Baby Product Picks of 2016

This one is for all you mommas and you soon-to-be mommas!  With all of the different brands and product lines out there how are we supposed to choose which products are best for our babies?  The answer is by doing some research!

Some brands offer cleaner products, and of course that is important since we are using it on our babies. We can’t always trust big name brands to have quality products, so we need to dig into lots of other brands to see what they have to offer.

Since my daughter was born over two and a half years ago, I have used so many different brands and baby products that I could write a book about it.  So in hopes of helping out other mommies searching for good products, I am going to share my favorites with you, and hopefully save you a little time and money.

Products I Trust

1. California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

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Really, any of their shampoos and body washes are great, but I really love the smell of the Calming Shampoo & Body Wash.  It’s made with French Lavender and Clary Sage, which is so light and relaxing. This product not only works as a shampoo and body wash for babies, but can be used as a face wash for teenagers and adults with sensitive skin as well!  Their products are made with organic and sustainably grown vegan ingredients and contain no DEA, sulfates, or numbing agents.  All of their shampoos and washes are made with real essential oils and contain no synthetic fragrances.  My daughter has pretty sensitive and dry skin, but I can tell a difference in the texture of her skin when we use this body wash. We don’t actually use it as a shampoo on her because she has incredibly curly hair which requires a special type of shampoo and conditioner, but I will be using it on my little man when he arrives.

2. Honest Conditioning Detangler 

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Honest brand is one that I trust to always have clean products that I feel safe using on my daughter.  Like I previously stated, my daughter has very curly hair!  And with those curls come lots of tangles and lots of frizz.  I have been using this Conditioning Detangler for probably a year now, and I can say it works like a dream!  I use this on her every morning, and just work my fingers through her curls to separate them.  It amazingly tames her frizz almost instantly, and leaves her hair looking so shiny and feeling silky.  I have even tried it on my hair, and I am impressed by the instant change.  It’s safe to use on color-treated hair so the mommies can use it as well, and it is made with all plant-based, vegan ingredients.

3. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion

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The Aveeno Baby brand is another that I have never been disappointed with.  This is a fragrance-free lotion that absorbs quickly into the skin.  I have tried the Calming Comfort Baby Lotion as well, and only chose this one as my favorite because I know a lot of people struggle with fragrance in body lotions irritating their skin.  They both have the same feel, and are made with the same Colloidal Oatmeal ingredient that helps strengthen your skin’s barrier to prevent dry skin.  I use this lotion on myself as well as my daughter, and love the smooth texture it leaves behind.  It doesn’t feel greasy and sticky like some other body lotions do, and best of all I know it’s safe to use on all skin types.

4. Babyganics Foaming Hand Sanitizer

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This is the on-the-go size that I use.  They have a larger bottle for you to keep at home, but I choose this size because it is super convenient.  Most hand sanitizers are alcohol based, but this is alcohol free and completely safe to use on your child’s hands.  I keep one of these in the diaper bag at all times.  It isn’t harsh like other hand sanitizers and with the foaming effect you get double the uses out of it than normal gels.  It’s made with plant-based ingredients and is fragrance free.  This is a must-have in my opinion!

 5. Honest Wipes

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Once again I chose the on-the-go version because they’re super convenient to have in your diaper bag and/or purse.  It’s a small 10 pack, so it takes up barely any room.  The main reason that I love the Honest Wipes is because they truly do work better than most other baby wipes.  They’re textured so they are really great for cleaning sticky fingers and other hard-to-clean areas but don’t irritate the skin.  They’re thick and absorbent so you can use them to clean up messes and don’t have to worry about them ripping apart.  They’re infused with a botanical blend of pomegranate, chamomile, cucumber, and masterwort leaf, which help to soothe and moisturize.  Luckily they come in regular sized packs for at-home usage, and trust me- you will use them!

6. Babyganics Mineral Based Sunscreen

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With an spf of 50, this sunscreen is one of the only ones that I will use on my daughter and myself.  It is made with Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide which protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s water-resistant and so gentle that you can use it on the face with no problems.  Sunscreen is SO IMPORTANT to use on your babies and on yourself, and not just during the summertime. You need to be applying sunscreen when you will be spending more than 30 minutes in the direct sunlight, even if it’s in the wintertime.If you’re spending the day outside make sure you reapply, reapply, reapply.  Keep your baby’s (and your) skin safe!


*Read about my Top Beauty Picks of 2016 in this previous post.

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My Top 5 Beauty Must-Haves of 2016

I love trying new things, whether it be a new eyeliner or a new hand soap and if you’re anything like me, you go through SO many beauty products each year.  I’ve gone back and revisited everything that I have used this past year and have come up with my top 5 beauty MUST-HAVES of 2016.

Note: I’m going to leave makeup products off this list, because I see makeup as its own category that I’ll focus on in a new post later this week.

1. StriVectin Intensive Concentrate For Wrinkles and Stretch Marks

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StriVectin has worked it’s way up to my top 3 favorite skin care lines in the past few years.  I received the StriVectin Intensive Concnetrate For Wrinkles and Stretch Marks in sample form from Ulta earlier this year when I was purchasing another StriVectin product, and immediately started using it. It quickly became one of my favorite moisturizers to use during my nightly routine not only on my face, but on my existing stretch marks, as well. According to the official product listing…

Formulated with Collagex-CE Complex™, this hydrating moisturizer harnesses the latest advances in skincare science to target Collagen III, known as youth collagen, for powerful anti-aging benefits. Patented NIA-114™ maximizes skin performance and guards against damage caused by environmental aggressors. As it hydrates and enhances skin texture, the wrinkle-fighting formula significantly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – starting in just 15 days. SD Advanced goes beyond wrinkles to help transform the look of stretch marks, too.


 It retails for $79 for the 2 oz bottle and $139 for a 4.5 oz bottle.

2. Bio Oil

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Bio Oil has been my favorite body moisturizer during this pregnancy.  I can’t say that it’s prevented stretch marks from developing, because nothing can do that. But it has eased the itching, stretching skin and kept it feeling very smooth.  I’ve tried other lotions throughout this pregnancy, but none of them absorbed as good as Bio Oil Serum.  It’s formulated with Pur-Cellin oil, which is what makes it absorb so well into the skin. Bio Oil is supposed to help lighten the appearance of stretch marks and scars, so you can benefit from using it postpartum, as well. If you struggle with itchy, dry skin, discoloration, scars, or stretch marks then this product is for you.

 It typically retails for $12.99 for a 4.2 oz bottle.

3. Yes To Liquid Hand Soap

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If you haven’t tried the Yes To Hand Soaps yet, I’m going to need you to run out to Target right now and buy them. I couldn’t pick a favorite because they both smell so so good.  There’s actually 4 different kinds: Grapefruit Basil, Coconut Lemongrass, Cucumber Eucalyptus, and Blueberry Shea. I haven’t gotten to try the last two yet, but BELIEVE ME they are on my list!  It may seem a little weird, but I have a weakness for hand soaps.  I love finding ones that will clean my hands (obvi.) AND leave them feeling soft and nourished (not dry and cracking). These soaps do just that.  And to top it off, they have a delicious fragrance.  They aren’t expensive (retail for $3.99) and come in a pretty large bottle.  Try them out, you won’t be disappointed.

4. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and Hair Cream

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Okay, so I’m going to give you a two-for-one with these products.  I discovered the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and Texturizing Hair Cream back in the Spring, and wasn’t sure how to make it work at first.  After watching a few tutorials on how to get the perfect beachy waves and LOTS of practice, I finally mastered how to use these products!  I love the natural looking waves that they give me, and the fact that I can reuse the same products on my hair a few days in a row without my hair looking gross.  They’re not expensive at all (retail at Target for only $4.79 and $5.99), and actually last a pretty long time before you have to buy more.  I’m not very good at styling my hair, but when I use these products I’m not worried about it looking bad.

5. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes

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The Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes have been a favorite of mine since summer!  I got them in one of my Birchbox shipments and was in love.  From then on I have used them consistently, and have even tried some of the other Yes To Facial Wipes as well. Although the other wipes work great, the Soothing wipes are my favorite.  They usually retail for $5.99, but I often find them on sale for as cheap as $3.  I love that they are oil-free and can still do a great job of taking off my makeup. They are made with cucumber extract, aloe extract, green tea extract, and sea salt which give your face a soothing tingle! My face is pretty sensitive and I have never had a negative reaction to these.

I am working on a few similar posts about my Makeup Must-Haves of 2016 and also my Top Baby Item Picks of the Year.  Stay connected with me on social media for updates:

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What did you think about this article? Let me know in the comments!

Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion [Aveda Skin Care Series]

I’m constantly searching for the perfect daytime lotion to use on my face.  Every lotion I try is either not hydrating enough and I get flaky in just a few hours, or it’s too heavy and I end up looking really shiny.  The only one that I have found to work consistently well on my skin is Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion.


