My Skincare Routine

Talking about my skincare routine today, aka “how I wash my face.” Riveting, no?

Still, I don’t do your typical face wash routine so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I use, how I use it, and why! Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a blogpost full of curve balls, thrilling emotions, and suspense!

Just kidding. It’s not going to be any of those things. But it should be fun! Here goes.

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I wash my face using the oil cleansing method. I should stop right here and mention a little history about my face.

I’ve never had acne. Please don’t hate me, I have plenty of other annoying-horrible physical struggles, acne just isn’t’ one of them. I am, however, incredibly greasy. My pores are huge. And I’m prone it dark circles under my eyes and redness on my cheeks. I also tend to not wear makeup. There really isn’t a great reason for this, other than the fact that I just feel like I look WEIRD in makeup. I love lipstick and will wear that fairly regularly. I wear mascara every day. Other than that, I don’t really wear much. Because I have fairly even skin I can get away without too much makeup. But because I have oily skin, it doesn’t really matter if I wear makeup or not — it still looks oily. Such is life, people.

I’ve used all kinds of skincare products in the past. Probably many of the same ones you’ve used or are currently using. Many would work ok enough, but they would often leave my cheeks way too dry and would do little to shrink the crater-sized holes that are my gaping pores.

I learned about the oil cleansing method a few years back when I was trying to get rid of as many store bought products as possible and switch to more natural, homemade, and simple products. Although it sounds crazy to use oil on your face, in fact, it’s MAGIC! Just kidding. It’s not magic. It is science, though! Or more specifically, chemistry.

Oil cleanses oil because as we may or may not remember from chemistry class (I remember nothing other than our tie-dye project), like dissolves like.

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The key ingredient to the oil cleansing method is castor oil. Castor oil is what does the heavy lifting for your skincare. Many people say that castor oil will leave your skin in better condition than it finds it, and I tend to agree. It’s incredible. Continue reading “My Skincare Routine”

How & Why We Use Norwex Products

I do not sell Norwex products and I do not own massive amounts of Norwex stock. No, the unbridled enthusiasm you are about to witness for these products is as authentic as it is *ahem* a little over the top. But I can’t help myself. Norwex has changed my life, and I would marry it and do it’s laundry and make it a Sunday afternoon pot roast each week if I could. Norwex, I love you! I looooove you!

But for reals, people, this stuff is legit.

This is another reader request post. I was excited when my IG friend, Ali, asked me to share my thoughts on Norwex products. Ali, after this post, might be less excited, as my excitement borders on obsession. You’ve all been warned.

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I was introduced to Norwex shortly after Oliver, our middle child, was born. My mom asked me to host a party, with the incentive that she’d split the hostess rewards with me. I said sure, why not, because free stuff is, well, you know, free. It’s hard to pass up.

I wouldn’t say I was “excited” about the product, mostly just intrigued.

As someone who borders on crunchy hippie girl, I do most things as natural as possible. I’m skeptical of anything that comes prepackaged and sold in the big box stores. This doesn’t make me unique, I know, just rather a little hard to please. I realized though, that my cleaning routine was a far cry from natural. I made quite a few of my cleaning products at the time, but I held hard and fast to my skin searing bottles of Clorox products to clean the kitchen. You know, because of germs.

So my ears had perked up during the Norwex party when our host said that the silver in the rags would kill more germs than any other cleaning product on the market, all natural or otherwise. She demonstrated this point by smearing raw chicken allllll over this vegetarian’s counter tops. She dusted the trail of chicken goo with a powder and then shone a black light on top to reveal all the nasty bacteria left behind. Gag.

Then, she took a few products to “clean” up the counter. She wiped one area with Clorox wipes. She cleaned another area with Method’s multi purpose spray. And then she did a single wipe in another area with a Norwex Enviro cloth. More powder was sprinkled on top, and again, out came the black light. There was an incredible amount of bacteria left by the Clorox wipes. Like, an incredible amount. The area cleaned with the Method spray was a little better, but still, the germs were kind of smeared around and not completely eliminated in spots. The area wiped by the Norwex rag, however, was spotless. Spot – less.

Still, this seemed too good to be true, right?

Oliver is now three, so I’ve been using my Norwex products weekly for about three years. Slowly but surly, my skepticism turned to  amazement, and then my amazement turned to belief. All the old bottles of cleaners that I had held on to at first to just “make sure” things were really clean have long since been thrown in the trash. The biggest thing that convinced me of these products is how everything feels when you use the rags. Things just feel squeaky clean. And the smell! This is the craziest part for me.

