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Graceful negotiation for the signs of aging

DIY OH Baby! Natural baby wipes for great baby skin

babies

Baby B, little Lorin & Sarah and soon after we rocked Lorin’s world by bringing home her little brother.

Today, I am posting this DIY baby wipe post in honor of three of my favorite girls (Casey, Jenni and I can’t name the third because it’s still a secret. shhhh) who are having babies late in 2015, or very early 2016!  It feels like it’s been such a long time since mine were babies, and the fact that there will be babies that I will totally be able to get my hands on to squish and love on is just plain exciting!

Did you know that commercially made baby wipes contain ingredients that carry hazard ratings? if you are really curious, head on over to the Cosmetics Database and check out their complete list of different brands of baby wipes and the hazard rating. It still makes me slightly crazy that it’s “allowable”, and yes – I am aware that many babies handle the use of these wipes “just fine”. Although, I have met many infants with chronic runny noses, colic and more – with an unknown etiology – and I have to wonder – if their toxic load was lightened- would their little systems do better? I think we all have been guilty of thinking that a product is fine – if there is no rash, or no visible sign of a problem. Now that we are reading more and more information about the gut being our second brain and the center of most disease, perhaps we’ll see some improvement in what is allowed in commercially sold products.  Click here to go to the database. Once you get there, click the little arrow to the right of the word “Score” to list them in reverse order. This means the wipes with the most hazardous ingredients will be listed first.

Before we get to the recipe – I’d like to point out that manufacturers are also picking up on the natural world’s “key words” – therefore words like “goat’s milk’, “green tea”  and “Chamomile” are in the names of the wipes. If a product name contains these words, they have to be good right? Wrong. Those three ingredients are in the names of the top 3 worst brands on the market today. These wipes have a hazard rating of 7 and ingredients found in these wipes have been linked to allergies, high toxic loads, developmental delays, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption – and cancer.  Read your labels – and better yet, make your baby wipes at home. Save some money, remove all doubt.

When I started my journey for healthier living, I was sort-of forced into it. I had rapidly declining health – at the old age of 26. Modern medicine just wasn’t working and I didn’t have time to waste with a newborn on my hands. As I looked around for healthier alternatives, I found some – but man, were they expensive! So, I searched blogsites and other resources to find that many of the recipes that existed suggested the use of baby oil (or mineral oil) and baby lotion. Eeek! If you want to be frightened – check out those ingredients on the database linked above.

You can imagine how the rest of the story goes – trial and error – mostly error. Finally, I had the ingredients down in a way that would allow the wipes to work -with no skin irritation!  It is simply a bonus that if you purchase the needed items in bulk, I estimate that you can save approximately $135 per year per kid with DIY wipes. Who wouldn’t cheer for healthier and less expensive? If you are just starting out your family, gather a group of Mom’s and Dad’s and co-op the batches together.

Let’s gather a list of what you need.

1. 1 roll of heavy duty paper towels. I use Bounty for making baby wipes. Recall my trial and error? Cheaper paper towels just do not work.

2. 1.5 cups of boiled distilled water. (Allow to cool, but you’ll want to use it still warm – not room temperature). Note: you can use regular water as well, if you use wipes quickly and will use in under a week or so. If you are doing a larger batch, use distilled water – so they will last longer).

3. 1 tablespoon of pure witch hazel extract. To purchase the one I use, click here

4. 1 tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel. Which I purchase, here

5. 1 tablespoon of liquid Castile Soap. I use Dr, Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Liquid Soap, Baby mild. Click here.

6. 1 teaspoon of Grapeseed oil. I use Epicurean Olive Oil’s brand (click here), which is available at Epicurean Olive Oil Company, located at The Avenue, 2615 Medical Center Parkway #2070 in Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Their 12.7 fl oz bottle is regularly priced at $16.95. (You can save 10% by bringing your clean empty bottle back into the store). About Face also carries a sampler size of Epicurean’s Grape Seed Oil, 2 ounces, for $6.00.

7. 1/4 teaspoon vitamin e. I use JASON vitamin E, 5,000 IU – available here.

8. Essential Oils of your own choice. I use 5 drops of two oils per batch as described above. I commonly use 5 drops of Lavender and then either 5 drops of Melaleuca (tea tree) or 5 drops of wild orange. You can get your essential oils here, or by contacting me directly, mentioning this blog post and saving 15%.

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Grab a container…

Okay, now that you have all of your ingredients, you’ll need a container to store them in. You can ask a friend to save you one of their discarded old baby wipe containers, or you can locate a BPA free rubbermaid container that is approximately the same size as a roll of paper towels cut in half. Typically, you’ll be looking for a container that will hold approximately 10 cups. The Rubbermaid #6 container works the best.  This is the one I used. (Click here). Here’s the lid for that container. (Click here). If you want your wipes to be able to be pulled out through the top, the container has to be round and tall enough. Simply look for BPA free and select the right size. Cut a criss-crossed slit in the lid and you are all set.

Cutting the roll of Bounty paper towels…

Back to trial and error….without removing the paper towel wrapper, use your electric knife to cut the paper towel roll in half – into two shorter rolls. An electric knife is the gadget that you may have gotten two of at your wedding, but rarely use. Yes, it will work to use a regular knife, but it must be sharp and you must be really patient. I can sometimes lack patience with things of this sort and I was seriously contemplating using my table saw (but couldn’t decide how to sanitize the blade) when I thought I should try my electric kitchen knife first! Viola. a clean cut – and everyone keeps their phalanges.  It may take up to two minutes to completely cut through the paper towel and the cardboard tube inside with your electric knife.

Making the wipe solution…

  1. In bowl mix the water, witch hazel, aioe vera gel, castile soap,Vitamin E and grapeseed oil and stir.
  2. Add essential oils if using, and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture over the paper towel roll as it is standing up in your container and allow to absorb. This takes about 5 minutes or so.
  4. Put the lid on and flip the container over to make sure wipes get soaked through.
  5. At this point, (If you’re using the Rubbermaid container), pull the cardboard roll out from the inside. As you pull the cardboard roll out, the innermost wipe should start to come out too. This will start them for you. Pull the end of this through the slit you have made in the Rubbermaid lid.

A few notes about my trial and error. Until I knew what bounty paper towel I was using, I had to add a little more water to get the recipe above. Depending on what size roll and the strength of absorbency, you may find that you need more liquid to fully saturate your wipes. I typically pre-mix a few batches of the liquid and simply store it in a mason jar until needed.

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If you are like me and are wayyyy past the baby wipe need stageyou could use this recipe and be the kindest baby shower guest you’ve ever seen! If no one you know, never has a baby again -you can also use a similar method to make DIY cleaning wipes.

Here’s how:

(Same container, same method – less ingredients!)

General Cleaning Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled water
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil, 5 drops Lemon essential oil, or 5 drops OnGuard Essential oil. Click here to purchase EO’s, or contact me directly and receive 15% off by mentioning this blogpost.

Mix all ingredients and pour over a cut in half roll of bounty and use to clean any surface in your home!

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Now, take your vitamins – OR wear them!

