Winter Skincare Routine

Winter Skincare Routine

I live in  the Northeast of the US. It gets cold. And even though this winter has been extremely mild (I was wearing flip flops 2 weeks ago), it still gets dry, and my pixie-skin gets very very sad. It gets dry, randomly bumpy, and sometimes breaks out in little rashes from who-knows-what.

At least, it did before I learned how to take care of it, and myself, during the cold months. I still get itchy, but it’s not nearly as bad as years when I used to make myself bleed from scratching. I no longer want to claw my skin off! Hooray! So here are my tips and recipes for loving on your winter-skin, and maybe even coming out of the season looking BEAUTIFUL!

  1. The Sugar Scrub: First of all, I know there are approximately 9 million recipes out there for these, so I’m not going to bore you with another one. The template: Mix up a cup or two of plain ol’ white sugar with 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (my favorites are lavender and grapefruit in equal amounts, juniper and sage if you’re feeling evergreen-y, and straight up frankincense). Mix in 1-2 T olive or almond oil. Use this mixture to exfoliate AND moisturize your legs, arms, torso…just not on your face, or sensitive bits (gosh could you imagine? No, don’t…yikes…) at least once a week.
  2. Drink a lot of water. Like, half your bodyweight in ounces. Every day. Yes, you will pee a lot, then your bladder will adapt and your skin will stay hydrated. You will look younger. You will lose a bit of weight. It is magic!
  3. Body oil. Every day. And STOP showering every day. Why? Well if you’re like me, you like a nice HOT shower, and hot water dries out the skin. It’s also not good for the hair to get washed every day. Shower every 2-3 days and save your skin, and some water. Instead of your daily shower, wash up your stinky bits with a hot washcloth and soap (my gramma calls these bird baths) and apply body oil every day. Template: Castor oil + Almond Oil + Olive Oil. Castor oil is veeeeeery thick and needs to be thinned. I use 50% castor with 25% each of the other two. I also leave this scentless, so I can add my own essential oil or perfume oil as I want. I also use this stuff on my hair for a couple of hours or overnight, about once a week.
  4. Baking Soda for the Face: You can actually use baking soda on any skin on the body, but I use it on my face at least once a week as an exfoliation. I just use about a teaspoon and rub it onto my wet face, gently scrubbing in small circles. My skin is smooth and lovely afterwards.
  5. To moisturize my face, I either use my body oil blend (castor oil, avocado oil, and almond oil) or I use ozonated olive oil. Ozonated olive oil has been oxygenated and it is amazing for acne, wrinkles, rashes, scars, fungal infections and other skin abrasions. You can use just a tiny amount (less than a pea-sized scoop, it’s solid at room temp) and massage it into the skin. I don’t wear makeup so I don’t know how it wears under makeup, but I can tell you that I look like I’m wearing blush all the time, and people comment on my skin and how it glows.
  6. Eat lots of colors. I know it sounds a little silly, but our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it is an organ of immunity and detoxification. It needs nutrients, especially the fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K), healthy fats, and plenty of vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and sees give us these nutrients, making these foods daily or weekly contributions to a beautiful body and strong skin.

So I hope all of these little tidbits help you find beautiful skin! Good luck, and stay cozy!

 

Selah.

Pixie

The Best Way to Make Healing Salves

The Best Way to Make Healing Salves

Dear followers, I have read and tried SO many ways of DIY-beauty things…and made SO many messes and eipc fails.

I have FINALLY found the best way to make healing salves!!

In the old days, I just used melted oils and beeswax, and essential oils. And that got me far, but not far enough. My salves didn’t always work that well, and I never knew if I had exactly enough essential oil in relationship to carrier oil to be effective. Now, I have a new technique where the carrier oil itself is magic, and the essential oils are less, well, essential.

So here goes:

Infusing your carrier oil: This step is EASY but then you have to let the mixture sit for 4-6 weeks, so this isn’t an “instant gratification” method. I love it, though, because infusing your carrier oils means that there are TONS of nutrients in the carrier oil, and without any extra scent or essential oils, it’s a very powerful base for a salve!

Use a clean, dry mason jar with tight-fitting lid (I use the 4 cup ones). Place 1 cup of dried calendula into the jar, and fill the jar the rest of the way with almond oil. Cap and place in a sunny window for 4-6 weeks.

Do another batch with dried comfrey and olive oil.  Same method. Let it sit.

….dooo doooooo dooooooo (that’s the time of 6 weeks passing)

Time to strain! Use a large pickle jar or an 8-cup mason jar, and strain both the oils into the same jar.  You can also strain them and keep them separate. I know I will be combining them for future salves, so I just used one big jar. Roll up your sleeves. You will get messy.

