Spray on Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

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So while I simply love my original recipe for natural deodorant, I do find that some people aren’t able to use it because of their sensitivity to baking soda and / or corn starch. If over-applied, even individuals with lower sensitivity may find they need to take a break from it every once in a while, as baking soda does tend to be mildly abrasive. So I have a great alternative for you – which has been working very well for my hubby who works long, sweaty days outdoors in construction – is there a better test for this, really? I even enjoy alternating using my baking soda deodorant with this one once in a while, if my pits need a vacay from the baking soda. And it is incredibly easy to make!

All you need is:

A small spritzer bottle,
One part freshly squeezed lemon juice,
One part alcohol free witch hazel like THIS one.

Combine in the bottle, shake and spray! If you don’t have witch hazel around, you can even skip it altogether and just use the lemon juice, although I think the witch hazel does improve the effectiveness, as well as being tonifying for your skin. The shelf life will also reduce without the witch hazel. This recipe DOES need to be kept in the fridge, which is one reason why my first recommendation is always my original recipe. But I personally don’t find it that inconvenient to just spray it on in the kitchen instead.

You can even just rub some juice from a sliced lemon on your armpits, if you don’t have a spritz bottle. Yup, just a lemon. Just rub it on there and go. Keep the slice in a container (you might want to mark it: “this lemon for armpits only”) in the fridge. My husband found this somehow unappealing, and thus this recipe was born. But hey, if it works for you, and is easier, go for that option instead!

Give it a few minutes to air out on your pits, to avoid rubbing it all off on you shirt when you put it on. And do beware of freshly shaven armpits, the lemon juice might give you a bit of a sting if you’ve nicked yourself anywhere!

How easy is that? No aluminum or other toxic ingredients, incredibly cheap, and amazingly effective. Hope you have success with it!

Keep It Simple Sunscreen!

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So I posted my first sunscreen recipe a while back, and am extremely sorry to say that the consistency of the recipe has not proven itself to be reliable. It seems to work fine as a sunblock, we haven’t had any burns with it on (unless we’ve been in extreme conditions or forgotton to reapply) – but I really hate making the lotion, and find that it separates, gets gummy and develops hard bits in it after a while. Furthermore, I find the clean-up ridiculous using a food processor.

So…..apologies to any of you who have had mixed results with that recipe. I know when to admit I haven’t gotten something totally right, and this was one of those times!

But I have good news for you! A new, SIMPLE recipe is here! I have now tried and tested this recipe and I think it is not only mountains easier to make, but clean-up is easier, and the lotion is of a much better consistency. It glides on super smooth, and the zinc oxide blends much nicer without any chunks. I have omitted the aloe verathat was in my past recipe because I think it was contributing to the lumpiness and lack of emulsification, being water based and not oil based. If you would like to include aloe in your sun exposure regimen, I suggest making a spray out of food grade aloe juice and applying it after being in the sun πŸ™‚

And it WORKS! I am talking moderate exposure, of course. I haven’t tried this in the desert in Arizona. If you are out and about at a spray park for a few hours, at the park, spending the day at the beach (with some shade time interspersed) and reapplying once or twice, you are golden. Literally ;). I can’t attest for severe conditions, as I don’t expose my family to them – we do moderate sun exposure and seek shade often. The only time I’ve burned with this lotion on is while standing in a paddle pool with my son from 12 pm – 2 pm, after having applied it at like 9 am, and likely having the stuff on my back partially rubbing off in the car (read: human error). My son has never burned with it on, including during that same time in the pool :). Please re-apply after swimming or extended water play, as this sunscreen is not entirely waterproof (I haven’t met a sunscreen that really is, frankly).

And in case you’re new here, or you’ve forgotten, check out these few articles on the toxic nature of commercially produced, chemical based sunscreen, and do some additional research for yourself:

EWG’s “The Trouble with Sunscreen Chemicals”
Mercola’s Sunscreen Guide

My recipe utilizes only TWO ingredients, both of which contribute to the SPF of the recipe, extra virgin coconut oil, and non-nano zinc oxide. “Non-nano” zinc oxide means that it is not penetrating your skin’s mucous barrier, and going into your bloodstream. You can buy non-nano zinc oxide online at New Directions Aromatics, or at many soap making shops or bulk ingredient stores like The Soap Dispensary. I buy my coconut oil at Costco – they have a very affordable extra virgin organic oil there, and it seems to always be in stock.

Sure, you can buy zinc oxide based sunscreen, but holy moly does it ever put a dent in your wallet – and if you don’t use it all within season, don’t expect it to have held together for next year! So I choose to make my own, cheaply and simply.

So let’s get started on how to make super easy, inexpensive, low toxin sunscreen.

1). Start with one cup of softened or completely melted coconut oil. I prefer softened only, if possible.
2). Put in a bowl big enough to mix it in with an electric mixer with beaters.
3). Add 1/4 cup zinc oxide, being careful not to inhale any (wear a mask if possible). Although fairly benign on your skin, you do not want to inhale the stuff.
4). Beat together the mixture until very well blended.
5). Put mixture in the fridge for 5-15 minutes, depending on how soft your oil was to begin with. You want the oil to cool significantly, but not become very hard or solid.
6). Beat the mixture again until it develops soft peaks and takes on the texture of a thick lotion. If it does not seem to be getting creamy, only staying soupy, you need to refrigerate a bit longer and try again.
6.5). If you would like to add some mosquito repellent qualities to your recipe, add about 10-15 drops of citronella essential oil to your recipe now, and continue blending.
7). And you’re done! Store the mixture in a cool location, but preferably not in the fridge, or it will get too hard. What you can do is store it in the fridge for longer periods of non-use, and then take it out the day before you plan on using it. If it is super hot in your house, or if you plan to take it with you to the beach and leave it in a hot bag – store it with a freezer pack so it stays cool. The ingredients will separate if it totally melts. If this happens, not to worry, just repeat steps 5 & 6 πŸ™‚

If you mix the same proportions as me, you will end up with a sun lotion with about an SPF of 30. But you can add more zinc if you wish, to increase the SPF – the higher proportion of zinc in the recipe, the higher the SPF – supposedly the percentage of zinc you add is your recipe’s SPF; and coconut oil has an SPF of between approx 5-10.

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*A note about clean-up: I caution you from just putting your bowl and beaters directly into the dishwasher or sink prior to doing a wipe down with paper towel. This will likely result in a lovely greasy film spreading all over your entire load of dishes, that you will need to hand wash to remove. I almost never use paper towel or any other disposable cleaning product in my house, but I DO use it for cleaning up zinc oxide sunscreen. It is quite hard to clean off, because it is greasy and not very permeable (hence making it a great barrier for sun protection, but not so great a barrier to clean through). So I suggest wiping as much as you can off your utensils and bowl with paper towel, and then hand washing them in a sink by themselves so as not to get the sunscreen residue all over everything. You’ve been warned!

For low sun exposure, I just use my Whipped Body Butter, or plain coconut oil. How easy is that, just rubbing on some coconut oil?

I can’t wait to hear what you think about this new recipe. I am super excited about how easy it is to make, and how effective it has been. Let me know how it goes!

All natural bug spray!

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So I know this has been a long time coming, but I really wanted to test it out. This recipe combines a lot of tried and true ingredients for homemade bug sprays. Although this recipe mostly targets mosquitos and certain flies, apparently it offers moderate protection from ticks as well – although I really have no sound way of proving this at all, as I have not knowingly exposed myself to any.

I know that when I am out in my garden or sitting on my patio, the mosquitoes leave me quite alone when I am wearing this! But I imagine that if you are in a crazily mosquito infested deep woods scenario, it might not be foolproof. So keep this in mind. I urge you to try it out for yourself in a situation of lighter exposure, and then move towards more intense situations gradually. Also be aware that all bodies are different, and certain people tend to attract mosquitoes and bugs more than others, be it due to amount of CO2 they are releasing, or something about their blood composition – although this seems to be a relative mystery, it does seem to be a reality.

