Calendula Soothing Mask

Don’t be fooled this calendula soothing mask is simple but it is so soothing, cooling, and softening to the skin. Perfect for sensitive skin or skin that is needing a soothing touch after wind, sun, or harsh conditions, like a lot of nose blowing or airplane travel.

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Calendula Mask Recipe

1 tbs of dried Calendula flowers

1tbs of whole oats

Water to mix

 

This mix makes enough for several masks. Store what you are not using in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

 

1.Grind the calendula and oats together into a fine powder. A coffee grinder (that is dedicated to herbs and not used for coffee) works best for this. Make sure to grind to a very fine powder.

 

2. Take a tablespoon of your powder and mix in about a tablespoon of water to form a paste. You can add more or less water to reach the consistency you want.

 

To Use

Masks can be messy. Tie your hair back and spread the paste evenly over your skin. Leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes.

 

While your mask is on, sit back and close your eyes. Take a moment to be in the moment with these herbs that are nurturing and healing your skin.

 

When you are ready rinse clean and follow with your moisturizer.

 

Optional;

 

Using water as the liquid to mix the paste makes for a very cooling effect on the skin, but if you want you can substitute the water with Avocado Oil for a cooling yet more moisturizing effect.

Massage Bar Recipe

Hello Everybody!

Here I have a massage bar recipe that is similar to my natural lotion bar recipe but glides on a little smoother for massage. If you use lotion bars you are probably a big fan of them. Lotion bars last a long time, they contain no water so they need no preservatives, and they are great for travel, for kids, for the car, or to keep by the kitchen sink. These massage bars are just like a good lotion bar only they are meant for massaging your aches and pains.

Adding the following will give your massage bar more pressure when using it to massage yourself or a loved one.
Coffee Beans
White Beans
Adzuki Beans

The list of essential oil combinations you could add to your massage bar recipe is really long, get creative. You could mix for deep muscle pain from exercise, or for arthritis, or muscle injury, or for muscle tension, or just for relaxation in general. The following is a list of essential oils that you could add to your massage bar for muscle relaxation.

Essential Oils for Muscle Relaxation
Lavender Essential Oil
Cypress Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Wintergreen Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Ginger Essential Oil
Black Pepper Essential Oil
Marjoram Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Thyme Essential Oil

Natural Massage Bar Recipe
3.5oz Cocoa Butter
1.0oz Shea Butter
0.5oz White Beans
1.2g Essential Oils
0.6g Vitamin E

*You can adjust the ratios of your recipe if you don’t want to make such a large batch. If you do adjust the recipe, change your essential oils to 1.0% of your total recipe and the Vitamin E to 0.5% of your total recipe.

Pre-Set Up;
Clean your work space and clean your pots and pans. If this is your first time you might consider dedicating a pan to handmade lotions and body products. Wash your pans, mold, and measuring cups with hot soapy water. When they are dry wipe them down with rubbing alcohol.

Let your utensils dry completely, overnight is great.

Tip: Greasing your molds with just the littlest bit of oil (like sunflower or coconut oil) helps your lotion bars pop out super easily.

Directions:
Measure the cocoa butter and shea butter and place in a clean (and dry) double boiler. Measure the Vitamin E, essential oils, and beans and set them aside for later.

Slowly melt. Do not heat your oil beeswax mixture too quickly or too high. You can use a candy thermometer to make sure you do not heat the beeswax above 85 degrees fahrenheit. Above this temp and it discolors.

When everything has melted, remove from the heat. When it has cooled slightly add the Vitamin E and your essential oils. If you add them when your oils are too hot you will not receive the medicinal effect from either the essential oils or the Vitamin E.

Slowly pour into your molds.

Now for the fun part! You can add anything to the above base to make your massage bar just like you want it. After your pour the massage bar oil mix into the mold, sprinkle in your beans of choice.

Set your massage bars aside to cool for 24hours. Then gently pop out of the molds.

And now you have your own natural massage bars to use on family and friends.

The following is where I get most of my ingredients.
Resources:
https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/
http://www.specialtybottle.com/
https://www.brambleberry.com/Molds-C184.aspx
(Michael’s Craft store also carries molds for soap making)

Have fun!
And tell me about your essential oil combinations that you try in massage bars!

Coconut Sea Salt Foot Scrub

Sunshine, warmer days, flip fops and coconut sea salt foot scrub.

