Friday, June 22, 2012

Avoiding harmful cosmetic ingredients

Here's an article that was posted on my local news channel.  You can get the link to view the whole story here.    

Avoiding harmful cosmetic ingredients
shopping cosmetics beauty product

With the focus on beauty and the need for a more youthful appearance in our society, the market for beauty products is just about saturated. With so many different types of concoctions promising natural and anti-aging beauty, how do we know which products hold the test of time?
With a little effort and some basic pointers, it’s easy to recognize what natural products would be best to use. Here are a few tips for adopting a more natural beauty routine.
Know the effects of what you take into your body. According to, how old your body really thinks you are is based on your health and your habits of what you choose to do to your body, whether good or bad. Smoking, overexposure to the sun, ingesting harmful drugs and eating sugary foods will have great effect on your natural beauty. In short, you can't look good on the outside if you fill your body with trash on the inside. Drinking lots of water, getting enough regular sleep and eating healthy foods are among the first steps to a natural beauty routine. Doctors recommend drinking enough water (at least eight cups a day) to remove free radicals that get into your skin. Eating enough fiber every day will keep your body clear as well.
What to avoid:
  • Butyl Acetate
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Coal Tar
  • Cocamide DEA/Lauramide DEA
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Ethyl Acetate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fragrance
  • Parabens
  • Petrolatum (petroleum jelly)
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth
  • Talc Toluene
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
Know which ingredients will harm your skin. When choosing skin care products, read the label. Ingredients you cannot read or understand will not necessarily help your skin. By the same token, just because a product is natural doesn’t mean it will agree with your skin. "Almost all (beauty product companies) use many, many plant extracts, from apples and mint to cactus and soy. However, a lot of plants can be irritating," says Amy Wechsler in her book "The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin and a Whole New You." "Think of poison ivy. ... It’s completely natural and organic. Sure, it’s an extreme example, but even aloe, which everyone thinks of as the ultimate smoother, is an irritant for some people.” If possible, when choosing a product, ask for a sample to try and use it for a few days to see if the product feels good on your skin.
Harsh chemicals are not good for your skin. Anything with a fragrance can be harmful as well. So how can we choose? What is non-toxic to our skin yet helps keep it young and youthful? With a little study, knowing what not to buy because of the ingredients will help you on your way to a more natural beauty routine.
According to, these are the most toxic ingredients in skin care products: Butyl Acetate, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Coal Tar, Cocamide DEA/Lauramide DEA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Ethyl Acetate, Formaldehyde, Fragrance, Parabens, Petrolatum (petroleum jelly), Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Laureth, Talc Toluene and Triethanolamine (TEA).
Know which ingredients are safe. There are some ingredients familiar in many of the natural skin care products which are proven safe and effective. Your skin absorbs a good percentage of what you use, so look for these ingredients in natural beauty products and it will help your skin and body look good and feel good.Thegreenbeautyguide .com recommends the following:
  • Acai oil from acai berries, which contain high concentrations of antioxidants.
  • Vitamin A is a naturally-sourced vitamin and a powerful skin care product. It can be applied externally, and it should also be taken orally. Natural sources include dairy, eggs, fish, carrots, spinach, leafy greens and mango.
  • Vitamin C has been shown to help minimize wrinkles and fine lines in the skin. It works best when taken orally, but it can also be applied topically. Sources include citrus, guava, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Green tea is also high in antioxidants. It helps fight off infections and can improve the cardiovascular system. It can be ingested, or it can be applied topically in an extract form.
The benefits of using natural beauty products have been phenomenal in many women’s lives. Remember what Coco Channel said: “Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it’s up to you to merit the face you have at 50.”

Valerie Steimle is the mother of nine children living in Alabama and is the author of four books including "Of One Heart: Being Single in the LDS World."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Honey, good for more than eating :)

We all know that honey tastes great but did know that honey has many more uses as well?  You can sooth a sore throat, soften your skin, get a great facial, and even clean a wound.

Here's some great uses for honey you may not know about.

  • Give yourself a facial - rub some honey onto your face, focusing on the dry areas, then rinse, no need for soap!  Did you know honey also helps to fight acne?!  

  • Get baby sift skin - pour 1/4 cup honey with a few drops of olive oil in your bath water.  

