Jumpstart the New Year by adopting new habits for eco-conscious living!  With Pantry Products, we can help facilitate these easy switches, so that what ever you use will make you feel great inside and out. Here are our top 5 items you may have at home for you to make the switch!

  1. Toothpaste to Tooth Powder
    Toothpaste made by big companies typically has a lot of harmful ingredients, such as fluoride.  We understand fluoride’s use, in that it prevents our teeth from having cavities. However, fluoride is counter productive because too much will disrupt your endocrine system and cause fluorosis (colored teeth).  With our tooth powder, we use natural ingredients with bentoite clay, activated charcoal, sea salt, and baking soda being key. Bentonite clay absorbs toxins and neutralizes bad bacteria.  If you have sensitive teeth or gum, bentonite clay will help alleviate your sensitivity.  It also acts as an astringent to remove tartar. Best of all, it will not damage the enamel. Activated charcoal helps remove stains from your teeth because it’s highly absorbent against molecules that’ll stain your teeth. Sea salt is known for being anti-bacterial and acid reducing because it’s high in iodine.  With that being said, it’ll fight bad breath, reduce acid content, and balance the PH level, thereby preventing tooth decay. Sea salt also contains traces of calcium, magnesium, and iron to strengthen your gums. Last but not least, baking soda. Baking soda helps whiten teeth and remineralize your teeth’s enamel.  It limits plaque build up by neutralizing plaque acids.  Baking soda has anti-bacteria properties that’ll help prevent bacteria from causing periodontal disease or decay
    .
    Shop Our Tooth Powder
  2. Aerosol Dry Shampoo to Powder Dry Shampoo
    For some of us, we can go days without washing our hair, so we rely on dry shampoos to do the trick.  However, most big branded dry shampoos have too much ingredients and harmful chemicals. Aerosol dry shampoos contain isobutane, butane, and propane, emitting more greenhouse gases. It also contains alcohols that’ll dry not only your hair, but your scalp. The other ingredient is silicone.  Too much silicone causes clogged pores in the scalp, resulting acne breakout in the scalp. One can do only so much with aerosol dry shampoos, only for it to cause more harm than good. With our dry shampoo powder, it contains arrowroot powder and cornstarch to absorb oils while rejuvenating and refreshing your hair, as any dry shampoo should be doing!

    Shop Our Dry Shampoo Powder
  3. Baby Wipes to Squeaky Clean
    Baby wipes are not biodegradeable.  These wipes are one of the many contributors to the marine microplastic pollution when they’re improperly disposed aka flushed down the toilet. For us, it causes irritation especially when it has artifical fragrance. With our Squeaky Clean, it has witch hazel and aloe vera, safe to use on our tush. Witch hazel relieves itching, burning, and irritation, whereas aloe vera soothes. Your bum will thank you.

    Shop Our Squeaky Clean
  4. Chemical Deodorant to Natural Deodorant
    We know how harmful chemical deodorants are.  They’re formulated with so much ingredients, that may disrupt our endcrine system. Chemical deodorants contain aluminum, which is the reason for sweat stains. It’ll also make the sweat worse due to bacteria build up causing clogged pores.  Research has shown that because we apply aluminum frequently under our arms, it may contribute to causing breast cancer. The other ingredient is paraben, which is in a lot of mainstream beauty and household products.  Paraben disrupts the hormones in our body and harms fertility. It also causes skin irritations. With our deodorant, we are free from aluminum and parabens. One of the key ingredient is zinc. Used in the hospital for woundcare, zinc kills 2 types of bacteria, Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus. Zinc rids odor and traps moisture, while providing a protective barrier.

    Shop Our Deodorant
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  5. Synthetic Wax Candles to Soy Wax Candles

    We all love candles. Candles set a mood or like Jan Levinson, *poof!* All stress goes away after smelling the candles. Most candles burn so quickly, in that it contains paraffin wax. You know, the wax your nail lady uses on your hands to rid dead skins. Paraffin wax is made from petroleum, which when it burns, it releases high amounts of carbon dioxide, acetone, butane, and other harmful chemicals in the air. Synthetic candles cause repiratory issues, as well as allergies, being that it also has synthetic fragrances. Yuck! Soy wax is non toxic. It burns clean and burns 35-50% longer because it has a lower melting point. Should you experience accidentally spilling wax, the good news is that soy wax cleans easily with soap and water, making it biodegradeable. Our candles are made from soy and we source our fragrances, ensuring they’re non-toxic.
    Shop Our Candles

Let us know in the comments what are some products you’ll be switching out and what are in this year!

