After switching to my DIY deodorant, I then revamped my skin care routine. The title of this post may seem deceiving because there are a lot of products in the picture, but it’s pretty basic. These are just various options I go through.
I started my transition to natural skin care with the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), which means I washed my face with oil (e.g. coconut, argan, castor, sweet almond oil – or a mixture!). This seemed counter-intuitive (and like an overall bad idea) considering I had oily skin. The first few days were rough – and I did break out – but my skin then regulated itself. On blemishes, I used a mixture of equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and water or tea tree essential oil.
Over the years, I gradually moved away from daily OCM and am now mainly washing my face with water. If I wear make-up, exercise heavily or need extra moisturising in the winter, I will use the OCM or wash with diluted Dr. Bronner’s castile soap before going to bed. After washing my face, I moisturise with jojoba oil mixed with a few drop of helichrysum essential oil. Jojoba is currently my favourite oil for the face since it is similar to naturally-occurring sebum and does not clog pores (I’ve used coconut and argan oils in the past). Helichrysum has amazing skin benefits (you can also use frankincense or lavender).
Oh, and the aloe vera plant in the picture is not just decor. I do, every once in a while, clip a piece of it and rub the gel on my face.
About twice a week, I will use witch hazel as a toner on my t-zone. I also try to exfoliate once or twice a week with xylitol (which I grind to a finer texture) or baking soda (rubbing very gently since it can be irritating). I also treat myself to a weekly face mask.
I guess I call this simple because there are no fancy products involved…
To recap, here are the steps:
- Wash with water (0r natural cleanser)
- Use toner (witch hazel or rose water is another option) 1 – 2 x per week on t-zone
- Moisturise with jojoba oil (or argan oil or coconut oil or even aloe vera gel!)
- Exfoliate 1 – 2 x per week
- Weekly face mask
Remember, everyone is different… I recommend you test out a few options to see what works best for you. Also, please be patient. Your skin will need a bit of time to adjust to whatever new routine you introduce.
Hope this was helpful!
I remember dying my hair for the first time when I was 16 years old. I got blond highlights.
From there on, I continued to dye my hair various colours until I had my son and started reducing my chemical exposure. I’ll provide more detail on my transition out of commercial hair-dying in a separate blog post but I wanted to share this henna-tinted hair mask I am doing today.
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Please note this is for natural brunettes – if your hair is dyed blond, I don’t recommend trying it. Also, if you plan on dying your hair with commercial dyes in the near future, do not try this. It is a commitment.
Now that the cold weather is upon us, I noticed my scalp is getting very dry. Plus, since I do not use commercial shampoos, it’s important for me to moisturize regularly. And, since those pesky grey hairs keep showing through increasingly with each passing birthday, I find myself needing to dye my hair more often. So sometimes I combine the two!
- Aloe vera gel
- 2 – 3 tbsp of henna
- 2 – 3 tbsp of indigo*
- Essential oil of your choice** (lavender, peppermint, rosemary, clary sage and geranium are good ones for hair)
- A dash of salt
- A squeeze of lemon
- A non-metal stirring utensil
- Glass bowl
*I add equal parts indigo to get a medium brown hair colour.
Mix henna and indigo each with water to make a paste with a ratio of about 1:1 (adjust as necessary). Add a squeeze of lemon to the henna mix and a dash of salt to the indigo mix. Let henna and indigo sit for about an hour to release dye. (You would normally let henna sit much longer if using for the main purpose of dying your hair. I find even letting it sit for a bit gives colour back to my greys.) After an hour, mix all ingredients together in a glass bowl using a non-metal stirring utensil. It is important not to use metals to mix the ingredients as they will interact!
In the picture above, I had just mixed the henna and indigo so you will notice they are green. The henna will eventually turn brown and the henna will turn a metallic purple/blue colour.
I normally use lavender in my mixture but today I am trying geranium. You can also adjust all quantities based on your hair length. Mine is very long – more than halfway down my back – so I tend to use a lot.
A new habit I recently incorporated into my lifestyle is making homemade kombucha tea.
Kombucha has a host of health benefits but I take it primarily for digestion and gut health. I make sure my 6-year old son drinks one glass a couple of times per week. He loves it! You can learn more about why it’s so good for you here and here.
There are a variety of ways to make it – my personal favourite is to customize with hibiscus. Hibiscus has its own benefits, plus a great taste! You can use black, white or green tea for this recipe. However, I usually stick to green tea.
- 6 cups of water
- 1/2 cup organic white or coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp green tea leaves (or 7 tea bags)
- 1/3 cups of dried hibiscus leaves
- 1/2 cup starter liquid from a previous batch
- Kombucha SCOBY
- Glass container
- Cloth or towel
- Rubber band
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and mix in sugar until dissolved. In a fine-mesh strainer, place tea and hibiscus. Sit strainer in the pot, ensure the liquid covers the leaves and let sit for 10 – 20 minutes.
Remove the strainer and let cool completely – do not let hot liquid come in contact with your SCOBY. Once cooled, pour the tea into a glass container with the SCOBY and starter liquid. Cover with a clean cloth and secure with the rubber band. Let the mixture sit in a dark place for a minimum of 7 days.
I was lucky enough to get SCOBY from my aunt, along with the 1/2 cup starter liquid from a previous batch which is required for the recipe. You can also buy a SCOBY kit online to get started.
Once brewed and ready to drink, I love to add a drop of lemon doTERRA essential oil which is safe for internal use.
The first step I took as I transitioned towards a natural, chemical-free lifestyle was to stop using store-bought deodorant and start making my own. I’ve been using this recipe for so long now, I honestly don’t even remember how I found it!
It’s only three ingredients and you can customize the scent by using your favorite pure, high quality essential oil* – or a combination!
- Baking soda
- Essential oil* (I’ve used lavender, chamomile, geranium and ylang ylang)
- Glass or stainless steel container
Pour a small quantity of baking soda in your palm, about the size of a dime (or more, if necessary). Place one drop of essential oil (or combo) and mix with a sprinkle of water. Rub palms together to make a paste and then rub over armpit area.
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As this is not pre-mixed, you don’t have to worry about shelf life. It is good for as long as your baking soda and essential oils are good! I like to put baking soda in a small stainless steel container normally used for spices. This makes it easier to pour in my hand and store with my other self-care products.
Some people might experience irritation from the baking soda. Always test on a small patch of skin before using. I only experience irritation if I shave my armpits right before applying the deodorant. To avoid this, I normally rub a pea-sized amount of coconut oil on my armpits prior to application.
I love this recipe because I never have to “make” or buy pre-made deodorant. I just always make sure to have my favorite essentials oils and some baking soda on hand.