Oil Pulling and Why I Love It

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So by now I’m sure you’ve heard of the new trendy detox technique: oil-pulling.

What is it exactly?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil for 20 minutes, on an empty stomach, in order to improve oral and overall health.

Basically, the act of swishing the oil is thought to draw out toxins and remove harmful bacteria that collects in your mouth.

Benefits include:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Fresher breath
  • Strengthens teeth and gums
  • Cures headaches
  • General detox
  • Overall improved oral health
  • It is also said to be helpful for people with depression and insomnia

I am obsessed. I mean come on, what’s not to love right?!

Okay okay, most people who try it say that the hardest parts are getting used to the texture of the oil and swishing for the FULL 20 minutes. But from my personal experience, it’s TOTES worth it. And here’s why I think so:

  1. My teeth were noticeably whiter within a few days!!! I’ve tried all the toothpastes and whitening trays and I have to say this was just as effective if not MORE so. PLUS it’s totally natural without any yucky chemicals.
  2. My gums have been slowly receding for a couple of years now, but since I have started oil-pulling they have actually grown back a considerable amount! And I hadn’t changed anything else in my daily routine so it MUST have been the magic of oil-pulling.
  3. It clears any grogginess I have in the morning. If I ever wake up feeling less than bright-eyed, I make sure to oil-pull because as soon as I’m done I feel focused and ready to go!
  4. Less breakouts. Now I can’t know for sure if I can give oil-pulling full credit for this one, but I have noticed fewer breakouts around my chin. Which typically is a sign of hormonal imbalance. So perhaps the reduction of toxins has helped balance my insides! Regardless, it equals less zits which equals a happy Andy!
  5. It’s like a built-in lip balm! I always manage to get oil on my lips as I do my 20 minutes which acts like a lovely natural lip balm! Which means less lip balm throughout the day! Bonus!

So there’s my personal testimony. I’ve been oil-pulling for about 4 months now and all I can say is that I am addicted. I have not experienced any negative reactions or side-effects and I must say that when I miss a day I can really feel the difference! You should definitely give it a try!

Here’s a how-to guide for all you newbies. 😉

  1. Choose your oil. I use an organic and raw coconut oil. It’s cost-efficient, the taste is pleasant, plus it has anti-bacterial properties! An added bonus to the detox you’re about to embark on. You could alternatively use just about any oil you’d like such as olive, hemp, or pumpkin. Just make sure it’s organic!
  2. In the morning* when you wake up, rinse your mouth out and drink a glass of water. Now take 1 tablespoon of oil and begin to gently swish it around, making sure the oil gets to all parts of the mouth. Set your timer.
  3. After 20 minutes is up, spit the oil out into the trash. (Don’t spit into the sink as the oil could harden and clog up your drains! No bueno.)
  4. Rinse your mouth out with water and go about your morning!

*If you choose to do your oil-pulling at a different time of day just make sure that you have not had food within the last 2 hours!

There you have it! Easy-peasy!

Now if you’re like me, you probably don’t have 20 extra minutes every morning. I fit this into my schedule by plucking my eyebrows, shaving, picking out an outfit, checking e-mail, or by making my breakfast while I swish. That way I am still being productive while I reap the benefits of this wonderful practice.

What oils do you use for your oil-pulling practice? And what benefits have you experienced? I would love to hear all your success stories in the comments below! 🙂

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Soap and Lapis Facial Oil Review


So if you haven’t heard of the cult beauty brand from Seattle, Washington then please do yourself a favor and go stalk their website here.  (It’ll be love at first sight, I promise.)

Herbivore Botanicals hand-makes all of their products and everything is 100% natural and free of any artificial dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and anything synthetic. What’s not to love?! Nothing excites me more than finding a company that makes products that are functional, beautiful, AND sustainable; they’ve hit the trifecta.

Herbivore started as an Etsy shop and now they’ve grown so much that they’ve partnered with Urban Outfitters to start offering exclusive products! Just what we needed, ANOTHER reason to stop by Urban Outfitters “just to look.”

So let me give you a little background info on my face. I have combination Irish and Japanese skin. That means I have large pores, an oily t-zone, and the strange ability to still be dry and flaky while slick like a slip ‘n slide. It’s been a pretty rough ride ever since puberty.

I had previously been using Lush’s 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion and their Enzymion Facial Lotion with alright results. You can find a more detailed review of my experience with these products here.

This review is after 2 weeks of use, 2x a day.

I’ll begin with the Blue Clay Bar Soap ($12):

from herbivorebotanicals.com

I. AM. IN. LOVE. It’s made up of saponified oils which gives you a great lather and 2 clays to get you a really deep clean. Oh and it also COMPLETELY purifies your face, as in I had a full face of make-up on and it removed every trace of it. Incredible. I’ve also found that it has made my skin texture ultra smooth and it is performing a disappearing act on my pores! Seriously, I’ve tried items like Clinique’s Pore Refining Correcting Serum and this soap has done a 10x better job than that stuff ever did! And at $12 it’s a STEAL. This bar is going to last at least 2 months if not longer!

The only issue I’ve had so far is that is has made my nose and the area around my mouth a little dry/flaky. I’m accounting this to my skin adjusting to the new regimen, and it’s nothing that a little extra moisturizer or exfoliation hasn’t fixed. Herbivore also makes this soap in a Bamboo Charcoal (super deep clean) and also a Pink Clay (more moisturizing) version.

Now for the Lapis Facial Oil ($72):

from herbivorebotanicals.com

from herbivorebotanicals.com

Let me start with the packaging is ULTRA LUXE. The bottle is nice and heavy and the dropper allows you to get as much oil as you need without contaminating the rest of the product. And, the gorgeous blue color from the Blue Yarrow and Blue Tansy make this a product I want to display front and center in my bathroom.

Using a facial oil when you already have oily skin seems counterintuitive, but I have officially become a convert. This stuff is not greasy in the slightest and absorbs really quickly. It calms any redness I may have from picking my face (I know it’s a bad habit but I think I can safely say that this is a guilty pleasure for most of us) and I have had far fewer breakouts since beginning this regimen. Any zits that I do get now are really short lived and heal super quickly. BONUS: it has smoothed out my complexion and the fine lines on my forehead and my neck have been noticeably reduced!

I really love that with the dropper you can adjust how much oil you use. I use about 8-10 drops for my entire face and neck and again this bottle is going to last a long time! It is a bit pricier at $72 a bottle, but I’m justifying the splurge with how inexpensive the cleanser is and how long these products are going to last!

There you have it! Two products that I may ACTUALLY stick to for the long-run! (That’s saying a lot for a product junkie like me.) After seeing results like this after just 2 weeks I can’t wait to see how it transforms my skin in another month!

I hope you found this review helpful and let me know how you like their products if you give them a try! xoxo

(This is NOT a sponsored post.)

My 10 Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

So I know this post is a little late on the coconut oil bandwagon, however I have been amazed to run into people who still haven’t discovered the incredible versatility and health benefits of this wonder oil!

As soon as I experienced all the benefits first-hand I immediately become the coconut oil ambassador of the world and have been spewing facts left and right, like how it’s high in lauric acid and how it has anti-bacterial properties and how it is the ruler of the beauty DIY world.

So I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorite ways to use coconut oil!

(Be sure to purchase organic, virgin, cold pressed oil for the highest quality!)

  1. Cooking
    • Coconut oil has a much higher burning point than other oils such as olive or grapeseed, making it a more effective choice when making stir frys and such. Plus it adds the slightest coconut flavor to your foods which makes things oh so delicious! (An amazing replacement for butter as you still get that satiating feeling without the dairy!)
  2. Butter Replacement in Baking
    • You can replace butter with coconut oil in just about any recipe with a 1:1 ratio to make your baked goods so much healthier and nice and moist (I know I know it’s a gross word but I think it’s acceptable when in reference to yummy baked goods!). This way you are getting all the heart friendly unsaturated fats and lauric acid coconut oil has to offer while slashing the not so heart healthy butter!
  3. Sunburn Relief
    • I swear by this remedy whenever I’ve had a little too much fun in the sun: shower with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser, followed by a rub down of apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad, moisturize with aloe vera gel, and then seal in the moisture and replenish the lipids in your skin with a layer of coconut oil. Your sunburn will vanish by morning! The coconut oil is particularly soothing and is really restorative for the skin!
  4. Oil Pulling
    • This is a great treatment for your oral health if you have bad breath, receding gums, or just as a way to pull out toxins from your body! It’s also been known to cure headaches and help people with depression. It even whitens your teeth as an added bonus! Just take a heaping tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach. Make your breakfast or go about getting ready for your day and then when you’re done spit it out in the trash (not the sink!) and rinse your mouth out with some warm water. You can read more about oil-pulling here.
  5. DIY Toothpaste
    • Mix together some coconut oil, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, liquid stevia, and peppermint oil and you’ve got yourself some toothpaste that’s free from any icky chemicals and leaves your mouth super fresh and clean!
  6. DIY Face/Body Scrub
    • Simply mix together some brown sugar and melted coconut oil together to have yourself a delicious scrub that will purge your skin of any dead skin cells and leaving you fully moisturized and smooth! (you can add essential oils for a boost)
  7. Personal Lubricant
    • So….I’m going there. But most of us do the “deed” and have you ever read the back of a lube bottle?! It’s a bit horrifying to be putting so many chemicals up in your lady/man bits. Switch out that yucky lube with some coconut oil for your play time! (Health PSA: Coconut oil DOES NOT work with latex condoms.)
  8. Rashes/Bug Bites
    • Coconut oil is anti-bacterial which makes it a wonder for healing things such as pimples, bug bites, rashes, or any sort of fungal skin condition. Just slather it on straight from the bottle!
  9. Smoothie Booster
    • Adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothie gives it a healthy fat boost, making you feel more satiated! Plus it has been shown that eating a tablespoon of coconut oil a day actually helps keep your stomach flatter! Eating fat DOES NOT mean you will get fat people. Just make sure you’re eating healthy ones!
  10. Hair Mask
    • Heat up about 1/4 cup of coconut oil until melted and warmed through and apply to dry hair. Focus on massaging the scalp and roots and then work your way through your strands and focus on the ends. Leave on for 15-30 minutes and shampoo/condition to reveal incredibly smooth and shiny hair!

So there you have it! 10 ways to use coconut oil in your everyday life. Hopefully some of these will help you make a step towards leading a healthier and happier life!

Post in the comments below your favorite ways to use coconut oil!