Natural Health Blog

Got Dry Skin? Lotion not helping? Read This!

Dry skin is an annoying winter visitor at our house. My husband and I call it "itchy-back syndrome". (haha)

But it's unfortunately not limited to my back; my legs are what really seem to itch - and no amount of lotion really seems to help. This terrible, annoying, itchy-dry skin, mostly due to hot showers and cold weather, coupled with indoor heating - that just makes for an uncomfortableness in your skin - CAN be treated and improved dramatically by natural means. 

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The funny thing is though, we can do better for our bodies by treating the dryness from the inside out! Not just with topical creams, lotions and body butters. Below is my dry skin remedy regiment. It's working for us, let's see what it can do for you and your family! ;) 

Healthy Fats for Healthy & Lubricated Skin: 

Fermented Cod Liver Oil (best) or regular Cod or Fish Liver Oil (still very good just not as absorbable or nutrient dense as the Fermented kind. See my post on fermented cod liver oil. 

  • begin by taking it everyday for two weeks without fail (this builds it up in your body)
  • 1-3 tsp is preferable of fish oil or cod liver oil before a meal
  • 6-10 capsules if you go that route (I prefer liquid, more bang for your buck!)
  • choose the above links for a few of my favorite brands.

When we ingest quality healthy fats, we are literally lubricating every cell of the body which can help with every sort of dryness; mucus membranes of the nose and eyes, skin, scalp (flakiness), and even our nether-regions (yes, it can help with vaginal dryness too). Once you have ingested it everyday for 2 weeks, you may not have to be as diligent about it. I've been maintaining pretty well with only taking it three times a week or so. But at first I was very diligent. Other benefits include better cognition, mood, improved bowel movements and healthier bones and teeth. These are absolutely FABULOUS for children who need the healthy fats for calm demeanors, improved focus and attention at school and for healthy development. It's a NO brainer! 

I'm also doing the homeopathic cell salts Kali Sulph 6X & (intermittently) Nat Mur 6X

Cell Salts are homeopathically prepared minerals that help to bring balance to the body. Kali Sulph is a "fat distributing or oil distributing cell salt". Which means that if the skin is too oily or by contrast too dry, it will help to distribute oiliness if necessary and correct the imbalance if dryness is present. 4 tablets under the tongue 2-3 times daily or placed in your water bottle to go. They are inexpensive and very effective. 

Nat Mur is called the "water balancing cell salt" so again, its helping to redistribute moisture in the body. Runny noses, allergies, dry skin - all can be treated with Nat Mur. Nat Mur, should be taken daily for 2 weeks and then only intermittently from there. 4 tablets under the tongue 2-3 times daily or placed in your water bottle. 

On the subject of water it, it is crucial to drink the highest quality Reverse Osmosis water with added minerals that you can for health. Half your weight in ounces of purified water daily is recommended. It will go a long way to improve itchiness! 

Bone Broths are also really wonderful for dry skin. If you're already doing this - Great! Bone broths are nutrient rich and also rich in moisturizing and healing fats. I've got several posts on the benefits of bone broth but here is one that comes to mind. Bottom line, preparing soups with bone broths will help you ingest the fats needed to have healthy skin, connective tissue, bones teeth and brains. 

Avoid Refined White Sugar as much as earthly possible! 

I know - what a season to do that!? Sugar dehydrates your skin - really, it ages us like no other thing (besides alcohol I suppose). So if you are looking to try to rid yourself of dry skin, take a few weeks off (before christmas is a good time to do this), from your nightly sweet treat or glass of wine or two.  It will help your skin regulate and adjust to the dryness.

If you're doing the above combination of internal moisturizing nutrients, begin to address the body with the topical treatments and rituals that can help keep your skin free from the clutches of jack frost! Here's what you'll want to do that is natural and topical. 

Dry Skin Brushing & Scrubby Shower Gloves (mitts work too)

One thing I realized about a month ago (as my skin was shedding a layer like a full-on reptile), is that I wasn't exfoliating my skin! No wonder I have leg dandruff! Doh!

I immediately started in with my Scrubby Shower Mitt (or gloves) in the shower for 3 days in a row. This helped a TON! 

Exfoliating the dead skin away to make way for brand-spanking-new skin cells will go along way to improve dryness and flakiness. Once you exfoliate for several days in a row, you can back of to 2-3 times per week. 

Select an Exfoliating Glove or Mit that QUITE abrasive. Borderline too much for your skin at first. Those fluffy shower balls really don't do much for exfoliating in my opinion and they harbor bacteria like no other. Dry brushing prior to the shower is also beneficial and is wonderful for stimulating movement of the lymphatic glands which is wonderful for your immune system and preventive of major diseases like cancer. 

