Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)!

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may remember my previous post on my Quest for the Holy Grail of DIY Deodorants.  Turns out, what I thought was the holy grail failed to live up to my expectations in the long-run.  It was great in the beginning but then the unthinkable happened, I was approached at work and informed that there had been a complaint about my body odor.  Seriously, the most embarassing thing to have ever happened to me in my adult life.  Try as I might, I still to this day cannot figure out who would have been close enough to actually smell me.  But I digress.  Either way, a change had to be made so I headed to some of my crunchy granola online groups to see if anyone had any suggestions.

In one of my previous deo posts I shared about my failed attempt at using Milk of Magnesia as a deodorant alternative.  You may be wondering how on Earth MoM would work to decrease body stank.  The active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture thereby preventing odor from this buildup.  When I turned to my support group for answers, several of the women pointed out that they had also had failed attempts until they learned the magic trick.  See, MoM works best when it has dehydrated a bit.  Someone, somewhere along the way discovered that the thicker, creamier paste that started to crust around the top of their MoM container was more effective than the liquid itself.  Who knew?  The trick they suggested was actually pouring it out onto a baking sheet and letting it dehydrate for 24 hours or so to let it thicken up. (More information about this trick from Buddhaful Brit) So, I thought “What the hell? I’ll give it a shot!” But I was a bit skeptical that MoM by itself would be effective enough.  I wanted to make sure it had some drying power and that it smelled good too.  So I set to researching options.

Since I have a sensitivity to baking soda I considered adding Arrowroot powder.  This would be effective I’m sure but I’d heard a lot of people say that they had good luck with corn starch.  I had a container of J&J Natural baby powder that is basically just corn starch with some Vitamin E and Aloe added.  I don’t use baby powder on my child so it was never going to get used and I thought it might make a suitable alternative and that the added Vitamin E and Aloe might help soothe the skin as well.

But I wasn’t done yet.  Y’all know me, I had to throw in some essential oils! I had good luck using Rosemary neat so figured I’d add it to my recipe and I had been learning about the deodorizing benefits of Geranium and Cypress essential oils in my aromatherapy class so I set to researching different oils and selected 5 to add to my recipe.  These are the ones I chose:

Geranium – Geranium not only has a pleasing fragrance, it also has properties that help combat odor-causing bacteria on the body.  Geranium essential oil is wonderful to add to your collection for a number of skin conditions as it helps cleanse oily skin and soothes dry, cracked or irritated skin.

Rosemary – Another great oil that provides a refreshing and cooling sensation to your deodorant blend while helping to protect against odor causing bacteria.

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps provide a nice, earthy balance to this blend while also preventing body odor.

Lavender – Like Geranium, Lavender has a lovely fragrance and many deodorizing, skin-soothing, and healing properties that make it a wonderful oil to add to your homemade deodorant and skin care recipes.

Cypress – Cypress helps reduce excessive sweating and prevents body odor.  It has a somewhat woody fragrance that pairs well with Geranium and is suitable for men or women.

 

Other oils I researched that you may want to add to your homemade deodorants:

Lemon – Often added to homemade deodorants and body washes, along with other citrus oils (like Bergamot), due to its refreshing aroma.  It’s cleansing properties help prevent odor causing bacteria growth.  Citrus oils pair well with Geranium. *Note: Many citrus oils can cause photosensitivity so be mindful if you are sunbathing as you don’t want to burn your pits. Grapefruit is a wonderful alternative as it does not cause photosensitivity but still contains many of the same properties as Lemon and Bergamot essential oil.

Tea Tree – A beneficial oil to keep in your oily first aid kit as well because of its ability to help cleanse wounds, promote healing, and prevent the harboring of bacteria which can cause odor and infection.

Lemongrass – Another oil well renowned for its ability to help prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.  This oil has a strong but refreshing fragrance that provides a nice complement to many of the other oils listed or can be used on its own.   Note: Lemongrass is a “hot” oil so make sure not to use this oil “neat” on the skin. 

Patchouli – An acquired fragrance but Patchouli is a strong smelling oil that has long been famed for its ability to help reduce and masque the scent of unpleasant body odor.

**Feel free to research other oils that have antibacterial, antifungal or astringent properties as any of these would make great additions to your homemade deodorant blends!  I really like the Essential Oils Pocket and Desk Reference Guides by Life Science Publishing as well as Dr. Scott Johnson’s Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy for references and resources when researching essential oils and their properties.

I’m pleased to report that my experiment was a TREMENDOUS Success!  I have been using it for awhile, long enough to completely run out of my first batch and I also shared a sample with a very athletic friend of mine who has been on the quest for the holy grail of deodorant for a long time as well.  We have both put this recipe to the test! It has not only stood up to the challenge that she has presented it while hiking and rock climbing but it has stood up to the heat and humidity of 100º+ heat index of Alabama summers! I do cleanse with baby wipes and reapply my deodorant after my lunch time walks in the heat of the summer but when it was cooler outside this wasn’t necessary.  And I’m super stoked that no one has complained again! I even walk with my co-workers and have had feedback that my office smells lovely from client’s that have come in for afternoon sessions.

So, without further ado, here it is:

deo2

DIY Milk of Magnesia Deodorant

(for sensitive skin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of plain, unflavored Milk of Magnesia
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch (I like the J&J cornstarch baby powder with Aloe and Vit E added)
  • 5 drops each of: Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress essential oils

Instructions:

1.       Pour entire bottle of Milk of Magnesia out into a baking sheet (with sides) and allow to dehydrate, usually 24-36 hours, until it forms a creamy paste.  If you live in a humid environment, it may take a little longer.  If it starts to harden or crack around the edges just a tad it’s perfect! When you mix it all together it will be like the consistency of cream cheese icing that has started to melt.

2.       Add in ¼ cup of Cornstarch and mix well (before you allow your mixture to dehydrate).  While you can skip this step, I chose to add the Cornstarch to help absorb some of the liquid from sweating and to keep my pits drier.  If you swore by an antiperspirant but don’t want to use aluminum, you probably want to add something like Cornstarch or Arrowroot to help provide a sense of dryness to your homemade deodorant.  This is an especially good alternative if you are sensitive to Baking Soda in homemade deodorant recipes.

3.       After your mixture has dehydrated and is ready, add 5 drops each of your essential oils.  I like Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress.  Stir until your oils are mixed well throughout your mixture.  You do not want to add the oils before you let your mixture set out because they will evaporate and lose their potency.

4.       Transfer to a small glass jar.  I found this recipe made a bit more than I could fit in my 4 oz jelly jar but I like this size for ease of application.  I now transfer the remainder to a 2 oz tin that I carry with me to work or when traveling.

Instructions for Use:

1.       Apply underarms using your fingers (I find this works better than using a cotton round) and allow to dry while you are getting ready.

2.       If you are especially prone to body odor, make sure you shower or scrub your pits with your soap/body wash of choice before applying.  You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to help balance the pH of your pits.  I spray a bit on a cotton round and apply under my arms.  Allow to dry before applying your homemade deodorant.  I haven’t had to use this method since I started using this deodorant recipe, however!

 

So, there you have it! Did you make this recipe? What did you think?  I love to hear feedback from my readers! Please comment below to share your results or other homemade natural deodorant recipes!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

 

My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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Acne Prone Skin? Check out my new Zit Zapper and Facial Serum recipes!

I’ve struggled with acne since going off hormonal birth control a couple years ago and it’s wreaked havoc on my self-esteem.  Since then I’ve been on the quest for the perfect skin care regimen to help keep my acne under control.  In fact, searching for the perfect facial cleanser was what led me down the crunchy rabbit hole and I’ve been all in ever since! Over the years I have tried many different natural approaches to skin care including Oil Cleansing (OCM), cleaning my face with honey, African black soap, castile soap, and water only.  Most cleansing methods strip my face of its natural oil and while this may sound like a good thing it’s really not.  See, if you strip the skin of its natural, protective oils then it over produces sebum to compensate which can clog pores even more.  So these days I tend to use water only to clean my face, a Lemon Sugar Scrub to exfoliate every week or so, my Melrose and Witch Hazel astringent (find that recipe here in my blog post When You Vacation with an OIL Addict!) and a spot treatment for those particularly obnoxious pimples.  Historically I’ve just used Tea Tree oil as my spot treatment and while it works well on day to day pimples it doesn’t tackle the tough ones as much as I’d like.  I had used Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick in the past and was pretty happy with it overall.  I’d always wanted to make my own DIY version and had finally built up my oil collection enough I thought I’d give it a go.  So let’s check out the ingredients in the Burt’s Bees roll-on and why they are good for acne.

Doctor Burt’s Herbal Blemish Stick ingredients:

SD Alcohol 40-B – This is basically denatured alcohol.  It bothers me that this is the first ingredient on the list because that means that it is the ingredient of highest concentration in the product. There’s nothing really wrong with this ingredient but honestly it doesn’t really add much to the recipe either.  I tend to avoid alcohol because it has a drying effect on the skin and can strip the skin of it’s natural oils.

