Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Make Your Own Beauty Products

On March 18, eighteen women gathered at the Alberta Avenue Community League to make soap, body butter, and a variety of spa products including oatmeal face mask, strawberry salt scrub, hand massage oil, and sugar rub. Hannah Barrington was the workshop facilitator.

Hannah dons her safety glasses and gloves, fully prepared to measure out the lye for our Olive Oil Soap. 

Olive Oil Soap is made of super simple ingredients (olive oil, water and lye), but the process is finicky- lots of careful measurements and temperature management is required. Add to that the corrosive ingredient lye and two hours of intermittent stirring- most participants agreed that they might leave soap making to industry. There were a few that are still committed to trying it.
 Hannah's super nurse skills were put to use on Becky's red, chemical burned skin. TIP OF THE DAY: If skin comes in contact with Lye, find a lemon or vinegar fast!
Glenda and Jen mix it up at our Strawberry Salt Rub station.
Strawberry Salt Rub Recipe:
1. Mash 3 ripe strawberries. 
2. Mix in 1 Cup sea salt and 1 teaspoon oil (of your choosing). 

Makes 1-2 rubs worth. 
Will keep in fridge for up to two weeks. 
Use to exfoliate hands, feet, or entire body, simply rub and rinse (CAUTION: this can make your tub really slippery).

Participants prepare to make body butter.

One of the easiest skin emollient products to create at home is the solid body butter bar. These are available commercially, often in the roll-up containers. You can make one's own in a jar, old lip balm pots and tubes, etc. 

Basic Butter Bar Recipe:

5 Tbsp Beeswax- buy this at the farmers market or a supply store
5 Tbsp Cocoa Butter- we found it really cheap online or get it from Planet Organic for a price.
5 Tbsp Almond Oil- available at most grocery stores

To make this even more cheaply- add equal portions of Shea Butter [buy it at any African beauty shop like those on 118 Ave] and/or Coconut Oil [buy it at most grocery stores]

1. Combine all ingredients together in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until completely melted. Do not boil! If there are oil vapours, it is too hot.
2. Swirl saucepan to incorporate ingredients thoroughly and remove from heat.
3. Allow the melted mixture to cool slightly before pouring into mould or roll-up application container. Intensely hot liquid will melt or warp plastic containers.
4. Allow to cool completely before application, or removing from mould.
5. If it's too hard, simply reheat and add more oil. If it's too soft, reheat and add more beeswax.

To make lip gloss, add a little more oil in step 1. To colour, you can add some shavings from a nice coloured wax crayon.

For a little scent add 5-12 drops of essential oil after step 2 for desired scent.

The Oatmeal Face mask offered a great opportunity to pause and smell the cucumber. The ladies are soaking their feet in hot water infused with a couple mint tea bags.

Oatmeal Mask Recipe:

1. Grind 4 Tablespoons of oatmeal (coffee grinder will do- the finer the grind, the more likely the oatmeal's healing properties will be absorbed).
2. Mix 2 Tablespoons of honey.
3. Apply mask to face. Relax for ten minutes and rinse off with warm water. 

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