Beard Balm

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It’s the dead of winter and the cold crisp air takes its toll on our skin. To over come the dry itchy skin I pull out the basics of  brown sugar/olive oil/vanilla scrub in the shower and slather in coconut oil after. It leaves you smelling like a day at the beach and moisturized enough to get through another day. That’s all fine and dandy if you like the smell of vanilla and coconut but it’s not very manly.

For the manly beard, that is habitually grown to combat the chill, something else had to be done.  A quick internet search plus a double check of the soap making supplies on hand and an easy Beard Balm was concocted.

Beard Balm:

  • 2 ounces Shea butter
  • 1 ounce Bees wax
  • 4 ounces oil( I had grape seed so used that but coconut works too if you can handle the smell or jojoba or argon…)

You can certainly add any essential oils you like but for a mister who doesn’t like scents, plain worked out well.

I put all ingredients in a glass bowl, microwaved 30 seconds at a time and stirred in between each cycle until all was mostly melted. The stirring will work the last of the bees wax in without having to heat until it is all dissolved. Of course it can be done over a double boiler or however you see fit. Just get it warm enough to melt without boiling.

Then the liquid was quickly poured into two 125 ml mason jars. This set quickly, be ready.

Rub a small amount into your beard and massage in. If you have a soft bristle beard brush to distribute the balm evenly and get it into the skin, so much the better.

Hard working men deserve a little cold weather luxury and every woman knows a softer beard is never a bad thing.

 

 

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Coconut Deodorant

I have been looking for a DIY deodorant that I can use.  The first one I tried was heavy on the baking soda. This was bad, very bad and after the rash and peeling skin healed I found this:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12842/diy-all-natural-coconut-deodorant.html

It is super easy with the option to use no baking soda. Who knew baking soda was harsh on some skin types? Not me. Since I realized I am sensitive I have  not used scent either. 

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It is the same consistency as coconut oil once cooled. A small wide mouth jar means it is finger applied. You do have to touch your arm pits, you’ll get used to it.

Use sparingly and ensure it is absorbed before dressing.

Keeping it natural 🙂

Soap

Tallow & Castile Soap
Tallow & Castile Soap

Spent the day yesterday having a “soap making 101” with my sister. Made two batches; one, a Castile (olive oil) soap and the other the Beef Tallow recipe I have made before. The Castile is supposedly low lather and good for sensitive skin, therefore I left it unscented. The Beef Tallow option is a decently frothy one that I add scent to.

Didn’t take a single picture, even though I had an available photographer…we were busy gabbing as sisters do.

The instructions are straight forward.

  • Measure the water, the lye and combine. Always add lye to water in a well ventilated area, the fumes will take your breath away, not in a good way. Wear long sleeves and gloves, a splash will burn (dilute with vinegar if you spill/splash).Let it rest to come down in heat to the required temperature for your recipe. Toss it in the fridge or outside if you have to more aggressively cool it.
  • Measure your oils and heat slowly, probably have to let these cool a bit too.
  • Add lye to oils, stir/blend with an emulsion blender until trace is reached. You should be able to scrape across the top with the blender and the indent stays
    Fresh out of the mold...
    Fresh out of the mold…

    defined (thick pudding). This is when you add any fragrance you want.

  • Pour into molds, wrap in  a towel to slow down the cooling process. Let sit undisturbed for 18-24 hours.
  • Remove from molds and cut.
  • Let sit on edge with air space between for 4-8 weeks to cure.

Each batch took about an hour to get to the mold stage.

Obviously anything can be used as a mold. Milk cartons are reusable and make a nice 3 1/2 x 2 1/2  inch bar. Line any mold with wax or parchment paper for easy removal.

The oils can be as simple as olive, coconut, shortening, tallow(lard) all available at any grocery store. You can find others on-line or in health food/specialty shops.

My favorite Lemon Grass scent is just an essential oil found at Bulk Barn. I also love a rosemary/mint mix.

I am not into artificial colors so leave my soap the color of soap.

These are sites I have found useful:

This one is great for reducing any recipes you find. I like to take mine down to about 24 oz of oils as that fits perfectly in one milk carton mold. You can name your adjusted recipe, write notes and print it for your records.

http://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx

This one has great step by step instructions and tips.

http://www.islandartisansupply.ca/soapmaking/instruction.html

There are tonnes of recipe sites and videos, take your pick and give it a shot.

Sharing what we learn is fun and I learned how to make yogurt in return…we are all teachers.