Calendula extract – Calendula is more commonly known as Marigold.  It is often used in skin care products because of it’s ability to calm the skin.  Calendula may help reduce redness and helps cleanse the skin of pore clogging gunk and reduce acne breakouts.

Borage extract – Borage, or Starflower, is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region.  It’s remarkably effective at soothing irritated or damaged skin and can help calm skin by reducing swelling and redness.  Borage is high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is a fatty acid that is beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.  Borage oil or extract are excellent ingredients to add to DIY skin care recipes help reduce the appearance of acne scarring or redness and irritation from skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.

Yarrow extract – Yarrow is actually a common weed that grows native in the Northern Hemisphere.  It is an ancient herbal medicine, often referred to as Soldier’s herb and Nosebleed grass, known to staunch bleeding and reduce pain.  It’s also renowned for it’s ability to bring down a fever and help clear the sinuses! As far as skin care is concerned, yarrow is great for oily skin to help balance the oil, draw out blackheads, and tighten your pores! Do yourself a favor and google the medicinal uses of Yarrow.  Its an amazing herb to add to your herbal first aid kit!

Parsley extract – Parsley extract is excellent for helping cleanse and purify the skin which helps reduce acne breakouts.  In addition, parsley also contains high amounts of Vitamin C, chlorophyll and Vitamin K which are good for reducing dark circles and puffiness under your eyes.

Willowbark extract – Willow bark is usually harvested from white willow trees and is highly valued as a skin care ingredient because it is a natural source of salicylic acid (yup, the same stuff that is in over the counter acne products like Neutragena’s acne line, Clearasil, and Clean & Clear!).  In addition to helping reduce breakouts, willow bark extract also helps promote youthful, radiant skin by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It also contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals and promote skin rejuvenation!

Lemon oil – Lemon essential oil helps balance overactive oil glands in the skin and encourages exfoliation of dead skin cells, both of which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Fennel oil – Fennel essential oil encourages skin cell repair and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It helps balance oil production without over drying the skin.

Water – used to dilute the mixture.  However, water can also promote the growth of bacteria in DIY products so I tend to not use it, or use distilled water if I do add to my products.

Tea Tree oil – Tea tree oil has been my go to for acne spot treatment for years.  It is renowned for it’s ability to not only dry out pimples but reduce acne breakouts when used regularly.

Juniper oil – Juniper essential oil helps cleanse and promotes healing by stimulate blood circulation.  It helps remove toxins and purifies the skin.  Overuse can increase redness, however.

Eucalyptus oil – Eucalyptus essential oil helps cleanse the skin and unclog pores.  In addition, it helps reduce inflammation that may result from acne breakouts.

Zit Zapper

Zit Zapper: A spot treatment for Acne-Prone Skin

Combine the following ingredients in a 3 ml roll-on:

  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 5 drops Lavender (I added Lavender because of it’s ability to help calm and soothe irritated skin, especially since I didn’t have an calendula extract in my recipe.  In addition, Lavender essential oil also helps regulate oil production and promotes healing.  I tend to pick at my acne so it’s always nice to add healing oils to my skincare regimen.)
  • 4 drops Ginger (I chose to add Ginger because it removes toxins and stimulates circulation.  In addition, it promotes a youthful, radiant complexion by helping rejuvenate the skin and improving skin’s elasticity.)
  • 3 drops Fennel
  • 3 drops Juniper 
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus Globulus (because this is the Eucalyptus I had on hand, but Eucalyptus Radiata might actually be a better choice because it tends to be lighter and more gentle than Globulus, making it the preferred chemotype for skincare)
  • top off with White Willow Bark extract (I bought mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)

Next time I might actually make my own Calendula and Borage extract to add as well.  If I do that I’ll probably use a larger, 4 or 5 ml, roll on.  Both Calendula and Borage (as well as White Willow Bark) can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs if you are interested in making it your own.  Extracts aren’t difficult to make at all.  Check out Humblebee and Me’s post below for a recipe that includes Calendula extract and Borage oil.

*Note: This is a strong mixture and is only intended to be used as a spot treatment, not all over your face.  If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first.  You may want to reduce the amount of essential oils or dilute with something like Calendula extract or Borage oil. 

Inspired by Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Blemish Stick and Humblebee and Me’s Indigo Acne Blaster

New & Improved Facial Serum

Perhaps you’ve been following me for awhile and remember my DIY Facial Serum from back in August of last year.  I still stand by that facial serum as a good starting point for anyone wanting to make their own skin care products.  It’s wonderfully moisturizing and I used it for months.  However, as my daughter started eating more solids and decreased the amount of breastmilk she was demanding day to day my hormones started returning back to “normal” (which is anything but) and my face started breaking out like a teenager’s again (sad face). My DIY Facial Serum uses fractionated coconut oil as a base which feels lovely on the skin but does have a high comedogenic rating (meaning it can cause acne breakouts).  Coconut oil rates a 4, meaning it has a “fairly high” chance of clogging pores.  So naturally I wanted to reduce anything that would contribute to my breakouts.  For awhile I switched to jojoba oil, which has a comedogenic rating of 2, or “moderately low” chance.  I was pretty pleased with this combo for awhile.

Recently, however, I was hearing a lot of buzz about Rosehip Seed Oil for skincare.  Rosehip seed oil is chalk full of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help hydrate the skin, relieves dry, itchy skin, reduces dark circles and minimizes the appearance of scaring.  Plus, it’s lightweight and non greasy, making it an ideal carrier oil for facial serums. And it has an even lower comedogenic rating that jojoba (1 = “low”) so I figured I’d give it a shot.

See how other carrier oils measure up with regards to comedogenic ratings here from Beneficial Botanicals.

I’d also been really curious about a new-to-me essential oil blend, White Angelica.  White Angelica is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Bergamot, Myrrh, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang, Spruce, Hyssop, Melissa, and Rose in a Sweet Almond oil carrier.  While there are tons of amazing uses for White Angelica, including emotional healing, meditation, and Raindrop massage, all of these oils have amazing skin care properties and many are quite expensive (and as a result not members of my growing collection yet).  Let’s look at each of these oils individually.

Bergamot – Bergamot is a tropical citrus fruit with a lovely fragrance.  It is well known for it’s cleansing and immune enhancing properties.  In addition, it helps reduce the appearance of scars or age spots on the skin resulting in a more even skin tone.

Myrrh – Myrrh comes from a dried resin extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree, which is in the same family as the Frankincense tree.  It has a long history of medicinal use, highly valued for its wound healing properties, as well as an ingredient in incense and holy oil for ritual and religious ceremonies.  As far as skin care benefits, Myrrh promotes healing and helps soothe minor skin irritations like chapped or cracked skin and acne.  It helps sustain healthy looking skin and promotes a more youthful, radiant appearance by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Geranium – Geranium essential oil has a long history as a beneficial ingredient in skin care.  Even the ancient Egyptians used Geranium oil to help promote beautiful, radiant skin.  It helps defy the effects of aging by improving muscle tone and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  In addition, Geranium essential oil helps reduce inflammation and has been used to help soothe acne and other skin irritations by promoting cell growth and healing.

Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood – Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood is renowned for it’s healing properties.  It helps cleanse and protect the skin from infection resulting from acne, sores, or other wounds and is often added to skin care and beauty products for it’s ability to help tighten skin tone and minimize the appearance of scars and age spots.

Rosewood – Rosewood oil is extracted from the Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree indigenous to Peru and Brazil.  It is a member of the Laurel family of plants like bay, camphor, cassia, and cinnamon.  Rosewood oil has a warm, woodsy yet spicy, floral fragrance that has been used in the perfume industry since the 1900’s.  In addition to it’s alluring fragrance, Rosewood oil helps fight the signs of aging by regenerating skin cell growth and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps balance sebum production thereby helping to reduce acne breakouts.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang is steam distilled from the signature yellow flowers of the ylang ylang tree native to the South Pacific Islands.  As you may imagine, it has a delicate yet romantic floral fragrance.  In addition, Ylang Ylang essential oil has amazing skin benefits.  It helps promote the appearance of healthy skin and hair by balancing sebum production, soothing skin irritations, cleansing the skin and promotes healing, and reducing redness and inflammation.

Spruce – Spruce essential oil is distilled from the needles of the Spruce tree and helps cleanse and purify the skin thereby helping to maintain the appearance of healthy looking skin.

