DIY Non Toxic Sunscreen and Bug Repellent Cubes

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So, the other day, I was getting ready to go for a hike.  I applied my homemade sunscreen and my homemade bug spray.

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As I was doing so, I got to thinking that it would be great if I could just do this in one step, because well, I’m lazy.  During my hike, I came up with the idea of making these sunscreen and bug repellent cubes, and I love them!  They’re so easy to make, and even easier to apply.  You simply rub it on your skin and massage in.  Wa-la!  You’re protected from both burning and bug bites!

The essential oils in these cubes are the same oils I use in my homemade natural bug spray.  They work great to keep the creepy crawlies away, and they are non-toxic as opposed to many of the chemicals in traditional bug sprays.

I’m not certain on the SPF of these.  It depends on how much Zinc Oxide powder you use in the recipe, but the ingredients of coconut oil, zinc oxide powder, and carrot seed oil all have SPF properties.  If I were to guess, I would say these bars are anywhere from 15SPF – 50SPF…yeah, that really narrows it down.

What I can tell you for sure is the following:

1.) It works!  I applied it before going for a 7 mile hike in the hot San Antonio sun today, and I stayed burn free and bug free the whole way!

2.) It’s natural and non-toxic!  All of the ingredients are not harmful like the chemicals in most store bought sunscreens and bug repellents.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sold!  I love this stuff, and I bet you will too if you give it a try!

Quick note before we get started – cleanup after making this can be a bit cumbersome, because the oil and shea butter can be hard to get rid of (great for the actual cube, because it won’t just sweat off right away, but not so great for cleaning it off of pans, etc.).  My suggestion is using a paper towel to wipe everything down right after you get your mold filled.  Then use hot water with soap to wash completely.  Basically, clean it before it dries…except the mold that the bars need to harden in, of course. 🙂

HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN AND BUG REPELLENT CUBES

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup beeswax pellets
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide powder
  • about 5 drops of each of the following essential oils: lavender, rose geranium, white thyme, carrot seed oil, and citronella

Directions:

1.) In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax pellets over medium heat until completely melted.

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2.) Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide powder and the essential oils.  Stir until the powder is completely dissolved.

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3.) Carefully spoon the mixture into a silicone mold.  My silicone mold is of 1 inch cubes, but  you could use any shape.  This recipe made 12 – 1 inch cubes.

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4.) Allow to harden completely.  You can put it in the fridge to speed things up, but it will harden pretty quickly regardless.  Once hardened, push the bottom of each mold to remove each cube.

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5.) Store in a cool place in a glass jar.  To apply, just rub onto skin and then massage in.

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Yeah, double protection in just one step!  Enjoy! 🙂

DIY Homemade Lip Balm

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I have a confession to make, I am slightly addicted to lip balm!  Seriously, I can’t go to bed at night without applying my lip balm.  At least it makes for some soft lips.  Anyway, I wanted to share my lip balm recipe with all of you!  This is a really easy recipe, and it only has 3 ingredients!

The base of this is coconut oil, so that makes it a very versatile lip balm!  What?!  How can a lip balm be versatile?  Well, as it turns out, this also doubles very nicely as an excellent cuticle balm.  Massaging this into your cuticles and nails make for some really healthy, long, and strong nails.  I use this stuff for both my lips and my nails.

Another reason why this lip balm is so fantastic is because coconut oil can be used to treat and prevent cold sores.  It is a great natural alternative to some of the harsh medications out there.  Since this lip balm uses coconut oil as it’s base, it serves as a great way to reduce incidence of cold sores and to treat one when you have one.

Side note:  If you do get a cold sore, I recommend coconut oil and lysine as an effective treatment method.  I don’t get them very often, but if I get a cold or the flu or my ragweed allergies are exceptionally severe, one sometimes rears it’s ugly head (maybe once every year or so).  This lip balm along with lysine usually gets rid of it lickity split (Normally, it goes within a week, whereas if I don’t use this treatment method it sticks around for 2-3 weeks…not cool).

While on the subject of cold sores, here is a pin that links to a site that gives some excellent natural remedies for those stinkers.

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Okay, so back to this lip balm.  This stuff is really smooth and goes on nicely.  The peppermint oil in it is very soothing on dry lips, so you can get relief from the symptoms of dry lips while the coconut oil goes to work to moisturize and repair.  This stuff is great, and it is easy to make, all natural, and non-toxic.  A winner by all means in my book!

DIY HOMEMADE LIP BALM

Ingredients/Materials:

  • Lip balm tins – you can just wash out an old empty tin, or you can buy empty ones on amazon here.
  • 3 Tbsp. Organic Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp. organic beeswax pellets (you can get these on amazon here)
  • 10-12 drops of peppermint essential oil

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Directions

1.) In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and beeswax pellets over medium heat, stirring constantly until completely melted.

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2.) Once completely melted, add the peppermint essential oil, stir to combine, then fill the tins with the mixture.  Allow to cool and harden.

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3.) Put covers on tins.  Your lip balm (or nail/cuticle balm) is now ready to use.

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Awesome!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

EASY HOMEMADE LOTION THAT IS EXCELLENT FOR YOUR SKIN

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A long while back, I started making my own body lotion.  I had come across this pin on Pinterest:

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It goes to a site listing some of the toxic ingredients in some of our skin care products and instructs people to buy organic and natural skin care products.  I took a look at the lotion that I had been using, and started researching the ingredients that were in it – oh boy, I knew I needed to ditch this lotion and find something that was much safer and better for my body!  I started looking into “organic” and “natural” lotions, but found that most of these lotions had ingredients that were just as bad.  It turns out that the labeling of these cosmetics are not regulated in any way, and a brand can claim that it is “organic” or “natural” if they use just one ingredient that is natural or organic!

What are some of these ingredients that we should avoid like the plague?  I will list some here along with the toxic effects they can have on the body.

  • Aminomethyl Propanol – This is considered mildly toxic.  There have been reports of this ingredient causing neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, endocrine distruption, and ecotoxicity.
  • Butylated hydroxianisole (BHA)/Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) – This ingredient is a suspected human carcinogenic.  It is known to cause metabolic stress, depression of growth rate, loss of weight, damage to the liver, baldness, fetal abnormalities, and allergic contact dermatitis. It is a skin & eye irritant.
  • Color  Many colors that are added to lotion are carcinogenic.  Namely, “FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Green 3, FD&C Red 33, FD&C Yellow 5, and FC&C Yellow 6 have been shown to cause cancer when applied to the skin.
  • Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer– This is toxic to humans  It is a carcinogenic, and causes reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.
  • Fragrance – Phthalates – In most fragrances there are over five thousand toxins and irritants causing our bodies an array of problems. Headaches, dizziness, nausea and respiratory problems are the most common.
  • Glyceryl Oleate– This is toxic to humans.  It is a carcinogenic, and causes reproductive and developmental toxicity.  It is neurotoxic, and causes acute toxicity.
  • Laureths- These are almost always contaminated by the carcinogens 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide. Very dangerous.
  • Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone – Both are used as antimicrobials but have shown to be skin irritants. More importantly, there is great concern that these chemicals have potential dangerous neuro-toxic effects on humans.
  • Polyacrylamide – This ingredient is highly toxic. It is a possible carcinogen. It is extremely irritating to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Parabens – methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, and benzylparaben. Parabens are classified as toxic chemicals when applied to the skin, especially in lotions and creams, in other major countries.  There is a debate that parabens may be linked to the development of breast cancer.
  • Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate- Thought to possibly present risks to human reproduction and development by reducing fertility or reducing a chance for a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Suspected to be neuro-toxic and gastrointestinal or liver toxic.
  • Phenoxyethanol – This is linked to cancer and in high doses it is linked to organ damage, developmental defects, brain and nervous system effects and is a skin allergen and irritant.

There are many many more, but I think you get the picture.  These poisons and toxins are absorbed directly into our body and blood stream and stored in our fat tissues, possibly becoming cancer, changing our DNA, causing us infertility, neurotoxicity or causing an array of other medical problems.  When it comes to children, it is even more concerning as children absorb these toxins more easily since their skin is thinner than adult’s skin.  It is obvious why we should avoid these ingredients.

Searching for a safe and effective body lotion was becoming exhausting, so I started looking at the ingredients that were safe and good for the skin.  Of course, coconut oil came up – oh, coconut oil, how I love thee!  Coconut oil has SO many health benefits, but in terms of the benefits of using it on the skin, here are a few!

  • Very moisturizing due to it being 90% saturated fat.
  • Smoothing effects due to it’s content of vitamin E
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Treats sunburn, and has a natural SPF which is why it is a main ingredient in many sunscreen lotions.
  • Fights skin infections – Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, ant-fungal, and anti-viral functions.  I use this lotion on small cuts and scrapes, and they heal in a jiffy!
  • Acts as a great massage oil
  • Cleans and softens skin – coconut oil can actually help to remove dirt from the skin which is why it is often used in body washes and soaps
  • Prevents acne – I know that seems odd as it is an oil, but coconut oil’s excellent anti-bacterial factors help to keep skin clear of acne.
  • Helps eczema and dermatitis
  • Great for diaper rash in babies

After all this research, I started looking into making my own lotion.  I tried quite a few different concoctions containing coconut oil, beeswax, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, etc.  The most effective one that I’ve found is the one I’m going to share with you here.

I started out just using straight coconut oil.  When you use organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil, it has a light coconut scent, and it is really moisturizing.  The only thing I didn’t like is that I had to either warm the coconut oil by submerging the jar in hot water, or I had to rub it in my hand till it melted to apply to my body.  Not really a big deal, but I missed just being able to quickly slather something on – enter an electric mixer!  One day, I was making a recipe that had coconut oil in it, and I had to beat the coconut oil with some eggs.  When I did this, I noticed that the texture of the coconut oil became more like normal lotion – Yay!

The only other ingredient that I add, and it is totally optional, is essential oils.  I LOVE essential oils – here is a picture of part of my collection:

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Anytime I make a batch of this lotion, I use whatever I am in the mood for at that time.  (Side note – If you have a cold, using eucalyptus essential oil in this lotion makes an excellent chest rub to help alleviate symptoms.  If you are stressed, lavender is an excellent scent to use to calm and relax you.  If you want something to energize you, cinnamon or lemon essential oils are good ones.  If you have aches and pains, use peppermint oil to help reduce inflammation.  The possibilities are endless!)  You don’t have to add the essential oils, but they are super fun!  That being said there are some essential oils that are not good for pregnant women, or for people with certain conditions, so always make sure you are using one that is okay for you.  Today, I made two batches, one is Lavender Harvest, and the other is Vanilla Jasmine.  I love both of them!

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Okay!  Let’s get to this lotion recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil (in it’s solid form)
  • 15-30 drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)

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Directions:

1.) In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of coconut oil and essential oil, if using.

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2.) Using an electric mixer, mix on high for 3-5 minutes.  Check and make sure the scent is as you would like it.  If you would like more scent, add some more essential oil and mix for a minute longer.

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3.) Spoon lotion into a glass jar.

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4.) Put top on jar and label, if desired.  I made two different batches with different scents, so I labeled mine.

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Wah-lah!  Easy homemade lotion with no toxic ingredients.  You know exactly what went in it and what you are putting on your body.  Enjoy! 🙂