Natural Skin Care: Oil Cleansing Method

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With a successful experiment of “no-poo,”  I figure the next place to rid myself of harmful chemicals is logically my face.  I have been feverishly researching various natural skin care methods, all claiming to work the best.  I am not sure there can be a “best” type of skin care, everyones skin is very very different and needs to be managed differently.

Along my journey, I found recipes for homemade cleansers and sugar scrubs, but one method really seemed to jump out at me- oil cleansing.  At first I was skeptic, how can slathering your face with oil REMOVE the oil that is already there?  Reach back in your memory banks to high school chemistry, there is a basic principle that like dissolves like, so the oil you put on your face should in fact dissolve the oil that is in your pores.

There are pages and pages of information on OCM, oil cleansing method.  Feel free to google and get lost for days, because I sure did.  If you don’t want to waste the time, here is a BASIC breakdown of the method, again, everyones skin is different so you might have to experiment with oils and technique to find what works for you.

1. Choose your oil.  I have combination skin and eczema, so I went with a simple sweet almond oil. This brand happens to also mix in some vitamin E.

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2. With a dry face, squirt a small amount of oil on your finger tips and massage into your skin for a minute or two, the longer the better.

3. Take a super soft washcloth and run it under the hottest water you can stand.

4. Place the cloth on your face and let it steam your skin until it turns cold, run it back under the water and let the other side of the cloth steam your face.

5. Run it back under the water and gently wipe your face free of the oil.

Thats it! Really!  You will not need a moisturizer because the oil both cleanses and moisturizes at the same time. Your skin should NOT feel oily, it should just feel soft and supple.  If it does feel oily, you might have to wipe it off more.  Also, it removes make up while you cleanse, one quick step, saves you time and money.

Here is my face Day 1 of OCM:

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Feels great, very soft and not greasy at all.  Some people report a “greasy period” of 1 or 2 weeks as your skin adjusts to the method.  I will update you on my skin condition and what works for me.

Update: 3 weeks later-

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So it has been almost a month and OCM has worked so great on my skin! I never really went thru a transition and have only had 1 blemish which is actually less then normal.  I have found that my face is a bit dry right after the wash, so I just smooth a tiny tiny amount of coconut oil into my fingers and pat gently on the dry areas and problem solved!  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship hehe

Has anyone tried OCM or is currently using it? Is it working for you?

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DIY Potato Barrel

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The snow has finally melted, but the frost keeps sneaking back up on us at night.  Unable to start putting seed or plants in the ground, we decided to try out a DIY Potato Barrel.  Here is the link to the instructions.

As you can see, our 6 seed Yukon Gold potatoes are currently living in the dinning room, on a dish, in the sun to grow their eyes and start budding.  This weekend we should be able to get them in a container on the deck with the first layer of soil.

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We picked out a nice big round container for our barrel and cut each potato into 3-4 pieces.  Make sure to have at least 1 eye on each piece of potato for the seed to work.  After a few drain holes, the container was ready for 8-12 inches of soil.  We placed the seed pieces in spaced a few inches apart and covered slightly with more soil and watered.

The barrel has been outside for a few weeks and we actually have some nice looking green spouts! Almost time for another layer of soil to build up the root system.

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Update:  The final product!

We got impatient and could not wait any longer to turn out our potato barrel.  The leaves turned yellow and started to die off.  At this point you can wait a week or two and let the potatoes harden up, or harvest now for “new” potatoes with very thin skins.  We chose to turn out now for new potatoes.

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Our barrel was only a foot or two deep so we were not expecting a HUGE harvest but we did get about 8 lbs of very super yummy yukon gold new potatoes.  We boiled them up and ate them with butter and salt.  Every fork full made us feel like farmers!  The next day, I even fried up the leftovers with an onion and made home fries for breakfast.  Growing our own potatoes was fun and rewarding and I highly recommend it to anyone, advance or beginner!

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The towers will not be done for a month or two more, we started those later in the summer.

Has anyone ever grown potatoes in a barrel?  Thinking about giving it a try this year?  Let us know how it progresses!

From Scratch: Concentrated Lemonade Syrup

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Well, its mid-April and its rainy, windy and cold here.  So, I decided to start thinking warm and went ahead and made some homemade lemonade.  I even made a large batch of concentrated lemonade syrup for the hubby to enjoy when he gets home from work, aren’t I just a great wife! hehe

Why make syrup instead of just a pitcher of lemonade?  Well, in our house we have a variety of tastes and preferences, some like a stronger lemonade and some a lighter version.  The syrup allows each person to customize their glass and it also takes up way less space in your fridge.

Here is the basic recipe, feel free to change it depending on your families preferences for sour and sweet:

Concentrated Lemonade Syrup

1 1/2 c sugar (we use Florida Crystals organic minimally processed cane sugar)
2 c water

3-4 lemons, juiced and strained

  • Boil sugar and water in a small sauce pan until sugar is dissolved, remove from heat to cool
  • Add lemon juice to a mason jar, pour cooled sugar water over juice, screw on lid and shake to mix
  • To make a glass of lemonade: add 2-4 tablespoons of syrup to a glass, cover with ice and add water, taste and adjust if needed

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What is your favorite way to enjoy lemonade?