Non Toxic D.I.Y Hand Sanitizer

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HAPPY GLOBAL HAND WASHING DAY, GUYS!!!! (well…tomorrow)

Autumn is here, and now that we are living in the Midwest again, I am beyond excited to experience everything that my favorite season has to offer! That being said, a couple of things that tend to increase around this time of the year are colds and flu – not cool, guys!

Of course, one of the biggest preventatives of these bugs, along with many other diseases and illnesses is to wash your hands regularly. Did you know that October 15 is global hand washing day?!? Good timing for this post, huh? I decided to get a jump on it, and publish this the day before, so that you all could have this recipe to celebrate on the actual day! ūüėČ

So, the question is, what to do when you’re out and about, and there’s no soap and water to wash your hands at a time when you need to (think porta-potties, being out in nature, etc)? Hand sanitizers are a great alternative, but the problem with that is that most store-bought hand sanitizers contain questionable ingredients at best, and downright dangerous ingredients at worst! Some of these ingredients to avoid in hand sanitizers and hand soaps are as follows:

  • Triclosan
  • SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
  • Parabens
  • DEA
  • Fragrance and Artificial Colors
  • Pthalates
  • Propylene Glycol

The list goes on and on, guys. These ingredients can be responsible for disrupting hormones, respiratory distress, skin rashes and reactions, allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity, and on and on…ugh! The following pin links to an article going into further detail of each of these ingredients to avoid in soaps and sanitizers.

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Okay, now that all that yuckiness is out of the way, on to the good news! Making your own hand sanitizer is really easy! The recipe I’ve come up with is actually great for moisturizing the skin, and it’s free of any toxic ingredients! Awesome!

NON TOXIC D.I.Y HAND SANITIZER

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol (If the rubbing alcohol concerns you, you can also use witch hazel in its place to make the recipe gentler and alcohol free, or you can even use vodka for a weaker alcohol in its place)
  • 3 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbsp. aloe vera oil
  • 1/4 tsp.colloidal silver (optional)
  • 8 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:

1.) Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine completely.

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2.) Carefully pour the mixture into a small bottle container, cover and shake to combine even more. Anytime you need to sanitize your hands, apply a small amount onto your hands and rub in.

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Safe, non-toxic, moisturizing, and it works! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and any recipe for food, beauty products, cleaning products, or the like is not a means of diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure for any disease or condition, mental or physical, real or imaginary.

DIY Pore Refining Baking Soda Scrub

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Ya know, being in my 40’s is kinda rad…except the part where my pores appear to be growing at an exponential rate as though they are trying to eat my face. ¬†Okay, I’m exaggerating…a lot, so don’t be scared of your 40’s! ¬†However, it is inevitable that we all eventually begin to show signs of aging, and pores are a part of that.

It is unfortunate that most store bought facial products, even ones that claim to be natural or organic, ¬†contain a lot of really harmful and toxic chemicals that are not good for us! ¬†And it’s not like there’s just a couple of them (though there are some that are worse than others), there’s tons of them. ¬†It is nearly impossible to find store-bought skin care products that don’t contain some sort of unwanted chemical causing an unwanted side effect. ¬†Speaking of side effects, the side effects from these chemicals can range from a little bit of skin irritation to something as severe as cancer or even death!

I don’t know about you, but I think that if I’m weighing my options of healthy looking skin and staying alive, I think I’m gonna choose staying alive! ¬†The good news is that most any skin ailment has a natural remedy that you can make yourself with a few natural and non-toxic ingredients, pores included!

I was looking around pinterest for D.I.Y. pore refining ideas, and one ingredient I kept coming across was baking soda, so I searched “baking soda for the skin” and was pleasantly surprised with how many uses this safe ingredient has for the skin, hair, and health in general! ¬†The following pin links to a site describing THIRTY-THREE of those benefits!

