Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: it’s all about makeup and skincare!

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In the last Our Natural Bath blog: The Theme is Clean we showed you all the ways we naturally clean in the bathroom; ourselves and the room itself. This time ’round we’re talking all things natural skincare and cosmetics!

Women often ask me what natural makeup I use so I’m excited to finally be talking about it! Included too is what modern caveman Clint uses, so there’s something here for both the ladies and the gents!

Let me just point out.. how fricken hard it is to find natural cosmetics on the market that are not sell-a-kidney kind of expensive and natural body products that contain ingredients we can actually understand when reading the list on the label! Shopping for these items is a nightmare! Am I right or am I right?!

It certainly has been challenging for me on this journey to natural health and wellness to transition over to natural skincare. It’s been the last of my paleo lifestyle standard-to-healthier changes because 1. the cost involved and 2. the difficulty in sourcing products that actually work well

I will admit right here right now that my makeup items are still not 100% natural. I have a selection of eyeshadows that aren’t even close to being natural, but I use them very rarely. And a couple other products I think are semi-natural; not quite what I want but better than the standard chemical alternatives I used to use. The main thing for me is.. MOST of the makeup I use is natural and good quality. The rest of what I use on my skin definitely is, so I’m in the right direction I think!

Skincare, I think, is easier to get a hang of than makeup. Looking for “natural” is so overwhelming because there’s just so many products in stores and online claiming to be natural when in fact they’re not. Or the ingredients are ‘derived’ from natural sources but after all the processing and manipulating, are barely a resemblance to their original state. Plus, so many products have so many ingredients! Have you noticed? You’re reading the label of a moisturiser product on the shelf in your local health food store and can’t fathom why there needs to be 30+ ingredients just to moisten skin?! I find that a little crazy and unnecessary to be honest.

But.. when I decided I wanted to go more ‘Paleo‘ when it came to what I put on my skin, I found the process of choosing products and concoctions so much easier. I thought to myself.. “if I don’t want to put  grains into my body, why would I want to put grain oils on my body?” and this concept has really worked for me. Instead of simply looking for ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ options (which can be so full of so many ingredients they still cause nasty reactions and symptoms or just don’t work at all) I started looking for paleo-friendly ingredients.

Basically, I’m looking for oils, fats, and other ingredients that could be classed as “Paleo”. This leaves out a whole stack of natural products on the market but it suits me better because I’ve found paleo-friendly products have very few ingredients, which I really like.

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My makeup tray

With most of my skincare, I stopped buying actual products almost all-together. Instead I use plain oils. Oils I had in the kitchen! Seriously! Olive oil, coconut oil.. so many edible oils are great used topically.  I mentioned in the last blog how I use olive oil to remove makeup from my face every night, well I also use the same jar of it as my arms and legs moisturiser! I did start out using coconut oil, because alllll the natural wellness blogs and social media allllways rave about how coconut oil is the answer for eeeeevery health condition under the sun and has a zillion uses… ok that’s a slight exaggeration but you get my point here. We’re basically being told to put coconut oil on everything.

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So I used it as a makeup remover, moisturiser, hair gel, everything. But with my skin, I found it to be too greasy. It didn’t absorb in well enough, it would immediately rub off onto things I touched and my skin would feel dry again before the end of the day.

I tried olive oil instead, because if you do a bit of searching on the internet you’ll find out it’s pretty much just as useful as coconut oil! I use a Coles brand organic olive oil in the kitchen and in the bathroom, just in a jar. I don’t need to use it on my arms and legs during Summer, but I do all Winter because of the dry weather.

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The ONLY moisturiser I do buy is the Ecology Skincare range. Why do I bother when I already use oils that are so inexpensive? Because it’s one of the only paleo-friendly products on the market and it’s absolutely AMAZING!

Based on grass-fed beef tallow, which is really similar to our skin, these tubs of fluffy, creamy, soft, delicious-smelling moisturiser are just heavenly. Clint and I both use them! Clint suffers from dryness under his beard because of gut issues (which he is sorting out, don’t worry) and finds Ecology really helps reduce redness, dryness and itchiness. Especially when he’s trimmed his beard, the skin seems to get really irritated by that and becomes really red and sore very quickly. So he  puts some Ecology cream on and it helps a lot.

We’ve been trying the new Pete Evans range lately too and are happy to report they are just as good as the original range Crystal makes! We prefer the scents of the originals, but as moisturisers, they are on par.

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My non-makeup skincare collection

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Ecology Skincare creams are really fluffy and soft

Oh and I also use Ecology Skincare on my lips at night! I used to use Paw Paw cream until, as with many products I used to use, I found out it’s incredibly toxic and stopped using it.

