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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Put the Lime in the Coconut

Oh. My. I have been testing some fractionated coconut oil and although I expected it to make a nice body and massage oil, I was surprised by just how well it has done. The quick and easy explanation of fractionated is that it’s a process to make the oil have a better an longer shelf life. Aside from that, coconut oil itself is used in lots of applications.

As you know I’m quite a fan of sweet almond oil (SAO) for my body oils since it moisturizes for so long, applies beautifully, and leaves the skin so silky. I decided to start with a 50/50 blend of SAO and the coconut oil (CO). Since I hadn’t used CO before I didn’t want to jump in fully. The blend dried much quicker and didn’t leave such a wet feeling like straight SAO does, which makes it better for when I need to dress quickly or I’m having one of those “Ew, if anything sits long I’ll feel icky”. (Yeah, I have some weird moments. *grin*) The really impressive part is how well it has worked on a few stubborn dry patches that are pretty much unaffected by all of my lotions, as well as the store bought ones I’ve tried. It literally worked on all of my patches for a solid week before they started to act up again. Wow!

I’ll experiment with a 25/75 blend next and will use it again on several skin zones. Admittedly the 50 blend would probably be incredibly effective when used daily, but I want to do the extreme tests first. Plus, you know me. I like to have, and give, lots of options, not to mention I love the challenge of experimentation. *grin*

I’m pretty excited to have new options to offer and this might be the perfect product for other skin ailments, especially for others who have failed with other traditional treatments. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to have an excuse to sing the “(Put the Lime in the) Coconut” song. 😉

I’m Flushing This Fish

I had a very rare burst of energy that stayed for three days. I can’t even remember the last full day that I had energy, let alone more than one, since I got sick, so I took advantage of the energy. I made six batches of soaps, all of them experiments, and some were real flops.

First, I finally gave the whole “fair prize goldfish” soap a try. I was pretty excited at first. To start with I did a pour in a cello bag that I had balanced in a coffee mug so it wouldn’t collapse as I poured soap into it, then added the toy goldfish into the soap and kept it balanced with a Popsicle stick until it partially set.

20131024-011641.jpg Unfortunately there was a slight bit of oil on it from handling it a bit too much as I tried to get it down into the soap without plopping upside down, so the soap clouded a bit. After a partial set I added another 2.5 oz of soap “water” to finish it off. It was then that I discovered that I had experienced a brain fart after the first pour and forgot to do a light spritz with alcohol to break the surface bubbles. As you can see in the following picture there is a straight line of bubbles clearly marking the top of the first layer.

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Ugh. To top it all off I had to hold the bag in a slightly scrunched and rounded position until the second layer of soap partially set so that it looked more realistic, like how a bag with water in it would look. Between the extra labor (I won’t go into how hard it is to try to keep a top heavy item upright with a stick when you have a tremor. Lol.) and the mishaps, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this soap concept for a little while. *grin*

The second mishap I admit I am still a bit miffed over. It was actually suppose to be a simple Christmassy bar soap. I poured a layer of dark green soap in bar molds and after a partial set I poured a layer of dark red, both layers in the new Christmas Eve Cookies scent. The colors massively changed after they set and then when you see the soap from overhead it has the oddest color; definitely not Christmassy.

20131024-012106.jpg I think I’ll try the next batch with a solid base, so there aren’t jewel tones that allow you to see the other color. I hoped jewel tones would work out though, since you can get deeper, richer colors in a clear soap. At least they smell great, so I’ll cut them up, melt them, and give them a new life. Not a total flop.

I totally like how the other four batches turned out, thankfully. *grin* I decided to experiment with the super rouge powdered pigment with some additional iridescent sparkles. When the light is just right the soaps look like Dorothy’s red shoes, fitting since I live in KS, and I loved the look so much that I did a second mold with the color. *laugh* I made a batch of small flowers to embed into other soaps, like my glitter bars from earlier this year, and then a few big hearts that I think would be really neat in a girl’s Christmas pampering basket.

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I decided to shake things up, still thinking of the girl’s basket, and did bubblegum guest rounds, but sprinkled some hot pink powdered pigment in there since I loved the look of it when I accidentally did that in some stars a few months back. Simple, but with a little pizzaz.

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Lastly I went back to the Christmas Eve Cookies (can’t tell I started to really like it, can you? *laugh*) and made another batch of flower embeds for the girl’s basket or for individual glitter bars in holiday scents to sell. I decided to add some white soap to the clear, which gave the embeds a really neat look that I love. Not a color that is a traditional holidays variety, but a mellow hue that can be enjoyed or displayed after the Christmas tree has been packed up.

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To top it all off I did a seriously overdue in depth cleaning of my supply shelves. It was hard, but I made myself part with scents that I really don’t like or that had expired, and organized all of the scents into categories to make it a lot easier to find the FOs/EOs I’m looking for. It turned into a 12 hour project, but I’m so proud of myself, and I feel all pumped up to keep chipping away at my holiday business to do list. (Shush now – I didn’t make a spreadsheet this time. I kept the nerd flag at half mast and stuck with a list. *sassy grin*) All in all it felt great to get to experiment with the new pigments and FO. I have that euphoria in my veins from getting to be all creative and artistic. *happy sigh* If this sticks around I will be able to get some new products out of my brain and available in time for the holidays. Warning – I am putting you on high alert now. If I can keep this up and make the new extra pampering line, then I will ask you to join me in a hearty round of the happy dance. *grin* Although no twerking allowed! *laugh* We’ll stick to a platonic jig, okay? 🙂

Homemade Fabric Softener

I’m going a little off format while my soaps are setting up, because I’m so excited about a little item you might like to try out. If you’ve ever taken a peek at my Pinterest I don’t pin very many DIY items other than gift baskets. I prefer to actually try them out as I run across them to see if I actually want to recommend them to others.

One such pin I was skeptical about was homemade fabric softener, especially since it is essentially just vinegar. I’ve compared several of these pins and decided to try the most basic version with terrific results. I decided to cut down the measurements a bit. In a 16 ounce bottle (I actually used a food service bottle that I had on hand, plus I wanted to avoid any possible contamination by using a recycled bottle) I put 16 ounces of straight distilled vinegar with .5 ML of Christmas Eve Cookies FO. Most recipes call for EOs, but I had made 3 batches of soaps with the FO and was in the mood to keep working with it. Lol. I mean, how nice would it be to snuggle into a freshly laundered hoodie that smells like cookies?!

After I mixed the two liquids I dug out my old Downy ball from the dark recesses of the laundry room cabinets since I didn’t want to try to catch the proper cycle to add the mixture directly. (Yeah, I’m lazy, but I’m doing the laundry, so that’s enough work all ready in my opinion. *grin*) I subbed the vinegar in the exact same portions as I used to put in the Downy ball.

I admit that I was skeptical that the laundry would turn out scent free. From all of my use of vinegar around the house I knew that it would get my laundry extra clean, but I can always smell the traces of vinegar. I’m tickled to report that even straight out of the washer the clean laundry didn’t have the slightest hint of vinegar. Now that’s impressive considering my odd superhero sense of smell. *grin* Unfortunately I couldn’t smell the slightest bit of cookies though, so I’ll have to keep experimenting with measurements.

The best part is how soft the laundry was once it was dry!! Admittedly I also had an unscented dryer sheet in there, although I usually use one unscented and one scented sheet. (When you have a flare of a pain condition even scratchy clothing can be incredibly painful, so it becomes habit to go as soft as possible.) I like that I don’t have to use a scented dryer sheet now, especially since it’s one of my triggers for random rashes when I’m sick, plus that’s one less sheet of softener to clog my lint trap. (In case you never heard about it, wash your lint trap screen with soap periodically because the softeners coat the screen and make it less effective. Let dry and when you put it back in it will catch a lot more lint for you.)

I decided to do the ultimate test for my laundry. I used the vinegar in a gentle cycle on my jersey sheets. Gentle cycle isn’t well known for playing well with detergents in our house. Lol. Hopefully it’s that way for others and not just that we have a possessed washing machine that hates me, but that’s a disturbing thought I’ll dwell on later. *grin* After sleeping in the remade bed I can honestly say that this is the softest the sheets have been in a long time. I love jersey sheets because of their softness, but even with the dryer sheets they don’t usually come out as soft as when they joined our household.

A key thing to note is no matter what tips you read about adding the vinegar to the bleach compartment, so you can skip catching the proper cycle, please don’t do it. Vinegar and bleach create toxic fumes when combined. Commercial companies have incredibly smart people wearing lots of protective gear to handle that chemical reaction, so let’s leave that to them. The great part about this is that you may decide you can retire that jug of bleach if you like how to vinegar works on your laundry. I’m delighted to do that since I can’t handle the smell and I know that the vinegar sanitized everything just as well as that bleach would have. Another great feature is that you can now customize the scent to what works well for your household. You may just have to experiment and adjust, but what a great problem to have! To top it off, you don’t have to try and get rid of smells anymore!

Bring on the Sweets

I’ve been sniffing my new FOs for a couple of days now and almost put off this post, because I’m still on the fence on a few of them. I’m seriously tickled with the add ins I got for the baskets, at least.

Almost every one of the new FOs I decided to try out smell either like Vanilla/Buttercream or Butterscotch, it seems. *laugh* That’s why I keep sniffing them. I keep thinking that the next sniff I might suddenly smell a different set of notes that would make a few of these make sense, but no luck yet. *grin* First off, Marshmallow does not smell anything like I expected. Granted, I’m totally fine with the packaged little pillows of sugar, but in my experience the fresh ones are just a little more flavorful with stronger vanilla, but the FO is so different. There’s a strong buttercream note, but also butterscotch. Huh?! I was looking forward to making some interesting blends if it smelled like I had expected. The butterscotch is really throwing me off. *grin* Christmas Eve Cookies was a little different too, with the expected buttercream as the dominant note, but the spices were a lot mellowed than the description implied. It smells like a rich, crumbly, buttery, shortbread cookie at least. Hot Buttered Rum smells good, although it’s straight up butterscotch to me. *laugh* I think it’ll be nice as a massage oil or bath salt, but I don’t think I’ll be going with it for lotion. I am really happy with Madagascar Black Pepper, which has no surprises. It’s straight up peppery, which I think will give some umph to florals, the unisex cologne scents, and I want to try blending it with my old Jacob’s blend. Mmm mmm mmm.

I am so happy with the two bath sponges/poufs! The first is such a pretty color and the second is so different with strings at each end. Perfect for a man’s basket, I think.

First the spa pouf

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Next is the more unique one

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To add to the spa basket I also got some of those cool eye masks (not descriptive, they’re literally cool because you refrigerate them, I mean *grin*). Usually I get blue or teal ones, but I found these clear ones on surplus, so that’ll help cut a few dollars down to then spend on lotions and whatnot for people who are building their own baskets.

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Finally, the item I’m most excited about. Ground luffa (loofah)! (Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic to get so excited over this, but I guess that’s what makes this the ramblings of someone mad, right? *sassy grin*) I admit that I thought it would seem more dense, but I think it’s going to be a perfect change to the Men’s Scrub still. Being lighter might work out a lot better in the shower than the heavy seeds, too, which will be a huge win. *crossing fingers* I really like the look of it for some reason.

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I also got a little wild. I qualified for a free soap color sample and went waaaay out of my normal range. I haven’t decided what mold that would utilize this color well, but I’m really excited to give it a whirl. Apparently there’s still a glitter loving little girl underneath the sarcasm and slight morbid [no snickering you in the back!] tendencies. *grin* Check out this shimmery gold.

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I wish it photographed a little better, but at least the company picture did a much better job at capturing the sparkle than I could do. *laugh* Reviewing my attempts kept bringing to mind a few unfortunate viewings inside of diapers, so I was really glad that I could grab the pics from the wholesaler’s site. *grin*

I am crossing my fingers that I’ll have a very productive day in my near future and get to experiment a bit. There is some coconut oil and even primrose oil that I am itching to test. And apparently I’m unknowingly in the mood to test a few variations of vanilla and butterscotch. *raising an eyebrow while trying not to laugh* “Fifty Shades of Vanilla” might just be my next blend. 🙂

Homemade Cleaner

I wanted to share a homemade cleaner recipe that I’ve altered from Pinterest.  A lot of people would like to go more natural lately and there are others, like me, that have some sensitivities that make commercial products a little dicey at times.  I’ve developed a chemical sensitivity to bleach and similar strong cleaners, so I had to look for some alternatives.  I found the following recipe by Frugal Foodie Mama named “Homemade Kitchen Lemon Cleaner” and I’ll discuss a few other options after the instructions/recipe.