Keep it green,
The Pantry Team

 

Well, that’s a wrap on 2022 + what a year it was! From highs to low and everything in between. We hope that you + your loved ones are coming out of the year with your health + that 2023 brings us a year with more highs + less lows.

Always wanting to focus on the good, in this month’s blog we are sharing the Top 10 selling Pantry Products of 2022. From products to brighten our skin while brightening our mood to ones that helped us look our best even if we felt our worst, these products helped make life a little easier. And a lot more enjoyable.

Here we go… ahem, drumroll, please. Drumroll!

10. Honey + Lemon Exfoliating Face Scrub

Honey + Lemon Exfoliating Scrub

9. Healing Eczema Cream

8. Warming Chai Milk Bath

7. Pack Your Bags – Neroli Eye Serum

Pack Your Bags; Neroli Eye Serum

6. Wellness Subscription Box

5. Fresh + Clear Face Wash

Fresh + Clear Face Wash

4. Nail + Cuticle Essential Oil

3. Honey + Lavender Lip Balm

2. Phthlate-free Soy Wax Candles

1. Arnica Muscle Salve

Arnica Muscle Salve

Which of your favorite products made our Best-Of List? Which are you surprised to see (or not see)?

As we wrap up 2022, we want to thank you for all of your support over this year (and all the others before it). We are excited for what the new year brings + to continue to roll out all-natural handmade products. Be sure to follow along for all the new things we have planned for the new year.

Cheers!

Michelle + the Pantry Products’ team

 

Fire Cider Recipe

Cold, flu + COVID season is here! Ugh! Boost your immunity + fend off illness by whipping up a batch of your own Fire Cider.

What is Fire Cider?
Like elderberry syrup, fire cider is a tonic is folk recipe revered by herbalists for its ability to support the immune system during cold + flu season, allergy season, or any time the immune system needs support.

It’s a spicy, delicious tonic that’s made by infusing apple cider vinegar with powerful immune-supporting, lymph moving, circulation-stimulating, antioxidant-rich + digestion-enhancing roots + herbs. It was developed by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health and many other herbal books.

Fire Cider Recipe

Why Fire Cider?
This tasty vinegar infusion powered by warming and wellness-supporting ingredients is an especially pleasant + easy way to boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and raise your internal thermostat on cold days. Mmm…mmm!…how we love this hot and sweet, zesty, vinegary recipe!

How to Make Your Own Fire Cider?
Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it + what’s growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in like thyme, black pepper, + cloves.

Fire Cider Recipe

How to Use Fire Cider?
Fire cider is as diverse in its usage as it is in its ingredients. Here are some ways you can use it:
– taken straight by the spoonful or as a shot
– added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles for a non-alcoholic, healthy bloody mary!)
– splashed in fried rice
– drizzled on a salad with good olive oil.
– used as a divine marinade for chicken or pork

You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries.

Ready to make your own? Here’s our recipe but feel free to add your own flair to it.

Equipment:

1 -32 oz jar with tight-fitting lid
parchment paper
cheesecloth

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c turmeric, sliced
  • 1/2 head garlic, diced
  • 1/4 c fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/4 c fresh horseradish root, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 lemon or orange, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c honey, more or less, as desired 

    Directions:

    • Prepare your ingredients as indicated above + place them into your jar.
    • Pour in apple cider vinegar until all ingredients are covered + it reaches the top of the jar
    • Use a piece of parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Shake well.
    • Store in a dark, cool place for 2-4 weeks + shake daily. Place it somewhere you’ll see it!
    • After one month, strain out the pulp + pouring the vinegar into a clean jar (or pour into a pot or bowl and then back into the jar). Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid from the pulp as you can.
    • Compost or dispose of pulp. However, it can also be tasty in a stir-fry.
    • Add honey + stir until incorporated.
    • Taste your cider + add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.Store in the refrigerator or, because fire cider is preserved in apple cider vinegar, it is completely shelf-stable + can be stored in a cool dark place.

       

    Let us know in the comments if you make this recipe + what you think about it? We’d love to meet fellow fire cider fans!

Be well!

