Loading...

Follow The Nerdy Farm Wife on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


This after bath sleepy time lotion recipe was requested by newsletter subscriber Bonnie who was seeking a simple non-greasy lotion or cream, not based on coconut oil, that could be used on a 2 1/2 year old after her bath.

She also wanted it to be lightly scented with lavender or a blend of essential oils that would help calm, soothe and relax before bedtime.

While I designed this lotion to be kid-safe, there’s no reason it can’t be used on all ages!

To print this recipe, scroll down until you see the green “Print Friendly” button. Some links below are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I personally use and love! :) 

Ingredients and Why I Chose Them
  • Sunflower Oil – I chose this oil because it’s a nice neutral oil that’s good for all skin types. Don’t have any on hand? Try sweet almond, rice bran, or your favorite oil in its place.
  • Vegetable Emulsifying Wax – This ingredient enables oil and water to easily blend together to create a light lotion that doesn’t separate. (I use THIS KIND from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
  • Distilled Water – Tap water can contain contaminants that you don’t want in a lotion, so distilled water is recommended. Check the bottled water section of your local grocery store.
  • (Optional) Lavender Hydrosol (hydrolat)- This adds a gentle soothing touch to lotions. If you don’t have any, use more water instead. (I used Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) hydrosol from MRH.)
  • Preservative – This prevents bacteria and mold from growing in your lotion. There are many options out there – some more natural than others. See more on this below.
  • Essential Oil – I used lavender to give a light scent and since it’s been shown in studies (like THIS, THIS and THIS) to help promote a more restful sleep. See essential oil notes below for more ideas.

After Bath Sleepy Time Lotion Recipe

For optimal results, use a small scale, like THIS ONE, to weigh out ingredients when making handmade lotion. (It’s also perfect for weighing essential oils when making soap.)

  • 23 g sunflower oil (or your favorite oil)
  • 7 g vegetable emulsifying wax
  • 40 g distilled water
  • 30 g lavender hydrosol (or more distilled water)
  • preservative of choice (see below)
  • essential oil(s) of choice (see below)

How to Make the Lotion

Weigh out the distilled water and lavender hydrosol in a heatproof container. Weigh the sunflower oil and vegetable emulsifying wax in a separate heatproof container. (I use two small 4 oz jelly/canning jars.)

Place both jars down into a saucepan containing a couple inches of water, forming a double boiler of sorts. Turn the burner to medium low and heat until the wax is fully melted – about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the hot water/hydrosol and melted wax/oil together into a clean jar and stir, stir, stir with a fork. Stir frequently until the lotion starts to thicken as it cools. I usually place the container down into a bowl of ice water to help speed this step up.

Once cool enough for your preservative of choice, stir that in, then add essential oil, if using, and mix well.

This lotion will start off on the thinner side, but will thicken up as it cools. If you use an amount closer to 6 grams of emulsifying wax, instead of 7 grams,  it will start out very watery and will take several hours or overnight to fully thicken up. (This is helpful to know if you want an even lighter/thinner lotion texture.)

Once cool, pour into lotion containers or jars.

I poured my lotion into airless pump bottles (purchased from LotionCrafter) to help extend shelf life further, but you could use glass jars as well. Don’t store your lovely handmade lotions or creams in metal tins or they can discolor/rust from the water content.

Preservative Options

I most often use 4% (4 grams in this recipe) Leucidal SF Complete or 4% (4 g) Leucidal Liquid SF in lotions like this one. Both are naturally derived, probiotic based and ECOCert approved. I usually get at least a 3 month shelf life in my lotions/creams when using these products, though some readers have had varying experiences.

Be sure to also store your lotion in a cool place with even temperatures (bathrooms aren’t a good spot), out of sunlight, and scoop out the lotion with a clean spoon or use a pump style bottle to avoid contaminating with your fingers.

There are many more preservative options out there – check out LotionCrafter, Formulator Sample Shop and The Herbarie.

Just a note – vitamin E will not kill bacteria or mold, so it doesn’t act as a preservative. It will help with keeping oils from going rancid too early though!

Essential Oil Notes

I chose to add 3 drops of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil for its soothing and sleep-promoting properties. You could easily add 4 or 5 drops if you’d like (for kids over 2), though I feel that 3 drops gives a soft scent that’s not overpowering.

If you want to make a blend, other rest-promoting essential oils to investigate include Roman chamomile (Arthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides).

For tons of great information on essential oils, my go-to book is The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. When making stuff for kids, I also always double check my chosen essential oils with THIS excellent list at Using EOs Safely.

If you enjoyed this DIY lotion recipe, let’s keep in touch!

Sign up HERE and receive my newsletter two to four times per month filled with my best DIY body care recipes, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative ideas for using common flowers and herbs.

The post After Bath Sleepy Time Lotion Recipe {for kids, or all ages!} appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Sweet Honey & Shea Layers Soap with Cocoa Powder Pencil Line – pg 105 in my Simple & Natural Soapmaking book.

Pencil lines in soap are thin horizontal lines that are created by lightly dusting a powdered colorant over a layer of freshly poured cold process soap batter, before adding the next layer on top.

They’re a fun and relatively easy way to add visual interest to your soap recipes.

While micas or charcoal, or my personal favorite – cocoa powder, are more commonly used for making pencil lines, I decided to do a little experiment to see how a handful of natural colorants would behave in their place.

Those test results are shown in this article, along with information on each colorant.

First though, just how do you make a pencil line in cold process soap?

1. Mix soap to a medium trace and pour the first layer into the mold.

2. Using a fine sieve or mesh teaspoon (like THIS ONE), lightly sprinkle the powdered colorant over the layer of soap. Depending on the colorant’s texture, you might have to tap it against your hand or the side of the mold a few times to help it get started. For neatness, wipe the extra flecks of colorant off the inside of the mold before proceeding. (Confession: I get lazy and rarely do this.) :)

3. Carefully pour the next layer of soap batter into the mold, pouring low and using a spatula to help reduce the risk of the top layer breaking into the bottom layer.

4. Cover and insulate the soap for 24 hours. When cutting the soap, turn the loaf on its side first, so the colorant doesn’t smear downwards across the front of the bars.

(Photos and directions are adapted from my print book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking.)

You can also see me in action making a pencil line in the video included with THIS blog post for Pumpkin Soap with a Spiced Latte Layer.

