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Sleep Easy Essential Oil Blend

Recipe Sheet

Sleep Easy Essential Oil Blend

Difficulty Level: Easy

A blend of pure essential oil that can be diffused, create the base of a room spray or can be added to other products.

 

Equipment List: Accurate Scales, Jug

Formula:

Ingredients % To Make 10ml To Make 1kg
Lavender Essential Oil 60 6g 600g
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil 35 3.5g 350g
Chamomile Essential Oil 5 0.5g 50g

 

Method

  1. Simply mix all the oils together and allow them to amalgamate for several hours before using

Packaging: We suggest using a dark glass bottle to store your oil with an integrated dropper cap for safety and ease of use.

How to use the product: Do not apply undiluted to the skin. The oil can be used in burners & diffuser or as part of another recipe.

Hints and Tips: It is best to use your blend within 6 months of creation, so make a small amount at a time to avoid waste.

INCI*: Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Linalool, Origanum Marjorana (Marjoram) Oil, Limonene, Anthemis Nobilis (Romand Chamomile) Oil, Geraniol, Citronellol.

 

* This is the correct INCI as it needs to appear on the label in the EU. We make every effort to ensure this recipe conforms to current EU cosmetics regulations to ensure you are making an item that is safe to use. If you wish to sell your items, a safety assessment and stability testing would still be required and we do not claim that the recipe will meet commercial requirements.

10 Main Skin Stressors and How to Protect Against their Negative Effects

10 Main Skin Stressors and How to Protect Against their Negative Effects

We put our skin through it’s paces day-in day-out, constantly exposing it to sunshine, chemicals in the air and the internal environment we create in our own bodies. Through all this, we expect it to continue to protect us as well as looking and feeling great too – it’s a tall order and one that we really need to give it a helping hand with. So, here are the 9 main stressors our skin is exposed to on a daily basis (both internal and external), along with some ideas on what we can do to give our skin a helping hand.

Firstly, lets look at the internal factors which are all dictated by our health, what we choose to put into our bodies.

  1. Dehydration – Our skin cells are made up of over 70% water, so it should come as no surprise that our levels of hydration have a huge impact on the health of our skin. Drinking at least 2 Litres a day will give your skin cells the fluids they need above everything else. I challenge you to keep a water diary and monitor your skin appearance once a week for four weeks – you’ll be amazed by the impact that simply drinking plenty of fresh, clean water has not only on your skin, but your general health and energy levels.
  2. Diet – Just like the other organs in our bodies, our skin needs to be well nourished. Many Western diets are high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, fats and synthetic additions like flavours & sweeteners. We all know this is no good for our waistlines or general health, and our skin suffers too. A diet rich in nutrients from fresh fruit & veg and low in processed ‘foods’ will support the production of collagen helping to prevent loss of elasticity, lines & wrinkles. In addition it will improve skin tone, balance the complexion and help to prevent spots and blemishes.
  3. Exercise – Where there is diet, there is exercise! A good work out increases blood flow which helps all those yummy nutrients you’ve been eating to get where they are needed, as well as improving your muscle tone which of course provides the underlying scaffolding for your skin.
  4. Weight – You’ll be relieved to hear that for one somebody is not going to tell you to lose weight! In fact, rapid or sudden weight loss is the enemy here. When we lose weight quickly, our skin simply can’t keep up and can end up with a saggy, lifeless appearance tat accentuates wrinkles and the generally negative effect gravity has on our body as the years tick by! So, slow and steady is the way…..or of course not overstretching your skin to begin with.
  5. Smoking – For increasing numbers of us, smoking is now an external factor rather than an internal one, and smoke-free buildings in the UK really does help to prevent exposure to smoke as an air pollutant. If you are a smoker its worth knowing that smoking increases the breakdown of collagen which keeps our skin looking plump and elastic and this leads to more lines, wrinkles (especially around the mouth) and an uneven complexion. In addition, it destroys the Vitamin A and C that you have been trying to hard to include in your diet, not to mention all its other health impacts. Best just to give it a miss if you can!

Now that we are hopefully doing all we can to support our skin from the inside out, we can look at the external stressors it is exposed to.

