Category Archives: beauty

Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Ingredient Homemade Facial Scrub

facial scrub

Ever have one of those weekend (or week) days where you feel sort of blaaah and have a ton of stuff to do (in my case work) and stay in bed all day working and sleeping on and off and then at around 9:00 pm you start to feel really crusty and oily and want to just scrub your skin off?  I had one of those days over the weekend.  It was so hot here last week friends (108 degrees if you can believe it), and fires everywhere!  Poor drought ridden California.  It can get pretty nasty here in the summer with bad air quality…and the fires!  Gasp.  It’s really sad.  I think all that gets to my immune system and just zaps me.  So I got a lot accomplished on my crusty lazy day, and then wanted to do something to enhance my mood, you know, get out of the funk.  I like to pamper myself and do some self-care when I’m not feeling well.  A good face and body scrub was in order.  I’ve been using a simple two ingredient facial scrub that works like magic at sloughing off dead skin and creates a lovely glow.  It closes my pores, tightens my skin, and evens out my skin tone.  I have experimented with different ingredients such as lemon, oatmeal, salt, and oils. I just go with what yields the best results, and the sugar scrub is the best I’ve used so far.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think.  And friends, take a little you time for self-care.  A fresh coat of nail polish, a relaxing shower, a face and body scrub down, a massage…whatever, it really does wonders for the mind and body.   Continue reading

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Labels: beauty, homemade beauty products, homemade remedies, how to.


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Friday, November 22, 2013

Chemical-Free Homemade Deodorant

I have but a few words to describe this homemade deodorant, quite simply: it works (for me at leastand my husband).  I didn’t run a marathon with this deodorant so I can’t speak to it’s long-term/heavy duty performance, consider this deodorant for regular day to day use.  For years I’ve put off making my own deodorant (because if you know me in real life I am one of the most skeptical people you will ever meet) and I honestly didn’t think homemade deodorant worked (like, at all).  Okay, let me explain that I am a gal who NEEDS to wear deodorant.  I don’t get super funky, but I honestly need to wear something.  I tried to go o’natural once and it did not go well (for my nostrils anyway).  I personally know people who don’t need deodorant, so there is certainly a spectrum of body odor from nearly non-existent to musky to downright offensive.  Over the years I’ve tried every “natural and chemical free” deodorant out there and still nothing worked the way I wanted it to (no thank you to smelling like a perfume factoryyou might know by now I have a severe chemical sensitivity).  I love proving myself wrong.  This homemade deodorant works BETTER than any store bought brand and I’m thrilled I can add another homemade beauty product to my ever growing list.  For a while now I’ve been on a mission to decrease my exposure to chemicals and have been quite successful thus far.  Curious about the toxicity to any particular ingredient or chemical? Visit the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.  I’ve been using this site for years to check ingredients and I would be lost without it.  
Okay, here is a challenge for you. 
 Go grab your shampoo bottle (or for the purpose of this post, your deodorant) and enter the ingredients in the database.  You will receive instant answers.  Be forewarned, you might feel a little panicky about the ingredients, but don’t worry.  Start today, start now.  Empty those bottles, then recycle those bottles, and find chemical-free alternatives.  They do exist, and no, they do not cost a thousand dollars.  Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to all things natural and homemade.  
Chemical-Free Homemade Deodorant 
-4 tablespoons coconut oil here or here 
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda* 
-1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional)
-Essential oils of choice (optional) 
Buy the 4 ounce glass amber jars HERE
HERE is my recipe for homemade body spray (nice to make along with the homemade deodorant)
How To:
1.  In a 4 ounce jar add in coconut oil and baking soda and mix until incorporated.  Then add in the vegetable glycerin and mix well.  At this point you can add in some essential oils.  They won’t smell very strong however.  
2.  For a stronger essential oil smell, omit the essential oils from the above recipe.  Rub some of the deodorant on your armpits then add three squirts of homemade body spray directly to each armpit.  The essential oils will be much more potent if you spray on.  
*The coconut oil is soothing on the skin.  The vegetable glycerin is added for additional moisture, but is an optional ingredient.  The baking soda controls the odor and is not uncomfortable or too gritty, add more if you feel like you need more odor control (another teaspoon or two).  
*I keep this at room temperature.  My husband also uses this deodorant, so this batch is adequate for two adults.
*Read HERE about some of the harmful ingredients in deodorant.  Remember, you put deodorant on your body everyday (often more than once) for your entire adult life.  The toxins do build up and often never leave the body. 
*In the summer your coconut oil might be liquid (like mine), so you can try a different oil that holds up better in warm weather, like shea butter or cocoa butter.  Or just use coconut oil and store in the fridge.  
*My friend Emily from Recipes to Nourish suggests using lemons as a deodorant.  
Here is a list of other homemade beauty products from The Tasty Alternative 
Colloidal Oatmeal for eczema and itchy skin
Shared onWhole Food FridaysFat Tuesdays
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Labels: beauty, homemade beauty products, homemade remedies.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Make Homemade Body Spray (with essential oils)