My Experiment Making Pencil Lines with Natural Colorants

(Soaps shown have cured almost 4 weeks. I plan to update this post after several months, to compare how the colors hold up.)

1. Chamomile Flower Powder (Matricaria recutita) – A gentle herb that’s soothing to skin. As a pencil line in soap, it turned olive green-yellow. I’ll definitely use this again in a future recipe. (Purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

2. Purple Brazilian Clay – A lovely clay naturally colored by minerals in the soil. As a pencil line in soap, it turned kind of a royal purple color that I really like! (Purchased from Bramble Berry.)

3. Indigo Powder (Baphicacanthus Cusia (Nees) Bremek Powder) – A gorgeous natural blue soap colorant that can be a bit finicky sometimes. As a pencil line, it turned a color similar to beet juice and bled into the surrounding layers of soap. It also has a bit of a gritty texture when you rub your finger across it and little bits of it traveled across the bar in spots when cut. My verdict for this one is that I’ll save indigo for adding to the lye solution for blue soaps. (Purchased from Bramble Berry.)

4. Wheatgrass Powder (Triticum aestivum L.) – A pretty bright green powder that’s often used to enrich smoothies. As a pencil line, it turned a dark olive green. It bled into the surrounding layers a bit, but I wouldn’t rule out using it again. (Purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

5. Annatto Seed Powder (Bixa orellana) – A bright orange powder used to add natural yellow or orange tones to soap. As a pencil line, it turned bright orange and bled into the surrounding layers of soap. (Purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

6. Rosehip Powder (Rosa Canina Powder) – Finely powdered rosehips that are full of antioxidants and can be used as a mild exfoliant. As a pencil line, the powder turned a deep dark reddish-brown that reminds me a bit of cocoa powder. I’ll definitely use this one again. (This was kindly gifted to me from Bramble Berry.)

7. Madder Root Powder (Rubia Tinctorum) – This colorant makes gorgeous shades of pink or purple-pink in soap, but as a pencil line it bled into the surrounding layers. The look reminds me a little of a striped peppermint – it might be fun to play with the effect for a Christmas soap. (Purchased from Bramble Berry.)

8. Turmeric Root Powder (Curcuma longa L.) – A super beneficial herb, but also used to color soaps. As a pencil line, it turned kind of a dark mustard yellow-brown which bled into the soap layers a little bit. (Purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

9. Moringa Tea Powder (Moringa oleifera Lam.) – A nutrient rich tea with many health benefits. As a pencil line in soap, it made a dark olive green color that slightly bled into the surrounding layers in spots. Since natural greens tend to fade more easily in soap, I’m waiting to see how the color holds up over the next several months before deciding if I’ll use this one again as a pencil line. I like it so far though! (Purchased from Amazon.)

10. Activated Charcoal (Carbo activatus)- This is a common pencil line ingredient, but to be honest, I just don’t like working with it. It smears and streaks more easily than options like cocoa powder. However, I rarely take to the time to aim for extra neat lines, so if you’re more careful and precise than I tend to be, you can create quite striking lines with charcoal! (Purchased from Bramble Berry.)

11. Cocoa Powder – A common baking ingredient, this can give soap a natural brown color. This is the ingredient I use most often to make pencil lines. (Purchased from my local grocery store.)

12. Chlorella Powder (Chlorella vulgaris) – This is one of my favorite natural soap colorants and also made a nice pencil line in soap. However, it did have a few spots where it behaved similar to charcoal (a bit smeary), so if I used it again, I would do so with more care – I was a little haphazard making these samples. (Purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

So, that’s the results of those 12 colorants used as a pencil line in soap. I definitely plan on repeating the experiment with another dozen natural colorants in the future – stay tuned!

More Resources

If you’re looking for more soapmaking inspiration, ideas and encouragement, I have three separate soapmaking products you may enjoy exploring!

1. My print book – Simple & Natural Soapmaking. This book contains 50 easy, unique soap recipes with ingredients and scents inspired by the herb garden, veggie garden, farm, seaside, forest and more. Every project has a full color photo, plus it also includes a super helpful photo gallery of dozens of soaps made with a variety of natural colorants, information on essential oils and more. Read about it HERE.

2. My course – Soapmaking Success. This course was built as a companion or extension of sorts to my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book. The recipes are completely different than the ones in the print book and my ebooks. It dives deeper into the topics that soapmakers sometimes find extra challenging or intimidating and is filled with 25+ videos, downloadable pdf guides, printable charts and much more. You can find a full list of the topics covered HERE.

3. My Natural Soapmaking Ebook Collection. This is a set of several ebooks on making natural herbal and floral soaps, shampoo bars and milk soaps, plus printable charts and reference guides. The recipes and format are different from the print book and course materials. It also includes access to my small friendly private Facebook group where you can directly ask me questions about soapmaking and get a same day answer. You can learn more about the collection HERE.

The post How to Make Pencil Lines in Soap {+ 12 Natural Colorants Experiment} appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This recipe was inspired by newsletter subscriber Bonnie, who was seeking a lotion bar in a deodorant stick container for achy muscles and arthritic pain.

It features a trio of herbs:

  • cayenne – contains capsaicin which has been shown to offer relief from arthritic and other types of pain
  • ginger – traditionally used to warm, increases circulation and relieve pain when applied topically
  • arnica flowers – traditionally used to treat swelling, bruising and arthritic joints

(Sources: Making Plant Medicine, by Richo Cech; PubMed: herehere, herehere, here, here.)

The lotion bar stick format is especially handy for products made with cayenne, since you want to be sure not to rub it in your eyes or mucous membranes, as it can burn.

Some links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally used and like. :) 

Step One – Make the Infused Oil

In a small heatproof 8 ounce glass container or jar (like these), add 2 tablespoons dried arnica flowers, 1 tablespoon cayenne powder and 1 tablespoon ginger powder.

Fill the jar the rest of the way with oil. I like to use rice bran, sweet almond or sunflower oil, but feel free to use your own favorite oils for this project. Stir and add more oil if needed.

Set the jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water and warm it over low heat for one to two hours. (Alternatively, you can cover the jar with a cap and let the oil infuse at room temperature for around 4 weeks.)

After the oil is infused to your satisfaction, strain it through a very fine mesh sieve and/or cheesecloth, leaving the powdered sediment behind in the infusing jar (to avoid grittiness) then use in the following recipe.

