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Essentials for your at home Apothecary

Apothecaryamber magusComment

Having a good stock of natural ingredients will ensure you are prepared to whip up a batch of soap, skin, body or hair treatments and even cleaning products in no time.  When buying ingredients try to buy organic when possible to avoid any added chemicals or over processing.

These are just a few of my favorite ingredients, but with them you can create countless amounts of products.  I'd consider these your staples and as we create more recipes you can add in new and fun ingredients down the road.

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Foods you can find at the Grocery Store

Some of these items you may only want to stock when you know that you'll be creating a recipe that involves it, as you don't want them to go-off before you get around to using them.

Apple Cider Vinegar // One of the most versatile ingredients, you can use this on your skin as it will help exfoliate by dissolving dead skin cells, because ACV is an Acetic acid, it also contains lactic, citric and malic acids and as they are all alpha hydroxy acids they work together to exfoliate your skin. You can add 1-2 tablespoons into an 8 oz glass of water which will help with your digestive and gut health.  You can even create an all natural cleaner with the addition of ACV.

Honey // Probably one of my favorite mixing agents to add into my mask.  Honey is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic, it also has the ability to heal and repair skin. It also helps your skin to retain moisture which makes it a go to beauty ingredient.  Try finding a local beekeeper that sells organic beeswax.  I suggest Beeproject Apiaries from right here in Winnipeg.

Lemons // The juice from one of these bright yellow citrus fruits work great as an astringent. It contains alpha hydroxy which naturally exfoliates your skin, reducing the appearance of sun pigmentation, age spots and acne scars.

Oats // A soothing ingredient that works wonders as a bath soak or added into a mask. Packed with healthy fats and antioxidants that hydrate and rejuvenate your skin. Its also naturally anti-inflammatory that helps to balance out your skin's PH.

White Vinegar // This will work as a base for a majority of cleaning recipes.  Very similar properties to your Apple Cider Vinegar.  A very versatile ingredient to create multiple at home cleaning products.

Salt & Sugar // If you like body scrubs then you will most definitely want to stock your apothecary cupboard with both salt and sugar. Both great bases for when you want to whip up a body scrub.

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Can be found at your local health store, as well as online. You may even find a selection at your grocery store or a bulk food store.

Carrier Oils // These oils will be the base to most of your skin and body care items.  All with there own unique characteristics and benefits. Some of my personal favourites are : Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Castor Oil, Avocado Oil & Sweet Almond Oil, but don't worry we will cover SO many more and go into greater detail on all of them.

Essential Oils // Highly concentrated oils that can boost your products to a whole new level, with benefits that range from health, helping with skin conditions and cleansing properties, they can be added to almost all of your concoctions. I will be delving deep into the world of essential oils and breaking each one down for you, so you'll know exactly how to use them properly, in terms of which ones you can use undiluted, ones you NEED to dilute and ones that should be kept clear of, babies, pregnancies and pets. Some of my favourites are, Tea Tree, Lavender, Eucalyptus and lemon.

Butters // These you will use in your balms, body butters and even scrubs. My favorites are Shea, Cocoa and Mango butter. Each butter has its own beneficial properties, melt rates, cooling rates and textures that we will get into in future posts.

Beeswax // The most common ingredient to thicken your beauty balms. With the added benefits of it being hydrating for dry skin and creates a protective barrier to help seal in moisture. It also has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties...I mean can we just take a moment and appreciate the amazing power of Bees and what they can produce!!!!

 

Take this Home Apothecary Shopping List with you on your next trip to the grocery or natural food store and start your collection on diy natural beauty and lifestyle ingredients.

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Until next time xoxo Amber

Coconut Milk Bath Soak

DIY Beautyamber magusComment

A few years back, myself and my husband lived in the basement of my sister and her husbands house, while we where saving up to get married/buy a house of our own and besides the space issues of living in a basement with your husband, two cats, dog and a turtle, those years where actually a lot of fun .  One major plus of living with them was the fact that they had renovated their upstairs bathroom and placed in this beautiful jetted soaker tub and boy do I miss that!! Baths are one of my favorite things and since buying our little starter home, I haven't been able to enjoy them, mainly because our tub is just not a joy to sit in...I can't wait for our bathroom reno this summer so I can actually enjoy this Coconut Bath Soak all of the time!!!!  On the rare occasion where a bath is just calling my name, usually when I'm not feeling well and in those cold cold winter months, this is my go to soak, it leaves your skin feeling so soft and hydrated.  It's also the best to add into your babies or child's bath water.

