Back To Basics

I’m a sucker for scents…I’m always diffusing lemongrass essential oil at the studio and patchouli EO at home. I spray Poopourri in the toilet before I shit. I burn Palo Santo after my cat shits. I want to smell every natural perfume available to woman. I love discovering new scents to inject into my coconut candles. Equally, I love that historic lucidity only a nostalgic scent can offer.

Scents even have the power to make me wear deodorant, for God’s sake. I wear Para Botanica probiotic deodorant just so I can inhale it (grapefruit + geranium is my fave). I’d fucking bathe in it if I could. The odor industry has me struggling with low grade Stockholm Syndrome because while gladly held captive, I am constantly falling in love with products that cause an adverse reaction.

It’s extremely disheartening when I discover a divinely-scented hydrosol or lotion to douse my body in only to get a fucking rash. Lately, my skin has been very sensitive to some natural products, specifically to the essential oils that make them worth a shit. My forearms and shins are the first to get itchy, which I’ve learned not to ignore because the itchiness generally turns into a few small bumps, which can quickly become a rash if unaddressed. It’s easy to underestimate the potency of natural ingredients.

For that very reason, I often forget about the cleanest and most effective skin products in my toolbox: African black soap and raw African shea butter. For me, these are the classics (and the cheapest!). When I feel a rash breaking out from some new fancy product I’m trying not to fall in love with, I’ll stick exclusively to African black soap and the rash will heal. Despite being made from mostly shea butter, African black soap can be very drying, so if you’re using it on your face, you’ll want to chase it with some raw shea butter. However, when I have a rash on my body, I appreciate the drying/cooling effect of the soap. I encourage you to look up the countless benefits of African black soap and purchase the soap and shea butter in unadulterated form (no scents added).


soap with no scents

Categories: Skin, Smells

The Vanity Mirror

For such an appropriately beautiful word, “vanity” has a bad rep. If you know me personally or have read or listened to any of my interviews, you know I unapologetically got into my line of work ten years ago for vanity and vanity alone. I had no digestive issues, no major recovery, no comeback story. I just wanted to look my best and I learned that detoxing is the most natural and sustainable means to achieving optimal outer beauty.

It’s healthy to care about your appearance. Vanity can actually play a role in disease and humiliation prevention. Had we never looked in the mirror, certain cancers and liver disease would go undiagnosed, weight would creep on faster, repulsive whiteheads (and greenheads) would remain undisturbed and coagulated mucus would have time to harden and stick to the walls of our noses. Needful to say, vanity is a fragile tight rope resting between healthy and unhealthy obsession.

Growing up, my brother and I shared a bathroom. To his dismay, I would annoyingly spend an hour before bed each night indulging in my facial routine followed by a close up analysis of every pore and hair on my face, tweezer in hand. Thank God I never had one of those magnifying mirrors. I would have spent half of the evening mutilating my face!

Upon reflection, my vanity seemed to mark the beginning of my obsession with all things bathroom-related. I remember when my mother redecorated the bathroom and threw up a flattering mauve wallpaper because only then did I realize the significance of a room’s lighting. You’d think this made me feel good about myself (or at least pursue photography), but it only made me question whether the flattering reflection was an accurate depiction of my true appearance as I migrated to a different mirror for comparison. Needless to say, I was a textbook case of someone suffering from dysfunctional vanity that  perhaps led to a mild case of body dysmorphia.

bathroom vanity

A quick google search reveals that we spend about 1.5 years in the bathroom in a lifetime. I’ve experienced an inverse relationship between the amount of time spent in the bathroom and clear skin. A healthy diet is the ultimate skin routine promoting healthy bowel movements (ie detoxification), which requires little time on the bowl. Additionally, less time staring in the mirror, washing/stripping your skin, slathering on toxic products and picking/squeezing encourages skin regeneration and repair. Ironically, a low maintenance daily routine is the key to clear skin. Less is fucking more.