Michelle

As the weather grows colder, the air becomes drier. Add humidity into your home while also setting the seasonal mood with these fall + winter diffuser blends.

Don’t have a diffuser? You can add the oils to a pan of simmering water on your stove.

Want to take the scents with you? Add a few drops of each blend to a wooden clothespin and attach to your vehicle’s heat vent.

Don’t have oils? Check out our past blog containing recipes for easy + delicious stovetop simmer pot recipes.

Let us know if you try any of these and if so, which are your favorites.

 

Cold Weather Diffuser Blends

Pumpkin Spice Latte Sugar Scrub

Pantry Products started when me, Michelle M. Czarka, a life-long crafter + a diehard home cook, began using ingredients from my kitchen pantry to make non-toxic personal care products. The development of Pantry recipes came from combining the ingredients + flavors of much-loved foods + drinks into healthy body products.

Since fall is my favorite season, it only seemed right that I would channel this love of fall + comforting fall beverages to inspire a few of our skin, bath + body products.

So, whether your’re a matcha latte or a mocha with whip person, there’s a product for you.

Is your favorite beverage not listed? Let us know in the comments. We may have a product for it…or we may just have to create one. 🙂

Our Green Tea Moisturizer contains a powerful dose of organic matcha powder + a concoction of beautifying essential oils designed to soothe, moisturize, and fight free radicals. Topped with notes of vanilla, jasmine, and sandalwood essentials oils, it’s a perfect combination of earthy and floral.

Featuring a  ground spice blend that was originally created as a natural PSL blend for a neighboring coffeeshop, we quickly fell in love with the scent + had to create a polish out of it. Our Autumn Spice Body Polish features a combination of ground cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, star anise, cardamom, and orange peel making it our IDEAL fall skin treat.

If you like coffee, you are going to really like this polish. If you like coconut + coffee, you are going to LOOOOOOOVE our Choco + Coffee Body Polish. A delightfully fluffy blend of coconut oil, cocoa powder, ground coffee, and coconut extract, it’s tasty enough to eat. And because it’s 100% natural, you can. 🙂

Ever loved a beverage so much that you wanted to climb right into it? That’s how I feel about a perfectly-spicy hot chai latte. They are so comforting, so warming, so divine! And that’s exactly how I would describe our Warming Chai Milk Bath. Featuring dry milk, Epsom salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground clove, and ground cardamom, it’s a delicious bath time treat.

Which one(s) are your favorite? Let us know!

Apart from being delicious, pumpkin + fall spices are also crazy good for you/your skin.  Join us on a virtual stroll through fall to discover the benefits as well as find a couple pumpkin spicy beauty recipes you can make at home.

PUMPKIN

Thanks to high levels of beta carotene + vitamin C and E, pumpkin protects your skin against UV damage, free radicals, + premature wrinkles and sagging. As if that’s not reason enough, studies have shown that the yellow-orange pigments, called carotenoids, lend a natural glow to the skin. Pumpkin is also a natural exfoliant that helps slough off old skin cells + supports the regeneration of new ones. The fruit enzymes, alpha hydroxy acid, and vitamin A (aka ‘retinoids’) in pumpkin break down the “glue” holding old, dead skin cells on your face, and allows them to fall away naturally. When you’re done, you’re left with a bright, clean, refreshed skin surface!

AND SPICE… 

CLOVE

Not only is clove an aphrodisiac (hubba hubba!) but it can also work wonders on your skin. It’s anti-bacterial + anti-fungal properties make it a powerful tool in the treatment of breakouts. Since clove is a highly potent antioxidant, it helps in maintaining the collagen level of the skin which prevents premature aging.  Bonus: the above-mentioned antibacterial properties also means that clove can help to promote oral health + it has been used to treat oral problems since ancient times. This is why it was a must-have ingredient for our Tooth PowderPlease note: clove oil is very strong! Always dilute clove oil with a carrier oil to prevent burns. 

Cinnamon Clove Skincare

CINNAMON

The anti-fungal, antioxidant +  antibacterial properties of cinnamon make it one of the best spices to spice up your skincare. It improves blood flow to the surface of the skin, resulting in a hydrated skin while helping to fight against acne + skin blemishes. Bonus: it makes a great lip plumper! Add a couple drops of cinnamon oil to any carrier oil for a lip boost or pick up a tube of our Spiced Chai Lip Balm.

