Monday, January 12, 2015

Close Shave


Honey Peppermint Shaving Cream

I hope you will forgive another foray into homemade cosmetics. I just can't seem to stop making up recipes! Yesterday I was about to add shaving cream for me, my husband, and our teen to the shopping list when it occurred to me that I could probably make such a product far cheaper than buying it, and of course from all natural ingredients instead of sketchy chemicals. I hit Pinterest and found pretty much every recipe calls for shea butter, which I don't have, and other stuff I'd have to order. Finally, however, I found a body butter recipe that said it could also be used for shaving. I adapted it to fit my needs. The original recipe called for grating lemon zest into the lotion. I don't know about you, but I prefer to have smooth skin and would rather not walk around all day with little pieces of lemon peel stuck to me! Citrus oils are a bad idea anyway for daytime wear because they cause photosensitivity. That is, they make your skin sensitive to the sun and cause you to burn easily. Citrus oils are wonderful for you, however, and are thought to be especially good at improving liver function and helping your body flush itself of persistent chemicals and toxins, so many people recommend ingesting them (and they make water taste so good!) or wearing them "where the sun don't shine", that is any place covered by clothing during daylight hours.


Honey Peppermint Shaving Cream
Honey Peppermint Shaving Cream

1 1/2 cup coconut oil
3 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp peppermint-infused grapeseed oil or 5 drops pure Young Living Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Young Living Valor oil blend

Whip coconut oil until it is fluffy and somewhat expanded. Whisk in remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Store at room temperature in a covered container. Instructions for making peppermint infused grapeseed oil here: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-to-make-and-use-infused-oils.html.

This recipe makes quite a bit of shaving cream, so if you're not making it for an entire family you'll want to halve the recipe or even quarter it. This shaving cream is extremely moisturizing. It allows a close shave and leaves your skin feeling buttery-smooth and soft for hours. I used it on my legs and the gentlemen on their faces and we all got a close shave with no skin irritation. I chose the ingredients carefully for that reason. Honey is a well-known anti-bacterial and soothing agent used to treat burns and cuts for centuries. Peppermint oil is the source of cooling and soothing menthol, and the Valor oil blend contains Frankincense, which also has skin-improving properties. This shaving cream would actually be edible if it didn't use the Valor oil blend, which has some oils that should not be ingested. So, if you want edible shaving cream, leave out the Valor blend. I don't know why you'd want it to be edible, but hey, I don't judge! My husband was eyeing the cream and saying longingly, "It looks like frosting!". While this adapted recipe makes a great shave cream (the citrus peel would definitely clog up a razor), it's really a pretty terrible body butter. We tried it as a lotion, but it's really sticky and gets stickier and stickier as it dries. The stickiness disappears after you rinse it off, but your skin is still really moisturized, so it makes a perfect shaving cream. As with any bath oil or conditioner, use in a shower or bath can make the floor slippery, so use caution when entering and exiting.

Several years ago I heard a terrifying segment on NPR about how all the chemicals used as fragrances are extremely persistent in the environment and scents from lotions and deodorants and soaps are showing up in the water even in the Arctic Circle where hardly anyone lives, and even in places completely uninhabited. Everything we put on or in our bodies ends up to some extent in the water system. An even more disturbing side note to the segment was how surprised the researchers were to find the entire water system is completely impregnated with estrogen from birth control pills and all kinds of hermaphrodite animals are turning up because of it. We bought a water filter after I listened to that! I am really proud, however, that I'm taking steps to reduce the artificial chemicals my family puts into the water supply. Even essential oils do go into the water when you take a shower or whatever, but they aren't manufactured to remain in the environment, so I feel like it's a bit better. I am still using evil commercial deodorant, I'm afraid. I've tried several varieties of natural organic deodorants but that usually prompts my husband to ask, "You ARE wearing deodorant, right?". No one wants to feel like they stink. Maybe replacing other scented cosmetic products we use will help make up for the deodorant!

In an update of a past post, I want to report I woke up with my neck all seized up this morning. This has been an ongoing problem for me for the past 20 years. When my neck "goes out" the muscle tightens so my head is tilted all the way to the side. It hurts desperately inside the muscle, and the skin stings as well. Usually my neck is "out" for several days and it's really hard for me to drive or do anything. But this morning I got up and applied my pain relief oil and within minutes the pain was gone. I didn't even have to take any ibuprofen or anything! After my morning workout (30 minutes on the elliptical, then 5 minutes of ab work and 5 minutes of push-ups followed by a little yoga) the pain was threatening to return, so I applied some more oil and now it's fine again. Make sure to whip up some of that stuff to keep on hand. The recipe's here: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2014/12/wendy-worldwide.html, at the end of a post mostly about dolls. As always, don't forget to like my Naturally Amanda Facebook page for more recipes and information about Young Living, and don't hesitate to contact me to find out how to order Young Living products or become a member.

Honey Peppermint Shaving Cream, all natural and extra-moisturizing

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