All of this talk about body butter! I’ve always used it, especially in the winter. I am always surprised that more people are not making their own versus spending *and I gasp…upwards of $38 for a very small spa quality butter. Spa quality, meaning luxurious feel and sometimes even an amazing smell, but still full of industrial chemicals. At About Face, we believe that quality doesn’t mean expensive and our proof is in our butters. We make a batch,  it sells out in minutes. Container sizes got all personal and competitive in the last few weeks with clients asking for larger jars to take home. As those jars waited “in-spa” ready to be picked up, clients would ask – how does she get a larger jar than me? Oh, how I love you all.  

 body butter

You should have my basic recipe by now. If you do not, use the search bar to find the recipe posted to this blog in the past. Let’s be clear, I want my own family to have skin that is soft, not-dry, scar free and beautiful – but, I also want it to be healthy and have no chemicals added to their bodies. So, here’s the “why” of making (or purchasing inexpensively at About Face) body butter.

1. First and foremost – very important! Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. In most cases, ingredients pass through your liver within 20 minutes.  Using natural body butter recipes means you’re feeding your body vitamins and healthy oils every time you slide some on.
Body butters are rich in essential Omega 3 fats. Omega’s  moisturize your skin and do an over the top awesome job of helping to calm inflammation. (pay attention lymphatic folks, autoimmune disorder folks – ie – MS, Fibromyalgia, Psoriasis sufferers, etc).  Body butters also have high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E and A, which help reduce age-related skin damage.  Ready for this? Feed your skin good nutrients, keep the skin from unnecessary stretching due to inflammation and aging – plus have fabulous skin? Yes, please.

So, I knew I needed to make these, but how did I select and perfect the recipes? Trial, error and research – that’s how.  A disclaimer here, I grew up watching in the kitchen of my grandmother, Jennie Shaw Roberts. Gram Roberts was not only one of the most influential people in my life, she raised her siblings, her children – and even 4 grandchildren, as her own. Many of these years, she didn’t actually have enough (The Great Depression was real, folks).  Oh, baking or canning day when I was little! Gram always wore an apron – that we would “sneak” to untie. Every time we snuck, she’d exclaim – “oh dear me suds, how did my apron come untied” as we rolled away in fits of laughter.  Jennie rarely measured anything. Her written recipes (in her own handwriting) are some of my most favored treasures. The problem is – what is a tiche? A pinch? Is my pinch or tiche bigger than hers? Why can’t I get soft molasses cookies to look and taste like hers? Which version was my favorite? (her recipes have subscripts – such as, “these are the ones Uncle Bob likes”).  What in the world did she do to white frosting to make it so fluffy and not taste sweet like frosting? All of this to say, naturally, I rarely measure with exactness – anything. Fair warning! But here’s how I start:

Pick a base. Here are my top 3.

There are several bases that you can use in your body butter recipes – and they all have their own special properties.

1. Shea Butter (aka Karite Butter) is rich in essential fatty acids as well as antioxidant vitamins A and E – crucial for improving skin elasticity and fighting free radical damage. This base alone provides an estimated spf of 8, because it is rich in cinnamic acid – therefore, protecting the skin from UV rays. Remember, UV rays come from all sorts of things -not just sun exposure. Here are some other properties of Shea Butter.

  • Helps reduce wrinkles by moisturizing the skin and boosting cell regeneration and circulation. Read that one more time before you ask for body contouring services (that in my opinion, the technology just isn’t quite “there” yet – but it’s coming!)
  • Heals burns, sores, scars, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and stretch marks.

Unrefined Shea butter keeps all its natural vitamins, but has a strong smell that some do not like. It disappears within minutes of applying to your skin. You can also buy refined shea butter (which doesn’t smell,) although the refining process reduces the vitamins. Go for the unrefined – and get your vitamins! Shea butter is not the best choice for clients with true nut or latex allergies. 

My favorite of all that I have tested in the past, comes from www.bettersheabutter.com (visit the site, learn more and order yours if you’re trying this at home).  “Like” their facebook page, by clicking here. Why do I like their product better? Well, for starters – it’s consistently good quality. Before finding better shea butter, I had routine experiences of receiving badly discolored (and once – even moldy!) shea butter.  Even better, they have offered a discount code for all About Face clients/blog readers! When you are checking out, place  “BSB15OFF” in the discount code section. We all love a good discount! You may order Better Shea Butter directly by clicking the Amazon.com Widget link below.

// Amazon.com Widgets

bettershea

source: better shea butter, facebook cover image.

Mango butter. Mango butter is obtained from the kernels of the mango tree. It possesses a high content of stearic acid, making it similar to cocoa butter. Mango butter is a great emollient and also provides protection against the sun. It will also prevent drying of the skin and formation of wrinkles. Mango butter reduces degeneration of skin cells and restores elasticity. Mango butter’s hardness makes it a great butter for stick formulations such as lip balm and lotion bars. It can be used “as is” to provide relief from the dryness of eczema and psoriasis.

mango

  • A relatively hard butter that is very hard to use on it’s own (have to combine with oils). It does apply and disperse evenly onto the skin once it’s warmed up in your hands.
  • Recommended for wrinkle reduction.  You will notice the disappearance of fine line wrinkles after 4 to 6 weeks of daily use.
  • Protects against UV radiation.

Soothing and moisturizing. Great for healing eczema, rashes, bug bites, sunburn, frostbite, cracked skin, stretch marks, prickly heat (and probably more that I haven’t tried it on yet)

Cocoa Butter. This oil is a hard solid at room temperature, making the term “butter” a bit confusing. It is an edible vegetable fat that is obtained from cocoa beans, and it has a very mild chocolatey aroma. Cocoa Butter is one of the most stable fats and also contains natural antioxidants. It is reputed to provide a barrier that helps retain and restore the moisture in your skin – therefore, if you don’t already have dry skin – this is the one to prevent getting it.  This butter is different than our other butters like Mango, which are soft to the touch. If you hold a piece of solid Cocoa Butter against your skin, it will start to melt in the way a chocolate bar does, but stays solid at room temperature. Because of these properties, I prefer working with pellets.

CocoaButter_OIL5_Main_A

  • Reduces symptoms of dermatitis and asthma by slowing the production of immuno globulin IgE (which aggravates skin problems and asthma)
  • Places a protective barrier between your skin and it’s environment. This is quite helpful since most of my clients live in Middle Tennessee and their ancestors lived in Europe! This butter is especially good for sun and wind damage (skiers, skydivers!)
  • Research shows that massage preparations using cocoa butter help relieve stress, boost immunity and prevent certain cancers

Helps reduce wrinkles and stretch marks by moisturizing the skin and boosting cell regeneration and circulation to the area.

After choosing the base from the three above, choose your oils at a 1:1 ratio. This means, if you use 8 oz of Shea, mango or cocoa butter, use a TOTAL of 8 oz of the other oils to match. I use vitamin e, Coconut and Grape seed oil from Epicurean Olive Oil a shoppe with current location of Murfreesboro, TN – and more locations to come in the future! (click here to learn more and/or to purchase)grape seed oil

After that – it’s all about what essential oils you’d like to add to your base body butter. I always use Melaleuca in every body butter, then add the oils for conditions I’d like to treat, or based on seasonal skin care needs. Mix the 1:1 ratio of base plus oils together, chill them out (place in fridge if you are not very patient, like me) and then add your essential oil choices. (do not add essential oils when base mixture is hot/warm. Cooking essential oils, reduces their efficacy – and that’s the whole point). Next, whip it. As in – until it’s white and fluffy and looks like whipped frosting. Store in air tight glass jars.

