The Easiest Peasiest DIY EVER!

If you’ve been following Wellness Seeds for awhile, you know that I am kind of a DIY junkie. I love making my own masks, scrubs, and serums. I like the idea of knowing exactly what is in the products I am applying to my skin, using things that I can pronounce, and I like tapping in to my creative side to boot.

I recently switched recipes for the vitamin C serum that I have been using, which I’ll share in my next blog, so stay tuned! I keep the new version in the refrigerator so I haven’t been using the vitamin C on my whole body as I had done in the past.

Vitamin C is really important to add to your skin care. Some of the benefits to the skin include anti aging, anti wrinkle, brightening, increasing collagen production, and it can help repair excess sun damage.

I was reading a post on Wellness Mama’s site about vitamin C serum. She uses her recipe as more of a toner after cleansing your face. It’s a much simpler version than I make using only the vitamin C powder and distilled water.

I had an aha moment and realized I could make a tiny batch, put it in  a spray bottle and use it to spray my whole body after my shower before I moisturize!

Voila – now all of my skin is reaping the benefits of vitamin C. Vitamin C starts to loose stability and effectiveness when exposed to light, etc, so it doesn’t have a super long shelf life. I literally just double the recipe and add it to a small blue or amber glass spray bottle.  You can grab one at whole Foods or on Amazon.

Here is the recipe inspired by Wellness Mama:

1/2 tsp Vitamin C Powder
1tbl of distilled water.
Mix together and pour in to your spray bottle and you are all set. I have been doubling it or tripling it and making it about once a week. Vitamin C can burn if you have sensitive skin, so start out slowly with it.

Happy DIYing!

Pumpkin DIY Anyone?

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by Judy Moon

Don’t you just love fall??????

As much as I love my beach time, fall is truly my favorite time of the year. I love all of the colors of the leaves, making warm soup on a cool day, snuggling in to my favorite sweater and most importantly – PUMPKINS!

My poor husband has the patience of a saint when we go “pumpkin hunting”.

It takes me forever to select just the right ones for our mantle – not too tall, more on the round side, interesting stem, not too many crusty cratery things. I especially love going to Duffield’s Farm in Sewell, NJ. They have really funky varieties and killer apple cider and pumpkin donuts.

It also seemed like a perfect time to play around with “Fallifying” my scrub recipe.

I love making up words like fallify – to make fall like. I also have a word JudyMoonify that I use with the gal who creates our business cards, menu of services, etc. I will email her some thing that I need and say – “Can you JudyMoonify that?” JudyMoonify – enhance with branding and make it look like it comes from Judy Moon and Associates.

Back to the scrub –

I typically don’t like to buy pumpkin scented scrubs or candles because they always have such an artificial fragrance to them. I read a lot of blogs, looked at more Pinterest pages than I care to admit and finally decided to go with a version from Wellness Mama.

Pumpkin Sugar Scrub
Inspired by Wellness Mama

Sugar Scrub Ingredients
1 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vitamin E oil
1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
*Optional – throw in a few drops of Frankincense Essential oil. I love the earthy scent and ‘Frank” as I like to call it, is great for the skin

Sugar Scrub Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon as needed in the shower. Scrub skin with the mixture and rinse will. It will leave your skin feeling like silk. Especially nice for dry, calloused feet!

Feel free to experiment with the scent – you may want to add more or less pumpkin pie spice. Some recipes add vanilla if you want it a little sweeter smelling.

As with any scrub that you use in the bath or shower, be sure to really wipe out the tub when you are finished – it can make things slippery or “slickery” as my friend says.

Happy pumpkin hunting!

The Skinny on Skin

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Posted by Judy Moon

Winter is here whether we like or not. It has it’s good and bad, just like anything. There’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, or snuggling in to watch a movie on a snowy day rocking your favorite sweater.

One of the down sides for sure is dry skin.

I have recently read over and over on various Facebook posts and blog posts about how we don’t need to shower every day and how it is actually bad for you to do so especially in winter.

I couldn’t disagree more with this, in fact it makes me crazy!

My first reaction is what are people washing with – Spic and Span?

First my disclaimer – I am not a dermatologist, skin expert or esthetician. I am speaking from what I have learned, (as a massage therapist, I touch a lot of skin!) and what I have observed from my own experience and my own skin. Clearly if you have skin conditions you need to talk to a doctor, but I think this type of skin care makes sense for most people.

The skin is an organ. Let’s repeat that out loud – “my skin is an organ”

“I need to treat it like that.”  In fact it’s the largest organ of the body. It has three main functions – protection, regulation and sensation.

The skin renews itself about every 30 days. If this dead skin builds up, it can leave a dull, flat even scaly appearance.

Exfoliation is key! You must remove the dry dead skin first. This will also help with the penetration of whatever products you are using. If you moisturize without exfoliating, you are just moisturizing that already dead layer of skin.

How do you exfoliate?

There are lots of ways to do this –

  • Dry Brushing
  • Hot Towel Scrubbing – ditch that nylon scrubbing thing you have in your shower and treat yourself to an old friend – a wash cloth. It is much gentler on the skin and holds the hot water better – the hot water stimulates the pores to open. Rub the warm washcloth in gentle circles all over your body. Guess what – you are also stimulating your lymphatic system – an added bonus!
  • Salt and Sugar Scrubs – once a week I use a lavender sugar scrub for an extra deep exfoliation. There’s tons of DIY recipes and already make products to purchase – I personally love the Lavender Scrub from Trade Joe’s 

All of these stimulating things are doing just that – stimulating the skin to do what it is supposed to do – function, regenerate cells, breathe, produce it’s own natural oils. Wake it up!

What the heck are you washing with?

Now that we have our skin alive and awake and doing it’s job, what are you going to wash it with? That’s a personal choice, but I would suggest using something that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients in it and if it does, can you pronounce them and do you know what they are? Now that your pores are open do you want to absorb those ingredients? I love Copa soaps. I feel clean and fresh after a shower and they smell divine. We sell them at the studio or you can purchase them online. My favorite is the Vetiver.

So, you’ve exfoliated, cleansed and now you need to moisturize.

Again, personal preference. Same rules apply. Read your label and think about what you are putting on the largest organ of your body. I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. That’s extreme for sure, but it kind of makes sense. I use coconut oil right from the jar. I bought a cute flip top jar that I transfer it to and I add some rose essential oil to it. But you can literally use it straight from the jar it comes in.

We offer a dry brush treatment that can help get you started with a good skin care regime. We dry brush your whole body and then follow it with a therapeutic massage letting all of the oils soak in to your fresh new skin. You get to take home your brush, instructions and your new soft skin.

Showering every day is bad for you skin? I take a screaming hot shower daily, so I say, I think we have to agree to disagree.

Thirty Second Hand Rescue

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Posted by Judy Moon

I don’t know about you, but as soon as the weather shifts and gets the slightest bit nippy the skin on my hands instantly protests! My hands get a very dry scratchy feeling – not optimal for a massage therapist.

Since I handle oil all day while working, you would think that would be enough moisture. I also wash my hands a thousand times a day so I guess that my hands just require some extra TLC.

My secret weapon for combatting dry hands is to use a sugar scrub of some sort to exfoliate the dead skin away and really hydrate the soft skin left behind.

Recently, after doing a ton of dishes, I noticed that my hands were looking pretty sad – so I scooped out about a half teaspoon of coconut oil straight from the jar in to my palm, added about the same amount of raw sugar, straight from the sugar bowl, and threw in 2 drops of lavender essential oil because that’s how I roll and I rubbed it between my hands and on my cuticles and really massaged it in.

I washed my hands and voila – brand new baby soft sweet smelling hands!

I’ve experimented with different brands of sugar scrubs, I like the lavender one from Trader Joe’s, in fact – there is always a jar of that baby in my shower, but this was a fast, quick fix and it did the trick! If you don’t exfoliate, you are simply lubricating dry, dead skin.

There’s all kinds of DIY recipes out there for scrubs and butters, etc. For this version, all I needed was 3 ingredients, a spoon, my hands and about 30 seconds.

Keep it simple my friends! Your hands will be so thankful.

 

Are You As Passionate for Pumpkin As I Am?

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Posted by Judy Moon

This is the time of year when it’s all about pumpkin. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin latte, Great Pumpkin Smoothie, pumpkin body scrubs, pumpkin pie – you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, this girl loves her pumpkin, as my mantle shows, but sometimes I prefer it in a more savory way.

I was super excited to find this recipe a while ago on the Food in Jars website. Marisa McClellan is a local Philly gal and makes canning seem easy and fun! I’ve done a workshop with her and consult her book Food in Jars, Preserving in Small Batches from time to time.

I LOVE this soup and it couldn’t be easier. I always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry and you can have tasty soup in a flash. True confession – I often use canned pumpkin from the grocery store and I think it works just fine when I don’t have any fresh pumpkin to play with.

Curried Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (use your favorite)*
  • 2 pints pressure canned pumpkin (with their canning liquid)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions
Combine onion and coconut oil in a small soup pot. Cook until onion softens and browns. Add curry powder and cook until it is fragrant.

Add pumpkin cubes, their canning liquid and the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Add up to one coconut milk can of water should it need a bit of thinning.

Bring to a bubble, reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Cook until onions are tender.

When soup is done, blitz it with an immersion blender. Taste and add salt as necessary.

Eat and enjoy.

Notes
*If you don’t have any home canned pumpkin, use 1-15 ounce can of commercial pumpkin and one can of water.