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Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen

Take care of your skin this summer with simple DIY skin care recipes using ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now.

Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen, DIY Skin Care, Face mask, sugar scrub, hair mask

Summer is fully in view now, and it’s time to get your glow on.  Luckily, you can do this at home with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen!  Not only are you controlling what fresh ingredients go into your skin applications, but you are also saving some money as well!  Below are some easy recipes you can make at home.

Summer Skin Care Recipes


You’ll want to concentrate on exfoliating first to remove dead skin and polish.  Body scrubs are easy to make and can really help your skin look its best.  You can use either salt or sugar depending on your skin type.  People with drier skin sometimes prefer sugar over salt, whereas others will prefer salt to give more of a glowing effect.  If you choose salt, it’s best to use sea salt as table salt is too harsh.  By making this on an as-needed basis, you can avoid having to worry about shelf life or rancidity.  It is recommended to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Simple Body & Foot Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1 part jojoba oil (olive oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil also work well. Avoid using low grade cooking oils)
  • 2 parts turbinado sugar or salt (you can use regular white or brown sugar)
  • Pinch of Finely Chopped or Dried Herbs (optional – suggestions are mint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, calendula)
  • Few Drops of Essential Oils (optional – suggestions are lavender, rose, eucalyptus, rosemary)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Wet your skin.
  3. Scoop a small amount into your hands and work from the feet upwards on the legs, thighs, torso, and arms while rubbing in a gentle circular motion.
  4. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Next, you’ll want to focus on your face.  Making a fresh face mask from your kitchen is a great way to help rejuvenate your facial skin while also adding some useful vitamins and minerals.  You can use many kinds of fruits and vegetables, but this recipe is excellent for gentle exfoliation, cleansing, and toning all-in-on.

Mangos are excellent for the skin due to the vitamin C content, which helps brighten and fight against free radicals.  The oatmeal in this recipe gently exfoliates while the honey is an antioxidant powerhouse that also gently cleanses the skin.   It’s best to use organic ingredients wherever possible.  If using non-organic, then peeling the mango is recommended even though the skin contains a very high nutrient content.

Fresh Mango, Honey & Oatmeal Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Mango with Skin, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp Oats
  • 1 Tbsp Honey

Directions:

  1. Wash face and neck area before applying.
  2. Blend ingredients in food processor or blender until a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Apply in a gentle circular motion and let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with warm water and air dry.
  5. Use some of the leftover mango peel and pulp for an eye patch.

Finally, your summer skin prep would not be complete without taking care of your hair.  This fresh avocado hair mask is great for all hair types and will help boost shine and strength.

Fresh Avocado Hair Mask

Ingredients:

  • ½ Ripe Avocado
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend into a paste.
  2. Add more lemon juice in tiny amounts if needed to blend completely.
  3. Apply to scalp and length of hair.
  4. Leave on for up to 30 minutes and rinse.
  5. Shampoo as usual.

With these easy DIY recipes, your skin will be glowing and ready for summer in no time.  And, always remember to use sunscreen.

Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen, DIY Skin Care, Face mask, sugar scrub, hair mask

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Is Your Makeup Putting Your Health At Risk?

Do you know what’s in your makeup? Do you even know if your makeup is safe to be using? You may be surprised what’s hiding in some makeup.

safer makeup, natural makeup, organic makeup, safer cosmetics

When we buy something we assume it’s safe. We have regulations and laws to help protect us, right? Sadly, in the case of cosmetics we may not be as protected as we think.


EWG’s site Skin Deep shares some myths about cosmetic safety, including this kind of frightening one-

Myth – If it’s for sale at a supermarket, drugstore or department store cosmetics counter, it must be safe.

Fact –  The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetics products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010). – Myths on Cosmetic Safety

If they aren’t required to be tested for safety, how do we know if they are safe? Well the honest answer is, we don’t know they are. There are many possibly harmful ingredients in the products we use everyday and they could be putting our health at risk. Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics.

Parabens

Parabens are used widely as a preservative. They are used because they have bactericidal and fungicidal properties. You can find parabens in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. Parabens mimic estrogen and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Some commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

Phthalates

Phthalates are commonly used to soften vinyl plastics. You know that smell your new vinyl shower curtain gives off? That’s phthalates. They are a common ingredient in fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. Like parabens, phthalates are thought to disrupt the hormonal system. Unlike parabens, you aren’t likely to see phthalates listed in the ingredients. To help avoid phthalates, skip products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

1,4-dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen. It’s found in shampoos, soaps, bubble bath, and more. You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on any label. Avoid products that contain ingredients like sodium myreth sulfate, PEG chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.”

Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene oxide is commonly found in fragrances and is in many popular shampoos. It is a known human carcinogen. As with phthalates, avoid products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

Lead

You most likely remember the news stories about lead in our lipsticks. Well it can also be found in sunscreen, foundation, nail polish, and even whitening toothpaste! Lead is a neurotoxin which can cause developmental problems as well as miscarriages and reduced fertility. Since lead and other heavy metals are in many products and aren’t listed in the ingredients, it’s hard to know what’s safe.

Safer Cosmetic Brands

EWG’s Skin Deep database is a great place to check to see if products you are using are safe. There are also some more natural brands out there committed to using better ingredients.

Making the switch to safer cosmetics is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are many great safe brands out there making wonderful products you can feel good using.

Ditch the Toothpaste, Brush with Soap

Ever thought about brushing your teeth with soap? Maybe you should!

Have you heard of brushing your teeth with tooth soap? Read what it is, how to do it and why you should.

Disclaimer: This is not to be considered medical advice. Please consult your dentist.

Remember when you had to wash your mouth out with soap for saying a bad word as a kid?  Well, it turns out your elders may have been onto something because brushing your teeth with regular bar soap has been shown to work better than commercial toothpaste.


The main man behind the movement, Dr. Gerard F. Judd from Arizona, published a book called “Good Teeth” aimed at allowing people retain their original teeth well into their elderly year by following a few simple rules to maintain a healthy mouth and gums.

One of these main rules is to brush with regular bar soap.  According to Dr. Judd, commercial toothpaste contains a high amount of glycerin which deposits a layer on the tooth that covers the plaque and prevents it from being brushed – taking a whopping 27 rinses to remove.   It also prevents the tooth from re-mineralizing, which is essential to the health of the tooth.   Soap actively kills bacteria and removes plaque, thus preventing the onset of one of the most common diseases in the world – gingivitis and tooth decay.

One of the other main points Dr. Judd brings up is the over use of fluoride that Americans are accustomed to.  His main argument is that fluoride has been shown to double tooth decay during an average lifespan.  And, since most water supplies contain fluoride the use of it in our mouth care is overkill.  By using regular bar soap, you are eliminating several unnecessary ingredients.

If the thought of tasting soap during your daily brushings gives you the chills, don’t worry because you will get used to the taste after 3-4 brushes.   The best recommendation is to use a bar soap that is detergent-free and contains a very high percentage of olive oil.  Olive oil should be the first ingredient on the list.  Coconut oil found in most detergent and non-detergent based soaps are what give them the very strong “soapy” taste.

If you can, try to find 100% olive oil soap (also known as true castile, where the only oil in the soap is olive oil) – it will be sweeter flavored. Brushing with tooth soap has become more popular and there are now commercial available tooth soaps, making that a great option as well.  An essential oil mint blend such as spearmint or peppermint will also help improve the taste.  Rinse well (at least 2 times) with water after brushing and don’t forget to brush your tongue to eliminate odor causing bacteria.

After the first brush you will notice your mouth feeling like you had just walked out of the dentist’s office.  And, your teeth will feel cleaner for a much longer period of time.  It’s worth a try.  You may even find yourself wondering what to do with your extra money from not having to buy toothpaste or pay for expensive dentist bills.