Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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The Leibster Blog Award

Thank you to Isabelle at Ginger and Aloe for nominating my blog for the Liebster Blog Award.  I am honoured and thankful for the nomination.

Blog Awards are a great way to share a bit about ourselves with other bloggers.  They are also a great vehicle for paying it forward and calling attention to other fabulous blogs out there.

THE RULES

1) Acknowledge and link back to the blogger who nominated you
2) Answer the 10-11 questions posed by the nominator(s)
3) Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4) Create your own 10-11 questions for the nominees
5) Leave a comment on your nominee’s blog that you nominated them

Isabelle’s Questions

1.  Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

I was inspired to start blogging by a good friend of mine.  She wrote a blog for many years and eventually, I decided to jump on the bandwagon.  It has been a great way to share my skin care experiments.

2. What is your favorite make up?
I love the Jane Iredale line.  I also like the All Natural Face.
3. What is your favorite body lotion?
I make my own body lotion.  By far, it’s my favorite. I just can’t find anything else that works as well on my dry skin.
4. What is your favorite fruit?
Mango!
5. Favorite time of the day to work out?
First thing in the morning.  It gets me going and ready for the day.
6. Favorite drink of the moment?
I love a cup of Hot Lemon Water.
7. What do you think about juice cleanse?
I do a lot of juicing using my Hurom Juice Press.  I think it’s very healthy to incorporate freshly squeezed juices into your daily routine.  I always feel best when I am juicing regularly.
8. Favorite song?
I don’t have one.  I like music, but can never recall the name or artist of a song that I like.  It’s a part of my brain that just doesn’t function…ever.

9. Your favorite place?

My favorite place is home.  Home is with my family, wherever that my be.

10. Favorite inspirational quote?

“Hope is not a plan of action”.

I love this quote.  It’s a reminder to me that I need to make my dreams come true, rather than wait and hope that things turn out how I want.

My Ten Questions

1.  How do you keep your skin clean and fresh?

2.  If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be?

3.  What is your favorite animal?

4.  What is your favorite type of food?

5.  How do you motivate yourself to get difficult tasks done?

6.  How many times do you wash your hair in a week?

7.  Who do you admire the most and why?

8.  What is your favorite brand of make up?

9.  What is the one word that describes you the best?

10.  What is your favorite book?

And the Nominees Are:

Zen in the Big City 

Little Steps

Day Dreaming on a Dime

Tomatoes and Jasmine 

Green For Baby 

Please take a moment to visit these five fabulous blogs!  I’ve enjoyed each of them and I hope you will too!


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Gift Box of Goodies

A few weeks ago, we spent a long weekend visiting some friends.  We don’t get to see them very often, so it was a very special weekend.

I wanted to give them some treats as a gift.  I decided to make a bunch of different skin care products and then let them divide them up among themselves.

Their gift box included:

  • 1 jar of peppermint foot cream
  • 2 bottles of lotion
  • 3 jars of hand balm
  • 6 tubes of lip lube
  • And a whole bunch of soap!

I had so much fun putting everything together.  Here are some photos of the final product.

Gift Box!

Gift Box!

Gift Box of Goodies

Gift Box of Goodies

Skin Care Treats!

Skin Care Treats!

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Hans Solo Soap

Hans Solo Soap

Fish Soap

Fish Soap

As you can see, I made some specialty soaps for this gift box.  The blue and purple fish and starfish soaps were specially made for our friends’ daughter.  Her favorite colours are blue and purple, so I thought these would be perfect.   And one of our friends is a Star Wars fan.  I thought he might appreciate the Hans Solo soap!


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Skincare Tips for the Spring

Spring is almost here!

hydrangeasA few weeks ago, we started to have double-digit temperatures!  It was such a treat to be given a sneak peek into Spring.  I celebrated by going for a long walk with my son in the baby carrier.  Sadly, the high temps did not last and we’ve had more snow since then.  In fact, as I write this, I’m looking out the window at a snow shower.  Nevertheless, I know that Spring is close and it’s time to get ready for sunshine and outdoor fun!

Spring also means that my skin will have different needs. Here’s how I’m planning on taking care of my skin.

Spring Soap

DSC_0017

I just whipped up two small batches of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  I made a few bars of soap using green clay and scented them with Patchouli.  In the past, I’ve sometimes overdone it with the Patchouli scent.  Fortunately, I’ve learned from that and these bars are nicely scented.