GINGER

With 40 antioxidant properties, what can’t you do with this invigorating spice? Rub fresh ginger directly onto your face to ease inflammation, boost skin tone + fight blemishes. Pair it with honey + lemon juice to improve elasticity, clean up breakouts, and brighten skin tone. (Just be careful around your eyes.) Want a little more invigoration? Grab a pouch of our Warming Chai Milk Bath to boost your circulation, moisturize your skin, + treat your senses to a bouquet of seasonal scents.

NUTMEG

Nutmeg is considered a wonder spice for good reason. It eliminates irritation + inflammation on your skin by smoothing out its appearance + promoting hydration. For those with acne scarring, nutmeg can help soften the appearance of scars as well as sun spots. It is highly recommended for individuals with dry skin as it aids in exfoliation + moisturization but it also helps those with oily skin due to its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial elements. These elements help to reduce excess oil production + the clogged pores it brings. And, if that wasn’t enough, it also works wonders as a toner. Win, win, win! Feeling nutty for nutmeg? Our Autumn Spice Body Polish is just the thing for you! This sweet + spicy combination works to exfoliate + moisturize dry skin while smoothing out imperfections.

TURMERIC

Also known as the golden root, turmeric is a must-have spice in your wellness regimen! It contains antioxidants + anti-inflammatory components that help beat back breakouts + break up clogged pores so your skin can glow. Another one of the major benefits of turmeric for your skin is its ability to boost collagen production + speed up the body’s ability to form new, healthy tissue. It also blocks elastase, an enzyme that attacks your skin’s ability to produce elastin. If elastin production slows down, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging are more likely to appear. Luckily, turmeric is full of antioxidants that mop up these skin-damaging molecules and dial down the potential effects of environmental damage. And speaking of environmental damage, turmeric is also beneficial in the battle against hyperpigmentation. Since it inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for dark spots and other kinds of hyperpigmentation, using turmeric regularly on your skin can fade away discoloration to give skin a more even-toned appearance!

Now that you’ve read up on the benefits of these autumnal superstars, let’s bust open those pantries + mix up some skin care treats!

Pumpkin Spice Skincare

DIY Pumpkin-Turmeric Face Mask

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon oats, ground

Instructions

In a small bowl, mix puree, coconut oil, and turmeric. In a blender or food processor, pulverize oats into a fine powder + sprinkle into pumpkin mixture. Apply to face + neck and leave on for 20 minutes. Before rinsing, gently work product into face in circular motions. Rinse and moisturize.


 

self care for small business

I quickly realized how easy it is, in the thick of nurturing a business, to neglect yourself. Neglecting self care is common among entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business—working a day job + cramming the rest into that time you once had reserved for downtime, fun, or family interaction.

Time and time again, studies link physical health to mental health and mental health to productivity to creative thinking. Self care, it seems, has a positive ripple effect. Entrepreneurs who hope to avoid burnout should strive for a sustainable work-life balance that prioritizes well-being. Here, I’ll explore 8 self care tips that fit into busy lifestyles.

 

What is self care?

Self care is a term that traditionally has been used to describe self-initiated actions to stay healthy, prevent disease, and manage long-term illnesses. It encompasses basic needs like sleep, food, water, and human contact.

In the past decade or so, self care’s definition has expanded to include activities such as meditation, travel, and pampering, and to focus on emotional and relationship health—even achieving Instagrammable levels of opulence and indulgence. But at its core, self care isn’t mani-pedis and mimosas—it’s tapping into what your mind and body need most. (Sometimes that might be a mimosa.)

 

8 Self-Care Strategies for Small Business Owners

Entrepreneurship can be challenging. With everything on your plate, it’s easy to ignore your own needs. But beware: the cost of not taking care of yourself now is much greater in the long run. Even small acts of self care over time can set you up to be mentally, emotionally, and physically equipped to handle the demands of a small business.

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these self-care tips.

1. Don’t forget to breathe

Let’s start with an easy one. Breathing happens naturally, whether you’re thinking about it or not, right? But how are you breathing? Short panting puffs? Holding your breath subconsciously?

There are proven benefits to controlled and mindful breathing, including staving off stress. Where shallow breathing contributes to anxiety, full abdominal breaths help slow the heart and stabilize blood pressure. If you have trouble remembering to breathe deeply, practice yoga or other guided meditation or breathing exercises through an app or podcast until it comes naturally.

