Category Archives: Natural Living

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

This homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask has amazing anti-aging and hydrating benefits, with nutrient-packed ingredients like match and spirulina.

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

As the weather gets colder and drier, my skin is definitely feeling the effect and it’s in need of a bit more love and care. I already have naturally dry and sensitive skin, so I’m always looking for new treatments and masks that’ll help with hydration and wrinkles. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m way more picky about choosing my products and I was pleasantly surprised at how well this homemade super antioxidant face mask worked to moisturize my skin, as well as give it that dewy glow.

Benefits of Antioxidants for Skin

Not only is consuming antioxidants beneficial for our health and our skin, topical application also works extremely well to:

  • Increase blood flow in the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and repair sun damage
  • Reduce inflammation so your skin tone looks more even, while keeping acne at bay
  • Neutralize free radicals that break down collagen and help maintain the skin’s elasticity and youth

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

Ingredient Breakdown: Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

Raw honey: Full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties, raw honey is great for acne treatment and slowing down aging. It’s also the main ingredient in this face mask that helps to moisturize and nourish the skin, giving you that dewy glow afterwards.

Raw apple cider vinegar: Because of its acidity, raw apple cider vinegar balances the pH of your skin to keep it from getting too dry or oil. It also has powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to reduce bacteria and acne.

Matcha powder: Matcha is not only delicious for drinking, it’s great for skin care because it is full of antioxidants and also contains caffeine, which is known to constrict the blood vessels and help with circulation. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects and has been known to be helpful in treatments for rosacea and cystic acne.

Spirulina: Spirulina is a type of freshwater algae that’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Taking it internally is known to be extremely beneficial for detox and the same goes for using it topically. It reduces free radicals, bacteria, and toxins from the skin, while promoting skin metabolism for faster healing and skin cell turnover.

Chlorella: Chlorella is also an algae with a high concentration of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals. It greatly reduces oxidative stress and naturally increases vitamin A and C in your skin, which protects the cells and helps you looking younger.

If you are looking to purchase Spirulina and Chlorella, I highly recommend Perfect Supplments’ Aquatic Greens, which is a combination of these 2 superfoods together in their highest quality. I use it for skin care and in my smoothies when I need a bit of a detox. Don’t forget to use GREATGRANDMA10 at checkout to receive 10% off your entire order!

I’ve been using this Super Antioxidant Face Mask weekly for about a month now, and I can immediately tell how much smoother and hydrated my skin is after each use. I also love that I know what all the ingredients are in this homemade mask, and I hope it becomes your go-to toxin-free and effective solution to your skin problems!

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

Homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask

Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Servings: 1 face mask
Author: Jean Choi

This homemade Super Antioxidant Face Mask has amazing anti-aging and hydrating benefits, with nutrient-packed ingredients like matcha and spirulina.

Print

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.

  2. If the mask seems too thick, add a little bit more apple cider vinegar until it reaches the right consistency.

  3. Wash your face with your favorite cleanser and pat dry with a towel.

  4. Apply a thin layer of the Super Antioxidant Mask on your face. 

  5. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

  6. Apply your favorite moisturizer. 

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Beeswax Candles + Why I Don’t Buy Scented Candles

Store bought scented candles are often harmful for our environment and our health. Find out why I don’t buy scented candles, and how make beeswax candles at home!

How to Make Beeswax Candles

I’ve been making my own candles for several years now and I love this therapeutic process, as well as being able to control the ingredients that go into each one. I have always loved scented candles as much as any basic gal and the pleasant smells they can fill the house with. However, it was just a few years ago when I learned about how harmful they can be.

It’s important to realize that when we burn candles, the materials that make them are released into the air and we breathe in that air. If there are harmful ingredients in the candle or even the wick, there’s no doubt that we inhale the toxins which can negatively impact our health and the environment. Here are a few reasons why I don’t buy scented candles and how to make beeswax candles at home:

How to Make Beeswax Candles

 

Why I Don’t Buy Scented Candles

Wicks containing heavy metals. You would think that candle wicks are just cotton, but especially with older candles, heavy metals like lead are added to firm up and make the wicks burn longer. It’s crazy to me that they would allow us to burn lead in our homes, which is a huge contributor to indoor air pollution and health problems. Adding heavy metals to candles have been banned in 2003, but there are still many candles out there with toxic wicks, especially when you see metal wires in them.

Candles made with paraffin. Most scented candles are made with paraffin wax, which is a petroleum byproduct and a known carcinogen when burned. Benzene and toluene are the two main chemicals that are released from burning paraffin wax, and these are known to cause respiratory problems, lung cancer, and even cause damage to the central nervous systems.

Use of synthetic oils, dyes, and scents. Various chemicals and additives are added to candles to make them slow burning, give them a bright color, and add a strong scent. These also release toxic fumes that are also found in varnish removers, paint, and lacquer. I would rather avoid them altogether instead of risking the damages they can cause, especially if you have small children or pets around.

Soot particles cause further damage. Not only are standard chemicals harmful to our health while burning, they also leave behind black soot particles on furniture, walls, floors, or any other nearby surfaces. These small particles can get trapped in our lungs when we breathe them in and be a major cause of respiratory problems, much like smoking cigarettes.

Making candles at home is easy! While it may seem complicated, the process is actually quite simple and fun, and it’s a much healthier and cheaper way to enjoy burning candles at home.

How to Make Beeswax Candles

 

Making Candles At Home

While you can make soy candles, I like to avoid them because soy is genetically modified most of the time. My first choice when it comes to wax is beeswax because it’s slow-burning naturally and completely safe.

Beeswax is also known as nature’s air purifier because it releases negative ions when burned. Any kind of air contaminants like dirt, pollen, and pollutants carry positive ions. When negative ions from the beeswax meet the positive ions in the air contaminants, they are neutralized and this purifies the air naturally. Such a cool process!

How to Make Beeswax Candles

How to Make Beeswax Candles

How to Make Beeswax Candles

When making beeswax candles, make sure the beeswax pellets you buy states “100% Pure Beeswax” on the label. Otherwise, if the word “pure” is used without the percentage, they are most likely mixed with paraffin wax.

Also, since beeswax is naturally slow-burning, it’s important to buy medium candle wicks which are sturdier and slower to burn out. Make sure to buy wicks that are 100% cotton to avoid burning any metals into the air.

Once you have the equipments, the process is a breeze. Here’s how you can make beeswax candles at home that are safe, healthy, and smell like heaven!

How to Make Beeswax Candles

How to Make Beeswax Candles

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Jean Choi

Store bought scented candles are often harmful for our environment and our health. Find out why I don’t buy scented candles, and how make beeswax candles at home!

Print

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Before you begin, stick one side of the wick sticker on the bottom of the wick tab and the other side on bottom center of the jar.
  2. Place a small hole in the center of a strip of masking tape that's longer than the width of the jars. Thread the wick through the hole and stick the tape across the opening of the jar, so the wick is centered in the middle of the jar. Repeat with the above steps with the remaining jars.
  3. In a double boiler, or a heat-safe bowl nestled on top of a pot of simmering water over low heat, combine beeswax pellets and coconut oil.
  4. Heat until completely melted, about 30 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and add essential oils, if using. Stir together to combine (I used a popsicle stick so I can throw it out afterwards).
  6. Pour the wax into the prepared jars.
  7. Let cool for 24 hours.
  8. Cut the wicks to about 1/2 inch and remove the masking tapes.
  9. Light and enjoy!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

 

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Learn how to make safe and toxin-free homemade natural deodorant, and which harmful ingredients to avoid in conventional store-bought deodorants!

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Ever since learning about all the toxins present in conventional deodorants, I stopped using deodorant for years. Luckily, I’m not much of a sweater so this was working out for me fine. If I felt a bit stinky, especially after a workout, I would just wash my underarms and was good to go.

However, after moving to Southern California, summers here can get pretty darn hot and sweating all day is just inevitable. I couldn’t just get away with not using deodorant anymore in the recent months, so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure if I would like my hippy-dippy version and if it would actually work, but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I absolutely love it. It gets rid of the stink and sweat, and it doesn’t stain any of my clothes like other deodorants I have a tried.

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

But before I share the recipe, I want to share just WHY I stopped using conventional deodorants and the ingredients in them that I don’t want to apply on my skin ever. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it, so being extra diligent about reading the ingredient labels is so important. After all, the toxins and certain chemicals in these products alter our hormones, burden our liver, and are linked to various types of cancers. Who wants that?

Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in conventional deodorants:

1. Parabens

Parabens are extremely common in the US, and it can be found in both skin care products and food. They are used as a preservative, but also are known to mimic estrogen and cause hormonal imbalances by accumulating in our tissues. A study showed a presence of parabens in 99% of the breast tumor tissue samples.

You can usually spot parabens on the ingredients list easily (They are found in 75-90% of all products on the market!), because they are followed by some kind of prefix like methylparaben, and propylparaben.

2. Triclosan

Triclosan is a type of pesticide that you’ll find in most deodorants on the market because of its ability to kill bacteria. It is also an endocrine disruptor and can also be carcinogenic when it comes in contact with chlorine in tap water. As we know, it’s not too difficult for our deodorant to come in contact with water, especially when we apply right after showering.

3. Aluminum-based Compounds

Aluminum-based compounds are used because of their ability to block the body from sweating by blocking the pores, which sounds ideal for antiperspirants. However, this ingredient is easily absorbed by the body and accumulates overtime.

This study has linked long term use of deodorants with earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to interfering with estrogen levels, which increases the risk of cancers, and causing brain health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Fragrances/Pthalates

Chemical fragrances in deodorant products are very common and they usually come with pthalates, which help lotions penetrate the skin and fragrances last longer. Pthalates are a bit trickier than other ingredients to spot on the label, because they are usually listed as one of the following acronyms: DBP, DHP, DBP5, and DEHP.

Pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and known to cause kidney and liver cancers. While most studies I found on pthalates and their harmful effects were done on animals, I’d rather be safe than sorry and steer clear, especially when they are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA.

5. Propylene Glycol 

Propylene glycol is used to retain moisture in products, and it’s also used the auto industry in brake and hydraulic fluid. It is a form of mineral oil, which can block the pores and cause skin allergies and/or rashes. It has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.

You may be able to spot propylene glycol (also can be listed as PEG) easily on the deodorant label, because it is usually one for the first 2 ingredients on the list.


Are you surprised by the toxic chemicals that are present in our store-bought deodorants? Keep in mind that many of these ingredients are actually banned in Europe because of their harmful effects. Until our country steps up their game, I’ll gladly make my own homemade natural deodorant to avoid these cancer-causing chemicals.

If you don’t want to make your own deodorant, these are some my top favorite safer choices that actually work:

Native Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste

Honestly pHresh Magnesium Roll-On

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in DeodorantsHomemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Homemade Natural Deodorant

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes
Author: Jean Choi
Print

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Optional: 20 drops of essential oils (I like thieves, tea tree, lavender, and/or frankincense)

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt together shea butter and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir together.
  3. Add essential oils, if using, then pour into a glass jar and let cool. You can cool in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  4. To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a small amount and rub on your armpits until invisible. A little goes a long way!
What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant