True Natural Beauty comes from within...

True Natural Beauty comes from within...
Welcome, to my natural bath and beauty blog, where nature is our pantry....grab a cool drink and snatch a few quiet moments here..... Have questions about recipes? Need more detail? Just put your question in the comment box and I will be happy to answer it.............Anna

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tomato Basil Goats Milk soap by One in a Mel'lion

I saw this soap by Mel from One in a Mel'lion, (love the pun on her name) and had to try it. Made with sundried tomato and basil, and goat's milk..............right up my ally! 
The look, the ingredients the scent, all spell natural.
I am totally inspired to try herbs in my natural soaps, thanks Mel, awesome soap!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Arizona Sunshine Soap by Simply Handcrafted

Living in Arizona myself, I was intrigued by fellow Arizonan soaper, Jan from Simply Handcrafted when I saw her Arizona Sunshine soap. We did a soap swap! 
I'm sending her my Rosemary Lavender and Jan sent me her Arizona Sunshine, yea!
Wanted to share it with you.....

Arizona Sunshine handcrafted soap with a pure Arizona sun ray !

Thank you Jan from Simply Handcrafted 

 Lovely bubbles and lather. 
Fresh Arizona scent !

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to make Solid Lotion Bars

Updated: 9/6/16     Solid lotion bars are a rich combination of skin loving oils, butters and beeswax formulated into a convenient bar that is solid at room temperature, but melts on contact with your skin.  These little gems deposit a concentrated moisture packed punch that is unbeatable. Once you try one, you will not want to be without them.  I am going to show you  how to make these treasures yourself out of all natural, easy to find ingredients.  A beautiful addition in natural skin care for yourself and your families needs.

You will need 3 ingredients, plus an essential oil or a fragrance if you want it scented, and small molds, tubs or tins to pour lotion into.

1)  Beeswax  (solid chunks will have to be shaved, or buy beeswax beads)
2)  A solid oil, for example: coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter
3)  A liquid oil, for example: grapeseed oil, sunflower, olive oil, sweet almond oil
 and, essential oil or skin safe fragrance oil of choice.

Recipe is simply equal parts of the three ingredients. I'll give you a basic recipe using easy to find oils for an example, that's not greasy or heavy, but feel free to use your favorite oils. Keeping
in mind that different oils will make your lotion bar have different properties. Some oils are
heavier and have a greasier feel than others for example.

3 oz beeswax
3 oz coconut oil  (or shea if I have it, see note below on using shea, or cocoa butter)
3 oz grapeseed oil  (found in your local grocery store with the other oils)
10-15 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

You now have to melt your oils and wax. You can use a double boiler or a microwave, (I use micro)    

Put beeswax into bowl you will be melting in. 
Add the grapeseed oil and coconut oil.
Put into microwave and begin melting. Once you see the beeswax start to melt, stir, stir, stir.
This helps it to melt faster into the oils without using too much heat. 
Put back into the microwave at 20-30 second bursts until fully melted. 
TIP: Do not use an overly large pyrex bowl to melt a small amount of oils in,
this can cause the bowl to crack or break.  Bowl will be HOT use a mitt !
 Above: you see chunks of cocoa butter and beeswax floating in oil. Cocoa butter will give you a little harder bar which is good for a massage lotion bar.
 Above: you see the beeswax floating in the heated oils. Stir, stir, stir.

 Stirring causes the solids to melt in the heated oil.

Once all your beeswax, coconut oil and grapeseed are all melted, allow to cool down some, as fragrance oils and essential oils have flash points. You want your 
temperature to be at or under your fragrance's flash point. Add your essential oils or fragrance
Stir well.  Pour into your molds or tubs.

These cool down quickly and harden into lovely solid lotion that you pop out of their tub or mold and smooth over your skin.  I pour mine into these 2 oz tubs, they are easy to store that way. These bars will melt if left in a hot car, if that happens just put them into the frig for a few minutes, no harm done.

There are wonderful variations of this recipe that you can design yourself, this is a good starting point as the oils are easy to find in your local stores.  I have to tell you though, that cocoa butter is fabulous in solid lotion bars. You can buy it online. I got mine at Brambleberry, which is where I purchased my essential oils. I also find great deals at Piping Rock. You can find beeswax there also if you cannot find it locally.

