Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Scented Baby Balm

I have really enjoyed making my own skincare products for my son.  I feel so much better knowing exactly what I’m putting on his skin.  Now that he’s older than three months, I decided to make him some new baby balm, using an essential oil.

Safe Essential Oils for Babies

It’s best to use essential oils in moderation at all times.  Ideally, they should be diluted and when used directly, they should be used sparingly.  The same applies to babies, especially since they tend to have such sensitive skin.

The two essential oils that seem to be considered safe, in moderation, for babies are lavender and chamomile.  My main source of information has been Colleen Dodt’s book,  Natural Baby Care.

Even with these oils being considered safe, I chose to use a very limited amount in his new batch of baby balm, just to be on the safe side.

Lavender

I chose to go with the Lavender essential oil.  It has such a soothing scent.  That’s exactly what I need during those midnight diaper changes!

Lavender Baby Balm

Lavender Baby Balm

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Baby Skincare

Before my son was born, I made some baby balm and some special soap to use on his skin.  I did this with full knowledge that I had a 50% chance, at best, that they would be good for his skin.  After all, I had no idea what he would need!

Baby’s Bottom

While I was in the hospital, the nurses insisted that I use Vaseline on my son’s bottom.  I’m not a big fan of Vaseline whatsoever, but I had no other option

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Balm

while I was in the hospital.   The Vaseline was great at creating a barrier between his dirty diapers and his sensitive skin.

As soon as I got home, I started using my homemade baby balm.  It worked exactly the same as the Vaseline.  The benefit of the baby balm is that it is made from a few oils and some beeswax, but no petroleum products!

I have continued using the Baby Balm at every diaper change since we got home!

Baby Skincare

Coconut Oil in HandWe live in a fairly dry climate, so I wasn’t surprised when my son’s skin was a bit dry.  To moisturize his skin, I give him a massage with coconut oil each day. The oil works great on his skin.  It is moisturized without being oily.

Soap in the Bath

I received many differing opinions about how often to bath my baby and what DSC_0206kind of soap to use.  In the end, I decided to give him a bath each morning, using the mild soap that I made before he was born.  It’s a goat’s milk soap with no scent or additives.  It is gentle enough on his skin that I don’t mind using it each morning in the bath.

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to concocting some more baby products, using some essential oils, once my son gets a bit older.  I’ll be sure to post about those when that time comes!


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The Final Baby Countdown Was Interrupted…by Baby!

I wrote a post about a week ago about the final countdown to my baby’s expected arrival.  You’ll see below that I had made as many preparations as I could and was quite happy about things.

Then, last Friday night, I went into labour!  What??  It was a wee bit early as I was concerned.  Anyway, into labour I went and just over a day later, early on Sunday the 25th, Baby Emir was born.

And yes, as far as I’m concerned, he’s perfect.

Prior to going to hospital, these are the final preparations that I made and wrote about to share with you all.  All I can say is, thank goodness that I made the preparations that I did!  They’ve all be very helpful!

Baby Emir – Just After His First Bath

My Original Post

It’s here, the final few days of pregnancy.  In some ways, it’s been a long 9 months.  In other ways, I can’t believe the time has already passed by!  I’ve been so lucky to have a smooth pregnancy and, aside from a few aches and pains, I’ve loved every minute of it.

I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks now. During that time, I’ve been busy completing the last-minute preparations.

Food

We have a freezer full of food.  There are healthy and wholesome baked goods that will be great snacks at any time of the day.  I’ve also got a few containers of soups and stews.  With any luck, that will last us for the first few days of our new lives with the little one!

Very Blueberry Muffins

Very Blueberry Muffins

The Nursery

The baby’s room has been ready for a long time.   More recently, I got down to the washing and did several loads of laundry to ensure that all the new gifts of clothes that we have received for Baby are washed and ready to go.

Baby  Skin Care

I even had time to put together some gentle and mild soap, some moisturizing balm, and baby powder for Baby.  I don’t know for sure if they’ll all work, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll be acceptable for his sensitive skin.

Gentle Goat's Milk Soap for Baby

Gentle Goat’s Milk Soap for Baby

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Powder

Unscented Baby Powder

The Hospital Bag(s)

They’re packed!  There’s one that’s full of clothes, blankets, diapers, and other goodies for Baby.  There’s also one for me and my hubby so that we’re also comfortable while at the hospital.

The Blog

I’ll do my best to keep posting regularly on my blog.  I’ve got a few posts that are scheduled over  the next few weeks.  However, if I’m slow in replying to comments or I seem to have dropped off the face of the blog completely, it’s probably safe to assume that there’s a little one in my life who is taking up all of my attention.  Please be patient — I’ll be back as soon as I can!


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A Review of My Suti Stash

My Suti samples arrived a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of D at Sweet Jelly Bean!  Thanks again, D!

I was so excited to try these little gems after reading great reviews about the Suti line of products.

My Suti Stash

Here’s what I received as the free Suti giveaway.  I got samples of two face oils (Rejuvenate and Nourish), a Fabulous Foot Balm, a Purity Balm and a Cleanse Balm.  To top it all off, it all came in this cute little pouch.  I’ve been busy trying all of these (except for the foot balm) and inasmuch as I’ve made my own facial oils and balms, I ended up comparing them to my own personal experiments.  Here’s what I came up with.

Face Oils

Both of the face oils were smooth and had a great scent.  The Rejuvenate Oil is good for day wear.  However, since it uses citrus based oils, you wouldn’t want to wear it out in the sunshine.  The Nourish Oil is intended for night-time to help your skin repair itself as you sleep.  I really loved this oil.  The scent is great and the oils glides on in a really smooth way.  I didn’t think that oils could have different “glide” factors, but this one definitely felt like it went on to my skin easier than my own face oil.

I already use my own homemade face oil as a moisturizer, so I’m used to the idea of these oil blends.  I absolutely fell in love with the scent and feel of the Nourish Oil.  It’s quickly becoming my new favorite!

Balms

Each of the balms makes use of unrefined Shea Butter, which looks and feels grainy.  However, it melts on contact with your skin and

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

provides lots of moisture.

The Cleanse Balm is best for cleaning the skin and it can also be left on as a face mask.  I used it as both and found that it was a great moisturizer for my skin.  The first time I tried it, I applied and left the Balm on my face for about 20 minutes.  I then steamed and rinsed it off with warm water.  My skin felt really supple and I didn’t need any kind of extra moisturizer following that.

The Purity Balm is great for those dry spots of skin.  I tried it on my elbows, which often get neglected.  😦  It worked like a charm!

The Foot Balm looks great, but I will have to wait until I’m done being pregnant before I try it.  (There are three essential oils that are not recommended for use during pregnancy.)

How Does Suti Rate?

I enjoyed each of the samples that I received.  I can’t wait to try out the foot balm (just as soon as I reach my feet again!).  Out of all the samples, the Nourish Oil was my favorite, by far.  I truly fell in love with the scent of the oil.  I tried looking Suti up on both Skin Deep and The Good Guide.  Unfortunately, Skin Deep is down right now and the Good Guide hasn’t rated Suti yet.

So, all I can do is give these products my own personal rating!  From what I can tell, Suti is good about using “clean” ingredients and avoiding all of the unnecessary chemicals. Suti clearly lists all of the ingredients in each of their products on their website.  In other words, they are completely transparent.  Based on that alone, I would have no hesitation in recommending Suti to anyone who was interested!

Have you tried a Suti product yet?


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Baby Balm for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

As I get ready for Baby’s arrival, I’ve started to wonder why kind of moisturizer, if any, he will need?

Baby’s Dry, Flaky Skin

I know lots of friends who’ve had little babies with dry, flaky skin.  They’ve tried  all kinds of things to address it, including:

a) Nothing (waiting it out, often to no avail)

b) Lotions and creams from the drug store.  Sometimes, these worked.

c) All-natural moisturizers — I think these worked more often than the products from the drug store.

Babies Have Sensitive Skin!

It’s no secret that babies have super sensitive skin.  They’re brand new to this world and they’re not accustomed to all the chemicals (both synthetic and naturally occurring ones) that can be found in everyday products, like soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers.  If you read my post on essential oils, you’ll see that it seems better to avoid using any kind of essential oil on a newborn for the first three months, at least.

Ingredients to Avoid

Off the top of my head, I know that, if faced with this issue, I would do everything I could to avoid any synthetic ingredients or unnecessary chemicals in my baby’s skin care.  This would include things like Vaseline, anything highly scented, and any moisturizers that had the unnecessary chemicals that I myself avoid.  It’s also important to avoid essential oils for the first few months.

Would I use the lotion or cream that I make for myself?Ultra Moisturizing Lotion

Well…maybe.  I take a lot of pride in my homemade lotions and creams.  They are made with the best ingredients that I can find.  However, I think that I would go one step further and use a homemade balm instead.  I would use one that is based on beeswax and moisturizing butters, like shea butter or mango butter.

Why a Balm and not a Lotion or Cream?

The most important difference between my lotions and creams and the balm that I’m proposing is that there is no water in the balm.  When water is involved, there’s a need for a preservative.  Why introduce a preservative when  there’s no real need?  Balms are also really easy to make in small batches.  The last thing I like about homemade balms is that you can control the consistency.  I like it best when the balm is solid in the jar, but softens and warms as soon as you touch it.  This makes it easy to spread on the skin.

Another great option would be a plain coconut oil.  Coconut oil is great for the skin and works well on its own.

How Do I Deal With Skin Irritation?

For mild skin irritation, in babies and adults, zinc oxide is a great additive to help soothe and heal skin.  Zinc oxide is an easy additive for homemade products.

Of course, if the skin irritation is anything more than mild and doesn’t go away with a bit of zinc oxide cream, then I’m sure a visit to the doctor may be in order, just to be sure.

This all sounds a bit idealistic…

AloeYes, I admit, this all sounds a bit idealistic.  After all, what new mom has time to make homemade skin care products, learn how to be a mom, and deal with all the hubbub that comes with a new baby?

I’m sure there are some out there who do it all and make it look easy.  I doubt that I will fall into that category.

Instead, I’ll be busy over the next few weeks experimenting with different balm recipes to find one that I think it neutral enough to use on a newborn’s skin.  Stay tuned for pictures and updates!


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Cream, Balm, Butter, or Lotion?

What is the difference between cream, balm, butter, and lotion?  You can buy all of them in any store, made with natural ingredients or not.  You can find everything from foot creams to hydrating lotions to whipped butters to healing balms.

Is there really a difference or is it all just marketing?

I started making my own lotion a few months ago.  One of the first things that I Ultra Moisturizing Lotion by Au Naturel Essencenoticed was that it was heavier than most lotions that I normally bought in the store.  The second thing was that it lasted longer than more popular lotions.  In other words, in my humble opinion, it did a better job at moisturizing my skin.

Oil and Water

Lotions, creams, and butters are all made from a combination of oils and water.   AloeThere are many different kinds of oils that you can use and some will provide more moisture than others.   I really like the feel of aloe vera oil and argan oil.  Both provide great moisture.  The more water in the mixture, the thinner the lotion will be.   Creams go into tubs or jars.  Lotions are thin enough to be in pump or a squeeze bottle.

Butters and Balms

Butters and balms are generally thicker than creams.  They contain little water and some cases, none at all.  I made a balm for fingers and hands a couple of years ago.  It was very moisturizing (great for dry cuticles!), and it didn’t involve any water.  I could put it on at night and it would keep my hands moisturized until morning.

Yes, there is a difference!

In short, there is most definitely a difference.  What you use is completely your choice and depends on what your skin needs.  I like to use a thick cream or balm for my hands and feet.  I use a lighter moisturizer for my face and on the rest of my body, I use a lotion.

What do you use the most?