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My Wellness Addiction

Passionate about healthy families, clean eating, natural remedies, essential oils and detoxifying my life

Recipe for homemade facial toner for sensitive and oily skin 

This could not have been easier. Three ingredients and an empty, travel sized bottle from the dollar store was all I need to “perfect” this DIY face toner recipe. I say that term loosely for it was a matter of two different trials until I found the strength of homemade facial toner that worked for my sensitive skin, and voila. It cost me <$5 to make and contains ingredients I’m comfortable putting on my skin and that of my children. WIN! WIN!

So – why make your own skin toner?

It was the Think Dirty Shop Clean app scan of the Sinple brand of toner I used regularly growing up that frightened me (note that these items are scores out of 10, 10 being the most dangerous and toxic for your skin).

Check out the result below! Preservatives are being used that release formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogenic, cause cancer and give this product regularly available a bad rating of 8/10. Ouch. 


… I’ve been using this on my face for years guys. YEARS. That scares the life out of me. I have three kids and there is no way I can let them put this on their face!

It propelled me to do something about it.

There are a ton of all natural, homemade facial toner recipes on the internet I could have copied. But after my research I realized I wanted to combine the benefits of witch hazel (natural astringent) with apple cider vinegar (terrific grime fighting properties). And I was adamant that I was going to take advantage of the skin smoothing properties of frankincense essential oil (hello middle age!) and lavender for its calming effects  

I have sensitive skin (borderline rosacea) that flares up with eczema whenever anything that isn’t natural touches my eyes. To be careful, I opted for a 1% solution of essential oil. This is low and very conservative and if you’re not like me with sensitive skin, then consider increasing the solution of the essential oils to 3-5%. This is the dilution chart I use to create the recipes for my homemade facial products. 

When I’m making anything for my face, I opt to use all organic ingredients. It’s so much cheaper because I end being in a position to make a bulk supply to buying organic doesn’t end up being so costly when you consider how many bottles of toner I end up making (homemade makeup remover pads, cleaning sprays, etc). 


For the same reason, I choose to use Young Living essential oils. They’re super potent so I have to be very careful not to add any more drops than my recipe or essential oil dilution chart calls for. Their quality standards exceeed organic standards too, so that fits the criteria for my homemade beauty products. 


Homemade Facial Toner for Sensitive Skin

  • 80ml bottle 
  • 35ml organic witch hazel
  • 35ml organic apple cider vinegar 
  • 10 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil

Mix all these ingredients. After cleansing your face, moisten a cotton pad and wipe over your face (swiping upwards against gravity – apparently). 

Your face will be super clean after using this toner, your pores will be shrinking and primed and ready for your moisturizer. 

You can switch up the essential oils you use too based on the beneficial therapeutic  properties you are looking for:

  • Frankincense – high in astringents so helps smooth mature or aging skin 
  • Lavender – helps calm irritated skin and reduce redness
  • Lemon – can help brighten skin

Let me know what you think and if you have any questions or feedback on this recipe! 

Where I Buy My Ingredients

  • Essential oils – I buy them wholesale from Young Living online (24% off retail).  I trust their purity and am happy with their price. Anyone can buy them wholesale by creating a free account – just send me a message if you want me to hook you up with my referral link
  • Bottle – dollar store! Small little travel sized containers work best for me. No preservatives mean these things have a short shelf life. 
  • Witch hazel – I have chosen to use Thayers Unscented, alcohol free witch hazel. You can get it off amazon too. 
  • Apple cider vinegar – I choose to use organic, all-natural, raw and unfiltered ACV with the mother still living in there. Here’s a brand I’ve used before of apple cider vinegar off Amazon. 
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DIY recipe for all-natural sore bum baby and diaper wipes

Our two year old’s molars are coming though. It’s the absolute worst. Poor baby has a runny nose, is exhausted from waking herself, my husband and I, up every two hours, is constipated and to top it all off – has developed the worst diaper rash.  

