Ways You Shouldn’t Use Essential Oils

One thing that I have talked about quite a bit and plan to continue to talk about on this blog is essential oils.

I love essential oils as do many other people and have learned about different ways to use them as I have grown to understand their benefits.

There are an endless amount of ways to use these potent oils but there are also a few ways that you should not use them and sometimes that is a topic that can be overlooked by those who have yet to properly understand them.

Baths | Essential oils can make an amazing addition to your weekly bath but caution and rules should always be followed when it comes to adding essential oils to bath water.

Never add drops of essential oil straight into your bath, water and oil do not mix and those essential oils will stick directly to your skin which can cause irritation and a good amount of discomfort.

Essential oils need to either be combined with something absorbent like baking soda or a dehydrated milk powder. You can also add the essential oil to something fatty like coconut milk or a butter.

The amount of essential oils should also be closely monitored as well since too much oil no matter how greatly dispersed can cause irritation and itching.

Photo-Sensitive Oils | Citrus essential oils such as lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot oil are all commonly know as being very photo-sensitive and any other oils will usually come with a warning on the label.

Photo-sensitive oils can be very damaging to skin when exposed to sunlight so any of these oils are best used at night or several hours before you will be exposed to any kind of sunlight.

Use With Care | The areas in which you put essential oils should always be chosen with care.

Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to places with rashes or open wounds and sores and no essential oil period, should ever come in contact with your eyes.

Private areas and areas with particularly sensitive skin should in general be kept from any essential oil use since even diluted essential oils can be irritating to those kinds of places.

It is recommended that children under the age of two, not be exposed to essential oils unless you are very experienced in the use of essential oils. And essential oils used on children of all ages should be greatly diluted and closely monitored for any reactions or adverse affects.

Ingesting Essential Oils | Though I do plan on eventually moving on to taking essential oils internally, it is not something that I recommend people do.

Some essential oils are toxic if taken internally or just too irritating in any dose and should never be taken directly and undiluted or even taken with water as, again, water and oil do not mix.

You should never ingest essential oils that have not been labeled as safe to use internally and you should never buy essential oil pills from questionable brands.

If you do buy essential oil pills that are from safe and reliable brands you  should always follow the directions and keep a close eye out for any reactions.

 

Hopefully this list of warnings hasn’t completely scared any of you away from the idea of using essential oils.

With a proper understanding of the oils you use and careful handling you should never have to experience any negative issues with essential oils and can have as much fun as you like with them.

 

 

Calming Herbs for Sensitive Skin

There are a lot of people out there who either have sensitive skin, myself included, or have sensitive skin conditions.

Many commercially made skincare products are not fully designed to cater to skin sensitivities since they are often loaded with synthetic ingredients and preservatives which are not always as skin friendly as they claim to be.

Making your own gentle skincare for your skin’s specific needs is much more productive and much less expensive in the long run and its completely customizable.

Calendula | Calendula is a bright, yellowish orange colored flower that is widely used in skincare for those with sensitive skin.

It is anti-inflammatory which makes it a great option for those who suffer from allergic reactions on their skin or even for sunburns and bruising.

Calendula helps to produce collagen which makes it useful for any cuts or acne since it reduces scarring and softens dry or thin skin.

 

Lavender | Lavender is also a herb that is widely known for its skincare abilities and is usually a crowd pleaser amongst everyone.

With anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties lavender is soothing to wounds and helps the process of skin healing. It is anti-aging with its ability to stimulate skin and tone pigmentation.

It plays well with all skin types, specifically oily skin and helps to treat skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

It also helps to calm irritated, red skin or breakouts.

If you’d like to learn more about what lavender can do for you and your skin, you’ll want to check out my last post specifically about

 

Chamomile | This herb isn’t only good as a nighttime tea it also has several benefits for skin, specifically irritable skin.

Like lavender, chamomile is an amazing option for those with skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis since it is calming.

Chamomile helps to gently ease pain and irritation in acne sufferers, boils, skin wounds, and rashes or allergic reactions including sunburns.

It is a great option for all skin types and is the most widely used herb in skincare when it comes to sensitive and easily irritated skin types.

 

Green Tea | Though green tea might not be specifically thought of as a herb I decided to include it anyway since it also has many positive qualities for those with sensitive skin.

Like the other herbs on this list, green tea is anti-inflammatory and is soothing to skin conditions such as acne and rosacea and psoriasis.

Green tea fights against free radicals and sun damage on skin and is anti-aging because of the natural antioxidants that it contains. It promotes skin cell reactivation which helps to reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots, and skin sagging.

