MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE
SELF LOVE IS THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY ROUTINE
My skin care routine consists of a few "staples," the most important by far being my plant based diet and high quality drinking water. I have thrived on a vegan diet since 2013 and am confident when I say that my healthful diet and appetite for natural foods shows from the inside out. After years of struggling with chronic dryness, eczema and discolored skin, I am so appreciative of my body and proud of the skin I wear. I believe a clean diet, healing drinking water, self love and a few natural skin care remedies can do a whole lot more than many of us realize. I love keeping my routine simple and accessible at all times, whether I am home or traveling. I am also so thrilled that I no longer fell pressured to spend hundreds of dollars on artificial "beauty products" (not to mention my actions now align with my morals as I no longer buy single use plastic bottles, or support companies that test their products on animals.) I keep it clean, cheap and as locally made as possible. And you can too.
Your skin will never appear bright, vibrant and beautiful unless the foods/drinks you are putting into your body are exactly that. Diet and water are key. Eat foods that require the same basic needs as the human body - air, water and sunlight.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
WHAT DO I USE FOR BIRTH CONTROL?
I use the "Daysy" moniter. Daysy is a fertility monitor that uses the fertility awareness method (FAM) by learning & tracking your menstrual cycle. With daysy, you can plan or prevent pregnancy just as you choose. Daysy shows you the days you are fertile or not fertile. I personally avoid all birth control contraceptives and IUDs. The Daysy is incredible becuase it is non invasive and requires little to no effort. All I have to do is take my temperature each morning and click one button when I am on my moon cycle. Daysy then shows me if you I am fertile or not with an accuracy of 99.3%. This method of contraceptive is all natural, free of side effects and requires no charting. It also links up to an app on my smartphone so I can review my ovulation/menstruation and prepare for my next period. I think it is so important to take your fertility in your own hands as a woman and educate yourself further on your beautiful body and its beautiful abilities.
DAYSy TAKES Just 60 seconds once a day
- Every morning, take your temperature under your tongue.
- Confirm menstruation on the days you have it.
- Daysy evaluates your data and calculates your fertility status for the next 24 hours.
The Daysy cost $330 USD and comes with a two year warranty in it's box. The Daysy will last 5-7 years and has a battery that can be replaced as needed. For me, the $300 felt worth the high price point as it meant not paying for birth control or jeopardizing my health and hormones with other forms of artificial contraceptive. You can shop below and save $20 Off your Daysy (Total $310)
On days that I am fertile, I make sure to use 100% vegan and cruelty free condoms (I love the L condoms shown below) and on days I am menstruating I love my silicone cleo menstrual cup in place of tampons or menstrual pads.
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I probably should make an entirely separate webpage just to discuss the god send that is coconut oil. All oils, actually. If you know me, you know that I am an oil addict. More often that not, I am half naked, in a bikini, brushing sand off my body and rubbing oil in. Every single morning and every single night, I take a few moments to strip down and lather up with my favorite oil or body butters. Recently, I have been loving raw shea butter from Africa, or a local body butter that our friend Carmen at the farmer's market sells - made with Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Rosemary, Cacao and Pomegranate extract. Its good enough to eat (not that I've tried it or anything..)
I buy my cold pressed Extra Virgin and Organic coconut oil from SunFood brand in bulk and for some reason, can never seem to get enough.
I swear my pores have probably absorbed more of this stuff than all of the salt water and oxygen combined. . As a child, I suffered from severe eczema on my knees, elbows, arms and hands. Unfortunately, I was very young and knew very little about alternative remedies. I struggled for months on end trying to rid my eczema with prescription creams, lotions and medicated ointments. It wasn't until summer in New York finally rolled around each year that I finally noticed some relief. I would spend hours on end in the salt and come home toasted and pruned. I would take a cold shower and lather my skin with coconut oil to avoid peeling. Coincidently enough, my eczema looked better and better with each passing beach day. I have now read hundreds of testimonials online (and changed my diet dramatically to cure underlying issues) claiming how miraculous coconut oil has been for so many who suffer with skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. All hail!
OIL PULLING WITH COCONUT OIL
I swear to you oil pulling is worth the instantaneous gag reflex. Since I began, my teeth looked whiter than every before and feel so much stronger (which is a blessing for me, considering I had all of the cavities as a child, and ended up accidentally cracking off half of my front tooth in high school.) I've also noticed that I rarely ever had bad smelling breathe and that my gums appear healthier and bright.
Oil pulling has been shown to promote...
- Whiter teeth
- Cavity + gingivitis prevention
- Better breath
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Less jaw pain
- Alleviation of common sleep problems + sinus issues
- Alleviation of headaches, hangovers and skin issues (Reports have even shown improvement in chronic acne, psoriasis and eczema)
TIPS + TRICKS FOR OIL PULLING
First, grab a spoon and pick your oil. I recommend coconut oil (rather than any other highly heated and treated vegetable oil) because of it's strong antibacterial properties. Although, Olive Oil, Castor Oil and Almond Oil can also be used. When you wake up in the morning, take a large tablespoon of coco oil and swish it around your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Start slow. For some people (like my mother,) the consistency of the oil takes some time getting used to. If you can only manage 8 minutes on your first try, no stress. You'll be able to withstand the oil longer next time.
Take it slow and make sure you're not swishing too hard (like you would a "normal" mouth wash) The coconut oil will almost double in size as it draws in saliva as well as toxins and other bacteria found in your mouth, teeth and gums. Be sure not to swallow! If you swallow, you will be bringing these toxins into your body. We are trying to remove them, so that'll be completely opposite to the goal here.
