Welcome to this blog! This blog attempts to answer the most frequent search questions as well as inspire you to create your own body products. Living well is crucial in a time that is only getting more and more stressful. I will post tips and information about wellness, aromatherapy, and of course natural & homemade body products.
|Posted on October 20, 2009 at 10:24 PM||comments (4)|
Just recently I stumbled across The Safe Shopper's Bible - A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food by David Steinman & Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. This book is a true eye opener and worth the few dollars that it costs (I bought mine on half.com for $ 5.00). Even though it was published in 1995, this book offers valuable information when it comes to living naturally. The chapters range from household products (cleaning products, paint and related products, pesticides, pet supplies, auto products, art and craft supplies) to cosmetics (eye and face makeup, hair care, dental and oral hygiene, feminine hygiene, nail products, and skin products) to foods and beverages. Interestingly, when I looked under the "Skin Lotion" section, the less common and lesser known brands are the ones mostly recommended compared to well known brands such as Almay, Chanel, Clarins, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Jergens, or even Lubriderm and Oil of Olay. What these well-known brands have in common is that they use fragrances and preservatives some of which can be very harmful. Manufacturers do not have to label them as harmful as often only traces of a specific ingredient can be found. However, used on a daily basis over a prolonged period of time, even the most minimal trace adds up and can be harmful.
Some years ago I had bought a moisturizing facial cream because "advertisers told me" (you know, commercials on TV can be oh so persuasive) that I needed it for anti-aging prevention. I did not think twice, did not read the label, paid $ 40.00 for a tiny jar (and that was cheap!), went home, and used the cream only to frantically wash it off a little while later because my eyes were itching and getting puffy. How upsetting is it to spend so much money on a cream only to be allergic to it?! Synthetic fragrances and preservatives are very often the cause of allergies so if you are like me and experience or suffer from an allergy and have no idea where it is coming from, take a look at what you put on your skin. Stop using your cosmetic products for a while and see if your allergy gets better. Read the labels, research the products online, become an educated consumer. A very good reference site is Skin Deep. Better yet, make your own products! You always know what you put in your own product. You can use different ingredients depending on your need, skin type, or mood if you like fragranced products. Instead of using synthetic fragrances, essential oils are the safest substitute. Some essential oils are photosensitive (e.g. bergamot and any citrus oils) and also can cause an allergic reaction. As it is with any product, test a drop of essential oil on the inside of your forearm.
Be well and live well!
|Posted on October 3, 2009 at 2:24 PM||comments (2)|
This question was asked because I am using a combination of several emulsifyiers in my products.
Yes, beeswax and borax alone are enough, however, the cream may come out a bit "stalky" depending on how much beeswax you used. Also, beeswax alone is unstable so make sure you use it with borax.
It is a personal preference of mine to use a combination of beeswax & borax, vegetable emulsifying wax, xanthan gum, and a tiny amount of stearic acid. I find that all together make a wonderful emulsion and the cream comes out perfect.
|Posted on September 30, 2009 at 9:32 PM||comments (1)|
The four most common ways to add fragrance to your cream or lotion are:
1) Using coconut oil to make your product. The aroma from the coconut oil is very strong and can overpower any essential oil.
2) Using a florasol as portion of your liquid amount. So instead of using all water, you can use part florasol and part water. A florasol is a by-product during the distillation process and it has a very strong floral aroma.
3) Use essential oils to enhance the fragrance or aroma of your cream.
4) Use a combination of the above mentioned options...
|Posted on August 26, 2009 at 10:28 PM||comments (0)|
The process of making a foot cream is the same as making a body cream. Please see "In the Kitchen" for the needed ingredients and step-by-step instructions.
The following essential oils are wonderful in a foot cream:
|Posted on August 26, 2009 at 10:24 PM||comments (0)|
It is best to store all ingredients that you use in cream making in a cool and dry place. If you keep your ingredients (all base oils and butters) refrigerated, you will be able to extend the shelf-life.
The regular shelf-life of e.g. shea butter is approximately 18-24 month but with refrigeration it may last much longer.
Personally, I store all my ingredients including all homemade creams etc in the refrigerator to ensure freshness and extended shelf-life.
|Posted on August 26, 2009 at 10:14 PM||comments (5)|
Just recently somebody asked if it is possible to make their own Essential Oils. While I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, making Essential Oils at home is very difficult unless you are able to distill the plant parts.
I found some instructions about distillation at home on wikiHow.
In brief, here are the steps (in simple terms) that are needed for the distillation process:
a) The dried plant parts go into the retort (or still).
b) A steamer on the bottom of the retort allows pressurized steam to flow through the retort that holds all plant parts (e.g. flower petals).
c) Vapor is being produced and the volatile oils of the plants are released.
d) The steam then passes through a condenser where the hot air is flowing out and cold air is being introduced.
e) This process allows the volatile oil mixture of the steam to separate into floral water and essential oil.
If you would like to see a picture accompanying the steps above, please go to my blog, as I have trouble uploading a small image onto this page.
A really good or therapeutic grade essential oil is steam distilled with the exact right temperature and pressure to ensure high quality oils. Too much pressure or to little or high heat can damage the plant parts hence damage the volatile oils in the plant. The result will be disappointing.
If you would like to learn more about the distillation process of plants, please check this link from Young Living Essential Oils - Distillation Process.
The quality of a homemade essential oil cannot be compared to the standards of a Grade A or 100% essential oil from e.g. Young Living, Primavera or any other company.
|Posted on August 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM||comments (1)|
How to make a facial cream is a frequent search question and I thought it is worth answering. Depending on your skin type, you want to use oils that are suited for either oily skin, sensitive skin, mature skin, or dry skin. Please see the Oils & Butters link for property information on each oil. I frequently use the following in my creams:
In addition to the oils, I also use Essential Oils to enhance the facial cream. I frequently use