Often I am asked what I use on my skin, which is why I developed the Skin Cleanse on my services menu. You can subscribe to the Skin Cleanse newsletter on the Gravity Colonic Prices page for my full skin regime and recommendations. Spoiler alert: it involves a plant-based, dirtbag lifestyle. Products last forever in my medicine cabinet because I only oil cleanse my face 1-2 times per week. While I don’t believe in the consumerism surrounding commercial skin products, I am a fucking sucker for all things natural. Currently, my fave skincare is Marie Veronique’s line because she incorporates both probiotics and essential oils that smell divine in each product. Probiotics are naturally found on our skin and serve as a protectant. This is why washing your face 1-2 times EVERY FUCKING DAY is no bueno.

In summation, I encourage you to look in the mirror only to embrace your beauty.  If you’re hating what you see, I dare you to embark on a mirror fast while adopting the healthy habits I share in my Skin Cleanse newsletter. True beauty is truly skin deep…like 25 intestinal feet deep. Watch your skin clear up and your innards beauty shine through your pores. Namaste.

xoxo jen


Back That Ass Up

I’m a huge fan of the late John. A. Pagano, a chiropractor and free thinker who wrote Healing Psoriasis in the 90s when the United States was heading more in the direction of chemical convenience and less in the direction of holistic healing. I will sum his book up with this: cleanse your liver, get gravity colonics, eat more plants (except nightshades, especially tomatoes), eat less meat (only wild game and fish should be eaten in small doses if at all), eliminate dairy, avoid white flour, drink water, manage your stress and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Being a chiropractor, Dr. Pagano went into the importance of spinal adjustments when addressing skin issues, specifically psoriasis. While I LOOOOOVE the sensation of my ankles, hips, shoulders and back cracking, I’ve had some traumatizing experiences with chiropractors in the past, so I completely skipped that chapter.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I’ve suffered from mysterious bouts of eczema (at times, it was mis-[self]diagnosed poison ivy). Flare ups would occur occasionally and coincidentally after completing a Liver Cleanse. It’s been about a year now since my last flare up, but I remember having random itchy patches on my shoulders and shins at my friend’s wedding. You can see one of my patches highlighted by my dress.

Psoriasis healed with colonics and chiropractor

I’ve completed more liver cleanses and recommitted to veganism since then and haven’t had an outbreak since the wedding, which leads me to believe Dr. Pagano’s psoriasis / eczema theory is correct: rashes are shit.

Something else that is probably responsible for clearing up my skin is my recommitment to chiropractics about six months ago. I wasn’t ever going to return after having my back re-injured by a chiropractor who felt more like a salesperson than a doctor, but Brian P. Corrigan came highly referred by numerous clients for his miracle work. He’s like a legit version of this dude:

Did you know that the first spinal adjustment performed cured a man of his deafness? Look that shit up!

I decided to go more out of curiosity than anything else and the price is right: Brian charges $20 for the first visit and $15 for each subsequent visit if you return within the month, making the work accessible to all. While I mainly visit Brian a few times a week because to me, an 8 minute adjustment feels better than an hour full body massage, some unexpected miracles have happened over the course of my bi-weekly (sometimes 3x/week) adjustments. Firstly, a chronic knot in my neck that no masseuse has been able to erase just magically melted away. And secondly, my rashes have not returned.

Dr. Pagano explains:

Can spinal adjustments conceivably aid the skin directly as well as revitalizing the internal organs that eliminate waste and neutralize toxins? I contend that they can and do – particularly general, full-spine adjustments.

The skin is an organ. It is, in fact, the largest organ of the body. Every cell in every organ of the human body must receive electrical (nerve) energy to remain in a state of health, and this organ is no exception. There is, indeed, a nerve supply to the skin itself, and, as Pottenger states, “The structures of the skin, as far as physiologists have been able to determine, possess only sympathetic nerves receiving innervation from the thoracic (dorsal) and upper three lumbar segments.”