  1. The Sun – Research is increasingly pointing at UV damage as being the number 1 factor in aging. The UV rays from the sun (and sun beds) that can give us that lovely sun-kissed look, also cause irreversible damage leading to wrinkles, sagging, dark spots and at it’s worst, cancer. It is so important to protect your skin, and most daily moisturisers now contain an in-built SPF15. One word of caution – please don’t try to create your own sunscreen at home. This really is one type of formulation that needs to be left to the experts, and with the growth in this area we are spoiled for chose with creams, sprays, once-a-day applications, organic ad natural formulations. There really is something to suit everyone.
  2. Inside Air – In an age of central heating, air-conditioned offices and much more time spent indoors, our skin can suffer from moisture loss and a lack of sunlight. Getting plenty of fresh air is vital for vibrant, healthy looking skin and for the production of Vitamin D.
  3. Pollution – There are few people lucky enough to spend all their time in the clean air of the countryside, and air pollution in towns and cities can take a toll on our skin, clogging pores and leaving skin looking dull & lifeless. It’s not so easy to protect from this exposure as it is out of our control for the most part, but thorough cleansing will make a big difference.
  4. Chemicals – Our skin, especially our hands, are exposed to chemicals as part of our daily routines, just think about everything you use for cleaning your house. Try to stick to gentler, eco-friendly alternatives to strong bleaches and protect your hands by wearing gloves and washing well afterwards with a gentle, skin-friendly soap to protect against aging and the potential development of contact dermatitis.
  5. Make Up – Whilst natural is definitely better for skin health, make-up is always a stressor for the skin, clogging pores and hindering the natural flow of the dermis. Try and give your skin a day or two with no make-up each week, and of course take great care removing all make-up at the end of the day. Castor oil makes a great, simple make-up remover, and the oil cleansing method works wonders for preventing spots from the build-up of product.

As with anything, its all about making little changes where you can, so why not just pick one or two from this list that you can tackle and build up from there. And of course – don’t forget to monitor your skin so that you can see the visible, positive effects your efforts are having.

 

Calming Aromatherapy Spray

Recipe Sheet

Calming Aromatherapy Spray

Difficulty Level: Easy

A handy spray for a quick rescue at times when you are feeling anxiety and tension. Can also be used as a pillow spray to encourage restful sleep.

 

Equipment List: Accurate scales, Bowl or Jug

Formula:

Ingredients % To Make 100ml To Make 1kg
Water 92 92g 920g
Polysorbate-20 5 5g 50g
Preservative 1 1g 10g
Lavender Essential Oil 1 1g 10g
Mandarin Essential Oil 0.9 0.9g 9g
Chamomile Essential Oil 0.1 0.1g 1g

 

Method

  1. Blend together the essential oils and leave to amalgamate for several hours
  2. Mix the polysorbate-20 and essential oils together well
  3. Add the water, mixing well
  4. Check the pH is compatible with your chosen preservative – correct using lactic acid or citric acid solution (if too high) or sodium bicarbonate (if too low).
  5. Add the preservative – we recommend Preservative ECO which is used in the INCI below

Packaging: We suggest using an atomiser spray bottle. It is best to use an opaque or dark glass bottle as the resulting solution may be slightly cloudy which is visually less appealing.

How to use the product: Spray on the face, in your room or on your pillow as desired

Hints and Tips: Warming the water will make it easier to dissolve the polysorbate and essential oils mix.

INCI*: Aqua, Polysorbate-20, Lavendula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Sorbic acid, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool

* This is the correct INCI as it needs to appear on the label in the EU. We make every effort to ensure this recipe conforms to current EU cosmetics regulations to ensure you are making an item that is safe to use. If you wish to sell your items, a safety assessment and stability testing would still be required and we do not claim that the recipe will meet commercial requirements.

Blending for Relaxtion

Blending for Relaxation

It seems to me that, over time, this core use for aromatherapy has become a little buried, pushed aside for more interesting and adventurous applications. Whilst I love to explore the new and different, it is so important that we remember how important essential oils are in our quest for release from the stresses of our modern world. That is why I am revisiting this topic for National Stress Awareness Month.

Without doubt, it is of primary importance that we first recognise and remove stresses from our lives where we can, before trying to learn effective ways of dealing with them where we cannot. My focus here is one small element in that process, but not one that should simply be shut away to use at bedtime in the closeted spaces of our own bedrooms and bathrooms. Its time to bring aromatherapy out of the darkness and integrate it into our daily lives. As such, this month you will find recipes for a Temple Stress Relief Balm and a Handbag Calming Spray that you can carry in your pocket and pull out whenever you need, as well as my old favourite blend for restful sleep and a soothing and nurturing Relaxing Massage Oil.

There are a multitude of oils that have been given the ‘relaxing’ tag, but as you learn to blend more discerningly, you will be able to choose those which have the right overall profile for your particular blend in a particular situation. Chamomile is known as one of the most effective oils for relaxing, but when we look more closely, its true use is in soothing and calming and it can have a strong soporific effect, so is really not the ideal choice for a blend designed to help you pull back from panic or anxiety during the day, instead being better suited to aiding peaceful sleep. It’s also important to take your own personal tastes into account; there is no point in choosing mandarin for your blend if the smell of oranges brings up a different memory or emotion for you, or if you simply don’t like it. So be sure to choose oils that you like.

To help you with choosing, here is my list of oils in this category, along with a little more information about their aroma, precise application and potential adverse effects to help you choose more effectively.

Oil Attribute Notes
Bergamot Relaxing, Combat Low Mood Light and refreshing, suited to use in the daytime
Chamomile Sedative Can be used for young children
Frankincense Calm Racing Thoughts Especially useful in meditation
Geranium Balancing Particularly suited to women and hormone related emotions
Jasmine Sedative Particularly useful for hormone related anxiety
Lavender Anti-Anxiety Can be used for young children
Mandarin Calming Light and uplifting, great to use in the day. Can be used for young children
Melissa Balancing, Confidence Light and uplifting, great to use in the day
Neroli Combat Low Mood Delicately nurturing
Palmarosa Calm Racing Thoughts Can be used for young children
Patchouli Relieve Anxiousness Adds a grounding, masculine note
Petitgrain Relive Anxiousness Light enough to use in the daytime
Sandalwood Sedative Grounding, strikes a chord deep within the basal chakra
Ylang Ylang Sedative Particularly useful in the evening and for sexual anxiety

 

Relaxing Massage Oil Blend

Relaxing Massage Oil

Difficulty Level: Easy

A synergistic blend of relaxing essential oils in a nourishing base, formulated for excellent skin feel.

Equipment List: Accurate Scales, Bottle

Formula:

Ingredients % To Make 30g To Make 1kg
Almond Oil 80 24g 800g
Jojoba Oil 18 5.4g 180g
Vitamin E 1 0.3g 10g
Lavender Essential Oil 0.8 0.24g 8g
Rosewood Essential Oil 0.6 0.18g 6g
Petitgrain Essential Oil 0.4 0.12g 4g
Chamomile Essential Oil 0.2 0.06g 2g

 

Method

  1. Mix the essential oils together and set to one side for several hours to allow the aromas to combine
  2. Add the jojoba, almond and vitamin E oils and shake

Packaging: A dark glass bottle is ideal to protect your oil from degradation due to light and oxygen exposure

How to use the product: Warm a teaspoon of oil between your hands before applying to the skin and massaging in.

INCI*: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Sinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Linalool, Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aniba Rosaedora (Rosewood) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Oil, Citral, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Limonene

* This is the correct INCI as it needs to appear on the label in the EU. We make every effort to ensure this recipe conforms to current EU cosmetics regulations to ensure you are making an item that is safe to use. If you wish to sell your items, a safety assessment and stability testing would still be required and we do not claim that the recipe will meet commercial requirements.

Temple Stress Relief Balm

A simple balm that can be applied to the temples, wrists or nape of neck to bring yourself back from anxiousness and encourage a calm & clear state of mind

Difficulty Level: Easy

Equipment List: Bain Maire/Double Boiler, Small Jars, Accurate Scale, Spatula

Formula:

Ingredients % To Make 30g To Make 1kg
Almond Oil 50 15g 500g
Cocoa Butter 30 9g 300g
Beeswax 18 5.4g 180g
Vitamin E Oil 1 0.3g 10g
Mandarin Essential Oil 0.6 0.18g 6g
Lavender Essential Oil 0.3 0.06g 3g
Peppermint Essential Oil 0.1 0.02g 1g

 

Method

  1. Using the bain maire, melt together the cocoa butter and beeswax until completely liquid, then remove from the heat
  2. Place the bowl over cold water and add the almond oil, stirring continuously.
  3. Finally add your Vitamin E and essential oils, stirring well to mix evenly.
  4. Pour the mix into small jars and set aside to cool and solidify for several hours with the lids off to prevent condensation build up.

