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21 January 2012

Taking Care of Me

Let me start this post by saying I AM NOT AN EXPERT.  I have not had any cosmetology classes.  Everything I'm sharing with you today has come from trial and error, my need to save money, look good, feel healthy/better about myself, and an intense desire to get away from the excess chemicals that we're so used to seeing in products that go ON OUR SKIN!  Our skin...the largest organ on our body & so easily damaged.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of makeup & moisturizers that leave my skin irritated and flaky.  I'm tired of being allergic to all of it...the redness, the bumps, the ITCHING.  Ugh!  I'm tired of the PRICE of products that promise to work and don't deliver.  I don't wear makeup every day.  I'm not beauty obsessed, but as is human nature, I do like to look good & on occasion make up does give me a little pick-me-up that I just can't get anywhere else.  Today, I'm going to share my recipes for cleaning my face, my new lotion love, and a serum that cosmetics companies can't even come close to!

My eye make up that is.  For ages I used Almay or Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover.  Over the last couple of years it's really begun to irritate my eyes & leave my vision blurry for a couple of hours after use.  Not good.  I don't wear waterproof mascara any more (makes my eyes hate me).  There are some recipes out there that use mineral oil, olive oil, or coconut oil...CAN'T DO THAT...if oils get into your eyes, the ONLY way to remove it is surgically.  What do I use, then?  3 items in a 4 oz bottle....

1 tsp tear-free head to toe baby wash
1Tbsp pure coconut water (NOT coconut oil)
6-8 drops grapeseed oil (yeah, yeah I just said "no oil" but this one is different & I'll explain in a sec)
3.5 oz distilled water
It works, doesn't leave my eyes burning or blurry, and I'm happy.  NOW...the grapeseed oil...it's not a lot of oil and grapeseed is considered a "light" oil which means that it won't clog your pores or suffocate the skin of your face like coconut or olive oil and especially mineral oil.  It has antioxidants to help fight signs of aging, vitamins that your skin actually CRAVES, and doesn't leave behind any sort of residue.  I also take a warm washcloth immediately after using & lightly blot my skin off.

The simplest...EVER.  Dr. Bronner's baby mild (unscented) liquid castile soap. Four drops in my hand, a little warm water, rub gently in circular motion over face, avoiding eye area, and rinse off.  Works beautifully.  If you're acne prone, this is good for you, too.  We even use it for a body wash, my faves are the rose & almond scented...

In the shower I keep a small tub of baking soda that has been pre-moistened with distilled water into a paste.  I scoop out a dime sized amount into my palm, add 4 drops of Dr Bronner's & VERY GENTLY scrub, then rinse.  The reason I emphasize gently...baking soda is a natural abrasive...rub too hard & it's like taking 80grit sandpaper to your face...not cool.  But a light circular motion scrub (believe me, you'll feel it) will do the trick.

Another 4oz travel bottle, but this one contains
2 crushed aspirin
2oz apple cider vinegar
2oz distilled water
Vinegar is an acid, but it levels the pH in your skin...put it on a cotton ball & dab lightly around your entire face, paying extra attention to breakout-prone areas, avoiding the eyes.  Did you know that if you drink a 2oz shot of apple cider vinegar every morning, you're helping your skin, hair, & digestion?  We'll have to do a vinegar post soon so you can understand why I love it so much.

Grapeseed oil.  Pure and simple.  Put some on a cotton pad & gently pat around my face.  It's usually soaked in by the time I'm finished brushing my teeth.  

2oz brown or cobalt glass bottle (available at your local health food store)
dropper lid (some bottles come with them, so check)
1 oz grapeseed oil
1/2 oz jojoba oil
5 drops rose essential oil
5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
5 drops bergamot essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
Nightly after washing.  Using my weakest finger (left hand ring finger), I place a small drop & pat it over my eyebrows, upper eye (NOT the lids), and under my eyes.  I also put it on the bridge of my nose.  Heck, there have been a few times that I put it on my whole face.  It feels that good!  This close-up of my gray peepers is how my makeup looks the morning after doing a serum treatment the night before.  Not bad, if I do say so myself!
No flakes, the skin is smoother, and purple/puffy....I don't know what you're talking about! *LOL*

And finally, my new neck-to-toe miracle moisturizer.  I'll give you the original recipe that I've been sitting on for nearly a year, tell you why it's good, but not great, THEN I'll share my tweaks to it & let you choose.

16oz bottle baby lotion
8oz Vaseline
8oz vitamin E cream
Pour ingredients into a bowl & mix until it resembles pudding.  Spoon into containers.

Smells great, feels fantastic....at first.  Then after about an hour, you start to have this sticky/slick feel that takes about TEN HOURS to go away.  Why?  Short answer - WAY too much Vaseline.  Now, I live in Utah, and with our desert air, my skin has been dry for YEARS...flaky, ashy, and my feet...oh, my poor feet.  I'm a barefoot girl, but I really hated my feet.  White around the edges, cracked, peeling, and over time, they really hurt.

Someone out there is going to yell "Get your blood sugar tested, Ditzy Girl. You're diabetic!"  I can assure you, I'm NOT.  I get a little low every now and then, but that's because I burn up everything I take in and has nothing to do with this.  This is me hating shoes, running around on carpet, concrete, and my feet paying the price.  No amount of soaking, scraping callouses, and paraffin moisture wraps made it go away.  I was beginning to think nothing would help.  Till this.  Here's what I ended up with:

yields 56 oz
16 oz bottle baby lotion (your choice, but remember the fewer ingredients, the better)
8oz Equate petroleum jelly with aloe & E (WalMart)
(2) 16 oz tubs of Clear Basics Vitamin E cream with jojoba & aloe (Family Dollar)
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil (yeah, I can admit it - I'm addicted to the stuff!)
Save the vitamin e tubs for refilling.  Pour ingredients into large bowl & mix until it looks like pale pink pudding.  Scoop back into containers & use when needed.  It feels AMAZING!  Absorbs quick, but you don't dry out or itch 3-4 hours later.  And my tootsies?  They love me again!  When I first used this, I put it on before going to bed, thinking that if they were white/dry again by morning, I'd be so upset.  This picture was taken the next day.

You should be able to right click & open in a new tab to see that there are no dry areas on my foot.  I'm very pleased with the results.  And 56oz of lotion for under $8?  You can't beat it!  It's become such a hit in our house that Middle Child and Biker Boy both took off with their own containers when they saw how much of it I had...and they use it every day!

July 2012 EDIT:  Over the last few months, I have changed my miracle moisturizer recipe.  While it worked great, I was beginning to have a hard time with the petroleum in there...the jar AND what was in the baby lotion...didn't like thinking about all the dinosaurs that died just to keep my skin soft. (tee hee)  Here's what I've changed to & not only do I feel better about what's going on our skin, it works just as well when it comes to moisturizing:

(3) 16oz tubs of Clear Basics vitamin E cream with jojoba & aloe (Family Dollar)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
4 Tbsp of grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp sweet almond oil
1 Tbsp jojoba oil
1 oz rosewater (optional)
15 drops of rose essential oil (optional)
Again, everything dumped into a large bowl & mix until blended to pudding consistency. Repacked into the emptied tubs for storage.  It's still very inexpensive, because I had everything on hand, with the exception of the vitamin E cream...those are only about $1.75/tub.  There's still some petroleum in there, thanks to the vitamin E cream, but it's minimal compared to what it was before.

And the fragrance?  Reminds me of Rose Milk lotion...remember those little pink bottles?  I never could wear it, because of my allergy to lanolin, but I really LOVED the smell!  Now, before I mixed in the rosewater & rose oil, I did scoop some "unscented" off into a tub for my guys because they weren't too keen on "smelling like a flower shop." *LOL*  You're welcome to leave out the rosewater and change out the essential oil to keep it unscented, OR add any essential oils that you prefer...I wouldn't mix more than 2 scents together, though...they get to competing on your skin & what smells nice in the tub, can smell funky ON you!  Try chamomile & lavender, sage & orange, sweet birch & clove, lilac, peppermint...the options are endless!

Thanks for stopping by & letting me share my thrifty skin care tricks.  I hope that you might be able to use one or all of them for you and your family.  Have a great rest of your day!!

17 January 2012

Happy Tennant Tuesday

It's drool time...okay it is for ME...I've earned it. {grin}

For the record...I don't CARE that in 3 months his sweet little baby girl, Olive, will be 1yr old.  I don't CARE that 2 weeks ago he married his sweetie of 3yrs.  I don't WANT a 12-step program to get over him.  He's purdy, he's talented, he's Scottish, and he's HAWT!!!

I have some really great recipes to share with you on Thrifty Thursday and Frugal Friday, so if you're ready to save some serious moolah, check back with me then.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your day!!

04 January 2012

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Thank you, Jaime, for my "gorjuss" sigtag!!


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