World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. There are many people around the world who have challenges with mental health issues but do not seek help because of the negative connotation that comes with asking for it or its simply too expensive. No two people are alike; what works for you might not work for others. So as an advocate for health & wellness, here are some tips that you or someone you know can most definitely benefit from:
This list will change over time, so check back whenever you need a new idea on how to find balance in your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for valuable resources to find help and support, or call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
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Self-care is about soothing the soul and strengthening your mind, body and spirit. It’s about making sure that your basic needs are met- emotionally, spiritually, physically and nutritionally. Sounds easy enough, but looking after your most basic needs can seem impossible at times. Making our way through this event that we can life can be tough, the soul can become weary. Remember that to listen to and replenish yourself along the way.
When you take time out for yourself, really take time for yourself. You will not reap any benefits when you take a break while you are not truly present or committed to your time. Turn your phone and other technology off and redirect your mind when it wanders to other things. Remove thoughts of what you should be doing because what you should be doing is taking care of yourself. When it’s time for YOUR self-care, that might mean saying no to others, especially to people that you love. Always doing for others and not yourself can leave you feeling depleted and resentful. So set clear and consistent boundaries.
You’re constantly bombarded with demands from work, family, friends, and everything else in-between. We all feel that pulling and tugging when its time to fully engage in self-care…But it’s so important to create that space and allow yourself time to be with and learn about you. When you can allow that space and stay in the moment, you will become the most authentic version of yourself.
Where to start?
Unplug- Allowing ourselves to become emerged in the constant connection of the world through the news, social media, computer, phones and tv can lead to a disconnection from ourselves. Try disconnecting with the external, to reconnect with your internal. Silence notifications on your phone, or turn it on airplane mood.
Comfort Zone- When you began to reconnect, you will disturb your current comfort zone and that’s ok. The goal is to rid yourself of old ideas that you will longer need moving forward…old patterns of fear, stress, worry or other diseased habits that no longer serve you.
Schedule It- Add self-care to your calendar. Schedule a daily ritual or even a monthly one. Something big or small that feels nurturing and feeds your soul. It should not feel like a chore, obligation or something to check off of your to-do list. The key here is having that ritual be something that you enjoy.
Reflect- What about the feeling behind that feeling? Reflecting upon why you feel or what triggers that feeling and being honest with yourself about it, is a valuable part of basic self-care because it’s about listening. Listening to our basic emotional needs. On the surface, we might feel fine or maybe a little irritable. But we might be covering up the fact that we desperately need a hug or completely stressed out.
In creating time for self-care, be gentle with yourself. Saying “no” to something or a family member does not mean that you are abandoning your family, it means that you are listening to and taking care of your own needs. You are not skating out on responsibilities, you are focusing on the responsibility that you have to yourself. If someone in your life takes issue with the newfound you just politely remind them that by taking care of yourself, the better equipped you are to take care of them.
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Looking around, we can’t help but notice the sugar, spice & everything nice, Fall is here! Now that Summer has come to an end and the season has shifted, temperature and humidity will drop quickly and your skin might have to work harder to maintain adequate hydration. Because fall can bring sporadic weather patterns – warm temperatures followed by cool, windy days – our skin is thirsting for moisture and hydration that gives it back it’s healthy glow. With the right skincare routine and the tips below, you can confidently battle the elements of rain, dryness, coldness, & wind!
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Everyone is ready to make their way to natural hair care products for many reasons- saving the environment, less drying on the hair, allergies! Whatever your reason, let’s just talk about these products for a few minutes so you can be better informed and not so confused!
What does "natural shampoo" mean? It means that the cleansing ingredients used in the shampoo are gentle on the hair, scalp & skin. Most natural shampoos will not become as foamy as you are used to and you might be a little confused- but fewer suds are intentional, so leave your worries behind. The truth is the amount of suds doesn’t impact organic shampoo’s ability to clean your locks. A natural conditioner is one that relies on vegetable oils, vitamins, and other conditioning ingredients to replenish hair from the inside out. These attributes are important because commercial synthetic shampoos/conditioners are more likely to expose the hair and the skin to harsh chemical ingredients that can potentially have harmful long-term effects, including skin irritation, dryness, a reduction in the size or deterioration of the hair follicles, premature graying, and even hair loss. Natural & organic versions can be used confidently without these side-effects because they provide the hair with many benefits that commercial hair care products cannot compete with.
The bottom line is that over time, your shampoo & conditioner should nourish the hair, which is part of the reason that you should be using natural & organic hair care products. Every shampoo and conditioner out on the market today claim to work for a specific hair type. They also claim to help with many hair issues, such as frizz and dandruff. Sad to say, many are still unsatisfied with the results they’re seeing. We all react differently to the chemicals in hair care products and some of those symptoms that you might experience such as dry scalp/hair, frizz, breakage can be caused by your shampoo & conditioner. Yikes! Our skin is permeable and can easily absorb containments as well as high nutrient ingredients. Look for products with safe & healthy natural or naturally derived ingredients.
Check out our list of ingredients here.
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Ok spoiler alert, skin types are not real! Ok, they sort of real but only according to the skincare industry, not Dermatologists. Terms such as oily, dry, combination, or sensitive are useful troubleshooting clues and can be used to get a better idea of how your skin reacts to different things. Our skin is unpredictable to a certain degree. Why? Because your skin is directly and indirectly affected by climate, hormones, medication (herbal & Rx), diet and it can change over time. Also, genetics and ethnic background can influence your skin greatly.
Symptoms of health problems can show up in your skin & nails and dermatologists read your skin for signs of larger health problems instead of classifying it into a skin type. Using relatable skin type terms allows Farmhouse to give you an easily assessable way to be attentive to your skin’s general tendencies. When your skin changes, don’t be afraid to switch through our various products.
Living in Atlanta, there are only two real seasons; Summer and Winter. Just kidding but it’s nothing close to the four seasons I’m used to while growing up in Maryland. My typical routine contains four products; Lemon & Lavender Soap, White Willow & Tea Tree Toner, Carrot & Shea Skin & Eye Cream & White Willow Acne Cream. However, I use all of the products in the Farmhouse lineup. Some days, I wake up flaky around my nostrils and chin so I trade the soap for Face Scrub and apply a drop or two of the Rosehip Restore Serum in those areas. On other days when my hormones are changing, pores are clogged & I just look oily…I perform facial steam with extractions and add the French French Clay & Turmeric Mask to absorb excess oil, to my nightly routine. My Summer months include a lot of body scrubbing; more of my skin is showing and I just love the healthy glow that comes with a good exfoliation session! During the Winter months, eczema will try to creep up on me but I keep it away by applying the Hair & Body Oil then layering a generous helping of the Whipped Shea Body Butter on top of that. Since this time of the year can be extremely drying, I use it as an excuse to take steam showers! Likewise, I have a mean case of eczema on my lips (yes, its a real thing) so at night I like to layer on the Orange Jojoba Lip Balm and Skin & Eye Cream directly after hopping out of the shower.
But, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t feed the skin type beast and give you the general tendencies of each classification:
Dry skin occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands do not produce enough oil to properly hydrate and protect the epidermis. It can feel tight throughout the day and may experience noticeable flaking. Dehydration is also a leading cause of dry skin, so drinking plenty of water and avoiding diuretics like alcohol and caffeine can make a significant difference in how your skin feels and looks. Exfoliation with a fruit enzyme can help promote skin cell turnover without removing the skin’s natural oils. Without an additional layer of dead skin, serums and treatments will be absorbed more easily. Combination skin often experiences different symptoms in a different area of their face. In some cases, the skin is either stripped or dehydrated making it important to find a moisturizer that is not too heavy but one substantial enough to retain moisture where needed most. In other instances, it might be hormone imbalances that show up in the skin causing unsightly symptoms. The key here is to use products that will balance the skin.
Normal skin is not prone to breakouts and tends to have a well-moisturized t-zone but normal skin can have other issues like hyperpigmentation or fine lines. Hydration is also crucial, as even normal skin can become dehydrated.
Oily skin means excess oil that oftentimes leaves pores congested and clogged. Oily skin can be caused by using stripping products, genetics, climate, and dehydration. If your skin is oily but feels rough to dry, that’s a good sign that your skin is dehydrated. Although oily skin does not always incur acne, it can be prone to dark spots and breakouts. A physical or fruit enzyme exfoliator helps to speed up recovery and prevent blemishes. The happy news, however, is that oily skin looks younger and more supple because it has more natural moisture and is less prone to wrinkle.
Sensitive skin may often appear red and/or feel itchy, burning, and irritated consistently. After you wash your face, your skin may feel tight and inflamed or you may often experience dryness in addition to irritation. With conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, focus on using oils to lock in hydration. If you cannot introduce a new product into your routine without breakouts appearing, then you likely have sensitive skin. It’s important to be aware of what ingredients have caused a negative reaction in the past and make an effort to avoid them.
Below are some questions that will help you become more in tune with what your skin needs.
Here’s the thing, don’t stress yourself out trying to find your “skin type” and do not stress out when it changes. Your skin changes daily and if you lock yourself into a certain skin type…you will freak out as soon as you skin does anything other than the label you have given it. Instead, try being more mindful and flexible in your skincare routine. If you feel that your skin is oily, a face mask will do the trick and if it’s dry, apply more moisturizer or serum. It’s very simple. The most important part to remember is that you might wake up the next day and have to tweak your routine.
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Our Herbal Suppositories are such a hot topic. Women always inquire about them and ask questions. Here’s the scoop!
What is Suppository? The word suppository is derived from the Latin suppositorum, which means, “something placed beneath”. Using an internal method of herbal suppository is deeply therapeutic and often leads to dramatic results in a short period. Suppositories have been used traditionally to treat a multitude of illnesses because the colon/vagina are direct delivery methods into the body. Suppositories are used to administer medicine, in preparation for surgery or examinations and for other medical reasons.
What are essential oils? Our suppositories contain essential oils. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants; obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. These oils capture the plant's scent and flavor, also called its "essence” (unique aromatic compounds) and the chemicals in essential oils can interact with your body in several ways. Essential oils contain medicinal properties that support tissue integrity, reduce irritation and inflammation, and lubricate the vaginal/rectual tissue.
How do suppositories work? The reason that the suppositories work is because the body absorbs medicinal properties from vaginal/rectal suppositories quickly. They in some ways can work faster than medications taken by mouth. This is because suppositories melt inside the body and absorb directly into the bloodstream. Just think about how many times your grandmother mentioned taking a rectal enema for softening hard stools. Our suppositories are made from herbal ingredients that are anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, astringent to excessive discharges and damaged tissue, and antibacterial. They are used extensively for vaginal infections and inflammation, rectal fissures, and hemorrhiods. It is recommended that women wear a sanitary napkin when the suppository is in place so that the melting oil will not stain the undergarments.
Green Tea…really? A 2009 study from the Canadian Journal of Microbiology established Green Tea’s efficiency in treating yeast infections. According to the study, Green Tea disrupts the establishment of Candida Albicans. Other medical research suggests that Green Tea can be used in neutralizing the excess yeast cells formation in the vaginal area. If you aren’t sure about using our Green Tea Suppositories, drink some Green Tea. Go ahead, drink a cup or two of high quality organic Green Tea daily.
But Coconut Oil…that doesn’t seem like it would work? Yes, coconut oil, not just just any. The type of coconut oils matters just as much as the harvesting…organic, virgin, cold-pressed unrefined. A 2007 study clearly stated that “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species” as this oil contains Lauric Acid which is an antifungal. Do not use coconut oil with latex condoms, the oil can break down the barrier thus not providing protection!
Why do the suppositories have to be kept frozen? Sounds weird, I know. However, keeping suppositories in the freezer is perfectly safe. Your freezer stays the same temperature day and night providing a consistent climate and the freezing process does not kill any significant amount of the probiotic cultures. During the freezing process, the cultures go into a dormant state, but when returned to a warm temperature within the body, the cultures become active again and are capable of providing all of the intended benefits of probiotics. It is safe to put essential oils in the freezer is perfectly safe. The consistent temperature and lack of light help to preserve your oils.
Why do our Herbal Suppositories work vs. conventional treatments? I won’t tell you that conventional treatments don’t work. What I will tell you is that you have options. Herbal suppositories work efficiently without the side effects of conventional treatments, including nausea, vomiting, and antibiotics resistance among others. Medical studies and trials are proving that suppositories and probiotic therapy work. After reading MANY medical trials and studies, I will spare you the technical details and give you the highlights below:
So there you have it. If you feel a yeast infection coming, want extra lubrication, need additional support before & after your cycle, Tea Tree Suppositories will work well. If you have bacteria vaginosis or a reoccurring yeast infection our Green Tea option or Coochie Care package is your best bet. I encourage you all to do your own research! I hope that this long ass blog post was informative that you learned something new!
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Inside The At Home Steam Shower
Let’s get right to it. This method will allow you to take a steam shower anytime you want without additional costs!
Of course, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t tell you some of the benefits!
Not only is it just super relaxing its a mood booster, steaming reduces stress by helping the body release endorphins (feel good hormones) and reduce cortisol (stress response hormones). The cardiovascular system benefits from this technique by improving circulation which helps the blood transport oxygen around the body a bit easier. Steaming can also reduce blood pressure and repair broken skin tissue caused by wounds.
A Germany study discovered human sweat contains a natural germ-killing protein called dermcidin, which can protect again strains of germs that cause diseases like MRSA and tuberculosis. And you will most definitely sweat; opening pores and releasing toxic compounds trapped beneath the skin (dirt, makeup, pollutants). A 2012 study found that sweating plays an important role in expelling heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic from the body because they dissolve readily in water. Can we say three for one. Winning!
Slept on a bed of rocks?…ok maybe not rocks, but we have all experienced the stiffness that comes with “sleeping the wrong way” and steaming will help loosen up those stiff joints. Feeling the aftermath of that Crossfit workout or that speed walking session? Steaming after a workout will help to sooth those nerve endings and relax your muscles. Not to mention opening up those sinuses when dealing with a cold or stuffy nose all while adding hydration to the hair and skin. Basically a steam shower is like a one-stop shop!
Always remember to keep the body well hydrated for at least 3 days before you take a steam shower. Slather a generous amount of Body Butter on to lock in that moisture and drink a few cups of water after you finish. It can become very hot in your shower, please use caution and common sense. If too much steam is in the shower, open the shower door or curtain to release it. Steaming is something to be done occasionally, not daily. Let your tarp dry or wipe down with a towel, fold and store for later. When in doubt, always check with your medical provider before you engage in steaming.
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Consider this quick cheat sheet the next time you slather one on. What are Serums? The short answer is that they are efficient blends of potent active ingredients that are made to deliver wonderful goodies deep into the skin for quick results. By goodies, I mean vitamins & antioxidants that smooth fine lines, increase firmness, speed cell turnover, boosting brightness, and correcting discoloration. Yes, they are pricer but let’s not forget about that “blend of potent active ingredients” that I mentioned?... a few drops of serum goes a long way. Less is more most of the time meaning that your pricy serum will last you for a while. In other words, don’t pile it on!
Serums should be applied to your skin in the following order: cleanser, toner, water-based serum, moisturizer, oil-based serum, sunscreen. Here’s why! Water-based serums nourish the inner layer of the skin and should always go under any creams when layering. Our Night Serum Antioxidant Q10 and Daisy Blossom Brighten serums are light & thin which is good for oil-prone skin and can work with a combination of products when layering. Oil-based serums such as Rosehip Restore go on top of water-based moisturizers to help keep the skin moist. Oils form a protective seal to lock in moisture. This lightweight oil will help those with dry and maturing skin. Oil can dilute sunscreens so make sure you’re applying before sunscreen.
Let me guide you through some tips to apply your serums correctly.
First, just know that serums will stick to dirt and dead skin, so for maximum absorption be sure to cleanse your face well before applying. That means you might need to exfoliate with our White Willow Coconut Sugar Scrub. Apply your serums to damp skin. This creates an environment that’s better for penetration into the skin. If you’ve let the skin dry before you made it to the serum...well will need to re-dampen it. Next, if you are applying multiple serums, think of it like layering your clothes in the Winter. You wouldn’t put a sweater under a tank top, right? Great so keep that same energy when layering your oil hydration serum then you antioxidant and vitamin-packed serum. Once applied, skip the massage. We tend to want to massage everything into our skin. Pat or press on your serum then let it absorb on its own. You can mix and match here and if you have two serums that have the same consistency, layer the one with ingredients that you want to penetrate the most, first.
Next, wait for about 5 minutes before applying moisturizer or acne treatment. I know, 5 minutes?! Yes, 5 minutes! Applying moisturizer too early can affect the lessen the penetration of your serum into the skin. But guess what? You can massage your moisturizer right on in. While your serum contains moisturizing ingredients to help the skin retain moisture, using an actual moisturizer will seal that serum in and create, what I like to call, a heal and hydrate barrier.
Ok so what about if you want to spot treat vs. apply to your whole face? You can use your serums to spot treat for specific conditions like treating those dry spots besides your nose vs. giving your entire face a healthy dose of antioxidants.
Always protect your glow. There is nothing like following your skincare regimen then throwing all of that hard out the window by stepping into the Sun without sunscreen.
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Maybe you aren’t prone to dark spots or hyperpigmentation but you are prone to acne scars from pimples. A pimple can get a scab just the same as any other wound on the body. But they are so noticeable and can be embarrassing- especially on a first date or job interview! But, let’s be clear, scabs are the body’s way of protecting and repairing broken skin cells. Scabs reduce infections into the wound and allow the skin underneath to heal. But nothing is perfect and sometime this process doesn’t work as it should.
Below are some ways that you can help speed up the process, Yippy!!
Do your best, not to pick the scab! Something that most of us are probably guilty of. However, bacteria can get into the wound once picked, which can make the situation even worse. So just try not to touch the area.
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I started making skincare products out of necessity and I like using high-quality organic ingredients even if it takes more time and effort. Switching to a natural skincare routine gave me a peace of mind while clearing up all of my skin issues that ranged from moderate eczema, severely dry skin, hormonal & cystic acne, acne scars, and dark spots. The skin that I was once hesitant to show off without makeup is now living carefree under the gentle and effective protection of my natural skincare products. And if that isn't enough, not only am I helping my family and others, I'm doing a small deed to help save the environment by not contributing to the chemicals (found in skincare products) that end up in the waterways.
People ask me all the time "is organic better"? Our clean and organic products are better for your body, the environment and they work! I know you might be thinking that "organic products are too expensive for me" and while our products are not dirt cheap as drug store brands, the ingredients are of a higher quality. The marketing campaigns of many mass-produced products will sell you on instant gratification. But what they won't tell you is how those products cut oxygen to the skin, cause premature aging, irritation, allergic reactions, eczema, and increase the risk of "sun/age" spots. Just read (if you can) the ingredients on the back of your drug store products. Come on, you exercise and eat well then slather yourself with chemicals...make good choices for your body inside & out. Stop waiting and order some freshly made organic products that your skin will thank you for later.
So think out of the box and try something new....you don't have to stick to that drug-store brand that your mom has been using since you were a kid, especially if you are still having skincare issues! Plus just think of the aromatherapy benefits because our products are only lightly scented with essential oils, not irritating perfumes.
As I grow this brand, I plan to invest in more environmentally friendly packaging and completely removing beeswax from our ingredient list! And as always I encourage you all to recycle, reuse, repurpose or refill your containers!
Click on the article to get insider information about how I started Farmhouse Organic and why!
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In my free-time I enjoy studying skincare, Herbalism and reading/researching scholarly & scientific literature on various topics.