About Face Time

Graceful negotiation for the signs of aging

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 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

lav

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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