Hyssop – Hyssop is a sacred oil referenced in many ancient texts, including the Bible, for it’s restorative health benefits.  Hyssop not only helps support healthy respiratory and digestive systems but also to help relieve pain and promote a sense of calm.  As for skin care benefits, Hyssop essential oil helps soothe skin irritations and reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

Melissa – Melissa, or more commonly known as Lemon Balm, is a plant in the mint family.  The essential oil is distilled from the tiny buds and seeds of the plant.  It takes somewhere between 3 and 7 tons of plant material to yield 1 pound of essential oil which makes it one of the more pricey oils.  It is a gentle oil known for it’s ability to help soothe irritation and rejuvenate the skin.

and last but not least, Rose – Rose, ah how I covet thee…  Rose essential oil is probably the most expensive essential oil that Young Living sells because of the sheer volume of rose petals required to make a small 5 ml bottle.  But it is highly prized for many reasons, the least of which is its ability to moisturize, calm and soothe red or irritated skin.   Research suggests that it may also help reduce acne breakouts and regenerate skin cell growth!  It’s a must-have for anti-aging DIY beauty products!

So, even though I can’t afford to add oils like Myrrh, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Melissa, or Rose to my collection just yet, I’m thrilled to have them in a nice affordable (only $28 Wholesale) little blend like White Angelica! So naturally, I wanted to find a way to incorporate this into my New & Improved DIY Facial Serum! Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

New & Improved DIY Facial Serum

Combine the following in a 2 oz container:

 

So there you have it! My new favorite skin care recipes! Have you tried these recipes or have other recipes you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below.

 

Want more information on natural ways to help rid your skin of acne? Check out this post by Thank Your Skin on How To Get Rid of Acne: The Ultimate Guide: 21 Easy Things You Can Do Today To Get Rid of Acne Fast and Naturally! I have to admit, I learned a few things I will be incorporating into my diet and skincare regimen! They also do some pretty awesome product reviews over there to help you find the best skincare products and makeup for acne-prone skin! So head on over and show them some oily love! 😉

 

I only use Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils because of their commitment to quality and Seed to Seal guarantee.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Acne Prone Skin? Check out my new Zit Zapper and Facial Serum recipes! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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When You Vacation With an OIL Addict!

Essential oils are cool but ever wonder how often people actually use essential oils in their daily lives? It really became apparent to me the degree of oily addict I’ve become when I started packing for our recent vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. It was serious work trying to decide which oils I thought I couldn’t live without rather than just bringing my entire (growing) collection.  And I thought what better way to highlight how I actually use my essential oils in my daily life for my followers!?!  So read on to find out which oils made the vacation cut and to learn some of my favorite oily recipes that I use in my daily life!

My Bathroom Sink

Above is the picture of my bathroom sink in our beach house.  I brought many more oils and products with me but I always find it telling to see what people keep within easy reach.  You really know how much someone uses a product if it’s right there on their bathroom sink.  She here’s my list of oils on my bathroom sink:

DIY Lavender & Rosemary Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin) – Seriously, I love this stuff! It really is my Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant (<– click on the link to learn more) I’m almost out of it and will have to make a new batch soon.  My only complaint is that it does leave a bit of a powdery residue on my shirts from either the Bentonite clay or the arrowroot powder, especially on black tank tops.  Read on to find out my solution for when I want a powder free deo alternative!

Deep Relief roll-on – This was the first (and so far only) thing I spent my Essential Rewards points on (I’m saving the rest for high $$ oils) and who doesn’t love FREE oils!?!  Deep Relief is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier.  It comes in a 10 ml roll-on bottle for ease of application and helps provide support for head and muscle tension and helps ease minor aches and pains.  I love this stuff for when I get a crick in my neck from either long drives or sleeping funny.  Gulf Shores was an almost 7 hour drive from our home and its never the same sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own so this one I knew I couldn’t leave home without! Deep Relief is highly coveted because of Young Living’s commitment to quality and sustainable farming practices which means that the sometimes the ingredients have to wait to be harvested and distilled.  As a result, Deep Relief is often out of stock and members rush to order it as soon as it comes back!  Message me for a DIY “Ache Away” recipe which I use as an alternative to Deep Relief when I can’t get my hands on the real stuff!

DIY Thieves Toothpaste – Seriously one of my favorite recipes! I’ve been making my own toothpaste for almost 2 years now (I haven’t had any cavities and my oral hygienist approves!).  I modified my recipe when I joined Young Living back in April to include Thieves essential oil because of all the awesome properties that support oral health and help fight bad breath! I’ve already shared my recipe, but in case you missed it you can find it in my blog post Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste?

DIY Natural Sunscreen – protecting your skin from the sun is important every day, but especially at the beach! But I don’t like using sunscreen on my face because I find that the ingredients in store bought sunscreen tends to clog my pores and cause breakouts, so I made my own, with essential oils of course! I use this as an alternative to moisturizer every day to help nourish and moisturize my skin every morning as well as providing 40+ SPF protection from the sun! In case you missed it, find my recipe here: DIY Natural Sunscreen.

DIY Facial Serum – I have a lot of scarring from my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control back in 2013.  So when I started my essential oil journey it was important to me to find something to help minimize the appearance of these scars.  Frankincense oil was the answer! This stuff is amazing! So after doing a bit more research I found a great combo and created my own facial serum to use to help heal and nourish my skin at night. You can find my recipe on my blog post My All Natural Skin Care Routine: Plus My Favorite DIY Facial Serum Recipe (using essential oils)!  I will add that since I wrote that blog my skin started breaking out somewhat so I modified my original recipe by using jojoba oil instead of fractionated coconut oil and that seems to have fixed the problem.

DIY Astringent – Historically I have just used Thayer’s alcohol free witch hazel toner as my astringent.  I have always loved the Rose scented one.  But recently I’ve been using the unscented with aloe and just adding my own healing oils.  Young Living’s Melrose essential oil blend, which includes Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Clove is the perfect addition to my DIY Astringent because it helps cleanse and nourish the skin while providing natural protection against occasional breakouts.   I fill a 2 oz travel container with witch hazel and add about 8-10 drops of Melrose. Shake well before use and squirt a little on a cotton round to apply all over your (clean) face morning and night.

Stress Away – one of my FAVORITE essential oil blends, Stress Away combines Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender for a unique combination to help reduce every day stress and provide mental clarity.  I added the roller fitment that came in my Premium Starter Kit to my bottle of Stress Away and use it almost daily as a perfume alternative.  It’s lovely and was the perfect, almost tropical fragrance to wear on my beach vacation and help keep my mind relaxed and carefree!

Rosemary – So Rosemary essential oil is technically a dietary supplement that can be added to cooking but a quick google search (check out NIH, Mercola, and Dr. Axe for some interesting facts about Rosemary and other essential oils) will turn up dozens of other uses (that may not technically be FDA approved but who doesn’t love to experiment!?!).  A friend of mine had shared with me that she was using Rosemary as a deodorant alternative so I excitedly ordered my first bottle to give it a try before I found the recipe I linked above for my Detoxing Deodorant. Since I was wearing a lot of tank tops at the beach and didn’t want to walk around with powdery residue on my shirts I brought my trusted bottle of Rosemary with me as a deodorant alternative. And I must say, it didn’t let me down!  Just a couple drops on my fingers rubbed into the pits kept me odor free!

 

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NingXia Red – I started my 30 Day NingXia Red challenge on September 21 as part of my morning routine and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox. My detox may be over (and Lord knows I wasn’t “dieting” on my vacation!) but I’ve enjoyed continuing to take my shot of NingXia Red in the mornings.  NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices and it does help provide a bit more energy and get up and go in the mornings (although admittedly I started drinking coffee again every morning on vacation because I just missed the taste and having my warm cup of yummy coffee while swinging in a porch swing and watching the sunrise over the lagoon was priceless!) and helps keep you healthy!

DiGize – In addition to my morning shot of NingXia Red I’ve been adding 2 drops of DiGize to help promote healthy digestion and keep me regular.  DiGize is Young Living’s blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.  I’ve been taking it daily since starting the NingXia Red challenge and honestly I do believe that it helps keep my tummy comfortable throughout the day.  It was especially important on vacation because for the last month or so I’d been eating really healthy but I was bound and determined to eat my weight in fresh seafood on this trip and didn’t care if it was greasy and fried!

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Our beach house rental had an amazing Jacuzzi tub! I’m a big fan of hot baths for relaxation, always have been, and have long since swore that whenever I can afford to renovate my house I am SO adding a Jacuzzi tub to my bathroom! So I planned ahead and made myself some relaxing aromatherapy bath salts to bring with me so that I could really reap the benefits of the tub at our rental.  I’m blessed to have a hubby who gladly accepted baby duty to give mama some personal tub time to rest and relax on our vacation!

Aromatherapy Muscle Soak:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 10-12 drops Aroma Siez essential oil blend – Aroma Siez is Young Living’s blend of Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, and Cypress specifically formulated to help reduce tension and ease aching muscles.

Directions: Combine ingredients in glass container.  Mix well.

To Use: Fill tub or jacuzzi with hot water and add 1/2 container bath salts for a relaxing aromatherapy bath to ease aching muscles!

