Category Archives: Natural skin care

What You Need in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

how to stock a natural medicine cabinet, natural medicine, natural wellness cabinet, healthy medicine cabinet, medicine cabinet makeover

Today I’m going to take you through our natural medicine cabinet.

When transitioning to a more natural, wellness-based lifestyle, one of the major changes is how you treat illness. A wellness-based system looks at not just symptom relief, but immune support.

Your body comes equipped with a natural immune system. When you give it standard OTC medicine, you run the risk of suppressing the immune response, dragging out illnesses for longer than necessary.

Supporting the immune system requires a holistic approach that includes not only symptom relief but also natural detoxification and organ support.

The best part about a natural cabinet is that everything has multiple uses, so you don’t just have random things sitting around. Many of these staples are also ingredients for DIY projects like homemade toothpaste, homemade air fresheners, and facial moisturizers.

Ready for the tour? Here’s what’s in my cabinet:

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Activated charcoal – for detoxing or food poisoning (also put in tooth powder for whitening!)

Witch hazel – an astringent, great for cooling and healing the skin.  I typically use this with any sprays that I would make with essential oils as it tends to evaporate faster than water.

Tallow – High in vitamin A and E, this healing balm is what I use with a drop of melaleuca essential oil to keep my eczema away.  I’ve also mixed in frankincense, lavender, and peppermint to help soothe my skin after a bad sunburn.

Organic raw honey – also good for skin healing and antibacterial properties.  I usually use this for a face wash but I also use it for sun burns.

Echinacea tea – For immune support, especially if I’m coming down with a cold.

Raw organic coconut oil – For skin health, burns, and antibacterial protection.  I also add essential oils to this.

Magnesium oil – nothing helped my first trimester food aversions like spritzing this oil on my stomach before meals!  It absorbs easily through the skin and works quickly.

Bentonite clay – to remove toxins, either as a face mask (which is amazing!) or taken internally.  It attracts toxins to itself and is then easily excreted.

Cranberry capsules – to treat UTIs or kidney infections

Essential oils – I use all sorts of essential oils for just about everything.  I apply either directly to the skin (following precautions for safe dilution), diffuse aromatically (especially when we don’t feel well we like to diffuse the respiratory and protection blends), and take internally (be very careful about internal use, make sure if you are ingesting that it is 100% pure grade, not just “contains 100% pure”). If you would like more information about essential oils, see my post on safe usage.

Fractionated coconut oil – to dilute essential oils.  It’s always liquid, it doesn’t have that coconut aroma to it so it doesn’t interfere with the aromatic benefits of the essential oils.  It absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain clothes (or microfiber couches – ask me how I know this).

Veggie caps  – for making our own capsules!  Especially for ingesting Oregano (a hot oil) and DigestZen (which doesn’t taste that great when you’re nauseous), this is the perfect way to get the benefits when we need them!

So that’s a peak into our medicine cabinet!  One thing we don’t have yet that I would like to get soon are epsom salts for detox baths.  Also great during pregnancy to help stop preterm labor!

What’s in your healthcare cabinet?

No more shampoo!

how to make the change to a no shampoo method

A quick recap of the past few weeks:

(When having friends over or visiting friends)

Me: Hi!  So good to see you!  Uhh…sorry about my hair…I’m transitioning to a no-chemical hair routine and my hair is detoxing.  I really do shower…uhhhh…

Yeah.  The transition period of the no-chemical thing  is NO FUN.  I feel like I’m 13 all over again.  And trust me, 13 was not a good year.

I’m not sure if my hair is finally adjusting or I’m finally figuring out the best way to go “no shampoo.”  I’ve done this before and I don’t remember the transition time looking like I hadn’t showered in a week.

