Homemade Sunscreen

Protect your skin naturally while out in the summer sun with this all-natural homemade sunscreen. It is easy to make and looks and feels just like store-bought sunscreen! Your family won’t know the difference, but you will feel better knowing what you are putting on your children’s skin! A few things to know about this sunscreen:

  1. This sunscreen has an SPF of 20+ because the zinc oxide has an SPF of 20, the coconut oil has an SPF of 4, and the essential oils used in this recipe are also beneficial for protecting against the sun’s rays.
  2. It may need to be reapplied every hour or so, especially during water play. The beeswax in this recipe does help it be a little waterproof, but stay on the safe side and reapply fairly often.
  3. Even though it looks like it goes on pretty white in the above picture, it doesn’t stay that way. Just rub it on the skin, spreading it all over, and after a minute or so it will melt and disappear.
  4. This sunscreen will last through the summer—possibly even 2 summers depending on how fresh your ingredients are.

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DIY Hair Pomade

This hair pomade works great for styling short hair! It is made from beeswax, shea butter or cocoa butter, and jojoba oil (which is technically a wax), so it’s thick enough to hold hair effectively. Though this product has been formulated to use on hair as a pomade, it is extremely versatile and could also be used as an eyebrow smoother, lotion or hand cream, and even lip balm.

Here are a few essential oil suggestions for hair care from Modern Essentials:
Normal Hair: Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage, thyme, rosemary, cedarwood, lemon, cypress.
Dry Hair: geranium, sandalwood, lavender, rosemary, wintergreen.
Fragile Hair: clary sage, lavender, thyme, sandalwood, wintergreen, Roman chamomile.
Greasy/Oily Hair: basil, cypress, thyme, lemon, rosemary, petitgrain, peppermint.
Hair Growth: thyme, lavender, rosemary, ylang ylang, cedarwood, clary sage, ginger, lemon, grapefruit.
Hair Loss: rosemary, lavender, thyme, ylang ylang, cedarwood, wintergreen, lemon, clary sage, cypress, Roman chamomile.
Dandruff: lavender, wintergreen, cypress, rosemary, cedarwood, thyme.

Because this pomade is versatile enough to be used as lip balm or lotion as well, here are some of the essential oil recommendations for that purpose:
Hand Care: geranium, lemon, lemongrass, sandalwood, rosemary, eucalyptus.
Skin Care: helichrysum, juniper berry, Roman chamomile, thyme, geranium, arborvitae, melaleuca, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, lemon, bergamot, rosemary.
Lip Care: lavender, melaleuca, lemon, geranium.

If you want to use this pomade for hair, skin, and lips, it is possible to use a combination that works for all.

Try any of these essential oil combinations in your hair pomade:

  • 3 drops lime + 2 drops peppermint + 2 drops rosemary + 1 drop lavender (This is the one we used, and it smells great!)
  • 6 drops grapefruit + 2 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops lime (can lighten light hair)
  • 4 drops Roman chamomile + 3 drops ylang ylang
  • 2 drops lemon + 2 drops rosemary + 2 drops cedarwood + 2 drops peppermint
  • 3 drops clary sage + 2 drops ylang ylang + 3 drops lavender + 2 drops rosemary
  • 3 drops rosemary + 3 drops geranium + 3 drops lavender
  • 4 drops lavender + 4 drops clary sage
  • 4 drops clary sage + 3 drops rosemary
  • 4 drops lavender + 4 drops cedarwood
  • 6 drops Roman chamomile + 2 drops lemon (can lighten light hair)
  • 3 drops bergamot + 3 drops cypress + 3 drops lavender
  • 4 drops rosemary + 3 drops eucalyptus or melaleuca (helps with dandruff)
  • 4 drops lavender + 3 drops geranium (a good all-purpose combination)

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Antiwrinkle Cream for a Smoother Complexion

Your face does a lot of work during the day and could use a little love at night. Try caring for your complexion with an all-natural, antiwrinkle cream! This cream is formulated to benefit a mature face with wrinkles, but it can help any skin look younger longer.

Though an optional ingredient, bentonite clay is important for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. It can do all this because it carries a strong negative charge that bonds to the positive charge in these damaging substances. As bentonite clays draws toxins, it releases minerals for the skin to absorb. Bentonite clay also pulls excess hydrogen from skin cells, allowing them to admit oxygen. Bentonite clay can be found at your local health food store or online. If you do use bentonite clay, be careful to not let it touch anything metallic, or it will lose its effectiveness.

