All Natural Green Tea Face Cream

All Natural Green Tea Face Cream

Hello lovelies. I want to share with you, my recipe for a decadent little face cream that I’ve been using for the past few weeks. I created this out of sheer necessity. I recently ran out of my usual face moisturizer. This stuff is not cheap, it costs around 45 bucks an ounce. My husband and I have been cracking down on our budget recently and I have been reevaluating my necessary purchases. Extras like clothes and eating out have fallen low on the priority list. My face regime has stayed pretty high on my priority list as healthy skin is super important to my happiness. Call me vain, but it is much harder for me to feel powerful when my skin isn’t looking fresh and vibrant. In the interest of saving some cash while still treating my face to a high quality moisturizer, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a face cream with powerhouse ingredients. I feel that my finished product is superior to the expensive cream that I’ve been rocking for the last few years. In the two weeks that I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed an evening out of my skin tone, a fading of old pimple scars, a softening of the fine lines around my eyes and my forehead and simply an increased all over glow. The ingredients in this cream can be slightly pricey themselves but nowhere near the cost of comparable store bought creams that boast the same high quality ingredients. Bottom line, your cost will be lower overall if you create your own cream, plus you’ll have total control of what goodies you put in and what nasty preservatives you keep out. Below is a list of the ingredients I used and why they do such incredible things for your skin.

Raw Organic Shea Butter- Shea Butter is high in Vitamins A, F and K.

Vitamin A has soothing and hydrating properties which can prevent premature wrinkles.

Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and revitalizer. It soothes rough or chapped skin on contact. Vitamin F also consists of linolenic, and arachidonic acids, which are essential fatty acids.

Vitamin K helps aging and damaged skin look younger and healthier. It also improves skin elasticity and dark under-eye circles.

Shea Butter helps cell regeneration and capillary circulation. It has been known to soothe skin irritations such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, dermatoses, acne, rash, minor scrapes and burns. Shea Butter restores elasticity of the skin and evens skin tone by lessening dark spots caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Green Tea infused Almond oil- Almond oil is rich in vitamin A, B and E. These vitamins can improve your complexion, soothe irritation and inflammation and relieve dry skin. Green tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins, which help fight damage caused by free radicals. Green tea is also wonderful for brightening and firming the skin.

Rosehip oil- This oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are known to correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin, all while reducing scars and fine lines. It’s a total badass when it comes to keeping the skin young and supple.

Carrot seed oil- Carrot seed oil is very high in antioxidants. These components can help protect your skin from environmental assaults like UV rays, pollution, and stress. Carrot seed oil’s ability to rejuvenate skin is miraculous. Scientists think this has something to do with the “carotol,” a primary component found in carrot seed oil. The oil also has moisturizing vitamin E and protective vitamin C, which work together to help encourage healing and to rejuvenate skin cells and bring new life to skin. In fact, carrot seed oil has a reputation for helping to heal eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis because of its ability to stimulate cell growth and repair damaged skin. It is also this ability that makes carrot seed oil a great anti-aging ingredient. Carrot seed oil has the ability to balance both oily and dry skin. It gives skin just enough moisture without clogging pores, making it perfect for all skin types.

Beeswax- Beeswax forms a protective barrier that helps protect the skin from environmental assaults, while also holding in moisture and reducing dryness. Unlike ingredients made from petroleum, however, beeswax doesn’t “suffocate” the skin, and won’t clog pores. Like honey, beeswax has antibacterial properties, helping keep skin clean and reducing the risks of contamination in the formula itself. Beeswax is a humectant which means it attracts water molecules. This helps to keep skin hydrated over time. Beeswax is also a good source of vitamin A which helps support cell turnover and reconstruction.

Vitamin E- Vitamin E protects the skin from environmental pollution. It contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent the signs of premature aging and offers excellent wound healing properties. Vitamin E also enhances and helps with the penetration of other compounds into the skin and is itself well absorbed by human skin. On top of all of these powerful benefits to the skin, Vitamin E is also a wonderful natural preservative so putting it into your homemade skin care products will extend it’s shelf life.

