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*Sam's Natural Beauty Tips*
Tip #1: The Camu Camu Face Mask

INTRO:

The camu camu face mask, or rather, the 'myrciaria dubia' mask, is my new favorite thing to do when I wake up in the morning. It's so healing and healthy for the skin and always makes it feel so soft. Not only do I put it on my face as a mask, but I also sprinkle a tiny bit in some water and drink it first thing when I wake up. Camu camu famously has 10x more vitamin C than 1 orange. Vitamin C is immune boosting, a natural energy booster, is heart-healthy, has been linked to a lower cancer rate, and lower blood pressure, and is an anti-viral. Who wouldn't want to consume a healthy, potent dash of all this goodness upon first waking up?

INFO / AWARENESS:

Myrciaria dubia is a small tree from the Amazon rainforest in Peru and Brazil. It bears a red/purple, tart, cherry-like fruit. This fruit is extremely high in vitamin C content and that's why it's considered a 'superfood' (or 'superhero food' as I prefer to call it). 

Wild camu camu fruit has long been used by the people native to where it grows, unknown to mostly everyone else. But in our current, technologically-driven, information-saturated, global culture, almost nothing can be kept a secret anymore. Once people from around the world found out about its health benefits, it became very popular - advertised and advocated as a necessary addition to one's health-food cabinet. 

With camu camu's recent, extreme popularity on a global scale, it means large-scale cultivation of this species of plant which has caused serious issues. Overharvesting of camu camu has threatened to make it an endangered species. Overharvesting is a very bad thing. It fucks with the ecosystem of that particular area.

As a consumer, one should be responsible, which means being aware of exactly what you're buying and exactly where it comes from. Thus, when purchasing camu camu powder, it is very important that it is sustainably harvested, organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO. According to my research, I found 3 companies that fit the bill: Navitas Organics (https://www.swansonvitamins.com/navitas-naturals-raw-camu-camu-powder-3-oz-pkg), Sunfood Superfoods (https://www.vitacost.com/sunfood-raw-organic-camu-camu-powder), and Kiva (https://www.kivahealthfood.com/products/camu-camu-berry-powder). If purchasing from a different company that sells camu camu, that's totally fine, but just always be sure to do proper research before purchasing so as to avoid advocating unsustainable practices that fuck up ecosystems. 

THE MASK (the one starring Camu Camu, not Jim Carrey):

Ok, back to the mask. Once you have your super-duper healthy, sustainably harvested camu camu powder, the only other thing you need is water. And then you make the paste, and apply! The consistency is up to you. If you like a thinner mask, just add more water. Mix with a clean finger and then apply paste to face and any other part of the body that is calling out for some vitamin C goodness. 

Leave on for 10-20 min, then gently wash off with lukewarm or cold water. In my experience, camu camu is extremely non-irritating to the skin. It doesn't dry your face out like a clay mask would. But, if left on for too long, it can still dry your face out a little bit, which is not what you want of course. So definitely set a timer, or keep your eyes peeled to a trusty clock. 

I've done this mask multiple days in a row with no issue. Like I said, it's very non-irritating. But, I think it's always better for your skin to give it a break. So, I'd suggest doing it every other day at the most. And taking a longer break from it, too every once in awhile. In my experience, giving your skin a break from any routine is always a good thing to do. 

The great thing about this mask is that it's edible. I believe this is always a good rule of thumb when deciding what beauty products to use. If you can't eat it, don't use it! On the days you're taking a break from putting it on your face, you can sprinkle a tiny bit in water and drink it (you only need the tiniest bit because it's very potent). This way, you still get the health benefits to your skin without having to actually put it on your skin. It's like magic! Yay!     

This mask is just so freakin' cool. It keeps the skin healthy, preventing wrinkles, and helping to repair blemishes (or as I like to call them, boo-boos). Yay for camu camu! Three cheers for myrciaria dubia! Now try saying 'myrciaria dubia' 10 times really fast. Wow, you did it! You're truly an amazing genius! Yay!