Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Six Favourite Toner Recipes

Some of the most read posts from the last twelve months have been recipes for toners you can easily make at home. 

Here are some of the favourites together for easy reference. There's something to suit almost anyone's skin.

Rose Water Toner - for dry skin


To make this you will  need:

Combine all the ingredients in a small glass bottle and shake well. Apply with a cotton pad avoiding the eyes. This will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.



Almond Milk Toner - for combination skin


This simple 3-ingredient toner is well-suited to combination skin.

You will need:

Combine all ingredients in a clean bottle and shake well. Apply with a cotton pad or cotton balls, keeping away from your eyes. Will keep for up to two week if stored in the fridge.







Elder Flower Toner - for sensitive skin


Ingredients:

Place 1 tablespoon of fresh elder flowers (or 1/2 tablespoon if using dried) into a heatproof bowl or jug. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the flowers. Cover and leave cool and steep for about an hour.

Pour the cooled infusion into a glass bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine and 5 drops of lavender essential oil (if using). Cap the bottle and shake well to combine.

Makes approximately one cup. The toner will keep for one week stored in the fridge.

To use: Shake before using. Apply with a cotton pad, avoiding your eyes. Follow with your usual moisturiser.


Black Tea Toner - for oily skin


This is a simple three ingredient toner that works to remove the last traces of makeup and help clear pores.

To  make this you will need:

  • 1 cup witch hazel
  • 1 cup strong black tea
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • glass bottle
Combine the first three ingredients in the glass bottle and shake well. Apply using a cotton ball, making sure your avoid the eye area. Follow with moisturiser.

Will keep up to 12 months if stored in a cool, dry place with the lid on.





Apple Toner - for oily, blemished skin 


  • 85mls pure apple juice (organic if possible)
  • 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Place all the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and whizz with a stick blender until combined. Pour into a clean, dry bottle with a secure lid.

Shake before using. Smooth over your face, keeping away from your eyes. Rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.


Lavender Toner - for teenage skin


To make this you will need:


Place all ingredients in the jar. Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for 2 weeks to give the mix time to infuse. Shake the jar well daily.

Strain the liquid and our into a small glass bottle.

Apply using a cotton ball, making sure your avoid the eye area. Follow with moisturiser.

Store out of direct sunlight. Use within 6 months

Notes on witch hazel: Witch hazel in its liquid form is a blend of an alcohol based witch hazel extract and water. It acts as a very gentle astringent, but is not suitable for very dry, sensitive or sunburnt skin.




You may also like: Six Easy to Make Scrubs


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

I link up here.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Six easy-to-make Scrubs

Over the last few months I've shared quite a few recipes for salt or sugar scrubs.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the most popular ones. Enjoy!

Lemon Exfoliating Scrub


To make this you will need:

  • 1 cup sea salt or Epsom salt (if using sea salt medium grind works best)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (in cold temperatures you will need to soften this)
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Combine the salt and coconut oil in a glass or ceramic bowl or (if the oil is quite soft) you could use a whisk. Add the essential oil a couple of drops at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition. Spoon into a clean lidded glass jar.

To use scoop out and rub into your skin concentrating on knees, elbows and heels. Rinse well and follow with a good moisturiser.

The salt in this scrub acts to soften and smooth skin by removing dead cells. The coconut oil hydrates, moisturises and nourishes skin.

Sweet orange oil and be used in place of lemon. A few dried and crushed peppermint leaves could also be added

For a gentler option use 1/2 salt and 1/2 cup sugar.

This is a very gentle scrub which will leave your skin soft and smooth. It's so gentle that you can use it as a facial mask.



Milky Oatmeal Scrub


To make this you will need:

1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal
water

Blend the dry ingredients thoroughly. Pour into an airtight storage container.

When you're ready to use the scrub combine 2 teaspoons of water and 2 teaspoons of the milk-oat mix to form a paste. You may need to adjust the quantities to get a smooth, spreadable mix that isn't too runny or too thick. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute or two before using.

To use as facial scrub massage gently into your face ans neck, then rinse with warm water.

To use as a mask apply to your face and throat (avoiding the eyes). Leave for 20 minutes then rinse off.

Stored in an airtight container the dry ingredients will last for up to 6 months. Any wet mixture left over should be discarded.









Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub



Place these ingredients in a small 
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plain salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (you may need to soften this a little first)
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Use a whisk to combine. If the scrub seems a little dry add more oil - too wet, add more salt.

Run gently into damp feet. Rinse off.

Store in an airtight container. 


Brown Sugar Scrub


The sugar in this scrub isn't just acting as an exfoliant. Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar and can help to remove dead skin cells and clarify the skin.

1/2 cup fine brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 drops vanilla extract (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to make sure the sugar is well coated in oil. Store in a tightly closed container for up to two weeks.

To use: massage over face and neck for 2-3 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.


Sea Salt Scrub


2 cups of sea salt (finely ground is best as coarser salt may be a bit abrasive)
3/4 cup olive oil
40-60 drops essential oil - rosemary, peppermint, sweet orange, grapefruit or rose geranium all work well

Combine the salt and olive oil in a bowl using a whisk to blend. Add the essential oil a few drops at a time, whisking as you go.

Spoon into an airtight container with a good lid. Use within 6 months.

To use: using a circular motion massage 1/4-1/2 a cup of scrub into damp skin. Rinse with warm water.

Not suitable for sensitive or damaged skin.




Note: Sea salt can be healing if not over-used, but can sting if skin is sensitive, irritated or thin. Don not use a salt scrub on skin that has just been shaved, waxed or is otherwise irritated


Apple Sauce Facial Scrub


In a small bowl mix together:
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or rice bran oil

Gently massage into your face and neck. Leave for a minute or two, then rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

This makes enough for one scrub. Discard any scrub mix you may have left over.





I link up here. 





Monday, 7 December 2015

How to make Sparkling Elderflower (non-alcoholic)

If you've been following some of my recent posts you know that we are lucky enough to have a large elder tree in the back garden. I've dried elder flowers to use later. I've made Elder Flower Toner and Elder Flower Cordial

A couple of weeks ago I also made some Sparkling Elderflower. This is a great subtly flavoured drink with a bit of "fizz" that can be drunk on it's own or used in cocktails or mocktails. Here's how it's made: 


Sparkling Elder Flower


Ingredients

6 elder flower heads
2 chopped lemons (no need to peel or remove pips)
3 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water
14 cups cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 or 6 one litre bottles
Food-safe bucket

Place the sugar and boiling water in the bucket ans stir to dissolve. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, add all the remaining ingredients. Stir. Cover and leave to stand for 48 hours.

Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Alternatively line a sieve with muslin before straining.

Decant the strained liquid into bottles. It's very important that you DO NOT FILL the bottles right to the top. You need to leave plenty of room for the liquid to expand. Seal the bottles.

Makes approximately 4.5 litres.

The Sparkling Elder Flower will be ready to drink in a couple of weeks and is best when well chilled.


A note on opening the bottles - this is best done outside as the release of pressure when the bottle can be quite explosive.  On one very memorable opening I popped the lid of a bottle - the lid detached itself completely from the bottle (wire and all), flew about 5 metres across the backyard only stopping when it bounced off the side of the dog kennel.





I link up here.

Monday, 30 November 2015

How to make Soothing Oatmeal Bath Bags

Like most of my skincare recipes this one isn't complicated.


To make the bath bags you will need:

  • 50g rolled oats (not quick cook)
  • 2 tablespoons calendula infused oil (see note below)
  • 6-8 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 6-8 drops lavender essential oil
  • muslin 

Place the rolled oats into a non-metallic bowl. Add the infused and essential oils. Mix thoroughly to disperse the oils through the oats.





To make the bags take a piece of muslin approximately 18cm by 14cm. Fold in half and stitch along the sides three sides (leaving the top edge open) so that you have a bag approximately 8cm by 12-13cm. Turn the bag the right side our so that the stitched seams are on the inside. I leave the top edge of the bag unfinished as I like the look of the raw edges, but hem the top if you prefer a neater finish.

Spoon the oat-oil mixture into the bag leaving about 3cm at the top. Tie the bag shut with ribbon just above the level of the oats.  For a more rustic look tie the bags with thin garden twine.





If you're not a sewer you can make a bag by cutting a piece of muslin approximately 18cm by 18cm. Lay the muslin flat. Place a couple of tablespoons of the oat mix into the centre of the muslin. Draw the edges up together and tie off tightly.


To use: drop the bag into the bath. Once it's quite wet the bag can be used as a bath sponge. Discard after use.

Storage: Store the unused oat mixture in an airtight container in cool, dry conditions. 

Rolled oats have excellent skin soothing properties. 


Calendula Infused Oil : If you'd like to make your own infused oil the instructions are here.


I link up here.







Monday, 23 November 2015

Apple Sauce Facial Scrub

This is a very simple recipe for a scrub using ingredients you probably already have in the pantry or fridge.

In a small bowl mix together:

  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive or rice bran oil.

Gently massage into you face and neck. Leave for a minute or two then rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

This makes enough for one scrub. Discard any scrub mix you may have left over.




You may also like to try:
Milky Oatmeal Scrub

I link up here.


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/36595362">Apple</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>

Monday, 16 November 2015

How to make Elder Flower Cordial

Earlier this month I shared a recipe for Elder Flower Toner. Traditionally elder flowers have been used to treat all sorts of ailments and skin conditions, but they can also be used to make cordial. Our elder tree is a mass of flowers at the moment so over the weekend I made Elder Flower Cordial. It's simple to make and tastes pretty good.

The recipe I use is based on one I found in an old magazine a few years ago. I've reduced the amount of sugar used in the original recipe as we found it made the cordial just a bit too "sticky" even when diluted. Adjust the amount of sugar you use according to taste.




Elder Flower Cordial


To make this you will need:
  • 25 freshly picked elder flower heads
  • 500g -750g sugar
  • 1.5 litres boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • a food-safe bucket
  • bottles 

Place the flower heads in the bucket and pour over the boiling water. Cover and leave to stand overnight. Next day strain the liquid making sure you have no "bits". I lined a large sieve with a piece of muslin to make sure none of the tiny flowers made it through into the strained liquid.

Put the elder flower liquid into a large saucepan with the sugar and citric acid. Heat gently while stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the cordial into sterilized bottles and seal. The cordial can be used as soon as it's cooled and will keep for several months in cool , dry conditions.

Makes approximately 2.5 litres of cordial. To use dilute to taste with either still or sparkling water.









I link up here.




photo:<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23985513@N03/14345050821">elderflower</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>



Monday, 9 November 2015

Cinnamon & Thyme Sore Throat Tea

Herbal teas can be a useful way to soothe some of the symptoms of colds, flu and sore throats. 

The cinnamon in this tea has a warming effect, plus it aids digestion. Thyme is anti-microbal and is said to strengthen the immune system thereby helping to prevent recurring infections. 

I make this using common thyme, but if you have other varieties use them.

Cinnamon Thyme Sore Throat Tea


Place 2 teaspoons of dried thyme and one cinnamon stick into a small teapot. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into the pot to cover the herbs. Allow to steep for 6-8 minutes (you can adjust the steeping time depending on how strong you like your tea).

Pour into a tea cup or mug through a strainer. Sweeten to taste with honey.

Makes 2 cups.

Drinking two or 3 cups a day may help to relieve cold symptoms






You may also like to try: Simple Herbal Tea Recipes


Please note that this article is not intended as medical advice. 







I link up here.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

How to make Chocolate Icing

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for Weetbix Slice. The slice is finished with chocolate icing. I've been asked for the icing recipe so here it is.

Chocolate Icing


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • water

Place the butter, milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and slowly melt over a low heat. Do not let it boil.

Once the butter has melted remove from the heat. Using a spoon or a small palette knife (I prefer to use a knife) mix in one cup of the icing sugar and the cocoa powder. The mixture will be a little dry and lumpy. 





This is the point where you start adding water tablespoon at at time. Alternately add water and the rest of the icing sugar until you get a smooth, spreadable mixture. If the mixture is too wet add a bit more icing sugar. Add a little more water if the mix is too dry.





This is a very forgiving recipe so don't worry if it takes some time to get the consistency right - just keep adding water or icing sugar until it smooth and spreadable. The icing should be firm enough that it clings to the knife, bit not so firm that it look dry. 

Once you're happy with the icing spread it onto your slice or cake. Here it is on the Weetbix Slice with a little coconut sprinkled on top before the icing set.





NOTE: It's important to use pure butter as the icing will not set if an oil-based butter substitute is used.

Variations

Vanilla Icing - use the same method, but omit the cocoa powder.
Lemon Icing - using the same method. Omit the cocoa powder and use lemon essence in place of vanilla. 

I link up here.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Elder Flower Toner for sensitive skin

Elder flower have been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It can also be used for treating colds and sinus infections. In his Complete Herbal (1653) Culpeper describes elder flowers as as being "of much use to free the skin from sunburning, freckles ... or the like; and taketh away the headache [and] it taketh away ulcers."

We have a large elder tree in the back garden that is just beginning to flower. I'll be making some of this toner with fresh flowers; plus I'll be drying more flowers to use later.

This toner is very gentle, making it particularly suitable for sensitive or delicate skin. 


Elder Flower Toner


Ingredients:

Place 1 tablespoon of fresh elder flowers (or 1/2 tablespoon if using dried flowers) into a heatproof bowl or jug. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the flowers. Cover and leave to cool and steep for about an hour.

Pour the cooled infusion into a glass bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine and 5 drops of lavender essential oil (if using). Cap the bottle and shake well to combine. 

Makes approximately one cup. The toner will keep for one week stored in the fridge.

To use: Shake before using. Apply with a cotton pad avoiding your eyes. Follow with your usual moisturiser.






You may also like to try:

Almond Milk Toner for combination skin
Apple Toner for oily, blemished skin
Black Tea Toner for oily skin
Lavender Toner for teenage skin
Rosewater Toner for dry skin



Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

I link up here.


References
Nicholas Culpeper, Complete Herbal, first published 1653 (I have a 1992 reprint)
Available online: https://archive.org/details/cu31924001353279



Sunday, 25 October 2015

Homemade Dog Biscuits - a recipe

This recipe started out as a school project my daughter did as a nine year old (she's now almost 18). It's been refined over time. We make these often as our dog is allergic to a protein in beef, so most "bought" dog biscuits aren't suitable - plus the dog loves them!

Dog Biscuits


To make these you'll need:

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup stewed apple
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil
  • chopped mint (optional)

Heat the oven to 180F (350C). Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Make a well, then add the honey, the egg and the stewed apple.







Add 1/8 cup of olive oil and mix well. Keep adding more oil a tablespoon at a time until you get a dough that holds together without being sticky. If the dough does become a bit too wet then just add a little more flour.




Once the dough is the right consistency roll take a tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Place the ball of dough on a lined baking tray and flatten slightly.




Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Makes 20-25 dog biscuits.


Our chief taster!

I link up here.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Lemon and Vinegar Foot Soak

The lemon juice in this recipe works to lighten skin discolouration and odours. The mix of apple cider vinegar and salt softens the skin.

Lemon and Vinegar Foot Soak


To make this you will need:

2-3 litres of warm water
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup sea salt
juice of 2 lemons

Pour the water into wide-mouthed bowl (big enough to comfortably fit your feet). Add the vinegar and salt. Stir well. Add the lemon juice and stir again.

Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Dry well and follow with a good moisturiser or foot cream.

Discard the soak water. 

Makes enough for one treatment. Use the same day made.






You may also like to try:
Brown Sugar Foot Scrub
Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub



I link up here.

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35297772@N00/13905533834">Lemonade</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Sunday, 11 October 2015

How to make an infused oil.

Firstly what is an infused oil? Basically an infused oil is a carrier oil that has had herbs or spices added. 

Culinary infused oils can be made using rosemary, garlic, chillies, thyme, peppercorns etc.

The oil/herb blend is left to steep so that the properties of the herb become infused into the oil. I use the "slow" method which means leaving the oil in a warm place for 6-8 weeks to do its thing, but if you wanted to speed up the process you can gently heat the oil/herb blend in a crockpot for a few hours

I prefer to use a light olive oil when making infusions. Sunflower, rice bran and sweet almond oils can also be used.

The steps I'm going to outline are for making calendula oil which has medicinal, rather than culinary uses.

To make calendula infused oil you'll need: 
  • olive oil
  • a large jar with a lid (I use a 1 litre agee preserving jar)
  • calendula flowers
  • a skewer
  • a sunny window sill
Start with a clean, dry jar. Fill the jar about two-thirds full with calendula flowers. You can use dried or fresh flowers. If using fresh it's best to pick them one day and use them the next. It's also important when using fresh flowers that they are completely dry as any moisture can cause the oil to become rancid.

The next step is to slowly fill the jar with olive oil (or the carrier oil of your choice). Make sure the flowers are completely covered by the oil and that there are no air bubbles. Use the skewer to push the flowers under the oil (as they will rise a bit as the oil is added) and to remove any air pockets that form.

Screw the lid onto the jar then place on a sunny windowsill for the next 6 weeks. It's a good idea to put a plate or bowl under the jar. As the oil heats you may get a bit of leakage.

After 6 weeks strain the flowers from the oil using a very fine sieve or cheesecloth.  You may need to strain it twice to make sure there are no "bits" left behind. Pour into a glass bottle, label and store out in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.





The oil can be used in soap-making, to make healing balms or can be rubbed into dry, chapped hands.

If you have dry skin you might like to try making Calendula Cleanser.


I link up here.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Calendula Cleanser recipe

This simple two ingredient cleanser can be used with any skin type, but is best suited to dry skin.

I've used calendula for it's anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Cocoa butter is a great moisturiser, particularly for extremely dry skin, plus it's high in antioxidants.


Calendula Cleanser


In a double boiler combine the following: 
  • 175g calendula oil (see below)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa butter

Gently heat until the cocoa butter has melted. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl. Beat until the mixture has cooled and has begun to thicken a little - you want it to be still be pourable. Transfer to a clean pot or jar with a good lid.

To use massage into skin in a circular motion. Remove with a damp cotton pad. Follow with your usual toner and moisturiser.

The cleanser will keep for about 3 months when stored in the refrigerator.

Note: If the mixture thickens too much to be pourable (this can happen in cold temperatures) it can be spooned into the pot or you could soften it a little over a very gentle heat before pouring.



You may also be interested in:




I link up here.


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50638285@N00/3791912061">The Merchant's Garden, Marlborough</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)<

Monday, 28 September 2015

Six ways to use Peppermint


Mint is very easy to grow. Once established it is a very forgiving plant as long as you remember to water it. Mint can be quite invasive so is best planted in a large pot.

Varietes include spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint. Dried mint leaves are often used in tea to help digestion.

Peppermint oil has many uses. It can ease sore muscles, settle upset stomachs and nausea, help to lessen congestion from colds. The cooling sensation can help with headaches.






1. Stress Relief


A few drops each of peppermint, lavender and rose geranium essential oils added to a warm bath can help relieve the symptoms of stress and tension.

2. Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub


Place these ingredients in a small bowl:

  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plain salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (you may need to soften this a little first)
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
Use a whisk to combine. If the scrub seems a little dry add more oil - too wet, add more salt. To use rub gently into damp feet, then rinse.

Store in an airtight container.


3. Spiders


Combine 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil with one cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Sprayed at entry point this may help keep spiders out of your home.

4. Mint Tea


Take a handful of fresh peppermint (or spearmint) Leaves. Wash, then tear or cut roughly into pieces. Place in a teapot and pour in 2 cups of boiling water. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes - according to how string you like your tea.




5. Baking Soda Cleaning Paste


Baking soda can be used to clean all sorts of things at home. This is another simple recipe that works well. You can a use any essential oil you choose, but I like to use peppermint.

How to make cleaning paste:

In a small bowl mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar (tartaric acid). Slowly stir in 10mls of liquid castile soap and 5 mls of water. Stir until you get a fairly dry paste. You may need to add a bit more water.

At this point you can add a few drops of essential oil - 20 drops of lavender, peppermint or sweet orange. Store in an airtight container.


6. How to dry mint


Mint is very easy to dry. You can dry it in a microwave or using a dehydrator, but I prefer to do it the slow way and air dry.

Always make sure you use healthy mint leaves that are free from sun, wind or insect damage. The best time to cut mint leaves is just before the plant begins to flower, as this is when the leaves contain the most oil. Once you cut the mint make sure that it's dry and there are no wee bugs hiding on the underside of the leaves.

At this stage it up to to you whether strip the leaves from the stems or do it once the drying period is over. Spread the mint out on a try lined with a paper towel. Place the tray in a warm, dry spot out of direct light. After a couple of weeks the mint will be dry and a little crumbly. You can now strip the leaves from the stalks (if you haven't already) and transfer to an airtight non-porous container. Mint is best store in cool, dry conditions.

Alternatively you can tie mint stalks into bunches and hang upside down in  a draught free spot until dry.






Important Note: As with many essential oils, peppermint should not be used during that later stages of pregnancy, not should it be used on young children




I link up here.


Photo: Mint Leaves http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=81068&picture=mint-leaves 
Photo: Mint Tea http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=17034&picture=mint-tea
Photo: Mint in a pot http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=107019&picture=mint-in-pot






Monday, 21 September 2015

How to make your own body wash

This recipe uses liquid castile soap as a base. Castile is a very mild soap suitable for most skin types. Both shea butter and aloe vera are excellent skin-loving moisturisers.


Body Wash Recipe


3/4 cup liquid castile soap (or another unscented liquid vegetable based soap of your choice)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon shea butter
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum powder (see below)
25-30 drops of essential oil

Melt the shea butter over a low heat. Add the aloe vera gel. Stir until the shea butter and aloe vera gel are combined. Whisk in the xanthan gum.


Shea Butter


Continue to whisk while slowly adding the liquid castile soap. Mix well. Add 25-30 drops of your favourite essential oil. and stir to combine.  (I like to use sweet orange oil)

By this stage the body wash will be quite bubbly, but the bubbles will settle out in a few hours.

Pour into a clean bottle. A flip top, squeezy bottle works well or you could use a recycled body wash bottle.

This recipe makes approximately one cup of body wash.






Xanthan gum is a natural emulsifier and stabiliser derived from corn starch. In this recipe it acts to thicken the body wash and prevent the mixture from separating.




Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

I link up here.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Orange Mint Bath Salts

This is a recipe for sweet scented, skin softening and relaxing bath salts.

Orange Mint Bath Salts 


To make this you will need:
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salts
  • 10 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 10 drops spearmint essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl.  Mix well to disperse the oil evenly through the salts. Store in dry conditions in an airtight.

Add 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of bath salts to the tub under running water. Enjoy.





I link up here.



photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/41980486@N07/12015734706">♥</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Apple Toner - for oily, blemished skin

The apple in this toner helps to soothe and purify oily skin. Plus it's rich in antibacterial pectin.

Apple Toner


85ml pure apple juice (organic if possible)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Place all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and whizz with a stick blender until combined. Pour into a clean, dry bottle with a secure lid.

Shake before using. Smooth over your face, keeping away from your eyes. Rinse with warm water. Follow with your usual moisturiser.

This will keep for about 1 month in the fridge.






You may also like to try:

Almond Milk Toner for combination skin
Black Tea Toner for oily skin
Lavender Toner for teenage skin
Rosewater Toner for dry skin


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/75531279@N05/10053263966">Apples</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>