Sunday, 8 July 2007

Hand Cream

This is also an aromatherapy recipe from 'The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy'.

I made this hand cream for one of my friends who does a lot of work for his hands and needs a really effective cream. It contains:

1/2 ounce of cocoa butter and 1/2 ounce of beeswax melted together in a dish in a water bath.

Then add:
3 tablespoons of almond oil
5 drops evening primrose oil
5 drops carrot oil

I then chose the following essential oils:
5 drops rose
2 drops lemon
1 drop geranium
2 drops sandalwood

As it cooled I gave it a good stir every so often with the handle of a wooden spoon to avoid it going lumpy.

I'll update once I have feedback...
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Daytime Face Oil

I've started experimenting with essential oils and aromatherapy recipes. This one is for a daytime face oil for normal skin (whatever that is)! I mixed 2 tablespoons of almond oil with:

15 drops rose
5 drops chamomile roman
5 drops lavender
5 drops lemon

That's it! I love the simplicity, and the scent. I've used it for the last couple of days now and so far, so good. You only need a tiny bit in the palm of your hand, and then once you've applied it to dab off any excess with some tissue. This is from the book 'The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy'.
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Monday, 2 July 2007

Tooth Powder

This is a recipe for tooth powder from our friends in South Africa. Bottom line: it does the job much better than any toothpaste I've ever bought! Here's the recipe:

1 rounded teaspoon of table salt
1 rounded teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
12 drops tea tree oil
2 drops clove oil
3 drops cinnamon oil
15 drops spearmint

Mix well with either a wooden skewer or with the handle of a teaspoon. Keep sealed when not in use otherwise the oils wil evaporate and the bicarbonate of soda will go flat.

We use it with electric toothbrushes, by just dipping them lightly in the mixture and then brushing. It makes you drool a lot, so pacing around the bathroom whilst brushing isn't an option! LOL It's strong and a bit honky when you rinse your mouth out but IT WORKS!
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Cordial Chemistry

This post is about some of the ingredients typically found in soda/ cordial drinks. So far I've just used citric acid and campden tablets (sodium metabisulphite E223, Polethylene Glycol) in the cordials I've made, but I want to get an understanding of what's out there so that I have a better idea of what I'm doing/ need to do.

Sodium Citrate (acidity regulator) is the sodium salt of citric acid with the chemical formula of Na3C6H5O7. Sodium citrate possesses a saline, mildly tart, flavor. For this reason, citrates of certain Alkaline and Alkaline Earth metals (e.g. sodium and calcium citrates) are commonly known as sour salt (occasionally citric acid is erroneously termed sour salt). Sodium citrate is chiefly used as a food additive, usually for flavor or as a preservative. Sodium citrate is employed as a flavoring agent in certain varieties of club soda. Sodium citrate is common in lemon-lime soft drinks, and it is partly what causes them to have their sour taste.
More about sodium citrate on Wikipedia >

Citric Acid is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. It is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks. In biochemistry, it is important as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and therefore occurs in the metabolism of almost all living things. It also serves as an environmentally benign cleaning agent and acts as an antioxidant. Citric acid exists in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it is most concentrated in lemons and limes, where it can comprise as much as 8% of the dry weight of the fruit.
More about citric acid on Wikipedia

Sodium Benzoate (E211, preservative), also called benzoate of soda, has chemical formula C6H5COONa. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid. Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative, effectively killing most yeasts, bacteria, and fungi. It is effective only in acidic conditions (pH < 3.6) making its use most prevalent in foods such as preserves, salad dressings (vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams (citric acid), fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (vinegar), and Chinese food sauces (soy, mustard, and duck). It is also found in alcohol-based mouthwash and silver polish. Sodium benzoate is used in many soft drinks and can be identified on the label of the bottle or can as 'sodium benzoate' or E211. The taste of sodium benzoate cannot be detected by around 25 percent of the population, but for those who can taste the chemical, it tends to be perceived as sweet, salty, or sometimes bitter.
More about sodium benzoate on Wikipedia

Sodium Metabisulphite or sodium pyrosulfite (American spelling; English spelling is Sodium metabisulphite or sodium pyrosulphite) is an inorganic compound of chemical formula Na2S2O5. The name is sometimes referred to as disodium (metabisulfite, etc). It is used as a sterilizer and antioxidant/preservative. It is used as a food additive, mainly as a preservative and is sometimes identified as E223. As an additive, it may cause allergic reactions, particularly skin irritation, gastric irritation and asthma. It is not recommended for consumption by children.
More about sodium metabisulphite on Wikipedia

Polethylene Glycol Pure polyethylene glycol HO(CH2CH2O)nH (PEG) have been characterized as clear viscous liquid (molecular weight less than 200), wax-like substance (molecular weight 200 ÷ 2000) and as opaque white crystalline solid (higher molecular weight). Polyethylene glycols are soluble in most organic solvents, such as benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, dimethylformamide (DMF), acetonitrile. PEG is perfectly soluble in water, but solubility decreases with molecular weight of polymer increasing.
More about polethylene glycol at
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Sunday, 1 July 2007

Aloe Lotion

A friend requested this lotion by way of something that would help soothe the skin after being in the sun. I tried it myself before letting it out the house, and it smells and feels really good.

It's a simple combination of aloe vera gel (1/2 cup), chamomile tea (1 tablespoon), vitamin E oil (1 tablespoon), 2-3 drops of peppermint oil. The gel and tea are mixed and heated gently in a water bath. Once they cool you add in the other ingredients - et voila!

I haven't had any feedback yet, but I'll add it once I do!
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Basic moisturizer with rose

I made my first basic moisturizer in the last couple of days. I usually use Oil of Ulay which is a very light daytime moisturizer as I hate the feeling of the skin being clogged up by the cream. So this is also the quality I'm looking for in my homemade version.

The recipe was for Basic Moisturizer from Janice Cox's 'Natural Beauty at Home':

1/4 cup mineral oil or light vegetable oil (I used a light sunflower oil)
1/4 cup stearic acid powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons glycerine
1 cup distilled water
I also added about 10-15 drops of rose essential oil (I don't have a 100% one at the moment)

You basically combine the oil and stearic acid in one cup, and the soda, glycerine and water in another, and heat both in a water bath. Once the first mixture is clear, and the second is almost boiling, you slowly pour the water solution into the oil solution, stirring all the time. I then whipped it with an electric mixer and added the essential oil.

It looks great, a white fluffy mixture, and stays this way once it cools down. It feels good on the skin although I found it a little oily afterwards - this may be because of the oil I chose to use, or perhaps that I put on more than I needed.
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