What's in your Shower? 4 Soap Ingredients to Avoid

Posted on February 08, 2017 by Melissa Auxier | 0 comments

One of the main ways your body acquires nutrients, other than eating, is through the skin. Your skin is your largest organ and most of the substances you put on it are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. Our skin absorbs the good, the bad and the ugly ingredients that you put on it.  It can't discern what is good or bad, that is left up to you.

Chemicals in common soaps can disrupt our hormones, cause allergies, lead to reproductive issues and increase risk of some cancers. With serious side effects like these, we need to be particular about what we put on our skin.

1) Triclosan -
Triclosan is a pesticide that has antibacterial properties. It is found in soaps because it helps to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria that have built up on your skin during the day.  Overexposure to antibacterial products can cause an immunity to them.  Another important reason to avoid triclosan is that it is considered an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors cause potentially dangerous fluctuations in your hormone levels which in turn can lead to hormonal problems.

2) Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS):
  A common ingredient in personal care products, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an additive that allows cleansing products to foam. According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.  SLS is in almost all shampoos and soaps.  Check your labels and be informed.  SLS goes by many different names, some of which include sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl, reports the EWG. 

3)  Fragrances
Almost all bars of soap contain added fragrances in order to make them more enjoyable to use in the bath or shower. However, printing ‘fragrance’ on a soap label can be extremely misleading, as this often means that thousands of different chemicals have been added in order to create the special smell of the soap.

The FDA doesn’t require companies to disclose the breakdown of a fragrance’s ingredients to consumers because the chemicals that produce fragrance are considered “trade secrets.” Most of the time, synthetic chemicals and cancer-causing toxins are hiding under that one sneaky term. Constant exposure to fragrances has been shown to negatively impact the central nervous system and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms. 

4) Parabens

These ingredients are estrogen mimickers—meaning that once applied to the skin, they enter the bloodstream, and the body mistakes them for estrogen. Further studies have demonstrated that parabens can also cause neurological problems by way of nervous system toxicity.

So, if we are washing our bodies with soap that contains harmful ingredients every single day, think of what a lifetime of doing this could do to your health

Government testing on these chemicals is minimal, so it is up to you to make informed decisions about what goes on your skin and what doesn't.

 

Posted in 4 toxic soap ingredients, clear naturals, essential oils, natural handmade soap, natural soap, soap ingredients, toxic ingredients, what's in your shower

What's in your Shower?? Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Melissa Auxier | 0 comments

What's in your shower? 

Have you taken the time to read the ingredient list on the products you use everyday?  Most of the time you will find you can't even pronounce them, let alone begin to know what they are. 

I challenge you to begin anew.  Go through your shower products, your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, read the ingredients and choose to make the switch to a more natural product.  Start with one if you can't afford to change everything at once, but choose to start.  Here are some of the ingredients likely found in your shampoo. 

Common Ingredients in Shampoo you should Avoid

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), is a harsh detergent, it is  the ingredient in many shampoos that causes that foaming lather we all love.  Exposing your hair to this chemical actually strips it of the natural oils your scalp needs to stay healthy.

Polyethelyne Glycol. Also called PEG/Polyethelyne or Polyoxyethelyne, this ingredient is included in shampoos as a thickening agent. It strips hair and skin of their natural moisture.  Might be why I always needed to follow up my shampoo with a conditioner when I used bottle shampoo.

Parabens. Used to prolong shelf life of an average hair-care product, parabens like methylparaben and propylparaben are chemicals that are known for their toxic nature. Parabens not only irritate the skin, but they can also affect your hormonal balance.

Alcohol. Almost all hair-care products contain some form of alcohol, which can be drying for your hair.

Synthetic Fragrance or Parfum. This usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals, none of which are natural.  Many people have sensitivities to fragrances and don't even realize it, they can be irritating to the scalp and show up in the form of itchy scalp, redness, etc..

