NATURAL HOME RECIPES

Shea butter is awesome at sealing in moisture, making it great for dry or rough skin. If you’ve seen the bottom of my runner’s feet, you’d know I need this BAD. Now Foods’ natural shea butter has a rich, luxurious texture. Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Another one of the most popular and well known body butters, shea butter is high in vitamins a, e and f, provides collagen (to assist prevention of skin aging & wrinkles), and contains essential fatty acids. Unrefined shea butter will have a noticeable nutty aroma with a creamy faintly yellowish color. You can apply this directly to your skin, or choose to combine it with other ingredients in a skincare recipe, such as a DIY deodorant with great results.

This is an “intense” moisturizer, and I was blown away to discover you can even use this on your scalp for dry skin! (2) Another awesome fact about shea butter is that is has a natural SPF factor (of about 6) so it is a natural choice to incorporate into homemade sunscreen recipe. And, like other butters, it forms a natural barrier on the skin to keep moisture in, so it’s a great choice to apply either before or after sun exposure to keep your skin moisturized.

I have found that I really like to apply straight shea butter to the sides and soles of my feet in the summertime, especially after a trip to the beach. Sand and water have an extremely drying effect on my feet, to the point they will start to peel from dryness if I let it get to that point. So, I just don’t let that happen anymore. I slather on the shea butter and put socks on for a little while (or sometimes overnight), and it keeps my feet soft and moisturized. Shelf life: 1 year

Cocoa butter is another awesome moisturizer. It’s great for sensitive skin and can even improve the appearance of blemishes. Now Foods’ pure cocoa butter comes in its natural state, which means it’s solid as a brick at room temperature. Give it a little heat, and it will soften up and blend. Cacao (or cocoa) butter is an edible fat obtained from the cacao bean pod. One of the most popular and well known body butters, it is naturally high in vitamin E to help hydrate and soothe skin, and contains natural antioxidants. Because it is a fantastic thickening agent you will often find cocoa butter in lipsticks, lip balms, soaps and creams.

The texture tends to be creamy and yellowish in color and it has a heavenly light chocolate scent (1) and feels delicious on your skin. As always be aware of where you are purchasing from, but a high quality cocoa butter will be suitable for both cosmetic and culinary uses. There will naturally be little pieces of sediment that will appear on the surface once melted. If that is something you do not want in the overall texture of your recipe, you’ll want to strain thoroughly prior to combining with your other ingredients.

Cocoa butter can help combat my stretch marks and scar relief. Shelf life: 2 years

Mango butter comes from the kernals of the tropical mango tree. The texture and composition resembles shea and cocoa butter yet it contains more fatty acids making it a more intense moisturizer. This butter provides skin softness, soothing and moisturizing properties, and is a natural emollient. Mango butter tends to be rich, white in color with a mildly sweet scent and is hard at room temperature. (3)

Due to it’s texture it’s best to combine it with other butters or oils to make it more pliable for use on the skin, or if you are choosing to use it by itself it is best to warm and melt it a bit. Of the butters that I have and use, this is one of my newer ones so I have not yet played around with it in recipes yet. But I will say that I was recently given a lip balm made from mango butter which has become one of my favorite lip moisturizers. I have also read that you can melt it down and add it to your favorite hair conditioner to get extra moisture (this is something I need living in a dry climate in the Northeast US), which I plan to experiment with soon. Eek! So exciting! I love experiments. For now, I have been pleased with using it on my legs after shaving as a moisturizer as-is (it goes on easy in a warm bathroom, on warm, and moist skin). Shelf life: 2 years

Coconut oil is very versatile. It can be used to remove makeup, in candles, to cook and in body products. Natural coconut oil is rich in skin-friendly saturated fats. It’s smooth and leaves skin feeling silky.  Now, the only reason I bring this up here is simply because every time I have researched butters, coconut oil inevitably comes up on the list. Although coconut oil is not an butter, it is a carrier oil  and I discuss it in this detailed article, which I highly suggest you read. This is a go-to oil that you will find yourself using in many DIY skincare recipes, combining it with various butters mentioned here.

Olive oil is another powerhouse ingredient. It’s delicious on food and moisturizing on skin.

