The best of clean beauty October is here! It’s the last day of the month which means, it’s Halloween- Happy Halloween! And it also means my bubs is officially a month old- where did the time go? This last month literally flew by. I have a feeling the third babies grow up so much quicker.
Ok, clearly I could talk about mom stuff all day but that’s not what this post is about. Bring on the beauty talk! Specifically green beauty. So there are some new products and a couple of old ones that I’ve been loving lately and can’t get enough of- they’ve been my go too’s especially as a mama to a newborn- there it is again the mom talk! Sorry I literally can’t help myself.
As the weather is changing and it’s going from crisp to chilly I’ve been loving a few seasonal things as well. Check out what best of clean beauty for October I’ve been loving.
This eyeshadow palette is part of Beautycounter’s new holiday collection. It’s all together dreamy! I love how it only has 5 shadows. It keeps things simple and I know a lot of people like that. Too many shadows can get overwhelming for people, especially if you’re not used to applying eyeshadow. I love that the palette can work for day or night depending on what I’m doing. It can be worn more neutral or more smokey and drama. Plus, it even has a little sparkle shadow too for the holidays. I can’t get enough. Plus, it’s the perfect gift for the holidays! Get one here before they’re sold out!
African Botanics creates amazing products, I haven’t found one I don’t love yet!
So I have been trying a ton of their products and I’m going to share a few standouts already. I’ll be doing a full review soon but for now these are products that I haven’t been able to stop using.
- Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish- This enzyme polish is what enzyme exfoliant dreams are made of. It gently removes the dead skin, while revealing a brighter complexion. You’re left with glowing skin! The formula has sun dried buchu plant, mixed baobab fruit, micro algae and fine granules of ancient volcanic minerals. This combination feels so good on the skin. Then papaya and pineapple helps to clear pores and improve overall glow. Great for even sensitive skin types. I use this twice a week. Get the Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish here.
- Stretchmark Botanical Body Oil- I just had a baby as I mentioned earlier and I did get some stretch marks on the belly with this babe- thanks SJ! This oil came at the perfect time. I started to apply this right after I had him on the stretch marks. It has blend of organic and cold pressed oils. The oils include African Marula, Avocado, Baobab and wild rose. These oils help tone and and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. I’ve only been using the oil for a month but I can already tell the texture has softened and smoothed! I can’t wait to see what it does with more time. I’ll keep you updated. Get the Stretchmark Botanical Body Oil here!
I mentioned this in my video the other day but I can’t not share it here too. This body wash is a prebiotic body wash. Prebiotics help to feed the skin and rid the skin of bad bacteria. The enzymes help to heal the skin by stimulating the cells. This results in helping to heal the skin of wounds, scars and blemishes. It helps to strengthen the skin barrier, which slows down the aging process. It’s so different than a typical body wash. You’re feeding the good bugs on your skin instead of washing them off. I use this on my kids, my new baby and my husband and I use it. Especially great if you have psoriasis, acne, or inflamed skin in general. Get it here!
Juice Beauty is showing up with this Stem Cellular Vinifera Replenishing Oil- can’t get enough!
This oil is a new find for me and I’m hooked! I was so excited to receive it when I did because of the weather change. It is meant to act as a primer before makeup or you can use it as a stand alone oil by itself. I wish you could feel how soft my skin is after applying. I add two to three drops to my face before makeup. I let it fully absorb before applying makeup. I brush my teeth while waiting. I love that I can use one product to prime and hydrate. Often I’m reaching for a moisturizer and then a primer. But with this baby I only need one. It feels in the cracks and fine lines of my skin making it appear plumper. And it makes my skin SO dewy! I love how soft and hydrated it looks. The oil does fill rich initially when you apply it but it seeps into the skin so well. I can’t recommend it enough! Perfect for normal to dry skin, especially in the colder months. Get it here!
Wearing RMS Beauty Hidden Desire Palette and Fitglow Lip Serum in Koi.
I had to include this palette for the best of clean beauty October! This is a new launch from RMS Beauty. I love when companies do palettes like this! It’s such a great gift and so easy to travel with. I love having everything in one spot. It really simplifies the makeup process. The palette includes 6 shadow colors, a highlighter and a blush color. They are all pressed powder pigments. It comes in a sleek white case and with a big mirror. The colors are perfect for everyday wear. You can also jazz it up too with some richer browns and a navy blue. Below you can see me wearing the full palette for you. It’s rich and beautiful! Check it out here!
Have you tried these yet? I talk about them all the time on my Instagram account. For good reason, they really take the cake when it comes to moisture, shine and pigment. They’re a cross between a gloss and a lipstick. I’m not a huge gloss girl, but these aren’t a gloss completely. They’re like a serum with color but for your lips. I know sounds weird but they’re truly special. Glosses can be too gunky for me, but these offer the perfect amount of subtle shine. I pretty much have every color- there’s not a bad one. Get one already if you haven’t!
That sums up my best of clean beauty for October! What are you loving lately? Leave me a comment!
Also, check out past best of clean beauty posts for more natural beauty goodness!
Sharing my favorite natural beauty products for October on the blog.
