Summer is nearly over, and we have been cruising around in our sandals all season. We tend to take more care of our feet during the seasons when they are exposed, but I believe a year-long foot routine is necessary for proper foot health. I have some tips to keep your feet looking summer-fresh all winter long.
Epsom salt soaks
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts helps in numerous ways. The magnesium in Epsom salts is absorbed into your skin and reduces inflammation, assists in healing irritation and skin conditions, and controls foot odor.
Remember to use lukewarm water for your foot soaks to prevent drying out your skin.
If you suffer from dry, cracked skin on your feet, you will benefit from exfoliating your feet at least twice a month. There are many ways to exfoliate: you can use a loofah, pumice stone, salt scrub, one of those wild grinding devices that spread dead skin everywhere, a washcloth or just use Alluvium Scrub (a soap and scrub in one).
Exfoliation removes dead skin from the feet and prevents more damage from occurring in the form of calluses and painful cracks.
You can also use Epsom salt as a scrub to exfoliate dead skin from your feet.
Do not exfoliate more than once a week, or you risk further irritation.
One of the most important ways to keep your feet looking beautiful is to moisturize often. Your feet will profit from a daily moisturizing routine right after a shower. The skin is warm; pores are open and receptive to moisturizer.
You can use lotion or body oil to moisten and nourish your peds. If your feet are especially dry, you may benefit more from a thick shea based cream, or body oil.
Our shoes are the main culprit (along with age and genetics) that cause dry, irritated skin. There are ways to protect yourself from this shoe damage. Along with all of the methods mentioned above, using a salve on your feet, like MB Soothing Foot Balm, before putting on your socks or dress shoes will keep your feet safe from blisters and calluses.
With a little extra attention to our feet through these dark and dismal days of fall and winter, they should be in tip-top shape for the next sandal season.
There are times in all of our lives when we lack the motivation to get things done. I’ve been dealing with this myself lately. One thing that always helps me to find my focus and sit down to accomplish something is diffusing essential oil blends.
There are plenty of oils that help you find the motivation to do those heavy tasks or to get out of bed with energy and enthusiasm instead of gloom and pessimism.
Here you will find a list of essential oils that will help either calm your stress or energize you. Following the list is a few essential oils blends for you to diffuse or wear.
There have been many studies on peppermint and its effects. Peppermint is known to bring focus to the brain. Many schools provide peppermint candies to test-takers to help calm and stimulate the mind at the same time. If you need to focus or a spark of creativity, reach for peppermint oil.
What is better than motivation from the forest? Black Spruce assists in better self-image and strength. Imagine you are taking your strength from the mighty spruce tree while you are tackling those big detailed projects.
Citrus oils such as grapefruit, lime, and sweet orange are uplifting and energizing. The fresh and crisp aroma of citrus oils will help you feel motivated in whatever you are doing. It is the perfect oil to use when you need a soul lifter.
If you feel the need for a kick in the motivation pants, diffuse black pepper. Black pepper oil can be helpful when your mind is fatigued, and you need some positive stimulation.
Lavender is calming so you can get your head in order. Using lavender oil is also a great way to motivate you into sleep. If you are having a difficult time sleeping, try rubbing a lavender body oil or lotion on your feet and chest before bed. You can add diffused lavender oil to your room at nighttime as well to help you wind down. We all know that without proper rest we aren’t as productive as we should be.
Chamomile also produces a feeling of calm. Chamomile enables peace and tranquility, which can lead to better productivity and feelings of accomplishment.
Frankincense oil is a great stress reliever. If you are feeling overly anxious over a difficult task you need to finish, frankincense is the perfect solution. It can ease your negative thoughts as it surrounds you with its encouraging scent.
Motivation Essential Oil Blends
You can either drop these blends into a diffuser or mix them with a carrier oil and apply them to your wrists, or on an aromatherapy necklace.
5 drops Orange (or preferred citrus oil)
3 drops Lime
3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Ylang Ylang
Wake Up & Work Blend
3 drops Chamomile
3 drops Bergamot
2 drop Wintergreen
1 drop Cedarwood
Focus on it Blend
3 drops Orange (or preferred Grapefruit)
3 drops Peppermint (or Wintergreen)
3 drops Lime
3 drops Frankincense
Get it Done Blend
4 drops Black Spruce
3 drops Chamomile
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Ylang Ylang
Create it Blend
3 drops Black Pepper
3 drops Orange (or Grapefruit)
3 drops Frankincense
3 drops Lime
You don’t have to diffuse the oil or wear it around your neck to get these powerful benefits. You can also use lotions or body oils that contain some of these amazing essential oils.
As always, take care when using essential oils when pregnant or breastfeeding, and around your pets.
I hope you find these tips to boost motivation and drive helpful. If you use a different blend to motivate yourself, I would love to hear it.
Perhaps you’ve heard of bergamot, and perhaps you haven’t. Bergamot comes from the rinds of the bergamot orange tree. It is used in Earl Grey tea, many perfumes, as well as skin care products. It has a spicy citrus scent and is a great option for beautiful skin and hair.
While bergamot has many healing properties which include reducing depression symptoms and increasing digestive functions, this article will focus more on the skin care aspects of bergamot.
Like so many other herbs and essential oils, bergamot contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit skin irritations and acne.
Bergamot is a great skin cleanser. You can find beauty products that contain bergamot or add some oil drops to the products you already own. It is best to use at night as bergamot can increase your skin’s photosensitivity.
If you suffer from oily skin and clogged pores, bergamot can help. It will remove the icky buildup in your pores and even out the oils in your skin.
Due to cicatrizant (a property that encourages healing) in bergamot, it is a natural scar healer. It can reduce the appearance of scars and works well to even out skin tone. If you have acne scars or dark spots on your skin, using the bergamot oil can make your skin tone even and youthful looking.
Bergamot is also an excellent oil for taming wild curls or frizzy hair. The oil will soften the hair and leave a gentle scent behind.
Add a few drops of bergamot oil to your shampoo and wash and condition as normal.
Always dilute bergamot oil with a carrier oil. Never apply directly to the skin. Some people can have a sensitivity or an allergic reaction to the oil.
It is always a good idea to spot check a small area on your arm before applying to the face to ensure you do not have a bad reaction to the oil.
Spot treatment for Acne
Mix bergamot oil with a carrier oil of your choice. I recommend Jojoba oil as it is great for Acne prone skin.
Apply bergamot mix directly to the pimple or blackhead.
Leave this on your skin overnight.
*Using it during the day can have ill effects if you expose your skin to sunlight.
Sweet orange oil comes from the peel of the orange, not from the fruit of the orange. It contains heaps of vitamin C, as well as many other healing properties. All of that and it smells delicious too. Sweet orange can heal wounds and skin conditions, relieve pain and depression, sanitize your kitchen, and increase your libido. If you don’t use orange oil around your home, you might want to after reading what it can do for you.
There are numerous ways to use orange oil. You can add drops to a diffuser to relieve depression, anxiety, and help ease you into sleep. You can add it to a carrier oil to use as a massage oil, add it to your shampoo to add shine to your hair or use it in skincare products to improve your skin. Mix orange oil with water to clean your kitchen or add to the dryer to add a crisp clean smell to your clothes.
Sweet orange oil can help with acne, increase collagen, protect against sun damage, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a great addition to any skincare routine.
Look for skincare products that contain sweet orange oil, or make your own. Add a drop or two to aloe vera and apply to your skin. Always use a carrier oil, and make sure you spot check before applying to your face for the first time.
Diffusing sweet orange oil in your room before bed can help calm you into a peaceful sleep. It can help treat insomnia by lowering your stress levels and calming your mind so you can fall asleep easily.
Orange oil can decrease swelling in the body’s tissue providing you relief from muscle and joint pain.
Orange oil increases blood flow and increases a person's feelings of contentment. Try combining orange oil in a carrier oil to make your own massage oil, or diffusing it to boost a lethargic libido.
As a natural disinfectant and antiseptic, orange oil works wonders on disinfecting and healing wounds.
Depression and Anxiety Relief
The next time you are feeling depressed or anxious try diffusing sweet orange. It reduces the pulse and naturally reduces the body’s cortisol levels. You can also add orange oil to a carrier oil and dab it on the wrists – just inhale the scent when you need a calming breath.
Gas and Constipation Relief
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, orange oil works great for stimulating the bowel to relieve constipation, and to reduce gas in the digestive tract.
Orange oil contains antibacterial properties so it works great as a natural cleanser – with the ability to prevent many bacteria, including E. coli.
It also works well to get rid of ants. If you have ants crawling across your kitchen counters, spray an orange oil solution to remove their scent trails.
Combine orange and bergamot oils to a spray bottle of water to make a powerful, and chemical free, kitchen cleanser. It can be used on any kitchen surface, and it will smell amazing.
Immune System Boost
Orange oil boosts the immune system with its antioxidants and free radical fighters. It’s like drinking orange juice when you start feeling sick, with way less sugar. Diffuse the oil nearby or add to a carrier oil and rub on the bottom of your feet and/or your chest.
Sweet orange boasts so many beneficial properties, it is a great addition to any home.
Do you use sweet orange oil for any of the above uses?
Do you use it for something not listed above?
I would love to hear about it.
Whether you grow your own rosemary in your garden, purchase rosemary essential oils, products that include rosemary oil or purchase rosemary sprigs at the grocery store for cooking - you can’t go wrong. Rosemary has some amazing benefits, no matter what application method you use. From healing skin irritations to settling an unfocused mind, to re-growing hair – it is a simple, amazing plant.
1. Stimulates hair growth
Not only does rosemary stimulate hair follicles to produce hair growth, but it can slow your grey hair production and reduces dry scalp and dandruff. If you use rosemary for only one thing in your life, it should be on your hair. You can mix a few drops of essential oil into your shampoo bottle, and reap all the benefits of this amazing plant. Rosemary will not dry out your hair like a dandruff shampoo will, and it doesn’t have any of the harmful chemicals that hair regrowth serums tend to have.
2. Insect repellant
Rosemary can repel flies and mosquitos. You can add a few sprigs to your fire pit – the fragrant smoke will keep the pests at bay. Or you can add rosemary and citronella or lemongrass essential oils to a carrier liquid (such as witch hazel or olive oil). This can be applied via spray bottle to the exposed skin before going outside. I would suggest using 10 to 20 drops per two ounces of carrier liquid.
3. Skin Care
Rosemary contains anti-aging compounds that are amazing for your skin. Rosemary can protect your skin from free-radicals that increase the effects of aging. It also contains antiseptic properties which work well at fighting acne and skin irritations.
My favorite use for Rosemary is in a sugar scrub. I use it in the shower it has a wonderful uplifting scent to get you going first thing in the morning.
4. Mild pain reliever
Rosemary can be used topically for an analgesic pain reliever. It can also be used to reduce the pain caused by headaches by taking it orally, such as in a tea.
Rosemary packs a load of anti-inflammatory compounds. This can help treat muscle and joint pain due to inflammation. If you suffer from inflammation, try cooking with rosemary a few times a week, or drink rosemary tea.
6. Improves digestion
Rosemary works wonders for the gall-bladder function and increases the flow of bile to ensure your digestive tract is working its best. There are times when we could all use a little help in boosting our digestive system.
7. Brain function
Rosemary naturally contains carnosic acid (it is also found in sage). This fights the free radicals that build up in your brain. Not only that, it can be used as a natural preservative. By inhaling rosemary scent, studies have shown that people are better able to focus and recall things that they have seen and read. Try using an essential oil diffuser in your room while you are working to see improvements in brain functionality.
8. Stress reducer
Rosemary reduces cortisol levels in the brain. Much like what you would do to improve brain function, diffuse some rosemary essential oil in the room you are in, soak in the delicious smells, and relax. This can also be immensely helpful while working on a stressful project, or before bed.
Rosemary is high in dietary fiber and can help limit weight gain. Use it as a rub for meats. Add it to soups, stews, and sauces. Infuse some olive oil with a few sprigs of rosemary to use in your cooking. Or make a rosemary tea.
Even though Rosemary has several benefits, be cautious. Too much of anything can cause issues. High doses or prolonged use of rosemary can cause health issues. Be cautious when using it, as with all herbs.
Do not take rosemary essential oil orally.
Use the herb to cook with or steep the leaves for a tea if you are looking to consume it orally.
How to store beauty products is probably not something you stress about much. But how you choose to store them could have radicle effects on how long they last, and how well they work. There are a few basic principles to storing your beauty products, and it won’t take much to store them in the best possible places.
Keep it Dark
If you purchase any serums or creams that come to you in a see-through container, make sure you keep them in the dark. Better yet buy products that come in containers that light can’t easily penetrate. UV rays can end up altering the components of your products. This means your products could become useless, and that is not something you want in your beauty products. Colored or tinted glass are the best to keep products fresh.
This may surprise you, but a few of your beauty products should be stored in the fridge.
Eyecream is a great contender for fridge time. Keeping your non-oil-based creams cold will ensure they last longer. Applying cold creams also helps your skin by tightening blood vessels. This assists in swelling reduction – especially nice after a rough night’s sleep.
Make sure you research your ingredients if making products yourself. Some oils require refrigeration. Rose hip oil is a good example. These oils can become rancid if not stored at the proper temperature.
Be sure to check the shelf life and temperature specs of any ingredients. Any extremes can make an ingredient less effective.
Keep it out of the Bathroom
Ok this is a tough on for people including me. It’s true, our bathrooms contain bacteria – whether you are diligent about cleaning or not. They are also humid little saunas at least once a day. All of those airborne bacteria and hot air particles can damage our skin care products.
If you have the option, take your products out of your bathroom. If not, make sure products are put away in cabinets or drawers and be sure to close those lids tightly after each use. The last thing you want is cakey and gooey mascara, eyeshadow, and eyeliner.
The exception for this is sugar scrubs and soap of course. Those belong in the shower but remember to keep the lid closed on the scrubs after each use and make sure you place your soap on a slotted rack or dish. This helps the soap dry out in between uses and makes it last longer. You don’t want it sitting in a pool of water.
Perfumes & Fragrances
Fragrances should be kept dry and dark as well. Essential oils especially. This keeps the scents from becoming altered by sunlight, humidity, and warm temperatures. Perfumes are expensive, you don’t want to ruin them before you’ve had a chance to use the entire bottle.
How do you store your beauty products?
Spring just can’t arrive soon enough. Is your skin cracked and dry from the incessant frigid temperatures? Have your lips been cracked and chapped since Fall? Then you should try one of my new products, Lip Scrubs to exfoliate and heal those painfully chapped lips.
Why do you need to use lip scrub? The sugar in lip scrubs exfoliate the dead, chapped skin off your lips and include oils that heal and moisturize.
Sugar is an exfoliator and naturally contains alpha hydroxy acid that breaks through the skin and encourages new skin cell generation. It doesn’t only remove dead skin, but it helps regrow healthy new skin. It is great at repairing aging and sun damaged skin.
After using a lip scrub, you will want to follow up with a lip balm to add extra moisture back into the lips. Each scrub includes a blend of olive oil and coconut oils to help moisturize, but you will want that extra layer to keep your lips from continued cracking.
Not only do these lip scrubs remove dead dry skin, but they also stimulate blood flow to the lips making them plumper and more luscious looking. Use a lip scrub before applying lipstick before a night out and rock those lips!
You can purchase the lip scrubs individually or as a set with the complimentary lip balm flavor. They make the perfect gift for a friend or yourself!
These lip scrubs come in six enticing flavors, and they pair with your favorite MB Botanicals lip balm.
To exfoliate the face and body, try MB Botanicals Sugar Scrubs.
Valentine’s Day is over – but that doesn’t mean you have a romance drought the rest of the year. I’m of the opinion that romance shouldn’t be celebrated one day a year, but we should focus on it all year long. This post is meant to showcase ways to be romantic and care for your skin at the same time – and this can be done whenever you feel the need for closeness with your partner. Don’t wait for an excuse to show your significant other what they mean to you.
Romance is a very important part of any relationship. It can bring you closer and help you appreciate the bond and love you have for each other. Romance isn’t just “Netflix and Chill” – it’s taking time to be alone and quiet together without TV, phones or other interruptions.
Here are some ideas for bringing more romance into your relationships, and using great skincare to boost the romantic feelings.
If you are lucky enough to have a bathtub that fits two people comfortably, great! Taking a bath with your partner is a great way to bring you closer together (especially if you only have a tiny tub). Add a bath bomb or bath salts in the water to create a more sensual experience. Scents can calm the over-stressed mind and create a feeling of peace and love.
MB Botanicals Bath Salts come in four different scents, so there is something for whatever mood you are in. These contain Epsom, Sea and Himalayan Pink salts blended with essential oils and botanicals to comfort your body and mind and spark those romantic thoughts.
Massage can be one of the best ways to get closer to your partner. The act of gentle touching is rewarding for both people. Taking time to massage each other creates an intimate bond that will last for days.
Remember to communicate with your partner what feels good and what to avoid doing and be open to hearing the same from them. A massage is meant to feel good and to increase trust between you and your partner.
You don’t have to lie down to give a massage either – you can do it seated or standing, whichever way you are both comfortable and close to each other. This is meant to create an intense connection between two loved ones, so get into it and make sure your companion is comfortable and relaxed.
Try one of the three different scents of MB Botanicals Body Oil as your massage oil. They absorb into the skin quickly and do not leave a greasy feeling behind. They will make your skin feel as good as that massage did!
Another great massage option is the Moisturizing Body Bar. It warms up with your skin and doesn't dry out as quickly so you're not constantly adding oil. It also leaves your skin extra soft.
While feet tend to get a bad rap for being nasty – you should feel good enough about your significant other to suck it up and rub their feet for them. And don’t stop at the feet – give the ankles and calves a massage while you are at it. It feels divine and much like the massage, it will build trust and create a greater feeling of intimacy.
With a foot massage, you will want to use massage oil or lotion. Start with gentle rubs in a circular motion – beginning with at the toes and working toward the ankles. Once your partner has started to relax into the rub, you can increase pressure. Just make sure you are both communicating as to what type of pressure they are comfortable with.
Try using Body Butter for sensual foot rubs. It is soft and creamy and will leave the feet silky and moisturized.
It doesn’t matter what type of thing you do to add more romance into your relationship, as long as you add it to your routine more than just on Valentine’s Day. Surprise your significant other with a bath or massage and I guarantee you will feel closer to them afterward. Keeping the spark takes time and attention to both partners. Enjoy each other!
We all have bad habits. Some of them, like bad skin habits can age our skin and make us look older than our years. Or can cause embarrassing breakouts. Take charge of your skin health and learn how you can go about breaking bad skin habits.
Quit touching your face – Do you find yourself resting your face in a hand while in a meeting? Or playing with that zit on your chin numerous times a day?
Quit touching your face so much. Dirt, germs, and oils from your hands transfer to your face making breakouts worse.
Also, being rough with your face can lead to undereye bags and can cause excess wrinkles. Touch your face only when necessary and with gentle fingers.
If you need help keeping your hands off your face, ask a friend or loved one to mention it to you when they notice you doing it. This can be annoying enough to make you stop.
Remove makeup at night – One of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin is to wash your face and moisturize at night. You not only wash off all of the dirt and grime (and makeup) from your skin, but you prevent clogged pores and allow your face to breath while you sleep.
By having a nighttime skin care routine you can go to bed with a clean face and you will reduce skin damage and aging. Sleeping with your makeup on and face dirty is a recipe for wrinkles.
If you need a reminder to wash your face at night, set a reminder on your phone each night. Or place a washcloth next to your toothbrush so you see it. Make it pat of your routine.
