All Natural Homemade Facial Toner – with apple cider vinegar

facial tonerApple cider vinegar – specifically the raw, organic, unfiltered kind – is an amazing natural remedy. People have been using it to reap many health and beauty benefits, by either ingesting or applying topically on the skin. Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and also has anti-inflammatory properties (one reason it’s great for overall health!).

I’ve recently begun to use it, combined with filtered water and essential oils, as an all natural facial toner – and I am loving the results!

Most commercial skin toner contains alcohol, salicylic acid, perfumes, artificial colors, and other additives. I prefer to use simple products, made with a handful of ingredients that I can pronounce and know what they are without referencing a chemistry book glossary.

Homemade apple cider vinegar toner is also a lot more affordable than your typical store-bought brands. A 32-oz bottle of Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar runs about $5 at the grocery store – that will make a lot of skin toner!  Plus, it is an item in your pantry that can be used for many applications – salad dressings, ease digestion issues, use in homemade bone broths, etc.

Apple cider vinegar, although acidic, helps to regulate the pH balance of the skin. It’s an excellent toner for all skin types. For acne-prone or oily skin, it helps calm breakouts and reduces redness. For dry or normal skin, it exfoliates and reduces wrinkles.

I also add therapeutic grade essential oils* to my facial toner. Lavender essential oil is wonderful for the skin, it is very soothing and the scent helps overcome the vinegary-ness of the apple cider vinegar. I also add Geranium essential oil, well-known for supporting healthy skin and circulation – it’s great for maintaining good blood flow under the skin to keep skin healthy and glowing.

All Natural Facial Toner

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 part Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2/3 part filtered water
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Geranium essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a 2 oz glass bottle, apply with a cotton ball morning and night.
If you have very oily or acne-prone skin, you can increase the ratio to 1/2 part vinegar to 1/2 part water.

*Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, 24% off retail, and get a free sign-up gift.

Homemade Facial Toner

Top 10 Uses for Coconut Oil

coconut oilCoconut oil is a staple in my house.  Coconut oil has many proven health and beauty benefits.  I use it for everything from skin care to cooking – so we use A LOT.

Here are my top 10 ways to use coconut oil, and a chance to get a FREE jar of coconut oil from Thrive Market!

TOP 10 USES FOR COCONUT OIL

  1. Cooking: Coconut oil has a high-smoke point and is great for baking, frying or as a dairy-free butter replacement
  2. Make-up remover: Keep a little jar in your bathroom and use to quickly wipe away eye make-up
  3. Lotion: A perfect basic lotion, I like to add essential oils to mine – like this Joy Body Balm
  4. Diaper Balm: A soothing, non-toxic option for your baby’s bottom – increase the soothing factor by adding a little Lavender essential oil
  5. Lip Balm: Rub it on straight for a soothing natural chap stick – or kick it up a notch by adding some essential oils to your homemade lip balm
  6. Oil Pulling: Support oral health with a daily oil pulling practice – make refreshing oil pulling chews by adding some peppermint oil to your coconut oil
  7. After Shave: Coconut oil is soothing to freshly shaven skin – use it plain or add skin supporting essential oils and make your own After Shave Balm
  8. Metabolism Booster: Coconut oils high Lauric acid and Medium Chain Fatty Acids can help boost metabolism
  9. First Aid Ointment – Dab some coconut oil on scrapes, cuts, and scratches to speed up healing time
  10. Dry Skin – Rub into dry, flaky elbows or cracked heals to soothe and moisturize

So many uses for coconut oil! How would you like to get a free jar of coconut oil?? Thrive Market, essentially the Amazon Prime of healthy foods and wellness products, is offering all new members a FREE full-size jar of Nutiva Coconut Oil (only available until June 24th), along with several samples of favorite products (valued at $25). Just click over to Thrive Market, enroll in the free trial and search Nutiva Coconut Oil to find the free sample box!

Want to make all natural skin care products using coconut oil and essential oils?  Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, (24% off retail!), and get a free sign-up gift.

Simple DIY Peppermint Oil Pulling Chews

Peppermint Oil Pulling Chews 1You’ve probably heard about oil pulling by now — maybe from a friend or on the evening news.  Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing a bit of oil in your mouth, preferably on an empty stomach, for about 15 minutes. This action is supposed to draw toxins out of your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.

With regular oil pulling, studies have shown benefits such as reduced plaque, cavity prevention and stronger gums for individuals who already have a healthy mouth.  For people with current plaque build up, I teeth cleaning first is a good option, then a regular oil pulling practice to maintain the cleaning.

