Hi all! I hope your weekend is off to a great start; where I live the sun is still shining hot and bright but the early mornings and nights are getting quite chilly. I see you fall, I see you peeking around the corner.
Today I was inspired to put on the creativity cap and get in the kitchen to whip up some DIY bath and body care products. I am such a huge advocate for homemade products – they are leaps and bounds better than anything you can purchase in the store. For one, you made it (with love) which makes the product that much more fun to use (am I right or am I right?) and secondly, it’s better for you. You know when you pick up that bottle of body wash when you’re browsing your local grocer and the ingredients list is a mile long? Gross. I can’t even pronounce half that stuff which makes me feel all itchy and nervous about putting it on my body. With all of the health concerns being raised nowadays, I can’t help but assume it’s because of the increasing amount of 520 word-long ingredients that companies are putting into their merchandise (believe me, I took organic chemistry and I know how long those words can get). Sorry, but I want to nothing to do with that if I can help it and neither does my body.
It took me a long time to realize how important it is to take care of your body – it sounds cliché but it’s true, your body is a temple and you should really treat it with love and respect. But, you know, when you’re young, wild and free you could care less about treating yourself well. Heck, all I cared about growing up was how much stuff I needed to buy to impress everyone else (I was insecure, I just didn’t want to admit it). I didn’t care what was in the product as long as it gave me curly hair, yummy smelling skin, and perfectly blushed cheeks (cause all the boys I wanted to notice me back then really paid attention to that stuff….right?). However, as I’ve grown more into myself and realized that when I take care of my body I feel better, I decided to start making a slow but steady switch to incorporating more natural products into my daily regimens. It’s a form of self-love and the most natural way to go; you do the research, you buy the ingredients and you make them yourself. There’s never a question as to what’s in the product because you concocted and packaged it yourself!
I LOVE skin care. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it does SO MUCH for you without you needing to ask it to. Your skin battles pesky roaming bacteria daily and is always healing and protecting your skin from the elements and daily wear and tear. It works hard to keep your skin pH balanced and is constantly secreting enough natural oil so you don’t dry up like the Sahara. The only thing you must do to keep it working properly is take care of it (drink water, clean it, moisturize it). Feed it good things and it will continue to do good things for you.
So, what better way to take of your skin than to make an AMAZING serum for it? A serum is a deeply penetrating moisturizer that aids the skin in absorbing whatever you put on top of it. It acts like a subway system to transfer active ingredients from outside layers to the inside. I thought I might share with you the ingredients I used and the recipe I adapted from basically the best magazine to grace the planet, Willow and Sage (seriously, go buy it, it has all the DIY body care recipes a person could ever want). That way, you can make yourself some skin food at home. Today I used my homegrown dried Calendula petals and Chamomile flowers to infuse my oil with but you can use bulk dried herbs as well (Vitamin Cottage is where I get alot of my bulk herbs). I love the connection you make with plants when you incorperate them into your life and I was so excited to see that this serum recipe incorperated a plant oil infusion. Plant medicine is something I could make an entire blog post on so I won’t get into it here but basically, plants are magic and I treat them like they are my children. Enjoy and have fun getting all crafty. Go forth and feed your soul AND your skin!
Skin Saving Serum (Adapted from the “Fountain of Youth Serum” Recipe)
- Glass bottle or vial with dropper
- Dried Chamomile (calming, nourishing and rejuvenating)
- Dried Calendula petals (healing)
- Geranium essential oil (skin clearing)
- Lavender essential oil (calming and nourishing)
- Sweet Almond oil (lasting moisture)
Instructions for Preparation:
*Please consider: The size of your glass bottle or vial will determine the amount of almond oil you use and your scent preference will dictate the amount of essential oil you add so consult your intuition on these matters. Also, be sure that whenever you are using essential oils you are diluting them in a carrier oil as some essential oils can be harmful to the skin if applied directly. There are many websites available to you on the internet with safe-to-use ratios of essential oil to carrier oil.
- In a separate bowl from your chosen vial or jar, place enough of the dried flower parts into your almond oil so that the oil just covers the plant material, then add a little extra oil (most of the time the dried plant materials will float in the oil so use your best judgement on the amount of flower parts you want to use. You cannot overdo it). Then add in your essential oils (you do not by any means have to stick with geranium and lavender – use your favorites! Just make sure they do not react negatively with your skin).
- Let the oil and plant materials infuse for an hour in the bowl (or longer! You could even let the oil infuse for a couple of days if you really want to pull out a lot of the yummy plant constituents). I will sometimes place my bowl into some water I heated over the stove to encourage the active plant constituents to release into my oil.
- After the hour you can do one of two things: you can either funnel both the oil and the plant materials into your chosen vial if you want to have a more intimate plant connection in your serum or you can simply strain the oil from the plant parts with some cheesecloth into the vial. Cap the vial and store away from sunlight.
- When ready to use, place 5-6 drops of serum into your palm and massage into clean skin. Believe me, your skin will feel 10 years younger.