cosmetics · essential oils · Herbs · natural beauty products · recipe · vegan

How to Make Body Butter

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This recipe is a fun one to do with kids because the process of whipping the cooled, melted liquid into a butter is quite magical to witness. And that’s just a start of the beauty alchemy because it also transforms dry patches, hands, feet, and elbows, into soft, silky, moisturized parts. Try putting a big scoopful on your feet before bed with socks, or on your hands, and see how different your hands and/or feet are in the morning.

Full recipe is here:

https://botanicalalchemyandapothecary.com/how-to-make-a-body-butter

Enjoy this last week of February! My kids have their first snow day of the year today so it seems winter is sticking around here. I hope you are getting some hints of spring wherever you are!

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cosmetics · essential oils · Herbs · natural beauty products

All Natural Perfumes

You can make your own natural perfumes at home and avoid the chemicals found in other perfumes which can be hazardous to your health. Essential oils are not only good for your health and well-being, they are also good for the environment too. You can use other ingredients besides essential oils, such as olive oil infused with rose petals or lavender, a hydrosol such as rosemary or orange, or even vanilla extract. This video shows how to make a perfume with just essential oils and it’s so easy, you’ll never want to buy a bottle of perfume again. (But you can reuse the perfume bottles you do have!)

The biggest thing is, don’t get hung up on proportions. There are no hard and fast rules, just start with a high proof alcohol like vodka or a base oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil, then add 10 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of base (the vodka or oil.) Add more essential oils if it isn’t strong enough. It’s really that easy!

If you don’t know where to begin, I have gathered some essential oil combinations from different sources on my pinterest board called Essential Oils. Really though, you can just start with one essential oil that you know you love, and if you want, combine it, one drop at a time with another essential oil you like. Combining scents can be surprising in that the results are often far different than you imagined, and even oils that you may not have considered alike in any way can end up complementing each other beautifully.

You can read more about DIY perfumes and body oils here. To make your own body and room sprays, check out this post. Have a creative and lovely time!

cosmetics · essential oils · health · henna · Herbs · natural beauty products

Natural Salon/Spa

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This is what I dream about making~ an all-natural salon and spa which only uses chemical-free dyes with henna and herbs,all natural hair products, and spa services with all botanical ingredients, nothing artificial or questionable or unpronounceable. I don’t know why these don’t exist already actually but I’ve searched and can’t find any place that is completely chemical free. Henna dying takes longer, so there would have to be WiFi so people can work while their hair color settles, and an organic coffee and juice bar for sure, and also the ability to do mani/pedis or other services to use the time well. I’d have all natural products to browse too, and be a real stickler on only bringing in the cleanest of the clean beauty companies out there, and really there has never been a better time for this because so many people are concerned about what is in their products that they slather on their bodies each day or soaks into their hair on a regular basis. Aveda started out trying to be as all-natural as possible, but if you look at their products now they may have a botanical component but the larger part is factory made chemicals. The book No More Dirty Looks discusses Aveda founder (the late) Horst M. Rechelbacher’s disappointment in what Aveda became after selling it to Estée Lauder. He went on to create Intelligent Ingredients  which went back to his all natural philosophy. The website for No More Dirty Looks is a great place to get good information for health and beauty products but I highly recommend reading the book if you are concerned at all about what is lurking in your daily beauty routine. I think it’s time to take these cosmetic industry concerns beyond the bathroom and level up to the salons and spas we use. It’s the ‘natural’ next step.

cosmetics · health · Herbs · modern life · natural beauty products

Natural Beauty vs. Toxic Beauty

I’m a sucker for a good infographic, especially one that details something I’m interested in and natural, healthy beauty is definitely on my priorities list. There are so many healthy alternatives to the toxic nastiness passed off as beauty products that it doesn’t make sense to put something poisonous, even just potentially poisonous, on our bodies and hair and nails. Make-up, masks, spa routines, and herbal enhancements have been around since ancient times so there is a wealth of history and tradition to draw upon when it comes to modern beauty routines, but we humans seem to have a tendency to want to replicate nature whenever we can to lessen costs, get a patent on it, “improve” upon it (though our bodies innately recognize what is natural and what is not), and therefore make more money. With these things on my mind, I’ve decided to start using Henna on my hair instead of the usual dye. (My brown hair has a large percentage of white or else I wouldn’t dye it at all, but I’m not ready for grey hair just yet, not when there is natural alternative anyway!) I’ll post my results soon because Henna has a bad rap which I think is truly undeserved because I’m feeling pretty positive about it so far. You’ll have to come back and tell me what you think. In the meantime, check out this infographic from Delicious Living and maybe think about what is in your cabinet that could be replaced with something that truly makes you feel beautiful and healthy. Once you discover how instinctively natural products work with your body you’ll never go back to triclosan and phthalates again. And I guarantee your hair, nails, and skin will thank you.

TransparencyPersonalCare

cosmetics · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities

Natural Face Products

First of all, if you are new to natural beauty products, I highly recommend reading No More Dirty Looks or at least checking out their website. The authors, Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, have not only done the research of a whole team’s worth of people, they have also crowd sourced favorites and rare-finds from their readers and you can get all that information on their site. If you want to try a new natural foundation for example, you can read what people like best and at least have a starting point on what to try first. (And then you can add your own two cents.) I’m just going to write about two products now that I’ve recently been using, one is new and one is something I only use in the non-summer months, and when I realized that they are both by Alba Botancia I thought I’d write about them because their products are quite unique.

All my life I’ve been told I have ‘olive skin’. What do you think when you hear ‘olive skin’? Naturally on the darker side, right? Skin that tans easily and doesn’t burn~ yes, but have you ever thought about that term, ‘olive skin’…? I didn’t until I moved to a place where my skin didn’t see sun for 8-9 months of the year and that’s when it dawned on me that olive skin is called that for a reason.

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That’s not too far from my winter skin color, though add a touch more grey to the green and that’d be closer to it. I envy those with either porcelain white skin or naturally brown skin because both look lovely no matter the season. My skin looks seriously sickly when the sun doesn’t shine and living in the Seattle area means I’ve had to look for some help. I’m not about to go into a tanning booth and I’ve heard bad stories about spray tanning so luckily there is a natural sunless tanner that actually works really well~

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This sunless tanner is awesome and in the natural products realm, a rare find. I only use it about once a week because any more than that and people start asking me from what tropical place I just cam back from. It’s not expensive either, which is always a nice bonus.

The other product of Alba’s which I believe is fairly new that I’ve been using almost daily is this under eye cream:

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This works well although it comes out quite light and bright so I definitely need to add an all-over moisturizing tint to my face when I use this. (I like Dr.Hauschka’s tinted day cream the best.) It takes an awful lot of lightness and brightness to combat the blue/purple bags I guess. By the way, people with food allergies and/or sensitivities, including kids, are especially prone to the dark eye circles phenomenon. And now that you know that it’s going to be hard not to look at kids with those huge dark bags and not tell their parents to go get them food allergy tested so sorry about that~ but maybe it’ll help someone.

So those are my moving-into-winter essentials…what are yours?

cosmetics · natural beauty products

Cilantro with a side of lunch

Not everyone loves cilantro. Apparently the herb shares some chemical components with soap, and when people declare they hate cilantro it usually is because it tastes “soapy”. The traditional wisdom says that those who grow up in a culture eating the stuff like it, for those who don’t it tastes like soap, but that just doesn’t ring true in our house. I definitely did not grow up eating the stuff, but I love cilantro with a passion, and my son who eats just about anything and everything could indeed grow up eating it, but he just can’t stand it. Maybe if you have a latent Pica gene you automatically are drawn to it, though honestly I don’t taste soapiness when I eat cilantro. It is so delightful in my mouth it feels like all is right in the world for at least thirty seconds, then it’s time for another bite. Here’s how we’ve been indulging in the herb lately, (I was reminded of this combo when our friends made black bean tacos for us on Cinco De Mayo) though if you are one of the haters, lettuce works, but it will be much less flavorful. For my husband I use flour tortillas, corn for myself, warmed up in a pan on the stove. Next is a bed of cilantro (or lettuce) and I put enough down to look like a real bed of greens, not just a bit of flavoring, but suit yourself. Then the black beans which have been previously prepared (I make mine with a bay leaf, garlic, and cumin) then sliced avocado, topped off with pico de gallo salsa. (I use pre-made Whole Foods brand because I can’t imagine making it any tastier myself). It is a simple combination, but really good and healthy too.
Speaking of soap, it seems people are starting to think about what they use on their body day in and day out for years, such as soap, lotion, cosmetics, creams, serums, hair products, etc. There is a new book about the scary chemicals in bath and beauty products called No More Dirty Looks and I heard the authors speak on KUOW.ORG and so can you, just click here. Basically, it is a hugely unregulated industry with questionable ingredients that might not be found in large doses, but instead in small doses in everything you use, daily, for decades. Locally, PCC Markets have taken a look at their products and decided not to carry any companies with certain ingredients. Read which companies they trust, and which they don’t here. They admit to the fact that the healthier, cleaner brands are more expensive, but that is no surprise. The authors of the above book, Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, point out that if you look at the ingredients of most body care, you find a lot of fillers, such as water, with a bit of active ingredients. With all-natural ingredients you get a lot more of the active ingredients, and therefore really need to use less product. It is worth looking at the products you use all the time, and seeing if anything can be replaced by something natural and healthier and most likely with results you’ll like better.