DIY, Homemade, Skincare, Simple, Natural, Fun, Uncategorized

DIY Bath and Beauty: Hand and Body Wash

If you have super sensitive skin, do it yourself (DIY) products can be a life saver. I started out making soaps, and I now have an array of products I like to make at home. Today’s project was hand and body wash.

For this project you will need the following:
* 8oz. foam pump bottle
* 2-4 tbs. Castille Soap (Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby is the gold standard in terms of purity and concentration.)
* 6-7 oz. Distilled Water
* 15-24 drops Essential Oils of your choice

Let’s review the ingredients. Each of them may be used for other diy projects so they’re great to have around. I’ve labeled this hand and body wash, but I’ve used this recipe on my face in a pinch with no negative reaction.

You may reuse a foam bottle you’ve already got, or purchase as many as you like on Amazon or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. In my experience, these bottles last long; so know you should get many uses here.

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Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap is the centerpiece. It can be found at many drug and health food stores, Target, and countless online stores. I often get mine at Costco, where I get two bottles for about $15.00. Generally speaking, the soap runs around $11.00 for 16oz., but understand this is highly concentrated.

This castille soap is is equal to at least eight bottles of conventional body wash (there are people who dilute it more than I, but I need bubbles in my life). An added benefit, castille soap is pure, cleans much more effectively, and is much better suited to delicate complexions.
Distilled water is available at every drug store and supermarket! You may have wondered if you can substitute tap water, definitely not. A recipe prepared with tap water will go bad quickly, becoming smelly and laden with bacteria. Unless you use distilled water, your product will not keep.

Essential oils will provide the aromatherapy scent and skin treatment in your wash. For the hand soap, I used a pre-made blend that contains cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, and citrus. For the body wash, I used my own blend of peppermint and cedarwood (the juniper version). As always, please do your research and purchase from a reputable company.

Take your clean empty foam pump bottle and fill the bottom with 2-4 tablespoons of castille soap (many recipes use less, but I find them to be too diluted).

Next, add your oils. Depending on the oils and desired intensity I’d recommend 15-24 drops. This is a less than 1% to 1% dilution, which is good for sensitive skin. At this point you’ll want to swirl the bottle, ensuring the oils are blended with the soap.

Pour the distilled water to fill the bottle just enough that insertion of the pump won’t cause an overflow. Screw on  lid firmly. Invert the bottle a few times to mix everything thoroughly.


You’re homemade hand and body wash is now ready  for use, and may be recreated with the essential oils of your choice many times with the ingredients you now have on hand. You may also want to place a label on your wash and give it as a gift. Enjoy!

DIY, Homemade, Skincare, Simple, Natural, Fun, Uncategorized

Peaches and Cream: Three Masks for a Magnificent Complexion

Dry skin? Dull skin? Breakouts? Whatever the issue there’s often an antidote in the kitchen.  Experience has taught me that better skin comes from the inside out; dietary changes have helped my skin drastically over the years (stay tuned for a post on this).  However, it’s also important to care for our skin topically. This is where my favorite homemade masks come in.


Many ingredients others seem to use without consequence have caused me to experience eczema, dryness, and serious breakouts. These ingredients include detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, coconut oil, tea tree oil, preservatives, and the list goes on! Given the fact that these three  masks have been so good to my super sensitive skin,  I feel confident just about anyone will benefit from using them without fear of a bad reaction. That said, I do recommended a patch test.

This brush from Everyday Minerals is perfect for applying facial masks.

Each of the masks are yogurt based. Why? Yogurt is very moisturizing without being greasy or oily. Yogurt  also contains lactic acid which aids in the exfoliation of dead skin cells, revealing a brighter, fresher, and clearer complexion. I recommend drier complexions use a full fat yogurt for extra moisture. I prefer greek yogurt because it’s extra thick and stays put during the treatment.

Here are a few tips before we get started:

1.To avoid masks getting into your hair wear a headband around your hairline.

2.  Masks should be applied after cleansing  to clean skin  that’s free of makeup or other products. You may apply the mask with your fingers, but I recommend a brush; it’s less messy and feels better going on.

3. I recommend using a mask once per week.

4. Unless showering immediately afterward, be sure to thoroughly remove your mask with a wet washcloth or sponge.

5. The measurements below are enough for one use. These recipes may be doubled or tripled for use  on elbows, knees, or anywhere my skin could use some extra TLC.

Here they are, my favorite homemade masks:

*Moisturizing Mask*
1 tbs. Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
1 tbs.Avocado

This is a great mask for mature skin, or a complexion that’s going through a dry spell. The yogurt dissolves dead skin cells, the honey attracts moisture, and the avocado is incredibly moisturizing.  To prepare this  mask mix pureed or smashed avocado with the yogurt and honey, and apply the mixture to clean skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

*Tropical  Brightening  Mask*
1 tbs. Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tbs. Pineapple

Who doesn’t love pineapples? When we visited Hawaii, I found myself eating pineapples nearly every day of our trip, often in the form of  Dole Whip!

I’ve always loved the way eating  fresh pineapple made my lips feel, extra soft and smooth. This is where I first got the idea to make a pineapple  mask.  Why does this smoothing action happen? Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that dissolves dead skin! Bromelain, when taken internally is anti-inflammatory, and excellent for our joints, so be sure to eat the leftover pineapple when making this recipe.

This  mask is brightening because of the  dual exfoliating action the pineapple enzymes alongside the yogurt’s lactic acid. To prepare this mask crush or puree the pineapple and mix it with the yogurt. Apply the mixture to clean skin, and leave it on for 15 minutes, rinse thoroughly.

*Breakout Banishing Mask*
1 tbs. Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tbs. Lemon Juice

This mask is my favorite home  breakout treatment. I love that I can prepare it right in the kitchen. Lemon’s astringent action makes this mask  ideal for oily complexions and those who suffer from breakouts. If your skin tends to be drier, use whole milk yogurt for extra moisture. Both the lemon and the yogurt are exfoliating. This mask makes an amazing overnight spot treatment for pimples. I dab some over the affected area, cover it with a small band-aid and usually by morning the pimple has improved dramatically. To use this mask simply mix the yogurt and lemon juice, apply the mixture to clean skin, leave it on for 15 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.

Making these masks brings back memories of home facials with my sister,and our cousins.  I hope you’ll try these and enjoy the same complexion enhancing  results I have.