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Find the right Face and Body oils

Facial oils have the essential fatty acids your skin thirsts for. These oils are NOT the greasy baby/mineral oils you lubed up with as a teen to crisp yourself in the sun (stupid and regretful).

The best oils for skin are strictly vegan (seed, nut, fruit, bean).  They contain vitamins (A, B, D, E),  fatty acids, omegas (6 and 9)and antioxidants that benefit any type of skin from newborn, to aging, to recovering…and they are available in your natural food, health or grocery store.

I (my Co, demes) began making skincare oil blends nearly 2 years ago when a loved one had endured radiation treatment for skin cancer. This radiation left his skin so hard and damaged a needle couldn’t go through it. This sparked my need to create products that are highly absorbent, natural, and can penetrate deep into damaged skin tissue. The right blend can help moisturize even damaged skin. Its an ongoing effort to make this work.

You can buy oil blends, or you can try them in their base form – ie. Off the shelf from your natural food or grocery store.  Below is a list of more common oils and what benefits they offer; some can even be blended together to provide the best solution for your skin.

Sweet Almond oil – for dry, itchy skin, scar tissue, stretchmarks.

Avocado oil – for very dry, wrinkled skin, eczema, psoriasis, sun damaged skin, skin softener absorbed into deep tissue.

Grapeseed oil – oily or acne skin, evens skin tone

Hazelnut oil – oily, combination skin, acne

Jojoba oil – All skin types, balancing, acne, blackheads, psoriasis

Macadamia nut oil – infants, babies, aging, dry skin, skin softener

Olive oil – very, very, dry skin, hair – use for cleaning face

Hemp seed oil – dry, itchy, eczema, UV protective properties

Sunflower oil – All skin types, acne, seborrhea

A little goes a long way, use sparingly. To add more benefits to the oils, add essential oils. There’s a future post.

Check out these articles:

http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/face-oil-skin-care-products#slide-1

http://hungeree.com/skincare/emma-stones-grapeseed-oil-moisturizer/

http://fashionista.com/2012/01/why-you-should-put-oil-on-your-face-plus-our-recommendations-for-the-best-ones-out-there/

DIY Grapefruit and salt scrub

Grapefruit is not only a nutrient-rich food to be eaten. The peel contains essential oils with benefits, too — anti-oxidant, tonic, lymphatic system stimulant (aiding immune system), diuretic, and helps break down cellulite (magical words to me, but always worth a try).

The essential oils are within sacs of the peel. If you look closely you can see them and can even burst them by pinching or pressing the sacs.

When you finish eating your half grapefruit for breakfast, save the empty half. Scoop out as much of the inside as you can. Save this for your next shower or bath.

Next up: salt. Dead sea salt or epsom salts are great for exfoliation and flushing toxins out of your system.

Pour a few tablespoons of salt into the grapefruit inner part.

Get into the shower or bathtub and scrub the salt onto your body using the grapefruit as the “loofah”.  Skin will be refreshed and exfoliated.

For maximum benefits, scrub and then rest in a water- filled tub where the salt can dissolve (allowing for penetration to muscles) and the grapefruit essential oils can be further absorbed into the skin.

A note: for those who are concerned about salt, use sugar..but I don’t recommend the bath part of this.

No Fun, Gus. DIY help for the “unspeakables”

WARTS!!! There I said it. Warts, nail fungus, athlete’s foot. NO ONE wants to talk about it, but it’s out there, lurking. wart-toe

A year ago, my son had warts on his toes and knees. We went to the doctor, who I think is old school (as in awesome). He said they go away on their own (they are viral), but you can help speed their departure, at home.

Naturally, having a plethora of essential oils on hand (of course), I put together a lovely blend to battle the warts. It worked.  Not only do essential oils work for warts, they are very useful in battling FUNGUS based issues such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

Here are some super anti-fungal, antiseptic essential oils to help the battle against the unspeakables:

Blend a few drops of essential oil with aloe gel, vinegar, water or alcohol and apply.  Tea tree oil can be applied “neat” usually without irritation. Also, raw garlic has been noted in some sources as being a potent fungal fighter

You can mix in a spray bottle and spray feet daily (especially after sports or a gym visit) to help prevent fungus growth. Unfortunately, warts are viral related…while you can’t prevent them this way, you can help them go away.

If you are irritated by any of these conditions you should definitely see a doctor or health practitioner.

Here is what I used for my son’s toe and knee warts:

1 tsp each: cinnamon, cypress, lemon, tea tree essential oils. 30 mL (1 oz) olive oil. mix into glass bottle, and put on (with Q-tip or cotton pad) every morning and night.