Sharing with you how to heal acne naturally on the blog today. I’m so excited to be collaborating with Nadia from Body Unburdened on this post! Nadia not only has a thriving blog but also knows her stuff when it comes to healing acne. I’ll be sharing in this post specifically about external things you can do for acne and she’ll be sharing about nutrition and food as it pertains to acne. Check out Nadia’s post on 7 Steps To Healing Your Acne From Within here! You get the best of both worlds! Healing acne isn’t just about products, it goes much deeper into nutrition and finding the root cause.
As an esthetician I’ve seen my fair share of acne. Whether it’s a teen struggling with their skin or a middle aged women who suddenly gets an onset of adult acne. Most people come to me and want to know what products they can use on their skin to heal it. While products play a role they aren’t the whole equation as I mentioned above.
In this blog post on how to heal acne naturally I am going to dive into products and share what you want to look for, avoid and think about when it comes to choosing the correct skincare products. I’m also going to be sharing some supplements you may want to consider as well and what it looks like to have a skincare routine. Then you’ll want to head to Nadia’s website for the rest of the story on acne and how to heal it.
First I want to talk about the different stages of acne and why they’re happening in the first place.
As teens the body goes through an array of changes. Acne forms mostly in the teen years because of hormonal changes in the body. This type of common acne is known as Acne Vulgaris. Often if your parents had it in their teens you’re more likely to get it. Our pores have sebaceous glands and these glands make sebum. Normally they make the correct amount of sebum but when you’re going through your teen years, often the hormone fluctuations cause your glands to make more sebum. This results in clogged pores and leads to blackheads, whiteheads or pimples.
Here are some factors to consider when dealing with teen acne-
- Are they playing sports and letting the sweat sit on their skin or washing it off right away
- Do they consume a diet full of inflammatory foods(dairy, sugar, packaged foods)
- Is their bedding being washed several times a week with a natural laundry detergent
- Are they stressed or anxious or worry a lot
- How is their gut health
- Do they use comedogenic ingredients on their skin
Just like Teen acne, hormones can play a role in adult acne. Often it might not be the initial trigger but can be brought on by environmental factors. We live in an estrogen dominant world now. From the food we eat, to stressors and contraceptives. These all play a role in our overall skin health. If you think about an adult they usually have more stressors in their life than a teen. Stress actually produces more androgens in our body and therefore causes the body to produce more oil which can cause acne flare ups.
Here are some factors to consider when dealing with adult acne-
- Stress levels
- Comedogenic ingredients
- Dairy and meat sources- are they organic? Grass-fed? Dairy might be something to avoid all together.
- Major life events happening
- Household products such as laundry detergents, soaps, shampoos and conditioners
- Do you suffer from gut issues
What I’ve found with teen and adult acne is there isn’t always a one size fits all approach. Like most skincare conditions it’s individualized. Maybe you just have one trigger or maybe it’s a combination of several things. I think it’s best to really take a look at your life and see where you might be needing to a little clean up.
Nadia is going to dive deeper into the connection between nutrition and acne. As an esthetician I wanted to share some of the common topical culprits you might not realize are causing you to breakout.
The first large one as I mentioned above is comedogenic ingredients. Most people don’t realize how this plays such a role in causing acne in people. Let me first explain what a comedogenic ingredient is.
You might be wondering what comedogenic even means. Allow me to explain. Comedogenic ingredients are ingredients that can clog pores, cause blackheads and ultimately worsen acne or trigger it. Non-comedogenic would be ingredients that would do the opposite.
No one is regulating comedogenic ingredients, so as the consumer- we need too! A product label may claim to promote clear skin but the ingredients might contain comedogenic ingredients. Even if you see the label read non-comedogenic that doesn’t mean anything. It could still have pore clogging ingredients. Always make sure and read the label first.
I think you will be surprised how many comedogenic ingredients are often found in natural products. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use comedogenic ingredients on your skin. I still do but I’ve found ones that I’m ok with. However, if you suffer from acne or consistently clogged pores, then you may want to reconsider what products you are applying to your skin. Some people handle comedogenic ingredients better than others.
Also, comedogenic ingredients vary depending on how bad they are. They usually rate from a 1-5. 5 being the worst. It’s important to note how much of a comedogenic ingredient is in the product as well. If it’s within the first seven ingredients and you’re skin is constantly getting clogged, it might be good to stop using the product. However, if the ingredient in the product is more towards the bottom of the ingredient list, then the manufacturer only used a small amount in the formulation.
If you want to test a product out to see if it is causing you acne or not, the best way to go about it is to test it on your back or chest. These two areas have quite a lot of pores. It’s nice to not have to test it right on your face. Apply it for 4 weeks and watch to see what happens. If it’s fine then probably safe for your face.
If you want a list of comedogenic ingredients and non-comedogenic ingredients, as well as some non-comedogenic product recommendations in natural beauty- download my comedogenic guide here.
Also, check out my friend Marissa Gossett’s Instagram page- @grittybeauty. She is a skin therapist and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to healing your skin of acne. Follow her here.
Other Things To Consider-
There are other factors to consider as well. Sometimes you can be doing something and not even realize it’s causing your acne. For example, I find a lot of people just don’t cleanse their skin properly. They either don’t get all their makeup off at night, or dirt/debris from the day. This builds up especially as you lay on your pillow each night. Creating a recipe for bacteria to grow and cause an acne flare up. Proper facial cleansing is really important to make sure your skin is actually clean when you go to bed. Some people may need to double cleanse, especially if they wear heavy makeup. One test I like to do is grab a cotton round after washing your face, if you get it wet and rub it over your skin and still see dirt or makeup your face isn’t clean enough. Make sure your hair is pulled back at night as well, so the oil from your hair isn’t touching your face.
Also, stick to a skincare routine. I find a lot of acne sufferers jump around a lot and aren’t consistent with a skincare routine. One night they wash their face and then the next they don’t. Being consistent with a skincare routine can make a world of difference for seeing results when it comes to clear skin.
Some other things to consider:
*I am not a doctor, these are simply suggestions from my own experience. Please always seek the help of a medical professional on specific supplementation or dosing.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids- These are great for supplementing with if you suffer from acne. Omega-s 3’s are essential fatty acids for our body and help to calm inflammation from the inside out. Most people get an abundant amount of Omega-6 fatty acids but not enough Omega-3. Since these are not synthesized within the body, you have to get them from food or supplementation. Some foods high Omega-3’s are wild salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, grass-fed beef and eggs. I like this Omega-3.
- Zinc Supplement- You may need to supplement with zinc. Many people who suffer from acne are deficient in zinc. Zinc has been proven to be effective at reducing inflammation in the body. (Source) Some common signs you are deficient in zinc are white spots on your nails, dry skin, hang nails, hair loss, frequent colds, acne and low sex drive. A lot of common foods pull zinc out of our bodies because they contain phytates. These bind up minerals and keep you from absorbing them. Zinc helps vitamin A to your skin and also helps by regulating hormone balance. It also helps to aid in omega-3 absorption which as I stated above is also huge for acne. Zinc is also naturally anti-bacterial which is great for the skin. It also helps with apoptosis, which is cell death. So essentially it helps your cells to turnover quicker. Here is a zinc supplement I would recommend. I like this zinc.
- B Vitamins- Particularly pantothenic acid(B5) and niacin(B3). B5 helps reduce inflammation in the skin, and redness. It also can help with skin texture and elasticity. Niacin(B3) is a rockstar when it comes to acne. Often you might hear of people using a topical treatment called Niacinamide to treat acne. When you take niacin it is converted in the body to niacinamide. This helps with overall sebum production, hyper-pigmentation, and has anti-aging benefits too. Biotin(B7) is great too for the skin. You often hear of this one more. When you’re deficient in biotin you may notice a rash, or acne on your skin. A B complex supplement may be a good option if you suffer from acne because you would get many of the B’s all in one. I like this B Complex.
- Probiotics- These are also something to consider when dealing with acne. Most people these days have a compromised gut in some way. Probiotics help to bring back balance to the gut. We know that often those that deal with acne also have a compromised gut. Remember whatever is happening on the inside is a direct reflection of what’s happening on the outside. If your skin is inflamed, chances are your body is as well. Love this probiotic.
Also, stress plays a large role in how to heal acne naturally as I mentioned earlier. When we are stressed our bodies release cortisol, when we have more cortisol the body produces more serum production. This whole domino effect can trigger acne. Managing stress is one of the biggest things you can do for your overall health, but also for your skin health as well. Figure out where your stress is coming from and address it. Also, allow for some margin in your life. So many people are SO busy. This is the world we live in today. Start accessing what is worth your time and what isn’t.
Some products I love for acne-
When I started to write this post on how to heal acne naturally I knew I wanted to have some products I could recommend. It is hard to find completely non-comedogenic products in the clean beauty scene. However, there are a few that are pretty low on the comedogenic scale.
- Marie Veronique’s Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser- This cleanser is free from essential oils and many comedogenic ingredients. Some Some people may still have issues with it. Oils and ingredients affect everyone differently. However, I have seen this cleanser be successful with many people.
- Marie Veronique’s Soothing B3 Serum- This serum contains 10% Niacinamide which as I mentioned earlier in the post is a vitamin B that can really help to calm inflammation. I really love this serum! It is power packed and can help reduce redness and inflammatory breakouts.
- Marie Veronique’s Intensive Repair Serum- This helps to gently exfoliate the skin if you have acne, but ever so slightly. It also helps to control oil and alleviate congestion. It helps give the skin some micronutrients that help it naturally heal.
- Zyderma HS Clarifying Cream- This cream has the skin clearing benefits of silver. It moisturizes the skin but doesn’t leave it oily.
- Indie Lee Squalene Oil- Helps with texture and appearance of skin tone. It nourishes the skin without feeling greasy. Has a comedogenic rating of 0-1. I love that the only ingredient in the oil is squalene!
- Agent Nateur Holi (Oil) Refining Youth Serum- This has barely any ingredients and scores a 2 when it comes to comedogenic rating. Which means it’s most likely not to cause clogged pores in people, however it could still in some.
- Skin Owl Mauqi Berry Beauty Drops PM- This is another low comedogenic oil. Scoring a 2. It feels so nice on the skin, very hydrating and smells amazing!
- Argan Oil- Very hydrating oil that’s also non-comedogenic. Help reduce fine lines and scars. It has a rating of 0 on the comedogenic scale.
- Leahlani Skincare Champagne Serum- Helps with redness and inflammation. Helps to bring balance to skin while moisturizing at the same time.
- Leahlani Siren Serum- This will help to brighten your overall complexion while at the same time nourishing it.
- Leven Rose Rosehip Seed Oil- This oil has a rating of 1 on the comedogenic scale and it’s a steal on Amazon! I still love this oil for all over moisture- from face to body.
- Beauty Blend No. 2- by Nadia from Body Unburdened- It’s formulated to be high in linoleic acid, which studies have found the sebum of acne-prone people to be deficient in, and this deficiency opens the door to inflammation and hyperkeratinization and so breakouts.
I’ve also had many people have success with True Botanical’s Clear Line. They have done so many clinical trials as well and the results speak for themselves. Check out their Clear Line here! Also, you can read my full review on True Botanical’s here.
Also, always consider why you are using a product. I find a lot of people just want to blast their face with products. It’s best to stick to a simple routine and add in products 1 by 1 to see how your skin reacts. Often are skin is inflamed because we are over exfoliating, and over working it. The skin will heal itself when give the right tools!
Check out some other posts that may help you:
I would love to hear your successes on how to heal acne naturally- share them below.
Sharing how to heal acne naturally, how you get it, and more.
I wanted to share how to prep for baby with you and what I did to make sure I was ready. This is my third baby and I’ve learned a lot with the last two. So far this postpartum season has been so much better than my last two. I definitely credit it to having some experience with my first two. You know what to expect the second and third time around and you’re more aware of what you really need and what you don’t.
I’m going to share what I prepped before the birth and how it’s helped make the transition so much smoother. This is essentially a little of what I would have in my hospital bag, but since I have home births it’s more what I have on hand and ready to go after the birth. But if you are having your baby at a hospital or birth center, this would still apply.
Some of the things I had prepped were products and some weren’t. I found having all of these things on hand has helped me so much in the transition. I don’t have to think about frantically ordering things or having my hubs run and get me something since I know what I will need. I hope if this is your first baby or even if it’s your third or fourth baby this will help you when prepping for your new bundle! Keep reading to find out all the essentials I had ready to go when baby was born.
*I’m going to first outline items to have ready to go for mama and then what to prep and have ready to go for baby.
Me and my little man!
How To Prep For Baby:
Prepping For Mama-
Chic Bathrobe- This might sound a little funny but for me I knew I wanted to have a maternity/nursing robe that I could wear right after the birth that was chic looking. There are so many pictures taken initially and I wanted something that I could feel comfortable in but also looked pretty. I found just the robe! This would be a great gift for a new mom too. Check out the robe here!
Wish Garden Cramp Tincture- This is an herbal remedy for after birth pains. Usually this happens more after your first baby, not that it can’t happen with your first. But it tends to happen the more babies you have. I had read really good things about how this helped soothe after birth cramps for many women. I love that it’s just herbs. I actually didn’t end up using it because I had lost quite a bit of blood…SJ was 10lb. and 7 oz and so the midwife didn’t want me to take it because she said it actually causes the uterus to relax more and she wanted mine to not relax, since that could cause more bleeding. I still would recommend it from what I’ve read though. After birth pains definitely are uncomfortable. Get it here!
Breast Pads- I use some disposable breast pads in the first month or so as my milk supply is evening out and then I transition to reusable breast pads. I use disposable pads and then once I transition to reusable breast pads I use Marley Monsters. I find I have a lot of leaking the first several weeks when my milk production is just starting and the reusable ones I always end up leaking through. Get the disposable pads here and the Marley Monster pads here.
Pads For Down Under- Yes, after you have a baby you will bleed for a bit. Some women bleed less and others bleed more. I usually bleed for the first couple weeks. In the beginning you tend to bleed a lot more. Especially the first 48 hours or so. I actually used Depends the first several days and they were amazing! I can’t recommend them enough. As silly as it may seem to put on a Depends they work amazingly well. You don’t have to worry about leaking anywhere. I also had some pads on hand for after the first several days. You’ll still be bleeding but not enough to where you’ll need to wear a Depends. Get Depends here and pads here.
Breastmilk Storage- I found it’s best to have all your breastmilk storage equipment figured out beforehand. So have the breast pump, figure out how you’re going to store the breast milk and make sure you have all the products, etc. Your milk usually comes in around day 3 and it typically comes in with a vengeance! I love being able to pump right away to help establish my milk production and to find some relief from engorged breasts. I found for me having my system of pumping and storing my breast milk figured out has helped me a ton. I use this pump, but use these glass bottles to attach to the pump as I’m pumping. Then I store the breast milk in these silicone cubes and then once frozen store them in mason jars. I also would invest in a Haakka. This has literally changed my life this time around! It collects all the let down from the side you’re not pumping on. Making it so easy to collect breast milk without even pumping. It’s pretty amazing. Get it here!
Nipple Balm- This is definitely a necessity for the first several weeks. I always tend to get sore nipples and having an organic nipple cream on hand really makes the difference. I rub this on after feedings to help prevent cracked or dry nipples. Get it here!
Mother’s Milk Tea- This is a definite must in my book when it comes to keeping up my milk supply. I always have this on hand right after I give birth. It helps to promote healthy lactation. Plus, it’s such a soothing drink I’ve found after birth. I drink it everyday. Usually putting two tea bags in a mug of hot water. Get it here!
Water Bottle- This might sound like a silly one but it’s actually really important in my opinion. Staying hydrated is super important when breastfeeding and after birth helping to flush out excess fluids. Finding a water bottle that you love and makes it easy for you to get your daily water intake in is essential. Find what works for you. For me it’s as simple as getting a 32 oz size mason jar and silicone straw. I find I drink more water from a straw. Get a water bottle that holds a decent amount of water and have it ready to go after you give birth. It will make getting your daily water intake in so much easier! Check out what I use here and here.
Nursing Bras and Tank Tops- Having these ready to go and washed is also another great things to have prepped. As I said earlier your milk production comes in around day 3 so it’s nice to have nursing bras and tank tops all ready to go since you’ll be living in them. I found you need to have several too, since the night sweats after birth can leave you smelling less than pleasant and leave your clothes feeling grimy. Plus, sometimes you’re covered in spit up by the end of the day. I really like Target’s options for nursing bras and tank tops. They’re effective but budget friendly. Check out the nursing bras I have here and the tank tops here. For the nursing bras I would tend to size up. You will get a lot larger in the chest then you realize and I always think nursing bras tend to run a bit smaller.
Supplements- Now is not the time to stop your supplements just because the baby is out. In fact it’s even more crucial to continue taking your prenatal and anything else your doctor may have recommended during pregnancy. From what I’ve read you should continue supplementing up until 6 months after birth. Your body is going to be depleted from just having a baby and needs the extra nutrients. Plus, you are still giving out so much if you’re breastfeeding. I also would recommend seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Doctor right before having baby and getting a blood draw. This will help you to see where your levels are right before birth and then you can get your blood drawn again in 6 weeks to make sure you are not getting depleted in a certain area. Mom’s tend to not take care of themselves and focus on the baby. You still need to take care of yourself! Find a functional medical doctor in your area here. I love Seeking Health’s Prenatal Supplement and B Complex, Probiotic, and Magnesium. I take Elite Fuel’s Vitamin D3+K2.
Meal Prep- It might seem obvious but it’s definitely something most women I find don’t do in prepping for baby. I didn’t with my first two. I shared how I meal prepped and planned for baby #3 in this video. I went over the recipes I made and how I did it, plus how I didn’t store in plastic. This has been one of the best things I did! Not having to think about what I am going to make for dinner and having things I can easily reheat that are nutrient dense has been a game changer. I can’t recommend meal prepping enough! Ask a few family members or friends to help and make a day out of it. Check out my meal prep video here.
My third little nugget- SJ!
Prepping For Baby-
Onesie- Having some onesie’s or clothes on hand that are washed and ready to go is definitely good. Since I didn’t know the gender of the third baby I just made sure I had some of my girl’s old onesie’s and then I bought a boy onesie’s. Knowing I had at least one outfit made me feel at ease. This is the onesie I got for SJ.
Bouncy Ball- This is what we’ve used with our last two and it’s been so clutch. It’s just the big balls you use for working out but instead we just use it to hold and bounce the baby when they’re a little fussy. You know the witching hour that tends to happen during the day. Well, this comes in handy for those exact times. Instead of having to stand and rock them, you can sit and bounce on the ball. The baby loves it! We always make sure we have ours filled with air and ready to go before baby arrives. Check them out here!
Pacifier- I know some people don’t like giving their kids pacifiers but I’ve found it’s been nice to have one on hand for our kids. Sometimes you can’t just keep feeding them and they still want to suck and so these come in handy. I’m ok giving them to my baby as long as they seem like they have a good latch when nursing. It hasn’t been a problem for me. These are the ones I got for SJ.
Swaddle- You can either swaddle them in a swaddle blanket or get a specific swaddle product. They have so many swaddle products now to help make swaddling babies easier. I found the swaddle blankets are ok but not as effective as the swaddle products. I love the Ollie Swaddle. My friend gave it to me and it’s been amazing. It’s super easy to use and really helps them to sleep so well! Check out the Ollie Swaddle here.
Baby Bed- Figure out what you’re going to put the baby in initially. How is the set up going to be, etc. It can seem silly but having something to put your baby in that’s ready to go makes all the difference in the beginning, especially when sleep can be harder to come by. I have used this for all my kids on my bed for the first 6 weeks or so and it’s been great. I put it on my bed in the middle. I love that I can see them easily and that they’re elevated a little. Check it out here.
Night Light- Another thing you might not think about but I find is nice is a night light. Whether you use your phone’s light, have a bedside lamp, a literal night light or even a salt lamp, it’s nice to have something for those late night feedings. No one wants to turn on a bright light in the middle of the night. I have a salt lamp that I used in the beginning but now I’ve been using my phone’s light. It still works even when you’re phone is on airplane mode.
Boppy Or Breastfriend- I had the poppy with Finley and the breast friend with Gracie and I like the breast friend better. It makes nursing so much easier, especially in those first several months when they are smaller. It can be hard to get the right position and you can feel like you’re becoming a hunchback but with the breast friend it helps to bring the baby up to you and give you just the right position. It will make breast feeding more enjoyable. The boppy tended to move around a lot on me. I prefer the breast friend. Get it here!
Wipes- Obviously you want to have wipes on hand. These are my favorite wipes. They’re ingredients are amazing and they aren’t too wet or too dry, just the perfect consistency. Plus, I love that I can buy them by the case from Amazon! Get them here.
Diapers- Another obvious is diapers. I really like Bambo Nature, and Pamper’s Pure. Honest diapers are good too, I find they aren’t as soft. I have a new brand that I’ve been testing out and really loving called Nest. They are completely compostable. My guidelines for a diaper are they must be fragrance free and chlorine free. The face that the Nest is compostable is definitely a added bonus! Check out the Nest diapers here.
Wrap- I think a wrap is really nice to have, especially in the early months. Sometimes the only way they will sleep is on you and mama has to get things done. I really like the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling. They both have been awesome for wearing baby. I also have the Ergo Carrier and love that as well. It works with newborns too but I find I use that as they get a little older. Check out the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling here.
Blanket- Shocker you need a blanket! I love having a couple on hand in case one gets dirty or has spit up on it. I recently bought this one from Amazon. It’s 100% organic and jersey knit. I love the print options they have as well. Check them out here.
I hope these prep tips have been helpful for when you’re getting ready for baby! Obviously there are a lot more things you could have but I’ve found these are the essentials when I’m thinking about how to prep for baby. Sometimes less is more too.
What are some of your favorite things you prep for baby?
Check out some other Natural Baby Posts below:
Sharing all my tips for prepping for baby after having 3 babies!
Sharing my pregnancy must haves today on the blog! So many of you have asked for this blog post. I wanted to make sure I did it towards the end in case I added products. There’s so many things that come up in pregnancy it can seem daunting to know what pregnancy must haves you need, especially if it’s your first baby.
Then besides pregnancy must haves, it can seem overwhelming to weed through all the natural products and what you really need. Well, I’ve done all the homework so you can sit back and relax during your pregnancy.
With my third baby due literally any day now I’ve been around the baby block a time or two and know what natural pregnancy must haves you really need and what you don’t. I’m sharing all the details in this post. I’ve picked up so many products along the way from all of my pregnancies and I’m sharing them in this post with you.
My hope is that you feel armed with a little more info. to make the best decisions for you and your baby!
I’ll also have an updated baby guide soon. I want to try a few more baby products before I update it, but first I need a baby to try them on. 🙂
Embracing this big belly at 38 weeks!
*As always this is merely what has worked for me. Please always consult your physician before starting something new or taking a new supplement.
Lily Nichols Real Food For Pregnancy Book-
This book is seriously a game changer! It wasn’t available for my first or second pregnancy. Lily does such a great job of weeding through the research and really backing her findings with actual data. You will know what foods to eat and when to support a healthy pregnancy and baby. She even dives into supplements, exercise and child spacing. She also has some great recipes too. I can’t recommend her book enough. Get it here!
Lily Nichols For Gestational Diabetes-
This book I got later on in my third pregnancy but I wished I would have had it from the very beginning. If you’re pregnant than you’ve probably heard of gestational diabetes. I didn’t have it with my first two and didn’t give it much thought with my third. However, after testing my blood sugar myself it was elevated. I wasn’t diagnosed with gestational diabetes but I did want to lower it. This book really would have been a great resource in the beginning because she recommends you have a certain test done in the very early part of your pregnancy to determine if you’re at risk for developing gestational diabetes. This test is pretty accurate if done in the beginning of pregnancy. It would have been great to know in the beginning since you can change your diet, etc. early on. I learned so much from reading it! My blood sugar was lowered with just a few tweaks and I felt better overall. Get it here!
Testing Your Blood Sugar Yourself-
This might sound annoying but honestly it made such a difference for me. I had just taken the glucola drink with my first two pregnancies but with this one I wanted to avoid the drink. I did get the undyed glucola drink both times but still, it’s not my favorite and I never have that much sugar at once. I thought it would be interesting to test my blood sugar myself instead for a couple weeks. This is what they will have you do if you don’t want to take the glucola drink. You prick your finger in the morning upon waking, and then and hour after each meal. Some practitioners may have you even do it after snacks. You write down your results each time. It was so eye opening! It made me realize how my body was processing different foods, compared to others. For example, I found white rice would really skyrocket my blood sugar. So I knew to avoid that. Personally, in the long run I think it’s the best method because it really gives you an individualized approach to what foods affect your blood sugar. It also just makes you aware of how blood sugar works in general. I didn’t fully understand it all until testing myself. I am excited to test myself even after having the baby to see if foods affect me differently then. Here is the kit I bought from Amazon!
Pretty sure my belly is at maxed capacity!
DGL For Acid Reflux-
I struggled with acid reflux in my first pregnancy but not in my second. Then it came back with a vengeance in my third. DGL is what has helped both times. DGL stands for Deglycyrrhizinated licorice. It’s an herbal supplement that helps to ease acid reflux. If you have a chewable form it takes like black licorice. This is what my naturopathic doctor recommended. It worked both times! I don’t get it everyday, just every now and then in my third trimester. I would take 3 chewables and it would go away. So much better than taking an OTC med in my opinion! This is the one I took!
Compression Tights or Socks-
I can’t recommend getting a pair of these enough! They have helped with every pregnancy. My mom suffered from varicose veins and I have one on my left side that will bother me. When I wear my compression tights, it feels SO much better. Plus, I wear the compressions tights for swelling. Most of my pregnancies have been more in the warmer months and I tend to swell more in my feet. Especially my left side which they say is common in pregnancy. When I wear my compression tights my legs and feet are so much less swollen. Plus, if you want to avoid getting varicose veins they recommend you wear them if you are pregnant too. Get them here!
Mountain Meadow Herbs Gentle Birth Drops-
My midwife recommended these to me this time around for the third baby. She said every patient of her’s who’s taken them has a pretty straight forward birth without complications. It’s an herbal liquid tincture. You just take it starting at 35 weeks and then up the dosage at 36 weeks. It does have blue cohosh which some people don’t like since it’s been linked to birth defects in animals. They do have a version of the herbal tincture that does not contain blue cohosh if you feel more comfortable using that instead. Get them here!
Get at least 80-100 grams of protein a day-
I remember thinking this seemed crazy with my first pregnancy! However, your baby is growing so rapidly and needing the extra protein for fetal development. Plus, for me the biggest thing I noticed when I ate enough protein, especially in my first pregnancy was increased energy and less nausea. It helped keep me full longer which kept my nausea at bay. I know you will crave carbs really and that’s it a lot of times but if you can really get some good protein in it helps so much. They say the average pregnant women needs 80-100 grams of protein! And if you’re having twins it’s more like 120-150 grams. This also helps with blood sugar regulation. I have an extra protein shake everyday using Activ Whey Goat Whey Protein. It’s so tasty and the protein powder is the best! You can read more about the protein powder here and why it takes the cake in my opinion. I will add 1 cup of Forager coconut/cashew milk, 3 ice cubes, a teaspoon of chia seeds, and blend that all together. Then I’ll add the two scoops of the Activ Whey protein powder after the ice is all mixed up and smooth. I only blend the protein powder for a few since if you over blend it can add air to the drink and make you feel gassy when you drink it. Sometimes I’ll even add a scoop of cacao powder- it legit tastes like a chocolate milkshake! Check out Activ Whey here. Also, check out my protein podcast I did with my naturopathic doctor here!
Natural Stretch Mark Cream For Belly-
Avoid all the mainstream stretch mark creams filled with synthetic chemicals and snag a natural one instead. Let’s be real, I rubbed stretch mark cream on my belly a couple times a day during my first pregnancy. With my second pregnancy, same story. But with this one…I rubbed it on faithfully and I got two stretch marks! The more I read up on stretch marks the more it has a lot to do with your hormones and genes. My belly was so different this time around too. It protrudes so much more than the first two. I’ve come to peace with them! But the natural stretch mark cream is good for helping ease itchiness too. I really like Primally Pure’s Baby Oil– it’s what the founder used for her growing belly and I love Earth Mama Naturals Belly Oil and Lotion. I rub it on my belly morning and night.
I would also recommend taking your blood throughout pregnancy. I did and it really helped me to know how my thyroid was doing and if I was low in anything else. Your body goes through so many changes when you’re pregnant, it’s important to keep tabs on what’s happening so you can properly adjust or supplement if you need too. I’m going to share a few supplements below that I started to take after getting my blood work back.
This is great for helping with blood sugar regulation. It’s just a powder that you add to some water. It almost tastes a little sweet. My naturopath had recommended it to me initially after seeing that my antibodies were getting pretty low(I have Hashimotos) and he said that taking a combination of that plus selenium had shown to help reduce antibodies even more. So I was already taking it but then after my blood sugar testing had shown my blood sugar was elevated he said to keep taking it since it helps regulate blood sugar as well. Check it out here.
I also started to take an iron supplement. The baby goes through so much iron! So even though you might not think you need an iron supplement since you’re no longer having a period and losing blood, you might. Obviously, talk with your doctor and have your levels checked but I’ve always been low in iron in my pregnancies. It’s best to have your levels checked in the beginning so you can get a jumpstart on supplementing. Check out the iron I take here.
This is one I find not everyone considers taking when pregnant but I think it’s a great one to incorporate. Studies have shown that you can help achieve a negative GBS(Group B Streptococcus) when tested. This is the bacteria you get tested for towards the very end of your pregnancy. Taking a good probiotic might help your test to come back negative. If you have a positive GBS then they say you have a 1 in 200 chance of your baby getting an infection. The bacteria isn’t necessarily bad for adults but for babies. If you are positive your doctor will have you take antibiotics during your birth. It’s obviously not the end of the world, but if you can avoid getting antibiotics then why not. Check out the probiotic I take here.
I also can’t recommend meal planning enough for postpartum. I didn’t do this for my first or second but wished I would have. Knowing I have healthy options is so key when having a newborn. It would have helped me ease into things a little slower. I did a whole meal prep video showing you how I meal prepped for a month and how I stored the food here.
Also, If you want to read about my home birth experiences with my first two babies, check them out here and here.
Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing next week what I have ready and prepped for after baby. Even though I’m having a home birth there are some essential things I like to have ready to go. I may not have a “hospital bag” since I’m staying at home but this would be the equivalent if I did!
Sharing all my favorite natural pregnancy products on the blog!
Organic Beauty Products- August is here! Is it just me or did summer fly by? As much as I love summer, I’m SO ready for fall and to meet this little babe! 6 weeks out- crazy.
So this month I have some new products and some old ones as well that I’m sharing with you. I should say I rediscovered some old products! I forgot how awesome they were. Trust me, it happens when you’re a clean beauty blogger!
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These new Honest Beauty Liquid Lipsticks are giving me all the feels!
This was an easy one to include in my organic beauty products- August roundup! These are a new product for Honest Beauty. They are highly pigmented like a lipstick, but go on similar to a gloss and come in a tube form. They give your lips some nice sheen too. I love how high impact they look on your lips! They come in 7 colors and are super hydrating too. I was really impressed by the longevity as well, they lasted for a good 6 hours on my pout! And the kicker? They’re $12.99!! I mean talk about a steal. Get them here!
Ok, I still get this question all the time- “What’s your favorite natural mascara?” I feel like a broken record but it’s Honest Beauty through and through. Why do I love it so much? It separates my lashes, gives them volume, and doesn’t smudge on me. I don’t have raccoon eyes by the end of the night and I get compliments on my lashes all the time- I’m telling you, this mascara doesn’t mess around! It has a primer on one end and the black pigment on the other. The primer definitely helps give your lashes some extra volume and length.
I also use this Beautycounter Mattifying Powder to give my lashes an extra boost of vavoom every now and then too. I just use an eyeshadow brush and apply it right on top of my lashes after I’ve applied a couple coats of mascara. Then I go back and apply more mascara on top to make them really stand out. This mascara is only $14.99! I guess maybe this August clean beauty roundup should also be called best budget clean beauty! Get the mascara here!
These new W3ll People Nudist Shadow Palettes are the perfect everyday eyeshadows.
These are a new release from W3ll People. They come in a palette with 5 different eyeshadow colors. I love that they have matte and shimmer shadows in them. Sometimes I’m feeling matte and sometimes I want something a little more pumped up. One palette is violet hued and the other is taupe. Both equally gorgeous colors! I definitely am drawn more to the taupe palette. It has basics for everyday wear or for kicking it up later on. A great palette to take you from day to night. PLUS, these palettes are so budget friendly! You get an entire eyeshadow palette for $25! I’m definitely hitting it out of the park this month when it comes to going easy on the wallet- your welcome! 😉 Use Coupon Code: GURLGONEGREEN for 10% off! Check out the palettes here!
I’ve been wearing this blush and loving it! It’s not a new find but one that I definitely can’t get enough of lately. It gives the perfect hint of blush color with some slight shimmer. I’m not talking teenage glitter makeup but a mature glow look. It’s so pretty even in the package! I love the color Lily, it’s the perfect punch of color without being too dramatic. No more dull, lifeless blush! This will make you glow from the inside out. Check it out at Pharmaca.com and save 20%! Get it here!
Some oldie’s but goodies- these two have been taking up residence in my makeup bag lately!
This is another oldie but goodie! First of all it’s pressed, which is nothing short of awesome- who wants to deal with bronzer everywhere. But it’s also a pretty taupe color and not orange. I’m partial to the Miami Beach color but it also comes in several other colors too depending on how dark you want to go. And get this, another budget find! I know it’s kind of awesome this month for saving a little money. Check it out here!
Best exfoliator in green beauty- active enzyme exfoliator by Josh Rosebrook!
Still my favorite exfoliator. Gets my skin super smooth and clean. Haven’t found anything else like it. This exfoliator uses a mechanical exfoliant of walnut shells, and also an enzyme exfoliant. Not only does my skin feel smooth after but it looks brighter! It is chockfull of plant oils and active honey- a serious treat for the skin. I’ve tried to pinpoint the smell and I’ve come to the conclusion it smells like black licorice to me-which I love or used too…haha. I apply this to slightly damp skin and then I massage a small nickel size amount all over my face. I let it set for 15 minutes, I found that’s my sweet spot. But you can do it up to an hour. This is another must have! If you’ve been looking for an exfoliant that leaves your skin feeling smooth but also looking bright-this is it. Get it here!
Foot File And Pumice Stone
Ok, this might be random but this is something I use literally every time I shower and I realized I’ve never told you about it! Especially in the summer my feet can get pretty nasty. Being outside, and barefoot and just in elements can do a number on the feet. Before I get in the shower I’ll file down any calluses I have with the foot file and then once I’m in the shower I take the pumice stone and add some soap to it. Then I scrub the bottom of my feet with the pumice stone. I’ve found my feet will get rough and dirty and this helps to really smooth things out and keep them looking clean. I’m obsessed! If you have feet that could use a little tlc between pedicures this will be your best friend! Get the foot file here and the pumice stone here!
That sums up my organic beauty products- August edition! Want to see some of my past favorites from previous months? Check them out below!
Sharing my favorite organic beauty products for August on the blog!