Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bath Oil For Dry Winter Skin

I personally hate cold weather. I know many people enjoy Winter sports but I am not one of them. Regardless of whether you like Winter or not, your skin doesn't.

Bath Oil is a great way to pamper your skin and replenish lost moisture. Using Bath Oils is also a wonderful way to help you relax at the end of a hard day. The only ingredient in the bath oil you make at home is essential oils. You use a different essential oil, depending on the skin issues you have or what emotion you want to have as result of your bath. Some essential oils are more energizing while some are more calming.

Scented bath oils can turn a simple bath into an experience. Essential oils require only tiny amounts to impart their scent. Adding essential oil to a carrier oil will add further moisturizing benefits to your handmade bath oil. Some examples of carrier oils are mineral oil, coconut or almond oil.

As you are no doubt aware, oil and water do not mix. When using small amounts of oil or simply essential oil, the amount is not sufficient to create a problem. Using more oil, in an effort to make a maximum moisturizing effect, can result in an unsafe, slippery mess. To prevent this, you must use an emulsifier, to disperse the oil throughout the water. Two options are Polysorbate 20 or 80.
Figure your recipe using about 20% Polysorbate 80 or 20, and 80% bath oil. Add in 3-5% fragrance or essential oil.

For example:
  • 2 ounces of Polysorbate 80 or 20
  • 8 ounces of sweet almond oil
  • 0.5 ounces of essential oil
  1. Measure the Polysorbate 80/20 into the bottle.
  2. Add the fragrance/essential oil and mix gently.
  3. Add the almond oil and mix gently.
Use 1 Tablespoon per bath.

Here are a few examples of some Bath Oils you can try.

Neroli oil is great to use if you need to promote relaxation and sleep. It is known to have a sedative  effect. Put 10 drops directly into warm bath water and then sit back and relax.

If you suffer from back or joint pain add 2 drops of thyme essential oil to your bath as well as 4 drops of eucalyptus oil. Soak in the bath for at least 15 minutes.

To help relieve dry skin, add 4 drops chamomile essential oil, 4 drops palmarosa essential oil, 2 drops patchouli essential oil and 1 drop lavender essential oil to one teaspoon of vegetable oil and add to your bath water.

After the Holidays

As with everyone, the Holidays kept me busy, so, I haven't posted for a while. I hope everyone had a blessed holiday season and that the New Year will bring health and happiness to all.

I am working on a new post and plan to publish later today.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Using Silicones

Silicone oils help improve the absorption and feel of lotions and creams. They are also frequently used in hair products to add sheen. The most commonly used are Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone.

Silicone compounds are very versatile. There are two common types of silicones used in cosmetic products. The ring-like circular structures and straight or branched chains of silicones both have very different properties. Cyclic (circular) silicones (ie, cylcomethicones) evaporate quickly. This makes them suitable as carrier silicones as well as light degreasers for lotion or other emulsified products. Common applications include dry oil sprays, hair conditioners, and lotions. The use rates vary widely depending upon the application. Straight chain (dimethicones) silicones have a wide variety of properties based upon the length of the chain. Relative chain length is often differentiated by viscosity. The ultra-light ones are often blended with cyclomethicones for very quick soak-in.
The medium weight oils are commonly used to improve the feel of lotion products and can act as skin protectants.  Silicones are often modified for a variety of reasons, including improving water dispersion and "consumer feel." Silicone compounds are usually recommended for external use only. Silicones come in several grades depending upon the use. Choosing the correct grade is important to ensure safety of your customer.

Unmodified silicones stay on or near the surface of the skin. Not only are the molecules too big to physically enter past the upper living cells -- they associate with the upper layer of drying skin -- but they also cannot penetrate cell membranes due to their large size. They also dislike both the water and proteins inside cells. Cyclomethicones are unmodified silicones. They evaporae quickly after helping carry oils into the top layer of the skin. In hair products, cyclomethicone helps nutrients enter the hair shaft.Dimethicones are also unmodified silicones. They form a barrier layer on the skin which must be renewed as the skin sloughs off. Dimethicones coat the surface of the hair and lubricate it, improving combing providing detangling, and thus, hair loss and breakage.
Silicones form a protective layer which helps prevent transdermal water loss -- a very useful characteristic for many products. Silicone gums provide instant shine to hair. Silicones act to help seal moisture into the hair, which helps prevent many kinds of damage.

Silicones have varying properties which affects how they are used. Their solubility in a variety of ingredients is a most important consideration. Silicones usually blend readily with each other to provide desired properties. The solubility of silicones in other ingredients varies and must be observed when formulating.

Unmodified silicones are insoluble in water and other polar compounds. They will emulsify well, though, using the more common emulsifying agents. All-silicone emulsions are possible. Silicones can be modified or changed to improve water solublity. Silicone oils dissolve well in and will dissolve non-polar materials. These include essential oils, mineral oil, fixed oils, light esters, and sunscreen agents. Solubility decreases, however, as the size and viscosity of the silicone increases. Silicone oils are somewhat soluble in waxes, lanolin, castor oil and similar materials. The viscosity limitation is higher in these materials than it is for the fixed oils.

Usage rates of silicone compounds varies, however, is generally quite low. Their usual applications include lotions, salves, conditioners and bath products that use 1 to 5 % silicone as an additive to modify "feel" and provide skin protection. Cyclomethicones are most commonly used, with the low- to medium- viscosity dimethicones. Different types of silicone may be used alone or together. Many formulas use 2 parts cyclomethicone to 1 part dimethicone. Cyclomethicone may be used alone to carry essential oils in a dry oil spray -- referred to commonly as "dry perfume oil sprays".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How About a Few Various Bath & Body Recipes

Sure-Fire Bath Bombs

Dry Ingredients:
1 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid
Mix dry ingredients well.
2 1/2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2 Tablespoons Polysorbate 20
2 Teaspoons of Fragrance or Essential Oil.

Blend Thouroughly. Pack tightly into molds. Turn molds over and tap lightly to remove product. Dry overnight.

Warming Thai-Ginger Massage Oil

4 parts Grapeseed Oil
1 Part Avocado Oil
1 Part Jojoba Oil
1 part Sunflower Oil
10 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil
7 drops Ginger Essential Oil
5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
3 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
2 drops Vetiver Essential Oil
2 drops Black Pepper Essential Oil

Mix well. Store in spray bottle or bottle with dispensing lid, for easy use.