Propylene Glycol. Also known as the antifreeze you put in your car, propylene glycol is a common ingredient in shampoos and other personal care products to keep the product from freezing during shipping and storage. Why would you want this in your shampoo, imagine what it could be doing to your hair and scalp!

Dimethicone. Dimethicone is a synthetic polymer and a form of silicone with two methyl groups attached (hence the name Di-methicone). It is usually used as a surface sealant in skin and hair products to coat surfaces in order to seal in moisture.  It is also known to clog pores and seal in oils and bacteria, by not allowing our skin to breathe.  As with all of the above chemicals, there are reports of people who react to this silicone derivative, resulting in skin rashes, burning and itching.

This is not a complete list, but should give you enough information to think about.  Why would you want to put this kind of stuff in your hair or on your skin?
Stay tuned for more What's in your Shower series!

Posted in chemicals in shampoo, organic shampoo, shampoo ingredients to avoid, what's in your shampoo, what's in your shower, why you should use a natural shampoo

Baby Steps for the New Year

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Melissa Auxier | 0 comments

Happy New Year! The start of a new year always brings along the feeling that I need to make resolutions or at least make a fresh start on things that are important to me, likely you are the same.  So how do you go about doing this?  Many years ago, I followed a blog to help put order back into my home, the most important thing I learned through that following was that taking baby steps was the best way to accomplish things that needed to be done.  So, as you reflect on things that are important, things that you want to change, create a list of "baby steps"  to move you along that road to your end goal.  

Here are some ideas for the most common New Starts!

1) Detox - Detox your skin naturally to renew that youthful glow.  Why is it important to detox?  Over the course of a year, your skin comes into contact with many chemicals, chemicals in your laundry detergent, your lotions, your sunscreens, all of these chemicals are absorbed by your skin.  Take a few days to give your body a break from all of these toxins, a rest, so to speak.  Nourish it with a light fast and detox with a few natural products great at renewing your mind, body and spirit.

  •     Charcoal soap - a naturally detoxing bar that aids in clearing the skin, this bar gets rave reviews, if you haven't tried it, now is the time.  Also available in unscented for those with sensitive skin.
  •     Detox soap - a great detox bar with dead sea mud and a blend of essential oils known for their ability to detox the skin.  You can also lather up with these soaps and leave it on for a few minutes to let the dead sea mud or charcoal work at adsorbing the toxins.
  •  Detox Bath Bomb - relax and soak for 20-30 minutes with my detox bath bomb.  I like to break my bath bomb in half and use it for two baths.

2) Lose weight - Watch what you eat and try to exercise a few times a week, in addition, there are many essential oils that can aid you on your journey, grapefruit essential oil for instance is excellent in this respect.  

Grapefruit Bath Bombs - bathe in grapefruit, the best way for it to absorb into your skin.

Grapefruit Scrub -   Prefer to take a shower?  A scrub is the perfect way to use grapefruit in the shower, it provides exfoliation and aromatherapy benefits of grapefruit.

3) Natural Beauty - Now is the time to take a fresh start with your beauty care routine.  Minimize what you use and pay attention to the ingredient list.  You can have amazing skin with natural ingredients.  Make it a point to change 1 or 2 products to more natural products for your skin this month!

 Natural Skin Care Products 

4) Less Stress - It's not easy to have less stress, but you can change the way you handle stress.  Take time for yourself, and make it a point to bring more essential oils into your routine.  Pure therapeutic essential oils can provide a calming affect.  Try lavender, peaceful or lavender dream, all of these oils and oil blends will relax the body and mind.  Place a drop or two on the back of your neck or on the bottoms of your feet, you can also put a drop on your pulse points.  Another good way to use essential oils is via wax melts or an essential oil diffuser, both allow the essential oils to be diffused into the air, thereby benefiting everyone in your home.

