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.

 

Steam inhalation for cold and congestion

With a history of use that dates back at least 3,500 years—the first historical mention of this therapy was found on an ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll—steam inhalation is a long-standing home remedy for colds and sinus issues.

When you’re sick, sessions of inhaling steam from a vaporizer device or a bowl of hot water may help loosen up mucus in the lungs and sinuses, help with congestion, ease a sore throat, + improve voice hoarseness.

Medicinal Properties of Steam Inhalation

Primarily, the medicinal effect of this at-home therapy is to ease the symptoms of illnesses that cause congestion, runny nose, and sore throat, such as the common cold, sinus infection, croup, bronchiolitis, bronchitis, seasonal allergies.

Key Benefits for Cold + Sinus Issues

  1. As a sleep aid: Ensuring that you get enough sleep is essential for combatting colds + sinus infections. Your body needs rest as it fights the illness. Steam inhalation at night can be instrumental in getting you relaxed and ready for bed.
  2. Treat hoarseness: Your voice gets hoarse + haggard when your vocal cords are irritated. This can happen due to respiratory illness, exposure to smoke, too much singing, or loud talking. The steam enters these structures, rehydrating them + improving their mobility and function.
  3. Ease sore throat: The clinical evidence is mixed on whether steam inhalation actually relieves sore throat. However, it’s a long-standing technique to ease the pain and swelling caused by the inflammation of tissues in the throat.
  4. Manage  congestion: Inhaling steam may also help with congestion as it can loosen mucus in the lungs, throat, + sinuses. Getting rid of that mucus helps ease pressure + makes breathing easier.
  5. Rehydrate nasal passages: Dry + irritated sinuses, especially nasal passages, can also accompany common colds + other respiratory infections. In addition to discomfort, they can lead to bloody noses. Sessions of inhalation bring moisture to these areas, which helps relieve symptoms.

Steam inhalation for cold + congestion

Simple Steam Inhalation Recipe
(using herbs often found in your kitchen pantry)

1-2 Tablespoons for thyme, rosemary, basil, eucalyptus and/or peppermint
1-2 quarts boiling water
large bowl
towel for tenting

  • Add your selected herbs to the bowl + top with boiling water
  • Allow water to cool for 2-3 minutes
  • Then tent your head with the towel and lower your face over the bowl. DO NOT COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE WATER!
  • With your head covered, deeply breathe in the steam. Alternate between breathing through your nose + breathing through your mouth.
  • Steam for 10-15 minutes + repeat as often as desired.
  • You can also use these same ingredients to turn your bath tub into a vapor tub. 😍
How to Stay Cool in Extreme Heat

Seemingly endless days of 90-100 degree temps can take its own on a person. Both physically + mentally. To help ease the discomfort, we’ve compiled some scientifically-proven tips to help you keep cool.

1. Stay out of the sun between 11 am and 3 pm

The sun is at it’s hottest during these times + can easily lead to overheating. If you must be out, cover up with a large hat or stay in the shade.

2. Drink your 64 ounces

Or even more! This is the minimum to keep you hydrated but, when temps soar, we sweat more. So, increase your intake, avoid alcohol + drinks with a lot of sugar. Feeling extra thirsty? Coconut water is packed with vital elements we tend to lose through perspiration.

3. Make meals with water-filled foods

Who doesn’t love a summer watermelon. It’s even better when you realize melons are about 90% water. Into cucumbers? They’re 96% water. Strawberries? 92% Lettuce is 96% So, make a fruit salad + eat your way to being hydrated + cool….as a cucumber.

4. When dressing, go for light + loose clothes

Lighter + looser clothing allows for air to circulate next to your skin speeding up evaporation + sending excess heat packing. Reach for outfits containing natural fibers like cotton, silk, linen.

5. Take a dip

The ultimate summer cool-off is a cool dip in a body of water. Whether it’s a lake, public pool, kiddie pool, or just running through the hose, dousing yourself is a fun + effective way to cool off. Don’t have access to these? Run your wrists under cold water or soak a washcloth + drape it over your neck to give yourself some reprieve.

Be sure you’re signed up for our text alerts so you can receive the next installment of our Summer Heat Tips: Summer Skincare to Keep You Cool.

