Spotlight on Lavender Essential Oil

There is so much to talk about when it comes to Lavender that we will revisit this plant often, so let’s get the pallet started and if it indeed sparks the interest we will talk about it more.

1224696963With over 20 types of Lavender out there to chose from it can be a bit confusing deciding which one is the right fit for me. Quality and price determines for most of us but then there is just so many still so the nose is your best bet. Decide to use your favorite Lavender essential based on what your nose tell you. If one variety is too sharp then a more suitable softer Bulgarian may be your choice. Always look at the Common name and then the Latin to confirm you are getting the same variation. Lavender grows in many places around the globe, in high elevations providing a wild crafted and different species are grown as near to us as Door County.

Lavender Essential Oil in Skin Care

Lavender products are one of the most sought after by our customers.  Almost every variety of products we make we offer in lavender from Soaps, Shea Butters, Milk Baths, Face Serums, Body Oils, Whipped Butters, and more!

Lavender essential oil is gentle, but powerful.   Using face oils or facial soaps with lavender essential oils can be a valuable natural treatment to those with acne prone skin.  The oil is an antibacterial and can even help with scarring left from previous acne outbreaks.   Lavender essential oils have also been used for many years to help heal cuts, wounds, and minor burns.  In these cases you can use the oil “neat” or undiluted.  And those of us with sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, or even a sunburn -don’t feel like you have to go through life using unscented or “dull” skincare products! Lavender essential oil is your friend.  Add this oil to your unscented products or buy natural products using pure essential oils to keep your skin safe, soothed, and relaxed.

Using Lavender Essential Oil at Home

Lavender essential oil is a natural insect repellent, disliked by fleas, moths, mosquitoes, flies and other insects. Placing a few drops on cotton balls in your drawers and closets repels moths and insects while keeping your clothes and linens smelling fresh.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of lavender make it a great essential oil to have on hand for home cleaning purposes. Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. This is an easy all-purpose spray that you can use all over the home- as a room spray, fabric refresher, to clean your bathroom and kitchen surfaces, even spray it on yourself before going outside to repel insects. You can use a few drops directly on a cloth to disinfect door knobs and handles throughout the house that might be harboring germs, especially during flu season.

Freshen and deodorize your laundry by adding a couple drops of lavender essential oil to your dryer sheet or a wet cloth.

Lavender essential oil is calming, soothing, relaxing and mood stabilizing. This makes it a go-to oil for diffusing into the air via open air diffusers, oil burners, or candles. Try it in your office, bedroom, and living spaces to enhance relaxation.

Want to treat the family to some fried chicken, but dread the lingering odor left in your kitchen? Try this after clean-up: Boil a small pot of water then add a few drops of lavender essential oil. This trick cleans the air and eliminates cooking odors

Check this out: Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm on Washington Island.

Soothing Menthol Crystal Recipes

mentholAhhhh… The cooling and refreshing effects of Menthol Crystals can offer temporary pain relief of sore muscle tissues. When used externally they provide a local anesthetic, which gives a cool, numbing sensation as it penetrates the skin.

These interesting looking crystals are sourced from India and are extracted from mint leaves using a freezing technique.

They are so concentrated that a few crystals will make a strong and powerful formula. Take note when working with them: be careful to wear protective eye-wear and limit your inhalation- they are strong!


Cooling Foot Soak

*Please use gloves when handling Menthol Crystals – as to not transfer from hands to eyes or other sensitive parts of your body.

4 oz Epsom Salt
4 oz Fine Dead Sea Salt
.20 oz Menthol Crystals
40 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
40 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

Add all the ingredients above into a food processor. Mix or pulse until all ingredients are fine ground. Store in jar or zip lock baggy. Clean Food Processor thoroughly.

Please note that the amount of menthol crystals in this recipe are the perfect amount for a foot soak, but will be too strong to be used as a body soak. We recommend 1% or less of menthol crystals in body soaks, as to not irritate or cause discomfort on sensitive areas.

Soothing Menthol Muscle Salve

2 tablespoon coconut oil =1oz
2 tablespoon shea butter = 1oz
2 tablespoon beeswax= 1oz
4 tablespoons almond oil = 2oz
1.2 teaspoon menthol crystals= .2oz
40 drops sweet birch essential oil
30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil

1) Start by measuring your coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax into a small container and melting the oils on low heat.



2) When the oils have melted, remove from heat and stir in the menthol crystals until dissolved. Be sure to keep your face away from the mixture as to not irritate your eyes or nose.



3) When the crystals are dissolved, stir in the almond oil, followed by your essential oil.


4) Pour your mixture into a container with a lid for storage, but allow to cool before capping. Keep in refrigerator to maintain texture and shelf-life.

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Massage a small amount onto sore muscles and joints for soothing relief. Wash your hands after and avoid face, eyes, and other sensitive areas. This recipe makes a mild salve that should be suitable for most skin types, even sensitive skin. You may increase the percentage of menthol crystals for stronger potency, but increase slowly to ensure your skin’s tolerance. We have encountered recipes ranging from 3%-20% menthol crystals, this recipe starts at 4%.


Tips & Tricks from the Soap Artisans


How to keep your oils fresh longer:  Purchase your oils in quantities you can use, cheaper by the dozen isn’t worth it if your oils go rancid before you can use them. They have a short shelf life and keeping them cool and in closed amber bottles will increase their life span. Decanting your oils into smaller bottles when there is more head space than oil remaining in the bottle helps, too. Never use rancid oils in products, soaps or on your skin, these contain free radicals that are unhealthy to you. We are purchasers and more often hoarders of products; my advice is to use it or lose it, no reason to keep it on the shelf like gamma’s china.


Hand-mixing or Stick blender?  The smaller your batch of soap, the hotter the oils, and the faster you mix them, the quicker the consistency will change from liquid oils to thickly traced soap. When making small batches at home, it is best to alternate between stirring by hand with a spoon or spatula, and using a stick blender or immersion blender. If you stir by hand alone you might find yourself mixing all day before you see a trace. On the other hand, blending the whole thing too quickly with a stick blender will prevent you from being able to add all your ingredients and get the soap out of the pot and into the mold. Gentle pulses of the stick blender after you add each ingredient, combined with hand stirring throughout, will usually give you the time you need to control the process and get all your ingredients thoroughly combined.


No Lye, No Soap: We are occasionally asked by curious consumers if our soaps contain lye. It is sometimes confusing for users of bar soaps because often sodium hydroxide or “lye” isn’t included on the label. So here’s what’s up. All bar soaps, including ours, are made with lye. A lye and water solution is required to create a chemical reaction in order to “saponify” (which means turn into soap) the oils and turn our vegetable/plant oils into soap. But as our bars cure (or harden) the water and lye evaporate and neutralize the pH of the bar. There is no longer lye in the finished bar, making it safe to use, and is often the reason why you won’t find sodium hydroxide listed on many bar soap labels. Even a melt and pour soap base is made using lye. Sodium Hydroxide is in many things, cured foods as well. To make liquid soap, potassium hydroxide is used instead of sodium. As we often say: No Lye, No Soap. Soap made with lye is not harmful and has been made in this traditional way for centuries.