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soap and basilWhen things start to melt, I get really excited. Maybe it is the fact that I can see my lawn again, or just that the air is starting to lose that cold little nip. Even though I can't pin down exactly what it is, the promise of springtime excites me.

With Spring's arrival, though, comes some new concerns. Capri pants and short sleeved shirts, for example. Not only do you have to start shaving your legs again, but you have got to do something about that winter dry skin.

Read on for recipes to get your skin ready to be bared, with scents to bring the fresh springtime air right into your bath.

Springtime Soap

If you are a cold process soapmaker (I'll also include a variation for the melt and pour soaper), you are going to love this recipe for Springtime Soap. It is moisturizing, slightly exfoliating and smells of spring -- green and earthy, yet light and fresh.

16 oz. rice bran oil (or olive oil)
6 oz. coconut oil
4 oz. shea butter
4 oz. palm kernel oil
1 oz. cocoa butter
1 oz. jojoba

Melt all hard oils slowly, then add liquid oils. Add your lye solution and bring to trace as you normally would. I'm going to let you figure out your own lye and liquid amounts, for safety. Just enter the recipe in to the MMS Lye Calculator. The amounts will be different depending on whether you use the olive or the rice bran oil and how much you like to superfat your recipe. I like 5-6%.

At trace, add:

1 TB + 1 tsp. lavender essential oil
1/2 tsp. peppermint essential oil
1/2 tsp. basil essential oil
1/2 tsp. patchouli essential oil

Mix well and add:
1/2 TB ground basil leaves
1/2 TB ground peppermint leaves
These come out perfectly if you grind them in a spice grinder.

Pour into your mold and continue on with unmolding and cutting as you normally would for any batch of soap you'd make.

For a refresher on basic soapmaking instructions and safety procedures, visit here. Always check your recipe with a lye calculator for safety.

To use these additives with melt-and-pour soap, simply melt and cool 2 pounds of soap as you normally would, add the essential oils and the herbs and pour into molds.

All Over Body Scrub

Use this rich scrub in the shower to smooth away rough spots on heels, knees and elbows. It will also slough off dry, dead skin and enrich skin with moisture and emollients. You'll be capri-pants ready!

1 c. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground peppermint leaves
2 oz. shea butter
1 oz. olive oil
1 tsp. jojoba

1/2 tsp. lavender
8 drops peppermint essential oil
8 drops basil essential oil
8 drops patchouli essential oil

Melt shea just to soften and mix other liquids and essential oils with the shea. Blend peppermint leaves into the salt and mix with shea mixture. Store in an airtight container in your shower and scrub those rough spots away.

Springtime Hair Perfume and Tonic

When the spring breezes blow through your hair, it becomes infused with that fresh clean scent. Why not help it along with some hair perfume. This is easy to make and will give your hair a hint of scent and great shine too.

4 oz. rosemary hydrosol
25 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops geranium essential oil
5 drops patchouli essential oil
5 drops Atlas cedarwood essential oil

Mix well, pour into a spray bottle and spritz hair anytime and often. Shake well before use.

Celebrate Spring's arrival with these recipes to refresh your skin, hair and spirit.


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