ONE WORD OF CAUTION THOUGH - Don't begin your scrubby glove protocol until you have the best moisturizer in hand that you possibly can; because immediately after showing, while your skin is still damp, you'll need to apply a lotion, balm, cream or salve that is natural and very emollient for the skin. 

Lotions, Balms, & Butter's I Love for Dry Skin: 

What I've been using lately is straight up shea butter. It's super thick, and very rich in minerals with moisture GALORE for your skin. However it is so thick, that it must be rubbed in the hands first before applying (to warm up the product) so that it can be applied to the skin. It's not the easiest thing to apply - but for me it was worth it. You might start here with the shea butter and then once the dryness is under control, switch to something that is easier to apply. And keep the shea butter for a once in a while treatment for the skin. 

For an everyday lotion my suggestion would be Everyday Shea Lavender Lotion from the makers of Alaffia. It's the best natural lotion for the money that I've found. It's effective, contains shea butter and other emollients in it and you get a nice big bottle that lasts quite a while. Apply liberally with the skin still wet for best results. 

EXTRA TIPS! 

For Dry Mucus Membranes & Noses (and for frequent colds or respiratory problems:

I highly recommend getting a good humidifier for the bedroom at night. This will help to keep your nasal passages hydrated, making you less susceptible to colds and flus that can be encountered via the nasal passageways, it will also help to add that little something extra to the general dryness in the house. Also turning your heat down at night will help with this. 

That's all for now - thanks for reading!

Got tips on dry skin? Reach out or comment here on the blog. I love to learn what others are doing naturally for dry skin! ;) 

The At Home Totally-Natural Facial

We all love facials but we all can't afford to do them regularly. What with the purchasing of organic food, body work, herbs, supplements, and clean water etc, etc...which we all know can hit us in the pocket book - It takes effort and budgeting in this world to be healthy for sure.

But we must take care of our skin too! 

What do you need to do an At-Home Facial and save a buck? 

  • Natural skin care product line- not all "natural" lines of skin care are truly so. I humbly suggest Enchanted Apothecary handmade metaphysical skincare by Felicia Armstrong. 100% to the core!
  • Tea kettle with purified water (distilled or RO.)
  • Wash cloth and dry hand towel

Simply fire up the kettle and begin to gently steam your face. You'll need to be at least a foot away. CAUTION - maintain this distance so you don't hurt yourself silly!

Apply cleansing oil or cream - preferably. This isn't really a gel cleanser sort of facial but you could do it, gel cleanser typically foams up and this might be too active in the skin.

Gently massage cleanser into the skin. Steam while massaging it into the face, décolleté, and neck, using a hand towel over the head to keep steam corralled around the face.

Massage in a circular upward motion, gently scooping the skin in the reverse direction of gravity in general. The skin will feel softer and softer. Finish by holding pressure points along the ocular cavity of the eye. This is very relaxing and stress reducing.

Take a damp wash cloth and gently steam this over the kettle- taking care not to steam your hand! Shake it out a bit until it's the correct temperature to apply to the face. It it's too hot still shake it out a bit more.

CAUTION - if this is not working, simply pour the remaining kettle water into a glass bowl and add cool water until you can safely add the hand towel and moisten it - we'll use this hot steamy towel on your face for a few minutes - so it should be a bit steamy.

I like to lay on the floor for a minute and allow the steamy cloth to warm my face. It feels great! Then use this same cloth to wipe down your face - removing any cleansing oil or cream. Apply toner, then moisturizer, and eye cream. Don't forget to moisturizer neck and décolleté.

Bask in the glory of low-cost facials at home:) yes!

Transient

Organic Herbal Face Food: A Natural Skin Serum That Get's Results!

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Organic Herbal Face Food is a completely natural and even edible antioxidant serum for your face and body. It also works well for bug bites, bruises, acne, scarring and other skin issues. It's made from 100% natural and simple ingredients of Aloe, Jojoba Oil and various plants including Lavender, Oregano, Clove, Thyme, Myrrh, Jasmine and many more.

It's off the charts on the ORAC scale, many times higher than Acai berries which are one of the most antioxidant rich fruits available. The ORAC scale (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), is a measurement of antioxidant potency. Eating foods with high ORAC values is always best, but if your looking for added skin care results, why not slather some on your face?

Read more about the ORAC scale here!

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So what changed in my skin? The first thing I noticed was the texture of my skin became more smooth. My skin feels more firm and smooth. The lines around my mouth don't seem as hard or pronounced. My skin is smoother, softer - closer to what it felt like in my 20's actually. I have quite a few discolorations on my cheeks too–from years of adrenal fatigue. Now those are beginning to fade and that might be the most impressive change. It's as if little holes are being "punched" into the discoloration, breaking it up little by little. I feel like the color in my skin is much more even overall too.

Whenever I do get a pimple, I just begin applying a small drop to the area 2-4 times per day and it heals in half the time, comes to a head easier and faster and I feel like my skin now recovers from a blemish MUCH quicker. All good things. An amazing change from what used to be the "norm". I would have a pimple for weeks– red, sore and totally NOT fun to look at everyday.

I apply a nickel size amount morning and night. Some people use more as they apply it to their neck and chest. It's completely up to you how much you use, but a nickel size amount has been effective for me and my skin to reap the benefits. 

There is a warming sensation when you apply the Herbal Face Food serum. If you have a rigorous workout, a hot shower or are just out in the sun for a while and apply the serum, your skin will heat up. It could feel like a tingly feeling, or for some that are more sensitive, it might feel like a intense warming. THIS WILL ONLY LAST ABOUT ONE MINUTE–and it shows that the antioxidants are doing their job on your skin with this normal and natural thermal reaction. 

For those that have sensitive skin, I would recommend applying it first to a small area of the decollate´ (upper chest) or even the neck to make sure that you aren't too sensitive. Your skin will become accustomed to the product after a few days to a week. Being mindful of your body temperature and whether or not your pores are open before application is important.

I also noticed that your face should be COMPLETELY dry before application. When my skin has been wet from the shower for example, I've noticed an increase in the warming sensation. Avoid your lips and eyes with this product as these areas are very sensitive and the skin is thinner, making the warming sensation there more intense.

The plant extracts in Herbal Face Food are very active. But in a great way! Oregano, Clove and Thyme especially have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities and this is part of Herbal Face Food's benefit to the skin.

Herbal Face Food has an herbal aroma which I've come to love but it does take becoming accustomed to it. If you want herbal, plant action that's all natural with all the benefits that come with it, you may need to adjust to the way more natural products smell. Your body is worth it!  

I really like the smell of it now, it smells medicinal to me and I know it's working so I am ALL about it! 

 Herbal Face Food is Organic (wild crafted herbs). You could literally EAT this product - ALTHOUGH I don't think it would taste good at all!  We really should be able to eat the products we put on our skin–because our bodies absorb the ingredients, to be dealt with in the blood, liver and kidneys. Topical products should be every bit as pure as our foods we eat and the water we drink! 

Herbal Face Food is Organic (wild crafted herbs). You could literally EAT this product - ALTHOUGH I don't think it would taste good at all!  We really should be able to eat the products we put on our skin–because our bodies absorb the ingredients, to be dealt with in the blood, liver and kidneys. Topical products should be every bit as pure as our foods we eat and the water we drink! 

Remember, 70% of what we put on our faces goes straight into the blood stream. If you aren't familiar with the ingredients in your skin care - look for options in which you are. This product is completely natural, it's working to improve my skin and I'm excited about the results. My diet is already pretty good so I needed some additional support topically and this is really doing well for me.

Organic Herbal Face Food is a hand made, one of a kind product that comes in a glass bottle. It's also available in a .34oz size for $30. This is a little less than a one months supply. The two ounce bottle is $100 and is a at least a three months supply. It must be shaken before each use and some separation in the serum is natural. 

Reach out to me to purchase any time. I'll ship anywhere in the US. Shipping prices may very:)

Two years later...

I'm still using the Herbal Face Food–every day and night! I love it and I don't know if I could do without it now. It's been amazing for my acne and it's also helped with the adrenal fatigue freckling on my cheeks. My acne is finally under control after dealing with it for almost half my life!! The freckling is much less this summer, and although it's taking longer than I'd hoped - I realize that my biggest adrenal fatigue contributor (caffeine) - only went away this last March. (YES, I'M CAFFEINE FREE AND I DON'T MISS IT! ). So in the next year or two with consistent adrenal support, the freckling will be much diminished or gone. That's the goal! 



Poison Ivy: Natural Cures & Preventative Measures

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It's almost summer (tonight is the solstice), and what does that mean? Poison Ivy season.

Here are some things you can do, remedies to stock up on and some  new ideas to consider.  

Prevention Remedies:

One remedy that I've had work for myself and family is the homeopathic remedy Rhus toxidendrum (a.k.a. rhus tox). You could likely take a 6C or a 30C dose. If you get poison ivy (PI) regularly, I'd go for the 30C. If it sort of creeps up on you and doesn't get really severe, you could likely take a 6C and be just fine. You CAN take this preventatively too, so if you just know you're going to bump into her in the garden, take a few doses prior to and after just to be sure. 

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Rhus tox is contraindication free and available at any health food store by the company Boiron. It comes in a blue tube and has 80 doses for about $7 - totally worth a shot! Just 1 pellet under the tongue is a dose. If you need more info on how to administer homeopathic remedies, check out this blog post.

Topical Sprays:  

If you already have the poison ivy, Rhus tox may help but you'd benefit from picking up a spray or salve to use ASAP. This is a nice topical spray with Jewel Weed in it. Jewel weed is natures answer to poison ivy and it even often grows right along side PI - isn't nature sweet?  

Salves: 

I also really like the looks of this salve by Mother Love - Great formula! If they would have put Jewel Weed in this one it would be a home-run for PI. It has plantain, comfrey, marshmallow and calendula so it's going to be soothing and healing. Alternate it with the spray for a nice combo treatment. 

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 Plantain is a good herb topically for PI and most skin irritations. Making a salve is SO easy, just make it in the early spring or winter time. Otherwise you won't be in the mood come summer when you really need it! Learn how to make herbal salves at this link - search for "herbal salves".

Ingest LOT'S of licorice root tea or take the capsules (10 per day or so while you've got PI). Licorice root is a natural cortisone so it will help with the nerve pain and swelling and should expedite healing. It will also support the adrenal glands to help you get over illness faster and have a stronger immune system. There are MANY other benefits. If you are on blood pressure medications, skip this as it naturally raises BP when taken in high doses. 

Digestive Enzymes: 

Another idea if you already have a case of PI on your hands is take TONS of the digestive enzyme Protease. This should be in everyones first aid kit for all bug bites, snake bites and yes, even poison ivy. It will go into the blood stream and "gobble up" that poison ivy protein that is making you so crazy with itch and pain. Take 10-15 throughout the day on an empty stomach as often as possible. Digestive enzyme therapy does a lot more than just help you digest food. It can work like magic for allergies, hay fever and for first aid cases such as PI, poisonous and/or bug bites.

Immune Health: 

Lastly, if you break out with Poison Ivy every year without fail, I humbly recommend looking at your immune health - it's not normal to get this so severely and is a message from your body that you could use a boost!

Got a natural Poison Ivy remedy that you just love??? Tell me about it so I can share that love! :) 

Cheers friends & Happy Summer!  

 

 

 

 

Making an Herbal Salve- It's Easy!

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You can make a coconut oil based salve very easily at home. Begin with beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and essential oils. You can also infuse your herbs in coconut oil for an additional herbal touch.

Store your jar of herbs infusing in oils near a heat vent in the winter or in a warm window sill in the summer. Coconut oil must remain at approximately 75º to stay liquid for infusion.

Other options for oils are olive oil, grape seed oil or jojoba oil.  The purpose of infusing herbs in oil (like with herbal teas) is to draw out the medicinal value of the plant into the oil for topical use. It's easy, fun and inexpensive way to treat dry skin, eczema and more!

Already have infused herbs with oils? Great! Strain coconut/herbal infusion with fine mesh strainer into a pyrex bowl and warm it on the stove. I have a glass top stove which works great, but gas stoves work well too on the lowest setting. Add shavings of beeswax & cocoa butter shavings. A good ratio is 1 part beeswax/cocoa butter to 3 parts coconut oil. Warm gently until melted. Don't allow it to smoke. You don't want to burn the oils. Remove from heat and add a bit of essential oil now if you like. 10-20 drops or so. 

No time for infusing herbs with oil? Just use plain coconut oil and add essential oils to create amazing and therapeutic grade salves - Plus it makes your essential oils go much further topically. Check out Young Living Oils for therapeutic grade oils. Ask me how to become a member for the best pricing. 

 You can also make lipbalms in this same way! Just pick up the empty lipbalm containers online an use a narrow funnel to fill. 

You can also make lipbalms in this same way! Just pick up the empty lipbalm containers online an use a narrow funnel to fill. 

Other options for herbs to infuse with oils are calendula flower, plantain, comfrey leaf, yarrow flower and leaf and many more. Most herbs have some astringent qualities, those I listed are especially healing.

How to make sure your oils are ready to store: Add a few drops to wax paper and place in freezer for 30 seconds. If at that point the drops on the wax paper harden into a nice consistency for applying to the skin- not too thick, not too soft.  When it's too soft, it will melt instantly to the touch, you want to be just a bit firmer than that. Perfecting the homemade herbal salve takes time - It always turns out great though. Once you've found the right texture, it's time to put it in a glass jar for storage!

Herbal Salve Tip: If it is too thick - add more plain coconut oil. If it's too soft, add more cocoa butter and beeswax. A small amount at a time. Adjust as needed!