Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Massage Oil Recipes

Who doesn't love a good massage?? I know I do, I also bring my own blends with me when I go, so when a friend told me if I made some she would help me sell them I was thrilled. Catch is this would be for Kiddos with special health care needs and their families. That poses a challenge to make sure I came up with good blends that were safe for them. Those who have done essential oils (EO's) for any amount of time can tell you some EO's cause reactions, some carrier oils pose risks to those with certain allergies. In some cases you can't know everything that will cause reactions, but just having a general knowledge base is good in helping identify things that may or may not work on you or your kiddo when using these.   

Along with the research, I really believe in Andrea's (from Frugally sustainable ) practice of selling something, but also sharing the recipe to allow others to make their own if they want. I love that I can grab recipes from her and learn why those ingredients do what they do. Even if I buy from her I have an understanding of why the ingredients she uses are in there.  I love that, I make better decisions on what to use and why. With that being said I will share that same information with you so you can use the carrier oils that benefit you most. 

My family has very few sensitivities and allergies so those don't always tend to be on my mind when I make a lot of the products I do. I forget that when looking for just a carrier oil things need to be taken into consideration. I will break down the few carrier oils that may cause issues with certain allergies and why. Hopefully this also can help some that have found they are sensitive to certain products but don't know why. I do want to note that while these oils may cause a reaction, I didn't find many that had a full blown anaphylactic reaction (in most cases) cause by their allergy to any of oils I am listing, more so it was some type of skin reaction. 


Those with nut allergies should be aware of the following;

Sweet almond oil- One of the most popular with massage therapists, this is very commonly used. Sweet almond oil is made by pressing the dried kernels or nuts of the almond tree. This is the same tree that the almonds we eat come from. Whole or ground they are usually known as just almonds, the "sweet" in the oil just differentiates between the edible kind as opposed to the bitter almond which is poisonous. People with tree nut allergies should know that this is applying nut oil. There are few documented allergic reactions (most were not severe if any at all) to this oil, although there is concern that people have been noticing reactions to this oil who have tree nut allergies. 

Coconut oil**- a VERY popular oil to use in a lot of products right now. The FDA defines coconuts as a tree nut, and FAAN recommends speaking with your doctor if there is a concern for an allergic reaction. FAAN also has said this is actually classified as a seed not a nut so they are not against it's use if you have a tree nut allergy. Being that this was classified as a tree nut there is a lot of differing ideas out there about if it is safe. Other allergy experts have said this is from the palm tree and is concidered a seed not a nut and has been deemed safe. Botanists have classified this as a dry drupe which is a fruit with a hard stony covering. So do your research (if not just for the interesting discussions as to what a coconut is) and always be aware to check if the coconut oil you are using is made in a factory that also does tree nut products. 

**I know this one isn't on the "do not use" list for tree nut allergies, but it is one that comes up so I thought I would give some information for you to make your own decision about using this oil. 

Shea butter- FAAN and the FDA both classify this as a tree nut. Shea butter is extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. It is thick and usually not used alone in massage oils but added for it's moisturizing properties. To my knowledge there is no documented cases of allergic reactions to Shea butter which is likely because the proteins left after made into an oil for skin care products is lower than just eating the nut itself. Being it's the proteins that cause the allergic reaction that would help to keep the allergy levels down. However, there are people who find that they have reactions to this and so I need to put this in. While it may not cause a reaction at first, using it for periods of time, like in a massage oil, may cause a reaction with more use. In products with higher doses it may cause the skin to become very itchy. 

Those with an allergy to Latex;

Shea butter- As stated above this is from the nut of the African Shea tree. This one I have actually found stories of people that, with repeated use and having a latex allergy, have had to take Benadryl to curb the allergic reaction they have had. In published medical literature it's hard to find anyone that has done an actual study with pure vs. blended Shea butter and what issues have arisen and if it is indeed from pure Shea butter or blends. There is enough people that have complained of issues though to make sure I post that this may be an issue if you have a latex allergy. While the Shea nut is not genetically related to the rubber plant who's sap is used to make latex products, a latex-type substance has been identified in some Shea butters. So if you have a latex allergy be aware that Shea butter may cause you to have issues, if not an allergic reaction if you are not aware of this. 

Avocado oil- WebMD states "people who are sensitive to latex can have an allergic reaction to avocado". Avocados contain certain enzymes called chitinases that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. If you have a latex allergy you can very likely have an allergic reaction to this fruit due to the chitinase enzymes. 

* Note this list isn't exhaustive, I have just used some of the most popular carrier oils and ones that I found had people that had issues with the oils. There were other allergy possibilities listed but not enough documentation of people having issues to warrant mention. Always do a patch skin test before using any product if you have an allergy or skin sensitivity. Also note that it may take a few times being exposed to something to cause a reaction. 

Now that we have covered those lets get onto some carrier oils and their benefits shall we??

Sweet Almond oil- One of the most popular massage oils used. This is slightly oily which allows hands to glide easily, while absorbed fairly quickly it's not so quick you need to constantly reapply. Reasonably priced and generally doesn't cause skin irritation. 

Apricot Kernel oil- similar in texture and color to sweet almond oil but is slightly more costly. This is rich in vitamin E so naturally has a longer shelf life than other oils. This is absorbed well like sweet almond oil so you don't have as much of a "greasy" feeling afterward. This is a good alternative for people with nut allergies that want to stay away from sweet almond oil. 

Jojoba oil- this is made from the wax extracted from the seed of the jojoba plant. Due to the potential antibacterial properties of jojoba it is a good option for those that are prone to acne. It also contains long chain wax esters that closely resemble skin sebum. This also has a longer shelf life than other oils making it a good choice if you don't use your oils much. Being that this oil is usually non-irritating it makes a great oil, however it is more pricey than other oils, and is so silky and quickly absorbed that it is best mixed with other carrier oils. 

Sunflower oil- this light non-greasy oil won't leave skin feeling oily. It is rich in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, along with palmitic and stearic acid which are all components of healthy skin. HOWEVER Sunflower oil goes rancid fairly quickly and should be mixed with pure vitamin E oil to help extend the shelf life. 

Avocado oil- this heavier oil is usually mixed with a lighter massage oil. While usually pretty expensive this oil has quite a few potential health benefits when used as a massage oil. It can be used to help psoriasis (usually combined with Vit. B12), healing wounds, promoting hair growth and other conditions. 

Coconut oil- composed of medium chain length fatty acids, or triglycerides MCT's, it has multiple health benefits along with being anti fungal and antibacterial in nature. Great moisturizer, light and not as greasy as some oils. 

I made these then put them on notes with each recipe underneath. Some of the recipes I made for my friend to use on the kiddos (EO free), also she asked for them to be lighter so I went with these;

3 oz. Apricot Kernel oil
1 oz. Jojoba (moisturizing, antibacterial)

(Carries a warning for latex allergies)
3 oz. Apricot Kernel oil
1 oz. Avocado (for the healing properties)

Lighter weight
2 oz. Apricot Kernel oil
2 oz. Grapeseed oil (absorbs quicker so needs to be mixed with something a little longer lasting)

For my friend and her family I did a couple blends just for them, those include;

1/2 oz. Jojoba oil
1/2 oz. Apricot Kernel oil
15 drops Lavender EO
3 drops Chamomile EO

Sore muscles/cold relief
1.5 oz. Coconut oil
.25 oz. Avocado oil
.25 oz. Jojoba oil
10 drops Peppermint EO
10 drops Lavender EO
5 drops Rosemary EO

Sore muscle relief 
.25 oz. Jojoba oil
.75 oz. Apricot kernel oil
9 drops Peppermint EO
6 drops Cajaput EO (remember that this causes a mild skin reaction which produces a warming action, some slight redness may be noted)
5 drops Camphor EO

If you add about 3 Tablespoons beeswax/1 oz. of oil you can make a "lotion" or closer to what looks like a salve out of any of the above mixes. If you would like softer add a little less, harder a little more. If you are using ones with EO's in them make sure that you add the EO's after melting the oils and beeswax together first, then poor into a glass container. All oils should be stored in an amber or blue bottle to keep the integrity and those that haven't been listed as longer lasting and won't be used in a short period of time you can add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E oil to help lengthen the shelf time. I generally try to use mine within 6 months to keep the integrity of the oils and EO's intact. All the above recipes with the oils I have listed shouldnt need extra vitamin E added being they have a longer shelf life. 

I will be making more so watch for new recipes later, for now these are a few to get you started. Make your own and bring them with to your next massage!!! Add Essential Oils (EO's) to any of the plain mixes to create your own favorite scents!! :) Remember that using citrus oils may cause photo toxicity and it is advisable to wait 24 hrs after placing citrus oils on your skin prior to exposing that area of skin to the sun. Also if you mix your own and bring them with for massages, write down the ingredients to ensure your massage therapist is ok using those oils and combinations so you don't inadvertently cause issues with the person trying to help you out!! :)

Again, you can visit my Amazon Affliliate estore and go under the 'Massage Oils' category to find most of the products I have listed here easily and quickly. Amazon is awesome in supporting bloggers and allowing us to not increase your costs, but get benefits to help us out in our endeavors to bring new products, ideas and make new creative ways to do every day things at a lower overall cost to you than conventional stores!! I am currently using all benefits I receive to bring (hopefully) monthly giveaways to those who visit my blog and Facebook page. Currently, I am giving away all the products needed to make my DIY Tiger Balm (giveaway link). I would love to be able to do more of things like that so using my store enables me to cut some of my costs to do that. Thank you so much for all that have and continue to support me in that manner!!

I am also affiliated with Piping Rock here is some of the products you can obtain from them also!

Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. I am a mom, I am not a doctor, I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have learned in doing these types of projects and through my research. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use.

Easy DIY Dishwasher Tabs

I have been staying away from making my own dishwasher tablets until now for the simple fact that I have a teen doing my dishes. Yup, I was afraid they wouldn't work and I would be left with dirty dishes and a mess in my dishwasher from a gummy, weird homemade experiment that didn't work. BUT, I finally bit the bullet and used things that I know work well to clean, would make a good "brick" of tablet, were as close to natural, and worked well to clean as possible. The result? YEA!!! IT WORKED!! :)
So without further yapping here it is...

1 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Kosher Salt (to soften the water)
Hmmmm... Ok that looks to be it!! Mix those bad boys up, KNOW that when you add the baking soda to the lemon juice it FOAMS HUGE so make sure to mix this in a big bowl. You could do like I did and not have a big enough bowl and amaze your 4 year old with your volcano but its messy and I don't suggest that for everyone, lol. Once the foaming stops, and you have the mixture all mixed just place into cheap ice cube trays (about half full in each cup) and let set over night. Then pop them out and let them sit out until completely dry and use as you would regular tablets. I use vinegar in my rinse cycle. That's the greatest part, you can make them as big a portion or small a portion and you need to clean your dishes. I will be scaling back a bit next go round until I hit the right amount to clean our dishes. 

If you don't want to use the tablets just mix all the powders together and use them on their own as powdered dish detergent... 

Click the links below to find the ingredients used above!! :) ENJOY!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy DIY Lip Balm

Making lip balm is SO easy. I figured I would share my recipe since I was making it. I am planning to do this with one of our church youth groups as a fun fundraiser project. I usually have all the ingredients on hand because we go through lip balm like crazy around here. I have a son that likes to lick his lips til they are raw and chapped so always being able to make a new batch comes in handy. 

I got this recipe originally from Andrea at Frugally Sustainable who got it from another person. So I guess it can be said it's been passed down from a few bloggers now! :) I haven't had a person that has used it not like it so I don't change much. I do know that if you don't have any coconut oil you can substitute it for Olive oil,Avocado oil, Sweet amond oil... it's always nice to have a fall back in case you happen to be out of the ingredients you need!! :) I have made lip balm from just olive oil and beeswax and it has been wonderful also. I usually do that when I make my Vaseline since I will sometimes have some left over so I throw in some peppermint and put it in a lip balm jar. 

Coconut oil adds shine and moisturizing properties along with some natural sunscreen protection. Jojoba oil has almost the natural chemical structure to your natural oils in you skin and hair and also seals in moisture. Vitamin E oil has antioxidant properties along with being moisturizing. All those combined make a great lip balm that moisturizes and protects. 

The recipe is simple;

Homemade Lip Balm Recipe

-2 T grated beeswax, local is great or I do use beeswax beads
-2 T coconut oil
-2 T jojoba oil
-1 ½ teaspoons vitamin E oil (helps preserve)
-1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice, I have a list below for suggestions

1)Melt beeswax, coconut oil (or whatever oil you choose), jojoba oil, and vitamin E in a small pot over low heat. Stir (I use Andrea's suggestion of using a chopstick)

2)Remove from heat to add essential oil. Stir well to combine.

3)Pour into tins and let cool on the counter until solid or place in fridge to make solid faster. 

4) ENJOY!! :)

You can use whatever combination of essential oils you like, some of our favorites are;

Peppermint - This will make it taste more like Burt's Bees brand and gives a cooling effect. 


Lavender or lavender eucalyptus (3/4 lavender, 1/4 eucalyptus)


Most of the above have the added benefit of being antibacterial also!! :)

So there you have it!! Most ingredients can be found on amazon or Piping Rock