Why I Took a Break From Essential Oils

It has taken me a long time to write this post because I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened and most importantly why and how it happened.

Back in September, I was having health problems related to histamine intolerance.  I occasionally get migraines, but around this time they were coming every few days.  This left me in something like brain fog almost all the time.  My skin started itching too, on my neck and face.  I was using Lavender and Frankincense Essential Oils mixed with coconut oil to try to help the itching, yet my skin began to break out in hives and what looked like my son’s eczema.  I became afraid to eat anything because the histamine intolerance is triggered by a long and random list of foods, read more here.  Finally, my husband suggested I stop using all treatments, including the oils and let my skin calm down.  I listened to him, and slowly my skin irritations cleared.  At this point I was not connecting the irritation to the oils, still blaming the histamine intolerance and assuming it was just suddenly increasing in severity, possibly due to recent weight loss and detoxification.

A few weeks later I put Frankincense on my face again, on my 3rd eye point.  I used to like to do this for connection and clarity.   This time it did not go so well.  My skin was red and itching within an hour of application.  I washed it off with carrier oil and the irritation cleared after a few days.  I didn’t understand why all of a sudden my skin was not tolerating the oils, but decided to wait a few weeks and let my body calm down.

Sometime in late fall, I tried a firming eye gel recipe with aloe, witch hazel and Frankincense Oil.  I put it on my poofy eyes right before I was leaving to drop my son off at school.  Immediately, my sensitive under-eye skin became red and was burning.  Thankfully this time I immediately washed it off with olive oil and the irritation cleared within a few hours.  That was a close one!

So I have discovered that I can no longer use essential oils, even the purest, on my face or neck.  I do not understand why.  In the past I applied them neat to my skin frequently and experienced no issues.  Were the oils pulling the excess histamine through my skin in order to detoxify my body?  I have no way to verify that, and honestly find it far-fetched.  Is my body just super sensitive and can’t handle the oils?  Possibly.  This is the reasoning which led me to take three months without applying the oils to my body.

Recently, I really began to miss what the oils add to my being.  I miss the connection to my spirit, the feeling of calmness and clarity, and how centered and grounded the oils make me.  Diffusing the oils works amazing, but sometimes I want the extra kick that applying the oils topically provides.

I mentioned before that I am pregnant, 14 weeks.  This pregnancy has been really different that my prior two, in good ways.  My body is craving yoga movements, vegetarian foods and my essential oils.  (Last time I wanted pizza or Mexican food only, no wonder I felt awful most of the time!)  A few weeks ago, I started using my oils again!  I have noticed that I cannot use the oils on my neck or face, but everywhere else seems okay.  I know the skin on those areas are more sensitive, but I still am not sure why I once could use the oils in those areas and now cannot.  If anyone has a theory on that, please share!  🙂

How I have been using my oils lately.

Diffusing:

  • Peppermint and Lemon together is an amazing combo to energize a room.  I diffuse this in the mornings and afternoons when I need some energy.  It leaves me feeling sharp and clear.  Love, love, love this combo.

Topically:

  • Frankincense – After I shower, I apply this oil along with some thick carrier lotion to my feet.  I love this oil, it is one of my favorites.  I am so glad that my body does not react when applied to less sensitive areas!

So that’s my story!  Have you ever had issues with using essential oils?  Or better, how have you been using your oils lately?  Please share in the comments below!

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DIY Easy Clay Detox Face Mask

ClayMask

Have you ever heard of bentonite clay?  I recently picked up a jar after walking by it at my local supermarket.  I had listened to an interview about it earlier that day and thought it was too big of a coincidence not to buy it.  Boy am I glad I did!  I’ve used it for a few things already and I consider it a great buy.

Previously, I bought skin care products from a company that appears to have natural products, but they aren’t really.  The products work really well, but they are expensive and have some chemicals which I would rather not be putting on my skin.  With one of my purchases, this company sent me a sample of a clay mask which was called “Out of Trouble.”  IT WAS AWESOME.  I used this little sample five times over the course of a year – usually before a wedding or some event where I wanted to try to look put together – and every time my skin was left silky smooth and the next day it was clear and even complected.  I really, really wanted to buy more of this stuff.  But having no income makes you think a little more frugal and creatively.  I ended up making my own clay mask!

That’s giving myself a little too much credit.  I actually just followed the instructions on the side of the jar of clay.

Mix equal parts raw apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay.  Put on your skin, avoiding sensitive around the eye areas.  Feel it pulsate.  (They say pulsate, I say tighten on your face like a boa constrictor.)  Wash it off.  Feel a little like Joan Rivers for the next few hours.  (My skin felt tight, in a good way.)  I don’t know what it is, but something in this mask tightens my face long after I washed it off.  It also left my skin clearer and softer.  I think my pores were even a little smaller.

