Have you ever read the ingredient list on your favorite hand lotion or lip balm? Chances are, you encountered some unfamiliar terms. Artificial colors, fragrances, chemicals. Who needs all that? With just a few easy-to-find – and easy-to-pronounce – ingredients, you can make your own. Here’s how.
Sugar scrub is a moisturizing, exfoliating luxury. Use it on your face, body, hands and feet – anywhere you have dry, rough skin.
- Granulated or brown sugar
- Coconut, sweet almond, grape seed or olive oil
- Essential oil for fragrance (optional)
- Vitamin E oil (optional, contains antioxidants to help extend shelf life)
Mix together 2 parts sugar with 1 part oil – that’s it. Apply your scrub to wet skin, and massage in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry to reveal soft, renewed skin.
If the coconut oil is solid, you’ll need to melt it before mixing. Also, your scrub will be more solid than with other oils, so use a spoon to scoop it out and add more water when rubbing onto skin.
Amp it up. Take your sugar scrub to another (gift worthy) level with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and a small dose of vitamin E oil (or the contents of a capsule). Or, to boost the fragrance, add freshly squeezed citrus juice, a natural extract like vanilla, almond or peppermint, ground spices like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, or even rose petals or thyme leaves.
Natural lotion bars are easy to make and they keep a long time. Stroll over to your local natural grocer, or order these pure ingredients online.
- Coconut, sweet almond or jojoba oil
- Shea, cocoa or mango butter – or a combination
- Beeswax or a plant wax like candelilla or carnauba
- Essential oil (optional)
Vitamin E oil (optional)
In a quart-sized glass jar, combine one part each of the oil, butter and wax. Set the jar in a small saucepan of water (filled so that it reaches half way up the jar), and bring the water to a simmer. Gently stir ingredients in the jar until completely melted together (beeswax takes the longest).
Remove jar from heat, and carefully stir in the essential oil (10 to 15 drops per cup of mixture) and vitamin E oil (a few drops or contents of a capsule per cup of mixture), if desired.
Pour the warm lotion mixture into individual forms (silicone baking cups work great) or one large mold (to cut into bars later), and let it cool completely. Lotion bars melt gently into your skin and provide long-lasting moisture.
Natural lip balm is really easy to make – and, a small amount will last for months. The ingredients are similar to lotion bars, so why not make a batch of both while you have everything out?
In a pint-size jar, combine 2 parts oil, 1 part butter, and 1 to 2 parts wax (less makes a creamy “lip gloss” and more makes a firm “chap stick” formula). Heat the jar in a pan of simmering water, and stir ingredients until they are thoroughly melted together.
Remove jar from heat, and carefully stir in your favorite essential oil (like peppermint, vanilla or lemon), if desired. Or, add a bit of honey for a sweet, silky touch. Try tinting your lip balm with a scant amount of natural food dye, beetroot powder, cocoa powder, turmeric or cinnamon.
Pour the warm balm into small tin canisters or plastic containers with lids, and let cool before using. It doesn’t take long. Colorful “natural” lip balms make fun – and safe – party favors for little girls (and big ones, too).
If you’re ready to eliminate some of the harmful substances you currently use in your every day life, then start today with one of these handmade products. You’ll feel better – and you might even save a few pennies – when you go “natural” at home.