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Make Your Own Body Products
Today more and more of us are seeking simple, safe, natural alternatives. From health care to cosmetics, aromatherapy is a down to earth, hands on approach to self-care and healing. The Greek physician Hippocrates, considered the father of alternative medicine, advocated the use of essential oils in the bath and in a massage every day for good health. Now, you can make your own bath and massage products with a few simple tools and basic ingredients. They are safe and simple to use for adults, children and seniors. Essential oils have wonderful restorative properties, which can calm stress and anxiety, soothe aches and pains, and increase vitality.
Before making your own products, there are a few things to consider. First of all, always take care when buying essential oils. They are not all created equal in terms of quality. Ultimately, the quality will affect the aroma and therefore the outcome of your product. Make sure they are pure, natural, not a fragrance and are undiluted. Better quality oils are in dark bottles and have droppers inserted in the cap for easy dispensing.
As all essential oils are highly concentrated, they cannot be used directly on the skin. A second consideration is what type of base to use. When applying essential oils to the skin, the best choice is a white moisturizing cream base suitable to your skin type. For a body product, again an unscented cream, lotion or oil will do nicely. Aromatherapy suppliers usually carry a good selection of base products for you to choose from.
Baths and massage oils do however require a little bit of a different approach. In the bathtub, because oil and water do not mix well, the base agent is still required. My personal favorite is to use milk, cream or honey. After all, Cleopatra loved it! The easiest choice is to use sea salts and Epsom salts. With this base product larger amounts can be made and stored very well in an apothecary jar by the side of the bathtub.
The last type of base product to consider is organic, cold pressed vegetable oils. There are a variety to choose from, each one with its own therapeutic properties. Selections may include grapeseed, avocado, sweet almond, calendula, peach nut or jojoba oils. Again these are preferably in dark glass or plastic bottles as they are light sensitive.
Having made your choices you are now ready to make your products. Do take the time to familiarize yourself with the oils of choice as they do change over time and even more so when you blend them together.
The recommendation for a healthy adult is a maximum of 3% of essential oils in any carrier solution, vegetable oil, unperfumed shower gel, shower gel or moisturizer. This is equal to 12 drops of essential oil in 20 mls of liquid. So, for example, if you are using three essential oils in a recipe, the total amount would be 12 drops.
For face creams use 2% of essential oils. Therefore, use 20 drops in 50 grams of cream. If an extra drop or two should fall into the recipe simply add a little more of the base product to dilute it again.
Last but not least, sometimes it is better to purchase a ready made blend of pure oils made by a professional company. They are usually economically priced versus purchasing four or five individual oils. For instance, with Valentine’s Day coming close, a romance blend that is ready blended for you could be used in a bath, in a diffuser and put into a massage oil for a relaxing massage.
1 pound of coarse sea salts
14 drops of Neroli
15 drops of Ylang Ylang
6 drops of Patchouli
Mix the essential oils into the sea salts, stir well, shake if required. Store in a tightly sealed apothecary jar. Add three heaping tablespoons to the bath.
For Normal to Dry Skin
3 drops Sandalwood
3 drops Geranium
3 drops Rosewood
1 drop Ylang Ylang
Stir the drops into 50ml of base cream and
apply a small amount morning and night.
5 drops of Lavender
3 drops Eucalyptus
4 drops Peppermint
Put the oils into 20mls of base cream and apply to temples or neck as required.
Light and easily absorbed as a massage oil.
Very good for face blends for acne skin.
Thick, luxurious and excellent for very dry facial skin, dry cracked feet or body massage.
A commonly used massage oil. Recommended for skin that is dry due to climatic change.
For very sensitive skins that suffer with eczema
or psoriasis. Rich, nourishing and healing.
Jojoba has a thicker consistency, is nourishing and healing. Recommended for many skin types and conditions.
Trish Green, a Homeopathic Practitioner is the director of Education at the Balnea Institute in Burlington. The school is a registered private career college offering many courses in holistic health, specializing in clinical aromatherapy.