natural living :: homemade exfoliating scrub (2 ways)

Whenever I say the word ‘exfoliation’, I just feel kind of pretentious.  I don’t really know why, it just seems so fancy  But, let me inform you of something, if doesn’t have to be.  Plus, it’s really important for healthy, glowing skin (two things I’m slowly working towards).

For some reason, these scrubs can be so expensive!  I’m not about to spend $20 on sugar scrub when I can make my own for approximately 6 cents. I’ve found 2 very simple ways to make your own scrub.  They are both easy, cheap, and of course, all natural!

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Honey and Sugar Scrub:

Put a generous pinch of brown sugar in the palm of your hand.  (The amount isn’t super important, maybe 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp depending on how much of the scrub you want to make at one time.  I usually just make enough for one use because it’s so quick to make.)

Then, drizzle honey (preferably raw, but I know it’s pretty expensive) onto the sugar until it forms a thick paste.  Massage gently onto a slightly wet face, chest, or back. Wait a minute or two. Rinse with warm water.

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Coffee Grounds Scrub:

This one is even easier, especially if you make coffee in the morning.  Simply take the used, wet coffee grounds and gently rub onto a slightly wet face. Then, rinse.

You can also mix ground coffee with a little olive oil and get a similar effect, but the ease of the already used and wet coffee grounds always wins when I have them.

 

natural living :: homemade acne toner and spot treatment

I’ve struggled with acne for a while.  Thankfully, the battle on my face only lasted a year or twp, but acne on my chest and back is a problem to this day.  It’s super frustrating.  I’ve tried everything, it seems.  I’ve gone to a dermatologist and have gotten so many different medications, creams, gels and none of them have really worked. At all.  So, going along with my all natural products, I’ve searched the Internet far and wide for some relief.  Here’s what I found…

On my face, I just usually do the OCM a handful of times a week and then use the spot treatment on pop up zits.  Then, I exfoliate with a homemade sugar and honey scrub once or twice a week.

On my chest and back, I use the toner, then smear a whole bunch of the spot treatment over the area because basically my chest and back are just a mess, a mess that’s being worked on.

I cannot tell you how amazed I am that this is slowly working. Now, it takes a while for it to fully clear up.  But, I am healing my skin from the outside in.  Plus, it’s important to keep the areas super clean (especially hard on my back) and not pick at them and I’m kinda bad at both of those things, so it’s taking a little longer than normal.  However, I am not completely discouraged yet because I’ve already seen consistent results.  I’m hoping that after all this effort that once it’s all gone, it’s gone for good.

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Homemade Toner (also the same as my conditioner!):

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 cup filtered water

To use, just put some on a cotton ball and rub over the affected area.

Homemade spot treatment:

1 oz jojoba oil
5-7 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
small vial for storage (I used an old essential oil vial)

To use, I usually just dip a cotton swab in and dab onto the affected areas.

Like, I said, patience is key (at least for my skin type), but it’s been totally worth it!

 

hippie life :: homemade natural toothpaste

The latest installment of the homemade beauty stuff…

So, if you don’t know, the toothpaste you buy in the store has sodium fluoride. It is put in there as a cavity prevention compound. But, some studies have shown that sodium fluoride can be toxic, especially when used in high quantities. It’s also one of the compounds that can be found in rat poison…

Now, I know that in “debates” like these, you have to choose your battles. This is just something that I want to rid my body of, really I just want to minimize all chemicals in my body. I do it because it’s really easy and most of the time, a lot cheaper than buying already made beauty products. I understand that not all people care or really think about this, and that’s completely fine. I’m just sharing my views on the subject.

Anyways, back to the toothpaste recipe…

Now, I’m warning you, this does not taste like store bought toothpaste. At all. It definitely takes a bit to get used to but it’s so stinking cheap AND it helps remineralize your teeth. The calcium powder in it actually helps your teeth become stronger and fight cavities naturally!

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5 parts calcium powder
2 parts baking soda
3-5 parts coconut oil
1 part sea salt
essential oils or extracts (optional, to taste : peppermint makes sense to me!)
stevia (optional, to combat bitterness)
dashes of cinnamon (optional, a recent favorite!)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Add the coconut oil 1 part at a time until smooth and creamy
3. Add essential oils/extract, cinnamon
4. Put into a sealed container. One with a wider mouth works better.

To use, just dip your toothbrush in the toothpaste and brush!

adapted from here

Like, I said, it’s quite different from the toothpaste you are used to and doesn’t give you that intense minty breath but, my teeth always feel clean and strong. Just give it a shot 🙂

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hippie life :: homemade dry shampoo

So, this is the easiest natural DIY yet.  Just one ingredient.

Cornstarch.  Just sprinkle a little in your hair and rub it in REAL WELL.  Unless you want people to think you have dandruff.  You can add other things in with it like baking soda or oat flour, but I think it works best just on its own.

I absolutely love using this.  I’ve been weaning myself off of harsh chemical shampoos by only using baking soda + water for shampoo and ACV + water for conditioner.  During this transition, my hair was a little (ok a lot) oily and this fixed things right up!

This works so much better than any other store bought (and not to mention chemical filled) product that I have ever used.  It soaks up the oil so well and doesn’t leave a residue or film on your hair.

Seriously works wonders…

hippie life :: simple shampoo and conditioner

Now, this may be taking it a bit to the extreme.  A few months ago, when this whole natural revolution started in my life, I wanted to try out this whole “no poo” phenomenon where you gradually wean yourself off of shampoo so that you never have to use it again.  The natural oils from your hair are supposed to balance themselves out.  Now that I’m a couple months into the transition period, I don’t think I’ll go completely “no poo”, it’s just too much for me. But, I have learned to like this hair washing style.

Shampoo:

2 TBSP baking soda
~1 cup water
few drops of essential oil

Conditioner:

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
~1 cup water

But, I am still using my super easy and simple shampoo and conditioner.  However, disclaimer, there is still a transition period where greasy hair abounds.  You see, what regular shampoo does is strip your hair of its natural oils, so then your hair overproduces the oil to compensate for that.  So, it’s hard to break the cycle.  It means a lot of braids and buns for a month or so, but it’s pretty worth it, just from the money savings alone.

This is probably the thing that is the hardest to transition to and keep it up.  I’m still not completely sold on it, but I keep doing it, mostly because I’m stretched for money and natural shampoo is so expensive.  My hair is definitely used to it now and i only have to wash my hair once or twice a week.  It feels really healthy as well.

So, there’s the good and the bad about my natural shampoo journey.  There are other ways to make shampoo that include jojoba oil and Dr. Bronners and things like that, but I just can’t get over how simple this is.

hippie life :: homemade laundry detergent

Let’s not kid ourselves, laundry detergent is expensive, and full of a bunch a nasty stuff, lots of chemicals and fragrances.  My skin is really sensitive to all those perfumes so I’ve been using free and clear for a while now, but I wanted to find a cheaper and more natural version.

You probably don’t have these things lying around the house but they are just a grocery store’s trip away, and I bet you didn’t even know they were on the shelves.

2 cups Borax (about $4 for a whole box)
2 cups Washing Soda (about $4 for a whole box)
1 cup natural bar soap, grated (about 1 bar)

1. Grate the bar soap with a cheese grater.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
3. Store it in an airtight container.

Use 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup per load depending on the size or dirtiness. It’s so simple and works really well.

Also, if you are noticing your clothes are full of static, you can just add about 1/4 cup of plain ole white vinegar into the laundry load in place of using a dryer sheet.  The sour scent of the vinegar goes away through the wash cycle.  It’s like magic.

Once you buy the ingredients, you can make a lot of detergent, and it goes a long way.  I’m probably spending less than half of what I normally would.  It just makes sense, right?

hippie life :: oil cleansing method (OCM)

Lately, I’ve been looking for cost effective and natural ways to take care of my skin and body. I’ve already posted about my homemade deodorant, which seriously works wonders. (I’m never buying prepackaged deodorant ever again…) And now, I want to share a couple other homemade products.

First up, face wash.

I don’t have particularly bad skin, but it’s definitely far from perfect. I was reading up a bit on some homemade facial cleansers and here’s what I came up with:

It’s very simple.  Just mix half olive oil and half castor oil together and then add a few drops of tea tree essential oil, if you so desire.  Put it into your old cleaned out face wash dispenser and there you have it!

There’s a special routine you should go through when using this:

1.  Apply a quarter sized amount to a dry face.
2. Gently massage it in for about a minute.
3. Wet a wash cloth with hot water and put it over your face until it reaches room temperature.  This mini facial will help draw out the dirt and dead skin cells.
4. Wash out the cloth then gently wipe away the oil.

Now, you may be thinking, “What the heck?!  I’m not putting oil on my face!  That will make my breakout worse!”  Not true.  Oil doesn’t cause the breakouts, dirt and bacteria do.  To get all chemical on you, oil dissolves oil.  If you use the right oils, you cleanse your pores, not clog them! (source: http://www.acne.org)

The castor oil draws out dirt and other gunk from your pores. The EVOO is a brilliant moisturizer, helping heal and nourish the skin. Also, the tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and helps clear up acne.  (source)

It’s pretty fantastic and I bet you already have olive oil around the house anyways.  Super cheap, super effective!