NOTE: if you are using Shea Butter, melt the beeswax and coconut oil first, then add the shea and stir it in.  Shea is a finicky butter, it does not like to get over heated, it will turn grainy. Still perfectly good to use if that happens, just not as smooth.
Above: you see a soap bar scented with Brambleberrys "Relaxing" fragrance oil blended with patchouli essential oil, and a matching solid lotion bar of the same scent. Incredibly lovely.
A little more info on the lotion bar subject HERE

Any questions, feel free to leave a comment. 


A Humble Bumble
Clever Chicks 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Infuse Herbs in Oil using a crock pot

How to infuse your lovely natural oil with herbs, crock-pot method.
updated Feb 2017

I wanted olive oil infused with fresh rosemary but am too impatient to do the solar infused method of putting the oil in a mason jar, adding the rosemary ( or herb of choice ) and waiting the weeks necessary for the miracle to happen. Impatience has always been my down fall. Ask my husband.  

I had heard about the stove top method, that intrigued me, but when I read about the crock-pot method I knew I had found my nirvana.

Here's How:
You will need a crock-pot, use one that is reliable in its temperature and one that you are familiar with. Why?   
Because you do not want a crock-pot that will overheat and cook your oil rather than infuse it.

I put in 2 cups of olive oil and two handfuls of rosemary,  how strong you want your infusion determines how much herb you put in. I wanted mine strong.

I then stirred the oil and rosemary.  ( Don't rinse your rosemary and throw it in the pot wet. )

You want to heat your oil slowly.  I suggest keeping the oil temp between 120 - 130 F
I got out my thermometer and kept an eye on it. It did go up to 140 F at one point, I turned off the crock for a bit. All was fine.

Let your oil simmer for an hour or so,  then let it cool down.  Heat it up again, let cool again.  If your crock-pot is steady in it's temp and will not overheat you can set it and let it heat for a few hours now.

When done, allow oils to cool.

Strain oil through a cheese cloth, a clean kitchen towel or nylon stocking. Squeeze all the oil out of the herbs.

You now have a lovely herbal infused oil.  Use your oil as you normally would in your bath and body products.  Mine is intended for soap.

This method worked great.

Method #  2
Another way I've seen herbal infusions in the crock-pot is to simply put herbs into a small mason jar, fill jar with your oil, put lid on, place jar in bottom of crock-pot. Then fill crock pot with water half way up the mason jar.  Crock-pot set to low.  Allow to heat for several hours.  Strain your herbs, and enjoy
your herbal infusion.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gentle Facial Soap bar with Rosemary, Lavender and Bentonite clay

I've been working on an all natural facial soap bar for my teens. 
I don't like commercial soap with it's fillers, and harsh chemicals and absence of natural glycerin. 
My family needs a good gentle cleansing, moisturizing soap that will not dry out
 or irritate their already irritated skin.

Rosemary Lavender Facial Bar

First I followed David Fisher's advice on how to infuse rosemary in olive oil right in your crock pot.
It worked like a charm.

Fresh Arizona grown rosemary 

Rosemary infusing in my crock pot                                                                                  

Olive oil infused with rosemary, lovely green coloring                                                                                    

Additives to this soap:

Rosemary is a natural astringent and antioxidant.  It is an effective cleanser and detoxifier.

Olive oil naturally has high levels of antioxidants including vitamins A and E. Helps to renew and repair skin damage from free radicals. Naturally hypoallergenic. Nourishes and moisturizes skin.

Bentonite Clay is a powerful skin restorative formed from volcanic activity, in other words volcanic ash, and full of minerals necessary for healthy skin. It is known as a healing clay. Great for detoxing skin, good for oily skin but does not dry it out. Good for all skin types as well.  Makes a really creamy bar of soap. Smooth.

Lavender essential oil is such a soothing, gentle essential oil that packs a punch. Meaning,  it is highly effective. It will help clear the redness in the skin and as an antibacterial will act as a preventive to acne.
And it smells awesome! Blended with this infused rosemary it is a really lovely scent.

I also added castor oil to this recipe as it is a natural humectant and increases lather, creamy too.

Coconut oil for its super cleansing properties and lends hardness to the bar, antibacterial and antioxidant properties as well. A natural moisturizer. When absorbed into your skin, your skin becomes softer, smoother. Soothing to dry, irritated red skin. I love coconut oil.

Great latherer as you can see.  Creamy, smooth bar.  Scent is pleasing, not overpowering as some lavenders can be.   Leaves your skin with a cool feeling.  Very nice.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Handmade Paper with Roses

I love to make handmade paper using botanicals, expecially roses.  
This lovely yellow rose is from my Lady Banks rose bush that grows in my front yard in Arizona, USA
It blooms one time a year, in April for several weeks. 
It's blooms in clusters and is absolutely stunning to behold when in full bloom.

I wanted to prolong it's beauty, so I made paper from it's blooms.

You can see the small rose petals embedded in this paper.
Making your own handmade paper consists of recycling paper by making it into a pulp, adding botanicals, or spices, or bits of fabric, of your choice, or leaving it plain.  There's room for alot of expression here ! 
I added a dab of liquid starch to this batch so that you could write on it or put it through an injet
printer and the ink would not feather.  

Enjoy.......... Anna

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gardeners Moisturizing Soap Bowl and Nail Brush

For all the Gardeners in my life,  I made this pretty little bowl of soap rich in vitamin E, moisturizers galore, emollients, all natural oils known for their nourishing, soothing, skin calming and healing properties.

Essential oils of Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint and Eucalyptus.

Topped off with Calendula petals which are beneficial to dry and damaged skin, as it's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties promote healing and regeneration of skin.  Perfect for the gardener and outdoor worker to cleanse as well as soothe and moisturize their skin.

You simply wet the soft nail brush and scrub it across the top of the soap bowl creating a lather, then gently scrub nails and hands.

Smells like pure sunshine,   had to share this!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fresh Unbrewed Coffee Scrub by Guest Blogger Roselynn Lee

Special Guest Blogger Roselynn Lee has agreed to share one of her island recipes with Natures Home Spa readers today. I call it her island recipe because Roselynn IS an island girl. 
Coming from the beautiful Tonga Islands,  Roselynn has the 
gorgeous natural skin tone of an island girl, heres our chance to see how these lovelies
keep that healthy natural glow!

Rise and Shine Coffee Sugar Scrub

Well, thanks Anna for allowing me to partake  in this awesome blog.
Being inspired by Anna, I decided to make a coffee scrub.
I have lots of it and its cheap. Plus, I love the smell of coffee.  As I started researching 
coffee I was amazed that it did more than pick you up in the morning!

I started out with the basic:

1/2 cup fresh coffee grounds ( not brewed )
1/2 cup sugar
few grinds of sea salt
1 Tablespoon honey 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil

Let's talk about our main ingredient and how it can make a powerful impact on your skin and health.

Coffee is great smelling and relaxes the brain.  It clears ones thoughts out of their head, an anti-depressant, and it helps prevent nausea.  The coffee helps fatigue after exercise.  So, that's why I don't brew the coffee.  I want to take advantage of that strong coffee aroma and the caffeic acid that adds all these positive side effects.  So add freshly grounded as possible.

A study showed that caffeic acid found in coffee grounds can significantly affect anti-inflammatory activity and skin wound healing.  So, since we are talking about wound healing, lets talk cellulite!  HAHAHAHA!
Yes, ladies, lets call it a wound since it hurts to see it !  Because of the salts, sugars, and the coffee's rough texture it exfoliates all the dead skin and it helps aid in massaging the body  It increases blood flow, pushing toxins out of the fatty cells, decreasing the appearance of cellulite.  Plus, with all the dead skin gone, you are glowing!  Get this, the coffee gives a hint of brown to your skin when you rub it on.  The olive oil, honey and the coconut oil will leave you smelling like a warm Polynesian night during harvest.

The main natural chemical in coffee is caffeine, a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants have many benefits, including heart disease and cancer fighting properties.  Antioxidants also neutralize the effects of free radicals, which can damage the inner layer of skin.  This damage is often reflected in age spots and wrinkles.  When a coffee body scrub is applied, the skin absorbs this antioxidant and can help prevent premature aging.  Caffeine is a vasodilator, which means it constricts blood vessels in the skin.  This action works to make blood vessels tighter and firmer very quickly, which is reflected in your skin texture.  So, you can say bye-bye to those varicose veins.

So, let me give you my shower experience.  As I applied the scrub to my body, the aroma overwhelmed me and I was relaxed.  The texture was so pleasant, and rough enough to be gentle at the same time.  I applied it so thoughtlessly.  Instantly I can see the water repelling against my skin because the coconut oil was sealing my skin to lock in moisture from the olive oil, and shined because of the golden honey.  My skin was SO indulged by this compound that I didn't even need a lather while shaving my legs.  By my surprise, while I was shaving,  I was shaving more dead skin off my legs after I tapped the shave stick. I figured, lets go to town!

My skin looked great.  I smelled great,  and the coffee did it's job.  Plus, you just rubbed caffeine into your body, so you can literally jump into action and start your day!

 For questions about this recipe please leave a comment for Roselynn below, thanks,  Anna

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