It's winter. For most of us that means that someone in the house, or perhaps everyone, has some sort of crud gumming up their chest or coming out their nose. Nice visual, right?!
But, it seems that's just the way it is. What's a momma to do? Make your own essential oil inhaler of course! No, this is not like albuterol. It actually kind of looks like a tampon. Another nice visual? Sorry, I guess it's just that kind of day ;)
Check out my video below to learn how you can make your own inhaler.
See? I told you it looked like a tampon! But guys, don't be afraid to carry this with you. Really, it's a god send when you need it. Here's a recap of the recipes for you and some links on where to find the inhalers themselves.
To support the respiratory system:
1. Respiratory Blend
2. Cardamom, Frankincense & Myrrh
To support focus, learning, attention and memory
4. Clary Sage
6. Encouraging Blend
7. Uplifting Blend
To support feelings of anxiousness or stress
7. Renewing Blend
8. Comfort Blend
9. Reassuring Blend
To support head tension and pain
3. Tension Blend
And here is where you can aromatherapy inhalers :)
I've been a yoga practitioner & teacher for a long time. I've been a licensed teacher for even longer. I've also always been into the more spiritual side of life and a true believer that we choose our health, and our happiness. That's not to say that I've always been great about choosing health or happiness for myself. But, I do think awareness of the possibility of choice is a step in the right direction.
I've been getting a lot of messages lately from the universe. That may sound corny, but you know how sometimes you just keep hearing a certain phrase or idea from various sources? It's like the universe starts by gently poking you, and slowly, if you're not getting the message, the pokes becomes more obvious until you finally register what's going on. If that's never happened to you, I'm going to wage a guess that you may not have been listening, or perhaps you don't buy into the whole idea of it, so you missed out. Don't miss out!
So, the messages I've been getting? It all started many moons ago when I read an article in Yoga Journal all about Samskara. Yup, this was from 2007. I read it when I was fresh out of my teacher training at Core Power. It has stuck with me all this time. It popped into my head again after I started seeing articles and webinars all about emotions, belief and the brain. I started researching and learning more about how the essential oils I use can have such a powerful effect on the limbic system, our moods and physical response, our beliefs, and how all those things together can help us or hinder us to manifest what we want in our lives. I learned so much from Danielle Daniel, Natalie Ledwell, and Jen Mavros. Suddenly, all these things started to tie together for me and fall into line.
I wanted to share what I've learned and what has been so powerful for me, so I created a webinar to do just that. It's available this Thursday 8pm MST. I'll be sharing the science behind emotion, belief and aromatic molecules; exploring how essential oils can help you manage your emotions, mood, and ultimately change your beliefs and, therefore your reality; and giving you some tools and ideas to maintain a healthy body chemistry and empower you to make the changes you’d like to see in your life.
If that sounds like something you'd be open to and you'd like to join me, you can register
If that's not something you're ready for yet, that's totally okay, too. I still want you to read my blog and we can still be friends ;)
There seems to be a bit of a coconut oil craze lately and, I'll admit, I've drank the kool aid. I love the stuff! I use in my kitchen, on my girls bums, to blend my essential oils, and even to wash my face. Yes, though it seems completely weird and wrong, oil is a great option to cleanse your face, and body for that matter. Now, not all oils are great for cleansing, but a few really do a fantastic job.
Why? If you have ever taken a chemistry class, you've probably heard at some point that like dissolves like. But what does that actually mean? When chemists say that 'like dissolves like' they mean that substances with similar chemical characteristics will dissolve in each other. Specifically, polar solvents tend to dissolve polar solutes, and non-polar solvents tend to dissolve non-polar solutes, while non-polar and polar substances do not mix.
Ready for more chemistry? Some examples of polar substances are water and salt. Polar means they have a partially positive charge and partially negative charge in bonds arranged asymmetrically, which gives water molecules that Mickey Mouse look. Since both water and salt are polar, water will dissolve salt. Oils, on the other hand, are non-polar. This means there is either an equal sharing of electrons between the atoms of a molecule or because of the symmetrical arrangement of polar bonds. So, water will not dissolve oil. Hence why we need to shake up our vinagrette before putting it on a salad, and why oil floats on water. Because water molecules are electrically charged, they get attracted to other water molecules and exclude the oil molecules. This eventually causes the oil molecules, or lipids, to clump together. (source)
Too much? Well, if I can't teach you something new, (or perhaps remind you of something you haven't thought of in a while) what good is a blog?!
What does this have to do with face wash you might ask?
Cleansing oil uses "good oils" to remove the "bad oils" on your skin. No matter your skin type, cleansing oil mixes with the preexisting oils already on your face. These can be naturally produced sebum, or other oils that may be in your makeup and other beauty products. When you massage cleansing oils into the skin, they pull out dirt without clogging pores, and you can comfortably rinse them away leaving the skin clean, soft and hydrated. Bonus!
It's really a win/win situation. You're not stripping your skin of oils it needs and naturally produces, which means its not overcompensating and overproducing natural oils. Also, most of the cleansing oils, like coconut oil, are naturally antibacterial, so you're cleansing your skin at the same time you're hydrating it. Bonus!
My favorite oils for making DIY face wash/skin cleanser are coconut oil and argan oil.
Lets go back to the ubiquitous coconut oil. Why does it make such a great cleanser? Coconut oil is one of those antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-aging properties due to the fatty acids that make it up. It also naturally contains Vitamin E, so good for skin. Fractionated coconut oil is ideal for any kind of skin cleaning. As the name implies, Fractionated coconut oil is a "fraction of the solid coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very, very long shelf life and greatly increased stability.In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect." (source)
Argan oil comes from a little nut produced in the fruit of trees in Morocco. One of the main reasons that argan oil is so healing, is that it is "rich with vitamin A and vitamin E. However, argan oil is also packed with anti-oxidants, Omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid. Research shows that when applied to skin, it eases inflammation while moisturizing the skin" (source)
So, these two oils together create a nourishing, hydrating, cleansing face wash that you can tailor to your skin!
Here's my basic recipe:
1 part argan oil
3 parts fractionated coconut oil
Essential oils of choice
I say 1 part to 3 parts because the quantity you may want to make, or the size of your container, can determine how much you use. In general, I tend to use about 1/4 cup FCO (fractionated coconut oil) to a little more than a tablespoon argan oil. Then I add 4-6 drops of essential oils.
Here is a quick video of how I make my face cleanser, with some of the chemistry included. (Why does Youtube always pick the worst possible still shot to lead with?)
Essential oil options
Need some ideas for essential oils? I got a few to share! You could use one to three essentials to make your own blend based on your needs, and your nose.
So how do you use this new cleanser you've created just for you?
1. On dry skin, use about a quarter size amount of the oil and blend massage into your skin for about a minute or so, or until you are sure that the oil has saturated your skin. FYI, this cleanser will also remove make-up very effectively, so there is no need to remove make-up first. You can even leave the oil on the skin for up to 10 minutes to really deep clean pores.
2. Soak a wash cloth with hot water and then ring it out. Open it up and lay it over your face. You get to give yourself a little mini-facial! The steam helps to remove the oils and any impurities in the skin. Leave the wash cloth on until it cools. Rinse and repeat if needed, then use the corners of the washcloth to gently remove any remaining oil. A thin layer of oil on the skin will remain on your skin. This is good!
3. You most likely won't need any moisturizer on top of this, but you can use it if needed.
FYI! You're skin may react a bit to this new way of washing as it is adjusting its production of natural oils. This is normal and please, try to resist going back to harsh cleansers. All new things take time. Also, if you use it in the shower, or any oil-based scrub or cleanser, make sure you're cleaning the floor regularly so you don't create a slip and slide.
Which essential oils do you like for your face? Share your recipes in a comment!