I’ll start with my recipe, and then offer a few other suggestions to naturally keep mosquitoes and bugs away from your campsite or backyard. This is a ‘combine and go’ bug spray, so it is an easy one if you have all the ingredients on hand:

In a bowl or large pyrex pourable measuring cup, combine:

1/4 cup whole leaf aloe vera juice
1/4 cup diluted, alcohol free witch hazel formula (like THIS one)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups filtered or distilled water
30 drops citronella essential oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil

Stir well, and pour through a funnel into a spray mister bottle. Shake to mix further. Spray on all parts of your body, and if in tougher conditions, even on your clothes and hair. The mosquitoes will sometimes bite you right through your jeans if you omit these areas! It should not stain most clothing, especially if you are only applying a light mist.

And there you go! I recommend keeping this product refrigerated if you are storing it for long periods (to prolong shelf life), but it should be fine in your backpack or camping kit over the weekend or whatnot.

Some other tricks to keep the bugs away:
Burn citronella candles. These are great for keeping the mosquitoes away from a contained, small area, like around your campsite or back patio. I do not recommend burning these in a more enclosed space, as they are usually made of parrafin, which can be toxic if inhaled in large quantities for prolonged periods. If you can find a non-parrafin citronella candle, like one made with beeswax, even better – and let me know if you find one!

Stay away from standing water, and remove any from your backyard. Things like bird baths and backyard ponds are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and should be avoided, unfortunately, if you want to banish the bugs. And if you are camping, obviously try and stay away from any boggy or marshy areas.

In an area a little ways (at least 10 metres) from where you are camping / hanging out, put a bowl of baking soda out, and combine it with vinegar. This lets off a bunch of CO2 for a short period, and fools the mosquitoes into thinking someone is exhaling over there. Keeps them distracted and confused for maybe fifteen minutes or so. If you want to prolong the reaction, keep a bunch of small bowls of baking soda out, and then add some vinegar to one every fifteen minutes or so. This is time consuming, but helpful if you are desperate!

Let me know how this bug spray works for you, I would love to hear your feedback on how it works in more intense situations, in different climates, and for different bodies!

Multipurpose Skin Ointment

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Way back when I promised you my ointment recipe. I wanted to really give it a good test before putting it out there. I just LOVE this ointment for our family’s skin issues. This recipe is a very effective balm for lots of problems, such as: eczema, psoriasis, generally chapped skin, rashes, mild burns – try it for anything!**

Melt together, stirring constantly, in a double boiler on medium-low heat (see my FAQ for an explanation of double boiling):

1 part coconut oil
1 part beeswax pellets (organic, preferably)
1 part cocoa butter

Remove from heat, wait to cool for about 3 minutes while still stirring, and then mix in (per 3 tbsp or so of base ingredients):
15 drops cedarwood essential oil*
15 drops rosemary essential oil*

*Please make sure you are using high quality oils, as pure as possible, to get their maximum benefits. A few highly reputable companies are doTERRA, Young Living, and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Pour / spoon into desired container immediately and allow to cool, in the fridge if desired. Should be good to remove in about 5 minutes. Finished product will be somewhat hard – use a fingernail to remove some and soften between fingertips when applying. Can be applied to the face as well (I use it a lot in the creases of my nose) but MAY be pore clogging if used in excess, due to the high beeswax content. Keep applying as often as needed until the issue resolves!

If you are breastfeeding, apply the balm with some of your freshly expressed breast milk, and you will get brilliant results. Breast milk is a fabulous tonic for the skin!

**For pimples / acne related issues, do not apply this balm – it may aggravate the issue by preventing the oils in the pimple to escape. Instead, try using my deodorant recipe to treat a fresh pimple – it will dry it out really well. Apply a thick coating of it directly to the pimple and allow to sit overnight.

Hope this does wonders for your skin troubles! I also sell this balm if you can’t make it yourself. Drop me a line and we can arrange for local pickup!

I bought my domain – Let’s have another giveaway!

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So I finally bought my domain. Wahoo! Big step. But now I really need to make some income so my hubby feels like it’s money well spent. Can you help me spread the word about my blog & business? If you can get my facebook page to 200 likes, I will give away a summer skincare set of some chocolate peppermint body butter, a bug repellent SPF 25 sunscreen, and a lavender face & body scrub.

I will run this giveaway through Rafflecopter as well, through the link below (if it’s not up yet, come back in a few minutes)! You will earn 1 entry for liking DIY Jayne on Facebook, 1 for tweeting about it, and another for following my Twitter account. PLEASE enter through the Rafflecopter link, as I use this tool to randomly and fairly choose a winner. If you don’t use the rafflecopter link and follow the instructions there, you won’t be entered.

Share with your friends to spread the word, and keep on DIY-ing! The winner will be announced when we hit 200 likes on Facebook πŸ™‚

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ON RAFFLECOPTER!

DIY your own Natural Sunscreen EASILY and CHEAPLY!

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UPDATE: (July 21, 2014) I have now posted a preferred sunscreen recipe for you HERE. I have found that the recipe below, although providing adequate sun protection, does not reliably emulsify every time, and sometimes develops a grittiness or chunky quality over time. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

So it’s that time of year again where we may think about starting to reach for the sunscreen when spending long periods of time outside. As many of us have now realized, most traditional sunscreen is quite toxic, and (ironically) contains many carcinogens. And if you know this, you know that the natural alternatives are NOT cheap. You are looking at twenty to thirty bucks a bottle for some of the store-bought alternatives.

Now, this wasn’t acceptable to me, so I thought, hey, why don’t I try making my own? Understandably, it is one of those ‘riskier’ DIY exploits to jump on. I felt like, man, if I screw this up, I might end up with a wicked sunburn. Yikes! And myself and my immediate family members (including my two year old), are pasty white.

BUT, after some substantial research, I decided it was worth a shot. So, last year, I whipped up a batch and tried it out. And it worked AMAZING. I was overjoyed to find that neither myself, my husband, or my son burned while wearing it. That being said, we weren’t spending all day on the beach in Florida. We are looking at a couple hours at a water park with moderate amounts of clothing on. I am one for everything in moderation, and I include my sun exposure in that category – I am just not one for baking in the sun all day.

BUT, I do know of some Moms who use very similar recipes and find it is also pretty good for heavier sun exposure. That also being said, just know that I am not PERSONALLY attesting to this.

My recipe relies on two active ingredients that are said to provide a physical barrier to harmful UV exposure. These ingredients are zinc oxide and extra virgin coconut oil. Some folks use just the coconut oil with decent success, but since my pasty skin is so vulnerable, I really felt I needed to add in the zinc oxide as well.

You do need to source the zinc oxide in an unusual location, as it is not something that is widely available in most stores. You can buy zinc oxide online HERE at New Directions Aromatics, or locally at The Soap Dispensary or another similar soap making shop. Please make sure that the zinc oxide you use is non-nano, which basically means it is not readily absorbing through your skin into your bloodstream. While it is a less toxic alternative, it is not completely benign, and should not be used internally or inhaled.

Alternatively if you just cannot source the zinc oxide powder, I have a suggestion (not as toxin free, mind you, as it includes petroleum products) using diaper cream below – wait for it :). Not my first choice, but an option!

Anyways, after that lengthy introduction, here is my recipe for sunscreen that supposedly results in around 20-25 SPF:

1 part non-nano zinc oxide powder
1 part food grade aloe vera gel
4 parts extra virgin coconut oil
OPTIONAL: Add 10 drops per half cup of sunscreen citronella essential oil to make your sunscreen double as a mosquito repellent.

IMPORTANT: Mix in a well ventilated area, with a mask on. Once mixed, the zinc oxide is fine, but it is NOT to be inhaled as it can accumulate in your lungs. Not to scare you, but just wear a mask like this one and you will not only look wicked awesome, but you will be perfectly fine πŸ™‚

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PROCESS UPDATED ON MARCH 4, 2014:

Start by melting your coconut oil in a double boiler (see my FAQ for an explanation). Add your zinc oxide, and mix well until there is not much left stuck on the bottom of your bowl. Next, transfer this mixture to a food processor (the sunscreen is REALLY hard to clean out of the processor afterwards, so if your budget allows it, I would have a separate food processor for your body products), and blend for at least five minutes.

Add your aloe vera gel (I personally like Lily of the Desert’s products) and citronella. Blend for another five minutes. The aloe vera is in there to be soothing to sun exposed skin, as well as acting as a bit of a liquefier for our mixture. It is not 100% necessary to functionality of the recipe, so if need be, you can omit it. I just find it is a nicer product with it included. The citronella acts as a natural mosquito repellent – and it smells nice, too πŸ™‚

NOTE: It is not advisable to hand mix this recipe, as the zinc oxide tends to just separate if not mixed very vigorously with a processor. If you find that, when applied, your sunscreen contains a lot of white flecks, rather than being more uniformly white, you may need to process it longer.

*If you absolutely cannot find zinc oxide powder, you can use Penaten or some other zinc oxide based diaper rash ointment, and mix in double or triple the amount you would have used if you had the zinc oxide powder. I don’t recommend this health wise, as there are petroleum products in these creams, and the zinc is not likely to be non nano, but if you need to, it’s still better than the toxic regular sunscreen, and a LOT cheaper than the store bought naturals!

And there you have it! This sunscreen will go on a bit white-ish (especially if you use the diaper rash cream) but I find that to be the case with most store bought natural sunscreen as well. This recipe also is not waterproof. You WILL need to reapply after a swim or spending a lot of time in a water park. You just can’t make a waterproof sunscreen that is satisfyingly free of major toxins. So keep this in mind! And it IS greasy. That is just the nature of pretty much all natural, physical barrier sunscreen. I haven’t found any, storebought or not, that is not greasy to some extent.

If you find you get a burn using this sunscreen, either consider upping the amount of zinc oxide you use (just stir in some more into your current batch if you need to), or apply it more often. Another problem could be that you are applying the lotion “too thin” – you want to make sure you have a thicker layer on, as this is a BARRIER sunscreen, not a chemical based one.

I hope this recipe works for your family, and saves you some money too!

Odour Busting Deodorant!

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It’s time for the big reveal of my amazingly simple deodorant recipe! This was one of the first home recipes I perfected. I have never really been happy with the results using commercially made natural deodorant, nor am I satisfied using aluminum laden carcinogenic antiperspirants. You won’t believe how effective this recipe is, and how easy it is to make! You can use it preventatively, OR as an instant odor neutralizer. You can even use it on stinky feet! As usual, it is super CHEAP to make, too – and you can keep it right on your bathroom counter.

Thus this great, incredibly effective easy recipe:

1 part coconut oil
1 part cornstarch OR arrowroot powder
1 part baking soda
OPTIONAL: 2 drops per 1/4 cup of ingredients tea tree essential oil (or another of your choice, although I recommend tea tree for its antimicrobial properties).

In a double boiler on low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and pour immediately into desired container – I choose to use a small mason jar and later apply with my finger. Others may choose to fill a toilet paper roll or old deodorant container and rub directly on your pits – I personally find I end up applying too much this way. Allow to set in the freezer to avoid ingredients separating / settling. Results in a very thick paste.

Apply sparingly – a little goes a long way (you don’t want to overapply this stuff or it may end up being a bit irritating)! Also works great for drying out pimples – apply a blob directly to the pimple and let sit overnight.

CAUTIONS / TROUBLESHOOTING:
Not little black dress friendly – may leave a white residue (should not stain your clothes, though).
May melt a bit in a hot environment, but does not change its effectiveness!
If you develop a rash, discontinue use for a 3-5 days, and try applying in smaller amounts at less frequent intervals. If it still bothers you, you may be sensitive to one of the ingredients – try my alternative spray on deodorant HERE.