Meesh Tip #1: One of my favorites is the Breathe app on the Apple Watch. It’s a simple + attainable exercise for which I have truly no excuse not to do since my watch is always on when I’m awake.

2. Minimize stress through exercise

Regular aerobic exercise boosts the part of your brain responsible for memory and learning. You don’t need to spend tons of money on gym fees or hours on the treadmill, though, to reap the positive impacts of exercise on your stress levels.

According to the CDC, the average adult should get about 150 minutes of exercise per week (the amount you need may differ). It sounds like a lot when you’re already tapped out, but break it up into small 10- to 20-minute chunks throughout the week: take the dog for a walk, engage in some light desk yoga, or tackle some yard work.

Meesh Tip #2: If I have errands to run, I will park at the back of the parking lot just to squeeze some extra steps in.

3. Get better sleep

Sleep deprivation contributes to reduced decision making ability and stunts creativity. You might get more done by burning the midnight oil, but at what cost? Build a routine that includes better sleeping habits, and if you can’t seem to catch a solid eight hours, a good 10- to 30-minute power nap will pick up the slack.

Meesh Tip #3: Finding it hard to quiet your mind to fall asleep? Try a sleep app or podcast. Two of my favorites are Headspace Sleepcasts and yoga and meditation instructor, Kathryn Nicolai’s Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime Stories for Adults

4. Fuel up to increase energy

It’s confusing to navigate nutritional information that seemingly contradicts itself everywhere you look. It’s so overwhelming that when you’re busy, it may seem much easier to grab fast food—it saves time and fills the gap.

On the other end of the spectrum, toxic diet culture is rampant on platforms like Instagram, where it’s easy to get caught up in unrealistic expectations for body and health. Skipping meals or engaging in unsustainable dieting can be just as harmful.

Listen to what your body needs, eat when you’re hungry, and allow yourself to indulge in your favorites. Self care is as much about emotional well-being as it is about the physical. Fill your office fridge with easy-to-grab snacks that feed your body, not just your cravings.

Meesh Tip #4: A self-professed noodle addict, I love making these mason jar noodle soups + keeping them nearby

5. Seek human interaction

In the early days of running your business, you may be a team of one. While working alone can have its perks, loneliness can take a psychological toll. While human interaction is baked into a lot of office jobs, entrepreneurs will need to take a proactive approach to meeting social needs.

Build face time into your day by working from a coffee shop once a week, joining local entrepreneur meetup groups, or finding a running buddy. Finding like-minded folks to share, commiserate, and laugh with are crucial to staying sane. Don’t know any other business owners? Well, you know me! We can be friends. Seriously! Message me!

If you can’t see people face-to-face—you’re living off the grid or the world is on pandemic lockdown…again—a phone call or video chat with loved ones will do in a pinch.

Meesh Tip #5: Look into neighborhood co-working spaces to see if they offer free day passes. This is an easy way to get out of your home/office + be around others. Plus, these places are usually lovely to work in.

6. Engage in activities and hobbies outside of work

What’s the best part of working for yourself? You (mostly) make your schedule. Unfortunately, as entrepreneurs, we often end up working more than we ever have. Work is always there. However, a clear delineation between work and play is necessary to truly unwind. What do you do for fun? Whether it’s knitting or swimming, playing an instrument or playing strategy games, sign up for a class or join a group to hold yourself accountable to your hobby on a regular basis. This small act of self care can help you work out other parts of your brain so you can bring creativity back to your work.

Meesh Tip #6: PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR + DO LET YOURSELF SKIP IT!

7. Create a workspace you love

Your workspace is a place where you’ll be spending the majority of your waking hours, especially while getting a business off the ground. Be mindful of how you design the space—it can impact your happiness and motivation.

Ask yourself: is there enough delineation between personal and work space? Is the furniture ergonomic and conducive to an efficient workflow? Is there adequate light and ventilation? Small acts of self care like a splash of paint, a new candle, or a few houseplants can actually have a positive impact on mood.

Meesh Tip #7: Put items in your workspace that bring you joy. A favorite pen or notepad, picks of your pet, a piece of art that makes you smile. These little mementos will provide teeny boosts of seratonin.

8. Treat yourself—you deserve it

Self care for entrepreneurs is sometimes as simple as treating yourself to a little indulgence. Book a massage, order your favorite take out, binge Netflix, treat yourself to some new skin care, or plan drinks with your best friend. These seemingly small acts can motivate you through rough patches or reward you for your wins.

Meesh Tip #8: Treat yourself to some Pantry Products. Use code “smallbiz” at checkout to save 30% off your purchase. This is a gift from me to you!

Take care of yourself

If you neglect the needs of your mind and body, you’re not bringing your best self to the table—and your business could suffer. These self care tips are just a few ideas to get those endorphins pumping. As you grow your small business, be sure to couple it with personal growth and the regular habit of practicing self care.

While we are still a very small business with tight budgets, I want all of you to take care of yourself + know that I am here for you.

Annnnnd, don’t be too hard on yourself! Nobody really knows what they are doing.

XO, Michelle

Fall Simmer pot recipes

Also known as stovetop potpourri, Stovetop Simmer Pots are a simple way to bring scents of the season into your home. By filling a pot on your stove with water + common ingredients found in most kitchen pantries, you can create your own delicious simmer pot.

Bonus: if you live in an arid climate, this is a fabulous way to add some moisture to your air.

These are very popular in fall and around the holidays but I love to use them year round with whatever fruits or herbs I have around.

To get you in the fall spirit, here are 3 of my favorite fall stovetop simmer pot recipes.

Do you simmerpot? What are your favorite items to use in them? Tell us in the comments!

Cinnamon Apple Simmer Pot

Cinnamon + Apple

 

  • 1-2 Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
  • Apple Peel or slices
  • 2-3 Whole or 1 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 2-3 Star Anise

 

Pumpkin Spice Cider Simmer Pot

Pumpkin Spice

  • 4 Tablespoons apple cider
  • 1-2 cinnamon stick or 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 whole or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • dash of nutmeg
  • water to fill pot

—OR Apple cider + 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin pie Spice—


Rosemary Lemon Simmer Pot Recipe

Citrus Crush

  • Peel of 1 lemon or lemon slices
  • Peel of 1 orange or orange slices
  • 1-2 springs rosemary 
at home exfoliating skin

Having glowing, smooth skin doesn’t have to cost an arm + a leg. And you don’t have to run out to your nearest boutique to get it. By simply reaching into your kitchen pantry, you can achieve radiant, silky soft skin.

In this post, we will share with you 3 pantry staples that you can use to easily + effective exfoliate your skin as well as 3 DIY recipes to try.

But first, let’s talk about what exfoliating does + why it is important.

What is Exfoliating?

Exfoliation refers to the removal of the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Exfoliation can be performed mechanically, by using abrasive scrubs on the skin or chemically, by using scrubs that contain special kinds of acids that dissolve + remove the dead skin cells without scrubbing.

Why is Exfoliating is Important?

As we age, the process of cell regeneration slows down. This means that the body is slower to shed skin cells + generate new ones. When old skin cells start to pile up on the surface of the skin, it can leave skin looking dull, rough, + dry. Furthermore, the build-up of dead skin cells can result in excess oil + clogged pores, leading to blemishes + acne.

Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin + uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens the way for moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy.

How Does Exfoliation Benefit Your Skin?

Exfoliating can improve the appearance of your skin in several ways.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliation can leave your skin looking brighter + improve the effectiveness of topical skin care products by enhancing absorption.
2. Regular exfoliation can also help prevent clogged pores, resulting in fewer breakouts.
3. Long-term exfoliating can increase collagen production. Collagen is key to glowing, vibrant skin. The protein also promotes skin elasticity, minimizing the appearance of fine lines + related sagging.

Now, let’s talk about how to exfoliate at home + our 3 simple ingredients.

DIY Exfoliating Oatmeal Mask Scrub

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is more than just a cereal that helps lower high cholesterol. Oatmeal contains avenanthramides, antioxidant + anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe itchy, dry and irritated skin. Oatmeal is also great for acne-prone skin because it may absorb oil from the skin’s surface.

Exfoliating Oatmeal Scrub for Face + Body

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions: Mix together oats, lemon juice and honey. Apply to face. Rinse with warm water.


DIY Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

Sugar – Sugar is one of the best natural beauty ingredients to exfoliate your skin. Sugar scrubs are mild + one of the most versatile + affordable ingredients to use in a scrub. Any sugar will work…white sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, pineapple sugar. If it’s sugar, use it! We love to use sugar scrubs not only on our face + body but also as delicate (+ delicious) lip scrub. Bonus: The oil in the scrub works as a moisturizer.

Exfoliating Sugar Scrub for Face + Body

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 coconut oil (you can also use olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil)
1/2 t vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Directions: Mix together sugar + coconut oil. Apply to skin + rinse off. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Himalayan Sea Salt Scrub

Salt- Salt is full of minerals that help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, improve skin texture + tighten the skin at the same time as exfoliating off dead skin cells. The mineral content is also therapeutic + relaxing. You can use table salt, kosher salt, coarse salt or, our personal favorite, Himalayan sea salt. Note: Salt scrubs are more abrasive than oatmeal or sugar so please scrub gently.

Exfoliating + Brightening Salt Scrub

Ingredients
3/4 cup salt
1/4 coconut oil (you can also use olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

  1. Directions: Mix together salt + coconut oil. Apply to gently to skin + rinse off. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Simple Non Toxic Home Swaps

We understand that the thought of making the switch to clean products can feel like a daunting process. When you look around at all the products in your home + all the products on the market, it can be completely overwhelming.

But, as with all change, you need simply to make the decision to start + then do so with small changes. You don’t need to throw out every household, personal + skin care product in your home + start new. With a few simple swaps, you will be on your way to making a healthier home for you + for your family. And let me tell you, once you get started (+ once you see how easy it can be), it will feel so good that you won’t want to stop.

To getting you started, here are 3 simple swaps you can make today for a healthier you + healthier home.

Remember: Health is NOT only about what we put IN our bodies for food, it’s also about what we put ON our bodies + what surrounds us.

3 Simple Swaps for a Healthier Tomorrow

1. Swap out toothpaste for coconut oil

For something that 69 percent of people put in their mouth at least twice a day, toothpaste is surprisingly toxic. While traditional toothpaste is effective at removing + preventing plaque build-up, preventing cavities, + fighting gum inflammation, a lot of its ingredients are unsafe.

The most common reason parents call Poison Control is because their child has swallowed (or intentionally eaten) toothpaste. Eating toothpaste that contains the ingredient fluoride can result in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and other low-grade gastrointestinal symptoms.

While most of us won’t swallow an entire tube of paste, many mainstream brands of toothpaste contain harmful or even toxic ingredients, including:

  • Triclosan. A pesticide and hormone disruptor.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Causes canker sores for many people.
  • Artificial colorings. Linked to ADHD and hyperactivity in children.
  • Fluoride. Toxic if swallowed and doesn’t even work in toothpaste.
  • Highly abrasive ingredients. Damage enamel, making teeth sensitive and more prone to gum recession and cavities. Toothpaste should only be a little bit abrasive—this graininess aids the brushing motion to remove the biofilm of the tooth.

SIMPLE SWAP: COCONUT OIL PULLING

Non Toxic Coconut Oil ToothpasteInstead of starting your day with a mouthful of chemicals, reach for a pantry staple: Coconut oil.

You can use coconut oil like you would use a mouthwash – you “swish” it around your mouth and between and through your teeth and gums – just don’t swallow it or try to gargle with it. This practice is  called “oil pulling,” and it’s an ancient health practice that an increasing number of today’s dental hygiene researchers are recommending in addition to brushing and flossing. Oil pulling with coconut oil attacks bacteria, whitens the teeth, and strengthens the gums – naturally.

Prefer a paste? There are hundreds of DIY recipes on the web but what we LOVE is to mix Pantry’s Tooth Powder with coconut oil to make a simple at-home paste that cleans + whitens teeth, improves gum health, pH balances your mouth + gives you that “Fresh from the dentist” feeling. Natural Non Toxic Toothpaste


2. Swap out fabric softener for distilled white vinegar

Liquid fabric softener + dryer sheets are filled with synthetic fragrances + chemicals.  These chemicals + synthetic fragrances become embedded into the fibers of our clothing.  Once the clothing is on our skin, our largest organ, they become absorbed into our bloodstream.

Fabric softeners became popular in the mid-1900s because the dyes, detergents, + dryers were harsh on clothes, making them rough + scratchy. However, with better technology, fabrics, + laundry products, fabric softeners are no longer necessary, yet are still very commonly used + most people don’t think twice about it.

You might have noticed on some tags, especially with performance clothing, they specifically say NOT to use fabric softeners. This is because the waxy coating can interfere with moisture-wicking + absorption properties. Athletic fabrics are designed to wick moisture from your skin to the outside of the fabric, where it can evaporate, but if you cover the fabric in a waxy coating it’s like plugging up a drinking straw + it blocks the ability to move moisture. The coating also builds up over time, making it harder for water + detergent to permeate the fabric, so odors + stains are more difficult to get out. Odors that become sealed in are the reason your gym clothes just won’t freshen up.

Almost all fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain chemicals classified under federal law as carcinogenic, toxic, + hazardous to personal and environmental health including benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen), chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), and others.

Synthetic fragrances in dryer sheets aerate in the heat of the dryer + can be inhaled immediately upon use triggering respiratory dysfunction. Because softener residue is designed to linger in fabrics, exposure to chemical scents + other ingredients that irritate sensitive skin (including babies) is prolonged.

These chemicals disperse into the air of your home, where you breathe it in. They also wash into the waters, ending up in ecosystems where they don’t belong and damaging aquatic environments for plants + animals.

SIMPLE SWAP: DISTILLED VINEGAR

Distilled Vinegar Laundry

Replace your liquid fabric softener with 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar. While this may smell strong at first, don’t worry! The odor washes out with the water. Or you can mix in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil like lavender or lemon.

But why? Distilled white vinegar brightens + whitens, it deodorizes + it softens all without toxic chemicals + waxy build-up.  And let me tell you, the first time I used white vinegar on my athletic apparel, I couldn’t get over how soft + fresh they were. Like, I was no joke rubbing my sports bra on my cheek. IT WAS SO SOFT!

Love your dryer sheets? We have two bonus simple swaps for you.

1. Use wool dryer balls with essential oils. Dryer balls soften clothes, freshen their scent + speed up the drying time.

2. Make your own eco-friendly, non-toxic dryer sheets like these. We love making the kids hunt for them in the dry laundry. 😉

Pantry Suggestion: We have heard from so many Pantry loyalists that they use our Air + Linen Spray to freshen + scent their laundry. Upon pulling your items out of the warm dryer, give them a healthy spritz of our Air + Linen Spray. The warm fibers will lock in the scent as they cool + when your body temperature warms them back up, the scent will be released. I LOVE using our Sweet Dreams Essential Spray for sheets.

Natural Air and Linen Spray


3. Swap out toxic candles + air fresheners for a stovetop simmer pot

We all want our home to smell fresh + clean. But oftentimes, the products we are using to do so are anything but fresh + clean. Most air fresheners + candles contain synthetic fragrances added to the product which can be extremely harmful to our health. Those mood-setting candles are one of the biggest sources of toxic chemicals in our homes. When the windows are closed up (hot summers with the a/c on or cold winters with the heat on), they chemicals build up creating an extremely hazardous environment.

SIMPLE SWAP: STOVETOP SIMMER POT

Stovetop Simmer Pot

Also known as stovetop potpourri, this is simply a simmering pot of fruit, citrus, spices, and other ingredients that make your home smell amazing! Bonus: if you live in an arid climate, this is a fabulous way to add some moisture to your air.

These are very popular in fall and around the holidays but I love to use them year round. For summer, use lemon or grapefruit with a splash of vanilla extract. Or you can do herbs like rosemary + thyme. Or boil a few fresh basil leaves or springs of lavender. Yum!!!

Still want that candle? Well, good thing for you, there are healthy candle options on the market. When shopping for a new candle, look into the candle ingredients. Stay away from paraffin wax + opt for soy, hemp, bee or coconut wax. Then, check the fragrances. You want to burn candles that use essential oils or clean (phthlate-free) oils.

Fortunately for you, Pantry’s entire collection of candles are 100% soy wax, 100% phthlate-free, and feature clean burning wicks. So, you can have the comfort of a cozy candle without the cancer-causing chemicals.

Soy Wax Candle

Have you tried any of these swaps? What are some of your favorite simple swaps?

Be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter + follow us on social media to stay in the know about natural products + simple swaps.

Until then, be well!

Michelle

 

About Pantry Products:

Since 2015, Pantry Products has been handcrafting 100% natural plant-based daily essential + on-trend wellness products that support and contribute to healthy lifestyles…and a healthy planet. Pantry began when Founder, Michelle began creating healthy alternatives to toxic personal care products using ingredients pulled directly from her kitchen pantry.

 

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