Herbal Stick Deodorant

4 Teaspoons Beeswax
2 Teaspoons Cocoa Butter
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
3 drops Castor Oil
15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Heat wax and butter together until just melted. Add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pour into deodorant stick container. Allow to cool and harden.

Cocoa-Hemp Lip Lube

3 ounces Beeswax
2 ounces Cocoa Butter
3 ounces Shea Butter
2 ounces Hemp Oil
2 ounces Jojoba Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Flavor Oil
Color (optional) * make sure colorants are lip safe. Please!

Melt butters until just melted. Add oils and flavor. Pour into lip tubes and allow to cool.

Shea-Mango Bath Melts

2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Citric Acid
Mix well and spoon loosely into molds.
Melt remaining ingredients together. Mix well and pour over dry ingredients, mixing gently with toothpick to coat dry ingredients completely:
50 grams Shea Butter
25 grams Mango Butter
5 grams Sweet Almond Oil
3 grams Wheat Germ Oil
12 grams Polysorbate 20
4 grams fragrance / essential Oil
Place in freezer for 15-30 minutes  or until completely cool. Gently remove from mold.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lotion versus Cream

Basically, the only difference between lotion and cream is that cream is generally thicker, a bit greasier and has a fuller, more waxy texture. Creams are great for feet, knees and elbows or for especially dry skin.
Generally speaking, Emulsifying wax is used in lotions. This waxy material emulsifies your water and oils together. Usage varies based on the combination of thickeners but normal usage rates are between 3 and 6% of the total weight of your recipe.
For creams, Cetearyl Alcohol is used most often as the emulsifier. It consists of fatty alcohol derived from natural oils and fats (cetyl and stearyl alcohol) and is used to thicken and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl Alcohol imparts an emollient feel to the skin. Recommended usage level: 1-25%. Due to the higher percentage available for use as opposed to emulsifying wax, this helps add additional thickness and body to creams.

Here is a recipe for you to try:

Ballerina Foot Cream

5 ounces Shea Butter
3 ounces Whea Germ Oil
2 ounces Jojoba Oil
2 ounce Macadamia Nut Oil
0.5 ounces Phenonip (preservative)
16 ounces Distilled Water
8 ounces Cetearyl Alcohol
0.5 ounces Peppermint Essential Oil

 Melt cetearyl alcohol, oils and butter together just until liquid. Add Phenonip. Heat water until approximately the same temperature as the oil mixture. Slowly pour oil mixture into the water while mixing with a stick blender or regular kitchen mixer. If the oils begin to solidify, heat the water a bit more. The mixture should remain liquid, but somewhat thick (about the consistency of thin gravy) during the mixing process. Once the water and oils are well mixed, add essential oil and mix again. If the mixtures thickens too much, you can heat it briefly (10-15 seconds at a time) in the microwave. **Heating too hot will cause excess air to be incorporated into the cream as it is being mixed. It can also deactivate the preservative, placing your product as risk for contamination.**
Pour into tubs while still warm. Product will thicken as it cools. ENJOY!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fizzy Bath Bombs

Bath Bombs are a  popular and fun bath item. Plus, a bonus is that they can be beneficial to the skin as well, depending on the ingredients used to create them. The basic ingredients for bath bombs are citric acid and baking soda. In addition to these two ingredients, oils and / or butters are added, along with fragrance and color.

Basic Recipe:
1 part citric acid (1 cup)
2 parts baking soda (2 cups)
Witch Hazel in a spray bottle

Blend the citric acid and baking soda. It is of utmost importance to blend these two ingredients extremely well. Failing to do so will result in a grainy bath bomb. This doesn't hurt the bath bomb or make it unusable, it just makes it less pretty.
After blending the citric acid and baking soda, add your colorant. Dry colors work best, however, liquids can also be used, but, you run the risk of setting off the fizz trigger and once that happens, you can't stop it. Color tends to show up after the witch hazel is added, so, don't get too carried away. Add the fragrance, according to personal taste, keeping in mind that the bath bomb will be adding fragrance to a tub full of water, so, will dilute considerably.
Now, for the trickiest part. Spritz the dry ingredients you have just mixed with Witch Hazel, mixing as you spritz to moisten evenly. Be careful!!! Too much will start the fizzing!!! When the mixture is just moist enough to stick together when you squeeze some in your hand, it is good enough. Time to put it in the mold. You can use any type of plastic mold, according to whatever size you want. Press the mixture firmly into the mold cavity, pressing as much as you can into it. Turn mold over and gently tap the bottom to remove the bomb from the mold. If it falls apart, you may need to add a wee bit more witch hazel. Work quickly tho because once the mixture starts to dry out, it will harden and you will not be able to get it to stick together.
You can also use a meatball maker to make round bath bombs. Once  you have the mixture ready for the mold, simply use the meatball maker, scooping up an excess amount of mixture, to allow for sufficient mixture for compression.
Allow bombs to air dry for 24 - 48 hours.

To make a more moisturizing bath bomb, you can add oils and or butters to your recipe. Using the basic recipe, add 1- 2 Tablespoons of Almond Oil or melted Cocoa Butter to the well mixed citric acid and baking soda mixture and proceed with the recipe. You will notice that you don't need as much Witch Hazel since the oils and butters help the mixture stick together.  **When adding oils or butters to your bath bombs, residual oil may lay on the bottom of the tub after the water has been drained, creating a slippery condition. PLEASE keep this in mind and use necessary caution when using your bath bombs. I recommend cleaning the tub immediately after using an oil rich bath bomb to resolve slippery conditions.

Additional ingredients can be added to bath bombs to make them prettier. Colored sugar sprinkles or glitter are a couple popular choices.  SLS Powder can also be added if you want a Bubble Bath Bomb. Just add 4 Tablespoons of SLS powder to the basic recipe. Bath bombs which contain oil do not bubble as much as the basic bath bomb, so, if you want lots of bubbles, skip the oil.

Bombs away!!!!! Here is a picture of some Beach Ball Bath Bombs I made this past Summer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making Solid Perfume Sticks

In the previous post, we explained how to make liquid perfume. This time, we will tell you how to make solid perfume.  Whether you're looking to set yourself apart with a unique scent or you're not so fond of the alcoholic undertones in most liquid perfumes, these instructions will show you how to create an inexpensive alternative.

