Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions & After-Sun Relief - Part 3

Greetings to Everyone! I'm feeling like summer is ending early up here this year in my northern neck of New England. The gardens are not as vibrant anymore - still yielding vegetables and berries - but their leaf colors are beginning to wane and wither. The grasshoppers are singing loudly all day and into the evening, which usually heralds the beginning of fall, and the light is decidedly early fall - not quite as blindingly bright as during the height of summer. This is all okay with me as I don't enjoy the heat. Anything over 75 degrees is too hot for me, but early chill is not so welcome right now either. Hmmmm . . . Mother Nature seems to have something up her sleeve this year to surprise me with . . . not unlike she is acting in the rest of the world which is in major flux during this past decade! There's nothing so constant as change - that's for sure.

Anyway . . . on with today's continuing topic of natural skin care for sun exposed skin. I'm going to share with you a recipe for an oh-so-emollient and wonderfully fragrant body oil that I'm sure you're bound to adore. Enjoy!

Tropical Creamy Body Oil

This oil is designed for the die-hard sun worshipper who tans easily and rarely burns. Its SPF is low but the aromatic pleasure it delivers ranks high. It may make you want to bake in the sun all day - but don't! It's highly emollient and beneficial for any part of the body in need of softening, conditioning, and rejuvenating. I regularly use it as a bath and body oil to fend off dry skin - especially in the winter.

1/2 cup coconut base oil (extra-virgin; unrefined)
1/2 cup jojoba base oil
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
- A few drops of coconut fragrance oil (Optional, but smells divine! Follow manufacturer's directions on the bottle for appropriate amount to add to 1 heaping cup of oil product.)

In a small saucepan over low heat or in a small double boiler, warm the base oils and cocoa butter until the coconut oil and cocoa butter have just melted. Remove from heat and stir the mixture with a spoon or small whisk for 15 seconds to thoroughly blend. Add the fragrance oil (if desired) and stir again.

Pour the blend into a storage container, such as a plastic squeeze bottle, and cap when almost cool. Allow the mixture to thicken for 12 hours before usage. Recipe will yield approximately 1 1/8 cup of body oil.

Note: If the temperature of your storage area is above 76 degrees F, the product will maintain a liquid consistency. If it's below 76 degrees F, it will be much thicker. To soften before use, set container in a shallow pan of hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. Shake bottle vigorously prior to each use.

No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 2 years.

Application Tips:
Apply this oil immediately after a bath or shower to seal in moisture and prevent evaporation before heading into the sun. It is very concentrated; begin with 2 teaspoons and use more if necessary. If your skin is greasy and looks like an oil slick, you've used too much. Make sure to massage it in real well. Allow to sink into skin for 10 minutes before getting dressed. Also remember to reapply it during and after sun exposure to ensure that skin feels velvety soft and nourished.

In my next blog, we'll conclude this series on Sun Sense with a recipe for Aloe After-Sun Relief Spray. Good hydrating skin medicine for all skin types. Until then, be happy, be well, and take care in the sun. Blessings Everyone!

NOTE: Portions of this blog were adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes" by Stephanie Tourles, 2007, Storey Publishing. The information contained within is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sun Sense: Tanning Potions & After-Sun Relief - Part 2

Hello Everyone . . . humid and sticky today. Thank goodness we've had some much needed rain - unlike the mid-section of the country that is just shy of becoming the Sahara. I and my garden count our blessings! I didn't have a very good weekend, health-wise, that is . . . came down with that terrible, rather violent, stomach bug that has been floating around New England as of late. Husband inherited it last night. My prayers are with any of you who "catch" it. It's the worst stomach bug I've ever had - and I've had my fair share throughout my life. My herb friend "iced strong ginger tea" came to the rescue!

Anyway . . . on to today's topic: Part 2 of Tanning Potions and After-Sun Relief. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite recipes for conditioning your skin before, during, and after sun exposure. Hope it is to your liking!

Sunscreen Body Oil - Approximate SPF of 10

The ingredients of this oil combine to form a very hydrating, skin-nourishing blend. It pampers your skin prior to sun exposure and prepares it for environmental assault. Plus, if you find yourself suffering from sunburn; windburn; or an itchy rash from sea, sand, salt, or chlorine; this formula is ultra-soothing and aids in healing all irritations. NOTE: It is not a high SPF blend, so don't think it will substitute for a non-chemical high SPF sunscreen if that is what you need. If you are medium-to-fair skinned, then I recommend that you use this as a pre-and post-sun exposure skin conditioner, not as your primary sunscreen.

1/2 cup jojoba oil
1/4 cup sesame oil, refined or unrefined - not the toasted variety! (note that the unrefined will have the deep aroma of sesame seeds and that scent will dominate the entire formula)
1/4 cup aloe vera juice - not gel (the gel is too lumpy to blend smoothly)
3 teaspoons vitamin E oil

Add all ingredients to a storage container such as an 8-ounce, plastic squeeze bottle. The aloe vera juice is water-based and will separate out (as if you were making an oil and vinegar salad dressing), so the formula must be vigorously shaken each time prior to usage.

No refrigeration is required if the product will be used within 2 weeks. If refrigerated, the oil-blend will keep for 4 to 6 months. The oil portion will thicken or harden when chilled but will liquefy when allowed to warm to room temperature.

Application Tips:
Apply to the entire body immediately before and repeatedly during sun exposure, and after. The base oils won't leave an oily film if massaged in thoroughly (unless too much is applied).

In the next blog, I will share another recipe that can be used to care for your sun-ravaged skin, but I also like to use it during the winter to preserve valuable moisture when my skin tends to get parched from dry, indoor heat. If you like the aroma of fresh coconuts, you're sure to love it! Until then . . . be well, be happy, and live life to the fullest!

NOTE: This blog is by Stephanie Tourles and was adapted from her book, Organic Body Care Recipes, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.