Now, that oil is GOLD.  It’s FULL of amazing healing delicious particles of plant-magic.

In a double boiler (for 8 oz of salve, which I put into 2 clean 4 oz tins), melt 1.5 T beeswax with 2 T coconut oil. When it’s melty, add 7 oz (almost 1 cup) of your carrier oil. Mix together until all ingredients are well-combined.

Remove from heat, and stir in the following essential oils:

10 drops lavender

5 drops pine

3 drops rosemary

The result is a fresh, clean, slightly-medicinal-smelling mixture. Pour off into your tins and allow it to set, about 30 minutes-1 hour, depending on temperature of your kitchen.

You can use this salve on anything: soothing irritated or itchy skin, minor infections, burns, acne, scars, dry skin, rashes…you name it.

I love this essential oil combination but you can choose others as well:

10 drops of lemon balm

5 drops tea tree

3 drops grapefruit

Or

10 drops rose

5 drops jasmine

3 drops patchouli

Nota Bene: The carrier oil recipe makes a ton of oil! This is because it takes a long time, and I like making a big batch. I will most likely make some gifts with this oil this winter, as well as keep my family supplied.  To store the carrier oil, keep it somewhere out of direct light (in darkness is even better) and relatively cool. This base is safe for the majority of the population, and a huge array of skin conditions. I actually use it as a moisturizer when the weather is a bit cooler and dryer as well. Playing with scents will also play with the healing properties. The essential oils in the first batch are specifically to heal the skin, but acne is attended to in the tea tree oil batch, and a deeply feminine oil as a personal lubricant can be made with the rose batch.

Luck and messes!

Selah

Pixie

Natural Deodorants that REALLY work!

Natural Deodorants that REALLY work!

This is another one of the questions I get all the time, especially in the summer….”What can I use instead of synthetic deodorant?”

More and more women are interested in switching to natural remedies for B.O. because of the link between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer.  It’s easy to make your own, and if it keeps your breasts healthy, why the heck not?!

And there are a bunch of answers….so here are a few choices, ranging in ease and effectiveness.  Pixies don’t mind getting fingers dirty rubbing deo-paste on the pits…so if you’re a bit squeamish there, you may want to simply get a nice deodorant crystal (salts etc) which you need to wet, then rub onto your pits. They work great, but I find them a bit drying sometimes. 🙂

First… an inside job:

Your skin is an organ of detoxification. Drink water, and eat a diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The cleaner the system, the less you stink. Truly. Your liver needs at least a week to detox stuff through your skin, so give these shifts time…in the long run, you will be really happy! (and your breath will be better, too)

Now, for the pits:

There are tons of awesome deodorant recipes out there to try.

My favorite ones include bentonite clay, which is easily found online or at various health food stores. Bentonite clay draws toxins out of the body, making it incredibly effective in keeping your pits from getting stanky. Get 1 LB and use it in toothpaste, baths, and masks…it’ll last you a year or so, at least.

This is the recipe I am currently using, and it’s not at all “goopy”, and very effective for summer-sweaty-times.

Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin by Homemade Mommy

In the winter months, I make my own recipe (the one above turns to cement if my house is too cold, which apparently it is):

2 T baking soda

2 T cornstarch or arrowroot powder

2-3 T coconut oil

5 drops each lavender and tea tree oil (this is my favorite combo for all the deodorant recipes I share with you today. So powerful yet healing and soothing!)

Melt the coconut oil with the double boiler method, and stir ingredients in. This will be hard at room temp, if it’s cold in your house, or relatively easy to scoop a bit at room temperature for most of us.

I find this recipe just turns to liquid in the summer months, so I switch to the first link, and stays like play dough. A little goes a long way…just a pea-size lump for each pit should do ya!

This is the only one I haven’t tried yet, but it looks SO good I wanted to share with you:

Natural Lemongrass Deodorant on The Wellbeing Journal

What I like about the lemongrass link is the shea butter, and the recommendation of the lemongrass oil (which I haven’t used before, but I love citrus scents).

Give your body about a week to adjust to any natural deodorant recipe, and see how things change. I find I am less stinky when I drink enough water. I also have a really good sense of when my body needs water (i.e. not sleeping well, or if I am in the sun, or doing yoga, and NOT sweating even though it’s hot out…for me, that means WATER is needed!)

Good luck! Let me know how it goes 🙂

Selah

Earth-friendly Recipes for Clean Pixies

I am on a quest to make my life as clean as I can.

Clean living doesn’t mean I have the perfect diet, or live in the middle of the woods (although…a pixieNest in the middle of a forest DOES sound tempting, eh?), or even drive an electric car. It means that I do the best I can to save water, power, plant things that help the earth, and avoid chemicals that poison both my physical body, and the world at large. It makes a lot of sense in my life that the way I run my home has an effect on the world at large. If I am careless with my water usage, how can I get annoyed at folks watering lawns during a drought? If I am using chemicals in shampoos, facial cleansers and deodorants, how can I get upset with people who use chemicals in their yards for fertilizing and killing weeds, or at people who spray for bugs around their houses? In this Pixie life, each of us has a responsibility to care for ourSelves and the environment so future generations HAVE an environment.

Here’s what I know: Any (and I do mean ANY) synthetic substance we use on the skin, or put into our body, or have in the environment, makes the “thing it’s reacting to” work harder. At first this might not seem so bad…but over time, if you really look and see how many chemicals exist in your life, you will notice that it’s a lot…and those chemicals TRULY tax our system of Life over time.

Here are a few EASY ways you can start replacing synthetic things with natural choices.

Soap: Vegetable glycerin soap, and soaps made from all organic ingredients, are incredibly effective. I use Dr. Bronner’s, which I buy in bulk unscented and then make small batches with different blends of essential oils depending on the season. I use this soap on my body, sometimes my hair, and my face. I also use it to wash floors, mirrors, and stove tops.

My favorite blends of essential oils are:

Bergamot + Orange + Cinnamon

Peppermint + Wintergreen + Camphor

Lavender + Tea Tree

Rose + Patchouli

I generally go with about 20 drops total of essential oil per 16 oz of soap. If you are very sensitive, go for 10 drops total.

Deodorant:

My FAVORITE recipe is also extremely simple and cheap. It works very well, and my only current “glitch” is how it gets quite soupy in the summertime. I just keep it in the fridge and dig some out with a spoon each morning. ; )

1/4 c each: Baking Soda and Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

1/4 c melted Coconut Oil

10 drops each: Tea Tree + Lavender essential oils

Mix the dry ingredients with the coconut oil first, and get your consistency right. You may need a bit more oil, or a bit more powder. Just play with it until you have a thick mixture. Then add your essential oils, put it in a jar and keep covered, and scoop out about a half a dime for each armpit each morning 🙂

Facial Cleanser:

Olive Oil

Yep, that’s it. I put a warm wash cloth on my face for a few moments, and then rub about a dime-size drop of olive oil all over my face. I wait a moment (or a few minutes) and then using a warm wash cloth, wipe the oil off.

You can do this with coconut oil, or you can mix olive oil with castor oil (especially if you have acne or dry skin) or sweet almond oil (if you skew towards oily).

I do this at night, and in the mornings, I simply rub some oil onto my skin, with a drop or two of lavender essential oil. Awesome for healing and keeping my skin glowing.

Exfoliation:

I LOVE exfoliating my skin about 1-2 times a week. I use baking soda…about 1/2 teaspoon, mixed with water. I just rub it into my face and neck and use warm water to rinse it off. I follow up with a bit of olive oil to moisturize.

Lip Balm:

I just melt cocoa butter and put it into an old tube or container that I have held on to. Sometimes I add a couple drops of peppermint or orange, but usually I just like cocoa butter. It smells like chocolate and is awesome for moisturizing!

Sunscreen:

I use coconut oil or shea butter. Each have a natural SPF of 4-6. I also take extra calcium lactate before going out in the sunshine, and make sure I have plenty of healthy fat, too. These both help the body metabolize sunlight, and store vitamin D.

You can read more about natural SPF and Vitamin D here.

Toothpaste:

Sometimes I use natural Ayurvedic toothpaste, but it’s expensive. Daily, I use a mixture of my own making:

1 t calcium powder

1 t bentonite clay

1 t baking soda

10 drops Peppermint essential oil

1/4 t stevia powder

You can also add 10 drops of Trace Minerals, and you can choose another flavor other than Peppermint. I also like Tea Tree and Cinnamon.

Mix up all the dry ingredients, then add essential oils and minerals. Store in a glass jar with a lid. To use, wet your toothbrush and scoop some powder out. Scrub you teeth well, and then rinse well.

This mixture re-mineralizes teeth as well as whitens! I use it at least once a day, and I LOVE it. It did take some time to get use to the flavor, but I like it so much more than any “paste” I tried to make with coconut oil. You can go ahead an experiment with adding coconut oil, but be warned: gloppy and oily lie in your future.

I hope these ideas inspire you and help you start cleaning things up in your cabinet! I will post recipes I use for cosmetics sometime soon, but until then, what if you didn’t wear makeup every day? Do you know how beautiful you are without it?

Just food for thought…

Selah