Why coffee is my natural beauty must have!

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There are few things in life I love more than coffee. Seriously, as a mum of two young kids I credit coffee as the secret weapon that got me through many a sleepless night and early morning start. But aside from being a super delicious natural stimulant, did you know that coffee beans also have some pretty amazing benefits for your skin?  Yep, coffee is now used in everything from natural eye serums and body scrubs to facemasks.

So what is it about coffee that makes it a must have ingredient for your natural beauty cabinet? Well, there are actually quite a few benefits to using coffee in your skincare routine, but here are my top three:

It packs an antioxidant punch
Coffee is packed with antioxidant molecules that can help to fight skin damage caused by pollution, sunlight and free radicals (molecules which damage cell structure). The antioxidants in coffee can also increase collagen production, which can help to smooth fine lines in the skin.

It brightens dull skin
When used in a facemask, coffee can help to brighten the skin by increasing blood flow. Apparently, while you have that facemask on coffee will also help to unclog pores and gently exfoliate. Double win.

It increases circulation
Coffee based scrubs have been extremely popular for a while now and for good reason. Aside from offering excellent (if a little messy) natural exfoliation, when used in a scrub coffee can temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite. If you want a little more cellulite busting help, consider adding a couple of drops essential oils likes grapefruit, juniper or fennel to a homemade coffee scrub.

If you would love the benefits of exfoliating with coffee but without the mess, then take a peep at our new Fairtrade Coffee, Bitter Orange and Spices bar. Made with both brewed and ground fairtrade coffee, this soap offers both a gentle cleanse and exfoliation with natural ingredients. Plus we have been told that this bar smells delish!

Now that you know just a few of the amazing benefits of introducing coffee into your skincare routine, are you keen to have a go at creating your own diy product?  If the answer is yes, then here is a super easy recipe I recently formulated for a coffee lip scrub inspired by our new coffee bar.  It is simple to make and is perfect now that we are heading into winter in Australia.

Coffee, Orange and Spices DIY Lip Scrub

What you will need

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Coffee Grounds (finely ground espresso)

  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder

  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder

  • 1-2 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil (optional addition)

  • Microwave safe bowl

  • Spoon

  • Small sterile jar with lid

Method

  • Make sure the coconut oil is soft/semi melted but not hot, as you don’t want to dissolve sugar. I usually stand the coconut oil jar in warm water to melt, but you can microwave if you are in a hurry.

  • Add essential oil (if desired) to soft coconut oil and mix thoroughly

  • In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coffee grounds.

  • Thoroughly sugar mixture with coconut oil.

  • Transfer to a small airtight container and pop in fridge to firm up. The coconut oil will harden, giving the scrub a balm like consistency.

  • Use once a week by gently rubbing a small amount on to lips in circular motions.

  • Dab with a warm wash cloth to remove scrub and finish off with dab of your favourite natural lip balm.

So there you have it! Coffee is such an amazing ingredient and there are so many ways you can use it. Do you have a favourite natural beauty recipe with coffee? If you so, I would love to hear about it. Why not share with us in the comments so we can give it a try.

Till next time

Mandy

 

We love our lumps and bumps

If you have ever come across a ME-MO bar of soap one of the first things you may notice is its appearance.

The look of our bars are quite different to the perfectly shaped, smooth and shiny bars you often find in the supermarket, which are usually made from a pre-bought melt down base (and often contain palm oil). While every batch of ME-MO soap looks slightly different, you may notice air bubbles on the surface of the bar, the occasional lump and bump or an imperfect corner. The appearance of our soap is all down to the process I have chosen to create our ME-MO goodies.

Prior to launching ME-MO, I spent a long time as a curious soapmaker, experimenting with a range of different methods for making soap. At this point I was using the most popular soap making method known as ‘cold process’. The cold process method allows you to create a smooth and natural bar of soap, often with beautiful colours and swirls. There are many talented cold process soap makers out there who create bars that are almost akin to a piece of modern art. While I enjoyed this form of soap making, over time I became less interested in making decorative soaps and more focused on the natural ingredient possibilities.  So I decided ME-MO would focus on high quality, natural ingredients that benefited the skin and allowed me to avoid using palm oil. If you aren't aware, palm oil has horrendous impacts on the environment and orangutans.

The aesthetics of the bar would always be driven by the ingredients and not the other way around.  

To give you an idea of how soap is created, the majority soap makers create their bars by mixing all of the base ingredients (including essential oils and delicate extracts) with sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is an absolutely essential ingredient in soap making and when mixed with oil and butters a chemical reaction known as saponification takes place.  Saponification involves the ingredients reaching very high temperatures and essentially turning into soap. No sodium hydroxide remains in the finished bars.

I was concerned about the impact the sodium hydroxide and extreme temperatures were having on the oil infusions and delicate botanical extracts I was using. So I decided to explore alternative methods for creating my bars. After much research and experimentation, I happily settled on the hot process method of soap making.  

The hot process method involves adding all of the skin loving goodies once the soap has gone through the saponification process. This means that the by the time we add our macerated oils (i.e. calendula or chamomile infused oil), extracts and essential oils, the soap is the perfect pH for the skin and super mild. This process minimises delicate ingredient degradation, ensuring maximum benefit to the skin.

While we love our method of soap making it does have its limitations. The hot process method does not allow for decorative swirls and often results in a bars with air bubbles and the occasional lump and bump.  

However, this aesthetic suits our brand to a tee, as ME-MO is not in the business of creating decorative soaps, but rather simple, gentle bars with innovative ingredient combinations that nourish the skin and delight the senses. 

Love
Mandy

A Brief Hello!

Hello! Thanks so much for stopping past our new website and blog.

After a busy Christmas period I am very excited to finally have the online store and blog up and running. I plan to use this blog to give you a 'behind the scenes' look at our business and everything that goes into designing and making soap. There will also be plenty of information on our ingredients, competitions, new product releases and things that inspire us, as well as some healthy living and natural bath and body ideas. 

Given this is our first ever post, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Mandy and I am the founder of ME-MO, a natural soap company based in Adelaide, South Australia.  ME-MO is a complete labour of love and I personally formulate and create all of our soaps by hand. I am also the person you will meet if you visit our stall at the markets or speak with if you flick us an email. I love being involved in every aspect of my business, but I am also very fortunate to have amazing team of people helping behind the scenes. 

It is my love for making soap (it is addictive, trust me) and an interest in naturals remedies that led to the creation of my brand. I am extremely passionate about showing people the benefits of natural soap, but coming from a graphic design background I didn't connect with the muted brand aesthetic that is often associated with natural products. I believe that natural can still look and feel playful, lighthearted and engaging and I hope this is reflected in the branding, products and blog. 

If you haven't already, you may want to check out our 'Friends of ME-MO' button on the homepage. We are offering regular sale discounts, promotions and competitions for those who sign up to our mailing list. We also regularly seek product testers for our new soaps and would love to involve you guys!  We will do a shout out via our mailing list when new products are ready to be road tested. We will only send emails to you when there is something we think our customers will love. No spam… I promise. 

Love
Mandy