reader questions: natural bodycare

This week our reader Q&A focuses on natural bodycare.  Why? Because what you put in your mouth is only part of the story.  Your skin is your largest organ and your body absorbs what you put on it (good or bad), so support your traditional and real foods lifestyle by choosing natural and unrefined ingredients in your skin care routine.  In this Q&A, Nourished Kitchen readers wrote in on both Facebook and by email to ask questions about natural, detoxifying bodycare.

Next week, our reader Q&A will focus on real food for the road.  So if you’ve ever been stuck wondering what to eat when you’re on the road, out to eat with friends, what to pack your kids for school lunch or field trips, write in to questions@nourishedkitchen.com for inclusion next week.  If you have another question related to real or traditional foods that you need answered, just post it on our Facebook wall.

video: reader questions on natural bodycare

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resources to get you started:

reader questions & answers:

filtered water for drinking, bathing & showering

  • Water Filtration: Good hair and skin comes when we’re taking good care of ourselves with what we eat and what we drink.  Municipal water can be a source of chlorine, fluoride and other additives which are used to keep the water free of pathogenic microorganisms that can make us sick.  However, filtering drinking water only solves part of the issue as you will still absorb chlorine and other chemicals through your skin during bathing which is why you should also invest in bath, shower or whole house purification systems (you can find them here).

my natural hair care:

  • How to Go “No-Poo”: Toss your shampoos and conditioners.  Take about 2 tablespoons baking soda and mix it with about 1/4 cup water.  Pour this over your hair, in the shower and rub it into your scalp.  Rinse with water. Rinse with about 1 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice diluted in 1 cup water.  For the first few weeks, you may want to do this every other day, then two to three times a week for several months, then once a week for several months and, eventually, you may be able to give up the baking soda/vinegar routine entirely.  Herbal infusions (chamomile for light hair, black walnut for dark hair or any herbs you happen to like) can be a nice treat done monthly.
  • Challenges for “No-Poo“: Your hair will be greasy and unkept for a week to three weeks as you transition from shampoo and then it will normalize.  Under periods of stress or when you travel and change water, your hair may take several weeks to renormalize.
  • buy my herbs for infusions here.
  • Natural Hair Gel here.

my facial care:

  • Exfoliate/Cleanse: I usually use two tablespoons blanched almond flour mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond and occasionally herbs (I get those here).  This rinses easily, is cheap and isn’t complicated.
  • Moisturize: I usually use unrefined shea butter (I get it here), warmed between my fingertips.
  • Tone: I usually use floral waters or hydrosols.  You can prepare your own floral waters by diluting essential oils in distilled water.
  • Weekly or a Few Times Month: You might enjoy doing a full facial care routine: start by cleansing and exfoliating, then move onto steaming or a facial hot pack, apply a clay or honey masque, then rinse, tone, moisturize.
  • Rosehip Seed Oil: Rosehip seed oil is known to rejuvenate the skin and is used in anti-wrinkle creams and treatments.  I use it topically in minimal amounts (buy it here).  Do not use it all over your face as it may increase breakouts, particularly in the T-zone.

my body care:

  • Soap: If you don’t make your own, I recommend Dr. Bronners which comes as a liquid or as a solid bar.
  • Body Scrub: Instead of using a body wash which is drying for my skin, I use an exfoliating scrub made from dead sea salt (I get it here), though any coarse salt will do, a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond and any essential oils I happen to like.
  • Moisturizer: If I’ve used my salt-based scrub, I won’t need to moisturize.  If I haven’t, I’ll use coconut oil (see sources) or sweet almond oil.

deodorants/antiperspirants:

  • Crystal Deodorant: I used to use crystal roll-on deodorant which is alum-based.
  • Magnesium Oil: After beginning a magnesium oil routine, I’ve been able to completely give up deodorant and I sleep better at night.  You can get magnesium oil here.  Be prepared that magnesium oil may initially sting your skin or leave you with a temporary burning sensation that will usually go away after a few days of regular application.

tooth care:

  • Cure Tooth Decay: If you’re interested in proper nutrition for tooth health and a tooth remineralization protocol, please take the time to read Cure Tooth Decay.
  • Orawellness: As an alternative to toothpaste (which may inhibit remineralization), consider an essential oil-based tooth cleanser (like this one).  Essential oils are thought to clean the teeth, fight opportunistic bacteria, activate saliva production.  They do not contain fluoride or abrasives.
  • Waterpik: I also use my waterpik regularly which stimulates the gums and which I find to be more effective than flossing alone.

my favorite books for recipes:

  • Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair: I love this book.  After my first copy fell to tatters from overuse, I purchased a second copy.  The book provides hundreds of recipes for body care, facial care, hair care and offers special chapters for men, women, elders and babies.  More importantly, Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair provides targeted information depending on your skin or hair type – including which oils benefit you the most, which herbs to use, which essential oils.  You should also be able to order this book from any independent bookstore.
  • Cure Tooth Decay: I mentioned this above, but it provides sound information on optimizing nutrition for tooth (and whole body) health.  Check it out here.

next week: eating real food on the go

  • Email your questions related to eating real food on the go (snacks, road trips, restaurants, hotels etc.) to questions@nourishedkitchen.com.
  • Post your general questions to the Nourished Kitchen Facebook Wall.