Why You Should be Using Magnesium

Today I wanted to talk about the numerous benefits of magnesium and why you should be using it right now.

Magnesium flakes are often extracted from brine or sea water and is the second most abundant element in our bodies which means that most, if not all of us are deficient in magnesium.

Taking magnesium internally and using it externally are two different topics so for today I will only be focusing on how to use magnesium externally.

Magnesium Baths | Taking magnesium baths are one of the most common ways of replenishing some of your bodies natural magnesium.

It is a well know remedy for muscle aches and general body pain as well as helping the body recover during an illness.

A magnesium bath is a wonderful way to wind down before bed since it helps to improve quality of sleep.

Skin issues such as acne, eczema, or even skin reactions such as poison ivy and rashes can drastically improve with magnesium baths. Magnesium is hydrating to the skin unlike normal bath salts and helps to speed up wound healing.

Magnesium Foot Soaks | Foot soaks are a great option for anyone who either doesn’t have a bath, doesn’t like baths, or who simply just doesnt have the necessary time to soak for an hour.

In many ways foot soaks could be considered just as beneficial if not more so, then baths since most muscle issues in the body begin at the feet.

Between exercising and working and just doing necessary daily tasks can begin to wear on the part of your body that takes the most beating on a regular basis.

Foot soaks don’t just help to relieve tired and achy feet they also help to treat other areas of pain in the body such as toothaches, headaches, cramps, chest congestion, and general cold and flu symptoms.

There are so many more benefits to foot soaks that I could go into but I’ll save that for another time.

Magnesium Oil | The easiest and by far the quickest way to use magnesium is in oil form.

Magnesium oil can be purchased in many places but can also be made quite easily at home by using equal parts magnesium flakes to water.

It is most commonly used by athletes since magnesium oil is highly concentrated which improves flexibility, relieves pain from muscle injuries, and speeds healing.

Magnesium oil helps to relieve migraines, reduces the symptoms of stress, and is a wonderful sleep aid while still being a realistic remedy for even the busiest people.

The high concentration of magnesium oil can cause slight irritation and itching in those with sensitive or dry skin so always do a small skin test before hand.

 

Skin Care Basics | Kaolin Clay

One of my newest skincare obsessions lately has been kaolin clay.

Kaolin clay is a very light clay that was originally discovered and used in China and has now been transformed into a common skincare ingredient in many products even some medical products.

I originally bought it to include in my soaps for added slip and smoothness and now include it in almost all of my soaps because it is such a gentle and cleansing clay for all skin types.

Gentle Cleanser | Kaolin clay is the mildest clay option for skincare due to its silky texture and its ability to cleanse without irritating skin.

Individuals with sensitive skin can often have adverse reactions to harsher clays such as moroccan red clay or european green clay simply because of its drier consistency or its habit of tightening skin.

Kaolin clay however, is smooth and has the unique ability of being moisturizing while still cleaning out pores and gently detoxing the skin.

It is also an amazing option for skin that is irritated from redness, rashes, bug bites, or poison ivy.

Good For All Skin Types | As you might have guessed by now, kaolin clay is the perfect option for all skin types with little to no risk of causing irritation to any.

It is able to treat oily skin while still being an option for those with drier complexions which is why it is one of the most common ingredients found in skincare products today.

Kaolin clay can treat acne breakouts by reducing redness and inflammation and can even be used in homemade deodorant since it is absorbent as well as detoxing to clogged or congested pores.

It is also a wonderful clay to add to other clays to make them more gentle or moisturizing.

 

Calming Bath Tea Blend

It is my favorite time of the year and the weather is finally starting to reflect it with a chill in the air that just calls for a hot and calming bath.

Baths provide the perfect opportunity for a bit of self care and nourishment depending on what you choose to dress it up with.

The calming bath tea blend that I’m sharing with you today is a perfect option for these chilling days that are becoming more common. It is moisturizing as well as calming to inflamed or irritated skin.

This blend is made up of calendula, chamomile, hops, and oatmeal for their similar benefits of being calming and nourishing to all skin types and the addition of oatmeal also provides a creaminess to the bath water.

