Essential Oils for Skin Care

One of the first ways I began using essential oils was in my skin care – in sugar scrubs, to be exact! Today I’m sharing some helpful tips on which oils are best for particular skin conditions. Read on!

Skin trio

The most basic skin care starts with this trio: Frankincense, Melaleuca, & Lavender. Here’s why you want each of these oils in your skin care.
Frankincense is the best oil for cell regeneration. That means it’s perfect for scarring, stretch marks, and even reducing & preventing wrinkles. It is anti-inflammatory, so it’s great for puffy eyes.
Melaleuca is antiviral, with purifying, cleansing, & rejuvenating properties. It’s been shown to kill bacteria & fungi, so is also great for skin irritations like acne or eczema.
Lavender is moderately active against the principal bacteria which creates acne and can prohibit degenerative changes in the skin. It’s very soothing and calming. More on lavender for the skin
coconut oil

ESSENTIAL OILS BY SKIN CONDITION
Add to your current skin care or adjust your All-Purpose Cream recipe by adding oils for your particular skin type.
Blemishes: Geranium, Melaleuca, Juniper Berry, Clary Sage, Lavender
Dry Skin: Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Myrrh
Oily Skin: Bergamot*, Clary Sage, Cypress, Lemon*, Frankincense, Melaleuca
Wrinkles: Frankincense, Anti-Aging Blend, Lavender, Helichrysum, Myrrh, Ylang Ylang
Imperfections or scarring: Anti-aging Blend, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender
Sensitive Skin: Lavender, Geranium, or Frankincense diluted more heavily

For more information on which oils are best for your skin type, click here (page 34-35).

*Lemon & Bergamot can cause photosensitivity. Use sparingly if applying before sun exposure.

 

Skin care with essential oils

 

Coming soon: DIY Steam Facial!

Tea with Essential Oils

We are big on tea in this family.

Growing up, we had black breakfast tea with milk & sugar for almost any occasion:
In the mornings, we had tea.
On cold days in the afternoon, we sipped tea.
When we came home upset because someone hurt our feelings, we talked about it over tea.
If we were sick, we drank tea.
When we were kids, we enjoyed what my grandma called “milk tea”: decaf black tea with lots of milk and spoonfuls of sugar until it tasted sweet.

Tea became synonymous with good feelings, memories, warmth, and coziness. Tea was woven into the culture of our family.

As an adult, I’ve discovered the wide range of different teas. That tea actually came from plants. That some kinds were best without milk and sugar (GASP!). I have some new favorites: Chamomile, Oolong, and Earl Grey. And my kids regularly ask for milk tea. (Even my coffee-loving husband enjoys tea these days!)

When I started using essential oils, I realized I can make “tea” for different ailments or issues using different combos of oils. (Have I mentioned lately that I love having this arsenal of oils that I can mix and match to my heart’s content?)

So here are some of my favorite blends! I hope you enjoy them too.

DIY Earl Grey:
Add 2 drops of Bergamot oil to your tea bag before pouring your water. Add milk, honey, and/or sugar to taste!

Bye Bye Flu:
Add 2 drops of Immunity Blend and 1 drop Lemon oil with a teaspoon of honey. Drink morning and night when sick.

Energizer Bunny:
Add 2 drops peppermint & 1 drop lemon. Drink morning or afternoon when you need a pick-me-up!

Sweet Dreams:
Add 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Bergamot, & 1 drop Roman Chamomile plus honey to taste. Drink before bed to de-stress, calm, and soothe yourself.
*Juniper Berry can be substituted for Roman Chamomile

Tea with Essential Oils

I only use essential oils from one company, because their purity and standards are far above the rest, and their educational support is second to none. To learn which one is my favorite, contact me for details.

DIY Dry Shampoo

A few weeks ago I made some dry shampoo and I am loving it! (I cannot believe I am making stuff like this… I’ll repeat what I usually say: if I’m making it, it must be fool-proof!)

Pause: Are you wondering what dry shampoo is?
I didn’t even know it existed until a couple years ago. Basically it’s a product that livens up your hair on a day you don’t want to wash it. It removes that greasy-look and helps style your hair. I don’t have time to shower and style my hair every day, so I love dry shampoo. I don’t really love the idea of a ton of chemicals being sprayed on my scalp, however.

Enter DIY dry shampoo!

I pulled from 2 different recipes (this one and this one) and landed on this recipe:

DRY SHAMPOO:
1/2 cup cornstarch (if you have it, use arrowroot powder instead!)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (omit if you have blonde hair; substitute cinnamon if you have auburn or red hair)
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops melaleuca essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil

I combined everything in an 8oz mason jar, put on the cap, and shook it up! This works well enough, but to distribute the oils more evenly, I recommend pouring all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulsing a few times.
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HOW TO USE:
I use an old kabuki brush to apply to the roots of my hair in the parts that are looking greasy (usually around my face). Then I rub into the roots with my fingertips until it’s well blended.
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Alternate method of application: poke holes in the steel top of the mason jar and shake onto hair. My concern with this method was the mess it would make if I ever knocked it over. I wanted something that could always be sealed.

Grease be gone! Plus it smells ah-may-zing. My results are below…

Before:

Before: greasy

Before: greasy

After:

After: shiny and clean!

After: healthy and clean!

Try this super simple recipe and let me know how it works for you!

Click here to discover how to get the best essential oils on the market.

Simple, All-Natural DIY Eye Makeup Remover

Something you should know about me: I’m picky about my eye makeup remover.

I found one that I absolutely love, but the thing is, it’s the only thing I’m ordering from this one online company. And the shipping is just as much as the product itself. I’ve been looking for alternatives for over a year.

I’ve tried the little makeup wipes. But they dry out quickly and I have to rub SO. HARD. to actually get my makeup off that my eyes hurt afterwards.

eye makeup pads

I’ve tried other brands too. But most of them sting when I use them. Newsflash, manufacturer: putting something in your eye makeup remover that makes user’s eyes sting does not generate repeat business.

I’ve even tried kinds that just plain don’t work. They leave black streaks all over my face and I feel like I’m pulling my eyelashes out from rubbing so hard. Not pleasant.

So since I was running low on my favorite eye makeup remover, and I’m practically a total pro at DIY stuff now (ha!), I figured it was time to take a risk and make my own.

I did and guess what?? IT’S AWESOME!
1. It actually removes my makeup (imagine that!)
2. I don’t have to abuse my eyes
3. It doesn’t sting
4. It’s not super greasy
5. It’s simple, easy, affordable – actually, CHEAP even.
6. Now that I have the ingredients on hand (OHI!), I can just make a new batch whenever I run out! No more waiting for shipping! HOORAY!

Now before you go getting all, “There’s no way I can make a homemade eye makeup remover” or “I don’t even know where to get this stuff! It’s probably only in a specialty store” just remember who is writing this right now. I’m still the mama that shops at Meijer using mPerks. 😉

The thing I was most concerned about finding was the Vitamin E oil. But Meijer had a whole bunch of sizes for me to choose from in their skin care aisle. Right next to all the other face washes and lotions and stuff.

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I got the one all the way to the right. PS, did you know Vitamin E oil smells REALLY good??

The purified water I got from a regular ol’ water bottle. Yes, the kind you drink from. 😀

I purchased a 3-pack of travel-size dispenser bottles at the dollar store a few months ago that had so far gone unused. I pulled one out to mix this in. So the container was about $.33.

The rest of the ingredients are as follows:
25 mL (5 tsp) Vitamin E oil
10mL (2tsp) Fractionated Coconut oil
30mL (6 tsp) Purified Water
7 drops Lavender essential oil
7 drops Frankincense essential oil
5 drops Geranium essential oil

All you have to do is measure the ingredients, pour into the container, and shake! If you’re wondering how I measured, here’s your answer:

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Yes – One of those little plastic cups you get with your kids’ cough syrup. That you probably don’t buy anymore if you’ve converted to essential oils, because you’ve discovered the Cough Bomb and no longer need it. 😉

Your eyes will be moisturized, clean, and receive the added benefits of lavender, geranium, & frankincense oils (anti-aging and anti-inflammatory, to name a few).

Now remember to shake it up every time before you use it. I actually had to do this with the brand of remover that I used to purchase, so to me it was an indicator of an effective product, even before using it.

Happy DIY-ing! (Wow I never thought I would be typing THAT on my blog 🙂

I’m loyal to one specific essential oil company, because I’ve found their purity stands far above the rest, and their educational support is second to none. To learn which one is my favorite, use my contact form and I’ll reply with details.

Oregano Dip

I’ve never considered myself a big “party planner”; I would never list “hostess extraordinaire” as one of my hats! However, I do enjoy welcoming people to our home, however humble it is, and spending time with them, and helping them if I can, in whatever way I can.

I’ve now hosted two classes on essential oils at my home and let me tell you: They were a BLAST! I had so much fun preparing! It was really fun to try to come up with creative ways to use the different oils in foods for everyone to try. I have several that were a huge hit (one of them being that Chocolate Peppermint Pie) and have had requests for some of the recipes. Here is the first of those recipes!

I call this “oregano dip” simply because I use Oregano essential oil in it. Some oils are stronger than others – and oregano is one of them. It has a thicker consistency so it takes a little longer to get out of the bottle – but still be cautious because you really only need 1 drop 🙂 Now other than that, I was not super specific with this recipe. I’m listing it flexibly for you so you can adjust depending on how much you need to make.

I wish I had a nice beautiful picture of this for you, but honestly? Everyone ate it so fast there was no time 😉

Let’s say theoretically you want about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of dip.
Here’s what you’ll need, approximately:
4 oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream (adjust to taste; more if you want the dip thinned out)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (the grated Kraft kind, not shredded)
2 handfuls shredded cheddar cheese (I love Triple Cheddar blends)
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 dash dried bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 drop Oregano oil
Optional: 1 handful shredded Italian blend or cheddar cheese, freshly ground black pepper to taste

Now just adjust to taste – if you feel you need more of something, go ahead and add it! And remember these are approximations.

All you do is mix the ingredients together with a spoon – or if you’re making a bigger batch, a hand mixer works great.
Serve with crackers, pretzels, and/or fresh veggies.

I’m sure this would be even more fantastic with fresh herbs, but to be honest, this was a last minute thing I threw together using OHI (gotta love it!) which ended up being a hit! It goes so fast! My hubby wanted to keep it all to himself the second time I made it. That’s the best compliment I can get really, when people don’t want to share. 🙂

And Oregano essential oil isn’t just great for cooking. It provides natural immune support against colds & flu, candida, and warts. It’s considered a pain killer, and offers digestive support & metabolic balance. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic. You definitely want to have this in your arsenal!

I only use essential oils from one company, because their purity and standards are far above the rest, and their educational support is second to none. To learn which one is my favorite, contact me for details.

All-Purpose Repair Cream

I’ve been waiting to post this one until I had a new batch of the glorious stuff.

I’ve used this ‘cream’ to help:
*Diaper Rash – relieve pain & reduce redness
*Face lotion – reduce lines, soften skin, calm acne
*Hands & Body – soften & moisturize skin
*Lip primer – before gloss or lipstick to soften and soothe chapped lips
*Anywhere – Soothe burns, rashes, or cuts

I love this. I use it on my face at night (my skin feels and looks so much healthier!) and on my hands pretty often throughout the day. I wish I had taken before and after pictures of my hands. The palm-side of my fingers had been really appalling – the lines on them were really deep and had a dark stain in them that no amount of scrubbing would remove (this was likely due to my working in a restaurant). I felt embarrassed because it looked like I never washed my hands, when quite the opposite was true. I began applying this cream after using my Lemon Peppermint Scrub, and the difference is amazing. The lines have been reduced, there is no longer a permanent dark stain on my fingers, and my hands always feel like velvet after applying it!

If you are an essential oils user, you probably already have all these ingredients in your home. Here is the recipe!

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All-Purpose Repair Cream
1/2 c Coconut oil (melted)
10-15 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Frankincense essential oil
10 drops Melaleuca essential oil

When I use just for my facial/skin care (not for first aid purposes), I add:
*5 drops Bergamot
*2 drops Geranium
*1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil

First measure your coconut oil into a small glass mixing bowl. Fill a small pot or large measuring cup (like a 2+ cup Pyrex) with very hot steaming water (not boiling). Create a sort of double boiler by placing the bowl with coconut oil over the hot water. The steam will melt the coconut oil. I’m sure you can use the microwave to melt it, and I’ve heard of people doing it, but personally I like to melt it more naturally. (You can even do this directly in the mason jar if it has a wide mouth, but be careful because it will be full!)

Once the coconut oil is melted, add your essential oils and use a small whisk to stir. Then put into a mason jar, put the cap on tightly, and set somewhere to cool.

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When the coconut oil cools down, it will solidify more. The addition of the oils, though, make it smoother than the coconut oil on its own. If you are in a hurry to use it, you can place in the fridge for a few minutes until it’s the right consistency.

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Now this ‘cream’ is not like store-bought lotions you’ve used before; it took me awhile to get used to the more oily consistency. However the benefits far outweigh the discomfort of trying something new. You may want to allow a couple minutes for it to set into your skin. If my hands ever feel too oily after application, I simply pat them with a towel.

POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS:
Next up, I’m going to try a combo of coconut oil and shea butter, as well as the addition of Roman Chamomile!
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Lavender has an overall calming effect on the mind and body. It’s frequently used to soothe skin irritations and help skin recover from various maladies including rashes, burns, cuts, scabs, dry skin, etc. It helps reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.

Frankincense is one of the most widely prized oils; it has been used for centuries for its various uses including soothing, beautifying, and rejuvenating skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks, scars, and lines, and slowing the signs of aging. It has even been used as perfume! It is anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting, and aids in overall optimum body system performance. 

Melaleuca can be used to cleanse and purify the skin and nails and to promote a clear, healthy complexion. It is frequently used on minor skin irritations to soothe the skin and help it recover quickly. It is also anti-viral and great for boosting immunity (great for our hands!)

