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August 16, 2017

How to Detox your Armpits

I feel like I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant for the past 3 or 4 years. I’d find or hear about a natural deo that sounded promising. I’d buy it. I’d start using it. I’d get sore armpits or a rash and switch back to my conventional deodorant for a few months. Repeat.

Are you stuck in this cycle, too? It seems we aren’t alone, because I recently saw an online thread where many women were lamenting about the struggle to make the switch, with all of us having the same symptoms. That’s when someone suggested giving your armpits the same grace you give your face, and recognizing that after years of slathering them in toxic ingredients they’ll need the same detox process that your face needs when you switch to cleaner skincare or makeup.

I’ve been through those processes already (annoying, but so worth it), but never really thought about the rashes or stinging in my armpits as being signs of detox. I started thinking about how I could help them out and care for them through the process so that I could, for once, make the switch permanent.

For ten days I tried a very simple Armpit Detox using the following rules:

  1. I wore deodorant as rarely as possible, but used Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream when I couldn’t do without for events or important meetings. 
  2. I wore natural-fibered tops (they’ll help keep you naturally cool and dry).
  3. I stayed hydrated (dehydration can lead to stronger body odors). 
  4. At night I applied Thayer’s Witch Hazel to both armpits using a cotton pad (keeping a few witch hazel soaked cotton pads or paper towels in a ziplock bag in your purse is also a great way to get through those deodorant-free days).
  5. Every 5 days I applied a Betonite Clay Mask for 15 minutes in the morning (this one is available at Whole Foods but this one on Amazon is also great). I recommend doing this in the morning, drinking 16 oz of water while the mask is on, and trying to get at least 80-100 oz of water in throughout that day. The water will help aid in the detox process by flushing your system. I prefer this over putting on the mask and then going to sleep.

After this 10-Day Armpit Detox process you should have managed to avoid the worst of rashes or stinging armpits and hopefully made a permanent transition to a healthy deodorant. But try not to stop the pit pampering there—exfoliate them, apply natural oils or moisturizers to them before bed. Keep up with an occasional bentonite clay mask.

A slight rash or some discoloration could still occur while your armpits detox, but this process will hopefully help speed up the process while providing a very thorough detox that help improve the condition of your precious little pits and prep them for a lifetime of safe, natural deodorant. I’m on my 3rd week of au naturale and loving it (highly recommend that Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream)!

August 4, 2017

5 Ways to Have a Happier Morning

5 Ways to Start your Day Happier: how could you change your routine to mix in more happiness? | Beauty Bets

I start my days pretty early — like at the computer by 5AM kinda early — and people seem pretty curious about what my secret is. I think I made it through 4 years of college without ever having a class before 10AM, so I can pretty confidently say that I am not, by nature, a morning person. But, when one of my client’s required early morning work, I obliged, and six years later I am still at the computer editing and sending thousands of newsletters by 6AM, M-F. And so, I guess, I have developed a bit of a secret over the years and the secret is this: I have a morning routine that I love and enjoy. When my alarm goes off my first thought isn’t “Nooooo, just ten more minutes.” My mind is usually flooded with positive thoughts: what podcast will I listen to while I’m getting ready? What should I make for breakfast? And I am instantly motivated to get out of bed and start my day. Below are my five fool-proof ways to have a happier morning.