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This is actually a product I had indented to sell, but once I decided to lean more towards teaching I thought this would be such a great one to do. Because its two ingredients and makes the MOST hydrating bath, for the whole family.

The Coconut Bath Soak has two simple ingredients - Coconut Milk Powder + Colloidal Oatmeal.

Where can I purchase these items?

You can find the colloidal oatmeal in our raw ingredients shop. We will have the coconut milk powder eventually, but for now you can purchase it at Bulk Barn.

And why do these two ingredients make for such a glorious bathing experience you ask??

Oats are great at soothing- they are anti-inflammatory, and help to ease itchiness and redness. Which make them the perfect choice for your calming bath.  Soft and gentle enough to add into the water of your children's bath, it will also combat skin irritation from sunburns and bug bites. Not only that, but if you live in a cold climate its amazing at re hydrating dry skin, as it exfoliates and cleanses...goodbye dry, scaly winterpeg skin!!! 

Coconut Milk Powder also has anti-inflammatory properties and is filled with nutrients that help nourish and hydrate your skin. That and it just smells amazing!!! Its a great addition to your bath soaks and body scrubs.

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DIY Coconut Milk Bath Soak

1 Cup Colloidal Oatmeal

2 Cups Coconut Milk Powder

Mix both ingredients in a bowl and then store your new ultra-nourishing coconut bath soak in a cute jar.

To Use: I like to use about a 1/4 cup in warm running bath water and then using your hand just gently move your bath water around to make sure the powder is dissolving.

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Let me know how you like your new bath soak. And let me know in the comments what other sorts of DIY recipes you'd live to see here.

Until next time, xoxo Amber

Essential Oil // Tea Tree

Essential Oilsamber magusComment

I like to think of Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil as the duck tape of the essential oil world...got a problem put some tea tree/lavender on it, both where my introduction into the essential oil scene.  Today we are going to focus on the more anti-bacterial, germ fighting powers of Tea Tree.

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What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree or Melaleuca alternifolia comes from the tea tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. A great addition diluted in coconut oil and added to your bath water if you're suffering from a cold and will assist with opening sinuses and ease coughing.

It has a wide variety of uses, from household cleansers, laundry detergents, hair treatments and can be used as a topical agent for skin concerns such as, acne, psoriasis and eczema. It has also been known to work on burns, athletes foot and to rid your scalp of dandruff.

 

Things to know

Tea Tree should be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin. And I always suggest doing a patch test, in case you're allergic and that applies to all essential oils.

Depending on your concern, you can use anything from a .5% to 10% I personally don't recommend using more than a 10% dilution, essential oils are incredibly powerful so a little goes a long long way.

*According to a study it is shown that a 5% solution works just as well as a 5% benzoyl peroxide on severe acne and it does so without the harsh side effects of flaking skin or getting rid of your skins natural moisture.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma: A middle note with a medium aroma, Tee Tree has a fresh, slightly medicinal scent with characteristic woody notes.

Blends With: Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Rosewood, Rosemary and Thyme.

5 Ways to use Tea Tree

1) Add it to your shampoo // This will help with issues such as dry scalp or dandruff, and to stimulate hair growth.  As well as keep lice away from your kids hair.

Treatments : For a weekly or Bi-weekly hair treatment you can take just Jojoba oil or if you have our Cleansing Oil you can take a pump of oil and drop in a few (about 10) drops of tea tree oil and massage that onto your scalp and let it sit for around 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition as normal. For an everyday use, add 3-5 drops into your shampoo bottle and gently tip the bottle up and down to combine the ingredients, then use it every time you wash your hair. 

2) Remove a Planter Wart // I have dealt with hundreds of planter warts during pedicure season in my years as an Esthetician, they are SO common. With pool season and wondering around bare foot, they can easily be picked up.  Tea Tree is a great natural way of killing them off.

Treatment : This is one of those times you can apply it undiluted. Take a q-tip or cotton ball and soak it in tea tree and apply to the affected area. Then take my trusty friend duct tape and place that right on top, this will cut off its oxygen and the tea tree will work at killing the bacteria that creates the wart.  Re-apply at least three times a day, using new duct tape each time and make sure your feet are keeping as dry as possible.

3) Use as an Acne Treatment // With tea tree having so many antibacterial properties and healing benefits, using it to help clear up your breakouts is another way to use your trusty tea tree.  I personally don't suggest using it directly on your breakouts, it may be too drying on your skin. My favorite carrier oil for oily skin is Jojoba, as it naturally mimics your skins own sebum, which basically will tell your skin that it has enough oil and it will balance out your pores from over producing oil.

