natural lotions (diy or buy)

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

what better way to kick off SKIN WEEK than to talk about nourishing your skin! (& happy july!)

diy or buy these natural lotions

these lotions/balms/butters/moisturizers are natural and/or organic, therefore completely safe to use! i would usually have a section on why to NOT use store-bought lotions, but i think if you’re reading this, you know who i am and what i stand for. so we’ll do a quick overview of what you do NOT want in your lotions 🙂 yay!

what you DON’T want in your lotion:

  • mineral oil/paraffin oil – a by-product of petroleum, to produce gasoline and other products based from crude oil
  • petroleum jelly/petrolatum – often contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other health concerns
  • parabens – this is currently a Toxic or Not Tuesday post waiting to be published. short answer, it’s been found to cause reproductive and growth issues, and has (controversially) been found in breast cancer tumor tissue
  • fragrance/parfum – this is code for ‘we mixed a cocktail of unknown chemicals to make it smell okay’
  • silicones – anything ending in -xane, -zane, -cone, -conol. these prevent your skin from getting moisture
  • much, much more… check this list (scroll down past the video… you can mute it haha. there’s a list below.)

and we all know that our skin is our largest organ, and our first line of defense. our skin really has its work cut out for it! we need to care for it as the delicate, yet total badbutt that it is!

make these

  • unrefined coconut oil – CO straight outta the jar is an amazing body lotion. probably the best, honestly. and you can add essential oils for your own custom scent! keep in a glass jar at room temp or in the fridge and it’ll keep up to a year or two! for some reason i’m on a rose kick right now, and i recently mixed some of my CO with arabian rose oil. oooo yea! if you keep yours in the fridge and don’t want it to harden like crazy when it’s chilled, whip it! put some in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer, and whip that CO up till it’s fluffy!
  • unrefined shea butter – great moisturizer, but not as easily spread. you can whip it up with equal parts CO, *and optionally add a carrier oil and EO of your choice.
  • argan oil – you knew that one was coming, haha. pure, organic argan oil is an incredible moisturizer. it’s so darn expensive though. so maybe keep it for your elbows and knees?
  • sweet almond oil/jojoba oil – you can use it straight (might leave an oily residue), or you can mix it with it CO (1 part oil, 1 part CO; whip with mixer)
  • carrier oil mix – you can essentially make any great lotion by mixing a carrier oil of your choice, beeswax, and any essential oils you like. you can also add vitamin E and/or CO. seriously, it’s so easy and can be VERY personal 🙂 think of the great lotions you could make for dear friends! it’s all about finding what is a perfect fit for you and being healthier
  • there are TONS of recipes out there for organic lotions. check out this jack pot of a database for lotions,
    *whichever recipe you choose to use, please store your homemade lotion in a glass jar!
    ** you can buy these at your local organic store, health food store, or online

buy these
(in alphabetical order)

**if you opt to buy your lotion, check the ingredients and make sure you can’t buy the ingredients and make it yourself for cheaper than what you can buy it for. unfortunately, organic products are sometimes heavily overpriced. the most cost effective is by far a jar of unrefined CO, since you can use it for SO many other things.**

what are some natural/organic lotions that you love?? let’s hear it!

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homemade deodorants (without baking soda)

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

i’ve noticed a few of you are having some reactions to the baking soda. this isn’t uncommon. i’ve since scoured the hills for some gentle homemade deodorant alternatives that are (of course) chemical-free and crunchy!

> EDIT: 3/20/2019 – This post is from 2013 but is getting a lot of traffic recently. Since publishing, there has been an explosion of “green” deodorants available for purchase. Schmidt’s is currently the brand I use (baking soda-free options). It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. 

chemical-free homemade spray OR roll-on deodorant (no baking soda or coconut oil)

this post is sort-of kicking off SKIN WEEK (which will be longer than a week, btw. i have so much to share with you guys!! so it might be “skin weekS”), so get excited about that!

is there anything wrong with my other homemade deo? absolutely not! i still use it! i have recently added arabian rose to mine and LOVE it! i just want to give readers with more sensitive skin some options 🙂 also, if you travel a lot or live in a warmer climate, these recipes won’t run all over your clothes like the coconut oil recipe will. yay!

witch hazel & aloe deodorant spray (from Tristin, an AE reader!)

  • in a spray bottle, mix 2 parts witch hazel with 1 part aloe vera
  • add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (tristin used lavender! i think grapefruit or rose would be lovely, too! clary sage and tea tree oil are recommended as the EOs that would most work to cover BO. but if you’re busy creating a little human inside you, please do NOT use clary sage!!! aka, avoid clary sage if you’re pregnant.)
  • shake to mix ingredients and spray on your ‘pits!

distilled water & witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 2 parts distilled water and 1 part witch hazel
  • add any EOs of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

apple cider vinegar and witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 1 part acv, 6 parts distilled water, and 1/3 part witch hazel
  • add some EO drops of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

and of course you can add up to 1/4 part baking soda to the first 2 recipes (just make sure it dissolves) if you’d like, and if you’re not sensitive to baking soda.

and you also can of course put this in a rolly-ball container instead of a spray bottle. much more travel-friendly, right?

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essential oils & carrier oils: quick & easy beginner’s guide

oils are not all created equal. which for me, meant countless hour researching the differences and uses. which also means, YOU get a compact post on both essential oils and carrier oils! WOOHOO!

please do consult your healthcare professional and local certified herbalist and aromatherapist to ensure any herbs and EOs used are okay for you (no contraindications for any ailments). these people have formal educations for a reason.

beginner's guide to essential oils and carrier oils

let’s go over some basics!

essential oils and carrier oils are VERY different. and since i have both of them all over my posts, it’s past time i publish this post!! and as you know, i’m a fan of lists. so here goes your quick beginner’s guide! —

ESSENTIAL OILS

  • distilled plant oils
  • very strong aroma
  • highly concentrated and must be diluted (to avoid skin & eye irritation)
  • never go rancid, but lose their effectiveness the more they’re exposed to air
  • evaporate quickly
  • used in aromatherapy (stress relief, mood balancing, boosting immune systems, etc.)
  • add them to anything with carrier oils, like lotion, bath oils, etc., or without, like air fresheners, hair fresheners, or homemade shampoos/body washes, etc.

types of essential oils (just a few examples):

  • bergamot
  • eucalyptus
  • grapefruit
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • orange
  • patchouli
  • peppermint
  • rose
  • tea tree
  • vanilla
  • ….etc., etc.

uses for essential oils:

  • THIS site has over 100 EO’s and their uses, separated by what you’re wanting from aromatherapy AND also in alphabetical order. it’s a EO gold mine! seriously guys, aromatherapy is so incredibly interesting. i wish i had the training of an aromatherapist. on that note, i will not get into which oils should be used for which health-related things (immune system, etc). that should ONLY be handled by a trained aromatherapist!! they have certification for a reason! some EO’s are not safe in certain amounts or for certain purposes (warning statement at very bottom). a few other examples include:
  • massage – 5 drops per tsp. of base oil or lotion
  • inhale- 1-2 drops in boiling water or on a tissue
  • bathe- 8-10 drops in bath water
  • body- 5-15 drops in 4 oz of base product
  • washing machine- 10-20 drops per load
  • car vent- 2-3 drops in 1/2 the vents

and below is a chart from a trusted company, just to simply explore EO uses… just to get a feel for what they can do!

eochart

CARRIER OILS

  • cold-pressed vegetable oil from the “fatty” part of plants (like nuts) *
  • little to no aroma
  • shorter shelf life (except vitamin e, which is a natural preservative)
  • don’t evaporate like EO’s
  • used to dilute EO’s & aid in their absorption
  • can be used for massages, lotions, creams, bath oils, lip balms

types of carrier oils:

  • apricot kernel oil
  • avocado oil
  • borage seed oil
  • coconut oil
  • cranberry seed oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • hazelnut oil
  • hemp seed oil
  • jojoba oil
  • macadamia nut oil
  • olive oil
  • peanut oil
  • sesame oil
  • sunflower seed oil
  • sweet almond oil
  • *emu oil (not a vegetable oil obviously, but still considered a base oil with other carrier oils. quick story- my grandparents used to have an emu farm, so i grew up slathering straight emu oil on me for EVERYthing. and eating their large eggs. and swimming with them. fun times, fun times…)
  • **cocoa butter and shea butter aren’t carrier oils, but they are still great for moisturizing the skin!

uses for carrier oils:

  • THIS is the same great site, only the page for carrier oils. it’s such a great resource!

WHERE TO BUY either EO’s or carrier oils: check your local organic store. or check trusted companies that sell online, like mountain rose herbs (USA) and NHR (UK).

see guys? not too difficult, right? 🙂 EO’s and carrier oils are WONDERFUL!!

what do YOU use EO’s and carrier oils for??

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***when buying EO’s, please ask for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). it’ll cover how to handle the oil, its toxicity, how to store it, etc. i know mountain rose herbs will provide them if asked. check around before you use an EO!! don’t mix some up just because someone’s blog gave you a “great” EO recipe for calming kids down (i’ve seen it, and it made me upset to say the least).  as always, BE SMART about what you’re putting on/in your body, and do your research 🙂

**** warning about EO’s, from mountain rose herbs.

  1. Do not use at all, or under the supervision of a qualified expert:(these are the most hazardous of essential oils, possessing very high oral and dermal toxicity): Bitter Almond, buchu, camphor, sassafras, calamus, horseradish, mugwort, mustard, pennyroyal, rue, savin, savory, southernwood, tansy, thuja, wintergreen, wormseed and wormwood.
  2. Do not use during pregnancy: aniseed, balsam peru, Bay (laurel), basil, benzoin, bergamot, bitter almond, basil, birch, cajeput, camphor, cedarwood, celery seed, chamomile (blue), cinnamon (bark and leaf), cistus, clary-sage, clove, cornmint, cypress, dill seed, douglas fir, eucalyptus, eucalyptus lemon, fennel, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender (spike), lemon, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, lemon verbena, lime, lovage, marjoram, myrrh, myrtle, nutmeg, oakmoss, oregano, parsley seed, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine (scotch), rose, rosemary, sage, savory, spikenard, st. johns wort, sweet marjoram, tangerine, thuja, thyme, valerian, wintergreen, and yarrow
  3. Do not use on skin (ever): Ajowan, cinnamon bark, cassia, clove leaf-stem-bud, costus, elecampane, bitter fennel, oregano and pine
  4. Do not use if you have high blood pressure: Hyssop, rosemary, sage or thyme
  5. Do not use if you have epilepsy: Sweet fennel, hyssop, sage, rosemary and wormwood
  6. Skin irritants: Angelica root, bergamot mint, birch, bitter almond, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, clove bud, costus, grapefruit, hyssop, lavender (spike), lemon, lemon verbena, lime, marjoram, orange peppermint, oregano, parsley seed, peppermint, pimento berry, pine, savory, spearmint, tagetes, tangerine, red and wile thyme and wintergreen
  7. Will make skin more sensitive to sunlight: most concentrated citrus oils, angelica, bergamot, and lemon verbena.
  8. Not to be exposed by mucous membranes or ingested: all absolutes, allspice, ajowan, amyris, benzoin, calendula, cinnamon (bark and leaf), Douglas Fir, Jasmine, Lemon Myrtle, manuka, myrrh, oregano, parsley seed, pennyroyal, pine (scotch), savory, st. johns wort, tarragon, tea tree, thuja, and thyme.

(oils pictured in main pic taken from NHR)