Join me each week as I explore the naturally aromatic side of DIY. Helpful recipes for your "scentual" pleasure: from essential oils, herbs, and other botanicals, to soap-making, body care products, and other useful blends.
Making your own bath
and body products is good fun on so many levels. Not only do you get to concoct what you like using all-natural ingredients, but you can customize your products for the season.
Here we are, about to embark on the three-month stretch that we call summer
. My three favorite products to make for the sweltering days: powder, body spritz, and skin soother (for after sun exposure). After the break, I'll share recipes and scent blends.
To keep your skin velvety smooth and dry this summer, body powder is a good choice. I use arrowroot powder for its healing properties, while steering clear of cornstarch (which can foster yeast growth) and talc
(which can compromise lung function, to say the least).
Adding some bentonite or kaolin clay
helps the absorbency of your powder, and ground herbs can be added for their beneficial properties -- my favorites are calendula, chamomile, and lavender
. Here's my favorite basic recipe:
- 1 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon clay of your choice
- 1 teaspoon ground herb of your choice
- 40-60 drops essential oil blend of your choice
Combine dry ingredients, then add scent blend, dispersing as thoroughly as possible. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix the essential oils in with the powder. Store in an airtight container.Body spritz
On a hot, dry day, there is nothing like a body spritz to kick that evaporative cooling
into gear. Just having that wet mist on your skin is enough to make you feel as though the temperature has dropped to a bearable one.
You can keep it simple and just use a hydrosol as your spritz, getting the healing benefits of hydrosols
as well, or you can use distilled water with essential oils added, customizing the blend. You can even add a little vodka or other clear alcohol to help with evaporation. Try this basic recipe and make it your own:
- 4 oz. distilled water or hydrosol of your choice
- 10-30 drops of essential oil blend
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well before use.
After a long day in the sun, your skin feels it and probably shows it, even if you wore sunscreen. Wouldn't you relish the feel of soothing aloe and jojoba, nourishing your worn-out skin?
This soother could be as simple as some aloe juice with a few drops of lavender essential oil added, or you could make a full-blown body butter with oils to help soothe as well. Sesame oil is a good choice for after-sun skin care, and if you infuse some of your oils with black tea, the tannins really help heal sunburns. A basic butter recipe for after-sun skin care:
- 2 oz. soft butter of your choice (shea, mango, even aloe butter)
- 1/4 oz. beeswax
- 2 oz. + 1 tsp. liquid oil of your choice (sesame, olive, rice bran)
- 50 drops essential oil blend (lavender, geranium, chamomile, peppermint, helichrysum)
Melt the first three ingredients together, let cool for a short time, then add essential oils. Pour into a wide-mouthed container and cool in the refrigerator.The blends
Now that you've got your basic summer recipes, here are some scent blends you can try that really say "summer."
- 1 part patchouli
- 1 part peppermint
- 2 parts orange
- 3 parts lavender
- 1 part geranium
- 1 part vetiver
- 1 part spearmint
- 1 part lime
- 2 parts pink grapefruit
- 1 part cypress
- 3 parts lemon
- 1 part ylang-ylang
- 1 part sandalwood
Not enough? Try these other summer scent blends
if you've not found the one that says "you."