A few years ago I started to notice that what I was using on my skin had started causing breakouts.
No one wants to see someone in their late 20's with acne, let's just be honest.
I had tried a product containing mineral oil to remove makeup, later discovering mineral oil clogged pores. Then the next popular drug store makeup remover I bought made my eyes burn like I had splashed vinegar in them. Why on earth would eye makeup remover burn?
It still baffles me.
That led to me finding other ways to do the things I wanted, without having quite as many chemicals involved. My thinking was mainly that if I couldn't ingest it I probably shouldn't be using it.
I'm still tempted to start to no-shampoo method and completely take up the oil method of skin care, but those will have to wait until summer when I have more time to let my skin and hair adjust.
Until then, these are the products I currently adore.
(You may remember in past years when I posted here and here about other hippie things I loved.)
First up, chia seeds and coconut oil.
Chia seeds happen to be the only complete vegan protein (at least that's what I've read.) Why do I love them? Well these little Chia Pet seeds have a tendency to swell up any liquid they are near, which make you feel full longer (slows digestion) and they also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Chia is also a great source of fiber and omega-3.
Now, I mainly used plain jane coconut oil until Jeremy sent me out looking for organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. He wanted it mainly for oil pulling, which is supposed to be great for your teeth and help remove toxins. I on the other hand use it for a few more things - it's a great moisturizer and the variety Jeremy had me pick up has a much stronger taste of coconut and tastes amazing in recipes. One of my favorite ways to eat coconut oil is in my Paleo Macaroons or on a baked sweet potato with a little salt and pepper.
Another great way to use it is to slather it on your hair (dry), pull your hair up into a bun and heat with a blow dryer for a few minutes to allow the hair cuticle to open up and absorb the oil better. Next let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair as usual. After washing/conditioning as usual I then use my next favorite product (Apple Cider Vinegar) as a rise for my scalp to remove any build up.
Apple Cider Vinager (ACV) is another long time favorite of mine. I drink some every morning and use it in my salad dressing every day for lunch. Not only that I like to use ACV as an astringent for my face by mixing it with equal parts water and slathering it on with a cotton ball. Not only does ACV help to fight acne, if you're using it as a hair rinse it is known to get rid of dandruff by changing the ph of your scalp and making it harder for yeast to grow. I talked a little more about uses for ACV in a post here.
I was let on to the wonderfulness of grape seed oil by another blogger about a year ago and haven't looked back. It's high in vitamin E and stands to be the only thing I will use to remove my eye makeup. It's a great moisturizer for your eyes and doesn't burn at all, which is a major plus in my book. Just soak a cotton ball in a little grape seed oil and dab it onto your eye lids and lashes to remove your makeup and moisturize the skin around your eyes at the same time.
A few times a week I like to take a detox bath using 1/2 cup of epsom salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil. Get the water as hot as you can stand and stay in for 20-30 minutes. If I'm feeling sick I will add in 1/2 cup of ACV (it helps your body become more alkaline, eating too much sugar, caffeine, and other junk causes your body to become acidic) and some fresh or ground ginger (up to a tablespoon, the ginger brings up your body temperature and helps you to sweat). The baking soda is very cleansing and has anti-fungal properties, plus it makes your skin soft.
Be sure if your taking a detox bath to keep a big glass or water around to stay hydrated, if I get too hot I will get out sooner than the 20 minute mark.
Of the essential oils I like to use, lavender and tea tree oil are my top two. The lavender is super soothing and when I add it to a detox bath right before bed I always sleep much deeper than usual. (I'm a horrible sleeper.) I will use tea tree oil in a detox bath, or if I have acne breakouts I dab a little on the breakout. It's anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antiseptic - I've used it to fight ring worm (thanks teaching for the exposure to random things), to heal cuts, and to help me breathe better and get over colds faster.
I feel like I've listed everything in my cabinet.
What are some of your favorite home remedies?