This lotion feels very lightweight and doesn’t leave my skin looking or feeling greasy and I can wear it all year round with no problem.  It’s good for all skin types and is non-acnegenic, so it never clogs my pores or makes me break out.  It is not a treatment lotion, it’s main focus is to hydrate. I’m very picky about having fragrances in my skin care products, but the aroma this lotion has is very light and enjoyable. It’s made with certified organic geranium, orange, and lavender and also contains emollients derived from coconut and jojoba, which work to lock the moisture in your skin so it stays hydrated.

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The great thing about Aveda products is that a little bit goes a long way.  All you need is a pea-sized amount and it will cover your entire face and neck. You can use this in the morning after you have cleansed your face, and then again at night after you have applied your nightly treatments.  The retail price for the 5 fl oz bottle is $34, and $86 for the large 16.9 fl oz bottle.  The small bottle should last you a minimum of 3-4 months, so it is definitely worth investing in.

Share Your Thoughts

I’d love to know your opinion on this product!  Comment below, or use the hashtag #AvedaSeries on social media to connect with me! 

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque [Aveda Skin Care Series]

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m an esthetician at an Aveda lifestyle salon and spa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Being a part of a lifestyle salon means that we use products that are inspired by Ayurveda, and we care for the environment and the world we live in.  Aveda products use plant-based ingredients that are all natural and certified organic.  I have used these skin care products on my clients for the past 8 years, and now I will begin sharing my favorite product from each line. In this post, the first of my new Aveda Skin Care Series, I’ll be starting with the Tourmaline Radiance Line; I will move on to the other skin care lines in a series of follow-up posts.

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Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque 

The Tourmaline Radiance Masque is definitely my favorite Aveda masque, by far.  It has a creamy texture, and goes on very smooth.  It does a great job of drawing the impurities out of your skin without drying your skin out.  The Tourmaline extract in this skin care line helps to brighten your complexion and leave you with a soft glow.  It’s good for blackheads, clogged pores, dull skin, and uneven skin tone.



Apply it evenly over your face (and neck if you want) using a masque brush or clean fingertips.  Leave it on for 10 minutes, remove with cool water and pat dry. Using this consistently 1-2 times a week is important for you to see and feel a major difference in your skin.

In the Tulsa Area?

If you live near the Tulsa area and want to experience an Aveda Tourmaline facial, visit me at Ihloff Salon and Day Spa!  Book online at, or call 918-587-2566 and request Ashley Erdogan. If you’re a first time guest to our spa, I’m happy to offer you 20% off your first service with me.


Share Your Thoughts

Have you used this product before? Share your thoughts in the Comments below or on social media with the hashtag #AvedaSeries.  I’d love to hear from you! 

Pumpkin Dream Bars

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I thought I’d post one more pumpkin recipe to follow up the pumpkin muffin recipe that I posted a few days ago.  This recipe I actually saw on one of those videos that was floating around on Facebook and decided to try it out.  Well, it was worth it because they definitely are “dreamy”. is where I found this delicious Pumpkin Dream Bar recipe.


For the Crust:

  • 2 1/2 c. Gluten Free Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
  • 3 tbsp. sugar or firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 15- oz. can Pumpkin
  • 1 12- oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease your baking pan.  (They recommend a 9 x 9 baking pan, but I only had an 8 x 8 and it turned out fine.)
  2. To make your crust, add your Cheerios to a large ziplock bag and close tightly.  Use a rolling pin to crush them up into a fine powder. (I don’t know if it’s just me, but this was hard work!  So if you find yourself breaking into a sweat, you aren’t the only one.) Combine the crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium sized bowl.  Then press into the bottom of the greased pan.  Bake for 8 minutes (until starting to turn golden) and then let it cool while you prepare the filling.  Make sure your oven is at 425 degrees F now.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together for the filling.  Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture over the crust, and then bake for 15 minutes.  Now turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 35 minutes. Make sure you let it cool to ROOM TEMPERATURE (I made the mistake of putting them in the refrigerator too soon and was left with some moisture on top.) Refrigerate until chilled.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, slice into even pieces and sift the powdered sugar over the tops. (Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as theirs, but still tasted wonderful.)

Watch the video on how to make them here.

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I hope you all have a wonderful day spent with family and friends all around you.  (And eating lots of yummy food and stocking up on leftovers for the Gilmore Girls premiere tomorrow!!!)


Black Friday Guide: Online Beauty Product Deals

We are now just a few days away from Black Friday 2016, and I am finding some amazing online previews!  I will be one of the crazy people out and about shopping, but for those of you who prefer to shop from the comfort of your own bed, here’s a few online deals on beauty products right here for you.