Recipe |

– 1 Tbsp. Calendula

– 1 Tbsp. Chamomile

– 1 Tbsp. Hops

1\2 Cup of Oatmeal

Combine all ingredients in a muslin bag or you could tie it all up in cheese cloth. Most bath teas are safe to put directly in your bath water but since this recipe contains oatmeal that could possibly clog your pipes, it is best to keep it in a bag of some kind.

Put your bag of bath tea in your bathtub and run the water, allowing it to gently infuse your bath.

If you would like a more potent concoction you can simmer a pot of water with the bath tea and pour it into your bath for a much more potent bath experience.

Sit back and relax in your bath for at least thirty minutes, making sure to have water on hand to rehydrate from the heat.

Since these are very calming herbs, this is a bath tea best used in the evening before you go to bed to help with winding down after a long day.

All of the herbs used in this tea blend are from Mountain Rose Herbs.

 

 

Skin Care Basics | Rosehip Oil

I don’t know about any of you but when I hear the term rosehip oil, I think of a luxurious skincare product that is tinted pink and can solve all of my problems.

Now it might not take all of your problems away but it is a gorgeous skincare product that is sure to please most, if not all of you, with its wonderful skincare benefits and natural, pink glow.

Scars | Rosehip oil is most widely know for its abilities at treating scars since it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and vitamins C and A.

It helps your skin to heal damaged areas as well as boost collagen reproduction and fade any discoloration from scarring.

The fatty acids that it naturally contains also helps to improve skin elasticity which helps unsightly scars to become less noticeable and smoother.

Anti-AgingRosehip oil is also anti-aging for many of the reasons that I have already stated above.

It boosts collagen production which helps more mature skin to regain its elasticity and firmness which in turn helps to prevent and repair wrinkles and skin sagging.

Rosehip oil is also very toning which helps to fight against uneven skin tone and age spots.

Protecting | This oil is good for many things as well as helping to protect our skin.

It contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene which help to protect against premature aging.

The antioxidants also act as an ultra violet protector for skin as it helps to prevent and repair the damage to skin from UV rays.

It has the ability to decrease environmental damage to the skin as well as sooth and treat skin conditions such as acne, and eczema while still being a light and an easy to use oil.

 

Rosehip oil can be incorporated into many different skincare products but one way that I prefer to use it is as a nighttime moisturizing oil either on its own or blended with other skin-loving essential oils.

It absorbs quickly into the skin and begins to repair it from the inside out.

 

Skin Care Basics | Lavender

Lavender is one of those scents that is always a crowd pleaser with its musky, floral notes and the ability to spread calm to whomever manages to get a whiff of it.

There are quite a few more wonderful benefits to lavender than just its pleasant scent, however, and today I thought I’d talk more about those benefits.

Anti-Aging | Lavender has a treasure trove of benefits for your skin and one of the best is its ability to be a natural anti-aging remedy.

It is naturally healing, toning, anti-inflammatory, and stimulating, all of which help to battle against aging skin.

Lavender stimulates new cellular growth and is incredibly diverse since it plays well with all skin types, even skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

 

Healing | I have already briefly mentioned lavender’s healing abilities but it can go much deeper than just healing acne or pesky break outs.

Lavender is amazing at soothing sunburns, swelling, and even bug bites. It can be used as a rub for sore and stiff muscles and joints and as a headache remedy when applied to the temples.

Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that is considered safe to use undiluted and can be applied straight to minor cuts and scrapes and bruises, even new or infected piercings.

 

Relaxing | The fact that the scent of lavender is relaxing to most is not a new discovery by any means but perhaps you haven’t been using it in the ways that you could be.

Lavender promotes restful sleep so you can make it into a relaxing habit of applying a few drops of lavender oil to your temples or the bottoms of your feet.

If you partake in yoga, Pilates, or meditation remember to bring the scent of lavender with you to further the benefits of what you are doing.

Add a few drops of lavender oil to your nighttime moisturizer or lotion to promote a calming and enjoyable mood before you go to bed. You can even go so far as to make a lavender spray to mist your room and sheets with.

Make sure you go and check out my last post where I talk all about what I got up to during the month of September.

Skin Care Basics | Plant Milks

Today’s topic is on the exciting benefits of using plant milks in your skincare routines.

Animal milks also have their individual benefits for your skin but since I avoid using all animal derived products, besides honey, in my skincare and soaps, I will only be talking about the benefits of plant derived milks.

Coconut Milk | Now coconut milk is my favorite plant milk to work with since it is so naturally moisturizing and indulgent when applied to your skincare.

It contains high levels of vitamin C which aids in your skin remaining flexible which helps to prevent skin sagging and wrinkles.

As you would imagine, coconut milk is also one of the most moisturizing plant milks with its rich consistency and natural oil and fat content.

This is the plant milk that I use the most in my soap making since it is amazingly moisturizing when added to soap and creates a luxurious, whipped cream like lather.

 

Almond Milk | Since almond milk is made with almonds and water it is naturally very hydrating when applied to the skin and works well with all skin types.

Almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E which helps to protect your skin from sun exposure and sun damage, it even helps to sooth sunburns.

Almond milk has a handful of hair friendly vitamins such as A, D, and B1 as well as many more which work together to condition and nourish hair strands and scalp.

 

Oat Milk | Oat milk is another plant milk that I often add to soap recipes to not only add a moisturizing component but to also make it more sensitive skin friendly.

Everyone is aware that oats are a wonderful option for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions and the same rule applies to oat milk.

It is anti-inflammatory and soothing to all skin types and can treat rashes, itching, and scaly skin.

Oats are known for their ability to lighten skin tone as well as smooth out bumpy skin and tone uneven skin pigments.

One of the best things about oat milk is that it is simple and cost effective to make from scratch which allows you to have full control over the ingredients that go into the oat milk.

Skin Care Basics | Tea Tree Oil

A few weeks back I wrote a blog post on a few essential oils that are good for your skin and I briefly mentioned tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is by far my most beloved and most used essential oil and is the one that I have also been using the longest out of any essential oils.

I believe whole heartedly in this oil’s ability to help everyone’s skin in some way which is why I decided to write a more in-depth post on its benefits.

Acne | Tea tree oil is both antibacterial and antifungal which makes it a wonderful option for those who suffer from mild to sever acne.

It is much more moisturizing than most acne treatments while also being drying enough to nip problematic acne in the bud.

Tea tree oil will even help you with the scars that acne leaves behind which makes it a wonderful, all in one product for acne sufferers who don’t want to be left with yet another skin care problem to conquer.

Anti-Inflammatory | If you have problems with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis than tea tree oil is a good skin care option for you as well.

It’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a fast healing oil for skin conditions that create itching or irritation. It even works to heal cuts and mild infections.

Tea tree oil works to quickly reduce any redness and irritation as well as to quickly heal any growing pimples or blemishes. For these reasons, many people use tea tree oil as a spot treatment.

Hair | Not only is tea tree oil beneficial for skin but it also has many positive hair qualities.

It works to unclog hair follicles which allows for faster and thicker hair growth as well as eliminating dandruff and an irritated and itchy scalp. It even acts as a solution for removing lice.

As with all other essential oils, it is important to exercise precaution when using tea tree oil since it is highly concentrated and could cause irritation.

Tea tree oil is also considered toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes and do a patch test on your skin to eliminate the possibility of any kind of irritation or allergic reaction.

 

Overnight Oil Hair Treatment

 

When it comes to taking care of myself my hair usually ends up falling to the bottom of the list since I prefer to throw it up into a bun and forget about it altogether.

Recently, however, I have been trying to make the extra effort to do a deep conditioning or an oil hair treatment a few nights out of the month.

They are fast and simple with only a few ingredients and a few spare minutes to apply then go to sleep and let the magic happen.

Recipe |

– 4 oz. Olive Oil

– 2 Drops Lavender Oil

– 3 Drops Peppermint Oil

 4 Drops Rosemary Oil

 

This amount of oil should last for many hair treatment and should be stored in a glass bottle since essential oils eat away at any plastic materials.

For this hair treatment I decided to reach for olive oil because of its heartiness as well as the fact that it is a kitchen staple for most.

As for the essential oils, rosemary is a very well know treatment for thick hair growth. Peppermint cleanses as well as promotes hair growth and gives the scalp a pleasant, tingling feeling. Lavender also promotes hair growth, as well as having a deep conditioning effect on both a dry and oily hair and scalp.

This hair treatment is incredibly moisturizing and helps with hair growth but most of all it smells amazing and is the perfect scent combination for a relaxing transition to nighttime.

Apply no more than one to two tablespoons to scalp and massage as well as disperse evenly through hair. Put your hair up and either cover your pillow or hair to avoid making a mess while sleeping and wash out thoroughly in the morning.

This oil can also be used to moisturize and smooth out hair by applying a few drops and massaging it through your hair as a daily hair serum.

If you are interested in researching further about natural hair care and ways to treat hair loss check out this resourceful article.

Skin Care Basics | Honey

Honey is the only animal made ingredient that I include in my soap making and skin care routine, mainly because I think that it is very important to support local bee keepers to keep our little friends pollinating.

I include honey in several of my soap recipes which always adds that extra luxurious flare to an otherwise average skin care product.

Break Outs | One thing that honey is well known for is its antibacterial properties.

Often times any kind of skin break out or acne can be treated by removing the excess build up of bacteria on the skin. There are plenty of commercially made antibacterial cleansers and soaps for skin but none of them are as sweet and gentle as honey is.

It’s calming abilities also make it a good option for a less intense, over night spot treatment that will allow you to wake up to less inflamed break outs.

Hydrating | Honey is a natural humectant which is a long word that simply means that it draws moisture from the air into the skin.

That extra benefit is what makes honey a fantastic option for those who suffer from dry or sensitive skin that is in need of a little extra hydration.

Honey is a good ingredient for those who are looking for moisturizing face and hair masks.

Anti Aging | The antioxidants in honey make it a great ingredient to include in a more mature skin care routine.

The purpose of antioxidants is to protect your skin for the harsh chemicals and climate as well as to improve the appearance of skin. Honey is a harmless and natural way of providing that extra boost to dry, tired skin that might not be getting enough antioxidants on its own.

It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous different kinds of honey and that not all are made equal.

Manuka honey is widely praised for its strong antibacterial abilities while a honey made from a specific plant, such as orange blossoms, will have different benefits for your skin.

One common rule to always follow when picking out your honey is to choose locally made or from a trust worthy company and to always choose raw and unfiltered since many benefits are lost in the purifying process.

Skin Care Basics | Fresh Ingredients

When someone mentions using fresh ingredients in skin care everyone in the room will automatically think of the banana and honey hair mask or the cucumber and papaya face mask that they saw on Pinterest.

Though I’m not saying that either one of those options is bad, they are also not the most pleasant skin treatments that come to mind.

I will admit that this post was inspired by my recent venture into adding fresh fruit and vegetable puree’s into my soap recipes but I have been using fresh ingredients in my skin care for much longer.

Fresh | Probably the most obvious but also most important reason why fresh ingredients are good for your skin is because they are fresh.

They are at their truest form without having been damaged by preservatives or other, less natural products.

Fresh ingredients are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your skin will love and each fruit or vegetable offers its own unique benefits.

Hydrating | Fresh ingredients are extremely hydrating in a way that lotions and oils will never be.

All fruits and vegetables are composed mainly of water, a great example of that is cucumber and watermelon. Our skin loves that kind of vitamin rich hydration that comes in its most natural form.

Indulgent | Having fresh ingredients in your skin care routine will always be an indulgent treat that is not only better for your skin but will always be more effective than a preservative laced, product in a jar.

You get to experience the beauty of each unique ingredient from the exfoliating seeds and sweet scent of the strawberry to the decadently  moisturizing avocado.

Once you begin to experiment with your own natural skin care creations you will never be able to go back to the artificial brand name products that pale in comparison.

And if you needed any more convincing, fresh ingredients equal less expenses, less packaging, and an amazingly less amount of waste in the long run.