Mineral Bath Detox: For Athletes and Beauty Queens!

Feeling achy? Tired? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Groggy? Have you ever wondered if toxins are weighing your body down? Every day our skin, the body’s largest organ, is exposed to toxins found in cosmetics, water, and the air. These toxins can build up, especially if one isn’t sweating on a regular basis. Sweating is one of the most effective ways to rid the pores and lymphatic system of pollutants.

A mineral bath detox can be a great way to gently eliminate the build-up of toxins in the skin that can leave a person feeling poorly. A detoxifying bath will open the pores, promote sweating, and help balance the body’s minerals and enzymes – leaving you feeling refreshed and energized! Here are some suggested ingredients to use in your bath, and why they work:

  • Epsom salt: contains high amounts of magnesium that is absorbed by the skin and helps flush lactic acid, eases headaches, reduces inflammation, and regulates the activity of hundreds of enzymes in the body
  • Sea salt: helps flush toxins, soothes and heals skin, and balances minerals in the body
  • Baking soda: is alkaline and helps balance acid in the system, removes chlorine from water, and softens the skin
  • Ginger: opens the pores and increases blood circulation

Directions:
1) In a small bowl, mix together:
1/3 C Epsom salts
1/3 C sea salts
1/3 C baking soda
2 Tbsp ginger powder (1/2 cup grated ginger, if using fresh)
Several drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired
2) Pour this into your tub under hot running water.
3) Step in, relax, and enjoy for 15-30 minutes! (Start with 10-20 minutes if this is your first detox bath.)

It’s important to remember to detoxify gently; detoxing too quickly can leave one feeling sick or overly dehydrated. So as you try this detox bath, make sure to care for yourself!

  • Try this bath in the evening, when you can go to bed right afterwards. It will likely leave you feeling quite tired.
  • Drink lots of water during and after your bath. This bath will make you sweat, and you need to replenish your body to keep from becoming harmfully dehydrated. Keep a glass of water by your bed at night in case you wake up feeling dehydrated, too!
  • Get up out of your bath slowly; you may feel a little lightheaded.
  • If you can, take your bath on an evening when you don’t have to work the next day. Depending on how many toxins your body has been coping with, you may feel a little sick the next day. Don’t worry, as your body recovers and you drink plenty of water, you will be feeling refreshed and energized!
  • Do not take hot or salt baths if you are dehydrated, sick, hypertensive, pregnant, diabetic, or if you have a history of heart disease. If you are unsure, ask your doctor first.

Originally posted 2013-01-22 03:57:00.

The Low-Down on No-Poo, Low-Poo, Co-Washing, and Dry Shampoo

Lately, as I’ve been reading various online articles and forums, I’ve come across several phrases I had not heard before: “no-poo,” “low-poo,” and “co-washing” amongst other savvy terms, I’m sure. What happened to shampoo? Suddenly, it seems, shampoo is the enemy. It’s as if in the last few years, anti-shampoo conspirators have been meeting in dark alleys behind hair salons to scheme against the product with which we wash our hair, or even if we should wash our hair at all. Personally, I’ve always been rather fond of the nicely marketed bottles of botanical goodness that fill an entire aisle in each local convenience store. What do these conspirators have against shampoo? I’ve done a little research to find out what these anti-shampoo trends are all about.

No-Poo
No-poo refers to not shampooing–at all, or at least not with shampoo. Shampoo as we know it now was first introduced in the 1930s, and shampooing daily became the American standard by the 70s and 80s. So, why do we need it now? Shampoo strips hair of natural oils, some of which we need. If left alone or minimally fussed with, a person’s scalp will naturally balance the oils. However, shampooing creates a vicious cycle: when hair is washed with shampoo, the hair is stripped of oil so the scalp secretes more oil to compensate. We then wash our hair again to get rid of excess oils, our scalp secrets more oils, and the cycle continues. Thus, the theory behind no-poo is to only wash one’s hair with water so that the oils naturally balance, which can take anywhere from two to six weeks. Some advocates of no-poo also suggest shampooing with natural products such as baking soda, honey, or coconut oil. In a six-week no shampoo challenge, 500 Australians went without shampoo, 86% of whom reported that their hair was “better or the same as when using shampoo.”* The results of not using shampoo? Easier on the budget, better (or the same) for your hair, and less waste for the environment!