Here are some other helpful links:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/home-remedies/natural-home-remedies-athletes-foot

http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-Toe-Nail-Fungus

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-warts/DS00370

Organic-Essential-Oils

Uses for essential oils around the home

Essential oils are derived from various types of plants- from leaves, stems, bark, fruit, or peels. They are highly potent and effective in many ways from health to beauty to aromatherapy to cleaning and so on.  There’s nothing hokey or granola hippie about it…just straight up organic chemistry (science, folks). These oils are comprised of hydrocarbons and compounds including terpenes, phenols, esters, alcohols, etc. I suggest you Google “chemical compounds in essential oils”, if you want to know more. It will help you understand how and why essential oils work.

Here is a list of everyday uses and simple recipes for using essential oils around the home.

Air fresheners / deodorizer – replace all your synthetic, unhealthy air “fresheners” with highly potent and natural deodorizers. Simply add a few drops of essential oil to:

  • a candle
  • humidifier or vapourizer
  • a spray bottle with water, vinegar, or vodka
  • air vents (this includes car)
  • inside of toilet paper roll

For purifying the air, use germ killing essential oils like lavender, lemon, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus

All purpose Cleaning - use essential oils to replace commonly used cleaners, such as:

  •  kitchen and bath cleaner spray – add drops of essential oil to vodka, alcohol, or vinegar. Leave on to allow the essential oils to penetrate greasy surfaces and wipe off with cloth
  • kitchen and bath scrub – add drops of essential oil to a cup of baking soda or Borax. shake onto dampened surface and scrub with a damp cloth (good for stove tops, tiles, bathtubs and sinks)
  • Carpet deodorizer – add drops of essential oil to baking soda, leave in a jar for a few days. Shake on carpets and leave on for 30 minutes (check a small test area first, if you are using citrus essential oils – they are known for lightening and bleaching). Vacuum after 30 mins.

Eucalyptus and lemon essential oils are effective at cutting through grease naturally while deodorizingEssential-Oils

Furniture and linens - use essential oils to deodorize, sanitize and get rid of odors in easy ways:

  • use a few drops of essential oils with alcohol, water or vodka and spray on pillows, sheets, drapes, blinds and mattresses to kill mildew, mold, and dust mites.
  • add drops of essential oil to a facecloth and put in the dryer with clothes
  • use a piece of an old t-shirt, put a few drops of essential oil on it and tie it to the rod in your closet
  • add essential oil to olive oil and use as a polish for furniture
  • use a few drops of lemon or peppermint essential oil with water to spray cat posts or doggie beds

tea tree, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender are great at sanitizing and reducing dust mites and mold.

Outdoors – use essential oils to fend of irritating bugs

  • add essential oils to grapeseed, coconut, olive or other light seed or vegan oil. Let this sit in a jar for a few days. Use for camping or outdoors as a repellent by rubbing into skin (grapeseed is non pore clogging).
  • put drops of peppermint in a sprayer with water and spray along ant trails
  • leave drops of peppermint oil at door and entry ways to fend off and deter ants
  • put drops of essential oil in an outdoor candle to fend off mosquitoes and blackflys
  • put drops of essential oil on shoes (outside part) or boots, and outside of hat to drive away mosquitoes and blackflys

Essential oils to use for repelling pests can be lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, pennyroyal, catnip

Buttermeup-header

love your skin

May is skin cancer awareness month  (Skin Cancer Foundation). Time to pay attention to this common killer that affects millions of people, and to show some love for your skin.
Skin cancer affects our largest and most protective organ. I urge you to read up more about how melanoma or skin cancer is derived…the answer, like all other cancers is not clearly defined. As a matter of fact, melanoma appears at times in places on the body that have next to no exposure to the sun. http://www.melanoma.org/learn-more/melanoma-101/causes-melanoma

Here are some points we think are important to remember this month, for awareness:
- Many factors in our environment (including the sun) can affect health and lifestyle. What does “environment” mean? It means what you expose yourself to: breathe, absorb, eat, drink, see, hear, live.
- The products you use affect you – cleaning products, “air” fresheners, cosmetics, personal care…ALL of them affect you. You absorb what is in your environment, somehow, someway. So do your kids and your pets.
- Don’t slather yourself with toxic laden cosmetics and “sun protection”  in an attempt to avoid skin cancer. Use a decent resource to find out what sunscreens are safe to use for your family, like Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep Database that rates products from safe to hazardous (yes, there are hazardous rated sunscreens): http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
- Products and chemicals you use for home, health, and your family are not strictly regulated by the government. These guys are on a mission to stop that: http://safecosmetics.org/ . We are members and advocate what they are working to accomplish.

take care, be aware and love your skin

vinegar

why I love vinegar

Why I love vinegarvinegar

When I was a teenager, I soaked my hair in vinegar and walked around with this in my hair all day.  I was told by someone at school that it would make my hair lighter.  Truth that I have found is, vinegar doesn’t lighten your hair. At least it doesn’t for me.  What it does do is balance the acids in your hair, closes your cuticles, and restores the ph balance. You use it after you rinse your shampoo, and rinse, before you add conditioner. Careful with the eyes. (I prefer apple cider vinegar diluted for this)

It makes your hair shiny..period. Love.

So, why else do I love vinegar?

Because it is so very versatile, smells great, and naturally cleans, cuts grease, and deodorizes.

Pets: yes, you can spray your dogs with vinegar.  Try diluted apple cider vinegar to make their coat shiny. Actually, here is a link that shows even more benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-for-Dogs

For the kitchen: use vinegar to cut through grease, wipe your appliances and countertops.

Microwave: pour 1 cup of vinegar in a bowl and put in microwave. Set microwave to cook on high for one minute (or more if your microwave is old). Let it sit for 5 minutes after. Take bowl out and wipe down the inside of the microwave with ease.

Cut through airborne oil: After using a deepfryer or cooking bacon, spray a mix of 3 parts vinegar 1 part water in the air and on any fabric that is near your kitchen (watch and test first for anything that may be colourfast or stains from this).

Bathrooms: use vinegar everywhere. mix with baking soda if you need to really scrub dirt away. I mix with water to dilute and make it go a long way.

Here are more reasons to love vinegar at: Mother Earth Living

Fight germs, bed bugs and mites with essential oils

Winter is here and holidays are coming.  If you are like me and live in Canada, you will be seeking warmer pastures between December and March.

woman with bed bug bites

woman with bed bug bites

Be warned – wherever you go, regardless of the hotel you are staying in –5 stars included– you are exposing yourself to a potential cesspool of dustmites, mites, microbial germs, bacteria, and bed bugs (yes, it’s true).  It’s better that I scare you with this, than let you get some itchy rash, and even worse, bring this kind of stuff back home with you.

CBC recently published an article about dirty hotels: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/11/07/marketplace-dirty-hotels.html  (These are hotels in Canada). http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/dirty-hotel/  . Also, world health organizations have announced concern over the reintroduction of bedbugs due to the increase in travel and globalization. See the bottom of this post for a Health Canada link to avoid bringing bedbugs home.

How can you naturally protect yourself on the road? – Use essential oils.

Essential oils have many benefits, including battling the “no-see ems” at home or when travelling. We made a spray called Get the Funk Out that is ideal for travel and home and packs essential oils known for fighting these microbes and mites.

Organic-Essential-Oils

buy now

Want to try and make your own germ fighting concoction?  Here is a list of essential oils that you can blend with alcohol, witch hazel or water to take with you on your travels:

Tea tree oil – antibacterial, anti-fungal, antivirus

Cinnamon bark – antibacterial/antiviral, bedbugs

Clove – antimicrobial, antiseptic, antibacterial, dust mites, bedbugs

Lemon oil – antibacterial

Thyme oil – antigerm, antibacterial, antiviral, bedbugs

Eucalyptus (Radiata and Globulus) – antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, dust mites, bedbugs

Rosemary – antiseptic, antibacterial, dust mites

Peppermint – bedbugs, antibacterial, antiviral

Lavender – bedbugs, antiviral, antibacterial

Note: if you blend this with isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) alcohol, you have killing on contact.

Make a higher concentration if you are making a spray (not for skin), of 20% essential oils to Alcohol or Water.  Keep this at 5-10% essential oils to alcohol or water if you would like to use this for hands on the go.

Check out this Health Canada page for tips on avoiding bringing bedbugs home:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/protect-proteger/bedbugs-punaises-lit/travel-voyage-eng.php

pumpkin-mask

DIY Pumpkin Facial Mask and Body Scrub

Happy Halloween!

Once you and the kids are finished scraping out the goopy insides of the pumpkin to make some scary jack-o-lanterns, save the pulp for this DIY.

Why Pumpkins for skin? Pumpkins have  enzymes, anti oxidants and vitamins that help exfoliate, smooth and soften the skin.

Pumpkin Facial Mask

1/2 cup pumpkin pulp –fresh is best–puréed

1 tsp honey (enzymes and moisture)

Optional: 1 tsp plain yogurt

mix ingredients in a bowl.

On a cleansed dry face, spread the mixture on. I’m not going to lie .. this is sloppy and messy. It’s worth it, though.

Let this sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off and follow up with your regular moisturizer to seal in (facial oil is always my preference)

Pumpkin Body Scrub

1 cup of pumpkin pulp –I repeat, fresh is best — puréed

1 tsp honey

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 tsp olive oil

Mix ingredients in a bowl.

Scrub this onto your body before a shower (you WILL need one). Try to let this sit on your skin before rinsing off (5 minutes).

Enjoy soft smooth skin!