 

 

Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Scrub

3 Ingredient Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Scrub

Does your coffee smell so good that you just want to bathe in it? While that might not be the best thing for your skin, there is a way you can treat yourself to some coffee-scented goodness while also improving your skin’s appearance.

Coffee’s Skin Benefits

The sand-like texture of coffee grounds makes it a perfect exfoliant + a handy ingredient for homemade scrubs. The texture of the grounds also works to gently remove dead skin cells + helps to rejuvenate and boost circulation. (Hello, youthful, glowing, silky-smooth skin!) Coffee can also plump + tighten, helping to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Make Your Own Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Scrub

Getting the delicious benefits of a coffee sugar scrub doesn’t require visiting your local handmade skincare shops (aka Pantry Products). You can make a simple-but-effective scrub using a handful of ingredients found in your very own kitchen pantry.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee (Fresh are best, but dry used grounds will work, too)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use cane sugar too)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil

Optional add-ins: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Or both! 1 teaspoon orange peel or 1 teaspoon cocoa powder. OR BOTH! 😀

Tip: Choose fine grounds, as the coarse kind can be too harsh for sensitive or delicate skin.

Instructions

  1. Mix together 1/2 cup fresh ground coffee and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  2. Add 1/2 cup coconut oil into the coffee mixture and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
  3. Mix until well combined.

Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Scrub

How to Use A Body Scrub

I recommend using a body scrub in the shower first thing before you wash with soap because there will be a slight residue left on your body that you will need to wash/rinse off.

Take about a tablespoon at a time in your palms + rub in circular motions onto your skin. Use about 3-4 tablespoons each time to exfoliate your entire body. Rinse off + wash body as usual.

If you want to exfoliate your face, please be sure to apply the scrub gently + avoid your eye areas.

It’s also makes a delicious lip scrub for those chapped winter lips.

 

Cherry Skin Care

Homemade Cherry Facial Masks

Have you eaten your fill of cherries + don’t know what to do with the last few stragglers?

Why not use them to pamper yourself + your skin? With a few simple ingredients from your kitchen pantry + a handful of cherries, your skin can have a summertime glow.

What’s So Good About Cherries?

Aside from being delicious + nutritious  to eat, cherries have anti-inflammatory properties which make them an excellent ingredient for a wide range of skin conditions. Skin inflammation can cause redness, breakouts, + can make irritate skin issues like rosacea and dermatitis. Using cherries in a regular skincare routine can help to reduce redness + keep skin healthy.

Here are some easy-peasy recipes you can try at home. Just remember to remove the pits first. 😉

Redness Relief Cherry Face Mask

  • 5 mashed cherries
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • 3 drops of lemon juice

Mix ingredients together. Apply paste to face and neck for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

You Glow Girl Berry Mask

  • 5 cherries
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Mash ingredients together. Apply to face and neck for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Cherries n Cream Exfoliating Scrub

  • 5 mashed cherries
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sugar

Mix ingredients together. Apply to face and neck in gentle circular motions. Rinse with warm water.

Calming Cherry Oatmeal Mask

  • 1 tablespoon instant oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons cherry juice

Mix ingredients and apply to skin for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Did you try any or all of these masks? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.

When Pantry Products first started, I was crafting  handmade, natural wellness products that made fab gifts to give or receive. Those items that maybe you wouldn’t buy for yourself but you would adore to receive.

As we grew + I learned more about the hazards hiding in our bathroom cabinets, my passion switched to creating healthy, daily essentials folks could trust to be truly natural + effective. Truly natural everyday essential products that could replace those chemical-filled bottles that we use everyday are slowly harming us. ⁠ ⁠

The first step into daily essentials was a big one + I jumped as far as I could from everything I’d been told⁠ about skincare: You wash your face with soap.⁠

When I heard about The Oil Cleansing Method, I thought it was a joke. Put oil on my annoyingly dry-and-yet-oily face to clean, clear pores, + control oil!? Completely ludicrous!

Then I tried it + I could not believe the immediate (+ ongoing) change my skin experienced. My pores were CLEAR, my dry spots were hydrated, my oily spots weren’t shiny. I felt amazing! And the more I used it, the better my skin became. ⁠
Ok, so what is the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)? ⁠ ⁠

It’s a method to deep pore cleanse popularized by the ancient Greeks + Egyptians to remove dirt, impurities, + makeup from the pores of the skin.⁠ ⁠

But how? ⁠

⁠A mixture of skin-nourishing oil is massaged onto damp skin. Massaging causes your skin’s sebum to rise up bringing excess oils + pore-clogging dead skin cells with it. The cleanser (and all the dirt + oil is has collected) is then steamed off + wiped away with a hot washcloth.⁠ ⁠ What you’ll see: incredibly clear pores + clean skin that is perfectly hydrated.

Check out our how-to video to see OCM in action.

Oil Cleanser

What you don’t see is your skin’s microbiome doing a happy dance.

“My what?!”

Your skin’s microbiome (also called microbiota or skin flora) is a healthy, diverse population of beneficial bacteria thriving on our skin that is vital to overall good health. A happy, balanced skin flora results in skin that looks + feels healthy while an unbalanced flora/microbiota (when there’s more harmful bacteria than helpful bacteria), leads to issues irritating skin issues like dryness and itching.

Maintaining and nourishing healthy skin flora is important for a healthy immune system. Environmental pollutants, antibiotics, synthetic chemicals and even stress impact the health of our skin biome as well as our overall health.

Constant washing of the skin is a modern practice that is completely out of sync with the needs of our skin + damage to the flora makes it harder for skin to retain moisture. It also results in disruption of the skin’s pH level.

You see, beneficial bacteria thrive when the skin maintains a slightly acidic pH of 4.0-4.5. Unfortunately, many conventional facial cleansers contain harsh foaming surfactants which alter the skin’s pH making it too alkaline. upsetting the delicate balance of the skin’s microbiome. The effect is similar to taking antibiotics where all the bacteria in the digestive tract are wiped out with no distinction between good or bad.

But, by reaching for an oil cleanser, you are supporting your skin’s army of healthy bacteria +  instead of killing it off with soap, you have nourished it. GLOW YOU!

Here is another video of why you should ditch the soap + reach for an oil cleanser to care for your skin.

Ready to add Oil Cleansing to your routine + rescue your skin’s flora? We have just the cleanser for you!

If you can’t get onboard with oil cleansing, reach for an all-natural soap-based cleanser that’s devoid of surfactants, chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. One that is custom-formulated to care for your skin. You know, like our Fresh + Clear Face Wash.

Travel + Sample Sizes

Just like that, summer is here + the sun is heating things up. To help you achieve a healthy glow all summer long, it’s important to properly prepare for sun exposure + to appropriately treat it afterward. So, grab a cool glass of water + read along for 6 easy steps to get your summer glow going.


1. Get Moisturized

To get your skin in tip-top shape this season + to keep dryness at bay, reach for a skin-nourishing moisturizer. Dewy skin isn’t only achieved by highlighting powder + makeup tricks. Your skin can truly be glowing by treating it to a daily hydrating treatment prior to stepping out into the summer sun. For the hotter month + to prevent breakdowns, use lightweight lotions + creams or, even better, reach for an oil-based serum which absorbs quickly.

We recommend: Refresh + Repair Serum

Refresh + Renew Skin Serum


2. Exfoliate Dry Skin Away

Summer elements like increased pollution, humidity, SPF + sweat can all contribute to clogged pores. Clogged pores equal blackheads, pimples + a dry lackluster complexion. To help keep your pores clear,  it’s important to slough away layers of build-up + dead skin cells. Exfoliating also helps your moisturizer really penetrate + hydrate your skin, allows your makeup to apply smoother contributes + leads to an overall glow for your skin.

We recommend: Honey + Lemon Exfoliating Face Scrub


3. Stay Hydrated for Supple Skin

Drinking more liquids keeps the cells in your body hydrated + functioning properly—this includes your skin. When your skin is dehydrated, it becomes tight, flaky, dry, and eventually wrinkly. So, reach for that water, drink down the minimum 8 glasses + relish how good you feel + how good your skin looks.

We recommend: To make plain water more enticing, drop in some citrus slices or a few pieces of fruit. Our personal favorites are a few cubes of frozen watermelon or a small handful of strawberry slices.


4. SPF Yourself!

Of course, you should always protect skin from harmful rays with a good, daily, non-toxic sunscreen. Experts recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin. Don’t forget about hands, feet, ears, and lips. Pro tip: Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to reapply.

We recommend: SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick

Natural Sunburn Treatment


5. Enjoy the Sun from the Shade

Prevention is always the best protection so truly protect your skin from sun exposure + avoid getting a sunburn by staying out of direct rays. Take refuge in the shade, prop up a darling umbrella, or reach for that dramatic sun hat.

We recommend: Reaching for a lightweight cover-up that can be dipped into the water to keep cool while being protected from the sun.


6. Replenish Dehydrated Skin

Even if we are doing all the right things, sun-scorched skin still happens. If you find skin showing signs of a little extra time in the sun, be sure to replenish it to prevent peeling + flaking. The best choice is to apply a hydrating treatment or good ol’ aloe gel (natural not that green stuff). Once you’ve treated your skin, treat yourself to yet even more water. Since your body is working to counterattack the drying effects of too much sun, give it helping hand by tossing back a glass or two of water.

We recommend: Cooling After Sun Spray


Now that you’ve moisturized, exfoliated + hydrated, toss your water bottle, sunscreen, and sun hat into a bag + seek up some summertime fun!

Be well!

Michelle + the Pantry Team

Cold Weather Skincare Routine

We’ve changed back the clocks, we’ve traded in our sandals for boots, and we’ve dug out our favorite scarves. But there’s still more changes to make. One we don’t always think about is how a change of season requires a change in skincare. Much like how we change up our wardrobe to better protect our bodies when cooler weather rolls around, we must also change up our skincare to help protect our skin.

In the winter, your skin loses more than 25 percent of its ability to hold moisture. To make matters worse, skin experiences a drastic drop in hydration with outside humidity levels plummeting + the addition of moisture-dissolving indoor heating. Add to that freezing winds, and your face may feel less than glorious.

Winter Skincare

So, how do we prepare for the harshness cold weather is bringing our way? The Pantry team has your back with a few simple steps for tending to your tender skin this winter.

1. Trade soap for a hydrating oil cleanser.

Soap strips your skin of much-needed oils. Swapping soap for a hydrating cleansing oil, like Pantry’s Oil Cleanser, can help prevent dry, dehydrated winter skin. The grapeseed oil in this cleanser dissolves dirt + make-up while providing your skin with the nourishment it needs. And it’ll keep it balanced!

2. Layer up your moisture

When temperatures drop, humidity does too, meaning skin loses moisture, becoming irritated + dehydrated. The good news is it’s easy to prevent by adding an extra layer or two of protection between you + the elements.  Hydrating boosters like Pantry’s Moisturizing Mist and Make-up Priming + Setting Spray are packed with skin-essential ingredients for on-demand hydration.

Little Coyote's Cold Cream

If your skin is thirsty for more than a spritz, reach for Pantry’s Little Coyote’s Cold Cream. An emulsion of water + oils, this multi-purpose cream has been used by generations of women to treat dry skin. While most experts stress that skincare products are either A. hydrating with water or B. moisturizing with lipids, Cold Cream offers both skincare benefits in one unique product! The water does the work of hydrating skin while the oils act as a moisturizer, sealing in the hydration.

3. Make time for masks

A mask is a great way to moisturize your skin, quickly while giving yourself some always-needed pampering. To ensure your skin gets the most hydration possible, mix your favorite Pantry’s Clay Mask  with moisturizing ingredients such as Greek yogurt, honey, avocado, or coconut milk. Then, just lie back in your comfies + let your mask do the work for 15 minutes.

4. Don’t skip the sunscreen

In the winter, with the lower doses of ambient and infrared light, people often think, What’s the point?  But even your office lighting + your phone screen can be harmful, so it’s important to ensure your skin is fully protected with UVA, UVB and infrared light protection. Pantry’s zinc-based 30 SPF Sunscreen contains vitamin e, carrot seed, + red raspberry seed oil to not only block harmful rays but also to hydrate + soothe winter skin.

5. Protect your kisser

Peppermint Lip Balm

And last but not least, take care of your lips. They’re first to feel the effects of cold (+ the central heating)so be sure to pay some extra attention to them. Pantry’s handpoured lip balms are just the thing to keep your lips soft + protected…from winter + from the harmful rays of the sun. If the cold still manages to take your lips from soft + supple to dry + flaky, treat them to some exfoliation with Pantry’s Vanilla + Mint Lip Scrub.

No matter how cold it gets, Pantry has a winning winter skin care routine to help keep your skin hydrated + feeling happy. We always welcome questions on how to achieve your healthiest skin.

Stay warm!

Michelle

Pandemic Self Care

As adults, we often channel our energy to the needs of our careers, our families, our pets, even our houseplants more than on taking care of ourselves. However, now, more than ever, we must make caring for our physical + emotional well-being a priority.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck last spring, our worlds have been turned upside down + we have all had to work our hardest to pivot to the new reality of our lives. All while, most likely, looking to the needs of everyone but ourselves. This post is all about how to treat yourself to some self-care + how Pantry Products can help you manage the stress + uncertainty the world brings your way.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care means putting yourself first. While many of us often put others first, it’s important to realize that self-care is not a selfish concept, it is a necessary one.

Self-Care Helps You.

Self-care helps us cope with stress, unhappiness, illness, depression, and negative emotions. It provides relief when we feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, it reminds us that we are important too.

Self-Care Helps You Help Others

When you maintain your own health and sense of calm, you are more energized and refreshed and you can provide a more positive outlook for others.

Self-Care is Simple. 

It includes daily activities, like washing your face and taking deep breaths, to more extravagant ways such as getting a massage or taking an trip.

At Pantry Products, we like to think of self-care as a simple extravagance that everybody can afford to indulge in. We started from simple ingredients pulled from the shelves of my kitchen pantry. And still today, we are employing those same ingredients in the handmade products lining our shelves. Always know that you can find the means to self-care without having to leave the comforts + confines of your own home.

So, let’s get to it…

1. Prioritize Sleep

We all know how amazing a great night of sleep feels. But, as adults, getting enough sleep is often difficult. It’s even more difficult when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic

However, now more than ever, we need to ensure we are getting enough sleep to keep our immune system running at its best to fight off infections. In fact, there are parts of the body’s immune response that happen only during sleep.

Sleep is also one of the top ways we can help keep stress in check. Since sleep deprivation can make us more sensitive to the effects of stress, ramping up our reactions (or overreactions).

Finally, the brain needs sleep to function; without it you’ll be less patient and less focused, make poor decisions, and be more moody, irritable, and emotional.

How to get your best sleep: 

I, like many, have a hard time shutting off the day + settling into sleep. In order to ensure sleep success, I have created a bedtime routine that includes the usual brushing of teeth/washing of face/lotioning up. But, to ensure once I crawl into bed, I can easily slip into sleep, I also shut out all unwanted light, turn my phone to Do Not Disturb mode, and then spritz by pillow, sheets, and air with Pantry’s Sweet Dreams Essential Spray. For the ultimate in sleep, team your Sweet Dreams spray with our Sleep Salve and/or Sweet Dreams Roller Ball Remedy.

Sweet Dreams essential spray

This blend of lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and cedarwood essential oils helps to relax the mind, reduce anxiety, and induce sleep. Plus, it smells ah-mazing!

2. Wake up + Rejuvenate

As much as getting a good night’s sleep is important to managing stress, so is having a healthy start to your day. And let’s be honest, our days are rough since COVID struck. Between endless Zoom calls, homeschooling kids, not being able to get away from your spouse or partner, and sometimes not even bothering to put on pants…life is hard. Taking some time to take care of yourself in the morning + throughout the day may seem daunting but trust me, you can do it.

Facial Mists
So, take a minute to rejuvenate. Literally, 1 minute. No matter how busy we are, we can find a spare minute. Find that minute, lock yourself in your bathroom/garage/car, bust out a bottle of Pantry’s Rejuvenating Facial Mist, take a few deeps breaths, know that you’ve got this. This hydrating + reviving facial spray contains:
  • Rosewater to revitalize + balance your skin’s pH
  • Vegetable glycerin to moisturize
  • Vitamin E to restore skin cells
  • Jasmine essential oil – antidepressant
  • Clary Sage essential oil – antidepressant + stress reducer
  • Chamomile essential oil – calming

Our facial mist will boost your mood, refresh your skin, and doesn’t come with the jittery side effects of a 2pm cup of coffee.

3. Work it Out

Spending a lot more time at home does not mean you get to be a couch potato. Just because your gym closed doesn’t mean you don’t need to work out.

Staying active not only keeps your body healthy physically (keeping your risk of chronic health issues down and lowering your chances of acute illness, like COVID-19), it also helps up your mood and well-being.

Exercise releases endorphins, sharpens focus, and aids sleep. Staying physically active also lessens the risk of mood disorders, boosts energy, and improves mood overall. So, lace up those running shoes, pump up those bike tires, or pull on that swim cap.

And when you wake up tomorrow morning a little sore from getting ripped, reach for Pantry’s Arnica Muscle Salve.

Arnica Muscle Salve

This wonder balm features:

  • Arnica Flowers- anti-inflammatory
  • Cayenne Pepper – anti-inflammatory, analgesic
  • Ground Ginger – anti-inflammatory
  • Peppermint + Eucalyptus essential oils – anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
  • Clove essential oil – analgesic (aka numbing)
  • Cypress essential oil – antispasmodic
  • Wintergreen essential oil – revitalizes muscles

4. Manage Stress w/ Scents

When you use scents to improve your health or mood, you’re using aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, essential oils that are distilled from plants are absorbed into the body either through the pores of the skin or by inhaling.

The scents released by EOs affect the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system. While individual responses to EOs are highly personal, a scent can affect your mood, metabolism, stress levels, and even your libido. Meow!

Most of Pantry’s products feature aromatherapeutic benefits as well as their main function. I chose Serenity Now! for this feature because honestly, who couldn’t use some serenity. RIGHT NOW! However, Pantry crafts 12 essential oil Roller Ball Remedies that are tailored to various ailments.

Serenity Now Essential Oil Roller Ball

Serenity Now! harnesses the power of these oils:

  • Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang – relaxation
  • Cedarwood – induces sleep, reduces anxiety
  • Vetiver – reduces stress, nervousness
  • Clary Sage -reduces stress, natural antidepressant
  • Lemon + Orange – boost mood

5. The Healing Power of Touch

We all know how wonderful a massage feels on our aching + aging bones + muscles. But did you know that it also helps us physiologically and mentally?

Therapeutic massage can help boost immunity through the reduction of stress hormones + pain, but at the root of the benefits of massage sits oxytocin: a naturally-produced hormone in the human body). Oxytocin (also known as the “Love Hormone) is stimulated by human touch + the release of oxytocin relieves pain + relaxes tense muscles, which signals your brain to go into a calmer state

As oxytocin is released, stress hormones that wreak havoc on your immune system decrease.

Massages can help build your immune system too by increasing circulation in your body. And you need to have access to your favorite spa or even a spare pair of hands. There are several self massage methods you can use to release tension while in quarantine.

Calming Massage Candle

Whether you’re tending to your aches + pains or a loved one is treating you to a little tender touch, Pantry’s Calming Massage Candle can help ease your muscles, soften your skin, + calm your mind.

  • Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil to hydrate + condition
  • Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot essential oils – calming
  • Palmarosa essential oil – comforting, calms anxiety

6. Take Time for Yourself

It’s common for folks (myself included) to keep themselves busy, busy, busy in order to avoid assessing their current well-being. But it’s healthier to be still + do nothing. To take time to listen to what your body + mind need. And to check in with yourself.

In times such as these, acknowledging our feelings for the loss of normal activities can help us stay grounded + process the profound changes we are experiencing.

Taking a bath is the perfect way to create a quiet space to reflect. It also has a beneficial effect on your physical + mental wellbeing.

Studies have found baths to be more effective in aiding depression than aerobic exercise, mental health benefits resulted in less stress, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and depression. Also, increased body temperature at night helps synchronise our natural circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep patterns, along with improved quality of sleep and overall wellbeing. Treat your self + your soul to some soothing with Pantry’s Soul Soother Sea Salt Soak.

Soul Soother Sea Salt Soak

  • Epsom salt – relax muscles, loosen stiff joints
  • Sea salt – stimulate circulation, soothe aches
  • Dried Lavender – calming
  • Dried Peppermint + Spearmint – muscle relaxant
  • Dried Eucalyptus – analgesic/pain relief

I hope these tips + our handcrafted products allow you to create a simple + attainable self-care routine to help you survive the pandemic. As always, feel free to reach out to me + the Pantry team with any questions on how to harness the power of Mother Nature to live your healthiest life.

Stay well!

Michelle

 

 

 

Pantry Products