Switch to Organic Cotton Tampons-Now!

 

Did you know the average woman will use over 11,000 tampons in her lifetime?  That is 11,000 plus exposures to whatever chemicals or toxins are in the tampon material.  That is not counting sanitary napkins or liners.

A few months ago I sent out a round of Industry Action Letters to make sure companies knew I had switched to safer, chemical free alternatives.  I received a letter  back refuting my points about rayon blend tampons.:

The cotton and rayon purification process is a chlorine-free process Even non-chlorine bleaching methods are done with chemicals
Our tampons are made of materials that have been safely used in feminine care products for many years  This companies current pads contain plastics, rayons, and petrochemical additives for absorption

Every year, we find out companies put chemicals in products formerly overlooked as “safe” and then later when independent research finds them unsafe, they are recalled.  For example, when a popular baby shampoo was found to have preservatives in them that turned into formaldehyde over time.

“Formaldehyde, which last year was identified by government scientists as a carcinogen, is released over time by common preservatives like quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin, which do appear on labels. And 1,4 dioxane, which has been linked to cancer in animal studies, is created during a process commonly used to make other ingredients gentler on the skin.” [9]

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Tampons are considered Class II medical devices and are not required to disclose their ingredients. This doesn’t make any sense; these products are used by women monthly- shouldn’t the list of what they are composed of be and openly stated on the packaging?

 

 

Why not just use organic cotton to make tampons and be done with it? Why are companies so averse to using organic cotton? The bottom line: money and profits.


Rayon is Used in Most Mainstream Tampons

Rayon started being used in tampons due to it’s cheap production costs, but the way rayon is produced involves chemicals- Yes Chemicals!

Rayon is:

“Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. It is made from purified cellulose, primarily from wood pulp, which is chemically converted into a soluble compound. It is then dissolved and forced through a spinneret to produce filaments which are chemically solidified, resulting in synthetic fibers…” [10]

Organic cotton is costlier and the company’s products cost more, which in a competitive environment, many will choose cost over safety (unfortunately).

I gladly will pay more for organic cotton tampons ; this is my feminine health after all.



Regular Cotton Vs. Organic Cotton

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Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop. Other environmental consequences of the elevated use of chemicals in the non-organic cotton growing methods consist of:

  • High levels of agrochemicals are used in the production of non-organic, conventional cotton.

 

  • Cotton production uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop and accounts in total for 10-16% of the world’s pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the air and surface waters.
  • Residual chemicals may irritate consumers’ skin.
  • Decreased biodiversity and shifting equilibrium of ecosystems due to the use of pesticides.       [1]

Organic Cotton is different primarily as it’s not treated with chemicals.

“Farmers have been growing cotton without harmful chemicals for years. Their yield is high, and the quality of the cotton they grow is equal to or better than conventionally grown cotton. Their methods support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, improve the quality of soil and often use less water. Organic farming is more time consuming, requires more knowledge and skill, and, for now, costs more. But it’s worth it.” [8]

This graphic from Organicfacts.net explains  why organic cotton is so much better: Production does not involve chemicals, better quality, reduces potential for pollution by pesticides, natural fiber, and environmentally friendly farming practices.

organiccottoninfo


 What Else is in a Tampon or Sanitary Napkin?

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Not only the chemicals are a factor, but the synthetic plastic applicators take longer to biodegrade than cardboard applicators. In fact, even cardboard applicators can be treated with chemicals or a “plastic finish” to give them a smoother feel, so we have to be careful there also.

Also, artificial fragrances should not be used in a woman’s vagina. The lining of the internal vagina wall is highly permeable, even more so than our skin.  Aside from pesticides, traces of dioxin, and GMOs, if you’re using scented tampons, be aware that such products may contain any of the nearly 3,000 fragrance chemicals in use. [5]

Tampons are made of cotton, rayon, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, and fiber finishes. Aside from the cotton and fiber finishes, these materials are not bio-degradable. Organic cotton tampons are biodegradable, but must be composted to ensure they break down in a reasonable amount of time. [6]

The letter also stated that “independent” research study showed no pesticides. It mentioned that research by a certain government agency deems their product safe. These agencies need to overhaul the  regulations in our cosmetic industry. So many products on the market simply are not safe.

Yes, most cosmetics in this country are on the market as “safe” and our government agencies allow it. For now… read the end of this article for how that may change!