Packaging: We suggest using small pots, no larger than 30ml, which can be easily carried in a packet or handbag.

How to use the product: Use by rubbing a little of the balm onto your temples, wrists or nape of the neck as needed.

Variations: For a vegan version, beeswax can be substituted for soya wax

Hints and Tips: If you find your mix to be too soft, increase the wax element and decrease the oil.

INCI*: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cera Alba, Tocopherol, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) Essential Oil, Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil,  Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool

* This is the correct INCI as it needs to appear on the label in the EU. We make every effort to ensure this recipe conforms to current EU cosmetics regulations to ensure you are making an item that is safe to use. If you wish to sell your items, a safety assessment and stability testing would still be required and we do not claim that the recipe will meet commercial requirements.

Luscious Lips for Winter

Luscious Lips for Winter

With the winter weather well and truly kicking in, and our customers in full swing creating gorgeous gifts for loved ones for the festive season, I thought I would share with you some ideas for simple and easy lip care.

Let’s Get Balmy!

Firstly – protect, protect, protect! Cold temperatures, wind and central heating all add up together to dry out the delicate skin on our lips, leaving them dry, chapped, cracked and sore. The first step in maintaining that mistletoe kissable pout is to protect your lips from the elements. Apply a good lip balm regularly to moisturise and prevent moisture loss.

When choosing the ingredients for your balm, think about what you are trying to achieve. I like to add a wax (beeswax or rice bran wax work well), which not only helps to prevent your balm from melting in a warm pocket, but also creates and occlusive layer, maintaining the skin moisture barrier. The main bulk of the balm is then created with nourishing butters. Cocoa butter will create a firm balm, suitable for packing in tubes, and if you choose an unrefined variety it will lend a mild chocolatey aroma to your balm. Other softer butters that work well are mango, murumuru and shea. DO be careful when using she butter though, it is best not to heat it if possible, instead blending it by hand into your other ingredients. It is very heat sensitive and prolonged or intense heating can lead to loss of nutrients and a grainy texture in your finished product.

 

Once you have a base you are happy with then you can consider adding colour, aromaceuticals (essential oils and absolutes) or flavours. I like refreshing peppermint essential oil or vanilla absolute. Check out this great idea from Soap Queen for peppermint swirl lip balms – very effective, if a little fiddly!

 

Scrub ‘em Up!

Of course, there will always be days when our lips suffer from the elements and become dry and chapped. To bring them back to soft, plump cushions, give them a little TLC with a simple scrub. The two key elements here are an exfoliator and something to nourish & soothe. It’s important to remember that the skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than other areas, and this means it dries out faster and is more easily damaged.

Personally, I don’t think you can go far wrong with soft, brown sugar as your exfoliating agent. It is gentle enough to use on your delicate lips, whilst sloughing off all those dries skin cells, and has the added bonus of tasting rather yummy as well. Not only that, but you can easily get this in your local shop (or baking cupboard for those who have one!).

I then like to add castor oil to benefit from its healing qualities – I personally find butters can feel heavy on the skin, so if you want to use them, opt for something light like murumuru. Other great oils to use are almond or virgin coconut. As a rule of thumb, aim for 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. You can then consider adding flavourings like peppermint oil, honey or vanilla essence.

Check out this delicious Minty, Almond Lip Scrub recipe from The Chic Site

Wishing you happy formulating – as always, please do share with us your successes and difficulties.

Scrumptious, Skin Nourishing, Balm Bars

Balm bars, also called massage bars or solid lotion, are really easy to tackle and can make fun, personal gifts. There is so much scope for letting your creativity loose, both with the ingredients themselves, and the presentation.

First, let’s take look at the basic bar formulation. A lot of recipes you will find online include beeswax in their formula. This does give a firm bar that is more resistant to melting in warm temperatures, however beeswax can block the pores and offers little by way of nourishment to the skin – it really is best kept for use in products like lip balms or protective creams. My basic recipe instead uses a higher percentage of cocoa butter to give a good, firm end product that is really nourishing for the skin. Here is the basic formulation:

  • 73% (83% if using liquid oil) Cocoa Butter
  • 20% Soft Butter (such as mango, shea or murumuru) OR 10% Liquid oil (e.g. jojoba, almond or avocado)
  • 5% Vitamin E
  • 2% Essential Oil

Simply melt the solid butters together in a bain marie. Remove from the heat and stir continually as it cools (this prevents graininess developing, especially if using shea butter). Once the mix has cooled to 40c, add in your heat sensitive Vitamin E and essential oils. Your mixture can now be poured into your chosen moulds. If you find the finished bars are too soft, increase the percentage of coco butter – if they are too hard, increase the soft butter/liquid oil.

Once you have mastered the basics, there are all kinds of variations you can try. For an exfoliating effect try adding ground olive stones, sugar, pumice powder or activated charcoal. You could even try adding coffee or mung beans for a massaging effect.

The base can even be used for creating natural deodorant, by adding absorbent kaolin or fuller’s earth clay and choosing deodorising oils such as bergamot or cypress.

Now comes the fun bit – making your bars look gorgeous. Firstly, you need to choose a mould and there are some great ones out there – I particularly like this massage bar mould with a textured surface. However, you certainly don’t need to invest in a mould to make these. Why not try cake cases, ice cube trays, food packaging – the world really is your oyster. Mini bars are particularly handy for single use on clients for the therapists amongst you.

Some people will like to leave their bars plain and simple, perhaps not even adding fragrance. For others, dried petals and herbs can add a lovely natural look. There is also nothing to stop you going all out with glitters and micas – a very economical way to make a body glitter!

So, have fun, share your creations with us, and as always let us know about the experiments that did not go so well – we often learn more from these than we do when we get it right first time!

Chocolate Orange Bath Bomb Recipe

A great stocking filler, packed with chocolately orange aromas and great novelty value

Difficulty Level: Medium 

Equipment List: Accurate Scales, Bowl, Spatula, Mould, Spray bottle

Formula:

Ingredients % To Make 1kg
Bicarbonate of Soda 53.5 535g
Citric Acid 26.7 267g
Corn Starch 15.7 157g
Almond Oil 1.6 16g
Orange (Sweet) Essential Oil 1.6 16g
Chocolate Fragrance Oil 0.5 5g
Orange Colour 0.5 5g

 

Method

  1. Sieve the bicarbonate of soda, corn starch and citric acid into a glass bowl and mix thoroughly ensuring there are no lumps.
  2. Combine the almond oil, orange essential oil and fragrance oil together
  3. Add the oils mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well
  4. Add the colour a few drops at a time, spreading around the mix and blend in thoroughly until evenly distributed
  5. The next step is to achieve a consistency of damp sand – the mix should hold together when squeezed. Care needs to be taken at this point to add the water very gradually and mix in quickly to prevent fizzing up.
  6. Using an atomiser, spray a little water over the surface of the mix and blend in quickly using your hands. Repeat several times until the correct consistency is achieved
  7. Dust your mould with a little bicarbonate of soda or corn starch to aid with easy release
  8. Press the mix into your mould, compacting it down well. If using a two sided mould, slightly overfill before pressing the two sides together.
  9. Leave the mix in the mould for a minimum of 30min, ideally for several hours.
  10. Remove from the mould carefully (the mix will still be very fragile) and allow to dry overnight before packaging or using.

Packaging: We suggest using a shrink wrap bag to seal in your aroma and protect from humidity degrading the bomb. To achieve the chocolate orange effect, use an outer wrapper of orange cellophane and tie with curling ribbon.

How to use the product: After 24 hours, simply drop your bath bomb into your bath and enjoy it’s fizzing and fabulous aroma.

Variations: Using the same basic recipe you can easily change the colour and fragrance to produce an endless variety. Why not try layering different colours together for a pretty finished effect?

Hints and Tips: If you are having difficulty preventing fizzing up when adding the water, try instead with witch hazel or 50% isopropyl alcohol

INCI*: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Limonene, Fragrance, Citral, Linalool

 

* This is the correct INCI as it needs to appear on the label in the EU. We make every effort to ensure this recipe conforms to current EU cosmetics regulations to ensure you are making an item that is safe to use. If you wish to sell your items, a safety assessment and stability testing would still be required and we do not claim that the recipe will meet commercial requirements.