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Oatmeal Shower Scrub Bags

Do you like the moisturizing effects of an oatmeal bath, but don’t like having all that oatmeal in your bathtub? These Oatmeal Shower Scrub Bags are the solution! Simply rub the bag over your skin when you shower, bathe, or wash your hands. The oats moisturize, the soap cleans, the lavender soothes and scents, and the organza bag gives a gentle exfoliation. Scrub bags make great gifts for friends, family, or essential oil class members. In fact, this recipe is a fantastic make-and-take class idea!

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Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Time: 10–15 minutes active; 1 hour inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.

NOTES:

Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.

Simply Luxurious Moisturizing Lotion

So many of us use lotion every day, but many of the commercially available lotions contain ingredients that could actually be harmful to our bodies when used daily. Skin is very porous and absorbs just about everything put on it, so it’s best to use lotion made of natural ingredients. And the best way to know what is in your lotion is to make it yourself!

This lotion recipe is really simple to make. First, melt your hard oils (cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut oil). Then add your soft or liquid oils (sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil). Finally, blend together the water and oils until the mixture emulsifies. You’ll hear and feel a change, but keep blending to prevent the water and oil from separating later. Watch the video at the end of this post to see how simple this lotion is to make!

The best part about making your own lotion is that you get to customize the scent! Essential oils make that really easy. You can simply add your favorite essential oil or blend, or you can add oils that help with specific health issues. Whatever you choose to create, this lotion makes a great base because it is simple to make, absorbs easily, moisturizes well, and feels so luxurious!

Moisturizing Lotion

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (240 ml)
  • Time: 15–20 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. In a double boiler, melt cocoa butter and beeswax pellets over low heat. Once melted, add the coconut oil, and continue heating until almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir until everything finishes melting.
  2. Stir in the sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil.
  3. Heat distilled water until warm.
  4. Using a hand mixer, start beating water, and slowly add the oil mixture while continuing to beat. Keep beating for a few minutes. As you blend, you will hear a change and feel the lotion thicken. Let stand for a few minutes. If lotion separates during this time, continue to blend it again for a couple more minutes. If it doesn’t separate, then it has emulsified properly.
  5. Mix in the essential oil.
  6. Pour lotion into a plastic zip-top bag. Snip off a corner of the bag, and squeeze the lotion into your container of choice.
  7. To use, pump a little into your hand, and massage into the skin as needed.

Here are some lotion containers we recommend:

Acrylic Lotion Pump Bottles: These will turn your lotion into a fancy personalized gift.
8 oz. Bottle with Pump Top: These are the perfect size for making a batch to use at home.
Small Lotion Tottles: These are small and portable—perfect for your purse or bag. You can even add a carabiner to clip it to the outside of your bag.
For an extra touch, try adding this cute vinyl “Moisturizer” label!

If you’re a visual learner, watch this video to see just how simple this lotion is to make.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is steam-distilled from the bark of the tree. It contains antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious (intestinal, urinary), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic (light), antiviral, astringent, immune-stimulant, purifying, sexual-stimulant, and warming properties. It also enhances the action and activity of other oils.

Cinnamon essential oil is commonly used for airborne bacteria, bacterial infections, bites/stings, breathing, diabetes, diverticulitis, fungal infections, immune system (stimulates), infection, libido (low), mold, pancreas support, physical fatigue, pneumonia, typhoid, vaginal infection, vaginitis, viral infections, and warming the body.

Historically, this most ancient of spices was included in just about every prescription issued in ancient China. It was regarded as a tranquilizer, tonic, and stomachic and as being good for depression and a weak heart.

This oil may be beneficial for circulation, colds, coughs, digestion, exhaustion, flu, infections, rheumatism, and warts. Cinnamon oil fights viral and infectious diseases, and testing has yet to find a virus, bacteria, or fungus that can survive in its presence.

Applications of Cinnamon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Cinnamon essential oil is one of the strongest essential oils, and care should be taken when using it.
Topical Application: Before applying cinnamon oil topically, make sure to dilute it 1:3 (1 drop essential oil to at least 3 drops carrier oil). Please note that repeated use of cinnamon essential oil can result in extreme contact sensitization, so make sure to dilute well, avoid when pregnant, and frequently give your body a break in between uses.
Aromatic Application: When diffusing cinnamon essential oil, be careful to not inhale directly from the diffuser, as it may irritate the nasal membranes.
Internal Application: Cinnamon essential oil can be used in cooking, but make sure to start with only a toothpick and add more if needed.

