliminating headaches, inflammations, muscle stiffness and all sort of aches. Somehow, it just fuels my soul and I’ve been using it consistently ever since I discovered it. I was almost taken aback at how unexpected, refreshing and long-lasting each of these oil fragrances are, offering some good results without being extremely pricy. What’s not to love?

Cinnamon Oil extract

White Sandalwood Oil extract

My opinions are in no way swayed, I am no beauty expert and I haven’t been compensated for this content.

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