You may order essential oils by clicking here. Please register as a wellness advocate – even if for your own personal use. You will receive a great discount AND get a free product of the month just by ordering products for your own personal use (called the LRP). Even if you do nothing with it as a business, I highly recommend this as Essential Oils can be “top heavy” – meaning you have to pay for 250 drops of essential oils – and may only need 20 for a recipe. They’ll last a long time, but you will find as you navigate your way to cleaner, healthier living – you just have to have them all!

If the link above does not work for you or your web browser type, click here to order Better Shea Butter!

100% Unrefined Organic Shea Butter – FREE Body Butter Recipes eBook – Best Organic African Grade A Ivory – Safe for any age and skin type, non-comedogenic – Rich in Vitamins A, E and F – Use on Acne, Eczema, Stretch Marks, Rashes – Use As Belly Butter To Keep Mommy’s Skin Soft And Supple – Essential Ingredient for DIY Body Butters, Lotions, Lotion Bars, Soaps and Other Natural Skincare Recipes – Color: IVORY – 1LB (16oz)

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DIY slimming wraps

   wrap

Ready? I’m going to outline how to make a DIY body wrap that really works and costs less than $3 per wrap!

In a 4 ounce glass container (NO plastic, the oils will break down the plastic):

1/2 bottle of doTERRA Slim & Sassy Metabolic Oil Blend which is 7.5 ml

1/2 bottle of doTERRA Grapefruit Oil which is also 7.5ml

Fill the glass container to the top with the carrier oil of choice. I prefer fractionated coconut oil.

slim and sassy

Ready to wrap your waist?

Okay, almost! Take a warm to hot shower if possible. This opens the pores up therefore your wrap blend will be more easily absorbed. The next step is an absolute must if you are a doubter. Take your measurements. Write them down. I usually measure in 3 places. At the waist (right at the belly button) and then two inches below and above the belly button. It is okay to use a sharpie to mark the exact spots if you need too.

Massage the Slim & Sassy Body Wrap oil onto your waist. Always apply in the direction of your heart (this means rub or massage upward strokes towards the heart while applying). This stimulates the lymphatic system and improves immune function as well.

Please do not skip this next step! Cover your body with a light fabric (like an old tee shirt) or thin cotton pajamas. Next, wrap your waist with several layers of Glad Press and Seal wrap. This is the kind with tiny little grippers on it. glad seal

Wrap just tight enough to keep the fabric in place, breathing is important! Essential oils break down petrochemicals (in plastic), therefore, it is so incredibly important to put a barrier between your skin and the press and seal.  Without this barrier, the plastic could breakdown and actually be driven into your body, creating greater toxicity.  Please be safe, use a light barrier!

Drink a minimum of 16 ounces of water while your wrap is on and at least 70 ounces of water the next day. This will help flush out all of the toxins. If you are not well hydrated, this wrap can backfire and add inches!

Leave your wrap in place for at least 45 minutes (but overnight is preferred). It is okay to feel some tingle while the wrap is on, it should only tingle for the first several minutes. The ingredients are active, therefore it is normal to feel a slight tingle.

Remove wrap and measure again. Compare to your measurements pre-wrap. Do a happy dance.

cellulite

Bask in the ever so glorious delight of your smooth, soft skin and be simply amazed at the number of inches you lost! Call your best girlfriend and tell her all about it.

The only way to improve this wrap is to be sure you are dry brushing…I know my clients are each morning, right? If you need a refresher course in dry brushing, click here.

To purchase these products, click here. You will be directed to the About Face page on doTerra’s ordering website.

If you would like any of the above mentioned products available for you at your next appointment, email: thatwoodardgirl12@gmail.com.

 

See you soon!

 

 

 

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DIY alert! Several everyday uses for Lavender Essential Oil

lav fields

Many clients have expressed their eagerness to start their journey of replacing chemical laden items with more natural or organic products, but simply do not know where to start.

The best place to start is where you are – right at the beginning.  Make a list of things or symptoms that bother you. Start with your top 5. My first list looked something like this:

  • Nausea when eating solid foods
  • Pain between shoulder blades when eating solid foods
  • Chronic Fatigue aka Metabolic X Syndrome aka Adrenal fatigue
  • Vertigo
  • Alopecia (hair loss) – seemingly Endocrine symptom

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To be thorough, I also listed some other things that I wanted to improve: 

  • Skin – take redness out and refuse to allow any fine lined wrinkles to form!
  • Skin – (recent weight loss) led to a lot of loose skin. Tighten it.
  • Home – reduce the number of chemicals used for cleaning and laundry
  • Food – Directly address my malabsorption and inflammatory issues by juicing and supplementing as well as preventing inflammation in the first place.

Once I had this list, I simply enlisted the help of others to help me understand my bodies response to foods and chemicals ingested as well as how to give my body what it needed to heal itself, and to supplement the deficiencies.

One of the very first essential oils suggested to me was lavender. If you are easily overwhelmed with new things or are on a tight budget and can only use one essential oil for now – this is it!

doTERRA LAV

 

Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. It is commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body. Therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for topical skin use. Have a cut, scrape, bruise or skin irritation? Apply lavender. Not only is the fragrance calming, relaxing and balancing – it can clear up things like eczema! Carrying a bottle of lavender around with you is like having your own personal first aid kit, lightly scented body spritzer (for those times you just have to run in to Kroger on your way home from the gym!). Lavender is an adaptogen, this means it can help your body adapt to stress or imbalances. 

I will have to admit, when it was first suggested – I turned my nose up. I have never been fond of “flowery” smells like Rose or Lilac. But, I was a mess. I was having skin reactions (twice my eyes swelled shut and I looked like the twin sister of the elephant man.) Something had to be done! For those of you with allergies – you’ll know the frustration of having multiple allergy tests often with with negative results, and you carry around epi-pens and benadryl like it’s your bff. From my biology studies I knew that all things have toxicity levels – even things found in nature or things that are good for you! Every plant, every medicine, even water -can be toxic if overused. I tend to not absorb things that are good for me – but you can bet I would react straight away to something that my body deemed toxic at that moment.  WIth thousands of dollars worth of traditional medical tests and no real answers, I started categorizing foods, chemicals and other things that come into contact with my skin into lists such as : DON’T EVER EAT THIS, okay to use some of the time and okay to eat or apply on rare occasion. I detoxed over a 7 day period and during that time made changes to my environment. During this process the light bulb went off. My toxic load was over the top. If I could balance my gut the same as I could the skin on my face, I thought I would be much less reactive. I don’t have many true “allergies” by clinical definition – but if you feed me pork products (did you know jello/gelatin has it?!) or prescribe any drug made with porcine, stand by and watch the show. My pancreas never fails to deliver quite a spectacle. 

In no way am I suggesting that you go off all medications and use essential oils in their place. That’s actually quite dangerous! What I do suggest is finding a good primary care Physician (or for females, your OB/GYN is perfect for discussing these issues) who will work with you to reach the goals you create together. For example: at my annual well-woman check, my labs were drawn and Dr. Brent Boles (click here to visit his website) called me to review the results. My T4 was slightly outside of the normal range and after discussing this he agreed to work with me and monitor my T4 closely so I would not have to go on medication. He did his part and I did mine. He let me know if the T4 continued to drop that medication would be in my future. I am almost one year out from that visit and all is well .T4 is now within the normal range (although still at the low end of normal) and I have not had to fill the prescription!

