From the category archives:

Skin Care

15 Beautiful Uses for Tea Tree Oil

by Jami Summers on July 28, 2014 · 0 comments

It’s no secret that Tea Tree Oil is fantastic for clearing breakouts but most people don’t realize the versatility of this essential oil. One little bottle of this oil will assist with home cleaning chores, refreshen the air, and provide health benefits such as clearing chest congestion, zapping allergies, and boosting your immune system.

15 Beautiful Uses for Tea Tree Oil - by the Bionic Beauty blog

Background Intel
Tea Tree Oil (TTO), also known as Melaleuca Oil, is an essential oil derived from the Melaleuca tree which is native to parts of Australia and New Zealand. Tea Tree Oil is *not* the same as, or related to, green tea, white tea, or any other teas that you drink. TTO can be toxic if taken by mouth (i.e. swallowed) in large quantities. TTO has excellent antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. It also has some mild analgesic (pain reducing) properties.

I’d describe the scent as fresh, woody, herbaceous, and vaguely reminiscent of camphor and eucalyptus. If you have sensitive skin, like me, start with smaller amounts of TTO in the uses I’ve outlined. Tea Tree Oil is mild and I’ve never had a reaction, but everyone’s skin is unique. Start with less until you see how your skin behaves.

Tea Tree Oil Recipes & Tips
For easier reading, this list is roughly grouped by area of the body. Numbers 1 – 6: Face. Number 7: Hair. Numbers 8 – 12: Whole body. Numbers 13 – 15: Miscellaneous goodies.

  1. Clear a Current Breakout: Dab tea tree oil onto the pimple daily to dry it, pull to breakout to the surface, and speed healing.
    • Helpful Hint #1: Use a cotton swab to apply.
    • Helpful Hint #2: Never dip an already used cotton swab into your bottle of oil. You don’t want to contaminate the fresh tea tree oil in the bottle!
  2. Face Wash: Add 10-20 drops of the oil to your bottle of face wash. This functions as a great daily preventative for acne and breakouts.
  3. Facial Toner: Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil into a bottle of witch hazel for toner. Soak a cotton ball and swipe across face after washing. This gentle, yet super effective, toner helps clear and prevent breakouts, acne and pimples, tighten pores, balance skin’s pH … without drying your skin!
  4. Face Mask: Add two drops of tea tree oil to my DIY Green Clay Face Mask recipe. Helpful Hint: Spend a few extra minutes and read the comments section on that article because there are a ton of extra tips, tricks & recipes submitted by Bionic readers!
  5. Cold Sores: Use a cotton swab to dab TTO onto cold or canker sores twice a day. The tea tree oil will ease the discomfort and speed healing!
  6. Ingrown Hairs: Add a dab of TTO onto the ingrown hair and the surrounding area. Apply 1-2 times per day until the hair comes free.  The tea tree oil will help prevent infection; in addition to drawing the hair to the surface and loosening the follicle.
  7. Correcting Shampoo: Add a drop or two to the dollop of shampoo in your hand & wash like normal. Or mix 10-20 drops into your bottle of shampoo. Smells wonderful and helps clear up dandruff, itchies, or other scalp issues. This mix also puts the kibosh on product buildup without over-drying your hair or scalp!
  8. Body Wash for Acne or Clogged Pores: Pimples, blackheads, and other breakout varieties aren’t limited to your face. Resolve body breakouts by adding 10-15 drops of TTO to a bottle of dandruff shampoo. Shake well to combine. Apply to a shower pouf and gently scrub down your entire body.
    • Helpful Hint #1: For maximum benefit, let the mixture sit on your skin for a few minutes while you shave your legs, deep condition your hair, etc.
    • Helpful Hint #2: Look for a dandruff shampoo that has sulfur or a sulfur derivative listed as one of the main ingredients. Why? Because sulfur is absolutely awesome for clearing acne FAST.
  9. Body and Foot Scrub: Make your own simple, all-natural sugar scrub for your body and feet with this Bionic Beauty created, 3 ingredient recipe!
  10. Refreshing Foot + Leg Scrub: Refresh, soothe, smooth, and moisturize your footsies with this easy-to-make scrub recipe. The ingredients are easy to find- salt or sugar, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, jojoba oil. Swap the jojoba for coconut oil to save some a few dollars.
    • Helpful Hint: I love finding new ways to use my homemade skincare recipes. After a particularly grueling few days, I had shin splints, sore feet, and calf muscles that were beyond locked down.  A few minutes of massaging my feet and legs with this scrub made my legs feel like they’d had a professional massage!
  11. Body Moisturizer and Massage Oil: Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply to skin for moisture extraordinaire; or recruit a friend/family member to massage it into your aching muscles.
  12. Bugs Be Gone Repellent: Fill a spritzer bottle with a 50/50 mix of water and witch hazel. Add a couple drops of citronella oil and a couple drops of tea tree oil for an all-natural bug repellent spray.
  13. Mouth Wash + Breath Freshener: Combine 1/4 cup of purified water and 1 drop of tea tree oil. Swish around in your mouth like normal mouthwash. Spit it out. Just like toothpaste: Do. Not. Swallow.
  14. Nail Fungus Treatment: I’ve had great success clearing nail fungus on myself and others using tea tree oil.
    • Method 1: Use a cotton swab to apply the oil directly to all edges of the nail/nail bed. Try to get some up under the free edge of the nail. Treat once per day.
    • Method 2: Add 10-15 drops of TTO to a pan of warm water (just enough water to cover your toes or hands). Soak your hands or feet for about 15 minutes, twice a week. Pat dry with a soft towel. Then air dry the area completely before covering (for example – don’t put on socks or sneakers for at least 30 minutes!).
    • Method 3: Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil to a bottle of carrier oil. My recommended carrier oils: Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, or Almond oil. Mix well. Apply a bit of the mixture daily to nails, nail bed, and work some under the free edge of the affected nail(s). Treat once a day or a few times per week. Helpful Hint: Get 2 benefits for the price of 1 by slathering on before bed, slip your feet into some cotton socks (or hands in cotton gloves). Treatment is done while you sleep and you’ll have wonderfully moisturized feet/hands!
  15. Aromatherapy: 1 drop lavender oil + 1 drop tea tree oil. Apply to pulse points for relaxation, tension release, and to treat migraine/sinus headaches. Breathe deeply.
    • Feeling under-the-weather? This aromatherapy mix boosts the responses of your immune system which will help you battle off any pesky sick bugs.