  1. Drink a Glass of Water. Water is important throughout the day, but research shows that drinking 8-12 oz within 10 minutes of waking up can make a significant impact on your health. Water helps wake up your system and helps get your digestive system moving. It can also help boost your metabolism, allowing you to naturally burn more calories throughout the day. Starting your day hydrated can also help you feel more alert!
  2. Listen to something while you get ready. A lot of us spend a good chunk of time getting ready, 30 minutes or more is not unusual. Is there a way that you could make those 30 minutes more meaningful or enjoyable? Maybe use that time to listen to a favorite podcast, get in a chapter from an audiobook, or listen to a new playlist or station.
  3. Spend 5 minutes planning out your day. The best thing that has ever happened to my morning routine was taking an active approach to planning out my days using The Daily Page (available as a notepad or instant download via Etsy). Spending 3-5 minutes to fill out this 1-page planner while the coffee is brewing or breakfast is cooking helps me prioritize my day and hit the ground running. It provides space for a to-do list, schedule events, plan meals, track hydration, record workouts, start shopping lists and more. Try a planning page, a simple to-do list, or any organizational apps to help remove information from your already overloaded brain and you’ll start your day with more clarity and focus.
  4. Have one morning ritual that is special. Is there a small luxury that would help get you out of bed in the morning? Maybe you treat yourself to a luxurious body oil, put an energizing essential oil in your diffuser, or keep fresh eucalyptus in the shower. Reminding ourselves of these little luxuries that await us can help get us out of bed and start our day feeling valued and loved.
  5. Nourish your body with breakfast. Cooking in the morning seems impossible for most of us (myself included), but I’ve found that between prepping meals, overnight oats, yogurt bowls or healthy grain bowls with avocado and poached eggs, I can whip up a healthy breakfast in a matter of minutes while also giving myself time to plan my day (see #3!).
July 26, 2017

5 Types of Tea you Should Try

5 Types of Tea You Should Try + Their Health Benefits | Beauty Bets

I know summer is a weird time to talk tea, but even when it’s hot I find a cuppa so soothing. Especially under the covers with a good book and the AC on! Whether hot or iced, caffeinated or herbal, I always feel like I’m doing something good for my body and spirit when I reach for tea over another cup of coffee or alcohol. Our tea drawer is full of tea I’ve collected from the tea aisle at Whole Foods and from all over the world . . .  black, white, green, oolong, rooibos, loose and bagged….I guess you could say it’s become a bit of a hobby! Here are five of my favorite varietal and their benefits to get you started:

  1. Nettle Tea – Nettle is a fantastic natural remedy for allergies. It also is high in iron, calcium and magnesium so it is great for those with anemia or who want a huge amount of nutrient value in their cup of tea.
  2. Dandelion Root Tea – The closest tasting tea to coffee, roasted dandelion root tea is a great option if you’re detoxing from caffeine or due for a liver flush. It’s also a diuretic that can help flush excess yeast from the body which helps to control Candida. 
  3. Green Tea – Ubiquitous with antioxidants, green tea contains a compound called EGCG which supports the heart and can help fight both cancer and obesity. It’s a metabolic booster, to be sure. I didn’t fall in love with green tea until I found toastier tasting varieties like Numi. It’s so much more satisfying than the popular grassier versions. 
  4. White Tea – White Tea is also full of heart healthy antioxidants but has a lighter, more sophisticated flavor than green. It can also help to boost the immune system and even lower high blood pressure.
  5. Kombucha – Kombucha is my crack, it’s no wonder I have started growing it in the basement. Fermented and full of probiotics and digestive aids, it’s like the healthiest cocktail you’ve ever had—without the hangover. If you’re turned off by the pungent taste, the dried version of kombucha is made for you!

5 Types of Tea You Should Try + Their Health Benefits | Beauty Bets

June 30, 2017

My Seven Favorite Podcasts: Summer 2017

My 7 Favorite Podcasts: the 7 podcasts I am currently subscribed to and loving | Beauty Bets

The thing I love about podcasts is their ability to take time that you might have otherwise wasted and transform it into time for you to learn something new, get up-to-speed on current events, or uncover a beautiful story. My favorite time to listen to a podcast is in the morning, when I’m doing my makeup and getting ready for the day. It gives me a solid 20-30 minutes of relaxed listening, instead of just silence or a playlist I’ve already heard 100 times. I also like listening to them when I’m walking the dog, or walking across town for a meeting. And the car? Oh man, long car rides are so enjoyable now that I’ve discovered podcasts. I almost rub my hands together in excited anticipation of any car ride where I know I might manage to get an entire series under my belt. 8, 10, 12 hours in the car? Sign me up.

Whether you feel like you’ve listened to every podcast out there, or you’ve never even opened up the Podcast app on your phone, I hope you’ll find this little list of my current favorites helpful and inspiring. —Dani

UP FIRST – NPR’s Up First is the news you need to start your day. The biggest stories and ideas — from politics to pop culture — in 10 minutes. Hosted by Rachel Martin, David Greene and Steve Inskeep, with reporting and analysis from NPR News. Available weekdays by 6 a.m. ET. Subscribe and listen, then support your local NPR station at donate.npr.org.

HEALERS – As a dedicated podcast listener, I was through-the-roof excited when Bets told me she was thinking of starting one. I’ve been her fan club president since day one (not really, but maybe we should start one?) and I’ve listened to every episode of HEALERS. It didn’t take long for it to become one of my favorite podcasts. I love that HEALERS pushed me outside of my comfort zone with some topics (psychics? please. poop? can we not?!) and that no matter how skeptical or uncomfortable I was about the topic, I always ended each episode feeling more open to new things. HEALERS was a genre of podcast that I hadn’t even ventured into yet (the health, wellness, spirituality niche), but it fit in beautifully with my current list of favorite podcasts. Season 2 launches July 17, so now is a great time to get caught up or re-listen to Season 1!

74 SECONDS – 74 Seconds tells the story of a July 2016 traffic stop that ended with the world watching a man die, live on their phones. This is the story of that man, Philando Castile, and the officer who is about to go on trial for his death, Jeronimo Yanez. Through comprehensive reporting, MPR News examines this intersection of race, policing, justice and safety in America. A lot can happen in 74 seconds.

S-TOWN – S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.

GOAL DIGGER – Jenna Kutcher hosts the live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way.

THE LIVELY SHOW – The Lively show is a weekly podcast designed to uplift, inspire, and add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time.

BEING BOSS – Being boss is owning who you are and making things happen. Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon believe in building a business you love, making bank, and being unapologetically who you are 100% of the time. They have a combined experience and expertise in branding and coaching small online businesses to be more boss in work and life by focusing on “boss” mindsets, habits & routines, tools, tactics & strategies, blended with a little bit of hustle. (Bonus: Elizabeth is featured on Episode #123 and it’s amazing!)

Got a favorite podcast? Please tell us about it in the comments! Background photo by Alice Moore on Unsplash.

May 11, 2017

5 Healthy Ways to Make Your Salad Less Boring

I love a good salad, but we’ve all had some boring ones, especially when trying to keep it healthy—not piled high with fried chicken or tucked into a taco shell. No, I’m talking about real salads, the kind that I have a hard time getting excited for. But once you’ve mastered a well-constructed salad it can be so satisfying (and filling)! The key is the toppings, of course. Here are five healthy-ish salad additions to elevate your pile of greens:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in minerals like magnesium and zinc. They are also a great source of omegas 3’s and of protein. Since they’re seeds, they also are safe to bring into nut free facilities.
  2. Flax Seeds. Flax seeds are one of the best sources of omega 3’s and the best source of lignans. Lignans are high in antioxidants, help to eliminate toxins and support the growth of probiotics in the gut. Flax seeds are also a great source of fiber.
  3. Olives. Olives add a fun, salty twist on a classic salad. They’re high in antioxidants, and boost glutathione, which supports the body as it detoxifies. They are a great source of healthy fats and can reduce inflammation.
  4. Beets. Beets don’t have a strong taste, if that worries you. They also bring a fun pop of color to a salad. In addition, they can help to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, are high in Vitamin C and have phytonutrients than can help fight cancer.
  5. Goat Cheese. Goat Cheese is the fanciest of cheeses on a salad. It has fewer calories than cow cheese, is high in protein and is easier to digest than traditional dairy.  
5 Healthy Wasy to Improve Your Salad: try topping with beets, pumpkin seeds, flax, olives or goat cheese for extra flavor and health benefits! | Beauty Bets
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    ABOUT ELIZABETH
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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