HealthSkills

Last week I shared my natural face wash recipe. This week, I’m sharing my body wash recipe, which also includes several essential oils.

If you haven’t read my last article, you may be wondering why on this green earth I would use oil to wash my face and body. To sum it up in a nutshell, most of our facial and body cleansers contain harsh, even dangerous, chemicals, including industrial cleaning agents and ingredients in antifreeze. To top it off, many natural and essential oils contain antibacterial and cleansing properties.

It sort of blew my mind and got me freaking out about what I’d been putting on my skin all these years. So, I did some research on natural stuff, and now here I am, with some chemical-free and deliciously scented face and body washes that I made myself. They work wonders.

So here’s the recipe, which includes the incredible and inexpensive coconut oil that comprises the majority of my face wash. As with the face wash recipes, the possibilities are endless here. Essential oils and castile soaps do wonderful cleaning jobs, they’re not harsh on the skin and they don’t send chemicals down the drain into our water.

The Recipe

1 cup castile soap – inexpensive, health foods stores
3 drops rose oil – pricey, health foods stores
3 tsp coconut oil – inexpensive, grocery or health foods stores
5 drops lavender oil – somewhat pricey, health foods stores

Note: while some of the oils I use are pricey (close to $20 for a small jar), they last a long time. Most recipes call for only a few drops of each, as a little goes a long way. Plus, the oils can be used for all kinds of health purposes. They’re a good investment.

Soap-wise, I chose Dr. Bronner’s organic almond liquid castile soap. It smells de-lish but not too strong. Like I did for my face wash, I used a mason jar, but feel free to use any type of bottle or container.

Be sure to shake it up before use, every time! Otherwise, the oils will sit on top and not mix in with the soap.

Other than that, just put it on a washcloth and use it the way you’d use regular body wash! Scrub and rinse.

For extra moisturizing and cleansing, you can rub coconut or another type of essential oil on your skin when finished. I’d recommend coconut oil just because it’s so much cheaper than your typical essential oils, plus it smells awesome and works wonders. You can wipe it off or leave a light layer if it’s comfortable for you, although leaving it on all day feels a little weird in my opinion.

I hope you find my recipe beneficial, but feel free to find the scents that work best for you! Research can let you know the best ingredients for dry skin, oily skin, and normal skin.

Anyone have other recipes for natural body washes? Share below!

Image: Annouk, Flickr

EducationSkills

I recently came across the question, “What is something you learned even though it did not benefit you?” I think all knowledge is beneficial, but it was an interesting question to reflect on. 

In college, I almost always took courses that were required. I had to commute and consequently did not want to “waste time.” However, in my senior year I took a bowling class. It was something I always wanted to do and I finally had the time. Bowling class was my favorite part of the day.

Another thing that became part of my free time was cooking. I never cooked when I was younger. Now, every recipe I learn fills me with pride. Plus, cooking gives you instant gratification with a delicious meal. If you make a mistake with the recipe, you can learn and improve. I find cooking relaxing, and it also brings independence as you do not need to depend on others for food. 

Since graduating, I have thought about learning how to sew. Sewing is just something I have always found interesting. Maybe it will become useful if I ever need to repair clothes, but for now it is just a new mountain to climb. I love that I don’t need to be assigned this hobby in order to pursue it – I can do it on my own.

The world is full of new things to see and do. Is there something you ever wanted to learn not because it was your major or because it was required? Go out and do it. You won’t know how much you like it until you try.

Image: Roger Nelson, Flickr

Health

I wash my face with oil. I get some funny looks when I tell people this, but I personally think it makes more sense than telling people I wash my face with chemicals. Not only that, but my skin glows. It’s super clear, feels like a baby face and smells like a coconut! Does it get any better than that?! I’ve tossed all my store-bought face washes because I no longer feel the need to scrub my face with chemicals, alcohols, and other industrial cleaning products of unknown origins.

I became interested in using oil cleansing face wash when I was at the grocery store, reading labels on cosmetics marketed as “organic” and “natural.” I’m sorry, but can someone explain to me what is natural about Disodium Laureth-3 Sulfosuccinate and Cocamidopropyl betaine?

After some research, I found that many(probably the majority of) commercial face wash products contain chemicals like those found in antifreeze (propylene glycol – a skin irritant that can lead to liver and kidney damage) and crude oil (mineral oil – inaccurately named and classified by the World Health Organization in the most harmful group of carcinogens). Trust me – that’s only the very beginning.

These chemicals are so harsh on our pretty little faces that they can cause reactions, including dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Their short-term benefits are derived from industrial cleaning agents. Imagine washing your face with Clorox wipes.

That research was enough to make my skin crawl. Being a slight mother nature weirdo, this discovery was all the motivation I needed to switch cleansing methods, pronto.Weirdo or not, though, the benefits that come with natural oil washes and the health/beauty dangers that come with commercial ones make the option seem like a no-brainer.

I started my switch by simply Googling “natural face wash.” What I found was unbelievable. I realized that most stripped-down face washes I could buy still contain at least some kind of long-named chemical, but that I could make my own using only a few ingredients, namely, essential oils.

What?

It seemed so counterintuitive to clean my face by rubbing oil on it, but, like most people my age, I decided to blindly trust the Internet. I settled on a simple recipe that wouldn’t require me to purchase too many oils (being real here, I have almost no disposable income). I also didn’t want anything too complicated for my first try.

The Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need, if you want to try the recipe I use:

Coconut oil (1 tablespoon) – very cheap, grocery or health foods store
Tea tree oil (3 drops) – average, health foods store
Lavender oil (2 drops) – somewhat pricey, health foods store
[optional]: squeeze of lemon juice for oily skin
[optional]: a couple drops of honey
A bottle or jar with a lid (I used a mason jar to make it cute)

Mix as many “servings” of the recipe as you please into your container. This next step is optional, but you can stick it in the fridge, and it will take on a more lotion-y consistency.

The Method

When using it in either form, simply put some on your fingers and massage it into your face until you feel you’ve covered your whole face, jawline included.

Then, take a washcloth and put it under water that’s as hot as you can stand having on your face. Wring it out and put it over your face for about a minute – this is to “steam” your face and open your pores more so the oil can get in there and do its job.

Next, use a clean washcloth and warm water to wipe the remaining oil from your face. And voila! You’re done!

Other Options

There are endless variations on the recipe, because so many essential oils possess cleansing and antibacterial properties. I read about one girl who uses literally only coconut oil. I read another article listing possible oils to mix, including castor oil, which apparently is a fantastic gentle cleansing oil. I think I’m going to try it in my next recipe.

If you want to get creative with different scents and oils, do a Google (or Bing, I don’t know your life) search on essential oils, determine which ones have cleansing and/or moisturizing properties, and try those in a face wash blend! It’s all about finding the one that works wonders for you.

Results

The results are actually unbelievable. Like I said at the beginning, my skin is clear, soft, and glowing. My pores look smaller, too. I even put on some makeup to test it out, and the oil peeled all of it right off.

Whether you have extremely dry, extremely oily, normal, or acne prone skin, there’s a natural oil face wash out there for you. Best of luck in making the switch! Your skin will thank you.

cat in tub

Any other natural face wash ideas? Share them in the comments section below!

Images: Sharon_K, Flickr; Veganbaking.net, Flickr

EducationSkills

Counting down the days until you are free from the vice-like grip of your job or internship? Dissatisfied with the work you are being asked to do? Wishing time would pass faster? We’ve all been there, and it really is no way to spend your time. Instead of using your energy being dissatisfied with your internship, use that energy to figure out how to make your internship work. Here are some tips to make the most of your internship when you are feeling frustrated with it:

1. Grab Lunch with People in Other Areas of the Company

If you are working in a certain division of a company, talk to people who work in other divisions. For example, if you work in the script reading division of a film production company, ask people in the marketing, finance, Human Resources, talent, and production divisions to go to lunch. You can walk up to someone or send a quick email introducing yourself. Be grateful for the time people give you, and meet with the intent of learning more about how those people got to where they are in their careers. This is a great way to network internally at your internship and to make the most of your time there. Even if you aren’t dissatisfied with your internship (or job), this is a smart way to meet more people and gain insight.

2. Focus on the Good and Write Down Positive Things That Are Happening

When you are frustrated, it’s easy to get pulled into a negativity spiral. Step back from your disappointment that the internship isn’t what you thought it would be, and instead focus on the things that are going well. Did you make a new friend? Did you deliver a project before the deadline? Was it a nice sunny walk to work? Pay attention to the little positive things, and you’ll see when you write them down that things might not be so bad after all. You might also try starting a gratitude journal for this same purpose.

3. Ask Your Boss for More (or Different) Responsibilities

Do you think your workload could be heavier? Too much free time? Maybe you see something that would be interesting to try? Once you determine whether you need more responsibilities, or maybe just a different project on your plate, approach your boss with a game plan. Have a clear “ask” and know what you want to say. If you approach your boss with an open-ended loose idea, he or she might think you aren’t serious or ready for more responsibilities. Ask for something specific and explain why you are feeling this way and how you would accomplish the tasks. If your boss approves, you now have a new exciting project to add to the original tasks that weren’t satisfying you. Even though you still have to get the other work done, your new tasks will help you break up the day and test new skills.

4. Be Honest with Your Boss About Expectations and Reality

If you are truly frustrated with the way things are happening in your internship or you feel like the job you applied for isn’t quite what you are being assigned, talk to your boss about it. Your time is precious and you should be making the most of it. While it’s important to pay your dues, you shouldn’t be spending every day for three months cleaning walls and getting coffee for people. You need to be learning and challenging yourself.

5. Take Initiative (While Also Getting Your Work Done)

If you see something around the office that needs to get done, be a self-starter and offer to do it without anyone having to ask. Be sure to get your main duties finished first, but then once those are completed, you have a project where you can shine and show initiative. This is a great way to be a rockstar at your internship even when you might feel dissatisfied with it.

6. Make Friends

Befriend the other interns or entry-level people you work with. Ask them to grab lunch or dinner after work. Is there a fun networking or social event this weekend or weeknight that looks interesting? Ask someone from work to join you! Having friends at work will help your internship feel more fulfilling.

7. This Internship is Temporary

Oftentimes, we figure out what we want to do by figuring what we don’t want to do. Even though you are disappointed with your internship, treat it as a learning experience for what you do not want to do. It’s a good lesson to learn now when you haven’t invested too much time or money into it. Additionally, once you realize that you only have a certain number of days of your internship left, you may start to feel inspired to make the most of it.

8. Create Healthy Competition with Yourself

When I feel frustrated with repetitive work, I create a healthy competition with myself. I try to get the work done faster than I did the previous day or see if there is a new strategy I can implement to accomplish the work. Setting goals against the work you did on previous days will keep you feeling sharp and attentive.

9. Plan After-Work Activities

When your days are filled with work you are not passionate about, they can feel long. Plan after-work activities to help keep you excited throughout the day. Search for networking or social events in your area, plan a dinner with a co-worker or friend, or catch a movie. There are many things you can organize after work that will help keep you from feeling too bummed out.

Bonus Tip #10: For Future Internships, Truly Know What You’re Getting Into

When you are applying for future internships, really understand what you are getting into. Just as the company interviews you, interview the company and ask them questions so you get a feel for what you will actually be doing on the job. Talk to other people who have interned at the company to hear what they have to say about their experience. Companies will be getting value from you during your internship, and you should gain value from your internships, as well. Ask lots of questions, do research, and if you can, ask to spend a day with a member of the team you are interested in to get a feel for what your summer, fall, or spring will look like.

How do you make things work when you are dissatisfied?

HealthSkills

As you guys know from my last 1/2 Marathon Series post, I recently took part in Nike’s Women’s Half Marathon in April. It was a crazy, thrilling, heart-pounding (literally) experience and I would not have survived without the help of hours and hours of music.

That’s why I decided to curate some playlists for every stretch of the journey that will hopefully help you on your own road to the finish line! I tried my best to keep these playlists varied and interesting, but it will become clear pretty quickly that I have quite the affinity for anything Katy Perry or Top 40 related (ha!).

Warning: I have included some explicit versions of songs so please beware if you choose to take a listen.

When it comes to running we all have our own preferences, but I hope you can find some inspiration from the lists below! At the end of the day just getting out there and being active is all that matters, regardless of the jams playing through your headphones.

Miles 1-3: Get Pumped Up!

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Miles 4-6: Settle In (aka Steady Beats)

 

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Miles 7-9: Keep Going (aka Distraction Jams)

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Miles 10-12: Inspiration Zone (aka Finish Line is in Sight)

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Mile 13-13.1: Miracle Song This should be whichever song you love the most!

This will be blasting through your speakers as you cross that finish line, so choose wisely! Might I suggest Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”?

 

What’s your favorite Miracle Song? Happy running!

EducationSkills

Summer will be here before you know it, and soon enough you will be getting ready to start the internship you have worked so hard to secure. Being an intern is awesome when you have opportunities to learn from your bosses, take the lead on projects, and accept important responsibilities. Before the first day of your internship, you might feel worried or anxious about being great and impressing people. You want to show your bosses that you are capable and determined, and that you will help the company succeed. You also want to learn as much as you can and grow both personally and professionally. Everyone has their own unique internship experiences and approach jobs differently. However, through our internships and the advice we’ve heard from others,  there are traits that employers look for in their interns that make them stand out apart from the others.  We like to call these awesome interns rockstars. Be yourself and do the job the way you think is best, but remember that there’s always room to grow and improve. Strive to practice these traits to not only be a rockstar intern, but to also be a better person.

1. Reliable.

Your bosses and co-workers should be able to trust you with projects they assign you. They should know that you will be early or on time, and that you will always follow through with what you say. When you are reliable, you will earn more respect and start getting more responsibilities. A rockstar intern is someone people can count on.

2. Eager to Learn.

Never stop learning. Be excited to learn a new skill or topic, and show your eagerness through energy, focus, and dedication.

3. Collaboration.

It is important to work well with others in an office environment. Work together to share ideas and drive results.

4. Hardworking.

Demonstrate how committed you are to learning and to your career. Roll up your sleeves, do every job asked of you with great care, and always volunteer to help even if something isn’t in your job description.

5. Productive.

Be efficient with your tasks. Think of ways you can be even more productive with your time, and make the most of every minute. Take ownership of your work, your day, and yourself.

6. Dedicated.

Show that you are dedicated to the company and your work by showing up early and being the last to leave. Or show that you are dedicated by bringing new ideas to your boss. When you show that you are thinking about your internship or job outside of work, it demonstrates dedication and forward thinking.

7. Take Initiative.

Be the first one to volunteer to help with something. Bring fresh ideas to your bosses before they have to ask for them. If you see something that can be better, fix it without waiting to be told to do so. Take the lead, take charge.

8. Adaptable.

Don’t be stuck in your ways when it comes to your internship or jobs. Be adaptable to situations that may unexpectedly arise, and handle it with grace. There’s no need to freak out over minor changes. Be flexible.

9. Positive Attitude.

Even when you are having a rough, sluggish, tired day, maintain a positive attitude. Rockstars look on the bright side, and their positive attitudes are infectious.

10. Honest.

Be honest about your workload, what you are accomplishing, and your thoughts. When you are secretive, people can tell. Don’t give anyone a reason to not trust you.

11. Good Communicator.

If you need help with something, ask. Don’t worry about employers questioning why they hired you if you ask for help. That won’t happen. In fact, most people want you to ask for help because they would rather the task be completed correctly rather than you not asking for help and the job being poorly done. Communicate your wins for the week, what you want to do better, and interesting industry-related news you hear or read about. Also, talk about fun things you are doing outside of the office. People won’t know who you are or what’s going on with you if you do not speak up.

12. Fun.

Regardless of whether your internship is twice a week or every day, you spend a lot of time at the office, and people want to be around other fun people. Be friendly, ask people questions about their lives, and have a good time! You don’t have to be the most outgoing person, just don’t hide away all day, do you work, and then leave when work is over. Show people your fun side, work will be awesome, and you will be a rockstar.