Skin Care, with FOOD!

This stuff makes me happy, happy, happy.

I have funny skin. Funny as in it just doesn’t want to pick one skin type! Dry around the mouth, black heads & oil in the ‘T-zone’. For years I’ve tried product after product without success; if it targets oily skin it dries the rest of my face out, if it targets dry skin I’ll break out, if it’s for combination skin it will do nothing for me. Anything any friend suggested I’d give a try & every time I would be disappointed! Meanwhile I was still trying to remove chemical ridden products from the rest of my life, examining ingredients lists & ruling out even most “natural” or “organic” items due to long lists of things I couldn’t pronounce or chemical preservatives & “fragrances”. The biggest exception in this lifestyle change was my face. When I found a face wash & a lotion that both “kind of” worked, I just stuck with them, purposely ignoring the label. I didn’t know what else to do & was tired of wasting money on products that didn’t work.

Fortunately, something magical happened to my life when I met Pinterest, it was like we were made for each other. Pinterest just gets me! Ok I’m done…..but really….Pinterest is wonderful. Anyway I started to see all of these pins about using everyday items found in your kitchen on your face & what sort of modern hippie would I be if I didn’t leap for joy at the chance to rub banana peels on my chin for 5 minutes at a time, three times a day??? **Actually I really found the banana peel thing to be massively tedious & couldn’t bring myself to do it enough to see any results. If this has worked for you, let me know. Maaaaybe I’ll give it another shot.** After trying a number of other ridiculous things….I have found a simple 3 step skin care routine that 1) WORKS for me & 2) I like enough to ACTUALLY do every night. Those are two big points people. I take no credit for this regime, so I will happily give links to the different pages where I found the info along with credit where it’s due.

At this point I feel like you can only still be reading because you’re either super excited to rub Honey on your skin or your morbid curiosity is forcing you forward so that you can gain information to mock me with later. Either way, here’s the list with links!

  • 2 Ingredient Makeup Remover (I only use on my eyes): Jojoba & Vitamin E! Prior to this I used Coconut Oil which worked but had issues. It never seemed to go away, so I’d take off my mascara at night, wash my face, get up the next day & reapply make up. But I felt like my waterproof mascara would “bleed” throughout the day. I’d glance in the mirror & there would be a little bit of black under my eye, like the Oil was still at work. Jojoba oil doesn’t do that.
  • Honey Face Wash – Oh yes. Pure, raw, organic unfiltered, unheated, sticky goodness. Oh yes, it does sound gross & yes, I am serious. The good news is, it’s really not gross! In the link above ‘Bohemian Kate’ explains that you do first, wet your face as usual, & then apply the honey.
    • I don’t use any more than about 3/4 a tsp on my whole face, & once it touches my wet skin it really does kind of dissolve. I rub it around real good just like a normal face wash, & then I rinse it off with coldish water. *Insert face wash ad with girl flinging tons of sparkling water on her face, somehow that’s what my counter always looks like when I’m done*
    • I have found it helpful to wear a head band (like the thick sporty cloth ones) when washing my face, it keeps my hair out of the honey & the honey out of my hair! The head band can get a little sticky but if so, I just wash it in the sink, hang it up & let it dry to use again.
    • It’s really important that you’re using raw honey, not the stuff that comes in the cheap honey bear at your local super market. ‘Bohemian Kate’ has a link in her article to another post detailing the glories & benefits of raw honey
    • No my face is NOT sticky when I’m done! It’s actually quite soft!
  • 2 Ingredient MoisturizerCoconut oil and Tea Tree Oil! As stated before, I have probs with CO messing with my eye makeup so I keep this away from my eyes, also because I can’t imagine the burn of Tea Tree in the eye *shudders in fear*. I used to moisturize with JUST CO but found that too greasy. I also have used Tea Tree in the past as a toner/astringent & it was way too drying, but a little bit of both works together wonderfully – they are antiseptic & antibacterial, will reduce redness & can dry out pimples while moisturizing! I scoop a little bit of CO into my palm with one finger(less than a tsp), add 1, single drop of Tea tree to it, then swish it around with my finger till it’s all melted & mixed. Usually that is enough for my face, neck & chest. Be mindful to not put too much on your face though, as again, that can leave your skin feeling greasy.

Ta-Da! That’s it! I’ve been using this routine for over a month & I’m noticing real improvement in my skin. I mentioned it to my hair dresser and yes, like you, she also thought it a little strange that I’m washing with honey. BUT! Skeptical as she was she did say that she had noticed my skin condition was improving before I had mentioned it to her. That is a good thing to hear from someone who has to be all up close & personal with your details.