I’ve been oil pulling on and off over the past couple years and find that when I am consistent, my teeth maintain that fresh from the dental hygienist clean feel.  To make it easier to maintain the habit and be consistent, I made these Peppermint Oil Pulling Chews.  You can make a batch in no time and keep them in your fridge.  Popping a minty coconut oil chew in my mouth is a refreshing way to start the day – I like to pop one right before jumping in the shower.  By the time I’m out of the shower, I’m ready to spit out the coconut oil.

Peppermint Oil Pulling Chews

peppermint oil pulling chews materialsIngredients:

  • Coconut oil – My preferred oil, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, including the ability to fight off bacteria, viruses, and yeasts.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – A refreshing and energizing flavor for my morning oil pull.  I only use therapeutic grade essential oils, learn how to get them HERE.
  • Candy mold
  • Pipettes – I use these 3-ml pipettes, and fill each candy mold with 2 pipettes worth of oil

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in double boiler – I use a glass jar in a saucepan of water
  2. Use pipette to fill candy mold with melted coconut oil, I use two pipettes full of oil per candy mold
  3. Add one drop of Peppermint Essential Oil to each individual candy mold
  4. Place molds in refrigerator to harden
  5. Once hardened, pop out of molds and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator

To use:

  • Place one Peppermint Oil Pulling Chew in your mouth and chew until melted (this is the hard part, don’t swallow your chew!)
  • Swish melted oil around mouth for 10-20 minutes, I try for 15 minutes.
  • When done pulling, spit out oil in the trash (you don’t want to clog up your pipes with hardened coconut oil, and you don’t want to swallow the bacteria that has accumulated in the oil).
  • Now brush and floss like normal and enjoy that straight-from-the-dentist fresh, clean mouth feel!

Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, 24% off retail, and get a free sign-up gift.

Peppermint Oil Pulling Chews 2

5 DIY Father’s Day Gifts…with essential oils!

DIY Father's DayFather’s Day is right around the corner.  Need some inspiration for great homemade Father’s Day gifts?  I’ve got a handful of DIY gift ideas that I’m sure any Dad will enjoy!

1.  Homemade Aftershave Balm – no chemicals, just soothing and natural!

My husband loves this aftershave balm for his face and scalp, it leaves them both super soft.  And I love the way it smells too!   This is a simple recipe that you can whip up in no time: DIY Aftershave Balm

2.  Frankincense Natural Homemade Shaving Soap – for the vintage Dad in your life

This homemade shaving soap recipe from Grass Fed Girl has that old timey barbershop feel.  You’ll want to get a natural shaving brush and classic stainless steel razor to complete the gift.

3.  Homemade cologne – non-toxic and smells amazing!

In a 10ml roll-on bottle add 10 drops Idaho Blue Spruce and 5 drops Cedarwood essential oils.  Top off with your favorite carrier oil, I like sweet almond oil.

4.  Muscle Soothing Roll-on – for the athletic Dad in your life

In a 10ml roll-on bottle add 15 drops PanAway essential oil and top with your favorite carrier oil.  This is the perfect solution for a hard-working Dad with achy muscles and joints.

5.  Man Moisturizer – Dads get cracked heels too

This DIY Lotion is thick and perfect for soothing work-worn man hands and dry, cracked feet.  Add a few drops of Cedarwood essential oil for a woodsy scent.

Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, 24% off retail, and get a free sign-up gift.

The Best ‘Paleo’ Dessert Ever – with Lemon Essential Oil!

lemon blueberry coconut barkYou don’t have to give up dessert just because you are committed to eating real foods.  Sometimes you just want a little treat, and that’s ok (really, it is).  I think I’ve found my ultimate guilt-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free dessert.

Bonus, this dessert is not only delicious — it’s actually good for you.

Blueberries – contain antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions. These little powerhouses provide tasty ways of staying healthy.  Anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, not only give blueberries their blue color and help improve heart health, but they may also help attack cancer-causing free radicals and possibly even block tumor cells from forming, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which focused on the effects of blueberries on prostate cancer.

Lemon Essential Oil – contains d-limonene, an antioxidant that has been linked to healthy immune system function.

Lemon Blueberry Coconut Bark

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 cups Coconut Cream Concentrate
  2. Frozen Blueberries
  3. 12 drops Lemon Essential Oil*

* I only use therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living, you can get them here

Directions:

  • Warm coconut cream just until it has a creamy consistency.  I place the jar of coconut cream in a small saucepan of hot water, if you have a warm kitchen – that may not even be necessary
  • When creamy, remove from heat and add Lemon essential oil
  • Spread the coconut cream out on a piece of parchment paper or silpat, to 1/4-1/2 inch thick (if it got too warm and runny, let it cool a bit before spreading out)
  • Generously sprinkle with frozen blueberries and wait 8-10 minutes. You can pop it in the fridge/freezer to harden faster
  • The frozen blueberries help harden the coconut cream, break apart into bite size pieces and enjoy!

Any leftover bark (haha) should be stored in the refrigerator, especially if you are in a warm climate or season. This is a great light, summery treat.  If you are looking for something with a little chocolate to it – there’s always these amazing double chocolate peppermint brownie bites.

Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, 24% off retail, and get a free sign-up gift.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap with Thieves Essential Oil

Thieves foaming hand soapMake your own foaming hand soap with Thieves essential oil blend from Young Living – it’s cheaper and safer than the store-bought stuff!

Thieves essential oil blend includes Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils.  According to Young Living, the Thieves essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals.  They used this blend to keep them healthy while robbing the dead and dying.  Thieves supports healthy immune function, and it includes Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil, which supports a healthy respiratory system.

Making Your Own Thieves Foaming Hand Soap is SAFER

Triclosan is a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps and personal products.  Triclosan was first used in personal products in 1970, and since 1974 the FDA has maintained a regulatory limbo regarding whether or not triclosan should be considered safe and effective in hand soaps.  Although there seems to be some consensus on the question of effectiveness:

In fact, there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water, says Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a lead microbiologist at FDA.  “New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits,” Rogers says.

There are several risks associated with triclosan.  Laboratory studies have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, essentially the creation of ‘superbugs’.  Animal studies have also shown triclosan to be a hormonal disruptor and linked triclosan to the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice.  Although the FDA still has not definitively ruled on the safety of triclosan, there are enough alternatives that ensure I will not expose my family to this antibacterial agent.

Making Your Own Thieves Foaming Hand Soap is CHEAPER

It is very easy to make your own, safe and effective foaming hand soap – and I love the spicy scent of the Thieves blend!  All you need is:

Safe, effective, and great smelling foaming hand soap for less than two dollars!  Simply fill dispenser about 2/3 with water, add castile soap and Thieves essential oil – swirl together and pump away!

** I only use therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living.  Learn how to get started using essential oils here.

25 Ways to Use One Drop of Essential Oil – Easier than DIY!

25 ways to use one drop of essential oilMaking my own skin care products and health remedies with essential oils is something I really love to do.  Sometimes, though, I don’t want to make anything – I just want the benefits of my essential oils!  These are the times I’m reminded of how powerful essential oils can be, and that just a drop is all you need.  When you want to leave behind the DIY projects with the coconut oil, beeswax, melting pots, veggie capsules, etc – here are some terrific ways to experience the benefits of essential oils with just one drop*!

*I will only use 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living, you can learn more about Young Living oils and how to get them at wholesale prices HERE

Lavender Essential Oil

  • One drop on the bottom of your feet before bed to support good sleep
  • Rub one drop into your cupped palms and inhale deeply for a calming effect
  • Support your respiratory system by rubbing one or two drops into the back of your neck

Citrus Essential Oils

  • A drop of Lemon in your water to help cleanse the body
  • A drop of Citrus Fresh in the wash machine to freshen up your laundry
  • A drop of Citrus Fresh on a rag to clean up scuff marks from the floor
  • A drop of Grapefruit in your water to help suppress the appetite

Joy Essential Oil Blend

  • A drop of Joy rubbed over your heart to improve your mood
  • A drop of Joy rubbed into wrists as perfume

Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Essential Oil

  • A drop of Tea Tree on a blemish will clear it up quickly
  • A drop of Tea Tree on a cold sore
  • A drop of Tea Tree rubbed into feet to maintain healthy skin

Thieves Essential Oil Blend

  • A drop of Thieves in your hot tea to support your immune system
  • A drop of Thieves rubbed into the bottom of feet to boost immunity

Purification Essential Oil Blend

  • A drop of Purification on a cotton ball put in the bottom of the trash bin to neutralize odors
  • A drop of Purification rubbed on a bug bite to stop the itch

Peppermint Essential Oil

  • A drop of Peppermint rubbed on the back of neck to help cool down on a hot day
  • A drop of Peppermint rubbed across the stomach to support proper digestion

Frankincense Essential Oil

  • A drop of Frankincense rubbed into the chest to support the respiratory system 
  • A drop of Frankincense rubbed into cupped palms and inhaled to relieve stress, can also improve meditation 

PanAway Essential Oil Blend

  • A drop of PanAway rubbed into joints to support healthy joint and muscles 
  • A drop of PanAway rubbed over muscles after a big workout

StressAway Essential Oil Blend

  • A drop of StressAway rubbed into cupped hands and inhaled to calm the mind
  • A drop of StressAway rubbed into wrists as perfume

Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil

  • A drop of Eucalyptus Radiata in the corners of your shower to create a respiratory system supporting, spa-like shower

Learn More About Essential Oils

  1. Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale prices (24% off retail), and get a free sign-up gift!
  2. Learn about even more uses for the 10 most popular Young Living essential oils.