I think I’ve finally settled on a good routine.  Before I wash my hair, I pour about 1 1/2 TBSP baking soda into a little container.  When I’m ready to wash my hair, I fill the rest of it with warm water, gently pour it over my head, and massage it into my scalp and rinse. Following that I pour about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into a large plastic cup (I get my ACV for personal care use organic by the gallon) and fill the rest with warm water.  Pour over hair (avoid the eyes!!!) and let sit on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.  When I had longer hair I used to dip sections of my hair into the cup at a time.  Now that it’s short it’s easier to cover all of my hair with the rinse.


I am still researching homemade shampoo. If you are looking for natural shampoo options, be sure to check out my Pinterest board for a look at the ideas I find.

 

Why Your Makeup is Important

Why you should care about your makeup choices

“Not for Internal Use” is a common warning on the outside of…most everything related to skin or hair care.  Makeup, ointments, lotions, and even toothpastes all have this mark, warning us not to ingest these products that we are applying – ironically – to the largest organ of our bodies, the skin.

It is well documented that our skin is a living, breathing organ.  It stands to reason then that what you put on your skin is absorbed and distributed systemically.  According to an article published by The Telegraph in the UK (by the way, the EU has banned over 1,100 chemicals from their cosmetics industries), the average woman absorbs approximately 5 pounds of makeup a year.   Having trouble ditching those last few pesky pounds?  Perhaps ditching the chemicals is a good start.  Gross.

Why are Chemicals Allowed?

So then, if these chemicals are so toxic that they shouldn’t be ingested (or, “let into” the body), why can these products be allowed on the shelves?  The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate these things.  They are not regulated.  Now, I’m all for people making their own decisions.  As much as I can appreciate that the EU has banned over a thousand chemicals from their makeup, I’m not going to demand that the FDA does the same.  Instead, as a consumer, I choose to be educated and make my own decision.

What Should We Do?

No one makes me buy makeup.  Or lotion.  Or skin care.  Knowing what I do about the body as a nurse )and someone a little bit obsessed with natural health and wellness), I apply my knowledge and creativity and make my own products. I use ingredients that I research and purchase myself.  Because I am educated, I choose to act.  I make my own deodorant, face wash, lotion, toothpaste, and I’m currently researching shampoo options.

Make the Switch

I don’t typically wear much makeup, but when I do, I like makeup from Everyday Minerals. 100% cruelty-free (vegan), the ingredients are simple, the colors are trendy but classic, and the prices are actually very comparable to popular drugstore brands. For instance, the eye shadow (which goes on super smooth and stays on all day) is $6. For real. And their blush? So smooth and beautiful. To die for.

Wellness is a journey, and a very personal one.  Because I know that my whole body is effected by what I put on my skin, it makes me much more careful.  My liver is just as much effected by my lotion as my skin.  There should be no difference then between what is safe to ingest and safe to put on my skin.  For me, the choice is simple: if I can’t eat it, it shouldn’t go on me.

You put WHAT on your face?

My evening face care routine is very simple:

* wash face with washcloth and warm water

* use cotton ball to wipe face with homemade toner

* smear face with the clarified adipose tissue of a grass-fed bovine

WHAT?

My face has never been so moisturized and clear since I started using this method!

I learned a long time ago that I cannot use “oil-free” products on my oily skin.  My skin gets dry, irritated, and reacts with more oil than I had in the first place.  It sounds like it would be counter-intuitive, but putting oil on your face actually helps calm oily skin and keeps it from over-producing.  I already practice oil-washing a few times a month which is the same concept (more on that in a later post), so this wasn’t a big hippie leap for me.   The tallow is apparently very similar in chemical structure to our own sebaceous glands that our skin is able to use it as a moisturizer.  Since Mommypotamus already had a wonderful post on it, I will just direct you there to learn all the science behind the tallow.

In my personal experience with tallow, I have found it absolutely wonderful as a skin care product.  Sure, I smell like hamburger for a minute every time I put it on, but it’s shelf-stable, you only need a tiny bit for your whole face, and it absorbs quickly.  I wake up in the morning and my skin is bright, clear, and markedly more moisturized.

I render my own tallow using the crock pot method, but you can also purchase some here.