In the mornings after my shower I like to apply a few drops of Kosmea rosehip oil to my face. I have bad skin, I always have, due to my chronic health issues. So the blotchiness and scarring is quite bad and I’m trying to minimise it as much as possible. I used to use Bio Oil every day, for a few years, until I read how toxic it is. Oops. But then I stopped using it and switched to rosehip oil. I’ve tried a few brands, cheaper options, but this brand is by far my favourite because it definitely works well. It’s also great for stretch marks.

That sponge-ish looking thing in the image above is a new foot scrubber I’ve been trying out. It’s a SAFIX brand and made from coconut fibre. I find it way too scratchy on my arms and legs but it works well on knees and feet for exfoliating. Being barefoot 95% of the time my feet are pretty nice but sometimes it’s handy to exfoliate, especially my knees due to Winter dryness.

I don’t use anything to exfoliate my face apart from a wet face washer while in the shower.

As for deodorant.. that’s another tricky one for many people. Natural options have been on the market for a long time, but really, has anyone ever found those crystals to actually work?! I don’t know anyone who has and they never have for me! I use the same principle with deodorant as I do with moisturisers.. I look for paleo-friendly products that have few ingredients and actually work.

 

The reason for going natural in the pit region is mainly to avoid using aluminium there which is in all standard deodorants on the market. But again, many of the natural varieties are full of confusingly-named ingredients or contain a whole bunch of things I just don’t think I need on my skin.

The only product I’ve tried that contains minimal ingredients, is Paleo and works extremely well is Simple Chemistry. Erika from Brisbane makes terrific deodorants, we both love using them. But recently I decided to try making my own as an experiment. I’ve just melted together aluminium-free bicarb soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil and lemon essential oil. It works really well, but it’s grainer than Erika’s products, so I prefer hers!

There’s loads of websites with DIY options but my advice is to remember to buy the bicarb that doesn’t contain any aluminium, as if it’s a brand that does, it may cause a reaction to your skin.

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Mineral makeup combo. Terrible lighting in the bathroom made for a terrible photo.. sorry!!

Makeup I don’t use the paleo-friendly concept with, it’s too hard to even worry about that, I just want as natural as possible.

Foundation and concealer are what I use the most of so I want them to be natural and safe. I’ve tried a few brands, including Nude by Nature which I don’t think is totally natural but it was affordable for me for a long time. And it worked well!

Now I use a combination of 2 shades of Claytime foundation powders mixed with, wait for it… olive oil! Yes, yet another use for olive oil! haha

I get a lot of sun now, with no sunscreen on, so in Summer my skin colour darkens and in Winter, even though I still do get lots of sun the UV is lower so my skin lightens up a bit. So to ensure I can get my makeup to match my skin tone (and there’s nothing worse than a lady wearing totally the wrong makeup tone for her skin) I mix my own colour! I use a light shade powder and a darker one, mostly the darker one now that my skin is tanned, shaken into a spare tub I had, then I add a few drops of olive oil and stir to get the right consistency. I always check it on my face and adjust as I need. Claytime and olive oil together give me excellent coverage (I often get complimented on how nice my skin is!), the tubs are not expensive to buy, and even though I’m doing some work to get the foundation created, it doesn’t take long at all.

To make concealer I just use a bit of the lighter powder in the lid of the foundation mixture tub and some of the foundation, to give me a slightly lighter – but too much – mixture to then dab onto the spots I have on my face and for under my eyes.

I’ve tried other brands as well, and am a big fan of Eco Minerals. Nourished Life is a great website with a few brands to choose from. When buying natural foundation and concealer, look for mineral makeup but do some research as to how natural they really are. I’ve heard stories of ladies stopping to use those pop-up consmetic brand stores in shopping centres, advertising ‘mineral’ and ‘natural’ makeup then asking to look at the ingredients to find out they are not at all totally natural. So be careful and do some research!

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With my eye colours, I’m a natural-look kinda gal, opting mostly for brown and black shades so I don’t buy a lot of different eyeshadows. Plus when you’re buying mineral options you’ll notice there aren’t anywhere near as many colours available as with regular options.

I use Claytime (brown, black and light purple) as well as Nude by Nature (browns and a cream colour) eyeshadows, Claytime black mascara (which I LOVE!), Claytime brushes plus a packet of regular plastic (not at all natural) eyeshadow pads, and very-not-natural eyeliner pencils. I’m yet to be able to afford quality pencils, they are just so expensive and unfortunately Claytime don’t make any 😦 I figure though because I only use them on the edge of my lids, it’s not much and can’t be doing too much damage to my health.

My eyebrows are brown but lighten really easily from the sun, so I like to define them using the Nude by Nature dark brown eyeshadow I have. You can see below the difference it makes!

