Homemade DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

by Tiffany in Beauty

DIY Herbal Hair RinseOften times the first introduction to a DIY herbal hair rinse comes after an investigation into shampoo-less methods of washing your hair…also called no poo hair care. Women all over the globe have ditched the conventional shampoo and conditioners found at the local grocery store and they are seeking out healthier, more natural, less chemical laden ways to take care of their tresses.

With all that we do to our hair these days such as coloring, blow drying, flat ironing, etc. It makes sense that we want something gentle and natural for our hair. Experimentation will be required to find the best no poo solution for your own hair and it does take a few weeks or even months for you to see the results you want. For conditioning for your hair after your diy shampoo routine you should look into an herbal hair rinse. For centuries women have used herbal rinses for shiny, soft, and more manageable hair. They are nothing new and once to you try it, you will not want to go back to conventional conditioners. Here is an herbal rinse you may want to try. For older women and those you suffer from hypothyroidism and the associated hair loss, this could be just what you are looking for!

Stinging Nettle and Rosemary DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

Stinging nettles are an annoying weed that pops up everywhere. Instead of getting annoyed by them all over your yard, use them! Rosemary is also incredibly easy to grow. Both can be used for a variety of herbal concoctions and remedies. If you don’t happen to have access to either plant then dried nettles and rosemary can also be used.

Stinging nettle has antioxidant, antimicrobial, astringent, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is nutrient and mineral rich, stimulates hair growth, and can be used to treat eczema. Rosemary also stimulates hair growth and blood circulation, slows graying, and can help with dandruff and dry scalp.

Here’s how you make it…

Take a handful of fresh stinging nettles and rosemary and put them in a wide mouth, quart size ball jar. Use a pestle to crush them a bit to release the essential oils. Cover with apple cider vinegar, replace the lid, and let sit for 3-6 weeks, shaking occasionally. When you are ready to harvest run to through a strainer (I like this one for herbs) and put it in a jar or bottle for the shower.

When you are ready to use your rinse just take a tablespoon or two of the rinse and add a cup of shower water. You probably need to keep an extra bottle, cup, or jar in the shower for this purpose. If you have long hair put the ends directly in the cup/jar for 20 seconds or so and then pour throughout your hair. Do not rinse it out. If you hate the smell of vinegar (and some do) let it sit on your hair for 3-5 minutes and then use cold water to rinse it out. Voila!

If you are in a super hurry for some rinse or it is the dead of winter and you don’t have the herbs you need, you can also use essential oils or tea in your hair. Try an herbal hair rinse, you won’t be disappointed.



Eight Minimalist Beauty Tips

by Tiffany in Beauty

Minimalist Beauty TipsThere is a logical reason why you might be interested in minimalist beauty tips. You’d have to be very busy indeed to not have heard some of the controversy regarding the use of chemicals in makeup and beauty products. Indeed, people everywhere are becoming aware of just what they are putting on their skin and in their hair every day.

While you can spend hours deciphering the labels of your favorite cosmetics and beauty products there is an easier way and that is to take the minimalist approach to caring for your skin and hair. Yes, some of the methods listed may seem a bit radical, but all of them have been tested time and again and have been proven to work. In fact, many of them were used for decades, centuries even, before modern cosmetics and beauty products became popular.

So take a look at the eight minimalist beauty tips that are listed here and choose one to try out. Each of them is based on easy to find, inexpensive ingredients (some don’t even require ingredients), which means that even if you don’t continue to use them, it won’t be a total waste.

8 Minimalist Beauty Tips

#1: Hydrate Your Body. No, seriously, most skin and hair conditions come from being dehydrated and today most people don’t drink nearly enough water. A general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 160lbs you would need to drink 80 oz of water (or about ten 8-oz glasses of water) per day. Green smoothies are also fantastic…they really plump up your skin…it’s botox straight from your blender.

#2: Get Your Rest. It may sound like a broken record, but the body needs a certain amount of sleep in order to refresh and repair itself. Your skin and your cells regenerate and repair while you are snoozing. For most people this means anywhere from 6-9 hours of sleep per night. Too many nights of too little sleep will start to show in your skin tone and texture. If good sleep eludes you, check out my article on creating a sleep sanctuary.

#3: Raw Honey for Honey Smooth Skin. Raw honey is one of nature’s best kept secrets. In addition to having all sorts of health benefits if eaten or ingested, raw honey is an amazing skin cleanser/toner and moisturizer. Simply dampen your face and rub a tablespoon of raw honey into your skin before rinsing thoroughly. Not only does honey act as a cleanser, it also tones and moisturizes your skin and can even reduce acne. For a more intense treatment let the raw honey paste sits for about 15 minutes until it dries into a sort of mask. This will draw out all sorts of toxins and leave your face looking and feeling its best. (Hint, you can also use raw honey and sugar as a body scrub).