When it’s said season, because I’ve had two goes at this now, I know that it usually takes a week of being tired, sore and cranky but that once that dagger pops through, the teething monster will be a distant memory. 

When it’s a bad diaper rash, I make my own natural baby wipes. It’s super easy and it most certainly makes it heal so much faster. Using coconut oil helps in the event there is any fungal flare-up too for it fights yeast. The lavender essential oil is soothing and helps immensely with skin irritations like this. Furthermore, the fact you know exactly what is going into the ingredients means so much – no synthetic fragnances or irritating chemicals which always which makes our diaper rash… Much. Much Worse. 

So if you’re suffering from a teething toddler or baby, and diaper rash is rampant in your home, I highly recommend you whip up a batch of these DIY sore bum baby wipes. Give the sore bottom maximum air time too. Our neighbours are probably laughing at how often my kids are running around screaming “nudie run”, but when diaper rash is bad – it’s the best remedy!

DIY SORE BUM (Diaper Rash) BABY WIPES

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons baby mild unscented Castile soap
  • 20 drops Young Living lavender oil
  • 30 bounty single sheets, cut in half vertically 
  1. Add all the ingredients together in an old Huggies diaper wipes container 
  2. Add the 60 sheets to the container. If excess fluid is still there, add more sheets!
  3. These won’t last forever for there is not preservative, so keep an eye on them for mould if you’re not using them frequently

I choose to use Young Living essential oils for so many reasons, but primarily because I know that I can trust what’s in them, and that they were really are as pure as is said they are. I’m using them on my kids and as part of my face and beauty regime so it’s really important to me that I’m not putting crap or ingredients that I don’t know about on me. The company is extremely transparent with their growing and distilling process – in fact, anyone can visit a farm at any time and watch it underway. I will be going this June to a farm myself to watch and poke my nose around. I’ve got so many questions! If you’d like to get your hands on Young Living EO’s, let me know and I’ll help you setup a free wholesale account. Most of us start an account with Young Living via the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit, which has 11 oils and a free diffuser. Wwaaayyyy best value for money!

Contrary to opinion, they’re also no more expensive than other 100% pure, therapeutic essential oils either. Rather, for the price you also get all of our support in learning how to use them properly and safely. I’m part a terrific group of YL oilers now and considering how much I use them, I’m thrilled to have accessto the support I need to use them. Let me know if you’d like more info too!

As for the wipes, I really hope they help soothe your baby’s sore bottom, and help the diaper / nappy rash move along quickly. I know it will only be a short time now until we are free! Sleep is soon!! 

Peace out. 

Natural support for spring congestion and runny noses

Natural allergy relief with essential oils
Natural allergy relief with essential oils

I live in Canada now, and after what feels like a lifetime of winter, frigid temperatures and snow, I couldn’t be happier when April arrives. MOST people would open their windows and embrace this new weather. Not me. I’m allergic, I think, to Canada. Ragweed, pollen, spruce, pine, birch, horses, cats, dogs, dust, mold and it all comes out in April. So, springtime to me has always meant a runny nose, constant congestion, and post-nasal drip. My 3 year-old daughter struggles with it too (thank you genetics).

Rather than taking my prescription antihistamines on a daily basis as was recommended by my allergy doctor, I wanted to find  natural allergy remedy that wouldn’t hurt me in the long term. Something suitable for children’s allergy relief was also key.

Well – natural allergy relief really works guys, it’s nuts. I haven’t used my 20mg antihistamines (not available over the counter) in over 1.5 years!

The secret ingredient list and appropriate children essential oil dilution ratios that I use are as follows. OK, not so secret considering stacks of people are turning to essential oils as a way to treat their allergies naturally.  They work, so more and more people are using them. The key is to reappy them every 2.5 hours where you need them. Your body metabolizes essential oils in that time, so when your spring allergy symptoms are rampant, it’s important to keep your allergy essential oil roller ball in your purse to re-apply frequently.  I also do a neti-pot rinse daily with a drop of Young Living tea tree essential oil and grapeseed extract to make sure I’m constantly flushing out any of the allergens that may have got stuck up there.

#13 FPW LLP

If you do make this, please do let me know how you go. In my experience, I usually experience less congestion and my runny nose stops within 10-15 minutes. Please comment below on how long it took to work for you!

Apply it to your temples, the nape of your neck, your wrists, across your sinuses – anywhere where you feel you need support. When it’s really bad, I’ll also roll it along my spine and put it on my chest.

Natural Allergy Relief Essential Oil Roller Recipe – Adults

Adults can safely use a dilution of between 10-25%. Why the range? Because each of us is different weight, and has different things going on in their body which will impact the amount of essential oils chemicals (good chemicals) required to keep those histamines calm and quiet. In my adult case, I find that 15% dilution works a treat. If you don’t find this works for you, then increase it up to 25% (a sum total of 50 drops). Refer to the essential oil dilution chart below to see how these recipes are influenced.

Natural Children’s Allergy Relief Essential Oil Recommended Dilution Ratios –

These recommended essential oil dilution ratios are based on using a 10ml essential oil glass roller ball.

  • Children aged 3 – 5 years old: Pick your required strength, staying within 1.5% – 3% dilution
    • 1.5% = 3 drops total = 1 drop lemon, 1 drop lavender, 1 drop peppermint
    • 3% =  6 drops total = 2 drops lemon, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops peppermint
  • Children aged 6 – 11 years old: stay within 3% to 5% dilution range
    • 3% =  6 drops total = 2 drops lemon, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops peppermint
    • 5% =  10 drops total = 3 drops lemon, 3 drops lavender, 4 drops peppermint
  • Children aged 12 – 17 years old: 5% – 20% dilution range
    • 5% =  10 drops total = 3 drops lemon, 3 drops lavender, 4 drops peppermint
    • 20% =  40 drops total = 13 drops lemon, 13 drops lavender, 14 drops peppermint

** Note: It’s recommended by certified aromatherapists that peppermint should not be used on children under 3 years old for concerns around respiratory issues.  I tested it on my daughter when she was younger than 3 years old, following safe recommended dilution ratios, and it really helped her. Do your research. Be empowered.

I love this dilution chart graphic from Aromatools and have it saved to my phone whenever I need dilution help. Bookmark this! If you are using essential oils, it’s imperative you use them safely and safe dilution is key here.

dilution chart - applies to pure oils only
Dilution chart courtesy of AromaTools.com

Chocolate protein ball recipe that kids will actually eat


My 7-year old son can sniff protein powder from a mile away. He just hates it. It doesn’t matter what brand (we’ve tried many), he has a real beef against it. Super frustrating considering it’s a super easy way to ensure he is getting all the protein and vitamins he needs. Plus it makes for easy snacks which as a busy mum who isn’t keen on sugar, I’m all about. 
But – hold the phone – after much trial and error, I found the magic ingredient. I added cranberries to the following sugar-free protein ball recipe and somehow it’s now edible. Go figure. 


Either way – success! Here’s the recipe for chocolate honey oatmeal protein balls that are kid approved:

Chocolate oatmeal cranberry protein ball recipe 

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup raw honey 
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

Mix all of the ingredients together and roll into teaspoon shaped balls. Put in a parchment -paper lined container in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. 

Keeps in the fridge for about a week. Note that they start to melt when out of the fridge for too long. Hence the nickname “poo-balls” 😉.

Makes 12 

Variations:

  • Switch out the cranberries for raisins or another dried fruit. Even 1/2 a mashed banana works. 
  • Switch almond butter for Wow butter if you want to send these to school 
  • Use brown rice syrup instead of honey if you’re watching your sugar intake 
  • Flax seeds would work too if ground flax meal isn’t on hand

What other variations have you tried? Post below so I can try them soon!

DIY foaming facial wash for acne prone, combination skin

I’m nearly 40 and I occasionally break out like a teenager. Yes, it’s hormonal and yes, it’s related to what I put in my body. I’m working on that part! 

Here’s what I use to clean my face every morning and night. It’s very basic, and does a great job. My skin doesn’t feel right afterwards because  I add the Vitamin E. Skip it, and it does. 

The esssential oils I’ve chosen to use are specifically for their cleansing and skin cell renewing properties. 


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Castile soap (unscented)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (or cut open 2 capsules). 
  • 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 20-30 drops Young Living essential oils – tea tree and geranium (I split the 30 drops 50/50 between these two)
  • Water

Directions

  1. Mix everything together. Add Castile soap last if you can (leave enough room), so it doesn’t foam up when adding the water 

Tips

  • If the foaming pump gets clogged, take it fully apart and wash (scrub all the teeny bits) with hot water and vinegar. Pump it several times in this mixture to get it through the pump filter. 
  • There is a tiny filter screen in the pump. If you can get that out the clean, you’ll be gold. 
  • Get the plastic pumps from the dollar store. Get amazing glass ones from Amazon. 

Other essential oil blend variations:

  • Lavender and frankincense (soothing and good for maturing skin)
  • Lemon, lavender and frankincense (as above plus brightens skin)

DIY recipe for whipped eczema body butter cream

img_9330-2
The edible raw ingredients

Hands up who else hates using steroid creams on their eczema? I’m going to guess that you too despise spending the cash on different “organic”, “natural” eczema miracle creams too? Welcome to my club.

I’m one of those lucky few with the lucky triple AAA – asthma, allergies and atopic skin “issues”. From a young age I’ve taken steroids, antihistamines and immunotherapies to keep everything under control.

It was the birth of my first child that showed I had the precursors to osteoarthritis – I broke rib bones during labour. Why? I was a healthy 30-year old? Sadly my docs put it down to steroid use over the years (preventative puffers, creams, pills). And this would be a big reason behind my eagerness to find more natural alternatives – for myself and my lucky kids whom also struggle.

Recently I bought a terrific (expensive) toxin-, paraben-, carcinogen-free cream  which immediately soothed my flare ups on contact. Reading the ingredients however made me question why I wasn’t making my own. I had so many of the ingredients already, and access to essential oils through Young Living … it got me thinking, and before I knew it, I had whipped up this beauty.

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Fluffy, butter-cream texture eczema body butter

Ingredients List and Why

– 1 1/2 cups (solid, room temperature) Shea Butter. A skin superfood that is naturally rich in Vitamins A, E and F, it provides skin with the essential fatty acids and nutrients necessary for collagen production. I bought this raw,  organic, unrefined one from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mdlAng

– 1/2 cup Coconut Oil (solid). Similar to the above (but more oily), and widely known for its moisturizing benefits. Go for  the extra virgin,  cold-pressed, unrefined version to make sure you’re not putting any impurities on the skin you’re trying to improve! I used this one (at Costco) and also available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lZTaLu

– 1/2 cup Sweet Almond Oil (liquid). Also contains high levels of the antioxidant Vitamin E and is widely used on sensitive skin. I used this Now brand: http://amzn.to/2m04p6Q

– 40 drops essential oil. Health Canada has recently approved Young Living’s Bergamot, Helichrysum, Marjoram and Myrrh for eczema and dermatitis, so any of these could be used. Side note: this is why I choose to use Young Living oils – they’re the bee’s knees of purity and potency! Use the Contact Me form if you’d like to get your hands on some.

– Containers and jars. Start saving all your containers and pump soap dispensers NOW! Once you start experimenting and making own stuff, you’re going to want every single possible container to put your goodies in. However, I choose the additional containers I use for samples for friends and my Oily friends from Voyageur Soap and Candle. They’re great for Canadians. Australians – check out my girlfriend’s etsy shop ByMeHome. Americans – you have an incredible amount of terrific containers on amazon: small and large!

Directions (made 4x 120ml jars)

  1. Measure out your oils and in a double boiler, melt them together.
  2. Once melted, take off the heat. After about five minutes, put it in freezer to chill for 20 minutes.  It’s only ready to start whipping when you see it’s started to solidify in a ring around the edges.
  3. Whip until a whipped cream like consistency appears before you
  4. Midway whipping, pause and add the essential oils. Continue whipping until soft peaks form and scoop into jars.


Some tips:

  • If you are whipping it and it’s just not working, stick it in the freezer for another 5-10 minutes before trying again. If it solidified a little too much in the freezer, just wait a moment but you’ll see the chilling helps the shipping anyway
  • This recipe contains no preservatives so it will not last forever. Give it a good shot at log shelf life by placing it in clean containers, and keep water out of it.
  • It’ll scoop out of the jar with ease, and may melt quickly onto your skin. A little goes a long way as you’ll see!

I hope this recipe helps your itchy scratchy eczema and dermatitis skin too! Please let me know how you go, and what blends  you used with success in the comments below. xx

 

Homemade and frugal bath bomb recipe for Christmas gifts

I recently found a new supplier online, Voyageur Soap and Candle, for all things soap making, aromatherapy, mineral makeup and skincare supplies. To quote my friend, I quickly fell down the “rabbit hole” and got way too excited planning and shopping for all the craft projects my kids and I could get up to this Christmas break.

After navigating my way through the soap making kits, soy candle making kits and even nail polish kits (formaldehyde-free!), I finally settled on beginning with bath bombs so I could give them away as Christmas gifts.

My middle daughter and husband helped me make these, and it was a real bonding moment! It was a bit of a chemistry lesson too (how much witch hazel to add before it gets too soggy and then won’t set, and then  learning oops, yes we bagged them too early for the gases are still being produced!). We all smelled delightful and our spirits were high (we used Young Living’s Lavender and Ylang Ylang essential oils in ours, so no surprises there considering their therapeutic benefits). The whole process took around 1.5 hours (however I did pop up to the shops for 30 minutes in between while they dried). Easy peasy, they look beautiful and kids loved them when we threw them in the bath to test!

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

You can view the original recipe here. This recipe makes 6 x large bath bombs (or 12 halves). I’ve listed my shopping list underneath the recipe that will give you enough to ~35 bath bomb halves at around $1 each.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups – Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda – makes the bomb fizz)
  • 1 Cup – Citric Acid (is an astringent which helps to make skin tight)
  • 1/2 Cup – Corn Starch (helps to creates a smooth hard bath bomb)
  • 125ml – Witch Hazel (in a spritz bottle so that a spritz of the alcohol content will allow the bath bombs to release from their molds)
  • Essential oils (I use Young Living because they’re 100% pure; thus you use less and get maximum therapeutic value for fewer drops). Need some? Contact me.
  • 1 x packet of dried Pink Rose Petals (optional)
  • 1 x bath bomb mold – I used this large bath bomb mold (and separated them into flat halves), or you could get this smaller bath bomb mold
  • Gift bags and ribbon

Directions:

  1. Place desired amount of bath bomb mix into bowl. It’s easier to work in small batches, so only use enough for a couple of bath bombs at a time.
  2. Add essential oil, drops at a time, to achieve desired fragrance level.
  3. Mist the witch hazel over the mixture several times, stirring vigorously with fork or fingers so that any colour or fragrance is well mixed. Mist the witch hazel only as much as needed – the goal is to have the mix lightly moisturized so that it binds together when squeezed, but not so wet that it starts to fizz.
  4. When it feels like the mix will clump together, press the mix into the molds. You want the mix to be tightly packed in the mold, so use your fingers. After waiting a minute you should be able to flip the mold over and bang it lightly on a flat surface to extract the bath fizzer from the mold.
  5. After the bath fizzer is out of the mold, let it sit undisturbed for a couple of hours (I did 30 mins and it was sufficient) to fully dry.
  6. When packaging them, slit a teeny hole in the bag so the off-gasses from the witch hazel reacting with the bicarb soda have a means to escape

My shopping list:

TOTAL COST = $30.30 (+ essential oils and gift packaging supplies) which equated to around $1 per bath bomb!

 

How fast do essential oils work?

The most optimal/efficient way for the body to absorb the therapeutic properties of essential oils is through a combination of inhalation, absorption and ingestion. This blog is the first in a 3-part blog series covering these methods.

#1 – Inhalation through the olfactory system     

Ever inhaled a scent and had a childhood memory flashback? How does that happen?

When essential oils are inhaled, tiny chemical molecules reach the olfactory membranes at the top of your nose. Thousands of receptors register that smell and send that sensory stimulation through the olfactory nerve into the limbic system of the brain, responsible for emotional and psychological responses.

The limbic system is then triggered by nervous impulses. The inhaled scent is compared, labeled and stored (for future memories), and nerve impulses immediately sent through our autonomic nervous system to cause a direct emotional response or physical reaction.

This entire process from inhalation to gland secretion takes place in a matter of seconds!

Just a simple inhalation can cause changes in the body from stimulating the immune system, uplifting our emotions to getting the digestive system moving again. So the next time you’re wondering how to use your frankincense to calm and ground yourself, pop a drop in your palms, slow down and take some deep inhalations. Your negative emotions and stress levels will begin the process of regulating themselves within in 22 seconds.

happy-oils-how-fast-oils-work
How fast do essential oils work? (icon credit: freepick from Flaticon)

 

Non-comedogenic carrier oils for acne prone skin

It’s autumn here and, unsurprisingly the sniffles and sore throats have threatened our family, and our immune systems. I’ve been relying pretty heavily on my routine of raw garlic, echinacea, Vitamin C and essential oils to ensure that when it did threaten, we were adequately prepared with natural remedies to help us fight it off and minimize its effects – faster.

But I’ve hit a snag where I need the support of my friends. I’ve been reapplying my flu bomb essential oil roller every 2.5 hours in all the areas I’ve needed support (throat, lymph nodes, along my spine, bottoms of feet), and I’ve broken out like crazy.

Ideally I would be using Jojoba Oil which I use in all my face serums/creams/scrubs, for it has a low comodegenic rating and it’s composition is quite similar to human sebum, one of our skin’s natural oils. But – it’s pricey so I tend to reserve it for my face only.

Sweet Almond Oil is my go-to for my essential oil rollers (+ diaper wipes, make-up remover pads, baby bum diaper rash ointment, etc). It too has a relatively low comodegenic rating (same as Jojoba oil = 2), but apparently the sensitive skin on my neck is in disagreement. I was going to include a photo of the evidence but it’s too gross.

In the research I’ve done, I’m prepared to try virgin, cold-pressed Sunflower Oil or Castor Oil.

  • Sunflower Oil because it will not clog pores (comedogenic rating of 0=will not clog pores), and has a very high linoleic acid content (65.7%) which makes it a good alternative for those concerned with acne or break-outs.
  • Castor Oil because it has a low comedogenic rating too (Rating = 1 = Low), has ricinoleic acid (known to fight bacteria that contributes to acne) and offers a wide variety of skin health benefits including hydration, and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Interestingly, it is also good for treating fungal skin infections, because it contains undecylenic acid, which would be helpful in my diaper rash skin ointments.

Here are the brands I’m looking at trying, but I’d love your feedback on what’s worked well for your acne-prone skin.

Sunflower oil
Sunflower oil

Sunflower Oil. Requirements: cold-pressed, hexane free, no synthetic preservatives or colours, refined. Not too big a container (as it goes rancid quickly)

Castor Oil. Requirements: organic, cold-pressed, no synthetic preservatives or colours.

Seeds of castor oil plant
Seeds of the castor oil plant

I’ll provide an update soon on what I went with, and where my skin is at so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have acne prone skin (or are dealing with this stupidity even though you’re in you’re late 30’s), please comment below and let me know what works for you.

Thanks 😉

 

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