5 Ways To Use Cinnamon Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try this blend in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness:

2. Use in a Romantic Massage Oil
Because cinnamon essential oil is known to be an aphrodisiac and is a warming oil, it makes a great addition to a romantic massage oil. Here is a great recipe to help you and your spouse enjoy an intimate massage together:

Romantic Massage Oil:
5 drops ylang ylang
1 drop cinnamon
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil.

3. Add to a Breath-Freshening Spray
Try adding 2–3 drops each of cinnamon and orange essential oil to this Essential Oil Breath Spray recipe.

4. Add to Cooking Recipes
Cinnamon essential oil is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. We had a difficult time picking from our recipes that use cinnamon essential oil, but here are some of our favorites:

5. Protect Your Plants with This Gardening Spray
Keep birds and bugs from eating your plants with this garden spray.

Protective Gardening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 gallon (about 4 liters)
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To a small glass bowl, add the emulsifier, essential oils, and dish soap in order; gently stir after adding each ingredient. Pour a little (up to 1 cup or 250 ml) water into the bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized (4-liter) water jug (mostly full of water). Place the cap on, and carefully shake to combine. Pour mixture into your 16 oz. glass spray bottles.
  3. To use, spray the tops and bottoms of the plant leaves. It is best to spray on a cloudy day or in the evening so the sun and cinnamon essential oil combination doesn’t burn the plants. Apply every couple weeks or as needed. Wait 2–3 days after spraying to harvest any food.

To learn more about cinnamon essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 48–49; 329–30.

DIY Sugar Scrubbies

Simply exfoliating your skin can be so refreshing and leave you feeling pampered. Want to do it every time you shower? Here’s an easy way to do it while you soap up—we call them Sugar Scrubbies.

at_sugarscrubbies

While you are in the shower and ready to wash up, just grab one of these and rub it all over your body like you would soap. The soap helps get you clean, the sugar helps exfoliate your skin, the coconut oil replenishes moisture, and the essential oils refresh the skin and provide a lovely scent. It’s a great way to pamper yourself while showering!

If you find you like them so much that you want to share them, don’t forget that these Sugar Scrubbies make a great addition to any “pamper yourself” gift!

Sugar Scrubbies

  • Servings: 20+
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 30–60 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unscented soap, shredded
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar (white or brown)
  • 2–6 drops essential oil
  • Optional additions (see below for some ideas)
  • PET Jar or other airtight container

Instructions:

  1. Put the unscented soap and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 10-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted (or mostly melted). You can also melt the ingredients on the stove top with a double boiler if you prefer.
  2. Allow soap/oil mixture to cool for a couple minutes before adding in the sugar, essential oils, and any optional additions.
  3. Press the mixture into a silicone mold, muffin tin lined with paper cups, or a glass dish (to cut into cubes).
  4. Let sit in the fridge or freezer to allow mixture to firm up before transferring the Sugar Scrubbies to your PET jars or other airtight containers.
  5. To use, simply rub a Sugar Scrubby over your skin while showering. Rinse off with water.

Scent Ideas:

  • Autumn Spice: Use brown sugar. Add 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup and 5 drops cinnamon essential oil.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Use brown sugar. Add 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) honey, 1 tsp. (2 g) pumpkin pie spice, and 2 drops cinnamon essential oil.
  • Peppermint: Use white sugar. Add a drop of red or green food coloring to 1/2 the sugar before mixing with the other ingredients, and add 5 drops peppermint essential oil.
  • Lemon Rosemary: Use white sugar. Add 3 drops each of lemon and rosemary essential oil. Add 1 tsp. (1 g) lemon zest and 1 tsp. (.5 g) minced rosemary (optional).
  • Grapefruit Mint: Use white sugar. Add 3 drops grapefruit and 2 drops peppermint essential oil. Add 1 drop red food coloring (optional).
  • Lavender: Use white sugar. Add 5 drops lavender essential oil. Add 1–2 drops purple food coloring (optional).
  • Create your own scent! The possibilities are endless.

Winter Hand and Foot Salve

Do your hands and feet get really dry in the winter? If so, you may want to try this deeply moisturizing Winter Hand and Foot Salve this year!
at_winterhandsalveThis salve is a little bit on the oily side, but that just makes it even better for dry winter skin! Rub it into your hands and feet each morning and night, and you will notice a huge difference.

Making a salve is actually pretty simple to do. Simply follow these instructions, and you’ll do just fine!

Winter Hand and Foot Salve

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Time: 15 minutes active; 1 hour inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Using a kitchen scale, measure out the beeswax and cocoa butter in a heat-proof glass container.
  2. Create a double boiler by placing the glass container in a pan filled with an inch of water. Melt the beeswax and cocoa butter over low heat until completely melted.
  3. In a separate glass dish, measure out the avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil on the kitchen scale. Add these oils to the melted beeswax and cocoa butter, and continue to heat until all oils are melted and incorporated.
  4. Remove from heat, and allow to cool for 5–10 minutes before adding the vitamin E oil and essential oils. Stir to combine, then pour mixture into your final container(s).
  5. To use, rub salve on hands and feet as needed.

Extra Ideas:

  • A little bit of this salve can go a long way! You can use this recipe and place in four 1 oz. glass salve jars or two 2 oz. glass salve jars and give away to family or friends.
  • Try making a twist-up lotion bar by pouring this recipe into 2 large deodorant containers or 8 small deodorant containers.
  • If you have really dry hands or feet, try this technique: apply a fair amount of this salve on the area, let it sit for 5–10 minutes, and then brush the area with a nail brush or other soft-bristle brush to release all the dead skin and deeply moisturize the area.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Petitgrain

Petitgrain essential oil (Citrus aurantium) is obtained from the bitter orange tree. It is distilled from leaves and sometimes the tips of young twigs, but in earlier centuries it was extracted from unripe oranges, picked when they were still green and no bigger than a cherry, hence the French term petit grain, meaning “small grain.” This was uneconomic because in the effort to produce petitgrain essential oil, the crops of mature oranges were reduced drastically. So rather than producing oil from the unripe fruit, producers started distilling oil from the leaves of the tree and kept the oil’s original name. Because of its very pleasing scent, petitgrain has been used extensively in high-quality perfumes and cosmetics.

Petitgrain essential oil contains antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, and stimulant (for digestive and nervous systems) properties.

It is commonly used for depression, focus, greasy/oily hair, stress, and uplifting one’s mood. This oil may also help with acne, dyspepsia, fatigue, flatulence, greasy hair, insomnia, and excessive perspiration.

Petitgrain essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) on adults when used topically on area of concern or reflex points. It can also be diffused or inhaled directly and is generally regarded as safe for internal use (often consumed in small amounts in capsules).

5 Ways To Use Petitgrain Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Petitgrain is a great oil to diffuse because it has the ability to uplift one’s mood and may help with stress, focus, and depression. Try these blends in your diffuser:

2. Roll on for Sleep
Petitgrain essential oil is also beneficial in helping with insomnia (especially when sleeplessness is caused because of loneliness or stress). Here is a good recipe to put in a roll-on bottle to rub on the bottoms of your feet at night when you need a little help falling asleep:

Sleepy Time with Petitgrain Roll-on Blend:
2 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
7 drops petitgrain
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on for short-term use or a 10 ml roll-on for daily use. Fill the roll-on the rest of the way with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.

All-Natural Deodorant3. Add to Deodorant
Try putting petitgrain in your all-natural deodorant. You could even make your own using this recipe and replace the oils with this blend:
4 drops lime
4 drops orange
2 drops clove
2 drops petitgrain

4. Add to a Warm Bath
Petitgrain is most known for its ability to help with depression and for supporting the nervous system. It is a good alternative to use in place of bergamot essential oil when needed over a long period of time or when the photosensitive nature of bergamot is a problem (petitgrain essential oil is not a photosensitizer). Try adding petitgrain essential oil to your baths! Just mix the oil with epsom salt before adding to warm bathwater. Here are a few recipes to try:

A Refreshing Calm:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops ylang ylang
5 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Relaxing with Petitgrain:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops lavender
3 drops fennel
2 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning, Sunshine:
4 drops rosemary
6 drops grapefruit
5 drops petitgrain
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt

Bath woman

5. Care for Greasy/Oily Skin and Hair
Petitgrain essential oil has many applications in skincare because it helps to reduce over-production of sebum and is a gentle but effective antiseptic. This makes it a good oil for acne or oily dandruff. Just put a few drops in the final rinse after shampooing greasy hair, or apply after washing your face.

To learn more about petitgrain essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 101.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller
Aromatherapy: An A–Z by Patricia Davis
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson