Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Beauty Products!

Facial Moisturizer, the latest version! Luv it!
You know how one thing can lead to another?  Well, getting interested in soap making has led me on a path that may soon see us buying virtually no bath and beauty products!  It's not like this is any huge epiphany or turn-around; at Aagaard Farms we've been making our own stuff and avoiding unnecessary chemicals for a long time!  We've been using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning for years, making our own jams and jellies with our home-grown fresh fruits, raising and drying our own herbs and beans.  It's hard to believe that even six or seven years ago I was happy to pay $40 for a jar of moisturizer, but not any more!

Like everything we get involved in, I did a lot of research about soap making before I even acquired goats.  I wanted to make sure it was the right move, the right investment in time, energy and money.  As I learned about soap, I learned about skin, about butters and oils, and learned more about essential oils.  I've been using essential oils for years for fragrance.  I haven't worn over-the-counter perfume in a long time, always essential oils in a base of skin-friendly carrier oil, but none made by myself.  Now I know so much more about their qualities for nourishing the skin, improving health, cleaning, removing bacteria, mold and, yes, even viruses!  The teat dip we used on the goats was all homemade and largely essential oils in a witch hazel base.

Our own interest in a green and sustainable life style, and learning about soap making took me online where I discovered a world of #DIY beauty and health products.  Not just soap, but everything you could possibly need from cough drops to deodorant!  Looking to test the market before we were ready to make soap, I decided to make some lip balm and lotion bars from one of my favorite skin care ingredients: hemp oil.  I could see if my Farmers Market customers were interested and I'd have them for my own use!  And hemp oil is a local product: we use 'Manitoba Harvest' hemp oil in our morning smoothies as well as our skin care!  I acquired some lovely bars of natural beeswax from Manitoba's  'Hive on the Hill' and I was off-and-running in the beauty biz.  The balm and lotion bars were well received, and I was gratified that some CSA friends and other people with eczema had great luck with our all-natural products and have been return customers ever since!  And my sensitive skin was quite happy so it was all good!

As I was running out of my commercial face moisturizer, I happened to get hooked up with Diane Kidman's wonderful herb books.  Her book Beauty Gone Wild' had the recipes that really got me thinking that I could make my own!  Now, I'm not going to share her recipe here, because she works really hard and I think you should buy her book.  The e-book is $4, just four bucks and she deserves it! (And if you don't have a Kindle you can download free software so you can read any Kindle book on any type of computer.  You knew that, right?  And did you know that the Canadian blog/Facebook page Joybilee Farm lists free Kindle books everyday?)  Anyhoo, back in the summer, for a $9 bottle of organic olive oil, I got a couple of big jars of a lovely (although somewhat heavy for summer) facial moisturizer. With some olive oil left over for salad!  Yes, that's right - about $9 for two large jars of moisturizer!  One I kept refrigerated, since the cream contains no preservatives, until I had used up the first.

The time had come for more moisturizer, but this time I know so much more!  Plus, the soap making has had me acquiring different butters and oils, as I became interested in new recipes.  As I could afford it, I've added new essential oils and more exotic ingredients to my arsenal.  So, Diane's basic recipes calls for, among a few other things, a cup of olive oil and up to 32 drops of essential oils.  This time, I replaced some of the olive oil with sweet almond oil and jojoba oil - both known to be very good for the skin.  I also had, this time, rose hip seed oil and geranium oil, replacing most of the lavender essential oil I used in the first batch.  Both the rose hip oil and geranium oil are very good for mature (cough, cough) and sensitive skins!  And wow - do I love this cream!  The smell is lovely but light, the texture is a little lighter but still rich enough for winter, and it sinks in nicely!

My shower routine now starts with a gentle facial scrub of ground oatmeal, honey and a dab of goats milk (all local - love that!)  from my other favorite resource: Janice Cox's 'Natural Beauty at Home'.  The scrub is also fabulous for hands: weather-chapped, goat slobbered, chicken pecked, kitty scratched, chore-doing hands!  I've also made bath soaks, body scrubs, and soon, eye cream from this book!  A great resource.  If you're thinking of making your own, do also check out the fab-u-lous website Fresh Picked Beauty - loads of great stuff!  Another great source, not just for skin care recipes but also loads of other crafts and gardening ideas is Garden Therapy; I've also recently picked up her e-book and follow her on Pinterest too - the good stuff just keeps coming from Stevie!   It's her recipe for easy bath bombs that some of our family will be getting in their Christmas presents this year, along with a little soap, of course!  When I get to it, I'll let you know how the homemade eye cream goes!


  1. wow, it sounds like you've found your new calling! I just spent a stupid amount of money on eye cream and now I'm wondering what's even in that stuff? heaven knows but I'll bet your homemade solution is just as nice.