Our regulators allow over 3,000 toxic chemicals to be used in the US makeup industry. Did you know the EU bans more than 1,300 chemicals and the US only bans 8 and restricts 3? WOW.

Even “non-chlorine” bleaching methods, in my opinion, are unsafe.

“A common method used in bleaching rayon, elemental chlorine-free bleaching, can still pose a dioxin risk because of the use of chlorine dioxide (the bleaching agent). In theory, these elemental chlorine-free processes can generate dioxins at very low levels, even though the process is considered “dioxin free.”  

According to the EPA, dioxin exposure causes cancer in lab animals and poses a high risk for humans as well. The agency also finds it to be a risk for damaged immune systems, reduced fertility, an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, and endometriosis.”  [7]

I’m not trying to slander this company and it was actually very nice that someone  took the time to respond to my letter. Most of their big competitors use the same ingredients in their products, but I would like to see them take more responsibility for what is in their products and give consumers   what they want- safer alternatives.

A trace chemical is still a chemical and in a delicate area it’s more dangerous with repeat exposure.

The average woman ends up with up to 5 lbs. of chemicals in her body per year. Per year! [2] Of course, this includes our makeups, soaps, lotions, tampons, etc…

Many of today’s feminine hygiene products are made primarily from rayon, viscose, and cellulose wood fluff pulp… not cotton — let alone organic cotton. Rayon and viscose present a potential danger in part because of their highly absorbent fibers. [5]


Safe Alternatives- Organic Cotton Tampons and Cups

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I  love Natracare organic cotton tampons and sanitary products (their pads are so soft). They are a company I trust.  Mercola is also producing organic cotton products and so does Seventh Generation brand and Honest Company.

Of course, there are even greener alternatives, like silicon reusable menstrual cups. I did try a cup and I simply could not get enough privacy (a 4 year old that is always following me into the bathroom) to master the skill of it.

I do joke around with my husband (we are big The Walking Dead fans) if the zombie apocalypse happens and we have to go survive in the wild- I’m grabbing that Diva cup!

As consumers, we must be wary of what we put in or on our bodies. I’ll be teaching my daughter to use safer products. Hopefully by then some of these companies will be forced to change their product formulations.

I’ll stick with the progressive companies that did what is right from the start.


Change on the Horizon

The Personal Care Product Safety Act, S-1014, is a bipartisan bill that is backed by the Environment Working Group: www.ewg.org.   Although certain companies I don’t trust (Ahem, companies who previously added formaldehyde releasers in baby care products) are also supporters, this is still a pivotal step in regulating the US Cosmetic industry.

The FDA must review the safety of at least five cosmetic ingredients each year, and it may establish conditions for safe use of an ingredient, including a limit on the amount of the ingredient or a requirement for a warning label. A cosmetic cannot be sold if it contains an ingredient that is not safe, not safe under the recommended conditions of use, or not safe in the amount present in the cosmetic. [3]

There is an excellent chart that shows you a breakdown of current law vs. proposed laws under this act.

Click here to view it from CosmeticsandtheLaw.com

The first 5 chemicals up for review in 2016 would be the following:

  1. Diazolidinyl urea (a formaldehyde used as a preservative in a wide range of products including deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and lotion)
  2. Lead acetate (used as a color additive in hair dyes)
  3. Methylene glycol/formaldehyde, which is used in hair treatments
  4. Propyl paraben, which is used as a preservative in a wide range of products including shampoo, conditioner and lotion
  5. Quaternium-15, which is used as a preservative in a wide range of products including shampoo, shaving cream, skin creams and cleansers [4]

Although we have a long way to go, consumers like you and a strong social media activism can help propagate the message that we will not use toxic products.


What Can I Do?

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You can write an Activism Letter or sign online petitions. Support the labeling of personal hygiene products. Switch brands NOW!

If organic cotton tampon sales went up significantly I guaranteed big companies would consider a shift from rayon blends or offer an organic line as an option.

I have to drive to a different town to get my organic products, convenience would be nice, or even if my local grocer would start carrying these smaller company brands.

The potential for them to affect our health and wellness outweighs extra costs or the extra measures we have to take to buy these safe alternatives. I may drive to a different town to buy Natracare products, but they are available online.  Check out the Genbumom Amazon link for safe alternatives.

 Will you be making a switch to organic cotton feminine hygiene products?


Sources:

  1. Organic Cotton from Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_cotton
  2. Stuff You Should Know Podcast: “How Makeup Works” Broadcasted March 17, 2016.   www.howstuffworks.com
  3. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1014
  4. April 21, 2015.  Cosmetics and the Law website:  www.cosmeticsandthelaw.com
  5. Dr. Mercola. May 13, 2015.  Conventional Tampons are toxic and not sustainable.  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/13/tampons.aspx
  6. Tampon from Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampon
  7. Donsky, Andrea. Rayon: What you need to know about this fiber and your health.  Accessed May 4, 2016 www.naturallysavvy.com
  8. Patagonia Clothing website. Accessed April 25, 2016.  http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2077
  9. Johnson, Katie. August 5, 2012.  Johnson and Johnson to remove Formaldehyde from Their Products.  www.nytimes.com
  10. Rayon from Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon

The Minimalist Wardrobe

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Guilt was getting the best of me. Guilt about my clothing and spending choices in the past. Sure, mom’s often have to “grab and buy” sometimes (and return later) but we need to start buying for practicality, sourcing, and taking the time to find pieces that bring us joy.

I listened to a How Stuff Works podcast recently that discussed whether material objects or experiences bring us more long-term joy. Which do you think proved more effective at long-term happiness?

We are a quick fix society- buying fast food in the same amount of time it would have taken to go home and make a sandwich or salad- and it’s killing us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If that sounds dramatic to you, I dare you to examine your habits more.

I had to do some major soul searching over the past year in regards to purchasing and what truly satisfies the lifestyle I wish my family to lead. We are not wearing burlap sacks either; I like a pretty top just as most women do! It’s healthy to feel beautiful, cute, or sexy in your clothing.

The temporary “shopping fix” is not healthy and as women it is important we don’t use shopping as a coping tool for a bad mood or a stressful day. Perhaps we should be doing something more constructive with our bad moods (a long jog or walk), journal, or scrapbook, anything except consuming for sport. It’s when we overspend and justify that we are “treating ourselves” and later the guilt- it’s not worth it ladies!

img_6610I don’t want to be an over consumer and use cleaning my closet as any excuse to start a brand new wardrobe.  I don’t want to contribute to the global catastrophes like Rana Plaza’s building collapse or turn a blind eye to manufacturers that outsource their labor and do not pair fair wages or manufacture in unsafe working conditions.

I will not be 100% fair trade, organic, or entirely made in the USA by the end of 2016 but I’m working on it for my own wardrobe anyway. It’s a start. I’ve found a few Etzy shops I wish to buy from for casual wear: Grow More, Nicandthenewfie, and Uzura. For now, I have all that I NEED and that makes me very satisfied and thankful. Cleaning my closet helped me realize this. My husband thought it appeared sparse, I felt… cleansed.

I want to put my dollars towards companies that source for clothing and materials where laborers are fairly treated and paid. Rana Plaza collapsed due to building structure failure and overcrowding; over 1,100 people lost their lives and another 2,500 pulled from the wreckage. [1] The footage is disturbing.

When you hear accounts that workers in the building had brought up concerns about safety prior to the collapse, it’s even more disturbing. Our culture of cheaper is better needs reinvented. We need to re-invest in quality.

You will pay more for quality.  I feel the same way about organic food.  I’m ecstatic to contribute more to causes and fair trade initiatives with my purchasing dollars.

How Do I Create My Minimalist Closet?

Remove all items from your closet. Sort into piles by category (casual tops, work blouse, work pants, jeans, dresses) on your bed. Start pulling items from each pile and ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Does this item bring me joy?
  2. Have I worn it in the past year? (more than once)
  3. Does it fit me properly?
  4. Is it too worn to wear to work? If not wearing to work will it be worn on the weekend?

Promptly toss into the donate pile and do not revisit.  I kept two items I will probably never wear again but due to sentimental value I kept them. However, I threw away plenty that did hold some nostalgia.

Below is a graphic to help you with your Minimalist Closet Makeover! Obviously, I have certain tastes and colors I prefer (mauve, blue, black, grey, and deep burgundy colors, floral and polka dot prints, classic cut dresses and silky blouses). You could replace floral prints with geometric prints or the plaid pants with striped pants.

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You may choose to start putting your money towards products that will benefit your health and lifestyle. Shirts made from organic cotton or bamboo and shipped in recycled shipping boxes are a good start.

A few Amazon links are below to get you started online, or find a locally owned boutique or fair trade store like Global Gifts to visit. You may just find your new favorite necklace, shirt, or purse!

Shop Amazon Fashion – Top Women’s Fitness Bands

Eco cotton comfort casual tee, by Fishers Finery

Fishers Finery Ecofabric Women’s V-neck Tee – Comfort Fit – Light Heather Gray, L

Save the Bees Shirt, by Green Outfitters

100% Certified Organic Cotton and eco-friendly dyes. Free of pesticides and toxins, produced without the use of harsh chemical bleaches or dyes, and are allergy free.. Proudly made in the USA.

Save the Bees T-Shirts: One Honey Bee. Mens 100% Organic Cotton (X-Large)

 


Sources:

April 23, 2014.  Kennedy, Bruce. The Bangladesh Factory Collapse one year later.  www.cbsnews.com

 

Natural Deodorant & Antiperspirant {That Works}

This has been a 6 month quest to find an all natural deodorant recipe that works for both me and my husband.  We dealt with the itchy armpit issue  (too much baking soda), one that turned out dark grey (I wear way too many delicates to stain my nice work clothing), and one that literally turned my armpits light brown. It took about 3 armpit detoxes to get the staining out.  I’m too girly for all of this fuss.

I was relieved to finally find a combo that works!

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4 Ingredient Deodorant & Antiperspirant

  • 1/2 cup melted organic coconut oil (solid state)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil and 10 drops Clary Sage essential oil

To me, the Tea Tree is key. It keeps smell at bay all day long.  Make sure you use therapeutic grade Tea Tree oil.  I prefer  Young Living. Do NOT use a cheap store bought fragrance oil! It may cause irritation and it won’t be effective for banishing the bacteria that leads to smells.

The Clary Sage pairs well with the Tea Tree and creates almost a baby powder like scent.  The Tea Tree would also pair well with Lavender.

Spruce, Vetiver, or Cedarwood would all work for a manlier scent.

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The arrowroot powder makes this glide on smoothly and absorbs wetness. (In a pinch it makes a great dry shampoo too). The baking soda eliminates odor, but I use it sparingly to avoid irritation.

Coconut oil also contains healing and antimicrobial/anti-fungal properties.

Simple to make: Heat coconut oil (I start with solid coconut oil) in microwave in a glass container for 20 second intervals until melted. Quickly stir in arrowroot and baking soda. You can add more arrowroot a tsp. at a time as desired to get the consistency you want.  Add 10 drops each of both essential oils.

Pour or scoop into a plastic deodorant tube, a tin, or a glass jar. I refrigerate mine for a half hour until it solidifies again and then remove and store in the bathroom. I personally don’t mind applying this with my fingers and I carry a tin with me for a touch up halfway through work.  My husband prefers the stick application.

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Why make your own deodorant?

First of all, non-toxic deodorants are expensive. There are some great ones out there, but the cost is significantly higher  for nontoxic deodorant/antiperspirant combos, especially if you have to pay for shipping. I found Schmidt’s deodorant to be effective but the consistency (to me) was not smooth enough. I have heard Ava Anderson Non toxic has this amazing chocolate mint scented nontoxic deodorant that works well.

I personally like to save money and this only takes me about 5 minutes to make and we have enough to last 2 weeks.

I have a friend that refers to some natural deodorant (only deodorants) as “slimey” and I agree. I also don’t like those version either. In a pinch, yes, but for everyday use not so much.


Why natural deodorants? What is wrong with the mainstream brands?

You are playing Russian Roulette with fragrance. The FDA does not require companies to disclose how the ‘fragrance’ is derived, namely the fragrance could actually be a cocktail of chemicals to mimic a natural smell.  I like to source for scholarly resources and found a relatively easy to understand one here about chemicals in our products.

“Many of these products may be sources of chemicals that have a diverse spectrum of health effects, including endocrine disruption and associations with asthma. Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are chemicals that can alter hormonal signaling and have potential effects on developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer (Colborn et al. 1993). ” [1]

From someone that has battled a grapefruit sized ovarian tumor and removal, the inflammatory disease of endometriosis, and precancerous cell removal I will go to persistent means to avoid hormonal disruption in my products.

“Recent research from EWG and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. Our advice? Buy fragrance free wherever possible.”    … “Everyone should avoid products with “fragrance” indicating a chemical mixture that may contain phthalates.” [2]

Also, after using natural deodorants I found a stick of old deodorant in my desk at work one day. I literally had respiratory side effects when I opened it to sniff it on a whim. What ingredients did this mainstream  deodorant list?

  • BHT 
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results
One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses [2]
  • Cyclopentasiloxane  HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation; Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife,  One or more animal studies show tumor formation at moderate doses, One or more animal studies show endocrine disruption at moderate doses

There were more scary chemicals listed but I’m not wasting my time talking about this product anymore!

I’ve heard many debates about aluminum- so many that I don’t wish to address it at this time, but if car parts can be made from it, I’m out. I don’t want that on my skin; hence, in my bloodstream and in my body organs.


What if I buy Fragrance Free?

That’s great! However, your formulation probably also contains parabens, phlalates, aluminum, dimethicone, and the list goes on. These are chemical agents added to our consumer products for a “smooth” finish and so they “glide” on well or create a barrier on our skin to block odor.  They also block sweat which is trapping in the harmful chemicals.

Go to this site from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database and look up your product ingredients.  Please, especially if your teenagers are using these products, look up these ingredients. Their bodies are still developing-hormone and endocrine disruption is harmful to their reproductive future as well as their metabolism.

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Recommended Product Links:

5 Empty Deodorant Containers White 2.5oz- with “I Made It At Home for You” By Oils4Health  (5 count)

6 ct. Deodorant Twist-up Empty Containers (Natural) – for lotion bar, heel balm etc. (2 oz.)” 6 ct. Deodorant Twist-up Empty Containers (Natural) (2 oz.)a>


Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch Flour, 16 oz>Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch Flour, 16 oz

You can also find arrowroot powder at most major grocery stores. I found mine at Meijer. I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand featured above.

I order metal tins via Bulk Apothecary.


Sources:

  1. Robin E. Dodson,1 Marcia Nishioka,2 Laurel J. Standley,1,3 Laura J. Perovich,1 Julia Green Brody,1 and Ruthann A. Rudel1,  Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma Associated Chemicals in our Consumer Products.  July 2012.  Environmental Health Perspectives
  2. Top Tips for Safer Products. www.Ewg.org

Simple Homemade Face Powder

This is my go-to weekend face powder. I like to let my skin breathe on the weekends and for running errands I only need light coverage. It helps me to conserve my other face powder for during the work week when I need more coverage (I use Ava Anderson Nontoxic).

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The Bentonite Clay draws out impurities, metals, and toxins from your pores. It’s gentle enough to use directly on your skin. My husband and I both use the clay weekly (mixed equally with apple cider vinegar and a few drops essential oil, usually Tea Tree or Lavender) as a facial mask.

“Thanks to the clay’s special ability to act as an antibiotic treatment when applied topically to the skin, the clay can help to calm skin infections” [2]

The Arrowroot powder absorbs oil and the white coloring will counteract redness. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties: “Due to its tremendous circulation-increasing qualities, ginger is thought to improve the complexion.” [3]

Cinnamon boosts blood flow to your skin for a healthy glow (avoid eye areas). [1]

I’m not a big fan of the smell of ginger but I only smell the cinnamon in this powder.  You can add a dash of nutmeg for some shimmer. I’ve tried this recipe with cocoa powder and I found it made me develop small break outs, so I avoid it now. I have read other recipes online that use cocoa powder and no mention of breakouts. So it must work for some women.

The Bentonite Clay can be a little drying, so make sure you moisturize well first. I use my hemp oil serum first and let it absorb into my skin for 10 minutes. I then apply this powder with a high quality brush.

Since this is a facial product, I would definitely go organic on your spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP Bentonite Calcium Clay (grey colored)
  • 1 TBSP Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg (optional) or Cocoa Powder (optional)

Mix well (non metal spoon) and break up any clumps thoroughly. Store in a dry place in a clean glass container. (Bentonite clay should not be kept in metal containers).

Experiment until you find a coloring that works for you, but this is a great base recipe!

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Easy Makeup Brush Cleaner:

Mix 1 cup warm water with 1 drop Lemon essential oil plus 1-2 drops Tea Tree essential oil, and 1 tiny drop unscented Castile soap. Soak for 5 minutes and  rinse well. Allow to air dry overnight. If your brush bristles needs extra moisture, nix the lemon and replace with 1 drop of lavender essential oil.

To order high quality therapeutic grade essential oils, click here.  I am an Independent Distributor for Young Living. There are other high quality therapeutic oils available for purchase, but I use Young Living for their quality Seed to Seal promise.

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Sources:

  1. Monahan,  Erin. “Benefits of Ground Cinnamon.” Livestrong.com
  2. DrAxe. “10 Proven Bentonite Clay Benefits and Uses.” Draxe.com
  3. HerbalWisdom.com “Ginger Root Benefits.” www.herbalwisdom.com

Lip balm and lip softening sugar scrub recipes

Lip Balm4The recipes below can be made with items you already have in your pantry.

Needless to say you want to source for ingredients that are pure and organic since these items go on and absorb into  your skin. I typically order my herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs due to their organic and non -GMO practices.

The beet root powder is the added bonus ingredient. I have not personally found beet root powder (Beta vulgaris) to be very effective as a lip stain but it makes the balm appear prettier and it does contain vitamins and minerals. I still enjoy using it, even if it doesn’t make this balm into a ‘lipstick’ per say. It makes for a nice item in gift basket.

Beet root powder contains the following:

‘Betaine (the same as the nutritional supplement trimethylglycine, not the same as betaine hydrochloride), and also alanine, alantoin, arginine, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber (about 10% by weight), GABA, glycine, histidine, magnesium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), phosphorous, potassium, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), tryptophan, tyrosine, vitamin C, zinc…’ [1]

Beet root powder is a perfect ingredient to keep around the house! You can use it to color cupcake or cake icing (to avoid using dyes or artificial food coloring) or add to a smoothie or yogurt for a nutritional boost. 1 tsp of powder contains the nutrition of 1 beet.

My daughter had an allergic reaction on her first birthday to the red coloring in her ‘smash’ cake, so we take measures now to avoid dyes. If you want to learn more about the dangers of artificial coloring and dyes in our foods click here for a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Beet juice contains nitrates which help improve blood flow and may have benefits in lowering blood pressure.  It also contains ‘high levels of iron that binds oxygen to red blood cells, and supplies the body with oxygen.’  Basically, this oxygenating of our cells helps our bodies perform better for a workout. It is also beneficial in treating anemia. [2]

Enough about beets and dyes…how about these recipes Genbumom?


Simple Sugar Scrub for soft lips

 Lip Softening Sugar Scrub

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1-2 tsp organic cane sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp beet root powder
  • 2-3 drops Orange or Lemon essential oils  (optional)

This recipe is so easy and does not require any heating. Just mixing!

Simply mix ingredients together and add as much sugar as desired for texture.  Spoon into a metal tin or a reused container (smaller sized spice bottles work well). After use follow up with the lip balm recipe from above. I also really enjoy using this Calendula Salve on my lips before bedtime.

The essential oils are optional. However, the citrus oils helps to further exfoliate and add a pleasant and fresh scent. If no essential oils are added this should smell like honey and beet root powder.


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Satiny and Smooth Lip Balm

  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1TBSP pure Shea butter
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp beeswax
  • 1 tsp beet root powder (optional for coloring)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional for scent and anti-inflammatory for chapped lips)
  • 2-3 drops healing essential oils such as Lavender, Rosemary, or Geranium

In a double boiler on medium-high heat, melt until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir often.  After a few minutes of cooling, pour into a metal lip balm tins or reuse an empty lip balm container. Try to source for an item around your house to reuse.

When giving in gift baskets, I like to purchase the Metal Tins. This recipe will make 3 tins of balm. If you want the lighter colored balm in the picture above (pinkish coloring); add the cinnamon and beet root powder. If not, your balm will be the color of your beeswax or Shea butter (a creamy, subtle yellow).

Note: I make a double boiler by filling a pan with 2 inches of water and a small, glass Pyrex-style dish.

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A few simple ingredients …


A side note about the Beet Root Powder. I originally ordered it to make a DIY blush.  All 4 attempts at powder blush and creme blush failed {sad face}. However, I got a few pretty pictures and wanted to share one.  I also wanted to reiterate that I will never share a recipe that does not work.  Mamas do not have time for all of that!

If you have had any success with using beet root powder as a blush- more power to you and I would love to try your recipe. It settled in my pores and made my face look like I had red strawberry seeds on my cheeks and it did not leave any lasting color. I grinded it into a fine powder also. Heating it into a crème or salve didn’t work either.

Beet root blush fail

Pretty picture but the blush did not work…next time I will perfect the recipe first.


Sources:

  1. Mountain Rose Herbs. Beet Root Powder. www.mountainroseherbs.com
  2. Carson, Tara. ‘Beet Juice Health Benefits.’ www.livestrong.com

This information has not been evaluated by the FDA.  As always, check with your doctor if you are under treatment for any disease or disorder, are pregnant, or nursing.This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Links below to recommended products:

Calendula flower and Lavender {perfume balm and salve}

imageWhat is Calendula flower? It’s a neighbor of your common garden marigold but you want to use Calendula flower for these recipes. I use it for it’s healing and soothing properties and light honey-fresh scent.

‘This lovely marigold like flower (although called pot marigold, it is not a true marigold) is considered a vulnerary agent, a substance that promotes healing. Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and weak antimicrobial activity.’ [1]

You can purchase Calendula flower online from bulk herb stores (use organic herbs) or local specialty shops.

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To make a Calendula flower infusion oil:

Soak 1 cup dried calendula flower in 2 cups olive oil or coconut oil to infuse calendula properties into the oil for at least 48 hours or up to 5 days. I prefer coconut oil. Strain well so only oil remains. You can use the remaining flowers for a second, lighter batch of infusion oil.

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Calendula flower in mason jar {infused- oil}

Calendula has a flowery honey-like smell. It inspired me to add some honey directly  into the salve. The honey’s antibacterial properties will add some preservative and healing power. The Vitamin E oil also serves as natural preservative.


Calendula, Honey, and Lavender Salve

  • 4 oz strained calendula-infused coconut oil
  • 1 oz organic beeswax
  •  2 TBSP raw Shea butter
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1-2 TBSPs organic honey
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil

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Repurposed blush container

Calendula and Lavender Scented Perfume-Balm

This is a thicker perfume-balm. Perfect for on the go (won’t melt) in your purse. I would not leave it in your car on a summer day and expect it not to soften, but for the most part this is a harder balm.

  • 2 oz strained calendula-infused oil
  • 2 oz organic beeswax
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil

Directions for making Salve or Balm:

In a double burner on medium (to medium-high) heat all ingredients slowly (except lavender essential oil and vitamin E oil), stirring often. Melt until all beeswax pellets are dissolved and it’s a complete liquid.  Allow to cool for 2-3 few minutes, then add 10 drops lavender essential oil and vitamin E oil and stir.

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You can make a double boiler from a 2-3 inch deep pan, a washcloth, plenty of water and a small glass dish.  Just make sure you use  PLENTY of water since the towel is in the pan! Do NOT leave this unattended.

Pour into glass baby food jars, reuse an old tin or blush container or purchase lip balm pots from an online bulk store. I have always had good experiences ordering form Bulk Apothecary.

Store in fridge for up to 3 months or fresh for up to 2 months.  Apply with clean hands to avoid contaminating.

The salve is great for healing minor cuts and burns, as a lip balm, hand and cuticle cream, foot cream, baby diaper rash cream, or light hair pomade. Tie with burlap or twine string, label and give as gifts.

The perfume balm contains more lavender for a stronger lavender scent. You can add more or less lavender as desired.

Hint to remove labels from baby food jars: Peel off label, spray with a water, vinegar and castile soap mixture. Let soak for 5 minutes, then rinse. Apply a few drops lemon essential oil and rub to remove any sticky residue.

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Salve in reused baby food jar.

I am currently obsessed with the salve! I love it as a cuticle cream and lip balm. The fresh honey scent is perfect for Fall. I have also used it as a diaper cream on my daughter and to soften up dry skin on my son’s back.


Note: Do not use on broken or blistered skin.

As always, check with your doctor before use or if you are on any medications. Calendula flower has moderate interactions with sedative or CNS depression medications according to WebMD. If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid Calendula flower.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, nor are they intended to cure, prevent, or treat any disease.


Sources:

  1. Brett, Jennifer N.D., ‘Calendula Herbal Remedies.’  Accessed September 28, 2015. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/calendula-herbal-remedies.htm