What Do Seaweed and Vanilla Have in Common?

Depending on the time of day you are relaxing on the shores of Paje, Zanzibar you may see some very different settings.

When the tide is high, the beach feels busier. You can hear music from a close by restaurant, waves crashing and children playing. The water may come up to only a few meters away from your beach towel, and to your right, you can see dozens of kite surfers!

When the tide retreats the beach is a whole new place. People leave the beach to find their hotel pools, and the atmosphere becomes peaceful and calm. You no longer hear the waves because the water is so far away. You can walk 40 minutes out into the ocean, where the water would have once been as high as your shoulders.

Among this peacefulness, you will notice something strange out where the water was once a few feet deep. Perfectly lined sticks poke up from the sand. seaweed-farm

This is where the Seaweed Center grows their seaweed! When the tide is low, they are able to go out and collect the Eucheuma Spinosum, the particular type of red seaweed used in their very special products! The seaweed has many natural health benefits like antioxidants, antibacterial and antiviral properties, high levels of vitamin E, as well as being a natural source of collagen.

collect

The Seaweed Center uses the seaweed to make soaps, body scrubs, body oils and even juice. (The scrubs smell heavenly!)You can stop by their beautiful store/production facilities to buy their products or get a tour! You get to learn how they make their natural soap and even join them to harvest the seaweed.

soap

We think the Seaweed Center is excellent because they believe in supporting their community, sourcing organic and local materials in Tanzanian and using high-quality ingredients, just like NEI! They began 2013, and they have lots more plans for the future!

Check out their Facebook and definitely drop by to see them if you are in Zanzibar!

 

Chocolatey Relaxing Face Mask, YES PLEASE

yogurtThis face mask is great after a long, hot, tiring day! It is calming and cooling and the best part…chocolatey!

It is very simple to put together! Just plain yogurt, raw honey and cacao extract! All 3 ingredients do wonders for your skin!

Yogurt contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural skin exfoliator yet is very gentle! High concentrations of lactic acid also make yogurt face masks hydrating because the lactic acid increases water content in the skin. An awesome bonus to yogurt is that it is a source of zinc, a mineral known for its skin repairing, healing and protecting abilities. Zinc reduces skin inflammation, quickly healing acne breakouts while also reducing excessive oil production.

Raw honey, besides tasting amazing, is also a natural antibacterial!  How cool it that?! “Raw” means that the honey hasn’t been damaged by heat, for example, lots if hone is pasteurized. This process heats up the honey to kill microorganisms, and is often done to reduce the likelihood of the honey crystallizing. But the process kills lots of the good stuff about honey that should be celebrated and utilized!  Here is a good read that better explains the problems with honey pasteurization.

So find raw honey!

Raw honey’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties making it great for healing the skin (it is even good for healing cuts and burns by killing bacteria and fungus). Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, an acid that brightens the complexion, evens out skin tone, and lightens scars and age spots.

Cacao extract adds a lovely aroma to this mask but also offers tons of antioxidants for your skin. Cacao has antioxidants called flavonoids, which are great for stimulating blood circulation in the skin, smoothing fine lines, and giving you a rosy glow, it is also a potent anti-inflammatory, and can help soothe redness and reduce blemishes. Extracts are a great way to get a high concentration of antioxidants!

If you want to make this mask extra rich and luxe add some cocoa powder for an extra addition of chocolatey goodness.

In small bowl, mix:

  • 3 tbsp of plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp of Epicurious Hedgehog Cacao Extract
  • 1 tbsp Epicurious Hedgehog Cocoa Powder (optional)

Apply the mixture to your face in a thin yet complete layer. Relax while wearing the mask for 20 minutes then rinse with warm water! I like to use this mask 2-3 times a week to keep my skin fresh and calm.

Hope you enjoy it and have a relaxing week!

For more information about Epicurious Hedgehog and Natural Extracts Industries, head to our website!