Step Two – Make the Lotion Bar Sticks

If you don’t own a scale, try using roughly 1/4 cup each of beeswax, oil and shea butter.

If you don’t get quite the texture you’re looking for, melt the mixture again and add more wax for added firmness, or more oil for a softer consistency.

  • 1.3 oz (36 g) beeswax
  • 1.7 oz (48 g) herb-infused oil from above
  • 1.7 oz (48 g) shea or mango butter

Combine the beeswax, oil and butter in a heatproof jar or container. (Use a recycled tin can for easiest cleanup.)

Set the container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water and heat over medium-low heat until melted.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before pouring into empty deodorant containers.

(I bought my containers HERE from Amazon, though since the time of my purchase, it appears they may have changed them to solid white instead of clear.)

I purposely left this batch unscented since I’m giving one to a relative with asthma who is sensitive to scents, including many essential oils, but for my next batch I plan to add Tei Fu Oil, my favorite pain relief essential oil blend.

For more essential oil and pain information, you might also enjoy browsing through a search on PubMed (like THIS ONE) or the wonderful book, The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness.

How to Use Lotion Bar Sticks for Pain Relief

Rub the lotion bar stick over sore and achy muscles and joints. Be careful not to get it in your eyes since cayenne pepper can burn.

Without added essential oils, this pain relief stick is mild and gentle. For a stronger effect, consider adding Tei Fu or another essential oil blend (see information about that above.)

If you enjoy DIY body care projects like this one, let’s keep in touch!

Subscribe HERE to my weekly newsletter and receive my best DIY body care projects, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative ideas for using common flowers and herbs that grow right around you.

The post Lotion Bar Sticks for Pain Relief {Arthritis and Achy Muscles} appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Nerdy Farm Wife by Jan @ The Nerdy Farm Wife - 1M ago

If you suffer from dry chapped lips, try these seven DIY recipes to help soothe, heal and protect.

There are many oil, butter, herb and essential oil choices when it comes to making lip care products.

If you’d like to further customize these recipes or swap out oils that you don’t have, be sure to check out my post on Creating Custom Lip Balms for lots of information and options.

If you’d like to a make a recipe vegan, remove the beeswax and replace it with half as much candelilla wax. For example, if the recipe requires 0.5 oz beeswax, then you’d replace that with 0.25 oz candelilla wax.

You may need to remelt the lip balm and add more wax if it turned out too soft, or add more oil if it turned out too hard.

Some links on this website are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally used & like! :) 

Simple Honey & Sugar Lip Scrub

This recipe features honey, which can help repair and soften skin, plus granulated cane sugar as a gentle natural exfoliating agent to help slough off dry flaky skin.

To make, mix equal parts of sugar and honey together. Depending on the viscosity of your honey, you may need to add a little more sugar or honey to the mix.

Gently and very lightly rub the honey and sugar mixture over your lips. If possible, let it stay on there for a few minutes before gently rinsing off with warm water and a washcloth. Follow with a protective lip balm.

This scrub is also excellent for dry flaky winter skin in general, so I usually treat my entire face, throat and hands at the same time as my lips.

Use once a week or as needed.

Chamomile Lip Scrub

This recipe features chamomile, which is helpful for soothing and relieving irritation, plus sunflower oil, for it’s reparative effects on skin.

For variety, you can trade out the chamomile for other skin-loving herbs such as calendula, violet leaf and plantain. You can also switch out another favorite oil for sunflower, if you’d like.

Combine the sugar and infused oil and stir well. To use, gently rub a small amount over dry flaky lips with your finger. Rinse off with warm water then follow with a protective lip balm.

(This recipe can also be found on page 135 in my print book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home.)

Don’t own a scale?

If you don’t have a scale to make the following recipes, then these volume-weight conversions should be helpful:

  • 1 tbsp oil = about 10 to 12 grams
  • 1 tbsp butter (shea, mango, etc) = about 14 grams
  • 1 tbsp tightly packed beeswax, grated or pastilles = about 10 grams

These are rough estimates, so you may need to make adjustments to your recipe. If your lip balm turns out too hard, melt it again and add more oil. If it turns out too soft, melt it again and add a bit more beeswax.

Calendula & Tamanu Lip Balm

Calendula is a well-loved herbal flower that helps soothe and repair damaged skin. It’s featured in this recipe alongside tamanu, a powerful oil that’s helpful for a wide array of skin conditions.

(Tamanu oil should be avoided by those with tree nut allergies.)

Combine the oils and wax together in a heat proof container. Set the container down into a small saucepan filled with an inch or two of water, forming a double boiler of sorts.

Heat over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly about 1 minute before stirring in the essential oil. Fills about 12 to 14 lip balm tubes.

Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) will not cause sun sensitivity, but some citrus essential oils will. Check out this excellent article for further information.

Dandelion & Plantain Chapped Lips Treatment

Dandelion and plantain are two of the best skin-healing herbs around. The best part about them is that they’re often available in your own yard, free for the picking!

This lip balm recipe has a softer texture so that it’s easy to use when poured into tins. To make it firmer, you could try adding a bit more beeswax.

Combine the oils, butter and wax together in a heat proof container. Set the container down in a small saucepan filled with an inch or two of water, forming a double boiler of sorts.

Heat over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly about 1 minute. Stir in the essential oil if using. Pour into heatproof containers. Fills about six half-ounce tins.

(This recipe can also be found on page 129 in my print book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home.)

Chamomile Lip Balm

If allergic to shea butter, try mango, cocoa or avocado butter instead. If you can’t use any of those, omit the butter completely. You may need to adjust the beeswax a slight bit to compensate, but you may not have to.

Fills around 12 to 14 tubes.

(Find more details and printable labels for this recipe HERE.) 

Super Healing Cold Sore Lip Balm

This is a lip balm recipe I created for my son when he was a toddler and suffered from cold sores triggered by sun exposure.

It features lemon balm, a common garden plant which has been studied for its ability to fight the virus that causes cold sores.

You can find the full recipe HERE.

Mint Cocoa Lip Butter

This final recipe is in response to a request for lip butter that can be made without the use of beeswax or other types of wax.

  • 1 oz (28 g) unrefined cocoa butter (I love using THESE easy wafers)
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) oil of your choice (I used sunflower)
  • about 10 to 12 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine the cocoa butter and oil in a heatproof jar or container. Place the container down into a small saucepan that has about an inch of water in it, forming a makeshift double boiler.

Heat over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Let cool a minute, then stir in the peppermint essential oil.

Pour the melted mixture into a small jar then place the jar down in a bowl of ice water. Stir frequently as it cools, scraping the edges of the jar so it’s evenly mixed.

The butter will thicken as it cools. It will feel hard to the touch, but quickly melt on your skin. To use, rub a small amount on your fingertip then smooth over your lips.

Without the addition of wax, it will need to be applied more frequently.

Did you enjoy reading these 7 recipes and remedies for dry chapped lips? If so, let’s keep in touch!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter (HERE) and get my latest DIY body care projects, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative uses for flowers & herbs sent straight to your inbox each Friday.

The post 7 Recipes & Remedies for Dry Chapped Lips appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Nerdy Farm Wife by Jan @ The Nerdy Farm Wife - 1M ago

This tricolored soap was dreamed up by newsletter reader Patricia who wanted to make her friends a cute soap for Valentine’s Day.

She requested a soap with three layers – chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, and wanted it to smell like strawberries and chocolate.

While my version doesn’t smell like strawberries since I have family members sensitive to fragrance oils, you could easily add one to the recipe if you’d like.

Instead, I used unrefined cocoa butter for a natural chocolate fragrance and then further enhanced it with some Balsam Peru essential oil to add a hint of vanilla-like scent.

The colors are naturally provided by rose clay, white kaolin clay, non-nano zinc oxide and cocoa powder, and remind me a lot of the neapolitan ice cream slices my grandma gave me as a kid. :)

It was my husband’s idea to put the pink hearts on top and I think they add the perfect finishing touch.

I love how the soap turned out and will definitely be making it again. (Thanks for the inspiration Patricia!)

Some links on my site are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally used and had success with. :) 

Day One – Make the Small Pink Hearts

I’ve provided two recipe variations. One has tallow in it, while the other is vegan.

Patricia wanted to use moose fat, which I didn’t have available, so used beef tallow instead. Moose tallow can be interchanged for the beef tallow, if you’d like, without the need to change lye amount.

Soap Hearts for Top of Valentine Soap (tallow version)

  • 3.3 oz (93.5 g) distilled water (33% water as % of oil weight)
  • 1.43 oz (40.5 g) lye (sodium hydroxide) (6% superfat)
  • 3.5 oz (99 g) olive oil (35%)
  • 3 oz (85 g) coconut oil (30%)
  • 2 oz (57 g) tallow (20%)
  • 1.5 oz (43 g) cocoa butter (15%)
  • 3/4 teaspoon rose clay
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon sodium lactate

Soap Hearts for Top of Valentine Soap (vegan version)

Omit the 2 oz tallow from the recipe above and instead use 1 oz shea butter + an extra 1 oz of olive oil. The lye amount will change very slightly to 1.4 oz (40 g).

Directions to Make the Soap Hearts

Wearing gloves and goggles, weigh the water into a stainless steel or heatproof plastic container. Weigh the lye and sprinkle into the water. Stir well until the water is no longer cloudy. The temperature will get really hot. Work near an open window, outside or under an exhaust fan. Avoid breathing in the resulting strong fumes that linger for a few moments. Add the rose clay to the lye solution, stir well and set aside in a safe place to cool. Once cooled to around 110 to 120 degrees F, stir in the sodium lactate if using. (It will help the soaps release from the mold much more easily.)

Weigh the tallow, coconut oil and cocoa butter, then heat them in a double boiler or over low heat until melted. While that’s melting, weigh out the olive oil. Add the olive oil to the melted oils and let cool to around 125 degrees F.

Pour the lye solution into the warm oils and mix, alternating hand mixing with a stick blender (like this one) until trace is reached. “Trace” is when your soap batter gets thick enough to leave an imprint or tracing, when you drizzle some of it across the surface.

Pour the soap into a silicone mold with small hearts. I bought this one locally, but it’s almost identical, except for color, as THIS ONE on Amazon. Cover lightly with parchment paper and a light towel or blanket and allow to stay in mold about 24 hours or until they easily release.

Day Two – Make the Valentine Soap

Again, I’ve provided two recipe variations. One has tallow, while the other is vegan.

All measurements are by weight. You must use an accurate scale to make soap.

Valentine Soap with Hearts (tallow version)

  • 9.9 oz (281 g) distilled water (33% water as percent of oil weight)
  • 4.22 oz (120 g) lye (sodium hydroxide) (6% superfat)
  • 9 oz (255 g) olive oil (30%)
  • 7.5 oz (213 g) coconut oil (25%)
  • 6 oz (170 g) tallow (20%)
  • 4.5 oz (128 g) cocoa butter (15%)
  • 3 oz (85 g) sweet almond oil (10%) (sunflower could work here too)
  • 2 tsp white kaolin clay (to lighten overall color of soap)
  • 1/4 tsp zinc oxide + 1 tsp glycerin (for white layer)
  • 1 tsp rose clay + 1 tbsp water (for pink layer)
  • 3/4 tsp cocoa powder + 1 1/4 tsp glycerin (for cocoa layer)
  • 1 oz (28 g) balsam peru essential oil (optional)
  • optional: 1 1/2 teaspoon sodium lactate (to help with easier release from mold)

Valentine Soap with Hearts (vegan version)

Omit the 6 oz tallow from the recipe above and instead use 3 oz shea butter + an additional 3 oz of olive oil. Please note that you will need to adjust the amount of lye to 4.15 oz (118 g)

Directions to Make the Soap

Step 1: Make the Lye Solution

Wearing gloves, goggles and long sleeves, weigh the water into a stainless steel or heavy duty plastic (recycle symbol number 5) pitcher. Next, weigh the lye into a small cup or container. Sprinkle the lye into the water and gently stir with a heavy duty plastic or silicone spatula or spoon until the lye is completely dissolved. The temperature will get really hot. Work near an open window, outside or under an exhaust fan. Avoid breathing in the resulting strong fumes that linger for a few moments. (If you have sensitive lungs, breathing problems, or are concerned about the fumes, consider wearing a mask such as THIS ONE.)

Stir in the white kaolin clay to whiten and lighten up the entire batch of soap. This is to help offset the tendency for balsam peru essential oil to slightly discolor soap.

Set the lye solution aside in a safe place where it won’t get disturbed and allow it to cool down around 30 to 40 minutes. Add the sodium lactate if using and stir well.

Step 2: Weigh and Heat the Oils; Prepare the Colorants

Weigh out the tallow, cocoa butter and coconut oil and melt them in a double boiler or over low heat until melted. While that melts, weigh out the olive and sweet almond (or sunflower) oils and place them in a heat-resistant soap making pot, bowl or pitcher for mixing.

Pour the hot melted tallow/butter/oil into the other oils. The temperature will be quite warm. Let cool to around 125 degrees F.

While the oils melt, prepare your natural colorants so they’ll be ready when you need them.

Step 3: Combine and Mix Until Trace

If using the balsam peru, you can go ahead and stir it into the oils at this step. Pour the lye solution into the warm oils. Using a stick or immersion blender stir the solution with the motor off for around 30 seconds. Turn the motor on and blend for a minute or so. Stir for another 30 or so seconds with the motor off, then again with the motor on and so forth. Don’t run the stick blender continuously so you don’t risk burning out the motor and/or causing excessive air bubbles in your finished soap.

Alternate with this method until a light trace is reached. “Trace” is when your soap batter gets thick enough to leave an imprint or tracing, when you drizzle some of it across the surface.

Step 4: Divide the Soap Batter

Divide the soap batter into three containers. Use a scale and aim for around 15 ounces per container.

In the first container, add the zinc oxide/glycerine mixture and blend to a medium trace.

In the second container, add the rose clay and blend to a medium trace.

In the third container, add the cocoa powder/glycerine mixture and blend to a fairly thick trace. It will look a lot like chocolate pudding. (See photo above.)

Step 5: Pour Layers into Mold

Scoop the chocolate soap batter into the bottom of the soap mold and smooth with a spatula. Rap the mold firmly on the table a few times to help it settle into place and to remove air bubbles.

Allow the layer to sit undisturbed for about 4 minutes.

Next, carefully pour the pink layer over the chocolate layer. Pour the soap batter over your spatula and keep it down low, so that it doesn’t break through to the bottom layer.

Rap the mold gently on the table a few times, then allow the pink layer to sit undisturbed for about 4 minutes.

Finally, carefully pour on the top white layer, using a spatula to guide the soap batter.

Use a spoon to texturize the top of the soap. You might have to let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, or until it’s thick enough to hold the design you want.

I used the spoon to push the batter to one side, but you might want to make a peak in the middle or leave it flat. It’s your soap, so be as creative with it as you’d like!

Next, gently press the hearts into the soap batter. I keep lines marked on this soap mold to make sure toppings get spaced evenly and line up with my soap cutter.

Step 6: Cover the Mold and Wait

I wanted to prevent soap ash without messing up the top of the soap so tucked it down into a plastic box, covered with its lid, then lightly covered with a towel to retain heat and encourage an even gel phase. My house was also really warm from a nearby wood stove.

Leave the soap in the mold and covered for at least 24 hours to reduce the chance of soda ash.

When you can easily pull the sides of the mold away from the soap, it’s ready to be removed.

After unmolding, let the soap stay in the open air for a few hours or overnight if it feels tacky or sticky, then slice into bars when firm.

The bottom layer may have a temporary darker “rind” around it which usually evens out in a day or two.

Let your soap cure for at least 4 weeks, though you can test a small bit on yourself starting at 3 weeks. Generally a longer cure time makes for a milder harder soap that lasts longer.

Do you enjoy making natural soaps? Me too! Let’s keep in touch.

Sign up for my weekly newsletter (HERE) and get my latest natural soapmaking tutorials, DIY body care projects and creative uses for flowers & herbs sent straight to your inbox each Friday.

The post Valentine Soap with Hearts Recipe appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Nerdy Farm Wife by Jan @ The Nerdy Farm Wife - 1M ago

This DIY eczema cream recipe features:

  • colloidal oatmeal – soothing, protective and anti-inflammatory  (source, source, source)
  • shea butter – emollient, anti-inflammatory  (source)
  • sunflower oil – shown to repair skin barrier, improves hydration (source, source)

Eczema is a miserable condition that causes skin to be intensely itchy and inflamed. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common forms of eczema, so you’ll sometimes see the two terms interchanged.

I had severe eczema as a kid and still get the occasional flareup in winter, plus my son also suffered from eczema when younger, so I’ve spent a lot of time trying different remedies out.

One of the keys to helping relieve the discomfort of eczema is to use a cream that soothes, moisturizes and helps protect the skin’s barrier. It’s also important to use it consistently.

Treatment for eczema is very individualized; what works well for one person, won’t necessarily work well for another.

There are usually allergies and other factors to consider too, but here’s one eczema cream recipe featuring colloidal oatmeal that you can try. (More to come in future blog posts!)

Ingredients for DIY Eczema Cream with Colloidal Oatmeal

You’ll need a scale to make this cream. (I use THIS ONE from LotionCrafter.) Links to Bramble Berry & Mountain Rose Herbs are affiliate links. 

Colloidal oatmeal is the star of this cream and is used at 1% in the recipe.

THESE TWO CLINICAL STUDIES showed that a 1% colloidal oatmeal cream alone was effective in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Wondering what colloidal oatmeal is and if you can make it at home? Check out THIS excellent article over on the LisaLise blog.

Directions to Make

Weigh out the distilled water in a heatproof container. (I use small jelly/canning jars.) Add the colloidal oatmeal and mix well.

Weigh the sunflower oil, shea butter and vegetable emulsifying wax in a separate heatproof container.

Place both jars down into a saucepan containing an inch or so of water, forming a double boiler of sorts. Turn the burner to medium low and heat until the wax and butter are fully melted – about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the hot water/oatmeal and melted wax/butter/oil together into a clean jar and stir, stir, stir with a fork. Stir frequently until the lotion starts to thicken as it cools.

I place the container down into a bowl of ice water to help speed this step up and to make sure the shea butter cools quickly, to reduce the chance of grittiness.

Once cool enough for your preservative of choice, stir that in, then add the lavender essential oil, if using, and mix well.

I used 2 or 3 drops of a lovely lavender essential oil that was gifted to me at Christmas – it’s from The English Lavender Farm in Oregon and it smells sooo good!

This cream will start off thinner and more lotion-like, but it will thicken into a lovely cream after several hours.

Pour into lotion containers or jars.

Notes About Preservative Choices

My favorite nature-derived preservative is Leucidal SF Complete – derived from Lactobacillus & coconut ferment, used at a 2 to 4% rate, which is 2 to 4 grams in this recipe. (I usually go with 4%.)

It usually gives me a shelf life of at least 3 months, though I’ve heard from a couple of readers who’ve only gotten about 1 month shelf life when using. (Storage conditions and other lotion ingredients play a large role as well.)

Vitamin E will not kill bacteria or mold, so is not an effective preservative. It’s a great anti-oxidant though, that helps oils stay fresh longer.

Check LotionCrafter, Formulator Sample Shop or The Herbarie for all sorts of other preservative options – some are nature-derived, some are not. Be sure to read their product listings for individual usage rates and guidelines.

If you don’t want to use a preservative at all, then refrigerate your cream and use it up within a week or so. If you apply creams heavily and/or it’s used by several family members, you may use it up before that time.

(Related: HERE’s a blog post detailing more about my tests with nature-derived preservatives.)

If you enjoyed reading about this soothing eczema cream with colloidal oatmeal, let’s stay in touch! Sign up for my newsletter HERE to get my best herbal projects, soap ideas, and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.)

If you like the recipes on my site, I think you’ll love my print book 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home.

Look for it at Amazon or your favorite bookseller!

The post DIY Eczema Cream with Colloidal Oatmeal appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Nerdy Farm Wife by Jan @ The Nerdy Farm Wife - 1M ago

This recipe was inspired by newsletter subscriber, Melody.

She makes sinus bombs for the shower when her family has colds and also wanted to make some “wake up” bombs, but wasn’t sure which essential oils would go well in those.

Shower bombs (also called shower steamers) are made similar to bath bombs, only you put them at the far corner of your shower so they slowly dissolve and release their aroma while you wash up.

Unlike a bath bomb recipe, you don’t want to put oil or a melted butter in them to help them hold together, or you’ll end up with a slippery shower floor.

Because of this restriction, they might be a little more finicky to make, so if your first ones don’t turn out, check below for some troubleshooting tips and keep practicing until you get the feel for them.

Some links on my site are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally tested & like. :)

Essential Oils That Energize or Increase Alertness

Here are a few essential oils you might consider using in your shower steamers. Use high quality oils from your favorite supplier. (Mountain Rose Herbs is my go-to place for aroma-therapeutic projects like this one.)

For more essential oil ideas and information, I recommend the book, The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. It’s full of excellent information and is one of my most oft-used books.

It’s also the reference I used, along with information gleaned from PubMed, to select the list of essential oils below:

Lemon (Citrus limon) – enhances positive mood (study), clears sluggishness

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – increases alertness (study), promotes mental clarity

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) – mental stimulant, encourages positivity

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – increases alertness and thinking processes (study), stimulating

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) – aids concentration and clears the mind, antimicrobial properties (study)

Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) – refreshing (study), lifts lethargy & depression

Orange (Citrus sinensis) – promotes happiness, may help prevent fatigue (study)

Ingredients for Energizing Shower Steamers
  • 1 cup baking soda (check local grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup citric acid (I use THIS GMO-free kind)
  • 1 tablespoon white kaolin or other clay (*see notes)
  • small spritz bottle containing witch hazel
  • around 1 teaspoon (5 ml) essential oil(s), see list above and blend ideas below
Notes & Tips

Substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons of naturally colored clay for the white clay, if you’d like to add a soft color to your shower steamers.

Some clays, such as yellow and purple Brazilian, will only need around 1 teaspoon, while others, such as French green and Cambrian blue clays require 2+ teaspoons to be more visible.

Just make sure you have a total of 1 tablespoon clay to give the shower bombs some structure and help make them sturdier.

Bramble Berry is an excellent source of natural colored clays.

Directions to Make

Stir the baking soda and citric acid together, working out any clumps with your fingers.

Sprinkle the essential oil over the mixture and work in thoroughly with gloved hands. (Gloves are recommended due to the higher-than-normal amount of essential oils.)

Spritz the mixture with several sprays of witch hazel, while stirring with a whisk or your hands, checking the mix periodically.

When it can squeeze together in a ball without easily crumbling, you’re ready to press the mixture into a mold.

You’ll get best results with a firm mold, such as a 1/4 measuring cup, half a bath bomb mold or a hard plastic mold (like Milky Way molds).

For those types of molds, press the mixture in firmly, then turn out onto parchment paper or wax paper.

The decorative shower steamer at the very top of this recipe post was made with a flexible silicone mold (THIS ONE) but they’re trickier to get to turn out right and won’t always show up the design well.

For those, press the mixture firmly into the mold then allow to dry for several hours before removing.

Directions to Use

Place the shower steamer at the far edge of your shower or tub where they won’t be directly under the water spray.

As you shower, they’ll start melting and fizzing, releasing the scent of the essential oil.

These have a fairly high amount of essential oil and aren’t recommended for using as bath bombs; so stick to these for showers only.

If you find the scent fades or isn’t quite strong enough, add a few extra drops of essential oil to the dried shower bomb right before using.

A Few Essential Oil Blend Ideas

To get you started, here are three ideas for essential oil blends to try.

Refreshing Double Mint – 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) peppermint essential oil + 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) spearmint essential oil

Zesty Citrus – 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) orange essential oil + 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) grapefruit essential oil

Rosemary Focus – 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) rosemary essential oil + 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) bergamot essential oil

Troubleshooting

As you can tell by the photo above, it took quite a few test batches to get a recipe that held together well.

See the super crumbly ones turning into a pile of powder?

That happened when I used less clay in the recipe and not enough witch hazel. They started out looking great, but dried to a crumbly mess.

The ones with cracks are where I added too much liquid and they expanded.

They’ll still work fine as a shower steamer, they just won’t look as pretty.

You might also notice some wart-like bumps on the surface of your shower steamers.

That’s usually from the essential oil not being blended in enough and/or too much liquid in that portion of the mixture. Be sure to mix really well, working the mixture with gloved hands.

Using a spritz bottle to incorporate the liquid makes these types of projects so much easier to make.

Also note that my house is very warm and dry this time of year because of our wood stove. (Indoor temps hover between 75 to 80 degrees F and humidity is very low.) You may need to adjust ingredient amounts depending on your climate.

Did you enjoy this tutorial for Energizing Shower Steamers? If so, let’s stay in touch!

Sign up HERE for my weekly newsletter and receive my very best DIY body care recipes, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative ideas for using flowers and herbs.

The post Energizing Shower Steamers to Wake You Up appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A few weeks ago, I asked my newsletter subscribers for their input on projects that I can make and share throughout 2018.

This recipe was inspired by Tree Lady Kay’s request for a lotion bar for some hardworking lawn maintenance men whose hands see all kinds of weather conditions, soil, water, concrete and more.

In response, I created these lotion bars that feature plantain, a common leafy green weed that soothes damaged skin, and tamanu, an exceptional oil known for its skin repairing qualities.

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum) is sometimes referred to as “green gold”,  and has a beautiful deep color to match, hence the name of these lotion bars.

Notes Before We Begin

To print this recipe, scroll down until you see a green “Print Friendly” button. Don’t miss the printable labels near the bottom too!

Some links on this site are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally used & like! :)

Ingredients for Green Gold Lotion Bars

If you don’t own a scale to weigh the ingredients, try the following ratio instead: 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles (packed), 1/4 cup cocoa butter, 1/4 cup total oils.

  • 1.4 oz (40 g) beeswax
  • 2.5 oz (70 g) cocoa butter
  • 0.5 oz (14 g) tamanu oil
  • 1.3 oz (36 g) plantain-infused oil
  • essential oil (optional, see below)
Oil Choices

See THIS POST for instructions on making plantain-infused oil. Use your favorite oil for the infusion, or one of the selections below.

Sunflower – contains natural vitamin E, slower to absorb, helpful for damaged skin

Rice Bran – natural source of squalene, good for dry weathered skin, absorbs well

Grapeseed – absorbs quickly, feels less oily

Sweet Almond Oil – nourishes and protects skin

Apricot Kernel Oil – light, absorbs quickly, leaves skin feeling smooth

Avocado – extra nourishing, slower to absorb

Hemp – absorbs at a moderate rate, softens skin

General Notes & Tips

If allergic to cocoa butter, try using kokum, mango, avocado or shea butter instead. You may need to adjust wax and oil amounts, depending on the type of butter used.

Tamanu oil can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s a pricier oil, but a little bit goes a long way and it has some impressive benefits for a variety of skin ailments. (PubMed 27280931)

Tamanu oil should not be used by those with tree nut allergies. You can replace it with more plantain-infused oil, or another reparative oil such as roseship seed oil.

Lotion bars are super easy to make and very adjustable. If you find that your lotion bars turn out too hard or too soft, just melt them again and add more wax to harden, or more oil to soften.

Essential Oils Notes

Many guys I know prefer unscented lotion bars, but if you’d like to add a scent, keep it on the light side and make sure not to use a photo-toxic essential oil. (Oils that can cause damage to your skin when exposed to sunlight.)

Please read this excellent article over at Using Essential Oils Safely before choosing essential oils for this recipe.

I barely scented these bars with Bergaptene-Free Bergamot Essential Oil, using 0.75 grams which is roughly 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil; feel free to adjust essential oil types/amounts as needed.

Be aware that tamanu oil will also add its own unique nutty scent that will be present in the final product.

Directions to Make

Combine the beeswax, cocoa butter, tamanu oil and plantain-infused oil in a heatproof jar or container.

Set the container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, to form a makeshift double boiler.

Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until the wax and butter are completely melted. Remove from heat, stir in essential oil, if using, and pour into molds.

For the bee design, I used this Milky Way Bee Fancy Soap Mold. The 100% Hand Made molds came from Amazon. The latter are just a smidge too big for the tins, but also soft and adjustable, so I put each mold down in an empty tin while pouring, then gently and carefully tug them out when completely solid, to make them a size that fits.

Yield: about 5 lotion bars, depending on your mold.

Printing the Labels

Click HERE, on the image of the labels above, to open a full sized pdf file of the labels that you can save to your computer and print.

I buy THIS repositional sticker paper for labels and purchase 2 oz tins from Specialty Bottle.

Print the labels, stick them to the tins and you’re ready to give your lotion bars to family and friends!

Did you enjoy learning how to make these Green Gold Lotion Bars? If so, let’s stay in touch!

Sign up HERE for my weekly newsletter and receive my very best DIY body care recipes, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative ideas for using flowers and herbs.

The post Green Gold Lotion Bars (+ printable labels) appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Bath bombs are loved by many and a popular gift to give, but figuring out how to package them can be a pain point.

Below, are the methods I use to package both individual bath bombs and bath bomb gift boxes.

I’ve also included a video tutorial on how to create personalized labels for your bath bombs!

Notes before we start:

Some links on this site are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I personally use and like. :)

The bath bombs shown are 100% natural and were created using recipes from my Natural Bath Bombs Ebook. (Find out more about that ebook HERE.)

How to Package Bath Bombs in a Gift Box

This is my favorite way to present bath bombs!

I use THESE beautiful Chilly gift boxes available on Amazon. (They have pretty floral prints too.)

They can comfortably hold four medium (around 5 oz) bath bombs, or two large (8 oz) + two medium (5 oz) bath bombs.

Make your bath bombs, let them dry, and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

I follow the directions in THIS YouTube video when I wrap my bath bombs.

Unfold the box, line it with tissue paper, and gently nestle your bath bombs inside, wrapping each one partially in crumpled tissue paper as you go, to act as a cushion.

I like to leave the tops of the bath bombs visible, for a pretty presentation upon opening.

Next, I type up and print off a list of what’s in the box, so the recipient knows all of the ingredients used.

Put the ingredient list in the box, close it up, tie it together with a ribbon and a bow, add a gift tag, and you’re done!

How to Package Bath Bombs Individually

When packaging bath bombs to gift individually, I wrap them in two layers. This keeps moisture out, makes them easier to label, and protects the bath bombs during transit.

(Downside: I realize this is a lot of plastic packaging. I’m still on the hunt for more eco-friendly solutions that work.)

First, is a tight layer of plastic wrap using the directions in THIS YouTube video.

Next, I tuck the wrapped bath bombs in a clear bag (I use THESE) with an ingredient label affixed to the side, then tie the bag closed with a ribbon.

The kind of bag I use is actually a shrink wrap bag, but I find shrink wrapped bath bombs can be a bit of a pain to unwrap so I no longer heat them.

How to Create Your Own Bath Bomb Labels {Video Tutorial}

If you’re a past or present student of my Soapmaking Success course, you’re likely familiar with my husband’s soap labeling video tutorials and templates.

For this post, I asked him to put together a video tutorial for making bath bomb labels too and being the agreeable guy he is, he said yes! :)

*Extra important note! This article is focused on bath bombs for gift giving. If you plan to sell bath bombs, I suggest checking out Marie Gale’s blog and book for the most current labeling regulations.

Create Your Own Bath Bomb Labels - Vimeo

This video details how to design a bath bomb label in an online photo editing program called Canva, based on four simple circles.

Since Canva doesn’t offer a curved text option, we also have a few ready-made curved text overlays for you. (See below.)

If you’d like different wording, you could use PicMonkey to make custom curved text on your labels, but be aware that it’s a pay-to-use program.

For images to use on your labels, I recommend checking out Creative Market for inexpensive packs of watercolor graphics. (Look for ones with individual png files.)

Don’t use random images from Google as they usually belong to someone else and  you don’t want to infringe on anyone’s copyright.

Click on the small thumbnails below to open full-sized images of the curved text, then right click the larger image and save it to your computer. (Directions to add to your label are in the video.)

Curved Text Overlay 1 

Curved Text Overlay 2 

Curved Text Overlay 3 

Curved Text Overlay 4 

Wrapping Up

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed learning a few easy ways to prettily package your handmade bath bombs.

If you liked reading this article, let’s keep in touch!

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter (HERE) to get my very best DIY body care recipes, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative project ideas using flowers and herbs.

The post How to Package Bath Bombs for Gift Giving {+ labeling tutorial} appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Starting this month, and going forward into 2018, my goal is to get back to the “mad scientist mode” I enjoyed when my blog was younger.

I’ve spent so much time on projects outside of the blog, that I kind of forgot the whole reason I do what I do. I love making products that can help someone with a specific need or problem they might have.

I mentioned all of this to my newsletter subscribers last week and asked for their input on what kinds of recipes they were looking for and how’d they benefit someone they loved and the response was tremendous!

I’ll be tackling one or two a week and sharing the results here on my blog and/or in the newsletter, depending on the topic/project length. (Not a subscriber yet? You can join the fun by signing up HERE!)

This week’s recipe was created for Rosemary LN who loved the nourishing rose hand cream I created for my nurse friend (see that recipe HERE) and needed something similar for a male nurse whose hands were in awful shape from washing so much, but who didn’t want a ‘pretty’ scent or anything overly scented either.

To help accommodate those preferences, I very lightly scented this hand cream recipe with grapefruit and orange essential oils. I specifically chose those two oils because of their pleasant scent that’s cheerful and uplifting. (Interesting side note: They’ve also been studied for possible effectiveness against some tough pathogens – see HERE, HERE and more with PubMed searches like THIS ONE.)

As with the rose hand cream I made for my nurse friend, I bypassed my usual favorite nature-derived preservative (Leucidal SF Complete – used at 4%, or 4 grams in this recipe) and used 0.5 grams of Liquid Germall Plus instead. Because nurses work with critically ill and immune compromised individuals, it’s imperative that their hand cream stays well preserved and microbe-free. Feel free to use your preservative of choice when making your own. (Want to learn more about preservative options? You might enjoy THIS POST where I wrote up my results while testing various nature-derived preservatives.)

Ingredients

Below is a list of the featured ingredients and why I chose them for this recipe.

Aloe vera liquid – used to soothe and moisturize skin; you could use more distilled water in its place if you don’t have any or are allergic.

Jojoba oil – regenerates and helps to protect skin; you could use other types of oils here if you’d like. Infusing the oil first with an herb like calendula or dandelion could be nice too.

Cocoa butter – forms a protective layer over the skin, helping to keep moisture in. Kokum or another butter could work here too, if allergic to cocoa butter.

Vegetable emulsifying wax NF – helps the water and oil stay blended together. I always use THIS WAX from Mountain Rose Herbs; other brands/types of e-wax may need to be adjusted slightly.

Beeswax – adds an extra barrier of protection over your skin to keep skin moisturized.

Recipe

You’ll need a little pocket or jeweler’s scale to make this recipe. Ingredients are listed by weight.

Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Hand Cream Recipe
  • 50 grams distilled water
  • 10 grams aloe vera liquid (or more water)
  • 15 grams jojoba oil (or your favorite oil)
  • 15 grams cocoa or kokum butter
  • 7.5 grams emulsifying wax
  • 2 grams beeswax
  • preservative of choice
  • 4 to 6 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 2 to 4 drops sweet orange essential oil
Directions to Make

Weigh out the water and aloe vera liquid in a heatproof container. I like to use small jelly/canning jars.

Weigh out the jojoba oil, cocoa butter, emulsifying wax and beeswax in a separate heatproof container.

Place the two containers down into a saucepan containing an inch or so of water, forming a double boiler of sorts. Turn the burner to medium low and heat until the butter and wax is fully melted. (This takes about 15 to 20 minutes for me, your time may vary.)

Pour the hot liquid and oils into a clean jar and stir, stir, stir. (I use a fork.) Stir frequently until the lotion starts to thicken as it cools. To speed things up, you can set the jar down into a bowl of ice water while stirring.

Once cool enough for your preservative, stir it in, then add the essential oils and mix well. Pour into containers or jars.

If using Leucidal SF Complete, add 4 grams (since it’s used at 4% of a recipe) or for Liquid Germall Plus, you only need 0.5 grams. Leucidal SF Complete is mild and usually gives me a shelf life of 1 to 3 months. Liquid Germall Plus will last for much much longer.

If there’s another preservative you’d like to use instead, check the usage rates listed on your vendor’s website. LotionCrafter keeps those listed on their products for easy reference.

If you want to leave out the preservative, then keep your cream refrigerated and use it up within a week or so before any microbes have a chance to take over.

Are you a mad scientist at heart too, when it comes to DIY? If so, you might enjoy my Mad Scientist T-shirt!

It was designed by my husband, with artwork by my daughter – that’s a portrait of me she drew about four years ago. :)

You can find it at RedBubble in all kinds of styles, colors and sizes. (Be forewarned, the women’s t-shirt I’m wearing in this photo runs small – I’m wearing a medium.)

Did you enjoy learning how to make this Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Hand Cream recipe? If so, let’s stay in touch!

Sign up HERE for my weekly newsletter and receive my very best DIY body care recipes, natural soapmaking tutorials and creative ideas for using flowers and herbs.

The post Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Hand Cream Recipe appeared first on The Nerdy Farm Wife.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview