Thursday
Aug072014

What Customers Make

Cherie has been one of my faithful customers who works for a blood bank at various hospitals. She started out making lotion for the staff and co-workers she works with, and soon adopted lotion-making as a restful hobby to have on the side. The "problem" with a hobby like this is that you can end up with a LOT of lotion.

Her solution? She makes party favors for baby and bridal showers. She also sells it locally. Here's what she made with this batch:

She writes: "I made some with cocoa butter. One batch coffee bean butter.
The rest are shea butter:

  • Unscented
  • Coconut
  • Cucumber melon
  • Birthday cake
  • Blood orange
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Vanilla bean

And the baby powder is a fragrance oil I bought from FNWL.  It smells just like the real thing !
I also made little 1 oz containers of sugar scrub. "

Thank you for sharing your ideas, Cherie!

 

Thursday
Aug072014

How to Make Homemade Hair Spray (thanks to Mommypotamus)

I shared a homemade hair spray last December that I was happy with, but I found something better. While I liked my earlier hair spray, it was too firm and stiff for me to use daily. The recipe below uses less sugar, therefore less hold, and there are a couple other changes I made. 

First, credit goes to Mommypotamus for allowing me to share this recipe from her e-book  DIY Organic Beauty Recipes *  

Before I get to the recipe, I decided to try something based on the recommendation of Wellness Mama, another popular blogger. Katie brews herbs and adds this "tea" to her hair to lighten her blonde hair. Some people even have success in covering grey hair with this practice. Katie uses chamomile and calendula; I decided to try chamomile. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot purified water (here is where I altered the recipe and used brewed chamomile tea instead)
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 3-5 drops essential oil for scent (optional)

 To Make:

  1. Heat water to just under the boiling point (or in my case, make tea)
  2. Spoon in sugar and stir until dissolved
  3. Allow to cool, then add vodka and optional essential oil
  4. Pour into a spray bottle and store in the fridge until needed

To Use:

Pump a few sprays onto the area you want hold and allow to dry for 30 seconds. Continue process until your hair reaches the desired amount of hold.

Shelf Life: 1-2 weeks. Store in the fridge.

Renee's Notes: Why the vodka? From what I read online, it preserves the hair spray to be able to last longer. I chose rosemary essential oil for its alleged benefits in stopping hair loss and for it's use in memory retention. Whether or not that is helping me personally, I also chose it for it's aromatic fragrance. Speaking of aromatics, do refrigerate it, or you won't be happy with the smell after a few days :P

This spray works just as well, if not better, than my store bought hair spray. The only hassle is that it needs to be refrigerated but because it's a product I only use once a day, at most, that isn't much of a sacrifice. 

If you make and use your own skin care, you should check out some of the other 50 recipes in Mommypotamus' ebook. It's a well-researched and complete resource for your skin care basics (soap and eye makeup remover) as well as your more intriguing "got to try this" opportunities: (color rinses and homemade bronzer).  Click here to view more details

*Links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase the ebook on my recommendation, a portion of the sale comes to me although the price is still the same for you.

Friday
Jun062014

Use kukui nut oil to make this easy sunburn relief recipe

Sunburn?

Here's my favorite oil for burns….

We've had a couple run-ins with the sun in the past couple weeks.

Two of my kids came home sunburned (too much time in the sun and no sunscreen), on two different occasions. 

I turned to my go-to oil that I keep in the kitchen: kukui nut oil (pronounced koo-koo-ee). I've been using this oil the past couple years, ever since a Hawaiian customer put me on to it. It's an amazing oil that works immediately to relieve and heal minor burns. 

For a sunburn, it would be too oily to apply this alone. So I mixed the kukui nut oil with aloe vera gel, in a ratio of about 1:3. Here's a photo of my 16 year old, the before was taken about 12 hours before the after (see left).

After posting this, Kelli from our MadeOn community wrote in: "Add lavender oil to your sunburn relief arsenal! Lavender will take your sunburn and  transform it to a tan overnight (unless it is an EPIC burn, then 48 hours of application every 4ish hours) I mix mine in a 6 drops to 1Tbs coconut oil ratio and rub it in! I add a drop or 2 of peppermint if I'm in the hot stage and leave it out if I'm in the cold stage!"  

(affiliate links above)

Thursday
Jun052014

The benefits of a homemade, clay based deodorant

Have you made homemade deodorant from the My Buttered Life: Personal Edition ebook

 Here are the reasons I use bentonite clay:

  1. Many people who tried the baking soda based deodorants found baking soda to be irritating to the skin.
  2. Bentonite clay contains a high concentration of minerals.
  3. Bentonite clay is often used in bathing to soften the skin.
  4. Bentonite is a "swelling clay." I found that it works perfectly in the recipe to keep all the ingredients bound together, with no need for refrigeration.

One question from a customer: "I noticed on Mountain Rose Herbs website that it contains aluminum.  I know one of the main reasons to stay away from regular deodorant is that it contains aluminum, so I was just confused why I would want to use Bentonite Clay?"  

Here's my answer to Emily:


I first went to Katie at Wellness Mama and found that she had studied it, concluding that it's safe. You can see her interaction here: http://wellnessmama.com/5915/the-benefits-of-healing-clays/ (do a page search for aluminum and you'll see her conversation.)

Then I wanted more info, so I went to www.redmondclay.com to see what they had to say. They have an extensive answer here: http://www.redmondclay.com/2012/what-about-the-aluminum-in-redmond-clay/ I have chatted with this company on the phone before and fully trust their opinion.


Another good resource that isn't a company is Leslie from www.crunchybetty.com. Start with this post:
http://www.crunchybetty.com/not-a-secret-homemade-deodorant and then scroll through the hundreds of comments (or, to be faster with it, do a page search for aluminum and you'll see it referenced 16 times, mostly in the comments).

One more question I've received is regarding bentonite clay coming in contact with metal. According to Redmond Clay, it is best not to have clay stored in aluminum, copper, iron, or other metal. I would take this to imply that you shouldn't blend your ingredients in an aluminum bowl, either. I use my glass Pyrex containers, so I haven't tried the aluminum to see if the outcome is different. The reason given by WellnessMama is because it will reduce the effectiveness. I don't know if this refers to the effectiveness of the clay as a detox, or if it would go further to imply that you may have mixed results with the recipe outcome. For best results, avoid the metal equipment. I do have a tiny metal part in my stick blender; this has not affected the outcome of my homemade deodorant. 

Wednesday
May212014

How to Make & Personalize Lip Balms for Graduation Party Favors using PicMonkey

May and June are busy months for graduations and parties; a perfect gift for the graduate would be to supply the party favors. This month, I created lip balms for a friend who graduated high school this year. Follow along and I'll show you how it's done:

THE RECIPE: My basic recipe is to weigh equal amounts of beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. Melt. Use a dropper to drop into the lip balm tubes. View the process here. Add a bit more coconut oil if you live in a colder climate because it may need to be slightly softer. Each tube can hold .15 oz, so if you make a total of 100 lip balms, you would need at least 15 oz' worth of lip balm mixture, or 5 oz of each ingredient. The DIY kit I sell on my site can make approximately 80 lip balms, although you'd need to purchase additional tubes (see resources below). You can color, scent, or use different oils and butters by checking out the various lip balm posts on my blog or read up on flavoring the lip balm in my Gift Giving e-book.

WHERE TO BUY THE INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES*: I recommend shopping at FromNatureWithLove.com or MountainRoseHerbs.com for your supplies and ingredients. You can buy everything from either of these companies, including the lip balm tubes. For just the ingredients, you can shop my store. There's a break-down in cost comparison in the Gift Giving e-book I sell. The labels can be purchased by the sheet here (although check with the size to make sure it's a fit you like), or, my preference, here.

HOW TO MAKE THE LABELS: Now the fun part.

  1. Go to www.picmonkey.com and create a custom size label (Hover over "Design" at the top tab, choose "Custom"). Choose 506 x 638 px.
  2. Choose a canvas color. Look at the colors of the graduate's invitation, party theme/color, or his/her graduate pictures. I chose purple because the graduate, Kara, was dressed in a lovely purple dress for her graduation pictures. Hit apply and now you have a colored canvas to work with.
  3. Play around with PicMonkey's "Textures" or "Effects" tabs. This is how I added the soft edges to the purple.
  4. Add a photo to the lip balm using the "Overlay" option on PicMonkey. Rather than ask for a photo to be sent to me, I went to Kara's Google+ account and looked at all the photos she put up. I did a quick screen shot of her face close up, then used PicMonkey (open in another browser so you can work two projects simultaneously) to apply a drop shadow from the "Frames" tab to her photo, and then saved her beautiful face to my desktop. I then returned to my original project and added the face shot as an overlay.
  5. Time for text. Play around with the different font that PicMonkey offers. Try the font colors in both light or dark colors, as you might find that white stands out nicely against a dark background.
  6. How much text to add? Do you include the ingredients, weight, etc.? What about your logo, if you're a small business? Ultimately, I decided that simple was best. Also, it's about Kara, not me, and not the ingredients, either (although I checked to see what it would like with the ingredients' listing... it was just too busy).  You can include the ingredients on the part of the label where the ends meet, if you think it's important to include. I considered including the actual date of graduation, but it added too much to the small space, so I included only the year.
  7. Save your work, create your labels using something like this, and print out your draft to see how it looks.

 *A few of the links are affiliate links.

 

Friday
Mar072014

Why I use refined shea butter (and not unrefined, raw shea butter)

Dear Renee,

     Do you have an opinion on refined vs. unrefined shea butter? I notice you use refined; what led you to that decision?

Thank you, Katie

I have experimented with unrefined shea butter several times, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion:

1. The odor of raw, unrefined shea butter is very heavy; some describe it as "smokey" - I would say it smells more like burnt rubber and the smell does not go away when added to the other ingredients.  The natural scent of unrefined shea butter is quite strong, and customers do not like it.

2.  Unrefined shea butter requires extra stability to keep the texture smooth.  The potential for graininess in the finished product is much higher with unrefined shea butter.

The process my supplier uses to refine the butter involves naturally extracting it from the shea nut and filtering out any impurities. This results in a creamy, off-white color and extremely pure product.

Should you choose to use a raw, unrefined shea butter when making your skin care products, you can purchase it at Bulk Apothecary and then follow the instructions in this link to take the extra steps to keep out the graininess.

Thursday
Mar062014

Is beeswax safe for babies?

Hi Renee,

Is beeswax safe for infants?  I didn't know if it could contain botulism, like honey, and be dangerous if ingested.  I love your Beesilk but am scared to use it on my hands around my 8 month old son since he is constantly chewing on his hands. 

Thanks, 
Brianne

Good news: your baby won't become sick if he's exposed to beeswax.

I did a search and found this statement by Marion Ellis, professor of Entomology and an expert on bees:

"I know of no evidence that there is any possibility of botulism spores being present on beeswax, and if present, they would be rendered inactive by the heat required to melt beeswax for incorporation in [a beeswax-based] product."

Read the rest of her statement here: http://www.motherlove.com/mm5/beeswax.pdf

 

Thursday
Feb062014

How to Make MadeOn's Tinted Lip Balm

Guest post by Heather Sanchez

My old college buddy, Heather, emailed me last month to ask about my iron oxide supplier for my tinted lip balms. She and I have traded skin care recipes over the years so I jumped on the opportunity to have her follow my recipe instructions, use my ingredients, and then write up a post based on her experience. Here's my tinted lip balm recipe, written from Heather's point of view:

I have been making my own lip balm for a while and love it.  Lately however, I have been on a quest to try and make a tinted lip balm.  Although, I’m not a daily lipstick wearer, I do like to have a bit of color while still protecting my lips.  My problem was, that many of the tinted lip balms, looked pretty in the container, but once I put them on my lips, there really wasn’t any noticeable color. I asked my friend Renee, owner of MadeOn skin care products for help.   She makes three different tinted lip balms, using iron oxide for the color.  Iron Oxide is a natural ingredient, which she explains in more detail here.  Renee was kind enough to share her recipe as well as some ingredients so I could experiment.  These ingredients can be found online and sometimes at natural food stores.  However if you don’t want to do the footwork, Renee also has a DIY kit, where you can make the natural lip balm and add the tint to it.  It doesn’t have the iron-oxide, (easy to find on-line) but has a generous supply of everything else you need.

You will need:

2 oz Beeswax

2 oz Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter

2.2 oz Coconut Oil

iron-oxide

lip balm containers

dropper

In a double boiler measure out the beeswax, cocoa butter or shea butter and coconut oil.  Warm until completely melted.  

Add iron oxide.

Remove from the heat and add a ½ tsp of iron-oxide per 3 oz of liquid. Mix well until the color is evenly dispersed.  I wanted to experiment with 2 tinted lip balms and one plain, so I separated mine into 3 separate batches.  In the first I used iron oxide red #180, in the second I used iron oxide red #160 and the third I left un-tinted.   

Fill Lip Balm Tubes

The plain white lip balm tubes are the ones I made.  The labeled ones are from MadeOn.

Using your dropper, add the liquid to clean containers.  I was a little slow as I was doing this and the liquid started to solidify on me.  If this happens, just put it back in the double boiler or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Once you have filled the containers, allow it some time to solidify.  As it hardens, it will slightly sink in the middle.  Add a final last drop or two to the top, to have that nice rounded look.  Put the caps on and you are good to go.

I REALLY liked these lip balms.  The color was strong enough to actually tint my lips, but not as bold as lipstick.  The fun part is, it’s an easy recipe to experiment with. You could definitely add a little more or less iron-oxide to lighten or darken the balm as desired.

 

Heather Sanchez, Colorado

Wednesday
Feb052014

10 Steps to Research an Ingredient

An ingredient on the container of Desitin near my baby's changing area read in bold letters: 40% Zinc Oxide.  Could the rash-fighting ingredient in my store-bought rash cream simply be zinc oxide? I was fairly confident zinc oxide was safe since I saw it in several other natural skin care recipes, but it would be expected of me to do my research before producing and selling a new product, and so I did.

Here's the steps I take when determining which ingredients I use for MadeOn products and recipes:

1. Does it do the job I need it to do? If zinc oxide can't fix a rash or protect the skin from sunburn, if iron oxide can't color a lip balm, if citronella can't repel mosquitoes, what's the use? This is the most important step: the ingredient must be effective.

2. Does the FDA allow it in cosmetics? For selling purposes, I obviously have to follow the law. I found that while cocoa powder does color lip balm as well as lips, the FDA does not approve it as a colorant, so I can't sell a lip balm tinted with cocoa powder. The FDA does allow ingredients that I personally wouldn't use, so I don't stop here....

3. Is the ingredient approved by the FDA in the U.S., but banned in other countries? This is easier said than done, but I will use keywords similar to the language in this article to do my search: 12 cosmetic ingredients legal in the U.S. but banned elsewhere.

4. What rating does the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database give the ingredient? If you haven't checked it out, this database is an amazing resource of products and ingredients with a "safety rating" (0 is the safest rating).  As not every ingredient listed has extensive research done with it, EWG also notes how much data is available with each ingredient, as well as links to various articles proving the research that's been done.  By the way, do a search for "MadeOn" and you'll find we're in there with a 0 rating. (That's good!) 

5. Is the ingredient edible? While I won't rule out an ingredient if it's safe in every other way except consumption, I prefer that it be so safe, that having your toddler take a bite out of it won't harm the child.

6. Is it a common allergen? Everything appears to be an allergen to someone in the world, but I avoid the obvious ones (peanut oil, fragrance oils, wheat germ oil AKA vitamin e). Unfortunately, those who are allergic to tree nuts may likely be allergic to shea butter, but this one I'm pretty passionate about including in my products, so it's in.

7. What does Wikipedia say? While the popular online encyclopedia isn't the final answer to every question, it does link to well-researched documentation that gives me confidence in understanding the ingredient and its benefits as well as potential controversies.

8. What do other skin experts say? There are some investigative bloggers who do a wonderful job of researching ingredients and recipes, testing them, and reporting back to their readers, while keeping up with the hundreds of comments and feedback left on their blogs. Two are Katie from Wellness Mama and Leslie from Crunchy Betty.

9. What do particular Facebook groups say? Choose carefully, or it will feel like the blind leading the blind, but overall, I've found a few private Facebook groups that do a good job of sharing information, run by a moderator or two who really know their facts.  Why are they kept private? Like any group who wants to keep like-minded members together, you need to sift out the trouble makers (a.k.a. friends of the members who see the posts in their feeds, and are quick to critique your healthy lifestyle choices).

10. What do my readers and customers say? If the ingredient can pass the above nine steps, I'll use it in a recipe or product, and eventually I will be contacted by someone questioning my choice. Sometimes it's misinformation that I can help them with ("Oxide? Is that a chemical??"), sometimes it's clarification on something they've read in the news ("Do you use nanoparticles?") and sometimes it's new research that I haven't come across that requires my attention ("Is the coconut oil you use bleached with actual bleach?"  Answer: no).

In the end, I'm very glad we've been able to come up with recipes that are made with as few ingredients as necessary to get the job done. As for the zinc oxide in my Simply Soothing rash cream and sunscreen recipe, I've blogged about that here: http://www.hardlotion.com/blog/2012/6/28/can-we-trust-zinc-oxide.html

 

 

Tuesday
Dec312013

Quick and Easy Hair Spray in 2 Ingredients

If you can make simple syrup in the kitchen, you can make simple hair spray... because that's pretty much what it is. 

I credit my 'ol college buddy Heather Sanchez for passing on this recipe. Actually,  college would have been the ideal place to try and perfect it: 1.) it's cheap, and 2.) it's so strong, it could hold up to our Saturday trips to Huntington Beach. 

Here's the recipe:

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar with 1 cup hot water. Dissolve, put in an empty spray bottle, and it's ready for use. 

It has the stiffness hold of Aqua Net, so it can handle windy beach weather with ease.

Tuesday
Dec312013

Mica: All that Glitters is not Gold?

I had high hopes of producing some glittery skin care projects for Christmas and sharing the recipes with you here. I ran into a couple snags...

1. I ordered "gold, all-natural, cosmetic grade mica" from an Ebay merchant because I didn't want to pay the $15 shipping charge from my regular supplier for such a small purchase. The gold mica I received was actually gold mica, as described, but it was also blended with titanium dioxide, which wasn't mentioned in the description. While it still matched the "all-natural" claim, titanium dioxide leaves the skin white when used in a skin care product.  LESSON LEARNED? Watch your sources for your cosmetic ingredient supplies.

2. Next, I ordered gold mica from GloryBee. It's not cheap, but I figured it was worth the try. What I didn't expect was how extremely fine the powder is. Sneeze and the room turns into a snow globe of gold dust. (I'll save some of the mica I bought to make a DIY snow globe ornament next year).  LESSON LEARNED? Beauty is both expensive... and messy.

3. Onward to the recipes. Up first was the "add to lip balm" test. It was a beautiful process. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dChmb3LEVY8

The problem? It didn't leave much glitter on the lips. Some, but not enough to be noticed. 

Next was the "add to lotion bar" test. Again, absolutely beautiful. As for the glittery addition to the skin? Still not very noticeable, though it would still make a nice gift. It worked better if I dipped the lotion bar in the glitter, especially for the product's presentation. As for some added glitter to the face, I just swiped my finger in the mica and applied it to the eye lids and cheek bones and that alone did the job. I didn't need any lotion or moisturizer to keep the mica on; my natural face oil was enough, and so was my 12 year old daughter's. 

 

Finally, I made up some homemade hair spray and added the glitter. It was a beautiful combination but  the mica eventually clogged the spray bottle. Then the glitter spray that did get applied to the hair was faint and not very obvious. It could be because my hair, and my daughter's hair, are both blonde and brown respectively, so silver glitter may have shown up better than gold. In the end, I sprayed the hair spray, and then sprinkled on the mica. Then it was pretty.

LESSON LEARNED? Better to add the mica directly to the skin or hair for the glitter look.

4. Then came the "Is Mica Safe?" question.  Checking in with the Cosmetic Database first, I found that mica earned a score of "2" which is good, but the amount of data they had on it was fair, meaning there wasn't enough research to prove one way or the other.  It does pass FDA's test as being safe for cosmetic use. Ask Dr. Oz, though, and he claims it's unsafe. Several other bloggers are also posting their warnings, citing Dr. Oz as their source for their information. Why the unsafe claim? Apparently construction workers using products containing spackle that used mica would inhale the powder over a period of time and suffer from lung problems. I can see that this could be an issue if you have a snow globe of mica glitter all around you as you work with it, (all day long), but I would imagine a soapmaker takes a much larger risk in working with lye than a cosmetic maker would incorporating tiny amounts of mica into her products. 

CAUTIONARY LESSON? 1.) Don't inhale. 2.) The fine pixie dust around the eye could get into your eye and cause irritation. 3.) Your teenager daughter is likely responsible enough to use it, but keep it far, far away from your toddler. :)

 

My take on mica? If I were heading out to a New Year's Party tonight, I might brush it on my face for a glitter effect. I may use it for next year's homemade beeswax candles as an outer glitter for the finished candle. For cosmetics, until I hear otherwise, I'll occasionally bring it out to play with, as I feel safe using it. For now, it seems far simpler to use mica in its pure form rather than attempt to mix into cosmetics or lotions. 

Monday
Dec092013

Beesilk hard lotion as shoe polish? Yes!

I have a pair of shoes that I'm embarrassed to wear because they ned some polish and shine. Little did I know that the answer was lying in my hard lotion tin.

Angie G wrote this to me back in November:

Hi Renee! I've ordered your DIY kit a few times, and I love this product. So far, so has everyone I've given them to as gifts. I recently discovered a new use I wanted to share: shoe polish! The hard lotion shines and conditions my Dr. Marten boots like a dream. :)

I had to ask for more details, so here's how she did it:

I used just the regular hard lotion, although I added lavender essential oil to this last batch. I either rub it in my hands and then rub my hands over my boots, or sometimes, when my boots are dirtier, I rub the bar into a tissue or paper napkin and apply it that way. I imagine you could just rub the bar right over your boots, then buff with a tissue, etc., but the bar might get dirty.

And then this morning, she followed up with a photo and allowed me to add some text and share it with you:

I just used it this morning on my beat-up old Dr. Martens Mary Janes and thought I'd snap a picture -- I think the difference  is pretty clear! (The left is the hard-lotion-shined shoe.)

Amazing! Thank you Angie!

Monday
Oct072013

Beesilk and Celiac: Gluten Free Skin Care

I learn more about skin conditions from my customers than from any other source.

I received this email from Mary over the weekend:

At the end of November 2012 my husband was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease at the age of 57.  One the things the lead to the start of the tests was the condition of his hands.  They were cracked and painful and had been for over a year.  Nothing helped.  He had been on several topical prescriptions and tried every hand cream and ointment you can imagine and nothing improved the condition of his hands.

I found your site while wandering around the internet looking at information about Celiac’s disease and gluten.  I ordered 2 bars of Bee Silk.  When I gave them to my husband I did get kind of an eye roll because when you have truly tried everything you get a little tired of it.  Well, the next evening he mentioned his hand did feel better.  He continued to use the bar and his hands continued to improve.  After about 2 weeks he had a doctor’s appointment and they ended up talking about his hands.  His Doc keep going back to his hands and asking “What are you using” “What is it made of” “What is the website”.    

We were recently on vacation and he tells the story about his hands and this amazing bar to many people.    It feels like a miracle to have it his hands back.  While we were traveling he only had a sliver of the first bar and the full second bar and he took suchgood care of those 2 items.  They were irreplaceable.

It has been about 2 months now and my husband is making his own lotion bars.

Thank you for your wonderful product and your kindness in telling people what is in it and how you make it.

Sincerely,

Mary

A person with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, so he or she must search for gluten-free foods. Eating gluten would cause them damage in their small intestine, and symptoms can include diarrhea (or constipation), joint pain or brain fog. Outwardly, a person with celiac disease could have an itchy rash known as dermatitis, like Mary's husband.  The ultimate treatment would be to eliminate gluten from your diet completely, and this includes your skin care products.

Tuesday
Sep032013

Dead Sea Salt Scrub Recipe 

That title should say "Sea Salt from the Dead Sea Salt Scrub", but I shortened it for obvious reasons.

I found a pound of unopened dead sea salt in my apothecary, and decided to finally put it to use. When I search new recipes, I usually go with one that has happy comments associated with it, ingredients I have on hand, and preferably something I can make in less than an hour. This scrub was done before the family awoke, and I was able to put it right to use in my morning shower.

What I wanted: a scrub that would clean my feet, and contain no water in the ingredient list.

The result: this scrub worked like a charm. Even my husband noticed. It was easy to use, had a pleasant lavender scent, and didn't take long to make my summer-barefoot-walking feet look very, very clean, and feel very, very smooth.

A couple warnings: it IS salt, so cuts will feel it. If used in the shower, don't forget that the floor may be slippery after use. Do NOT apply to legs after shaving. Store in a screw top container.

Now for the recipe:

  • 4 oz coconut oil
  • 1 oz shea butter
  • 3 oz liquid oil of your choice (almond, castor, jojoba, olive...)
  • 1/3 oz beeswax
  • 16 oz sea salt (buy it here*)
  • 1/2 tsp essential oil of choice (optional)

Mix all but the sea salt and the essential oil in a Pyrex glass container (large enough to also fit the sea salt). Using a double boiler, melt those ingredients. Remove from heat and stir in the essential oil(s) and then the salt. Stir well and pour (or rather scoop) into containers, trying to even out the salt and oil mixtures so they're evenly spread throughout the containers. You can also add in dried lavender or rosemary bits.

Fills a bit more than four 4 oz containers.

To use, scoop scrub out using a spoon and apply directly to hands and feet, or use a washcloth to cover and scrub the skin. Rinse well.

Thanks to Homemade Toast for the recipe. Check out her complete instructions and suggestions here: http://www.homemadetoast.com/2013/08/sea-salt-scrub.html (read her mom's comment at the end for a chuckle).

*affiliate link to FromNatureWithLove

Original photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/skampy/6533434953/ with permission to modify and use.

Friday
Aug302013

Caring for your bare feet

I posted the following question on Facebook:

Are you in your bare feet right now? What percentage of the day are you shoe-free?

Within 10 minutes, 10 responses were a resounding "Yes!" with most responses as "all the time!"

I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

As much as I love the feel of tile, wood, cement and dirt under my feet all day, by the time I crawl into bed, I'd rather have clean feet that have been pampered and scrubbed before they hit the sheets. 

Choose any of the following (preferably all!) to care for your feet:

  1. Loofah sponge: It's a fruit, believe it or not, but when fully ripened and developed, everything but the fibers can be removed and the result is a loofah sponge. 
  2. Vinegar soak: Mix 1/4 cup Listerine, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water. Soak feet for 10-20 minutes.  I tried this and my feet felt energized. Blue Listerine will leave your toenails temporarily looking blue. 
  3. Epson salt scrub: Mix a cup of Epson salt with 1/2 cup of a liquid oil (jojoba, almond or other oil). Drop in several drops of a favorite essential oil (I'd choose peppermint or tea tree). You now have a foot scrub to scrub those calloused feet. Rinse and pat dry.
  4. Rub in your Beesilk and slide into bed. 

 

photo credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Loofah.jpg

 


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