Here is what you will need:

1 Tablespoon of beeswax
1 Tablespoon of carrier oil (Almond or Jojoba are good choices)
10-15 drops of essential or fragrance oil, according to personal preference
2 Standard lipbalm tubes

Measure oil and wax into a small glass dish. Place in microwave and heat at short intervals, watching it very closely, until it is just barely melted. Add fragrance and stir well with toothpick. Pour into lipbalm tubes. ( If the perfume thickens before you can pour it into your containers, just reheat. Carefully.) Allow to sit until fully cooled. Your perfume is ready to use!!!

For a lovely extra touch, you can add a small pinch of glitter to the melted oils.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Making Perfume

Many people, male and female alike, wear fragrances in one form or another. Some favor a soap with an exceptionally strong scent, which lingers on the skin. Others like to use scented lotions or creams. Perfumes and colognes are another form of wearable fragrance.
The origination of perfume can be traced back thousands of years to the early Egyptian’s where the first perfume was in incense form. The origin of the word perfume comes from the Latin words per and fumus, which mean through smoke.

Perfumes can be expensive, plus, who wants to smell like everyone else? You can create your own personal, unique fragrance quite easily.

Creating a perfume is a lot like cooking a multiple course meal where all of the courses blend together and compliment one another, resulting in a satisfying, fulfilling experience.

It is important to understand the terminology of perfuming. Here are a few words you will encounter as you journey along.


Absolutes are regarded as the strongest aromatic product from the starting plant material.


An Accord is the equivalent of a chord in music. It is a blend of two fragrances to produce a third, unique fragrance, without the two original fragrances distinctly detected. The two should be in balance and harmony with each other. The accord or note is usually only a part of a perfumes composition.


Alcohol is used to break down solids and heavy oils. It also lends to the diffusion and blending of perfumes. It also is catalyst to the dilution adding a fresh lightness.


A heavy, rich, sweet, full bodied aroma, slightly powdery.


The rich aroma displayed by balsamic notes.


Aromatherapy is a term meaning the combination of aroma with therapy, created by R.M. Gattefosse, a French chemist.

Attar (Otto)

Attar or Otto refers to essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the Bulgarian rose, a precious additive to floral perfumes.

Base Notes

The base notes are the final fragrance notes that appear once the top notes are completely evaporated.


A perfume term for the middle or "heart" of a perfume. Used to describe a fragrance that is well rounded or full.


The sum mixture of flower notes.

Bridge Notes

Bridge notes have intermediate evaporation rates and serve to tie a scent together.

Carrier Oil

An oil base into which aroma additives are mixed with to create oil-based products.

Citrus Note

The fresh, light notes of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and bergamot.


A style of fragrance that has rich large percentage of floral absolutes.


A perfume that is excessively sweet, clinging and overpowering.


It is primarily a blend of citrus oils. Also a light form of fragrance with about 3% concentration of perfume in a solution of alcohol and water.


The term used in the perfume industry for a concentrated mixture before it is diluted or used in products.


Concrete is the term used in perfumery to refer to the hard, waxy substance derived from the raw material.


Refers to the quality of a perfumes body and sophistication. Being rich and full bodied nature.


The volatilization or evaporation and dispersal of a aroma material into the surrounding atmosphere.


A product of distillation like lavender oil from the fresh, blooming lavender plant.


Plant material such as leaves, flowers or wood placed in a still where steam is passed through the plant material. The steam carries the oil out to a condenser which cools the steam & oil mixture. The mixture drips into container where the essential oils float to the top.


Alcohols help create this sort of scent. Think of it like a dry cocktail, not to sweet, more aromatic.

Dry Down

The final phase of a perfume, the bottom note. The aroma that lingers several hours after application.


Notes that give the impression of earth, soil, the forest floor, mold and moss. Earthy notes are clearly discernible in oakmoss absolute, vetiver and patchouli oils.


A very old method of extracting fragrant absolutes. Fresh flowers are pushed onto plates of glass and then covered with tallow. New blossoms are continually added to replace spent flowers until the fat is saturated with the fragrance.

Expression or Pressed

Method of obtaining essential oil from plant material, mostly citrus fruit peels.


The method by which essential oils are separated from the plant using solvents which can then be removed by evaporation. Strictly speaking, distillation and expression are methods of 'extraction' but the term is generally reserved for the use of solvents.


A material used in a perfume to fix the perfume or make it last longer.


The core of a perfume composition which gives it its character. (Also known as Middle Note)


An odor which is intense, often sweet and balsamic but lacks lift and vibrancy.


A solution obtained by steeping the material in a hot solvent. Making tea is an infusion.


Lively quality or diffusiveness.


Fresh, bright usually top notes.

Middle Note
The middle or "heart" notes make up the main body of a perfume. It denotes the classification of a fragrance. What you smell after the top note has mellowed. It usually takes from ten to twenty minutes for the middle notes to fully develop on the skin.


The language of music helps to describe an olfactory impression. It also indicates the three distinct periods of evaporation in the perfume. The top note, middle note, bottom note.


To be dissolved in a solvent (liquid) such as water, oil, alcohol.


Are used for dissolving solid or viscous aroma materials. This enables them to mix with other components of the production of perfume.


The degree to which a aroma material or perfume is effected over time by heat, light and air.


A man made aroma product is made to replace what occurs naturally. These products can be derived or isolated from natural products. They also may be made by chemists in a laboratory.


The life of a note or perfume. Its lasting quality.

Top Note
The first impression of a fragrance when applied to the skin. The most volatile and diffusive additive in your perfume which is light and evaporates quickly.

Now that you have a bit of perfume making knowledge base, lets explore further.

Much like musical notes make up a song and various shades of colors turn into a painting, fragrance notes are necessary to make a perfume. Overall, there are three note scales that when blended together create the perfume's fragrant accord. Each of these levels, has its own primary purpose.

Top Notes:
Also sometimes referred to as the opening notes or head notes, the top notes of a fragrance are generally the lightest of all the notes. They are recognized immediately upon application of the perfume. The top notes are also the first to fade.
The top notes of a fragrance represent the first impression.
Common fragrance top notes include citrus (lemon, orange zest, bergamot), light fruits (grapefruit, berries) and herbs (clary sage, lavender).

Middle Notes:
The middle notes, or the heart notes, make an appearance once the top notes evaporate. The middle notes are considered the heart of the fragrance. They last longer than the top notes and have a strong influence on the base notes to come.
Common fragrance middle notes include geranium, rose, lemongrass, ylang ylang, lavender, coriander, nutmeg, neroli and jasmine.

Base Notes:
The base notes are the final fragrance notes that appear once the top notes are completely evaporated. The base notes mingle with the heart notes to create the full body of the fragrance, but are typically associated with the dry-down period. The job of the base notes is to provide the lasting impression. These often rich notes linger on the skin for hours after the top notes have dissipated.
Common fragrance base notes include cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, patchouli, oakmoss and musk.

Generally speaking, percentages are used when creating a perfume.
An example:

25% top notes

25 to 40 % middle notes

And the rest base notes.

The right amount of a top note will not only make the perfumes first impression but will temper the middle and base notes. Making them just that, middle and base. The top note is the first component of perfume that you smell. It generally dissipates quickly revealing the heart of your perfume.

The middle note comprises the heart of your perfume. A rose perfumes middle note will be rose. The top notes could be citrus, fresh or aromatic. The middle note defines the perfume type.

The base notes anchors your perfume and makes the perfume last longer on the skin. This is known as "fixing". Base notes add warmth, depth, body and longevity to your perfume. These notes are usually achieved by adding balsam, wood or animal notes. Base notes can dominate a perfume if used in equal amounts as top and middle notes.

Try to achieve the best balance you can. This will take a bit of experience, but you will be surprised how fast you will learn. Use your aromas additives on a smell strip or cotton ball first. This will really give you a good idea of how much you want to use and how aromas smell together. This is how all perfumers begin a new perfume.

Examples of Notes:

Base - Vanilla, Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Mosses, Lichens, Ferns

Middle - Yland Ylang, Lemon Grass, Neroli, Geranium

Top - Bergamot, Lavender, Orchid, Rose, Lemon, Lime

Bridge - Vanilla, Lavender

When beginning to make a perfume, the first thing to do it read about the aroma family. This will help you decide what sort of perfume you want to make. Once you have decided on the aroma accord that represents the sort of perfume you want to make, select other ingredients from the notes and aroma chemicals to enhance the accord.

It takes experimentation to get the scent you want, but you can get started in the right direction by keeping in mind the type of scent associated with particular oils:

Earthy: patchouli, vetiver
Floral: geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, violet, ylang-ylang
Fruity: bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, orange
Herbal: angelica, basil, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, peppermint, rosemary
Sea: sea salt
Spicy: black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, ginger, juniper, nutmeg
Woodsy: cassia, cedar, cypress, pine, sandalwood

If the perfume is too strong, you can dilute it with more water. If you want your perfume to retain its scent longer, add a tablespoon of glycerin to the perfume mixture.

Sample Perfume Recipe

0.5 ounce Jojoba OR Sweet Almond Oil

2.5 ounces perfumers alcohol

2 Tablespoons Distilled Water

7 drops Base Note Essential or Fragrance Oil

7 drops Middle Note Essential or Fragrance Oil

6 drops Top Note Essential or Fragrance Oil

Add the jojoba or sweet almond oil to the bottle. Add the essential oils in the following order: the base notes, followed by the middle notes, then finally the top notes. Add a couple of drops of bridge notes, if desired. Add 2-1/2 ounces of alcohol. Shake the bottle for a couple of minutes then let it sit for 48 hours to 6 weeks. The scent will change over time, becoming strongest around 6 weeks. When the scent is where you want it to be, add 2 tablespoons of distilled water to the perfume. Shake the bottle to mix the perfume, then filter it through a coffee filter and pour it into its final bottle. Ideally, this will be a dark bottle with minimal airspace, since light and exposure to air degrade many essential oils.

Enjoy the scent of sweet success!!






Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Does Superfatting Soap Mean?

Soapmaking is a science. The "creation" of soap is a chemical reaction between oil and lye, known as saponification. Every oil (or butter) requires a specific amount of lye to "turn it into" soap. The soap term for this is saponification value. Soap calculators can be found on many soap making sites on the internet and will figure your lye amount for a specific recipe, at whatever superfat percentage you desire. Using the exact amount of lye you need to make the exact amount of soap with nothing left over (no extra oils) is called a 0% superfat or a 0% lye discount. Most soapmakers like to make soap that has "extra" oil or butter left over after the chemical process of soap making is completed because it makes the soap more moisturizing. This amount of "extra" oil is a purely personal choice. The average amount is about 5%. Superfatting too much can result in a softer bar of soap, less lather and a risk of premature rancidity.
If you want to make a few bars of soap that are exceptionally moisturizing for the Winter season, and plan to use them within a few months, it is perfectly acceptable to superfat as much as 15-20%. Keep in mind that you have to allow a cure time of 4-6 weeks after making the soap before you can use it, so, if you need extra moisturizing soap for Winter, get busy!!
Butters are commonly used as superfatting agents. I personally use Shea butter. I only superfat at 5% year round because I like tons of lather and a nice hard bar of soap. If extra moisturizing is more important to you and you can live with the decrease in lather and a softer bar of soap, superfatting is the way to go.
Happy soaping!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Great Stocking Stuffer Idea!

Holiday Shopping

Scrubs. Sugar versus Salt.

Exfoliation is the secret to glowing, healthy skin. The most popular form of exfoliation are scrubs. Two common types are sugar and salt. Each have their own benefits. Most people prefer one or the other. I personally like brown sugar scrubs. I find them to be a gentle but effective exfoliant. We will talk about both.

First of all, scrubs should not be used daily. They are effective if used on a weekly basis.

Sugar is a natural substance and has no harsh chemicals or negative side effects. It can be used on all skin types and effectively exfoliates and deep cleanses pores. Sugar contains alpha-hydroxy, a popular ingredient in commercial skin creams. Sugar scrubs are gentle and can be very soothing for people with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture to itself. In addition to the sugar, these scrubs use some type of oil which also lends beneficial properties and  aids in skin health. (Refer to our previous post on oils to review beneficial properties of popular oils). Adding essential oils can further promote healthy skin.

Salt is also a natural substance and scrubs utilizing salt are prefered by some, particularly for facial exfoliation due to the minerals found in salt and their beneficial properties, particularly, Dead Sea Salt. The salt scrub is rougher than the sugar scrub, therefore should be used carefully to prevent irritation. Salt scrubs are more effective on caloused and dry, rough  skin. It is also good for those with acne, as it helps absorb excess oil.The salt scrub is reported to have therapeutic benefits that helps remove  toxins and impurities from skin. On a negative note, salt scrub is a bit irritating and stingy to skin and should not to be used on sensitive, irritated or cut skin.

For best results, use a scrub while in the shower. Apply a handful of scrub to wet skin and massage in a circular motion over the entire body. Rinse away.

Scrubs are easy to make at home, and, depending on the oils used, can be very inexpensive. Here are a couple of recipes to try.

Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/2 cup of oil of your choice (sunflower, olive, wheat germ, etc)
You can use more or less oil, depending on the consistency you prefer. You can also add fragrance if desired.
Mix the oil and sugar and you have a scrub. It's that simple! You can spiff up the scrub by adding a tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal and / or a tablespoon or so of honey. Lemon juice can also be added as it is a natural astringent. Play around with ingredients until you find the perfect one for you.

Salt Scrub
1/2 cup fine sea salt (dead sea salt is great if you have it)
1/2 cup of oil of your choice
Once again, use more or less oil according to personal preference.  Also, other additives can be included if yo prefer. (Refer to Sugar Scrub recipe).

Extra scrub can be stored for a short period of time in a sealed glass jar.

These recipes are very basic but  WILL do the trick. We will explore more"posh" scrubs in an upcoming post, including solid scrubs and scrubs with cleansing agents already incorporated.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Craft Ideas

I am looking for feedback from my readers. Is there a craft project you would like me to write about? What types of projects are you especially interested in? So far, I have just rambled on about things I am interested in, but this is a public forum so I want to include YOUR interests as well!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Body Butter

Body Butter is a wonderfully moisturizing product that is particularly useful during the Winter months when the skin is especially prone to dryness. Body butter is typically more greasy than lotion, however, this is what provides the intense moisturizing effect. The greasiness can be controlled to a certain degree depending on the butters used and with the addition of other ingredients.
For those concerned about the safety of preservatives, Body Butter is a great alternative to lotion as it does not require a preservative since it does not contain water.
Whipped Body Butter is a variation of regular body butter, the only difference being it is whipped as it cools, incorporating air, which results in a lighter texture. It does not affect the greasiness.
A recipe I often use is:

2.5 ounces Shea Butter
1.0 ounce Mango Butter
1.0 ounce Cocoa Butter
1.5 ounces Almond Oil
Few Drops of Vitamin E
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch ( Optional. Cuts down on greasiness)
1 Teaspoon fragrance of choice (more or less to your own taste)

Melt the butters just to the point they are melted. Add Almond oil and Vitamin E. Mix well. Place in freezer or allow to sit at room temperature just until the oil begins to solidify around the edge of the bowl. Mix with standard kitchen mixer (hand blender not recommended for this particular product) until butters become opaque and begin to thicken. Slowly add cornstarch and fragrance and mix well. Pour into containers. Butter will harden to a solid form, but will melt readily when applied to the skin. If you prefer a lighter texture, continue to mix until the butter becomes the consistency of cake frosting. It will take a while! Scoop into containers. Butter will continue to harden.
Body Butter is especially nice to use immediately after a shower or bath while the skin is still damp and moist. It will help seal in the moisture and will leave your skin silky smooth! Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wedding and Bridal Shower Favors

Making Shower Favors is an easy and fun project to do. There will always be weddings so there is always a market for this type of product, or, you can make them for your own wedding or for friends. Fortune Cookies are popular and can easily be personalized with the Bride and Groom names and the date of the wedding.
To make the cookie, melt your soap and add the color and fragrance. Add a tiny bit of vegetable glycerin to the melted soap. This keeps the soap more pliable so it doesn't break when you fold and bend it. Pour the soap into a flat, shallow container so it will be about  1/8 of an inch thick. After it hardens, cut out circles as you would cut out cookie dough. Fold the circle in half, pressing the edges together, leaving one side open. Slip the piece of paper with the bride and groom names on it down into the open side. Holding the lengthwise sides, center the cookie with the folded side down, over the edge of a bowl and press down to bend the cookie. Waala! That's all there is to it. An adorable fortune cookie favor! We packaged ours in a clear cello bag and tied it with a piece of silk ribbon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unique Handmade Projects

I am looking for inspiration! I would love for readers to share their ideas on UNIQUE and UNUSUAL craft projects. Around the holidays you find many of the same year in year out ideas. It doesn't have to be something you personally make, just ideas. If I try your idea, I will post pictures of the end product.
Winter is a great time to work on hobbies. It is cold, gets dark early and since we are stuck in the house more than during warmer seasons, we generally have more time to invest in our hobbies. So, put on your thinking cap and let your imagination soar! I look forward to getting lots of GREAT ideas! Happy crafting!!

Friday, November 11, 2011


How many times have you received flowers for a special occasion and watched sadly as they wilted and died? You wished there were some way to preserve them but didn't know how to do it yourself.
The PERFECT solution to this problem can be found at
Check them out!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Custom Requests

If anyone out there needs a custom piece of jewelry or a "special request" bath and body item, let me know! I love doing custom work.

To date, my favorite custom order was for a lady who had a little boy she was trying to potty train. She was also trying to teach him to wash his hands after using the potty. As with most kids, he wasn't too keen on washing his hands. According to his Mom, this little tyke loved pirates. One day when she told him to wash his hands, he said he would wash them if he could use pirates gold as soap. So, Mom contacted me to see if I could make soap which looked like gold pieces. I made shiny gold glycerin soap coin soaps, packaged in a black faux leather pull string pouch. Some time later I received a letter from Mom saying her son loved the soaps and was more than happy to wash his hands ANY time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

More About Preservatives

I spoke briefly about preservatives on an earlier post but wanted to revisit the subject due to it’s importance. When I started making bath and body products about 8 years ago, I did endless research on all aspects of the process. The thing I found most bewildering was the preservative issue. There was so much controversial and contradictory information I didn’t know what to believe. My biggest fear was contamination of my products, so, my priority was to make sure I used the best and safest preservative available.

The microbes that can infect formulas primarily include bacteria, mold and yeast. In small quantities, they do not pose much of a problem, but when they multiply, can have catastrophic consequences. Bacteria like Pseudomonas can cause all kinds of health problems including skin and eye infections, toxic shock and strep throat, to name a few. Yeast like Candida albicans can cause thrush, and many other bacteria can cause products to have a foul odor, change color or otherwise break down.

When first starting out, I frequently went to craft shows where handmade products were readily available. I wanted to see what everyone was doing and how they were doing it. I and was astounded at the number of times I was told a product was 100% natural. When I asked specifically about the type of preservative, I received a variety of answers, however, most often was told Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E and Rosemary Oil Extract.

Let’s explore those particular ingredients.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Here is a “word for word notation” taken from an online site pertaining to Natural Cosmetics.

“Grapefruit Seed Extract - A natural antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant and preservative. It is used to promote the healing of almost any atypical skin condition. According to published sources it is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral organisms, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites. This preservative is used by many handcrafters in products that contain water.”

In doing further, extensive research just on Grapefruit Seed Extract, it would appear that the antimicrobial effects of this product are directly related to residual chemicals which are used to manufacture the extract in the first place, not the extract in and of itself. Thus, in reality, Grapefruit Seed Extract is not a “natural” product, nor, on it’s own does it have the antimicrobial properties as claimed by some.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. An anti-oxidant is a preservative that reduces the rate of oxidation in oils that oxidize quickly. Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs when oils or other natural ingredients are exposed to oxygen. Anti-oxidants extend the shelf life of your products by reducing the rate of oxidation of your oils. It does NOT have antimicrobial benefits, thus, using it as a preservative is misleading. It will help prevent oil content from becoming rancid as quickly, however, will not prevent bacteria from growing in products which contain water.

Rosemary Oil Extract

This is also an antioxidant and is very beneficial in extending the shelf life of oils, however, does NOT inhibit the growth of bacteria in products containing water.

Now, lets look at the most commonly used synthetic preservatives. As you will see, each and every one of these has received negative press in one way or another.


Paraben preservatives are listed under multiple names and are used to preserve the majority of cosmetics on the market today. Paraben preservatives have recently come into question with new studies that link the daily exposure of paraben preservatives to breast cancer and endocrine-disruption issues. It must be noted that the European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Associan affirm that parabens are hydrolyzed in the skin and that they do not enter the bloodstream. Parabens are not officially identified or listed as an endocrine disrupting chemical by any government or regulatory organization.

Parabens are synthetic preservatives that have been for almost a century as “broad-band” preservatives (anti-bacterial and anti-fungal) which means that they work within a formula to prevent the growth of multiple possible contaminants such as bacteria, yeast, mold and fungi. They can be found in approximately 80% of cosmetics such as make-up, lotion, deodorants and shampoos.

Much research still needs to be done to ultimately determine the true long term safety and consequences of the wide spread use of paraben preservatives as a daily part of our skin regimen. In the interim, many people have jumped on the bandwagon of initial studies and have declared parabens as the demon of all demons as pertaining to safety. More than any other ingredient, preservatives are considered by consumers to be the worst ingredients cosmetic chemists can use in formulas.

Formaldehyde Donors

Formaldehyde derivatives are the next most common preservative. These compounds interfere with membrane proteins, which kills microbes. They are effective against bacteria, fungi and mold. Bad press and real safety concerns have led cosmetic chemists to stop using formaldehyde. Instead, ingredients that dissociate into formaldehyde when put in a water solution are used. These are compounds like DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and gluteraldehyde.

Phenol Derivatives

Phenol derivatives have been used in cosmetics for many years and can be effective against a range of microbes. Unfortunately, they are not as effective as the parabens and formaldehyde donors. The most common example is phenoxyethanol.


This is a category of compounds which contain nitrogen and have a positive charge when placed in a solution. Studies have shown that many of them demonstrate an ability to kill microbes. This includes ingredients like benzalkonium chlroide, methene ammonium chloride and benzethonium chloride. Due to their cationic nature, they are less compatible with anionic surfactants, which limits their application and use.


Ethanol has been proven to be a great preservative. The downside is that it must be used at high levels, therefore, faces considerable environmental restriction. Other compounds like benzyl alcohol, dichlorobenzyl alcohol and even propylene glycol have also been shown to exhibit antimicrobial effect. At lower levels, these compounds are less effective at preserving products.


These are some of those long words you see on commercial product ingredients lists which you wouldn’t even begin to try to say. Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone are reported to be effective at incredibly low levels and at a wide range of pH levels and in many different formulas. Their use has been thwarted, however, by at least one study that suggested it could cause skin sensitization.

Organic Acids and Others

Various other compounds are used as preservatives but all face limitations of one kind or the other. Some of the most important include: sodium benzoate, chloracetamide, triclosan and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. Pyridine derivatives like sodium pyrithione and zinc pyrithione are frequently used in anti-dandruff shampoos.

The Moral of the Story

This is what I hope you take from my ramblings. Preservatives are designed to kill cells. That is why they are effective. Unfortunately, that is also why they are potentially hazardous. They do not easily discriminate between good human cells and bad microbial cells but ultimately, the risk from using preservatives is significantly lower than that of using unpreserved cosmetics. There are safe levels of “toxic” chemicals. All chemicals can be deadly if one is exposed to high enough levels. Remember, it’s the dose that matters! The most important word to keep in mind when considering preservatives, is "balance". You need to include enough preservative to control microbial growth, yet not too much so as to cause allergies, dermatitis or other side effects.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lets Talk About Butters

Lets talk about butters. In no particular order. This is certainly not a complete list, but, I have used each and every one of these butters in one product or another and use several of them on a regular basis in my current line of products.

It should be noted that many butters come from nuts. Individuals who suffer from nut allergies may also be allergic to butters.

Cocoa Butter

Solid at room temperature but softens readily when applied to a warm body. This is a pleasantly aromatic butter, particularly id you like the smell of chocolate! You can also get deodorized cocoa butter if you prefer to add other fragrances to your products and find it difficult to get a fragrance that marries well with the natural cocoa butter aroma. Cocoa butter adds a richness, thickness and creaminess to lotions and creams. It adds hardness to soap. Cocoa butter is wonderfully moisturizing and is commonly used in products aimed at reducing skin dryness and for the improvement of skin elasticity. Cocoa Butter contains natural antioxidants which give it a shelf life of over 3 years. It is naturally rich in Vitamin E which helps to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin and also provides the skin collagen which assists with prevention of wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Cocoa butter is frequently used by massage therapists for direct application as it is thought to help relieve stress.

Illipe Butter

This is considered one of the exotic butters. It has exceptional moisturizing properties and is believed to aid with restoration of skin elasticity. It is comparable to cocoa butter, though it is harder than cocoa butter, and is beneficial for the treatment of numerous skin and hair conditions. Illipe butter is an excellent base for a great many body care products, including those used for the skin, sun protection, creams, soaps, lip sticks, balms, make-up foundations, and hair conditioners.

Kokum Butter

This naturally white, very smooth butter which has many beneficial properties that help regenerate tired and worn skin cells and restore elasticity to the skin wall. A great ingredient to add to healing lotions, creams, and body butters. It can be directly applied to the skin in its solid state, but it may require a mild amount of heating to improve applicability. Naturally high in vitamin E. Makes a great healing balm. Shelf life is about one year, though it can be extended by storing in a cool location.

Mango Butter

Mango Butter has a slightly sweet, fatty odor, has exceptional moisturizing properties and is commonly used in lotions and creams. Mango butter also acts as a mild lubricant for the skin, and is very similar in color and texture as cocoa butter. Great source of essential fatty acids. Mango butter has natural emollient properties, thus, softens and soothes the skin. Also believed to help restore skin elasticity. Shelf life of about 2 years, which can be extended if stored in a cool location.

Shea Butter

 Available unrefined, refined or ultra refined. A wonderful base for cosmetic recipes or used as a stand alone application, this comes highly recommended for those concerned about naturally healthy skin. Rich in vitamins A and E which help soothe and hydrate the skin. Promotes collagen production further helping erase fine lines and wrinkles. Promotes skin renewal and improved circulation. Shea butter also contains a low level of natural UV protection so is a nice addition to natural sunscreen products. Products with Shea butter also make wonderfully moisturizing after sun lotions.

Aloe Butter

 Also butter is an extraction of the Aloe Vera plant using a fatty coconut fraction to produce a soft-solid which melts on contact with the skin. It aids in rapid hydration of dry skin caused by eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, sun burn, wind burn, and general chapping. Aloe Butter is suitable for a variety of skin care applications including use in lotions, soaps, skin creams and lip balms.

Avocado Butter

Obtained from the fresh flesh of the avocado fruit and then hydrogenated to yield a soft greenish butter. At room temperature, this is a much softer butter than most other butters. Very rich and moisturizing. A great treatment for the hair and skin. Avocado butter also has natural sunscreen properties. This butter can be a little heavy and greasy but this makes it ideal for use on areas requiring extreme moisturizing treatment, such as the feet, elbows and knees. Avocado Butter is a good butter for belly balms, lip balms, eye makeup remover creams, hair conditioning creams, baby bottom balms and soap.

Coffee Bean Butter

Produced by hydrogenating cold pressed oil from roasted coffee beans with other vegetable oils. The light hydrogenation process creates a butter with good oxidative stability and a smooth, silky feel. Offers natural protection from ultraviolet light and is becoming a popular ingredient in sunscreen products. Coffee Oil is rich in phytosterols which promote excellent moisture retention with quick penetration.

Hemp Seed Butter

 Exceptionally rich in essential fatty acids that nourish the skin and helps reduce moisture loss from the skin. Used in creams, lotions, soaps, lip balms and other formulations for dry, damaged or irritated skin. Hemp Seed Butter is deep green in color and similar in feel to Shea Butter. It absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave a greasy feel.

Macadamia Nut Butter

This is one of my favorites to use in body butter. It provides excellent emollient properties. It is a light, non greasy butter that penetrates the skin easily. Use Macadamia Butter in creams, lotions, balms and soaps.

Mochacchino Butter

A combination of Coffee Bean Butter and Cocoa Butter. In addition to its wonderful aroma, this butter has the healing, moisturizing properties of Cocoa Butter, and the sun protection and antioxidant benefits of Coffee Butter. Use in soaps, lotions, body butters, lip balms and bath bombs.

Murumuru Butter

Has a unique composition of essential fatty acids and Pro-Vitamin A which helps restore elasticity to damaged and aging skin and makes a wonderful ingredient for use in anti-aging formulations. It is also soothing addition for products intended to heal dry and cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis.

Pistachio Nut Butter

Created by hydrogenating a blend of cold pressed Pistachio Nut Oil and other vegetable oils. It is a soft green butter which spreads readily on the skin and penetrates easily. Excellent as a massage butter. Pistachio Butter does not clog the pores and can be used in all types of formulations.

Shealoe Butter

This is made with equal amounts of Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Gel resulting in a healing and moisturizing emollient. Shealoe Butter can be used straight out of the jar to soothe dry, irritated skin, or add it to formulations as a skin or hair nutrient. When used in formulations, Shealoe Butter lends a high gloss sheen and a non-greasy slip to your product. Shealoe Butter is wonderful in lip balms, creams, lotions, body butters, lotion bars, bath bombs and more.

Kpangnan Butter
(pronounced pie-nya.) From the kernels of the African Butter tree, Pentadesma butyracea, which grows in the rainforests of Togo. Kpangnan butter is very yellow in color and has a firm texture. When applied to the skin, it feels powdery and silky. Even more moisturizing than shea butter, kpangnan has an earthy aroma. Kpangnan also has a slight warming effect on the skin when applied. Contains high amounts of vitamin A and stigmasterol, a natural skin firming agent, which is an unsaturated plant sterol.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Essential Oils

This is just a partial list, of course, but, will provide you with information pertaining to the reported beneficial properties of some Essential Oils.

 Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Said to help heighten the sense of smell. Great additive to healing balms intended to treat insect bites. Can be relaxing to muscles. Uplifting.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Natural astringent. Commonly used in acne treatment products. Natural mood-lifting qualities. Bergamot is responsible for the distinctive flavor of Earl Grey Tea.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) Has been recognized for centuries for it’s calming, purifying properties. It also helps calm nervous tension, and benefits the digestive system. Supplies oxygen to tissues and helps repair DNA damage, believed to be beneficial in prevention of cancer.

Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) Calms, relieves restlessness and tension.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) Contains natural estriol, a phytoestrogen (plant estrogen). Promotes relaxation.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) Natural antiseptic properties.

Coriander (cilantro) (Coriandrum sativum) Studies report this oil promotes normal pancreatic function. Also has natural calming properties.

Eucalyptus Globulus Contains a high percentage of the compound eucalyptol, a key ingredient in many antiseptic mouthwashes. Has a camphor-like aroma commonly used to expel mucus. Should not be used by small children or asthmatics.

Eucalyptus Polybractea Appropriate for topical application or diffusing. This species contains the highest amount of the antiseptic compound eucalyptol, thus the strong antiseptic actions among the eucalyptus oils. Should not be inhaled directly.

Eucalyptus Radiata One of the most versatile of the eucalyptus oils, is suitable for topical use, diffusing, and even direct inhalation. Relatively gentle and nonirritating.

Fennel(Foeniculum vulgare) is antiseptic and stimulating to the circulatory and respiratory systems.

(Boswellia carteri) Commonly used as a holy anointing oil in the Middle East and has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Reported to be stimulating and elevating to the mind and helps in overcoming stress. Believed to supporting the immune system and helps repair DNA damage.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) has been used for centuries for skin care. Distinct odor is disliked by some, however, is believed to have aromatic benefits, specifically with regard to memory. It is also used by skin care specialists to restoring balance between oily and dry skin and hair.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is used to combat nausea, vomiting, or dizziness associated with motion sickness and has been studied for its gentle, stimulating effects. (Ginger Ale)

Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) Said to support the circulatory system, liver function and the urinary tract. Also exhibits relaxing and calming effects.

Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) Commonly used for it’s natural weight loss benefits due to it‘s unique fat dissolving characteristics. Especially helpful for the nervous system during stressful situations. Has an uplifting aroma.

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is an "absolute" extracted from the flower and is an essence rather than an essential oil. It is good for sensitive skin and can also be uplifting and stimulating. Considered an aphrodisiac for centuries, Jasmine supports the nervous system and is helpful for women going through menopause.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) The most versatile of all essential oils. Lavender is commonly used for treatment of minor cuts and bruises. It is also well reputed for it’s aromatic benefits, specifically with regard to ability to calm, relax and balance both physically and emotionally.

Lemon (Citrus limon) has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function, lymphatic, circulatory, and digestive systems. Is antibacterial and may serve as an insect repellent as well as being beneficial for the skin. Citrus oils should not be applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light within 72 hours.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) is used for purification and digestion.

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is used for supporting the muscles and the respiratory system. It assists in calming the nerves and also has antiseptic properties.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has one of the highest levels of compounds that has direct effect on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and amygdala, the seat of our emotions. Myrrh is considered to be emotionally strengthening and empowering. It also has natural antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Should not be used during pregnancy.

Myrtle is commonly used for its effects on hormonal imbalances of the thyroid and ovaries. It is also believed to have a soothing effect on the respiratory system, possibly helping relieve chronic coughs and respiratory tract ailments. Can be applied topically, diffused, or used in a humidifier. Suitable for use on children.

Neroli Fresh, floral aroma brightens spirits and clears the mind. Supports the body under stress and enhances skin tone.

Nutmeg (Myristic fragrans) helps support the adrenal glands for increased energy. Also benefits circulation and relieves muscle aches and pains.

Orange (Citrus sinensis) brings peace and happiness to the mind and body. Frequently used in skin products as it is believed to help a dull, oily complexion. Citrus oils should not be applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light within 72 hours due to photosensitivity.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is very beneficial for the skin and may help prevent wrinkled or chapped skin. It has antiseptic properties and helps relieve itching.

Pepper, Black (Piper nigrum) is a stimulating, energizing essential oil that has been studied for its effects on cellular oxygenation. It has been used for soothing deep tissue muscle aches and pains.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. It is beneficial to the sinuses and muscular system, and especially useful for women during monthly cycles or menopause. Apply to bottom of feet to soothe tired feet. Rub on temples for a calming effect.

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) comes from orange leaves and has antiseptic properties. It is also believed to re-establishes nerve equilibrium.

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) has antiseptic properties and is beneficial for use in massage for stressed muscles and joints.

Rose (Rosa damascena) helps bring balance and harmony. Is stimulating and elevating to the mind, creating a sense of well-being. It is also great for circulation and skin care.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol) Contains antiseptic properties. Beneficial for the circulatory, nervous, and muscular system. Should not be used by individuals suffering from high blood pressure or epilepsy or during pregnancy.

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) is soothing and nourishing to the skin. Also has natural anti-bacterial properties.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) has been used in Europe for numerous skin conditions. It has been recognized for its benefits of supporting metabolism.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) is high in sesquiterpenes and has the ability to oxygenate the area of the brain where emotions are centered. Soothing, promoting sleep and a sense of wellbeing. Also traditionally used for urinary and respiratory systems.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) oil helps support the respiratory and nervous systems. It may help open and release emotional blocks and bring about a feeling of balance.

Spruce (Picea mariana) helps support the respiratory and nervous systems. Its aromatic influences help to open and release emotional blocks, bringing about a feeling of balance.

Tangerine (Citrus nobilis) is a calming essential oil. It helps with anxiety and nervousness.

Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus) has natural antiseptic properties.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is one of the most antiseptic essential oils and very high in antioxidant rating. It contains thymol, which has been studied for its effect on gingivitis and plaque-causing organisms in the mouth. It may be beneficial in helping to overcome fatigue and exhaustion.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a root that has been used for thousands of years for its calming, relaxing, grounding, and emotionally balancing influences. Can also be an effective treatment for restlessness and for sleep disturbances resulting from nervous conditions.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zanioides) has a heavy, earthy fragrance similar to patchouli with a touch of lemon. Vetiver id reported to help cope with stress and recover from emotional traumas and shocks.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria prcumbens) contains methyl salicylate and is beneficial for massage associated with bone, muscle, and joint discomfort.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) may be extremely effective in calming, balancing and bringing about a sense of relaxation. Commonly used in hair and skin products and can be used for insomnia and pain.