Ingredient Spotlight: Beeswax


Uses & Skincare Recipes
There are a hundred uses for beeswax including polishing, lubricating, and preserving household items as well as various art and craft purposes. In soap and bath product making, beeswax is the perfect natural ingredient for hardening butters, balms, and soaps. It’s a great emulsifying agent, bringing together and binding both melted hard oils and carrier oils into a stable product. A little goes a long way in your recipe, the more beeswax you use, the thicker and harder the consistency of your finished product.

bees2So, how much beeswax is too much? Consider these tips when creating your own beeswax recipe:

  • For butters and lotions, mix in ratios of 4oz carrier oil (like olive or sweet almond) to 1/2oz of beeswax.
  • For a lip balm, try 1:3:1 beeswax: carrier oils: and another oil that is solid at room temperature like mango butter, shea butter, or coconut oil.
  • To make a solid perfume, combine beeswax and carrier oil at a 1:1 ratio.
  • In soap making, beeswax helps harden a bar, but can take away from the lather if used in high quantities. Make sure beeswax is no more than 2% of your entire soap recipe.

Adding beeswax to your recipes not only thickens or hold together your recipes it also has benefits for your skin too! Beeswax is naturally an antibacterial and is rich in vitamin A.  It helps lock in moisture while protecting skin from outside elements or irritants.  So if you’re like us and have a Chicago winter coming your way combat those high cold winds with products rich in beeswax!  Your skin will thank you.

Natural Home Cleaning

recWhen we choose to use commercial products from the big box store two things happen. 1) We support the companies that don’t care about the effects on you and your intimate environment; and 2) we spend needless funds on commercial products that harm the environment at large, causing toxic effects that can create multiple problems around you. A few simple ingredients can help you create natural cleaning aids that work just as well or better than those plastic bottles we have stored throughout our homes.
Making Furniture Polish
There are a few ingredients that in combination make great furniture polish; olive oil, lemon juice or lemon essential oil, and vinegar.
Recipe for varnished wood:
1/2 cup olive oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
Rub a small amount onto furniture with a clean cloth and polish with another cloth until dry.
For extra cleaning power, combine white vinegar in equal parts with lemon juice. Wipe on and dry off.

vinfuseBy now we all know the best and easiest natural counter top cleaner is a simple mix of water, vinegar, and baking soda.  And I’m not here to disagree.  Below is a recipe to enhance this simplistic recipe, and make a wonderful smelling cleaner that will make you forget you are even using vinegar.

What you need:
12 oz water
6 oz vinegar
Dried Herbs (I used rosemary, lemon verbena, and orange peel)
30 drops lemon essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops pine essential oil
Spray Bottle
Mason Jar

1) Take 6 oz of white vinegar and pour into a mason jar.  Fill the remainder of the jar with your favorite dried herbs or flowers.   For my recipe I used lemon verbena (my favorite!), orange peel, and rosemary.  Let vinegar infuse for at least 1 week – shake up once a day.
2) Strain your vinegar and add essential oils.
3) Use a funnel to combine the water and vinegar solution into a spray bottle. Shake to mix.

And there you go! You’re ready to clean.  You can use this to make a paste to use on dirty sinks and tubs too.  Simply mix 1/3 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon of your cleaner.  What are some of your favorite natural cleaning solutions?  Comment below!

Tools & Materials: DIY Soap Molds


The costs can really add up when you start making your own products at home. We’ve got some tips for materials and tools you might not even realize you already have or can easily get without spending an arm and a leg. In this post, we’ll talk about soap making molds-stay tuned for more tools and materials tips in future posts.

The first few times you make cold process soap at home, there’s always a chance something will go wrong. Not only that, but maybe you tend to start a new hobby and move on to the next quickly. For these reasons, it’s a great idea to invest as little as possible at first.

When you start making soap at home, you don’t need to purchase or build a mold to pour your soap into quite yet. One great idea for disposable soap molds is to save cartons of milk, juice, chicken stock and so on. Once washed and dried thoroughly, these containers make great molds!easy new

You can turn any basic cardboard box into a soap mold. The difference here is you have to line the mold before pouring soap into it. . One option for lining a box is to use a garbage bag. This option is fast and easy.mold5Another option for lining a box is to use butcher paper. This paper has a shiny, waxy side that easily peels away from the surface of soap, and when done right will leave a smooth surface.mold1

mold 3

tip How to minimize the “ash” that sometimes rises to the top and turns the surface of your soap white: after pouring your soap into it’s mold, lay a sheet of plastic or saran wrap over the top so that it is touching the soap. This will create a smooth and shiny surface everywhere the plastic wrap is touching, and will prevent the ash from forming.