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Right side eyebrow is without colouring. Right side eyelid has the Claytime black eyeshadow

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Claytime brown eyeshadow gives a nice soft colouring which I usually define more with the brown pencil

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The Claytime mascara applies really well and gives me the amount of definition I like

Most of the time I use an Eco Minerals bronzer powder as my blush, because it’s a nice colour on me and a quality product.  I also own a pink Claytime tub and darker pink Nude by Nature which I rarely use. The brush came in the set of Claytime natural brushes.

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Eco Minerals bronzer. I shake a little into the lid then lightly dab my brush into it

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The Eco Minerals bronzer gives a nice colour and contour to my cheeks

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The Claytime pink blush is nice and subtle. It’s what I use when I’m wearing a ‘pretty’ outfit

I think that’s about all we use as far as skincare and makeup goes! As you can see, I’m not totally there with 100% natural but I’m very close and that suits me at the moment 🙂

What natural products and DIY do you use? I’d love to know!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of Our Natural Bathroom! It might be about our oral health and we think you’ll find it pretty interesting actually.. 😉

Bye for now!

Aimee x

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Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: the theme is clean!

ournatural bathroom

Part 1: The theme is clean!

We like to say we live a Paleo Lifestyle. We live this way for the benefit of our health and happiness. This obviously means we eat mostly Paleo-friendly foods. But food isn’t the be-all and end-all to good health and wellbeing; there’s more to it than that! You can’t be well just from eating clean. You can’t be well just from moving naturally. You can’t be well just from having a happy mindset. Nor can you be well from just eliminating chemicals in the home. There needs to be a nice balance of all aspects of living. Kind of obvious when you think about it like that right?

So one of the ways we live more Paleo in a modern world (ie simpler, less stuff, cleaner, happier, more sustainably, environmentally friendly, etc) is by trying to avoid using chemicals around the house and on our skin, as opposed to just being mindful of eating low/no chemical foods.

We’ve mastered the switch to the general natural household stuff but the trickiest switch has definitely been in the bathroom; mostly with makeup and beauty products. We hear that a lot from our Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group members too who often ask us and each other what natural cosmetics and skin care products are recommended.

When you walk into a health food store or supermarket and look at the beauty and cleaning sections it’s easy to be overwhelmed with options. It’s good to see there are so many natural products on the market now but it’s confusing to know which are actually safe for humans or are just eco-friendly and how to work out what’s going to be right for you and your family.

Over the last few years living more Paleo we’ve realised one thing… simple is always best. Whether you’re talking movement, cooking or natural cleaning and beauty… simple is always best!

So in terms of natural products… how about you pick up a few different brands of say… shampoo and conditioner next time you’re at the shops or health food store and look at the back to have a read of the ingredients. Take note… is there a list of about 20 things and at least half of which you can’t even pronounce? Yeah that’s pretty common and it’s not necessary! There are SO many natural and organic products on the market now and unfortunately, most of them still contain a myriad of ingredients. Derived from plant sources, yes, that’s great but a lot of ingredients in the one product can still be too many ingredients for a person’s skin or health, natural or not!

We’ve experienced it for ourselves. We’ve bought top quality, expensive skincare products, with a list of ingredients a mile long, only to have found they’ve irritated our skin or simply just not worked. Who wants to spend a fortune on a fancy product that doesn’t even do what it’s advertised to? No one!

Through those experiences and trying different products on the market, as well as then also trying lots of DIY options (which can be really time-sucking), we’ve finally settled on the few natural and simple items we’re happy with. And we’d love to share them with you!

Our next post in this series will be about makeup and beauty products, so stay tuned for that one, but this first blog is all about how we get ourselves and our bathroom CLEAN without chemicals! Yay!

So let’s take you on a virtual tour of our bathroom and how we clean ourselves and the surfaces naturally…

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Let’s start with the shower. We live in South East QLD so we have a few nasties in our water, plus it’s an older townhouse so the pipes aren’t great. Our ENVIRO PRODUCTS Designer Shower Filter removes chlorine for up to 12 months. We know it works because a few weeks ago I ran a bath using the lower taps in this bath/shower combo. As I was letting it fill up slowly I went back to work on the computer in the office nearby. I noticed a strange smell. It was disgusting… it was a very strong, distinct smell of chlorine! So because I wasn’t using this filtered shower head, but the unfiltered bath taps, the tub was filling up with chlorine water!! I immediately emptied the bath and then started again using the shower head!

Some people notice improvements with skin conditions when they switch to chlorine-free water in the bathroom. We haven’t noticed any obvious changes but we like knowing we’re having chlorine-free showers every day!

 

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We’ve gone through so many different types of natural shampoo and conditioner options. Boy oh boy have we just! From bicarb soda, rosemary and acv rinses, various ‘natural’ and organic products, to DIY aloe/rosemary/acv/gelatin cleansing tablets… and we’ve settled on this product! Alaffia is 100% coconut, fair trade and works.

The other natural brands we’ve tried, with a million ingredients, always left our hair and scalp feeling dry and stripped of the natural oils and softness. The DIY tablets I used to make worked but they were a pain to make and messy to use. Bicarb left our hair feeling like straw, completely stripping it of it’s  natural oils and nutrients. Yuck! Never again! ACV and rosemary rinses are good, and we’ll get back into using them sometimes as hair conditioning treatments, but now for the two times a week (or less for Clint!) we do a basic wash, we like using these.

Another positive is the bottles are huge and they last for ages! Some friends and family have reported back that they always run out of the conditioner a lot faster than the shampoo, which we think is because it’s so natural and simple, not quite like the chemical-laden products like Pantein etc that leave a thick chemical coating on the hair making it feel super soft and luxurious. It takes more of it to get the same feeling through the hair. But it’s very affordable, the shampoo actually FOAMS UP unlike most natural brands out there, and they work well for us.

Keep in mind, if switching to natural hair cleaners for the first time, allow a couple of months for the first product/concoction to see if it’s working for you because transitioning to natural haircare does take time. The hair needs to detox before you can find out whether it’s doing the job or not.

 

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Soap. There are stacks of natural soaps on the market now and as much as we’d love to always use a 100% Paleo brand, they are sadly far more expensive and we go through bars of soap too quickly to justify spending that much money on it! If you haven’t met Clint yet, just know that he’s kinda a hairy fellow! So all that friction when he washes himself results in the soap bars shrinking pretty darn quickly!! lol

We just buy the $2 vegetable oil based soaps from our local Flannery’s store.

We were buying pure coconut soap but at $6 ea, you can see why we opt for the cheaper alternative! It’s not a bad soap, we’re fine with it for now. It’s a lot better than what we used to use, that’s for sure!

One of our goals though is to make our own coconut oil and tallow soaps! It’s a project we’re starting soon. We just need to get to my mum’s house with all the gear because she has plenty of garage space for soap making. The process takes six weeks all up but it’ll be so worth it to have a stack of totally natural and handmade soaps! Family Christmas presents sorted! 🙂

 

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Our good friend Crystal Fieldhouse from Ecology Skincare sells these terrific konjac vegetable sponges which hang in the shower and work well for gently cleaning the face. They stiffen up when dry so just holding them under water for a few seconds in the shower softens them up quickly then they’re really easy to use.

They not only feel nice on skin but they’re eco-friendly and contain no chemicals!

Grab one here.

 

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I still have some gut healing to do on my health journey and until then my skin is not the nicest and I feel more comfortable covering up the blemishes and dots with makeup (more on my natural makeup in the next blog post!) therefore I need to wash that off at night!

I’ve tried a few methods over the years but have settled on using organic olive oil. That’s it, that’s my cleanser! You may have heard people say they use coconut oil? I tried it for a long time and it definitely works but I found it was leaving my skin greasy. Whereas olive oil doesn’t, it feels lighter to me.

It’s weird to think oils work as cleaners. But they really do!

I buy the Coles organic olive oil (because it’s the best for making Paleo mayo!), pour some in a jar to keep in the bathroom, use my fingers to wipe a layer across my face at night then grab some organic cotton pads to wipe it all off. It gets every single skerrick off! It’s great!

Cheap, easy, 100% natural and minimal, works well… win!

 

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Not every day, but maybe once a week or fortnight I use bentonite clay to give my face a nice deep cleanse and detox. We also use it when we brush our teeth (more on that in another blog post!) so, like many of our bathroom items, it has more than one use!

I simply put a little amount in my hand or a container and mix with some water so it’s wet enough to then spread across my face and leave it on for 5-10 mins. I wash it off with warm water and a face cloth.

It’s so soft and gentle, I really like using it on my face. Although when the clay has dried on my face I can’t actually move a single muscle! Hense the rather stiff expression above! lol

It’s fun when I put it on then go talk to Clint… always gives him a shock to turn around and see this scary mud-face ‘thing’ appear! haha

We buy it from Flannery’s in their bulk teas, herbs and spices section. It’s available online and in health food stores. Bentonite has SO many health benefits, it’s worth checking out the list of what it’s good for.

 

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Last in the cleaning theme is what we use to clean our hands and our actual bathroom with!

We buy boring old Earth Choice Bathroom and Shower spray because it has pretty minimal and basic ingredients and it works well enough sprayed onto the tiles and left for a few minutes then scrubbed off. We’ve heard Thieves oil works really well and is a better natural option, so it’s on our List of Things to Buy but for now we’re happy with this product. There are oodles of natural cleaning products to choose from.  Try a few different options and work out which is best for your needs.

