Enjoy This Organic Life
Enjoy This Organic Life

I get asked fairly often what kind of products I use to maintain clear skin, healthy hair, healthy teeth, you get the picture. Below are my favorite "products" & routines for maintaining a healthy & balanced body. 

But before I dive into it, I feel it's necessary to mention that DIET & LIFESTYLE are first & foremost the most important factors in living a healthy life, from the inside out. Prioritize staying well hydrated with plenty of clean water, eat a whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits & vegetables, avoid smoking (first & secondary), minimize your consumption of alcohol, stay active & get proper sleep. 

Skin care essentials

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is such a staple in my life & I use it for pretty much everything {toothpaste, lotion, scrubs, oil pulling, lotion, soap...}. When I'm not in a drying environment or not in the soil (which can be really drying on the skin), I use it as my lotion. It's one of my favorite ways to keep my skin smooth & moist with this one ingredient! I like to use it on all my body (face included), making sure to rub it in well. As long as you're not drowning yourself in it, you won't appear oily; don't fret. Note: always choose unrefined. 

Bentonite Clay

I love mixing up a bentonite clay mask for my face about 1x/week (ideally). Sometimes this doesn't happen... but the more regular you are with a mask, the clearer, softer & healthier your skin is. I simply mix a couple tablespoons of clay with equal parts water & apple cider vinegar until I have a smooth paste. Adding in a few drops of lavender essential oil is also one of my favorite ways to enhance the smell of the experience. How bentonite clay works. 

Bentonite clay carries a strong negative charge when it comes into contact with liquid. Thus, when applied externally (or taken internally), bentonite clay attracts the positive charge of many toxins, latching onto those ions/toxins & then removing from the body. Bentonite also helps facilitate oxygenizing your cells as the clay removes excess hydrogen & replaces them with oxygen. 

Note: Do not mix the clay paste with metal! This reduces the effectiveness of the ionic charge & you won't actually be removing any of the toxins. 

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing has been another longtime favorite of mine to exfoliate, reduce cellulite, & stimulate the lymphatic system. All it takes is anywhere from 5-15 minutes a day of brushing your skin in a clockwise rotation {towards the heart}. Brushing the entirety of your body should be practiced daily as it truly is such a great way to stimulate your lymphatic system, helping flush your system of accumulated toxins. The harder the bristle on your brush, the more effective of a workout the lymphatics are getting. It's okay to be a bit rougher on areas that are less sensitive but for the face and other areas with heightened sensitivity (aka breasts), take it gently! 

Homemade Sugar & Salt Scrubs

These right here are my top secret to smooth skin. I like to make small batches (about 8-16 ounces) at a time to ensure the oils don't go rancid. In a food processor or high speed blender, I combine organic sugar, unrefined coconut oil and/or jojoba oil, and whatever essentials oils/natural add ins of choice. My all-time favorite combo is adding in a couple teaspoons of cacao powder + 15-20 drops lavender oil. I also love to add in some ground oats, coffee grounds, honey... flavor combinations are endless.

Homemade Soap

Ever since my mom and I learned how to make our own bar soap over ten years ago, I haven't purchased a single bar of soap. With a base of only four ingredients, its one of the simplest & healthiest ways to rinse off. I do believe that the less "products" you use and put on your skin, the healthier you are both inside & out. 

Cinnamon Swirl Soap!

Cinnamon Swirl Soap!

oral care

When it comes to oral care, it all comes down to the basics. I have a toothbrush, homemade toothpaste, floss & tongue scraper. Every once in awhile I will use a natural mouthwash if I feel my gums need some extra TLC, but it's not a staple in my bathroom. 

I have been using bamboo & Preserve brushes for years as I prefer to support companies that are lessening the impact of petroleum usage.

Oil Pulling

This practice is best done first thing in the morning upon rising. After tongue scraping, take 1-3 teaspoons of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. It definitely takes some getting used to but this is a great method to detoxify your entire mouth - teeth & gums included. The coconut oil has antibacterial properties that help to remove unwanted bacteria, as well as plaque. Oil pulling also helps whiten teeth, which is always a lovely bonus! Who needs chemical laden teeth whitening strips when you can use oil? :) 

Note: When you're done, do not spit the oil down the sink. Use the garbage or spit outside. 

Homemade Toothpaste

I haven't bought toothpaste for over four years. About once a month I mix some baking soda + coconut oil in my 4 ounce mason jar with some peppermint and/or wintergreen essential oils and voila, I have my minimal & affordable toothpaste. There is NO reason to put all those dyes and chemicals in your mouth from mainstream toothpastes, they are such a disservice to your health. This goes for mouthwash, too. Another reason I am adamant about making my own is I can use a glass jar & I am minimizing my consumption of plastic/packaging. Win-win. 

Tongue Scraper

I love my stainless steel tongue scraper... it's the very first thing I do in the morning. The scraper removes bacteria, plaque & anything that has accumulated on the tongue overnight. Such a simple way to keep the mouth fresh & clean! Just be sure to rinse it well after each use.

hair care

This one is quite simple... I never use a blow dryer, I wash my hair 2-3x/week (all other showers during the week I simply just rinse the hair) & if my ends needs a little extra hydration, I rub a very small bit of coconut oil into it. 

Shampoos & Conditioners

While I am working towards not using these at all {replacing eventually with homemade shampoo bars}, in the meantime I use natural products that are free of parabens and unnatural additives. My favorite brands are Everyone Jason & Nature's Gate. 

And that is pretty much it! I keep it pretty simple and natural. If I use deodorant (which really I rarely ever do), it's another homemade combination of coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch, shea butter & essential oils. Works wonderfully!

etcetera

Neti Pot

If you haven't heard of or tried a neti pot yet, you are surely missing out! The neti pot is used for a nasal wash, a practice that has been used in Ayruvedic/yogic practice for nearly 5,000 years. Using a neti pot helps alleviate sinus pain, pressures, & congestion by rinsing clear the nasal passages of mucous. When I am congested I use the neti pot 1-2x/day to really help facilitate the clearing & cleansing of my sinuses. Even when I don't have congested sinuses, I love to use the neti a few times per week just to keep everything clear & healthy. Regardless of if I'm sick or not, the neti pot helps me breath better & my sense of smell is heightened when I use it on the reg. 

Not all neti pots are created equal! There are a lot of plastic ones on the market, which I would never recommend. I recently purchased a Baraka neti pot - a ceramic neti hand crafted by a small company right here in the USA. There are gorgeous colors to choose from (score!) AND it doesn't come in a box - anytime I can avoid packaging & a product produced in China or overseas, I'm all about it! I love supporting smaller companies with green missions, who support fair wages & are keeping it real. 

Not convinced yet? No problem! There are still plenty of healthier alternatives on the market. However, even the body care aisles of health food stores can be incredible daunting. In this case, the product rating guides on Environmental Working Group - Skin Deep, are indispensable.