“How many people had to die before we realized that smoking actually causes cancer?” Anyone who has ever glanced at a lotion or shampoo bottle has probably noticed a mystifying array of multi-syllabic chemicals. We assume they’re safe enough to put on our bodies – but how much do we really know about the products we slather on each day? Consumer health advocates and some researchers have for years warned that at least some of those are unsafe. And they are trying to connect the dots between these intimately used products and some worrying and unexplained disease trends – particularly in women. “Cancer, infertility, allergies, ADHD, autism, thyroid issues are on the rise, and people can’t figure out why,” Known or suspected carcinogens like formaldehyde – found in some keratin hair treatments, body soap and nail polish – and coal tar – found in some hair dyes and shampoo – are of top concern in beauty products. So are heavy metals, like lead found in lipsticks and clay-based products, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates, among others. Women use an average of 12 products a day – nearly 200 chemicals – according to a 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit environment and health advocacy group. Data on real-world chemical exposure is limited, and most safety assessments look at one chemical and one source at a time. But we are not using just one product. Our daily exposure can greatly outweigh what one company claim is a low dose in their product, which is why we should be concerned.  So here are some natural hair care products for you to try at home so you have one less thing to worry about every day for you and your family.

What are Carrier Oils?

Pictured above is a variety of cold pressed vegetable oils ranging in colour from clear Fractionated Coconut Oil to dark Avocado Oil. A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts.

If applied to the skin undiluted, essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and other concentrated aromatics can cause severe irritation, sensitization, redness or burning or other reactions. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to topical application (it’s important to be sure to dilute essential oils adequately). The term carrier oil is derived from their purpose in carrying the essential oil onto the skin. Aloe vera gel and unscented body lotion are also commonly used as “carriers.” For the scope of this article, however, we will be focusing upon the use of natural vegetable oils as carriers.

Each carrier oil offers a different combination of properties and characteristics. The choice of carrier oil can depend on the benefit being sought.

Natural lotions, creams, body oils, bath oils, lip balms and other moisturizing skin care products are also made using vegetable (carrier) oils. From a simple essential oil/carrier oil blend to a more complex natural lotion, your choice of carrier oil can make a difference in the properties, color, overall aroma and shelf life of your final product.


Adding essential oil, drop by drop, to a tablespoon of carrier oil.

How to select the carrier oil you need

There are many carrier oils available. Most are suitable to use with any essential oil, but you should consider a few things before choosing one.

 

  • Odor: A few carrier oils have a distinct odor. When added to an essential oil, it may alter the aroma.
  • Absorption: Your skin can absorb some carrier oils better than others.
  • Skin type: Depending on your skin type, some oils may irritate skin or worsen a skin condition such as acne.
  • Shelf life: Some carrier oils can be stored for longer periods than others without going bad.

Essential Oils vs. Carrier Oils

Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of a botanical. Essential oils evaporate and have a concentrated aroma. Carrier oils, on the other hand, are pressed from the fatty portions (seeds, nuts, kernels) and do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils. Carrier oils can go rancid over time, but essential oils do not. Instead, essential oils “oxidize” and lose their therapeutic benefits, but they don’t go rancid.

Vegetable Oils are Also Known as Carrier Oils or Base Oils

The term carrier oil is generally limited to use within the practice of aromatherapy. In natural skin care, carrier oils are typically referred to as vegetable oils, fixed oils or base oils. Not all fixed oils/base oils are vegetable oils. Emu oil (from the emu bird) and fish (marine) oils are also classified as fixed/base oils, but these animal-based oils are generally not used for aromatherapy work.

After reading this article, be sure to also view AromaWeb’s Guide to Carrier Oils to view profiles and properties for many carrier oils used in aromatherapy and skin/hair care.

The Aroma of Carrier Oils

Some carrier oils are odorless, but generally speaking, most have a faintly sweet, nutty aroma. If you come across a carrier oil that has a strong, bitter aroma, the carrier oil may have gone rancid, but some carriers such as Neem or Tamanu are very potent. See the Carrier Oils and Rancidity section of this article for information on rancidity.

Examples of Vegetable Oils that are Commonly Used as Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy:

1. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an edible oil made from the meat of mature coconuts. It’s available in refined or unrefined varieties.

Unrefined coconut oil comes from fresh coconut meat. It’s not processed with chemicals and retains its coconut aroma and flavor.

Refined coconut oil comes from dried coconut meat, also called copra. It’s bleached and deodorized to remove contaminants, as well as the distinct coconut aroma and flavor. Refined coconut isn’t all-natural and isn’t recommended for use as a carrier oil.

Uses: Coconut oil contains skin-nourishing fatty acids and polyphenols, which make it a great carrier oil for massage oils and skin care preparations.

2. Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It has a delicate, nutty aroma. Technically, jojoba isn’t an oil, but a wax with powerful moisturizing properties. It’s thought to closely mimic sebum, the skin’s natural oil.

Using jojoba oil may help reduce the skin’s oil production in acne-prone people by making the skin think it’s produced enough oil.

Uses: Jojoba oil absorbs easily in the skin and doesn’t clog pores. This makes it a good carrier oil option for massage oils, facial moisturizers, and bath oils.

3. Apricot kernel oil

Apricot kernel oil is made from apricot seeds, also known as kernels. It’s an emollient oil high in fatty acids and vitamin E. It absorbs easily into the skin and has a slightly sweet, nutty scent. You can buy edible apricot kernel oil, or apricot kernel oil for cosmetic use only.

Uses: Apricot kernel oil is thought to help soften and calm irritated, itchy skin. Use it as a carrier oil to make massage oils, bath oil, and hair care preparations.

4. Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil has a strong, nutty aroma. It’s an edible oil made from the kernels of sweet almonds. The oil is lightweight and absorbs easily, and is a great moisturizer for dry skin.

It’s also used in general aromatherapy, but its strong scent may mask an essential oil’s aroma.

Uses: Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular carrier oils for skin care. It’s great in massage oils, bath oils, and soaps.

5. Olive oil

Olive oil comes from pressed olives. It’s best known as a healthy, edible oil with a fruity aroma, but it’s also used in aromatherapy as a carrier oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil is the preferred variety for aromatherapy and skin care preparations. Olive oil’s scent may interfere with the scent of some essential oils.

Uses: It’s packed with fatty acids and plant sterols, which make it great for cleansing and moisturizing dry skin. Use olive oil as a carrier oil for massage, facial cleansers, hair care, and homemade soaps.

6. Argan oil

Argan oil is made from kernels found inside the fruit of argan trees, which are native to Morocco. The oil is edible and is traditionally used to nourish the body inside and out. It has a nutty aroma and is rich in vitamins A and E, and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Uses: Argan oil can help treat dry skin and hair, wrinkles, and skin inflammation. This makes it a terrific carrier oil for general skin care and massage oils.

7. Rosehip oil

Rosehips are the seeds of the Rosa rubiginosa bush or the Rosa moschata bush. The flowers of both bushes look different from traditional roses. When these flowers die and drop their petals, the rosehip is left behind. Rosehip oil is pressed from rosehips.

Rosehip oil doesn’t smell like a rose, though. It has a nutty, earthy scent.

Uses: Rosehip oil is high in vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is a natural retinoid that helps fight aging, and both vitamins can help reverse the effects of the sun on your skin. Use it as a carrier oil for dry skin remedies, massage oils, and moisturizers.

8. Black seed oil

Black seed oil is made from the Nigella sativa plant. Although it’s lesser known than other carrier oils, it’s richTrusted Source with unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. It’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory abilities.

Uses: Black seed oil is often used as a folk remedy to soothe skin conditions including eczemaacne, and psoriasis. With this in mind, it’s a great choice for facial care, massage oils, and general skin care.

9. Grape seed oil

Grape seed oil comes from grape seeds. It’s a byproduct of the winemaking process. It’s rich in vitamin E, a nutrient thought to heal the skin and reduce wrinkles, although scientific research is inconsistent.

Uses: Grape seed oil is lightweight, easily absorbed by the skin, and has a neutral scent. It’s a good carrier oil to use with essential oils to make body oils and massage oils.

10. Avocado oil

Avocado oil is a heavy, thick, edible oil made from avocado fruit. It has a nutty aroma.

Avocado oil is high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid thought to help dry, damaged skin.