I’m loyal to one specific essential oil company, because I’ve found their purity stands far above the rest, and their educational support is second to none. To learn which one is my favorite, use my contact form and I’ll reply with details.

5 Tips to Offset the Price of Buying Organic & Natural

1. Know your budget. I almost forgot to include this; but being aware of and sticking to a predetermined budget is the first step to maximizing your savings. Having even an approximate amount in mind will keep you from overspending unnecessarily.

2. Plan your meals based on sales. Most grocery stores put out a weekly ad – even the more popular produce stores, like Whole Foods or Mariano’s – and if you don’t get it in the mail, you can view it easily online. I usually base dinners around a protein, and buy the family size packs so I can either separate into 2 meals or make a Second Meal from the leftovers. The protein (fish, poultry, pork, beef, etc.) will usually be most expensive, so consider this first before looking at other specials. Then check out the produce sales. We shop at Meijer, and their store brand organic often goes on sale. This is how I decide what to buy that week. Same goes for their Meijer Naturals grocery products. If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, check out the Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen lists. If you’re only buying a few items organic, you might want to choose items on the Dirty Dozen list to reduce the chance of pesticides.
*Note: If you’re just starting out, it might take awhile to understand what a good sale price is. Don’t stress. Just do the best you can for now, and eventually it’ll be second nature to know when an item is overpriced, when it’s an average buy, and when it’s at a DEEP discount price.

3. Make a list and stick to it. Write down everything you plan to buy based on the ad. Double check your meal plan for the week, cross check your pantry, and add any missing ingredients to your list if necessary. If you’re on a really tight budget, estimate the cost of each item and get an approximate total, adjusting your list if necessary.
Then, when you get to the store, STICK TO YOUR LIST. I know the lure of the produce section… you suddenly get the urge to try a blood orange for the first time… or to buy an exotic root vegetable you’ve never used before. THIS. IS. BAD. Not only will it put you over your carefully constructed budget, but if you don’t have a recipe or specific use in mind for that item, chances are you will end up tossing it anyway, or wasting another item you bought. Reducing your waste (Read: the stuff you throw away because it’s gone bad) is a huge way to save money. If you were really deliberate about your list, you should have just enough produce to make it through each meal of each day for the week. Resist the urge to impulse buy; if you see something new you want to try, make a note of it, search recipes when you get home, and put it on the list for next week.

4. Check for coupons before you go. Part of the reason I love Meijer is because of their mPerks. Not only are there coupons for name brand products, but also for their store brand – which as I said, has great organic and natural products. So when I find a coupon that matches with a weekly sale, it’s a home run! or a 3 pointer! or a touchdown! (insert your favorite sport term here.) So check your favorite grocery store’s website for store coupons on generic items, including produce. Some stores have rewards programs; others have digital coupons you can load to a loyalty card. A little research goes a long way.
And if you are buying a specific brand name, check your local newspaper inserts. In our area, the best website for this is www.coupontom.com. It references an extensive catalog of all the current paper and printable coupons. When you search an item (by brand name or item name) it will pull up any coupons available and where to find them.

5. Enroll in rewards programs. As I said earlier, research if your favorite store(s) has a rewards program. A lot of stores have a point system connected to a loyalty card – and the points can then be converted to savings later. Some stores have a quantity requirement program (Buy 10, get the 11th free). Other stores give stickers based on your total spent within a qualifying time period, which can be returned at the end for products. Meijer has a great one they’ve recently instituted – you choose one reward in each of three categories. (For example, Spend $60 in produce, Get $5 off.) This is cumulative for the entire month. Once you reach the goal amount, you can ‘clip’ your reward to your mPerks account, and it is applied toward your total basket on your next trip. You can work towards 3 different rewards at a time, and if you finish a goal before the end of the month, you can choose another one. Again, check your favorite store’s website, or ask an associate next time you’re in store.

By investing a little time and research, buying healthier, natural, and organic food can be realistic for even the smallest budgets!

Quick Tip of the Day: Natural Healthy Dressing Substitute

The first time I had a customer order lemon wedges with their salad I thought I heard the person wrong.  Like maybe she wanted the lemon for her water. But nope, she wanted lemon wedges for her salad. I watched her to see if she actually ate it this way. I thought it must be a trick.  To my utter disbelief, she didn’t cringe or spit it out but seemed to enjoy the whole thing. This was a few years ago now.

Well I finally tried it awhile ago and it was actually REALLY good. All the moisture and freshness of a vinaigrette but without the sodium or preservatives in a bottled dressing.

So, if you want a fresh and healthy substitute, try it some time. Just a few squeezes of fresh lemon drizzled a few times around your bowl.  Maybe next time I’ll try adding some seasonings to fresh lemon juice to make a “real” dressing. I’ll let you know how it goes.