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

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

All Natural Mouth Care

One of the first things that I made when I began to use more natural skin care was my own toothpaste and mouth wash.

The idea of making your own mouth products might seem strange to most people but it is really such a cheap and affordable step towards a more natural lifestyle.

The realization that what I was putting in my mouth might not be the healthiest option for my teeth and gum health was when I really started to notice the ingredients in the toothpaste and mouth wash that I was using.

Both were usually riddled with unnatural dyes, sugar, and a hoard of long words that I thought, must surely be unnecessary.

The ingredients seemed to contradict the products purpose and besides it being highly manufactured, excessively packaged, and unhealthy, there was a much more natural and affordable option.

Toothpaste | The one recipe that I have stuck with through the years has been a very quick and simple one made up of only two ingredients. Coconut oil and baking soda.

Oil has a way of latching onto dirt and bacteria in a way that most other ingredients cannot do which means that it will stick to and pull out the build up on teeth and gums.

Coconut oil is also the perfect consistency to whip up by hand and has a pleasant taste and a soft feel to it.

Throw in a small portion of baking soda which is known for its cleaning capabilities as well as having a slight whitening affect and you will have a very simple, all natural toothpaste recipe to use as is or to build on.

If you are want a more uniquely made toothpaste then you can add in a small bit of stevia for sweetness, benonite clay for an extra cleaning toothpaste, or a small amount of essential oils for flavor.

Mouth Wash | Creating a mouth wash personalized for your dental needs can be a little more tricky then putting together toothpaste.

Being someone who has always suffered from sensitive, bleeding gums, I use a simple mouth wash of sea salt and water to promote healing and good bacteria.

You should always reasearch natural options for your personal needs, if you suffer from bad breath maybe a strong cinnamon tea would make a good mouth wash for you or another herbal tea could help with any other dental issues you may have.

Always make sure that what you are making is safe especially if it is going into your body and always stop using your products if they are causing any negative reactions.

 

Skin Care Basics | Essential Oils

Essential oils are very ‘in’ right now and though I’m not one to follow trends or fads, I do fully support the promotion of more natural living.

The addition of essential oils into my skin care routine has been a slow journey and a cautious one since essential oils are very potent oils that need to be handled with care.

They are fun and wonderful ingredients to introduce into your skin care routine and with enough education and a light hand, they can be utterly harmless.

Lavender | Though I tend to stay away from most floral oils because of personal preferences, I do always have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand.

It’s fragrant and has the amazing ability of calming irritated skin as well as reducing redness. It is also a very moisturizing essential oil which makes it a perfect match for dry skin.

Chamomile | Chamomile just might be one of the most expensive essential oils to buy but if you are really interested in incorporating essential oils into your skin care here are a few reasons why it might be worth the expense.

We all know that chamomile tea is amazing at calming irritation whether that be internal or external, when you use chamomile essential oil you multiply that by ten.

It is very potent and fragrant with a brightening and lightening effect on the skin as well as calming any redness or irritation. It is a fantastic option for those who suffer from acne or skin conditions similar to eczema.

Tea Tree | I have saved the best for last because this essential oil is by far my most used and favorite oil.

As someone who has chronically red and inflamed skin, this oil is my go to almost everyday because of its antibacterial properties.

It has the amazing ability of reducing redness and healing cuts or irritated skin blemishes almost overnight. For those reasons it is very popular as a spot treatment.

As a word of caution, tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

Though I have only listed but a very few essential oil options, there are hundreds to choose from and experiment with but as always, you must do so with caution.

When you take charge of your own skin care you must also take charge of the safety measures. Never take essential oils internally unless you have properly researched the oil first and always be light handed with the amount you use even externally since anything can become irritating with too high of a dose.

Licorice and Peppermint Face Mask

 

It has taken me a long time to really get back into skincare after losing my passion for it in the midst of health issues and the hustle and bustle of life.

I stopped making time for one of my favorite things because it felt unproductive when I could be doing more important things than just lounging around with a green face mask on.

Finding the realization that not everything we do in life needs to be productive and time managed is incredibly important. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, setting aside time to do the things that you love is never a waste.

With that being said, I wanted to share this herbal face mask with all of you.

There are only three ingredients in it which make it a breeze to throw together and all of the ingredients are relatively easy to find if, like me, you buy everything online.

Peppermint is antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and very healing which is great if your suffering from any break outs or unsightly redness.

Licorice root is one of my favorite herbs for reducing redness and for skin lightening, it is also very good for those with sensitive skin.

Matcha is an amazing purifier for the skin since it is very concentrated. It is also anti inflammatory and helps to reduce redness while still being gentle for those with sensitive skin.

You can see that I went with a theme here since this mask’s main characteristic is its ability to reduce redness while being anti inflammatory and gentle.

I usually use equal parts matcha to peppermint leaves with just a pinch of licorice root. You will want to grind all of the ingredients together to get a loose powder.

For your own convenience, buying licorice root that is already ground is a must in order to avoid a long grinding process that will usually result in splinters.

Make as much as you want then combine a teaspoon of the mask in enough water to create a loose paste and store the rest of the mask in a container.

This face mask is a bit cold and tingly so if your sensitive to that you might want to add more matcha than peppermint leafs.

Leave the mask on for fifteen minutes or until dry.

Let me know in the comments if any of you try out this mask and if you would like to see my last blog post where I talked about my thoughts on creating balance, click here.

 

 

 

Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil Facial Steam

I was very excited about writing this blog post since its going to be the first wellness post on this blog. Before I created this newer blog I originally wrote about natural beauty and I’m so glad that I can incorporate a bit of that into this blog too.

Recently I have been dealing with a variety of skin issues such as clusters of cystic acne and a few small, scaly rashes on my chin and neck. I have terrible allergies which might be the cause of the rashes but I used to have a skin infection that caused me to get cysts on my knees and face.

The doctors never found the cause of the infection but the fact that it has returned and has been spreading over my face led me to take matters into my own hands.

Anything that required me to touch my face was just too painful so any special face washes or scrubs were out of the question which led me to doing a facial steam.

Facial steams are amazing for any kind of break outs since it doesn’t require you to be aggressive with your skin in any way and it gives your skin a deep clean that just washing your face can’t achieve.

Peppermint is anti-inflammatory as well as soothing for skin issues and tea tree oil is very well known for its anti-bacterial qualities. Together these two herbal treatments make a simple but powerful skin treatment for any kind of break out or ailment you might have.

To make the facial steam heat up several cups of water until a steady flow of steam is visible then add one peppermint tea bag or a few drops of peppermint oil,  as well as a few drops of tea tree oil into the water.

Gently wash your face with water then cover your head with a towel and sit with your face comfortable close to the water for five to eight minutes then splash cool water onto your face to remove any sweat or oils and pat dry.

You should see a noticeable difference in the clearness of your skin, some of the pimples will turn into scabs and others might rise to the surface to be gently cleaned.

Even if this facial steam isn’t a magical cure for the skin issues you might have it’s still worth the effort to give yourself a little pamper since any kind of facial steam has a way of relaxing even the most anxious of people.