Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Natural Body Sprays

Besides smelling good, essential oils are chock full of healing properties. So, when you make a body spray using therapeutic-grade essential oils, then besides smelling good you get the added bonus of those oils' healing and aroma-therapeutic qualities. It's a win-win! 

Today I'm sharing the recipes for a couple body sprays I tried at a Make-n-Take party. They both smell scrumptious.

Here's the base recipe (found here)...
  • 8 oz distilled water in a spray bottle
  • 1 TBSP witch hazel
  • 20-30 drops essential oils (see examples below!)
To make it, just combine ingredients, seal the bottle tightly and give it a good shake. Remember to shake it before each use.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Panaway Butter

Have I mentioned how much I love PanAway Oil for pain relief? It's an amazing custom-blend of essential oils that's great for tired or sore muscles, headaches, inflammation, bruising, arthritis and sciatica. If you're using it very often it's nice to have it already mixed with a carrier oil or herbal base of some sort so it's ready to grab and go. I mixed mine with my Mango Whipped Body Butter (because I love it) but even plain coconut oil would work fine. I add at least 5-6 drops PanAway to every ounce of herbal base (the body butter or coconut oil). The more you add, the stronger it will be, so just give it a try and then customize it to your own needs.

During the last few weeks of my pregnancy I used my Panaway Butter most days and was thankful for the relief it gave me! My mom uses it when she wakes up in the night with a sore knee (she mixed hers with Shea Butter Balm), and a friend of ours rubs it on his hand for relief from arthritis (he mixes his with plain coconut oil). Horray for Panaway! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lavender-Melrose for Eczema and More!

Today I'm sharing two recipes (one in cream form and the other in an oil roll-on form) that serve multiple purposes, but I originally made them for my son's eczema. They are made using the Lavender and Melrose essential oils, which are good not only for eczema, but also cradle cap, contact dermatitis, and ring worm.  This blend was also effective on a pesky spot on his arm that we believe was a irritation to wearing a watch.

Lavender-Melrose Cream For Eczema and More!
  • 1 oz whipped coconut oil*
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil**
  • 10 drops Melrose essential oil blend**

Whip to combine. Apply to skin for eczema, contact dermatitis or ringworm. For cradle cap, rub it into the scalp and then after a while gently use a soft baby brush or fine-tooth baby comb to work it through and gently slough off dead skin. Then rub baby's head with a warm wash cloth (and/or wash with a mild soap like Dr. Bronner's) to remove excess oil.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Calming Cream for Cranky Monsters

Do you ever have cranky kids? Or how about a crying baby?
Do you OR your kids ever need a little help unwinding to go to sleep at night?

If so, then today's post is for you. Here is my recipe for our calming cream. We use it especially at bedtime, but also for crying or crankiness.

Calming Cream for Cranky Monsters
  • 1 oz coconut oil* OR your favorite herbal base
  • 5 drops Peace & Calming essential oil blend**
  • 5 drops Lavender essential oil
This calming cream can be used all over the body, but it's especially helpful when applied to the big toe (vita flex point for the brain), feet, back of the neck and wrists. It's great to work into a massage before bed time.

*When shopping for your coconut oil, the key words you need to see on the packaging are: organic, cold-pressed or expeller expressed, and unprocessed. Also on the shea butter, it should NOT be bleached. 
**All essential oils are NOT the same... please read this before buying any! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gentle Baby Diaper Rash Cream Recipe

Today's recipe comes from the book Gentle Babies" by Debra Raybern. It's an excellent diaper-rash cream, and completely organic! And did I mention that it WORKS?!

Gentle Baby Diaper Rash Cream
  • 2 oz herbal base of your choice
  • 4 drops Gentle Baby essential oil blend
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops German Chamomile
  • 1 drop Melrose
  • 1 drop Cypress (I omitted this because I didn't have it.) 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mango Whipped Body Butter Recipe

If you read my post "What Are You Putting On Your Skin?" then you already know why you'd want to consider making your own body butter to use in place of commercial lotions. I already shared a simple recipe for Shea Butter Balm & Shea Butter Cream which requires no heat and very little prep time. Today I'm sharing the my current favorite body butter recipe, which is the result of testing a lot of different concoctions over the past few months. It takes a little longer to make, but it's my favorite finished butter so far for both face and body. I really like the consistency of it and what it does for our skin. I like to whip up a big batch and keep the extra on hand for later. Ready?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Make Your Own Shea Butter Balm & Shea Butter Cream

Today I'll share my two quickest, easiest recipes for both face and body moisturizers. They are organic, toxin-free, and made with only two ingredients: shea butter and coconut oil. (If you missed my post "What Are You Putting On Your Skin?" then click here!!)

Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the nut of the karate tree. It naturally carries high amounts of both Vitamins A & E, which are great for the skin, so many studies site shea butter for its ability to fight wrinkles. Although it's not absorbed super-quickly, it provides great protection and moisture. 

Coconut oil is super-versatile, as its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties make it great for a variety of skin irritations from rashes and yeast infections to eczema and psoriasis. It makes a very gentle and effective skin conditioner, increasing the moisture and lipid content of the skin and even providing a very light level of sun protection. It can easily be used on the skin alone as well.

Recipe for Shea Butter Balm:
  • 4 parts Shea Butter*
  • 1 part Coconut Oil*
  • Optionally, add essential oils of choice
Combine using an emulsion blender or electric mixer with whip attachment. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What Are You Putting On Your Skin???

Have you heard that it's bad to use parabens on your skin? Parabens, petroleum byproducts, and mineral oil derivatives coat your skin, making it feel great for the moment but actually drying it out over time. This means that you must use more and more of the product. I would venture to guess that most, if not all, of the bath and body products in your bathroom are guilty of having these ingredients in them!

When I was in school for skin care I did quite a bit of research on the ingredients used in cosmetics, and what I found was pretty grim. At that time I went to WalMart and read the ingredient label of literally every hand lotion they had, looking for ONE that was paraben-free, and there wasn't one to be found. I hate to break it to you, but Bath and Body Works was the same. Pretty much anywhere I looked, I was unable to find bath or body products without BAD ingredients in them.

Click here to view this chart LARGER!

Eventually I found Arbonne, which was the first big company I came across that is not only paraben-free but truly has quality products I'd trust to put on my skin. (My babies have never bathed in Johnson and Johnson in their life! Only Arbonne's Baby Care!)

Lately I've been getting back to the basics. As in, I clean my house with vinegar and baking soda and lemon oil instead of toxic cleaners that I have to hide from my kids. I've also been experimenting with making my own skin care products... so far I've made facial cleanser, facial moisturizer, body butter, lotion bars, chap stick, lip gloss, eczema relief oil and balms, and diaper rash ointments. Although it's taking some experimenting and tweaking to get my recipes JUST RIGHT, I'm enjoying the process and have been enjoying happier, healthier skin in the process.

In my upcoming posts I'll be sharing some of my "keeper" recipes, so stay tuned!