EcoStore have a great range of natural and eco-friendly products and we quite like the liquid hand soaps. They feel like they’re cleaning well enough, you don’t need a lot of it, and the fragrance is minimal. There’s nothing worse than buying a ‘natural’ product only to be overwhelmed by the fragrances and perfumes added. You’ll find the most natural products don’t have a strong scent.

 

So that’s part 1 of our natural bathroom! Next time we’ll delve into makeup, or teeth/skin products… not too sure yet; you’ll have to wait and see!!

We hope this has given you some inspiration for your own natural bathroom transition. Please let us know in a comment below what natural options you use, or if you have any questions!

Clint & Aimee

Natural muscle soothing balm – yep, Aimee’s been at the DIY again!!

A few weeks ago I had sore hammies from gardening so, somehow, I managed to come up with a surprisingly good muscle soothing balm. I know right, I’m a genius..!

But seriously, sore hamstrings from gardening? What the..?! Yep, I know it sounds silly, but I over-stretched the back of my legs while gardening for hours one day because I have a container garden, and the way the pots are all set up makes it hard to get to some of them. I can’t kneel or sit to reach some, which is fine, I don’t mind leaning over while standing, but for long periods of time isn’t so good. I woke up the day after with very sore hamstrings. So sore that I heated up the rice pack and laid it under my thighs for a while.

As I was laying on the lounge though I had a thought. I decided to Google “DIY heat rub” and from a few recipes I found and what from ingredients I had handy, I concocted a mixture that didn’t end up acting as a heat rub but still totally soothed the pain in my muscles.

I was shocked! It really worked! And I’ve used it a few times since just to prove to myself that it really does work and wasn’t just a fluke on the day!

So it was intended to be a heat rub but I find the mixture doesn’t really feel warm when rubbed on. I do find though that it noticeably reduces pain and also the timeframe of the pain/injury all up. I’m pretty darn happy with this little accidental creation and am keen to share it with you, so here’s the recipe…

balm for muscles

Grab these:

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 cup oil (I had sunflower oil in the pantry, so that’s what I used. You could also use olive or coconut oil)

1 tbsp beeswax (I used a beeswax tea light candle that was down to the bottom of the wick – $1.50 from Kunara, or buy big chunks beeswax from health food stores and some craft stores)

1 tsp pure spearmint or peppermint essential oil (I only had spearmint available)

1 tsp pure eucalyptus oil

 

Do this:

1. Place the sunflower oil and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan on low heat (use a saucepan you can keep for this kinda thing as it’ll be really hard to clean afterwards and then use for food!)

2. Let it heat up but not reach boiling, then turn off the heat and leave it there for a few minutes

3. Repeat this a few times (about 5 or 6), stirring occasionally. This will allow the cayenne to infuse without overheating the mixture and causing it to breakdown

4. During the last heating round, stir in the beeswax and let it completely melt

5. Place some muslin cloth folded over 4 times over the top of a jar, secured with a rubber band, then pour the oil mixture into the jar so the muslin catches most of the cayenne. (muslin cloth is only a few dollars per meter at fabric stores)

6. Add in the essential oils and stir through

7. Place the jar in the fridge or just on the bench somewhere to cool down. It’ll eventually cool right through and will set and become firm. It should be a dark orange colour and it’s fine if some of the cayenne got in and settles at the bottom

8. Place a lid on the jar and keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight

 

Note: If mixture cools down and is runny, return to the saucepan on low heat and add more beeswax. If it’s the opposite and sets too solid then return to the saucepan on low heat and add more oil.

 

Also, I had added essential oils to the saucepan and realised later when the mixture set that the smells of those oils had reduced, so I figured out it’s best to add those in at the end so they don’t heat up and breakdown.

 

To use: Rub a 20c piece-size amount onto sore muscles and massage in. It will leave some oil residue but for me I haven’t noticed it leaving any stains on clothing even though it’s a dark orange colour itself. Within a few minutes you may notice muscle pain easing. Even though the mixture to me didn’t feel warm or hot when applied, the properties of the cayenne and essential oils must have a warming and relaxing effect on muscles. Be careful using this on children’s skin and sensitive skin because it may feel hot or may cause a reaction. I don’t have sensitive skin so I’m not sure how someone with it, or children’s skin, would go.

 

Safety: do not ingest this mixture, keep out of reach of children, label it clearly, if it starts to discolour of go mouldy stop using it and throw it out, test it on your skin first with just a very small amount, if you react badly in any way then stop use immediately. This is only a recipe I made for myself and is only a suggestion of something that can assist in soothing muscle pain, this is not medical advice. Always seek professional medical advice if pain and symptoms persist.

 

There you have it! Now you have the recipe to make your own muscle soothing balm that’ll hopefully give you some relief next time you strain a muscle in some way. Even if you’ve been sitting at the computer for hours (which is naughty by the way!! Um ma!) and your neck and shoulders are feeling tight, rub some of this on and it might help relax them a bit.

One of the main benefits of making your own concoctions is you know exactly what’s in them and how they’ve been made. You know they’re safe for you and your family. And they didn’t cost the earth. Yay!!

How cool is DIY?! You’re getting a little hooked now aren’t you? Go on, admit it!!

Enjoy guys, and let me know how you go with it 🙂

 

-Aimee

 

The five things I’m very grateful for today are:

1. Spending the day with family at the beach, it was perfect weather and so much fun

2. Living on the Sunshine Coast with so many beautiful places to visit

3. My Gelatin Workshop this Sunday!

4. Organic cocoa powder cos it’s pure and delicious

5. Star gazing with Clint the other night in the hinterland with the swag, it was so nice xx

I’ve been at the DIY again! I’ve perfected my natural shampoo and conditioner recipe

A while ago I attempted a new ‘no poo’ recipe in the hopes of finding the right combination of ingredients to make my hair feel healthy, minus any nasty chemicals. Also I wanted something easy to make, easy to use and easy to keep. Who wouldn’t want that with DIY right?!

So I concocted an aloe/gelatin mixture (check out the blog post here) which I was semi happy with… that was until it went off and stunk out the fridge in just a few short days. Fail!

Turns out aloe vera doesn’t last too long in the fridge! So I had to re-think things…

I decided to have another go and, after having been using it to clean and condition my hair with over the last couple of months, I can honestly say I’ve found the recipe I’m totally happy with!

Introducing… my Hair Cleansing Tablets!

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Actually I’ve just realised.. this is my 3rd attempt at a natural hair cleaner! I first tried a recipe I found online using coconut milk and aloe vera gel blended and frozen into ice cubes. It claimed to ‘balance pH’ and even though I gave it a good whack of time to see if it’d work, my hair just felt oily all the time. Not cool.

This is what that mixture looked like…

shampoo

 

Too dry. Too oily.      I want just rightAnd I think I’ve stumbled upon just that!!

<fist bump> !

 

What’s in them you ask? Not much really! Just a few simple and natural ingredients, with a just-as-simple method of creating them. Here’s the recipe, and yes there appears to be a lot of steps but really it’s a very simple method, I just wanted to explain it properly to you, so it looks like a lot of steps but it’s not really.

 

Bits and pieces to have handy:

Slow cooker or large cooking pot/saucepan

Whisk

Tablespoon

Knife

Small saucepan

Large measuring jug

Blender

Ice cube trays

 

Grab these:

A few large sprigs of fresh rosemary

Enough filtered/spring water to fill the slow cooker or cooking pot

Apple cider vinegar (qty will depend on how much water you end up with)

4 tbsp pure grass-fed gelatin powder

1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel scraped out of leaves, discard the green skin. If you can find pure bottled aloe gel, great, otherwise grow some or steal some out of someone’s garden..! 😉

 

 Do this:

1. Place rosemary and water in the slow cooker, or into a cooking pot

2. If it’s a slow cooker keep on Low temp all day or overnight. If using a pot simmer on Low temp on the stove for a few hours. This ultimately makes rosemary tea!

3. Once made, allow to cool then strain the liquid or just remove and discard of the rosemary leaves. Pour liquid into a large jug with measurements on the side

4. Pour 1 cup of the liquid into a small saucepan

5. Gently and slowly sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the whole surface of the water. DO NOT place on heat on stove yet!

6. Let the gelatin mix sit for 10 minutes. You’ll notice it contorts and looks really strange.. this is a gelatin softening method called ‘blooming’. It’s bloomin’ weird I think…!  That’s my version of a ‘dad joke’, I do apologise 🙂

blooming gelatin

7. Once the gelatin has all softened place the saucepan on medium heat on stove top and allow to heat up

8. Whisk until all the gelatin is dissolved. This won’t take long at all

9. Remove from the heat and allow to cool then add to the measuring jug with the rosemary liquid and whisk to combine it all together

10. In the blender add the aloe vera gel and about a cup or so of the rosemary/gelatin liquid. Blend well so there are no chunks of aloe gel remaining. Pour back into the measuring jug

11. Grab the apple cider vinegar and pour in ONE part of that to TEN parts of the rosemary gelatin liquid. That’s the general ratio when adding ACV to water to use for hair, 1 : 10

12. Pour the liquid into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Once frozen you can pop them out and store in a container in the freezer… and you’re done!

 

Now you have rosemary, apple cider vinegar, aloe, gelatin cleansing hair tablets! A shampoo and conditioner in one! Woo!

jelly 2

 

Why this combination of ingredients?

Rosemary and ACV are great for conditioning, while the aloe is a fantastic and gentle cleaner, and the gelatin adds collagen for hair growth and strength. What a combo!!!

 

To use ’em:

Simply take 1-3 cubes out of the freezer in the morning if you’re washing your hair at night, or at night if you’re washing your hair the next morning, place in a small container of some kind. How many you use will depend on how much hair you have. Short hair and not much of it, use one. Medium hair and lots of it might need two. Long hair 2-3 should be fine

Let them thaw out, they’ll become jelly instead of ice so will hold their shape

In the shower, wet your hair, then carefully rub one jelly at a time through your hair, ensuring you massage into the scalp

Leave it in for a few minutes (if you prefer you can put it in your hair before you get into the shower, particularly if you have water restrictions where you live)

Rinse it all out with warm-hot water so all of the jelly comes out. You don’t want to find dried hard gelatin clumps in your hair later on in the day!!

Use these once or twice a week or as  needed. Easy!

 

** If you have allergies to any of the ingredients please do not use them. If you notice any adverse reactions at any time of using this recipe please stop using it and seek medical advice. You could always try a test of a small amount of the ingredients on your skin before making this mixture, especially if you’ve never used some of them topically before. Some people have allergic reactions to aloe and herbs in particular so always be cautious trying new natural mixtures on your skin **

 

I find this mixture cleans my hair really well (and I use oil as my ‘curly hair de-frizzer’ and it completely removes all traces of oil when I wash!) and leaves it feeling soft and shiny.  I use 2 tablets each time because I have medium-length hair and LOTS of it! I’d clean my hair about twice a week and that works for me. You might find you can clean your hair less often, or may need to more often in a week, everyone’s different.

So if you give this recipe a go, let me know what you think! Hope it works for you as well as it works for me 🙂

And YAY for no chemicals!

Enjoy guys!

Aimee

 

Today I’m grateful for:

1. Spring!

2. Fruit jelly for brekkie

3. Natural skincare and beauty recipes

4. Clint being in this month’s edition of Holistic Bliss magazine (check it out here on page 12)! So exciting!

5. Camping next weekend

Naturally healthier skin, without spending a fortune, is definitely possible

quote 2

I don’t know about you but I actually really care about what goes ON my body and not just what goes inside it! We’re all hearing about how organic food is safer and healthier for us to consume over conventionally-grown food, but it’s definitely not as obvious in mainstream media that organic skincare matters just as much.

I mean, think about it, if you rub a chemical-ridden moisturiser all over your arms and legs, you use chemical shampoo and conditioner, and you cleanse and moisturise your face with chemicals… of course that’s all absorbing into your body and having some affect on your health, how could it not?! It doesn’t just go on, become invisible and stay on the skin’s surface without any absorption, not a chance!

When I started learning about health through nutrition I also got into learning about how what we put on our skin also affects our health. I’m now really careful when I buy commercial products, even the natural and organic varieties can still contain ingredients that aren’t  necessarily healthy. Unfortunately! There’s been a huge increase of  natural and organic skincare products on shelves over the last few months I’ve noticed. And not just in the health food stores but also on supermarket shelves. It’s definitely great to see more natural alternatives available for consumers, but in my opinion there still needs to be a level of caution when purchasing and using any commercial products.

I’ll go a step further and mention that it’s especially important if you’re following Paleo eating guidelines!

Why on earth would that matter?

Because if you’re going to a lot of effort avoiding certain foods in your diet then why would you put them on your skin and them absorb in and still possibly negatively affect your health?!

For example.. many natural varieties of skincare products contain various types of vegetable oils. If we’re not eating certain vegetable oils because we’re passionate about paleo, then putting them on your skin every day kinda doesn’t make sense. But many of us probably don’t think of it that way! Have you?!

I do buy some commercial natural products but I’m actually really into making totally natural and safe blends at home! Then I know exactly what’s in them and what’s going on my skin!

I can’t wait to demo some at our upcoming natural skincare talk ‘Healthier Skin – The Paleo Way’ where we’ll be presenting to Sunny Coasters with Crystal Fieldhouse from Ecology Skincare all about how to achieve naturally healthier skin through lifestyle choices. Crystal and I will do some demos at the end and every guest will get the recipes in their free goody bags! How cool is that?!

Crytal

Remember the recent post I did about the aloe vera gelatin shampoo I created? Well I’ve adjusted it and I think I’ve mastered the recipe! So I’m excited to talk about that at the event, and show people what the mixture looks like, yay!

