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Sometimes I play apothecary, and make all sorts of potions from various oils that I’ve collected.  Then I use these oils for the next few months for my beauty regimen.  The internet has fueled my research and guided my decision-making on the ingredients, but except for the deodorant, I have mostly just made up the exact proportions, and even then, “exact” is an overstatement.  I include the following information for your consideration, for my own reference, and not to be followed by anyone in a precise way.  If I have been learning the past several years that measuring is not so essential in cooking, it is certainly less important still in beauty products such as these.  Give it a guess.  Mess around with things.  Substitute.  Omit.  Supplement.  Have fun.  Learn.

 

Recipes:

 

Deodorant (makes ¾ to 1 cup)

Mix in 1-quart bowl, using a fork:

5 T. coconut oil

1 T. castor oil

10 drops rosemary oil

10 drops lemon oil

3 drops tea tree oil

4 T. corn starch

4 T. baking soda

 

When thoroughly mixed, transfer to a container (at least 1 c.) with a lid.  OK to store at room temperature.

 

To use, apply about ¼ t. to each arm pit before dressing in the morning.  Thoroughly rub in, wiping any excess with a clean, dry rag.

 

Notes from experience:

This recipe works better than Toms, which I just tried for the first time, dismayed at its impotence.  It does not work as long as Dry Idea, which is my go-to store brand especially during high-sweat situations.  Of course, this recipe is primarily a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, though it is somewhat effectual at absorbing wetness.

 

It may be useful to note that if this cream gets much above 75 degrees, the coconut oil will melt.  It is still useful, but you may have to stir before using.  Also, if it melts and then re-hardens, it can sometimes separate.  There was one time that the coconut oil I had was apparently already thinner than usual, and I had to add extra corn starch to give it the right consistency.  This may have added to the separation problem and made it a bit irritating to my skin.

 

 

Facial Cleanser/Shaving Oil (makes about ¾ cup)

Mix:

¼ safflower oil

¼ c. grape seed oil

2 T. melted coconut oil

1 T. castor oil

1 t. sesame oil

10 drops rosemary oil

10 drops lemon oil

5 drops tea tree Oil

 

To use as cleanser, dip fingers in solution and rub on face in circular motions.  Steam face by covering with a hot wet washcloth.  Rinse washcloth and wipe face with warm water until face does not feel oily or greasy.

 

This can also be used as a makeup remover if you are careful around your eyes.  Dip a tissue or cotton ball only a tiny bit into the oil, then rub gently across the makeup.  Finish by wiping clean with a wet washcloth.

 

For shaving, apply a couple of teaspoons per leg.  Do not rinse.  Shave, frequently rinsing/wiping razor.  Should provide a very close shave.  Rinse.  No need to wipe off.  Oils should not leave skin very greasy once rubbed in.

 

Notes from experience:

The essential oils in this mixture give a slight relaxing/tingling scent.  Before, I used peppermint, but that is unnecessary.  Struggling with acne most of my life, I like this treatment for softening my skin and reducing oiliness, but it is not the only thing I use on my face.  I also use a salicylic acid cleanser once a day, then witch hazel as an astringent, followed by a zinc oxide ointment (skin protectant and sunscreen).  In the evenings or when I shower, I use the facial oil, and do not add anything else to my face afterwards.

 

Hair Conditioner (makes about 1 cup)

Mix:

6 T. olive oil

2 T. safflower oil

2 T. melted coconut oil

1 T. castor oil

1 t. sesame oil

10 drops rosemary oil

10 drops lemon oil

(optional: mix ¼ c. yogurt with 1-2 T. oil just before using)

 

To use, pour a couple of teaspoons at a time into the palm of your hand.  Pull through wet hair, using fingers to comb it through.  Pay extra attention to the ends of the hair, and avoid the scalp (applying to the scalp could cause it to be too oily, or make you over-rinse the rest of your hair).  When there are basically no more tangles, shape hair into a bun if long enough, and leave to soak in while you finish the rest of your shower.  After 10 minutes, release the bun and give your hair a quick rinse in cool water: literally, put head under water, then take it out again.  You may need to practice this routine a few times to get the right amount of oil on your hair and the right amount of rinsing, potentially adjusting for humidity in the weather.

