Category Archives: Hippie

Making your own lip balm

20140225_165359I go through a TON of lip balm in the winter.  As we discussed in the lotion post, it’s so dry here that from September to May i’m constantly slathered up from head to toe trying to keep from drying out.  In my mission to create a healthier home, I decided that something that is frequently used and goes near my mouth should probably be near the top of the list.

I found this great recipe for lip balm:

http://wellnessmama.com/7055/homemade-lip-chap-recipe/

Just like last time with the oil wash, I’m going to tell you what changes I made, and what products helped me.  Just like before, I don’t get paid for telling you these things, I’m just trying to point you down the right path.

The basic idea is that you need to melt some things down, without overheating them, and without exposing them to water.  You can put an inch of water in a pan, and then put a sturdy glass container (like a wide mouth mason jar) in the pan and heat your ingredients in there.  That process is identical to the lotion recipe.  For the oil I used apricot oil this time, as I was making some of them for someone with coconut allergies.  For wax, I used organic beeswax pastilles.  I got the pastilles versus a bar because I don’t wanna have to grate them, it just saves me time.  I did add in some shea butter.  For both lotions and lip balms, your basic ratios are 1 part beeswax, 2 parts oil.  You can add in butters (like shea butter or cocoa butter) and you don’t have to adjust your beeswax/oil ratio.  If you like it a little more sloppy, have more oil.  You like a firm lotion or lip balm, add a little more beeswax.

When I made my lip balm, I got these cute little balm containers.  You can get empty tube-style if you prefer, or you can throw it in old altoid tins for all I care.  These just worked for me.  I made several different scents/flavors using essential oils: I made a couple with lemongrass, a couple with ginger lemon (GREAT for cycle-related nausea), a couple with lime/tangerine/lemon (citrus), and lots unscented.  It’s easier to get it in the containers with droppers.  They’re gonna be impossible to clean out, so if you go that route, get disposable.  If you don’t want to be throwing away that much, use a narrow spoon and clean it well afterwards.

Labeling the lip balms is optional, but it can help identify them in 3 months when you suddenly can’t remember what you made.  Or if you’re handing them out to people.  We use this label printer, but you don’t need anything fancy like that.

At the end of the day, you may be wondering about price.  When I made it with coconut oil I did the calculations, and each lip balm came in under 70 cents a piece.  That’s WAY cheaper than buying anything remotely comparable in the store.  And you get to control the consistency, the scent and flavor, and whether you want to spend a little more for organic components.

 

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I started washing my face. With oil. Happiness Ensued.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s funny how oil went from this thing to be avoided at all costs to this thing that really brings function and health to my life now.  When I eat it, I lose weight.  When I mix it in my lotions, my arms and legs get so soft even during the harsh Wisconsin winters.  Over a month ago, I started doing something new with oil: I started washing my face with it.

“But Ellie” you’re saying, “oil is what you’re trying to remove from your face, you shouldn’t be adding it to your face.”  Well, sorta kinda not really (man it’s about to become really clear that I’m not a doctor).  The oil on your face is kind of like your skin’s self-cleaning cycle.  It releases oil to get the junk out of your pores.  That “junk” can be dirt, can be dead skin, can be the chemicals left behind from your crappy cleanser.  It also helps to keep your skin naturally hydrated.   By washing your face with oil, instead of chemical junk, you’re giving your face’s self-cleaning cycle a helping hand.

Even if your skin is already oily, you can benefit from oil-washing.  Some people see a reduction in oil production when they use the right kinds of oils on their face.  By using oils to cleanse, they’re telling their face “chill out, I’ve got this covered.  Go take a nap” instead of freaking it out by drying it out using regular crappy cleansers.  Crappy cleansers tend to be loaded with drying ingredients like alcohol, nasty estrogen-mimicking ingredients (yeah, I’m talking about you, parabens), and other stupid junk that doesn’t work well and dries out your skin or gets you sick.

When I first started oil-washing, I used Crunchy Betty’s oil-washing guide.  I still consider that to be the best guide on the internet.  Let me tell you exactly what *I* do, though, since it slightly varies.  (By the way, I’m including product links in case this helps beginners, but I don’t make money off these.)  I’ve found that her recipes include too much castor oil.  For oily skin she suggests 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil.  At least for my skin, that’s way too much castor oil, and dries out my skin big time.  I found that 4 parts almond oil (my carrier oil of choice) to 1 part castor oil works great.  I mix that up in a handy dropper bottle with 10 drops of lavender essential oil.  Why lavender essential oil?  Well, a few reasons.  It smells awesome for one.  It’s also antibacterial.  And it helps me chill out.

Just like described in the guide, I get the water pretty warm, about as warm as I can stand.  I squirt about a dime sized amount of oil into my hands, and rub it all over my face for about a minute or so.  I put a washcloth into the really warm water, squeeze it out, then spread the steamy washcloth over my face.  Let that sit for 30 seconds or so, until you start to feel a little silly standing there with a washcloth on your face.  Then get some fresh warm water on the cloth, and wipe the oil off.  If, after washing, you feel your face is a little dry (it might, might not), you can rub in some fractionated coconut oil or some almond oil.  Worried about wrinkles (aren’t we all)?  Dab some vitamin E oil around your eyes.  You may also want to use carrot seed essential oil in your oil mix.

You may find that you only have to wash your face a couple of times a week.  And yes, this washing method works even if you have acne.

By the way, if you like buying quality essential oils, my sister sells Doterra oils.  I love their lavender oil!  They also sell the fractionated coconut oil.

Any questions?  Do you do oil washing?

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LCHF America goes hippie: homemade lotion

2013 brought a lot of major changes into our household.  We went from a house that ate every packaged food on the planet to a house that got excited about grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, organic spinach, and grain-free cat food.  A year ago, I didn’t give a rat’s ass what ingredients were in anything, and now I inspect every label with the suspicion of a scorned woman.  The last few weeks I’ve been really thinking about how to broaden this even further in our house.  After all, food isn’t the only thing that goes into our bodies.  I have dry skin, flyaway hair, scaly scalp, and have put all sorts of junk all over my body to tame these problems.  Then there’s the cleaning products in the house. If I were to inspect the labels of my beauty and cleaning products with the same ferver that I inspect my food products, would I like what I see?

So far, I’ve been a little terrified learning some of the ingredients.  Parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, and other junk.  I don’t need that stuff in or on my body!

So starting now, you may occasionally see some posts with the category of “Hippie”, my loving designation for my 2014 goal to try and clean up our bathroom cupboards.  Here’s my first attempt at making something terrifying: body lotion.

Yeah, that's my cat eating coconut oil in a santa costume.  Wanna fight?

Yeah, that’s my cat eating coconut oil in a santa costume. Wanna fight?

Confession: I’ve been using coconut oil for a couple months now as my body lotion.  I actually was craving it on my skin one day.  Yeah, that’s a thing.  Like craving ice cream or bacon.  So I bought a jar exclusively for skin.  Turns out it works great as a lotion on its own.  Cats also like eating it.  Every morning when I get out of the shower, I go into the bedroom and am greeted by my menagerie meowing for coconut oil.  The jar comes open, some oil gets on my skin, and a lot gets eaten by the cats.  It’s perfectly healthy for them to eat, so I don’t care.

It works pretty good 95% of the time, except when it gets below 0 degrees F, then the air is just so dry that no lotion can keep up.  Well, at least none that I had found.  I thought that maybe if I found a recipe for lotion that incorporated shea butter or something to that effect, it may just be the ticket.  I don’t know anything about making lotion so I didn’t feel comfortable with inventing a recipe (yet).

Enter Wellness Mama’s luxurious homemade lotion recipe.  Folks, I grew up on that Avon intensive therapy stuff that could rehydrate a mummy overnight.  This stuff rivals that, I swear to you.  And it smells as good (or as neutral) as you want it to, because you customize it with essential oils.

For my ingredients, because the recipe is slightly customizable, I used the beeswax, Vitamin E oil, almond oil, coconut oil, the optional shea butter, and I added lavender essential oil and a touch of vanilla extract.  DON’T BE LIKE ME.  Don’t add the vanilla extract.  They suggest it, but don’t do it.  It will pill up with little globules because it doesn’t mix.  I’d bet vanilla and chamomile would be fantastic.  Do that instead if you’re looking for something soothing.

For a jar to do the melting, I used an old empty ghee jar.  Worked pretty amazing.  Once it all melted per the recipe instructions, I poured it all into a wide mouth 8 oz mason jar.  Boom.  Lotion done.  By the way, this stuff works fantastic as a lip balm too.  Double score!

Seriously, if you are looking for a simple recipe to shimmy your way into making your home healthier, this is a simple one to do.  Remember, I almost set my oven mitts on fire and I made this recipe work.

Are you excited that we will be occasionally posting natural household recipes?  Please comment below!

The finished product!

The finished product!

lotion not melted

Fully melted. See the brown dots in the bottom? That’s the vanilla I warned you about.

Half melted.

Half melted.

All the ingredients, before melting them together.  Looks sorta gross.   Don't worry, you aren't eating them.

All the ingredients, before melting them together. Looks sorta gross. Don’t worry, you aren’t eating them.

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