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I don’t know if you have it already, but if not, you need to download the Sephora app.  They have their full list of deals for you to preview on there.  I’m just going to share a few of my favorites from their list.
(Links below lead back to, not to the Black Friday previews.  Download the app to see the Black Friday deals.)

OLE HENRIKSEN “Try Us, Love Us! On-the-Glow Essentials” $15

TOO FACED “Better Than Sex Lash On &I Melt Off Set” $10

URBAN DECAY “After Dark Travel Pencil Set” $19

MURAD “Bright Beginning Environmental Shield” $20

MURAD “Polish, Plump, and Protect” $20

If you can’t find anything you want from their Black Friday Sale List, check out their gift sets that are already available. Seriously, go download their app!  You won’t regret it.

*Image source.

Ulta also has a very full list of great deals.  Once again, I’ll just list a few of my favorites from the list posted on their website.

NYX COSMETICS “Box of Goodies Advent Calendar” $24.99

BUXOM “Bundle Up Baby Kit” $10

BENEFIT COSMETICS “Beauty Blowout!” $15

TARTE “Party Perfect Discovery Kit” $19

STILA “Holiday Dreamer Duo” $19

Plus LOTS more!  Both Sephora and Ulta have online sales starting at 5 pm on Thursday the 24th!  Make sure you get in on these deals!


Kylie Cosmetics

Everyone I know is loving Kylie Cosmetics right now. If you’re wanting any of the Kylie Cosmetics holiday kits, head to the website now.  There’s literally ONE set that hasn’t sold out yet (as of Tues 11/22/16).

Other Great Deals

Anastasia Beverly Hills has amazing kits you should check out.

Too Faced has gift sets available now through Christmas.

MAC Cosmetics holiday sets are already available, and completely adorable.
I know I didn’t list them all, so add your favorite online deals in the Comments!

Good luck, and happy shopping!


Hero image source.

“Best EVER Pumpkin Muffins”

With Thanksgiving happening this week, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes!

I’m definitely one of those people who love anything pumpkin-flavored. What can I say? Basic. I know there are millions of others out there just like me that will appreciate a yummy pumpkin recipe, so let’s jump right in, shall we?  The first recipe I’ll share is a muffin recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving Day breakfast (or just to munch on anytime, basically).

“Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins” 

*Found at


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place your paper liners in the muffin pan.
  2. Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a big bowl and mix them together.
  3. In a different bowl, mix together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour the ingredients from this bowl into the first bowl.
  4. Combine the two.  Try not to mix it too much.  You just need the powders to be mixed in enough.
  5. Using a large spoon, distribute the batter into each well. You want them to be full, to give them a nice shape. (I didn’t fill mine all the way up and they ended up looking small.)
  6. Set your timer for 20 minutes, and use a toothpick to make sure they’re cooked through the center.

I’ve never been an amazing baker, but this recipe was very easy to follow and the final product turned out delicious.  If anyone needs me I’ll be snacking on some muffins.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I am! 


Peek Inside My Birchbox 

Have you been considering a subscription to Birchbox but can’t decide if it’s worth it?  I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber for about 9 months now, and this month I’m going to let you have a peek at what was included in this month’s box (November 2016).

For those who don’t know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription ($10/month) that sends you 5 travel-sized beauty products in an adorable little box.  They also have a box specifically for men ($20/month).   The Birchbox website allows you to customize your profile so they send you the appropriate products for your needs.

Each month, they have a uniquely designed box, but it’s always just as beautiful as this one.

My November Box

1.Lavanila Pure Vanilla Fragrance |  Full size retails for $19-$58 

I’m not a huge fan of this scent. I’m not one who usually likes to wear vanilla-scented things; I prefer more of a citrus-scented perfume. I’d love this in candle form, though!

2. Davroe Ends Repair | Full size retails for $25

This is a leave-in treatment that’s supposed to help with preventing split ends and leave your hair soft and shiny.  I haven’t used this before so I’m anxious to see if it makes a difference.

3. Origins Modern Friction Nature’s gentle dermabrasion | Full size retails for $39.50

Here’s one I have used before.  It gives a gentle exfoliaton and leaves your skin feeling very smooth and clean.  They recommend using it 2-3 times a week, but I only did it once (sometimes twice) a week and felt like that’s all I needed.  My favorite product I received in this box, for sure!

4. Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream | Full size retails for $38 

I’m excited to try this product!  I’ve been struggling with under-eye dark circles since becoming pregnant and this eye cream says it will help soothe, hydrate, and promote anti-aging around the eyes, which I definitely need right now!  I have applied it once and noticed a little bit goes a long way, and it leaves your skin feeling really soft.  Can’t wait to see how my dark circles look after a few weeks of using this.

5. Chella Eyebrow Pencil- Tantalizing Taupe | Full size retails for $18 

I’m a huge fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, so I’m interested to see how this pencil measures up.  The color looks like it matches most brunettes’ brows, but the downside is that there’s no brush on the end to comb your brows after it’s applied.


I’ve had a good run with Birchbox, but now it’s time to try something new.  Next month I start a subscription with Sephora Play and can’t wait to see how it compares!  Overall I’ve been happy with the products I’ve received in my Birchbox, but I can say I have several tubes of product I haven’t even touched in my drawer because they don’t apply to me.  I’m saving them in case I do end up needing them one day. You never know! Hopefully this helps give you a better idea of what it’s like so you can decide if it’s something you’d like to try out.  Let me know about your Birchbox experience in the Comments! ✌🏽️

Dealing With Dry Skin

With the weather growing colder, many people are finding their skin feeling more dry, flaky and itchy. Dealing with dry skin can be tricky.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the right regimen that can actually make a difference.  First, let’s talk about what can cause dry skin in the first place.

Finding the Problem

Here are the most common causes of dry skin:

  • over-exfoliating
  • seasonal changes causing your skin to dry out
  • not moisturizing with the right lotion
  • hormone changes
  • a health issue such as psoriasis, or dermatitis
  • you are using a product that is too harsh

Once you can identify the culprit, you’re one step closer to finding the right solution.

Treating It

Make sure you’re using a very gentle cleanser. I recommend Aveda All Sensitive Cleanser because it’s very lightweight, and fragrance free.  Fragrance can sometimes cause more irritation.  You want to use a milky or creamy cleanser. Foams and gels can over-dry.

During the cold months, run a humidifier when you’re home.  Cold weather soaks all of the moisture out of the air, which then causes your skin to feel dry and itchy.

Take warm showers instead of hot ones.  Your skin has a natural oil barrier, and when you take hot showers it’s stripping the skin of that oil.  We need that barrier to trap moisture in our skin.

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Image source:

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  Do I need to say it again? Moisturize.  I recommend a lightweight moisturizer for the daytime, and a heavier cream at night.  Being consistent can help with replenishing your skin’s barrier.

Don’t over-exfoliate.  Many people think that exfoliating a lot can help smooth out those rough patches, but I actually think that it’s only necessary once or twice a week.  Exfoliating too often strips those oils from your skin, irritates it further, and can actually cause it to feel worse.  When choosing an exfoliant, stick to one that’s very gentle and doesn’t contain nutshells.  Nutshells can cause little scratches on the surface of your skin and make it feel rough and look red.

Avoid products that contain retinoids.  Yes, they help with signs of aging, but they cause your skin to thin out and become sensitive and flaky.

Best Lotion and Cream of 2016

If you’re looking for something to help you decide which products to use, did a study on finding the best face moisturizers.  They ultimately decided that the top daytime lotion of the year is Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30, and they decided the best cream to use at night is Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture.

My final piece of advice is to be consistent with your regimen to see the best results for smooth, healthy skin.

In the Tulsa Area?

Come visit me at Ihloff Salon and Day Spa for your skin consultation. Request Ashley Erdogan when booking your appointment.



Do-It-Yourself Cinnamon Face Scrub

I’m finally starting to get into the holiday spirit, and I found this yummy cinnamon scrub that is perfect for this time of year! It’s really easy to make, and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

This scrub is great for exfoliating and moisturizing, and has a bunch of other benefits as well which you can read more about below. Plus, it smells amazing!

The scrub recipe is from Not Quite Susie’s website

What You Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 Vitamin E Capsule

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The vitamin E helps with scarring, discoloration and fine lines and wrinkles. The coconut oil helps with moisturizing and smoothing fine lines. The cinnamon is an antibacterial, anti fungal, and an antiseptic so it’s great for clearing acne breakouts.

How To Prepare: 

  1. Combine all ingredients except vitamin E capsule in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Then poke a hole in the end of the Vitamin E capsule and squeeze to release oil into the mixture.
  3. Place mixture in an airtight container and store in a cool dark place until you’re ready to use.

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How To Use:

It’s very easy! All you do is wet your face, scoop out a little bit, and then work it into your face in small circles. You don’t need to apply much pressure; you want to avoid being abrasive. Work it in for about 30 seconds and then splash your face with cool water to remove.

I’ve only used it a few times, but so far I am loving it! It does a great job at sloughing off the dead skin and leaves your skin feeling smooth and fresh. This is one that would make a great gift, for sure. So go try it out and hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do!