 

About the ingredients:

First, my understanding is that many essential oils can be dangerous if used incorrectly, especially if pregnant or nursing.  I have not had problems with these recipes, but nor have I been pregnant or nursing.  If you have reason for concern, consult a professional (like a doctor or midwife).

 

Second, I am not obsessed about these things.  I usually buy the cheapest I can find, like the bottle of castor oil I found at a garage sale this weekend.  I do not subscribe to a certain brand, nor do I look for an especially high quality of any of these things.  As I understand it, the dangers of my method are that 1) some not-so-great chemicals may have been used in the processing; and 2) my concoctions may be weaker than those made with the highest quality oils (especially the essential oils).  I consider all of my recipes to be good enough  so far to make me happy.  Saving money is worth the risk, to my mind.

 

Coconut oil is popular, and can easily be found at the grocery store.  It is supposed to be antibacterial.  It can be relatively inexpensive.  The high melting point gives it the advantage of being solid at most room temperatures.  The oil is supposed to help hair growth.  I have tried using it on my skin and hair by itself, and found it far too greasy.  I’ve read that it is a sunscreen.

 

Baking soda is deodorizing.  It is also alkaline.  It may cause itching and drying of the skin if the proportions are too high.  I buy a big box in the cleaning section of Walmart to use for non-food recipes.

 

Corn starch is cool.  It has interesting physical properties when mixed with a liquid.  It is absorbent.  If you’re worried about the safety of this ingredient, search for a brand that is non-GMO.

 

Castor oil encourages circulation.  It is considered antibacterial.  It is also useful for encouraging hair growth.  Some people use it for cleansing, especially of the liver, but also of the lymph nodes.  I do not like the smell, and most sources discourage using it without other oils, so I keep it as a minor ingredient.  You’d more likely find this ingredient at a health food/natural store than at a regular grocery store or Walmart.

 

Tea tree oil smells like medicine.  I basically can’t stand it.  So I use it sparingly in things that will have other smells.  It is supposed to be pretty good for skin infections.  I think this is because it is antibacterial.  So people use it for acne, cuts, and burns.  This is one oil that tends to be sold by everyone that sells oils, including grocery stores sometimes; I think I’d look in the pharmacy area.

 

Rosemary oil is good for circulation and smells good.  I think it is also said to be antibacterial.

 

And lemon oil smells good, clean, having a sort of fresh scent that cuts through other ones.  It is soothing and astringent.  If I didn’t have this oil, I might use lemongrass oil.  You can use regular lemon juice, but then you’d have to refrigerate your product, which hardens the oils and makes everything take longer.

 

Safflower oil has Vitamin E, which I have long understood to be good for skin, and which my regular conditioner advertises as a special ingredient.  It is rich in oleic acid, linoleic acid, and omega-6 fatty acids.  These things are good for fighting acne, reducing blackheads, and strengthening hair follicles.  It is a blood thinner and helps with circulation.  I found mine on clearance at the grocery store.

 

Grapeseed oil absorbs easily into skin, and is both astringent and antioxidant, so it helps treat things like wrinkles.  It is anti-inflammatory and helps skin retain moisture.  The linoleic acid is the likely cause of its acne-fighting properties.  It is a source of Vitamin E, which helps skin recover from scars.  It is also supposed to strengthen hair.  This oil is also found at grocery stores.  I noticed that Trader Joes has a decent price.

 

Sesame oil has a nutty scent, and it is a light, absorbent oil.  I had some extra, so I put a tiny bit in.  The dark color can transfer to hair, but there is not a significant amount in my recipe, so it probably won’t make a difference that way.  Zinc in this oil is good for the skin and immune system.  And the copper in it helps the body’s blood production and blood flow.  I am not sure where I got my sesame oil, if it was in the Asian section of my grocery store or if I went to an Asian market to pick it up.  Either way, it is probably way cheaper at the Asian market.

 

Olive oil is my hair’s favorite.  If it didn’t leave my hair smelling like salad dressing, I’d use just it.  It has anti-oxidants, Vitamin E, and is anti-inflammatory.  However, this oil tends to clog my pores, so I do not use it on my skin much.

 

Some other popular oils are jojoba, argan, and almond.  All of these are more expensive, which is the only reason I haven’t used them.

