Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meet the Ingredients!

Earlier this year when I first endeavored into handcrafting body products, it didn't really cross my mind that it could turn into a business.  I started doing this because I was tired of buying items in the store with a long list of ingredients that I couldn't pronounce.  I was tired of seeing my son's sensitive skin break out into a rash because some unknown ingredient had irritated him.  I was tired of reading articles about the dangers of this product or that ingredient and I decided that it was time for a change. 
I started by making a list of items that we frequently use and that I felt were reasonable to *attempt* to replace. 

My initial list was something like this:

-Body Wash
-Lip Balm
-Face Soap

So I went about the task of researching recipes, ingredients, suppliers and cost effectiveness.  I had already replaced many of our household cleaners with more natural products and I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could replace our personal care items as well.

The very first product that I successfully created was my beeswax lip balm.  It took some trial and error in the beginning, but I quickly discovered the winning combination.  The ingredients that I include in my lip balm are all items that I can feel good about using on my skin, and I love the smooth moisturizing feel of the lip balm.

The next product that I created was my Olive Oil Hand & Body Cream.  Using only three ingredients, I was able to make a lotion that I absolutely LOVE.  It's rich and creamy, but doesn't leave a greasy residue.  I actually haven't used any conventional lotions since I started making this.  This is kind of where the business began.  After making this lotion as gifts for some friends, I started getting requests to purchase my products. 

So let's talk about the ingredients that I use.

Olive Oil- This antioxidant and Vitamin E rich oil is a fantastic moisturizer, healer & protectant  I use it in my lotion, and lip balm. 

Coconut Oil- Unrefined Coconut oil contains numerous antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that help to soften, protect & heal the skin.  As a result, you can expect increased elasticity and younger looking skin.  Coconut oil is featured in my lip balm and salves.

Beeswax- A wonderful barrier that protects skin from irritants but still allows it to breathe.  Beeswax attracts and seals in moisture.  It also contains Vitamin A that helps soften and rehydrate skin.  I use beeswax in my lip balm and salve.

Honey- An excellent antibacterial skin product that speeds healing and prevents infection.  Said to be beneficial in preventing and healing acne. Honey is featured in my Oatmeal & Honey Soap

Oatmeal-  Helps reduce skin inflammation and therefore soothing to itchy skin. .  Oatmeal is featured in my Oatmeal & Honey Soap.

Essential Oils: Essential oils come from various flowers, trees, shrubs, roots & seeds. They are truly the "essence" of that plant.  They have many healing properties as well as being richly scented.  I use essential oils in my products because they are natural and don't contain alcohol and other ingredients that can irritate skin.
Here is some info about some of the essential oils that I use in my products.
Bergamot-Fresh, citrusy, slightly floral--Good for anxiety,depression &stress
Eucalyptus-Fresh, medicinal, woody & earthy--Good for clearing airways
Grapefruit-Fresh, sweet, sharp & citrusy-- Good for detoxification, mood lifting
Lavender- Floral, fresh, sweet, herbaceous-- Good for anxiety, colic, depression, headache & stress
*Lemongrass- Fresh, lemony, earthy-- Good for muscle aches & stress
Palmarosa- Fresh, floral, sweet-- Good for antiseptic & hydration
Peppermint- Strong, minty-- Good for colic, fever, headache, vertigo, invigoration
Rosemary- Strong, clear, penetrating-- Good for aches, hair care, circulation
Spearmint-Minty, slightly fruity-- Good for exhaustion, headache, fever, vertigo, invigoration
Sweet Orange- Sweet, citrusy-- Good for cold/flu, stress, mood lifting
*Tea tree- medicinal, fresh, woody, earthy-- Good for cold/flu, acne, itching, oily skin
Vanilla- rich, warm, sweet-- Good for mood enhancement & skin care

*Indicates very strong scents that might be best included in combination with other scents.

Hopefully this gives you a little more information about the ingredients that I use and how they can benefit your skin & health!


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