  • Make an amazing gel for curly hair - Mix honey with hair conditioner!  1/3 honey and 2/3 conditioner, use more or less honey till you get the consistency you want.  The runnier your conditioner the more honey you will need.  Don't use more than about 50/50 though or it will dry sticky.  (and trust me, don't use straight honey!) 
  • Clean cuts and scrapes - Honey is very anti- microbial and anti-fungal.  Place a dab of it on a cut before bandaging. 
  • Get an energy boost!  - just a spoon full of honey goes a long way in the mornings, it's also very good for your health and is said to boost your metabolism!  :) 

  • Sooth a sore throat - warm a tablespoon of honey and a table spoon of fresh lemon juice, it's great for a sore throat and helps to ease coughing too.

Cleaning with White Distilled Vinegar

All right, if you've been following my blog you already know that vinegar is my favorite cleaning product.  Vinegar disinfects, shines and gets rid of odors.  But did you know that vinegar can get your clothes cleaner and brighter, clean urine stains off of your child's mattress, kill weeds and even shine Fido's coat?  Vinegar is that awesome and it's CHEAP!  How much better can you get?  For a great list more uses for vinegar visit this great site.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dinsinfecting Cleaning Wipes!

My love affair with vinegar continues! There is seriously nothing that it can't do! From making cheap window cleaner, to cleaning blueberries stains in carpets! So I figured that if it works for those then why not make a wipe out of it.

Wikipedia says "White vinegar is often used as a household cleaning agent. Because it is acidic, it can dissolve mineral deposits from glass, coffee makers, and other smooth surfaces. For most uses dilution with water is recommended for safety and to avoid damaging the surfaces being cleaned.

Recently, vinegar has been marketed as a green solution for many household cleaning problems. For example, vinegar has been cited recently as an eco-friendly urine cleaner for pets and as a weed killer."

So between my love of vinegar and essential oils I made these awesome cleaning wipes! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

You will need an empty baby wipe container (or anything that will hold wet napkins and keep them wet!) Lemon, Lavender, and Clove essential oils, (not only do the essential oils act as great cleaning powers they also mask the smell of the vinegar. With this combo there is absolutely no vinegar scent!) and napkins (they can't be cheap ones! I like Bounty because they hold up well to water and you can scrub with them)
If you're using a pop-up container like me then you want to fold them so that they will pop-up. Start by folding one in half, put one unfolded napkin in the fold, fold it over.
take the next napkin and lay it across the fold of the other one so it looks like this
fold that over....
place another napkin on top
fold the previous one over....
continue till the napkins are about twice as high as your container
Fill a cup with 1 cup water
add 20 drops of lemon essential oil, 15 drops lavender and 7 clove, add 1 cup of vinegar and mix as well as it will mix (just like any oil the essential oils will not dissolve into the water, they will however hold into the napkins) These oils are great for clenaing and the scent combo is amazing! I use lemon because it's a great degreaser, lavender is antiseptic and anti-fungal, and clove, well cloves are great at controlling insects, in fact, since I started cleaning with cloves I haven's seen a single ant or earwig in my house (last year we had an infestation of both!)
Pour the mixture over the napkins, make sure that the bottom ones are wet as well.
And my favorite part of all? Convenient pop-up wipes that leave a streak free, clean shine on anything! Hope you enjoy cleaning with these as much as I do!

Monday, May 10, 2010

25 ways to clean with Vinegar

If you follow my blog you know that I have recently fallen on LOVE with vinegar! There's no end to the amazement that it gives with cleaning. So, when I saw this article today, I had to pas it along!

The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options—and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from and, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:

1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight—it should slide right off by morning.
15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blueberry shakes + Carpet= STAINS!

So, just how are you supposed to get this out of your carpets? Today my 1 year old took her cup of shake made from fresh blueberries and decided to make this piece of art work on my just cleaned carpets.So pretty, isn't it!
After a few spritzes of pure white vinegar it turned to this! (I keep a spray bottle full of vinegar just for this purpose!)
Let the vinegar set a moment and scrub. I used my carpet shampooer to rinse and suck it all up (or you could use a rag to clean it) and the end results are perfection! Not even a hint of color left at all!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tired of using chemicals in your dishwasher?

I normally wash my dishes by hand and use the dishwasher to rinse/dry/sanitize them. I always hate how they come out with the hard water spots so I would normally use the Jet Dry. I added 1/4 cup of vinegar and 10 drops of orange essential oils. The dishes came out sparkling and I avoided using the harsh chemicals!