One of the first ways I began using essential oils was in my skin care – in sugar scrubs, to be exact! Today I’m sharing some helpful tips on which oils are best for particular skin conditions. Read on!
Coming soon: DIY Steam Facial!
One of the first ways I began using essential oils was in my skin care – in sugar scrubs, to be exact! Today I’m sharing some helpful tips on which oils are best for particular skin conditions. Read on!
Coming soon: DIY Steam Facial!
A few weeks ago I made some dry shampoo and I am loving it! (I cannot believe I am making stuff like this… I’ll repeat what I usually say: if I’m making it, it must be fool-proof!)
Pause: Are you wondering what dry shampoo is?
I didn’t even know it existed until a couple years ago. Basically it’s a product that livens up your hair on a day you don’t want to wash it. It removes that greasy-look and helps style your hair. I don’t have time to shower and style my hair every day, so I love dry shampoo. I don’t really love the idea of a ton of chemicals being sprayed on my scalp, however.
Enter DIY dry shampoo!
1/2 cup cornstarch (if you have it, use arrowroot powder instead!)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (omit if you have blonde hair; substitute cinnamon if you have auburn or red hair)
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops melaleuca essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
I combined everything in an 8oz mason jar, put on the cap, and shook it up! This works well enough, but to distribute the oils more evenly, I recommend pouring all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulsing a few times.
HOW TO USE:
I use an old kabuki brush to apply to the roots of my hair in the parts that are looking greasy (usually around my face). Then I rub into the roots with my fingertips until it’s well blended.
Alternate method of application: poke holes in the steel top of the mason jar and shake onto hair. My concern with this method was the mess it would make if I ever knocked it over. I wanted something that could always be sealed.
Grease be gone! Plus it smells ah-may-zing. My results are below…
Click here to discover how to get the best essential oils on the market.
Something you should know about me: I’m picky about my eye makeup remover.
I found one that I absolutely love, but the thing is, it’s the only thing I’m ordering from this one online company. And the shipping is just as much as the product itself. I’ve been looking for alternatives for over a year.
I’ve tried the little makeup wipes. But they dry out quickly and I have to rub SO. HARD. to actually get my makeup off that my eyes hurt afterwards.
I’ve tried other brands too. But most of them sting when I use them. Newsflash, manufacturer: putting something in your eye makeup remover that makes user’s eyes sting does not generate repeat business.
I’ve even tried kinds that just plain don’t work. They leave black streaks all over my face and I feel like I’m pulling my eyelashes out from rubbing so hard. Not pleasant.
So since I was running low on my favorite eye makeup remover, and I’m practically a total pro at DIY stuff now (ha!), I figured it was time to take a risk and make my own.
I did and guess what?? IT’S AWESOME!
1. It actually removes my makeup (imagine that!)
2. I don’t have to abuse my eyes
3. It doesn’t sting
4. It’s not super greasy
5. It’s simple, easy, affordable – actually, CHEAP even.
6. Now that I have the ingredients on hand (OHI!), I can just make a new batch whenever I run out! No more waiting for shipping! HOORAY!
Now before you go getting all, “There’s no way I can make a homemade eye makeup remover” or “I don’t even know where to get this stuff! It’s probably only in a specialty store” just remember who is writing this right now. I’m still the mama that shops at Meijer using mPerks. 😉
The thing I was most concerned about finding was the Vitamin E oil. But Meijer had a whole bunch of sizes for me to choose from in their skin care aisle. Right next to all the other face washes and lotions and stuff.
The purified water I got from a regular ol’ water bottle. Yes, the kind you drink from. 😀
I purchased a 3-pack of travel-size dispenser bottles at the dollar store a few months ago that had so far gone unused. I pulled one out to mix this in. So the container was about $.33.
The rest of the ingredients are as follows:
25 mL (5 tsp) Vitamin E oil
10mL (2tsp) Fractionated Coconut oil
30mL (6 tsp) Purified Water
7 drops Lavender essential oil
7 drops Frankincense essential oil
5 drops Geranium essential oil
All you have to do is measure the ingredients, pour into the container, and shake! If you’re wondering how I measured, here’s your answer:
Your eyes will be moisturized, clean, and receive the added benefits of lavender, geranium, & frankincense oils (anti-aging and anti-inflammatory, to name a few).
Now remember to shake it up every time before you use it. I actually had to do this with the brand of remover that I used to purchase, so to me it was an indicator of an effective product, even before using it.
Happy DIY-ing! (Wow I never thought I would be typing THAT on my blog 🙂
Let me set this up by saying: last year I was searching Pinterest for something and came across recipes for homemade sugar scrubs. I laughed when I read the recipe. “Like I have time for THAT right now!” I didn’t know what essential oils were, or where to get them, or how to use them.
Fast forward: since my mom and I decided to give them a try in an effort to improve our health this fall, I realized I actually had the ingredients on hand to make a homemade sugar scrub! After I tried it once I was hooked. Not obsessed – just hooked. It’s so easy and affordable when you have the OHI. For me the only one that had been previously missing, really, was essential oils.
The basic ingredients for a scrub are:
Sugar (white or brown, or both)
Oil (grapeseed works well, or fractionated coconut, or melted coconut…)
Essential Oils (whatever type fits your need or desired scent)
That’s it! You mix the ingredients together and BAM – instant, all-natural, affordable spa product.
While shopping for the ingredients, I took pictures of the prices (gathered at Meijer) so you can see how really affordable this is.
You can get fancier with the ingredients if you want, but I just use basic stuff, and they still turn out great.
This year I knew I wanted to make them as gifts for the teachers and other important people in my life. Here are a few pictures of what I made:
I got all the different patterned cardstock and patterned washi tape from Oriental Trading and used colored fine-tip Sharpies to write. The labels on the actual glass of each jar were purchased in a package at Meijer as well. These are 4 oz Mason jars. I got a dozen of them for around $8.50.
Eventually I’ll post the recipes for all of them. Here are the combos I’ve made so far:
Calming, Cleansing Sugar Scrub (Protective Blend, Lavender & Peppermint)
Peppermint Latte (Peppermint oil & coffee)
Green Tea Citrus (green tea leaves, lemon, wild orange)
Citrus Joy (Holiday Blend, Wild Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, Protective Blend)
Spa Facial (Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint)
I love drinking lemon water. I feel more hydrated when I have a drop or two of lemon oil in my water as opposed to just drinking plain water. While I’ve always been a fan of lemon wedges/juice in my water, lemon OIL has more concentrated antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, etc. properties. Plus, it tastes better than lemon juice. It’s a little sweeter, not as sour. I love it because not only is it very affordable, but it’s also really handy for a broad range of uses (in particular, cleaning)!
A friend posted this link and I love all the benefits it explains! Enjoy!
So, as I referenced in my previous post about preserving & ‘marinating’ apples while making apple pie, my family celebrates Pie Night.
This year I wanted to make something new along with my usual apple pie. I searched and searched until I found an acceptable starting point for a chocolate peppermint pie. Then I put my own twist on it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, but let me tell you, I wish I had made TWO! I will next year, that’s for sure. This is simply delicious, and also very easy and not a whole lot of actual hands-on time. Maybe 20 minutes to make everything, then 2 hours chilling in the fridge. Also you need to chill your whipped-cream-making equipment in the freezer or fridge. Just a heads up, because this isn’t really in chronological order. Caution: Read the recipe all the way through before you start! 🙂
The easiest way to think of it, for me, is that there are 4 parts or layers to this pie. Here’s the breakdown, from the bottom up!
Step 1, Crust: Start with your crust. I bought an Oreo Cookie Crust from the store. Because I’ve tried to make a homemade Oreo crust and it is not pretty. Nope. So I didn’t even stress about it this time. Make your life easier: just get a store-bought one. Done? Okay, let’s move on 🙂
Step 2, Middle Layer: In a saucepan, pour 1 package (4-serving size) chocolate pudding and pie mix. What this is not: Instant Jell-O mix. What this is: a box that looks almost exactly like the instant pudding mix, but it says “pudding and pie mix” on it instead.
Stir together with 1 1/4 cups milk and cook as directed on package. *NOTE: the package says to use 2 cups milk. Don’t.* Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat to low and add in 1 cup Hershey Special Dark Chocolate chips (or other brand) until they are melted and all the lumps are gone, stirring constantly. Add in 1-3 drops of peppermint oil (again, to your taste). Set aside to cool.
Step 3, Top Layer: This is your homemade whipped cream. MM! First chill your bowl (stainless steel works best) and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so. A little more is better but not necessary. I like to use my hand mixer to make whipped cream, even though you can’t multitask like you can with a stand mixer, because I have a better handle (ha! literally, I do – no pun intended) on the whipped cream. I can tell if the consistency is right or if I need to whip it longer. And that’s the hardest part – knowing how long to whip, and when to stop. So once you have that down, you’re golden – this is a CINCH. Measure 1 cup heavy cream into a bowl. Beat on low at first for 1-2 minutes, then at medium speed, and whip together with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar. That’s it. It pretty much whips itself. It’s finished when the cream forms peaks. Cool, huh? Did you ever know that making homemade whipped cream could be this easy? 🙂 Now set aside.
Step 4, Bottom Layer: Your bottom layer is going to be almost like a cheesecake. You need 4 ounces of cream cheese (softened) and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat them together with about 7-10 drops of peppermint essential oil. This stuff is strong, so start with 7 drops, and then add one at a time until you reach your desired pepperminty-ness. 😉 Fold in 1/3 cup of your homemade whipped cream. Now add a few tablespoons of Andes baking mints. I used about 3. Again, start with 2, then add another if you feel like you want more for texture. Use a baking spatula to scoop this mixture into the Oreo crust, then smooth into an even layer. Do this carefully and be mindful that you don’t break up the Oreo crust!
Step 5: Again using the Spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over top of the cream cheese layer.
Step 6: Spread the Whipped Cream over top of the Chocolate layer.
Now for garnish and crunch, you can add more Andes mints to the top of the pie:
Now dig in! And try not to eat more than one piece 😉
Next year, I’m making TWO.
PS – if you have leftover whipped cream, use it to top off this Peppermint Mocha!! (At least… that’s what I do … 🙂 )
*Note: if you don't have peppermint oil, you can use peppermint extract - but since my OHI was peppermint oil, I used that instead. Plus, it's more potent drop for drop and completely natural. See the original recipe (link above) for details. I also omitted the food coloring so everything was more natural and homemade.
I originally began using Essential oils because I wanted a natural alternative to OTC medicine, especially for my kids, since the options can be overwhelming and I’m obviously very cautious about what I put in their bodies.
But now that I have them, I’ve been finding fun uses for them as well, like this homemade sugar scrub and all-purpose cream. You can also cook and bake with the oils, which I’ve only tried once or twice so far. This week I discovered this: I can make a peppermint mocha at home that rivals Starbucks’, plus it has the health benefits of peppermint oil instead of added sugar from a syrup. 😀 Now I will not give up my annual Starbucks Peppermint Mocha during our shopping break on Black Friday, but this is a really good option for all the other days in winter when I don’t want to spend $5 for a ‘designer coffee’. (Because you know I can’t have only one…!)
So here’s what you do!
1. Brew your favorite coffee. We like Dunkin Donuts. It’s best when you grind the beans yourself, because it’s super fresh. If you want a little extra depth to your coffee, you can add about 1/2-1 Tablespoon cocoa powder to every 6 Tablespoons coffee grounds; you put that right in with the grounds while it brews. I use Nestle cocoa powder here, or a good quality baking cocoa.
2. Pour 1 Tablespoon Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder into your mug. I use this in the actual mug because it is a very rich dark chocolate, which is my favorite. Plus it makes up for the fact that you are using regular coffee, not espresso, in your hot beverage.
3. Pour coffee over said cocoa powder, into mug. Stir.
4. Add as much cream or milk as you like. I’ve found I like Half & Half best. I only use a teaspoon or two. Also add a teaspoon or two of honey. (Click here to learn why I started using honey in my coffee.) Stir again of course.
5. Add one drop peppermint essential oil and, you guessed it, stir again! (It is strong. You only need 1 drop!)
*EDIT: Be sure to stir well or use a little frother to mix after adding the peppermint oil, so it doesn’t just hang out on top of the coffee. If you don’t have a frother and you find the peppermint oil is too strong for that first sip, you can always add the peppermint oil after the cocoa powder, BEFORE the coffee 😉
Now, you can stop there. It is already super delicious and perfectly satisfying. But if you want to splurge, read on..
6. Add whipped cream and some mini-chocolate chips. And then sip quickly, before the whipped cream melts and the chocolate chips sink!!
I think because the peppermint oil is so potent, the flavor kind of fuses into the whipped cream and even the chocolate chips taste a little bit peppermint-y!
This would be amazing with a chocolate creme pie for dessert.
Or on Christmas morning in your cozy Christmas PJs while the kids are opening presents around the tree, with snow falling outside… Yep, that sounds perfect. I’m doing that this year. 🙂
I’ve been waiting to post this one until I had a new batch of the glorious stuff.
I’ve used this ‘cream’ to help:
*Diaper Rash – relieve pain & reduce redness
*Face lotion – reduce lines, soften skin, calm acne
*Hands & Body – soften & moisturize skin
*Lip primer – before gloss or lipstick to soften and soothe chapped lips
*Anywhere – Soothe burns, rashes, or cuts
I love this. I use it on my face at night (my skin feels and looks so much healthier!) and on my hands pretty often throughout the day. I wish I had taken before and after pictures of my hands. The palm-side of my fingers had been really appalling – the lines on them were really deep and had a dark stain in them that no amount of scrubbing would remove (this was likely due to my working in a restaurant). I felt embarrassed because it looked like I never washed my hands, when quite the opposite was true. I began applying this cream after using my Lemon Peppermint Scrub, and the difference is amazing. The lines have been reduced, there is no longer a permanent dark stain on my fingers, and my hands always feel like velvet after applying it!
If you are an essential oils user, you probably already have all these ingredients in your home. Here is the recipe!
All-Purpose Repair Cream
1/2 c Coconut oil (melted)
10-15 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Frankincense essential oil
10 drops Melaleuca essential oil
When I use just for my facial/skin care (not for first aid purposes), I add:
*5 drops Bergamot
*2 drops Geranium
*1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
First measure your coconut oil into a small glass mixing bowl. Fill a small pot or large measuring cup (like a 2+ cup Pyrex) with very hot steaming water (not boiling). Create a sort of double boiler by placing the bowl with coconut oil over the hot water. The steam will melt the coconut oil. I’m sure you can use the microwave to melt it, and I’ve heard of people doing it, but personally I like to melt it more naturally. (You can even do this directly in the mason jar if it has a wide mouth, but be careful because it will be full!)
Once the coconut oil is melted, add your essential oils and use a small whisk to stir. Then put into a mason jar, put the cap on tightly, and set somewhere to cool.
When the coconut oil cools down, it will solidify more. The addition of the oils, though, make it smoother than the coconut oil on its own. If you are in a hurry to use it, you can place in the fridge for a few minutes until it’s the right consistency.
Now this ‘cream’ is not like store-bought lotions you’ve used before; it took me awhile to get used to the more oily consistency. However the benefits far outweigh the discomfort of trying something new. You may want to allow a couple minutes for it to set into your skin. If my hands ever feel too oily after application, I simply pat them with a towel.
Next up, I’m going to try a combo of coconut oil and shea butter, as well as the addition of Roman Chamomile!
Lavender has an overall calming effect on the mind and body. It’s frequently used to soothe skin irritations and help skin recover from various maladies including rashes, burns, cuts, scabs, dry skin, etc. It helps reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Frankincense is one of the most widely prized oils; it has been used for centuries for its various uses including soothing, beautifying, and rejuvenating skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks, scars, and lines, and slowing the signs of aging. It has even been used as perfume! It is anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting, and aids in overall optimum body system performance.
Melaleuca can be used to cleanse and purify the skin and nails and to promote a clear, healthy complexion. It is frequently used on minor skin irritations to soothe the skin and help it recover quickly. It is also anti-viral and great for boosting immunity (great for our hands!)
I think those who know me would not categorize me as a “tree-hugger” or, as they’re sometimes now referred to, a “crunchy mom”. Usually this is a broad term used for individuals who are all-natural, all-organic, super healthy, likely exercise often, and possibly have casual attitudes about personal hygiene.
Nah, I’m not “crunchy”.
However my mom and I have been fairly frustrated with the medical field for awhile. For my mom it probably began partly because they’ve always been self employed. For me it began when I had kids who inevitably got sick. I would bring them, feverish, with runny noses, persistent coughs, congestion, etc., we’d pay for a doctor visit, all to simply be told it was a virus and the doctor couldn’t do anything except recommend rest and lots of water (and occasionally, Pedialyte). When I asked what I could do to suppress a cough so my kids could sleep, I was answered with, “well even if you gave a reduced dose of cough medicine, it wouldn’t do anything to actually stop the cough.” I’m sorry, WHAT??
Anyway, these are the circumstances that led to me desiring a natural, at-home way to maintain my family’s health so we wouldn’t be in those uncomfortable and sometimes desperate situations.
That was the original reason I started using essential oils. Little did I know there are so many other things I could do with the oils!! Here is a quick run-down of my ‘daily dose’; “a day in the life”, if you will.
*Sugar scrub on hands – Peppermint and Lemon oil
*Coconut lavender ‘lotion’ on hands
*Frankincense and melaleuca in face lotion
*Melaleuca and On Guard applied topically to throat and glands, which were feeling sore
*Lemon & Peppermint in my water
*Wiped counters with cleaner containing Protective Blend, Lemon, and Oregano
*Digestive Blend on A’s tummy since she said it felt funny
*Protective Blend on A’s feet
*Flu Bomb since I was feeling achy and the sore throat had returned
*Vitamins containing essential oils (3 separate supplements)
*Respiratory blend on my chest since I felt congested
*Protective Blend on my feet for extra immune support
*Lavender on pillow for deep sleep
My best friend’s birthday is today.
She is really good about birthdays. She always remembers mine and my 3 kids birthdays, and makes a point to not only wish us happy birthday, but bring cards and gifts. (It’s not like she’s bored; she has 3 young children of her own.)
Me? I do one of those texts a week later that says, “Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Sorry I missed it.” because I don’t remember what the ACTUAL day was, just an approximate week.
But this year. Ohhhh this year I was determined to remember! And coincidentally, her birthday fell on a Thursday, which is when I see her for women’s bible study. So really I had no excuse. I couldn’t show up empty handed, that’s for sure. I did buy her a card, but I wanted to get her a gift too. Instead of buying something, I wanted to do it a little differently this year.
I made a homemade sugar scrub.
Yes. I did. Me. >>This girl.<<
The one who is really bad at any kind of creative DIY-type-anything.
I’ve discovered that just as I did with cooking, once you get past the beginning learning curve with essential oils, you can mix and match the ones you like/need to serve different purposes and to create blends of scents.
So here’s the recipe for the sugar scrub I made her! I promise you have most, if not all, of these things already in your home. If you’d to know how to obtain the purest and most aromatic essential oils, click here.
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Grapeseed oil (you can use olive oil, but Grapeseed has a much milder scent and is also less expensive. You could also use fractionated coconut oil if you have it.)
2 drops Protective Blend
5 drops Lavender oil
7 drops Peppermint oil
and then store in an airtight container. (I purchased a 4 pack of shallow mason jars for less than $5 at Target.) DONE!
UPDATE: When I was really low on lavender oil but couldn’t wait to make another batch, I substituted Lemon for the lavender. I think I like it better! The lavender is great for soothing, so I instead put it in this All-Purpose Repair Cream that I use after the scrub. That way I get the cleansing & purifying benefits of the scrub all at once, and the calming, soothing, smoothing effects of the cream afterwards. Try the two together – it’s awesome!
Protective Blend – this oil blend includes wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Together they are a great immune booster – plus it smells divine! I chose it a little for the smell, but mostly to add that little immune booster. This protective blend is all around amazing!
Lavender – good for acne, burns, scarring, stretch marks, water retention. It is an antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, antiseptic (among many other things!). It is calming and balancing. I chose it for the many benefits it has for repairing damaged skin (dry, cuts, chafes, burns, etc) and for the lovely smell.
Peppermint – good for headaches, indigestion, scabies, nausea, itchy skin, muscle aches and fatigue. It is analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, and invigorating. I chose this for the invigorating smell and the cooling sensation.