Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holiday season getting nearer, you may want to consider making some natural personal care products to give as gifts.  You can buy small jars from craft stores for your home-made creations.

Cinnamon Scrub

This gentle scrub will leave your skin smooth and soft.  The almond meal soothes the skin, while the sugar buffs away dead skin cells.  The cinnamon has antibacterial effect.

2 tbsp. (30 ml) fine-ground almond meal

1 tbsp. (15 ml) rice flour

2 tsp.  (10 ml) caster sugar

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon

Plain yogurt

Combine almond meal, rice flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add enough yogurt to form a gritty paste.

To use, gently massage the scrub into dampened skin, then rinse off.

Store in refrigerator and use within 10 days.

Honey Lip Balm

Conventional lip balms contain petroleum derivatives, etc.  Try this natural balm to keep your lips moist in the winter.

1 tbsp. (15 ml) grated beeswax

2 tbsp.  (30 ml) almond oil

2 tbsp. (30 ml) caster oil (hexane-free)

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cocoa butter

1 tsp. (5 ml) honey

500-IU vitamin E capsule

10 drops rose essential oil

Place beeswax, almond and castor oils, butter and honey in the top of a double boiler.  Melt over low heat, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat.  Add contents of the Vitamin E capsule and rose oil.  Place the pan in a shallow ice-water bath and whisk until mixture becomes creamy.

Spoon the mixture into small jars.  Store in a cool place for up to 6 months.

Peppermint Foot Scrub

Peppermint cools and deodorises the skin and sugar buffs away dead skin cells.  Your feet will feel soft and refreshed with this effective scrub.

1 tbsp. (15 ml) coarse-ground oatmeal

1 tbsp. (15 ml) polenta (cornmeal)

1 tbsp. (15 ml) sugar

2 tsp. (10 ml) dried peppermint leaves

1 tbsp. (15 ml) natural yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

5 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine oatmeal, polenta, sugar and dried peppermint in a bowl.

Add yogurt, lemon juice and peppermint essential oil; mix to form a gritty paste

To use, sit on the edge of a bathtub and massage the mixture into your feet.

Rinse and dry thoroughly, then follow with a rich, natural moisturizer.

FOR THE MEN IN YOUR LIFE:  On average, men shave about 22,000 times during their lifetime, so why not make a soothing shaving cream and calming aftershave balm for them.

Dream Shaving Cream

Olive, jojoba and grapeseed oils are all emollient and replenish moisture; glycerine facilitates blade glide over your skin; witch hazel is useful for inflamed and tender skin; and comforting aloe vera moisturizes and heals.

6 tbsp (90 ml) coconut oil

2 tbsp. (30 ml) witch hazel

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) jojoba oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) grapeseed oil

2 tbsp. (30) aloe vera juice

10 drops each of sandalwood and lavender essential oils

Place coconut oil in a double boiler over low heat and liquefy.

Remove from heat and stir in witch hazel and also the olive, jojoba and grapeseed oils.

Add aloe vera juice and the essential oils.  Using an electric-mixer, beat on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes.  Spoon the mixture into a wide-mouthed jar.

To use, scoop up about 1 tbsp (30 ml) of the shaving cream, warm it between your palms, then smooth it over our face and neck.  After shaving, remove any traces of shaving cream with a warm, damp face cloth.

Sandalwood Aftershave

Sandal wood is antiseptic and also proves a calming, earthy, masculine scent.  Tea tree fights inflammation, spearmint is cooling and rosemary stimulates circulation.

¾ cup (180 ml) witch hazel

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

10 drops sandalwood essential oil

5 drops spearmint essential oil

3 drops rosemary essential oil

2 drops tea tree essential oil

Place all ingredients in a bottle.  To use, shake well and pat onto skin after shaving.