Aloe Vera Juice Recipes

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Aloe vera is healing both inside and out. The juice of the aloe plant has been used since ancient times for internal, medicinal, and topical treatments.

Aloe treats sunburn, moisturizes dry skin, hair, and scalp, fights stretch marks and aging skin, aids in digestion and gum disease, treats acne, insect bites, psoriasis, eczema, blisters, bruises-the list goes on. It’s essentially a cure all for skin issues and is often used internally* due to its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant properties.

2GENTLE Combine 4 tablespoons of partially ground oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply to clean face and neck, using gentle circular motions and avoiding the eyes. Leave on for a minute or two then rinse with warm water and pat dry. The oatmeal will have exfoliated away dead skin while the honey cleansed your pores and the aloe moisturized your skin.

3gentleMix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera juice with 1 tablespoon of the juice of a lemon, lime or orange. Apply to a clean face using a cotton ball or your fingers. The citrus juice will tighten the pores while the aloe moisturizes and both ingredients cleanse oily skin. Be sure to wash your face if you are going out in the sun as the citrus juice will cause your skin to burn.

Don’t know how to juice an aloe plant? Check out this video. It gives a little history and explains internal usage as well.

*Always consult a health care professional before beginning any internal regimen.

Facial Oil Fanatic

oilsI remember back in the day, putting baby oil on so I could tan, dabbing my acne with Oxy pads and rubbing alcohol to dry it out, using Neutrogena as a cleanser and Nivea for a moisturizer. Wow, I was a hot mess! My skin never felt nice with all that stuff I was doing. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that simple is better; a natural bar of soap and facial oil-not a lotion or cream- is what my faced longed for.

Creams contain some oil, but not nearly enough to make a big difference. Oils are lipophilic (meaning they pass through the lipid layer of the skin) preventing water loss and plumping skin with moisture more effectively.

So, forget about the oil-free hullabaloo-your skin welcomes natural oils! Not all oils are the same, however, dry skin needs oil that will hydrate and oilier skin needs a lighter consistency.  There is an oil for every skin type. It may take a bit to understand them, but once you do you will surely enjoy the benefits of glowing skin and the savings in your pocketbook.

See what the Huffington Post has to say about this new facial oil craze.

Tips for your Skin Type:  

Oily skin: Grape seed oil with Tea tree, Cypress and Bergamot essential oil.

Aging skin: Argan, Carrot seed, Borage, or Rosehip oil with a drop of Vitamin E and Geranium, Ylang Ylang or Patchouli essential oil.

Dry skin: Olive oil with Clary Sage or Lavender essential oil.

Acne prone: Grapeseed or Safflower oil with Cedarwood, Lemon, Peppermint, Tea tree or Thyme essential oil.

Sensitive skin: Sweet Almond or Jojoba oil with Jasmine, Lavender or Geranium essential oil.

Use a light coconut oil for protection against wind and cold.

Improve and soothe your face with a dab, gently pat your skin, there is no need to rub, it will absorb naturally.

If you want to learn more about the science behind which oil works best for your skin type in an easy to understand way-check out this post by Dawn Michelle of MinimalistBeauty.com.

Essential Oils for Cold Relief

Colds can strike any time of the year. Try these tips and essential oils to treat those pesky cold and flu symptoms in a natural and holistic way…

The soles of your feet are full of sweat glands and can absorb the healing properties of essential oils. Whether you are using in a bath, inhaler or a massage always mix essential oils with a carrier oil of your choice – see our carrier oil blog for more information pertaining to formulating and blending techniques.

ESSENTIAL OILS

1. Cinnamon and Clove – provides heat for those that are suffering with the chills.
2. Eucalyptus (Radiata) – an expectorant to help open the lungs and help breathability.
3. Ginger – Stomach issues such as nausea, cleanses internally.
4. Lemon – Cleanses and is a good source of vitamin C, mix with any of the oils for an added relief.
5. Marjoram and Oregano – aids in anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-viral needs.
6. Pine – powerful respiratory and immunity builder
7. Rose – to help flush your system of mucus that has built up and is needs to be released.
8. Sage – as a defense fighting against disease, bacteria, viruses and fungi.
9. Tea Tree – a must have for sinus infections – it is a strong anti-fungal, a little goes a long way so don’t use too much.
10. Thyme – added to Rosemary and Eucalyptus make for a powerful decongestant.

Note – Some essential oils are not suitable for children or use while pregnant. Also, always do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to any oil you plan to use.

A few drops of Vitamin E add to these oils’ healing abilities.

Just a reminder when suffering with cold and flu symptoms, it is best to eliminate all dairy and sugars to help speed the recovery process.

Deb Talks: NEW Weekend Workshops!

EventWe have listened to many students with varying interests ask about combining our classes into one series. We have heard you and now we are in motion! We will be offering new weekend workshops starting in March. During the weekend lab we’ll teach all the fundamentals of soap making, kitchen tips and tricks, with two action packed days of exploring coloring soaps, effects and texturing, healing salves and infusions, troubleshooting and so much more.

The weekend workshop is great for beginners who have never experienced working through the process and those who have and want to perfect their skills. We are excited to offer this lab for the first time at a great value! The lab is limited to 6 soapers so if all this sounds like something that screams out to you, sign up or get on the waiting list since it’s going to be awesome!  Click on the “Class Schedule” tab at the top of the screen for more information and to sign up!

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DIY Salt Scrub and Potpourri Recipes

recSalts from the Sea are a natural resource and come from evaporating seawater. Rich in minerals, sea salt has therapeutic qualities which help cleanse and detoxify the largest organ- your skin.

Epsom salt is not from the sea, it is a pure mineral compound. It looks like salt (or sodium chloride) but is not- it’s magnesium sulfate. Himalayan salt is also not from the sea, rather it is mined from ancient seabeds that were pushed up into the mountain range and preserved by volcanic ash and is considered the finest of Earth’s salts.There’s a world of different salts to choose from, picking one over the other is like a box of chocolates, you just can’t go wrong, they are all yummy.

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The type of salt you use for this is up to you. If you’d like to go to your kitchen, grab your kosher salt, and mix up a scrub now- go right ahead! If you’d like to create a more exotic scrub with the extra benefits of volcanic clay use a fine ground Hawaiian salt. We have a super soft, velvet-y textured Breton grey organic sea salt at our shop that is a perfect texture for scrubs. Any fine ground salt will do.

In a jar or container with a lid, combine 1 cup of your fine salt with 4 tablespoons of oil. Olive oil, grapeseed, sesame, any of your typical cooking oils are great for softening your skin. Grate some lemon zest into your salt and add a tablespoon of dried rosemary. Stir to combine. Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to boost the anti-arthritic and astringent properties of your scrub.

Some salt scrubs are entirely saturated and dripping with oil, but we make ours with much less oil. It still leaves your skill feeling soft and refreshed! Simply get yourself wet in the shower or tub, and massage your salt scrub over desired areas either with your hand or a brush. Rinse and pat dry. Enjoy your rejuvenated skin. Moisturize! Store the excess for up to 6 months at room temperature.

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Use this recipe to create a potpourri made of salt and essential oils that you can leave out to scent any room. You can leave your potpourri in a decorative open bowl and spritz with left over scent blend to refresh as needed or you can make your potpourri in a container with a lid that you can open from time to time when you wish to scent the area.

For this recipe you’ll need jumbo salt crystals. Try Himalayan for an interesting color. You might also choose a clear jumbo crystal that you can color with liquid dye, but why not let nature do the coloring?

First rinse your salt crystals quickly under water and lay them out to dry completely. This removes the powder from the outside of the rocks. In a spray bottle combine 1/2 ounce of vegetable glycerin with 1 and 1/2 ounces of your desired essential oil blend. Try eucalyptus and lavender to refresh your stuffy winter home or a citrus blend. Place your crystals in your desired container and spray with your scent mixture. Mix well. You’re done! The salt will absorb the scent blend into its pores. You can spray on more to refresh as needed.

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Salt: Good food for the skin

know6000 years ago salt was used in many ways including salt soak baths. The benefits go beyond exfoliating away dead skin cells to make your skin soft and supple. A soak can soothe irritated skin, help eczema and psoriasis, and dissolve calluses. But wait, it does so much more; it pulls impurities and helps circulate your blood, which in turn detoxifies your system bringing on that glow and youthful skin you want. Yes there is more; it relaxes you, releases muscle tension, benefits achy joints and arthritic pain.

Taking a bath will help the way you feel. Our ancestors were smart, they worked hard and treated themselves to bath houses- that beats our idea of sitting on a couch in front of the television to relax any day.

Not all salt is created equal, with many to choose from and various price tags, my advice is to try different ones, see what suits you and your needs as well as your budget. More on the different types of salts in upcoming blogs so as this year starts out let’s all detox our bodies in salt from the earth.

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Ancient Salt Soak Recipe

Absorb the wisdom of the ancients with a soak in these 150 million year old salts.

Ingredients:

Himalayan Sea Salts- fine to coarse ground
Sweet almond oil
Dried lemongrass
Black peppercorns
Ginger essential oil or your favorite blend of essential oils

In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of Himalayan Sea Salts with a drizzle of sweet almond oil and a few drops of essential oil to your desired strength. Mix well and add a teaspoon or so each of dried lemongrass and black peppercorns, stir. Use a sachet to pour your salts into and drop into your tub of warm water. The sachet will keep your tub clean from the dried herbs and peppercorns while allowing the salts to dissolve through the bag.

When taking salt soak baths, avoid hot water and be sure to hydrate before and after your bath. Salts are very detoxifying and water that is too hot will cause you to dehydrate quickly.

Let us know if this is helpful and want more about subjects like these. We’d love to hear your stories and let’s keep our skin first.

It’s been a busy month!

It’s that time of the year again- the holiday season. It’s our busiest time of the year! Our products make great gifts so our shop and website are busy with customers while we haul our goods to local shows. We just haven’t found the time to write a blog post recently, but here’s what we’ve been up to…

The One-of-A-Kind Show

Now that the One-of-a-Kind Show is over we can all hunker down and look back on what we did for the show.

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We always think that we contribute a nice local feel to the show along with over 600 artists that sell everything from high-end pieces to everyday use items.

 We work extremely hard getting everything ready; it’s our largest show of the season and it takes all hands on deck to make sure we have a good representation of Abbey Brown products. We spend up to the last minute packaging by hand, making sure all of the bows are nicely done and everything looks supreme including our booth. Why I love doing this show so much is it allows me to see all the people that we normally see throughout the year all in one place around the holidays. We have a wonderful time at OOAK and I can’t express how fortunate we are to be included.

Not only is Abbey Brown represented, many companies that we provide private label products for are there as well so it’s a win-win for everybody. You can really sense the customer loyalty for supporting local goods. We’d like to thank all of our customers, the new and the long-timers, for coming out to see us at OOAK. Can’t wait for next year!

  -Deborah

 

Pumpkin Skincare

I love working with the ingredients of the season and utilizing what’s in the pantry. There are many ways of incorporating what we eat into easy recipes to suit your skin’s needs. I suggest you get your creative side into the warm kitchen and think about food for the soul and food for the skin.

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Here’s the test, we have been sharing some tricks with you and now let’s get down to creating treats, you are filled with wonderful and delicious recipes at your fingertips.
Winter Squashes have these skin craving nutrients.
Vitamin A = skin healing, scalp
Vitamin C = anti-oxidant

Pumpkin wash is an excellent treatment for all skin types, gently cleanses while soothes sensitive skin and moisturizes environmentally damaged skin.

Make your own puree! Farmer’s market season is ending and if you loaded up on these inexpensive squashes, use them in your recipes, otherwise substitute canned pumpkin. Combine any of these ingredients to make a gentle relaxing face and body care recipe. Allow some time for the goodness to take effect before washing it off.

Blend your pumpkin or squash with any combination of the following. Start with 2 and build from there:
Yogurt – Greek is the best without the fruit!
Honey –from your local bees is best
Milk- Cream, Soy, Almond, Coconut, or Rice
Oils- Olive, Almond, Avocado… so many faves to try

In a simple 1 to 1 ratio, let us know what recipes you come up with and we’ll share it on Facebook!

Image courtesy of Antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More Tips & Tricks from the Soap Artisans

Cold Spoon Method: Simple and Effective When making a new salve or cream for the first time and not sure how thick it will be try this method. Place a spoon in the freezer then begin blending and melting down the beeswax and oils in your recipe. Once the spoon is cold enough dip it into the melted down oils and remove it. The mixture will be solid and you can now test to see if it is the consistency you desire. Incredibly simple technique and works brilliantly!
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powderColoring Soap Naturally There are tons of spices, herbs, botanicals, and oils to use for coloring your cold process soap naturally. When incorporating a powdered substance like a ground spice or oxide, be sure to mix with a small amount of oil, vegetable glycerin, or water first. This ensures you will be able to evenly distribute the color throughout the soap and prevents clumping. Be sure to take the small amount of oil or glycerin from your overall recipe or deduct the water from the lye/water mixture. This way, you can be sure to have the proper amount of sodium hydroxide to cure the bar properly.

ash

Ashy Soaps? What’s that white stuff on top of my soap? That’s what we call ash-a result of the sodium hydroxide reaction in the soap. It doesn’t hurt to leave it on there, but if you prefer the way your soap looks without it, you can always “clean” your soap. Some people rub a little bit of oil on top to remove the ash while others use a cheese cutter or knife to cut or scrape off the white areas. All of these methods work great, but if you’d like to cut down on ash altogether, try laying a piece of plastic wrap over your soaps after pouring them into the molds. The areas where the plastic is touching will likely not produce ash.

The Olives of Greece

P1030338…make me happy that we choose olive oil for our soap!

I just returned from Greece and found the Olive trees nearly coming of age. They will mature and be ready to fall into their nets that spread the length of the orchards for as far as your eyes can see.

These age old trees are a delight-some over 300 years of old-growth which makes for better olives and more distinguished olive oil.

This ancient land and its bountiful groves are evidence that we all crave finer oils, learning the process makes it more inviting and worthy of the few extra dollars spent on this delicate oil.

Photographs and drawings most always include olives either being consumed or used in some fashion. Almost everyone has a few trees growing on their land.

At harvest they all come out and the smell is rich with the ripeness and the friendly chatter of villagers gathering their harvested olives and making their way down to the mill.

Although the old mills are no longer in use and a more conventional pressing takes its place, there still remains an old mill, a permanent fixture in every village. The reminder is present and forever dear to the hearts of all that would gather around to help press their olives into oil.

I have included a few pictures of old presses. I never tire of the beauty of these groves, so many pictures, I will share these few.

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