Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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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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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!