zondag 26 januari 2014

Oil pulling, a natural addition to your oral hygiene routine

The first time I heard about oil pulling is was very surprised and curious. I just had to try it! And now, it has become a part of my daily routine.

This ayurvedic procedure involves one or two tablespoons of oil (most people use coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for 15-20 min. Afterwards you spit it out, rinse with some water and brush your teeth as usual. It reduces plaque and some people claim it has whitened their teeth after doing it for a while. I haven't focused on that so I can't tell.

After trying it for some days I could already feel a difference. My teeth felt cleaner after brushing.It really gave me this "just got back from the dentist" clean feeling. For the first few seconds it does taste very fatty, but then it slowly fades as it mixed with your saliva. You don't need to swish for the full 15 or 20 min. You can just swish, leave it in your mouth for a bit and then swish some more. This way the muscles in your mouth and face don't get too tired. 

Just try it for a couple of days and you'll feel the difference!

zondag 15 december 2013

Natural colored lip balm

Colored lip balms are a great way to care for your lips and still add a touch of color to your lips.
The colors won't be as bright as in a lipstick, but just a hint of colour. Something some of use can definitely use during these winter months.

You'll need
*a clean container
*1 teaspoon coconut oil
*1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil or calendula oil
*1/2 teaspoon of wax (beeswax, soy wax etc)

A great natural way to add color to your lip balms is with with beet juice or beet root powder. Health food stores might also sell natural food coloring. You can also add that to your balm.

Put the oils and wax into a clean bowl or pyrex jug and heat it in double boiler. Then slowly add the coloring to your oils. You really only need to put in very small quantities at a time. It's better to play it safe and add a little more than to end up with a color that's too bright for you. 

To see if you've got the right color just dip the tip of a knife (a butter knife that's not as sharp!)  in the mixture and let  a bit of the mixture settle. Then you can put some balm on your skin and see if you like the color. Be careful! If the color is fine you can pour the mixture into a container.
Enjoy experimenting with different colors and combinations!

zondag 1 december 2013

Delicious all natural chocolate lip balm

With winter coming it's time to get ready for dry skin related issues. Calendula creams, extra caring hand cream and of course lip balms! This recipe is both caring and delicious!

Shopping list:
*a clean container
*2 teaspoons of cocoa butter. I used food grade cocoa butter, it smells heavenly.
*1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil.
*1/4 teaspoon of chocolate or you can use some cocoa powder.
Dark chocolate works best to get a strong chocolate flavor/scent. This isn't exact science, just observe as you stir the chocolate into the mixture. You might want to add more or a little less. The great thing about making your own cosmetics is that you can make it just the way YOU like it.

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a double boiler. This shouldn't take long. Then you can add the chocolate or cocoa powder. Simply let it all mix and pour it into a container and let it cool.

This is an all natural alternative to store bought flavored lip balms. All these ingredients are safe to eat so you don't have to worry about unwanted chemicals you might get into your mouth. You can safely lick your lips with this delicious balm!

zondag 3 november 2013

5 Super easy natural scrubs

A freshly scrubbed soft skin feels great. But did you know many commercial scrubs contain micro plastics? You are actually scrubbing your skin with tiny plastic bubbles that end up in the water supply, rivers and oceans. Luckily there are a number of easy, green and cheap alternatives. Most of them can actually be found in the grocery store around the corner. It almost sounds too good to be true.

1. Sugar
Sugar makes a great scrub. Mixed with some oil it leaves your skin fresh and the oil moistures your skin leaving it super soft. You can use brown sugar or any sugar with larger grains for your body, hands or feet. Use granulated sugar mixed with some oatmeal and oil for a soft scrub for your face. Or make a quick lip scrub!
Lip scrub
sugar and baking soda scrub
sugar and oatmeal facial scrub

2. Sea salt
I found some sea salt in my supermarket and the grains were just the perfect size for a natural scrub. Many health stores will have all kinds salt, from dead sea salt to Himalayan salt if you're looking for something special. Mix it with oil and you have a perfect scrub.
sea salt scrub

3.Baking soda
Baking soda has very small particles and is great for a softer kind of scrub. Perfect for your face if you have acne or just want a gentle scrub.
sugar and baking soda scrub

4. Apricot kernel and other ground up kernels and nuts
Kernels and seeds of apricots, cherries, avocados or ground up almonds make great scrub powder. Plus you'll get your daily dose of fruit and vitamins. Just let them dry, smash them, grind them and do whatever you like to create small particles perfect for a scrub bar or regular scrub.
 almond scrub bar
natural scrub powder DIY

5. Cornmeal
I found some cornmeal at the foreign food section at my supermarket next to the Indian food. You can probably also find it at most Chinese food stores. It has a fine texture but still has some nice scrubbing power. You could use it in a face mask or scrub bar. I usually use it mixed with coconut oil for an oil cleanse with scrub power.

zaterdag 28 september 2013

DIY Bowl made of old vinyl record

This DIY project is so much fun to make and it's quite easy. This bowl is great to store fruit in, it can be used to create gift baskets and more.

What do we need?
*old vinyl records
*an oven
*1 or 2 heat resistant bowls

Heat the oven to about 100 degrees Celsius. It's not exact science but somewhere around this temperature should be fine. Place one of the heat resistant bowl in the oven. I guess there are two ways to do this. One way is to put the bowl in upside down and place the record on top and let it melt around the bowl. The other way is to place the bowl in the oven and the record on top and let it melt into the bowl.
Once you see the bowl starting to melt (this happens very quickly) you can take it out of the oven and while the material is still warm you can adjust the shape. Don't expect a perfect round bowl, the shape will be more free formed and looks a bit like it came out of a Dali painting.  If you're not happy with the shape you can just pop it back in the oven to reheat it.

The one on the left would be nice to put some fruit in, the other one might be more appropriate for potato chips or nuts on a birthday party. So run over to the thrift shop, buy a record and make a bowl!
I bought these records for 1 euro (it had 2 in it) so at 50 cents each you have a great gift!

zondag 8 september 2013

DIY: Calendula Cream for dry skin

I really love Calendula. The flowers are beautiful and it has many great benefits for your skin! Soon the days will get colder and your skin might need a little extra attention. This cream is also great for dry areas of your skin such as your knees and elbows or any other part of your body that needs some extra love. Packed with caring ingredients this cream will give your skin some much needed love and care.

What do we need? 

* A clean container

* 42 gr calendula oil.
* 28 gr shea butter
* 28 gr cocoa butter
* 7 gr sweet almond oil
* 7 gr of wax, bees, soy, or any other wax. I used hemp wax.
 You can add a few drops of essential oil if you like, but I didn't. Some chamomile or lavender would be great with this.

Making your own calendula oil is very easy. Just fill a big jar with dried calendula flowers and cover it with oil: olive oil, sunflower oil or any oil you like. Place it in a warm and sunny spot and leave it there for a few weeks. You may notice your oil has changed color. The sunflower oil I used turned orange. Filter the oil and it's ready to use!

Place all the ingredients in a heat proof jar or bowl. Heat the ingredients au bain marie. 


Wait until all the ingredients have fully melted. Now pour the mixture into a container and let it cool. Once the mixture has cooled a little you can add some essential oils if you like. Once your mixture has cooled it's ready to use!  Yep, creating a natural caring skin product is that easy.

zondag 1 september 2013

DIY natural toothpaste

One of the things that was missing from my personal care products was some home made toothpaste. I've tried some natural store bought toothpastes, but they weren't really what I wanted. They were either too expensive for my taste, or they were just plain old minty toothpastes. So I decided to make some of my own toothpaste. After searching the web for some recipe ideas I came up with my own little mix. This isn't a toothpaste that foams, but it will clean your teeth just the same!

What do we need?

*a tube or container to store your toothpaste in.
*3 tablespoons of Bentonite clay, but that was hard for me to find so I used white clay. But I've heard good things about it.
*2 tablespoons of coconut oil
*1 teaspoon of baking soda

*1 teaspoon of salt (I used Himalayan salt) 
*1 teaspoon of Calcium carbonate

Now for flavoring. This mixture is really salty and you can add all sort of herbs and sweeteners to give it a better taste and improve your oral hygiene. Taste is such a personal thing, it's best to just buy some ingredients you like and mix it as you go. You can use dried herbs and stevia to create your own blend. I used some sweetener, peppermint oil and clove powder. I used some sweetener to get rid of most of the salty taste and peppermint and clove for a fresh breath.

                                 All you need to do is put these ingredients in a clean bowl and mix it!

You can add some water if you like to thin the mixture if you like. If you decide to do so use water, us some that you've boiled first to get rid of a lot of bacteria and other nasty things that could spoil your toothpaste.
Now it's ready to be put in a tube or container. If you use a container I would suggest using a dry toothbrush to minimize the possible growth of bacteria and molds.