4) Oil Pulling for bad breath // Have you tried oil pulling yet?? would you like to see a post about it? basically oil pulling is taking coconut oil and swishing it around your mouth for 10-20 minutes in the morning and this will help with, bacteria, plaque and gum care, if you wanted to up your oil pulling game, take your 1 tbsp of Coconut oil and 1 drop of tea tree essential oil and do your oil pulling, adding the tea tree will help treat bad breath, mouth ulcers and gum infections. (do not swallow the oil, once your done, spit it out into the garbage) The whole process of oil pulling is something that i've done on and off for the last couple of years, it's never formed into a habit and it's definitely not for everyone.

5) Cold fighting bath soak // So you tried your best at fighting off that dreaded cold that always makes its way around during the changes of seasons, but alas, you are now coughing and sneezing all over the place....blah! I've never been lucky enough to avoid them!! Making yourself a little bath soak and inhaling all that good steam will help ward off the colds and flus and will ease congestion.

Treatment // All of these ingredients can be found at your closest health food store such as Vita Health and the Epsom Salts can be found at Bulk Barn.

1 Cup Epsom Salts

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

10 Drops of Tea Tree

10 Drops of Eucalytis

5 Drops of Lavender

Stir all ingredients together and place in your warm running bath water...hop in, lay back, breath in those scents and feel the congestion clear up.

Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about tea tree...Let me know what other essential oil you'd like to know more about??

until next time, xoxo Amber!

 

 

References:

A Comparative Study....

 

Plans for 2018

naked skincareamber magusComment

Heeeey!!! Can you believe that we are already almost one month into the new year!!! I feel like I'm still in holiday mode and have been having some troubles getting back into a routine...Anyone else feel that way? or is it just me?....I let myself have a couple weeks off over the Christmas holidays and into the new year, it was great and probably just what I needed.  During those few weeks off I really sat down and thought where I wanted to take my company and what I wanted it all to look like.

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So here are just a few things that I know for sure......

I know that I adore the skincare that I've created and would NEVER sell or make anything that I wasn't proud to put my name behind. I spend so much time researching and formulating the products I create and having them work and be effective is always 100% my priority.

I know that I have the most supportive kick-ass loving tribe out there and your love and support is what keeps me going during moments that I feel I'm crazy for venturing out into the entrepreneurial world...It's been the most amazing and terrifying journey!!! 

I know that I've FOR SURE!! made mistakes along the way and am just so happy and thankful that you've all been so understanding about these learning curves and general forgetfulness that is my brain.

I know that I want to continue curating a line of truly minimalist skincare that can help elevate your beauty routine. 

I know that I've always loved to teach people and help people, so creating a more informative blog is something that's going to be very important over this year.  I'm going to be sharing my knowledge I learned through my years of working as a professional Aesthetician and all the information I've learned about natural ingredients during these years of creating my own skincare.  I want to share and teach you how to formulate your own products...there are so many things you can do with just a couple ingredients!!! These will be super easy recipes that you can bring into your life, that will help you live a more natural and sustainable lifestyle.

I know that there are a few products that I will be discontinuing over the year...mostly the body scrubs/polishes and these are ones that I can SO easily teach you how to make...I mean 1 cup of sugar and some oil...is your basic body scrub!! The skincare products aren't going anywhere...unless I create an even better version to replace what I already have...but trust me...nothing will leave unless something better is coming along. 

I know that I want to be able to provide some raw ingredients, this way when I give you a recipe you can also buy the ingredients you need at one easy place.  One product that I was planning on launching in February was the Coconut Milk Bath...which is an amazing product...but also ridiculously easy for you to put together at home...i mean its two ingredients. I will be putting the raw ingredients online for you, as well as a post on how to put it together for yourself in the comforts of your cozy home. Then you can have all the hydrating and healing baths!!!

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Thats about all I know for now.  I am insanely excited for what I have planned this year and I really hope you all are too.  Even though there will be some changes, which I know some people wont be overly joyful about, I do believe that they will be for the best and I would never do anything unless the new thing is 100% better than the original.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback...I'm always here to answer your questions! And I am so excited to start creating more content here and forming a place where you can buy and learn how to curate your own products.

So let me know in the comments if you're as excited as I am!!! What lifestyle and beauty recipes would you like to see?? And what skin care/routine/ingredient information you would like to learn about?

 

Until Next Time,

xoxo Amber

 

*The photography used in this post was taken by Jorja from Jorja Coral Photography...she's amazing! and you should check out here work!