Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Vegan Belly Butter

I ran out of Beeswax!  What???

It’s a staple ingredient, after all.  How could I let that happen?

(Honestly, I don’t actually know how that happened at all…I just realized one day I was completely out!  Yikes!)

Out of Beeswax

I was left with two options, use the other waxes I had on hand or frantically try to get my hands on some beeswax.

Of course, not having the energy to be frantic, I did some research and decided to try out the other waxes that I had on hand.

Other Wax Options

After a wee bit of research, I learned that you use about half of the amount of “other” wax as compared to beeswax.   In other words, where you would use 2 tablespoons of beeswax, you would substitute 1 tablespoon of “other” wax.  Other waxes tend to be harder than beeswax, so you just need a little less of it.

Candellila Wax

I settled on trying out some of the Candellila wax.  I was charged with making some belly butter for a good friend who is quite pregnant.

I used exactly half of the amount of wax I would normally use.  I melted all of the ingredients together and then poured the butter into the jars.  I love the colour of this wax.  It’s a light yellow and it didn’t darken up even after it cooled off.  I was a bit worried that the mixture didn’t have enough wax because it didn’t start to harden for quite a while.  I ended up leaving it overnight and, lo and behold, it had turned into a beautiful butter by the morning.  I tried some out for myself and it was great.  It was soft enough to easily smear onto your skin and it was hard enough not to be runny in the jar.

Vegan Belly Butter

Vegan Belly Butter

That’s exactly how I stumbled on the art of making vegan belly butter.  I used some different oils and of course, the candellila wax.  However, the process was the same in that I simply melted everything together, added some essential oils, and then poured the liquid into jars to set.

I tried this butter out myself and thought it worked wonderfully.  However, sadly, it did not work out so well for my pregnant friend.  Something in it, either the different combination of oils or the wax itself (or that very combination of wax and oils) didn’t agree with her skin.  Fortunately, I got my hands on some beeswax in the interim and whipped up a batch of the regular stuff.  Phew!

Vegan Belly Butter

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6 Weeks Later and the Jar of Positivity

I’ve been away from my blog for about 6 weeks.  I’ve never taken a break quite that long before, not even when I gave birth to my son just over a year ago.

Even while I was away, my little blog generated lots of hits and I’m so thankful to all my readers for continuing to check out my blog!  Thank you!

Two Big Changes

Since I’ve been away, a few things have changed in my daily routine.  First, we added a new member to our family in the form of a live-in nanny for my son.  She’s great and my son fell in love with her almost immediately.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Second, I returned to work in the office on a full-time basis.  I had dreaded this particular change for months, only to find out that it wasn’t half bad.  I’m enjoying having something else to do during the day and I still get to spend a few hours with my little boy each night when I get home.  I definitely feel lucky that the transition has been so smooth for all of us.

At first, I had no idea how I would make time for my skin care experiments.  Yet, in the past few weeks, I’ve managed to whip up batches of vapo rub, belly butter, and homemade deodorant.  Phew!  I’ve even been experimenting with new waxes.  It’s all about balance and now, I’m sure I’ll continue to find time for my skin care products.

The Jar of Positivity

To help my family kick-start this year, we decided to try something new.  We have introduced the Jar of Positivity.  I got this idea from a post I saw on Facebook and I loved it. Basically, we can write down anything that makes us smile or happy  on a little piece of paper and then stuff it into the jar.  We’ll save all the notes until the end of the year and then read them around Christmas time.  To be honest, I’m not sure that “Positivity” is actually a word.  Nonetheless, for 2014, it is in our household!

"Jar of Positivity"

“Jar of Positivity”


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Belly Butter for Pregnant Mamas

A dear friend of mine recently announced to me that she was pregnant.  Yay!!

About five minutes after she told me her great news, she asked if I could make her some belly butter to help avoid the dreaded stretch marks.  Not only was she looking to avoid the actual stretch marks, but she had found that the stretching her skin had already done in the first few weeks had been a bit painful.  She had tried to find a butter in the stores, but found that many of them had unnecessary ingredients.  My heart warmed and I assured her I would help her take care of her skin.

Belly Butters

I made a two separate butters for her.  One is for the morning and one is for bedtime.  I made two jars of each one.  I made both with base oils that are great for the skin.  The main oils in both are Jojoba and Kukui oil.

Belly Butters

Belly Butters

Belly Butter in the Morning

I scented this belly butter with a mixture of citrus scents.  It’s perfect for awakening the body in the morning and having a fresh scent on your skin to start the day.  I also made this butter quite soft, so that it’s easy to apply.

Bedtime Belly Butter

For nighttime, I scented the butter with a soothing lavender.  The scent is calming and will help my dear friend get her sleep.

Why not a straight oil?

Oils are also great for moisturizing the skin.  I find that, to achieve a deep moisturizing effect, a butter, lotion or cream is more effective.  Once your skin is well moisturized, an oil is excellent and keeping the moisture in.  To learn more about my take on the difference between oils and creams/lotions, click here.

Clean Ingredients Make for Safe Cosmetics

When a woman becomes pregnant, she starts sharing everything that she takes into her body, whether through eating, inhaling, or through her skin, with her growing baby.  For that reason, it’s so important to pay attention to what that new mama is taking in.  Why use a product with unnecessary parabens or other chemicals that will be passed on to the new baby when there are equally effective and less harmful options available?  Sometimes, we do it because it’s convenient or because we don’t have access to a better alternative.  I was so happy that my friend is paying attention to what she shares with her growing baby and it was such a pleasure to be able to make a belly butter that is safe for both of them.