Multi-Use Matcha Balm

This week when I did my weekly Whole Foods trip I found myself perusing through the whole body section, which is rare, but I have had my eye on a couple products from Cocokind. Cocokind is a skincare line out of San Francisco that is certified organic, vegan and is based around superfoods. This year their brand has also launched a cycle back program. If you purchase any Cocokind product in a glass container you can send it back in exchange for a 50% off coupon to. I love brands that encourage reuse and eco-friendly habits.

I did not end up purchasing any of the Cocokind products from Whole Foods that day because I wanted to come home and check out their website a little more. Some of the products I was looking into are the MYMATCHA moisture stick and the rosewater facial toner. I have never been one to have a soft, smooth complexion so I would love to see if the rosewater can give me the balanced looking skin I so long for. After reading about the cycle back program, I decided to give this product a go and I cannot wait to try it. As far as the matcha stick, I need a little dark circle correction in my life, like now! Matcha has many benefits for skin, some being that it is anti aging and anti inflammatory. But fter looking at the matcha stick ingredients, I knew I had all had all 3 in my pantry so I decided to make my own rather that make the purchase. Especially because the matcha stick is in a plastic tube that is not apart of the cycle back program. The 3 ingredients used are organic extra virgin coconut oil, beeswax and matcha tea powder plus a reusable 2 oz glass container and here are the measurements I used.

Ingredients

  • 7 teaspoons of finely grated beeswax
  • 4 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of matcha

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler OR if you’re like me, boil water in a small sauce pan and place a small glass pyrex bowl over the top, put coconut oil into your bowl and wait until the coconut oil melts
  2. Add the finely grated beeswax to the bowl of melted coconut oil and stir well until the beeswax is melted
  3. Now, while stirring, sift the matcha into the bowl. You do not want to skip this step! If you just pour the matcha in it all in at once, it can clump up. I added the teaspoon of matcha into a chinois and tapped the side of the chinois until most of the the matcha was sifted through into the bowl, after most of the matcha sifted through you may be left with a couple of clumps of matcha in your chinois, discard those.
  4. When all your ingredients melted and mixed well together, carefully pour into your container.
  5. Let cool in your refrigerator for 30 minutes and it will be ready for use as a moisturizer, lip or dark circle balm
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DIY Eyeliner

I am so excited to share this 4 ingredient all natural DIY eyeliner with all of you! When I was younger (late teens early twenties) I was obsessed with make up. Imagine big make up cases with hundreds of dollars worth of MAC makeup kind of obsessed. Yeah, that was me. I always loved that time before going out or getting ready for work when I sat in front of my mirror, jammed to my music and applied away without a second thought. As I got older I started learning about negative effects toxins and chemicals from the make up have on your body and how everything you apply in your skin ends up in your body through absorption. In addition, learning about brands that test on animals and it being all the brands I was using, I felt horrible, these are things that did not even cross my mind in my younger years. So I quit cold turkey… I quit buying and wearing make up with the exception of the occasional wedding or holiday party. Years have gone by with no make up but lately I have been missing that me time in front of the mirror where I can be in my own girly world listening to music and dressing myself up for date night or special occasion. So I decided to make my own beauty products. I am having tons of fun with it and I know exactly what goes into my product and onto my face and into my body.

I recently purchased a 1/2 oz reusable container from the herb store but any small container with a lid will do. You will also need activated charcoal, beeswax, coconut oil, water and an eyeliner brush to apply. This recipe is quick and easy but I must say if you are not careful it could get messy and activated charcoal can stain. I highly recommend laying a junky rag down at your work station beforehand. If you have a double boiler that will work, I don’t, so I added all my ingredients to a glass mixing bowl and put it in a hot water until all ingredients were melted and well mixed. As soon as everything is melted and mixed pour the eyeliner mixture into the container and then quickly run your bowl under hot water to clean right away. The beeswax in this recipe can firm up quickly and once it gets hard it is a bit harder to clean. Let your eyeliner sit for about 20 minutes, then it should be ready for use.

DIY Eyeliner

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated beeswax
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 water

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to double boiler or glass mixing bowl dipped in hot water
  2. Wait until all ingredients are melted and mix well
  3. Add your eyeliner mixture to reusable container
  4. Wash your pan or bowl right away in hot water to avoid the excess mixture from hardening in the pan.
  5. Wait 20 minutes for eyeliner to firm

The Multipurpose Mask

Bentonite clay mask
Bentonite clay

So this week I started a fun new community page on my Starting From Soil Facebook. Folks can ask questions, share tips, and recipes relating to health and wellness.  You are all welcome to join! While on the topic of natural deodorants, arm pit detoxing came up and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write about the benefits of bentonite clay and different ways it can be used.

The name Bentonite stems from where most of the clay has been found and is still harvested to this day, Fort Benton, Wyoming. The clay is composed of volcanic ash and has a number of beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silica, copper, iron, and potassium. This explains why it has been used in traditional healing methods for centuries along with using it as a detox method. When activated by liquid, Bentonite also has the ability to draw out toxins from the body by acting as a magnet to heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins.

Lets get to the armpit detox! Your armpits are an entry way for toxins, especially if you are still using an antiperspirant rather that a natural deodorant. So lets switch that around and let your armpits work as an exit point instead with a bentonite mask. This can be especially helpful If you are looking to make a switch from antiperspirant to natural deodorant. When transitioning, some can experience excessive sweating, odor, skin discomfort, and rash. A detox will help eliminate or shorten this pitfall… see what I did there 😉 If you have already made a successful transition and you just want an extra way to cleanse your body of impurities than this is for you too!

The recipe I am going to provide for you will give you enough to include a face mask in with your pit detoxing. I figure kill 2 birds with one stone right? Using bentonite clay topically has amazing benefits. Earlier, I mentioned this clay was rich in minerals, one of them being Silica, this mineral in particular helps with skin regeneration. Along with beneficial minerals and it being able to bind and release toxins from your skin it also has antibiotic properties and has been used to treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, reduce blemishes, unclog and tighten pores, removes dead cells, and leaves your skin feeling soft and fresh!

Although I use bentonite clay specifically for armpit detoxing and face masks there are lots of other ways this clay can be used. Unfortunately, our bodies are exposed to toxins all day, everyday… With that being said, toss some clay in your bathtub for a detox bath. You can also use bentonite clay as a replacement for baby powder, some folks even mix it with water and rinse their mouth with it daily to help fight bacteria. Bentonite clay has also been used to help relieve digestion by neutralizing gut bacteria and killing off viruses.  If this is something that you think you will benefit from, I would look into the liquid form of bentonite rather than the powder. It’s my understanding that if you take the powder form internally there is a possibility it may clump up and back things up a bit and we don’t want that to happen.

Ok, so here’s how to make the mask.  Mix 1 part clay to 3 parts water or apple cider vinegar. That’s it! I like to do a half and half mixture of water and apple cider vinegar, I find if I do all ACV it irritates my eyes and nostrils a little bit.  You will want to avoid mixing your mask with metal utensils. The clay has the ability to pull the metals from your utensil into your mask to avoid leaching mix with wooden spoon. Once the mask is mixed well use a clean brush to apply evenly to face first and then to armpits. Leave on skin for 15-20 minutes, if you have sensitive skin cut that time in half. Remove clay by washing with warm water.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon clay
  • 1 tablespoon ACV or water

Instructions

  1. Mix well with wooden utensil
  2. Apply evenly on skin with clean brush
  3. Let sit for 15-20 min
  4. Rinse with warm water

Finally! A Body Wash With Ingredients We Can All Pronounce!

DIY BodyWash

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of your body wash bottle and not known what they are or how to say them? Well, I have a solution! Yes, This is another diy, but it is simple, quick, and only uses 5 natural ingredients. All off which you can pronounce and some possibly found in your kitchen. As mentioned in a previous post about diy make up, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. If you think about it that way, do you really want to use anything topically that you wouldn’t want to eat?

Unfortunately, our body wash does not fall into the vegan category because this recipe does contain honey (Sorry friends). Honey is so good for our skin because it has natural antibiotic properties, it is full of antioxidants and it’s very moisturizing. Along with honey, jojoba oil will be included in our wash and is also amazing for your skin. If you are not familiar with Jojoba oil it is a liquid extracted from a seed of the jojoba plant, native to parts of Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. This oil is commonly used to treat psoriasis, acne, sunburn and chapped skin. Next, lavender essential oil, not only does the oil smell amazing, it is another skin health powerhouse with anti-aging antioxidants. Also, due to its anti-microbial properties this oil also helps speeds up the healing process for any cuts or burns you may have. Lastly, we will be using some unscented castile liquid soap and water. A mason jar with a soup dispenser top is the only hardware you’ll need. I purchased  These tops.  Or a reusable BPA free plastic dispenser will work. This recipe makes 2 cups enough to fill a 16oz mason jar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2/3 cup unscented castile soup
  • 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil

Supplies

  • Glass bottle with dispenser or BPA free reusable plastic dispenser

Instructions

  • Mix it all ingredients together.