Beauty

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Photo via Margaret Badore

Margaret Badore  and her fellow blogger Katherine Martinko were tired of expensive shampoos that left their hair feeling dry, frizzy, greasy and unwell. They termed it the  “The No Shampoo Experiment” and it’s caught on all over the world. Six months into their experiment, Martinko had replaced her shower items with kitchen items. She would wash her hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. She’ll be the first to tell you how awesome it is. She makes no plans on going back to shampoo.

Are you worried that your hair would smell bad? Maybe get really greasy and dirty? According to Martinko, she had no such experience whatsoever. She found it was actually much more manageable than when she used traditional shampoo. She also went longer between washes and ended up with shinier, less frizzy hair. She says the biggest challenge was a matter of preference. She felt like her hair smelled like “salad dressing” while in the shower. But she does note that the smell fades quickly.

Martinko also added coconut oil to her hair routine. Just adding a bit of coconut oil to her hair before a shower provided natural, loose curls, as well as much softer hair.

There are two huge advantages to this routine. One is the fact that it’s friendlier to the planet. Additionally, it’s very cost effective. Instead of multiple bottles of shampoo and conditioner, gel and hairspray, all that they needed was a cardboard box of baking soda and a little bit of vinegar. Six months later, that’s still what they use.

It might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a try, right? Here’s Martinko’s special shampoo recipe:

Measure 2 tbsp baking soda into a 500 mL/1 pint glass jar. Wet hair. Fill jar with water and stir to dissolve baking soda. Pour over head and scrub into hair. Rinse. Measure 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar into same jar. Add water, pour over head, and rinse almost immediately.
(These amounts are for long hair. If yours is short to medium length, use 1 tbsp of baking soda and vinegar in 1 cup of water. If your hair doesn’t seem clean enough once it’s dried, use a bit more soda next time.)

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Nobody wants a double chin, but a lot of us have them. Even people who aren’t overweight! If you have a double chin, I can imagine you probably don’t want to have it anymore.

The biggest reason people get them in the first place is due to weight gain. Sometimes it’s just because we get older and our skin gets a little more loose. Gosh darn you, gravity! Muscles that aren’t used often enough lose their tone too, and that includes the muscles in your neck and jaw. But it doesn’t matter how, it’s just that you have it.

Try this simple exercise to help get rid of it. You can work out each muscle in your face and it’ll help you get rid of it:

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Chemicals in our environment, bad food, and stress can all put a great deal of strain on our bodies, and that strain often rears its ugly head on our skin, causing outbreaks of blemishes, redness, bags under the eyes, and sometimes excessively dry and oily skin. It makes sense when you consider that our skin is involved in a lot of detoxing processes.

Fortunately, we’ve uncovered a wonderful, simple recipe that helps your skin smooth out, clear up, and appear much much healthier. You might also consider what kind of foods you’re eating and some stress mitigation as well. But let’s give this a go.

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of oatmeal flakes
  • 1 teabag of organic chamomile tea

Instructions:

  1. Grind your oat flakes it a coffee mill or grinder so its the consistency of flour.
  2. Pour the bag of chamomile in with the oatmeal flakes.
  3. Boil 100 ml of water or milk. Add the mixture to it once it achieves boil.
  4. Remove from heat after 15 minutes and allow to cool to a warm, not hot temperature.
  5. While it cools, wash the face thoroughly with hot water. Do not use soap or any kind of cosmetic.
  6. Apply warm oat mix to your face and let it stand for 15 minutes.
  7. Wash off with hot water.

After each application, your skin should be baby soft, but it will take several days or even weeks of daily application to get your skin to a healthier state. Of course, eating healthy food, getting exercise and staying hydrated will also do wonders for your skin. Good luck!

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Acne is the bane of the existence of teenagers everywhere. For adults, it can register anywhere from annoying to embarrassing. Sometimes we can control acne through its causes, but other times, we’re just unlucky.