Here comes spring! Time to do a little spring cleaning on your feet!

When it comes time to slip on the sandals and show off those cute toes we often realize that our feet are in need of a little love.

Feet in general need a little love. We stand on them. We walk on them. They get cold before the rest of us. We cram them into weird shoes. We dance on them. We owe them a thanks for being our foundation. But on top of all that feet do not have any oil glands in them, so keeping them soft and crack free takes a little extra work.

Keeping soft feet requires two essential steps. One is exfoliating off all the dead skin, and the second is moisturizing. Coconut sea salt foot scrub does both at the same time.

This is a simple foot scrub for your feet that you can make at home and keep on hand to keep those feet soft and smooth all summer.

Coconut Sea Salt Foot Scrub

You will need the coarsest sea salt you can find and coconut oil. Granulated sugar works as well, but the sea salt has the added benefit of being detoxifying. Adding essential oils is optional.

½ cup Sea Salt
¼ cup Coconut Oil
2-4 drops Lavender, Peppermint, or Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.

To use simply: massage vigorously over feet.

To use like a wild woman who runs hard and then pampers herself:

Exfoliate feet with a pumice stone or foot file.

Soak you feet in a warm oil bath for 20 minutes.

Then massage coconut scrub into feet.

Rinse and pat feet dry.

Then bundle your feet up in a pair of old cotton socks and let all that goodness soak in for at least 20 minutes.

Optional: Put your feet up and enjoy a cup of tea (or wine?).

Or go to sleep.

Or paint some natural nail polish on those pretty toes.

Honey Face Cleanser

I have been wanting to try this honey face cleanser recipe for a while. I have tried the oil cleansing method and I do like it. Although I do like the soft skin that the oil cleansing method leaves you with I was feeling like my skin needed a little bit of deeper cleansing.

So I decided to try the honey face cleanser recipe and so far I am in love with it. That is not an exaggeration. My skin feels cleansed, yet really soft after using it.

It is super simple to make and has only three ingredients; honey, glycerin, and castile soap. It contains no water so it does not require any preservatives or chemicals or waxes. With no chemicals in this face wash, it is pure sweet goodness for your skin and meets all the requirements for an all natural skincare recipe.

The honey has cleansing antimicrobial benefits and is highly moisturizing. The small amount of castille soap gives a nice little bit of bubbles to the honey face cleanser but not so much that your face feels dry or tight after. The glycerin also helps to cleanse and moisturize through its humectant properties.

There are a lot of recipes out there I got this one from http://www.towards-sustainability.com/.

 

Honey Face Cleanser

  • 3 tbs Honey
  • ½ cup Vegetable Glycerin
  • 2 tbs Liquid Castile Soap

 

Mix all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Now go wash your face, you are going to love this honey face cleanser.

***Make sure not to get water into your container, as this can introduce bacteria.

~Enjoy!

And let me know how you like it!

 

Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub

The name of this body scrub says it all, it smells like pumpkin spice perfect for the beginnings of longer days and cooler weather. In any body scrub the salts and sugars are meant to gently exfoliate the upper layers of dead skin so that the oils can more deeply hydrate fresh skin, something often needed as the weather dries out and the heaters come on. And in this body scrub we have the added benefit of herbs that gently increase our bodies circulation helping to keep us warm while at the same time adding the immune boosting effects of ginger and cinnamon.

Adding the essential oils of ginger and cinnamon furthers the beneficial effects and over all spirit warming effect of this particular body scrub.

You can use any carrier oil you like. For autumn I like a mix of pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil, these are both high in Vit E and deeply hydrating for the skin. But any oil could be used, just keeping in mind not to use a strongly scented one or the scent of your herbs will be masked. Also this is where using essential oils is nice, because they offer a stronger longer lasting scent.

pumpkin spice sugar scrub

 

When you use this in a warm shower the oils can soak right into your open pores while you are gently rubbing away dead dry skin to allow the oils to do an even better job of moisturizing your skin.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

¼ cup Carrier Oil

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Sea Salt

1tsp Cinnamon

1tsp Ginger

⅛ tsp Cloves

⅛ tsp Nutmeg

**A drop of Cinnamon and Ginger Essential Oils

Mix your salt and sugar and spices together. Then mix in your oil and essential oils.  Store in an airtight container.

**The essential oils are optional but their addition takes it to the next level of yumminess.

That’s it. You now have an incredible skin softening warming scrub for these lovely autumn months.

