Email Question: Alcohol as a Preservative?

This is another fantastic email question.  I love the ones that make me think and even do some research!

Hi,
I stumbled upon your blog today because I was looking for information regarding a natural preservative. Your blog stated that basically there are none. I know of a company that uses organic grain ethanol as a preservative, and they sell their products worldwide, so i’m guessing this works.
Since you stated that you are a chemistry teacher, would you be able to tell me what percentage I would have to use the ethanol at?
Answer:
You would have to use ethanol at quite a high percentage for it to be an effective preservative, I would estimate 25% or more.  That would ruin any product I was trying to make, especially a lotion or cream.  Ethanol is also quite drying to skin.
I also asked which brand uses ethanol (which is just alcohol, the same type that gets people drunk) and the reader replied that it was Dr. Bronner’s.  I did a little research and found the ingredients list:
Aqua, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Ethanol*, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Organic fairDeal Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
Ethanol is very high up on the ingredient list.  There’s more ethanol than there is avocado oil.  I swear by Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.  It’s amazing but their lotions are not, in my opinion.  On Amazon, you can see that all the critical reviews basically say the same thing: the lotion is runny, smells like alcohol, isn’t very moisturizing.  These would be my main concerns with using alcohol as a preservative.
More questions please!  Email hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com

Email Question: Optiphen

I’m so excited that I have a couple posts lined up that are answering questions I’ve gotten to my email!  I’ve gotten questions from all kinds of places.  I live in a little apartment in Brooklyn, NY so getting emails from people in other faraway countries is so incredibly cool.  If you have any questions or comments, please email me at hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com  I always respond.

Here’s the email question (from Kuwait!!):

I want to make body butter, cream, and lotion…if I want to extend the shelf life over a year, is that possible with Optiphen preservative…if so what is the percentage to use Optiphen preservative?

Answer:

Optiphen is my choice for preservative because it is paraben- and formaldehyde-free.  Optiphen is best in oil-based formulas.  Optiphen Plus is good for just about any recipe.  Use it at about 1% and don’t use at temperatures higher than 176 degrees F.

A lot of email questions are about preservatives!  Keep ‘em coming!  And keep your eyes open for more email questions in the future.

Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner for Natural Hair

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I’m growing my hair out a little.  I want a bit of a ‘fro.  I don’t post too much about my hair here but I post occasional photos on Instagram.  Since I cut my hair, I haven’t been too concerned about the products I use.  As long as it looked how I wanted and wasn’t breaking, I was fine with it.  But now that I want to grow it a little, I’m more conscious of its health.  I find that I get the best growth and length retention when I use products that are mostly natural/homemade.

I absolutely love Aubrey Organics shampoo and conditioner.

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But total cost for these 2 items is over $22.  Sometimes I splurge.  Most of the time, I just make shampoo and conditioner.  It costs me $2.50 to make 8 ounces of conditioner and $1.18 to make 8 ounces of shampoo.  And I would say my homemade stuff is pretty good.  I buy the majority of my supplies from Brambleberry.  I also buy a few things here and there from Mountain Rose Herbs.  The more you buy, the cheaper it is.

My only notes on these recipes are:

  1. The shampoo is not foamy and sudsy.  I know that’s a good thing because it means that it’s not sucking all the moisture out of my hair.  But still, there’s something so satisfying about thick lather.  Truthfully, I try to only wash my scalp.  Despite the lack of lather, my scalp is always squeaky clean after using this.
  2. My favorite thing about the shampoo is that it doesn’t dry my hair out and if I’m in a rush, I can use it with no conditioner and my hair still feels soft and supple.  
  3. My favorite thing about the conditioner is that it’s the only homemade conditioner I’ve ever seen that even remotely reminds me of something bought from the store.  I am not a fan of using food in my hair.  I’m not putting mushed up bananas or avocados on my head when there are starving children in the world.  *shrugs*

Okay, I’ve talked enough.  Here are the recipes.

