Posts tagged DIY
Weekend Alchemy: Saving Face

How's your face looking?

About 10 years ago I developed pigmentation all over my cheeks and forehead, almost overnight.  I remember it happened really quickly.  I consulted doctors and dermatologists and no-one could give me any solid indication of what caused the change.  Everything from being on the contraceptive pill to sun-damage, diet and genetics (or a combination) were proposed as possible reasons.  They offered plenty of products, all topical, all synthetic and all of which I tried to no avail.

Recently, I decided to turn to my essential oils to see what they could offer.  After doing a stack of research on different types of base oils and using oils for skin care, both cleansing and moisturising.  I decided to make the switch, and my skin has never looked better.

The first step was to remove soap based products from my skin care, which meant no more foaming cleanser.  That was a hard one for me to manage because I am so used to that squeaky clean feeling that I wasn't sure I could feel like my face was clean without some suds!  However, in the pursuit of benefit, I gave it a go.

Using oils to cleanse your skin is not new.  There are many resources available for you to do your own research on the ins and outs of the process, so here I will share with you what I chose, why and how I use it.

I chose to use Coconut Oil because it's anti-microbial, anti-yeast and makes a great makeup remover.  I could have used Jojoba Oil (expensive option, so I saved it for my serum) or Castor Oil (BAD childhood memories!) so I chose Coconut.  It's also relatively inexpensive for a good quality, organic product that I always have on hand anyway.  There are two ways I cleanse with coconut oil:

  1. Eye-makeup remover: gently massage PLAIN coconut oil over eye, without getting IN your eye, to remove make-up. Wipe off with a warm face washer or cotton pad.

  2. Face cleanser: add a drop of Lavender or Tea Tree oil and gently massage over your face for 2 minutes, paying particular attention to the oily areas. Take a hot face washer and hold it over the face to steam the pores, then wipe off. Repeat a couple of times until the residual oil is gone.

Note: do NOT use essential oils on the eye area.  That's why this is a two step process.  Plain coconut oil for the eyes, add Lavender or Tea Tree for added anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties for the rest of the face.

Cleansing with this method leaves my skin very clean and soft, not at all tight the way soap-based products have.  After cleansing I use a spritzer with filtered water, Juniper Berry and Lavender oils to tone and tighten the pores, then onto my serum.  This is where the magic happens :) 

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

Firstly, I decided that just as I would normally have a morning and a night a cream, I would create a morning and a night serum.  Our skin does most of its regenerating at night while we are asleep (if we're lucky enough to be getting any!), so I wanted something more intensive to maximise the natural healing processes, and a lighter one for the day that would nourish and protect, and still be a good base for make-up.  

Next, I considered which base oil to use knowing that the majority of the serum would be comprised of this oil.  I went with  a blend of Jojoba Oil (because it suits my skin type) and Rosehip Oil for it's regenerating properties (for both the pigmentation and my age).  To this base I added some super-concentrated Vitamin E to the night serum for its anti-oxidant properties and to protect against free-radical damage.  Vitamin E naturally occurs in the skin but is depleted with time and sun damage, and is clearly depleted in mine!  I only added the Vitamin E to the night serum because it is quite thick and creates a bit of shine on the skin, perfect for night time :) 

Time to navigate the essential oils and choose ones to target my pigmentation and deliver all the other benefits I want from my skin-care such as keeping the wrinkles at bay, creating a youthful glow, smoothing and evening tone etc.  Does Miranda Kerr come in an essential oil?? 

There are many essential oils that are beneficial for the skin and it really is a case of trying and testing which ones suit you.  These are the oils I started with: 

  • Arborvitae (promotes clear and healthy looking skin)

  • Blue Tansy (reduce appearance of blemishes, hydrates and soothes)

  • Copaiba (clears, smoothes, reduces appearance of blemishes)

  • Frankincense (reduces appearance of imperfections)

  • Geranium (smoothes and beautifies)

  • Helichrysum (revitalises, reduces appearance of wrinkles, promotes glowing, youthful complexion)

  • Lavender (soothing)

  • Myrrh (reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)

  • Patchouli (reduces appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, imperfections, smoothes)

  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (reduces imperfections, smoothes and promotes glow)

  • Spikenard (softens and smooths)

It's quite the list isn't it?  I narrowed it down by selecting some all-rounders for the morning and keeping the star performers for the evening, and by excluding oils that I don't love the aroma of (eg., Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli and Spikenard) - after all, they're going on my face!  I referenced my previous experiences with the oils - I have seen Helichrysum stop bleeding on a number of cuts, Frankincense reduce bruising and heal cuts, abrasions, bites etc., Arborvitae really ground and calm me, and Hawaiian Sandalwood just opens me up - I love it. I also considered the price of the oils and how much I would need for each batch, as I wanted the serums to be cost effective so that others could try them out too!  Here are the recipes I created:

A.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Geranium

  • 10 drops Arborvitae

Total cost to produce: $21.18.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 84 days, $0.25 per day.