Peaceful Essential Oil

Posted in aromatherapy, bath and beauty, bath products, charcoal soap, detox soap, essential oils, grapefruit essential oil, handmade soap, natural beauty, natural handmade soap, natural living, natural products, natural skin care, natural soap, soap, stress relief, weight loss

7 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Posted on November 22, 2015 by Melissa Auxier | 0 comments

Breathe Deeply - It's amazing what a deep breath can do for you.  It's healing for the mind and body.  Seems like such a simple thing, but the outcome might surprise you.  Sit down, feet on the floor and just deeply inhale and exhale 3-4 times.  Your mind should feel clearer and your body more relaxed.  It's really a good practice to get into because the benefits will amaze you.

Massage- Getting a massage might be a little harder than just breathing deeply, but it is very relaxing.  Teach your kids or spouse to massage your neck and shoulders or even do a foot massage.  This can be a great way to bond and provide stress relief at the same time.  An added benefit could be an aromatherapy massage using your favorite aromatherapy massage oil or lotion.  

Aromatherapy - Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years for many things.  There are many essential oils and essential oil blends that help your body to relax.  Try a room spray or essential oil diffuser to diffuse essential oils into the air.  Some of my favorite calming blends are winter calm, lavender, lavender mint splash or rose. 

Take time out for yourself - This can't be said enough, in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, take time to take a relaxing bath, go out for coffee with a friend or just sneak a few moments of peace and solitude.   Bath bombs are the perfect way to de-stress and take time out for yourself.  Browse our bath bombs 

Take a Walk - Might seem like a small thing, but sometimes just taking a walk can energize while at the same time calm your body.  Make it a brisk walk while you're at it to get the benefit of exercise.

Make a Plan - One of the best ways to make things less stressful is to have a plan.  Plan your Holiday meals before the rush hits, purchase things for the meal a little at a time each time you go grocery shopping, thereby making that last minute rush to the store in traffic galore non-existent.  

Plan your Christmas, shop early, make lists of things you need for the home, things for the meal and gift ideas.  Firm up your gift ideas and purchase by the first week in December at the latest.  Last minute shopping causes stress, not only because you are last minute shopping, but also because you usually end up spending more money because of poor planning!

Ask for Help - Seem simple enough, but sometimes we feel we have to do it all ourselves.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, have other people pitch in for the meal, assign your kids to each be in charge of making a dish, not only are you teaching them to cook, but you are working with them and getting things done together.  Togetherness is what it's all about!

 

Posted in 7 ways to de-stress, aromatherapy, aromatherapy massage, benefits of aromatherapy, destress, essential oils, holiday stress, massage, natural bath bombs, relax

How to Organize Washi Tape

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Doug Auxier | 0 comments

 I decided to try and organize all of my business supplies before the Holiday rush.  I had a washi tape organizer that I had found at Costco, but it just didn't give me the flexibility to do what I wanted.  I wanted to be able to grab a roll of washi tape and wrap whatever I was wrapping and put it back.  The Costco organizer held the tape on a roll type thing and had a cute cutter on the side of the tray, basically worthless for me as the tape could not easily be removed and as you can see from the picture, it became a pile of chaos!

After much searching, I came across this amazing washi tape organizer and I am so pleased with it.   Here is a photo after everything was organized neatly in my new rack.  Each tape can be pulled off the shelf and put back easily.

 

 

Care to join me in getting organized?  Check out http://www.organizemore.com/ for shelves to organize almost anything from ink pads to punches or ribbons!  Organize More is now my go to shop on my journey to getting organized.

 

 

 

 

Posted in card craft organizer, craft organizer, elegant rose boutique, organized craft room, ribbon organizer, washi tape, washi tape organizer

DIY Shower Steamers - Sinus Problems, Cold & Flu

Posted on February 05, 2015 by Melissa Auxier | 3 comments

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Baking Soda 
  • 1/4 cup  Epsom Salt
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup white clay or arrowroot powder or tapioca starch or corn starch, any of these will work. 
  • 2 and 3/4 tbsp carrier oil of your choice - almond oil, coconut oil, etc.
  • 3/4 tbsp of water
  • Essential oils: I recommend using 1 tablespoon of essential oils of your choice
Instructions
  1. Combine baking soda, epsom salt, citric acid and clay,  mix well until combined.
  2. Mix your water, carrier oil and essential oils
  3. Use a whisk and slowly pour the essential oil mix into the dry mix.  Blend thoroughly.  Mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling but should not be real wet feeling.  If you get it too wet, it will begin to fizz.   
  4. Push mix into your mold, don't pack tightly, but pack well.  Depending on the mold used, I typically leave it in the mold for 15 minutes or so and then flip the mold carefully onto a cookie sheet to dry.  Leave to dry 24 to 48 hours.
  5. When dry, remove and store in air tight container.
Purpose of each ingredient:
Carrier oil provides moisturizing benefits.
Citric acid provides the fizz in the shower/tub
Epsom salt is an additive I use in my bath bombs for the benefits.
Corn Starch or Clay helps the shower tablet not dissolve as quickly
Baking soda reacts with the citric acid to create fizz.
Notes
To use: Place one in the back of your shower out of the stream of water, so that it can dissolve slowly to maximize the aromatherapy benefit.  I don't recommend using these in a bath unless you cut back on the essential oils used as it would be too strong.  This batch makes 4-6 muffin tin shower steamers.  

 

Posted in aromatherapy, bath bombs, bath products, cold flu relief, DIY, diy shower steamers, Do it yourself, essential oil bath bomb, essential oil steamer, handmade soap, natural shower steamer, natural sinus relief, shower steamer, shower tablets, sinus congestion relief, sinus problems

How to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Melissa Auxier | 0 comments

You may have heard from a friend or acquaintance that essential oils have helped them with this or that, but maybe you're not quite sure where to start.  Well, I hope to help you along your journey into essential oils by covering some of their uses and cautions.

The essential oil I use most is peppermint.  Peppermint - an uplifting fresh scent that can bring you back to life at times.  Peppermint oil is analgesic, antiseptic, sedative and cooling.  It can be used to treat fevers, colds, flu symptoms, nausea and respiratory disorders.

CAUTIONS -  Please use only therapeutic grade essential oils, if you're not sure, please ask.  Secondly, peppermint is very potent, use it very sparingly, then add more if you need to.  Lastly, always, always wash your hands thoroughly after applying peppermint essential oil.  Ask me why I would tell you this!

USES

INDIGESTION - I use peppermint  a lot as I tend to have indigestion a lot.  Here are a few ways it can be used - mix 2-4 drops with 1 tbsp of olive oil and apply to stomach area.  Put 1 drop in a pitcher of water, more is not always better with peppermint oil, even if it seems like 1 drop wouldn't be enough, it is more than enough.  You can drink peppermint water throughout the day if you like it is wonderful for internal inflammation and digestion. 

HEADACHE - Peppermint works wonderful for headaches, but must be used with caution.  Here is  how I do it.  I put only 1 drop of peppermint on my finger and lay down, then I massage the drop on my forehead and temples.  Peppermint has a way of working its way down to your eyes, so be  very careful.  You can also apply to the back of your neck and behind your ears.

MIDDAY PICK ME UP - Who doesn't need that middle of the day pick me up?  Keep a bottle of peppermint handy as it only takes a drop or two on the back of  your neck to totally refresh you!  Hard to believe, I know, but it really does work.

PAIN RELIEF - Lastly, I use if for those annoying little pains or sometimes big pains.  It has a wonderful cooling feeling on the skin and works wonders on those aches and pains.  Apply as above for the indigestion, blended with olive oil or whatever oil you have on hand.

How do you use peppermint?

 

 

Posted in aromatherapy, headache, how to use peppermint essential oil, indigestion, natural remedy, pain relief, peppermint essential oil