Low-Poo
For those not willing to give up their colorful bottles with salon-quality promises, the low-poo method is here to save the day. To low-poo, all one has to do is give up shampooing a few days of the week. Low-poo is a commitment to washing your hair once every few days with a small amount of shampoo. Some choose to use their regular shampoo or there are, of course, certain shampoos marketed as “low-poo” shampoos which are usually natural and sulfate-free. Many people also use baking soda or “dry shampoo” to absorb excess oil in between shampoos, but the theory is that a person’s hair will naturally balance when washing with less commercial shampoo. Some report the balance can occur within a few weeks, although I’ve noticed personal improvement in the health of my hair even after months of practicing the low-poo method.

Co-Washing
Co-washing is a type of no-poo; it consists of washing one’s hair with only conditioner. Conditioners don’t have the same lathering chemicals as shampoo does, and therefore is easier on the hair and scalp and doesn’t strip oils away. This is trending especially with those who have curly, thick, or coarse hair that are looking to ease the frizz.

Dry Shampoo
As I mentioned earlier, dry shampoo is used to help absorb excess oils in between washes. It’s simply a spray or powder that is applied to hair on the days between washing. Dry shampoo usually consists of a type of starch (corn starch, rice starch, etc.) that absorbs oil like magic. As a fan of the low-poo method (I didn’t even realize I was becoming a part of a trend, I just stopped washing my hair so frequently) dry shampoo has worked wonders for me! Let’s face it, most of us don’t want to go to work or out to dinner with greasy hair even if it is just for three to six weeks. If I could hibernate inside my house or with some hippies until my hair naturally balanced it’s oils, I would, but most of us have to be seen in public. Dry shampoo applies easily and helps my hair look fresh and clean in between washes. Another upside is that the longer I have used dry shampoo and the less frequently I wash my hair, the less I need it–my oils have begun to naturally balance! As a commercial product, dry shampoo does have some downsides. First of all, most dry shampoos on the shelf are in an aerosol can–bad for the environment. Secondly, those in aerosol cans have some not-so-natural ingredients such as butane (an aerosol propellant) and perfumes. While the dry shampoo in aerosol cans sprays so nicely and conveniently, there are some homemade recipes in both powder and wet-spray form that work well, too.

Now that the scheme against shampoo is out in the open, maybe the anti-shampoo conspirators will move out of those dark alleyways and into the light. I can hear picketers outside the local salon now: “Save our scalps!” “Just say no to shampoo!”

*ABC Sydney, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2007/04/30/1887681.htm

Originally posted 2013-01-15 22:13:00.

Natural Product Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

Natural Product Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo
As a person with thin, picky hair, I have struggled with finding just the right shampoo and conditioner. Having stayed with a typical shelf brand for literally years, I was hesitant when it came to trying something new in an effort to “go green.” However, learning more about sulfates and parabens definitely gave me a kick-start to dump the chemical-filled products in my bathroom.