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Do you sleep well when you aren’t in your own bed? I know I don’t.  Plus, we had our 9 1/2 month old daughter with us who was sleeping in her pack ‘n play rather than her crib so it was especially important to me to bring ALL the sleepytime oils in my collection to help!  We haven’t found the perfect sleep inducing combination to help our daughter sleep through the night but we do diffuse oils in her nursery nightly and I feel like she sleeps “better” on the nights we do compared to the nights we don’t.  So I wasn’t about to leave the diffuser at home!

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps promote a calm, grounding, relaxing state of being when applied topically or diffused.  Plus, I just love the earthy, woodsy smell! There is a lot of research on how Cedarwood can help promote restful sleep so do yourself a favor and google it – them PM me to order some Cedarwood essential oil! 😉

Lavender – Lavender is another soothing oil that can help promote rest and relaxation.  Often called the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils because of all the amazing properties that Lavender oil has, helping with sleep is perhaps the most cited use of the oil.  It is great to add to your bath or lotion to help your mind and body wind down  before bedtime or diffused to promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep.  Lavender and Cedarwood are probably my favorite sleepytime diffuser combo!

Stress Away – I love Stress Away so much I brought not one, but TWO bottles with me! lol! My first bottle (pictured in the Bathroom Sink graphic) I added the roller fitment attachment to so that I could wear as a perfume.  But I keep a second bottle of Stress Away to use in recipes and diffuse.  I love the way it smells and it also couples well with Lavender or even a little extra Cedarwood to help you relax at bedtime!

(not pictured) SleepyIze – SleepyIze is part of Young Living’s KidScents oil collection.  It is a proprietary blend of Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Bergamot, Sacred Frankincense, Valerian and Rue pre-diluted and safe to use topically as is on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse this at bedtime but do prefer to use it topically in conjunction with diffusing other oils.  Since my little one is under 2 I do dilute with just a touch of coconut oil (I keep a baby food jar with CO on the changing table to use for diaper rash and diluting oils so I just grab a small little dab and put one drop of any of the KidScents oils and rub my fingers together to mix before applying to feet, chest and/or belly and/or behind the ears, depending on the oil and purpose).

(not pictured) Gentle Baby – Gentle Baby is Young Living’s blend of Geranium, Rosewood, Coriander, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose designed for babies and mother.  It is specifically formulated to calm emotions and is particularly soothing for the skin, making it not only a good oil to add to sleepytime blends but also for DIY Diaper Rash Ointments (one day I’ll get around to writing a blog post about that too!).  It’s not only safe for use with babies but also pregnant (and nursing) mothers to use to help alleviate anxiety and promote a feeling of calmness and can be a great addition to your homemade Belly Butters to help prevent stretch marks!

 

Other Oils That Made the Cut (but aren’t pictured):

Abundance – Abundance is one of my recent favorites and perfect for Fall! It is a blend of Orange, Frankincense, Patchouli, Clove, Ginger, Myrrh, Cinnamon, and Spruce.  It smells a little like Constant Comment’s orange spice tea and I love, love, love to wear it like a perfume.  Abundance was specifically formulated to enhance the magnetic energy field around us.  This higher frequency creates a “Law of Attraction.”  Therefor, Abundance essential oil blend is supposed to help us open ourselves up to what we attract to ourselves.   Who knows, we could all use a little more abundance in our lives, right?  May sound like hocus pocus but I do love the way this oil smells and wear it often since I purchased it in August.  I admit, I didn’t wear it as much on our beach vacation as I’ve been wearing it at home.  It seems much more fitting to wear as my daily perfume while home watching the changing of the seasons in my little mountain community rather than lounging at the beach.  Stress Away’s somewhat tropical vibe just spoke to me more on vacation but now that I’m back at home Abundance has re-emerged as my daily fave!

Lemon – I love to add Lemon essential oil to my water because it ensures that I drink enough water throughout the day so I always have it with me! I just add 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil to my 20 oz glass water bottle and fill with ice and water.  Once I’ve drank all 20 oz I can refill my water bottle with ice and water and don’t even have to add more essential oils, although you could if you wanted to, because I can still taste a little bit of the lemon! A little goes a long way and it tastes really yummy!  Plus, Lemon is one of three oils in the “Seasonal Relief Trio”: Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.  I had my Seasonal Relief roller bottle with me (see below for recipe) but also like to have them on hand to diffuse together if something triggers a sneezing attack or gives me that itchy throat feeling.

Peppermint – Peppermint is by far my favorite instant headache remedy! I have my Headache Remedy roller bottle blend (see recipe below) that travels with me but a drop of Peppermint on a q-tip applied neat to my temples often will help get rid of more severe headaches.  You can also layer it with the Headache Remedy blend for an extra strength formula! Some people love to put a drop or two of peppermint in a spray bottle with water to help cool them off in hot climates or a drop or two in their water for a cooling sensation, both of which would be excellent for use at the beach! (Note: Peppermint is a “hot” oil which means it can tingle or burn the skin where applied.  Always do a patch test before using any oil neat but especially hot oils! More about essential oil safety here –> What are Essential Oils? (And why you will want them as part of your natural lifestyle!))

R.C. – R.C. is Young Living’s blend of Cypress, Spruce, and three types of Eucalyptus (E. Globulus, E. Radiata, and E. Citriodora) oils which includes the naturally occurring constituent Limonene (do yourself a favor and google uses of Limonene! You won’t regret it!!!).  RC was specifically designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I love to diffuse it when I am stuffy or having difficulty breathing for any reason.  It’s also the main ingredient in my Breathe Easy roller bottle blend (see recipe below).  My daughter seems to come home frequently with colds from day care so we often diffuse a little bit of R.C. with some Lavender and sometimes even Cedarwood to help her breathe easier and have a more restful night’s sleep!

SniffleEase – SniffleEase is part of Young Living’s KidScents collection and is pretty much the children’s version of R.C.   It is a blend of Eucalyptus Blue, Palo Santo, Lavender, Dorado Azul, Ravintsara, Myrtle, Eucalyptus Globulus, Marjoram, Pine, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Cypress, Eucalyptus Radiata, Black Spruce and Peppermint essential oils prediluted for use topically, as is, on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse SniffleEase but prefer to diffuse R.C. and apply SniffleEase topically to the Vita Flex points on her feet and a little on her chest to help her breathe easier.  Just like with SleepyIze I dilute more with a little coconut oil since my little one is under 2.

Thieves – Thieves is one of those oils you should seriously never leave home without! I use it in so many ways! I brought it with me on this trip specifically because the hubby had been a bit under the weather before we left home and I wanted to have the option of diffusing to help keep me and the little one healthy.  Plus, gargled with some water or added to hot tea, Thieves is excellent to help relieve a minor sore throat! Learn more about Thieves in my blog post All About Thieves!

 

Celia’s Personal Collection of DIY Roller Bottle Blends (that travel with me daily, even when not on vacation):

All of these recipes are intended for a 10 ml glass roller bottles (stainless steel roller balls are preferred because essential oils can break down plastics).  Add your drops of essential oils first then fill with the carrier oil of your choice (I find having a small funnel and a pipette helps).  I prefer fractionated Coconut Oil as my carrier but if you are allergic or want an alternative, Sweet Almond Oil is a good choice.  But any carrier oil will do. I usually fill halfway with carrier oil and test my blend before filling the rest of the way.  This way I can add more essential oils for a stronger blend or more carrier for a more diluted blend, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.

Ouchie – 30 drops Tea Tree, 20 drops Lavender, and 15 drops Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any minor cut, scrape, blister or sore to help cleanse, promote healing, and reduce that stinging sensation! It’s also great to apply to scaly, itchy patches of skin to help provide relief! See my previous blog post about this blend here –> Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises: An Essential Oil Roller Ball Recipe

Itch Relief – 20 drops Purification essential oil blend and 10 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any bug bite, minor rash, or itchy spot to help provide relief.

Seasonal Relief Blend – 15 drops each of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this to my throat to help calm that itchy throat sensation or to the bridge of my nose to help with a runny nose.  Be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Breathe Easy – 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this blend to my chest or bridge of my nose if I’m extra stuffy! Just like with the Seasonal Relief blend, be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Headache Remedy – 10-15 drops each of M-Grain, PanAway, and Peppermint.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Valor.  You can also add more Peppermint to the blend or layer with Peppermint for more severe headaches.  I apply directly to my temples, forehead, and/or back of my neck for relief from sinus or tension headaches.

 

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Totally forgot to pack my DIY Bug Spray (<– click link for recipe) which was a pretty Doh! moment.  I could’ve kicked myself when we were sitting outside on the porch enjoying our impromptu boiled (fresh caught) Blue Crabs for lunch one day.  I don’t know if it was sand fleas or biting flies or what but the hubby and I were getting eaten up! Thankfully, I had my trusty bottle of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” in the diaper bag so I ran inside real quick to grab it and sprayed us both from the knees down.  The biting stopped and the best part was our lovely daughter who was also outside with us in her booster seat didn’t get one single bite! Winning! See my review of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” and find out how to order yours here –> Want an eco-friendly, chemical-free, safe and effective bug spray but don’t want to DIY it? Check out Eco Diva’s Bug Me Not Bug Spray!

 

Also in the diaper bag (not pictured) is my DIY Alcohol Free Thieves Hand Sanitizer (<– click link for recipe) which I love having with me at all times because you never know when you will need to clean gunk off your hands or get rid of germs but aren’t near a bathroom or sink! Plus they put all sorts of nasty chemicals in store bought hand sanitizers and the alcohol dries my hands out.  So this recipe is perfect!

 

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So there you have it! The oils I can’t live without and use in my daily routine, both at home and while on vacation! Can’t get away to your own beach vacation? No problem! Grab a bottle of Stress Away to help the stress melt away and promote a relaxing sense of calming!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises: An Essential Oil Roller Ball Recipe

More and more I find myself incorporating my essential oils into my daily life and yet still I never cease to be surprised by just how amazing these oils can be! When I first got my starter kit I researched a lot of different uses for each of the 11 oils I had added to my collection.  Some, like lavender, tea tree, and peppermint, I was familiar with and had already incorporated into my hygiene and beauty routines.  Others, like Thieves blend, frankincense, and lemon, I was excited to finally get to try.  Part of my research involved looking up different oil blend combinations to help with life’s little annoyances – like the sniffles, coughing, scratchy throats, dry and itchy skin, aches and pains, upset bellies, scrapes and bruises, and a pounding head!  I found lots of great recipes online, ordered some really pretty 10 ml cobalt roller ball bottles, and set to mixing and blending.  I’ve incorporated several into my daily life, including my favorite for aches and pains as well as sniffles, coughs and a scratchy throat.  I’ve even shared the recipes for my Ache Away and Seasonal Relief blends at my Essential Oil Make ‘N Take parties and they have been guest favorites! But one I had made had sat unused in my cute little oil bag until yesterday!

See, I’m super clumsy – like the kind of clumsy where door jambs jump out in front of me or I trip on flat surfaces.  True to form, I was walking to my car after work yesterday and tripped over the curb in the parking lot only inches from making it to my car unscathed.  My ankle rolled (but thankfully didn’t sprain or break which would’ve been incredibly painful and inconvenient) but I did manage to land on my knees onto the asphalt.  So I limped around to the driver’s side of my car to check out the damage I had done.  Thankfully my pants didn’t rip but I did manage to scrape up my knee pretty bad and just knew that it was about to start bleeding pretty good and would likely leave me with quite the bruise by the next morning.  And then I remembered – I have an oil for that! So I pulled out the lonely, unused Ouchie blend and rubbed a little onto my scraped and bruising knee.  I was shocked how quickly it took the sting out and stopped the bleeding!  I’m now applying it twice daily to help speed up the healing process.  And so far, no bruising!

I was so impressed with how well this blend worked I had to share it with my readers!  So without further ado, here it is:

Ouchie! roller ball recipe:*

  •  10 ml roller ball bottle (make sure you get metal not plastic roller balls)
  • 30 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • 20 drops of Lavender oil
  • 15 drops of Frankincense oil
  • fill roller ball with carrier oil – I prefer fractionated coconut oil (I buy Dr. Adorable brand from Amazon Prime)

This recipe is great for cleaning and taking the sting out of scrapes, cuts, and blisters as well as providing soothing relief from scaly, itchy patches of skin.  Plus, it’s safe to use on children!

*This is not my original recipe.  But sadly many of the reference websites I used to create my roller ball recipes have been removed due to FDA regulations and noncompliant language (don’t get me started on that tirade) so I can’t give you the source for this recipe.  But if its your original recipe please let me know and I’ll be happy to give credit where credit is due!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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I haven’t poo’d in 18 months, but it’s not what you think!!! The low-down on my no-poo journey!

Yup! The last time I poo’d was in December 2013!!! Used shampoo that is! And I think my hair looks pretty damn good!

So what’s all this no-poo buzz about anyway? Basically, consumers have started to realize that there are lots of questionable ingredients in shampoo and conditioners, some of which are downright toxic, and can actually cause damage to your hair over time.  No-poo means that you’ve gotten so fed up with chemicals that you’ve given up using shampoo at all.  It’s quite the commitment and generally not the first course of action for most people.  I was so tired of my hair breaking and excessive hair loss that I first chose to go low-poo before I went no poo.  Low-poo means avoiding sulfates, silicones, and parabens (more about these ingredients below) in your hair care products. There was also some unfounded rumors a couple years ago that sulfates were causing cancer.  These rumors helped lead consumers to seek out alternatives to traditional shampoo and thus shampoo companies have responded with the recent sulfate-free shampoo movement. The end result is there are a lot more options available to people who want to avoid using harsh chemicals in their beauty products but creative marketing has made it so that consumers have to be educated to know what to avoid.

So here’s a run down of all the common shampoo and conditioner ingredients you will want to avoid on your adventures in living a natural lifestyle:

Sulfates – Sulfates are harsh detergents that are often added as lathering agents.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are probably the most common sulfates and have gotten the most attention recently. They are powerful cleaners but work so well that overtime they can strip the hair of it’s natural oils (called sebum) causing damage (split ends and hair loss) and halting healthy hair growth. They are especially bad for color treated hair, as they can strip all that expensive dye off, as well as naturally curly hair, because they can make it extra frizzy.  If you have allergies, eczema, or find your shampoo irritates your scalp but aren’t ready to give up shampoo just yet try switching to a sulfate-free shampoo.

Is your shampoo low-poo? Here’s a list of ingredients that sulfates can masquerade as so you can be on the look out: Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate; Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, and TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate.

**Be aware of SLS or SLES “from coconut” as this is a marketing ploy to make consumers believe it is a safer product.  While the raw materials, or lauryl alcohol may be obtained from coconuts it is still combined with other chemicals to form the SLS or SLES and is a long way away from coconut oil!

Sodium Chloride – Also known as table salt, sodium chloride is often added as a thickener to shampoos that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.  While not a toxic chemical it can cause a dry, itchy scalp and should especially be avoided if you use keratin treatments on your hair as it can reduce the effectiveness.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) – DEA and TEA are foaming agents often added to shampoos as sulfate alternatives to help create the lather consumers have come to expect in their shampoo.  In addition, these ingredients are also found as thickening agents in mascara, foundation, facial cleansers, and body washes.  But DEA and TEA can cause skin irritation and, when combined with nitrosating agents (nitrites), can cause a toxic chemical reaction. Currently cosmetic manufacturers are not required to list nitrites on their ingredient labels so it is next to impossible to know if a product contains them so it’s best just to avoid anything containing these ingredients.

Is your shampoo low-poo? Other names DEA and TEA can be listed as include:  Cocamide DEA or Cocamide Diethanolimine, Lauramide DEA or Lauramide Diethanolimine, DEA Lauryl Suphate or Diethanolimine Sulfate, Linoleaide DEA or Linoleaide Diethanolimine, and Oleamide DEA or Oleamide Diethanolimine.    

Silicones – Silicones, like Dimethicone, are often added to shampoos and conditioners because they make your hair appear shiny, soft, and easy to comb but can cause unwanted build up that can weigh your hair down.  Pretty much you want to avoid anything that ends in “cone,” “conol,” “col,” or “xane,” unless it has the abbreviations “PEG” or “PPG” in front of them as these are silicones that are designed to be water soluable and do not cause the same kind of buildup over time as traditional silicones. I prefer to avoid silicones all together though.

Are your shampoo and conditioner low-poo? Here’s a list of ingredients that silicones hide behind: Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Stearyl Dimethicone are common silicones.  Amodimethicone, Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane, and Trimethylsilyamodimethicone are gentler silicones that will slow down the buildup that traditional silicones leave behind but are still technically silicones.  And lastly, Behenoxy Dimethicone and Stearoxy Dimethicone are still technically silicones but are somewhat soluable in water.

Polyethelyne Glycol – Also referred to as PEG/Polyethelyne or Polyoxyethelyne, polyethelyne glycol is a water soluable silicone often added as a thickening agent to shampooos that can strip the hair and skin of its natural moisture.

Parabens – Parabens are used to kill bacteria and prolong shelf life in cosmetics including shampoo, conditioners, sunscreen, moisturizers, anti-aging serums, mascara, etc. They are the most commonly used preservative and unless your skin or beauty product specifically says “paraben-free” it probably has parabens in it.  Despite their common usage, parabens can cause skin irritation, including dermatitis, rosacia, and other allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.  There’s even some rumors that they may be carcinogenic or have an estrogenic effect with continued exposure.

Are your shampoo and coditioner low-poo? Look for parabens listed as methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, and polyparaben.

Other Ingredients to Avoid: 

Lanolin, Petroleum, and Mineral Oil – These ingredients are often added to shampoos and conditioners marketed for ethnic hair.   However, they offer no additional moisturizing benefit and can actually weigh the hair down and prevent the natural oils (sebum) from being absorbed by the hair shaft, thus actually having a long-term drying effect making hair more brittle.

Formaldehyde –  Formaldehyde is often added as a preservative in cosmetics.  However, it is a known carcinogen and can damage the skin’s natural oils causing dryness, flaking, dermatitis, and other allergic reactions.  Excessive exposure to formaldehyde can actually cause hair loss. **Formaldehyde was an ingredient in the original J&J No More Tears Baby Shampoo, which has recently been reformulated as a result of an outcry by concerned parents.

Propylene Glycol – Also known as antifreeze, propylene glycol is often added to shampoo and other cosmetics to prevent them from freezing during shipping and storage. However, it can cause skin irritations, allergic reactions and even alter the structure of the skin which may allow other chemicals to be more readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Alcohol – Almost all hair products contain alcohol of some sort but it can be drying in high concentrations.  Stay away from products that list alcohol as one of the first four ingredients on the label.

Synthetic Fragrance or Parfum – Synthetic fragrance can be a complex combination of thousands of chemicals that don’t have to be listed individually on ingredient labels.  Many of these can cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.  Best to just avoid products with fragrance or find products that use essential oils to add natural fragrance instead.

Artificial Color – There is no reason other than aesthetics to add artificial coloring to cosmetics.  Yet artificial colorants can cause skin sensitivity or scalp irritation.

My Journey:

So now that you know why you want to avoid these ingredients, here is a little bit about my journey into the low- and no-poo realm.

I first became interested in the low-poo movement after learning about how harsh SLS and SLES was on the skin.  I had thrown out my facial cleansers and switched to castile soap as a body wash alternative so naturally looking into my shampoo and conditioning routine would be the next logical step.  My hair had been dry, brittle, and damaged for years on end.  I had chalked it up to my own laziness and the fact that I only tend to get my hair trimmed every 1-2 years (yes, you read that correctly…).  In addition to dry, damaged hair I had been losing excessive amounts of hair for the last year or so before I started my journey.  It was bad enough that I had even switched to really expensive, department store shampoos, like Aveda, in a desperate attempt to improve the condition of my hair and help prevent breakage and loss (and I’ve mentioned before how cheap frugal I am so you know this was huge!).

Low(er)-Poo:

After being incredibly disappointed that I didn’t get better results spending ridiculous amounts of money on what I thought was a natural line of department store shampoo and conditioner I swore I’d never spend that much again. So when I went on my quest to find a sulfate free shampoo I started looking for brands that I could buy at a drug or grocery store for half (or less) the price of what I had been spending. My quest led to me to discover the Organix line of hair and beauty products. I started using Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner because I liked that it didn’t contain SLS or SLES and had the keratin added as a natural hair strengthening ingredient to help prevent breakage.  Overall, I really liked this product.  However, it claims to be sulfate free but does contain Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, which is technically a Sulfate. So in hindsight, it’s not actually Low Poo, hence my classification of Low(er) Poo.  I felt duped upon this discovery, so I continued to my quest and traveled further down the no poo rabbit hole.

**I’ve since learned that a better bet for drug-store low-poo brand is Shea Moisture. They have several formulations for different hair types all of which do not contain parabens, phthalates, paraffin, formaldehyde, popylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, petrolatum, sythetic color, or DEA and (bonus!) NO Animal Testing!  In fact, we use the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argon Oil Baby Head-To-Toe Wash & Shampoo with my daughter and love the way it lathers (makes a great bubble bath) and smells!

Oh Poo:

I was already using Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap as my body wash and in my research I had discovered that lots of people used castille soap as a no poo alternative to traditional shampoo so thought I would give it a try.  While my hair certainly felt clean, the Dr. Bronner’s sadly left my hair flat and kinda dry.  (I still use it as my daily body wash and have even converted my not-so-crunchy husband as well!) But, my favorite all natural blogger Crunchy Betty suggests combining Coconut Milk with Castille Soap to get the nice lather your used to with traditional shampoos and the extra moisturizing effect of the coconut milk. I personally haven’t tried it but if you’re up for it, check out her Sorta Poo recipe!

* I’ve listed this as Oh Poo because since my journey started castille soap, as well as shampoo bars, have been reclassified from No-Poo because technically any kind of soap is well… soap.  Just like you will learn below about other cleansing methods, soaps are very alkaline washing methods (some even more than baking soda) and still need to be followed up with an acidic rinse of some kind.  

**I cannot take credit for this witty renaming… The phrase Oh Poo came from here

No Poo:

When you finally get fed up enough and decide to take the plunge and go full on no poo you will see a lot of people recommend using a clarifying shampoo first.  I didn’t use clarifying shampoo, although this is a step commonly recommended.  Clarifying shampoo will help strip the excess silicones and other chemicals that have built up on the hair over time from using traditional shampoo and conditioning products.  This is also supposed to help decrease the amount of time you go through the transition period.  Since I started with low(er)-poo methods I felt I could skip this step.

So what is the transition period? Basically it is a period of detox for your hair as it releases all the toxic chemicals and allows the buildup of silicones and other ingredients to fade away.  The idea is you want the natural pH balance to return to your hair, a sort of homeostasis as it begins to produce just the right amount of natural oils, or sebum.  We’ve done so much damage to our hair by constantly stripping away the oils that our hair compensates by over-producing oil to try to maintain it’s health.  So it makes sense that when you stop stripping the natural oils that you would go through a period where your hair gets greasier.  This is why many people give up on the no poo methods of hair care.  But I promise, IT WILL GET BETTER! The trick is to give it time.  My transition was about 3 months overall, which is a bit longer than normal and probably couldn’t been shortened had I known more about my hair type and found my ideal routine sooner.

It may take several approaches before you find the right no poo method for you.  Do the research, learn about your hair and what it needs (take the porosity test here), and most importantly don’t give up!

No Poo methods I’ve tried, what worked for me and what didn’t:

  1. Honey – I had read so many scary things about the baking soda/vinegar combo (probably the most common no poo method) damaging people’s hair that I was too afraid to try it initially.  So I scoured the interwebz for other options.  I had already started washing my face with honey at the point that I stumbled across the Empowered Sustenance blog about her DIY Honey Shampoo. I was initially concerned that the honey would make my hair super sticky but if it’s mixed right it doesn’t.  The big turn off for me was having to mix up my “shampoo” before each wash because it can, and will, grow mold (which in hindsight isn’t a super big deal and I have to do that now anyway).  My hair was super soft and shiny using honey but it got super greasy really fast.  There is a big possibility that the grease factor was just my transition period.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried it again since then (because raw honey is expensive), but it would probably work just fine now that I’m out of transition.
  2. Bentonite Clay – A friend had given me some Bentonite Clay to use to make a face mask to help with my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control so when I decided honey wasn’t the right choice for me I figured I’d give the clay a shot.  Mommypotamus has a good blog on using clay for a mud wash and I used her technique.  I honestly wasn’t impressed and only used the mud wash a few times.  I felt like the clay was harder to get out of my hair and felt that it was pretty drying.  My hair wasn’t as soft, shiny, or as easy to run my fingers through as normal.  if you choose to go the mud wash route, try Rhassoul clay instead.
  3. BS/V – After several incredibly frustrating weeks of trying out the honey and the Bentonite clay I finally gave in and tried the baking soda/vinegar combo and eventually found the routine that works for me.  I originally tried the method I’ve listed below and didn’t feel like it worked well while I was in transition.  I then discovered the “paste method” where I would take 1 tbsp of baking soda and mix with just a touch of water until it formed a paste and would massage the paste into my roots.  I found this much more effective at getting me through my transition but I’ve since learned that this can be really damaging to your hair.  When I got pregnant my paste routine didn’t seem to be working as well and I switched to the method I describe below and it worked so much better! In hindsight, I wouldn’t do the paste method again, I would simply try to wait out my transition period. The key to any no poo wash is making sure that you restore the pH balance of your hair.  Wash methods are mainly alkaline in nature so its important that you use some sort of acidic rinse to return your hair to its slightly acidic baseline. This seals the cuticle of the hair, so to speak, and helps the keratin lay flat on your hair resulting in soft, silky, and smooth hair! The most common acid rinse is vinegar.  But I’ve also tried coffee and beer with some success.  If you want to lighten your hair, lemon juice is also a good alternative.  (See link at bottom of blog for more details on different wash routines and acid rinses).
    1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – This is generally recommended for people with dryer hair.  My hair actually tends to be a bit oilier so I’m not sure why I originally started with ACV (it may have been because the smell is ever so slightly less offensive to my hubby) but I did and it seems to work well for me.  But if you try it and you feel like it weighs your hair down, a switch to DWV may do the trick. *Some people will tell you to use the ACV “with the mother” (like Bragg’s) which basically means that the raw enzymes used to ferment the vinegar haven’t been removed.  If I was drinking vinegar for health purposes I would totally make sure that I was using vinegar with the mother because it is full of gut friendly bacteria that help promote overall health but to rinse my hair that stuff is just way to expensive and seemed largely unnecessary. 
    2. Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) – Often recommended for people with oilier hair.

BS-ACV routine

Celia’s BS/ACV “No Poo” Routine:

Baking Soda Hair Wash: 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water.  One trick I learned is that if you have hard water, boil your water first.    The baking soda will fizz a bit when the boiling water mixes in.  I take a spoon and make sure that it completely mixes.  Let cool then use to wash the roots of your hair, scrinching and massaging the scalp. I mix this up a few minutes before my shower and wash dishes or pump while it cools off. *If your head gets a little itchy or you feel like your scalp is too dry, try decreasing the amount of baking soda until you find a ratio that works for you. 

ACV Hair Rinse: I use a 22 oz spray bottle from the Dollar Tree.  Fill 1/3 of the way with ACV and fill the rest up with water.  I don’t boil this water, but I’ve seen some people recommend boiling it for this step too.  Then I add 20 drops each of my essential oils (you can use less if you have a smaller spray bottle).  Currently I’m using Lavender, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang.  The Ylang Ylang completely covers up the vinegar smell (and my hubby has a nose like a bloodhound where vinegar is concerned so this is awesome)!  *Check out my list below for details on which essential oils are good for your hair and pick your favorites based on your hair needs! I only use my hair rinse on the hair from my ears down.  All the no poo fanatics will tell you this is wrong and that you should make sure to spray it on the top of your head too in order to restore the pH balance of your hair but I find that if I do this my hair gets greasier quicker, but be warned, my routine is technically “wrong.”  Try spraying your whole head first and make the decision that works best for your hair.  I leave my hair rinse spray bottle in the shower and use it until it’s gone and have never had any problem with mold growing in it.  But I have seen people recommend only mixing up the amount that you will use at a time.

Essential Oils for Hair Care:

* You can use any of these oils as part of a no-poo, low-poo, oh-poo, or poo-poo routine! Just add a few drops to your preferred rinse or conditioner!

  • Cedarwood – Great for a dry scalp or thinning hair, helps prevent hair loss (I chose this for my current rinse because I was battling the postpartum hair loss and wanted an oil to help combat that)
  • Frankincense – Maintains healthy hair and stimulates regrowth
  • Lavender – Helps control hair loss, improves hair growth, and helps get rid of an itchy scalp and dry flakes.
  • Peppermint – Great for an oily scalp.
  • Rosemary – Encourages hair growth.
  • Sandalwood – Helps restore moisture to hair and gives it a nice shine. Also supposedly helps combat premature greying of your hair!
  • Tea Tree – Helps minimize flakes and prevents lice.
  • Ylang Ylang – A natural hair conditioner that stimulates hair growth. Plus it smells lovely!

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount. Message me for more details or join today here!

Other considerations and helpful tips for your no poo journey:

  • Learn to love wearing your hair in a ponytail or braids – it will save your sanity while you are going through transition! You need to go as long as possible between washing to help your hair through transition.  Especially with the BS/V routine you don’t want to wash your hair any more often than every 4 days.  It was seriously painful going this long between washes and seeing how greasy and gross my hair looked in the beginning.  Eventually I got to where I could make it 6-7 days between washes.  Now that I’ve cut my hair and have a difficult time putting it in a ponytail I admit that I can no longer go that long between washes.  I generally wash every 4 days now.  My hair looks great for the first three days, the fourth it starts to get a little flat but is still totally presentable. I can go 5 days but my hair is looking pretty rough by that 5th day.
  • Dry shampoo – another trick that saved my sanity during transition. When your hair starts to get greasy on day 2 or 3 but you need to go longer between washes, use an old makeup brush to apply dry shampoo to your roots.  I made my own using a recipe I found on the Wellness Mama blog (find it here).  I used arrowroot and cocoa powder since I have dark hair.  Blonds can get away with just arrowroot. And redheads can use cinnamon or red clay.
  • Boar Bristle Brush (BBB) – A BBB is a natural bristle brush that is used to help distribute the natural oils (sebum) along the length of your hair. This is technically the best type of hair brush to use, but I find that it makes my hair really staticky so I don’t really use it much anymore. But when in transition this is really important because it can keep the shaft of your hair moisturized and keep the sebum buildup from being quite so noticeable.  The Morocco Method is what is frequently recommended for brushing with a BBB.  Check out a how to video here.

Notes and References: 

I found a great deal of information and support on my no-poo journey from the No Poo (no shampoo) & Low Poo Hair Care Group Forum on Facebook.  It’s a public group so you can peruse the files without joining but must join as a group member to comment and ask questions.   Here are links to some of their files:

  • Getting Started With No Poo
  • No Poo Wash Methods – a pretty comprehensive list of the no poo wash methods out there.
  • Oh Poo – a list of soaps that can be used to wash the hair without the damaging effects of sulfates, silicones, and parabens found in commercial shampoos.  Note: Soaps are alkaline and you WILL still need an acid rinse of some kind to balance the pH of your hair
  • Acidic Rinses & herbal Rinses/Teas/Infusions – a pretty comprehensive list of rinses that help restore the pH balance of your hair when using alkaline washing methods and provide a conditioning effect

Want to take it even further, check out Water Only (WO) and Sebum Only (SO) methods of hair care!

Another great, non-Facebook, resource is the No Poo Method website.  It has a great list of FAQ’s and describes a variety of methods and problem solving approaches to common pitfalls with the no poo method.

Do you no poo? Share your method below to keep the conversation going!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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My All Natural Skin Care Routine: Plus My Favorite DIY Facial Serum Recipe (using Essential Oils)!

I just hosted my first Essential Oils 101 class two weekends ago and had so much fun sharing all about the oils I’m so passionate about with a great group of lovely ladies! And it occurred to me that it has been awhile since I had written a blog post about how I use my essential oils in my daily life.  I’ve shared a lot about using essential oils to clean and a few hygiene sort of recipes so figured it was time to share some of my beauty routine with y’all! First, a bit about my journey.  My husband and I started trying to conceive after our 1 year wedding anniversary, on May 19, 2013.  I had been on hormonal birth control pills for 17 years and when I went off of them my whole body went bonkers! I later learned that I had PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and that’s what was causing my crazy hormonal issues and making it so difficult for us to conceive.  My hormonal imbalances were most obvious with my skin.  My once beautiful, soft, smooth skin suddenly became a nightmare of crazy teenage-type acne breakouts… at 32 years old!!!  I seriously tried everything shy of going to a dermatologist (which would’ve taken me 2+ months to get in and they likely would’ve prescribed medication that I’d have to discontinue when I got pregnant and/or antibiotics which I didn’t really want to take).  As a measure of last resort I started researching natural alternatives to skin care to find away to help clear up my skin.  That was when I discovered Crunchy Betty’s blog and started my adventures in living a natural lifestyle.

When I decided to rid my life of toxic chemicals, starting with my skin and beauty routines, I literally threw out 20+ bottles of skincare products, both drug store and expensive department store brands, none of which worked to control my acne. I found a fair bit of success using honey and even more luck when I switched to the oil cleansing method (OCM) to cleanse my face while I was having extreme acne breakouts.  My skin cleared almost completely once I got pregnant and my hormones got back in check (and my skin has so far stayed clear since having my darling little daughter with only the occasional breakouts) and I’m lazy, so I no longer use either of these methods.  But they were great alternatives to traditional, chemical filled store-bought cleansers. So rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some links to Crunchy Betty’s blog posts on both these methods:

Crunchy Betty’s Honey Challenge – all about how to wash your face with honey!

Nitty Gritty on the Oil Cleansing Method – a great intro to oil cleansing with descriptions of the various oils and the skin types they work best with.

Trying and Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method – a follow up to her previous post that gives 5 new tips she learned through 2 years of trials and tribulations with the oil cleansing method.  Read both posts before you begin for the best success!

* I will add this, I personally had the most luck with a combo of Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil when I was using OCM to help reduce acne breakouts.  But try out different oils and find the best combo for your skin type.  You don’t have to have acneic skin for OCM to work for you!

So, want to know my current skin care routine? Of course you do! That’s why you’re reading this blog post after all, right?

  • Water only to clean my face.  No seriously, that’s it! When i take a shower I just rub my face with circular motions using hot water only.  As I’ve mentioned before I’m pretty lazy and I only actually “wash” my face at night.
  • Thayer’s Rosewater Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner as an astringent. I apply this with a cotton round after my showers at night and once again in the morning to get rid of any extra oil that my skin produced overnight. I love the rose petal one for it’s added moisturizing effect and lovely scent but I’ve also used the plain and the lavender as well.  I spend the extra money on Thayer’s because all the other brands I could find in the grocery/drug store witch hazel had alcohol in it and I didn’t want the drying effect that alcohol has on my skin. More info about Thayer’s Witch Hazel varieties here.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil as my acne spot treatment – Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic and can help cleanse the skin as well as dry up blemishes and reduce future breakouts. I use it “neat” – just a dab on a qtip, applied directly to the blemish.  Note: Tea Tree Oil may cause skin sensitivity with repeated exposure.  I haven’t had any problems yet and have been using it for a couple years now but I do personally know people that have had a reaction to it.  
  • Coconut Oil as eye makeup remover. If you haven’t caught my review of my awesome mascara, check it out here: I’ve found my perfect (naturally based, cruelty-free) mascara!  The downside is that I can no longer be lazy and absolutely must take my eye makeup off or it won’t apply right the next day and it doesn’t come off with water only or with my astringent.
  • DIY Natural Sunscreen as my daytime moisturizer. If you missed my previous post with the recipe, check it out here: DIY Natural Sunscreen
  • DIY Facial Serum as my nighttime moisturizer.  You want the recipe? Here it is!

DIY Facial Serum

DIY Facial Serum:

Ingredients:

  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • Melrose essential oil blend – Young Living’s proprietary blend of Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Clove essential oils designed to soothe and support healthy skin. The Tea Tree and Rosemary oils have an added benefit of a cleansing effect and the Clove helps support a healthy immune system.
  • Frankincense essential oil – a natural astringent that helps soothe and tone the skin as well as supporting a healthy immune system.  May help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to promote more radiant, younger looking skin!
  • Lavender essential oil – In addition to having a soothing effect, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant and moisturizer that can help soothe irritation as well as detox the skin and protect it from the daily barrage of sun and pollution damage. Plus it has a calming effect and can promote relaxation and a better night’s sleep!

Directions:

Combine 2 oz of Fractionated Coconut Oil with 7 drops each of the essential oils. Shake gently before use and apply to skin at night before bed (could also be used as a daytime moisturizer).  A little goes a long way!

There are lots of other essential oils that have amazing benefits for healthy skin, including but not limited to Carrot Seed (high SPF and rejuvenating effect), Geranium (helps regulate oil production and may reduce breakouts), Myrrh (helps improve skin tone and firmness promoting more youthful looking skin), Neroli (moisturizes, improves skin tone and may reduce fine lines and wrinkles), Patchouli (a natural antiseptic that helps soothe irritation and promotes skin regeneration), Rose (especially moisturizing and can promote healing), and Ylang Ylang (helps control oil production and reduce breakouts).  Feel free to mix and match to find the right combination of essential oils for your particular skin care needs!

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

** Both my DIY Natural Sunscreen and my DIY Facial Serum use Coconut Oil as the base.  However, Coconut Oil is comedogenic, meaning that it can clog pores.  I haven’t noticed any more than the occasional breakout but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this.  If you have acne prone skin or have found that Coconut Oil causes breakouts for your skin, here is a list of alternative carrier oils that you could use for your DIY facial serum.  I’ve also included approximate SPF information of the oils that may offer some SPF protection as alternatives to Coconut Oil in the DIY Sunscreen recipe.

Comedogenic Ratings of Alternative Carrier Oils for Facial Serums*:

Will not clog pores:

  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil

Low:

  • Castor Oil (SPF 5)

Moderately Low:

  • Almond Oil (SPF 4)
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Olive Oil (SPF 4-7)
  • Peanut Oil (do NOT use if you have peanut allergies)
  • Sandalwood Seed Oil
  • Sesame Oil (SPF 1-2)

Moderate:

  • Corn Oil
  • Cotton Seed Oil
  • Soybean Oil

Fairly HIgh:

  • Coconut Oil (SPF 4-7)

High:

  • Wheat Germ Oil

* Adapted from the Lemondroppers Comedogenic Ratings graphic

For more information on alternative moisturizing oil blends check out Crunchy Betty’s Simple Homemade 3-Ingredient Facial Oil Moisturizer blog post! It’s got a lot of alternative carrier oil choices with descriptions of what types of skin they are good for as well as descriptions of other skin nourishing essential oils not listed here!

So there you have it! Do you have an all natural beauty routine? I’d love to hear what works for you! Comment below to keep the conversation going!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 3 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally.

Let’s face, no one really enjoys cleaning the toilet. And when you factor in all the gross chemicals involved it makes the whole process even less desirable. When I caught the spring cleaning bug over the weekend I knew I had to find a way to clean my toilet naturally so that I could at least generate some excitement about the process. I was surprised at the number of natural cleaning methods I found so I’ll share them below as well as share what method I used (I’ll spare you the before and after pics this time!).

Let’s begin by looking at some common store-bought toilet cleaners and why you’ll want to avoid them!

Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite is the main ingredient in bleach and is a known allergen and skin irritant. It can cause severe skin burns and eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life. (Not to mention that if you are clumsy like me you’ll wind up bleaching everything else in your home by accident…)
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner – The main ingredient in Lysol’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner is Hydrochloric Acid which can not only cause severe skin burns and eye damage but also acts as an upper respiratory irritant and can contribute to asthma attacks and pulmonary edema.
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel – Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel contains Polymers, which are not only toxic to aquatic life but also skin and eye irritants, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, another skin irritant, and artificial Fragrance which can be an allergen or skin irritant.
2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner – 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, while convenient (IF it truly does “clean with every flush”) also contains several harmful ingredients, including Surfactants, which are toxic to aquatic life as well as being skin and respiratory irritants; 1,3-Dichloro-5-Ethyl-5-Methylhydantion, which is a known allergen and skin irritant; Chlorine Bleach (see above); and artificial Fragrance.

So now that you’re ready to throw out your toilet bowl cleaners, let’s look at some common household ingredients that you already have on hand that help clean naturally!

Baking Soda – Baking Soda is a natural abrasive that can help you scour your toilet bowl and act as a natural deodorizer. However it does not have any germ-fighting qualities. Pair it with Vinegar for the ultimate toilet bowl cleaning duo!
Borax – Not everyone has this on hand but it is easily found at your local grocery store. Borax is often mistaken as Boric Acid (which is toxic!) but it is NOT the same thing! Borax is actually Sodium Tetraborate which is non-toxic unless ingested in very large amounts. It’s a great, old-fashioned multi-purpose cleaner. It is commonly used as a natural laundry detergent but can also be used to clean, whiten (it doesn’t bleach, just removes stains) and deodorize your bathroom or kitchen and even used to rid your home of ants naturally!
Citric Acid (or Lemon Juice) – Citric acid is a natural, eco-friendly and cost-effective cleaning agent/ingredient, especially effective at removing stains and hard water buildup. Citric acid is also found in lemon juice and while we may not all have citric acid laying around our home, many of us have lemon juice in our fridge! (Note: Lemon essential oil does NOT contain citric acid) You can order citric acid through Mountain Rose Herbs here: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/produ…/citric-acid/profile
Essential Oils – I’ve already discussed how awesome I think essential oils are as additions to homemade cleaners (because of germ-fighting properties and ability to prohibit bacteria and fungal growth) and cleaning the toilet is no exception! Oils such as Tea Tree and Thieves are especially effective. But others oils, such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and Citrus oils, also have germ-fighting properties as well!
Vinegar – Vinegar is a natural acid that is mild enough to not irritate the skin but is effective at cleaning, disinfecting, and eliminating odors. Use in combination with Baking Soda or Borax for an especially effective toilet bowl cleaner!

Another wonderful way to help rid your toilet of those awful rings (especially if you get the hard ones around the rim of the toilet that never seem to come out no matter how much you scrub) is to invest in a natural Pumice Stone (just like the one your grandmother uses on her feet!). I found mine on Amazon for less than $5. Buy it here:http://www.amazon.com/Pumice-Scouring-S…/…/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1…

I found several great methods of using the above ingredients to clean my toilet over at DIY Natural but opted for my own method, which I’ve included below.

How to Clean Your Toilet Naturally:

Ingredients:
• Borax (or Baking Soda)
• Thieves cleaner (find my recipe here)
• Pumice Stone

Directions:
• Pour ½ – ¾ cup of Borax (or Baking Soda) in toilet bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Use toilet brush to scrub inside of toilet then flush.
• Use Thieves cleaner to spray the inside and outside walls of the toilet bowl and clean with sponge.
• Use the Pumice stone on any hard surface stains or toilet bowl rings that did not come out with the above methods.

Keep the conversation going! What’s your favorite all natural method of cleaning the toilet? Comment below!

Did you miss Part 1 and 2 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally