Monday, September 20, 2010

Green and Healthy Routines

I had a reader ask about my skin care routine. I used to do the Oil Cleansing Method, but for whatever reason (I think it was my trip to Italy, actually), I stopped. Ironically, I was thinking of starting again, and you, dear reader, were the kick in the pants that I needed. I'm loving the new routine! (I was previously using Mountain Rose Herbs cleansing grains, which are totally awesome as well.) I feel like I've rediscovered an old friend. I use extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, and a few drops of jojoba and almond oils, rub a quarter sized amount into my face for several minutes (ah, massage), and then follow with a "steam facial" - a piping hot, wet washcloth - for at least a minute. My skin feels wonderful and moist afterward. I do rub some jojoba oil once it's dried though, because it can feel tight. I mixed up a big batch to save time each day, but playing around with different oils is fun, and something you can definitely do. Just remember that castor oil is drying and cleansing, and olive oil, jojoba, coconut, avocado and almond oils are moisturizing. Adjust according to your needs. And maybe I should add, I only wash my face once a day. And I probably shower far less than the average American. My sister would cringe if she ever read my blog.

UPDATE: 1/13
I'm currently loving a version of the OCM. I stir equal parts white sugar, honey, and coconut oil together until they are well mixed. I store it in a little ramekin, uncovered, in my bathroom, and scoop out a little every morning. It's got the exfoliation which I missed with the OCM, but the moisture I missed with the cleansing grains. Best of both worlds!

My latest favorite "product" are tooth chips. I won a sample of tooth chips from Rose of Sharon and I admit, I was skeptical. Something that tastes like SOAP? No TUBE? But I'd been wanting a more sustainable alternative to toothpaste for awhile, so I took the plunge. Why use tooth chips? Well, here's what their site says about the chips:

  • We use Organic Oils

  • It is FREE of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

  • It is FREE of Fluoride

  • It is FREE of Tricosan

  • It is FREE of Sand and Silica which brushes away gum tissue and enamel

  • It really CLEANS your teeth and doesn't leave a glycerin film to coat your teeth

  • It CLEANS so well that after brushing your saliva naturally begins the re-mineralizing process

  • It's SAFE for your entire family

  • It's MADE in the USA 

  • I can attest that it is an amazing product. My teeth feel so very clean after brushing. Despite my lacksidaisical attitude toward showering, I'm pretty fanatic about having a clean mouth. I floss regularly, and I do use an electric toothbrush every night, which makes a big difference. (I just use a manual one in the mornings.) These chpis are a keeper. I don't know that Anabella will ever taste tooth paste. As an added bonus, there's no plastic tube. Gotta love it! (You do have to get over the fact that it tastes like soap though...)

    Rose of Sharon has some fantastic shampoo bars too. Again, no plastic bottle, just a bar of soap. My hair feels seriously clean, and smells a lot better than when I tried no 'poo with baking soda. They're very reasonably priced, can be used on your body, and contain no chemicals or yucky stuff that I wouldn't want to seep into my blood stream. When we consider that hot water in the shower opens our pores, if you use lots of products that have unpronounceable chemical ingredients on your hair and skin, they are going to make their way into your body. I'm especially aware of this fact because I'm breastfeeding. Anyway, I digress. After shampooing with the soap bar, I follow with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, drop of lavender oil, and drop of tea tree oil, diluted in two cups of water. My hair feels really soft. It doesn't have much body though, so I'll be working on that end of things soon. I'm just glad it doesn't smell or look dirty...most of the time.

    As for deodorant, I did make some homemade stuff, but mostly I forgot to use it. I think I applied it a total of 5 times the whole summer. I figured that God gave us a certain body odor for a reason. And I wanted my daughter to smell ME, rather than some fragrance masking me. Now that it's getting cooler, the chance of me using it is going toward nil. Mark is my barometer. He's never once told me that I smell, and he would if he could!

    So, that pretty much sums up my "beauty" routine. I still use castor oil to take off make up if I've put any on, (got a great natural mascara that I'll have to dig up the name of when Anabella's not sleeping). And coconut oil is a fantastic all purpose moisturizer as well. Any questions??

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