“Ingredients

1 tsp baking soda

1 squirt of your favorite dishwashing liquid

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

water

2-3 drops doTerra Lemon Essential Oil

16 Oz plastic or glass spray bottle (bottle can be larger than 16 oz)

 

Add the baking soda, dishwashing liquid, & vinegar to the spray bottle.  Without capping the bottle, give it a few swirls to mix.  **I would suggest mixing this in your sink.  There is a possibility of a foamy “volcano” forming because of the reaction of the baking soda with the vinegar and soap.  Never shake the bottle to mix to keep the chances of this happening down. 

Fill the bottle with lukewarm water to the 14 oz line on your bottle.  Add the 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil, and swirl it around a few more times to mix well.”

 

This is a pretty easy recipe to recreate and I found an easy way to deal with that chemical reaction.  When it starts to foam just swirl a long straw in the solution and it won’t foam over.  It also helps if you add the water slowly and pause every so often.  Now, although it seems like it would mix better if you added the EO before the water the reason that you do it afterward is that you might lose the valuable EO if the solution does foam over, so make sure to follow the instructions. 

 

I used my favorite brand of EO, Crafter’s Choice, and it doesn’t change the recipe one bit, so don’t worry about scouring the internet for that brand.  I admit that I added a ML of lemon EO because one, I don’t have an orifice reducer on my bottle, two, I prefer to be able to do exact measurements with a pipette, and three, it didn’t have nearly enough scent for my taste.  Even with all of that I wanted more kick, so I added .50 ML of Meyer Lemon FO (fragrance oil) to the solution and stirred with my long straw.  (Nice thing is that this is a cleaning solution, so a quick rinse and the straw is all clean.  Lol.)  Now, my second bottle isn’t so close to the original recipe.  *grin*  I can’t let my other scents sit quietly when they can freshen my house up for me.  I decided to play with other antibacterial EOs (essential oils) that play nicely with my favorite FOs.  I mixed a bit of Peppermint EO, Eucalyptus EO, Wintergreen EO, and then a bit of Santa’s Tree Farm FO in place of the lemons.  It’s a bit more uplifting with a lot more aromatherapy benefits, plus they cover the smell of the vinegar a bit better for my super sniffer.  Just like in cooking a product recipe is just a starting point.

 

To save you some time having to research EOs the following ones are thought to have antibacterial/antiseptic properties: Oregano, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Clove, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Orange, and Lemon.  Of course scientists can never agree, so some others believe that Peppermint, Wintergreen, Juniper, Black Pepper, Geranium, Lavender, Pine, Camphor, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Frankincense (although I warn you this one is super expensive!), Rose, and Ylang Ylang.  There are tons of options, tons of disagreement, and a wide range of costs.  The great thing is if you don’t want to get too in depth with homemade natural cleaners and aromatherapy, then you can find some of the basics even at Hobby Lobby, like Eucalyptus and Peppermint.  Now, please note that these are all EOs, not FOs, since the essentials are the natural workers.  Never ever, despite temptation, use an EO straight out of the bottle on skin, please!  They need what is called a carrier, since they’re so concentrated and can be very harmful and toxic when concentrated. 

 

We’ve had a bit of a bug here after a cute Boy Scouts Honors event, so that’s why I picked the second blend that I made.  Peppermint and Eucalyptus are great for clearing the sinuses (think the gooey Vicks Rub that your mom used to rub into your chest) while also fighting the good fight against the bug.  I figure that I’m smelling it as I clean anyway, so it needs to do some double duty for me.  *grin*  Wintergreen has health benefits too, but it also reminds me of my grandpa’s wintergreen chew.  I remember sitting on his lap in his rocking chair and having the scent of wintergreen hug me as snug as his arms.  I usually dislike anything tobacco, but it’s one of the few childhood memories that I always have even when my illness fogs my mind and I can’t remember even my address.  The pine and balsam FO blend in Santa’s Tree Farm leaves that clean and fresh scent trace.  We don’t pick Pine-Sol for the color, after all.  *teasing wink*

 

Now, this isn’t the super cleanser that works miracles, but it does a great job as a regular cleaner.  I used it to clean my stove surface (it wasn’t a heavy duty job, but worked great on the little bit that had gotten away while making pizza), all of my kitchen counters (even got some Kool-Aid out of the surface that my husband had missed, which impressed me), door knobs, and it worked really well against pet slobber.  *cracking up*  The big test for me was my big mirror and the front door, since I seldom can do them because I usually can’t be around commercial window cleaner.  Plus, Bo, my dog, has super snot and slobber that sticks as well as those stupid sticky hands I had as a kid that I threw onto walls and stuff.  *shudder*  It’s weird to think I loved those things and the thought of it now grosses me out so much I think I’m developing a wrinkle from scrunching my nose right now.  Lol.  Anyway…with just a little elbow grease (and I mean little, since my muscle weakness keeps me from having much umph, so for a “normal”, it should work doubly well for you) I was able to remove all traces of slobber, snot, bird droppings (I don’t know how that bird aimed at the storm door, but kudos, although it needs a little less fiber I think), dirt, a light skin of woodstove smoke (*embarrassed look* yeah, I missed that whole Spring Cleaning thing and am just now cleaning Winter off the inside of the storm door…doh!), and even a smooshed mosquito.  It didn’t remove the tiny bit of sap that has been on the door for the ten years we’ve lived here (I don’t know what the previous owners were into since there’s sap on the door, glow in the dark nail polish spots on the carpet, and weird packaged mac & cheese-like bright orange-yellow stains on the linoleum, but whatever), however this is the cleanest the storm door has EVER been, even when I was healthier and able to clean more.  This definitely passed the test for me.  The vinegar is seriously amazing (kills germs, bacteria, and mold!), so I’m tickled that I found this simple blend.  *On a side note, I’ve been bragging on vinegar for a few years now, and I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but even if I did, it’s worth mentioning again.  Vinegar is awesome at sterilizing your cutting board.  You don’t think about it, but those tiny cuts in the board love to hold nasties that you can’t see and think you got out when you washed the board.  After you scrub and rinse your board,  pour some plain white vinegar over the board, give a light rub (preferably not with a rag or sponge that you just contaminated, so go for a second one), and rinse.  The vinegar will keep working and help keep those nasties from contaminating your next meal or even cabinet.  You’ll notice that it’ll smell fresher too, since the stinky bacteria is dead.  You can go ahead and do a happy dance once you’ve tried this.  It rocks that much, so I understand. 

 

I hope you give this a whirl and that you have as much success as me.  If you have any questions or whatnot, please feel free to comment.  If you look me up on Pinterest the original pin should be under “Useful tips” if I remember right.  Happy pampering! 🙂

A Marshmallow World

I thought a little Dean would start this post off right. I know it’s a bit early to have Christmas on the brain, but the couple of months leading to the holidays are a big deal for crafters.

As I always do when I have insomnia I start mapping out ideas about products or researching things, and this week has been no different. I decided that this year I want a different holiday sugar scrub, so I figured it was about time to put in a supply order. *happy sigh* If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know I have a scent hoarding issue and can’t resist getting at least one new scent to try whenever I order supplies. My bank account cries, but I get all giddy, so the universe evens out. *grin*

Now here’s the tie in to the title. I am finally getting my hands on the Marshmallow FO that I’ve been wanting ever since I read about it. Most people love smelling something sweet and comforting, and marshmallows are great year round, so it’s not really too seasonal of a scent. S’mores, cherry chiffon, and hot cocoa…Marshmallow dominant foods really should be their own food group. *a goofy smile takes over as I daydream about the sugary pillows of delight* Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing something halfway intelligent about bath and body products. (You’re welcome to do Homer’s signature “doh” there. I’ll allow it this time. Maybe not next time, so I advise that you take advantage. *laugh*)

To add some depth to a few scents I splurged on the Madagascar Black Pepper FO, too. In regular situations pepper makes me sneeze and whatnot, but when it’s a lower note in a complex scent blend, boy howdy! Suddenly my eyebrow lifts, I get a little sassy smile, and see Gerard Butler smiling at me in my mind’s eye. (Got me why, but I just know he has a complex and masculine scent to go with that smile, those abs, and that bad boy vibe. Pepper and a hint of leather. I just can’t decide if he’s more of a crisp Black Tie FO or the woodsy notes of Twilight Woods for the dominant notes. I could totally suffer through either. You know, do my part and all. I’m a giving person like that.) Anywho! I’m excited to get to experiment with that and hopefully add an interesting note to some scents that haven’t really done the elusive “it” for me yet.

While trolling new seasonal scents I landed on Christmas Cookies and managed to justify ordering it since it was fifty cents off. Lol. Yeah, I can justify almost anything if I really want it. *grin* It’s supposed to have dominant notes of buttery shortbread with a bit of vanilla and spice. I’m really hoping that it smells as yummy as it looks, because this is what I hope to use for a “sweet treats” sugar scrub instead of gingersnaps.

To finish my splurging I added Hot Buttered Rum to the mix. Several users commented that it smelled like butterscotch, so I think it’ll make an interesting FO to play with. If I smell more of a rum note then it might just have to mingle with the Egg Nog FO I got on sale a little bit back. A spiked egg nog bubble bath might be pretty sigh inducing come holiday time. Well, especially if I have a glass of the real deal in hand while I’m relaxing.

I also got a few items to amp up the pampering power (suddenly I heard “puppy power” in my head when writing that. Ah, Scrappy, I’ve missed you.). I’m getting tired of rinsing poppy and flax seeds out of the bath tub from Larry using the Men’s Scrub every day, so I decided to experiment with powdered luffa in the scrub. The improved scrub has worked great for him and still gets most of the gunk from Goodyear off of him, but for the sake of less nagging about rinsing the bath out after a shower, I figure it’s worth experimenting with a replacement for the seeds. The luffa soaps never hold up long for him, but he likes them, so I thought maybe a miracle can happen. ‘Tis the season coming up and all that jazz. If it works, then he’s getting a few buckets of it in his Christmas stocking. *grin* If a product can hold up to his intense use without nagging, then it’s a winner. I also ordered two kinds of body puffs; one is regular, but the other is a long and less frilly one, so I think that might be good in a men’s Christmas basket. *crossing my fingers* I added some spa eye masks since I haven’t done a play on the original spa baskets yet, and then a few samples of new colors.

I’m hoping the new items will strike me with some inspiration and that I’ll be doing a little better by the time I receive them, so I can make even half of what is on the new master list. At least I’ll have some sweetness for my oil burners while I pop my earbuds in and secretly listen to Dean and Bing singing about the wonders of the holidays. If only that dreamy snow didn’t make huge drifts in the driveway and make the path to the wood pile seem a mile long. At least a girl can dream when she’s listening to the happy crooners. I hope you get to enjoy “A Marshmallow World” in your dreams tonight.

You See A Tomato, I See An Opportunity To Pamper

I have almost two handfuls of doctors that I see for my illnesses and to try to get some control over my symptoms. Unfortunately a lot of the attempted treatments fail and the continual changes leaves my body in turmoil, which eventually begins to show on my skin. Since the doctors get paid little nowadays (believe me, before you think they all have mansions, I’m happy to chat with you about the overhead that goes into running a medical office – I ran billing, payables, and communication for one for years, and it’s not as pretty as you’d think), they have to push patients through like it’s a cattle drive. The worst part is when they have a patient with as complicated medical issues as mine, they just don’t have the time to deal with everything. It ends up boiling down to “is the treatment helpful enough to outweigh the negative parts?” That leaves it to me to figure out some holistic treatments for those bothersome side effects and new symptoms that crop up with every change.

For some time now I’ve had to deal with skin changes, such as dry and oily areas suddenly changing, and then switching back up on me once I get a handle on them. Then there are some sudden and really nasty side effects such as sores, patches of raw skin, and boils. Unfortunately most everyone with a chronic illness will deal with at least one of those symptoms, if not all. Thankfully I’ve found one humble produce that I often have on hand that has helped me a whole lot. You say tomato and I say, um, tomato. *grin* Betcha never eyed the leftover slices of tomato from your BLTs and thought they’d make a great new skin treatment. I tried it out of desperation and it worked so well that even some of my scars are improved. I talked to one of my doctors a few days ago about it and after she examined me she said that she couldn’t recommend anything else that would work any better than what I was doing. No medications, changes to hormones, or clinically approved topical ointments that would work any better! What do you think of them a–ahem, tomatoes?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You can use the tomato in a ton of different preparations and you’re only really limited by how much you are willing to research (or experiment if you’re that adventurous and daring type *grin*). Doctors and scientists believe that tomatoes have a ton of vitamins that work even if they’re soaked in instead of digested, plus they’re full of antioxidants. While I’d grow bored if I wrote about all of the believed benefits that come from consuming tomatoes, I’m going to focus on the topical benefits. The big guns believe that they can help with sunburns, clear up oily skin, draw pus from pores, wick away pus from where the tomato meets the skin, treat acne, reduce/tighten pores, reduce irritation, soothe skin and inflammation, remove scent (we’ve all heard stories about bathing in tomato juice if you get scent kissed by a skunk), reduce itching, and soothe some topical pain (although logically that’s probably because it’s relieving the inflammation and whatnot). I’m sure there are a lot more benefits that are being noticed and researched, but these are the benefits I know of firsthand. Seriously. And doctor approved. (Although you should always talk to your doctor when considering holistic treatments and you may not experience all benefits as listed, yada yada, and definitely don’t try topical uses if you are allergic when ingesting them!) *settling back into my chair and taking off the imaginary legal hat*

If you want to try it out on a boil you can simply cut a slice off of your tomato (the bottom works perfectly, since you don’t have to worry about the juices and pulp on the bottom side then) and hold it to your skin. I’ve seen a variety of times recommended online, but I honestly left it on until I felt relief since my symptoms all have pain associated with them. The heat from your body will warm the tomato, which I warn you can feel really funky at first and make your nose wrinkle while your toes curl. As long as it doesn’t hurt, it’s well worth it, so keep going.

Now, if it’s a boil and you’ve never had one before, those things are painful and that pus can easily contaminate other vulnerable skin. The tomato works well because the heat and natural acid from the tomato will help the boil come to a head and burst. The pus will soak into the tomato instead of sitting on your skin or seeping into other pores. You may experience a reduce in swelling as soon as this happens (within about half an hour), but sometimes it may take more than one round. Make sure to be careful; be cautious about having anything touch the inflamed skin after the treatment, and be ultra hygienic. Always dispose of the tomato after use and never be tempted to reuse a section, even if you don’t think the head came up. A key tip – wash any clothing and skin that comes into contact with the area, even if it’s just a light swab or glancing touch. You can even try mashing the tomato into a paste and apply that to the boil. Rinse off after the desired time period and put all towels used right into the laundry. This will prevent accidental re exposure. Hopefully you’ll find relief very quickly. Remember, heat brings it to a head while coolness with reduce inflammation and let it finish healing.

For facial acne, tightening pores, and generally clearing your skin, it’s mind boggling how many things you can try. Have fun with this since it’s a great chance to pamper yourself a bit and take some me time! You can have a little spa fun and put sliced cucumber over your eyes while laying slices of tomato over your face. Sure, you’ll look weird, but those gals spending a ton of money to get bird poop smeared on their face for a premium skin treatment don’t look any prettier during their treatment, so don’t worry about it. *grin* You can mash the tomato up and mix it with your favorite plain yogurt that you like to use on your skin. (For me it honestly depends on what I have on hand. I personally don’t swear by one over another, but a lot of people have preferences. Reminds me of a phrase my grandma used to say about people and opinions, but that’s best left unwritten. *smirk*) If you like sugar scrubs you can even cut a chunk of tomato, dredge it in some sugar (raw or granulated – you can research and decide your preference, I prefer granulated white or brown), and rub gently over your skin (although I’d recommend that more for body and not face, since I’m not a big believer of sugar being great for the face). You can even use just the juice from the tomato and mix it with your preferred milk. (Yeah, I’m so not going to argue with anyone over coconut milk, buttermilk, goat’s milk, or whole milk being better than the next. That’s like telling a Coke drinker that all colas are the same – they’ll still wrinkle their nose when they sip the Pepsi and tell you how wrong you are. Nope, not worth it. Lol.) If you feel really awesome and empowered add a bit of honey to your mix for maximum healing and pampering. Apply to your face and allow to sit on the skin like a mask, then rinse and pat dry (read “pat dry”! Quit rubbing when you towel dry whenever possible. *grin* Believe me, your skin will glow in appreciation for your extra effort.).

Hopefully you are inspired to experiment a bit with tomato and see if it works for you. I sincerely hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. If you decide to experiment, please don’t hesitate to leave some comments about it. I’d love to hear about your concoctions. Happy pampering! 🙂

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