Now for the good stuff – awesome every-day uses for Lavender Essential Oil:

Pet odor – love your pooch, but don’t like the carpet smelling like the dog? Pour some baking soda in a shaker bottle and drop essential oil in (to your satisfaction of scent). I use a small glass spice shaker from the dollar store and add about 15 drops of Lavender Essential oil.

Pillow spritzer – want to sleep like a baby? Or allow your little cherubs to do the same? Purchase a glass spritzer bottle (3-4 ounce size) and mix 2 oz of distilled water with 15 drops of lavender essential oil. Spritz on pillow before bed.

Mattress freshener – Each time I change the sheets on my bed, I drop a few drops of lavender essential oil directly on the mattress. 

Spot treatment for blemishes – drop one drop of lavender oil on a q-tip, apply directly to the blemish and hold for 30 seconds or so.

Sunburn – I rarely have a sunburn, but my kids had one last year. I infuse 15 drops of lavender in 2 ounces of (liquid) coconut oil from Epicurean Olive Oils. Apply directly to sunburnt skin, reapply every couple of hours. (Clients who have eczema or psoriasis swear by this same DIY recipe!).

DIY Body Butter – say good-bye to expensive body butters with this DIY recipe. Use it after every shower! Visit Rachel Holder’s blogsite for my recipe and an incredible amount of other valuable information on clean eating and juicing! 

Chapped lips – Oh how I wish I knew this when I was a little girl in New England winters! I can remember chapped lips that extended around the lips in a far wider circle than anyone wanted to see. Apply a drop or two directly to the lips at bed time. By morning there will be no sign of those chapped lips. 

Fabric softener/scented laundry/DIY Dryer sheets– This is absolutely one of my favorite ways to use Lavender oil. I’m not going to sugar coat this. Static clean in the laundry is no joke! I had a coworker years ago whose mother’s bedding caught on fire from static electricity! Static electricity is what causes static cling in clothing (or anything laundered). When two different objects are rubbed together, one loses electrons and the other gains electrons. The one that loses electrons becomes negatively charged. The one that gains electrons becomes positively charged. Transferring these electrons is what causes static electricity. This was your science lesson for today! Especially during colder/drier months, static cling is everywhere! I know we’ve become accustomed to laser and the lovely relaxation of laser genesis – but static plus a laser beam – is just not good! I use extra precaution when it comes to laundering spa bedding. Here’s what I do with each and every load of laundry:

  • Attach safety pins to each corner of a washcloth. The metal in the safety pins act like little lightning rods for static electricity!  Drop 5-7 drops of Lavender Essential Oil on the washcloth about once every 5 loads of laundry. The result: Viola’ – DIY dryer sheets! No more chemicals in your clothes that are against your skin almost 24 hours a day. (To further reduce static, I also add one cup of vinegar to my rinse cycle of every load of laundry. If you have a HE High Efficiency washer, simply add it to the fabric softener dispenser. Your clothes will NOT smell like vinegar when they are dry). Not only is this much better for your skin (and that of small children), it’s far cheaper than chemical laden dryer sheets.

As you can see, Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils and a great place to start for beginner’s. I chose dōTERRA for all of my essential oil needs. Why? Well, because I found that many stores that carried essential oils had some issues rotating their stock (aheam, dust on the tops of the bottles) or failed to store them properly (light and heat are enemies of essential oils). dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade* essential oils are 100% pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities. Proper extraction and quality control methods also ensure that dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are free of any contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. This is not federally mandated (yet) and I have a lot of respect for a company that isn’t regulated, yet sets the standards high. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil. 

Special alert: Want to order your essential oils directly from dōTERRA? You may do so by clicking here. Click on shop for products in the top right hand corner. For any order placed between 7/15/14 and 7/21/14, About Face will issue a gift certificate good for a brow wax for your own personal use or to give as a gift! (retail value $15).

OR 

If you would like us to order your oils for you – email thatwoodardgirl12@gmail.com with your order no later than 7/18/14 at noon. We’ll take 15% off your total purchase and cover the shipping. Mention this blog when you send the email to get the special. 

ALSO

If you are looking for a way to get your oils at wholesale pricing and earn additional free product each month, you can sign up for the personal use Loyalty Rewards Program (you do not have to sell the product). Read more about this program here. Contact via email for help getting that set up. All new enrollee’s in the Loyalty Rewards program no later than 7/18/14 will receive one free Aesthetic Service from About Face – facial, chemical peel or dermaplaning (and can earn up to 30% off your product from dōTERRA). 

 

We’d love to hear how YOU use Essential oils already, please leave us a comment! 

 

 

 

 

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Dry brushing and DIY Cellulite Cream

drybrush

 

Dry brushing. Everyone does this right? I’ve been dry brushing my skin for several years, and I simply was not aware that not every woman on the planet was aware of this simple, extremely effective DIY body basic!

It is customary for blog posts to be created as a direct result of conversations inside the treatment room. Last week we were busy discussing laser hair removal and somehow the softness of the skin was brought up.  After 14 years of treating with medical lasers, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination that I have had hair removal – well, everywhere. We were discussing my arms specifically (which used to be really hairy with a light blonde-light brown hair mix). The client wanted to know if there was a need to treat in the future, or if there were any skin disruptions, was it soft, etc. The client asked if the softness of my skin was due to laser hair removal. Although, hair-free skin is indeed softer, my hair removal was over 10 years ago. As the conversation progressed I found myself repeating my daily routine for my own skin (body, not face). I realized that in addition to the DIY body butter I use (click here for recipe) as posted on the lovely Rachel Holder’s blog at holderingherown.com, that I only use the body butter if not treating for cellulite. As I tend to do, I was on to the next laser treatment and in a post-note sort of thought-out-loud statement added “in addition to dry skin brushing”.

body

In the world of holistic beauty treatments, dry brushing is kind of the genesis of all body skincare — it’s the one thing that people with glowy effortlessly gorgeous skin do – everyday. When I heard about this years ago, it seemed like something that I would definitely not enjoy. They wanted me to take a dry scratchy brush with no product and brush it over my already sensitive red skin? Yes, that’s correct. They insisted it would make it softer. “Right” I thought and discarded that almost as soon as I heard it. On his very next visit, the skin care professional that I trained under for over a decade asked how often I replaced my dry brush? I’m sorry, my what? My attention was then captured. Admittedly, the first few times I tried dry brushing, I didn’t spend much time on it because initially it felt a little torture-esq. However, with a recent considerable amount of weight loss and a sluggish lymphatic system I was dedicated to dry brushing daily for 30 days. I measured various body areas and took photos (scary photos!).

BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING

1. Removal of dry skin. Let’s face it – we spend a great deal of time on the appearance of our face, but largely ignore the skin on our body. Dry brushing is fantastic for whole body exfoliation. The good news is, that’s not all it’s good for.

2. Say good-bye to cellulite! Of course it’s easy to think that cellulite is a problem reserved for individuals who are over-weight. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is – cellulite is experienced by those with a sluggish lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating (cellular) waste products.  Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules transport cellular waste to your blood for elimination, (this is called lymphatic drainage). In addition to the aesthetic presentation of cellulite, if your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins will build up and can make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid. If you have the body type that is characterized by sluggish lymphatics, dry brushing will wake up the lymphatic system and get the lymph flowing freely. (If you are not sure of your primary body type, ask during your next visit, these body types have been studied specifically for the treatment of your skin – there are 4 primary body morphologies: Sanguine, Lymphatic, Nervous & Bilious).

3.  When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste. If this waste is not properly eliminated, cellulite (or fatty deposits under the skin). Dry brushing will help eliminate toxins as well as more evenly distribute any fat cells.

dry-brushing-benefits

DRY BRUSHING 101

1. Purchase a natural bristled brush (like the one pictured above).  These should not cost more than $10. It is better to have one with a handle for hard to reach spots (mine has a detachable long handle).

2. Brush your skin once a day, preferably in the morning before you shower.

3. Start at your feet and use long upward strokes  always towards your heart.

4. Be sure to go over the armpit area really well – there are many lymph nodes here.

5.  Brush over an area several times – just remember the point of dry brushing is stimulation, not irritation. It is normal for the skin to be slightly red immediately after brushing.

6. When you get above your heart, brush downwards towards your heart.

7. Dry brush at least once per day before you shower or bathe. After you shower, apply the DIY body butter from above. For an added punch – make this DIY Cellulite cream and apply after towelling dry.

DIY Cellulite Cream

What you’ll need:&

  • 3/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of shaved Beeswax
  • 3 tablespoons of Witch Hazel
  • 10 drops Juniper oil
  • 10 drops Rosemary oil
  • 30 drops Grapefruit or peppermint oil
  • 30 drops Cypress oil

How to:

  • Mix together all of the essential oils and the witch hazel. Stir until well blended.
  • Over low heat and using a double broiler, melt the beeswax & coconut oil together. (This gives you a creamy base).
  • Once the beeswax has melted, add the oil mixture to the beeswax & coconut oil blend.
  • Pour into a resealable jar and store in a cool place. *Preferably glass. I use a wide mouth mason jar).

This homemade cellulite cream packs a powerful punch, thanks to the amazing essential oils!  Why? Well, Juniper is a diuretic and purifier while also being a great circulation stimulator. Rosemary is essential for increasing blood flow throughout the body which significantly reduces the appearance of cellulite over time and it is also great for flushing out your lymphatic system and getting rid of water retention. Cyprus and grapefruit essential oils are both effective towards increasing circulation, relieving fluid retention and flushing toxins from your skin. Witch hazel is a crucial ingredient, as it helps refine and tighten your skin.  Having a more even-toned surface will deflect some of the visual effects of cellulite.

*It is not recommended to use this DIY cellulite cream while pregnant. If you have varicose veins (not spider veins) that are rope like, do not dry brush nor use this Cellulite cream.

Treatments 

As part of Summer Skin Camp we’ve been providing cellulite treatments in the treatment room as well. Slightly different from being at home. First, we start with cleansing and exfoliation of the area to be treated as we teach you to dry brush. Next we apply the slimming solution to the body area being treated. We then wrap the area in plastic wrap and add a thermal blanket that activates the slimming treatment. After this solution is hot toweled off, our Cellulite Treatment cream is applied and clients take home a jar of their own. This service is now a part of our regular menu offering for $175. This includes any laser service for your face during the wrap (might as well not let this time go to waste!). From today through Saturday, June 28th we are offering the cellulite body wrap service (along with any laser service for the face) with take home treatment cream and dry skin brush for $125!  (This service can not be combined with other offers).

goodbye cellulite

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Hey chicken skin. I have what? Keratosis Pilaris.

Most likely you, or someone you know has Keratosis Pilaris (KP). In fact, it is estimated that 50% of all adults have KP, while the percentage skyrockets for children and teens (80%). Here are a few photos of my own patients that I have taken over the years. All of these are KP – none of them are acne.

kp3 KP – right side of face (female)

kp1

 

 

 

 

 

KP – elbow (male)

 

kp2 KP, dark skin tone, back of arm (male)

kp4 KP, back of arm (female)

 What is keratosis pilaris (KP)?  The bumps you see are excess protein (called keratin)—that have filled the hair follicle because the skin cannot properly shed the dead skin cells covering the follicle.  (This process also occurs in acne, which is why both conditions are so common in adolescence.)  The bumps can become inflamed, itchy, and irritated when dry or dehydrated. KP is identified by the accumulation of little bumps on your skin induced by the accretion of keratin inside the trapped hair follicles creating a plug. Often, when I use this explanation, clients will exclaim “but I don’t have hair on the back of my arms!” Yes, you do. It’s normally very fine and blonde or white – but if KP is present, the hair can’t break through the follicle (hence some of the problem). Before we begin with how to tame KP skin – understand that KP is a very common skin condition that is almost always problematic aesthetically, but poses no threat clinically and is not contagious. Often, KP does not require medical treatment, but it can be embarrassing – and is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions.   The most common sites for KP are the backs of the arms and upper thighs, however – I have seen adolescents with KP on their forehead and on their cheeks, and on a toddlers trunk. It can look like fleshy bumps, bumps that appear to be whiteheads that never surface, when exfoliated often what comes out of the skin is described as “little seeds”, or the bumps can be in red/purple patches that are dry and somewhat irritated. Keratosis pilaris is often misdiagnosed as a rash, dermatitis, acne, rosacea, or eczema. While most people with KP will not need to see a dermatologist for a medical treatment for KP, I think it is a good idea to have a professional diagnosis, especially when a bothersome skin condition does not respond to suggested home remedies or persists longer that two weeks. There are many offices that have products that come in kits for KP that can be pricey and often do not work. Before attempting over-priced harsh, “one size fits all” kits, let’s go over what to do – and , more importantly – what not to do. Here are some facts, tips and tricks to deal with KP:

  • Keratosis pilaris is hereditary (inherited as an autosomal dominant gene.) This is similar to the brown versus blue eye color phenomenon. All it takes is one single gene from either parent to find oneself with less than perfectly smooth skin. But not everyone can point a finger at who’s to blame since on average, only 40% of KP patients have a positive family history. Therefore, if no one in your family has ever had KP, my next question would be related to your diet. Not every case, but in many cases, I have found that if clients eliminate wheat and dairy from their diet, their KP will disappear. You do not have to be diagnosed as having Celiac disease in order to suffer with side-effects from these food choices. It’s worth a try, right? It also will most definitely make you feel better. You’re skin will glow!Even if you don’t have obvious digestive problems, if you suffer from skin conditions, allergies, weakened immune system, or even psychological imbalance – it is very likely linked to a digestive weakness and/or gut flora imbalance. This can be due to a chronically poor diet, a period of high stress, or even as little as a single course of antibiotics at some point in your life. “Healing your gut” is usually not a quick and easy process, but something that you cultivate over time. I know there are some of you reading this blog and the very second you see “eat better, stop eating junk food” the sound of the teacher talking on the Peanuts plays in your head (the trombony “whaa-whaa-whaa”). Well, it’s the truth. If you have to hear it – it might as well be from me. Anyone who knows my story, knows that I was hospitalized in 1996 for 42 days, and darn-near died as a result. I had gut issues (misdiagnosed, like, forever) and as a result of the exploratory surgical procedures – ended up with chronic pancreatitis complicated with pancreatic pseudocysts (those buggers can and will try to kill you!)  It wasn’t until many years later I discovered I was one of the 3 patients who survived the clinical study I didn’t know I was in. That’s right, 7 of my clinical study participants died. Let me tell you how horrible my skin looked, then!  I know many of my clients see me regularly because I am one of the few (perhaps the only?) skincare professional in the area who will not try to sell you a skincare product line that costs as much as your mortgage. Yes, I do use some products (when needed), but there are few. (See products on right side bar of this blog). In addition, I have been told, I am the only professional that will also let you know that I will not take your money under the guise of making you feel better about yourself if your skin would just clear up – when, you are a smoker with no intentions of quitting, someone who will never eat a balanced whole food diet, or who will never exercise. My laser is a laser. It targets chromophores in your skin. It is not a magic wand. It will not make you look better than you ever have. If someone is selling you that, run. Don’t walk. (see, you can get moving!). Will I work with you? Yes. Baby steps are okay. Sometimes it’s a mysterious puzzle, but with honesty and teamwork – it can be done.

oranges

  • While we’re on the subject of diet – eat vitamin-C rich foods every day. Yes, you could take a supplement, but it seems much more logical to me to eat several servings of Vitamin – C rich in season fruits each day.  In general, Vitamin C is essential for collagen formation, helps  maintain the integrity of skin tissue, and counteracts free radicals which produces inflammation throughout the body. Specifically with KP, adequate Vitamin C can reduce redness and inflammation and prevent common ingrown hairs. Let us eat oranges! For other ideas and easy to follow recipes (and for juice loving clients), visit Rachel Holder’s blog by clicking here. The recipe that I juice at least twice a week for great looking skin can be found on her blog here.

 

  • If you have KP, it is quite possible that you are not getting enough Vitamin A. Without adequate amounts of this fat-soluble vitamin, skin cells begin to excrete an excess of keratin creating dry, rough, scaly bumps. Many clients think that they can get vitamin A from eating foods like carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Although it is quite helpful,  it’s equally important to understand that carotene in plant foods will probably not provide adequate daily vitamin A alone. It’s true that beta carotenes can be converted to vitamin A in your body once they make it into your blood, but beta carotenes are not always absorbed efficiently.  Taking true vitamin A as a supplement can also be dangerous since vitamin A toxicity is also a risk. That brings us to liver. The kind you eat. Liver is the best source of naturally occuring vitamin A. If you are in the minority of those who like liver – that is awesome! Eat it twice a week.This brings us to liver. Liver is far and away the best source of naturally occurring vitamin A. If you are in the small minority that like liver, great!  Eat it at least 1-2 times per week. If not, find some local farm ground beef/liver blend and sneak it into your spaghetti meat sauce or burgers. Baby steps.  If you simply can’t fathom the taste you can try cod liver oil capsules or dessicated liver capsules.
  • Coconut Oil. Just buy it. Then, use it. While It seems like the cycle of trying really hard to convince others that coconut oil is a wonder food (and it is) is cycling back around, some clients hear this and immediately say “I hate the way oil feels on my skin!” or “I have acne, there is no way I am adding OIL to my skin”. While I admit, it can feel a little strange to be carrying around a product that promotes itself as DELICIOUS IN COCONUT CAJUN SHRIMP recipes into the shower, and on an airplane – it works. Plain and simple. Personally, I do not like fragrance that makes me smell like food – coconut oil doesn’t smell overly coconut-ty, but it doesn’t smell bad either. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, but liquefies almost immediately with the warmth of your hands. It absorbs really fast, so for oily feeling haters – there will be minimal “EW EW EW GET IT OFF ME” feelings to deal with. Simply take a shower and immediately after wrapping your wet hair up, apply to your skin. Allowing your skin to air dry is best, but if you are in a time crunch, lightly pat dry with a clean towel and apply coconut oil. In minutes your skin will absorb the oil. It will not leave any residue or stain clothing. Although this is not a clinical treatment – there is REAL science to this. Coconut oil (unlike all other oils) can actually penetrate tiny hair shafts and deliver it’s protein rich goodness to your congested hair follicle. This alone creates a natural inside-out exfoliation process. You should see amazing results within one week of daily use. I have used this product for years. It’s cheap. It comes in enormous jars – and it works. Not only does it work, but in a pinch, I can eat it too? This is skin-care product perfection in my eyes.

 

  • Use a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom each night. KP is a chronic dry skin problem and the extra hydration in the air from the humidifier will provide extra insurance that your skin needs. Less moisturizing product will be needed too.  Be sure to clean your humidifier daily to avoid the buildup of molds and bacteria.  It sounds like a lot of work, but your skin will thank you.
  • For teens and adults: schedule a glycolic peel with a professional. Let’s talk about this for a minute. There are many, MANY wonderful day spas in my town that do a fantastic job. They will pamper you until your heart is complete. What they can’t do is use clinical grade peels. Often, my clients will text and tell me where they are and want to know what service they can have. I not only welcome this – I love it! It would be a better choice to have a glyocolic peel if you have KP, but the percentage non-medical spas are allowed will not be high enough to treat KP. Again, not harming is the best choice when you can’t treat.  Next, there are many MANY med-spa’s or dermatology clinics that have sold out, or given in to “insert popular name skin care line here” and only sell those lines. Often, they are full of many chemicals, fillers and preservatives that are not good for all skin (or any skin) – and man, are they expensive! Personally, I use peels with one ingredient. Glycolic acid. If I want a compound, (for example – treating KP AND Acne) – I’ll call a professional. I am fortunate that I have excellent compounding Pharmacists here in my community at Reeves-Sain that will create individualized products as requested. (note: these are prescribed products that require a Physician’s request. All of my peels are cleared through my MD/Medical director). It is always a bonus if I have to pick up the compound because very close to the pharmacy is the (insert glory music) – homemade milkshake counter. Coffee milkshake from Reeves-Sain, yes, please!

 

  • Ages 15 and over: Often, if KP is resistant to treatment and there are no “seeds” inside the bumps, and you want a faster route to clear skin – laser hair removal works extremely well. Even if the hair isn’t visible, there is still keratin (or color) in the stem cell of the hair follicle. Laser targets this and most often with one treatment the signs of KP are largely reduced. Since our goal is not hair removal itself, a series of treatments is not necessary. KP is not “curable” therefore, flare-ups can be treated as needed.

 

  • If you have had KP for a very long time and the skin is greatly discolored (red/purple) where the bumps were – one treatment of            combined laser genesis and IPL will take the awful reminder away.  This pain-free laser treatment is fantastic for reducing the signs of lingering KP.

 

Have KP? What not to do:

  • Do not give in to the temptation of using your foaming body wash or harsh scrubs to sandblast the problem with loofahs.  It won’t do anything but make it worse. Any foaming scrub will dry out the skin. Drying out the skin is counter-productive for KP taming. If you simply can’t give them up, look for one that contains rounded beads instead of seeds or nut shells.  Jojoba beads will be your best choice if you like physical exfoliants.  (However, don’t be confused – these washes and scrubs are not treatments suggested for KP, they just won’t aggravate KP and make it worse.)

 

  • Do not use your acne medication on areas with KP: this build up of keratin appears very similar to acne, but it’s important to understand that they are not the same animal and must be tamed differently. Overproduction of sebum (oil) is what complicates the treatment of acne, and most of the products available are very drying.  Using acne treatments that include benzoyl peroxide or sulfur on KP skin that is aggravated by any sort of dehydration or dryness is just a bad idea.  Moisturizing acneic skin commonly causes issues, while it is the first step in treating keratosis pilaris. Efforts to treat KP at home are often futile and can bring about unwanted complications when incorrectly using the wrong products.

 

  • Avoid hot water and bar soaps, as these are drying to the skin. Perfumed body products can also cause trouble, so if you love them, try to only use them on special occasions. If you simply love the perfumed lotion you use, try diluting it with an unscented lotion (mix 50% your lotion to 50% unscented lotion). I like CeraVe. It is available at Target, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart and online on Amazon. In my area, Walgreen’s often has a special on CeraVe products and this moisturizer is one of the products in my must have arsenal at all times. Because I work in the medical field, excessive hand-washing during the dry/cold months can cause chapped hands. This lotion is the one I have found works the best. It also plays well with others – so, if I have a liquid foundation or tinted sunscreen that is slightly too dark for my skin tone, I can add CeraVe to it for added moisture and to tone down the color.

Image

  • Avoid tight clothing.  This is especially important during sleep.  For the guys, if KP is a problem – try boxers versus briefs.

 

  • If you are a soaking bath lover, try adding powdered milk and a few drops of a non comedogenic oil (like safflower!) to your bath water instead of foaming bubble bath that will dry out your skin. (FINALLY, a good use for that awful powdered milk my Aunt used to buy).

In summary, although KP rarely requires medical treatment, I have found that many cases are often misdiagnosed as acne – especially in the teenage population. Often, teens or parents of teens will seek treatment due to embarrassment surrounding acne eruptions, and the fear of scarring. KP is most commonly misdiagnosed as body acne that will not respond to treatment.  In many cases, acne treatments that are designed to dry out the skin, make KP considerably worse. Sometimes KP also appears on the lower part of the forehead—near and in between the eyebrows.  When found on the face, it is often confused with acne because the bumps resemble whiteheads.  Many of my clients have complained that there are no products available for “their” acne accompanied by dry skin—only to find out that they had KP all along, not acne.  This is why I always recommend that you be on the lookout when “your acne” doesn’t act like typical acne.   Once you have a KP diagnosis – there you have it! Ditch the junk, heal your gut/metabolism, eat oranges and liver…so long chicken skin!

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Homemade sunscreen? Yes, please.

always wear sunscreen Hello everyone! (Especially those out there in blogland who have sent messages requesting a sunscreen recipe!). Sorry for the delay…I traveled last week to Denver to speak at the 22d annual ADAM Conference. I had two presentations, one on OSHA and laser safety and another on Marketing the Aesthetic practice. I met and/or got back in touch with some amazing people in the industry and I am always encouraged to see that there are great things happening in the field.

Back in Murfreesboro,  and back on point. Like I told the attendees at this years conference, I have found that the most success in marketing comes from marketing your own services, and much less from spending time marketing others products that have a high cost of goods sold (no profit margin, and no pay to promote someone else’s brand). We all know who they are. As a young professional, it made me crazy to spend time and money to promote other companies products. Then, as I grew professionally and gained a decade plus of experience actually treating skin, I found what alarmed me most were the ingredients in these products. My, my, my – clearly the FDA would never allow products with carcinogens (cancer causing) to be sold in the USA, right? Wrong! In fact, some of the ingredients in a well known retail line are banned in all European countries. Here’s a couple of hints: if you are told you need 6-8 steps for skincare, twice a day, every day – for the rest of your life. NO you don’t. If the same product line recommends a physical sunblock to be worn everyday after using their products, you should be concerned. You only need this because after using these products, your skin is in fact – more sensitive to light. Now, that’s scary!

So, what do you use? Well, for starters there are many oils and other natural ingredients that provide sun protection.  While most of these offer very low amounts of protection on their own, when added to your homemade sunscreen they nourish the skin and offer additional protection against the effects of excessive sun.

Shea butter – naturally protects the skin, making it absolutely perfect for use in a DIY sunscreen.

Coconut oil – contains natural SPF properties, and is available locally at Epicurean Olive Oil 

Take your pick from these oils: Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil – each one of these oils are easily absorbed into the skin and also provide natural sun protection. I like Jojoba oil for skin, but have also used sesame oil from Epicurean as well.

Vitamin E oil -is a natural preservative as well as nourishes and moisturizes skin. If you skip this ingredient, your sunscreen will most likely not be good for more than 2 weeks. With it – expect a 6 month shelf life.

Eucalyptus & lavender essential oils are very popular in DIY sunscreens  eucalyptus has a very low natural SPF and lavender is great for soothing and repairing skin. In my last batch, I used tea tree oil because of it’s amazing antibacterial/antifungal properties, as well as the fact that it is a natural bug repellent. For whatever reason, my kids and I attract bug bites. Almost any essential oil is okay, except – DO NOT use Citrus essential oils! Citrus essential oils will increase sensitivity to light.

Zinc oxide (non nano)  a powder form non-toxic, non-irritating, and very effective broad spectrum sunblock. The particles sit on the outermost layer of your skin, reflecting, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays, protecting your skin. Be sure to use non nano zinc oxide to DIY your homemade sunscreen.

Important disclaimer: Nano or micronized zinc oxide has been treated to reduce the size of its particles, creating an ultrafine powder. We like it because when it is added to sunscreens it does not leave a white film on the skin. The problem with this is that the particles are so small they can enter the body through the skin, causing potential health problems. So, be sure to purchase a non nano zinc oxide that has particle sizes as large as possible. (I use 330nm). You must resist the urge to smell it when you get it the first time. I know how women, especially Mom’s are! This is a respiratory risk and this risk disappears as soon as it is mixed into a liquid. It is safe to be applied to the skin, but not to inhale! 

How to get the desired SPF

Different amounts of zinc oxide are needed depending on what SPF you want. Once you have chosen the SPF a little math is involved. The zinc oxide must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). For this reason, it’s easiest to use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add .2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below.

SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide

SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide

SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. coconut oil
  • 0.8 oz. shea butter
  • 0.1 oz. jojoba
  • 0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil
  • 30 drops essential oils, optional – I used 15 lavender, 10 eucalyptus, 5 tea tree
  • zinc oxide powder (I use .8 ounces to get an spf 40)

Directions:

Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil to a double boiler. Heat gently until the shea butter melts. Remove from the double boiler and allow to cool.  Add zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and optional essential oils to the other ingredients. Stir well to combine.  At this point, you can store it in a dark colored jar in the refrigerator, OR – pour into shaped soap forms (this is the method I use). I allow them to harden, pop them out and then wrap them in wax paper and store in the fridge. I like this because you can take one out for each use needed. To use, hold in hands and as it warms up it will soften into a lotion.   (Ice cube trays work great too).

 

Here’s another hint: if you purchase zinc oxide, you can add the powder to any favorite lotion and turn it into a sunscreen!

sunscreen

 

Rewarding readers who read the entire post. Take 10% off your next service if received before 4/3/14! Mention DIY sunscreen to receive the discount.

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DIY Body scrubs – and what you need to know

First, what an amazing week we have had at About Face. I have the pleasure of gifting $20 for each new client referral to my favorite non-profit, Clinton’s Club, in honor of the referring client – in a pay-it-forward random act of kindness. To learn more about Clinton’s Club, visit (www.clintonsclub.org). This week, I wrote a check for $60! These $60-$80 a week donations do not sound like much, but it means the world to local pediatric cancer families when they are faced with the choice of paying utilities when they need every penny to travel to treatments. Thank-YOU.

My goal is to use this blog space for sharing DIY treatments, tips and a few of my favorite things. Most importantly, as a resource that we can all refer back to when needed. After 16 years of working in women’s healthcare and/or medical aesthetics, there really isn’t much I haven’t seen or heard – really. If you have a question or need a solution – post it here, or utilize the contact us page and send a note if you would like to remain anonymous. I will address common skin care concerns and easy fixes for any concern. Before we get to the “good stuff” about body exfoliation, remember there is already good stuff posted on the side bar to the right. Under products, you’ll find retail products that I endorse, and where to find them. If you have not “liked” the About Face facebook page, be sure to check it out – there are recipes, tips and treasures there, too. I am blessed with amazing clients, who are not only friends – but who often weave webs of support to and for each other. I have felt for many years that it was time to get back to basics and ensure that sense of “small community” even in larger cities and towns. Most, but not all (shout-out to my male clients!) are women, and these are not ordinary women! Amazing. Supportive. Beautiful.

I am told that my skincare and anti-aging philosophy and treatments are unique. I can assure you I am not the treatment provider with the most clients ever, but, I tend to not lose clients either. When you read the product tab to the right, you’ll find I’m not a product junky – and often make most of my personal treatments in a DIY fashion. Good skin care does not have to be expensive! Of course, there are always vacations and “excursion plurges” spa treatments, and that’s okay, but the truth of the matter is – the best relationships – are consistent relationships. Not a day (or even an hour!) goes by where a client hasn’t emailed, facebook”ed”, or texted a question or a “what is going on with this plus 30 acne”? Most start out like this…”I am at _______ spa and they want to do a ________ on me. Can I do that”? If it’s no, it’s no! But, we’ll go through their menu of services and select something that can be fun, pampering – even therapeutic – without wrecking your face (and my work!). I can’t even begin to describe the amount of dollars that have been saved with this practice. I get to know your skin, your lifestyle – and I’ve been trained on how your particular skin type will age. If you don’t think there are places out there that will perform treatments that in fact, age your skin by 10 years – think again. Be careful! Knowing what to do is important, but knowing what not to do is as equally important.

Now on to the really good stuff. This weekend is body exfoliation recipe weekend around here. If you have an appointment this week, you’ll leave with a take home of this fantastic stuff!

Body exfoliation.

You’re doing this right? I’m sure you’ve all had a pedicure before and have experienced actual weight loss with all the skin that can be removed from your feet. Right? Phew. Well, many clients make the mistake of ignoring their body. Please don’t. There is nothing worse than the line of demarcation that appears when the face is glowing and the body looks 15 years older. So – why? How?

Rid thy waste!

Skin is a major organ of elimination just like the kidneys and colon discarding more than one pound of waste every day.
If the skin’s pores become choked by billions of dead skin cells,  uric acid and other impurities will begin to build up in the body. When this occurs, the other eliminative organs such as the kidneys and the liver have to increase their workload and can become overworked.

Cellulite. Everyone has some. Even the perfect bodies. You can very easily assist the elimination of cellulite by brushing your body with a pure natural bristled brush in just 5 minutes a day. Dry body brushing increases circulation, improves metabolism, eliminates dead skin cells, and helps the body”s natural detoxification process. Each morning, gently brush your skin in small circular patterns, especially in the areas where cellulite appear. Some of us with sluggish lymphatic systems can stimulate both lymph and blood circulation to remove any impurities from under the skin’s surface. This manual process encourages the reduction on the appearance of cellulite by breaking up fatty deposits underneath the skin’s surface i in addition to decongesting all the systems of the body. After several days you will begin to notice that your skin feels softer and the texture much more even. Good-bye orange peel!  Bonus: body brushing is also an excellent remedy for ingrown hair.

The best method
Use your body brush on dry skin only. Begin at the soles of your feet and continue working up the front and back of the legs in an upward direction towards the heart using long, gentle sweeping strokes. (Do not work head to toe, or you’ll risk pooling of fluids at the ankles). The pressure should be invigorating, but not uncomfortable at all. Move on to the hands and arms including the tummy and back but do not brush over your face and chest. Finish with your neck and scalp. There are several essential oils that naturally increase circulation. These are: juniper, geranium, ginger, lavender, and rosemary. If you dry brush for several days and feel like you need a boost, add a few drops of one of the above oils to the bristles of your brush and start brushing!

DIY kick-start body exfoliation

Let’s say, it’s been a while since you’ve exfoliated any area of your body above your ankles and below your neck, in – a very long time. Let’s not break out the oscillating sander from the garage or work shop just yet. Start with an easy to make (with stuff already in most kitchens) full body scrub in your shower. The recipe below is my absolute favorite! It leaves the skin incredibly soft and smooth and smells amazing! This one can be a little messy–so be prepared to wipe down your shower/tub afterwards.

Ingredients:

Brown Sugar

2 cups of ground coffee (I use freshly ground from coffee beans because they are coarser, but for my reuse & re-purpose fans, you absolutely may also use previously brewed coffee grounds – (just know the scrub will be a smoother consistency).
1/2 cup brown sugar (if you like a more coarse scrub – brown sugar in the raw is a good choice too)
3 tbsp. Coconut or Grapeseed oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: 

Combine all of the ingredients with oil always last and mix well. That’s it. Store in an air tight container (for up to one month, but best to make just before needed).

To use: 

I use loofah gloves for this. Lightly rinse your body. Apply scrub to your body using loofah gloves in the same method as dry brushing (toe to head) and massage into your skin. For more calloused areas (feet, elbows) slightly more pressure is okay. Once I am covered toe to neck, I remove the gloves and rinse them off. I allow the scrub to stay in place while I shampoo and condition my hair. I then put the gloves back on and rinse the scrub off. I use the gloves to nudge any product down the drain and throw the gloves in the wash. (I always use bleach on my gloves, but I do not think this is necessary). In addition, many clients opt to not put one towel through the dryer (or washer with liquid) fabric softener. This leaves the towel not as soft and helps slough skin off while drying. Good client offered tip!

Why coffee?

coffeebrownsugarscrub

Coffee body scrubs are beneficial since they help eradicate cellulite when the caffeine in them comes into contact with the surface of the skin. The coffee grounds improve circulation as the caffeine draws out unneeded fluids on a cellular level. The orange peel look is congested fat cells that harden over time. Caffeine helps redistribute fat cells, making them easier to flush out through the lymphatics. and decrease the formation of more cellulite.

Body Scrub ingredients for different skin types:

This coffee scrub can also be made using coarse sea salt instead of sugar. There really is not a wrong choice – just a more qualified choice for specific skin types. Very oily skin or skin prone to acne should use salt versus sugar in their scrub. If you have skin prone to acne, do not shave prior to using the salt version (ouch!). All other skin types may use sugar. If you are prone to broken blood vessels, I suggest using the softer ingredients (even grinding the sugars and coffee grounds).

I have figured that this scrub costs about $2 per treatment. Have you ever purchased a body scrub? Most retailers charge between $18-$40 for the take home product and $100-$150 for an in-spa body treatment using the same ingredients. Save those dollars for laser!

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