So if you live on the Sunny Coast you’re welcome to come along to the talk! It’ll be a really fun and informative event, you’ll definitely take away lots of easy-to-implement steps and new knowledge around natural skincare.

Early bird tickets end tonight! There are limited seats too, so get in quick so you can come and enjoy!

 

Click here for ticketing!

small lady image

 

-Aimee

 

I’m a DIY junkie

You could easily nickname me ‘DIY Aimee’ or something similar. It dawned on me recently that I spend a lot of time experimenting with natural remedies and concoctions at home, and that I really enjoy it!

Well, I enjoy the successful attempts far more than the that-sucked-so-I’m-never-making-that-again attempts! But all in all, more often than not, it’s fun and rewarding to get your DIY on and make really cool things at home.

Having nifty little gadgets around the house helps. I have a dehydrator, 2 slow cookers, 2 types of veggie slicers and a high speed blender. These mixed with the typical household appliances make for lots of adventures in the kitchen and beyond!

Take yesterday for example. I’d run out of my last DIY natural shampoo alternative which was coconut milk blended with aloe vera gel, frozen into ice cubes, and using 1-2 cubes thawed and rubbed into my scalp and hair once a week or so. I realised though that my hair never felt nice the whole time I was using that particular ‘no poo’ method.

I’d originally found it via a Google search and read it’s meant to be a pH-balancing mixture. The amount I made lasted… gosh, I don’t even know, at least 6 months. And the whole time my hair felt oilier than it should. Body and volume didn’t increase. Really there were no noticeable benefits apart from the fact it was super cheap to make and 100% safe and natural for me and the environment. That’s all very well but I want something that’s going to make my hair feel NICE!

 

shampoo

So I know that aloe vera is generally a great cleanser, both inside and outside the body, and I’ve been wanting to try gelatin in my hair, but when Googled how to actually use gelatin as a shampoo all I found was that it’s meant to be added to your current shampoo to 1. help the shampoo go further, and 2. do it’s thang by boosting body, shine, volume etc etc (is there anything gelatin can’t do?!).

Then an idea came to my mind! <cue the light bulb> …

I thought.. why not mix aloe vera with gelatin and see how that goes?! Then I did it! I mixed aloe and gelatin! Together! Weird or what?! I haven’t even Googled it to see if the combo exists or works…! But yknow what? For once I’d like to come up with something cool. A great little recipe that works. That people use and benefit from. That Google didn’t inform me of. I’m hoping this is that time! I’m crossing my fingers, my toes, and even my eyes (ouch, this hurts). You can too if you like! Thanks 🙂

Anyways, all I did was scrape out gel from a handful of plump aloe leaves growing in pots out back. Popped it in the blender. Whizzed for a few seconds until it was all gel-like and no longer chunk-like. Then I poured it into a container. Sprinkled over some grass-fed beef gelatin powder, evenly. Waited 10 mins or so for it to bloom (‘bloom’ is only a new term to me, you’ve probably not even heard of it yet right? It’s a gelatin ‘softening’ process. Here’s a bit of info on it…) then used about one spoonful of the mixture to rub into my hair and scalp while in the shower that night. Keep in mind I have a lot of hair so I’d need more than most!

aloe gelatin

I combed it through and let it then marinate for a few minutes. While I was rinsing it out, I have to say, it felt like a fancy conditioner, it was so soft and nice! Today when I woke up I noticed my hair was still really soft and had more body which is a very good sign! Unlike the effects of all other DIY natural concoctions I’ve tried and used!

We know that eating gelatin is awesome for improving hair health but so many people haven’t heard about how beneficial it is applied directly to the scalp and hair. I like that the combo of aloe and gelatin clean but don’t leave my hair feeling oily or heavy.

So… so far so good! It’s only early days but I have a good feeling about this little experiment and can’t wait to see how my hair responds over the coming weeks. As for how it keeps, I have no idea how it’ll go but I’ll check on it every few days and make note of when it goes ‘off’ so I know how much to make each time as to how long it’ll last and get used.

I’ve been doing some other DIY bits and bobs lately, as usual, but it’s late and I need to pack the dishwasher and head to bed so I’ll leave my other DIY-adventure-blog-post-writing for another day!

If you’d like to get some good quality grass-fed gelatin into you or to use as I am as a shampoo alternative, feel free to join our Great Lakes Gelatin Co-Op! All the deets are here

 

Gelatin

 

That’s it for me tonight! But please feel free to comment with any natural shampoo recipes you’ve come up with that have worked, I’d love to hear all about ’em!

-Aimee

 

5 things I’m grateful for today:

1. My new friends

2. Gelatin

3. Instagram !

4. The paleo world

5. Local farmer’s markets