DIY Face Masks – for every skin type

If you’re a regular reader of mine, or follow me on social media (Instagram: katiesuesessentials & kwebb819) then you likely know how much I love a good face mask. Young Living offers several face mask options; my skin type likes theART Beauty Masque best; I can’t say enough good things about it. However, it is a little out of my price range to use on a regular basis. I try to do 2-3 face masks a week, so the Young Living masks are definitely something I can only do occasionally, and I always buy them with ER points as a splurge! So, to fit my budget, and satisfy my craving to DIY as much as possible, I make my own face masks! Making them yourself can be a wonderful and cheap way to care for your skin, but it’s important to pick a mask that is going to assist you with your skin care goals and that is a good fit for your skin type. I had so much fun researching for this post and trying out different masks (I even got my family involved!); I can’t wait to share them with you!

honey-baking-soda-essential-oils-face-mask
My dad, sister, and I trying out the Honey & Baking Soda mask – we all loved it! Our skin looked plumper and we had visibly fewer blackheads!

Why should I make a mask at home when I can buy one at the drug store for a couple bucks?

I’m glad you asked! There are several reasons to make masks at home.

  1. Store bought masks (even the “healthy” or “natural” ones) contain artificial preservatives, artificial dyes and fragrances, unethically sources ingredients, and chemicals. I don’t want any of that on my precious skin! A lot of the ingredients are known to be linked with health issues and can actually cause more irritation to your skin. 
  2. DIY masks are actually much cheaper than store bought ones! For instance, the mask below with the most ingredients contains: Activated Charcoal ($22 for 12 oz = 72 teaspoons; $0.15/mask), Bentonite Clay ($12 for 10 oz = 60 teaspoons; $0.20/mask), ACV ($6 for 16 oz = 96 teaspoons; $0.06/mask) and essential oils (about a penny a drop) making the most expense mask below only $0.45! The ingredients cost $40, but you will get over 70 masks and can make multiple types of mask if you don’t always want to do the same one. It would cost you over $100 to get that many masks at the store!
  3. Making them yourself is just plain fun. There are few things that relax me more than making a mask, applying it, and soaking in the tub. So luxurious!  
  4. You can rest easy knowing that you have hand-picked each ingredient in your mask. You get to decide which companies you buy from are up to snuff. You’re the master and commander of your skin care! I try to research the ingredients in everything I put on my skin and only pick things I am totally comfortable with. 

Today we’re going to learn about 7 common at-home face mask ingredients and why they’re awesome, and get some DIY mask recipes that are super easy to make.  

A couple of things to know about face masks before we dive in: 

  1. Always wash your face before applying a mask to insure your mask has a clean canvas to work with.
  2. Try steaming your pores open before applying your mask so that the mask can penetrate deeper into your pores and clear out the gunk. You can do this by using the glass bowl method: boil a pot of water, pour the water into a glass/metal bowl, and lean your head over the water allowing the steam to roll over your face. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel to trap in steam and heat. Stay like that for 10 minutes.
  3. You may experience a slight breakout after doing a mask treatment. This doesn’t mean the mask didn’t work! It only means that the mask went into your pores and is banishing the bad stuff like it was supposed to. Just be mindful that this is a possibility.
  4. No mask is a “cure all”. Different masks target different areas of concerns (black heads, dry skin, acne, excess oil, fine lines, etc.), so don’t expect to wake up the next morning with celebrity-perfect skin. It takes time, a strict skin care routine, and, likely, a cycle of a couple different masks. 
  5. Adding essential oils to your face mask and skin care regimen can give skin a much needed boost and can help your mask be more effective!

Ready? Let’s go!

Baking Soda

Baking soda1 is a gentle exfoliate, has antibacterial properties, can lighten blemishes, can tighten pores with it’s astringent properties – it’s the Swiss Army Knife of skin care! It can remove dead skin cells, help treat and prevent acne, fight blackheads, shrink pores, and give your skin a vibrant glow. Bring it on!  It is a wonderful option for those with combination/oily skin, but works well for all skin types. However, some people find they have a sensitivity to baking soda when using topically. Note: baking soda is great for drying out active acne, but this also means it can dry out your skin; make sure to apply moisturizer after using. If you have never used it on your skin before (or in your deodorant) test a small patch of skin first by creating a baking soda & water paste and applying it to the underside of your forearm. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil2 is naturally moisturizing, containing Vitamin E and saturated fats (which help repair your skin’s natural oil barrier while moisturizing), as well as having antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is wonderful for cleansing and moisturizing the skin — fighting acne-causing bacterial while leaving your face soft and smooth. A word of caution though, coconut oil is comedogenic, which means it can clog pores (I know, this is shocking given that it’s been hailed as the end-all-be-all in skin care the last several years, but it’s true). On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the worst), it’s a 4. :/ This means that too much of a good thing can be bad. So, if you are prone to clogged pores, use sparingly (no more than once a week). It is a great option for those with dry/aging skin, but can be used by any skin type.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay3 (a powdered clay you mix with water) is awesome! It detoxes skin, cleans out pores, pulls out excess sebum (thereby treating acne, reducing oily skin, treating and preventing blackheads), aids in skin regeneration, reduces the appearance of pores, reduces inflammation, and is great for skin issues (such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea)! It can do it all! Great for all skin types, especially those with oily, acne-prone, or sensitive skin.

Note: When handling bentonite clay, using metal (which contains positively charges ions) will neutralize the clay, making it much less effective; make sure to use glass, plastic (when not combining with essential oils), or wood only. It is also important to buy clay from companies who do not use metal in the extraction process. I prefer Redmond Clay. 

Young Living Mirah Luminous Cleansing OilMirah

While technically a cleanser, I use the Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil as a mask more than I use it do to wash my face. I have never heard of anyone else doing this, but I do it all the time and I love it! Mirah is very nourishing and moisturizing. It is made with 10 essential oils and 10 carrier oils that have all been touted for their abilities to improve skin conditions and appearance*. The product page says it “removes pore-clogging impurities without stripping away the natural oils your skin needs.” To use as a cleanser, you just massage into your skin and rinse off. People use it as a makeup remover/cleanser combo. When I use it as a mask, I add a couple other essential oils to it, massage it into my face and leave it for 15-20 minutes. It is great for any skin type!

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal4 is fabulous for clearing out pores! It binds to the gunk in your pores and gently sucks it out, leaving you with clearer skin and smaller pores. It can balance oily skin by pulling the excess oil. It can be drying to some, so only use once or twice a week. It is not recommended for those with dry skin. Note: Activated charcoal is black and easily stains. Either wear old clothes/something you don’t mind getting dirty and lay a drop cloth on the floor, or just use these masks in the bath tub. If you notice it staining your tub/sink, don’t worry, it can be easily cleaned. If you use activated charcoal as a scrub, 100% do it in the shower or it will go everywhere! 

Raw Honey

Raw honey5 has been used as a skin treatment for hundreds of years! It is packed full with natural antioxidants making it great for aging skin. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being clarifying, making it perfect for tackling acne and preventing breakouts. It’s also known for helping the look of your complexion, and unclogging pores. Although great for any skin type, those with sensitive skin should definitely add it to their arsenal! 

Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used in skin care for thousands of years. Some are moisturizing, some drying, some balance your skin’s oil. Some fight acne, or scars, or blackheads, or dark spots. Some cleanse. Some heal. Some traditionally used in skin care are:
Tea Tree                                Neroli

Frankincense                       Carrot Seed
Myrrh                                    Roman Chamomile
Ylang Ylang                          Sandalwood
Lavender                              Geranium
Helichrysum                        Lemon
Lemongrass                         Rose               
Juniper                                 Clary Sage

They all have many uses. Do some digging to find out which essential oils would benefit your skin the most.

Choosing the right mask for your skin type is very important. Choosing the wrong one can do more harm than good, and can cause breakouts. In doing my research, and by trial and error, I’ve learned that I can’t use coconut oil on my upper body – it clogs my pores and I will breakout. I still love coconut oil, though, and often use it in place of lotion on my legs and hands. 

Take a look at the categories below and choose a mask that will work on your areas of concern, and then pick a mask in that category that best suits your skin type. It’s highly unlikely that every single mask will be right for you, so choose wisely and enjoy the results!

Fight Blackheads/Minimize Pores

For dry, oily, combination skin (not recommended for sensitive, acne-prone, or aging skin): 

get-rid-of-blackheads

Bye-bye Blackheads!


This baking soda & coconut oil mask cleanses and helps moisturize while it penetrates the pores to dig out blackheads.

Ingredients

  • Small glass bowl
  • 1 tsp organic coconut oil (fractionated, or melted and cooled)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Lemon essential oil
 

Directions

In a small glass bowl (never plastic) melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil in microwave (or melt in a double boiler on the stove). Allow to cool, but not reconstitute. During the cooling period, steam open pores, if desired. This can be done by using the glass bowl method.

