Posted in Beauty/Health

Farmgirl’s Guide to Great Skin

Twenty Years Old

I was a very pretty child who came from a very pretty family. I had a rough go there during my tweens (yikes) but pulled out of it by my teens and landed my first modeling contract when I was eighteen. I had great skin, three years of braces, and my height and natural weight were just what agents were looking for.

Twenty-two Years Old

I modeled full time for six years before, at the ripe old age of twenty-four, I was “washed up.” When your entire occupation is based on your looks, it is hard to get older. (Yes, I thought 24 was old.) As a model, one’s entire identity and worth is wrapped up in beauty and age.

Twenty-Four Years Old

So I put on more and more makeup. Got a little older. Got a lot more stress in my life. And somewhere along my late twenties, I started getting the worst skin! Acne began to plague me. And I straight out panicked! I started reading about how to get great skin. How to be more beautiful and ran across a book on herbs. Well, y’all know how that turned out. It completely changed my life and I’ve been a clinical herbalist ever since.

Twenty-One Years Old (and 3 months pregnant with Shyanne!)

Along the way, my skin cleared up, my eyes got brighter, my skin refreshed. Oh, I still got wrinkles! I earned those suckers. I am happy every year I am here on this planet, and I will take the signs of aging with grace. But, I rarely wear makeup (if I do, it is just a touch of mascara and some tinted lip gloss), and the number one thing I get asked from people, is how do I have such great skin?

Forty-two Years Old

Your skin is a mirror of your insides. It speaks of toxicity, cancer cells, stress, poor diet, dehydration, and disease. It also speaks of health, joy, vibrancy, and energetic foods. Your skin can change day to day depending on how you feel or even what you ate yesterday!

Almost Forty-Three Years Old

I have learned a great deal about the skin from being an herbalist. Cancer cells that become prevalent or that are being detoxed through the skin from the sun (a good guy) can become cancer cells in a toxic environment. I have seen many cases of Psoriatic Arthritis, where sometimes there is a hole in the skin all the way to the bone. Severe eczema, psoriasis, acne, rashes, hives; all ailments of the skin show what is going on inside the body. Even sluggish, tired skin can tell of insomnia or a sluggish digestive system. So how do we fix it?

Last Saturday. Forty-Five Years Old.

Moisturize Inside and Out:

  1. Drink 1 teaspoon of good olive oil 4 times a day.
  2. Keep a glass by the sink and drink a cup of water every time you go in the kitchen.
  3. Get a water bottle you like and take it with you everywhere.
  4. It doesn’t have to be just water! Kombucha, tea, and fresh juices all count!
  5. Coconut oil protects against sun burn and keeps skin feeling soft.
  6. Try my lotion recipe for really soft skin! It also protects against sunburn but allows beneficial sun rays to reach us.
  7. Need even more moisture? Make my skin oil for super nourished skin.

Be Kind to Your Skin:

  1. Get at least 30 minutes of sun exposure daily.
  2. Sunscreen causes skin cancer. Research it.
  3. You do not need five layers of foundation. It settles in our wrinkles and makes us look ridiculous, then clogs pores, causes acne, and makes us look even more ridiculous! Ditch the makeup.
  4. Embrace flaws. Liver spots? Guess what? They aren’t from the sun. Or the liver. We white girls get freckles, then spots. Get over it. You look great.
  5. Most skin care lines are toxic. Try my recipes for body products. I use face wash (but not every day!) and lotion. That is it. Secret’s out!
  6. Life is too short for stress. Your skin will thank you.

Check Your Diet:

  1. Green smoothies and loads of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and whole grains have antioxidants which improve skin and slow aging. Meat and dairy contain zero antioxidants. Any nutrition you get from animal products is from the plants they ate. Skip the middle man and skip the toxins that you end up with. Dairy is especially bad for the skin.
  2. Eat lots of great spices and herbal teas.
  3. Incorporate fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha into your diet for gut health.
  4. Wild greens are blood purifying. Your skin will tell you when you need your blood purified. They will also heal kidney problems and help rebuild bone. Dandelions, goosefoot, burdock, mallow, and even kale, chard, and spinach will make your skin look fabulous.
My oldest granddaughter, Maryjane Rose.

Now, as we get older we may care less and less about our looks (do these galoshes match my apron?), but we should always associate skin health with organ health and do our best to have vibrant, youthful skin. It is easy to do! And it is kind of fun when folks are shocked that you are a grandma.

Posted in Holidays

Ostara, Easter, and the New Beginning

crocus-spring-equinoxToday is a celebration of hope.  The indigenous cultures of old and the modern spiritualists and witches of today will be celebrating.  So will gardeners everywhere.  ‘Tis the Solstice, also known as Ostara.

Seeds in hand, faces to the sun, coffee hot, hose at the ready, we are grateful and joyous that the days will now be growing longer.  Oh, happy day.  More sun.  More Vitamin D.  More outdoor play.  Spring brings with it baby animals and freshly turned soil and new life.

eggs

Ostara celebrates life conquering death.  It had been celebrated long before organized religion did it.  The word “Easter” comes from the word “Ostara.”  Now, Pagans were nothing if they weren’t artists.  Eggs were symbols of new life and fertility and were painted in beautiful colors.  The Ukrainian folk art depicted on eggs is a fine example of art.

Ostara, the Greek goddess of fertility, loved the painted eggs so much that she asked the rabbit to distribute them all over the world.

The Solstice on the agrarian calendar was the date that seeds began to be planted and new life was born.  The death of winter was past and new life has begun.

Our bodies and our lives are a part of nature as much as they ever were, we just kind of hid away behind screens and modern lives and forgot.  You will find that death and new beginnings are prevalent right now.  The Universe may have a bright new beginning for you.  That means death comes first, but know that the sun is shining every day and that life always conquers.  Welcome your new beginning.  Happy Solstice!

Posted in Beauty/Health, Herbal Remedies

How to Make Your Own Sunscreen (stop poisoning the kids!)

There is a lot of documentation, and one could even just look at the ingredients and know, that sunscreen actually causes skin cancer.  Skin cancer is big business.  Furthermore, if one has skin cancer it needs to be treated systemically as cancer cells are pulled through the skin from the blood stream by way of our marvelous detoxifying sun!  The sun does not cause skin cancer.  If so, how on earth did the pioneers, Natives, and all our ancestors ever survive without sunscreen?!

sunscreen

However, some of us lighter folk don’t necessarily want to look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at the beach either.  Tanning, or the pigmentation of the skin, is the body’s way of protecting against burning (the natural response from being in the sun, not a tanning booth).  That first bout in the sun can be too much at first after a winter under too many clothes.  Sometimes if you are hiking for a long day or hanging out at the beach you may need something a little stronger.  Infants and young children may need more protection from sun burns too.  Coconut oil is a SPF 16.  The lotion recipe I shared yesterday is a SPF 12.  Red clover, chaparral, comfrey, and other herbs create their own SPF.  Eating a diet primarily made up of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains further increase your body’s own defense against sun burn and skin cancer because those antioxidants keep the blood oxygenated and cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated environment.  All we are really trying to do here is not fry that first day out!

First we will make my anti-cancer oil.  You will add a teaspoon of this to your 4 ounce jar of lotion I taught you how to make yesterday.

In a pint jar add 2 Tablespoons each of chaparral, comfrey, and red clover and cover to 1/2 inch head space with olive oil.  Keep lid real loose and place in window for two weeks.  This kills free radicals on the skin.

For even further protection add 1/2 teaspoon of micronized zinc oxide to that 4 ounces of lotion and blend well.

All of these ingredients can be bought online (or in the shop if you are local).  This takes your sunscreen to a SPF 45 plus.  Great for newborns and any skin type.

Taking back our choices for our own family’s health is empowering and essential.  Making your own body products is just one more way to do so.  You can see other recipes under Beauty/Health and Herbal Remedies tabs on my home page.

Now, I am going to throw my sunscreen into my suitcase and get to the airport!  I’ll be writing you from sunny San Diego tomorrow!

 

Posted in Homestead

Warm Fall Days

leaves

Happiness is not having deadlines.  Being thankful that I forgot to store the outdoor furniture before November.  A cushioned chair awaits amongst golden piles of crisp leaves.  The ocean blue sky with feathered clouds that stretch lazily across the open expanse.  And the sun, so low and toasty, I cannot help but tilt my face upwards to bask in its glow.  Chickens surrounding me, resting, preening, rustling the leaves, enjoying the warm day.  A cold glass of chardonnay and a Christmas magazine on my lap.

Happiness is a warm fall day.