I know a lot of people don’t want to give up their cleaning products because it is the smell that tells them (and their hubby, lol), that they’ve cleaned. But really, it’s the smell that signals just how toxic most of this stuff really is. As a long time user of Norwex products, I can tell my house is clean as a pin, not because things smell pine fresh or like a tropical breeze, but when there is absolutely no small at all! Seriously, Norwex products have a way of almost clearing up the very air. It’s magic. Especially when you consider that I have three VERY smelly children. No smell is the surest sign of cleanliness.

For this reason, I prefer cleaning with Norwex even over using essential oils. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your own natural cleaners and adding a few drops of EO for good measure, but I love that I can clean my entire house with just my Norwex rags and mop, and then keep my EO for diffusing, making body products, and for topical use (for health). Again, that is just personal preference.

I also love that, thanks to Nowex, we are a soap free house. That’s right! Soap, free. No soap at the kitchen or bathroom sink because we don’t need it. Our Norwex rags do a safer and more efficient job of killing germs on our hands and on my countertops. Now, my husband and I do still use an all natural body soap in the shower that our friend makes, mostly just because we want to. But that’s totally optional. We wouldn’t have to do that if we didn’t’ want to.

So what Norwex products do I use and love?

body rags

I use the body rags to wash my face. I am a big believer in the oil cleansing method for washing my face, but I don’t need to do that every night. Most nights of the week, I simply use my body cloth, which has the same antibacterial/antiviral silver in it as the Enviro rag. This rag is also used to wipe down the kids.

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enviro cloth/window cloth

How do I clean my house? With these two rags. Did you catch that?

these. two. rags.

That’s IT.

No bottles of chemicals. No harsh cleaners that tell us a room is “clean” by the burning of our nostrils. No more changing into clothes that I don’t mind getting ruined by bleach stains.

Just two little ol magic rags that I clean my house from top to bottom, each and every room – including the bathroom.

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baby cloth Continue reading “How & Why We Use Norwex Products”

How I Use Essential Oils

I want to thank my friend Ali for suggesting the topic for today’s post. Thanks Ali!

I also wanted to say, by way of a disclaimer, that I don’t sell essential oils, I’m not an expert by any means, and I’m new to using them within the past year. With that being said, I know oil brands are hotly contested and people tend to defend them like family. So please, if you have a brand that you love like a brother, just remember that I don’t, and I’m not trying to step on any toes. Ok, now…on to essential oils!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in healing the body naturally. I believe our bodies are incredible and there are quite a few things we can do naturally to keep them healthy and heal them when they are sick. I’ve talked about my natural methods of keeping sinus infections at bay in the past, feeling better when the cold and flu strikes, and how I was able to get a negative Group B result during my last pregnancy. I believe medicine has it’s time and place, but I generally feel that modern medicine doesn’t always do a good job of valuing preventative measures, of which there are plenty of natural methods. I always want to understand the why behind my sickness, and then heal that. Too often, I feel that my symptoms are just masked and the root caused never discovered, which to me, isn’t true healing. But I digress…

Wow, how did I get on this topic? Oh yes. Essential oils.

So I started with essential oils like everyone else: I bought a diffuser. I bought the one that Amazon told me to buy, and ordered a pack of oils from a company that offered the perfect blend of affordability and reliable (as far as I can tell) information on their product’s quality.

And this brings me to my main point about oils.

Even if I could afford to make a one time purchase from the top two essential oil brands, I could never, ever afford to maintain future purchases. As it currently stands, all my essential oil purchases come out of my grocery budget, so no, I can’t spend $30 a bottle because that is equal to like an entire aisle at Aldi. You could tell me every possible benefit of purchasing from the most popular companies, and it wouldn’t matter. The budget is, what it is.

But also…

I’m always leery of companies that claim you have to purchase from them because they are THE best and you simply can’t trust anyone else or you will basically be making the worst mistake of your life. I view essential oils the same way I do vitamins:

a) the FDA doesn’t approve of them so you already know that you are on to a good thing. (I TOLD you I’m contrary.)

b) Just because something isn’t top of the line doesn’t mean it can’t add value to your life. Could I be convinced that the top two companies are more pure than others? Absolutely. But I have also done quite a bit of reading on other companies that are trying to provide great products at great prices, with lots of information at consumer’s fingertips so they can verify claims. I’m not going to buy the Dollar Tree essential oils that are supposed to be for a reed diffuser and put them on my face. But I have found some great, moderately priced brands, that I do use and love.

(Also, side note, I read that it is INCREDIBLY expensive to get the little label on bottles that says the oils are safe for ingestion. Most brands don’t have the funds to pay for this kind of labeling, so they just leave it off and say that it’s not intended for ingestion. I’ve found in my research of vitamins and oils that often times, the big main gatekeepers of all these labeling laws keep natural players at bay by these pricey requirements. So, it’s not always that they “aren’t safe,” so much as the companies can’t afford the same kind of requirements as say, Kraft. I know Kraft isn’t in the essential oil game, I’m just trying to make a point that just because it’s certifiable in it’s field doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and vice versa.)

So, to summarize, I don’t buy the most expensive brands of oils just like I don’t buy the most expensive brands of vitamins. I can’t. But there are other solid brands out there and I think that anything you can do to take care of your health in a more natrual way is always a step in the right direction.

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So, what brand do I use? I love Rocky Mountain Oils. I love how much information about their products is on their site. I love that each bottle comes with little indicators that show you how they can be used (topically, diffuse, etc.). I love their price point. They aren’t the least expensive, but they are far from the most. I’ve ready a lot of other blog posts where the blogger will order one oil from 10 different brands, and time and time again Rocky Mountain came out on top.

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How do I use essential oils?

-It started when I began making my own deodorant. I bought all my ingredients for the deodorant, including my oils, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I read that palmarosa is antiviral, aids in skin regeneration, and can balance your oil production. I love making my own deodorant so much, and I’ve enjoyed blending in essential oils for both the great effects they have on my body and their fantastic smells.

– I do a lot of diffusing. I’ve always been a big fan of burning incense, but I love that diffusing oils is not only a great way to absorb the benefits, but it is also a safer because nothing needs to be lit.

-I use several oils in my neti pot. I use a neti pot, no joke, two times a day at least. You guys, my sinus issues are severe, and they make my life miserable some times. Oh well. But oils…I always use 1/4 tsp of sea salt and baking soda in every rinse, and sometimes I add a drop each of lavender and peppermint. If things are really stuffy, I’ll use Rocky Mountain’s Breath oil instead. This feels a little weird admitting, but I have put a TON of things up my sinuses in the hopes of kicking/preventing a sinus infection. So far, the only thing that both helps AND doesn’t burn like a mother is – you guessed it – essential oils.

-I bought myrtle oil recently from RM and I’ve LOVED this oil so much. I diffuse it for it’s soothing effects on your nerves (hellllllow myrtle, please be my best friend). I add a few drops of myrtle oil to my 1 C of epsom salts and 1/4 C baking soda to creating a soothing bath mix that is great for lady problems. I also plan to start adding it to my skincare routine because this oil is ALSO great for the skin? Is there nothing myrtle can’t do? I tell ya…(I plan to add it to my next batch of homemade deodorant, too.)

-I went to a take-and-make party at my friend’s house and she had all kinds of wonderful skin and body care recipes available to us, along with all the ingredients we would need, including all her Young Living oils. I had SO much fun at her party, and came away with rollers full of fractioned coconut oil and YL oils for a variety of issues : a tummy roller for the kids, a wellness roller, and my favorite, a “happy momma” roller. We also used unrefined coconut oil to make other blends that could be massaged on skin. I made a “happy baby” blend for Bea and a “breath cream” for the kids. Those recipes are all over pinterest if you are interested!

-This winter, I took my friend Sara’s advice and started mixing oregano oil with coconut oil and rubbing it on my feet before bedtime when I feel like I’m coming down with something. I honestly believe it has helped me fight off illness and bounce back quicker!

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So, these are just a few of the ways I use essential oils. Like I said, I’m still relatively new to this whole world, but I’ve really enjoyed using them and I believe in their benefits. I’ll link to a few articles that I’ve read on my oil journey.

What about you? Do you use essential oils? How do you use them? Feel free to link up to recipes you use and enjoy to share with the rest of us! And again, I  hope this was a fun and informative post for you, regardless of where you are on the oil spectrum. I love that people have brands they love, and it’s fun when they share their love with others. I think there is room for everyone to share their tips and preferences with everyone without dogging on someone else’s opinion or favorite brand.

What’s that the kids are saying these days? Positive vibes only! (wink)

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a few (possibly) helpful link:

a great list of what carrier oils are and how to choose one: here

my favorite detox bath recipe: here

a great list of oils for sinus infections (at the bottom): here

a helpful graphic to explain how and where to use oils topically: here

recipe for a Whipped Sleepy Time Rub that is great for kids (and you too!): here

an important dilution guide to read before you use oils on your skin: here