While most years I try not to make resolutions I can’t keep, 2011 brought on a lot of slowing down. There were a variety of reasons and the largest one was obviously selling my car to see if I could live without one. Slowing down in at the end of 2011 also involved making more food from scratch and eventually making health products from scratch as well. Since many of them ended up as holiday presents, I had to wait until the new year to post all of the wonderful things I got to make!
Living at altitude partly means one needs to hydrate. I’ve always had the winter itch-ies, but over the past few years of living here, it’s gotten worse and worse. I have tried all of the natural products but when I have looked at the ingredients, no matter how natural or organic, they always have unpronounceable items in them. This year is the time for me to experiment and find out what I can make on my own at the beginning of itchy season- to hopefully eliminate itchy season 2012.
One of the first products I decided to dive into making was lip balm. No matter how much water I drink, my lips always crack from December to March. But I have found the perfect natural solution:
1 part beeswax
1 part coconut oil
1 part almond oil
a few drops of peppermint extract
I filled up Altoids boxes for the gifts and have heard from many of the recipients how much they enjoy the balm. My own stock was poured into an old medicine container. I haven’t figured out the packaging if I want to sell them, but I have definitely figured out the recipe.
While making this batch, I definitely had to utilize my preschool teacher patience. The wax took far longer to melt than I was expecting and I knew turning up the heat was probably a horrid idea (since I only wanted to make these presents once).
Just behind the Altoid boxes in the top picture, are various body scrubs. The white bottles on the left are salt scrubs. I mixed them in a large bowl and distributed amongst recycled glass jars.
2 cups epsom salt
2/3 cups of almond oil
a few drops of vanilla extract, peppermint extract, orange extract or a combination
I will definitely experiment with essential oil instead of extract next time. The alcohol used to make the extract is a little stronger than I was hoping. Right idea, not the full effect I was hoping for in the scrub. Now that I have found multiple local and online sources for essential oils, I should be able to experiment. The finished bottles have various pretty labels and borders so the gift recipients had more than a recycled bottle with scrub inside.
The scrub on the right side of the top picture is a sugar scrub. Same idea as the salt scrub, just replace salt with brown sugar. I only used vanilla extract for that one in the hopes it would have a baking smell.
The last item, not shown above, that I tried was a coffee scrub. I adore coffee. I love the taste and it seemed perfect that I found a coffee scrub on one of the websites I was scouring for recipes. I made the coffee scrub for myself and am glad I tried it out before I made a batch for anyone else. I love the feel of the scrub as well as the smell of coffee on a slow morning. However, what I was not anticipating was the mess it left in the shower. Unlike sugar or salt, coffee grounds do not dissolve. I know, obvious, right? Not obvious to me before I used it and then had to clean the shower. I will just have to save that scrub for the days I’m planning on cleaning my tub anyways. The smell is heavily and my skin is so soft after using the coffee scrub. It does not, however, outweigh how much I hate cleaning the tub.
The next round of healthful beauty to get rid of the winter itch-ies will be lotions and oil cleansing recipes. Do you get the itchies? What do you use to relieve them? Have you made your own products yet?