YL Essential Oils + After Sun Care

Hey Oily friends!

While on vacation in Cabo San Lucas a few months back, I got a bit too much sun. Uh-oh!

While my goals are always to get a healthy amount of safe sun exposure so that I can make vitamin D, I also try to avoid getting too much sun. I usually try to stay in shaded areas as much as possible and then apply sunscreen when I can’t avoid the sun. Everyone has a system that works for them, and this works for me. Well most of the time. [Insert guilty face here ;-).]

I researched oils to help with my sunburn and luckily enough I had brought some oil blends with me on vacation that would help with After Sun Care. In my daily moisturizer I had frankincense, lavender, geranium, and tea tree. And in my radiation blend were oils, that, Duh!, help with burns. (I rub this blend on my skin that has gone through radiation treatment and after all, radiation is essentially a sunburn to the deeper tissues.) My radiation blend has: melaleuca quinquenervia, melrose, German chamomile, lavender, and coconut oil (and it would have Roman chamomile if it was ever it stock!). I applied the lotion and the radiation blend to the sunburned areas and within a day, I was back on track. The skin wasn’t red or irritated and it healed really well. And an obvious bonus here: there wasn’t any “junk” in my after sun care!

Fast forward to present day. This past weekend, while training for my Avon 39 Mile walk, I thought I put on enough sunscreen, but there was one part of my shoulder that still got sunburned. Since I am home and have access to all my oils, I didn’t have to improvise. I made an After Sun Care Rollerball and my sunburn is loving it!

I added about 10 drops of lavender, tea tree, and helichrysum and then about 7-8 drops of peppermint and frankincense. I filled the rest of the rollerball up with coconut oil.

I have been applying the blend at least twice per day. The sunburn is fading and the skin is feeling much less irritated.

As always, be sure to test these oils before using them on a sunburn.

Have you used any oils for After Sun Care? What are your successes?

Happy SUMMER!

Hugs & Health <3,
Katie

YL Essential Oils + Body Wash

After deciding to add essential oils to my unscented body lotion [recipe located here], the next step to upping my skincare routine was reevaluating my body wash, hand soap, and shave cream (and dishsoap too!).

Again, part of the reason why I’m using essential oils is to limit the amount of toxins that I’m exposed to everyday by choosing more natural alternatives to support my health. There are things out of my control (like the air I breathe), but there are things within my control that I can improve (like the foods I eat and what I put on my body). Because your skin is your largest organ and because it absorbs what we put on it, I needed to change the products that I use in my skincare routine each and every day. Artificial fragrances are on the top of my chopping block. I
n addition to avoiding the artificial junk, I wanted to start trying out oils that can support healthy skin.

I know many people like to just buy ready made body wash, hand soap, and shave cream. Other “oily folks” prefer to make it all from homemade ingredients. For me, I wanted something in the “Goldliocks” zone, not too much work and not too expensive. Dr. Bronner’s seemed like a great place to start. I’ve seen this this very wordy bottle of soap in health food stores for years and just never tried it out. A friend finally convinced me. 🙂

Here are the main reasons I like it: 1) It’s been made in the good ol’ USA since 1948 by a family of soapmakers that has been making soap since 1858. 2) There are 9 ingredients and they are regular old ingredients (hemp oil, jojoba oil, water, etc.). 3) They use organic and fair trade ingredients (although not all of the ingredients are both organic and fair trade). 4) It’s economical. 5) It’s multi-use. They claim 18 uses; I’m currently using it for 4 things.

Here’s what I’ve been trying out:

  1. For a full bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, I add about 10-15 drops each of lavender, geranium, tea tree, and frankincense. Then shake like crazy to mix!
  2.  The options for fragrance combinations are endless. I choose oils that are good for skin and antimicrobial/antibacterial. Some other options would be lemon/citrus*, purification, thyme, thieves, melissa, and cinnamon bark.

* Citrus oils can begin to deteriorate plastics, so if using lemon or citrus oils, be sure that the soap is not being stored in a plastic container.

I would recommend testing oils and the soap first before using this all over.

Let me know if you try adding essential oils to your bodywash and how you like it.

Hugs & Health <3,
Katie

YL Essential Oils + Body Lotion

Hey Oily friends!

If you’re like me, one of the reasons why you decided to try Young Living essential oils was to reduce the toxins that you are exposed to in your everyday life. For me, that means reevaluating the products I use in my skincare routine each and every day. And artificial fragrances are on the top of my chopping block. In addition to avoiding the artificial junk, I wanted to start trying out oils that can support healthy skin.

I know many people like to just buy ready made body lotions. Others prefer to make it all from homemade ingredients. For me, I wanted something in the “Goldliocks” zone, not too much work and not too expensive. Here’s what I’ve been trying out:

1. For a full bottle of lotion, I add about 10-15 drops each of lavender, geranium, and frankincense. Then shake like crazy to mix!

2. Here’s a new recipe I’m trying: For a full bottle of lotion: 10-15 drops of lavender, geranium, and frankincense, and then 5-10 drops of peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary. Again, shake like crazy to mix! 🙂

I like this lotion because it’s fair trade, lightweight, and paraben free, but I’m sure you could add these oils to other lotions that work well for you. I would recommend only using oils that agree with you before you lather it on. 🙂

Let me know if you try an essential oil blend in your lotion and how you like it.

Hugs & Health <3,
Katie

Detoxing Armpits! Say what?!

I first switched to Tom’s of Maine deodorant when I was about 21 years old. It worked well for a few days and then I broke out in a crazy rash. I had avoid wearing deodorant or shaving for about a week. Boy, did I stink!! [I’m normally kind of a stinky person, or at least I was…]

Fast forward about ten years. I had given up the natural deodorant quest during my 20’s. But as we began eating healthier and being more mindful of the toxins under our control, I went back on my quest for a more natural deodorant. I tried basically every brand that Whole Foods sells, including Jason and Nourish. I also tried Primal Pit Paste. None of them worked for me and most of them gave me a rash. I finally settled on a few days of my Dove deodorant and then a few days of my natural deodorant.

Then a friend gave me a recipe for a homemade deodorant. It used essential oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It didn’t give me a rash like the others, but I didn’t like the way it smelled (ylang ylang, yuck!) nor did I feel “fresh”.

I kept using my rotational method, toxic deodorant for a few days, natural deodorant for a few days. Then came L-Day [lump discovery day]. On April 30th, 2014, I found a lump in my right breast. After I picked my crying self up off the bathroom floor and after calling my husband sobbing, I did two things. 1) I threw my conventional [aka toxic] deodorant in the trash and 2) I recycled any plastic food containers we had [we never heated food in the plastic containers, but I didn’t even want them near my salads anymore]. My reasoning behind this logic: if it’s not Cancer, this is a wake up call for you. You might get a second chance, don’t blow it. Well, it turned out that it was Cancer [more about that can be found here].

I resolved to use only “hippie” deodorant [as my husband calls it] from there on out. Stink or no stink.

About 10 months later, after I got my Young Living Essential Oil Starter Kit, one of the first things I decided to make was deodorant. I really liked the blend that I made and was quite happy with it. Until I went back to work. I went back to teaching after Cancer treatment [chemo, surgery, and radiation] and I noticed very quickly that I was really stinky. BY 10AM!!! I really hadn’t even done much by 10 am, but it didn’t matter. I stunk.

I remembered having seen a pin on Pinterest floating around about detoxing armpits. So I found the long since buried pin and decided to give it a try. I had nothing left to lose.

Often times, when switching from conventional deodorant to natural deodorant, people often complain that natural deodorants don’t work for them. That was me every time I tried to make the switch. Our sweat glands can get clogged with toxins, especially when using conventional deodorants with chemicals in them. When the sweat glands get blocked, the armpit is more odorous. Using a bentonite clay mixture can hel
p to clear the glands of the blockages and can prevent your armpits from stinking. Here is a link to the bentonite clay. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing, 1 Pound. Here is the Pin 
from Wellness Mama.

Detox Recipe

1 T Bentonite Clay

1 T Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 32 Ounce – 1 Pack

water, as needed for consistency

Mix all three ingredients together in a glass bowl with a non-metal spoon. It should be the consistency of a smooth paste. Apply to armpits and leave on for 5-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and a washcloth.

This is a bit messy, FYI. I did this for 5 days in a row before bed. I would mix it up, apply to my armpits, put a towel on the couch, and watch TV while it dried. It did not irritate my skin, but I would suggest doing a test run on a small area of the skin first.

Deodorant Recipe

10 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil

10 drops Young Living Purification essential oil

10 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil

10 drops Young Living RC essential oil

5 drops Young Living Joy essential oil

5 drops Young Living Eucalyptus essential oil

Add all essential oils to a roller ball and fill with fractionated coconut oil (or your favorite carrier oil). Enjoy!

