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Posts Tagged ‘natural’

I discovered virgin organic rosehip oil from Chile when trying it out as a facial moisturizer. I knew very little about it, but it was on sale through my wholesale buying club/co-op one month so I bought it. After a few weeks of use, I noticed the splotchiness of my face was greatly diminished, and my skin tone seemed more evened out. I was amazed!!! I did some online research and was impressed to learn the following about rosehip oil:

Native to South America, rosehip oil is made by cold-pressing the seeds of the fruit of the rose plant (the little red bulbs that appears after the flowers fall off). It is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, and natural anti-oxidant properties that help improve the elasticity of the skin, regenerate skin cells, slow down premature aging, and reduce the formation of wrinkles and scarring.

Rosehip oil is extremely high in Vitamin C, in the form of essential fatty acids, which retain and attract moisture for healthier skin. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, one of the main proteins in the skin.

It is great for mature or damaged skin and can be used to fade blemishes such as pigmentation spots, acne scars, stretch marks and sun-damage. Just a few drops go a looong way, especially on damp skin. Face, neck, decolletage, and tops of hands are the main anti-aging spots you want to hit. But really, use it anywhere. Rough elbows, dry feet … it feels very luxurious on the skin.

Rosehip oil helps regenerate tissue, and is excellent for treating burns immediately after they happen. Apply multiple times daily to affected area; heals skin quickly and vastly reduces visibility of scars.

The only thing for which it seems to be contraindicated is active acne. It’s good for diminishing the appearance of acne scars, but not for use when acne is active.

It is a nongreasy carrier oil which absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving behind shiny residue. It has a light, nutty aroma which can easily be enhanced with a variety of essential oils. The color is a beautiful and surprising deep amber.

Here’s another personal testimonial from the perpetual clutz. yours truly: I burned myself not long ago when the lid of the wafflemaker fell on my hand and left me with a nice little grid pattern on it

Ouch! *sob* Keep going. Must. Feed. Children. Breakfast.

After the little creatures were held at bay with healthy whole-grain waffles and nitrite-free turkey bacon, I started treating my tic-tac-toe-board-for-a-hand with a few drops of rosehip oil every day. A few weeks later, my hand had NO gridmarks, NO scar, NO sign of damage to the skin whatsoever!!!

I sort of feel like a born-again because I’m so convinced of and vocal about the magical properties of this oil. So much so that I even went out and bought a gallon of virgin organic cold-pressed rosehip oil from Chile and separated into 2-oz amber glass bottles with glass dropper in lid to distribute amongst my friends and loved ones. I want the world to enjoy the benefits of this oil, and I still have a good number of bottles left.

If you are interested, send me an email at ecomamasays at gmail dot com

My favorite thing about rosehip oil: How it evens out my splotchy skin tone, flattens my keloid scars, and plumps up my skin in general.

Tell me and our other readers below what you like best about what rosehip oil is doing for your skin. Good things, no doubt!

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Ecobaby has been drooling up a storm. Her fist has been in her mouth at every possible opportunity. She’s been chewing on my fingers and knuckles every chance she gets.

Not even four months old, she has only been grabbing at things with her hands for a few weeks now. She can direct objects to her mouth, but struggles to keep them there, so she has been getting very frustrated.

Normally, she sleeps through the night, from around 9:30pm until 5:30 or 6am (I know, I know, it is truly miraculous!), but last night, she woke up three separate times throughout the night.

Only three? some moms might be muttering to themselves. To them I offer a deep bow of admiration for trudging through each day under the effects of extreme sleep deprivation. You are unsung heroes, mamas!

Anyway, combining all these different clues … the drooling, the fist sucking, the night-waking … I’ve concluded that she must be teething. Or pre-teething. Whatever you want to call it, something is going on in her mouth that’s causing her discomfort and disruption of the usual program.

Having identified teething as the culprit, out came the baltic amber necklace from big sister’s jewelry box. At age 2.75, Ecogirl won’t have any new teeth coming in for a while, so her necklace can be handed down to Ecobaby for now.

Baltic amber is a fossil resin from ancient pine trees. It contains large amounts of succinic acid, a powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to boost the immune system. Succinic acid helps restore strength and energy, enhances brain function, and reduces stress. It is also a natural analgesic and exhibits both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

Reduces stress? Restores energy? Hmmm, I could really use one of these necklaces too, I think …

Baltic amber necklaces have been used for centuries to treat many different ailments. When the necklace is in direct contact with warm skin, succinic acid is released and absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.

But how can a baby wear a beaded necklace, you might ask? Won’t she pull on it and break it, sending beads everywhere?

The necklaces are strung by hand one bead at a time, with a knot in between each bead. If your child pulls on the necklace and it breaks, only one bead will be lost instead of a whole necklace worth of beads scattering all over the place. The necklace will still be shot, but it will pose significantly less potential hazard to your little one.

You can leave the necklace on all the time, though some people like to remove it at night for fear their child will get tangled and strangled. Ecobaby is a veritable mummy when she sleeps; she doesn’t move an inch, so I feel comfortable leaving it on.

You do want to remove it when bathing, however. Soap buildup can create a barrier between the bead and the skin, preventing the succinic acid from entering the body. To keep the necklace clean, just wipe with a damp cloth from time to time.

If you have a child who is teething and you are a skeptic: just try it. At best, your child gets relief, which means you get relief.

At worst, your child looks really darned cute.

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I used to be a hoarder of soaps, shampoos, creams, lotions, little bottles and jars … I had tons of them. From everywhere. I didn’t care what the ingredients were. They just had to smell good.

Now I know better.

When a product lists the word “fragrance”, it’s a big red flag. Fragrance is a catch-all category that means “toxic chemical that smells good”. Synthetic fragrances are carcinogenic and cause liver damage in mammals.

Parabens are preservatives that mimic estrogen. This means they are altering your hormone levels, and that is bad news. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer.

Phthalates help lotions absorb into the skin. They have been linked with reproductive issues.

Diazolidinyl urea is a preservative derived from urine. If that isn’t bad enough, it also releases formaldehyde. Yeah, that’s just what I want to be putting on my skin.

Toxic chemicals in body products are one of the reasons why nowadays, we have such insanely high rates of cancer, infertility, and more.

Have you heard enough yet?

There’s a great short film done in cartoon style, The Story Of Cosmetics, that gives you a behind-the-scenes glance at our current cosmetics industry and the toxic chemicals we are putting on our bodies. Currently, there are no laws in the United States banning the use of toxic chemicals as ingredients in body products, even though we know the skin is our largest organ and the one through which we absorb all those chemicals.

Go watch, and then come back here and keep reading.

…   …   …

Welcome back. Now that you feel horrible about all that junk you’ve been putting on your body, what can you do about it?

Buy the most natural body products you can, avoiding toxic ingredients, or better yet: make your own natural products. By no means do I make all my own body products, but I do make some, and the rest I buy as clean and green as I can.

Essential oils are natural fragrances; they are liquids that are distilled directly from plants with nothing else added. “Oil” is a misnomer, as most of them are not really oily at all. But they smell great, have many health benefits, and are totally natural. They are too concentrated to be used directly on the skin, so they must be diluted first.

I have an assortment of essential oils that I add to a natural soap base (Dr. Bronner’s unscented) to make hand soap at all my sinks, as well as shower gel. I could also use it to make shampoo, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Sometimes I’ll use a body scrub in the shower, which lets me cleanse and moisturize all in one step. I mix brown sugar with essential oils and carrier oil to make a fabulous body scrub. The brown sugar scrubs off dead skin and dirt, the essential oils smell great, and the carrier oil moisturizes my dry skin.

As I’m getting on in years (my 40th birthday is just 18 months away!), moisturizing is very important to me. Skin absorbs oil better than lotion because it is so similar to what the skin naturally produces, so I have done away with creams and lotions and just make my own oil blends.

To make moisturizer, I add my essential oils to a carrier oil. Apricot kernel is my favorite because it’s high in vitamin E and absorbs easily into the skin without a greasy feel.

For my face, I add carrot seed, neroli, and geranium to apricot kernel oil. This is a great blend for dry/aging skin.

Just today, a girlfriend of mine asked me to make her a moisturizer for acne skin. I made her a blend of tea tree, lavender, grapefruit, and geranium in a base of apricot kernel oil. Since tea tree oil can have a strong antiseptic smell, I adjusted the ratios so it would be effective for her skin, and still smell great.

While sometimes I’m a purist and like just one scent (lavender for relaxation, eucalyptus for clearing the lungs, etc.), making different blends is really the most fun for me. Call me an amateur aromatherapist.

I might mix tea tree and geranium to make an anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-microbial that has a lovely floral scent. Or I might make a very uplifting and energizing citrus blend of tangerine and grapefruit. Ecodaddy likes rosemary and peppermint, which really helps wake him up in the morning.

It’s also a fun challenge to copy a scent you smell elsewhere, making your own natural version. We once stayed at a hotel that had little bottles and jars in the bathroom like the ones I used to be obsessed with. Ecodaddy used the lotion, which had a tangerine and sandalwood scent. Smelling it on him, I really liked it. As soon as I got home, I replicated it with essential oils. To this day, it’s still one of my favorites.

Please post some of your favorite natural product recipes, and scent combinations. I’m always looking for new ideas!

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Lots of foods in my house are green. Even ones that aren’t supposed to be. Ever had green mac ‘n’ cheese? Then you know what I’m talking about.

Problem is, Ecogirl is now old enough to know that mac ‘n’ cheese is not, in fact, supposed to be green, and refuses to eat it when it is. So I have to be more stealthy with my applications of greens in her diet.

One foolproof way to sneak some healthy greens into her little growing body is to hide them in a fruit smoothie. Yes, you read that right. Raw greens in a fruit smoothie.

You cannot taste them. I swear.

Just try it. You’ll see.

  • 1/2 cup liquid of choice (milk, non-dairy milk, juice, water, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Handful of raw spinach or kale
  • Handful of ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. You can also put smoothie into ice pop molds for an icy treat later on

Optional ingredients for added nutrition and/or flavor:

  • 1 heaping Tbsp nut butter (we like peanut or almond)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp spirulina (freshwater microalgae that’s high in protein and minerals without a fishy flavor)
  • Pinch of powdered kelp (a sea plant rich in vitamins and minerals; no more than a pinch or you’re drinking a seaweed smoothie)
  • 1 Tbsp chia gel (chia seeds soaked in water to make a gel)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp protein powder (we like Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein or Nutiva hemp protein)
  • For grown-ups only: 1/2 tsp maca powder (for energy and hormonal rebalancing)

Did I mention how green spirulina is? Oh yes, it’s green. I mean, really really green.

I include spirulina in every smoothie I make. Poor Ecodaddy is razzed mercilessly by his coworkers over the disturbing greenish-grey color of his smoothies. He just cheerfully gulps them down anyway because he knows how energizing and nutritious they are.

Ecogirl and I love to slurp one down for a quick breakfast on those mornings when we need to get out of the house a little faster than usual. Hers is in a sippy cup, so she can’t see how green it is. Ha! Pretty sneaky, Ecomama!

I’d love to hear your favorite ways to sneak some greens into your family’s diet. Please share!

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