Friday, 31 March 2017

Easy Avocado Face Mask

This is a simple to make mask suitable for most skin types - and a great way to use up an avocado that's getting a a bit over-ripe.

Easy Avocado Face Mask

To make this mask you will need:

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey

Mash the avocado until smooth and creamy. Stir in the honey and yoghurt. You want a smooth consistency that's not too runny.

Apply to clean, dry skin avoiding the area around your eyes. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse of with warm water, then follow with your usual moisturiser.

This makes enough for one mask.

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Monday, 27 March 2017

DIY Cold Sore Balm

DIY Cold Sore Balm

Some studies indicate that lip balm made with lemon balm infused oil may help lessen the symptoms and reduce healing time for cold sores.

This simple recipe uses beeswax, cocoa butter and the herb lemon balm to make a healing balm.

In a small double boiler slowly and gently heat:
  • 30mls of lemon balm infused oil (see below how to make an infused oil) 
  • 7g beeswax or candelilla wax
  • 7g cocoa butter

Once melted add:

Pour into a small, clean jar and allow to cool. Makes approximately 1/4 cup of balm.

Instructions for making an infused oil are here. Simply use fresh or dried lemon balm in place of calendula petals.

Lemon Balm

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Sweet Coffee Body Scrub

This simple scrub uses a mix of sugars to exfoliate and stimulate skin, while coffee can help to draw out impurities. Plus a little cinnamon to warm and aid circulation.

Sweet Coffee Body Scrub

To make this you will need:

½ cup ground coffee
1-2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
60ml jojoba oil or sweet almond oil

Combine the first three ingredients with enough jojoba or sweet almond oil to create a mix that it wet, but not too runny.

Best used in the shower. Massage gently into the skin for 5-10 minutes then rinse. Follow with moisturiser.

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Lavender Chamomile Bath Soak

Lavender Chamomile Bath Soak

To make this you will need:

Combine the salts and dried herbs in a bowl and mix well, In a small jug or cup combine the sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil. Stir to combine the oils then slowly add to the salt-herb mixture. Stir again.

Cut a muslin square approximately 16cm x 16cm. In the middle of the square place 4 tablespoons of the mix. Bring the edges together and tie securely. Pop the bag into the bath and enjoy. The remaining mix will keep in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

Five favourite bath soaks

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Twelve ways to use Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is probably one of the most widely available and well-recognised of all the essential oils. Here are just a few ways it can be used.

1. Lavender Water

In a spray bottle combine 5 drops of lavender essential oil with 150mls of distilled water. Shake well before using. This simple spray can be used to freshen a room.

2. DIY Flea Spray for Dogs

The flea spray has a clean, fresh, but subtle, smell. It can be used both as preventative and as a treatment for fleas. Learn how to make it HERE.

3. Deodorising Powder for Feet

Unfortunately sometimes you just can't avoid smelly shoes. This recipe for a deodoriser, suitable for both feet and sneakers, is (like most of my recipes) simple to make and does the job well.

4. Chamomile Toner

The first of three toner recipes all using lavender essential oil. This soothing chamomile toner is very mild and suitable for most skin types. Get the recipe HERE

5. Elder Flower Toner

Elder Flower Toner is very gentle so is well suited for sensitive. It's made with only four ingredients and you can leave out the lavender essential oil if you prefer.

6. Lavender Toner

This is a simple to make toner is easy to make with only three ingredients and is particularly suitable for young teenage skin. Get the recipe HERE.

7. Itchy Bites

A few drops of lavender essential oil can help to ease the itch of insect bites. Always take care when applying essential oil directly to the skin - not all essential oils should be used in this way.

8. DIY Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer doesn't take the place of washing you hands, but it's useful when you have little or no access to clean running water. DIY Hand Sanitizer utilises the antibacterial and anti-viral properties of lavender essential oil.

9. Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm

Coconut oil works well as a make-up remover and moisturiser on it own. Adding cocoa butter and essential oils both nourishes the skin and and gives your skin tone a boost. Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm is good for most skin types, but particularly dry skin.

10. Olive Oil and Rosehip Night Cream

Extremes of weather can suck the moisture right out of your skin. Olive Oil and Rosehip Night Cream can be used at night or of you have really dry skin that needs a boost use it as a rich day cream.

11. Eczema Soothing Facial Mask

While this mask can take some time to make it's definitely worth it. Learn how to HERE.

12. Headaches

A little lavender essential oil gently rubbed into the temples can help ease a headache.

You may also like:

Five uses for Rosemary
Six ways to use Thyme
DIY Paw Balm

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Saturday, 11 March 2017

How to make Comfrey Fertiliser

Comfrey brings bees into the garden and makes an excellent companion plant. 

Comfrey is a good source of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. The leaves can be used to a make a rich liquid fertiliser, particularly suited to potatoes and tomatoes.

To make Comfrey Fertiliser you will need:

  • comfrey leaves
  • a 10 litre bucket
  • water
  • a large stone or brick

Half fill the bucket with comfrey leaves. Place the stone on top of the leaves to weigh then down then fill the bucket with water. Leave the bucket in the warm, dry, sheltered place to let the fertiliser "stew" for about a month.

After a month strain the liquid and bottle. Label the bottle. The rotted leaves that remain can be used as a side dressing in the garden or added to the compost heap.

To use: dilute the comfrey liquid before using. For every cup of comfrey add two cups of water. The diluted mix can be used to water or as foliar feed for established plants. For young plants dilute the comfrey liquid 3:1.

NOTE: Comfrey leaves are quite prickly and can irritate skin so gloves are a good idea.

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Eucalyptus - Tea Tree Cleaning Spray

There are a lot of recipes that use a mix of vinegar and water to make a household cleaning spray. It can be quite effective, but this simple spray cleaner takes it a step further by adding the combined the antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils. 

Eucalyptus - Tea Tree Cleaning Spray

To make this you will need:

Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before using.

To use spray on kitchen or bathroom surfaces like sinks, showers or bench tops, then wipe with a clean cloth.

Stored in a cool place, out of direct sunlight the spray will keep for at least 12 months.

Note: if you prefer not to use vodka leave it out. Instead increase the quantity of water to 1½ cups .

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Friday, 3 March 2017

Pickled Garlic

Even if you're not a liker of garlic you may want to give pickled garlic a try. Pickling mellows the "garlicky-ness" of garlic more than you might think. Pickled garlic goes well with cheese and crackers or spiced meats.

As with most of my recipes (food or skincare) it's not complicated.

Pickled Garlic

To make this you will need:

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon plain salt
  • 1 teaspoon per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 x 250-300ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel. 

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week, but improves over time.

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