A couple of tips

  • When you get Ketchup or jelly or honey at some restaurants or hotels they come in tiny glass jars. Keep those. Because they’re really small & cute, but ALSO because you can wash them out & reuse them! I use these to hold my eye make up remover & CO in, thus saving space in my bathroom cabinet.
  • I am currently using Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil, which is a total game changer if you ask me. It’s cray expensive, but you can save money by buying in bulk. I signed up for their newsletter & wait until they have sale prices for bulk orders, then I get people to jump in & split a 5 gallon bucket with me. It’s glorious. I may have a blog post coming up with all the ways I use CO.
  • All of my Essential Oils come from DoTerra. I do not recommend using EO’s unless you know they are pure (sorry Whole Foods, HyVee and Trader Joes!). If you do not have a local EO representative who can explain the need & benefit of pure oils, or a way to purchase them, please feel free to contact Katrina Bocanegra through her DoTerra page. She’s awesome and would love to help you

Leave In Conditioning Rinse

Yet another great Pinterest find. This “rinse” is great, but don’t be confused by that word. “Rinse” simply means you are rinsing your hair in it, you do NOT rinse it out. I mix mine in a 1/2 gallon mason jar, then pour some into a small spray bottle that I keep in the shower. At the end of my shower I spray it all over my hair, squeeze out the excess and that’s it. The ACV smell goes away by the time your hair is dry, so no complaints there. Within a week or two of using my hair(and scalp) was noticeably healthier, leaving me with yet another happy story about the many uses of Essential Oils and ACV.

The recipe came from the Camp Wander blog, so check her out and let her know if you love it 🙂 On the post she goes into detail about the benefits of the different oils, in case you want to know. There is no limit to the use of EO’s, and I also will recommend Doterra as my company of purchasing choice. If you’re looking to purchase, feel free to contact me. Her recipe also calls for Borax which I omit (Poo-free over here!) but I’ll include it on the ingredients list below

Things You’ll Need:

  • A container able to store 5 cups of fluid
  • Squirt bottle (Like a cheap condiment squirter, or a spray bottle)
  • 4 Cups of Filtered Water
  • 8 Drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 t Borax
  • 3 T ACV (preferably a raw kind)

Now that you have all of your supplies and ingredients together you can begin!

  1. Mix all ingredients into your storage container
  2. Pour some into your usage container.

Thats it! You’ll love it from the beginning 🙂 I hope you feel equipped to get out there and make something yourself. Let me know what you think of it!

Homemade Deodorant

I first wrote about this in A Beginning of a Crunchy Conservatives Guidebook. Go there if you want to read the why’s 🙂

This recipe comes straight from Donielle at NaturallyKnockedUp.com and if you click on that link, you’ll be able to watch her tutorial video, also, she’s great. If you don’t want to watch the video, below is my step by step instructions, following her method and recipe.

Store bought “all natural” or “organic” deodorant is expensive and frankly, doesn’t really work. The fact is, there is not a homemade or natural deodorant type of product that is going to work similar to the crap full of chemicals stick that we all grew up using. If you’re trying to find or make products that help you to minimize your chemical & aluminum intake, prepare yourself for a process and give yourself time to adjust. Whatever you try, use it consistently for some weeks before you try something else.

That being said, I like this one better than anything I’ve bought. You use very little, and know immediately if you’ve used too much! I’m comfortable with every ingredient in it, it’s easy to make and so cheap! And also, depending on whether or not and how many essential oils you use, it smells so, SO good!

Things You’ll Need:

  • A medium – small sized mixing bowl
  • Small wisk or spoon
  • An empty Deodorant tube – some of them leak, or break when you’re trying to screw the plastic piece back to the bottom so that the tube can be filled, but I’ve found the Tom’s tubes do NOT leak and can be used multiple times.
  • If you don’t have a deodorant tube, any small plastic or glass tupperware will do. I’ve found it best to use something that is waterproof if you plan on taking this on trips, to the gym, or basically anywhere outside of your bathroom in the summer time.
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 5-6 T of coconut oil, melted or at least softened
  • 10-15 drops of Essential oils of your choice

Now that you have all of your supplies and ingredients together you can begin! It’s easy peasy 😉

  1. Mix everything together, stirring until it’s all incorporated
  2. Press it into your deodorant tube or container. If you melted the coconut oil than obviously it will be runny. Once you pour it in the container, put it in the fridge and it will firm up quickly.

Thats it!

A couple of things to note – CO has a melting point around 70 degrees, so in the summer your deodorant is simply going to melt. I have used the following options:

  • Keep it in the fridge. Wake up, groggily walk to your fridge and put the deodorant on the counter while you finish the rest of your morning routine – hair, face, clothes, breakfast, whatever. It should reach room temperature quickly and you can swipe it on easily
  • Keep it in the fridge. When its time to put it on, take it out and stick the c-c-c-cold tube on your skin for a couple of seconds to melt, then swipe it. I don’t like this option.
  • Leave it in your medicine cabinet. In a waterproof (aka, spillproof) container , and also leave some sort of stirring utensil with it. When it’s time to use, simply stir it up, and scoop some out.

I always need to use my hands to rub it in, regardless of whether it was cold or room temperature, so make sure you’re by a sink where you can wash your hands.

The End! Let me know how it works for you!

Homemade Whipped Laundry Concentrate

*January 2016 – I’ve now been using this laundry concentrate for almost 6 years and on average I think that I make 2 batches a year. The author of the recipe whose blog is linked in the original post below – and you really should read her post because she has helpful hints – say’s that if using 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry,  1 two-jar batch of concentrate will last 128 loads of laundry and estimates that the total expense (again for 128 loads of laundry) comes down to $1.76. Total. Can we just think about that for a second? And this is a great alternative for those of you with sensitive skin issues in your family, just try it!


 

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for about 4 years now. It is incredibly easy, VERY cost efficient, and really reduces the number of chemicals and “who know’s how to pronounce that” ingredients that make up most store bought detergents.

In A Beginning of a Crunchy Conservatives Guidebook I linked to a website that has 10 different homemade detergent recipes, both powdered and liquid, and talked about how I was using the Fourth recipe. I have since started using this whipped laundry concentrate, or Liquid Detergent Recipe from Budget101.com. You can click the links in the previous sentences to go to pages. However for those of you that want to read it right here, I’ll tell you  ^_^

Things you’ll need:

  • To make sure that you have 4-5 hours of wait time. Don’t begin this process before bed!
  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
  • 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda (veeeery different than baking soda, do NOT try to substitute)
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 2 quart size small mouth canning jars
  • Blender with a detachable blade that can screw onto your quart jars (hint – most blenders are this size 😉
  • Large heavy saucepan
  • 2  Mixing Bowls
  • Cheese Grater (For the soap, or you could food process it)
  • Solid spoon, like a wooden spoon, or a wisk.

Now that you have all of your supplies and ingredients together you can begin! It’s easy peasy.

  1. Put 4 cups of water in the large heavy pan and turn it up so that it will boil
  2. While water is heating, thoroughly mix the Washing Soda and borax in your mixing bowl
  3. Grate the soap into your other mixing bowl, then add it all at once to your now, boiling water, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the bowl until it has completely dissolved, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. DO NOT LET IT BOIL OVER, you should have a nice rolling boil with limited foaming that doesn’t grow when you stop stirring.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the bowl full of Washing Soda and Borax, stirring constantly until dissolved (about 5 minutes). You shouldn’t feel any grit on the bottom of the pan. If you do, keep stirring.
  5. Pour liquid equally into your two jars.
  6. Add water in your jars, but make sure that you have a good 1.5 – 2″ of head space at the top. (I put hot water in the pan that I’ve mixed it in, swirling it around to get all the soap residue off and used in the detergent)
  7. Put the lids on the jars and let them sit UPSIDE DOWN for about 4-5 hours. The liquid will separate into layers and crystalize on the bottom, which, if it is right side up, will be the actual bottom of the jar and will NEVER come off.
  8. After 4, but no more than 5 hours, flip your jar right side up and take the lid off. Unscrew the bottom and blade off of your blender and screw it straight onto your mason jar.
    1. By the time I went to blend the “top” or bottom layer was REALLY hard, so I used a butter knife and cut an “X” through the top layer because blending wasn’t really working. It worked fine after that.
  9. Whip for about a minute until the contents of your jar are smooth and creamy dreamy.
  10. Scrape down the blade, without hurting yourself, put the contents back in the jar, screw the lid on.
  11. Repeat with second jar and viola! You have 2 jars of smooth, homemade laundry concentrate. Use 1-2 T per load of laundry, it works fantastic and last F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

The end!

**Added January 2016 – Tips and Tricks!

  • You really do want to mix the ingredients in the order she lists. I’ve accidentally done it out of order or tried to combine steps to save time and it does NOT turn out correctly.
  • Doing laundry for just myself, I make 2 batches a year. That’s it! And I tend to use 2 Tablespoons vs the recommended one Tablespoon, just for good measure. If you have a bigger family you could easily double the recipe and make 4 jars at a time. Just see how long it will last you! Since there is so much stirring involved this may be a job you’d want to incorporate your kiddo’s in on, or assign as one older child or teenagers specific responsibility to make. Make sure they’re using a bandana around their mouths & noses if they are vigorous stirrer’s as the powders can get in the air.
  • My laundry day is Sunday. When I’m just about out I will make a note in my phone that I need to make it the following week. I start it in the morning and that way I have time throughout the day to whip it and still get my laundry done.
  • When the jar is almost empty I put a little bit of hot, hot water in it, screw on the lid and shake it until all the residue comes off, then pour the water in the washer. The jar is clean and all the detergent used!
  • Our laundry room is in the basement and not heated so it can get pretty cold in the winter. I generally have no problem with the detergent dissolving in the wash water unless it’s REAL cold, or the wash water is cold. In which case I put some hot water in a cup or small jar and add the measured out concentrate. Then stir, or add a lid and shake until dissolved and pour it in. Easy peasy.
  • I use it plain, but you could easily add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils if you want it scented. ** I made a batch today and used EO’s in both jars. I used 10 drops in the first jar before blending and literally can’t smell it a bit. I used 30 drops in the second jar before whipping and can juuuuust barely catch a whiff that maybe it smells like something other than FN. So if you are planning on using EO’s just know a head of time that you will need to use a lot!
  • I have tried this recipe with Zote a couple of times – another bar form of laundry soap – and it did not work as well. Since then I’ve stuck with FN…..however as I type this a friend who sells her homemade soaps is mixing up a batch of homemade laundry soap bars that is made with far more natural ingredients than FN. She will be sending me some to try and I’m excited to review it here!

A Beginning of a Crunchy Conservative’s Guidebook

Many of you following me via Facebook or Twitter have recently asked for the recipes  to different household & personal supplies that I make at home. Rather than sending 50 emails I’ve decided to come out a little bit & blog from my hippie side.

There are several reasons that I began to look into the journey towards living naturally, beyond the obvious of wanting to take care of my body for the Biblical & typical “I feel good when I eat well” reasons. To begin with, I spent most of 2007 journaling every detail of my lifestyle that could possibly contribute to chronic migraines (food, products, emotions, activities, sleep) looking for patterns or ingredients. That process helped to bring awareness to what was going into my body & the effects that those things were having on me.

That awareness & concern only increased as my health decreased. I began to do little research projects based off of strange information I was receiving or hearing about specific chemicals & ingredients & their contributions to illness, disease & “bad health”. This required very little background informational work but did require looking at labels & finding alternatives which is inconvenient. The initial ingredients that started the journey for me were High Fructose Corn Syrup, Bleached flour & sugar, “Fragrance”,Sodium Laurly Sulfate  & Aluminum.

Do your own research – those ones are easy. For the sake of the story I’ll mention that some other contributing factors to the journey were;

  • Finances it costs less to live natural & use homemade natural products
  • Chemicals – they’re in most of what we eat, put on our bodies & clean with & pretty much killing the Western world. If the rest of the globe is living without them in their health & beauty products then we have no excuse to not finding out how
  • Crisis – Should a natural disaster or some other crisis hit my house or city, I want to give my attention to important matters & not be found scrambling over details when going to the store is not an option.

That is a vague overview & introduction to my journey & about all you’ll get here 🙂 If you truly want to know more about any of those ask me in person over a cup of coffee. Below you will find the beginning of my rough compiling of  ‘recipe’s’, or a beginning of a Crunchy Conservative‘s guidebook. I welcome thoughts & suggestions!

Some ingredients that are used in the following are:

  • Pure Castille Soap. I use Dr.Bronners.
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Essential Oils
  • Stevia
  • Pure Tea Tree Oil
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (Can be substituted with Baking Soda if no washing soda is available. You can probably find it somewhere in your city but it may take some looking)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

When purchasing ingredients, GO ORGANIC. This will start the process of getting rid of the chemicals & other gnarly stuff that we pour into our bodies.

Homemade Toothpaste

I reference Donielle for a lot of things & this recipe comes straight from her blog (yes you can get over the shock of the name). You can click on her name, above or in my blogroll to take you to her homepage. You can find her tutorial for making toothpaste by clicking HERE.

  • Yeah it’s QUITE different from what you find in a tube.
  • But the truth is it really wasn’t that hard to adjust to.
  • I liked the feel that it left in my mouth, though it was different & I liked the way that my mouth still felt clean hours later, even after eating.
  • I wash my face after brushing my teeth simply to remove any leftover coconut oil from around my mouth. Maybe I’m paranoid because C.O is pretty much good for you in every way but I swapped my routine so that I don’t have to fear clogged pours. Thus far I’ve had no problem.
  • My adjustments to her recipe- I use 4, instead of 5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, for a thicker consistency.
  • I use about 8 drops of Tea Tree Oil for the sake of an anti-bacterial in the toothpaste & then probably 15 drops of any assortment of Mint essential oils. I like mint so the stronger the taste, the happier I am, & the easier it was to adjust to but you can adjust that by starting low & adding more if needed.
  • Coconut Oil has a melting point of about 73 degrees so be sure to keep your jar of toothpaste somewhere cool.