Therefore, from the first dorsal down to the third lumbar, a total of fifteen vertebral segments, there is a relationship between the spine and the structures of the skin by way of the nerves that emanate from between these vertebrae. Due to this anatomical-physiological fact, spinal adjustments can indeed benefit dermal structures, whether or not a skin disease is actually present.

I hope this helps anyone looking for alternative therapies to commercial steroidal creams and that sort of shit, which only work temporarily while leaving your skin thin as hell.

Dry Brush The Bloat Away!

Our skin is full of shit and I encourage you to dry brush everyday because it takes less than five minutes to make your skin feel so fresh and so clean, you may not even need to shower! Showers are boring anyway. Dry brushing improves not just the quality of your skin (even known to reduce cellulite!), but the quality of your body’s drainage.

Ever since reading The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose, my original inspiration for everything detox, I have dry brushed everyday before getting in the shower (I do shower sometimes, but prefer the shower bidet). Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing cellular waste and debris from body tissues. Lymph nodes are spread throughout the body with heavy concentration around the neck, armpits and groin area and serve as sites for immunity cells, which assist our immune system in filtering out cancer cells and foreign substances. The lymphatic system needs a lot of encouragement to assist in these processes because it does not have its own heartbeat pumping these fluids out. Dry brushing is the easiest activity to incorporate into your daily life to help drain your lymph. Dry brushing has even been associated with alleviating bloat because it encourages the lymphatic system to drain excess water and toxins, improving digestion.

Lymphatic drainage is so powerful that it is employed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. One of my favorite clients owns a popular massage spot, Knead, in Downtown Jersey City. Her knowledge of the body is impressive and she was trained/certified at Memorial Sloan Kettering in lymphatic drainage massage. I believe she is the only one with such credentials in the entire state of NJ! I always assumed that every kind of massage assists in lymph drainage, but I stand corrected. Deep tissue massage actually has the opposite effect on lymph. While it helps break up crystallized lactic acid in the muscles and soften scar tissue, it cuts off lymph drainage. Lymph drainage massage is more like gentle tickling. Sign me up!

So while it may seem like dry brushing ain’t doing shit, trust that it is actually assisting one of your immune system’s most important functions. Brush your entire body, with special concentration around your pits, neck, stomach and groin area. Make sure to brush in the direction of your heart, which is best for circulation. You can find my favorite Yerba Prima Tampico dry brush at any health food store.

Oil Pulling Away Your Cavities??

One of my clients swears that just a year ago, her dentist thought she was “the most disgusting creature” due to her slacking in the oral hygiene department, maybe brushing once a day and flossing every few days. I have to admit, I can completely relate to said client.

Unless you’re constantly shoving processed, sugary or acidic foods into your mouth (which can alter your body’s PH, lowering your immunity and deteriorate your teeth) I feel the same way about brushing your teeth as I do about washing your face: you don’t need to do it as often as marketers would like you to believe. The saliva in your mouth, just like the sebum on your skin, is designed to protect your body from microbial invasion. According to the Mayo Clinic, it washes away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. However, certain medications can hamper saliva production, requiring diligent oral care.

I encourage you to consider effective, natural alternatives that have been proven to reduce oral deterioration when you’re tired of being told what to do. I’ve shared the joys of oil cleansing (or pulling) for both your teeth and your face. I go through extended periods of time not oil pulling my teeth out of sheer laziness, but as soon as I start to feel like a complete dirtbag, I’ll swish coconut oil in my mouth as soon as I wake up for at least ten minutes, followed by tongue scraping, a warm water rinse and then a quick brush with either plain water or some toothpaste. I try to brush and floss my teeth every night, but if I’m falling asleep on the couch to The Real Housewives, ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

The client who inspired this post came into the Doody Free shop the other day singing the praises of oil cleansing. Her first visit to the dentist last year after a significant absence resulted in four cavities. She refused to accept this diagnosis, and began oil pulling for a few months before getting a second opinion. The second dentist assured her that her teeth were perfect and so was her home oral care. Boom.

Brush less. Watch more TV.



Non-Crusty Winter Skin? Yes, please.

Hey all! Hope you’re having a great weekend. I am typing this on my way home from a ski trip to Sugarbush Mountain in Vermont with my brother and his girlfriend. Just thought I’d share a skin tip with those suffering from dry skin this winter. It’s been pretty cold up here with some days requiring a face mask while snowboarding. I noticed that my fleece-lined face mask not only helped my face stay warm, but also very soft and hydrated from my very own CO2! So find yourself a fleece lined scarf that you can cover the lower half of your face with during the colder, dryer days.

Another tip is not to leave the house without slabbing some raw shea butter on your face to protect your face against the elements. Shea butter naturally contains SPF 6 and is also anti-aging, so just do it. You can learn more about shea butter and all my other tricks by signing up for my skin cleanse newsletter on the Colonic Services page. Join the Matrix…


Never Wipe Your Ass With Leaves (of Three).

A recent “detox rash” turned out to be a torturous case of poison ivy. Wrapping it up the way I did to cover it only made it spread across my entire forearm! I’ve never had poison ivy before and for whatever reason, thought it was just some mythological beast, despite the memory of my friend in third grade who had a crusty case of it all over her face.

Contracting poison ivy has taught me some valuable life lessons:

1. Poison ivy does exist and it looks like this (the middle leaf has an exposed stem):  poison-ivy

2. Don’t touch furry strangers.

3. You probably shouldn’t rub your genitals with anything you find in the woods.

4. Don’t scratch a poison ivy rash. Instead, melt ice cubes on it to take care of the itch.

5. Liver cleanses may or may not cause you to break out in a devastating rash.

For a minute, I was fed up with these liver cleanses and the rashes they seemed to start promising. I will be starting my next one this week for anyone who cares to join!

My Skin Secret.

I just ran out of my Cow Fart Juice and realized I’ve never shared my skin secret! Okay, so the big secret is that I don’t wash my face…like EVER. My face has never felt good after washing it. Instead, my face would get so dry and itchy, I would have to smother “night cream” all over, which would end up clogging my pores and ultimately, give me more blemishes. So intuitively, I just stopped washing my face and every once in a while when it would feel dry, I’d put some shea butter on it. However, my face would still get crusty on the sides of my nose and I would get mild eczema patches underneath and around my eyebrows and hairline until I discovered oil cleansing!

I found this amazing holistic esthetician, Melanie, at Brooklyn Herborium in Red Hook, Brooklyn who taught me how to properly take care of my face. Using the same principles as oil pulling for your teeth, Melanie uses oils to pull the oils and dirt from your face. Everything she used on my face was made in-house using 100% natural tinctures with anti-bacterial, anti-microbrial properties, so my face did not swell up or scar after extractions. I even went straight to an event that evening and received compliments on my skin!

I purchased some of the products she used including the Cow Fart Juice oil (which was clearly meant to be mine because I did not even acknowledge the label until I was on the train!) and the Sow Your Wild Oats Grain Cleanser. Two or three times a week, after a hot shower, I just mix a tiny bit of the grain cleanser into a dropper full of the oil, rub it all over my face and then wipe it off with a warm, wet towel. When my skin feels dry in between cleansing, I still rub some raw shea butter on it, which you can get at any health market or for super cheap from the African dude in Union Square.

What I loved most about Brooklyn Herborium is their philosophy. Washing your face and even oil cleansing is not an everyday essential duty. In fact, I was advised to only use the products two or three times a week. What is mostly discussed during your treatment is the connection between daily lifestyle habits (diet, stress, emotional state) and your skin, which I am completely in line with. The former needs to be clear for the latter to follow suit.

Beauty is an inside-out thang. Always has been and always will be… but a little Cow Fart Juice never hurt nobody!

oil cleansing cow fart juice