P.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 20 drops Vitamin E Super Concentrate

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood

  • 10 drops Helichrysm

  • 6 drops Blue Tansy

Total cost to produce: $54.06.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 89 days, $0.60 per day.

AND, you've only used a small amount of your essential oils which you can use for all their other beautiful benefits or save and make more batches of your unique, tailor-made for your skin, perfecting face serum.

And look at the result! I'm really happy with it!!  And that's after 30 days. I'm looking forward to comparing my skin in another two months!  You may not think it's much but for me, this is a huge improvement.  Nothing has made an impact on this pigmentation for years, so to start to see it diminish is great progress.  

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Yes, I'm not the best photographer and yes the lighting is different, but you can still see the improvement in even-ness and reduction in pigmentation on both lower cheeks and above the eyebrows. 

Is it time to improve the appearance of your skin? Or even better, for all you young poppets with gorgeous skin - get in early before the damage starts and protect it. Imagine what this type of healing can do for your skin NOW instead of later!

Totally natural, 100% synthetic and toxin free. So simple to make and less than $1 a day, how good is that!  Do you use essential oils in your skin care?  I'd love to hear your story!  Leave a comment below so we can share and inspire others to ditch the soap and chemicals :)

Jo x

Low Tox Cleaning

Glamorous?  Nope.  Sexy?  Nope.  Spiritual?  Not in my world!  I doubt that cleaning is a the top of any of our 'favourite pastimes' list, but at the end of the day we all have to do it AND household cleaning products are one of the easiest ways you can get rid of a bunch of harmful toxins, without even trying.  Plus, I can never clean without thinking of the incredible Freddie Mercury cavorting around in fishnet stockings and a patent leather mini while vacuuming - so at the very least it can bring a little cheeky humour to my day.  If we're not in the same vintage and you have no idea what I'm talking about, do yourself a favour and check this out - you get that bonus for free!

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Why use essential oils to clean your home?  

Think about it.  You have do it anyway, and you have to spend the money anyway - so why not swap out your toxic junk for 100% safe, natural and effective products that do the job, keep you healthy AND give you greater value by earning points for you.  Win win.

There is so much info, it’s hard to know what to leave out.  To avoid overwhelming you, I’m just going to stick with the basics…..

Oils

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  • all oils have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties but they vary in strengths and composition which is why you might use one oil for one purpose, and another for a different purpose
  • my go to cleaning oils are Lemon and Wild Orange (citrus is a great degreaser, sticky residue remover), On Guard Protective Blend (shown to be resistant to MRSA), Clove (mould inhibitor) and Tea Tree (anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial).
  • I also use Lavender, Lemongrass, Cedarwood and Purify Cleansing Blend, in the laundry - because they boost the germ killing power of a cold wash, and I like the way they smell :)

 

Other products

  • dōTERRA's On Guard Cleaning Concentrate - made with the uber-popular and effective On Guard Protective Blend, this concentrate can clean your dishes, bathroom and laundry or be combined with bi-carb of soda for an all natural cleaning paste.  A great item to add to your monthly order so you earn points for cleaning, yay!  Again, win win.
  • Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner - super concentrated, only need a small amount in a spray bottle with essential oils and it does a great job.  It may seem expensive but it literally lasts months in our house…….maybe that means I don’t do enough cleaning???  I find that when I clean using this with EO’s, it takes longer for the mould to come back - more winning!
  • Spray bottles - use glass if you are using citrus oils, plastic is fine otherwise.  I have a glass one for the Kitchen Counter Spray because it has citrus oils, the other ones are plastic.
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Some people like to use vinegar and bi-carb, I just find a soap-based product cleans better and I don’t have to work so hard.  Plus, I hate the smell of vinegar. 

I should add, each dōTERRA essential oil bottle is 15ml and contains 250 drops.  In a standard spray bottle from Woolies (your local supermarket!) I use 1-2 tbsp of either On Guard Cleaning Concentrate or Dr Bronners, and about 10 drops of oils.  And then that cleans the bathroom about 4 times.  So they go a long way when used efficiently! 

What are your go-to recipes for DIY household cleaning?  Or maybe you'd like to know more specific recipes?  Let me know in the comments and I'll put together a post with your favourites :)

 

Jo x 

Resources to Support Your Essential Oil Journey
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#educationequalsempowerment!

You've got your oils, now what?  I bet you're all excited, your purple box arrives and gleefully you open it up and..........now what?

So many times people tell me that they don't know what to do with their oils.  I can't really fathom this, because I don't understand investing in something and then not using it, but I get that it happens.  So, I thought it might be helpful to put together a post about support resources.  Some things that will help you understand how your amazing oils work and give you ideas and inspiration about how to use them, in your daily life.

Ain't no use in them sitting on the shelf looking pretty!

First of all, education is key.  You have to learn about your oils, what they are, how they work, why they work that way. The more you know, the more effective you will be and pretty soon people are going to be asking YOU for advice!

Here are the books I love for my education and knowledge base:

Modern Essentials Handbook, 9th ed.

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You can find this book on Aromatools (if you're in Australia make sure you use the Australian site! au.aromatools.com.au), it's well-priced, comprehensive and easy to understand.  All the single oils, blends, wellness supplements and personal care products are explained in detail with great information about the most common primary uses and how to apply them. There is also a comprehensive usage guide where you can look up hundreds of conditions and get specific recommendations for which oils will best support you.  I LOVE this book.  Super handy and informative.  If you attend one of my classes I generally have copies for sale at cost, because I think it is so important to be educated!

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy

Much more comprehensive, this book is a reference text for aromatherapy.  It includes in depth information about all elements of aromatherapy including quality control of essential oils, chemistry, subtle aromatherapy and essential oil safety.  If you're after serious study, then this is your guide.  You can find this book online at various outlets, a google search will turn up several options.

Emotions and Essential Oils

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The folks at enlighten Alternative Healing deserve to be blessed.  This book is a god send, a bible for understanding the emotional profiles of essential oils.  Targeted, holistic and so articulate this book is a must have if you enjoy the emotional benefits of essential oils, if you are using essential oils to support you through growth or just day to day life.  A single page is devoted to each oil or blend (which is great, not overwhelming), with options for blending and application.  You can purchase this book on Aromatools, or at one of my workshops. 

Other books in my arsenal...

I also regularly use Evidence-based Essential Oil Therapy, The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A. Johnson for comprehensive review of research, and Integrated Guide to Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Bill Fifield.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of being informed and educated!  Did I mention that already?  I am not your doctor and neither is any other Wellness Advocate.  You are responsible for understanding what works for you, and whilst I will always advocate working with your GP or health provider, I am also passionate about self-education so you can have informed discussions and take an active role in you and your family's health management. 

I also have some books that are my go-to for DIY and practical tips for using oils in my daily life:

The Naturally Clean Home - 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning

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Now, I cannot believe I have this book in my collection!  And yet, I do.  Who have I become?  The crazy oil lady, that's who!  Seriously though, one thing I have become passionate about is reducing toxic load.  In our food, our home and environment.  There are innumerable ways in which you can ditch harmful chemicals, and cleaning is one of the easiest.  Common household toxins are now well-established by research as being linked to allergies, skin conditions, hormone production, fertility issues and cancer.  I'll take the green cleaning option thanks.  This little book is practical, informative and absolutely loaded with easy ways to use essential oils to clean your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, carpet, garden and office!

Modern Essentials Living

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Cooking recipes, craft, body care, cleaning and class ideas - this lifestyle book is a great all round resource.  Simple to make recipes, easy ingredients and real, practical products such as Dishwasher Cleaner, counter sprays, lens cleaner, carrot cake, ice blocks and scented bubbles or play dough for the little ones to play with, make this a top book to add to your collection.

Sot there you have it, my most used and loved resources to support living an essential oils life.  Get educated and be informed.  dōTERRA's essential oils are powerful, potent plant medicines that need to be understood and respected.  Be responsible, grab a book and get learning!