Luckily some of these things (like this body scrub) can be easily made from products you might just have in your kitchen. (Or ones that you should have in your kitchen. Hint. Hint.)
(Full disclosure: I passed most of my sulfate and parfum filled products on to unsuspecting family members. Sounds mean, right? But I can't make decisions for other people. And I hate throwing stuff away. At the time, they thought I had gone completely crazy when I started drinking vinegar, so I didn't dare talk about applying it to my face. But they've come around -- with some of the craziness anyway.)
Now that I'm done talking about the Whole30® (for now), I figured it was time to start sharing some of the natural beauty and cleaning products I use. Maybe some of you already do this stuff. Maybe some of you are already buying beeswax and shea butter and creating products in your kitchen. If not, well I hope you find something useful here. I'm going to start with the simplest, cheapest changes I've made to my beauty routine and to my household care.
Apple Cider Vinegar
raw, unfiltered ACV with "the mother." You have to have the mother. No, I'm not talking about your mama. The mother of vinegar is the naturally occurring strand-like enzymes that are only found in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This is what you need for the therapeutic benefits.
Find it here, here, or here. The first two are for Bragg's ACV -- my favorite. But don't get it at your regular grocery store (unless you have a military commissary -- it's about $4 there). They will try to rob you. I saw it for $8 for the 32oz. Insane. Also, Heinz now has one with the mother. It's not organic. I don't know about you, but when I'm applying something to my precious facial skin, I prefer to leave out the pesticides. I'll save those for ingesting.
I originally bought ACV for excessive congestion from phlegm (Gross, I know. I didn't know it was the dairy at the time.). And at the risk of sounding weird, I've since used it for removing a mole. Yes, you heard me right. I removed a mole with ACV. But please don't just run off and pour your vinegar all over your mole infested arm. And please get all moles checked for skin cancer. (If you want to hear more about this stuff and what else I use ACV for, let me know and I'll share.)
Today, we are just applying the (diluted) vinegar to our face. And let me tell you why...
First, let's look at the ingredients in a toner you might purchase:
|Bliss Toner from sephora.com|
Not sure I want those ingredients on my face. Since we don't need to list the ingredients for apple cider vinegar, let's just talk about the benefits of using ACV on your face.
- Rich in natural alpha hydroxy acids
- Lightens sun and age spots
- Dissolves dead skin cells
- Balances the skin's PH
- Improves acne and acne scars
- Helps minimize appearance of pores
Now as with all home remedies, there's not a lot of scientific evidence. And I'm just a blogger telling you about my experience. Apple cider vinegar has been used for millions (okay, I exaggerate) of years for it's health benefits. It has improved my skin far more than the store-bought artificially-colored toners (why do we need the color?). So, try it and decide for yourself.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Toner
- Mix 3 parts (3/4 cup) distilled water with 1 part (1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar.* (I get my apple cider vinegar with the mother here.)
- Mix this in a bottle, jar, whatever. Something glass (no metal lids). (I use something like this.)
- Shake bottle before use. Apply to clean face using a cotton ball or pad sweeping upward and outward across your face, avoiding the eye area.
- Allow to dry before applying your moisturizer (if using).
*You can start with a 1:5 ratio (1 part vinegar to 5 parts water) of vinegar to water (especially if you have sensitive skin) and transition to a 1:1 ratio if desired. But always dilute it to at least 1:1. For example 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup ACV. I typically use 3/4 cup water with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
Find raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar Vitacost, Amazon, or Tropical Traditions or at a local health food store. See this post for more about where to find my recommended products.
***Do not use undiluted (not mixed with water) apple cider vinegar on your skin, especially your face, unless you know how your skin reacts. It is possible for undiluted ACV to burn your skin. Always dilute with water and test your skin's reactions to different ratios. I recommend at least 50/50, but use more water for sensitive skin or to test your skin's reaction to diluted apple cider vinegar.***
- I don't measure mine and simply eyeball it as I pour it in my bottle. But you can measure. A funnel helps to prevent spills. Just FYI.
- See how your skin reacts to a mixture with less vinegar and add more as needed for skin with acne, scars, or dry patches.
- I don't store mine in the refrigerator as I don't think it's necessary, but you can to prolong the shelf life. Otherwise, store in a cool, dark place if possible (honestly, mine is on the bathroom counter). But use distilled water! Trust me on this one. No tap water.
- Switch out the water for a strongly brewed green tea (store in fridge) or rose water.
- 2 tsp of witch hazel for acne prone skin
- A few drops of tea tree essential oil. Antibacterial but too much can be drying (Get it HERE or HERE.)
- A few drops of lavender essential oil . Soothing and improves smell. (Get it HERE or HERE)
Also check out: DIY Baking soda microdermabrasion (exfoliation).
Update: If you are looking for other ways to heal your skin, check out the Skintervention Guide by Liz Wolfe, NTP. She teaches you how to heal your skin issues from the outside and inside (and also recommends using a natural toner such as this). The most comprehensive guide I've ever seen on skin health and I've been discovering more ways to improve my skin. Learn more HERE.
****Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or other healthcare professional. This is informational purposes only. The content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional regarding any medical condition or treatment and before making any dietary, health, or lifestyle changes.****
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