Wash after working out – Not washing your face after working out will lead to breakouts and can increase premature aging in your skin.
While sweating is good for your skin – it releases toxins and grime from your pores, if you don’t wash it off right away, it will turn into bacteria and sink back into your skin.
Wash your face with soap and immediately moisturize to maintain hydration in your skin. This should be done as soon as you are done working out.
Improve your diet – What you put in your body can have an impact on on your skin. Everyone's body reacts to food differently. Some people have breakouts from eating too much oily food or sugar.
If greasy foods are one of your triggers opt for healthy oils and Omega-3s. Healthy oils and fats can increase collagen in and improve the look and feel of your skin.
Pay attention to your body and note what triggers breakouts.
Drink more water – Our bodies are mostly water, so it makes sense that staying well hydrated will have a beneficial effect on your skin. If you want a natural glow, drink more water.
Drinking adequate amounts of water will flush toxins from your body, ensuring you and your skin is healthy.
Do you have a hard time remembering to drink enough water? Find a water app for your phone or start carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Stick with a beauty routine – This is fairly general, but it is a bad habit many have. Make sure you are taking care of your skin more than once a day.
Set yourself up with a skin care routine and stick to it. You will see improvements in your skin within six weeks.
Sunscreen (year-round) – Many of us neglect to wear sunscreen during the winter. We believe that the overcast days will not harm our skin, but they can and they will.
Break the bad habit of not wearing sunscreen outside. Most foundations contain SPF – look for ones that have the highest rating. And if you head outside without makeup on, make sure you apply a normal sunscreen half an hour before going out.
If you have a hard time remembering to apply sunscreen – try putting a tube in your car, your bag, by your front door, etc. The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it will be to break the habit.
Practice good pimple care - Quit picking at your pimples. It can be very tempting to pop that zit on the end of your nose, but when you do, you push bacteria into the now open pore which can lead to extra redness, swelling and/or infection. And if things get bad enough you can end up with acne scars.
If you want to reduce the appearance of pimples – you can use a little tea tree essential oil as a spot treatment, add toothpaste to the zit overnight, ice it, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, or use a concealer.
However, if you feel you must pop your zit before leaving the house, wash your hands thoroughly. You can attempt to use two cotton swabs to pop a white head.
For blackheads, you can use blackhead remover tools. They are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon. If you’ve ever watched Dr. Pimple Popper, you know what I’m talking about.
You can also use an allover facial serum as part of your skincare routine to help balance out the skin and prevent those breakouts from happening in the first place.
By breaking your bad skin habits, you should see an improvement in how your face looks and feels. Use quality skin care products and put quality food into your body.
Our current society is plagued with anxiety, stress and preoccupation. There is always something demanding our time and attention – it can wear a person down. We often find ourselves medicating our minds to get through the day. While some medication can be necessary, there are also some natural alternatives to keep our heads on straight. We can improve our minds naturally to bring us back to center.
It’s a new year which means it’s the perfect time to set a goal for healthy habits to improve how your mind reacts to the stressors surrounding you.
There are many herbs out there and many different applications of those herbs that can help us improve brain function, reduce stress levels, combat pain and just plain get us through the day. If you find yourself muddled and ready to give up, try some of the solutions below, they may help.
When we are overly stressed, we can have a hard time focusing on simple everyday tasks. Try some of the solutions below to improve your focus:
We all experience stress. Some people have more than others, but it’s something that no one is able to escape. Whether you are constantly stressed or not, here are some helpful tips:
Anxiety is a close cousin to stress, but unlike stress, anxiety can crop up for no reason at all. If you suffer from anxiety occasionally or all the time, here are a few methods that can reduce it:
You may not believe in essential oils. You may not want to create tinctures or rubs and that’s okay. Sometimes all we need is to shut off the world around us and get outside. Take a walk in the fresh air. Run in the rain. Hike a trail and get your blood pumping. Disconnect for an hour from society, technology, your job and you will be on your way to improving your mind naturally.
Whichever method you choose, I hope this article helps you improve your mind naturally this year.