Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Indie Lee’s DIY Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Who doesn’t love a little bit of pumpkin pie?  It’s creamy, smooth and tasty.  Now, you can have that for your skin too!  Want to know more?  Read on!

Indie Lee

I was recently approached by the marketing firm for Indie Lee.  As described right on Indie Lee’s website,

Indie Lee is devoted to making all natural beauty products from the world’s finest ingredients. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. We must nurture our soul to let our inner beauty shine through. Live life to its fullest, one moment at a time.”

Indie Lee also likes to share DIY recipes and that’s where I came into the picture.  I was asked to try out this DIY body scrub recipe and write about it.  There’s absolutely nothing in this for me, except of course, I get to try out a new body scrub and pamper myself.  Tough life, isn’t it?

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Here’s the recipe, as it was sent to me:

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Unfortunately, I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand.  So, I made do with what I had and made a modified version of this body scrub.

My Modified Recipe:

1 cup of white granulated sugar
1/8 cup of coconut palm brown sugar
4 tsp of pumpkin spice*
1/8 cup of coconut oil
4 T of olive oil

Ingredients From My Cupboard

Ingredients From My Cupboard

As you can see from the photo of my ingredients, I didn’t have a whole lot of white sugar left.  So, I opted to make half of the amount in this recipe, just so I could have a cup of sugar left over at the end.

I used coconut palm brown sugar. It’s not quite as soft as regular brown sugar, but it worked just fine in this recipe.

I used my homemade pumpkin spice instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  My pumpkin spice recipe comes directly from Heidi at Lightly Crunchy.  It’s a great little recipe that includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.  Check out the recipe here.  I used quite a bit more spice than the original recipe calls for.  I did that to compensate for the lack of actual pumpkin in my concoction.  I used the spice to simulate that spicy pumpkin pie scent.  If only I could transmit smells through my blog, you would know that it worked.

Sugars and Pumpkin Spice

Sugars and Pumpkin Spice

I used both coconut oil and olive oil.  While the original recipe did not call for olive oil, I found that I needed to add some moisture to compensate for the lack of pumpkin.  I could have just as easily added more coconut oil.  Both coconut oil and olive oil are good for your skin, so I didn’t mind having both in this scrub.

Adding Coconut Oil

Adding Coconut Oil

Finally, it’s obvious that I didn’t include any actual pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie mix is just not something that I have on hand.  I would have loved to include some pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree.  Alas, I had used my entire supply up already (mostly on baby food).  So, I did without and added both olive oil and a lot of pumpkin spice to compensate.

The Result

The result of my little concoction looked like this.

Final Product

Final Product

The mixture was fine and felt pretty smooth.  It smelled like baking, which was exactly what I wanted.  I used it on my arms and legs and ended up with very soft and polished skin.  I could feel the difference right away.

Would I Make It Again?

Sure!  I would certainly make this again.

This scrub, like most scrubs, serves two main purposes. It exfoliates the skin and it also provides moisture, by virtue of all the oils.  I’m someone who always has to apply lotion to my skin after a shower.  However, I was able to skip that step when I had used this scrub.

I love recipes like this one because you can make it with common ingredients found in your kitchen.  And if you’re faced with a problem like I was, in that you didn’t actually have some of the ingredients, you can use substitutes and still come up with a great product for your skin.

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DIY Natural Silver Polish

Have you ever wondered if there’s an easier way to polish the silver?  A way that doesn’t take hours and hours and a lot of elbow grease?  If you have, you’re in luck!

Tarnished Silver-Plated Wine Goblets

A colleague of mine was recently faced with this exact question.  She was planning a family reunion of sorts and wanted to use the 6 wine goblets that had been in the family for a few generations.  They were the family heirlooms.
The goblets are silver plated and, of course, badly tarnished.  Bound and determined to avoid hours of polishing, she investigated the possibility of polishing them naturally (and quickly).
Here’s what she did…

Quick and Natural Silver Polish Method

-Fill the kettle with water and set it to boil.
-Run the hot water tap until the water that comes out is very hot.
-Line the bottom of the kitchen sink with aluminum foil.
-Add 2 Tbsp. household salt.
-Add 2 Tbsp. baking soda.
-Fill the sink with very hot tap water.
-Add a kettle-full of boiling hot water to increase the temperature further.
-There is no need to mix the ingredients, the chemical reaction is enough.
-Add the silver to the sink.
-Bathe the silver for about 30 seconds. The tarnish disappears due to the chemical reaction.
-Remove the silver.
-Drain the sink and wipe it down.
-Fill the sink about 1/3 of the way with a mixture of water and white vinegar.
-Bathe the silver in the vinegar water. This will remove any extra baking soda mixture that could potentially cause the silver to pit.
-Drain the sink.
-Give the silver one final rinse with water.
-Polish with a soft cloth. (I used an old towel). It is important to use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the silver.
-Enjoy naturally polished silver.
A tip: Do not use rubber gloves during this process, as the rubber interacts poorly with the silver and may damage it or cause it to tarnish even faster next time. Soft cloth gloves or nitrile gloves are recommended.

The Results

This method removed about 90% of the tarnish. Given that the goblets are old and have not been used in decades, it seemed like a reasonable trade-off.  A cream polisher could be used to handle the tough spots.  Thanks to this natural polishing method, my colleague was able to save herself several hours of drudgery!


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Make Your Own Face Mask

Over the summer months, I’ve been spending my Sundays treating myself to different face masks.  Some of them exfoliate and others moisturize.  I even  managed to concoct some that did both!

As much as possible, I tried to use ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen or in my personal supply of skin care ingredients.

Clay masks

The first masks I ever made were ones that used clay.  Clays are great for helping to remove impurities from the skin, without irritating your skin.

Red and White Clay Mask

My first mask was a combination of red and white clays as well as crushed rose petals.  I mixed that with Manuka honey and some aloe vera gel.  The mask was pretty thin on my skin.  The rose petals helped to exfoliate my skin a little bit as I massaged it into my face. It washed off fairly easily and I followed it with my Day and Night Oil.

Making a Thicker Clay Mask

I personally like a thicker clay mask.  An easy way to make that is to combine some clay (say, 0.5 teaspoon) with 1 Tablespoon of aloe vera gel.  I found this to make a thicker consistency and have had great results with it.  In this particular case, I made the mask with 0.5 teaspoons of green clay and aloe vera gel.

Face Masks from the Kitchen

I have learned how to make a few different masks using kitchen ingredients only.  It’s been lots of fun experimenting with different fruits and combinations.

Avocado Mask

To make this mask, I blended one half avocado with 1 Tablespoon of Manuka honey and 1 tsp of coconut oil.  I spread it all over face and neck and left it on for 15 minutes.  It was very creamy.  I could feel it dry a bit on my skin.  This was super moisturizing and it took a while to rinse it all off my face!  My skin felt very soft afterwards.

I’ve also tried this mask with some oatmeal added to it.  It served as an exfoliant as I massaged the mask into my skin.

Berry Delight Mask

I first mixed one crushed strawberry with two or three crushed raspberries. I then stirred in some Manuka Honey.

This mask was fairly thin. I thought it might also be scratchy with the mashed up berries, but it was actually very smooth.  I left it on for about 10 minutes and felt it tighten on my skin right away.  It also washed off easily.  My skin felt noticeably soft and moisturized afterwards!

Bananas and Honey Mask

For this mask, I mashed a quarter of a banana and mixed it with Manuka honey.  I massaged it into skin and left it on for 15 minutes.  Even though it was runny when I applied it, I felt the mixture tighten on my skin.  My skin felt soft afterwards, but not quite as supple as it felt after the Berry Delight Mask. strawberry/raspberry mask.

Chocolatey Goodness Mask

I was inspired to try this mask after seeing Kristina post about it on her blog Homemade Wellbeing.  I mixed 2 tsp of cocoa powder, 1 tsp of Manuka honey, 2 tsp of coconut milk and 2 tsp of ground oatmeal.

I massaged this into my face for a bit of exfoliation.  I left it on for about 20 minutes and my skin felt very soft at the end.  Between the smell and having soft skin at the end of the mask, this was definitely one of my favorites.

I liked this one so much that I tried again with a slight variation.  On the second try, I mixed cocoa powder, five mashed blueberries, Manuka honey and coconut milk.   Once again, it was divine!

Do you have a favorite face mask?

Do you have a favorite mask that you use?  Even better, have you ever experimented with kitchen ingredients for your skin care?  If you have, please leave me a comment to tell me all about it!