If you struggle with acne or pimples, you can get rid of them using this simple recipe. It comes to us from Russian folk medicine. Here’s how to make this acne-curing paste.

In a jar, mix a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of natural honey. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon only. Apply this “cream” to your face before you go to sleep and wash it off first thing in the morning with a little bit of mild soap and warm water.

Everyone is a little different, but this will generally help you rid your skin of acne. If it persists, it may be time to see your doctor.

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I’m sure you’ve heard about applying aloe to sunburns to relieve the pain, but it turns out, this plant has a lot of different uses. Its use dates back thousands of years with the first recorded uses of the plant by natives to North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These are our eight favorite uses for aloe.

  1. Aloe fights heartburn. Specifically the juice of an aloe plant.
  2. Aloe can preserve your produce. Simply apply a thin layer of edible aloe to your fruits and veggies.
  3. Aloe helps whiten your teeth.
  4. Aloe, when applied to surface infections, can help them heal faster.
  5. Aloe is an effective skin moisturizer. You’ll see it in the ingredients of natural lotions a lot. Simply apply a bit of aloe to your dry skin.
  6. The gel from aloe vera extract has proven capable of relieving constipation naturally. While laxatives make you really need to go, aloe helps you pass it gently and naturally.
  7. Aloe can help regulate your blood sugar. Simply take two tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily.
  8. Aloe can be used as a personal lubricant. It’s pH balanced and can stave off bacteria and infections. Hubba hubba.

Talk about a useful plant!

Image credit: Tess Watson, Flickr

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Why keep coconut oil in your bathroom?

Oil Pulling

Swishing a little bit of coconut oil around in your mouth for about 10-20 minutes is effective at removing bacteria. Some believe it cleanses your blood but there’s basically no evidence to back that up.

Carrier Oil

If you’re feeling a little bit more stressed than usual, mixing a little essential oil into coconut oil and rubbing onto your skin can be soothing and relaxing.

Shaving Cream Replacement

Whether you’re shaving legs, face, pits, or naughty bits, coconut oil is great. It moisturizes skin, reduces the likeliness of razor burn, and leaves your skin feeling young and spry.

Hair Conditioning Treatment

Coconut oil is great for treating protein loss and fried hair. Use about half a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage into hair, starting at the roots then down to the ends. Allow the coconut oil to sit for a bit before washing. I usually let it sit for around 20-30 minutes. You’ll want to use hotter water to help rinse it out. Coconut oil becomes a liquid when warmed.

Skin Moisturizing

As we covered before, coconut oil is great for shaving because of its skin moisturizing properties. In the winter, I usually put some on my lips and elbows to keep chapping to a minimum. It’s good for any part of your skin though.

Burn and Rash Cream

Applying coconut oil to burns and rashes is very effective. Give it a try on diaper rash if you have young ones. Or have diaper rash yourself. No judgment.

Makeup Remover

Coconut oil is one of the best makeup removers out there. Simply wash your face with coconut oil and the makeup will come right off easily.

Cuticle Treatment

Like skin, coconut oil is great for your nails. Simply massage fingernails and toenails with oil to strengthen them. It’s also a good anti-fungal alternative.

Taming The Frizz

If you’re like me, you’re cursed with big, curly, frizzy hair. Using coconut oil in the shower before washing your hair helps reduce some of that frizz.

Image credit: Meal Makeover Moms, Flickr

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Most name brand deodorants don’t really do the trick when it comes to getting rid of the terrible aromas that come from your pits. Nor do the axe body sprays help and really stink up the room with overwhelming “pretty” stenches. This recipe however, can eliminate the moistness as well as bad smells that people and yourself despise so much. Plus you won’t have to spend so much money on the name brands and just make your own antiperspirant! I’ve been using this recipe for well over a year now and I don’t stink. Unless I forget to use it, but that’s on me, not the deodorant.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tbsp of baking soda
  • 3 tbsp of virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of shea butter
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 5 drops of essential oil (orange, lavender, or whatever you prefer to smell like)

Here’s How To Make It:

You’ll need to make a double boiler. Place a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Let the water simmer and add the shea butter & coconut oil to the jar to let it melt. Turn the heat off  then add the cornstarch and baking soda. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Then add the essential oil you chose. Let the concoction cool down.

