Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer Skin!

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Body Dew when it comes to having 'summer skin'.  However, even people blessed with great skin often need an exfoliate.  I started making my own about 6 months ago, and wouldn't go back to store-bought if you paid me.  First, it's cheap. Second, the ingredients are much more body-friendly. Third, I usually have the ingredients on hand in the kitchen, so I rarely run out!

Here's my personal recipe:

  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E 
  • 1/2-1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Oil
The end result smells a good bit like vanilla vodka, in my opinion, but it's not overwhelmingly strong.   You can experiment with different oils and scents like peppermint oil or you can leave ingredients out if you prefer - so long as you have an oil and a scrub, you're good.  You can also use sea salt or regular sugar instead of brown sugar if you prefer. Other oils ideas are jojoba, avocado, grapeseed, untoasted sesame, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, etc. Just play around with it and have fun!

Just a warning: Don't use salt scrub after shaving. It burns! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Laundry Detergent Recipe

I've been making my own laundry detergent for three years now and absolutely love it. Not only can it be better for the environment and your skin, but it's much easier on the wallet as well.  I've been asked to post my detergent recipe, so here it is!

2 C. Bar Soap
2 C. Washing Soda
2 C. Borax
Large bucket
*More on the ingredients at the end

1.  Boil 1qt of water
2. Grate the bar soap, and add it to the boiling water.
3. Once the soap melts, add the washing soda and borax
4. Add the mixture to the bucket, and fill the bucket with hot water (I use about 2 gal.)
5. Cover bucket with lid and leave it alone for 24 hours - the detergent will gel.
6. Use 1/4 cup for every load - make sure you stir it first. It has an odd consistency, kind of like clumpy egg drop soup.

Now, more on the ingredients.  For soap, I started out with Fels-Naptha. You can find this bar in the detergent aisle (I could only find it at Kroger, locally).  I have since switched to Kirk's Castille, which I found in the body soap aisle, and like it much better.  Either one works, as does Ivory or Zote.  Make sure you get washing soda and not baking soda - you can find this and the borax in the detergent aisle as well.  If you have hard water, this detergent may make your clothes look a little dingy.  The best remedy for this is to add a drop or two of Mrs. Stewart's Bluing to the water before you add your clothes. This can also be found in the detergent aisle.

All in all, it costs less than $1 for each batch you make and one batch of detergent lasts my family of three (including an infant with lots of dirty laundry) for several months!