Why rid my shower of products with sulfates and parabens?
Sulfates are used to make products foam up and create suds, which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but sulfates are also toxic and known to over-dry the skin and hair. Of course, shampoo by definition is supposed to rid a person’s hair of excess oil, and most people find this desirable. Over-drying however, which sulfates are known to do, can actually be a cause of oily hair because a person’s oil glands try to over-compensate if the skin or hair is dry. So here I was suffering from oily hair, and washing it more with sulfate-filled shampoo so that it wouldn’t be so oily, and all I was doing was making it worse! Balancing the oils in one’s scalp is key to healthy, strong, and shiny hair.Parabens are a class of chemicals used as preservatives in many personal care products. Parabens imitate estrogen, and can interfere with the natural hormones in one’s body, and may be linked to some types of cancer and reproductive issues. While there are limits to the concentration of parabens a manufacturer can put in a product, there aren’t limits for how many various types of parabens can be included, or how much exposure a person gets from all his or her various products. Really, there is still a lot of research being done to discover just how these chemicals may be reacting with our bodies, but in my opinion, toxic products really don’t belong on my skin.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Pros
After deciding that sulfate- and paraben-free is the way to go, good ol’ TJ’s was right there for me, waiting with an affordable and high-quality option. Tea Tree Tingle serves its name well—it’s refreshing, cooling, and has a slight clean tingle to it. One great thing about Tea Tree Tingle that other sulfate-free shampoos often miss is the lathering factor. Despite its lack of sulfates, the shampoo still lathers well, which most of us are accustomed to. Finally, this shampoo cleans your hair–that’s what it’s meant to do right?! It doesn’t make any fantastic claims to give you amazing body or lift or curl or that it will make you look like a hair model, but it cleans your hair, and does it well. It leaves my hair soft and well cleaned, but not stripped of all moisture or full of conditioner build-up. In fact, the longer I’ve used this shampoo and conditioner set, the less I have to wash my hair. Once an every-day shampooing devotee, I now shampoo every-other day; Tea Tree Tingle would be to use in a low-poo or co-washing routine, too. I tribute the gentle, yet effective wash in part to the natural foaming agent (cocamidopropyl betaine) and natural preservative (grapefruit seed extract) used in Tea Tree Tingle. The more natural and effective ingredients used, the better; thanks to TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle for my naturally balanced hair oils!

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Cons
Unfortunately, while this product is sulfate- and paraben-free, it does list small amounts of two ingredients with debated implications for health: C12-14 olefin sulfonate and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. First, olefin sulfonate is a foaming agent related to sulfates; while olefin sulfonate is less toxic that SLS or SLES, it can also be drying. Tea Tree Tingle does list the safer, gentler cocamidopropyl betaine as a secondary foaming agent, but I wish it were the only foaming agent used here. Second, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate is a preservative used in place of parabens, but can also be a skin irritant in high doses. Again, grapefruit seed is listed as a secondary preservative; I just wish it were the only preservative used. I use up my shampoo fast enough, anyway!Bear in mind that I can speak only for my hair, which I mentioned has been thin and lifeless; should you have hair that is thick and full of life (congratulations!) I would still suggest giving Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle a shot, as it’s the best and most affordable sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner I’ve tried.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: Ingredients
Shampoo: Aqua (purified water) with *tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil, *peppermind (mentha piperita) oil, *eucalyptus (eucalyptus officinalis) oil, *rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil, *nettle (urtica dioica) oil, *thyme (thymus vulgaris) oil, birch leaf (betula alba) oil, *chamomile (anthemis nobilis flower), *clar

y (salvia sclarea), *lavender (lavandula angustifolia), *coltsfoot leaf (tussilago fargara), *yarrow (achillea millefolium) oil, *mallow (malva sylvestris), *horsetail (equisetum arvense) oil, *soybean protein (glycine soja), C12-14 olefin sulfonate (coconut derived), cocamidopropyl betaine, Tocopherol (vitamin E), trace minerals, citric acid (corn), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, sodium chloride (sea salt), grapefruit seed (citrus derived). *organic

Aqua (purified water) with *tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil, *peppermind (mentha piperita) oil, *eucalyptus (eucalyptus officinalis) oil, *rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) oil, *nettle (urtica dioica) oil, *thyme (thymus vulgaris) oil, birch leaf (betula alba) oil, *chamomile (anthemis nobilis flower), *clary (salvia sclarea), *lavender (lavandula angustifolia), *coltsfoot leaf (tussilago fargara), *yarrow (achillea millefolium) oil, *mallow (malva sylvestris), *horsetail (equisetum arvense) oil, *soybean protein (glycine soja), cetyl alcohol (plant derived), Tocopherol (vitamin E), trace minerals, citric acid (corn), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, grapefruit seed (citrus derived). *organic

Originally posted 2013-01-15 00:42:00.

DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent

Purchasing all-natural laundry soap is certainly the easiest way to greenclean your laundry.  However, finding eco-friendly detergent at a budget-friendly price can be time-consuming and marketing is becoming increasingly deceptive; some products that claim to be green can still contain harmful chemicals.  

We know there’s only so much time in the day to make your own products, so is DIY detergent worth it? After investing a little time in some research, we learned that laundry detergent is definitely something that can be made easily and affordably, leaving behind only the peace of mind that your clothes are getting their cleanest without the use of any toxins.

Need another reason to switch to DIY detergent?  According to Wikipedia, sodium triphosphate can comprise up to 50% of traditional detergents.  The discharge of soluble phosphates like this one has led to problems of inhibited growth of living things in streams and lakes. The European Union is already banning the use of phosphates in domestic use.  Add this to the fact that many ingredients in conventional laundry detergents (ethanolamine, ethoxylates, sulfates) are irritants, some of which are linked to cancer and have reproductive concerns, and we feel that the need to steer clear of traditional laundry detergents is a pretty high priority.

 

If you’re looking for citric acid, we found ours here.  The other ingredients can easily be found in your local grocery store. 

Four all-natural, whole ingredients.  

How easy is that?!

detergent1

Originally posted 2013-08-05 13:30:19.

DIY Oil-Absorbing Powder

Facial makeup often contains harmful ingredients used to help it absorb into the skin and stay on all day and all night. While chemicals can help makeup stay put longer, it’s time to stop and consider if we really want our make up (toxins and all) to be absorbed into our pores!

Products that are natural are bound to wear off a little quicker, but they give you the opportunity to feel comfortable in your own skin and save a little money. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of sunshine, whole foods, water, and healthy fats is the best way to keep your skin looking gorgeous. Natural makeup is the cherry on top!

oil-absorbing face powder ingredients

For a chemical-free, beautiful face, try this three-ingredient, oil-absorbing powder.

 

Materials: 

  • Corn Starch
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • An old (clean) powder makeup container, or other small jar with lid

 

Step 1:  Measure 2 Tbsp of corn starch into a small bowl for mixing.

Step 2:  Slowly add 1/8 tsp of cocoa powder and 1/8 tsp of cinnamon, alternately, until you reach a desired color for your skin tone. Mix thoroughly to see color, and test on the inside of your wrist to see progress. Each ingredient adds a different depth of color, so the amount each person needs will vary.

Step 3:  Once you have thoroughly mixed the powder and found the right color, you’re ready to give it a try on your face! Transfer to  makeup container. Shake a small amount into the lid and use a clean makeup brush to apply to your face after you have washed and moisturized. Apply in small circles, always working from the middle of your face out. This powder can be worn over your regular natural makeup, or alone for a natural matte look.

oil-absorbing face powder

Originally posted 2013-06-26 22:32:17.

DIY Goo Remover

DIY goo remover

Chemicals easily sneak into many household products, but they don’t have to fill your home. Make simple switches like this one to rid your life of toxins.

Create your own DIY goo remover from two ingredients and easily get rid of stickers, adhesive gunk, gum, and other sticky messes.

Step 1. Measure ¼ C baking soda into a small jar with a screw-top lid.
Step 2. Add ¼ C coconut oil and mix well.

Goo Remover

Step 3. Use to remove stickers and make your life a little easier!

photo-4

Just like other goo removers, test in an inconspicuous area before use and do not use on cloth, silk, leather, or suede.

Originally posted 2013-06-25 23:26:46.