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After reading up on baking soda for the skin, I found that this is a great ingredient for cleansing and, in turn, refining the pores. ¬†A lot of the masks that I found used just baking soda and water, orange juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or some other liquid that didn’t provide any moisture to the skin. ¬†I knew that that wouldn’t do, so I decided to just mix some baking soda with some coconut oil, and Wah-la! ¬†I had a great pore refining scrub that also provides a whole bunch of great moisture and anti-aging benefits because of the coconut oil. ¬†That’s right, just two simple and safe ingredients, and the results are just as good, if not better, than store bought products! ¬†Woo-hoo!

PORE REFINING BAKING SODA FACIAL SCRUB

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. baking soda Experiment with this to know the amount that is good for you. ¬†If you have sensitive skin, start with just 1/4 tsp. and see how you do.

Directions:

1.) Mix together the coconut oil and baking soda in a small bowl.

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2.) Apply to face, and gently exfoliate by using your fingers to scrub (gently) in a circular motion, paying close attention to any areas in which your pores are more noticeable.  Continue for 5-10 minutes and then leave on for an additional 5 minutes.

3.) Gently remove using a soft cloth and cool water.  Gently Pat dry.

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy! ūüôā

Dry Skin Brushing With How To Video

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I’ve finally gotten around to making a quick video of my skin brushing routine, so wanted to write a quick post about it.

Some of you may be familiar with dry skin brushing, or maybe you’ve heard of it, but aren’t really sure what it entails. ¬†Basically, dry skin brushing is simply a matter of using a brush to brush your skin while it’s dry. ¬†This may sound silly, but the benefits really are numerous.

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If you’ve never done skin brushing, then you are probably skeptical…I mean, how can simply rubbing a brush over your skin provide all these benefits? ¬†I was the exact same way before I started dry skin brushing, but I figured, what can it hurt, so I gave it a shot four years ago, and have been hooked ever since.

I am here to tell you from personal experience that dry skin brushing does provide these various benefits when done regularly for an extended period of time. ¬†So much so that when you are first starting out, you may find that you have a period of detox symptoms. ¬†I had about a week or so of a bit of a headache, some diarrhea (sorry if that’s TMI), fatigue, and feeling a bit like I was coming down with a cold, but it never turned into one. ¬†Thankfully, I knew this might happen, so I carried on, and those initial symptoms disappeared, and I started to notice less cellulite, brighter skin, areas of dry skin all but disappeared, my digestion improved, and I just had an overall lighter feeling about me.

I’m not saying this stuff will happen overnight, and I’m also not saying that dry skin brushing alone will make all this happen, but I am saying that dry skin brushing is a fantastic tool to implement into any healing program that you may be on.

Okay, let’s talk procedure. ¬†There area many different ways to dry skin brush. ¬†The main thing to remember is “towards the heart”. ¬†When in doubt, always go towards the heart. The way that I do my dry skin brushing is very similar to a process that I found on Green Smoothie Girl’s website. ¬†The following video is me demonstrating this process.

 

Notes from the video:

  • I am not a crazy cat lady (well, okay maybe I kinda am), but both of our cats made plenty of appearances in this video making it look like we have a gazillion cats. ¬†I assure you, we only have two. ūüôā
  • The brushes I briefly discussed on here are wood brushes with natural bristles, and the set of three shown can be purchased here. ¬†At the time of this post, the entire set is just $13.99.
  • When you first start dry skin brushing, chances are, you’ll try to brush too hard. ¬†The pressure should be gentle. ¬†You’re not trying to scratch the skin. ¬†Just brush over the skin gently with mild pressure. ¬†It is normal to have a BIT of a pink color to your skin afterwards, especially when you’re first getting started, but skin should definitely not be red or painful afterwards.

Alrighty, guys! ¬†I think that’s it! ¬†Give it a try! ¬†You’ve got nothing to lose, and lots of health benefits to gain! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this video is not intended to diagnose or treat any type of disease or medical condition.  Always check with your medical professional before adding anything to your healthcare routine.

D.I.Y. Anti-Aging and Brightening Face Mask

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So, I’m turning 40 in 2 months! I’m super excited, because it puts me into the masters division for racing, but what I’m not so excited about is that I’m starting to look my age! ¬†The fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, etc. sneak up on you like a little skin ninja! ¬†On a super good day, I can still look like I’m in my mid 30’s, but on a bad day, it looks like I magically aged a decade or so overnight, and am 50 something!

