Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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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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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


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Pink Grapefruit Soaps

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a dear friend with a special request.  She was planning on throwing a baby shower, complete with baby shower games, for a friend of hers and  needed some prizes to give to her guests. She thought of me and asked if I could help her out.

We chatted for a bit and then decided on some easy bars of soap for the prizes.

Pink Grapefruit

I chose to make some more of my Pink Grapefruit bars.  They are made with Goat’s Milk and pink clay.  I scented these bars with essential oils of vanilla and grapefruit.  They are perfect for the spring time.

Pink Grapefruit Soap

To complement the pink bars, I also made some white bars of soap, with Goat’s Milk and White Kaolin Clay.  For consistency, I also gave these a grapefruit scent.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a cute name in mind for these soaps yet.  Any ideas?

White Clay Soap

Final Product

Here’s the final product.  I wrapped each soap in plastic to ensure that they don’t dry out.  I then labelled each soap so that all of the ingredients are clearly listed.  Finally, I tied each pair of soap bars together with a silver elastic band.

Soap Prizes


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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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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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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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Versatile Blogger Award

Earlier this month, I was nominated by three different bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thank you to Hair and Flair, Bronze Goddess and Mademoiselle Snow for the nominations!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

I love blog awards. They are a great way to spread the word about great blogs that you’ve discovered.  Of course, it’s such a lovely feeling to be nominated!  Thank you!

The rules:

  • Insert the logos of the awards on your blog.
  • Link back the person who nominated you.
  • Post 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and link them in your post.
  • Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirement.

The 7 things about me:

  1. I just welcomed a baby boy into this world.  He’s the light of my life these days.
  2. I make my own skin care products!
  3. I have very dry skin, which was one of the reasons I learned to make my own natural skincare products.
  4. I am a morning person.
  5. I am on a never-ending quest to learn Spanish.
  6. I use coconut oil in almost every aspect of my life.
  7. My favorite color is red.

The 15 bloggers I nominate:

  1. Chrystal Love Vintage
  2. Belleza Kisses
  3. Chiffon Souffle
  4. Fine Hair Design
  5. What Tina Loves
  6. Angies Grapevine 
  7. A Lot on Your Plate  
  8. Peachy Milk Tea  
  9. Nade in the Kitchen 
  10. Perfect Shine Housekeeping  
  11. Organic Lassie 
  12. Beauty Expression by Luchessa 
  13. Farm, Foodie, and Fitness  
  14. Blowing Off Steam  
  15. Simple Sustenance

Congratulations to all of the nominated bloggers and thank you once again for all the love!