Hugs and Health <3,

Katie

Eleven Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep


I originally wrote this as a handout for my Nutrition Classes. I wrote up aCondition and Nutrient Report for Anxiety Disorder Management and decided to focus on Sleep for my Educational Handout. Since SLEEP is elusive for many of us AND since almost any health concern can be helped with a better night’s sleep, I thought I’d share it here on the blog. What tips help you to get a good night’s sleep?

Here it is!

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is good for you. It is your body’s time to repair and regenerate. But not only is sleep good for you, but it can also help with managing Anxiety Disorders.

Eleven Steps to Ensure the Best Night’s Sleep:

  1. Humans thrive on routine and having a nighttime routine can help to get your body and your brain ready to power down for uninterrupted sleep (Ramos, 2015).
  2. Reserve your bed for sleeping and making love. Avoid watching TV or working in bed because the brain will associate those things with the bed and have trouble powering down (Scott, 2010).
  3. Sleep in a room that is as dark as a cave by getting rid of lights from alarm clocks and other devices. In order to produce enough melatonin (and therefore serotonin), your body needs it to be dark. If you can’t get your bedroom pitch black, try an eye mask (Scott, 2010).
  4. Shower or take an Epsom salt bath before bed because it raises your body temperature. After, there is a slight drop in body temperature that signals your brain that it’s time for sleep (Breus, 2006). The Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is also relaxing.
  5. Noise can make falling asleep challenging. Being awoken in the middle of the night also makes it challenging to fall back to sleep. Try earplugs, a noise machine, SleepPhones with music or meditation music to help fall asleep or to fall back asleep when woken up in the middle of the night (Scott, 2010).
  6. Meditate for at least five or more minutes before bed to create a relaxed state of mind (Bauman, 2015).
  7. Keep your bedroom cool (Scott, 2010).
  8. Avoid technology (especially tablets and smart phones) for about an hour before bed. The lights emitted really disturb sleep patterns (Breus, 2006).
  9. Keep a consistent bedtime, preferably around 10pm (Scott, 2010).
  10. Try diffusing essential oils for relaxation. Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Valerian can support relaxation and sleep (Higley, C. & Higley, A., 2013).
  11. Count backwards by threes (400, 397, 394, etc.). Dr. Breus (2006) suggests that this is challenging enough to keep your interest but boring enough to put you to sleep. I have also tried an “appreciation body scan” where I start at my feet and legs, thanking them for their hard work for the day and work my way up. I almost always fall asleep before I get to thanking my head.

Things to Avoid:

  1. Caffeine is a common sleep disruptor. Depending on the person, even caffeine consumed early in the day can disrupt sleep. It is stimulating to the body by raising cortisol and adrenaline levels and it depletes serotonin and melatonin (Scott, 2010).
  2. Alcohol often causes people to have disrupted sleep. It is best to minimize alcohol intake to improve sleep (Bauman, 2015).

Supplements to Try:

  1. Try drinking Calm – a magnesium supplement before bed. Magnesium is a natural relaxer and is stress reducing (Bauman, 2015).
  2. Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, which supports sleep (Breus, 2006).
  3. Melatonin is the precursor to serotonin, so supplementing with melatonin can help support a restful night’s sleep and less anxiety (Bauman, 2015).
  4. Vitamin B6 supplement can help to improve the quality of your sleep (Scott, 2010).

References:

Bauman, E. (6/20/15-9/30/15). Personal Communication

Breus, M. (2006). Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health. New York, NY: Penguin Group Inc.

Higley, C. & Higley, A. (2013). Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils. Spanish Fork, UT: Abundant Health.

Jacobs, A. (2012). Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Scott, T. (2010). The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Ramos, M. (2015, September). Sex Food Therapy retrieved from: http://www.sexyfoodtherapy.com/

Bye Bye Dryer Sheets!

Bye bye dryer sheets!

Hello organic wool dryer balls and lavender oil. (Actually, I said good-bye to dryer sheets long ago, but I had been using Trader Joe’s lavender dryer bags and the hard plastic dryer balls.) While that was ok, I the plastic dryer balls eventually start to fall apart, so I had to throw them away. And the lavender dryer bags was still creating some waste also. I like this newest option the best because the clothes smell great and very little waste is produced. And not much static either! Have you gone dryer sheet free?