Bentonite clay is full of trace minerals, and also contains negatively charged particles which bind to toxins and pathogens such as heavy metals, bacteria, pesticides, etc.  (Source)  When applied topically, it can pull toxins out of your skin.  The raw apple cider vinegar alkalizes the skin and because it contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids, dead skin cells are removed and skin is rejuvenated.

I should mention that this mask will make your skin red for an hour or two after you use it, so don’t do it right before you have somewhere important to be.  Also make sure you moisturize right after.  Clay can be a little drying.

The amount of clay I use for one mask is so insanely small that the cost must be just pennies.  This jar will last me a very long time and it was only $6… and you can find it even cheaper online here.

Moral of the story – DIY beauty is a lot more easy, cheap and awesome than I expected.  Get the stuff and try it for yourself!

This clay is recommended for external use only and therefore I will have a lot more clay based DIY ideas coming.  A few of them are sure to be awesome, so pick up a jar of clay and try them out with me!

Easy bentonite clay DIY face mask for detoxification and beauty!

Do you have any experience using bentonite clay?  Please share in the comments below!

Linking up with Natural Family Friday!

Detoxing after a vacation

Add these daily habits to detox after your vacation!

We are back after a nine-day road trip!  It was so neat to see our Nation’s Capital and random bits of beauty that the east coast has to offer.  We did amazing things like drive on the beach with wild horses in Corolla, North Carolina.  We also toured Washington D.C. on foot, went hiking, biking and swimming in Virginia Beach and drove through Shenandoah State Park in Virginia.  And then there were the restaurants.  And beer.  So many restaurants and so many beers.  I feel a little… heavy.  I definitely need a reset after all that eating out and drinking.  As soon as we rolled into the Midwest my allergies started up, which is a great indicator that my liver is congested and I am in need of some detoxing.

Thank goodness I have a great and easy detox protocol… one that doesn’t involve starving myself!  I find I do much better focusing on adding things into my day rather than taking things away, which leaves me feeling deprived.

  • Dandelion Tea – This is great for detoxifying the liver.  It helps reduce bloating and inflammation, as well as fighting free radicals by supplying antioxidants.  I’ve been using this brand and I love it!  It’s minty and so refreshing!  Aim for two cups a day.  I drink one in the morning and one at night.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Perfect for breaking up mucus and moving lymph to detoxify the body and improve immune response.  Raw apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins and minerals which will refresh the body, including the skin.  It contains acids which bind to toxins and remove them from the body.  Add two tablespoons to an 8 ounce glass of water and drink at least twice a day, preferably before meals.
  • Eat more raw vegetables – Early on in our trip I could tell I was not getting enough greens and began eating mostly salads.  Eating raw vegetables is vital to my energy levels and feeling of well-being.  Despite my efforts, a salad at the restaurant is not the same as the nutrient dense salads we make at home!  Kale vs. iceberg lettuce… they don’t even compare on the nutrient scale.  The vitamins, minerals and fiber in raw veggies are the best and easiest way to detoxify quickly.  Aim for two salads a day and load up on greens and other good seasonal veggies.

Too many beers on vacation.  Detoxify using these easy techniques!

  • No alcohol – We seriously drank craft beer every day, until we were on our way back home.  I am so beer’d out.  The party is definitely over!  I have vowed to not sip alcohol for at least 5 days and give my liver a break.
  • Exercise – I always pack before vacation with good intentions of working out on the trip.  I actually attempted it on our last vacation in the Smoky Mountains, until a swarm of gnats found me and it was either quit or inhale them.  This trip, I didn’t even have time; we were constantly on the go.  We did a lot of walking, swimming and biking so I don’t feel miserable, but my body is craving a good sweat.  Exercising is great for moving stagnant lymph, which is necessary for proper detoxification.
  • Eat at home – I think we ate out 18 times.  Seriously.  It’s kind of gross!  Traveling with kids, though, its important to keep them fed or else… crabby kids are not fun trapped in a car.  Eating at home is the best way to avoid too much salt, GMO ingredients and unhealthy cooking oils.  I am SO happy to be back home in my kitchen.  The cost of eating out alone has led me to vow to not eat out for one month, starting yesterday.  I should have some great recipes coming in the near future! 🙂
  • Thieves Oil – Who knows what kind of bacteria or other unknown critters I picked up while eating out, swimming in the ocean and just traveling in general.  It is comforting to know I can use my Thieves Oil on my feet twice a day.  Make sure to dilute properly and do not use for an extended amount of time.

See, nothing too difficult!  This is a great detox protocol to try to follow everyday.  In a week or two, I should be back to feeling energized, healthy and clean inside.  I can’t WAIT.

What do you do to detox after a vacation?  Let me know in the comments below!

This post appeared on Our Three Peas’ “Wine’d Down Wednesday #49