Brown sugar and oatmeal: at home beauty treatments and yummy treats, too!

Today’s post comes from the amazing Ann-Catherin, author of the blog No Freshman Fifteen.  Ann-Catherin is young, gorgeous, and talented, and she specializes in turning healthy ingredients into easy to make, delicious food.  Today, she shares how to use brown sugar and oatmeal both as at-home beauty treatments and as wonderful treats to enjoy while getting beautiful.

The stunning Ann-Catherin from

The stunning Ann-Catherin from

The beginning of the new school year also marks the beginning of many commitments. Whether it be clubs, sports, or jobs, students are busy this time of year. I can speak from experience – I usually don’t get home until eight o’clock every evening. That’s when I start my homework.

Amid all that hustle and bustle, however, I think it’s important to find some family time. And for all you mothers or grandmothers with daughters or granddaughters, you need some special time bonding with your girl. It’s so easy to lose sight of things while rushing from ballet to swimming to the supermarket.

Chewy Snickerdoodles

Chewy Snickerdoodles

I’d like to propose something: an evening spent with your girl (if possible, no guys allowed) to get some much-needed “us” time. In honor of Beauty Info Zone, try a special beauty routine to pamper yourself. In honor of No Freshman Fifteen, make some treats to accompany the relaxation. Each beauty recipe/treat recipe share an easy to find ingredient.

I have two different beauty-recipe combinations, and you and your daughter or granddaughter can choose which one you like best. Try one or try both! The important thing is that you take time with each other and have a little fun.

Chewy Snickerdoodles dough

Chewy Snickerdoodles dough

Option 1: Brown Sugar Honey Scrub & Chewy Snickerdoodles

*Brown Sugar Facial Scrub

1 Tablespoon Raw Honey

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

  1. Place the honey and brown sugar in a bowl and mix together well.
  2. When applying, wash your face thoroughly. Then apply a small amount of scrub (roughly ½ teaspoon) to your skin and massage gently in a circular motion. Try to avoid your eyes. Rinse your face and pat dry, and enjoy your newly exfoliated, glowy skin!
Chewy Snickerdoodles

Chewy Snickerdoodles

Chewy Snickerdoodles


  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup nonfat, plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tablespoons smooth almond butter (
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
Chewy Snickerdoodles ready to bake...

Chewy Snickerdoodles ready to bake…


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the 1/3 Cup brown sugar, 4 Tablespoons of honey, ¼ Cup greek yogurt, 3 ounces cream cheese, 6 Tablespoons of almond butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 egg yolks into a large bowl.
  4. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well-blended. Make sure that there are no brown sugar or cream cheese clumps.
  5. Slowly add in 2/3 of a Cup all-purpose flour, continuing to mix.
  6. Add 2/3 of a Cup whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon. Beat with a mixer until well-combined.
  7. Combine 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon with 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  8. Drop the dough with a rounded tablespoon onto the parchment paper, leaving roughly an inch between cookies. Sprinkle a little of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and flatten them with the back of a spatula or fork. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over them.
  11. Bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  12. Let cool and enjoy 🙂 (They’re also great while still warm!)  Makes 2 dozen cookies.
Oatmeal...not just for cookies!

Oatmeal…not just for cookies

Option 2: Oatmeal Face Mask & Whole Grain ( Quick Bread

*Oatmeal Face Mask

2 Tablespoons rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

water (enough to make a paste)

  1. Grind the oats in a food processor.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and enough water to make a paste.
  3. Apply the mask to a clean, dry face for 10 minutes. Rinse to remove.
Whole Grain Quick Bread

Whole Grain Quick Bread

Whole Grain Quick Bread


  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut or slow-cooking rolled oats, uncooked
  • ½ Cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds (shell off)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of pepper & dash of salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup steel-cut or slow-cooking rolled oats, uncooked
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds (shell off)
Whole Grain Quick Bread

Whole Grain Quick Bread


  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×5 inch bread loaf pan with olive oil.
  3. Combine the 3 cups whole-wheat flour, ½ cup oats, ½ cup sunflower seeds, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a dash of pepper, and a dash of salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the 2 cups buttermilk to the egg.
  5. Add the egg and buttermilk to the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared bread loaf pan.
  7. Sprinkle ½ cup of oats and ¼ cup sunflower seeds over the top of the dough. Push it down with a spatula so that the oats and seeds won’t fall off when the bread is finished. Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. After making this bread, I spread some of the leftover cream cheese from the Snickerdoodles onto it. It was the best thing ever – warm bread with smooth cream cheese. Just a tip.
put on a little spread...yum!

put on a little spread…yum!

* All the recipes are from my blog No Freshman Fifteen.  The Brown Sugar Scrub is from The Kitchen McCabe and the Oatmeal Face Mask is from About Style.

Top 5 homemade skin care treatments with coconut oil

Nutiva collageSince I write about beauty for a living, I spend a lot of time researching skin care ingredients and how they affect the skin and body. I am also fascinated with ingredients that work from the inside out, like vitamins and foods that help create a strong body and a beautiful complexion.  I’ve started incorporating coconut oil into my diet in place of butter, shortening, and vegetable oil because it does three things:  1.  is easily processed by the liver into lots of energy; 2.  protects the body from infections, heart disease, and illness; and 3.  helps you lose weight.  Not only that, it tastes terrific.  So when Nutiva sent us their Coconut Oil (15 fl. oz $11.99), I was already happy – but not as happy as I became when I realized what a great ingredient it is for topical skin care.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil - organic and sustainable

Nutiva Coconut Oil – organic and sustainable

Coconut oil is solid at lower temperatures, and liquefies at temps above 76 degrees farenheit.  I find it’s best for skin care recipes when it is at that ‘almost about to melt’ stage.  I’ve tried tons of recipes for face masks, body scrubs, face cleansers, and hair treatments, and these are my top five favorites. Be sure to use organic and raw ingredients when you can!

1.  Coconut oil hand and body scrub

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix together and use this in the shower or just leave it next to the sink for a quick hand scrub.  It leaves hands super soft and moisturized.

2.  Moisturizing coconut oil facial mask

2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 mashed avocado

Mix together and apply immediately.  Leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes then rinse off.  This gives skin a great glow!

3.  Coconut oil facial cleanser

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 2 drops lavender oil – add some lemon juice if your skin is oily or prone to blackheads

This mixture dissolves even the most tenacious makeup and leaves skin hydrated.  Be sure to avoid the eye area – use straight coconut oil to remove eye makeup.  It’s the best.

4.  Coconut oil foot scrub

3 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

After scrubbing and rinsing off this scrub, apply straight coconut oil to feet then cover with socks – in the morning your feet will be amazingly soft.

5.  Coconut oil hair mask

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey – double the recipe for long hair.  Heat the mixture up on the stove for a great hot oil treatment.  Apply to dry hair from roots to ends, cover with a shower cap and let soak in for a half hour.  Then, shampoo and condition like normal and you will be astounded at how soft and shiny your hair has become.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Coconut oil by itself makes a great eye cream, lip moisturizer, and makeup remover!  I particularly like Nutiva Coconut Oil because it is:

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Virgin
  • Non-hydrogenated
  • No cholesterol
  • Made from fresh coconuts

Give homemade skin care treatments a try.  It’s a lot of fun, and the results are fabulous.  With the holidays coming up, homemade skin care treatments in cute little jars make great gifts (except for the one with avocado – that has to be used immediately).  Believe me, coconut oil is going to become your best friend, both in recipes for food and in recipes for skin care.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration