January 1st brings resolutions for exercise, diet or other body-related topics. It seems like a cliché to sign up for a gym membership in January only to stop going in February and finally cancel it in November. How can we increase our chances of actually improving our bodies?
With natural skincare products – that’s how.
As mentioned in my article on how to create Healthy Habits for the New Year, taking good care of your body will help complete the big huge resolutions or goals you have set for yourself in the coming year. Let’s dive into how to improve your body with natural skincare products.
How to Boost Your Chances of Reaching Your Goals
Delectable skincare products are not going to miraculously make you more accountable and/or productive, but they can help.
Here are a few areas you can use natural skincare products to boost your chances of succeeding in your body resolutions this year:
Muscle Aches – Since you’ve signed up for the gym again and you started working out ferociously, you are going to have some major body aches. Your muscles will be fatigued and screaming at every step. Thinking of taking the stairs? Forget about it!
However, I have some help for you – here are a few things you can do to reduce your muscle soreness so you won’t wince and groan with every stair step.
Meditation– Meditation or yoga can do wonders for your body and your mind. Teaching yourself to relax and listen to everything your body has to say will help you ease into bedtime after a stressful day, hard workout or if you struggle with sleep in general.
Not only will it help you destress from your day, but it will do wonders for you the next day as well. By calming the mind and body after a hard day, you are giving yourself a boost for days to come. By stretching, relaxing and becoming more in-tune with your body, you will improve your workouts as well. Stretching eases muscles and reduces injuries and burnout.
Try using one of MB Botanicals body oils on your skin before meditation or yoga – this will give your senses a boost and help you get into the focused mindset you need to fully relax and take care of yourself.
Sleep – Sleep can be elusive sometimes and there is nothing more frustrating than having to cope with life when you are groggy and crabby.
Lavender works wonders to calm the mind and body and prepare it for sleep. Many MB Botanicals products are made with lavender. Here are a few suggestions to help you sleep at night:
Energize– Even if you have a bad night’s sleep, you can help boost your energy (or at least your attitude) in the morning with MB Botanicals Sugar Scrub in the shower. It will wake you up and make you feel ready to take on the day.
If you are feeling overly fatigued, the Citrus Mix, Lavender Eucalyptus, or Rosemary Mint will be your best options. (MB's favorite is the Rosemary Mint:)
Putting it all Together
If you use one of the methods above or all of them to improve your body this year – make sure you outline a routine and track your progress. Tracking your progress will let you know what is working and what isn’t.
Set aside time in the morning to take care of your skin and use the right skincare products to ensure you have a great day.
Also set aside time in the evening to take care of any muscle aches and to make sure you are preparing yourself for a good night’s rest.
With a healthier more well-rested body, you will have all the energy and ambition you need to tackle whatever is on your list this year.
Are you using MB Botanicals to improve how your body works and feels? I would love to hear how you are improving your routines and the way you feel. Leave a comment to reach out me.
A new year is upon us once again. Many of us are thinking about setting goals and resolutions to improve ourselves over the next year.
So many of those resolutions are diets and exercise routines. Perhaps your goal is to find a new job or go back to school. Maybe your goal is to relocate or finally buy your own home. These are big plans and they take a lot of work and dedication.
Once February rolls around, many of us will have forgotten our resolutions, or just given them up as too lofty.
One thing you can try is setting little goals that help you get to your bigger resolutions. It’s been proven that keeping resolutions is easier to do when you take small steps to reach a big plan. By creating small goals that lead into your bigger goals, you are able to see the progress you’ve made and it may help you get there.
The best way to reach those goals is to take care of yourself. You’ve heard it said that you can’t take care of anyone else if you are worn down and exhausted yourself. The same reasoning applies to accomplishing your goals.
If you take care of yourself first, you will have the energy and the drive to go after those resolutions. You will have all the willpower it takes to check things off your list and you will feel amazing.
Forming habits is tough – unless they are bad habits. Bad habits are easy. But good habits take loads of willpower. There are heaps and heaps of articles and books on forming good habits, but they all come down to this: start slow and easy and take steps each day to get there.
So how do you go about taking care of yourself first? It’s not as hard as it seems. There are four areas that you can focus on that will make a huge impact on how you feel. Accomplishing these will give you a boost of self-esteem and a feeling of achievement.
So start small with self-improvement habits and get after those New Year’s Resolutions!
Healthy Habit Ideas:
If you want to be successful at something like a new exercise plan to lose weight and be strong and fit; you will need to ensure you are getting proper rest, eating good foods and taking care of your skin and muscles. Taking care of your body will give you energy and willpower to tackle all of your other goals.
If your goal is to get a new job or to stress less this year; you should focus on self-improvement. Learning a new skill, or leveling up current skills. You will want to ease into the day and focus on keeping the stress and anxiety at reasonable levels. Improving the mind will help you get where you want to go.
No matter what big resolutions you set, you would benefit from creating a skin care routine in the morning and night. It won’t just make your skin look and feel better, but it will prove that little steps make a big difference. Taking care of your skin will make you radiate confidence during the day and sleep better at night.
We also should break bad habits that hold us back from getting what we want or feeling the best we can. You may want to drink less alcohol, stop smoking, quit biting your nails. Whatever that is, if you start with taking care of yourself first, you may find that it is easier to quit doing those bad habits.
By focusing on four different areas this year, we can all have a better chance ofaccomplishing those big resolutions. Or maybe these four things are good enough for you, and that’s more than enough.
Goals and resolutions shouldn’t make us stressed or anxious. We should approach them with excitement. Let’s set ourselves up for success this year and get things done!
Do you set resolutions? Have you included self-improvement on your list? Why or why not?
While it is not officially winter yet, cold and flu season is here. Whether you’re sick from your co-workers or your kids, it can bring you down for a few days. There is still no cure for the common cold and many people resist getting their flu shot. I’ve put together a list of things that can help ease you through cold and flu season.
Lemon Balm – Lemon Balm is an herb that smells wonderful, attracts bees to your garden, and has many useful purposes. One of those being a relief from colds. It can be infused with alcohol (vodka works great) and taken a teaspoon at a time to reduce the discomfort of a cold. Or you can make lemon balm into a hot tea. Lemon balm contains antiviral properties and helps calm the mind and body.
Peppermint – Peppermint is an amazing herb. It has so many uses and it smells great too. Peppermint can be used as a natural fever reducer and nasal decongestant. Peppermint oil can be applied to the forehead to relieve a headache. It can also be used in combination with a steam tent (see below) to reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Peppermint is also great at settling an upset stomach or bowel issues. Drinking peppermint in tea is the best way to ease stomach discomfort.
Rosemary – Rosemary is helpful for boosting the immune system. It also reduces inflammation and is an antiviral. This means it can open up congested sinuses and help reduce lung discomfort. It is also known as a warming herb and can greatly reduce muscle aches and pains.
Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salt baths aren’t only good for sore muscles, although we can all agree that sore muscles come with most colds and flu. Epsom salts help detoxify our bodies by drawing out the toxins via our skin. Mix Epsom salt with some powerful essential oils and you will help your body fight off the sickness. It’s also well known that a hot bath will help you sleep better and sleeping is so important when you aren’t feeling well.
MB Botanicals offers four different bath salt options. Soak in a hot bath while the salts extract toxins from your body and the essential oils ease the pain from your head and chest.
Scented Steam – There is a bevy of herbal options when using steam to clear a foggy head. Peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemon, etc. will all help reduce inflammation in your sinuses and lungs and work to ease congestion.
You have a few options when it comes to steaming. You can boil water, add a few drops of preferred essential oil and then, with a towel over your head place your face at a safe distance over the water. The steam will penetrate your sinuses and provide the relief you need.
You can also add essential oils to the bottom of your bathtub while taking a hot shower. Or use one of MB Botanicals sugar scrubs Sugar Scrubs on your face, neck and chest to relieve pain and pressure from your sinuses. The Lavender Eucalyptus and Rosemary Mint are both amazing when you’re feeling under the weather.
Compresses – Compresses work great for relieving sinus pressure. If you are suffering from a sinus headache or your sinuses are painful, try a hot compress on your face.
To make a compress
Sleep – Never underestimate the power of rest and sleep while you are sick. Take it easy and sleep when you need to. If that means you don’t get out of bed for two days, so be it! Just make sure you are staying hydrated and taking care of any fever you may have.
Herbal Tea with Honey and Lemon – Herbal tea can provide an immense amount of comfort when you are sick. The herbs will help heal by antiviral or anti-inflammatory properties within the herb. By adding lemon to the tea, you give yourself a boost of vitamin C to reduce the length and severity of your sickness. Raw honey can help soothe a sore throat and it comes packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
For the best results, ensure you are using a non-caffeinated herbal tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar – There are entire books written about the virtues of apple cider vinegarand for good reason. ACV detoxifies your body and supports a healthy immune system. The following drink can be used to clear up a cold that just won’t go away.
A note of caution when drinking apple cider vinegar – it is acidic and can burn your esophagus if it’s not diluted. Always dilute before drinking.
Apple Cider Cold Tonic
When using herbs and essential oils, always take caution and follow usage recommendations. Pregnant or nursing women must be very cautious when using herbal remedies.
I hope that all of you stay healthy this winter and have no use for these tips, but if you use one I would love to hear how it worked for you. Or, do you have something that isn’t on the list?
While the holidays are supposed to be a time of family and good cheer, they can also mean exhaustion, stress, and panic attacks. While essential oils will not provide you with more money to purchase gifts or bake that holiday dessert for you, they can help you calm your nerves and de-stress so you are able to tackle whatever you’ve committed to.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite oils that will ease stress and help you sleep easier.
The most popular and well-known oil - lavender is excellent for calming anxiety and easing yourself into sleep. It’s been known to relieve insomnia and create a calm, peaceful sleep.
Lavender can also help you focus your mind on difficult tasks. The best way to absorb the healing benefits of lavender is directly through your skin. This can be done with lotions, oils, rubs or scrubs.
Combine lavender with chamomile in a tea to calm down before bedtime. Both of these herbs have de-stressing properties to help ease you into a sleepy state.
Overly stressed during the holidays? It’s not difficult to find yourself less in the holiday spirit and more anxious than you would like. Rosemary and lavender together can reduce harmful cortisol levels. Next time you need to relax and refocus on what the holidays should be like, diffuse rosemary and lavender together.
Rosemary is also, like most of these herbs, great at improving focus and memory function. Rosemary is a potent oil so it should always be diluted with a carrier oil. Using a rosemary lotion, scrub or in a diffuser will provide you with all the benefits rosemary has to offer.
Everything about peppermint reminds me of the holidays. From candy canes to peppermint mochas. It turns out that peppermint also works to uplift the spirits and clear the mind.
If you are feeling fuzzy-headed and tired, peppermint will wake you right up. It has also been shown to relieve tension headaches and relieve stuffy sinuses. And if you happened to eat too much over the holidays, ingesting peppermint oil or inhaling it can help reduce stomach pains.
You can drink peppermint in a tea or by adding 1 to 2 drops of essential oil to a glass of water. You can use it topically on the neck or under the nose to clear the mind and focus.
There are quite a few different citrus oils to choose from, but they all provide the same benefits. Those include boosting moods, freshening the air, immune support, easing stress, and boosting energy.
You can choose from lime, orange, grapefruit, lemon. Mix them all, one, or any combo in a diffuser or your favorite carrier oil to get the benefits of these delicious smelling oils.
Jasmine is one of the sweetest scents out there and it works really well for calming a stressed body and mind. It creates feelings of confidence and hopefulness.
Wearing jasmine while at that holiday party you don’t want to go to may just help you through the rough hours and you will smell really nice too.
Essential oils can be powerful things, so always take care when using them. Ensure that they are diluted with a carrier oil when applying them directly to the skin. Some people prone to skin allergies may have allergic reactions to oils applied to the skin.
There are some easy ways to get the benefits of essential oils:
I wish you a stress-free and relaxing holiday season. If you have a de-stress method using essential oils, I would love to hear about it!
Winter looms. The nights are getting longer, the air is getting cooler which means taking different steps to care for our skin. The following article outlines 10 tips for caring for your skin during the winter months.
During the winter months, we have to worry about windburn, frostbite and dry crackly skin. By adjusting our skin care slightly – with an emphasis on hydration and moisturizing, we can have beautiful smooth and silky skin all winter long.
1. Hydrate – Keeping yourself hydrated is just as important during the winter as it is during the winter. Drinking plenty of fresh water is great for your skin. Our skin is our largest organ, and staying hydrated keeps it in great shape.
2. Moisturize – The very best time to moisturize is right after a shower. Your pores are open and receptive to soak up everything you give it right after you bathe. Try to use a body oil or cream-based lotion after you dry off. By adding this step in the morning, you may not need to moisturize anything but your face and hands the rest of the day.
3. Protect While You Sleep –Having a solid bedtime skin routine will do wonders for your skin. Moisturizing with an oil or cream-based lotion right before bed will greatly benefit your face while you sleep. You will wake up with soft skin that will stand up to the stress the day will bring. Using a sleep mask over the top of your normal lotion will add even more benefits.
4. Prevent – Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. I’m sure we’ve all received a sunburn on a cloudy day. And if you are around a reflective surface such as snow or water, those UV rays will likely lead to some sun damage. Don’t neglect to wear some type of SPF coverage year-round.
5. Cleanse –Removing makeup, dirt, and grime that sits on your face during the day isespecially important during the winter months. You will want to use a gentle cleanser during the winter and one that is either devoid of fragrance or one that utilizes essential oils.
6. Turn Down the Heat – It doesn’t matter whether you are heating with electric or wood heat – it’s going to dry out your skin. By keeping your heat lower than normal, you will keep the dryness away. It can be hard to regulate the heat from a woodstove. By keeping a pan of water boiling on the wood stovethroughout the day adds moisture to the air and to your skin. It’s also beneficial to keep your showers shorter and use lukewarm water. Long, hot showers, although they feel heavenly, will dry out your skin quickly – and it will take a lot of work to replenish that moisture.
7. Healthy Fats – By consuming healthy omega-3 fats, you will add oil and moisture back into your skin. Add an omega-3 supplement to your daily vitamin dose, or a few servings of foods rich in omega-3’s to your weekly menu.
8. Pucker Up – The winter months are especially tough on our lips. Use a lip balm with minimal ingredients and no chemical fragrances. The simpler the ingredients, the better it will work to really heal chapped lips.
9. Avoid Harsh Soaps – Soaps and detergents that are made with chemicals can work toward removing moisture and irritating sensitive skin. Instead, opt for more naturally made soaps that are not made up of chemicals. Soaps that use minimal ingredients, and that utilize the healing properties of essential oils are your best bet for soft skin.
10. Avoid Alcohol – I’m not talking about avoiding the hot buttered rum during Christmas. I’m talking about alcohol-based toners, astringents, and antibacterial soaps. Anything that contains alcohol is guaranteed to dry out your skin. Wash your face with a gentle natural soap and follow that up with a moisturizing lotion. Save the alcohol-based toners for summer.
In a nutshell, make sure you are using more oil-based moisturizers this winter that will add all of the love your skin needs. All of MB Botanicals moisturizing products are oil-based and use quality essential oils and ingredients to help you through this winter.
I started my soap creation journey last year. I caught the soap making bug pretty hard and it was all I wanted to do for months. It is so fun to mix up different scents and levels of moisture. It’s also really fun to put my own creative design on the top of each bar. But can something so pretty that smells amazing be good for your skin? Yes! Let me explain why.
Until I started making my own bar soap recipes, I used body wash to clean my skin. I was tricked into believing the film that it left on my skin was moisturizing my skin, but not until I started using my own soap did I realize how I never felt totally clean.
When you use natural bar soap you will leave the shower feeling clean AND moisturized. I’m not talking about Dial or Irish Spring with their catchy jingles and their tendency to dry out the skin – I’m talking about soap made in small batches without chemicals and preservatives. My soap works with your body’s natural chemistry (because I use natural ingredients) to leave you with fresh and silky soft skin.
Have you ever had a hard time getting your foundation or deodorant off your skin with store bought soap or wash? It can be a real challenge and can end up leaving your skin chapped and dry. Natural bar soap will fight right through the dirt, grime, makeup and deodorant on your skin – leaving your skin clean and fresh.
The thing that really made me change my mind about bar soap was my face. I have struggled with acne my entire life so I was stared to use my soap on my face. I use olive, palm and coconut oils and shea butter in my soaps so I was a little nervous about applying all of that ‘grease’ to my already acne-prone skin. I shouldn’t have worried – I suffered not a single breakout after switching. In fact, it only improved how my skin looked and felt.
Each of the aforementioned oils are natural and each adds a specific benefit to your skin. Whether that is naturally occurring disinfecting properties from coconut oil to shea butter that can heal damaged skin. And now I don’t use anything but MB Botanicals Soap!
In order to get the most out of your soap when switching to MB Botanicals Soap, here are a few tips:
If you are looking for a natural bar soap that works really well, lasts a long time, and has only ingredients that you can pronounce – you came to the right place.
If you have purchased MB Botanicals Soap online or at one of the Markets, please let me know what think of it.
Leave a review from your online order or send me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Apologies to MB Botanicals fans for being so lazy about this blog...I warned you I was terrible at blogging:) However, I am determined to get better at this blogging thing!
I've enlisted some help to keep me motivated so be prepared to see more content.
New blog post coming soon...............
As I was making my latest batch of Rose oil, I decided it would be nice to share it with you.
Since I discovered the art of botanical infusions I have been obsessed. I love how simple it is and how wonderfully light the aromas turn out. You would expect to smell the oils but the botanicals come through quite nicely.
I started making botanical infusions to incorporate them into my soap. I wanted a Rose scented soap but Rose Essential Oil is extremely expensive and rose fragrances are full of random chemicals. I like to stick to a more natural approach so I decided to try an infusion.
After some research I found that there are a couple of methods of infusion. There is the Solar Infused method and the Quick method which requires a little heat.
First the Solar Infused - start with your dried botanicals. This can be flowers or herbs. Some of my favorites are dried roses, chamomile and calendula. You want to make sure the botanicals are dry. If there is moisture in the botanicals this can cause rancidity in the oil.
Use a clean, dry mason jar and add enough botanicals to fill about half to three quarters of the jar. Add your favorite oil and make sure to cover the botanicals by at least 1”. Stir and cap the jar tightly.
Place the jar in a warm, sunny window and shake at least once a day. You will need to do this for at least 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks, strain the oil from the botanicals with a strainer or cheesecloth and place in a glass jar of your choice. Make sure to squeeze the very last bit of oil from the botanicals, you waited 3 weeks for it and you don’t want to waste a drop!
Now on to the Quick Method - this is what I like to use since patience is not one of my virtues.
This method requires a little bit of heat so I like to use the trusty crockpot (thanks to my good friend Athena).
Place the botanicals in the clean, dry crockpot. Add enough oil to immerse the botanicals completely and turn on low heat. Leave in the crockpot for about an hour and a half.
You don't want to use too warm of heat or heat for too long as you can scorch the oil.
Once the time is done. Turn off the crockpot and let cool completely. I usually like to leave this overnight.
Strain as I mentioned in the Solar Infused method and place in glass jars.
Be sure to store your oil in a cool, dark place.
Here are a few botanicals I like to infuse.
And some oils that make great carriers.
Leave me a comment if you have made your own infusions:)
I get asked this a lot. I'm at the Farmers Market and potential customers see this little round bar in a beautiful tin and the first thing that ask "Is this Soap?" Well no, it's a lotion bar. Then they see the Foot Balm and ask "Is this deodorant?" no, again.
Let me tell you how these two products got started.
I initially developed the lotion bar for my cracked heels(trust me they were gnarly). I liked the idea of a rich moisturizing bar that would glide over the heel easily and actually last.
In the last 5 years I had become self concious of wearing sandals in the summer because of my nasty heels. I remembered several years back when I noticed a young woman with cracked heels and I thought she needed a serious pedicure! Well Karma's a bitch and I ended up with the same problem. At the time I didn't realize it was actually a problem just thought someone needed better grooming. Well that is not the case. I would get pedicures and they would be smooth for a couple of days but then the cracks would return and some of them were deep.
I tried several moisturizers and even the dreaded Vaseline with socks (I can't stand wearing socks to bed) and nothing worked. I began searching the inter web to find out what could be causing the issue.
Cracked heels can come from many factors and not limited to the ones below.
I was guilty of a few of these and then there is the aging, of course!
As I mentioned above, I decided to make a lotion bar. I read up on the moisturizing benefits of coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax and of course, essential oils. With the combination of the carrier and essential oils, the bar worked! I started with soaking my feet in an epsom salt/essential oil foot bath and then massaged the lotion bar in to my feet every night as well as in the morning prior to putting on my socks and shoes. My cracked heels improved within a month! While the lotion bar was great, I wanted a better application so I created the Soothing Foot Balm that comes in a convenient tube. The foot balm contains Peppermint, Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils that are known for being anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and soothing. These products saved my feet! I'm no longer embarrassed to wear sandals.
I use both of these product daily and I never travel without them. The Moisturizing Lotion Bar has come to be my go to for dry winter skin. The constant hand washing my job requires can make my skin really dry, but the lotion bar keeps that at bay. I pop the bar out of the tin and rub on my hands and cuticles.
Have you tried MB Botanicals Moisturizing Lotion Bar or the Soothing Foot Balm? Let me know I would love to know what you think,
P.S. MB Botanicals offers the Soothing Set which includes the Soothing Foot Soak and Foot Balm.
As some of you may have seen, I finally updated the MB Botanicals website. I have been pondering updating the website for quite a while, but every time I look up website builders the cost and difficulty of doing a website made me just want to run away.
I am not the best when it comes to all the technical computer stuff. I want something that is drag and drop, no code or complicated fields.