The deodorant hardens at room temperature (67 degrees Fahrenheit). Scoop out at least 1 tablespoon, roll it into a ball, and apply to your armpits. To keep in mind during the Summer, you should probably keep the jar in the fridge. Coconut oil tends to liquify at 76 degrees.

To avoid stains on your clothes, you should let the deodorant soak into your skin before putting clothes back on. There you have it! You’re very own home-brewed deodorant! Don’t you smell lovely. Now get out there and start your day smelling like a spring breeze!

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I’m a DIY guy for sure. If I can do it myself, I do. I make my own dish soap, my own household cleaner, by own dishwasher detergent, but my all time favorite recipe is my home made laundry soap. It’s easy to make, you can find all of the ingredients at your local Kroger or online, and while it takes a bit of time to make, you end up with an enormous supply. One batch lasts my family of 4 about 7 months. Let’s get to it:

You will need:

  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1 cup of borax
  • Half of a 5.5 ounce bar of Fels Naptha soap

Note: Unless ingested, borax is not toxic to humans, and Fels Naptha no longer actually contains naptha, so you’re in the clear there too.

The process of making it is pretty simple too:

  1. In a pot, heat a half a gallon of water.
  2. Grate your half bar of Fels Naptha soap and add to the water.
  3. Don’t allow the water to boil! It’ll make a big mess.
  4. While your soap melts on the stove, fill your bucket with four and a half gallons of hot tap water.
  5. Add the borax and washing soda to the bucket of water. Stir well!
  6. Once your soap has melted on the stove, pour into the bucket.
  7. Stir well and periodically over the next six or so hours. If you don’t stir it, it turns into a gel.

I use a high efficiency washing machine and it works fine. What I have noticed is that I don’t need to exceed about a quarter cup of the laundry soap, otherwise it leaves a bit of a residue. Realistically, a load of laundry doesn’t even require that much soap.

Image credit: Kathie Lapcevic, Flickr

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Eating lots of sugary foods like cakes and candies and forgetting to brush your teeth isn’t always the cause of cavities. The causes of tooth decay tend to vary from person to person. Tooth decay can be caused by not having enough minerals in your diet, not enough fat-soluble vitamins in your body, like A, D, E and K, and nutrients not being readily bioavailable, meaning your body isn’t soaking in the nutrients correctly.

Fortunately there is a solution! Eat the right foods for a healthy body! Foods like:

  • Coconut oil
  • Grassfed meats only
  • Organic vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Bone broth

You may also want to try supplements like fermented cod liver oil. Of course, we’re not telling you not to avoid sweets and take good care of your teeth! But there are some alternatives to simply brushing and flossing three times a day. The video below gives us a rundown on how to heal those nasty little cavities.

Photo credit: Amancay Maahs, Flickr

Video by Healthy Holistic Living

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As we age, we get wrinkles. That’s just the fact of the matter. But fortunately there are ways that we can slow down the appearance of our aging.

Wrinkles are caused when the skin cells divide more slowly and the dermis begins to thin. Some facial expressions can make wrinkles more prominent. Smoking can exacerbate the aging process. If you want to reduce your wrinkles, try this recipe:

You will need:

  • 2 lemons
  • 16 ounces of beer
  • 16 ounces of rose water

Instructions:

  1. Juice the lemons by squeezing or in a juicer.
  2. Add the rosewater and beer together. Stir well.
  3. Pour in the lemon juice. Stir well.
  4. Clean your face with soap and water, then apply the mixture to your face.

Additionally, you can dab the mixture on your skin before bed and then sleep on it.

Image credit: Helen Lynn, Flickr

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