Do you have any tips or secrets ways of working Tea Tree Oil into your beauty regimen? And remember, in the wise words of G.I. Joe “Knowing is half the battle” – so don’t be shy. Ask questions and share your knowledge.

Stay bionic and beautiful,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

P.S. If you enjoyed this list of goodies, you’ll love “15 Beautiful Uses for Jojoba Oil“!

Beauty Tips for Getting Rid of Stress

by Bionic Beauty on July 18, 2014 · 0 comments

No matter what your occupation is, stress is all relative. Whether you are working a 9-5 office job, chasing after children or frantically researching for an essay, you need a break from the grind once in a while. It doesn’t have to break the bank either, although a teeny bit of budget set aside for your stress-busting needs can go a long way.

Beauty tips for getting rid of stress
Image source: flickr.com/photos/jalon_dna

First things first, get down to Holland & Barrett to grab a pot of coconut oil. The stuff is quite frankly magical and can be applied and even cooked with to reap a multitude of health benefits. Use it as a post shower, overnight hair mask to eliminate damage, upsetting dandruff and fatigued looking tresses. It is a safe ingredient over drugstore lotions and potions for combating dry or flaky skin, and acts as an anti-aging agent. Using it in cooking helps brighten the skin and eyes, speeds up your metabolism and even boosts your immune system! That means less prominent dark circles, less spots and generally feeling good!

A one off massage is a great way to get to ward off stress from your week. However don’t be fooled… massage is more than self-indulgence. A good massage will relieve tension held in your body, reducing the regularity of any recurring pain or injuries. It improves your skin tone and heightens your cognitive awareness and activity. Your temperament will feel lighter, and challenging tasks can become clearer. If you’re sitting at a desk hunched over a computer all day, a massage is a worthy investment, as staying in this position all day every day can have catastrophic effects on your back and shoulders. Set an alarm to go off every half an hour and just take a couple of minutes to stand up, walk around and have a stretch, as this will lessen the effects of a static desk job. When you’re at home, take ten minutes before you go to bed to do some simple stretches, as this will not only help you fall asleep more quickly but it will give your body a foundation for overnight healing!

A more budget sensitive option is to raid your kitchen cupboards for budget beauty essentials. One option is a sea salt bath to polish all the dirt, dead skin and stress away, followed by a good night’s sleep. It cannot be stressed more how important getting enough sleep is, as this is when your body does all of the patching up you need to get through the next tumultuous day. If you’re struggling through on 5 hours a night, you are impeding any health benefits sleep gives you. You’ll look tired, haggard and concentration for long periods of time will be a thing of the past. After a solid 7 hours minimum and a nice hot shower, place some cooled tea bags on your eyes for extra relaxation and to reduce puffiness. Eat a protein rich breakfast, as this will give you long-lasting energy, thus banishing stress due to sleepiness.

Reduce stress with rest and massage
Image source: flickr.com/photos/anoldent

It’s worth looking after yourself no matter what your budget is, you’ve only got one set of body and mind, so take good care of it. Sleep well, eliminate processed foods during the week, drink plenty of water and set aside time for yourself. It’s important to find a balance. Don’t make yourself miserable with a brutal regime of dieting and exercising, but find a little time for it in amongst seeing friends, work and hobbies. After all, everything in moderation!

About the Guest Author: Elizabeth Finney is a young writer from London, predominantly writing about fashion, lifestyle and culture. Aside from writing, her hobbies include music, traveling and theatre.

Free beauty samples on the Bionic Beauty blogReady for some beautiful freebies Bionic Beauties??? There are some exceptionally grand ones in this group. Enjoy them! And as always, feel free to post a link to any freebies *you* find in the comments below.

