The cold and dry air of winter has a way of wreaking havoc on our skin and nails. Our remedies include drinking plenty of water and creating barriers to moisture loss.
For our hands, we’re a huge fan of balms. Most of ours are made at home with a combination of beeswax, moisturizing carrier oils, and nourishing extracts and essential oils (think calendula, lavender, comfrey).
We won’t shy away from using a balm on our cheeks if we’re heading out for a day in the elements, but for everyday use, we want some thing a touch lighter than. And that’s when we grab a DIY face oil.
This was originally posted on 8/26/15, but with a weekend at the beach coming, I thought we should all give it a look again. Be earth concious, but more importantly, enjoy that outdoor shower!
Taking an outdoor shower is hands down my favorite way to bathe. A couple years ago, our father installed one at the beach and since then the whole crew has paraded in and out trying to wash the sand from our tootsies. Because I would rather take all my showers outside under the moonlight, I thought it would be helpful to share our five favorite earth friendly products for the outdoor shower. These products are all biodegradable and earth friendly, but what does that mean really?
Today’s post is brought to you Kristin, our middle sister, she’s been known to make a simple craft or two. She actually makes lots of really neat decor. I think we’ve bugged her enough that she will be contributing here more often. Another thing about Kris? She gives the best gifts! Last year I was gifted the sweetest smelling candles and this year a whole pile of soaps and bath bombs. I’m making a mental note (and a virtual one?!) to get her candle recipe for you too, but we’ll start with what we have and that’s a fiz-tastic recipe for DIY bath bombs. Add that to Webster’s.
This! This little concoction has made my days in Colorado a little bit better. I suffer from chronic sinus pain and pressure. When I travel to locations that are particularly dry like Colorado, my sinuses swell and create intense pressure in my entire face. I mixed up this invigorating essential oil solution for instant sinus pressure relief. On a daily basis, it basically feels like my head weighs fifty pounds and whichever way I move it I feel the pressure shift and it causes pain and irritation. You know that feeling when your ears pop when you travel up or down in altitude? How about the feeling when you know your ears need to pop, but they won’t? Like your entire head is full of something? That’s what it feels like too. It’s kind of a bummer and it puts me in a bit of a fog. I become irritated easier and instead of enjoying moments of calm, I’m focused on the nagging pain.
Dealing with sinus pressure is really a way of life for me. Sinus pain interrupts my favorite activities like yoga and hiking so I’m always seeking relief. At home, I sleep with a humidifier running. I’m always downing liquids in hopes that I’ll hydrate my system. Anywhere there is steam, you’ll find me standing over it. I’m constantly putting wet washcloths in the microwave and then laying them over my face in hopes of a few minutes relief. Sometimes I even resort to Aleve or some other pain medication. If it’s really bad, I’ll stand under a scalding hot shower until the water runs cold. Even with access to a steam room here in Colorado, I was looking for a quick solution that would be easy and safe for multiple uses throughout the day. I looked in a few homeopathic guides and this invigorating essential oil solution is the best remedy I’ve found for instant sinus pressure relief.
Today I’m here to talk about what to do with that little bit of pumpkin sitting at the bottom of the can. You’ll be faced with this problem if you make our pumpkin cookies or the whoopie piesmuffin tops, as both recipes call for slightly less than a whole can of pumpkin. I’ve been giving some of that pumpkin to Luc, but the kiddo can only eat so much before he’s going to turn orange. And we put some in our oatmeal and yogurt… but I’m already making so many pumpkin treat that I don’t want every to tire of pumpkin before the season’s over. So, if you don’t eat it, wear it (at least that’s Luc’s motto!).
Hands down, one of our favorite perks at the beach is the outdoor shower. We love it for clearing away the sand after a day at the beach, but we also love to bring sand INTO the shower in the form of scrubs. Today’s lemon, sugar, and sand scrub is the perfect zesty indulgence as we’re looking to make the most of these late summer days.
Now that we’ve moved to a higher altitude, I think about sunscreen year-round, but particularly in the summer when we are spending more time outside and wearing shorts and t-shirts. Additionally, I’ve started to have an internal debate about my use of sunscreen, because while I use it every day to protect my skin from aging, I’m starting to think that a little bit of tanning is Ok and even good for my health by naturally increasing my Vitamin D levels. Do you know about the negative health concerns associated with Vitamin D deficiency?
The other concern I have while using sunscreen are the chemicals found in many over-the-counter products, especially since I’m still nursing little Luc. The problem is that a number of the chemicals in certain sunscreens can enter your bloodstream and some act as or disrupt the natural hormones in our body. The Environmental Working Group provides a detailed overview of both the chemicals and minerals used in sunscreens and the toxicity concerns associated with each. So, what’s a person to do? Read on to find out a little bit more about sunscreens and my current solution…
Oh my skincare routine has changed throughout the years, and I only wish that I was as gentle on my skin in high school as I am now. Back then I thought my skin was too oily and would never have dreamed of actually applying oil to my face to moisturize and nourish it, instead, I would be drawn to any cleanser that promised to dry out my face. In reality, I’m guessing that all of those harsh, drying products likely irritated my skin, stripped it of its natural oils, and caused it to over produce oil in order to try to hydrate my face and reverse the damage I was doing. Jump ahead ten years, and I slowly came around to the amazingly beneficial characteristics of plant oils for the skin. Jump ahead another couple of years, and I’m now adding some essential oils to my basic routine.
I like to shy away from the camera when it comes to our posts, but if any post calls for a headshot, it’s this one! So I’m putting my face in focus for this post, and hopefully it will stand as a record that I can refer back to when looking at how my skin responds to a few years of essential oil use. I should also mention that I really believe that healthy skin starts from the inside. So while I’ve found these skin oil potions to be effective, I also make it a point to drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.
We’re celebrating Pollinator Week around here with a series of pollinator-related posts. When you grab a bottle of bug spray, I’m guessing that “pollinator” is not the first word that you think of, instead, it’s likely “mosquito” “f-ing mosquitos”. Am I right? But guess, what?! Mosquitos are pollinators!
Pollination aside, we will never grow to love the pesky mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. Today we’re sharing a natural, non-toxic bug spray. I find that this works well when the mosquito populations aren’t too high, but I admit, there are still times, particularly in the swampy waters at the shore, that I have to use something containing DEET. What this spray lacks in DEET, it makes up for in its beautiful scent, and in the ability to personalize (there are so many mixing options below!).
This is the first of a multi-part series on using essential oils in the home and on your body. Excited to make some potions? We already have some essential oil uses in our archives.
Wherever I can, I’ve been trying to eliminate chemicals from our home, and introduce more natural alternatives, whether we’re talking cleaning products for the bathroom, cosmetics, or even pharmaceuticals. What I’ve found again and again is that essential oils are often recommended as a natural source for ingredients in many of my replacement recipes. The world of essential oils is vast, and I’m just starting to really explore all that these oils have to offer, but I thought it would be fun to start a little series this summer where I share with you what I’m learning and the useful resources I’ve found both online and off. As I’m just starting this series, I think it’s important to note that even if you’re buying high quality essential oils, while these are natural products, if used incorrectly they can be just as dangerous as manufactured chemicals.
In this post I wanted to cover some basics about essential oils, focusing on what they are and a few examples of how they can be used. At the bottom of this post I share some of the resources that I’ve found particularly helpful. And we couldn’t end the day without a recipe, so in a second post this afternoon I’ll share one of my favorite potions for keeping our shower clean and smelling fresh.