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.
Tea Tree oil, also know as Melaleuca oil, contains many helpful and healing properties which include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Experiencing a skin issue? Reach for the Tea Tree oil. Here are a few ways to use it.
Tea Tree oil’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties can help clear up skin imperfections. You can put tea tree oil on a cotton swap and apply directly to acne, or you can use a face serum that utilizes the power or tea tree oil. Tea tree oil kills bacteria on the skin and under the skin’s surface so it’s a great option for acne and blemishes.
Apply tea tree to specific problem areas with a cotton swab, or add a few drops to your favorite toner to boost your toner’s overall effectiveness.
Tea Tree oil isn’t only great for clearing up acne from your skin, but can also be used to reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles. It also has a miraculous way of assisting with not only dry skin but oily skin as well.
You can cleanse with a soap like Stormy Dayz or use a few drops of tea tree oil in your facial moisturizer to help with skin issues such as wrinkles, dark spots, and dry or oily skin.
Cuts and Scrapes
Tea Tree oil works really well as a natural antiseptic. Apply it to cuts and scrapes to clean and heal the wound. The antibacterial agents will fight off the germs, and the anti-inflammatory properties will keep the swelling and redness down.
Add a drop of tea tree oil to your wound cream, or carrier oil, and apply directly to the wound.
Not only can you use tea tree oil as a hand sanitizer, but you can also use it to sanitize surfaces around your home. Again, with its antiseptic and antibacterial components it makes the best cleanser.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle of water and spritz any areas that attract mold – such as in bathrooms and poorly insulated areas of your house.
You can also mix two cups of hot water with a half cup white vinegar, and then add 10 drops of tea tree oil. This works as an effective and mild-smelling cleaner that works just as good at fighting germs as a store-bought cleanser.
Tea Tree oil’s anti-fungal properties can help fight fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. And its anti-inflammatory properties can keep swelling and redness at a minimum.
Add tea tree oil to the carrier oil of your choice. You should apply this to the affected area twice a day to ease the discomfort from the fungus. It can take a while to see results, so keep with it for at least a month.
Scalp Care & Hair Loss
As we’ve seen through the past few articles, there are many essential oil solutions to a problematic scalp or hair loss, and tea tree oil is another great option. Tea tree oil removes harmful bacteria from the scalp, leaving a healthy base for strong vibrant hair and no flakes. Tea tree oil will also encourage new hair growth.
You can purchase shampoo and conditioner that contains tea tree oil, or you can add the oil to your shampoo yourself.
*Melaleuca is a potent oil and should be used with caution and care. If you use it properly it can cure or prevent some irritating skin conditions.
Never ingest it and keep it away from children and pets. You should only use tea tree oil topically – and always dilute it with a carrier oil.
It is also helpful to do a spot test to see if your skin has a negative reaction to this powerful oil. Add a little oil to a cotton swab and apply it to a small area of your skin. If your skin becomes irritated, don’t use it.
A good healthy habit to have is a solid healthy skin care routine. Our skin takes a beating all day long, whether we are in an office with recirculated air or outside working in the sun, wind and rain. By caring for it with a daily ritual you will see improvements in not only how your skin looks but in your confidence too.
What makes a good routine? Consistency and a knowledge of what order to complete your routine. Order matters – you will want to complete the steps in succession to get the most out of each step.
It can take up to 6 weeks to notice a difference from a skin care routine. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice an improvement right away, you will.
Remember, anytime you start a new skin care product, give it about a week for your skin to adjust to it.
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.
I was a little reluctant to start making soap. It seemed a little complicated, time consuming and expensive. I wasn't ready to take on that responsibility. However, as the markets went on this summer, several customers asked if I made soap. Wanting to please my customers I started to rethink this whole soap thing. So the research began and guess what? It didn't seem as bad as I had originally thought. After much research I decided to make soap and use the cold process soap method.
What is Cold Process Soap?
Cold process soap is combining fats/oils(i.e. Palm, Coconut, Olive) with an alkali(Lye or Sodium Hydroxide) to create soap. The process is called saponification. I vaguely remember this from my organic chemistry class in college. I was preoccupied with other things at the time:)
Back to the soap. I gathered the fats, essential oils, botanicals I was going to use and finalized my recipe. I decided on Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, sustainable Palm Oil and Shea Butter as my fat base. As you have seen from my Facebook and Instagram posts, the soap making has begun and guess what...I love it!!!
I now have five batches of soap sitting on my shelf curing in three options: Cedar Coal, Lavender Eucalyptus and Chamomile Tea. In order for you, the customer to have a hard bar of soap that will sudsy and last longer than two washes, it needs to cure at least 4-6 weeks.
As I sit here writing this blog, all I can think about is my next batch of soap. I think it has actually become a little addicting. I dream about new creations constantly and I can't wait to get back to my workshop.
I want to know what you think.
What do you like about handmade soap? What type of fragrances to you like in your soap?
Please leave comments I am always open for suggestions:)