All Natural Teeth Whitening Powder

All Natural Teeth Whitening Powder

When a few magical things are happening for me simultaneously, I feel like a total goddess. Don’t you just love that feeling? You are head to toe sparkly and move through your day floating on air. First thing I need to feel this way is glowing skin. I can achieve this by drinking plenty of water, breaking a sweat nearly every day and using an ultra moisturizing face cream every night. Next thing I need is flowing, shiny, effortlessly lustrous hair. I achieve this by washing my hair only twice a week, rinsing with apple cider vinegar and touching up with dry shampoo when I feel a little greasy. Finally, I feel my most goddess like when my teeth are ultra white. There are few things on earth more attractive to me than a pearly set of chompers. Aside from a nice eager pair of listening ears and a beautiful compassionate heart of course. 🙂

I have used practically every whitener on the market today to attain those pearly whites. Unfortunately, most commercial teeth whiteners contain abrasive chemicals that strip your teeth of their enamel leaving them more sensitive to hot, cold and cavities. I know a lot about cavities. I’ve suffered through roughly 15 cavities in my 30 years in this body. I finally decided that it was time for me to find a better way.

A few months ago, I began experimenting with activated charcoal for it’s teeth whitening abilities. Activated charcoal’s natural adhesive qualities allow it to bind with surface-staining culprits like coffee, tea, wine, and plaque… hello naturally glistening smile! Eagerly, I made my own paste using coconut oil and activated charcoal; I began brushing with it every few days before my regular brushing routine in the evening. I noticed a slightly whiter smile after the very first brushing but after a few weeks, I began to notice my teeth appeared to be getting MORE yellow. I was puzzled, a little disappointed even but resolved not to write the stuff off before doing a little more research. After some investigative googling, I discovered that coconut oil can actually yellow your teeth. AHA! That meant that activated charcoal was still on the table for an effective natural whitener.

After further internet exploring I concluded that bentonite clay would be a fabulous little addition to the activated charcoal paste. Bentonite clay binds to unhealthy substances around the teeth, on the tongue and gums, and helps to remove them before they create plaque. It is also full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to teeth and gums.

Another powerhouse for strengthening and cleaning teeth is arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder is excellent for maintaining a balance between acid and alkaline levels as it is rich is many minerals including calcium. These minerals will help to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Winning!

With their powers combined, these three can conquer even the most intense surface stains and leave behind an absolutely beautiful white smile. Now, I have a pretty bad ass little whitening powder that is all natural and completely free of chemicals, preservatives or fragrances… all that yucky stuff you don’t want anywhere near your mouth. I’d love to share my recipe with you all. Hopefully you will find it as illuminating as I did. 🙂

All Natural Teeth Whitening Powder

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 1 tsp activated charcoal
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil

Process

  1. Mix first three ingredients together in a glass jar or a tin… whatever you have on hand
  2. Add in peppermint essential oil and stir together
  3. Before each use, liberally wet your tooth brush, sprinkle some powder onto your brush and brush like normal
  4. After a few minutes, rinse out your mouth
  5. You can be finished here or you can brush again with your regular toothpaste if you so desire.

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My hubby has dealt with yellow teeth for… well forever. He started drinking black tea at a pretty young age, this is common in Armenian households, so his teeth bear the stains of this. Here is a photo of his teeth in the late summer of last year,

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Here is a photo of his teeth today, after brushing with my whitening powder every few days for two weeks. I personally can see a big difference!

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Enjoy dazzling the world with your beautiful white smile! Please let me know how this works for you if you try it.

XO ~ Sam

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DIY Willowbark Facescrub

DIY Willowbark Facescrub

My husband is Armenian. In his case this means beautiful luscious black hair, eyelashes that women would kill for and unfortunately for my cheeks, rough bumpy nose skin. Although he exfoliates, inevitably the roughness is back again the very next day. His exfoliant of choice is Burt’s Bees Willowbark and Apricot Scrub. I once thought that Burt’s Bees was an awesome, forward thinking company and I purchased their products regularly. I’ve since learned that although they started out using all natural ingredients in Maine 30 years ago, they have since sold their company to Clorox for 900+million and their integrity has started to waver. Mass production has diluted the quality of their products and now you may find pesky chemicals and preservatives where wholesome ingredients used to be. This is understandable for products that are expected to sit on a hot shelf for months, possibly even years. Understanding aside, I refuse to put that crap on my largest, most porous organ.

Here are the ingredients that I take issue with,

Sodium Borate- This is essentially Borax. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a chemical compound that is regarded as a ‘natural’ cleaner. It can be used for bleaching clothes, cleaning toilets… I personally use it as ant poison. Sound like something you want on your face? Didn’t think so. 

Fragrance- Fragrance, huh? Ambiguous much? I’m just assuming they aren’t using organic essential oils to make their scrub fragrant. 

Glucose Oxidase- This is a ‘natural’ preservative. It releases hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide can also create free radical damage to the skin. According to MSDS sheets, it is also an eye irritant, a skin irritant a lung irritant and “prolonged or repeated exposure may lead to irreversible damage to health.” Lovely. Why the hell is it in this face scrub Burt’s Bees? Oh yes, because you are now Clorox and aren’t afraid of nasty chemicals. 

I decided that after doing my research, my hubby would no longer be slathering his sweet face with this stuff. I went to my laboratory AKA, kitchen counter, and got to work on making something superior. This scrub smells like a lemon bar. I kinda have a problem not eating it. Although many ingredients in it are edible, Willowbark wouldn’t feel very good going down, so I stop myself… just barely. After using my creation, the hubby proclaims it works way better than his ‘Burt’s Bees’ scrub. Take that Clorox! 

Willowbark Face Scrub
Ingredients 

  • 1 cup dried Willowbark 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unmelted coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp rose hip seed oil
  • 1 tbsp carrot seed oil 
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil

Process

  1. Grind Willowbark in a clean coffee/spice grinder until a rough powder is formed 
  2. Empty ground Willowbark into a medium bowl 
  3. Mix in all other ingredients together with a spoon 
  4. Store in a airtight container for several months
  5. Use a clean spoon to dip into the jar for each application to extend shelf life
  6. Enjoy your soft smooth skin!

 

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DIY Beach Day Texturizing Hair Spray

DIY Beach Day Texturizing Hair Spray

I was fortunate enough to grow up in sunny Southern California, where the weather is always perfect. During the summer, I spent most weekends at the beach, soaking up yummy rays and swimming in the ocean. My skin was always sun kissed and my hair always boasted that effortlessly tousled, perfectly set waviness. In the winter when the beaches were a chilly 60 degrees, 😉 I’d have to find alternative ways to mimic that beach day hair. The first hair product that I ever purchased was a beach blonde salt spray by John Frieda. I looooved that stuff. It really did achieve that perfect bouncy beach wave that I got organically from a day of swimming in the ocean and lounging in the salty sea air. The problem with John Frieda? I mean I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy but just look at the ingredient list for my favorite spray,

WATER, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, ALCOHOL DENAT., PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SALICYLIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, FRAGRANCE, PVP, CITRIC ACID, SEA SALT, BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZOPHENONE-4.

Water, I know that stuff! And sea salt sounds familiar, awesome. Fragrance… well that’s vague. The other stuff? Can’t pronounce it, don’t want it on my body. Period.

Although it’s raining today here in the east bay of a Northern California, I woke up craving the beach. These last few weeks have been hard for me, my mood has been low and my energy non existent. I’m going to get some thyroid testing done on Monday to investigate whether an under active thyroid may be the cause of my issues. For now, I think I just need some more Vitamin D in my life. My hair, straight and listless is begging for some bounce. I decided that some natural, chemical and preservative free hair love might turn that frown upside down. I’ll tell you, it certainly helped. John Frieda’s got nothing on this stuff. 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Hot filtered water
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
  • 1 tbsp Meadowfoam seed oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Argan oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Jojoba oil
  • 1/2 tsp Vitamin e
  • 5 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp mica powder (*optional)

Process

  1. Using a glass bowl on top of a tea kettle, heat up water.
  2. Add sea salt and mix until dissolved
  3. Add glycerine and stir until incorporated
  4. Next add all oils and mix together
  5. Take bowl off of the heat
  6. Add in mica and essential oils and stir to incorporate
  7. Using a funnel, pour contents into an airtight spray bottle and store in the refrigerator for several months.
  8. Shake bottle before each use.

*The mica in this recipe gives a really beautiful pearlescent shimmer to the hair, I love it. If you don’t have it on hand and aren’t interested in purchasing it, just leave it out, it is completely optional.

Another note- Meadowfoam oil is full of long chain fatty acids. It’s great for hair because it adds moisture without that greasy feeling and adds a beautiful shine. If you don’t have it on hand however, just use melted coconut oil, more jojoba or argan.

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Look at this lovely ‘just spent a day at the beach’ texture! My hair is naturally pretty stick straight so this is an awesome result.

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My little Marvel just had to try some too. Her hair naturally waves due to her Daddy’s curly, absolutely luscious black hair. This spray definitely defined and enhanced what she was already graced with. Just look at those curls!! ❤

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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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DIY Natural Blush and Lip Gloss

DIY Natural Blush and Lip Gloss

Makeup and I have had a long tumultuous relationship. I first met eyeliner in middle school and after a few years of abusing it mercilessly, dumped it for globs of chunky mascara and bright pink lip gloss. It took me until after high school to finally start treating my makeup with proper respect and these days I finally feel like we enjoy a symbiotic relationship. I’ve learned that a little goes a long way to helping me feel put together. A swipe of mascara, a slight blush on my cheek, a glossy tinted lip and voila! I’m ready for my day. I’m not one who enjoys the look of heavily pigmented makeup, I feel like I get lost in it. I want something that highlights my natural glow without making me look clownish or clogging my pores full of chemicals. The solution? Beets and hibiscus! They offer gorgeous color and are completely natural. Plus you can add a few different natural ingredients to lighten, darken and/or add a boost of shimmer.

To make your all natural blush and lip stain you are going to need beet root powder as your base. You can acquire this one of two ways. You can make it or you can buy it. I made my beet powder by slicing a beet very thin and then dehydrating for 8-10 hours on 115 or until crispy.
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I then threw dehydrated beets in a coffee grinder to form a powder.

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If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can buy beet root powder here. You can also purchase hibiscus powder and/arrowroot from this company. They are wonderful! They offer high quality products and ship quickly.

Now that you have your beet root powder,

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you can add things to it to change the shade.

Cacao will darken your blush.

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Arrowroot powder will lighten your blush.

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Hibiscus powder will change it to a different pink.

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Ginger powder will add shimmer to any shade

The possibilities are endless here. Play around and you will find a shade perfect for you. You can store these in airtight containers in the fridge for a few months and use as a powder blush, or you can use this powder blush to make a cream blush/lip stain.

Ingredients

• 2 tsp Beet root powder

• 1 tsp organic Shea butter

• 1 tsp organic Beeswax

• 1/2 tsp organic Rosehip oil

*1-2 drops of essential oil for scent – I used grapefruit. This is totally optional

Process

1. In a double boiler on low heat (if you don’t have one, put a glass bowl over the top of a kettle) melt your shea butter, beeswax and rosehip oil together.

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2. Once melted, add your beet root powder and stir until thoroughly combined.

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3. Pour your mixture through a cheesecloth to strain out any gritty particles.

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4. Repeat this process until all beet particles are gone and you are left with a smooth finished product.

5. Place into small airtight container and allow to cool.

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Once cooled, your lip stain/cream blush is ready.

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Enjoy your chemical free glow!!

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DIY Dry Shampoo

DIY Dry Shampoo

If you’ve been following my blog, you may recall me mentioning that I don’t shower very often. I wash up every 2-4 days depending on the level of physical activity I’ve engaged in. There are a few different reasons for this; Firstly, California is in a major drought. Enough said. Secondly, my skin is irritatingly dry, you may even use the word scaly to describe it. Showering only exacerbates the issue. The less I shower the better my skin looks and feels. Lastly but definitely not least of all, I have an 18 month old. If you have children then you know what I’m talking about. For my dear readers without wee ones, when you live with a toddler, doing anything that involves peaceful time for yourself becomes exceedingly difficult. Seriously, if I close the door when I’m home alone with my daughter she will have a melt down of biblical proportions. Sometimes I brave the storm. Sometimes I just don’t have the strength.

Now, I’m not advocating you stop cleaning yourself. I don’t know what you smell like after 2 days without showering and I don’t want to be held responsible for some tragic event like you getting fired from your job or losing all of your friends. Use your good judgement. Raise your arms, if you nearly fall over from the stench, lather yourself up immediately. I am not a very smelly person so I can get away with a few swipes of a baby wipe and some deodorant. Unfortunately these don’t do anything for my hair which is naturally pretty greasy. Dry shampoo to the rescue! I have purchased many different brands in the last decade and let me tell you, homemade is the way to go. No chemicals, no additives, a fraction of the cost and works better than any dry shampoo I’ve tried, including the expensive ones.

DRY SHAMPOO

Ingredients for Dark Hair:

1/4 cup Arrowroot Powder (sucks up moisture)

1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder (darkens arrowroot)

1 tbsp cinnamon (antimicrobial)

1-2 drops of essential oil of your choice, I used lavender (optional)

Ingredients for Light Hair:

1/2 cup Arrowroot powder

1 tbsp cinnamon

1-2 drops essential oil (optional)

Process:

Simply mix all dry ingredients together, add essential oil, if using and mix again. Voila! You have an awesome dry shampoo.

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I applied mine with a makeup brush. If you have an empty baby powder container, use that or you could simply sprinkle dry shampoo on scalp with your fingers and massage in. Whatever works best for you.

Look at these before and afters I took.

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Isn’t that difference incredible??

Enjoy your clean, shiny, chocolate smelling hair!

Coconut coffee sugar scrub

Coconut coffee sugar scrub

Coffee. You beautiful temptress. What can’t you do? I’m starting to think there isn’t much. Studies have suggested it can help fight depression, lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and stroke; it contains antioxidants and may reduce cellulite when used topically. Don’t even get me started on the smell… Oh that intoxicating smell. Yesterday, we brewed some heavenly french press coffee. This is what I did with the left over grounds,
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Making your own body scrub is easier than getting in your car, going to the store and purchasing your own. Plus, it takes quite a bit less time. You likely have these ingredients in your kitchen right now.

Coconut Coffee Sugar Scrub

•1/2 cup coffee grounds
•1/2 turbinado sugar
•1 cup coconut oil
• 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil* (optional)

*eucalyptus has anti inflammatory properties so it is wonderful for relieving sore, aching muscles

Simply mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. I used my hands to mix so my body heat would melt the coconut oil a bit.

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This scrub smells… Well, like coffee. Enough said right? Coffee and coconut with a refreshing little zing of eucalyptus. I am immediately transported to some far away place when I use it. It leaves your skin super smooth, like silk, like baby skin soft. I’m totally hooked.