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a recipe describing the way I have been experimentally baking these days.  Recipes are not the boss of us; they are tools and guides, and the more we understand about what makes a good dish, the less we have to follow exact measurements and specific ingredients.  
I just can’t call these cookies.  Because if I call them cookies, people expecting cookies will frown at me, and think I’m a bad baker.  These are healthy(er) things shaped like cookies, with chocolate chips like cookies, but not really cookies.  They are a dessert.  
I told my friend’s kids, who sampled these, that I would send their mom the recipe.  I don’t particularly expect her to make them, and I don’t especially expect any of you to make them either.  As her husband pointed out, they’re pretty expensive cookies.  One advantage of
them, though, is that they are gluten and dairy free, and with growing numbers of people attempting such dietary restrictions, I thought I’d try them out. 
Process in a food processor for
5-10 minutes, scraping sides occasionally, until it makes a
“butter”:
3-5 hands-full of almonds and/or
cashews and/or peanuts (peanuts will have a stronger flavor) (substitute 1/2 cup
total nut butter from a jar if you want… keep extra on hand in case the dough
is too soupy)
Add:
1 can drained garbanzo
beans/chickpeas (Watch for good deals on these, places like Big Lots or HMart or
Trader Joes, or get your friends to give you the about-to-expire ones off their
pantry shelves…)
1 egg (or egg yolk, particularly if
you’re short of nut butter, as the whites will make the dough
runnier) (The egg is optional, but I think it greatly improves the texture.)
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of baking
soda
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of baking
powder
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of salt
(on the lesser end if the canned beans were salted, or if you are using a nut butter from a
jar, which happens to have salt as the ingredient, or if your nuts were
salted)
1-2 hands-full brown
sugar
A quick pour of
vanilla
A drizzle of maple syrup or honey
(optional) (I want to try molasses.  Molasses is amazing.  But it will also
overtake the other flavors.)
Process these with the nut butter
until smooth.  If dough is so soupy that it won’t stay in a blob on a cookie
sheet, but rather will puddle before it even starts to cook, you need more nut
butter.  Another option is to sprinkle some oats in there.  (Apparently there is
some debate that I don’t understand about oats having gluten or not.  Choose
according to your level of intolerance and hype-acceptance.)
Add:
2-4 hands-full chocolate chips
(Guittard Real Semisweet or some other allergy-friendly brand if you care about dairy
free or soy free)
Stir this in by hand.  
Chill
dough.  Like, make these before a meal, chill during the meal, and pull it out
after you’ve rinsed the dishes and the table, to bake some up for
dessert.
Preheat oven to 350.  Drop small
spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.  Cookies will start at about 1.5 to 2 inches and
spread to about 2.5 inches as they bake.  They bake for 15 minutes.  (Other
recipes I read said 20-25, but it doesn’t improve the texture and it does give the bottoms a kind of weird burned bean taste…)  Nut Butter Bites won’t remove from the
pan as easily as cookies, because they don’t have the same kind of greasy fats
as butter or Crisco.  I didn’t have much trouble, just know that there will be a
little bit of cake-like residue on the pan, like the inside of a used muffin cup
liner. 
I think they’re best warm.  They’re
better if 1) you’re not expecting a cookie, and 2) you don’t think about them
being basically hummus with chocolate chips. 
These nut butter bites are good for
you, though.  There is protein from the beans and nuts.  Nuts and beans have
minerals in them, and vitamins, that we US Americans need and don’t get enough of.
And the nuts (not so much peanuts, keep in mind) have those useful kinds of fats
that we don’t get enough of either. 
Cashews are high in: protein,
fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and
zinc.  They have anti-oxidants and monounsaturated-fatty acids (good for your
cholesterol). 
 
Almonds boast about the same list
of beneficial nutrients, with less selenium and more calcium. 
 
Peanuts have a little less health
benefits, but they’re still present, including protein, iron, B vitamins, and
zinc.
Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) boast
protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium.  They are mild phytoestrogens,
so they serve to naturally balance estrogen levels in our bodies (against
synthetic estrogens from meat and dairy and pharmaceuticals.) 
Maple syrup has zinc.  It’s nothing
compared to molasses, though, which offers calcium, iron, magnesium, and selenium.
A lot of these ingredients are good
for your digestion, liver and hormones, energy and strength, bone health,
skin health, heart health.  But they still have sugar, so don’t go too crazy
with them! 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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