Blog Archives

Oil Cleansing Method

Alright, so apparently I’ve become obsessed with oil—mostly from the coconut, but oil in general. I’ve been using a little bit of oil to remove my eye makeup (which also is supposed to make my eyelashes grow lusciously long!), oil pulling, applying it to the ends of my hair for moisture, using it as a moisturizer for my dry feet and now I’ve discovered this Oil Cleansing Method that I’m going to give a try. I’ve been reading about it and at first I was freaked out that washing my face with oil seems somewhat counterintuitive…isn’t OIL going to make my skin more oily? But, everything that I’ve read says NO. Plus, it moisturizes your skin, so no need for chemical-laden lotions and moisturizers.

So here’s the deal:

You wet your face with warm water to open up your pores, massage some oil onto your face and allow it to sit for 30 seconds or so with a warm wash cloth over your face. Then, rinse really well with warm water (as HOT as you can stand it) and voila! Your face is clean!

I can’t tell you the intricacies of WHY it works, but it does. I’ve heard it said that like dissolves like, so maybe that’s the deal with the OCM and getting the oil off your face. One thing to note: OIL does not make your skin break out. It’s the DIRT that makes you break out. So, don’t be thrown off by lathering your face in oil to get rid of oil. I promise, it works! I started doing this last week and I’m loving it. Honestly, I like it because it kinda makes me slow down a bit. I’m always in such a hurry and I don’t know why that is, but it makes me just chill out in the shower and breathe…massage my face…breathe…relax with the warm wash cloth…breathe…rinse…breathe. Seriously. It just helps me feel more Zen. It takes a few minutes to massage the oil in and then let your pores open up with the warm washcloth, so enjoy it. It’s kind of your own mini-spa treatment. You deserve it.

Alright, here are the specs:

There are a few recipes out there depending on your skin type. My skin is more oily, so apparently that means you need to use more castor oil. Try to think in thirds for preparing your koncoction. If your skin is oily, use more castor oil. If it’s on the dry side, use more of your carrier oil. And, if it’s more normal, then use the same amounts of each oil. I used 2 tablespoons of castor oil for every 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and I am just keeping it in a small glass apothecary jar, but you can mix it up as you need if you want to try it in small amounts first. Castor oil is the necessity here, because this is the oil that acts as the cleanser.

The carrier oils simply dilute the castor oil, making it therapeutic and dreamy. Your carrier oil could be anything from sunflower oil, to olive oil. Different oils are good for different skin types. Some have better anti-aging properties and some are better to treat acne-prone skin. Crunchy Betty has a great list of some oils and what they are good for. Check out her page here for some great details.  One thing to note, even though I’m a huge fan of a million uses for coconut oil, it has the potential to clog your pores, thus having an adverse effect on the OCM, so use something besides coconut oil.

That’s all there is to it. I have been using it in place of my old acne wash and so far, so good. I have only being doing it at night, when I shower and then in the morning, all I do is rinse my face with very warm water. No breakouts. No blemishes. Nada. I was afraid of this because when I’ve tried to change cleansers before, I would always breakout and just go back to my old chemical-cleansers that are bad for my skin even though it makes it look nice. The OCM doesn’t strip the oils, thus making my face clean without overdrying. And, as we’ve learned from no ‘poo, over-cleaning your skin, leads to the over production of sebum, thus leading to vicious cycle of cleaning, overdrying, cleaning, etc.

So, give it a try. I promise it’s worth at least a try. Folks back in ancient times used oil for so many different uses. We’ve become so commercialized to believe that we have to have sudsy, latherous koncoctions to be clean. That is SO not true. Oil works beautifully.

Below are some of the sights that I found pretty helpful. I’ve tried to sum it up, but if you want the dets, as I did, go ahead, click the links. You’ll find  so much helpful info. Happy cleansing:)

http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

http://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/05/video-blog-how-to-wash-your-face-using-the-oil-cleansing-method.html

A Fix to No ‘Poo

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you have probably heard me talk about my no ‘poo experiment, which is basically stepping away from all the chemicals in modern shampoos and finding healthy substitutes. (You can find my blogs about it here.) I was using baking soda and water with a few drops of tea tree oil to “wash” my hair, followed by an apple cider vinegar (ACV) and water solution to “condition” my hair. Well, after about a month or so of this, I found that my hair just became too greasy. I couldn’t find the appropriate combination of water to baking soda and my water is super hard, making it even rougher on my hair. I just couldn’t handle it feeling so dirty, so I found an alternative. If you don’t follow Crunchy Betty, you NEED to. And I’m serious. Go over to her page now and follow her on Facebook or pinterest or whatever method you have to in order to find some really kreative koncoctions. Her blog is where I first heard of no ‘poo and where I also found a solution to my overly oily no ‘poo nightmare.

