Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Peppermint Schnuts

When you try a new skin care product, do you read and follow the usage instructions?

If you don’t, read this and let me know if you change your mind about that. ¬†ūüėČ

Hot Feet

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine approached with a request for some foot powder.  It was for her husband.  He would have asked me himself, but was a bit shy.  He wanted something to help keep his feet nice and dry, especially during the hot, and sometimes sticky, summer months.

He had tried a few foot powders from the pharmacy, but none of them was absorbent enough for his feet.

Peppermint Foot Powder

Of course, I was more than happy to help.  I set out and made a super absorbent peppermint foot powder. Given all of the controversy about talc, I made it talc-free too.  I used some arrowrootMinty Fresh powder, baking soda to help absorb the odor and some white clay for extra moisture absorbing power.  I scented it with peppermint essential oil, thinking it would both smell good and have a cooling effect on the feet.  Honestly, it was a pretty simple assignment.

I happily made up the powder and gave it to my friend, who then passed it on to her husband.

A few days later, I got a call from my friend. ¬†She called in a fit of laughter. ¬†In fact, she was laughing so hard, it took me a while to decipher the tale she was trying to tell me. ¬†Here’s what I eventually figured out.

Peppermint Schnuts

She had given the foot powder to her husband. ¬†He was both grateful and excited. ¬†He was so excited that he decided to try it on his entire body. ¬†Yes, his ENTIRE body. ¬†He left no part of his skin uncovered. ¬†Very shortly after applying the powder, he noticed that his nether-regions were getting kind of cold! ¬†That’s right, his nuts were especially sensitive to the cooling effect of the peppermint. ¬†(Did I mention that I might have actually overdone it on the peppermint oil? ¬†If anything, it was on the strong side!) ¬†He came out of the bathroom, buck naked, hopping around in the futile effort to distract himself from the intense cooling feeling.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that he could do to help himself, except wait it out. ¬†I understand that the cooling lasted a good half hour, well into his work day. ¬†ūüôā

And the moral of the story?

Always read the labels!


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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!