DIY Reed Diffuser: All Natural and Remarkably Simple Way To Scent Your Home

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This was so easy to do, I can’t wait to start giving them as gifts. I even thought I should take them to a farmers market and sell them since they are affordable and easy, but smell divine. Basically, take a carrier oil, a little alcohol, 25 drops of essential oil (lemongrass, lavender and lemon or ylang ylang are great,) reeds, a beautiful container and voila, you have a great smelling room. I just flip the reeds once a day to keep our bathroom smelling wonderful. The recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger containers.

Gather
4 oz carrier oil- safflower, grape seed or almond oil are common choices
1 tsp rubbing alcohol- 95%
Bamboo skewers , pointy ends trimmed or rattan reeds
20-30 drops of essential oil- I used lavender and lemon. Fresh and relaxing.
1 pretty narrow necked container
Funnel -optional but very helpful.

Make
Add oil and alcohol with the funnel to container and mix with a skewer, or shake covered with a fingertip to combine.

Drop in essential oils directly in container and mix again.

Let the reeds or skewers soak up oil for at least an hour, then flip, enabling the maximum amount of scent in the room.

Tip: The bigger the room, the more scent you will want to add to make the smell penetrate.

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2 Ingredient Brightening Lemon Scrub (Katherine Hepburn Beauty Secret)

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According to legend, Katherine Hepburn exfoliated her beautiful clear, milky skin every night with a paste made from lemon juice and sugar with just a few drops of water. Lemons are full of vitamin c, which is a known dark spot corrector and the sugar will only help your skin absorb it better. When I use this method, I make the paste, apply, wash off and then lather on moisturizing vitamin E oil before going to bed. I wake up with soft skin and a lingering fresh scent of lemon.

Gather
1 Freshly cut lemon
1-2 tsp fine sugar

Use
Method 1: Wet face with a very warm wash cloth to open pores. Dip lemon half in sugar and rub it over your face, paying close attention to areas needing exfoliating. Wipe off with a wash cloth and rinse with very warm water. Apply night moisturizer or vitamin e oil.

Method 2: Wet face with a very warm wash cloth to open pores. Pour about a teaspoon of sugar onto a small plate or ramekin. Squeeze lemon half into the sugar mixture with a few drops of water and make a paste. Apply to face, paying close attention to dry patches, or areas needing exfoliation. Wipe off with wash cloth and rinse well with very warm water. Apply night moisturizer or vitamin e oil.

Orange Scented Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

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I usually wash my hair every 3-5 days and somehow it looks fine- if, and only if, I rinse it really well in the shower with water. If I don’t, I’m a bit of a grease ball by midday. Enter dry shampoo. I’ve been interested in it for months, but never felt like spending our hard earned money on it. So I looked and looked for a good recipe and tried a few combinations.

I really like the citrus in this because it smells happy and fresh even when I don’t quite feel that way. I also decided against baking soda because it absorbs odor and I want the essential oil to reach its full potential. Cornstarch is a natural thickening agent that bonds quite well to hair.
As far as dark haired mavens like myself, cocoa is a wonderful color agent. The scent also doesn’t linger. I was dubious about the light brown color because I have very dark brown hair, bordering on black. But I simply sprinkle, comb or brush through and voila, no more grease ball. And I smell slightly citrusy. Not mocha-like. Let me know what you think!

Gather
2 tbsp cocoa powder (omit for light hair)
2 tbsp cornstarch
5-10 drops orange essential oil
Spice jar or small container

Make
Add all ingredients to a small cup or bowl and stir or whisk until blended
Spoon, scoop or funnel into a spice jar or small lidded container and store in the bathroom.

Use
Sprinkle the mixture on your roots or the greasiest parts of your hair and brush or comb through. Start with just a little and work your way up to more to prevent too much product one any one spot. If this occurs, jut keep combing/brushing. It’ll distribute.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub (or Body Polish)

Pumpkin Brown Sugar Scrub

I adore this scrub and want to use it daily. It smells so so very good. Pumpkin has wonderful vitamin A and C content and a soft silky feel. Combine it with brown sugar as a lovely exfoliant and invigorating spices and you have heaven in a scrub. The vitamin e oil is brightening and will penetrate even better since you’ll be sloughing off dead skin cells with the sugar. There is enough oil to leave your skin feeling supple and soft, but not enough to cause a greasy bath tub.

One of my old favorite brands, fresh, makes a wonderful brown sugar body polish, but the $38 price tag, artificial ingredients and fragrance leaves a lot to be desired. This scrub works well in the shower or bath, just be careful to spray a little vinegar mixture or homemade all purpose spray afterwards if there is any residue left over. The scrub should last at least two weeks in the fridge.

One last note, if you choose to use coconut oil, it will change the scent profile a little, but I happen to like the scent. Jojoba has little to no scent.

Pumpkin Spice Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Gather
1 c organic brown sugar
1/2 c organic white sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp puréed organic pumpkin
1-2 tbsp coconut, jojoba or almond oil
1/2 tsp vitamin e oil

Variations: If you don’t have pumpkin handy or want a simpler scrub that doesn’t require refrigeration, omit it and add a tsp more oil at a time until you reach a desired consistency.

Make
Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add more brown or white sugar a tbsp at a time if the mix feels too wet to apply.
Scoop the scrub into a lidded container. A small mason jar is always a good option.

Use
Scoop a small amount into hands, then rub in a circular motion over body, giving special attention to rough patches.

Vitamin E Oil: My Favorite One Ingredient Moisturizer

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I tried the oil cleansing method for a week or so and just couldn’t get over the feeling that I was just wiping away the beneficial oil from my skin with the wash cloth. I also didn’t want to leave it all on my face so I was left with an inconsistent amount of oil every time. That’s just me though. People love and swear by it and I will someday soon post a great recipe if you are interested in giving it a try. Also, even if you use the OCM, adding vitamin e oil to your mix can only boost its benefits.
So I went back to a gentle cleanser but with a new night and sometimes daytime moisturizer, vitamin e oil. I had it around for stretch marks and missed the soft skin from the oil cleansing method so I dabbed a little on my dry patched cheeks and forehead and went to sleep. Lo and behold, a week later my dry patches had all but gone away. Anytime I forget to use it, my skin feels off and doesn’t look as bright. And it costs anywhere from $3-$12 depending on the amount of vitamin e in the carrier oil.
HuffPo published a great article about the warnings of using any cream labeled with vitamin e and advice on the best ways to use it. It’s a pretty amazing oil. It blocks free radicals, brightens your skin, it’s an anti-oxidant and it’s anti-inflammatory. I’ve quoted a large part of it here:

Apply it at night. “The oil can be thick and greasy, so it’s best used before bedtime, possibly in place of a night cream or moisturizer,” says Dr. Broumand.

Combine it with vitamin C. “It has been shown that when combining vitamin E with vitamin C, it can act as a natural form of sun protection,” explains Dr. Broumand. “Vitamin E oil works to block free radicals from the body, which play a large part in the aging process. If we can fight off free radicals, then we can reduce wrinkles and keep the skin youthful-looking.”

Vargas adds, “It has basic antioxidant properties that everyone needs. It is unavoidable that we are all suffering from environmental stress. [Vitamin E oil] protects the skin against cell mutation in the sun and pollution. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, so it calms and hydrates sensitive skin.”

Swap it in place of skin-brightening creams. “Free radicals can also prevent the healing of scars, so applying vitamin E oil will help to repair and improve the appearance of the damaged tissue,” says Dr. Broumand.

Use it to target excessive dryness. “There have been some studies to show that vitamin E oil may increase circulation to the scalp,” says Dr. Broumand. “This temporarily increased blood flow to the area could help to enhance the health and strength of the hair follicles. Vitamin E oil can also work to hydrate and moisturize dry, brittle hair.”

Vargas also recommends massaging vitamin E oil on your cuticles and lips to prevent and soothe chapped skin.

Crunchy Betty also has a great post that breaks down why vitamin e is so darn good for you.

If you are ready to take the plunge check out mountain rose (74,000 UI) for good quality oils. It’s also available in nearly every drugstore and natural food store.

Photo credit the true care.

Strawberry Lemonade Brightening Face Scrub (All Natural DIY)

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This is a really fun scrub to make and use. If you happen to get some on the side of the container and happen to taste a little, that just adds to the fun. The strawberries are packed full of vitamin C for glowing skin and the lemon juice has vitamin C and skin brightening qualities. The almond oil and vitamin e oil add moisture and contribute to minimizing fine lines. Delicious and nutritious.
I just used mine this morning in the shower, it’s cool and refreshing and gives my skin good moisture to start the day. Of course, it’s also good in the evening to take off makeup and toxins that have built up on your skin. Your choice!
The scrub lasts about two weeks in the fridge. (Give it a good sniff after a week before using) Use a few nights or mornings a week for two weeks, then discard any remaining scrub.

Gather
1/2 c fine sugar, preferably organic
1 tbsp almond oil
1/4 tsp vitamin e oil or a few capsules
2 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
2 strawberries
Small food processor or muddler

Make
Blend strawberry and lemon juice in a mini food prep food processor or with a muddler.
Combine strawberry mixture and oils in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar. Add more sugar if needed to make a grainy textured scrub.
Place the mixture in a small jar, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Use
Rinse face with very warm water to open pores then spread on mixture circling your rough area with your fingertips.
Gently wipe off scrub with a wash cloth and rinse face with water.

Soothing Lavender Vanilla Oatmeal Bath Salts

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There is almost nothing I like more than a long soak in the tub, especially while growing a tiny human. Epsom salts have wonderful properties for achy bones by themselves, but add in some sea salt, baking soda vanilla and lavender and you are in for a treat. Oatmeal has great anti-inflammatory properties and is wonderful for soothing dry skin. This recipe makes more base than needed so you can whip up another batch of bath salts at a later date more easily. The base can be used for any bath soak or salt you’d like to make. Peppermint and eucalyptus are invigorating and chamomile is calming. A few flowers and oatmeal grains will stay behind in the tub unless you use a little sachet bag (available at craft stores) or large loose leaf tea bags to act like a filter. Alternatively, give the tub a good rinse after bathing.

Yield: Makes 5 cups of base, 2 cups of lavender salts.

What You Need:
Base:
2 cups Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
1 cup pulverized oats (coffee grinder or blender)

Oils and Flowers:
5 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops vanilla essential oil
1/4 cup lavender flowers

Equipment:
Jar
Scoop (optional)
Sachet bag/bulk tea bag

Directions:
Whisk all base ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Scoop 2 cups of base into a sandwich bag or separate bowl, and add the lavender flowers. Seal and store the remaining base in a cool dark place.

Add 5 large drops of lavender to bag or bowl and immediately seal/shake or mix well. Add 3 drops of vanilla and seal/shake or mix well. Smell and add 1-2 more drops of oil if you want a stronger smell in the bath.

Scoop the mix into a decorative container and give it as a gift with the little sachet bag and usage instructions tied onto the container or use yourself!

To Use:
With Sachet:
Scoop salts into a sachet bag, and run under running water and soak for 20 minutes. Discard flowers from sachet, rinse and let air dry. If using a tea bag, simply discard it after use.

Without: Pour 1/4-1/2 cup of bath salts into running water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the tub and rinse remaining lavender flowers and oatmeal grains.