Uses: This can be a good carrier oil for dry skin remedies and body creams — unless you’re dealing with acne. Avocado oil may increase sebum production, so if your skin is acne-prone, check with your dermatologist before use.

11. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is an edible oil extracted from sunflower seeds. It has a neutral odor.

The oil is said to act as a skin barrier against toxins and germs that cause infection, making it a great choice for irritated skin.

Uses: It’s thought to help soften skin, moisturize skin, and soothe irritation, so add this carrier oil to your massage oils or use for general skin care.

BEESWAX

Beeswax is another one of those ingredients that you will want to have on hand when you start making your own skincare products. Not only does it have amazing benefits for the skin, but it also helps to thicken and give homemade lotion the correct consistency.

With it’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, this ingredient can be very helpful for sunburned, chapped, or dry skin. It forms a protective wall by sealing moisture in the skin without clogging up the pores.

Beeswax is another one of those ingredients that you will want to have on hand when you start making your own skincare products. Not only does it have amazing benefits for the skin, but it also helps to thicken and give homemade lotion the correct consistency.

With it’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, this ingredient can be very helpful for sunburned, chapped, or dry skin. It forms a protective wall by sealing moisture in the skin without clogging up the pores.

How to mix carrier oil with essential oils

Whenever possible, purchase organic, cold-pressed carrier oils from a manufacturer you trust. Although most carrier oils don’t cause an allergic reaction, you should always do a patch test prior to using.

To perform a patch test:

  1. Add a small amount of carrier oil to the inside of your wrist or just below your ear.
  2. Cover the oil with a bandage.
  3. Check back on the area after 24 hours.
  4. If irritation occurs, rinse thoroughly, and avoid future use.

If you’re allergic to tree nuts, you shouldn’t use oils derived from tree nuts. This includes sweet almond oil, argan oil, and apricot kernel oil.

When diluting essential oils with a carrier oil, it’s important to follow these dilution guidelines.

For adults:

  • 2.5 percent dilution: 15 drops essential oil per 6 teaspoons carrier oil
  • 3 percent dilution: 20 drops essential oil per 6 teaspoons carrier oil
  • 5 percent dilution: 30 drops essential oil per 6 teaspoons carrier oil
  • 10 percent dilution: 60 drops essential oil per 6 teaspoons carrier oil

For children:

  • .5 to 1 percent dilution: 3 to 6 drops essential oil per 6 teaspoons carrier oil

Always store carrier oils in a cool, dark place, preferably in the refrigerator. You should also keep them in a dark glass bottle.

The bottom line

Carrier oils make it possible to use essential oils safely. They also help nourish and moisturize your skin. Not all oils make good carrier oils, though. You should avoid using things like butter, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil.

Whatever oil you choose, avoid using it on your lips, eyes, or other sensitive areas after it’s been mixed with an essential oil. However, you can safely apply carrier oil alone to these areas.

SOAP MAKING TIPS

Melt and pour soap

Melt and pour soap is the easiest method of making homemade soap. Because the soap base has already been made and prepared for you, you do not have to worry about working with lye, like you would with cold or hot process soap. It is fast and easy to prepare for both children and adults alike. All you have to do is melt the premade base, customize it with your favourite colours, herbs, seeds, honey, rind or essential oils and pour into a mould. Once you get the hang of the process, you can experiment with advanced techniques like layers and swirls. Melt and pour bases can be used for body soap and shampoo but they are not recommended for conditioner bars. I have provided wonderful alternative recipes that do not use melt and pour.

Cold process soap is made by combining oils and sodium hydroxide lye. That causes a chemical reaction called saponification. Melt and pour soap has already gone through that process. That means you don’t have to handle lye, you can focus on the design, and you don’t have to cure the soap – it’s ready to use as soon as it’s cool and hard.

A double boiler

There is no need to go out and buy a double boiler. A double boiler is nothing more than a glass bowl inside a pot of boiling water. Ensure the water does not get into the bowl at any time. A glass bowl or jug in a microwave can be used in 30 second stints as an alternative once you get used to working with soap as long as you do not boil the soap/butters. It must be dissolved slowly.

Soap moulds

You need to use a mould that can withstand higher temperatures, so it doesn’t melt when you pour in hot soap. You also want it to be flexible so it’s easy to unmould the bars. Silicone and plastic moulds are best for melt and pour. Silicon moulds are the easiest to work with when making soap.

An important tip is to spray the moulds with rubbing alcohol to prevent air bubbles before and sometimes on top of the soap after if bubbles appear on the top. Try not to move the moulds for at least 2 hrs when poured and if you are in a rush, place the soup into the fridge or freezer to harden quicker. They will sweat a little when they are taken out again so make sure to let them ‘breathe’ for an hour or so before storing them in an airtight container.

Colorants

There are plenty of options for colouring melt and pour soap. Micas and colour blocks are easy to use and they look great in the finished bars. Natural colourants such as turmeric or saffron can also be used. It is not recommended to use options like food colouring or crayons because they haven’t been tested or approved for use in soap. They tend to morph, fade, or bleed.

Conditioner Soap Bar (4-6 bars)

Customizing Melt and Pour Soap

The easiest way to make soap is the melt and pour method. And it’s really a great way for any beginner to start. There are a lot of natural melt and pour soap bases to choose from including glycerin, Castile, goat milk, shea, hemp, sulphate free and more! Of course, we would encourage you to make glycerin soap base yourself.

Essential oils, herbs, and other ingredients can be added to melt and pour soap bases for unique combinations and inspiring aromas. Plus, you can customize your melt and pour soap using silicone moulds to make fun shapes.

CASTILE SOAP OR SAL SUDS DILEMMA?

You may be wondering why I am putting soaps into this section. However, castile soaps and sal suds are soaps derived from oils (coconut, olive, palm, jojoba, and hemp). It is important to figure out whether you have hard water at your property or not as this will determine which of these two products would suit you best.

DO YOU HAVE HARD WATER??

Here some useful info about how to find out if you do and whether it’s best to use castile soap or sal suds as your natural soap element for cleaning.

The Test to see if you have hard water or not…

Fill a clear glass with tap water. Squirt in some true soap, such as Castile Liquid Soap.

If the soap turns cloudy as it enters the water, you have hard water. If the soap swirls around but stays pretty much clear, you don’t. The reaction of castile soap with the minerals in the water leaves behind an insoluble film that’s commonly called “soap scum”. Soap scum is not actually soap that remains, but a precipitate of minerals. If you do not have hard water, castile soap is ideal.

If you have hard water – use sal suds in place of castile soap. This is our biodegradable household cleaner which doesn’t react with hard water. It rinses cleanly and leave surfaces sparkling. No more film on the tub or towels! For it’s multitude of uses, see the Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet.

Remedies if you have hard water:

If you have hard water, there are a couple ways you’ll see the effects.

Laundry: Hard water doesn’t rinse the soap off as well.
Remedy: Add ½ to 1 cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle.

Shiny bathroom surfaces: Hard water leaves soap scum (ring around the tub).

Remedy: Wipe surfaces dry, and clean once or twice a week with a 50% vinegar spray. 50% water

Hair: Hard water can make hair stiff and a little tacky feeling.

Remedy: Use a slightly acidic rinse after you wash your hair with soap such as 50% apple cider vinegar solution, or a couple capfuls of the Dr. Bronner’s Hair Rinse diluted in a cup of water.

CASTILE SOAP OR SAL SUDS?

Situations to use Castile:

  • Body – Head to toe.
  • Animals – Any Castile soap scent on my dog. Baby Unscented on my cat.
  • Pest Control – Only Castile soap has this ability to eliminate insects
  • Washing bedding

Situations to use Sal Suds:

  • Dishes
  • Cars
  • Laundry – except bedding

Castile soap is primarily designed for the body. The blend of oils (coconut, olive, palm, jojoba, and hemp) are designed to be the most nourishing to our skin. Because it is such a beautifully simple soap, it also cleans many other things amazingly well, whether it’s your dog, your sinks, or your floors. You can find details of all these uses on this Castile Soap Dilutions Cheat Sheet. Because Castile soap is a true soap, it reacts with the minerals contained in hard water (add castile soap to your water, If it goes cloudy, it is hard water and will leave a film on your dishes, etc. Better to use sal suds in this case).

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oil precautions

Although essential oils are usually safe for daily use, there are precautions you should adhere to. Test for allergies first, before using any oil. Simply dab a bit on the inside of your wrist and wait for any reaction. Additionally, avoid putting essential oils in your eyes. That means when using essential oils under your eyes, stay away from the lash area. Always use a carrier oil when applying essential oil to the skin. Never use undiluted essential oils on your skin, as they may cause irritation. And of course, if you are pregnant or nursing, avoid using essential oils.

BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SKIN

Calming – Lavender + Roman Chamomile
Clear Skin – Frankincense + Lavender + Melaleuca
Citrus Bliss – Wild orange + Lemon + Lime
Gentle – Ylang ylang + Geranium + Fennel
Oily – Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Lavender, Geranium
Dry – Myrrh, Frankincense, Peppermint

BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HAIR

Rosemary – Rosemary essential oil is the top oil for hair growth and thickness. It helps to treat dry hair, as well as overly oily hair and can help prevent split ends.

Lavender – Studies have shown that lavender produces more hair follicles to help thicken and strengthen hair.  Lavender has a beautiful floral scent that can promote calmness and reduce stress; stress can be the biggest reason for hair loss.

Peppermint – This essential oil is known for the cooling effect it has on the skin when used topically and for its refreshing minty scent.  Peppermint is also great for the hair as it promotes hair growth and thickness.

Sandalwood – Sandalwood s nourishing to the hair and can stimulate hair growth, help against dandruff, and promote a healthy scalp.

Bergamot – Bergamot has been very successful at promoting hair growth when massaged into the scalp.  With cleansing and purifying properties, it is also effective at keeping the scalp healthy.

Lemongrass – This essential oil has a citrusy yet woodsy smell making it a perfect scent for men or women.  I make a beard oil with lemongrass that my husband loves, and he is pretty picky about having products with manly smells! Lemongrass is great for the hair and can help to strengthen and thicken.

Clary Sage – Adding clary sage to the conditioner will help with hair growth by strengthening the hair and preventing split ends.

Wild Orange – refreshing and uplifting aroma of wild orange. Wild orange is amazing for supporting the mood, the immune system, and can benefit the hair.

Melaleuca – Melaleuca promotes a healthy, clean-looking scalp. It can be used to help with a dry, itchy scalp and protect against lice.

Roman Chamomile – Roman chamomile is a delicate essential oil that is sensitive enough to use on young children.  It can help to soften the hair while adding shine.  I love using this oil on my kid’s hair.

Ylang Ylang – The floral smell of ylang ylang can make a perfect addition to your detangler.  It has many benefits for the hair and smells lovely paired with lavender.

Rosemary – Rosemary essential oil is the top oil for hair growth and thickness. It helps to treat dry hair as well as overly oily hair and can help prevent split ends.

Juniper Berry – The fruity scent of juniper berry is perfect for a kids detangler spray.  Some of its benefits include helping with oily hair and strengthening brittle strands.

Lemon – Great for greasy hair and hair growth lemon is another good one to add to this spray.  Lemon helps stimulate circulation in the scalp for increased hair growth.

Nettle – This oil protects against hair loss and promotes hair to grow and thicken

Jojoba – Often used as a natural remedy for dandruff due to it’s moisturizing properties. Prevents hair loss

BEST OILS FOR ITCHING

Basil – This oil is amazing at relieving itch! If you only have basil, mix it with a little coconut oil and apply it to the bug bite and you will see how well it helps to stop the itch.

Peppermint– All bugs seem to hate peppermint, which makes it great for bug repellent, plus it is very soothing for the skin, making it great for relieving bug bite itch.

Tea Tree– Also known as melaleuca, this oil is great for all skin irritations.

Roman Chamomile– This oil is gentle enough for sensitive skin and wonderful to cool and soothe skin.

Bergamont– Be careful using this one during the summertime, as it is photosensitive. Do not use on skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight.)

Eucalyptus– Similar to peppermint, this oil helps to cool and soothe the skin from irritations.

BEST OILS FOR LAUNDRY

Lavender – Lavender is a very calming, relaxing essential oil, with a lovely floral smell. This one is my favorite for laundry soap.

Wild Orange – Invigorating, uplifting, and cleansing; wild orange is perfect for your laundry soap.  It adds a fresh scent to your clean clothes.

Melalueca – Melaleuca is a purifying and cleansing essential oil.  If you ever forgot to put wet laundry straight in the dryer when it is done, add 2-3 drops to the wet clothes and add to the dryer.

Peppermint – If you like a fresh, minty scent, then this will be your oil.  Peppermint makes a wonderful scent for your homemade laundry soap.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus is a great oil to add to your laundry soap during times of sickness.  The oil will freshen clothes and kill germs.

Lemongrass – This citrus oil has an earthy smell and makes a great scent, especially for men.

Roman Chamomile – Another calming essential oil and great for kids.  Roman chamomile adds a beautiful floral scent.

Cedarwood – Another one for the men in your life.  Cedarwood has a woodsy scent that most men enjoy and it has cleansing properties making it great for your soap.

Patchouli – Either you love it or hate it.  I am a patchouli lover and am obsessed with the scent.  This is another favorite of mine for laundry.

Jasmine – If you want to smell like a bed of flowers all day, then add jasmine to your laundry soap.  Jasmine is very calming and can help with stress and anxious feelings.

BEST OILS FOR INFECTIONS

Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-microbial oils

  • lavender
  • geranium
  • rosemary or
  • tea-tree

Oil Blends

CITRUS 

  • 5 drops lemon
  • 5 drops grapefruit
  • 5 drops lime

FLORAL 

  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops patchouli
  • 5 drops chamomile

FRESH 

  • 5 drops lemon
  • 5 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops cypress

MINTY 

  • 5 drops spearmint (or peppermint)
  • 5 drops eucalyptus
  • 5 drops wintergreen

Immune Support 

Respiratory Blend

Calming Blend                                                   

Energy Blend

Laundry Soap Blends

CITRUS BURST

  • 20 drops wild orange
  • 15 drops lemon
  • 10 drops lime
  • 5 drops grapefruit

FLORAL SENSATION

  • 20 drops lavender
  • 15 drops jasmine
  • 10 drops patchouli
  • 5 drops clary sage

GENTLE FOR BABY

  • 25 drops lavender
  • 10 drops roman chamomile

ODOR CONTROL

  • 20 drops eucalyptus
  • 15 drops melaleuca
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 5 drops peppermint

Natural Cleaning Blends

These essential oils have powerful cleansing and purifying properties

  • Lemon
  • Wild Orange
  • Lime
  • Melaleuca

Fresh and Calming Blend

Lavender – Great for soothing skin irritations, burns, bumps, and rashes.

Wild orange – A powerful cleansing and purifying agent and works well in body wash or shower gel.

SHAMPOO BEST SCENT FOR MEN

  • 6 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 4 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 2 drops bergamot essential oil

SHAMPOO BEST SCENT FOR CHILDREN

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops wild orange essential oil

SHAMPOO FRAGRANT

  • 6 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 4 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

SHAMPOO BLEND FOR HAIR LOSS

  • 6 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

SHAMPOO BLENDS

HEALTHY HAIR 

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint

BEST BLEND FOR MEN 

  • Sandalwood
  • Bergamot
  • Lemongrass

BEST BLEND FOR WOMEN 

  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • Wild orange
  • Lime

BEST BLEND FOR CHILDREN 

  • Lavender
  • Roman Chamomile

Kids Oil Blends

Prepare a roller ball 10 ml bottle and near fill with fractionated coconut oil and add

FOCUS

  • 3 -5 drops Rosemary
  • 3 -5 drops Peppermint
  • 3 -5 drops Wild orange
  • 3 -5 drops Frankincense

SEPARATION OR ANXIETY

  • 3 -5 drops Lavender
  • 3 -5 drops Bergamot
  • 3 -5 drops Vetiver
  • 3 -5 drops Cypress

COURAGE

  • 3 -5 drops Wild Orange
  • 3 -5 drops Cinnamon
  • 3 -5 drops Patchouli
  • 3 -5 drops Spearmint

STRESS

  • 3 -5 drops Copaiba
  • 3 -5 drops Lavender
  • 3 -5 drops Lemon
  • 3 -5 drops Lime

MOOD

  • 3 -5 drops Wild Orange
  • 3 -5 drops Lemon
  • 3 -5 drops Lime

HERBS AND HOW TO USE THEM

If you want an oil of your own to any recipe and make a herbal product, you can make your own infused oil using herbs. Herbal lip balms, body butter, soaps, hair products. Herbs are very versatile, and you can grow them in your garden and dry them. Here is a way to incorporate herbs as an oil into your products.

Directions for making infused oil:

Option 1:
cover fresh or dried herbs in oil (olive, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil). Make sure they are covered in the oil, place lid on the jar and let sit in a window for 2-3 weeks. Strain and keep oil in a cool, dark place.

Option 2 (faster):
Place oil in a saucepan with herbs (enough to cover). Turn burner on LOW. You do not want to fry your herbs, just to speed the process of the herbs releasing their oils and goodness. When oil is hot, turn off and remove from burner. Let sit for 24 hours, then strain herbs. Keep oil in a cool, dark place.

Herbs to Use:

(Information from the Herbal Academy of New England).
Use any combination of the herbs below (or if you only have one, that’s ok too).
1. Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory herb, helping any irritated skin to calm and be soothed.
2. Calendula is highly recommended because it is a powerful wound and tissue healer. This will speed up the healing of any cracks or splits. It also soothes the pain associated with cracked lips.
3. Hyssop is another option. I started growing some in your garden last year. It is beautiful and smells great (it’s in the mint family). It is also an anti-
inflammatory and healing herb.
4. Yarrow is a healing herb (making it great to have around the house). It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and helps dull the pain of sore lips.
5. Lavender is well known for its calming and soothing effects. But it is also anti-bacterial and an antiseptic. So, don’t feel that it’s not enough. Lavender, along with the shea butter is a great combination

Herbs for Body Soap Recipes

Lavender

Hands down, lavender is just about the best soap making herb. It’s light and clean scent is popular for a reason and it provides a sense of comfort. It is antibacterial and can help to heal wounds. Lavender is also well known for its relaxing properties and uses as a natural sleep aid. Use it whole in your herbal soap for a gentle exfoliating property or powdered for even gentler action

Chamomile

Chamomile is soft and fragrant. It’s a gentle healing herb and is very soothing. It can also help to remove bacteria on the skin, although not as well as lavender.

Calendula

Often called pot marigold, calendula is not in the marigold family, but is in the aster family. Calendula is very healing and can help to remove redness from the skin. Many herbs turn dark after a few weeks in the soap, but calendula herbal soap will hold its color very well for a long time.

Lemon Balm

When it’s dried, lemon balm loses some of its lemony scent, but it still works very well in soap. Lemon balm is thought to be antiviral and can help to kill germs when you wash with it. It provides a dark green color and a bit rougher exfoliation than lavender or chamomile, while not abrading the skin.

Marshmallow Root

One of the most soothing herbs for herbal soap is marshmallow root. When powdered and used in making soap, the soap becomes soothing and softens the skin very well. Its demulcent action helps to provide moisture for overworked hands. (Find organic marshmallow root powder here.)

Comfrey

Comfrey root, dried and ground into a powder, is added to soap to help heal the skin. It is very effective for acne and poison ivy rash, while not being too harsh. It will not dry the skin out but will help to heal the skin. You can also use the leaf, although the root has more healing properties.

Mint

Almost all of the mints are antibacterial, making them a great choice for soap making. There are several different types of mint, some having more of the characteristic minty smell than others like peppermint and spearmint, chocolate mint and grapefruit mint.

Rosemary

Perhaps one of the most useful herbs in herbal soap making is rosemary. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. It is also full of antioxidants. Rosemary Oil Extract, or ROE, is sold as a preservative for soap and other body care products. I like to powder my rosemary since the leaves are pointy like pine needles.

Rose

Rose petals are very soft and they can lend a softening property to soap making. Using rose petals in herbal soap can not only soften the skin but also provides gentle exfoliation. Rose petals contain a lot of Vitamin C, which is also beneficial to the skin.

Oatmeal

One more ingredient, oatmeal, is used extensively in herbal soap making. While it is not an herb, it is worth a mention. Oatmeal provides exfoliation while soothing and softening the skin. You can use rolled or old-fashioned oats, whole or ground oats, or you can make oat “milk” by soaking the oats in water and then draining the liquid. Use the liquid as your water portion in making soap.