Non-toxic, organic clay mask recipe

As a teenager and even into my early twenties, I had very oily skin. I would wear tons of foundation and powder my face multiple times to give a semblance of perfect skin. As you can imagine, my pores were also quite clogged and I was prone to breakouts.

I tried multiple different face washes, creams and masks but nothing make huge improvements. To be honest, massive shifts only began happening once I became much more conscious of my diet and transitioned to non-toxic face products.

To celebrate, I haven’t used face powder or foundations in YEARS. I can remember the last time I put anything on my face except for blush. I’m actually terrified to put anything more on my face than that given all of the progress!

For a while, my favourite non-toxic DIY face mask was simply egg white. I liked the tightening effect and may go back to it someday but lately this has been my go-to:

  • 1.5 tsp green clay
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 drop essential oil

This makes a one-time use portion, which I love because I don’t have to worry about it going back or adding preservatives to it. I leave it on for about 5 – 10 minutes, or dry, and then wash with water. I’ll then go over oil-prone areas with witch hazel and apply face oil to moisturize.

And your non-toxic facial routine can be as simple as that! I actually set a reminder on my phone to do this once per week.

What’s your favourite natural face mask?

M.


DIY linen spray and romanticizing your non-toxic lifestyle

The other day, I read a quote about “romanticizing your life” and I completely fell in love with this concept. It encouraged us to find excitement, fun and all-around joy in the simple, mundane aspects of our life.

I fell in love with the concept because it’s what I preach and teach about the non-toxic lifestyle. I just never had such a beautiful label for it. Your success in transitioning to a healthier way of living will be influenced by your ability to find joy in using cleaner + greener products for your body and home.

Every time you exfoliate with your coconut salt scrub, take a moment to recognize the nourishment you are providing to your body – free from any synthetic chemical that could disrupt the functioning of your cells and endocrine system. Every time you spray that essential oil + vinegar mixture onto your counters, feel the satisfaction of knowing there’s no harm being done to yourself or the earth – in fact, you are getting side health benefits!

I recently shared in my social media stories how I like to turn making the bed into a more enjoyable chore by spraying my linens with a DIY essential-oil based spray. This is just one of the super simple ways you can romanticize your non-toxic lifestyle. This is how I do it:

I go crazy spraying the pillows, sheets and comforter. I even open the closet and spray our clothes. And I feel gosh, darn amazing and powerful doing it. I actually look forward to making the bed in the morning!

My favourite essential oil mixture is 5 drops of a citrus oil, 5 drops of a flower oil and 5 drops of a mint oil. The citrus provides a fresh scent, the flower smell is romantic and the mint is energizing.

This lasts me a couple of weeks and I have just as much fun coming up with a new scent combination.

How do you romanticize your non-toxic lifestyle?

M.

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An honest review of non-toxic dishwashing soap

This is going to be an honest review of the different ingredients and recipes I’ve tried and used to clean our dishes.

I have to say dishwashing soap, whether in liquid form for handwashing or as tabs for the dishwasher, has been one of the MOST difficult products to replace on this non-toxic lifestyle journey.

You’ll notice these are all DIY or single-ingredient options. I could have explored store-bought products but, in all honesty, a lot of them have ingredients I don’t recognize, are expensive and just bring unnecessary extra packaging into our home.

More and more, I am seeing that my non-toxic journey is not only about reducing toxic exposure but also about lowering our environmental impact, living a minimalist lifestyle and keeping things all-around simple.

Our current dishwashing products look like this:

I’m happy for the most part with these products. Except, I was finding the Castile soap to be a more expensive option and it runs out quickly so I was finding myself buying bottles often. (Hello, plastic waste!) Plus, it’s not super effective at cutting grease.

Some of the challenges I still struggle with are:

  • Getting lip balm stains off glasses
  • Cleaning bowls that have dried oatmeal in them
  • Ridding dried up smoothie from our cups

So this past weekend, in an effort to address these challenges, and to step it up by reducing the ingredients I use and plastic bottles making their way into our cupboards, I started experimenting with washing soda and soap nuts (AKA soap berries).

Almost right away, I regretted making the washing soda. Turns out, it is super caustic and can irritate your lungs and skin. If using, you need to wear gloves to avoid making contact with it. No thanks.

The washing soda won’t go to waste, however. I do plan on testing it out to whiten laundry and in certain bathroom cleaning products.

But I’ve been super impressed with soap nuts. I already loved them for doing laundry but hadn’t thought about trying them for dishwashing. I ended up making the more complex recipe for using soap nuts, which involved boiling 10-12 nuts for an hour and making liquid. Next time, I plan on simply leaving the nuts in a mason jar filled with water and infusing overnight. Even less work!

So far, I tried the soap nuts liquid in the dishwasher and it worked as well as the dishtabs I was making. Unfortunately, it did not conquer the three challenges…

I also tried it to hand wash dishes with some added grapefruit essential oil to it. It worked well and was WAY more effective at cutting grease than the Castile soap. So I think I found my cheaper, more environmental option to Castile soap for liquid dishwashing.

(Oh, and I used some of the soap nuts liquid with extra water and essential oils to wash our floors. It made an amazing lather and worked great!)

So no need to say it but… I’m going nuts for soap nuts. Literally, folks.

I will keep trying to find the solution to the famous three challenges but, in the meantime, I will keep rinsing or soaking grimy dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I will also keep rewashing those 2-3 items that aren’t as clean as I like them. All in all, it’s still an extremely SMALL PRICE to pay for the health of my family and of the environment.

What are your favourite non-toxic dishwashing products and ingredients?

M.


Non-toxic shave + foot mask

I was that girl that used to shave her legs dry. Creepy, huh?

I wasn’t intentionally being non-toxic then. I just couldn’t be bothered to even put shaving cream on my legs! Nowadays, I’m much more mindful of my skin 🙂

Here’s an amazing self-care protocol for your legs and feet: apply the bergamot foot mask in the bath. While the mask is setting on your feet, use the DIY shaving cream to shave your legs. Once complete, wash off the foot mask and apply the serum to both legs feet.

(Be careful getting out of the bath, and make sure to put on socks or slippers. Your feet will be slippery!)

DIY Shaving Cream

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup shea butter
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup fractionated coconut oil
  • 5 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except for essential oils in double boiler.
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and let sit three minutes.
  3. Add essential oils and stir until combined. 
  4. Let shaving cream rest until hard. Tip: You can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  5. Using hand or stand mixer, whip shaving cream until light and fluffy.
  6. Place in container of choice.

(Source)

Razor Relief Serum

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fractionated coconut oil
  • ¼ cup rosewater
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 5 drops myrrh essential oil

Instructions

  1. Place fractionated coconut oil and rosewater in glass spray or pump bottle. 
  2. Add essential oils and shake.
  3. To use, spray directly on skin or place two to three pumps in palms and rub on affected skin.

(Source)

Bergamot Foot Mask

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw honey
  • 2 squirts of fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 stalk organic celery
  • 6 drops bergamot essential oil

Instructions

  1. Grate stalk of celery and drain excess moisture in strainer or with paper towel.
  2. Add celery and remaining ingredients to food processor or blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Ready a wet washcloth or sit by tub.
  5. Apply mask immediately to entire foot with fingers or brush.
  6. Let sit 15–20 minutes while enjoying mask’s cooling sensation and the calming effects of bergamot essential oil.
  7. Rinse off and enjoy your nourished and moisturized feet.

(Source)

Enjoy!

M.

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The Non-Toxic Bath

My favourite self-care activity is taking a super long, super hot bath. I literally stay in there for hours…

But the last thing I want to be doing is soaking in a bunch of synthetic chemicals that have carcinogenic, neurotoxic or hormorne-disrupting properties. Especially when my pores are wide open from the heat.

Sometimes, I’ll simply take a bath in water (seriously!). Other times, I’ll whip up one of the following recipes.

Espom + baking soda soak

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Instructions

Mix both ingredients in bath until dissolved

Fizzing bath bombs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup citric acid
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup fractionated coconut oil
  • 8–10 drops of your favourite essential oil(s)

Instructions

  1. Place citric acid, baking soda, cornstarch and oil in a bowl.
  2. Add 8–10 drops of the essential oil or blend of choice.
  3. Mix well with spoon until soft dough is formed. It should have the consistency of damp sand. Note: If the mixture is too wet, try adding a little more baking soda and cornstarch until consistency is correct. 
  4. At this point, you may add food coloring, dried herbs, or flower petals to mixture. 
  5. Place mixture in silicone molds. Let sit 24 hours before removing from mold.
  6. To use, drop in tub or shower and allow to dissolve.

(Source)

Colourful bath bombs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • 10–20 drops essential oil of choice
  • 100% pure witch hazel in spray bottle
  • Mold (Silicone or metal)
  • Natural coloring such as Mica

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine baking soda and citric acid. 
  2. Add ½ teaspoon natural coloring and mix well. 
  3. Stir in essential oils. 
  4. Spray the entire surface of the mix with witch hazel and mix with hands. Continue to spray and mix rapidly until the mixture holds together. 
  5. Quickly press the mixture into desired mold, making sure it is firmly packed. Let mixture set in mold for 20–30 seconds. Gently tap the mold to release bath bombs. 
  6. Let dry for 30 minutes or until they are firm and do not fall apart.

(Source)

Essential oil bubble bath

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unscented castile soap
  • ½ cup vegetable glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 15 drops essential oil(s) 

Instructions

  1. Combine castile soap, glycerin, and water into glass bowl.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour into glass container.
  5. To use, add ¼–½ cup of the essential oil bubble bath mixture to warm, running bath water.

(Source)

Soap satchels

Ingredients

  • 4 small burlap bags
  • 1 natural soap bar of choice, grated
  • ¾ cup old-fashioned oats

Instructions

  1. Place grated soap and old-fashioned oats into a small bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Divide mixture equally into burlap bags.
  3. When showering or washing hands, wet the burlap satchel and use as a loofah or hand exfoliator. Add a drop of grapefruit or wild orange for uplifting properties. 

(Source)

Epsom salt bath

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops essential oil(s)

Instructions

  1. Add essential oils to Epsom salt and fractionated coconut oil and stir together.
  2. Draw a warm bath and add ¼–½ cup of the mixture to the tub.

(Source)

What is your favourite non-toxic bath recipe?

M.

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How to remove buildup from going no ‘poo

Since going no ‘poo several years ago, I do tend to notice a lot more buildup and flake on my scalp. For one, I go 7 days or more without washing it… so I guess that should come as no surprise.

I also don’t do the no ‘poo method perfectly. Apparently, one of the steps in between washes is to pull the oils from the scalp all the way down your locks every night. This also helps moisturize your hair completely naturally. I’m just way too lazy to do this!

All this being said, through my obsessive research on acidosis and detoxification, I’ve learned that this crud on my head could actually be my body’s attempt to eliminate bad stuff from my body. Specifically, metabolic waste and toxins that are accumulating in my head. Yikes!

I like to take a holistic approach to everything so, on top of tweaking my food choices to address what may be going on in my body, I’ve been doing this non-toxic DIY scalp buildup recipe (source: doTERRA website).

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar (I haven’t tried ACV yet)
  • 8 TBSP purified water
  • 8 drops rosemary essential oil (some claim this oil can also stimulate hair growth!)
  • 6 drops of lemon essential oil (great cleansing and dissolving oil)
  • 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil (also great for cleansing and dissolving)

Mix everything together, apply to scalp and leave on for 20 minutes.

The first time I made this recipe, I mixed it all together in a glass measuring cup and poured it on my head. It was a bit awkward and a lot never ended up even making it on my head so the next time I used this handy applicator.

Also, the first time I did it, I left it on for more than 20 minutes and my scalp started itching. Make sure you apply this when you are sure to be able to hop in the shower after 20 minutes!

On top of removing buildup, this recipe will make your hair super shiny and silky!

Enjoy 🙂

M.

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How I use my gua sha and jade roller

Last month, I was at a work conference in Toronto and had the pleasure of meeting a non-toxic lifestyle nut like myself. She was easy to spot: searching the EWG website on her laptop and carrying a GOOP bag. She smelled of honey and essential oils. There was no doubt she was my people so I had to go talk to her.

During a conference break, she had sneaked over to the The Detox Market in Yorkville and showed me her purchases. I gawked at her beauty finds. So, of course, I made my way over there too…

One of my most exciting purchases at The Detox Market was a gua sha contour tool. I already had a jade roller but had heard amazing things about the gua sha and some people even prefer it. I figured I must give it a try.

If I were asked to compare the two, I would say they’re both like a massage but the jade roller is a relaxation massage whereas the gua sha is a deep tissue massage. According to the company insert (Odacité Skincare), the gua sha tool can improve the appearance of:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dark circles
  • Puffiness around the eye
  • Sagging skin
  • Breakouts
  • Skin’s radiance and glow

So the roller and gua sha have very similar benefits. I do see how some people prefer the gua sha because it does seems to be more impactful on circulation and massaging skin tissue. I’m currently focused on the gua sha to test it out but see myself alternating between the two.

I love how effective and easy-to-use-and-maintain these beauty tools are. Clean your skin, apply a natural face oil and use upward strokes. Don’t forget your neck! Simply wash the tools with a mild soap after each use and dry off. I like to keep my jade roller in the freezer for a fresh, cooling sensation.

Every now and then, expose them to moonlight to recharge them… although I honestly have been forgetting to do this!

My verdict? Get both 😉

M.


Nope, I’m not actually a vegan and this is why

Since eliminating 99% of meat, egg and dairy from my diet a few months back and now striving for 100%, I’ve been throwing around the word “vegan” a lot. But I realize this is TOTALLY inaccurate and likely offensive to true vegans.

You see, veganism is way more than just what you eat and don’t eat – a huge part of it is about ethics. It’s about completely avoiding the use of animal products in any aspect of your life. And, as you can see from the photo, I still sport my original Birkenstocks (they have a vegan line) and Blundstones – not at the same time, tho!

On top of that, I do still consume bee products: specifically, pollen and honey. Bee pollen has an amazing nutritional profile and is said to have over 250 active substances (source). I’ve seen some call it a “perfect food”. Health benefits include:

  • Immune system builder
  • Brain booster
  • Concentration-helper

I love putting bee pollen in my smoothies so I’m not quite ready to give it up, yet. My clean mascara also includes beeswax.

Obvious but worth mentioning just in case: DO NOT consume or use bee products if you are allergic to bees.

So really I should be saying I am “plant-based”, although I’m not sure how widely recognized that term is. I mostly eat like a vegan but I am NOT a vegan. Until that’s sorted out, please show me the vegan menu items!

Finally, I don’t like to add any kind of overwhelm to my life so I change my daily habits gradually and over time. True veganism may be a pit stop on my continued toxin-free, plant-based journey but I just don’t see it clearly at this point. I will definitely keep you posted…

For you true vegans out there, any tips for us?

M.

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Cinnamon buns (dairy and egg free)

There are a lot of cinnamon bun fans in this house. It’s usually a top choice whenever we visit a bakery.

I’ve tried making some in the past but the recipe included dairy and eggs. I was determined to come up with a recipe with no animal products – except for honey – and here is the result. If you’re a true vegan, you can always sub the TBSP of honey with 2 TBSPs of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 TBSP instant dry yeast
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP sourdough starter
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

Mix sucanat, cinnamon and 1/4 olive oil in a bowl and set aside. This will be the filling.

In a separate small bowl, mix the chia seeds and 3 TBSP of water and let thicken (about 20 minutes). This will be the egg replacement.

In a separate glass bowl, mix the first three ingredients listed (water, instant dry yeast and honey) and allow yeast to activate for about 5-10 minutes. Add 3 TBSP of olive oil, salt, flour and sourdough starter. Once the egg replacement has thickened, also add it in.

Knead the dough, cover with a warm damp cloth and allow to double in size. This will take a few hours but keep an eye on it. Then, refrigerate for 30 minutes so it’s easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 400F. Take the refrigerated dough and roll it out in a rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface. Add the filling, and roll tightly from the wide side. Cut into rolls.

Bake for 30 minutes on a ceramic pan (might need to bake less if using any other kind of pan). Again, keep an eye on it!

Next time, I plan on cutting them thicker as they were thick with a harder crust than I would like.

Enjoy!

M.

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Top 10 back-to-school essential oils

Back-to-school time can be exciting, stressful and more challenging on your family’s health.

I remember as a kid being excited to see my friends after summer break but also being super scared I would fail this new grade. And now I get to relive ALL of these anxieties through my own children.

Luckily, I feel super well-equipped to deal with this time of year thanks to the plant-based tools we always have on hand in our household – and you can too!

There are definitely lots more essential oil options… but here are my top 10 faves for back-to-school:

Cheer

I hate to admit this but we are MUCH more lenient with bed time during the summer months. That means, when September rolls around and the alarm clocks are set, the morning grumpiness meter tends to skyrocket.

Cheer, a pre-mixed essential oil blend, is one of my favourite oils to diffuse in the morning to enhance our moods (2-3 drops). You will want to ideally get this running 30 minutes before everyone wakes up.

Add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil with your Cheer blend to also boost energy and wakefulness.

On Guard

Do your kids, like ours, also come home with all of the germs and sniffles at the beginning of the school year?

We fight that by diffusing 5-6 drops of On Guard, a pre-mixed essential oil blend, in the evenings. The chemical make-up of this blend provides powerful germ-fighting activity by helping to cleanse the air.

If you love the smell of cinnamon, orange and cloves, you will absolutely LOVE diffusing this blend! It is both comforting and festive.

Tea Tree

Ok, you might be like a lot of people and not particularly enjoy this smell. It can seem medicinal or remind you too much of cleaning products.

But tea tree essential oil is a great anti-microbial and support to the immune system. I disperse 2-3 drops in my son’s evening bath as a preventative measure.

I honestly believe EVERYONE should always have a bottle of tea tree essential oil in their home.

In Tune

This is actually one of the first essential oils I ever bought when I started introducing essential oils into my non-toxic lifestyle.

We got feedback from my son’s teacher that he was having a hard time focusing in class… so, like I always do, I asked myself what essential oil could support him through this and did some research.

To this day, I roll this blend on the back of my son’s neck on school days and especially before we do homework.

Kids Collection

These last six oils are pre-mixed essential oil blends conveniently packaged in roller bottles and specifically designed for children.

These are a lifesaver for any parent. They cover the big items kids deal with:

  • Stronger – to help prevent illness (the kid’s version of On Guard).
  • Calmer – to help unwind at the end of the day or manage difficult emotions.
  • Steady – to help stay grounded and keep balanced.
  • Rescuer – for playground + gym class “ouchies” and tension.
  • Brave – to reduce anxiety and promote courage + confidence.
  • Thinker – to remain on task + focused and promote clarity + alertness.

Roll these oils along the spine or under the feet daily, picking the blend best-suited to the situation.

You don’t have to “tough it out” or just “hope for the best” this back-to-school season. You CAN empower yourself and be that “annoying” parent whose kid just flows through childhood challenges like a champ.

Trust me, it’s fun 😉

Get the oils you need for your family here, and join the Rustik Health community to save 25% on all your purchases by clicking “Become a Member” then “Wholesale Customer”.

M.