+  Looking for some love for your locks?  Try out the new L’Oreal Triple Resist Advanced Haircare shampoo and conditioner.  The first Q of the short survey asks which blog told you about the freebie – sadly Bionic Beauty is not listed, so just pick another at random.

+  Moisturize your summer skin with a free sample of Eucerin skin lotion when you take their Skin First pledge.  Plus you get to pick which lotion version you’d like to sample!  For the record, I chose the “Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin” lotion.  Open to USA residents only.

+  Spice up the man in your life -or- just use this fragrance sample to scent your sock drawer… either way, grab a freebie of Dolce & Gabbana The One cologne for men.  Open to Bionic Beauties living in France only.

+  Carefree is offering free sample packs of tampons or liners for Aussie Bionic Beauties.  If you’re a Bionic New Zealander, grab your samples here.

+  Grab your choice of free Poise liner or pads sample packs.  Side note: Did anyone else see the Jennifer Garner movie, 13 Going On 30?  Whenever I hear the word “poise” I can’t help but think of that movie.

+  While this one isn’t truly a beauty freebie, I’m including it since I love the stuff. BioFreeze pain gel helps with my achy joints and ongoing chronic pain – so it might help some of you as well!

+  For salon/beauty professionals only:  Fill out a quick survey and get a free, full-size Invisible Dry Shampoo by Style Edit.

+  For salon/beauty pros only: Enter your salon name, answer a few quick questions, and you can get a free sample of Kenra Volume Hair Spray to test on yourself or your clients.

Hugs and fabulous freebies,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog


Are you thinking of enhancing your physical appearance and boosting your mental well-being with cosmetic surgery? The last thing you want to do is blindly rush into it like you would a new haircut. It’s best to weigh your options in order to find a procedure that’s right for you and a doctor who’s qualified to help. Keep the following five tips in mind as you start preparing for surgery and you’ll stand a better chance of satisfaction at the end of the day.

5 Things to Know Before Undergoing Plastic Surgery
Image Source: Lazare/Pixabay
  1. Research can make a world of difference. Start your search on the internet, where you can look up and compare procedures, surgeons, dermatologists, and clinics. Most reputable clinics have websites where you can learn more about fees, read patient reviews, and view before and after photographs. You can also verify that a particular doctor is accredited before you even make initial contact. This can save you time and money.
  2. Different surgeons specialize in different procedures. Although many surgeons are jacks-of-all-trades, many specify in a certain area. If you’re interested in an eyebrow lift, you probably wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who specializes in breast augmentation. Surgeons develop reputations over time for being the best at a certain procedure, so narrow down the field to find a doctor suiting your needs.
  3. It’s recommended to have a complete physical first. You may have done your research and decided that you’re ready to go in for a rhinoplasty Sydney at drjeremyhunt.com.au, for example. Yet if it’s been years since you’ve had a standard physical, you may not be ready for surgery just yet. It’s important to have the proper assessments completed before you go in for any surgery, taking note of any medical issues that the surgeon should be aware of. This greatly reduces your chance of complications during and after surgery.
  4. You can have more than one consultation. It’s always a good idea to have a full consultation before the day of surgery. This provides you with the opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations, and to ask any questions you may have. At this time, you can also get a feel for the doctor and whether or not you feel comfortable. If a physician makes you feel uncomfortable or seems overly pushy, don’t be afraid to schedule another consultation elsewhere. You can shop around before making a decision.
  5. Recovery times can vary. You may have a friend who healed from their laser treatment after only 24 hours, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll react the same way. Different types of skin can react in different ways to procedures, and everyone handles surgery differently. Your pre-existing health conditions and genetics will influence how you handle treatments and recover, which is why the consultation is such an important part of the process.

Weigh the pros and cons of surgery carefully before you agree to any procedure. All procedures have potential risks and side effects, so you’ll need to keep these in mind. It helps to make a list of any questions you may have before you sit down with the doctor of your choice, in order to discuss whether you are a good candidate for plastic surgery. With a bit of care and research, you can increase your chances of success!

Where should your derm check for skin cancer?

by Jami Summers on June 2, 2014 · 0 comments

With summer almost upon us – or if you’re in the south like me, it has been here for a month now – gentle reminders on sunny skin care are always welcome.

For example, did you know that your family doctor or dermatologist should be checking between your toes for signs of skin cancer?
I didn’t.

On that note, this quickie guide detailing nine places your doc should be checking for skin cancer is worth a read through. Unless I truly am the only person out there who lacked the between-the-toes intel…

TotalBeauty.com
9 Sneaky Places Skin Cancer Hides

Make sure your derm is checking these spots during your visit

9 Sneaky Places Skin Cancer Hides

This is a TotalBeauty.com Health & Beauty article

Skin cancer can hide in some awkward or weird places — but don’t let your embarrassment allow skin cancer to be overlooked. Your dermatologist should always check these nine places (yes, including your bum and even between your toes). If they aren’t, it’s time to get a new doctor.

See where skin cancer hides

Enjoy the sun and say hey to your doc for me!
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog