Everyone wants gorgeous, healthy skin that looks and feels youthful right? Well, mother nature has already provided everything that you need to accomplish this task. Before there was an expensive beauty product to address every woe from rough cuticles to dry skin, women took a more natural approach. Below are some natural recipes and methods for attaining healthy and youthful looking skin.
Avocado Oil – The fatty acids in avocados help balance your skin moisture levels and give you a dose of anti-oxidant vitamins A, C, and E to protect your skin from damage.
* Combine equal amounts of avocado oil and evening-primrose oil in a sealable bottle and shake. Optionally a couple drops of rose or frankincense essential oils. Massage 5 or 6 drops into your skin and then cover with a warm washcloth for a few minutes.
Almond Meal – This simple ingredient makes the easiest every exfoliating cream for you skin and is gentle enough to use on your face.
Egg Facials – Yes, eggs are more then just edible. They can be a key ingredient to fabulous skin! Their high protein levels also help restore luster to your hair.
* Beat an egg white until stiff. Add one teaspoon of honey. Stir together and fluff onto your face. After 30 minutes, splash off with cold water.
* Using a cotton puff, apply egg white to your face and let it dry for up to 30 minutes. Splash off with lukewarm and then cold water.
Milk – The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant and the fat acts as a moisturizer.
* Add a gallon of whole milk to your bathwater and soak.
Oatmeal – It is more than just breakfast food. Oatmeal is soothing and anti-inflammatory.
* Put a handful of oats in a washcloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip the oats into a sinkful of warm water, squeezing every time you lift it out. Do this until the water is cloudy and then splash the water on your face and allow to air dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Beside having amazing healing properties, apple cider vinegar keeps skin supple. It’s heavy concentration of enzymes helps peel off dead skin cells.
* Instead of using cleanser, moisturizer and/or toner, mix about 2-3 cups of distilled water with a 1/2 cup of raw organic, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.
* Mix apple cider vinegar in your bath water along with Rosemary and Lavender essential oils for an invigorating bath.
Sugar Scrub –
* Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub – Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water.
Carrots – Carrots are very high in vitamin A and a source of vitamin C, folacin and potassium.
* Cook 2-3 carrots, then mash. Mix with 4 teaspoons honey. Apply gently to the skin, wait 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.
Don’t need to visit the beauty counter, visit your own fridge and pantry!
Are you looking for a facial toner or facial spray that is soothing, hydrating, refreshing, and ever so gentle? Well, this may be the the recipe for you. It is all of the above and oh so good for your skin. The witch hazel and floral water cleanse the skin, the glycerin helps lock in moisture, and the aloe, lavender, and chamomile soothe and balance.
Rose essential oil is amazing for the skin but it is also very expensive. A hydrosol is a floral water leftover from the steam distillation of plant materials. It is like an essential oil but far less concentrated and in the case of rose hydrosol, it gives us affordable access to this lovely plant essence.
Make it according to your own needs and skin type. If it feels a tad sticky then use less glycerin. If your skin feels dry and not supple then add more glycerin and perhaps a touch of almond or avocado oil. It’s an easy to make facial cleanser and it is a snap to use. No muss, no fuss beauty!
Rose & Lavender Facial Cleanser & Toner Spray
2 ounces rose water or rose hydrosol
1 ounce witch hazel
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
6 drops lavender essential oil
4 drops chamomile essential oil
Add all ingredients to a small glass bottle with a fingertip mister, shake, and voila! Shake before each use and keep it in a cool, dark place for up to six months. After spritzing allow your skin to air dry.
Over the years we have had it drilled into our brains that too much sun exposure is bad for us. Sun bathing? Bad, gives you cancer. Tanning? Way bad, gives you cancer and makes you look like a saddle bag by the time you are 30. We have also heard throughout our lives that that the best way to protect our skin and health is to lather ourselves in sunscreen every day, frequently. The American Cancer Society has stated that 80% of our total lifetime sun exposure occurs within the first 18 years of life. This means that children in particular are at risk and that by the time an individual become cognizant of the damage they may be doing due to sun exposure, it is too late. Perhaps this is why children are probably the most likely to be to be smothered in sunscreens by well meaning parents. All that slathering though may be of concern as well. What exactly is in sunscreen? Is it helpful or harmful?
Let’s be real. Protection from the sun is very important but the chemicals we put on our skin can be harmful, especially to our children and that means we need to be concerned about what is in these sunscreens we are putting on ourselves and our children throughout our lives. Typical sunscreens have LOTS of chemicals. Many of those chemical ingredients are pretty nasty. The skin care industry has had to increase the level of chemical compounds in sunscreen in order to raise the sun protection factor (SPF). These compounds soak into the skin.
Upon absorption into the skin, sunscreen can actually form the very dangerous compounds it was meant to block. Researchers found that some commonly used ultraviolet (UV) filters actually soak into the skin’s layers and from there can generate harmful components called reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are substances that can cause skin cancer. Cancer from the product meant to protect from cancer? Yikes.
In addition to the cancer risk, many sunscreen chemicals also have estrogen-like effects. Estrogen is a hormone that affects many aspects of the female body development and functions. Too much exposure to toxic estrogenic chemical sunscreens can increase cancers and cause birth defects in children. Children’s organs are more sensitive to estrogen exposure and can develop abnormalities at their early stages (including embryo, fetus and toddler stages) if exposed. Estrogen mimicking chemicals can also cause other conditions such as fibroids, miscarriage, breast cancer, man-boobs in boys and men, thyroid problems, diabetes, etc. Here are some of the common sunscreen ingredients and their associated “issues”.
So what do we NEED to know before we buy sunscreen so that we can stay safe from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure AND the harmful effects of conventional toxic laden sunscreen products? Here are three tips…
Sun Smarts Come Before Sunscreen
Before we reach for a bottle of sunscreen we need to use our noggin and think about ways we can minimize harmful exposure. Sunscreen will always have a place but we can use less of it if we also utilize sun hats, coverups, wraps, scarves, shade umbrellas, and shades areas outdoors. We can’t forget that sun exposure is a GOOD thing. We need sunlight exposure for good health so I will rarely apply sunblock to myself or my kids unless we are going to be in the sun for a prolonged length of time. Otherwise I just let them get some sun and/or use protective clothing to diminish risk. So for a few hours at the zoo…not likely to use it but I will have hats and sunglasses for them and we will be mindful to seek out some shade when we need it. But for an all day trip to the beach…yes I will bring some sunscreen.
Sun Protection Can Be Enhanced By Diet
Good health comes from eating healthy foods. A diet rich in processed foods, grains and sugar will not provide our bodies with the building blocks needed to regenerate healthy tissues, organs, and skin. Sun exposure on a junk food diet is surely going to result in burns and skin damage because the skin just isn’t healthy and resilient the way it is meant to be. We need to be eating foods that give us all the best building materials for healthy cells and skin. This includes lots of saturated fats (yay for coconut oil!), foods rich in omega 3s (fish!), nutrient dense foods like eggs and organ meats, and lots of leafy greens. Summer is also a great time to supplement with cod liver oil, fermented butter oil, vitamin D3, and Vitamin C.
Choose Safer Sunscreens
Avoid the sunscreen isles at drug stores, it’s pretty much all crap. I highly recommend checking out the EWG Skin Deep database for suncreen ratings. All the ones you grew up with are likely on the naughty list but there are several companies make good sunscreen products nowadays. One company that rates very well is Goddess Garden Organics sunscreens. A quick search of the database reveals that most of their sunscreens rate as a one. The lower the number the better and there is no zero, so an excellent rating. Compare the unsavory ingredients list pictured above to the one below with the ingredients found in Goddess Garden sunscreens. It is very refreshing!
I have been using three of their products in my own home for awhile now. I have the Lavender Mint Daily Lotion (SPF 15), the Sunny Face natural sunscreen (SPF 30), and the Sunny Kids Sport Spray (SPF 30). The continuous spray is the only mineral sunscreen in a spray on the market. Additionally, the facial sunscreen is one of two sunscreens on the market with Immortelle Essential Oil, and anti-aging element that evens out skin complexion and makes your skin look more radiant. Both of these aspects make the products pretty special.
Lots of people love to use continuous spray sunscreens because they are so much easier to apply than lotions, especially where wiggly kids are concerned and when multiple applications will be needed throughout the day. Facial sunscreens are often used to protect our facial skin from the signs of aging and skin damage so one that actually helps improve your complexion while it protects it is awesome. Goddess Garden Organics has a full line-up of sunscreen products for every need. I love the Lavender Mint daily lotion. It is perfect for applying when you will be out for shorter periods of time… a 5K, a hike on your favorite trail, a trip to the zoo, etc.
They are high quality, they work, and they are safe. I feel good using these products on myself and my kids. A safer sunscreen is just one part of a three part plan to stay safe in the sun but it is an essential part and these sunscreens have us covered…literally.
Goddess Garden Organics provided products for this review. All opinions are my own.
Deodorant is a hot topic among crunchy, natural, health-minded folks. Conventional deodorant has lots of nasty ingredients and more than one report coming from the scientific community has hinted at a possible link between the nasties in deodorant and beast cancer. Just a quick gander at breast cancer rates and you may soon find yourself freaking out about what kind of deodorant you are using. Think about this tidbit. It is said that it only takes 26 seconds for a body care product to be absorbed into our bloodstream. That should make us very aware of what we use on our skin, no?
Putting toxic chemicals under your arms stinks! That’s why MightyNest, an internet retailer of extraordinarily high quality and safe products for your home and family, asked me to put non-toxic Pit Paste to the test. Find out why you should choose a natural deodorant, then take the pledge below. Your pits will thank you, and you could win a Happy Pit Pack from MightyNest!
But I digress…
No one wants to smell bad, especially a woman. Yet we are are the ones getting breast cancer for the most part so we have to take special care that we are not slathering our pits with carcinogenic products or ones that will mess with our hormones (think parabens). We want to smell nice and we want a safe way to achieve that goal. The answer quite clearly is to use a more natural product right?
Well, yes. The problem for me though is that I have tried oodles and oodles of deodorant products that make the claim to be healthier and safer. Some of them actually did fit this bill. The problem though is that they didn’t work . After a couple hours their odor fighting ability cancelled out and left me thinking that I must go back to the toxic stuff. I won’t name brands but I have literally tried several dozen natural deodorants and never ever found one I liked until Primal Pit Paste.
I have been using it for about a week now and I am one happy camper. The ingredients are all natural: organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, and essential oils. The Lavender scented stick is my favorite but the orange creamsicle is also really, really nice. You put it up against your skin (and body heat) for just a few seconds and then it glides on easy and provides pit protection all day long. Work, gym, life…it has you covered.
The harsh winter weather can really take a toll on our skin. In the midst of all the snow, storms, and polar vortex’s of late your skin may be feeling kinda dry and drab right about now and your hair looks dull and frizzy…not so much nourished and healthy as we would like. It happens to all of us who live in cold weather climates so rest assured that many others are in the same boat right now. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which you can remedy the winter beauty blah’s though. Here are some natural remedies that will enable you to bring some “spring” to your winter skin.
Chapped and dry lips – Use a product that will be easily absorbed by your lips to help nourish and repair…as well as provide a barrier to wind and weather. Good products to try include those with beeswax (vitamin A stimulates cell repair) and coconut oil (skin cells drink it up).
No Glow – Winter skin can be pale and blah. Do not head to the tanning booth or start using toxic self tanners. Go for a bit of glow with mineral makeup.
Crow’s feet and fine lines – A lack of hydration in winter skin can make find lines more pronounced. To combat this issue drink more fluids. Green smoothies are very hydrating and help to plump the skin up but you may not be crazy about drinking smoothies when the weather is cold. I suggest water with a couple teaspoons of aloe vera juice added, very hydrating.
Cracked or chapped hands – Our hands are quite often exposed to the harsh weather, even if we try to wear gloves or mittens as much as we can. In order to keep them hydrated we need to use something thick, creamy, and hydrating. Good options for hand creams would include coconut oil, shea butter, or jojoba oil. Keep some in your purse so that you can get to it frequently.
Dull dry skin on your face/body – Exfoliation is your best friends this time of year. Not only does the arid air present a problem but your natural oil production slows down in colder months. The old skins cells need to be sloughed off so that your complexion does not appear dull and dry. Put a cup or two of almond meal in a glass jar or container and keep it the shower. Mix a tablespoon or so with a bit of water to make a paste and then exfoliate. It works great and is natural to boot.
I also recommend using a really soothing bar soap with french clay and natural oils and ingredients. This handcrafted soap is made with olive, coconut, palm, avocado, cocoa butter, french rose clay, Egyptian geranium essential oils, and crushed flowers.
Essential Oils for Winter Skin – Essential oils are amazing plant based oils that can help you look your best. Some of the best are Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Chamomile, and Patchouli. They are all well known for helping with skin care and skin issues.
Frizzy hair – Dry air, lots of wind, and friction with certain winter fibers creates frizzy, static hair. To combat frizz use apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair in the shower. Then rub a bit of coconut oil or olive oil on your hands and gently slide them over your damp hair, avoiding the roots. This locks in the moisture and helps with fly aways and frizz. For additional help try an avocado and olive oil hair mask, leaving it on your hair for 30 minutes or so. Also make sure ot check out my article on Essential Oils for Hair.
A few smart products and some items from your pantry can go a long way to help you beat any winter skin woes…