#4: Witch Hazel for Skin Toning. You can buy witch hazel just about anywhere. Not only is it chemical and alcohol free (so it won’t dry your skin out like most toners) it tightens up the pores so that your skin looks and feels fresh and clean.

#5: Go Shampooless. People were keeping their hair clean for centuries before soap and shampoo came on the scene. Baking soda works wonders for absorbing excess oil from your hair and rinsing with apple cider vinegar provides your hair with all the conditioning that most people will ever need.

#6: Coconut Oil. This amazing and nourishing oil can be for so many things but beauty is tops on that list. You can use it as a makeup remover, hair gel, lip balm, to whiten teeth, or the base of your homemade sugar scrub.

#7: Castile Soap. Do you use castile soap to clean your home? Me too. Well, you can use that same liquid soap for lots of other things, including using it as body wash and a shaving gel.

#8: Heatless Curls. Take your shower in the evening and wrap your damp hair in a t-shirt (also called plopping) or put is up in a soft bun or french braid to create heatless curls or waves. I LOVE doing this myself…so easy!

There are dozens more ideas for simple and minimalistic beauty treatments, but these should help you to get started on the path to a money-saving, chemical-free beauty regimen that will bring out the beauty that has been inside of you all along.


Five Beauty Treatments From Your Kitchen

by Tiffany in Beauty

Beauty Treatments From FoodForget the expensive beauty treatments that you buy in a store and which cost you half of your paycheck to purchase. Some of the best beauty products available can be found right on your kitchen shelves. Here are the top five beauty treatments that you could walk into your kitchen and make or use to improve your beauty regimen today.

#1: A Teeth Whitener Like You’ve Never Seen

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but all you need to make the most amazing teeth whitener are some strawberries and some baking soda. Yes, I know, strawberries are red, but give it a try, it really does knock all of those over the counter teeth whitening strips for a loop. Simply make a paste out of equal amounts of baking soda and pureed strawberries. Only make as much as you are going to use as the baking soda tends to use its oomph after it has been exposed to the air for a while. You can brush the paste onto your teeth or put the paste in a mouth guard. Whichever way you choose, leave the paste on your teeth for 1-2 minutes and then rinse with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Don’t swallow! If you swallow you’ll probably end up throwing up.

#2: A Sweet Body Scrub

There is nothing like a sugar scrub to remove all of those dead skin cells and tighten up your pores to give you that youthful glow. In fact, plenty of people pay an arm and a leg for brand name sugar body scrubs. If you’d like the benefits without having to pay a fortune you can make your own sugar scrub with just a few simple ingredients. All you have to do is to mix up equal parts of white (or brown) sugar, almond, coconut or avocado oil. Pick a carrier oil that works well with your skin type. You can find out which ones can clog pores here. You can also add in essential oils if you’d like. Rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, and peppermint are good choices. Then just slather on the scrub and use a washcloth or body scrub brush to rub in the scrub then rinse off with warm water.

#3: Egg On Your Face Food Mask

This is going to sound disgusting, but it makes facial masks that you buy in the drugstore look like a bad joke. Combine equal parts plain yogurt, beat egg whites and honey and a touch of avocado oil to create a facial mask that you might not want to eat but which will definitely leave your face with the kind of glow that only the most expensive beauty products will leave you with.

#4: The Glossiest Hair You’ll Ever See

Do you ever find yourself envying those actors in the hair product commercials, the ones with the amazingly glossy hair? Did you know that you can get this same kind of gloss and bounce simply by combining bananas and avocados and just a touch of almond oil. Mix them well then work it into your hair, wrap your hair in a reusable hair cap and leave it on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

#5: Baking Soda Scrub

You’ve seen those fancy microdermabrasion kits I’m sure. And any spa worth its salt sells extremely expensive microdermabrasion packages to those who want their skin to have that youthful glow. But did you know that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to get the same results? Just dampen your body in a lukewarm shower, then take a box of baking soda and rub it into your face, arms, legs and all of the skin that you can reach. Go ahead and use a scrubbing mitt if you have one and continue working the baking soda into your face and the rest of your skin for 2-5 minutes. Don’t get too aggressive or you might find yourself getting rubbed raw.

Hey we all love a good luxury beauty or skincare product right? Well, if you try some of these options and find they work out quite well then you have saved some money. The sugar scrub from Sephora can go because you can make it at home. Now you have more money to spend on the latest palette from Urban Decay. Sounds good right?


Best Skin Care Products of the Year for Aging Skin

by Tiffany in Beauty

Best Skin Care Products for Aging SkinI had a big birthday this year. Yep…I hit the big 4-0. Almost as if a light switch was turned on I started to think more about anti aging products and skin care. I knew next to nothing about these topics so started subscribing to anti aging podcasts and Youtube channels, really diving into the subject to see where I should start. I wanted to improve the look of my skin, start taking better care of it, and prevent wrinkles. All of the information I mentally downloaded lead me to try a range of products over the past year and the following were the winners.

Essential Beauty Serum from Young Living – I kept reading about serums and how they are a must have for aging skin. I tried several and found that I love this one because I can have dry skin. I apply 3-5 drops daily on my face and neck as a moisturizer right after I get out of the shower. It is an amazing and nourishing blend of Cedarwood, Coconut, Avocado, Blue Cypress, Rosehip Jojoba, Lavender, Myrrh, Clove, Wolfberry and Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood oils. One small bottle lasts a long time too, so the cost of $20.25 for wholesale members makes this is a real steal!  I have sensitive skin and it does not make me break out either.

Rose Ointment from Young Living – This ointment is amazing!!! I use it right after I use the serum, both day and night. In the summer when my skin is more oily than dry, I might use it only at night. Made with Mink Oil, Lecithin, Beeswax, Lanolin, Sesame, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Coriander, Myrrh, Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Tea Tree, Rose Hip, Ylang Ylang, Geranium and Rose oils. The $22.00 container usually lasts me 5-6 months.

Algenist POWER Recharging Night Pressed Serum – In the warmer weather months I used this serum at night. It is light, creamy, and soothing. I love the fact that it is a more conventional product and yet has no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

IT COSMETICS Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream – I don’t like using essential oils around my eyes so I use this product on my eyelids and around my eyes.  I also generally like the IT Cosmetics brand and makeup.

Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid – Vitamin C boosts collagen production, which slows and reverses signs of aging so I knew I needed a vitamin c serum. I happened across a coupon code for this one and got the first bottle free. I have continued to order it because I think it brightens my skins and improves the texture.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum  – A common recommendation among anti aging gurus is retinol but I did not want to make an appointment with a doctor and get a prescription so I decided to try a serum with encapsulated retinol. It also has the vital ceramides healthy skin needs to help restore and maintain its natural protective barrier. I like the product quite a bit. I use it sparingly and only 3-4 times a week because it does cause slight redness sometimes and a little skin shedding (exfoliation).

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub – I actually got this product free as a VIP member of The Grove. I love it! It almost replaced my usual facial scrub, the Satin Facial Scrub from YL. I say almost because it is much harsher than the satin scrub and can cause dryness if I use it daily. So I alternate between both scrubs.

What new skin care products have worked for you? Let me know in the comments!


Spruce Naturals Deodorant

by Tiffany in Beauty

I have written about deodorant many times here over the years and reviewed my fair share of products to find the best ones. It is actually a tall order to find a good, natural deodorant. You may find many that are made of safe and natural ingredients, that part is not hard. But finding one actually works like their conventional, toxic counterparts is quite a bit harder.

The ingredients list may be impressive but the ability to actually control odors for more than an hour is usually what is lacking. It smells mice, it feels nice going on, and then an hour or two later you reek and you walk around wondering if all your coworkers can smell you. Needless to say that deodorant goes in the garbage can.

Other options may rely heavily on ingredients that are natural but also irritating to the skin…such as baking soda. Many natural deodorant seekers have likely run across the baking soda burn that can be associated with these products. Red, inflamed pits mean another deodorant bites the dust. My own journey to finding the right deodorant has been fraught with misadventure (and burned pits).

So yes, finding a good deodorant is freakin hard! And yet you cannot give up on the search because conventional deodorants are bad news. They often times work well at controlling bad odors but they can have 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. 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?

We don’t want to be slathering our pits with carcinogenic products or ones that will mess with our hormones (think parabens). We also don’t want chemical nasties from deodorant to show up in our breastmilk! The search must go on…

I have been lucky to find a few good ones over the years and I write about the ones I find here on this blog. I have another to add in Spruce Naturals.

Last month I rocked their 100% natural Herbal English Lavender. It is certified organic and made with bacteria fighting coconut oil and a deodorizing blend of essential oils. It is also vegan and cruelty free. Other ingredients include Carnauba wax, arrowroot powder, shea butter, and baking soda.

The baking soda is a side star and not the main star because I am prone to the pit burn caused when too much is used. I noticed no sensitivity at all while using Spruce Naturals. The coconut oil base made it go on very easy, especially since it is summer. I am curious to see how it fairs in the cold winter months. I think it would probably last a bit longer. That is really my only complaint, that is went too fast and I think it may be because it is so soft in summer it is hard to avoid using a bit too much.

But did it pass the smell test? Yes! It lasted my whole work day…which was recently about 9+ hours and I was not the least bit self conscious about smells. I did feel the desire on some days to shower before bed because it was wearing off but I can’t expect miracles here…it did the job for the majority of the day, including some days spent in the hot sun gardening after work.

The verdict is in and this deodorant passes the smell test. I would definitely buy again.