Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Homemade Deodorant Using Clay

I recently took the plunge into the world of homemade deodorant.  I tried for months and years to find a store-bought brand that worked for me.  After absolutely no long-lasting success, I made my own.

I was thrilled with my first go at it.  Click here to read all about it.  This recipe worked SO well for me!  In fact, it worked better than my regular store bought deodorant. The one complaint I had was with the consistency.  I found that it separated easily, requiring a vigorous stir prior to each use.  I was also concerned that it would not travel all that well.

I set out to find a recipe that was more solid and would fit into a deodorant stick.  I didn’t have to look that hard.  I went back to the Crunch Betty site and found a recipe that fit the bill.  Click here to see exactly what Crunchy Betty says. 

Unlike many other deodorant recipes out there, this recipe doesn’t use baking soda, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder.  Instead, it uses clay to help absorb extra moisture.

The Ingredients:

1.5 Tablespoons of Beeswax beads

4 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

1 Tablespoon of Shea Butter

4 Teaspoons of clay ( I used White Kaolin Clay)

20-25 drops of Essential Oils ( I used Tea Tree, Rosemary, Lemon and Bergamot)

The Method:

I melted the beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter over low heat on the stove.  Had I actually done what the recipe said, I would have added the Shea Butter after the beeswax was melted.  Shea doesn’t do withstand heat all that well, so it’s best to heat it as little as possible.  Having said that, I was excited and put all three into the pot together.

Raw Ingredients

Raw Ingredients

Once that was melted, I removed the pot from heat and whisked in the clay.  The mixture turned a gray colour.  Then, I stirred in the essential oils.

Deodorant in the Making

Deodorant in the Making

I cooled the mixture by putting it in a cold water bath.  It wasn’t elegant, but it did the trick.  The mixture started to set up in about a minute.

Makeshift Water Bath

Makeshift Water Bath

Finally, I poured and scooped the mixture into 5 mini deodorant stick containers and popped them into the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Mini Deodorant Sticks

Mini Deodorant Sticks

Did It Work?

I tested this stick for 3 days.  I even managed to convince two good friends of mine to give it a try.

The texture of the stick was pretty slippery.  After coming out of the freezer, the mixture softened considerably.  While applying it one day, I thought it might do better in a roll-on applicator.

The scent was unique.  One friend of mine went through several love/hate cycles with the scent each day that she wore the deodorant.  I noticed the scent, but didn’t find it offensive.

The deodorant was effective for a few hours at a time, provided there was no undue stress or mild physical activity (like walking).  Yes, you read that right.  This stick just didn’t do the trick.  I really wanted to love it, but after several days of this, I couldn’t justify using it anymore.  This was far less effective than the first homemade deodorant that I made.

It’s back to the drawing board for me.

Disclaimer

Deodorant is a very personal thing.  What works for one person may not work for another person.  Further, what works for you one day may not be the solution on another day.

While this didn’t work for me, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you.  If you walk down this path of homemade deodorant, I think you’ll learn, just as I am learning, that experimentation is key.  Don’t discount this recipe just because of my experience.  Who knows, this may be just the right concoction for you!

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A Lesson in Lip Balm

I make a lot of lip balm.  It’s easy and the lip balms actually work.  How easy, you ask?

Really easy.

Making Lip Balm

First, get your ingredients ready.  You’ll need oil, some wax, and some butter if you feel like it.

Next, melt all of the ingredients together.  I do this in a pot on the stove on the lowest heat setting possible.  If I had a double boiler, I would use that instead.  It’s important not to overheat the ingredients or burn the oil.

Melting the ingredients

Melting the ingredients

Once everything is melted, take the liquid off the heat and add your essential oils.

Melted Ingredients

Melted Ingredients

Finally, pour your lip balms.  I use this fancy lip balm tray to hold all of the tubes steady.  As it turns out, I actually need help holding my hand steady as there is always some spillage.