I’m not one to wear perfume, but if you knew me as a teenager, then yes, I had a variety of scents (didn’t we all)?! I don’t know when it happened (perhaps it correlated with my Crohn’s diagnosis) but a few years ago I developed a significant sensitivity to chemical smells, perfumy smells, detergents, hair spray, lotions, those plug-in scent things, shampoos and conditions, you name it.  My symptoms are pretty uncomfortable: instant headache, nausea, dizziness, irritability, stomachache ache, lethargy, etc.  I can only spend about 30 seconds in one of my favorite stores (Bed Bath and Beyond) before running for the door, desperate for fresh air.  Perhaps some of you can relate to this?  This all being said, I don’t have a problem with essential oils, which is so nice, because I love them.  I don’t wear them everyday, but I like having this option and some on-hand for when I want a little scent on me.  Last week I was browsing around in the health and beauty department at my local Coop and found some body spray (made with essential oils), and it caught my eye.  It was a lovely fragrance, lemon, ginger and peppermint.  I looked at the ingredients (3 included: essential oils, filtered water, vegetable glycerine).  What!  That’s just too easy!!  I have all these at home, so I made my own body spray- and LOVE it.  I used one of my favorite smells (patchouli) and also made one with orange.  You could go crazy with the combinations, the ideas are endless really.  What a fun Mother’s Day gift.  And this would pair nicely with one of my homemade lotions, such as homemade cocoa and shea body butter.  
Orange Blossom Body Spray
-1 oz filtered water 
-60 to 90 drops essential oil of orange (less or more to your liking)
-1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine 

Bohemian Momma Patchouli Body Spray 
-1 oz filtered water 
-1/8 teaspoon essential oil of Tunisian Patchouli (less or more to your liking)
-1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine

How To

1.  Mix ingredients together in small glass spray bottle and shake well.  Always shake before using. 
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Labels: beauty, how to.


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Friday, April 6, 2012

Cocoa and Shea Body Butter for Dry Skin and Eczema

I’m so excited to share this lotion with all of you!  It’s incredible in terms of healing.  I’ve been using it on Ethan’s skin for about 5 days and his dry eczema patches have nearly disappeared, and the rest of his skin feels like velvet.  My poor son has awful seasonal allergies and this exacerbates his eczema.  So during this time of the year I keep his immune system strong and keep him lubed up with healing lotion.  I am also using this lotion on my legs and back (where I tend to get dry this time of year).  I’m just really impressed with cocoa butter…and it’s fun to smell like chocolate. Oh, and I’m also using it as lip balm.  So fun!  If you’re searching for a healing lotion for your dry, itchy skin, this one might be for you!  I’ve included links below if you’re interested in making it.  I can’t stress how easy it is to make your own lotion.  I’m saving so much money; comes out to about $2.50 per jar (I was paying $10 – $15) for similar store bought lotions.
 Cocoa and Shea Body Butter 

-2.5 ounces Raw organic cocoa butter 
-3.5 ounces Raw organic unrefined shea butter 
-3 tablespoons organic apricot oil
-1 teaspoon teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, adds scent) 
-1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine 

How To:
1.  Weigh out the butters.
2.  Shave the cocoa butter and add it to a glass Pyrex submerged in water and bring the water to a boil. This will melt the cocoa butter while keeping it raw.  This step is optional, you could also just shave it and add it to the food processor.  The heat from blending will melt it pretty well.  
3.  Add the shea butter to food processor, pulse few times to loosen up and warm the butter – it will become very smooth.
4.  Slowly drizzle in the coco butter, apricot oil vanilla, and vegetable glycerin.
5.  Blend until velvety and creamy.
6.  Transfer lotion mixture to glass jars.  The lotion will be soft and will harden as it cools.  It will last for MONTHS at room temp.  Yields about 12 ounces.

Raw cocoa butter
Mmmmm, looks good and smells outrageous!
I make two jars at a time. 
One for our room and one for Ethan’s.  
The small jar holds 4 ounces  
The large jar holds 8 ounces 
Click HERE for additional homemade lotions from The Tasty Alternative
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Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies.


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade Coconut Shea Butter Lotion: for dry sky and eczema

After I made my first batch of lotion, I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients for different aliments.  For example, using colloidal oatmeal as an anti-itch relief.  It’s super fun and easy to make your own lotion.  It takes just a few minutes to mix the ingredients together and there you have it.  Today I’m sharing another variation for the dry/eczema prone skin.  I keep everything raw when making lotion.  I never heat the ingredients, which I feel is very important.  This batch includes shea butter as the base, with coconut oil, calendula oil, jojoba oil and a dash of eucalyptus (for its healing properties and fragrance).  Raw shea butter has a very interesting smell, almost smokey, and in the many batches I’ve purchased (on amazon) they have all varied in color and smell.  This is to be expected.  So have fun and experiment with essential oils!
-3 tablespoons jojoba oil
-1 tablespoon calendula oil
-3/4 teaspoon eucalyptus oil*
How To
1.  Mix ingredients in bowl, initially by hand, then with electric mixer.
2.  Fill small glass jars and use within 2 months.
3.  Final product can be stored at room temperature during use, as it has great self life!  Store remaining unused shea butter in the refrigerator, or you could also store leftover lotion in the fridge if you won’t be using it right away (it will keep for months in the fridge).  This stuff is resilient and you’re good either way, no matter where you keep it.
Eucalyptus is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory essential oil that can help control eczema flare-ups.  Eucalyptus oil works by stimulating blood circulation and has a calming and cooling effect on irritated skin.  And like echinacea, eucalyptus also stimulates your immune function.  Before applying eucalyptus oil (or any essential oil) to the skin, the oil should be diluted in a carrier oil (i.e. sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to avoid further irritation and burning.  Eucalyptus can be applied throughout the day as needed for itch relief.  Eucalyptus is also great for treating a baby eczema rash.
Use hand mixer OR food processor.  Both work well.  I tend to use a hand mixer with soft ingredients.  When I make lotion with cocoa butter, I always use a food processor.  It’s difficult to incorporate cocoa butter with a hand mixer.  Something else that’s important to consider is that the heat from the friction (from running the food processor a while) will help melt the small chunks of cocoa butter and incorporate all the ingredients nicely.
Additional Homemade Lotions from The Tasty Alternative
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Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies, how to.


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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Skin Deep Cosmetic Database

Ever feel curious about what’s in your lotion, shampoo, lipstick, foot scrub, toothpaste, eye shadow, dish soap, gel?  
I sure do.

A few years ago I came across the greatest website on the planet for the curious, health-conscience mind.  If you’re not sure about an ingredient but really want to know what it is, research results, and how toxic it is (on a scale from 1 – 10) well then look no further.  

The website is
Start here to get to know the site and how to use it.

This site is SO user friendly, by the way.  You simply type in the ingredient (or just copy and paste from the internet) and you will instantly receive valuale information on its level of toxicity. 
An essential element in any holistic healing routine or holistic lifestyle is knowing exactly what you are putting on your skin and exactly what you are bringing into your home.  This is also so very important for children’s products.  Say NO to chemicals in your products, polluting our bodies and earth.  
Have peace of mind and take control with knowledge. 

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Labels: beauty, Holistic healing.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Jojoba Shea Butter Lotion: for dry skin and eczema

When my son Ethan was 5 months old he developed eczema all over his body.  It wasn’t entirely a surprise.  My husband develops terrible eczema on his hands during the summer/winter months.  So when it started showing up on Ethan it was all about holistic healing and comfort…and time.   
I started with food. I was nursing Ethan so I would systematically cut out foods from my diet that I suspected might be aggravating his skin.  Food didn’t seem to change his skin much.  Already 100% dairy free, sugar free, soy free, etc, I cut out eggs for a while.  I also experimented with wheat and nuts.  We noticed that during the cold months his skin was dry and susceptible and during the hot months his skin was dry and susceptible.  I would say that staying on a allergy free diet helped his skin from becoming worse than it already was, and allowed time and other natural remedies to work and heal the inflammation. 
Our pediatrician, like most pediatricians, suggested the steroid cream.  Scott never had much success with this sort of cream and he also didn’t particularly like the ingredients – very intense stuff.  So we both knew this just wasn’t an option…or for us a very last resort option.  For the most part Ethan was smiley, happy and easy going.  He appeared comfortable.  He wasn’t distressed or preoccupied with itching his skin.  So that being said, we continued with holistic/homeopathic remedies including:
1.  Keeping his nails trimmed 
2.  Always covering the weepy patches of skin, but also allowing the skin time to breathe now and then
3.  Dressing in only 100% cotton or organic cotton clothes
4.  Gentle soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) to wash his clothes
5.  We did not bathe him every night
6.  During baths I would often put chamomile tea in with his bath water (steap about 8 cups of water with 8 tablespoons loose chamomile flowers )
7.  Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!  We kept his skin very lubricated, especially during the winter months.
Side note: I’m not kidding when I tell you we used just about every organic, natural cream on the market.  We found these at our local Coop and I also found products on-line from small organic companies (this is a great blog for such a purpose).  I was very picky about what I put on his skin, obviously.  We did not use lotions filled with preservatives, parabens, SLS, phthalates, glycols, petroleum, artificial fragrances, PEGS, PGG, MEA, TEA, DEA, etc…the list goes on and on…and so the list of what you can use gets smaller and smaller.
I didn’t think about making my own lotion at the time.  I wish I had because we all know those organic creams are EXPENSIVE!  
In time his eczema decreased, starting with his face.  By his first birthday his face looked great.  Next his arms improved to zero areas of inflammation much like his face, his back and stomach followed.  His legs improved greatly but this is still the area of concern.
Last summer I purchased my last store-bought cream/oil.  I was determined to make my own dry skin/eczema remedy and found three ingredients that target inflammation 
(and ingredients I frequently saw in the store-bought brands):
So here is what I did…
1: Purchased 16 oz. of raw, organic shea butter ($10).
2: Purchased 8 oz. of organic jojoba oil 
(from bulk at our Coop – $5)
3: Purchased 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers 
(from bulk at our Coop – $1.50)
4: Infused jojoba with chamomile for 2 weeks
5: Strained through cheese cloth and TADA…chamomile infused jojoba oil! 
6: Raw shea butter is super hard so I placed it in a glass bowl and let it sit in the sun for a few hours to soften.  Worked great.  Above picture is a few hand stirs with a spoon after the sun bath
7: I added the strained oil to the shea butter and whipped with a hand mixer until well incorporated
1.  This lotion is oily.  Take caution when applying it around fabric you love, as oil may transfer
2.  It soaks into skin after a bit and should be noted it’s much less oily than just applying straight oil
2.  This would be a terrific hand treatment at night with cotton gloves
3.  Apply immediately after shower/bath to affected areas
4.  This mixture of ingredients has a fantastic shelf life
5.  Experiment with other healing herbs/oil 
Here are some pictures of Ethan’s skin.  I never took any of his body because it was usually covered.  I look back at these and smile ear to ear.  He was such a chubby little thing! To give you an idea, he weighed 17 lbs. at 4 months old! And I’m not kidding when I tell you he was a happy little thing too – always a smile on that red little face.  Mommy kept him very comfortable!
Overall, his legs were the worst.  He had many patches of skin that were weepy, he also had these patches on his arms.  Keeping these patches covered prevented itching and aided in healing.
And, here he is in 2010:
This face looks so much better.  His cheeks healed with time, as did his arms, back and stomach.  We are happy about declining the steroid cream.  This this was a personal choice and every parent should decide what will be best for their child and what they are comfortable administering.  I would say he outgrew the worst of it. Keeping him on an allergy-free diet is very important despite the little change we noticed in his symptoms early on.  He is currently dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, soy free, chocolate free and nightshade free.  And we keep that skin super-duper moisturized with our awesome new lotion.  

Still a very smiley little guy!!  

See HERE for a list of all my homemade lotions 
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Labels: beauty, eczema, Holistic healing, homemade remedies, how to.


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