Monday, June 24, 2013

The easiest moisturizing body spray

Today I am going to share with you a recipe from my mom. This is the easiest moisturizing body spray ever!
All you do is mix equal parts rosewater and vegetable glycerin (make sure it is from a natural source) stir it until the glycerin has fully dissolved into the rosewater, and put it in a spray bottle.

Each batch will make two bottles. I mixed them up in a pitcher and pored half into the rosewater bottle to use the sprayer on it, and half in the glycerin bottle. Once you've used up the spray bottle fill it up with the glycerin bottle. The next time you make it keep your old spray bottle so that you have two to use. Then the next months bottle you can use for an easy diy gift. 
It smells wonderful and it is made from food grade products so your skin isn't absorbing any yucky chemicals. The rosewater helps sooth irritated skin, reduce inflammation, moisturize and repair skin. The glycerin locks in moisture. You can keep it in the refrigerator for in the summer as a refreshing mist. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Foraged goodness.

   I made two delicious treats yesterday, bolth with foraged goodness in them. One was a cherry pie filling, and the other was a delicious pineapple smoothy. For some reason I forgot to take a picture of the smoothy, but the next time I make it I'll put a picture up.
To make the pineapple smoothy, cut off the skin and the pokey things. Core it and dice it. Put the diced bits in a blender with some foraged mint,  you can also add in some other greens such as comefrey, dandelion, mallow or barrage. You can also add in some alovera just not to much or it will make it taste funny. If it needs some sweetener then add in a bit of honey. Add in some water just to help it get started. You don't need much because the pineapple is plenty juicy. Blend and drink. If you want it a bit colder add some ice or frozen strawberry to your glass. This will make a meal for two people, but as a drink it will serve at least six.

It's cherry season right now, and that means that all those people who don't eat the fruit off of their trees let us go and pick all we want. If you notice a fruit tree on someone's property that isn't being harvested, then chances are if you ask they will let you pick to your hearts content. But, if the branches are hanging over the fence then in many towns the fruit is considered public property, just make sure your not breaking any laws. Or don't, just causally pick a few as you walk by, no one will ever notice. Well, except for maybe the old guy that always hangs out at the buss stop.
Step one, get a husband or a slave or something.  Step two, canoodle or order that husband or slave to go pick some fruit (in this case, cherries)
Feel free to pick fruit too, or don't, thats what we have them for! Lol
Step three, pit the cherries. If the cherry is still on the stem, hold the stem and pull the cherry off by pinching it away from the stem. Almost like rolling it away from the stem and off the seed. The seed will probably be attached to the stem and not to the fruit. It dosn't always work quite right,  but I'm sure you'll get it.
Step four, heat the cherries on medium heat, just until they start to let go of their juices.
Step five, add in some cornstarch or arrow root powder. The amount you use will depend on how much starch to add. About 1 tbsp for every cup. You may need to add more or less. Once the powder has turned from making the juice milky-ish to being the color of the cherries see if it needs to be a bit more thick or if you need to add a bit of water. To do this take a spoon and dip it in the stuff and let it cool. If you like the consistency then it's time to move to the next step.
Step six, sweeten to taste. If you have honey bees, use that honey, if not use whatever sweetener you like, and however much of it you want. I recommend honey,  sugar,  or like xylitol or stevia. Just not something thats going to alter the taste to much like maple syrup. 
Step seven, add in a touch of almond flavor.
You can use this in pies (duh), jam filles cookies, on ice cream, whatever sounds good. Y ou can can it, use it right away or keep it in the fridge for like a week.
Happy foraging!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oil cleansing your face

Do you find that cleansers, masks, scrubs and other products promoted to cleans your skin, and rid it of oils and bacteria causing blemishes make your skin irritated, dry, or even more oily and have more breakouts than before? You are most certainly not alone. I have always, like most women, struggled to find the right cleanser. for me the things that would work the best but never fully were food based products and soaps that contained oils.
Most skin care products designed to wash your face and rid it of acne cause dry uncomfortable tight skin which makes your skin produce even more oils to compensate what you took away. Our skin needs these oils to stay healthy, and when we constantly try to change our skin like this we cause breakouts, redness, and various forms of skin irritation. If you use antibacterial soap it takes away all of the good bacteria that keeps your skin healthy and fungus, blemishes, and other skin problems away. We allow that .1% that is inevitably still their in our "supper bug" age to bread and grow without the good bacteria to keep them in check. The way that acne medications work, is to kill the acne causing bacteria. They are antibiotics, which like the antibacterial soap that many use, kill the good guys too. This is why yogurt that contains probiotics (the good bacteria)  is recommended for people taking acne medications.
Bacteria is not the only cause of skin problems, but also the buildup of oil, dirt, dead skin cells and hormones (or rather an imbalance of hormones) can cause blemishes. This is of coarse is why it is important for us to cleanse our face every day for our skin to stay healthy.
The best method that I have tried is the oil cleansing method. I know it seams a bit backwards to clean the oil, dirt, bacteria etc off of your face with more oil, but it really works well. Since your face needs the oil to stay healthy and balanced the oil in combination with a hot washcloth pressed against your face for a few seconds pulls out blackheads, bacteria, etc, while following up with gentle circular motions of a washcloth that gently scrubs away the dead cells. And believe it or not, depending on what oil you use and how well you wash it off you may need a moisturizer afterwards! The reason why oil cleansing works is because the oil you use dissolves the oil that has hardened with impurities and gotten stuck inside your pores, and takes it away. The hot washcloth will open up your pores making it easier to cleans them. If your face feels a bit dry afterwards just use a bit of the oil that you used to cleans your face with as a moisturizer.
I suggest you try out what type of oil works best for you.

Start with your base oil, I prefer , Macadamia nut or Jojoba, oil for their similarities to sebum, or the skins natural oils. Macadamia nut is much cheaper that jojoba though. Chia seed oil however is probably going to work best for most everyone especially people with acne,dry, or aging skin. If you do have normal to dry skin you could try some other oils such as Camelina, Coconut or Olive.

You can leave it at that or you can make a blend of oils. you could add some castor oil for its healing benefits, but don't use too much because it can be drying, other than that many people find it works very well. I like to add Tamanu oil for its amazing healing properties. it has bean know to heal your skin of things from leprosy to eczema. though it is more expensive than castor oil, it works better for me and its production is more ethical and definitely safer to the people who make the oil. I love using Sea buckthorn oil oil in my blend. This goes a long way so you really don't need to use much.
You can chose to add any essential oils now. I like adding healing oils and since I don't put the oils around my eyes, eye irritation isn't a problem. I prefer Elemi oil, it is in the same family as Frankincense and mirth but it is much cheaper. I have had high success with using frankincense to rid my sin of any scars, and where elemi doesn't work nearly as fast it definitely help to rid my skin of blemishes and keep my skin from getting scars. Rose is also very nice, especially for aging skin.
For my moisturizer I use my oil blend, but I add a couple drops of lavender oil. When I have finished washing my face I rinse it with cold water to close my pores to keep debris and bacteria out, and then moisturize. the lavender helps to close the pores further and to kill any harmful bacteria left on the skin. Also it is very soothing and nice for before bed. don't put lavender oil on your face if you are going to be going out into the sun. Lavender oil is photosensitising. this means it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and can cause red blotches and similar breakouts.

My blend:
Fill a small pump bottle with 2/3 of macadamia nut oil or chia seed oil. To that add just under 1/3 of tamanu oil and fill that the rest of the way with a few drops of sea buckthorn oil and elemi oil.

How to cleanse your face with oil:
Wet your face, and remove your makeup (if you have a lot on) with the cleansing oil. Once your face is moist massage the oil into your face. Taking a hot wrung out washcloth (I use the hottest water from my faucet) place it on your face and let it sit until it becomes cool. You can repeat as many times as you want. Taking a side of the cloth, wipe off the oil (you want to take as much as you can so that all of the dirt will come off and your pores wont be re-clogged). Then splash your face with cold water to seal up your pores and apply some more oil as a moisturizer if desired.

Have fun pampering yourself!

A previous post on beauty alternatives, The toxin free home: Beauty care

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