So, needless to say, my hair was oily. I mean, couldn’t run my fingers through it oily. And when I did try to run my fingers through it, my hands felt filmy, as if I was wiping away some of the oil that had accumulated. I had gotten in the routine of no ‘pooing probably every 3 days or so, whenever my scalp started to feel itchy or dirty. I wore it mostly in a pony tail, except for the few days when my hair didn’t look disgusting. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was looking through old photos and saw how long, shiny and pretty my hair was and felt envious. Why was I putting myself through this for the sake of being natural and not really reaping any benefit from it? Well, I still want to be somewhat natural and use organic and healthy things on my skin and hair but I also am somewhat girly and want to look nice. So, something had to give.

That’s when I stumbled upon “sorta ‘poo” as Crunchy Betty calls it, which is a mixture of coconut milk and castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s lavender because I love the smell, but there are a few different makers of castile soap out there). There is the recommendation to make your own coconut milk from pressed coconut and water (you can find the recipe here) but I just used organic coconut milk from Whole Foods and it worked wonderfully. And by wonderfully, I mean, OH MY GOODNESS!! There was so much lather, I didn’t know what to do with  myself. Having gone a month with no suds whatsoever, I felt I was in heaven.

So here’s what I did: I mixed 1 teaspoon organic coconut milk per 1 Tablespoon of castile soap. Some say you shouldn’t mix too much up at a time because it will go bad, but I’m going to keep mine in the refrigerator and hope I can get a week or so out of it. I probably mixed about 10 tsp/tbsp of each because I won’t be the only one in my house to use it. Then, you just sorta swish it around so the two mix together (not too much or it will get super sudsy) and then lather up. I probably used a little too much on my hair this morning just because it felt so gross from the bs/acv mess but you probably only need about a quarter-sized up to a tablespoon.

After I washed, I rinsed with my same koncoction of vinegar: 1 Tablespoon of ACV to 1 Cup of water. I let the ACV sit on my hair while I wash and hang out in the shower and right before I get out, I rinse it off. I promise, you don’t end up wreaking of ACV−the scent dissipates as your hair dries, but if you must, you can add some essential oils to make it smell all girly. I’m trying to be as simple as possible, so for now, I’m just going to use the basic rinse.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found this solution to going natural. Castile soap is amazing. I’ve been using it for a while now as a body wash, but when it’s mixed with the coconut milk, it creates a creamy lather that you will die for! It’s supposedly great for shaving too. I have only done this today, so it will obviously take some time to see if it works on my hair long-term but I really hope the results are better than the no ‘poo. I’d been reading about the no ‘poo method and maybe I gave up too soon because some folks say it can take 8 weeks before your hair finally evens out and stops being so oily but I wanted my soft mane back again and so far so good. I can actually run my fingers through my hair. Today, I left the house with my hair slightly damp and it dried naturally on my way to work. It still looks great! I still have this natural wave that appeared when I gave up regular shampoo awhile back, which I really like. My hair used to be so straight, like I flat-ironed it straight, so it’s nice to have some volume and body now. I’m convinced that somehow I’ll find the perfect homemade substitution for shampoo. I hope this is it. I’ll keep you posted!!

My Garden

After living in my apartment for a few years and getting ‘acquainted’ with the neighborhood, I became envious of those who were part of a community garden just a block from my house. I decided to contact the coordinator of the garden and much to my surprise, there was a plot available. Life was pretty crazy for a while until I graduated in December, so my plot lay dormant for a few months, but last month, I was finally able to get out there and get my hands dirty.

The garden is organic and we try to be as natural as possible. We compost our own soil and don’t use pesticides or anything like that. Even my fertilizer is organic. I chose to use some fallen leaves as mulch to keep my plants cool for when things start to really heat up here in Southeastern Louisiana. So far, I haven’t seen a lot of bugs or pests, so I’m hoping that it stays that way.

I planted all kinds of things that I look forward to munching on very soon and have already started using some of my herbs. Nothing tastes better than fresh herbs! Anywho, below are some pictures from my very first garden adventure, from seedlings to (hopefully) edible fruits and veggies.

It’s kind of hard to tell which plot is mine but it’s along the path and I have mine separated from my neighbor’s with bricks. This is when I first planted my seedlings in early March:

This is just a little over a month later and you can see my plants have EXPLODED!! I have some peppers (cayenne, jalapeno and bell), tomatoes, zucchini, cilantro, basil, onions…

This is just another view on the same day as the picture above. I can’t wait till everything is harvested so I can learn how to CAN things and come up with some kreative recipes!