Once the 10,15 or 20 minutes are up, spit out the oil into your nearest trash bin. Avoid spitting the oil into your sink or drains, as it may solidify and cause a blockage. Finally, rinse, floss and brush your teeth as you normally would. I reccomend these products below. Click to shop.
BRUSHING WITH ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance. It removes toxins when they adhere to the surface of the charcoal. Similarly to the insides of our digestion tract, when activated charcoal is used while brushing, it adheres to stains, plaque and buildup on our teeth. Ideally, you want to purchase charcoal that is organic and/or made in the USA.
Dip a clean, wet toothbrush (with or without toothpaste) into the powdered charcoal (or dump a capsule of charcoal on the toothbrush). Brush in small, gentle circles for 2 minutes, spit carefully and rinse really well. Your mouth will look and feel amazingly clean…. your sink, however, may not. Use as often as needed. You can also combine a teaspoon of activated charcoal with water and swish it around your mouth for two minutes.
I also love to mix 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal into my favorite bentonite face mask (mentioned below) to remove bacteria, dead cells, excess oil and any toxins on the skin or in our pores.
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DIY Toothpaste RECIPE
1/2 cup coconut oil
2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda
2 small packets of stevia powder
15-20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil
10 drops myrrh extract (optional)
1-2 TEASPOON ACTIVATED CHARCOAL (OPTIONAL)
Melt or slightly soften coconut oil.
Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
Put mixture into small glass jar (I make different ones for each family member)
Let cool completely.
To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. YOU CAN also use a small spoon to put on YOUR toothbrush. OPTIONAL - SPRINKLE ON A BIT OF ACTIVATED CHARCOAL POWDER IF NOT YET ADDED IN
HEAVENLY Coffee Body Scrub
MADE with Coconut Oil
Although I dont drink coffee, I adore the smell of it. This exfoliating body scrub is my personal favorite. I love to make my own health products (such as scrubs, hair masks, mists and facial sprays,) because it ensures I know exactly what I am putting onto my skin and into my body.
Yields 2 cups of coffee body scrub
1 Cup Ground Organic Coffee
1 Cup Organic Sugar
1/2 Cup Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon (optional)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
Melt coconut oil and allow it to cool but not solidify.
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container or mason jar.
Use 1-2 times a week (or every day if you like).
Bentonite clay is one of the most powerful and effective healing clays in the world.
It is composed entirely of natural ash from volcanos. Many traditional cultures living in regions of the Andes, Central Africa and Australia have used this clay in numerous ways for powerful detoxification. Bentonite clay stems back far in history as a traditional healing method for protecting the body from disease, bacteria and illness. When it comes to helping heal and repair our skin, this clay works wonders. Acne, black heads, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, large pores, bug bites, and so on and so forth.
BENTONITE FOR yO' FACE
I love to combine bentonite clay with raw Apple Cider Vinegar and leave it to dry on the skin as a clay mask. The clay is able to bind to bacteria and toxins living on the surface of our skin and within our pores. Which means it does a beautiful job extracting oil and dirt from our skin. It also can help fight allergic reactions from any irritating lotions, creams, ointments or face washes. I have also used this clay mask recipe to help irritation from poison ivy and ingrown hairs from waxing/shaving.
I mix equal parts raw ACV with 100% natural bentonite clay (from any whole foods, trader joe's or health food store near you) and stir until smooth with a wooden spoon . In a nutshell ( saving you from reading a wordy scientific explanation), metal spoons and bowls will react with the clay reducing most of the healing properties. I apply this mask on my face and allow it to sit until dry. It begins to crack and then I remove it warm water and some vegan soap.
The clay can also be added to your bath water and used as a soaking liquid. The clay mixed with the water will bind to the toxins that are dispelled from your skin into the bath. Bentonite clay leaves my skin feeling exceptionally smooth, soft, hydrated, and less inflamed. Aaand I get to kick back and relax in a tub! Yes please!
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BENTONITE WITH SPIN BRUSH
Lastly, you can mix this clay with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to create a clay "paste." I usually mix a tablespoon or two of clay with equal parts coconut oil and stir it together with a wooden spoon or mixer. I apply this paste on my face and use my spin brush to effectively exfoliate and cleanse my sin with this mask. Once my pores are open and cleansed, I allow the clay paste to sit and harden for ten minutes or so. Similarly to the face mask, I then wash my face with warm water and soap.
DRY BRUSHING TO DETOX
Dry brushing has been used for hundreds of years as an effective and easy way to increase you body's circulation and eliminate cellular waste products. Dry brushing has been shown to stimulate your lymphatic system. By increasing movement in your lympathic system, you are ideally increasing it's ability to be as effective as possible. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins quickly build up in the body. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation, illness, weight gain and disease. By using a dry brush to stimulate your lymphatic system and help it release toxins, dry skin brushing is an exceptionally powerful detoxification aid. Dry skin brushing also contributes to incredible exfoliation. It removes dead dry skin, improves your skin's appearance and clears clogged pores.
DRY BRUSHING 4 CELLULITE
Dry skin brushing may also help to soften and remove hard fat deposits below our skin, commonly know as "cellulite." This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite. Not only that, but dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins in our body. It does this by breaking down connective tissue.
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm and relax your mind, and relieve stress from our lives. When I use my spin brush I swear it feels like I am receiving a whole-body massage.
HOW TO Dry Brush EFFECTIVELY
When brushing, always brush toward your heart. This results in better circulation for your lymphatic system. You can use the brush and cover your entire body (including the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.) Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach.
Avoid scrubbing your body. The pressure you apply while dry brushing your skin should be firm but not painful in anyway. It is normal for your skin to be a little pink after a dry brushing session. An average dry brushing usually lasts me 20 minutes.
Feel free to apply your favorite oils, balms or essential oils on the skin after dry brushing.