Homemade Deodorant

This recipe also comes from Donielle. You can watch her video Tutorial by clicking HERE. Kicking Aluminum & Fragrance basically ruled out 100% of the Antiperspirants & 98% of the Deodorants that you can find on the shelf in anything but a Health Food Store. If you’ve already tried this leg of the journey you’ll probably agree with me;

  • The ‘Crystal’, yeah just doesn’t work. And it’s weird.
  • Natural deodorants leave you feeling smelly
  • Natural deodorants have to be applied 4x a day and who SERIOUSLY has time for that?
  • Natural Deodorants are EXPENSIVE

I’ve been making Donielle’s  recipe for almost a year now & like it more than any other natural option I’ve tried. I like it enough that I actually haven’t looked for another option since the first time I made it! A couple of my thoughts;

  • I keep this in the fridge – again due to the melting point of Coconut Oil. That means that it is cold & hard when I first pull it out so typically I leave it on the counter for a few minutes before applying.
  • After that it is still helpful to hold it against your skin for about 3 seconds before trying to rub it on.
  • Be sure and wash your hands after rubbing it in 😉
  • She uses only Tea Tree Essential oils in her recipe. I find that too strong of a hippie smell. Again I use Tea Tree for about 1/3 of the essential oil called for, simply as an anti-bacterial, and then use Lavender or some other happy smelling essential oil for the other 2/3.

General Household Cleaner

Dr.Bronner’s is a main ingredient in most everything I make at home, simply because I could find it really cheap at a local Freight & Salvage store. Honestly anything similar to that type of Castille soap would work.

As a general cleaner for floors, kitchen, bathroom etc I fill a spray bottle full of water, add 2 squirts of Dr.B’s Tea Tree soap, a couple drops of Tea Tree Oil & gently shake. There you go – that easy & it’s done.  No chemicals, child & pet friendly & the Tea Tree makes it a good disinfectant. It does not foam but is a great cleaner.

Homemade Shampoo

This week was my first Shampoo attempt. Click HERE to go to the website I used. I’ve spent the last 3 months scouring the internet & comparing recipes, reading reviews & different people’s opinions on ingredient combination’s before settling on which one to try first. After making it once & using it twice my thoughts are;

  • The Apple Cider Vinegar has a very strong smell & no, I don’t like it but yes, I got over that & am using it. It does not seem to leave that smell in my hair which is good. Then again my hair is still pretty short so maybe I’m just not noticing it.
  • I left the spray bottle on the bathroom shelf & within a very short period of time my little apartment was permeated with that smell. I have since kept the spray bottle in the fridge stopping the smell.
  • If you go to that website you will see that there are 1o icons at the top, each taking you to a different variation of the recipe. I’m going to use all of the batch that I’ve made & circulate through each recipe, giving myself a break from the vinegar in this particular one & allowing myself the experience to determine which ones I like best & why.
  • The Castille soap seemed to curdle rather than mixing smoothly, probably due to the vinegar. Once in the fridge the whole thing turned a creamy color but did not solidify & still sprayed easy. Once in the shower it melted fully & is now smooth with no curdles. Weird but true.
  • Honestly I hated the way my hair felt the first time I used it, while still in the shower. But when I got out & dried it I completely changed my mind. I didn’t use any products & it still styled great & didn’t feel greasy the way that I thought it would.
  • I’ll give this another week of use & then form a solid opinion.

*10 day’s later… & I like it! I’ve implemented a tip from that site though & have alternated washings 1 using the homemade shampoo & the next time using the organix shampoo I was previously using. I’ll probably do that until the Organix is gone, letting my hair & scalp adjust to using the crazy stuff.*

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Clicking on THIS LINK will take you to a page with 10 different versions of easy to make laundry detergent. I have stuck with Recipe #4 ….. because…. well because 😀 If you try a different one & like it let me know & maybe I’ll give it a shot!

That’s all for now. I’ve tried a few other things this week but haven’t used them enough to suggest them or give any review. I’ll be posting another review with recipe’s next week. If this was helpful let me know & if I can make it more helpful feel free to give me suggestions. If you are interested in a topic that you think I might know about feel free to ask & I’d love to help!