Essential Oil Beauty Hacks: Simple + Natural

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? You should be cleaning them about once a week because bacteria, dirt, and oil enjoy thriving in the bristles. Gross, right? I know…it’s hard to add one more task to your weekly chores, but consistently cleaning your  makeup brushes will keep your skin healthier! Thank goodness there is a simple and natural solution for you to easily incorporate a quick makeup brush cleaning into your weekly schedule! Grab a mason jar, washcloth, and a few essential oils with cleansing properties– now you are ready to go!

Cleaning Makeup Brushes:

I find it easiest to clean my brushes on Sunday, after I have used them for the day. Trust me…you’ll see how well this works once you remove your brushes from soaking as the water will not look very pretty!

  • Give your makeup brushes a quick rinse under warm water to get rid of the loose makeup particles
  • Fill a mason jar (or any glass) with warm water and add any of the following combinations of essential oils:
    • 3 drops On-Guard (Protective Blend) + 2 drops Melaleuca — this is my personal favorite combo
    • 3 drops On-Guard (Protective Blend) + 1 drop Geranium
    • 2 drops Melaleuca + 2 drops Lemon
  • Swirl your makeup brushes around in the water and allow them to soak for about 30 minutes
  • Give your makeup brushes another quick rinse under warm water
  • Use a washcloth for a final wipe and to reshape the bristles
  • Lay your makeup brushes on the washcloth and allow them to air-dry

Don’t put your essential oils away just yet– I have a few more recipes to enhance your all-natural beauty routine!

 

Calming Face Toner:

The job of a toner is to remove any remaining impurities that might still be lingering on your face after cleansing. This refreshing + calming toner is wonderful for a quick facial spritz after washing your face!

 

 

Strong + Healthy + Long Hair:

Looking for a natural way to promote hair growth? This spray works miracles! I give my hair a basic weekly trim (sorry to all the professional hairdressers I just made cringe) and use this spray about every other day. Let me tell you…my hair has never been as long and healthy as it is today! 

  • 4 oz. glass spray bottle:
    • 10 drops Rosemary
    • 10 drops Cedarwood
    • 10 drops Lavender
    • fill bottle with distilled water

 

 

Sun-Kissed Summer Hair:

This spray enhances the lighter ends of my hair and it also smells great! I spray the bottom half of my hair about every 3 days or so. I have noticed that my hair slowly continues to look like it is being lightened by spending a significant amount of time out in the beautiful sunshine!

  • 4 oz. glass spray bottle:
    • 10 drops Lemon
    • 10 drops Roman Chamomile
    • 10 drops Cinnamon
    • fill bottle with distilled water

 

 

Complexion Serum:

This complexion serum is perfect to dab on blemishes due to its cleansing + purify properties! 

  • 1/3 oz. glass roll-on bottle:
    • 15 drops Melaleuca
    • 15 drops Lemon
    • 15 drops Purify (Cleansing Blend)
    • fill bottle with fractionated coconut oil

 

Additional Essential Oil Beauty Hacks:

  • Looking to enhance natural eyelash growth? Add 1 drop of Lavender to a brand new wand of mascara! Your eyelashes will become stronger and longer over a few weeks of daily use!
  • Struggling with a dry scalp and unwanted dandruff? Add 1 drop of Lavender to shampoo while washing your hair to stimulate hair growth and control dandruff!
  • Looking for a natural way to reduce age spots and wrinkles? Add 1 drop of Frankincense to your daily moisturizer for extra skin rejuvenation!
  • Has winter weather caused your nails to feel brittle and dry? Rub 1 drop of Frankincense on your nails for extra strength!
  • Need an early morning pick-me-up? Add a few drops of Grapefruit to a basic body wash for an invigorating shower!
  • Are your nails feeling weak and brittle? Apply Melaleuca to your nails after showering for both purification and strengthening benefits! 
  • Experiencing annoying acne spots? Add 1 drop of Melaleuca to your daily moisturizer for enhanced cleansing properties!
  • Razor burn? Apply Melaleuca directly to your skin after shaving to prevent irritation! 
  • Struggling with rough cuticles while you are trying to get ready for sandal season? Mix about 6 drops of fractionated coconut oil with 1 drop of Oregano and rub on cuticles/toenails!

Do you have any other quick essential oil beauty hacks? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.

Wo(man’s) Best Friend: Essential Oils for Dogs

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

Meet Bentley. Bentley is my 1-year-old, 125-pound Labradane (yes, a Lab and Great Dane mix). When I adopted Bentley from the SPCA, he was 1 of a litter of 8. At 7 weeks old, he was the cutest little ball of fur and he literally had to climb into his food bowl to eat. The SPCA said he was a “lab mix” and by mix, they thought Border Collie/German Shepherd. Wrong. Bentley exhibits many of the Great Dane traits…he is all about the “Great Dane lean.” Oh, and I should probably clarify the origin of his name. No, I did not name him after a fancy car. Bentley was named after the one and only, extremely talented Dierks Bentley.

Bentley LOVES to play in the snow, eat eggs with his breakfast, watch TV, and of course, listen to Dierks Bentley. Bentley is scared of plastic bags, baby gates, and the rain. Bentley fills my heart and soul with so much love and comfort. When I have what has felt like the worst day, coming home to his excited spirit instantly turns my day around. Dogs are special creatures and I think as humans, we can learn a whole lot from these selfless creatures.

All of my blog posts focusing on single essential oils explain how we (humans) can incorporate essential oils into our lifestyles. You might be surprised to learn that your little furry friends can also benefit from the aromatic compounds in essential oils! Dogs experience a range of emotions and essential oils can provide enhanced emotional support!

Essential oils should be diluted for smaller pups. Check out this chart with the dilution ratios for essential oils based on weight!

Allergies: Yes, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. Doggie sneezes are no longer an issue! Apply Lavender to the pads on the bottom of their feet to reduce allergy symptoms.

Ticks & Fleas: In an 8oz. spray bottle, add 4 drops of each of Peppermint + Eucalyptus essential oils and top with distilled water. Spray your doggie once a day!

Calming: Massage Lavender onto the pads of feet, tips of doggie ears, and the top of the head! Now, I am going be honest. Bentley is a ball of energy and he does not particularly enjoy the scent of lavender. However, I have heard that Lavender has worked wonders on other hyperactive dogs. Just as with humans, certain oils work better on certain individuals.

Bad Breath: found this great recipe for “Bad Breath Bones” which incorporates Peppermint + Cinnamon essential oils to naturally freshen doggie breath through a healthy, natural treat!

How do you use essential oils to help your best friend? What natural solutions have you found to work best for dog? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Running Essentials

“Running teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments.”

I enjoy running. Okay…maybe I should rephrase that sentence. I enjoy running in nice weather, on flat courses, when I am in the “right mood.” I am a picky runner and I am perfectly content with that. I love 5Ks and I can handle 10Ks. However, after my last half marathon, I made a promise to myself that would be my last half-marathon without more than a week’s worth of training.

I struggle with training consistently because my schedule is just a tad crazy right now, so there is always some excuse to go running on a different day. I will be running a 5K in the near future, so tonight I had to have a serious talk with myself and start training. The first day back is always the hardest. My legs started aching about 1/8 of a mile in. Pathetic, right? I have to remind myself that what matters is that I am being active. At this stage in my training, it does not matter how fast I go. All that matters is that I am out there moving.

The wonderful thing about running is that once I get back into it, I remember that even though my body will experience some aches and pains, running makes me feel GREAT.  Living an active lifestyle makes me feel more energized and improves my emotional dimension of wellness. Running reminds me how important it is to set goals and work my hardest to achieve those goals. My first short-term running goal is to be prepared for my upcoming 5K. Baby steps. One day at a time. Progress matters. 

Thankfully, essential oils can be incorporated into your pre-running and post-running routines to improve both the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness.

Before Running:

  • Apply a few drops of Peppermint or the respiratory blend to your chest and/or wrists a few minutes before beginning your run. Peppermint will clear the airways and enhance alertness.
  • Inhale or apply the grounding blend to stabilize emotions and clear the mind of outside thoughts.
  • Did you know Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties? Apply a few drops to your legs to reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Apply 1 drop of Frankincense and 1 drop of Peppermint to the bottom of each foot for energizing and cooling sensations while running.

After Running:

  • There are a variety of essential oils that are wonderful to soothe muscle tension. Apply Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, White Fir, or Frankincense to your calves or other sore muscles to relieve tension.
  • Rehydration is essential! Add 1 drop of Lemon to each 8-ounces of water you drink to benefit from its uplifting and cleansing properties.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath with Lavender to soothe sore muscles and experience ultimate relaxation. If you missed my post on the importance of a detox bath, you can read it here!
  • Cypress supports circulation! Apply a few drops to your legs after running to promote blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Blisters? Apply 1 drop each of Lavender, Melaleuca, and Chamomile to speed up the healing process!

What are some of the natural solutions you utilize to enhance your running or workout experiences? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Traveling with Essential Oils

“A mind stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.”

I recently went on an adventure to the “land down under” and primarily explored the incredible city of Sydney. Sydney is unique in the sense that it is an extremely large city, yet it exhibits a “local” feel. This was my first time traveling abroad, so I was both excited and nervous in the days leading up to my trip. With all of these varying emotions, I once again relied on my essential oil buddies. I was well aware I would face unexpected events while traveling internationally, but I had an open mindset and knew that I would go with the flow and make the best out of every situation, regardless of the circumstances.

Traveling Internationally: At first, I was concerned about traveling internationally with essential oils. I did not want to pack any essential oils in my checked bag in case there was an issue with one leaking. Thankfully, I did not experience any issues going through security or customs in Australia with my essential oils as I was in compliance with the specified liquid guidelines.

Defining Your Version of “Essential”: On an average day, I probably use around 10 different essential oils. For this trip, I was motivated to pack light (something I am not normally known for). I was able to narrow down my oil supply to just two oils. Yes, just two essential oils. Unfortunately, this meant I would be going without my daily eucalyptus shower. I also had to leave my diffuser at home, which meant no drifting to sleep to my favorite calming essential oil aromas. Rather than bringing my regular essential oil bottles, I stuck with the rollerballs as they provide a more efficient application method.

  • Lavender: this essential oil is a true lifesaver. Whenever I began to feel stressed during my trip, I either inhaled the Lavender aroma directly from the rollerball or applied the Lavender directly to my wrists for an instant grounding feeling.
  • Peppermint: if you have ever been on a long flight (mine was about 15 hours), you understand the many difficulties associated with an extensive flight. The meals you get on the plane are okay, and the cabin pressure can mess a little with your head and stomach. Peppermint is great for eliminating headaches and easing nausea.

Exhibit Awareness: I also selected Lavender and Peppermint for reasons beyond their physical and emotional benefits. Lavender and peppermint have relatively subtle scents and they are common fragrances that do not seem to bother other people. Trust me…you do not want to whip out and apply a strong and slightly unusual smelling essential oil on a plane with one hundred other people.

Meet Lavender, Your New BEST Friend: So picture this–I am anxiously awaiting to begin boarding the plane. Plot twist! I am informed that my flight is delayed for an unknown period of time. Inhale Lavender. The main problem with this flight delay was that I barely had an hour layover to catch my connecting flight to Sydney. Inhale Lavender. To make a long story short, I frantically ran to my gate once I landed in LAX, only to find out that I missed my flight to Sydney. Inhale a whole LOT of Lavender. Unfortunately, the next flight was not for another 24 hours. Hopefully, I don’t run out of Lavender before I even leave the country.

Remember the “Essentials” Beyond Essential Oils: After missing my connecting flight, I suddenly realized my rookie packing failure. My carry on basically contained school work, shoes, and my rain jacket. It probably would have been a good idea to carry some of the essentials with me, considering I was going to be on a long flight. Yes…I was that person who wore the same outfit for almost 3 days. United Airlines did provide a very basic amenities kit, but it would have been nice to have a few extra essentials.

Jet Lag Remedies: Sydney, Australia is 18 hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. Talk about an awkward time adjustment. Fortunately, when I first got to Australia (and basically throughout the whole trip), I was so very excited that I am pretty sure I was basically running on adrenaline. Returning home was a completely different story. Jet lag is no joke. There are a variety of essential oils that can combat the struggles associated with jet lag.

  • Apply invigorating essential oils to the bottom of your feet in the morning: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, or Wild Orange
  • Apply calming essential oils to the bottom of your feet before bed: Bergamot, Rosemary, Lavender, or Geranium

Have you had any unique experiences while traveling with essential oils? Do you have any additional travel tips or natural jet lag remedies? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Pursuing Peace

“To find peace, you have to be willing to lose your connection with the people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life.”

It is interesting to consider that as technology has simplified components of our lives, it has also overcomplicated our lives in the process. Technology has made routine tasks easier, but we have taken advantage of this increased efficiency. As human beings, we believe that when we have more time available, we should pile more responsibilities on top of our already busy schedules. Somewhere in this rush, the importance of human connections has begun to fade as we are consumed by what is going on in our own lives. Don’t worry…I will save my whole “I think I was born in the wrong decade” rant for a later time. I frequently find myself caught up in the rush as I scurry from home to work to school. Where do I draw the line?

A recent Luke Bryan song says “sixty seconds now feels more like thirty…sand through the glass sure falls in a hurry.” We have made it much easier for ourselves to believe we always need to be hurrying from one place to the next, constantly overwhelmed by a range of responsibilities. Why do we continue to accept the glorification of being busyIn order to change the pace of our lives, we must first learn that being a busier person does not automatically makes you a more important person. Now, I do not want that to be misconstrued because there is nothing wrong with being involved in a variety of activities. However, we also need to prioritize our wellness–specifically, focusing on balancing the seven dimensions of wellness.

The instant I begin to feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities, I practice living in the moment. Regardless of where I find myself in that moment, I stop whatever I am doing and become truly present. I really take in the details of my surroundings and observe the interactions taking place around me. The world is not revolving around me and I give myself a simple reminder that the stresses associated with my busy schedule are ultimately meaningless compared to the much bigger picture in life. Next, I take some deep breaths. I might take a few minutes to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, or maybe I will notice the way the leaves on the trees dance in the breeze. As I begin to regain a sense of certainty, I also reevaluate my responsibilities.

When I reach those overwhelming moments, I know it is time for me to engage in one of my “pursuing peace” activities. These brief activities are just enough to restore balance to my overall wellness by addressing my emotional dimension of wellness.

Soak Up Some Epsom! Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) is a natural mineral compound which provides a variety of health benefits. When you place Epsom salt in a warm bath, the salt will quickly dissolve and the magnesium and sulfate will easily be absorbed by the human body. As a result of this absorption, you will begin to experience relaxation and thanks to our little friend reverse osmosis, toxins will be removed from your body.

  • Tip: for the perfect detoxifying soak, add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath! For enhanced relaxation, add a few drops of Lavender or Eucalyptus essential oil and soak for at least 15 minutes! This is the perfect way to end a long, stressful day!

Sip on Calming Chamomile! If you are in need of a quick, yet calming activity before bedtime, sip on a steaming cup of chamomile tea! In addition to its soothing properties, chamomile is a great source of antioxidants, it relieves headaches, and calms an upset stomach. I love that loose-leaf chamomile tea has actual chamomile flowers and I enjoy the process of steeping my own tea! I buy my loose-leaf chamomile tea from a small, local business that supplies spices and tea. If you live in Northern Nevada, you must check out salty-savory-sweet!

  • Tip: for an extra hint of chamomile, add 1 drop of Chamomile essential oil to your cup of tea! Spend a few minutes breathing in the aromas from the steam and clear your mind of the day’s stresses before you slip into bed for a great night’s sleep!

Incorporate Essential Oils! Did you know there are essential oils that can provide calming benefits and bring you a sense of peace? When I begin to feel anxious and completely overwhelmed, I grab my “reassuring blend” for an instant boost of composure and contentment. This peaceful blend includes Spearmint, Vetiver, Lavender, Yang-Ylang, Clary Sage, Frankincense, and Marjoram essential oils.

  • Tip: apply this blend to your wrists, the back of your neck, and temples! Don’t forget–you can always inhale the aromas straight from the bottle as well!

What are some of the ways you bring peace back into your life when you are feeling overwhelmed? Are there any specific essential oils you incorporate into your daily routine to promote feelings of reassurance? I would love to hear from you!

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is known as the Oil of Communication. This calming essential oil promotes open communication and relaxation. Lavender “encourages emotional honesty and insists that one speak their innermost thoughts and desires.” Even more, Lavender reduces tension, the fear of rejection, and fear of expression. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some background information in order to establish a basic understanding of Lavender essential oil.

Lavender comes from the Labiatae botanical family, which is the fancy, scientific word for mint. Two of the main chemical constituents found in lavender are alcohols and linalool which contain anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. The extraction method for Lavender essential oil involves the distillation of the flower top of lavender. If you are interested in learning more about essential oil extraction, check out my blog post here, which covers the basics of essential oil extraction and the importance of quality.

The primary uses for Lavender essential oil include allergies, anxiety, appetite loss, bites/stings, blisters, burns, calming, chicken pox, concentration, crying, cuts, dandruff, depression, diaper rash, exhaustion, fever, gnat repellent, grief/sorrow, dry/fragile hair and hair loss, hyperactivity, inflammation, insomnia, itching, jet lag, dry lips, menopause, mental stress, mood swings, pain, physical stress, poison ivy/oak, post labor, postpartum depression, rashes, relaxation, rheumatoid arthritis, dry/sensitive skin, sunburn, teeth pain, tension, ticks, vertigo, withdrawal, and wrinkles.

If you are interested in learning more about the research and studies that have been conducted on the primary uses of Lavender, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is a fantastic resource!

Lavender essential oil can be applied via all three application methods­–topical, aromatic, and internal. Topical: Lavender essential oil can be applied directly to the skin on the area of concern or on reflex points. Aromatic: Lavender essential oil can be inhaled directly of diffused. Internal: place 1-2 drops under your tongue or take using a veggie capsule! Tip: 1 drop Lavender essential oil = 1-2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender!

Everyday Uses:

  • Struggling with seasonal allergies? Add 2 drops each of Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon to a veggie capsule to alleviate allergy symptoms! 
  • Accidentally burn yourself? Apply Lavender to burned skin for instant relief!
  • Long day and in need of some relaxation? Toss a scoop of Epsom salt and a few drops of Lavender into a warm bath to unwind!
  • Interested in updating your chai tea latte? Add 1 drop of Lavender for a soothing, calming drink!
  • Do you feel a tension headache coming on? Apply Lavender (and Peppermint!) to the temples, back of the neck, or reflex points for relief!
  • Looking to enhance natural eyelash growth? Add 1 drop of Lavender to a brand new wand of mascara! Your eyelashes will become stronger and longer over a few weeks of daily use!
  • Having trouble sleeping at night? Or maybe you just need a great nap? Diffuse Lavender and cedarwood essential oils for the sweetest of dreams!
  • Forgot to put on sunscreen at the beach? Oops! Lavender is a great sunburn soother! Add a few drops Lavender to fractionated coconut oil and rub on your sunburnt skin!
  • Tired of buying semi-effective dryer sheets? Add a few drops of Lavender to wool dry balls and toss in the dryer with damp clothes for a natural freshener!
  • Did you have a minor cut or scrape? After cleaning the affected area, apply 1 drop of Lavender for increased healing and relief!
  • Experiencing a stressful day at work? Diffuse Lavender or simply inhale the lavender aroma straight from the bottle for an instant calming effect!
  • Struggling with a dry scalp and unwanted dandruff? Add 1 drop of Lavender to shampoo while washing your hair to stimulate hair growth and control dandruff!

Where do I get most of my information from? The sources I completely rely on and fully trust are Modern Essentials and  Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing. Check out these books if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Lavender essential oil!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Lavender essential oil? How do you incorporate this essential oil in your daily routine to regulate your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.