It is also a natural astringent which makes it a great toner as well as an option for those with oily skin.

As with all natural skincare it is important to always do a spot test with the herbal products that you are trying out to ensure that you will not have an allergic reaction to any of them.

 

Skin Care Basics | Peppermint

Peppermint is one herb that could be considered to be widely popular and can be found in almost any household tea drawer.

Peppermint however, has many benefits besides its lovely taste in tea form.

Invigorating And Stimulating | Peppermint is a very refreshing herb and has a distinct tingling, cooling effect on the skin.

Peppermint contains menthol which gives it that cooling feeling and helps to brighten up skin tone and also helps to relieve ache muscles and cramps.

It is also an amazing herb to use for hair because it stimulates growth, cleanses your scalp, and refreshes dry and dull hair as well as to aid in removing dandruff.

Skin Saver | Peppermint also helps to reduce excess oil on skin and in hair as it balances your natural oils and helps to reduce the excess which can prove to be extremely useful for those with oily skin types.

It also has a soothing and calming effect on the outside as it does the inside as it helps to reduce redness and irritation. It even helps to numb the itching from bug bites and poison ivy.

Peppermint’s stimulating qualities help to improve circulation which can treat spider veins, varicose veins, cellulite, and more.

Some other good qualities that peppermint has for the skin is its ability to sooth sunburns, shrinks large pores because of its astringent properties, and its ability to tighten and firm aging skin.

 

Some of my favorite ways to use peppermint is to infuse the leaves into witch hazel as a toner and use a few drops of peppermint oil in my nightly facial oil for cool and clear skin.

 

The Art of Preservation

With the holidays quickly coming to a close I wanted to talk about the art of preserving.

This is the month out of the year that I go most out of my way to slow down and to take the much needed time to sit down and create something with my hands.

As I have mentioned before, December is my favorite month out of the year and winter my favorite season.

I much prefer rain and clouds over sun and blue skies and suffer from summer blues opposed to the normal winter blues that I often hear people talking about.

So as December is ending and the time for winter is also coming to a near end I am trying my best to preserve these lovely, cold and cozy feelings and memories in whatever ways I can.

As beautiful glass balls and soft, felted snow men are wrapped up and tucked away into storage until next year I find myself needing to have something to hold onto.

Something filled with the wonderful feeling that I feel this time of year, something that will spark that memory and bring those feelings back even when all have moved on to the next big event.

I wear those much loved knitted pieces of clothing until the weather turns too warm and turn up the cool air indoors as I light a candle and continue to bake as though Christmas was right around the corner all over again.

One of my favorite things that I have found to work with this month is wax. I have been melting it down and dipping just about anything and everything that I can get my hands on, into it.

The way that I am preserving this time of the year is to not only take time off and to simply enjoy the slowness but to also preserve the bits of this season that I love the most.

Leaves have been drying near the windows and I have been dipping other little bits of nature into beeswax scented with cinnamon or peppermint essential oils.

Preparing these little bits of natures, natural beauty in coats of velvety wax in hopes of future projects and something pleasant to look back on as other seasons come upon us.

This is how I prepare myself for the changing of the seasons and weather.

How do you preserve your seasonal memories?

 

 

 

An Honest Talk About Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils

As a soap maker I wanted to talk about the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils in soap making.

The argument between the safety and efficiency  of natural oils vs fragrance oils can spark quite a reaction from many and as a soap maker who has chosen to only use essential oils and resins, I wanted to be able to go into detail about the pros and cons of both options.

As long as the person handling the oils is making sure to use skin safe oils, then both fragrance and essential oils are considered to be safe for most skin types which begs the question of what the difference between these two oils really is.

Fragrance Oils | First of all lets take a look at what fragrance oils are exactly.

Fragrance oils are a combination of various chemical components, some are natural, being extracted from plants and even animals occasionally as well as some synthetic components.

Pros | Fragrance oils are very cheap which means that anyone who uses them in their products will most likely be able to provide the most affordable options of products.

Fragrance oils often smell amazing and come in an endless variety of scents that do and do not come naturally in nature such as apples and lavender or sugar cookies and winter wonderland.

Most fragrance oils are much stronger in smaller quantities than essential oils are and also have a longer shelf life when it comes to scent fading.

Cons | Fragrance oils however, are not natural which not only exposes the user to more chemicals, whether they are considered bad or not, but also makes them more likely to be irritating to sensitive skin types or people with serious allergies.

Sellers of fragrance oils are not required to give out a full disclosure of the ingredients that are used in their fragrances which can not only gives the person making the soap less control over their product but also the customer. Someone who is allergic to specific things will most likely have to avoid products scented with fragrance oils since no one can be certain about the specific ingredients included.

 

Essential Oils | Essential oils are steam distilled plant extracts that come from the natural oils in plants such as cinnamon bark and orange rind.

Pros | Essential oils as you might have already guessed, are all natural and are considered by many to be the least harmful way of scenting products.

Essential oils not only scent soap but they also provide a number of natural health benefits that fragrance oils cannot provide such as tea tree which is anti-bacterial as well as many other oils that provide their own specific health benefits.

Much like the ability to provide health benefits, essential oils can also provide a variety of mental wellbeing and aromatherapy benefits that synthetic fragrance oils have yet to achieve. For example, a lavender fragrance oil has not yet been created with the same ability to relax and sooth like the origin lavender essential oil.

Cons | Since the extraction of essential oils is a lengthy process that provides a small amount of oil, they are more costly and so create more costly products.

Essential oils in their undiluted state are considered to be irritating to certain skin types which make the formulating and measuring of the oils very important for soap makers. Certain oils should be avoided by individuals who have a history of irritation but thankfully most soap makers will give a full ingredient list with no irritating oils hidden.

 

I hope that this list of pros and cons of fragrance oils vs essential oils has been found useful to some of you and has perhaps, helped you to better understand which oils you prefer.

 

Winter Bath Salts

I don’t know about you but once the weather starts to get chilly and its grey and rainy outside, all I want to do is soak in a hot bath before curling up in bed with something warm to drink.

December is by far my favorite month so I always try to fill it with the most enjoyable of things and make it as cozy and relaxed as possible.

One might think that bath salts are merely meant to be an added bit of luxury to an already luxurious treat but in reality they do much more than that.

Sea salt as well as epsom salt add much needed minerals to your bath water as well as helping to cleanse and soften your skin as well as aid in the relieving of sore or cramped muscles.

Not only do the bath salts have benefits for your bath but the essential oils do too.

Lavender and peppermint essential oil both help to relax and stimulate blood flow to your skin while cedarwood essential oil has a relaxing scent and helps to heal minor skin abrasions or breakouts.

I hope that perhaps this winter bath salt recipe will inspire you to set some time aside for yourself this blustery season or will give you an idea for a lovely handmade gift for a loved one.

Recipe |

– 2 Cups Epsom Salt

– 2 Cups Sea Salt

– 15 Drops Cedarwood Oil

– 10 Drops Peppermint Oil

– 12 Drops Lavender Oil

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until all of the essential oil has been dispersed amongst the salt.

This bath salt recipe is simple which makes it very easy to customize so you can add in extra ingredients in at this point if you prefer. Such as baking soda for added bulk or lavender buds for prettiness.

Once it is to your liking you can pour it into an airtight jar for later use. It should last three to four baths depending on the amount that you prefer.

Mindful Gift Ideas

We can all admit that we have at some point completely forgot to buy someone a gift for the holidays and if your reading this you might have as well.

I have put together a small arrangement of gift ideas that are a bit more personable and thoughtful and I hope that you will be able to find them useful for at least a few people this holiday season.

Scent | Most people can appreciate a nice scent such as a candle that you make yourself or purchase and there is a wide variety of handmade candles to choose from to make that certain someone feel special.

Essential oils are also an amazing gift idea for someone who has dabbled in them or has spoken about their interest in using essential oils.

Scents such as peppermint, lavender, and orange are a few great options for most people and are also really lovely when combined.

You could even consider gifting them an essential oil diffuser to further enjoy their essential oils with and to brighten up their home.

Taste | One thing that I know that I also appreciate in a gift, is something edible.

With food you can rarely go wrong especially when you have a good idea of what that person likes.

A fragrant tea or specialty coffee blend make a lovely gift especially when gifted in a mug and can be widely personalized to that person’s specific taste.

Baking treats for someone is also a wonderful way to show them your love or even just buying them some of their favorite chocolate or guilty pleasure. The art of creating a plate filled with a beautiful arrangement of cookies and fudges will never get old and will most certainly be appreciated.

Mind | Another option of gifts that requires a little more though is one that can stimulate their mind, whether that be a book that they might like or even a coloring book to help them relax and pass the time.

Maybe you could pay for an Audible subscription for them or subscribe for a monthly magazine to be delivered to their home.

Or  you could buy them a gift card to enjoy a spa day, get a massage, or take a trip to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant to promote their wellbeing and give them something to look forward to.

 

It is important to remember this time of the year that the holidays aren’t about getting presents or even giving extravagant gifts. It is about truly appreciating the people around you and taking an extra moment of time to let them know how special they are to you.

Gift giving is such a small part of that so remember to not just focus on the material side of things but to also give the gift of yourself and your time to the ones dearest to you.

Skin Care Basics | Shea Butter

Today I decided to write about one of my favorite natural butters, which is shea butter.

The term butter can be quite confusing if you’re not used to hearing about hard oils such as cocoa butter, shea butter, and mango butter.

They are mostly the same as soft oils such as olive oil and sweet almond oil, only they become solid at room temperature and tend to feel more heavy and indulgent on the skin.

The texture of these butters are perfect for whipping up into a lotion like consistency without the slippery feel of soft oil or the stickiness of lotion.

Intense Moisturizer | Shea butter is known for its intense ability at being moisturizing, so much so that it can also be used to treat very a dry scalp and hair.

It has a natural SPF factor which makes it a perfect ingredient to go into your natural sunscreen for extra protection and it provides a barrier of moisture to keep your skin protected and nourished.

Skin Superfood | Shea butter is also known for being a natural skin super food with its richness in vitamins A, E, and F.

It provides the necessary fatty acids and nutrients needed for collagen production which in time helps to reduce wrinkles and strengthens and softens the skin.

Shea is also very healing to the skin which can help with acne, small wounds, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Repairing | The anti-inflammatory properties in shea butter help to not only sooth but also to repair inflamed skin and skin conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea.

It can also work wonders to gently repairs skin damage such as sunburns and rashes.

Shea is considered to be one of the best anti-aging remedies for skin either to help reduce aging in mature skin or to prevent premature aging and fine lines.

It helps to increase circulation to the skin and encourages cell renewal to help replace damaged skin cells.

 

Butters can for some skin types, be a bit heavy so some of my favorite ways to use shea butter is as a heavy-duty moisturizer for areas with drier skin such as feet, elbows, and hands.

Any kind of butter can be combined with softer oils to create a smoother texture at room temperature if so desired.

I personally always buy my shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Monthly Chats | Rekindling Creativity and Holiday Preparations

Shop Talk | I got ahead of my schedule in October and was able to make all of my Christmas soaps several weeks earlier then planned which allowed for an earlier release date.

In fact, my Christmas soap release happened only a few days ago and if you missed the shop update you can find the new soaps here.

November has also been about brain storming new product ideas. Soap is great on its own but every shop should have a few extra options and so I have been deciding on what new additions will come first.

Finding dependable brands and online stores that provide eco-friendly and recyclable packaging has also been a priority since I want to offer beautiful but environmentally safe packaging for my products.

 

Slow Moments | I must admit that November was a pretty busy month for me as I hustled to get all business things prepared and ready so that December could be as stress free as possible.

December is by far my favorite month out of the year and so I did everything that I could think to do to free up as much of that time as possible.

I have taken the time to enjoy November as well, though. Especially reveling in the crisp weather and abundance of fallen leaves.

I have kept a variety of candles burning and have even adopted the cozy habit of heating up a flax seed pack to tuck into bed when its a little more chilly.

Cold weather tends to bring out my softer and slower side so I have been making those small but pleasant moments a priority.

 

Thoughts | I have rediscovered a few things this month and have felt a little more encouraged with the holidays coming up so soon.

The desire to get back into sketching popped up mid November and I have since dabbled in some rough sketching and it has given me a sense of calm that always makes me question why I ever stopped.

I have also started to get back into holistic health which is what I took college in and at one point was very involved with.

Life happened and I  slowly lost touch with my more holistic and healthy side and though I still practice self-care and slower living, I have finally realized that taking care of my health is also a form of self-love and care.

I have been crawling out of bed to do some gentle exercises in the chilly morning air, drinking more herbal tea, and have recently bought a book and hope to start reading more and staring at my phone less.

 

Black Friday Soap Sale!

I have been meaning to have a soap sale on the Etsy shop but just haven’t been able to nail down a specific date which is why a black friday sale just seemed to make sense.

This sale will go on for two days to allow for a more reasonable time period for shoppers, more details and updates will be available on the Tangerine and Me instagram page.

Black Friday Soaps |

Cucumber and French Green Clay Soap

Strawberry and Rose Clay Soap

Mandarin and Grapefruit Soap Chips

Earl Grey Tea Soap

Grapefruit Activated Charcoal Soap

 

If your interested in the sale and wish to look further into it you can just go on over to the shop here.