Home made “Margarita” Body Scrub

Sorry it has been so long folks, but I am back posting now and will plan on getting you a great post at least once a month, if not more. However I am often ambitious about how much time I have. Anywho, I had a request from a friend for a good body scrub, so here we have it.
Body Scrubs have to be one of the most simple items to make. You can make them more complicated and dress them up with all sorts of lovely ingredients but today I am going to show you a very simple summery one. I call it the Margarita because that is what it reminds me of.

Ingredients:

Oil– I use a base massage oil from Neal’s Yard Remedies which has sunflower, wheatgerm, and almond oil in it, because I think it is quite a good mix for the vitamins in the oils and the “weight” of it. It also manages to be pretty affordable while still packing the punch of the more luxury oils in it (like wheatgerm). However you could choose to use what oil you like, olive oil, or sunflower oil being two good basic choices you may already have in your kitchen.

Dead Sea Salts – I also buy these from Neal’s Yard as you can get them in small or massive amounts (I bought 5 kg at once), for a pretty decent price (a 200 gram bag is just over 2 quid.

Essential Oils – Lemon, Lime and Orange Essential oils (see where I’m getting the Margarita) This combo makes a nice summery and uplifting blend that is actually pretty invigorating. This blend is great for getting going in the morning and creates a product that even the men in your lives would be happy to borrow. However you can totally customize this if you want something different.

Optional:

Glycerine: mild preservative, emollient, and humectant. This is the bit that makes soap moisturizing (and is often taken out of soaps making them drying). Pure glycerine has been used to treat psorasis, burns, bites etc, so is super soothing. If you find you don’t want as much base oil you could also add a bit of glycerine to a) bind your mix together somewhat, and b) hydrate and soften the skin. It is pretty great stuff but is a bit sticky!

seeds, flowers etc: I always prefer to use ingredients that dissolve in my shower like salt or sugar, but some people would like the added strength of something that doesnt melt when they shower. For this effect you could use anything from lavender, to poppy or raspberry seeds (you can pick these up online). My advice, start simple and then try new things to your mix.

You will also want a bowl, and some measuring spoons and cups, and a container to keep your mix in if making enough for multiple uses.

Instructions:

This makes multiple uses worth of product, probably between 3 and 6 uses, depending on how zealous you are in the shower!

1) Measure out one cup of dead sea salts, pour into bowl.

2) measure out a table spoon of oil, add to bowl of salt.

3) Stir mix together, if you want more oil, add a bit. Remember you can always add, but can’t take out.

4) Drop in your essential oils. I would do about 5 drops if each, but let your nose guide you, remembering not to use more than 2% of the total product in essential oils. Less if you have very sensitive skin. (That’s about 25 drops per 50 mls max).

5) Mix together

6) Add anything extra and stir up (glycerine, seeds etc)

7) Put into your container, and enjoy!

This is so easy to make I wouldn’t worry about making too much at a time, it is much nicer to have a fresh batch made just how you like it, rather than have too much and have it go off!!

Let me know how it works out for you (:

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Make Your Own: Toner

So,  about a week has passed since we looked at the list of things in a supposedly natural, basic cream, for sensitive skin. Low and behold there were several very nasty things in it. So over the next few posts I am going to show and tell you how to make some products for your skin all on your own- products with no nasties!

Today I’m going to show you how to make a gentle toning water for you skin. This is good for just about all skin types, it is antiseptic, healing, and calming.

Lavender and Rose Toner

You will need: (if you can try and use as much organic ingredients as possible, as what you put on your skin absorbs into your body, just like food does, and pesticides are very unfriendly to your bodies ecosystem!)

Dried Lavender

Dried roses/rose petals

Water

Kettle (or something to boil water in)

Tea strainer (or a sieve if you don’t have a tea strainer)

Teacup/mug/pyrex container and a plate to cover

Sterilized bottle with atomizer (spray top)

Yourself!

Optional Ingredients: Strong high proof alcohol (like vodka), and Aloe Vera Juice

This is the toner I use myself, lavender water is fantastic for combination/oily skin types for its toning and antiseptic properties. Additionally, it increases cell growth which in turn helps heal the skin (for example is there is scaring from say old blemishes, etc.). The benefits of antiseptic toning water are especially noted for anybody living in a city with pollutants bombarding your skin all day! Also, the toning effect of the lavender will help tighten the skin, closing pores after use which in turn will help prevent excess dirt and substances being trapped into your pores! However my skin actually tends to the dry side of things so I add rose water to this mixture to get my perfect balance of hydration and toning. Rose is extremely hydrating and great for dry-normal skin. It helps to reduce redness, and is very soothing especially for dry skin. It even helps to cleanse the skin. So if you wash your face and follow it with some rose toner, you will probably notice your cotton wool or washcloth will come away with dirt and makeup on it, which makes it handy to make sure your skin is completely clean before moisturizing. After all you don’t want to lock in any dirt or particles under your moisturizer. Bottom line, if rose water was good enough for Cleopatra, it seems like it would be good enough for me!

So Directions:

Step 1:

Boil about a cup or two of water.

Step 2: Sterilize your bottle with boiling water. This basically consists of cleaning your bottle out with boiling water just like you would before canning food. Ideally use a glass container, and a new container, but if you want feel free to recycle something you already have. But, just so you know it is difficult to guarantee any residue from previous products is gone so this is just fair warning to make sure you clean very thoroughly!

Step 3: measure out a teaspoon of lavender, and a teaspoon or rose petals (or about 4 roses), put them into the tea strainer.

Step 4: Place the tea strainer into the tea cup/mug.

Step 5: Pour boiling water into the cup, and cover with a plate. You want to cover the cup with a plate while the infusion brews because this will help any of the precious essential oils released from the plants to drip back into the water, instead of escaping into the air!

Step 5: Let it brew, feel free to let it get as strong as you want. Cover and forget about it, or come back to it after a little while.  I leave mine for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Step 6: Remove the cover and the strainer of herbs

Step 7: Let it cool thoroughly. Put it in the fridge if you are in a rush. This is particularly important if you are using a bottle made of plastic instead of glass, as plastic can sometimes leach especially if exposed to heat. If using glass, you can just make sure it is room temperature or cool enough not to shatter glass. Let it cool completely before putting in the plastic atomizer.

Step 8: Pour into your bottle, and put the lid on it!

Now, you can store this in the fridge and it will keep much longer, or you can keep it out. After 2 weeks check to make sure it is still good and not growing mold or anything! Like food, you can tell if it is still good or not by sight and smell. If it smells bad, and it looks bad, it probably is bad! This brings me to optional ingredients.

If you want to make a larger amount of toner, or just want your toner to last longer, you can add a preservative. This is where the vodka comes in. Putting a little bit of booze into your toner will make it last much longer, even out of the fridge. But as a heads up this is ethanol alcohol, so it can be drying. In a toner that isn’t always so bad, because it tightens the skin and the pores, but if your skin is very sensitive or very dry then maybe it is better to just stick to keeping it in the fridge! There is no hard and fast rule to how much vodka you need to put in to make your facial cocktail, but I’d start with no more than 30% of the mix, to a certain extent it will be trial and error. Most importantly, you want it to still be comfortable on your skin!

Another ingredient you can add is Aloe Vera Juice, this will just add more calming and soothing ingredients to your toner. This is beneficial for all skin types once you start feeling more confident in your DIY skin care skills. Like with alcohol, there is no hard and fast rule for how much or how little to add. But start with no more than 1/3.

Also, there are other ingredients that can be made into toners, witch hazel or rosemary for oily skin, and jasmine or orange flowers for dry skin. So much to play with!

Let me know how it goes when you give making your own toner a try! Any questions? Happy Toning!