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!

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.

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!

An Excellent Article: “Food is not your God”

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I do my best to feed my family healthy meals, but I am not an extreme health nut – by that I mean:
* I don’t buy strictly organic.
*I don’t follow any gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, sugar-free, pesticide-free or meat-free strict diet
*I buy fresh produce whenever possible, and organic when it’s in our budget.
*I eat as much whole wheat as possible.
*I buy generic milk, eggs, cheese, and other grocery items.
*I also buy frozen vegetables (it’s actually supposed to preserve the nutrients better)
*I can’t wait for the day (hopefully this spring!) when I have the time & money to buy from the local farmer’s market instead of making only one trip to the store per week.
*I use butter & margarine, non-organic milk, and I feed my kids fruit snacks (that are not organic!)
*I drink beer and wine.

There’s a lot of research out there, and for every argument there is supportive evidence why something is good or bad for you. If you get caught up in it (like I did!) you will feel guilty EVERY. TIME. you put something in your mouth. I felt trapped. Like nothing I ate was healthy, so why bother even trying? BRING ON THE GREASY SPOON!!

I finally had to just let it go, and do my very best to feed my family as healthily as I could while staying within our budget. I pray over our meals. This article puts it in perspective even more though, because God does give us everything richly to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17) – including our food!!! Our Senior Pastor Bill Hybels taught on Self-Control this weekend. He made a great point: that self-control and delayed gratification are important for success in any endeavor, but if you don’t reward yourself occasionally or celebrate when you reach your goals, you will end up hating your life. (Or, in my opinion, become proud and haughty, and reliant on your own skills instead of relying on GOD.) And that’s not the kind of life God wants for us – because He came that we might have and enjoy our life, in abundance, to the full, until it overflows (John 10:10).

Read the article here, and let me know what you think — Have you struggled in regards to  food choices? What did you struggle with specifically, and how did you overcome that struggle?