Once coconut oil is cool, stir in 2 teaspoons of baking soda (adding more, if necessary) until a thick paste is created. Stir in essential oils. Rub a thick layer of paste onto your face using gentle, circular motions. It will be gritty because of the baking soda, this exfoliating power allows it to clear our pores. Let it sit on your face for 20 minutes, massaging your face periodically throughout. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat your face dry. You should see an immediate visible decrease in blackheads. Use 2-3 times per week, or as needed. Do not use more than once per week if you are prone to clogged pores.

For all skin types (except dry!): 

blackhead-eraser
Blackhead Eraser

Blackhead Eraser


This bentonite clay mask is great if you have oily skin that is prone to clogged pores. Make sure to moisturize after use.

Ingredients

  • Small glass bowl
  • 1 tsp bentonite clay
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 drops Young Living Lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil

Directions

In a small glass bowl combine bentonite clay and water. Only use enough water to make a creamy paste; you don’t want it runny. Add more clay or water if needed. Stir in essential oils. Massage clay into your face using gentle, circular motions. Allow to sit on your face 15-20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry, and apply moisturizer. Use 2-3 times a week, or as needed.

The Blackhead Eraser mask is my favorite to use to fight blackheads. Because of my oily, acne-prone skin, the bentonite clay is a wonderful option for me.

For combination, oily, acne-prone, or aging skin:

honey-apple-cider-vinegar-tea-tree-mask
Honey, ACV, and Tea Tree Mask

Honey Apple Cider Vinegar Mask

This mask is great at dissolving and eliminating gunk out of pores and minimizing their appearance. Great for combination, oily, acne-prone, or aging skin.

Ingredients

  • Small glass bowl
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2-4 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small glass bowl. The mixture will be very liquid. Apply a layer to your face, massaging your skin as you go. Apply another layer, if desired. Let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry. If there are leftovers, keep in an air-tight container (or wrap with cling-wrap). Use within 4 days.

Moisturize Skin

For all skin types:

mirah-luminous-cleansing-oil-face-mask
Moisturizing Mirah Mask

Moisturizing Mirah Mask

This mask using Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil is very nourishing and restorative. It is beneficial for all skin types. I like to start by steaming my pores open using the covered bowl method before applying the mask.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Pumps Young Living Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Frankincense essential oil 
  • 2 drops Young Living Ylang Ylang essential oil

Directions

Remove lids from all essential oils, and the cap from the Mirah oil. In the palm of your hand (or in a glass bowl if you prefer) carefully pump Mirah 3-4 times. Add essential oils and stir with your finger. Rub your hands together, and then rub your ace over your hands, gentle massaging the oil into your skin as you go. Let sit 15-20 minutes (or as long as you can) and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat face dry.

For dry skin:

coconut-oil-and-essential-oils-mask
Moisturizing Coconut Oil mask

Moisturizing Coconut Oil Mask

This mask is so sublime! It is very moisturizing and nourishing; making it a great choice for dry, and/or again skin.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil (fractionated or melted)
  • 2 drops Young Living Ylang Ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop Young Living Myrrh essential oil
  • 1 drop Young Living Frankincense essential oil

Directions

This mask works best if you steam pores open first using the covered bowl method. Combine all ingredients in the palm of your hand (or small bowl, if you prefer), and rub mixture evenly over face. Let sit and soak in for 15-20 minutes. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Fight Acne

For all skin types:

honey-tea-tree-mask
Acne-Fighting Tea Tree and Honey Mask

Tea Tree & Honey Mask

Containing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, this mask is great for fighting infections and bacteria on acne-prone skin while also minimizing the appearance of pores.

Ingredients

  • 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

Directions

Mix essential oil and honey in a small glass bowl. Apply mixture your face and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash face with lukewarm water, then pat dry. Use twice a week.

Tip: If you also have blackheads, add 1-2 drops of Young Living Lemon essential oil.

For all skin types (except dry!):bentonite-clay-essential-oils-face-mask 

Tough-Action Bentonite Clay Mask

This bentonite clay mask is wonderful for treating and preventing acne and blackheads all at once. It works well for any skin type, especially those with oily or sensitive skin.

Ingredients

  • Small glass bowl
  • 1 tsp bentonite clay
  • 2 tsp water
  • 4-6 drops essential oil (one oil, or combination of oils – all great for fighting acne*)Young Living Lavender essential oil (for any skin type)
    • Young Living Geranium essential oil (for any skin type)
    • Young Living Rosemary essential oil (for acne-prone and oily skin)
    • Young Living Frankincense essential oil (for any skin type)

Directions

In a glass bowl stir together bentonite clay powder and water using a plastic spoon or your finger (do not use metal with bentonite clay!). Add 4-6 drops of the essential oils of your choice. Spread clay onto your face and leave on for 20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse your face with warm water using gentle, circular motions; pat to dry.

For combination, oily, and acne-prone skin6:

charcoal-clay-acv-mask
Activated Charcoal, Bentonite Clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Powerhouse!

 

Charcoal, Clay, ACV, Tea Tree Powerhouse!

Combining activated charcoal, bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils means this mask is tough on blemishes, but gentle on skin. Because charcoal and bentonite clay can be drying, it is not recommended for dry, sensitive, or aging skin.

Ingredients

  • Small glass bowl
  • 1 tsp bentonite clay
  • 1/2 tsp activated charcoal
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil, if desired

Directions

In a small glass bowl, stir together all ingredients. Add a couple drops of water, as needed, if the mixture is too dry. Apply to face in an even layer; let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water using gentle, circular motions. Pat face dry and moisturize. If your face looks stained, simply wash face with normal cleanser. Use once a week.

The above recipe turned out to be my favorite mask! There are several that I love, but the Charcoal, Clay, ACV one blew my away! It is one I will be using often!

Cleanse Skin

For all skin types:

cleansing-mirah-mask
Cleansing Mirah Mask

Mirah Cleansing Mask

This mask using Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil is beneficial for all skin types. I like to start by steaming my pores open using the covered bowl method before applying the mask.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Pumps Young Living Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil 
  • 2 drops Young Living Frankincense essential oil

Directions

Remove lids from all essential oils, and the cap from the Mirah oil. In the palm of your hand (or in a glass bowl if you prefer) carefully pump Mirah 3-4 times. Add essential oils and stir with your finger. Rub your hands together, and then rub your ace over your hands, gentle massaging the oil into your skin as you go. Let sit 15-20 minutes (or as long as you can) and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat face dry.

This Cleansing Mirah Mask is divine! It smells heavenly and leaves my skin so soft and radiant! Because Mirah is moisturizing and I have oily skin, I use this mask when I am dryer than normal.

For all skin types:

honey-baking-soda-mask-with-essential-oils
Honey-Baking Soda Cleanse

Honey-Baking Soda Cleanse

This honey and baking soda mask is so cleansing! It fights acne, blackheads, shrinks pores, exfoliates, and cleanses. It’s awesome! This recipe works best if you steam open pores using the covered bowl method first. It beneficial for all skin types. The stickiness makes it fun to use – I even got my dad and sister to try it out!

Ingredients

  • small glass bowl
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Geranium essential oil

Directions

Note: this mask is very sticky! Putting on a robe or towel to protect clothes may be a good idea in case of drips. Stir all ingredients together in a small glass bowl using a metal utensil. Spread a generous amount over your face. If you apply a very thick layer, or if it is warm, the honey may begin to melt a bit, so watch for drips! Leave on for 20 minutes. You may notice it starting to dry in some spots (that’s the baking soda drying), or if you have active acne you may notice open pimples are oozing – this is normal and means the mask is pulling out the excess oil and debris causing your acne. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry. This recipe makes enough for 2-3 masks. If you have leftovers, cover your bowl with an air-tight wrap and leave at room temperature. Use within 4 days.

The Honey-Baking Soda Cleanse mask is another favorite of mine. I use it when I’m more oily than normal and/or have clogged pores. 

I hope you have a blast trying out some of these masks – I know I did! Let me know which ones are your favorite!

Katie Sue's Essentials

 

~Katie Sue
Striving for wellness and a chemical-free life, one oil at a time!

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose. 


  1. Info on baking soda found here 
  2. Info on coconut oil found here 
  3. Info on bentonie clay found here 
  4. Info on activated charcoal found here 
  5. Raw honey info found here 
  6. This awesome recipe was adapted from Root + Revel’s Charcoal Mask. Their site has some great info! Check them out here 

Migraine Awareness

Today’s post is one that is very personal and important to me; today we’re talking about Migraines and how essentials oils and natural remedies can help. Since June is National Migraine Awareness Month, I wanted to share my journey with migraines, educate those lucky people who have never had one, and offer encouragement to those of us who do.

I started getting migraines regularly about 10 years ago, but they became very frequent and more severe about 5 years ago. They became so frequent that I was getting around 15 a month (diagnosed as chronic migraine, at my lowest point), and each time I got one I was down for the count. Laid up in bed, lights off, black-out curtains closed, no sound, asleep all day. If I happened to get a migraine during the week, I often missed work, and missed a lot of events on the weekend. They’re awful! Having a migraine is much more than just getting a bad headache. A headache is simply that – an ache in your head. A migraine can be much more than that. My symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light and sometimes sound, with extreme pain in my forehead. Well, more than just my forehead; I’ve described my pain to my doctor like this,

“It’s like having a sub-woofer in my forehead, and also like a sharp blade is going from my forehead directly into my eye ball.”

Excruciating. And since the pain in often in my eye, and I get so fatigued, I typically sleep all day long when I have an attack. Seriously. I’m not talking sleeping in, I’m talking fast asleep until dinner time. Wiped out!

So what are migraines?¹

  • “Migraine” is a neurological disease with extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms. It’s typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head, but in about 1/3 of attacks, both sides are affected.
  • Attacks are often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. (I have had very few that make me vomit, but several that have made me nauseous.)
  • About 25% of migraine sufferers also have a visual disturbance called an aura, which usually lasts less than an hour. (I have never experiences this, thank goodness!)
  • Attacks usually last between 4 and 72 hours. (Mine are typically 20 hours.)
  • Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, and is the 6th most disabling illness in the world. 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.
  • Migraine tends to run in families. About 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine. (Thank you, Mamaw Pierce!)
  • While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraines, with at least 15 migraine days per month.
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine. (Shoot me now!)
  • Half of all migraine sufferers have their first attack before the age of 12. Migraine has even been reported in children as young as 18 months. Recently, infant colic was found to be associated with childhood migraine and may even be an early form of migraine. (I started getting them regularly when I was 16. I did have colic as an infant – I don’t know if it had anything to do with my later migraines or not.)
  • A child who has one parent with migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and if both parents have migraine, the chances rise to 75%. (To my future children, I AM SO SORRY! I know how to help you now!)
  • Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic. (Yep, yep, yep. That was me!)
  • Although 25% of sufferers would benefit from preventive treatment, only 12% of all sufferers receive it. (That’s right, only 25% would benefit from preventive treatment! I am not part of that percentage. I tried and tried to no avail.)

Here’s the deal. Migraines are hard to treat. Everyone’s body responds differently to them, everyone has different triggers (things that may cause migraines, such as a change in barometric pressure [my biggest trigger], alcohol, strong smells, change in hormones [such as around your menstrual cycle; seems to be another one of my triggers], bright light, or a hundred other things). For me, it’s also biology. I get migraines. Period. My great grandmother suffered from them, my cousins suffer from them. No amount of drugs is going to change the fact that it’s a disorder I have that won’t go away, but it can be treated.

So, what did I do to help my migraines? It would be shorter to tell you what I didn’t do. I’ve been on birth control, taken different types of preventative medications, had extra-strength migraine meds for when I got one to make it go away, altered my diet, used essential oils, added supplements and vitamins to my daily routine, tried heating pads, tried ice packs, routinely saw a neurologist, and have seen a chiropractor.

What worked and didn’t work for me?

  • Birth control – birth control did not work for me. I went on the pill when I was 15 to help with lady issues and acne (around the time I started getting migraines. Coincidence? Maybe.) and stayed on it nearly 10 years. I changed which “pill” I was taking probably 5 times to see if adjusting the hormones would help with the migraines I had begun having. It did not help even a little bit.
  • Preventative medications & neurologist– My former employer made me go see a neurologist because I was missing so much work and she wanted to see what could be done for me. My neurologist put me on a preventative medication (Topiramate²) that helped for a short time before my migraines actually grew worse.
    • Topiramate is an anti-seizure medication that is also used to prevent migraines, but not to relieve the pain of migraines when they occur. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain (sounds odd to me, considering migraines are not in the brain, they’re in the nerves). Topiramate has too many side effects to list here, but you can check them out by following the citation at the end of this post. What I experienced when I first went on this drug was INTENSE! Topirimate can cause memory problems, which my neurologist warned me about, and I, in turn, warned my boss. I went in to work one day and suddenly couldn’t remember my computer log-in. A log-in I had used daily for months. I went to my boss, almost in tears to ask for help, we called IT, it was a whole thing. I had trouble forming words, and difficulty concentrating; this lasted a couple of months and made me feel so dumb and incompetent – very frustrating. I also experienced a loss of appetite so severe during the first two weeks of being on it that I almost hospitalized myself because I was so worried. I called my neurologist who wasn’t that concerned, and just powered through. I tried to make myself eat, but the thought of anything literally disgusted me. I think I survived by forcing down granola bars. Another fun side effect is… headaches! In a migraine prevention drug?! I can’t even. I experienced a lot of side effects, but those were the worst. My migraines did improve (but did not disappear), for a while, and then they came back with a vengeance and were worse than they had ever been. I stayed on Topiramate and also sought other treatment.
  • Extra-strength migraine meds – prescribed my neurologist as a backup medication in case I got a “break-through migraine” to kill the pain. I was to take my Topiramate daily and the other prescription as needed. These never worked. Not once.
  • Vitamins and Supplements – it is difficult to say whether these have worked as I have always taken them in tandem with either my migraine meds or while seeing my chiropractor. However, by general practitioner, neurologist, and chiropractor all made sure I was taking magnesium citrate (I use Solgar) and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin. I use Solgar). Magnesium and B2 are great, natural ways to prevent migraines. I’ve been taking both for at least two years.
  • The chiropractor – my saving grace! My hero! My answer to prayers! I (finally) started seeing a chiropractor almost two years ago and it was life-changing. My chiropractor spent so much time with me the first time we met (at least an hour, whereas my neurologist talked to me for legitimately five minutes and handed me a prescription). We talked about my symptoms, what I had done before to try to prevent migraines, etc. He also did x-rays of my head and neck (something my neurologist never did despite me asking to have imaging done) and found what may be the biggest cause (besides biology) of my migraines. He told me that since they run in my family, I was most likely predisposed to get migraines, but that the head traumas I have suffered most likely made them more often and severe than they otherwise would have been (I had a tooth knocked out when I was 7 or 8, and had a very serious concussion at the end of junior year of high school [I haven’t wrestled with my brother since; I still love you, Andy! 😉 ]). He said I was all out of whack and that he could fix me. He literally said to me, “I can make your migraines stop” to which I choked back tears and just stared at him in disbelief. I began seeing him three times a week and am now down to once a month. At first my migraines got slightly worse as he began fixing the issue. After a month or so I began to wean myself off of Topiramate (hallelujah!). I can now proudly say that I am 56 days migraine free (thank you to the Migraine Buddy app for keeping track for me)!!!!

Yes, I am crying as I type this. If you haven’t experienced a migraine, and especially if you haven’t suffered chronic migraines, you cannot understand the relief, pure joy, and gratitude that comes with being able to say that. I used to be laid up in bed, unable to function, and in immense pain almost 50% of the time (at my lowest point), and now I am migraine free!

I firmly believe that my chiropractor isn’t the only reason my migraines have dissipated. I believe it was ALL GOD! A few months ago I was anointed and prayed over at church (this was after going to the chiropractor for over a year) and I know that healing has come from God! Through the power of prayer and using the resources God has given me, I have found healing.

I truly believe that God has given us everything we need to be healthy, combat disease, and aid in recovery from afflictions that cannot be prevented. That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for medication; God has gifted some very special chemists to concoct things to help us when needed, but there are so many drugs out there that do more harm than good, and/or that have outrageous side effects. In nature, God has given us an entire multi-purpose pharmacy at our disposal; we just have to learn how to use it (or let Young Living teach you, like I did).

Young Living has a lot of terrific products to help us migraine sufferers, and there are some products I use daily because I know they help my migraines, some I use when I go to/get home from the chiropractor, and some I use when I feel migraine symptoms coming on.

Sulfurzyme & Copaiba Vitalityessential oil – both are great for irritation!* My chiropractor told me to start taking something for irritation, and since certain meds are hard on your kidneys when taken over time, I opted for a natural route. I take two capsules of sulfurzyme twice daily (1 hour after lunch & dinner), and a full capsule of Copaiba Vitality before bed.

Super Cal / Super Cal Plus – I am almost done with my last bottle of Super Cal and then I’ll be trying the new Super Cal Plus. Calcium has been used for a long time in the treatment and prevention of migraines, and Young Living’s has a little bit of magnesium in it (like I mentioned before, also used in migraine prevention), and Vitamin D, which is necessary for your body to absorb calcium.

Valor – it wouldn’t be compliant for me to tell you the common nickname for this hard working powerhouse, so you can look that up on your own. 😉 I use Valor after I get adjusted at the chiropractor (before, too, if I remember), because it can help you get  adjusted more easily, and can help you stay adjusted longer.* I put it on the back of my neck, my brain stem (since that is where I whacked my head and received my concussion), and the bottoms of my feet. It’s one of the most popular oils used in massages (at my chiropractor’s office you get a massage after your adjustment. Swoon.).

M-Grain – Last but not least, M-Grain! The only thing the YL website says is that it “has a cool touch when applied along the neck and shoulders.” However, many people rub it into their neck and shoulders to help with discomfort.* I make a salve out of it.

m-grain-relief-salve

One thing I love to do after the chiropractor (or whenever the mood strikes), is to soak in an Epson salt/essential oil bath! It’s heavenly, and so relaxing. It helps you detox which is important after being adjusted and/or getting a massage. I like to combine 3/4 a cup of Epson salt, 1/4 cup baking soda, and essential oils galore. I let the salt soak up the oils for as long as I can stand it (ideally more than 10 minutes) in a mason jar (anything glass or metal will do**). Then just dump in the tub while it’s filling up. Do it; you’ll thank me.

For those of you in Tennessee, when I lived in Franklin I saw Dr. Gil Kentof. He is amazing! I was so worried I wouldn’t find a comparable chiropractor when I moved to Knoxville, but Dr. Gil recommended Dr. Conrad Vaughn at Apple Health & Wellness, and I LOVE going there! Dr. Vaughn is very attentive, and like Dr. Gil, his goal is to get to the root of the issue and solve the problem. He also talks to me about my overall health and wellness (hence the name of the practice) before sending me across the hall for a massage. If you are in either area, I highly recommend both doctors and their practices.

m-grainDo you suffer from migraines? What have you found helps you? Leave me a comment, or contact me; I would love to hear your story and help you in any way I can!

Want to purchase the Young Living products that help me? You can do so, here!

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Katie Sue

Striving for wellness and a chemical free life, one oil at a time

*These statements have not been tested by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or to cure any disease.
**Some essential oils are detoxers, so using them in glass or metal only is the way to go since if they are put in plastic, they will begin pulling the toxins out of the plastic and you really don’t want those getting into your system.
¹Information found on migraineresearchfoundation.org
²Information on Topiramate found on medlineplus.gov

It’s About Lime!

Young Living Lime Essential Oil
Young Living Lime and Lime Vitality Essential Oils

Young Living’s Lime and Lime Vitality Essential Oils are two of my favorites! I love the smell of lime – it instantly takes me to Summer days spent by the pool! Other than smelling wonderfully summery, and tasting great, did you know Lime has also historically been used for skin blemishes (dark/age spots, and overall skin radiance), as well as used to decongest  the lymphatic system, and as a gentle detoxer?

Go Getter Essential Oil Diffuser Blend
Young Living Go Getter Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

 

 

I currently have a blend in my diffuser called “Go Getter”. It uplifts my mood when I have the “blahs” or am feeling stressed, and motivates me to stay focused and get stuff done! 

 

 

 

Lime contains a powerful antioxidant called Gamma Terpinene. Antioxidants are wonderful for your skin! Not only do they help restore an even skin-tone, they also penetrate the skin to heal dark/age spots.* To use Lime Essential Oil in your skin care regimen, add a couple of drops to your nighttime moisturizer.¹

Let’s talk about the lymphatic system. Until recently I didn’t know much about the lymphatic system at all. I knew we have lymph nodes throughout our body, and that they swell when we get sick. Now I know that the lymphatic system acts as a… sewer treatment plant for the body, if you will (gross analogy, don’t think about it too much). Basically, the lymphatic system is found throughout your whole body, and it removes waste from every cell while also helping regulate the immune system! The lymph fluid (which I had never heard of until doing my research) is made up of 95% water and flows through the lymphatic system (including lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, adenoids, and tonsils). If the lymph cannot flow freely, the flow becomes stagnant and congested, causing toxins to build up in the body. This can cause a variety of health issues, and you may experience²:

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Stiffness (especially in the morning)
  • “Brain fog”
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Cellulite (say it ain’t so!)
  • Weight gain
  • Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, and ear issues
  • Breast swelling during menstration
  • Swollen glands
  • Cold hands and feet

Don’t fear – Lime is here! Getting your lymphatic system moving isn’t as difficult as you may think! Here are three easy steps you can take to make that lymph flow freely:

  1. Stay hydrated – as mentioned above, lymph is made up of 95% water. Adding a couple drops of lime to your glass or stainless steel cup can help to flush toxins and assist in hydration. 
  2. Avoid tight clothing – lymph nodes lie close to the skin and wearing restrictive clothing suppresses lymph flow. Try wearing a bra without a wire (and when you can, no bra at all); this does not mean a sports bra, as most sports bras are too tight and hold things in place, as opposed to letting them move (you can find my favorite wireless bra here: rubyribbon.com ). Avoid tight briefs and jeans. Think bounce; you want your body to move. 
  3. Get up off of that thang! – If your legs/feet swell during travel, or when you’ve been sitting for too long, that is because of stagnant lymph flow. Stagnant lymph flow can be prevented by frequent moving, self-massage, and stretching (see below for Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil). 

So, drink your oil-infused water, keep your body moving, and use Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil for added lymphatic system support. My family and I went out of town last weekend and spent over 7 hours in the car driving to our destination. My mother’s feet and ankles always swell! Since I was planning this post, I made up some Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil for her to use in the car, the results were definitely noticeable! She still swelled a little, but nothing compared to normal. Note: She only put the massage oil on once, at the beginning of the trip, and didn’t stretch when we stopped for breaks. I suggest putting the oil on every time you stop for a break (or, if flying, get up to move around), and to stretch every chance you get. Keep that lymph moving!

Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil
Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil

Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil


  • 7 drops Young Living Lime Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Young Living Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Young Living Geranium Essential Oil
  • Carrier oil (such as olive, fractionated coconut, avocado; I used grapeseed oil as it is easily absorbed into the skin and shouldn’t clog pores)
  • 5 ml glass bottle (I used an empty Lime essential oil bottle I had lying around)
  • Roller ball tip, if desired

Add all essential oils to your glass bottle. Carefully top the rest of the bottle off with your carrier oil of choice (if you have a funnel small enough to fit in your bottle, that is very helpful, I get mine here: https://www.amazon.com). Pop in your roller ball, if desired. Close bottle and shake well before each use.

To use, rub oil on your neck, just below the jaw and ears, and work your way down using deep strokes toward your heart. This can also be used on your legs; start at your hip and work your way down to your feet. 

Remember, as a citrus oil, Lime may cause photo-sensitivity, so be sure to avoid applying to exposed skin up to 48 hours before being in the sun.

As a natural detoxer, Young Living’s Lime Vitality Oil is very beneficial when used internally*. Of course, adding lime to your water is the easiest way to reap the benefits, but my favorite way is in delicious Summer recipes such as Cilantro-Lime Bean Dip, and Strawberry-Lime Daiquiris!

Cilantro-Lime Bean Dip

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Cilantro Lime Bean Dip with Young Living Essential Oils
Cilantro-Lime Bean Dip with Young Living Essential Oils

Cilantro-Lime Bean Dip 

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 oz) bag of frozen corn
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of black beans, drained 
  • .5 – 1 oz fresh cilantro (I use the little packages cilantro from the produce section)
  • Young Living Lime Essential Oil to taste (I use 12-14 drops)
  • Lime wedges for added prettiness, optional
 
Cilantro Lime Bean dip with essential oils
Cilantro-Lime Bean Dip with Young Living Essential Oils

 

Directions

  1. In a medium/large glass or stainless steel** bowl dump frozen corn and drained tomatoes and black beans.
  2. Pick off cilantro leaves, and, if desired, shred into smaller pieces. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. Add to bowl with other ingredients.
  3. Drop in desired amount of lime oil (if you aren’t sure how much you want to use, start small and add more if needed). Using a wooden or metal** spoon, stir everything together.
  4. Add a lid or plastic wrap and keep refrigerated when not eating – if you’re serving at a party it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!
 

cilantro-lime-bean-dip

  • Serve with tortilla chips.
  • To have a little thicker consistency add a second can of drained black beans.
  • Add a little more “zing” by using flavored beans, or mix in just a little taco seasoning, or a bit of garlic powder and onion (this option is best if eating the dip right way, as any leftovers will have a strong onion smell).

**Since all citrus oils are gentle detoxers, using glass, metal, and wooden utensils is important, and the citrus will pull the toxins out of plastic, and those will, in turn, enter into your body. Gross. 

 

Strawberry-Lime Daiquiri


Strawberry-Lime Daiquiri 

Strawberry Daiquiri with Young Living Lime Essential Oil
Strawberry-Lime Daiquiri with Young Living Essential Oil

 

Ingredients

  • 1+ cup of frozen strawberries, diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Young Living Lime Essential Oil to taste (1-4 drops)
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • Sugar/Stevia to sweeten, optional
  • 1-2 oz rum, optional
  • Whipped topping, optional

Directions

Blend all ingredients together (except whipped topping) in a blender until there are no visible strawberry chunks. Pour and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

  • Add more sugar and/or lime according to taste
  • Add more water for a thinner consistency 
  • For a creamy consistency, add a little vanilla yogurt

When travelling this Summer, don’t forget to stay hydrated, use your Lime Lymphatic Massage Oil and to get up and stretch every chance you get on long car/plane trips. And try out those wonderful recipes at the beach or by the pool (or a Monday night when you’re watching the Bachelorette…. or is that just me? 😉 ). Let me know what you think!

If you would like to order your own Young Living Lime or Lime Vitality Essential Oil, you can do so here: youngliving.com/signup

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– Katie Sue
Striving for wellness and a chemical-free life one oil at a time.

 

¹YL Blog: https://www.youngliving.com/blog/
²Lymphatic system: https://chopra.com/  

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

**Since all citrus oils are gentle detoxers, using glass, metal, and wooden utensils is important, and the citrus will pull the toxins out of plastic, and those will, in turn, enter into your body. Gross.