 

A few notes

Oils.

A Carrier Oil is any high quality vegetable oil, they all have beneficial skin properties, but for this recipe stick with the non-scented ones, like Sunflower or Almond. Stay away from the heavier ones like Olive Oil or Sesame Oil.

Water

Since this is to be used in the shower, you need to be careful to not get water in your container. I use my salts up fast enough that this is never a problem, but that said, allowing water in your container can introduce the yuckies (also known as bacteria).

 

~Enoy!

 

After Sun Oil Recipe

 

It’s summer!! That means sun kissed skin and maybe even sun burned skin, dry skin, and over heated skin.  This after sun oil recipe is soothing and hydrating to skin that has had too much exposure to summer weather. The herbs used in the oil are cooling and healing to the tissues of the skin and are often used in recipes for treating burns. The essential oils in the recipe are also known for their tissue repairing effects after the damage of too much heat and sun.

This oil is not for severe sunburns, severe sunburns need to be treated carefully. If you have a severe and painful sunburn you need to cool it down with cool water baths for the first 4-6 hours after the burn. And drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Applying aloe to the burn may also help in between the cool water baths.

This After Sun Summer Oil recipe is for mild sunburns, dry skin, wind chapped skin, skin that has had too summer weather exposure or when a severe burn no longer hurts and is in the healing stage.

It can help to repair and restore skin to its natural balance.

I slather it on myself during the summer even when I do not have a sunburn because my skin loves to drink up the herbal infused oils that help it to hydrate, cool, and repair.

 The Healing Herbs in the Mix

Calendula-These happy little flowers are well known for there skin healing abilities from bruises to burns. They are considered cooling in the Aryuvedic tradition, which is exactly what sunburned skin needs.

Lavender-Another herb well known for it’s benefit in skincare, lavender can help soothe weather beaten skin with its analgesic properties and helps repair the skin after exposure to heat and sun.

Chamomile-An anti-inflammatory known for its healing affinity towards the skin offers its ability to cool and soothe.

The Nurturing Oils

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Sunflower Oil-Many of the carrier oils could be used but sunflower and apricot are two oils that always work. Sunflower is high in Vitamin E, making it great for the skin and apricot oil is also known to be high in anti inflammatories (helps cool the skin) and contains anti oxidants to fight against free radical damage. Another great oil is Jojoba Oil.

The Essential Oils

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Lavender Essential Oil-Known for its ability to soothe and heal skin that has been burned.

Carrot Seed Essential Oil-Is used for its ability to repair sun damaged skin and possibly in helping to reverse precancerous skin cells.

Geranium Essential Oil-Is used for its soothing and healing affinity for the skin.

There many choices of essential oils that would be good in this mix, like like frankincense, peppermint, or spearmint, so get creative!

After Sun Oil Recipe

4oz Sunflower or Apricot Oil

2tbs Lavender

2tbs Calendula

2tbs Chamomile

A couple drops Lavender EO, Geranium EO, and Carrot Seed EO

A Mini Croc Pot or double broiler

Cheesecloth

To Make:

1. Combine your carrier oil and dried herbs into your croc pot or double broiler and set on low for at least 40min. I do a couple hours on a low setting. Make sure to keep your oil on the lowest setting. If you see any bubbles, its too hot.

2. After a couple hours, turn off heat, and allow the oil/herb mix to cool. Then strain through your cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup.

3. Add a few drops of your essential oils.

4. Pour into a massage or lotion pump bottle or glass bottle of your choosing.

Wondering what to do with the leftover herbs in the cheesecloth? I’ve got an idea!

You now have a wonderful After Sun Oil infused with healing herbs for mild sunburns or summer exposed skin.

*Please note this is not a remedy for severe sunburns. Please take the necessary steps to treat severely sunburned skin, and take precaution not to let this happen!

I keep a bottle around during the summer, we use it on sunburns, dry skin, rough feet, cheeks that have too much wind, or for generally thirsty skin. I love knowing that as I use it my skin is drinking up nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help it rejuvenate, repair and maintain health. I also love being able to give my friends and family something when they show up a little too kissed by the sun.

Want more wild inspiration?

dancingsun

Natural Beauty Products??

What does Natural mean?

To me and you it means things that are unadulterated. Things that are wild and free. It may conjure up images of forests and fields where the mark of man is missing. It means foods that have not been altered. It means (to you and me) things that are as close to the source as possible without having harmed the environment or its inhabitants to acquire it.

But legally that is not what it has to mean.

Unfortunately is doesn’t really mean anything as far as regulations and labels go.

What natural means on a label;
Whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean

This is an important point. The beauty industry is not heavily regulated. Which is crazy because 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Essentially your skin drinks and eats what you put on it.

Two things are going on.

People, women especially, are turning more towards sustainable and natural products when it comes to body care and cosmetics.
The manufacturers know this.
The manufacturers also know when people think “natural” they think of all those things we just listed above and they also know there is no definition for natural.

The result is you have companies that truly are answering the call, and creating wonderful safe, eco friendly, sustainably harvested, products that contain natural ingredients.

The other result is companies that are merely giving the impression of being natural, eco-friendly, and sustainably harvested. This is commonly known as green washing. I know, I myself have fallen for it.

It happens so quick.

The eyes process images a great deal faster than words. So there you are in the store, in a hurry, and you grab the new product with the brown packaging and cute green leaves on it. Only later to find out it’s got MSG in it.

Skincare advertising is the exact same way.

We have to be detectives. We have to make choices that speak to what we are willing to spend our money on.

We have to be nature warriors.

We have to be wild women foraging through the fields of green beauty.

While what you and I think means natural is truly natural, there is no law or standard deeming what makes a product natural. The label can say natural and still contain questionable or known to be hazardous ingredients.

With the desire for green and clean beauty we need clarification on what is actually green. Where do we draw the line with the ingredients? Every product out there can be called natural because natural has no definition as far as labeling goes. Sometimes we may not even find an ingredient label on a beauty product and if we do we may not be able to recognize the ingredients.

It can be confusing trying to figure out what is actually a toxic chemical and what is an isolated plant compound in chemical form and of those which ones are safe, which ones are questionable, and which ones are toxic. And that is part of the problem, everything on this planet originated from a natural source, so technically it is all “natural”.

Thus it can be even more confusing. Just because it originated from a plant does not mean its safe or healing. Cocaine came from a plant, and yes it is a stimulant, but does that mean it is safe in place of coffee? Of course not.

What natural means to me and you;
Clean
Safe (as in not potentially harmful with short or long term use)
Close to the source
Was grown organically
Was grown in general (meaning not manufactured by a man in lab coat)
Was harvested sustainably
No one was harmed in the making (think animal testing/slave labor)
Non-gmo
No-chemicals

What can we do?

We have to do our homework and question ingredients (read labels!)
We can make our own products
We can look to other green beauty products that truly are green as green can be
We can decide for ourselves where we draw the line on ingredients
We can support organizations like EWG and look to them for safety information and regulation updates

We know there are products out there that are claiming to be natural and are not and these are giving a bad rap to the products that claim to be natural and are. For the health of yourself and the planet find a green beauty company selling earth friendly safe chemical free products or make them yourself.

Want to keep up to date with recipes, deals, and inspiration?

Wild SkinCare Ingredients

The Wild Ingredients

The ingredients that we use in our herbal products and skincare recipes are so much than just products themselves. They were at one time individual living plants lives in a field or forest. Breathing, eating, reproducing. Amazing plants that have the superpower of turning sunshine into sugar. Pretty sweet.

I call them wild ingredients because they had lives rich with existence spending their days with the wind and the rain. They grew for the sake of growing, of breathing and stretching for the sky. They grew in their own way, bound to none, they were wild and free. Even the plants on a farm. Most of them spent their days under the sun, their nights under the stars, and their lives full of a freedom that many of us long for.

Take Jojoba oil for example.

jojoba
(image http://www.beardsmanoilco.com/)

The jojoba shrub is native the southwest deserts of the United States. It grows under the searing sun with a heat that drives most other life away. In the quiet of the desert it thrives soaking in the heat, witness to few other lifeforms while it silently produces one of the most healing oils (a wax really) available. I like to remember this when I am soothing my child’s chapped cheeks, that this stoic shrub survived in the burning desert under a scorching sun while making an oil that is now soothing the burn on his cheeks. Amazing.

The plants and oils that we use are more than just isolated ingredients on a list.

The herbs and plants we use were once living and breathing. The rain fell on their leaves and their flowers blossomed in the sun. They were home to small little lady bugs and great big soaring eagles. They had lives out in the forest and field, and some of that life was stored in the very molecules and cells that made up the plant, that you are now absorbing into your skin when you use them in your recipes.

They were living breathing entities that made oxygen for you to breathe and now once again they offer up their medicine to you as they are absorbed into your skin ultimately becoming a part of your own being.

It keeps you grateful to remember where your ingredients came from to be sure. It also deepens your connection with them, remembering that they were living, breathing plants, that gave life for your benefit. It opens the door to understanding their properties on an intuitive level.

Know your plants like you know friends.

Green Beauty, An Ancient SkinCare Tradition

The Green Beauty Movement

Green beauty has its roots deep in the ancient wisdom of herbal lore and its blossoms in the light of modern day plant science.

This movement in the beauty and skincare industry towards herbs, plants, living foods, and natural ingredients is the movement away from chemicals and towards the green world of plants. And although the “green beauty movement” is fairly new (in the past twenty years or so), green beauty itself is an old practice spanning the centuries of herbalism.

There is ancient wisdom in using the plants that grow in the forests and fields for healing. This wisdom has been used for thousands of years by our ancestors for both health, beauty, and skincare.

Using herbs and plants in the products we put on our skin is more than just healthy and good for the environment. It is a connection with the earth. It is healing our skin as we move through the sun, the wind, the rain, and the snow and is supporting our skin as we live, laugh, and cry. But it also feeds the spirit, the part of us that longs for and knows that we belong to something greater than just ourselves. When we use plants for beautification we are putting ourselves in sync with the earth on which we live and our skin, our largest organ, is drinking up all the life force that went into growing those plants. The result is a greater connection to Nature, to Spirit, to the Universe, to Life.

Using the green world for beauty is something women all over the world do and have done. Our grandmothers did it. Our ancestors before them did it. For generations upon generations wise women and men have been using the living world of plants around them for beauty. There was and is no need for harsh or potentially toxic chemicals and there was no need to call it organic skincare, because it simply was, by nature organic.

Green beauty or organic skincare is a way of living, of using the plants and foods from the earth on which we live for healing and for connection to the earth on which we live. It is choosing not to use chemicals, petrochemicals, gmo’s, artificial fragrances, and ingredients engineered by man. It is also choosing to use ingredients that were harvested sustainably, in fair trade conditions, and using containers that are recyclable or reusable.

It is a return to the old ways of health and beauty, when things were natural and organic by nature.

chamomile

Peppermint Bark Sugar Scrub Recipe

This peppermint bark sugar scrub recipe is going to become your favorite winter holiday salvation, it has the deep, rich smell of chocolate, the uplifting smell of peppermint and leaves your skin super soft after a using in a warm shower.

Cocoa powder not only tastes great and makes wonderful food, the all necessary dark chocolate but its also packed with anti-oxidants which are good for your insides and for your skin. The cocoa powder adds an element of nutrients for your skin to this  sugar scrub. It acts like a full body mask if you let it soak in for a few moments in the shower after exfoliating with it.

Although any cocoa powder would work for this sugar scrub, supporting a fair trade chocolate company would be great. The chocolate industry has a history of using child slave labor. Whole Foods and health food stores will carry a certified fair trade cocoa powder, just look for the certification on the label.

This recipe also contains the CO2 extract of Cocoa, which is like the essential oil of the cocoa plant. It adds a deep grounding scent to this recipe. If you want to leave out the Cocoa extract you can do so, but it does take the peppermint bark scrub to the next level of awesome-ness as far as scent is concerned.

This sugar scrub also contains peppermint essential oil. Peppermint is known to be uplifting to the spirits and good for mental clarity.  It is also great for digestion and has been known to help curb the appetite and cravings. So instead of grabbing another holiday cookie go jump in the shower with your peppermint bark sugar scrub, it will feed your soul and your senses, leave you feeling refreshed, and leave you skin soft and nourished, you’ll be glowing brighter than all those holiday lights.

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Peppermint Bark Scrub

***this recipe makes about 4oz

1tbs Cocoa Powder

1/4 cup Cane Sugar

1/4 cup + 1tbs Sunflower Oil (or other non-smelling cold pressed organic oil)

1/4 cup Sea Salt (fine sea salt is better than coarse for this recipe)

3 drops Peppermint EO

2 drops Cocoa CO2 Extract

~Enjoy!

Janet