About 5-6 months ago, I started looking at different all natural facial skin treatments on Pinterest. ¬†Most of the ones I found are for those in their 20’s, aimed more at acne than at anti-aging or hyperpigmentation. ¬†However, I started to research some different ingredients, and trying different concoctions, and I came up with one that is great for someone that is looking for something effective, all-natural, and good for people with maturing skin.

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to post this, because I was a little nervous about putting pictures of my face in all it’s naked glory when I’ve just woken up in the morning on here, but I love this mask so much that I knew I had to share! ¬†I use this mask once or twice a week, and it never fails to make my face feel all soft and bright. ¬†I also love it, because it is ALL NATURAL ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about any of the nasty chemicals that are in store-bought face masks, or chemical peels/masks that you get at the spa. Plus, um, it’s SO much cheaper!

There is a good chance that you already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen, which is another plus. ¬†There’s just four simple ingredients, and all of them have great health benefits for the skin!

Avocado: High in Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and omega-9 fatty acids, which makes the avocado provide the following skin benefits:

  • Anti-aging: reduces sun damage, smooths fine lines and wrinkles,
  • Protects against environmental damage
  • Improves skin tone and appearance
  • Boosts collagen

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has too many good things in it to list, but here are several of the skin benefits it can provide:

  • Delivers moisture to dry skin
  • Reduces undereye bags
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Antibacterial properties that aid in reducing and preventing acne
  • Cleanses skin and pores
  • Great for eczema and other skin conditions
  • Natural SPF of about 4

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has long been used as a medicinal herb when it comes to the skin.  Some of the benefits it provides are as follows:

  • Helps to reduce/eliminate the appearance of scars from blemishes
  • Reduces inflammation and irritation of the skin
  • promotes hydration of the skin
  • smooths appearance of the skin
  • brightens and evens skin tone

Turmeric: Contains curcumin, curcuma, powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties giving it the following skin benefits:

  • Lightens and brightens skin tone
  • Treats acne
  • Soothes skin inflammation
  • Reduces redness
  • Helps prevent and reduce scarring from acne

Like I said, I came up with this mask by trial and error. ¬†What prompted it was that I was using a sun screen that was really thick, so I decided to mix a small amount of coconut oil with it so it would spread on better, and I started to notice an improvement in my skin. ¬†After that, I decided to make a coconut oil based mask, and the other ingredients are the ones that I’ve found to be the best for my needs. ¬†It is my favorite for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, providing moisture, and brightening and evening my skin tone.

Okay, so here’s the part I was hesitant about – my before, during, and after photos of this mask:

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These are completely makeup free and un-retouched, not to mention they are from when I’ve just woken up in the morning, so you can see all my imperfections…but hey, we’re all perfectly imperfect, right? ūüôā ¬†Anyway, let’s get up close and personal, so you can really see that the mask does make a difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as brighten the complexion.

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You can see a slight reduction in my lines and wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes and mouth, and the brightening effect is obvious. ¬†Of course, it’s not a miracle worker where it just takes everything away completely in one application. However, I’ve been using this about 2 times per week over the past 4 months or so, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference that is just as good, if not better, as the results I get from store-bought masks (and WITHOUT the chemicals – this is SO important to me), so I give it my stamp of approval!

ANTI-AGING AND SKIN BRIGHTENING FACE MASK

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 organic ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. organic nutmeg
  • pinch of organic turmeric (don’t overdo this ingredient, otherwise, you may end up with a yellow face for a day…I learned this the hard way ūüôā )

Directions:

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the avocado.  Mash in the coconut oil, and mix in the nutmeg and turmeric. Apply to face, and leave on for 15 minutes.  Rinse with warm water, and pat dry.

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Give it a try! ¬†You’ve got nothing to lose, but the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Sources:

Super Easy DIY Silver Polishing

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Pinterest win!!! ¬†I’ve been on a minimalist kick lately, so am trying to get rid of some things. ¬†As I was going through my jewelry to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, I came across some of my silver jewelry (including my favorite bracelet) that I would totally wear, but they were a bit tarnished, because it had been awhile since I last used them.

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I decided that I wanted to keep these pieces, but I would need to get some silver polish…then the light bulb in my head went off, and I thought – PINTEREST! ¬†Sure enough, there were tons of DIY silver polish tricks and recipes. ¬†They all were a little bit different, but it was the same main idea. I decided to try a little bit of each of them to come up with my own process.

I don’t mean to brag, but this little concoction/procedure turned out FANTASTIC! ¬†I’m pretty sure Harvard will be calling soon in hopes that I will accept an honorary P.h.D. in Chemistry, but I probably won’t accept. ¬†Hey, I’m just a humble gal trying to salvage some of her favorite jewelry pieces!

The great news is that all that you need to clean silver is probably in your kitchen cupboard, and oh my gosh, guys Рthis stuff WORKS!  I was skeptical because it seemed so simple, but by golly, it worked!

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It’s completely safe and non-toxic, and the way that I did it keeps the mess to a minimum (I read a lot of posts on Pinterest that complained of the mess of adding baking soda to boiling water – don’t worry! ¬†The way I did this will keep that from happening).

It doesn’t just work for jewelry either! ¬†You can use it for silverware, silver figurines, etc…plain and simple, it works! ¬†Seriously, guys – you need to try this stuff! ¬†You will feel like a mad scientist in your kitchen as you watch the tarnish magically disappear, and you will be left with beautifully shiny and brilliant silver!

DIY SILVER POLISH

Materials Needed:

  • A large bowl (big enough to fit whatever you are cleaning)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda per 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tsp. salt per 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • boiling water (enough to cover whatever you are cleaning)

Directions:

1.) Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.  While the water is heating up, line your bowl with aluminum foil.

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2.) Place the baking soda and sea salt in the bottom of the lined bowl. Slowly add the vinegar and watch it bubble and fizz – this is where you will feel like a brilliant chemist. ¬†Once the water is boiling, add enough of it to the bowl so that whatever you are cleaning will be completely covered. ¬†Once again, embrace your inner chemist and watch as the baking soda and salt that hasn’t yet dissolved in the vinegar magically dissolves completely.

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3.) Gently drop your silver into the bowl. ¬†You will see the tarnish just melt away – it’s really quite neat! ¬†Let the silver soak for about 10 minutes.

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4.) Carefully use a spoon to take the silver out of the bowl, and use a rag to dry off and remove any spots that haven’t come off yet.

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5.) If it is not yet as pretty as you would desire, you can repeat the procedure to get it even cleaner, but my guess is you won’t have to! ¬†I’m still shocked at how well this worked and how easy it was!

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AMAZING! ¬†IT WORKS!!! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Homemade Pain Relieving Gel – Safe and Non-Toxic

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Last week, I woke up and realized that I am getting old! ¬†Somehow, I managed to sleep wrong (is that even a thing?), and I woke with a major kink on the right side of my neck/trap muscle. ¬†OUCH! ¬†I tried stretching it, heating it with a grain bag, massaging it, etc. but it just wouldn’t give!

Because I had a busy day in front of me, I knew I needed something that could dull the pain while this thing calmed down. ¬†I don’t do pain relievers such as ibuprofen unless it is a dire emergency, so I tried to think of something to use that would help throughout the day. ¬†Icy hot/Ben Gay came to mind, but I wasn’t sure about the ingredients in them. ¬†Thankfully, I knew about the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website.

The EWG website’s skin deep cosmetic guide is a great tool to figure out if any beauty product or ingredient is safe. ¬†The following pin gives some useful facts and links to the website.

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I¬†hopped on my computer and within a couple of minutes, I discovered that those Icy Hot/Ben Gay products aren’t too great…I’ve seen worse, but I knew I could do better. ¬†I looked at the main ingredients, and saw menthol and camphor as a common ingredient. ¬†Both of these have an excellent safety rating on the site so I figured why not make my own pain relieving cream/gel with these as my main ingredients?

Guess what? ¬†It worked!!! ¬†Both in that the recipe turned out great – it’s safe and non-toxic, and it helped to relieve my pain throughout the day as long as I reapplied as needed. ¬†I am also happy to report that the kink finally let up a few days later, and I’m doing much better now. ¬†I’m so glad that I now have this cream/gel recipe on hand for any future incidents that may arise! ¬†It is perfect for runners as it will soothe away any soreness after a great workout! ¬†Heck, it’s perfect for anyone that gets minor aches and pains here and there!

HOMEMADE SAFE AND NATURAL PAIN RELIEVING GEL

Ingredients (I made a small batch since I knew I would only need a little bit.  This recipe makes about 2 ounces of gel, but you can easily double or even triple the recipe to make more):

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. beeswax pellets
  • 3-4 drops of Camphor oil
  • 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus oil
  • 1 tsp. Menthol Crystals¬†(You can also use 3-4 drops of peppermint oil or menthol oil in place of the menthol crystals, but I find that the crystals make the recipe more effective)

Directions:

1.) In a small sauce pan, completely melt the coconut oil and beeswax pellets over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add the camphor oil, eucalyptus oil, and menthol crystals.  Stir till completely dissolved. Pour into a glass container.

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2.) Allow to sit until it solidifies (About an hour or so).

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Rub into those painful areas an get ready for some sweet (and safe) relief! Enjoy! ūüôā

DIY Non Toxic Sunscreen and Bug Repellent Cubes

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So, the other day, I was getting ready to go for a hike.  I applied my homemade sunscreen and my homemade bug spray.

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As I was doing so, I got to thinking that it would be great if I could just do this in one step, because well, I’m lazy. ¬†During my hike, I came up with the idea of making these sunscreen and bug repellent cubes, and I love them! ¬†They’re so easy to make, and even easier to apply. ¬†You simply rub it on your skin and massage in. ¬†Wa-la! ¬†You’re protected from both burning and bug bites!

The essential oils in these cubes are the same oils I use in my homemade natural bug spray.  They work great to keep the creepy crawlies away, and they are non-toxic as opposed to many of the chemicals in traditional bug sprays.

I’m not certain on the SPF of these. ¬†It depends on how much Zinc Oxide powder you use in the recipe, but the ingredients of coconut oil, zinc oxide powder, and carrot seed oil all have SPF properties. ¬†If I were to guess, I would say these bars are anywhere from 15SPF – 50SPF…yeah, that really narrows it down.

What I can tell you for sure is the following:

1.) It works!  I applied it before going for a 7 mile hike in the hot San Antonio sun today, and I stayed burn free and bug free the whole way!

2.) It’s natural and non-toxic! ¬†All of the ingredients are not harmful like the chemicals in most store bought sunscreens and bug repellents.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sold! ¬†I love this stuff, and I bet you will too if you give it a try!

Quick note before we get started – cleanup after making this can be a bit cumbersome, because the oil and shea butter can be hard to get rid of (great for the actual cube, because it won’t just sweat off right away, but not so great for cleaning it off of pans, etc.). ¬†My suggestion is using a paper towel to wipe everything down right after you get your mold filled. ¬†Then use hot water with soap to wash completely. ¬†Basically, clean it before it dries…except the mold that the bars need to harden in, of course. ūüôā

HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN AND BUG REPELLENT CUBES

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup beeswax pellets
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide powder
  • about 5 drops of each of the following essential oils: lavender, rose geranium, white thyme, carrot seed oil, and citronella

Directions:

1.) In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax pellets over medium heat until completely melted.

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2.) Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide powder and the essential oils.  Stir until the powder is completely dissolved.

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3.) Carefully spoon the mixture into a silicone mold.  My silicone mold is of 1 inch cubes, but  you could use any shape.  This recipe made 12 Р1 inch cubes.

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4.) Allow to harden completely.  You can put it in the fridge to speed things up, but it will harden pretty quickly regardless.  Once hardened, push the bottom of each mold to remove each cube.

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5.) Store in a cool place in a glass jar.  To apply, just rub onto skin and then massage in.

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Yeah, double protection in just one step! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā