Guest Post: Food Storage Makes You Pretty and Saves the Earth

We all come from a different experience and I feel strongly that each of us has something to share, so I’m always happy when someone writes a guest post for Attainable Sustainable. Today, April from Our Food Storage is guest posting about her beauty routine. April is the mother of five kids who are four and younger, including a set of triplets. An advocate for eating locally grown, fresh foods, and cooking from scratch, she provides baby steps on how to gather a year’s supply of food for emergencies like illness, job loss, financial difficulties or natural disasters. Each post comes complete with a recipe to demonstrate how she rotates those items as part of their daily meals. Here she is:

Last fall we moved from a very humid environment to a dry, moisture-leeching environment, and my skin has suffered ever since. I think I aged ten years just from the climate change. And I’ll admit it, I’m vain. I don’t want to look ten years older. I found myself needing to exfoliate much more often to get rid of all the dry skin, and my face still felt so tight most of the time that I was sure it might crack and fall off.

Over the years I’ve learned that not all exfoliants are created equal. Many of them contain things that have rough edges like ground up nut shells that will leave tiny tears in your skin. That can’t be good. That favorite one available at all drug and super stores is one of the worst for you (I admit to using it for years before I found that out). Then there is the ingredient list that reads like a chemistry experiment, which let’s be honest, actually is. The one I had been using was running out, and I didn’t want to buy more because it was a little pricey, it contained ingredients that are questionable both for my body and the environment, and I didn’t like throwing out yet another plastic container, plus the packaging. I decided to look into other options and discovered a wonderful alternative. It’s environmentally friendly, budget friendly, and it all comes from my food storage. My skin looks and feels better than it has in a long time. I feel like I knocked those ten years right back off my face. Other people have noticed, too.

I now exfoliate with baking soda (NOT baking powder). I keep a cup of baking soda in my shower caddy, add some water to make a paste. After washing my face I rub it on my skin, then rinse. Baking soda is basic on the pH scale, and your skin is not, so in order to be pH balanced (as all the commercials tell us we need to be), the next step is to use apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 8 to 1. I had a little bottle that I filled with 8 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. I keep that in my shower too with an old washcloth that I use instead of those cotton pads.* Put that on your skin with your old washcloth (I leave mine dry so the vinegar solution is not diluted more). Leave it on for a few minutes then rinse. When you get out of the shower use your favorite moisturizer** and feel your baby soft skin.

Does this mean I’m standing in the shower wasting lots of water? No. While the vinegar is on my face, I’m washing and conditioning my hair. I use the baking soda and vinegar first thing, then rinse my face at the end.

Does my face smell like vinegar? No. You can smell it some while you are in the shower, but you rinse it off and the smell is gone. Trust me, my husband would complain if he had to kiss a face that smelled like vinegar.

How often? I do it probably twice a week, but you can see what you like.

A couple of times a month I take an egg white, add a tiny squirt of lemon juice, whip with a fork to make it a little foamy and apply to my face as a protein mask. I leave it on for about 10 minutes. I do it right before my least favorite time of the month, and I’m no longer dealing with that annoying teenage breakout. I put the yolk in a little container in my fridge and add it to my eggs or omelet the next day. The broken shell goes in my garden to protect my plants from slugs and cutter bugs and eventually add calcium to the soil. I buy the eggs from my neighbor, and I always bring her my empty egg cartons, so none of that goes in the garbage. I zest the lemon before I juice it and freeze the zest for when I need it in a recipe. I put the lemon rind in my garbage disposal to freshen and clean it. I could also compost it. No waste.

I buy baking soda in bulk because I use it for all kinds of things including baking, laundry, cleaning, plumbing emergencies, cold remedy, and now skin care. I have a gallon jug of apple cider vinegar for use in cooking, making salad dressings, and now for my face. This reduces the amount of packaging I’m throwing away.

Honestly, I’ve been doing this for a month, and my skin is smoother, clearer, better hydrated and my pores look smaller. I asked an aesthetician I know about this little regime, and she said it sounded great.

*I doubt the vinegar would hurt my nice washcloths since I use white vinegar as a deodorizer and fabric softener in my laundry, but I don’t feel like testing the theory of repeated direct contact on my good washcloths.

**I finally found a moisturizer I like that isn’t full of poisonous chemicals. You can go to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to look up the products you use and see how they score. You can also search for better ones. The moisturizer I’m using scores a one on a scale of seven.

Photo: Flickr user woodleywonderworks

This post may include affiliate links. Any income derived from said affiliate links may go toward buying seeds for my garden.

  • The best moisturizer I have ever used for my face is pure olive oil! If you apply it while your skin is still moist after washing it doesn’t leave a greasy film at all. The trick is to apply a tiny amount and rub it around good. I put my moist palm over the bottle, flip it upside down and then back right side up. What is left on my hand is what I use on my face. If you don’t use EVOO it’s not very olive-y. For a nice treat you can use coconut oil. Since it’s a solid at room temperature I scrape up about 1/8 tsp., and apply it the same way as the olive oil. Once you’ve tried this you’ll never go back to store-bought lotions again! :D

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      Michelle, I’m experimenting right now with coconut oil as a facial moisturizer!

      • Good! You’ll love it! The trick is using a small enough amount. :-)

    • April ,

      Michelle, does it matter what quality of coconut oil? I know they came at various price points. The first home beauty regimen I ever tried was using petroleum jelly on my skin as a moisturizer (at the ripe old age of 13, so that was a bad idea), and have been afraid to walk that path again :). Maybe I’ll give it a try again. Hopefully being out of puberty means it won’t start a massive break out like the petroleum jelly experiment did.

      • I have only used food grade oils on my face. I figure $12 a pint for facial moisturizer is way cheap. :-) I’ve used Nutiva and Now brands of coconut oil. Both the highest grade extra virgin, cold pressed, etc. If you’re concerned about heaviness, the CO is the was to go. It absorbs sooo well. :-)

        • April ,

          Day 2 of olive oil as moisturizer and I LOVE IT. I love it so much I just ordered the Nutiva organic coconut oil on amazon with the subscribe and save. I got 2 15-oz tubs for $14.70. I’ve also read that coconut oil can be a natural alternative for lubricants for sex. I’ve never tried it. I wanted to ask my doctor first. But it seems like a better idea all around than those artificial ones. I’m so excited to have a completely natural skin care regime. I will try it on my legs and arms too. It still comes out much cheaper than the natural organic moisturizers I’ve been using. And safer too.

          • Yay! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. You will love it as a full body moisturizer. (it’s awesome in your hair, too. Again, the trick is using a small enough amount.)CO is antifungal, so I would think it would work well for your alternative use idea. I have been told by a doctor to use egg whites while ttc, so I think CO would definitely not be harmful.

  • Good for you! I’ll have to give your regimen a go. I’ve definitely got all the ingredients.

  • Liz ,

    I have been meaning to find a source of bulk baking soda and vinegar, as I’ve seen a few blogs now suggesting they can be used to wash your hair and as an alternative to commercial deodorant. I am a fan of anything that reduces reliance on chemicals…..

  • Excellent! I often use baking soda and vinegar as hair washes, and my favorite facial moisturizer is honey! You just smear it on, leave it, rinse, and ta-da!

    http://swamppixieherbal.blogspot.com/2011/01/lets-talk-about-smearing-honey-on-your.html

  • Carolhardinn ,

    I liked reading your article especially about the interesting findings about food addiction. I agree that medications and behavioral therapies will have to play a major role in treatment if studies suggest that food is truly addictive. 

Leave a Comment