I also made some bars of soap with pink clay.  I use these on my face.  They are gentle and are able to clean my skin without removing all of the natural oils. I scented these bars with Grapefruit essential oil.  I like to call these bars Pink Grapefruits!

Light Moisturizers

I’ve been using the Emollient Wheatgerm cream this winter.  It’s been great.  Now that the weather is turning, I’ll be using face oils only.  I love the Suti face oils.  They have a delicious scent and are light on the skin.  I also make my own face oils and have experimented with all kinds of oils.  Once I finish the batch that I have in my cabinet, I’ll be making some more to try!

It’s also time to switch to a light lotion.  I always need to help my skin with moisture.  However, I can get away with a light lotion during the warmer months, rather than a thicker lotion or cream.

Coconut on BeachHair Care

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of reverse hair washing.  I just love the results and I continue to wash my hair this way.  With the added humidity that comes with Spring, my hair can get a bit frizzy. I find that a weekly hair mask is just what it needs to stay under control.  My favorite mask right now is plain coconut oil.

How do you pamper your skin during the spring months?

This post is part of the GiG Spotlight #5: Spring Fever.  Thanks to Caity of Moi Contre La Vie and Mari of I Love Green Inspiration for hosting this wonderful event.  Are you wondering what GiG is?  It’s the Girls Inspired Group.  Click on the image below to check out their blog and join!

gigspotlight1


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Oil vs. Lotion – Which One Do You Use?

Do you use a moisturizer on your face or skin at least once a day?  My guess is that most of you do, even if you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from dry skin.   Assuming you do use a moisturizer, what do you use?  Oil or lotion?  Or, do you use a combination?

My Daily Routine

For as long as I could remember, I have used a moisturizer on my face.  I have tried various different creams and lotions to treat my dry skin and keep it hydrated.

Then, some time ago, I learned how to put together a face oil.  I tried it on my face and I loved it!  I was so anxious about applying an oil to my face.  Fortunately, it turned out great and I was so happy to have found a moisturizer to use on my face that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg at the store!  Plus, I could make this on my own.

Suti SamplesA few months ago, I tried a sample of Suti’s Nourishing Oil.  I liked it even more than the one I had made.  The scent was lovely and it made my skin feel great.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I had a facial.  It was pointed out to me that my skin was a bit dry.  What?!  How could it be?  It certainly didn’t feel dry to me!  Yet, after an hour of exfoliating, steaming and moisturizing, I could feel a marked difference in my skin.  It felt so smooth!  I even received a few comments on how great my skin looked.  I left the spa with a jar of Pure Creations’ Emollient Wheat Germ Cream that was used on my face.  It’s a rich cream and good for moisturizing my skin during the dry winter months.  I’ve used it once a day ever since the facial and my skin still feels great.  Stay tuned to my blog for a full review on this product!

And all of this lead me to ask which is better, lotion or oil?  Did I make a wrong turn when I started using a face oil?

Lotion

There are so many lotions and creams available on the market.  They can have all kinds of additives, like Vitamin E and oils that are beneficial for our skin (my most recent favorite oil to use is Kukui Nut Oil).  Lotions come in varying degrees of greasiness.  The ideal lotion is one that doesn’t leave a greasy film on your skin.

Lotions are designed to penetrate the skin.  This allows your skin to absorb all of the great ingredients in that lotion, thus replenishing the look and feel of your skin.

Oil

Body and face oils are used widely in certain parts of the world.  Like lotion, they can contain oils that are beneficial for your skin. Oil Where oils differ from lotion is that they tend to prevent moisture from leaving your skin.  However, they are not necessarily designed to penetrate your skin like a lotion.

Check out these links to learn more about the differences between lotion and oil.

http://www.rodale.com/moisturizers

http://www.vivawoman.net/2009/11/24/is-oil-better-than-a-moisturizing-lotion/

Baby’s Skin

The best test I’ve found was on my son’s skin.  Like many babies, he had dry spots on his skin in the first few weeks following his birth.  I used a bit of coconut oil on them and for the most part, they went away.  However, there were a few very persistent spots that the coconut oil simply would not address.  On a whim, I tried a wee bit of lotion that I had made. It was very basic and did not have any essential oils in it.  Surprisingly, it worked immediately and eliminated those pesky dry spots. I couldn’t believe it!

Baby Skin

Oil vs. Lotion – The Verdict

So, which one is best?  Well, it depends!  Both oils and lotions have their place in providing extra moisture for your skin.  Right now, I use an oil on my face in the morning and a cream on my face at night before bed.  That combination has worked great during the dry months of winter.  I have no doubt that I will have to change that routine when the weather warms up a bit and it’s not so dry.

What do you use to keep your skin hydrated?


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Body Lotion – Featuring Kukui Nut Oil

Experiments in Body Lotion

Every few weeks, I make a batch of body lotion.  I have very dry skin, so I always need a healthy supply of moisturizer to keep my skin smooth.

Since I need so much lotion, I make a point of trying new oils each time.  For example, a recent batch of lotion that I made featured Sea Buckthorn Oil.  More importantly, my latest batch of lotion is one of my favorites.  I used Kukui Nut Oil in the mix.  This was the first time that I had used Kukui Nut Oil.  I took some time to learn about it and here’s what I found out.

Kukui Nut OilKukui Nut

Kukui Nut Oil comes from the Candlenut tree, the state tree of Hawaii.  The Kukui seeds have many varied uses, one of which is to use the oil from the seeds in skin care.  Not only is this oil known to soothe and soften the skin, it has also been used to treat wounds.  Some people have even seen positive results when using this to treat skin conditions, such as eczema.  This oil, when used in soap, makes the lather creamier.

I found most of this information from this site.

Does this lotion measure up?

Absolutely!  I love this latest batch of lotion.  It is nourishing, making a little bit go a long way.  It glides on smoothly and does not leave a greasy film behind.

I scented it with a mixture of vanilla and citrus essential oils.  I love the deep and slightly sweet scent of the vanilla essential oil.  This is a treat to put onto my skin each morning.


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Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil is one of my favorite ingredients to use in my skin care products.

Properties

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil has an earthy and sweet smell to it.  Its colour is yellow or amber.  I keep mine in the fridge to help extend its shelf life.

Benefits

Carrot Seed Oil is known to be a great additive to skin care products.  It can relieve stress and exhaustion, detoxify the liver, and also rejuvenate the skin.  This essential oil is also known to help fight many skin problems, such as psoriasis and eczema.

Carrot Seed Oil contains both Vitamin A and carotene.  In addition to being good for your hair and skin, it is also associated with good eyesight.

Body Lotion with Sea Buckthorn OilUses

A drop or two of carrot seed oil in creams and lotions is worth it.  I have used this oil in my own skin moisturizers and it works great.  I have also tried this oil in my Night Oil.  Though I have not yet tried it, Carrot Seed Oil would work nicely in a blended bath oil.

I always use this oil sparingly.  A little goes a long way.

Note:  This is  not an oil to use during pregnancy.

Sources:

In addition to my own experience, information in this blog post comes from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot_seed_oil

http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/carrot-seed.htm


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Chosen for an Inspiring Blog Award

A big Thank You to Tianna at Story Book Apothecary for nominated my blog for the Inspiring Blog award!

Answer the Following Questions:

  • What clothing item makes you feel at your best?  I love dresses, especially when I have a special event to attend.
  • When are you most energetic? Without a doubt, in the morning!
  • Time to kick back and relax! What’s your pick-me-up food/drink?  A handful of nuts or roasted seeds gives me a good boost in the afternoons.  A cup of hot tea is perfect when I need a drink!
  • Your favorite kind of chocolate?  The edible kind!
  • To follow-up on that, what’s your favorite pastime?  I love making things…right now, I’m pretty focused on soaps and lotions!
  • What sound do you love? Rain falling outside, as long as I’m inside.
  • If you could pack your bags and leave right now, what country or city would you go to? Somewhere warm…winter is just starting here!
  • There’s an album called “soundtrack to your life”, what songs have to be on it?  Too many to count!
  • Do you have any bad habits?  I procrastinate.
  • What’s one habit others do that you absolutely can’t stand?  My number one pet peeve is when people are moving in a different direction than where they are looking.  People do this while walking, driving, running etc…and it drives me up the wall!

Nominations:

I am pleased to nominate these five blogs for this award.  I look forward to these folks’ blog posts every day!  Congratulations!

LunaFace

Robyn Peoples

Green People Blog

The Beauty Department

Holistic Green Beauty