Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beating Acne Naturally

I found a great little homemade recipe that I've been using on my oldest son.  Now that he's been in his teenage years for a while now, the dreaded acne appears every so often.  So he's been my guinea pig.  I don't think he minds being my tester for this as this recipe works quite well and it doesn't involve a lot of effort on his part (smile).

Teenagers get acne.  Not every teenager experiences this but many do and various factors come into play regarding why they get it.  Hormones are the biggest one but also diet, environmental factors and gut flora can play roles.  Now when adults experience acne this is another story: hormones can still play a key role but gut flora and liver imbalances are the biggest culprits.  This is all one continuous cycle because what we eat, our lifestyle choices and stressors all affect our gut flora and liver and this in turn affects our hormones.

Changing your diet to include good quality fats (REAL butter, pastured eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, fatty fish like salmon), probiotic foods (yogurt, fermented vegetables, kombucha, beet kvass, kefir, fermented cod liver oil), water, lots of fruits and veggies (fruits and veggies are detoxifying) and taking out sugars, processed foods and vegetable oils can go a long way to making your skin healthy and acne free.

So as you change your diet you can also use this easy to make recipe for any blemishes that do appear.  You actually may notice an INCREASE in acne and other blemishes when you begin to make changes to your health - these are normal reactions and can be a positive sign that your body is beginning to recognize these changes.  In time this should improve.

In the meantime....

Tea Tree and Lavender Acne Remover
1 ounce jojoba oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil
  1. Fill a small bottle (1 oz. works well) with the jojoba oil
  2. Add essential oils, cover and shake well
  3. Apply as needed to acne (be very careful around the eye area; like any essential oil, you don't want to get this in the eyes).
There are various manufacturers and distributors for essential oils. Make sure you're getting them from a good quality source. I love Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com). They have wonderful products and also sell the amber glass bottles with reducers that are great for dispensing essential oils.  Young Living Oils are also another great source of good quality oils. Because I have included the carrier oil, jojoba oil, in the recipe this makes the mixture a bit thicker. So keep that in mind as the oil is a bit slower when dispensing. Enjoy!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Natural Deodorant - That Works!

Take a look at your deodorant and see if any of these are listed: aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates or triclosan.  Chances are at least one of these is in there as they are all common ingredients in today's deodorants and antiperspirants.  Aluminum is a metal and is often used in antiperspirants to help block the sweat from escaping pores.  It has also been linked to breast cancer in women.  I don't want to scare you but ANYTHING that we put on our skin (our body's largest organ) WILL be absorbed by our body.  Parabens scare me - not only are they contained in an alarming amount of our body care products and makeup but the absorption of them can and will disrupt our delicate hormonal balance.  This can lead to things like early puberty in children and an increased risk of hormonal cancers among other things.  Propylene glycol is a little bit tamer; however, I feel that over time even this ingredient can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart.  Phthalates have also been linked to a variety of health issues and they may even disrupt hormone receptors as well as increase the likelihood of cell mutation (birth defects).  Triclosan has anti-bacterial properties and is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA.  The Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a probably carcinogen.  Some companies are working to remove triclosan from their products, a positive step in the right direction.

So, what does this all mean and what can you do?  First off, the very places on our bodies where we put deodorant are right where our axillary lymph nodes are.  So what we put in that spot will be absorbed into our lymph nodes (and of course our body).  The axillary lymph node area filters the lymph fluid draining away from the breast area.  Since the job of the lymph nodes is to filter out "bad guys" like cancer cells, this can be an area that is susceptible to cancer and the spread of cancer. Not good.  Lymph nodes also filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted substances and wastes from our bodies and make sure that they are safely eliminated from the body.

You want to keep your lymph nodes working well and without any unneeded chemicals from deodorants that will be absorbed!!

After trying out various natural deodorants I've found an easy recipe that you can make at home.  Although not necessarily GAPS legal, if you are on GAPS and in need of a deodorant I feel that this one has better ingredients versus purchasing one.  Here it is:

Natural Deodorant
 
5 Tablespoons coconut oil
4 Tablespoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
5 drops tea tree oil (or other essential oil; I like lavender oil)
 
Mix together well with a spoon and put in a container.  Will last a long time and you can halve the recipe if you like.