I don't know about you, but my feet are nowhere near ready for spring let alone sandals. They've been jammed in winter boots and heavy socks for the last few months and have only received a cursory glance in between the shower and putting on a new pair of socks.
So with winter heading out the door and spring making an appearance in the next month or so...let's get those tootsies pretty and handsome. Don't be stuck in closed toe shoes when the beautiful spring weather arrives.
Inspect feet for any damage (calluses, bunions or wear) caused by those lovely winter boots. Get feet into shape with the appropriate care for these conditions.
Prepare a foot soak to kill any foot fungus that may have happily taken up habitat in the warm moist environment of those Winter socks and boots. A soak of 1/2 Apple Cider Vinegar /1/2 Water and application of Tea Tree oil daily works for most conditions. See a doctor if condition does not improve.
Soak feet in Baking Soda and Water Bath to soften hardened dry skin. Use a salt scrub (make your own or buy ours Here) and or foot file to gently remove dead skin. Use a cuticle stick to clean around cuticles and remove dead skin. Clip toenails and shape.
Moisturize with your favorite body butter or oil buy ours Here.
Grab those flip flops and strut those beautiful tootsies!
For years I've been plagued with those pesky little bumps on the back of my thighs and arms. I've been told it was acne, dry skin and allergy reaction. It turns out there is a condition called Keratosis Pilaris; which is an inflammation of the clogged hair follicle. Normally we just call it a hair bump. The key is to unclog the follicle and reduce the inflammation. Want to read more about this condition?
Check out Natural Living Ideas article: www.naturallivingideas.com/get-rid-of-keratosis-pilaris/.
I've found that the use of salt scrubs cuts down on this significantly. You can either make your own or purchase ours Body Polishes & Scrubs. Apply scrub to wet skin in circular motion, rinse and pat dry. To detoxify the follicle the application of a mask especially formulated for this purpose to affected area 1x a week. Activated Charcoal, French Green Clay, Kaolin Clay and Bentonite Clay are some of the best natural detoxifying agents that would be beneficial.
Lastly, to soothe inflammation, the application a non-pore clogging moisturizer with anti-inflammatory properties reduce and close the problem pores. Below is a great DIY recipe that works great for many skin conditions.
DIY Soothing Skin Oil
1/2 cup Sunflower/Safflower or Almond Oil (Any light oil will work)
2 capsules Vitamin E oil
20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Blend ingredients together and place in an airtight dark glass bottle. Keep bottle away from light and heat. Apply a few drops of mixture 2x per day to affected area as needed.
During this time of year dry chapped lips are a real nuisance. The peeling skin not only feels terrible but also isn't the best look either. Exfoliate for smoother healthier lips.
Get soft smooth lips with this simple DIY Lip Scrub Recipe in a flash with 3 ingredients.
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (or granulated)
1/4 Tsp. Raw Honey
10 Drops Almond Oil (or any light oil)
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Apply a small amount to lips.
3. Rub gently into lips for a few seconds or up to two minutes.
4. If time allows, let the mixture remain on lips for a minute or two.
5. Wipe off gently with a warm, damp cloth (or you can just lick it all off ;-) )
6. Store the excess in a closed container.
7. Wah-Lah Smooth Soft Lips!
By Arvette Hammar
Whether dry skin is a norm for you or if it's seasonal, here are some natural tips to battle it and win this season. Dry skin can be caused by many things such as allergies, environmental conditions and health conditions.
The itchy, tight, cracking that occurs with dry skin is often worse in fall and winter when the low humidity of winter and cold weather rob you of what little moisture your skin has. So try these natural tips to soothe and heal dry skin.
By Arvette Hammar
With summer coming to an end, now is the time to deal with dry cracked feet. For me in California, dry cracked feet are always an issue because I run around in flip flops or bare feet more than half the year. This often leads to dry cracked abused feet. Dry and calloused feet don’t get any better with winter and I hate when my feet snag on socks or tights. Once boot season arrives, cracked feet will be more prone to fungus and can lead to various foot infections. So, here's how to repair dry cracked feet at home naturally.
Soaking in a warm foot bath softens dry skin and feels so good on overworked feet.
Softening Foot Soak
1 cup Epsom Salt
½ tsp. Avocado Oil or other light oil
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Use: Fill tub or container with enough warm water to cover feet and add Epsom Salt and Oils. For Extra calloused feet: Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar (* Do not use if you are diabetic or have poor circulation)
Sit back, relax and enjoy. Soak feet for 30 minutes.
While feet are still in foot bath; use a Natural Pumice Stone or Foot File to gently slough away rough skin and callouses.
Periodically rub the bottom of feet with hand to judge softness. Don’t get too gung ho with skin removal because too much can remove the protective layer of skin on the feet and make them sensitive and prone to injury.
Peppermint Sugar & Honey Scrub
1 cup Organic Cane Sugar (fine) or Brown Sugar
¼ cup Avocado Oil
1 tbs. Raw Honey (warmed to liquid)
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil – you can use any essential oil you like, however peppermint oil menthol properties provide cooling and anti-fungal properties.
Don't feel like making it? Purchase ours here
Preparation: Mix ingredients together for a thick blend (similar to toothpaste), you may not need all of the oil.
Use: Apply exfoliating scrub with fine textured pumice stone, exfoliating glove or hands (give your hands a nice exfoliation in the process) to tops and bottoms of feet in a circular massaging motion. The goal here is to polish the feet to a smooth soft texture. Rinse feet well and wash feet with soap to remove oil. Caution: Feet may be slippery prior to washing with soap. Dry feet well.
A little about moisturizers. Water based lotions are good for applying to dry skin however they don’t last long and wear off quickly. Oil based moisturizers/balms/butters absorption rates vary depending on the oil. I have found that oil moisturizers work best at softening and smoothing dry skin and locking in moisture.
Super Foot Repair Moisturizer
½ cup Shea Butter (melted)
¼ cup Almond Oil
1 tsp. Vitamin E Oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil – You can use any essential oils you like, however Lavender and Peppermint essential oils provide skin soothing and anti-fungal properties.
Preparation: Melt butter in a double boiler only until melted not boiling (microwaving will cause Shea Butter to become grainy). Remove from heat. Combine Almond Oil, Vitamin E Oil and Essential Oils. Combine oils with Shea Butter and pour into dark colored glass jar with lid and store in a cool place. The dark colored jar will protect the potency of your essential oils. If you don't have a dark jar, store blend in a cool dark place. Blend will solidify.
Don't feel like making your own? Purchase ours here.
Use: Apply moisturizer immediately after drying feet, focusing on heals and other dry areas. It is beneficial to immediately place cotton socks on freshly moisturized feet to allow oils to penetrate.
Follow this process as often as needed.
I will often do this before going to bed and wear socks to bed to wake up to soft happy feet in the morning.
How do you naturally repair dry cracked feet?
DISCLAIMER: Information on Holistic Blends Soap Company™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.
For those of those that love to go bare foot and shed our shoes whenever possible; foot fungus or athlete's foot is not usually an issue because fresh air and sunshine are usually naturally remedies for these conditions. But for folks that wear a lot of closed toe shoes and boots for work or athletics can suffer greatly from the itching, peeling, redness and burning associated with skin fungus on the foot. Foot fungus is caused by microscopic fungi and thrives in warm moist environments (i.e. feet with socks and shoes on). Most of us know of the anti-fungal sprays and powders that are well advertised, but if you want to go the natural route try these easy home remedies.
Tea Tree Essential Oil has been used potent antiviral, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal properties. Tea Tree Oil is for EXTERNAL TOPICAL USE ONLY.
You can buy tea tree essential oil at many of your local health food stores or Starwest Bontanicals http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/tea-tree-essential-oil/.
As I continue on this road to "maturity" and learning to deal with the trials and tribulations of a changing body I'm finding that going back to tried and true ways of our ancestors still work pretty darn good. So battling this adult acne has resulted in taming and reducing the actual acne, but being left dark spot where the acne had been. My own scarlet letter of shame - only kidding, but it left me with a definite uneven complexion. I got to thinking of natural ways to lighten and even my complexion with out going to my old standby skin lightening cream that 1. burned my skin and 2. gave me acne (yes the irony is not lost on me here!). I've opted to go with the remedies of the past before everything was a cosmetic or a drug and filled with synthetic ingredients.
Milk products are full of Lactic Acid; which is a gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Alpha hydroxy acid acts as an exfoliant by contributing to the shedding of skin cells. This leads to cell renewal which in turn removes dullness from your skin giving you a brightening effect. As a skin lightening agent, lactic acid helps bleach the hyperpigmented skin by suppressing the production of melanin.
Citrus Juice is astringent and has natural bleaching effects (particularly lemon). Its astringent property will tighten your pores reducing the sebum secretion and its natural acidic composition will bleach your skin to whiten it. As lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C, it leads to production of new skin cells so that you get rid of all dullness and have bright skin. Side note I remember listening to the older women always talking about having used lemon juice on dark elbows and knees to lighten them, but never understood why it worked as a kid.
Here are a couple of natural recipes right out of your kitchen that I have been playing with to get rid of those pesky scars naturally...
Citrus and Yogurt Lightening Mask (Oily Skin)
1 tsp of Plain Yogurt
1/2 tsp of Lemon Juice
Mix Yogurt and Lemon Juice together well and apply to clean face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well. Dry face and moisturize. Repeat daily until desired effect is met.
CAUTION: DO NOT APPLY MIXTURE BEFORE GOING OUT IN THE SUN. LEMON JUICE CAUSES PHOTOSENSITIVITY AND COULD RESULT IN SUNBURN AND/OR FURTHER DARKENING OF THE SKIN. DO NOT APPLY LEMON JUICE TO BROKEN SKIN. KEEP OUT OF EYES.
Citrus, Honey and Olive Oil Lightening Mask (Dry Skin)
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Olive Oil
Mix all ingredients and gently apply to clean face. Massage face with ingredients and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well, pat dry and apply moisturizer. Repeat daily until desired effect is met.
CAUTION: DO NOT APPLY MIXTURE BEFORE GOING OUT IN THE SUN. LEMON JUICE CAUSES PHOTOSENSITIVITY AND COULD RESULT IN SUNBURN AND FURTHER DARKENING OF THE SKIN.
So far so good, for me on evening out my skintone and I haven't touched the commercial lightener. Share with me how these recipes are working for you.
Like every year, this year I made my resolutions to proactively BE healthier. What that means to me is to eat healthier, be more active and continue to make healthier decisions on the products my family and I use. As, I cleaned out my "beauty" drawer this weekend throwing out the old cosmetics and cleansers I noticed that I've been using the same products day in and day out for years; regardless of the season.
When we moved to the Foothills at a higher elevation, I really struggled with the impacts the changing environment had on my skin; particularly the dryness. As summer turned to winter, I found that the products that had worked in the summer didn't particularly work well in the winter. This got me to thinking...Each season represents not only changes in the weather but the cyclical patterns of the earth's renewal and regeneration. Since our bodies are in tune (some better than others) with these changes, our body's needs change with the seasons. Our seasons may look different depending on where we live and some may be more subtle than others (Florida winter vs. Fargo winter), but the changes occur all the same.
Your skincare regime needs to change with the changing seasons. The processes tend to stay the same, however the products will differ.
Bottom Line...what works for your skin in one season may not work in another because your skin's needs are constantly changing. Embrace the changes and give your skin what it needs when it needs it.
Where are we now? DRY WINTER SKIN
Your old skin layers are dying in preparation for the new cells that will emerge. Remember that exfoliating will remove dead skin cells and blackheads from clogged pores. Exfoliating salt and sugar scrubs are wonderful for removing dead skin and giving your skin a vibrant glow.
Try this DIY Natural Sugar Scrub Recipe:
Honey Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup of Sugar (white of brown - raw sugar will be too rough)
1/4 cup of Oil (I like Almond and Coconut, but any natural light oil will work)
1 tsp. Raw Honey
2-3 drops of your favorite Essential Oil (I like Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Patchouli for their dry skin benefits)
Mix ingredients well in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Stores on the counter for about two months.
Wet skin thoroughly in shower. Turn off water and apply mixture to body in a circular motion, focusing on any dry rough areas. Rinse thoroughly.
Don't want to make your own scrub? Try our sugar and salt scrub
About Our Blog
Join me in my quest for natural alternatives in beauty and healthy living. I am passionate about my craft and strive to continuously educate myself and others on natural ways to care for ourselves and our families. I am thankful for the ability to educate others and formulate bath and body products to enhance one's overall well being.