Lavender essential oil- Lavender essential oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Just a few drops of this incredible essential oil can inhibit the bacteria that causes acne and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal.

All Natural Green Tea Face Cream

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp raw shea butter
  • 1 tbsp green tea infused almond oil
  • 1 tbsp rosehip seed oil
  • 1 tbsp carrot seed oil
  • .25 oz of dry beeswax- if you don’t have a scale, this equals out to about 1/2 tbsp of melted beeswax
  • 1 tsp vitamin e oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Process

  • Create your green tea infused oil. (I used almond oil for the many benefits listed above. You can substitute, grapeseed oil, apricot seed oil, jojoba, etc…)
  1. Place 1 1/2 cups of dried green tea leaves in a large bowl
  2. Add in 2 cups of preferred oil
  3. Place bowl on top of a saucepan filled with 3-4 cups of water. (Choose a saucepan that allows the bowl to rest on top of the saucepan without falling inside of it, as shown below.)DSC_0091
  4. Turn burner on high. Once water is boiling, immediately turn flame down low and allow to simmer for 1.5 hours.
  5. Periodically check water to make sure it hasn’t all evaporated. If needed, add more water.
  6. Strain infused oil through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth into a sealable jar and allow to cool.
  • Make your cream
  1. Add all ingredients except essential oil to double boiler or small glass bowl set on top of tea kettle.DSC_0099
  2. Turn burner on medium high and let all ingredients melt together
  3. Once melted, take off heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding essential oil
  4. Using an electric beater, whip ingredients together until light and fluffy
  5. Store in a sanitized air tight container and keep somewhere relatively cool.

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Since this cream contains no water, it should stay good for quite a long time. The vitamin e will add extra assurance in terms of preservation. Always smell homemade beauty products before use. If it smells funny, throw it out.

Enjoy your radiant glow! If you make this, please let me know how it works for you.

XO
Sam

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Kiss my ass, Facebook

Kiss my ass, Facebook

Facebook feels like an abusive relationship that I haven’t been able to let go of. I’ve made excuses for our tumultuous relationship for too long. What used to be a fun, relaxed way to keep up with friends and share photos with loved ones, has become a crusty, mind numbing addiction that skews my perception of reality and the connections I have with real people. I realize just how dramatic that sounded but I suppose my relationship with Facebook of late has been just that, drama, and I’m overdue to end it. You may ask why I haven’t already. Well, terminating your Facebook account is not as easy as just making a decision and clicking a button. There are a few things standing in the way of that. The main issue for me is that like many, I use Facebook as a photo album. As a member for the past 10 years, I have uploaded nearly all of my photos to Facebook. In that time I have changed boyfriends and computers. Most of the originals of these photos have gotten lost in the transitions. So the only access I have to certain precious memories is through Facebook. I have begun the painstaking process of downloading each and every photo from Facebook onto my computer. At this rate it will likely take me another month or two. I’m getting there.

Why my disdain for this seemingly harmless way to communicate with friends? First off, Facebook serves as another way for me to numb my mind when I’m having trouble being alone with my own thoughts. I use it this way far too often. It happens to me before I even know what hit me. I’ll open Facebook and my thumb will go to town. Scroll, scroll, scroll, refresh, repeat. It becomes a tick that I have to force myself to quit. Second, Facebook allows you to censor yourself in a way that I feel is false and unhealthy. One is always portraying only the very best of themselves. The best pictures, the best moods, the most wonderful news and so on. I see this as being a detriment to the way I interact in the real world. As I use Facebook on a daily basis, I move farther away from being comfortable showing the not so pretty sides of myself. I have a harder time connecting on the fly without the tools to edit myself before I share. Before Facebook, smart phones and insanely fast computers, I was infinitely more social and comfortable in my own skin. Over the past ten years I’ve watched myself becoming more and more introverted and less able to open myself up to strangers with out a computer screen as a buffer. Although I understand that many different factors have played a part in this, all stemming from choices I have made, I know that Facebook definitely hasn’t helped. Don’t even get me started on the whole ‘liking’ function. I feel that liking has started to replace and mimic true heart connections for some. Facebook creates a cyber world where we can have 1,500 ‘friends’. People who we haven’t seen or talked to in years ‘like’ our photos and we feel a connection to them. Yet when it comes down to it, how many of those 1500 people would actually be there for you if you needed them? Do those people actually care about your day? Who would actually look at you in real life and open their hearts to you? Not many. That’s the truth. I’m just tired of playing the Facebook game. I’m tired of accepting a ‘like’ as a substitute for a smile or a hug. If you are one of the lucky few who has maintained a healthy relationship with this platform, I commend you. I just hope that you still go outside and look people in the eyes from time to time.

There’s an oil for that

There’s an oil for that

I am a firm believer in the power of essential oils. These magical little oils have the power to perk you up, stimulate circulation, ease tension, disinfect, enhance mental acuity, improve your mood, the list goes on. I have an arsenal of different ones in my home that I use nearly every day. I want to share a few of my favorites with you all and why I love them so.

Rosemary- ah rosemary. That beautiful smell- woody, herbaceous, delicious. Rosemary has many health benefits. Inhaling it can help to clear your respiratory tract, enhance memory and improve your mood. I use rosemary essential oil for all of the above, but my very favorite use for it is to get rid of the gnarly pee stink in the toilet. Since I don’t use bleach, rosemary is a miracle worker for leaving my toilet smelling sparkly clean. I just drop 3 drops in it after cleaning with distilled vinegar and baking soda- or just use it whenever you’d like to freshen it up. I also use this essential oil in my massage creams. It boosts circulation which helps to promote a healthy lymphatic flow as well as battle the dreaded cellulite. Health and beauty win!!

Tea tree- Some people aren’t fond of the smell of tea tree. I LOVE it. Tea tree is anti bacterial and anti fungal so it is fantastic for treating pimples. When I feel one coming on I dab a drop directly onto the pimple before bed and in the morning it has lessened or completely disappeared, nearly every time. I use tea tree in my homemade cleaners as well. Works like a charm. I’ve cleaned my yoga mat with it, my countertops, even my teeth. When I experience gum pain, I will floss well and apply some tea tree to the affected area. It has completely solved the problem every time.

Lavender- What is there to say that hasn’t been said about this incredible oil? Likely not much. Lavender’s sweet slightly herbaceous scent makes it one of mother nature’s greatest natural perfumes. I add it to my homemade skin products for it’s anti septic and anti inflammatory properties. Lavender essential oil is also an adaptogen, which means that it has a normalizing affect on the body. This can be seen in it’s ability to calm nervousness and help one sleep. I sniff lavender before bed and it definitely seems to help me unwind.

Grapefruit- Other than simply smelling amazing, grapefruit is also uplifting and energizing. The essential oil is high in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene. This antioxidant has anti inflammatory properties and is wonderfully nourishing for your skin. I dilute some of this essential oil in my face cream to give it a yummy smell and liven up my skin. Grapefruit is also an incredible cellulite blaster so add it to your lotion and massage away!

Eucalyptus – This is another oil that I love to use in cleaning. It gives everything a nice pine smell without leaving behind all the nasty chemicals that pine sol would. Due to it’s anti septic and anti fungal properties, I will also drop this oil into my toilet to freshen and disinfect. As I mentioned in a previous post, I use this oil in my shower to create a steam inhalant for those yucky times of the year when I’m congested. It works incredibly well!

In closing, essential oils are the proverbial poo. There are tons more to speak of, of course, but I’ll leave with these for now. 🙂 What oils do you use, dear readers and why do you love them?

XOX

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DIY Whipped Body Butter

DIY Whipped Body Butter

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Colorful lights are twinkling, the smell of pine is all around, there is an icy chill in the air and my skin feels like an old leather boot. Nothing like a drop in temperature to dry out my already scaly skin. Unfortunately for me, nothing ages you more than dry skin, well aside from smoking and tanning booths maybe. 😉

What to do when your thirsty epidermis needs a drink? Don’t look to those store bought body creams. They are laden with chemicals that will do more harm than good. All you need to nourish your flesh is likely already in your home. Coconut oil and Shea butter are powerhouses of moisture. Coconut oils is high in saturated fat or tryglicerides. When applied topically these fats help keep skin feeling silky smooth by retaining the moisture content of the skin. Shea butter also high in fatty acids is an incredible moisturizer as well. Not to mention effective in healing eczema, stretch marks, dandruff and psoriasis. I used Shea butter throughout my pregnancy and even though stretch marks run in my family, I didn’t get one… And I stretched quite a bit . 😉 I added a few other goodies to my homemade body cream but they are completely optional. You will need some type of electric mixer to whip your oil and butter to create the fluffy finished product. An electric hand mixer will do fine or better yet, use a stand mixer if you have it. The faster the speed of the mixer, the lighter and fluffier your butter will be.

Because we are not adding any preservatives to this homemade cream, you’ll want to take a few precautions in order to extend it’s shelf life. First, you’ll want to use a clean scoop to administer the butter at each use. If you dip your fingers in it, you will likely contaminate your product with bacteria and spoilage will accelerate. Another way to keep your butter fresh longer is to keep it in a dark, relatively cool place. I keep mine in my medicine cabinet in my bathroom. Sunlight and heat will shorten shelf life as well. Also, make sure that any utensils, storage jars and surface you are using are sparky clean and dry. Water will contaminate your product quicker than anything else. Another useful tip, make super small batches. The less you make, the quicker you’ll use it and the less likely it will just sit around and possibly turn sour. Smell your homemade product before each use. If it smells funny, throw it out!

Alright, now on to the fun stuff! Here is my super quick recipe for amazingly luxurious homemade body butter,

Whipped Body Butter

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw organic Shea butter
  • *5 drops of organic rose-hip oil
  • *5 drops of essential oil. (I used ylang ylang)
    *optional

Process

  1. Combine all ingredients in a clean medium sized bowlIMG_4278.JPG
  2. Using sparkly clean mixer, whip butters and oils together for 7 minutes on highIMG_4280.JPG
  3. Using clean utensil, transfer whipped body butter to clean airtight container and store in cool dark place.

Enjoy your decadent body butter. Your skin and whoever has the privilege of caressing it thanks you!

 

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Natural Congestion Relief

Natural Congestion Relief

You may remember that I was battling the onset of a little bug a few weeks ago. As soon as I felt it coming on, I boosted my immune system with every natural method I could think of. I popped Echinacea. I practically ate my weight in fruits, veggies, garlic, ginger and lemon. I drank so much water that I nearly lived on the toilet and between bathroom breaks, I rested. Thanks to this, I felt a lot better in just 24 hours. My congestion didn’t completely ease up, however. My nose was still slightly clogged despite all of my immunity boosting efforts. I suppose I was too busy running around to let my body fully heal. Damn! I hoped that maybe it would just take care of itself with time. Nope. Stubborn congestion held strong for almost a week. Two nights ago, after a day of blowing my nose so much that I started to resemble that sweet little red nosed reindeer, I realized the mildly annoying congestion had turned on me. I had all the symptoms of a sinus infection complete with sinus headache.

I’d had enough. You may have won this round you pesky little bug but now, you’ve pissed me off. With the help of my endlessly knowledgeable hubby, I pulled out the big guns. After just one night of employing these methods, my sinus infection was completely gone. I can breathe again! Ah the beautiful smell of…well… anything really! It’s incredible how much we take our senses for granted. Not this girl. Not today. I’m going outside and smelling those roses and the dewy morning air, even the trash cans in the backyard. I’m so happy to be able to breathe clearly, I’ll huff those babies!

Wanna know I killed this sucker? No antibiotics, just handy dandy, tried and true home remedies. Here are my top 5 favorite natural ways to relieve nasty congestion:

Exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or prolonged. Honestly depending on how sick you are in the first place, resting may be far better for your body then exercise. However, I was feeling strong so I did about 10 minutes of aerobic exercise and felt my congestion ease up immediately. Do some jumping jacks, run in place, do a few push ups or yoga poses. The idea here is to get the blood pumping. The increase in circulation can clear the blockage and allow for a much-needed deep breath.

Facial massage. Facial massage combines gentle pressure and warmth from the hands to break up the mucous that backs up in the sinus cavities. Your natural drainage mechanism is stimulated to clear the passageways. Here is a helpful video tutorial. You can do this on yourself or for a more relaxing experience ask a loved one to do it for you.

Neti pot rinse with colloidal silver and distilled water. Colloidal silver is in my opinion, a miracle element. It ruptures the cellular wall of bacteria and viruses and kills on contact. Here is a video that I found interesting (because I am a complete and utter nerd) on how silver kills bacteria. It is important to remember that silver is still a metal and high levels of it can be hazardous. Be cautious when using this method. You want to make sure that you are purchasing high quality silver from a reputable source, like this one and that you use the appropriate amount.IMG_4153.JPG

How to do it: 

  • Prepare your neti pot with 1/4 cup of warm distilled or filtered water and add a pinch of salt.
  • With a dropper, apply 15-30 drops of colloidal silver to the pot.
  • Make sure salt is completely dissolved, then administer half the solution through one nostril with your head tilted over a sink.
  • Stay in this position for a few minutes to allow the silver to kill the bacteria, then tilt your head back upright and allow the solution to drip back out your nostril.
  • Repeat this procedure on your other nostril. If congestion is still present after this process, you can repeat it up to 3 times a day until symptoms are gone.

*If you don’t have a neti pot, you can simply use a syringe to administer the silver solution. Fill a bowl with 1/4 cup of warm distilled water and add a pinch of salt. Then add 15-30 drops (or about 1 syringe full) of colloidal silver. Use syringe to suck up the solution and then push solution up nostril following the above instructions.

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Ionizing humidifier filled with silver, running while you sleep. As I’m sure you know, a humidifier increases the humidity of the room which can help you breathe better. Filling a humidifier with silver and breathing in the silver-laden mist while you are congested will increase this benefit. By doing this, I enjoyed dramatic relief of my congestion the very next morning. A bonus to this method, by using colloidal silver in a vaporizer or humidifier, the mist will spread throughout the room on the ambient air and help kill germs and viruses on contact surfaces, thus helping prevent other family members from picking up the infection.

How to do it:

  • Fill humidifier or vaporizer with 1.5 gallons of distilled or filtered water and 3 oz of colloidal silver
  • Run humidifier on low-medium while you sleepIMG_4149.JPG

3-5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in your hot shower. Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant. Mixing this oil with the steam of your hot shower will naturally relieve your blocked nasal passage ways. The hot shower mimics a humidifier if you don’t own one. This was the most enjoyable way I relieved my congestion. I was immediately able to breathe through my nose again and when I closed my eyes, I felt like I was in some tropical rainforest. 😉

How to do it:

  • While you are showering, simply drop a few drops of eucalyptus oil into your steamy shower and breathe in the decongesting vapors.IMG_4150.JPG

These are things that worked for me. I’m not a doctor so please don’t take any of this information as medical advice. Just use common sense, listen to your body and know that Mother Earth is a treasure trove of healing possibilities. If you are very ill and natural methods aren’t helping you, go see your doctor. ❤