Conditioner (makes 8 ounces)

  • 13 grams conditioning emulsifier (a.k.a. BTMS, see the note on this ingredient below)
  • 45 grams shea butter
  • 75 grams coconut oil
  • 15 grams mango butter
  • 77 grams distilled water or aloe vera juice
  • 3 grams Optiphen (you can skip this if you use it within a month and keep it in the fridge)
  • 30 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 30 drops rosehip seed oil
  • 25 drops lavender essential oil
  1. Melt the conditioning emulsifier, shea butter, coconut oil, mango butter all together.  You can use a double boiler or use a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30-second increments until JUST melted.
  2. Heat up the water or aloe for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add to the oils.  Using an immersion blender, blend until combined.  Stir in your essential oils and Optiphen.  Pour into your container.
  3. Apply to wet hair after shampooing.  Massage in and let it sit for 5 minutes (more if you want, I guess.  I’ve never tried longer than 10 minutes.)  Rinse out thoroughly using cool water.  Style as usual.  Try this recipe for shea mango hair butter for your styling product.  Makes your hair shiny and soft!

Shampoo

  • 68 grams castile soap (any scent you like!)
  • 45 grams shea butter
  • 45 grams coconut oil
  • 57 grams distilled water or aloe vera juice
  • 11 grams conditioning emulsifier (optional!)
  1. Melt the shea butter, coconut oil and emulsifier together in the same way as above.
  2. Heat up the water or aloe for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add to oils.  Gently pour in the soap.  Using an immersion blender, blend until combined.  Pour into your container.
  3. Apply to wet scalp.  Massage using the pads of your fingers, not your nails.  Rinse out thoroughly.  Condition if you have time but if not, you’ll be okay!

Note: BTMS stands for behentrimonium methosulfate.  I know sulfates are “bad” but that’s not 100% true.  It’s the soapy sulfates you really want to avoid like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium sulfates.  BTMS also contains cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol, which are about the only 2 alcohols I will use on my hair since they’re fatty alcohols and quite moisturizing.  Lastly, I use BTMS-50, not BTMS-25 but if you do decide to use BTMS-25, I recommend adding cetyl alcohol to the recipe.  I never use BTMS at a percentage higher than 10%.

Check me out on Pinterest!  I pin good stuff, I promise.

3 Ingredient Body Butter Recipe

I love a luxurious, silky body butter.  Usually, I’m big on including water in my recipes because emulsions really contribute to the decadent feeling you get from a cream.  We’re having a brutal winter here in the Northeast so we are requiring much thicker, denser moisturizers.  I tried lotion bars and they were very easy to make, worked really well on my kids but my husband and I don’t find them to be easy or convenient to apply to ourselves.  I might continue to make lotion bars for my girls but make this butter for the grownups.

This butter should be used right after a shower or bath while skin is still damp for best results, although I use it on dry skin too and it’s still great.  I also like to use it as a cuticle butter/hand cream.  As usual, the question is: Does it work on Sasha’s skin?  The answer is yes! If it passes the Sasha test, it’s a definitely keeper and it will go down in my big book of recipes.

Enough chat, here are the percentages:

  • 10% wax
  • 40% liquid oil
  • 50% solid oil/butter

This is the basic recipe. I know I said this is a 3 ingredient recipe in the title. You could easily do this with 3 ingredients. For example: beeswax, jojoba oil, shea butter would be lovely. I, of course, can’t keep things so simple because I’m crazy.  The recipe I used to make 16 ounces is below.

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We already used some :)

  • 45 grams beeswax
  • 60 grams apricot kernel oil
  • 15 grams castor oil
  • 40 grams avocado oil
  • 40 grams jojoba oil
  • 27 grams sweet almond oil
  • 150 grams shea butter
  • 77 grams mango butter

I melted everything together in a double boiler, stirring constantly.  Then I poured it into my containers and put them in the freezer until they set.  I put them in the freezer to ensure that they cool as quickly as possible, reducing crystallization which cuts down on the grainy feeling that can sometimes be a problem with shea butter and mango butter recipes.  Don’t forget to take them out before they get too cold though!

Okay so that’s 8 ingredients, which is 5 more than 3.  I struggle to keep it simple with my recipes.   But you could follow the percentages above and customize the recipe however you please.

Some nice essential oils would be great to add too.  Be sure to do that once you’ve melted everything already and have removed the mixture from the heat.

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Do you follow my Soap & Lotion board on Pinterest?  Check it out for some great easy ideas.

All-Natural Regimen for Normal and Dry Skin

I hope everyone had a safe and festive New Year!

This is the second part of a series about all-natural skin regimens.  Read the first one for oily skin here.

My skin is naturally pretty dry.  I struggle to retain moisture, especially in the winter.  In the summer, my skin is usually in heaven but as soon as the windows start to close and the heat starts to come up through the radiators, I become a scaly crocodile.  So, I would say my skin is normal when the climate is right but dry when it becomes too cold.

Acne isn’t too much of an issue for me anymore but when I’m hormonal, pimples can pop up.  I haven’t seen a pimple in about 3 months (knock on wood!) which is about the time I switched to the awesome, carefully crafted through trial and error routine I have now.  So let’s get to it!

Morning

First, I cleanse with some raw honey.  I’m sure I don’t need to reiterate how splendid that stuff is.

After cleansing, I apply a few drops of an oil blend.  It’s homemade, of course.  [Side note: my husband started using this and he loves it.  I have him using all my stuff.  He's even converted to my homemade deodorant and he doesn't stink!]  I don’t have an exact recipe for the oil blend but it’s roughly equal parts of the following oils:

  • jojoba oil — highly moisturizing, kind of pricy.  It’s very similar to your skin’s natural sebum (oil) and so skin just drinks it up!
  • fractionated coconut oil — absorbs very easily, good for all skin types even sensitive skin, no  greasy feeling.  This is a “fraction” of coconut oil, meaning some components of coconut oil have been removed.  Even though it doesn’t have the nourishing qualities of coconut oil, it’s great for imparting a silky feeling to the blend and helping it absorb more quickly.
  • camellia oil — very emollient and nourishing.  It also absorbs very easily and deeply, just like the previous two oils.  It improves skin elasticity and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • castor oil — adds body to the blend, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  I swear it also helps thicken my nonexistent eyebrows. It doesn’t absorb into skin easily so it creates a good barrier to lock moisture in.
  • apricot kernel oil — very nourishing, high in vitamins E and A.  The highly nourishing nature of this oil is great to slow down the aging process, tone the skin, and prevent clogged pores.
  • sweet almond oil – silky and doesn’t clog pores.  Ideal for dry skin and reducing the appearance of blemishes and dark circles.  It’s high in vitamins A, E, and several B vitamins.
  • olive oil — doesn’t absorb that easily but feels light.  It’s chockfull of vitamins and it smooths skin.  In the summer, I prefer to use avocado oil in place of olive oil, especially because it offers some sun protection (not much).

I also add about 30 drops of rosehip seed oil and about 15 drops of lavender essential oil.  Notice the absence of coconut oil?  I only add coconut oil in the summer sometimes.  Coconut oil in the winter dries me out more…not really sure why.  I keep the oil blend in one of these handy dandy containers.

appplicator bottle

After the oil blend, I spray a little hydrating mist.  I have a great recipe for a MAC Fix+ dupe here but that’s really if you’re a die-hard Fix+ girl.  The recipe I use normally is super simple.  I keep it in a one-ounce spray bottle since it’s water-based and has no preservative.  It’s only good for 2 weeks maximum.  Mine is always done before that.

  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • aloe vera juice until the bottle is full

Shake very well before each use.  Spray at about an arm’s length.

Here’s how my skin looks right after cleanse, oil blend, hydrating mist.

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Is it weird that I didn’t really notice those little freckles until I saw this pic?

Shiny as hell, right?  That’s how I like it!  No, I’m kidding. It looks much less shiny after it’s absorbed for a few minutes.  My skin tone has become much more even.  I never wear foundation anymore, not even to go out.  The most I’ll do is dust on some mineral powder.

I think I will include vitamin C in my routine very soon as soon as I find a source of vitamin C that I like.  It’s supposed to be very good for skin, especially helping skin look youthful.  I may start using a toner so stay tuned for that recipe.

Night

When it’s time for bed, I cleanse with my cleansing cream.  It contains castile soap, shea butter, mango butter, rosewater, witch hazel, coconut oil, and of course, raw honey.  I sell this lovely cream at my Etsy shop and I also use it to bathe my daughters and myself.  It is truly wonderful.  I’m quite proud of it.

Next, I use a few drops of my oil blend, paying special attention to the areas around my eyes and some hydrating mist if I’m feeling very dry.  That’s it for night time.

Once a Week (or so)

Sometimes I like to do masks or scrubs.  I used to do clay masks but I think they’re better for oily skin or problem skin.  If I’m breaking out, I’ll do a rhassoul clay/tea tree oil mask that works wonders.  I don’t break out often anymore though so I don’t do many masks.  I do a scrub once a week or so:

  • 2 Tbsp of my cleansing cream
  • 1 tsp coffee grounds
  • 2 tsp coffee, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

I LOVE THIS SCRUB.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  It is not very drying or harsh like a lot of other scrubs but my skin is always extra fresh and soft after.  The coffee gives my skin life!  I don’t like salt in my scrubs but you could probably do 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp salt if you like salt scrubs.  My only complaint with this scrub is that the coffee grounds are a bit messy.  I’ve tried it without the grounds, though, and it’s just not the same.

Oil Cleansing

Another thing I do every now and then is a “deep cleaning.”  Basically, I just do an oil cleanse.  First, I wet a washcloth with hot water, wring it out, and place it over my face until it gets to room temperature.  I do this to open up my pores.  Then, I massage castor oil + apricot kernel oil into my skin, wet the washcloth with hot water again, place it over my face and sit for about 2 minutes.  Then I wet the washcloth one more time and wipe the oil off my face.  I don’t do this too often because it’s kind of drying…sounds strange right?  Read more about oil cleansing at this awesome site.  She has some good tips, although I don’t do everything she says.

So that’s about it! I hope this post isn’t terribly confusing and boring but you can always comment or shoot me an email over at hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com

Homemade Eczema Cream Recipe

I mentioned in my last post that I started making my own products when I was pregnant the second time [read that post here] but I didn’t start making creams until a few months after that.  I started making creams and lotions because my older daughter, Sasha, has the driest skin I have ever seen!  Nothing from the store was working or if it did work, it stopped working soon after we started using it.  I mean, her dry patches are out of control!  And her face often looks like it’s been wind-burned.  She is SO dry.  I bathe her in colloidal oatmeal, I slather oil all over her, I rub her down with aloe vera gel straight from the plant…I’ve tried just about everything I can think of.  Very little works on her.

Finally, we have found something that does the trick.  This cream is more like an ointment and it does not have a preservative.  It must be refrigerated and it must be used within about 2-3 weeks.  I make it in small batches; this recipe makes 4 ounces.

Ingredients

  • 40 grams shea butter
  • 36 grams colloidal oatmeal tea [see how to make this here]
  • 13 grams raw honey [see how awesome this stuff is here]
  • 5 grams beeswax
  • 20 grams sweet almond oil
  • 8 grams emulsifying wax [optional, it goes a long way toward helping the cream blend well but some people don't like it]
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil [optional]

Directions

  1. Melt the shea butter, beeswax, sweet almond oil, and emulsifying wax together.  You can use a double boiler or microwave in a glass container in 30 second increments until it’s just melted.
  2. Gently heat the colloidal oatmeal and raw honey, either in the double boiler or microwave for 30 seconds.  You want it to be warm but not too hot to handle.
  3. If you’re using emulsifying wax, simply put the ingredients into a bowl and blend with a stick blender until blended.
  4. If you’re not using emulsifying wax, you will have to gradually stream the oil mixture into the oatmeal/honey mixture while you blend with the stick blender.  Blend until it emulsifies/blends.  It’s possible that it will never truly blend and you may have to mix before each use.  I recommend using the emulsifying wax, especially because it’s used at such a low percentage.
  5. Add the rosemary oil, if using, and stir in.  Pour into containers and REFRIGERATE!

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I use this on Sasha along with a homemade cream wash that will be on sale at my Etsy shop soon.  The cream wash is a great alternative to soap because soap is so drying!  Winter is killer on our skin so we try hard to retain moisture.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Check out my Soap & Lotion board on Pinterest for easy ideas

All-Natural Regimen for Oily Skin

Recently, I’ve had a couple of requests asking about my skincare routine.  That’s so flattering to me especially because my skin has definitely given me trouble in the past.  When I switched to a completely natural regimen, my skin sang!

My skin is usually dry to normal.  When I’m pregnant, or hormonal for other reasons, my skin becomes extremely slick with oil.  In this series, I will discuss the regimens I follow when I’m dry, normal, and oily.

Oily and/or Acne-Prone Skin

My skin looks awful in the last trimester of pregnancy.  I mean, TERRIBLE.  Maybe it’s because I’ve only carried girls and they’ve stolen my beauty.

skin before
This was me about 5 weeks before my second daughter’s birth

My acne was hormonal and so I didn’t think there was much I could do to fix it.  I wanted the pimples to go away but I didn’t want to risk exposing my baby to toxins.  I did a little research into how your skin likes to be and here are some things I learned:

  • Your skin prefers to be acidic.  Most cleansing agents are basic (the opposite of acidic) and so if you cleanse, especially with a soap, you really should replenish the “acid mantle” of your skin with something more acidic to maintain pH balance.
  • Oil is not the enemy.  Your skin actually loves oil and when it’s depleted of oil, it will try to compensate by overproducing oil leading to oily skin. One of the biggest mistakes people with oily or acne-prone skin make is using oil-free products.  I fell into that trap.  I am now 100% against anything that claims to be oil-free.  Oily skin also helps you look younger longer!
  • Speaking of oil, it’s a great cleanser.  Oil cleansing is one of my favorite things to do with my skin, especially if I have blackheads or am breaking out.  (more to come on this later)

When I changed my routine from store-bought, drying, alkaline products to an all-natural, SIMPLE regime, I saw incredible results.

skin after

This was taken 2 weeks after the one above. It’s not perfect, but it’s a huge improvement! With a little makeup, it would look almost flawless, no?

So of course, I swear by the natural routine now.  Here are the basic recipes I used to change my skin.

In the mornings, I simply washed my face with raw honey.  That’s right. You know how I love that stuff [read about the many uses of raw honey].  I used it just as if it were a cleanser.  Wet the skin, take a dollop of honey, smear it all over the face and neck, massage for a little while, rinse off.  After washing, I used a toner.

  • green tea
  • hot water
  • apple cider vinegar
  • tea tree oil

First, steep 2-3 bags of green tea in a cup of hot water for about an hour.  Discard the tea bags.  It can stay in the fridge for about a week covered.

In order to assemble the toner, you need a container, preferably one that is not transparent.  Add 1/2 cup of your strong green tea, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 10-20 drops of tea tree oil.  Shake very well before each use.  Apply with a cotton ball.  RINSE IT OFF! It smells so awful.  I only tolerated the smell because it worked miracles for me.

Okay, after the toner, I moisturized with a few drops of jojoba oil.

At night, I would remove my makeup using olive oil.  Simply apply the oil to your face, then using a warm/hot washcloth, wipe the oil and makeup off.  Then I cleansed with rhassoul clay.  Here’s the very simple wash

1 Tbsp rhassoul clay + 3 Tbsp water or aloe vera juice + 2 tsp raw honey

I mixed it up right before washing each time.  You put it on your face, massage it in, and rinse very well.  A couple of times per week, I used this exact recipe for a mask.  Instead of rinsing it right away, I let it sit on the skin for about 10-20 minutes, then rinsed in the shower.

And that was about it!  This routine did not really make my skin less oily but it definitely improved the pimples.  Now that I’m back to my normal/dry skin, I slather my skin in oil regularly.  If you have oily skin, embrace it!  If you’re breaking out though, you probably want to fix it.

Honestly, this endeavor into making my own stuff was the beginning of Rose Mazie Natural Beauty.  I’ll be coming out with a cleansing cream in my shop soon.

Hope you enjoyed this first post!  I’ll be back with a routine for my normal/dry people!

RoseMazie Natural Etsy Shop is open!

Hey everyone!

I’ve been out of commission for a little while.  I’m just getting back into the swing of things.  Let’s talk about what’s been happening.

On November 22, my kind and beautiful niece, Kelsey, passed away.  She suffered from Crohn’s disease but we’re not sure if that’s what caused her death.  We’re still waiting to hear about a cause.  She was 24 years old and more like my little sister than niece.  It was sudden, shocking, and devastating.  She had a business where she sold these adorable dolls she made.  Here’s a picture

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These were featured at gallery night in a store in Ithaca, NY called Bloom. Click on it to check out her site

Aren’t they so gorgeous?  My daughters are lucky to have their very own K.Chanei dolls.  I’m still so incredibly sad but I know that Kelsey would not want me to put everything on hold forever.  She had an entrepreneurial streak and a creative soul and so, in order to keep her spirit alive, I am going to push myself to be more creative and kinder.  That’s what she would want.

So with that, the RoseMazie Natural Etsy shop is currently open for business.  Right now, we’re offering 2 products – Winter Body Cream in a variety of scents and Peppermint Eucalyptus foot cream.

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Click on the picture to go to the shop!

For the first release, the creams are packaged in these lovely quilted Mason jars with gold caps.  I hope you’ll take a look and reuse these super cute jars when your cream is done.

Lastly, remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you this holiday season.  Never take people you love for granted.  I have many regrets about my time with my niece but I’m trying to stay focused on all the happy times we had together, which were many.  I’m so happy that the last conversation I had with Kelsey was about how much we missed each other and couldn’t wait to see each other at Christmas.  She will remain in our hearts and we are all better because we knew her and loved her immensely.  Please keep my family in your prayers.

How to make colloidal oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal is great stuff.  It’s good for itching, eczema, and almost all dry skin problems.  It’s in lots of commercial lotions, like Aveeno [fun fact: the botanical name for oats is Avena sativa so it seems that's where they got that name].   I’ve mentioned many times that my eldest daughter has eczema, although it has become quite mild.  She does still have somewhat sensitive skin, though, and her skin is naturally extremely dry. Lotions and creams that work on the rest of the family often don’t work on her.  I wanted to make some colloidal oatmeal to use in my formulations because of her dry skin but also because my husband has been having some trouble with itchy (although not dry) skin.

Colloidal oatmeal is easy to make if you’re not making a whole bunch of it. I usually make just enough for whatever recipe I’m about to put together since it only keeps for about a week in the fridge.  All you need is steel-cut oats (because they are usually the least processed), distilled water, a coffee grinder, and cheesecloth.  And of course, a stove and a container.

  • 1-2 tablespoons of steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup boiling distilled water
  1. Put your oats into a coffee grinder. Grind until you have a fine powder.  Place it in heat resistant container (I use a Pyrex measuring cup).  Add the boiling water.  Whisk until combined.
  2. Once combined, let it sit for 5-10 minutes then whisk again.
  3. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into your storage container (I use a Mason jar. Big surprise there, i know) Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Top left: oat flour made in coffee grinder
Bottom left: oat flour steeped in hot water
Top right: cheesecloth setup
Bottom right: after the mixture has been strained

In lotions and creams, this would be part of the water phase.  Also the paste that you get in the cheesecloth is an awesome itch salve. Apply it to itchy areas and let sit then wipe off with cool cloth or mix it in with a balm and apply before showering.  Safe for use on poison ivy, bug bites, rashes, whatever itches!

Try this recipe for eczema using colloidal oatmeal

Check out my Soap & Lotion board on Pinterest for easy ideas

Homemade Fix+

Here’s how the MAC cosmetics website describes Fix+: “An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi.  Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on.  Skin drinks it up!”  It costs $21.00 for 3.4 fluid ounces [Side note: I used to work for MAC and I'm pretty sure the price has increased substantially since I stopped working there.  I was shocked at this price.]  Truthfully, I love this product.  It was probably the last remaining non-natural element of my skin routine until recently when I finally came up with a recipe.

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This is the ingredient list for MAC’s Fix+: Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, cucumber fruit extract, chamomilla, camellia leaf extract, tocophryl acetate, caffeine, panthenol, hydrogenated castor oil, fragrance.

Not too bad, actually.  I’m not completely offended and repulsed.  So that’s good.  But my all-natural alternative is pretty awesome for only a fraction of the price and smells great.  And there’s no butylene glycol

This recipe is enough to fill an old Fix+ bottle, so it makes about 3 fluid ounces.   I love the way that bottle spritzes.  I can’t find a bottle that compares.  You can use any bottle that spritzes.  You don’t want it to spray though because you want an even mist all over your face.  Be sure to spritz from at least half an arm’s length.

Ingredients [these were all things I already had because I make products already.  But if you don't or you're just starting, these ingredients come in handy for lots of other products I make.]

  • distilled water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • vegetable glycerin
  • cucumber hydrosol [optional, some people don't like the smell]
  • chamomile hydrosol
  • vitamin E oil
  • rosewater
  1. Brew the green tea with 1/4 cup of hot distilled water and one tea bag.  Let it steep for at least 10 minutes and allow it to cool.  You only need about a tablespoon for this recipe but I use this concentrated green tea for other things and it can be stored in the refrigerator for your next Fix+ batch too.
  2. In your bottle, add about 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerine, 1-2 tablespoon of cooled green tea, 1 teaspoon of cucumber hydrosol if you’re including it, 1 tablespoon of chamomile hydrosol, 10 drops of vitamin E oil, 2 tablespoons of rosewater.  Then fill almost to the top with distilled water.  Shake it up to mix.  Apply after moisturizer and/or after makeup.

Enjoy!