Lip Balm Tube Filling Tray

Lip Balm Tube Filling Tray

Finally, let the balms set and cool.  It’s a bit like watching the kettle boil, so it’s best to find something else to do in the meantime.  When possible, I like to let mine set overnight.  Once they are ready, you can taken them out of the tray and pop the lids on each tube.

The Result?

Do these simple steps and you’ll have a homemade lip balm.  I like to call mine Lip Lube.

Here’s a shot of two tubes I just made up for a friend who was brave enough to try out my formula.

Lip Lube

Lip Lube

The Recipe

It took me a long time and many trials to come up with the recipe that I use.  I like it because it’s soft enough to be used in the cold winter months, but doesn’t melt in your purse or pocket in the hot summer months.  I just might end up selling these tubes of Lip Lube one day. So, for now, I’m opting to keep the recipe to myself.

If you’re looking for ideas, check out one of my favorite sites here.  It’s the Crunchy Betty site.  It’s full of ideas, recipes and tips.  It’s a great starting point!  Or, if you’re more adventurous, try a few combinations out on your own.  It might take a few tries, but I’m sure you’ll end up with a formula that works.  Either way, have fun!


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Homemade Vapour Rub

A few months ago, I made a homemade vapor rub.  For some reason, I didn’t blog about it right away.  Frankly, it was so easy that I think that’s the reason I forgot to share it with you all!

I had been planning on including it in the Gift Box of Goodies that I put together.  Alas, there simply wasn’t enough room in the box.  So, I ended up with two sinus-clearing tubs of vapour rub.  Darn.

Vapour Rub Packed with Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary

Vapour Rub Packed with Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary

Crunchy Betty via Lightly Crunchy

I found the recipe on Heidi’s blog, Lightly Crunchy.  If you’re ever looking for great information on how to live life in a sustainable way, check out her blog.  I’m sure that you’ll love it, just as I do.

Heidi had blogged about her homemade vapour rub that was made with a recipe from the Crunchy Betty site.  It looked pretty good, so I used the same exact one.

A Simple Recipe

Homemade Vapour Rub

  • 2 tsp beeswax (grated)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or experiment with an oil of your choice)
  • 35 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil

Melt the beeswax and olive oil together until smooth. I did this in a pot on the stove, on the lowest heat setting possible. Stir iy once in a while to make sure it mixes well.  I then took it off the heat and added in the essential oils.   Once everything was mixed, I poured this into two small containers and let it set, uncovered, overnight.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to  a year (or more).

Does it Work?

Oh yes, it certainly does!  The smell is quite strong, which is perfect in a vapour rub.  It’s both sweet and refreshing.  The large amount of peppermint has a great cooling effect.  (For more information about the cooling effects of peppermint essential oil, check out my Peppermint Schnuts post).

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

But, don’t take my word for it.

As it turns out, a friend of mine happens to use store-bought VapoRub every single night before bed.  It’s the only thing that works to keep his sinuses clear through the night.  I mentioned to him that I had made a homemade batch and he jumped at the opportunity to be a test subject.  He’s been using it for a couple of months now.  He reported back to me that it works just as good or better than the store-bought product.  He also said that it lasts longer.  While it took a week or so to get used to a slightly different smell, once he got over that, he was hooked!

I was so pleased to hear such a positive review.

This is one of the easiest things to make and it works.  Sounds perfect to me!

Homemade Vapour Rub

Homemade Vapour Rub


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Homemade Deodorant

After many years of searching for a store-bought deodorant that works for my body, I have resigned myself to admitting defeat.  And in order to pick myself up, I decided to (finally) learn how to make my own!

Inspiration!

A few months ago, I was browsing some of my favorite blogs and I saw a post on Homemade Wellbeing by Kristina.  She had written about making her own deodorant and how successful it had been for her.  She made it sound so easy and I was inspired to finally get off my butt and do something about my deodorant situation.  Check out her post here!

Off I went to the Crunchy Betty website to read about making deodorant at home.  I almost fell off my chair when I saw how easy it is!  With nothing in my way, I was off to the races.  Click here to see the recipe that I used.

Making my Own Deodorant

It was really easy.  I followed the recipe on the Crunchy Betty site to the letter and I was not disappointed.

First, I took some coconut oil and some sweet almond oil and infused with dried chamomile and calendula flowers.  She recommends that you leave it alone to infuse for a couple of weeks.  I ended up getting a little busy and it sat there for about 7 weeks.  It wasn’t a problem.  If anything, the oil came out with a stronger infusion of the flowers.

Infused Oil

Infused Oil

Second, I strained the oil.  I ended up getting about 8 tablespoons of oil.

Strained Oil

Strained Oil

Third, I mixed in equal parts of arrowroot powder and baking soda.  You use 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons of each one.   Stir well.

Homemade Deodorant

Homemade Deodorant

And Voila, you’re done!

Testing my Own Deodorant

It was easy to make, but did it work?

I tested it for 10 days.  I applied it once each day, in the morning after my shower.

During that time, I continued with my daily routine just like normal.  This included things like my Jillian Michaels workouts (there’s a lot of sweating involved in those!) and long walks in the sun with my little boy.  I even used it when I was around other people!

This deodorant worked for me for every single minute of the ten-day trial. That’s more than I can say for any of the other store-bought deodorants I have ever tried.  It simple works perfectly with my body!

I did find that the mixture separated in the jar throughout the day.  So, I kept a small spatula on hand so that I could give it a vigorous stir before applying it in the morning.

Three Jars of Homemade Deodorant

Three Jars of Homemade Deodorant

One Huge Step Forward

Finding a natural deodorant to use has been a long time coming for me.  I’ve learned how to make many of my own skin care products, like lotion, cream and soap, over the past couple of years.  I’m so excited to have a product that works for me.  It’s got a handful of ingredients, it’s easy to make and most importantly, it works for me!  The only drawback for me with this deodorant is the need to mix it up again each morning.  Perhaps I’ll have to keep experimenting with the recipe.

Do you use a homemade or natural deodorant?  If you do, what’s YOUR secret for the perfect product?


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Homemade Hair Gel

For years, literally, I’ve had a couple of outstanding requests for a homemade natural hair gel.

I was totally intimidated by the request, so I conveniently ignored it for, well, years.

And then my son was born with a full head of hair and my husband appointed himself as his official stylist.  Next thing I know, he was asking for a hair product for our infant son!  I was out of excuses and couldn’t ignore the request any longer.  So, off I went to find a recipe for a homemade hair gel.

Emir with a full head of hair

Crunchy Betty

I’m a big fan of Crunchy Betty, so I started out by looking at the Crunchy Betty site.  Sure enough, I found a recipe for Flaxseed Hair Gel.  Click here to have a look at it.

I also had a look at a tutorial video online.  It was done by Naptural85 and was referenced a few times in the comments on the Crunch Betty site.  It’s a great tutorial.  Click here to see it.

Flaxseed Hair Gel

The recipe itself is very simple.

I used just over 1 cup of water, 2 Tbsp of flax seeds, a dollop of aloe vera gel, and some lavender essential oil.

I boiled the water and then put the flax seeds into it.  I stirred the seeds regularly until the liquid started to thicken and I started to see a gel.  Once it was quite thick, I strained the seeds using pantyhose and a pair of chopsticks.  Finally, after I had strained the gel, I added some aloe vera gel and the essential oil.

I have stored this in the fridge and it is keeping well.  As an experiment, I kept a small amount in jar on the counter and it didn’t smell so great after a few days.  It’s important to keep this in the fridge!

This recipe made a fair amount.  Considering it’s only for my son, I expect it to last quite a while.

Flaxseed Hair Gel

Flaxseed Hair Gel

Does The Hair Gel Work?

Yes, it works!  Not only was it easy to make, it actually works!  This is a shot of my son with it in his hair.  It was enough to style his hair and it held his style, more or less, for the whole day!  A couple of times, when it was a bit flat, we just added a bit of water to his hair and it reactivated the gel.  I’ll definitely be making this again!

Styled Hair