homemade bug spray

How To Make A Homemade Bug Spray

homemade bug sprayIt is spring time again! 🙂 The spring and fall are my favorite seasons. I love the outdoors, the sunshine, and walking barefoot in the grass.

It is the time of year for camping, fishing, or just relaxing on the porch with a good book.

However, I am like a magnet when it comes to bugs. Short trips to the yard to water my struggling tomato vine means a multitude of bites on my legs and arms. I promise that mosquitoes wait for me at the door.

I have had my days when I suffered the heat of long sleeves and thick pants just to enjoy a few moments of fresh air.

For me, it was better than using chemical filled bug repellents. But I can go on like that no longer. I just can’t.

So this year I am pulling out a faithful bug spray recipe inspired by the Wellness Mama blog. I tweaked it just a bit and used ingredients that I had handy around the house.

If you are looking for a natural bug spray that is chemical free and good for the skin…. and smells really good too… then watch how I make a lavender bug spray with just a few ingredients.

I had a chance to try it out in the fall of 2016 and it worked great. Best of all if I had to reapply, it was a wonderful aromatic experience. So much so that all of my family wanted to use it. And it helps that I just happen to be a huge fan of lavender essential oil.

So watch this easy DIY and let’s get ready for some outdoor summer fun!

 

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How do you use a lotion bar do lotion bars expire

Do Lotion Bars Expire

do lotion bars expire 2
Now available in my Etsy store! Local pick only (Greater Cincinnati Area)

Do Lotion Bars Expire

Lotion bars have been around for quite sometime but the concept of solid lotion is still new to some. Do lotion bars expire, is one of the leading questions for new solid lotion bar users.

Lotion bars are usually made with these types of ingredients: butters, oils, and wax.

My favorite ingredients to use when making lotion bars are coconut oil, cocoa butter, lavender essential oil, and beeswax. For vegans, there are other options to replace beeswax like candelilla wax.

With more people reaching for natural oils and butters in their daily beauty care routine, it is important to know how to care for these ingredients and when they expire.

The expiration date of lotion bars depends on a few variables. What ingredients are in the lotion bar? How is the lotion bar stored on a daily basis? Is the lotion bar or its container exposed to water?

Here are the most common ingredients in my lotion bars and their estimated shelf lives. Click here to see my list of oils and there general shelf life.

do lotion bars expire
Coconut Butter Solid Lotion Bar

Cocoa Butter Shelf Life – 2 to 3 years
Shea Butter Shelf Life – 1 to 2 years
Coconut Oil Shelf Life – 2 to 5 years
Beeswax Shelf Life – Indefinite
Candelilla Wax Shelf Life – Indefinite

To help preserve my lotion bars I like to use essential oils that have antimicrobial properties. Sandalwood is a favorite as well as lavender and rosemary essential oils.

These essential oils are natural preservatives that smell wonderful and enhances the use of a solid lotion bar.

To keep your lotion bar on track with the shelf life of its components, you want to store it properly. Most butters, oils, and wax are temperature sensitive. Lotion bars are better preserved when stored in a cool and dry location.

A lotion bar that is exposed to heat above room temperature for long a duration can turn rancid sooner. This can inhibit its moisturizing properties. Depending on the oil ingredients inside, exposure to hot temperatures can also inhibit its pleasant fragrance.

do lotion bars expire
1 ounce tin container

If keeping your lotion bar in a container, keep the inside of the container dry. This helps to preserve the lotion bar and keep bacteria out.

If you have large lotion bars or simply want to keep your bars exposed on your vanity or shelf, just make sure the area is dry.

So, do lotion bars expire? The short answer is yes. Essentially the lotion bars that I typically make should have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months.

If you are purchasing natural lotion bars and there is not an expiration or used by date on the package, feel free to contact the company to confirm.

However, if it is a well made lotion bar, you will likely use it up well before its expiration. I always do! 😉

Do you have tips or questions about lotions bars? Leave me a comment down below!

Love and Blessings!

Candra

HOSL 6-cavity Plain Basic Rectangle Silicone Mould for Homemade Craft Soap Mold, cake mold, Ice cube traySandalwood Oil (Santalum Album) – 100% Pure & Natural – Triple Extra Quality Sandalwood Essential Oil a-santolol 50.28%, b-santalol 28.3% – 1 fl ozYellow Beeswax Bees Wax Organic Pastilles Beards Premium Prime Grade A 100% Pure 16 oz

 

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How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil

How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil

How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil

The benefits of peppermint essential oil can go on and on. It is calming, relieves headaches, increases energy, stimulates hair growth, and relieves dandruff…just to name a few things.

New York Biology is an excellent brand of essential oil. It is 100% pure and the fragrance of their peppermint oil is reminiscent of a candy cane. It is sweet and minty and perfect for a multitude of uses for both hair and skin.

Peppermint essential oil, like other essential oils, are potent. For my scrubs, soaps, and shampoos, just a few drops of essential oil is sufficient. This makes the cost of peppermint oil affordable.

Even though this oil has me excited to make candy cane themed soaps during the holidays, it’s perfect for everyday use. 😉

{Click here to view my soaps and scrubs that are currently selling at my Etsy shop}

Peppermint essential oil adds fragrance and antimicrobial properties to your beauty regimen. When using peppermint oil, you have the benefit of adding a chemical free natural product  If you are looking for ideas on how to use peppermint essential oil, here are a few you can try. 

Watch my video below for more details!

  • Peppermint Essential Oil Sugar Body Scrub
  • Peppermint Essential Oil Soap
  • Add Peppermint Oil to Shampoos and Carrier Oils
  • Peppermint Oil for Aches and pains

 

#NewYorkBiology on Amazon  – New York Biology provided peppermint essential oil in exchange for my honest review. I am not an affiliate. All opinions and reviews are my own.

How do you use peppermint essential oil?

 

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Protect Your Skin With Avenir Lavender Essential Oil

Protect Your Skin With Avenir Lavender Essential Oil

My use of lavender essential oil has progressed from hair growth oil to soap making to spritzing our linens. The uses seem without limits and today I took my Avenir lavender essential oil to the park.

Summer is not officially over. Bugs are still lurking outdoors, waiting for a nibble. To avoid chemical bug repellents, I decided to try Wellness Mama’s homemade bug spray recipe. My essential oil of choice is lavender essential oil.

I mixed together water, natural witch hazel, and vegetable glycerin. Last, I added 50 drops of Avenir’s lavender essential oil. It is 100% pure and non-toxic. With this brand there are no additives or fillers.

Avenir uses steam distillation as their extraction method. The country of origin is Bulgaria.

It is now the end of the day and my bug spray worked great. Once the beautiful fragrance of the lavender oil scented the park air, nearly everyone was reaching for my bottle. 🙂 It doesn’t get any better than smelling lovely while keeping the bugs away.

Check out my video and be sure to give it a thumbs up! 😉

 

If you are interested in the Avenir Oils brand you can Purchase from Avenir’s website here – â€Š.

Top 7 Essential Oils For Eczema

I received Avenir Oils freely in exchange for my honest review. I am not an affiliate.
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sandalwood essential oil lotion bars

Sandalwood Essential Oil Lotion Bars

Sandalwood Essential Oil Lotion Bars

In recent months I have become addicted to sandalwood essential oil.

The fragrance is romantic, woodsy, and sweet. I would love to add a few drops to my diffuser and snuggle in bed for days.

Sadly, I do have to leave the house for work. 🙂 So, I have found ways to take the comfort of sandalwood essential oil with me wherever I go.

One of my favorite uses for sandalwood oil are making lotion bars. A nice floral or square silicone mold creates smaller lotion bars that I can carry on the go.

Adding sandalwood essential oil to my bars makes moisturizing my skin a luxurious tweet! The fragrance is calming and sandalwood oil is wonderful for dry skin.

Using sandalwood oil in skin products is great for treating wounds and sores due to its antiseptic property. Sandalwood essential oil also has antidepressant, calming, and emollient properties.

Before we get into the lotion bar ingredients, I want to share a tip about shopping for essential oils.

Not every brand of essential oil is created equally. Therefore, look for therapeutic grade oils. If you can, find out how a company produces their oils.

Natural Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil is, unfortunately, not cheap. So if a price seems too good to be true, the quality of the oil may be compromised. As a result, the shelf life may be limited or the fragrance may not be quite the same.

For this recipe I used New York Biology sandalwood essential oil*. It is 100% pure and natural. It is not an “oil blend”, but 100% sandalwood essential oil.

NYB’s sandalwood essential oil is triple extra quality therapeutic grade. I never knew there was such a grade! 🙂 It is potent as having a-santalol 50.28% and b-santalol 28.3%.

You can purchase NYB’s oils on Amazon. The sandalwood oil is currently selling for $18.50 for a 1 ounce bottle. The bottle comes with a cap and a glass dropper cap.

Believe it or not, this is a fair price for sandalwood essential oil. The upside to this cost is the effectiveness and potency of this oil. Still, I would leap for joy if I could afford to purchase this oil by the gallon.

I have purchased less quality sandalwood oils before; hoping that maybe I would hit the jackpot. They did not hurt me when applied to my skin and hair, but when compared to higher grade oils, there is no comparison.

So now on to the lotion bars!

Here are the ingredients I use to make Sandalwood Essential Oil Lotion Bars! Measurements will vary depending on the size and quantity of your bars. This recipe is extremely flexible. You may substitute with other oils, butters, and waxes.

  • Coconut Oil – 2 ounces
  • Cocoa Butter – 2 ounces
  • Beeswax – 2 ounces
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil – 5 to 10 drops

You can shop for these or other materials on Amazon:

HOSL 6-cavity Plain Basic Rectangle Silicone Mould for Homemade Craft Soap Mold, cake mold, Ice cube traySandalwood Oil (Santalum Album) – 100% Pure & Natural – Triple Extra Quality Sandalwood Essential Oil a-santolol 50.28%, b-santalol 28.3% – 1 fl ozYellow Beeswax Bees Wax Organic Pastilles Beards Premium Prime Grade A 100% Pure 16 oz

Directions:

In a double boiler, slowly begin melting your beeswax and cocoa butter. After the wax and butter have melted, add coconut oil. Allow your wax, butter,  and oil to melt together. Then give your mix a good stir.

Remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add drops of sandalwood oil and mix thoroughly.

Pour your lotion mix into a silicone mold. Allow to cool until the lotion blend hardens. You can place your filled molds into the refrigerator for a faster cooling time.

Once your lotions bars have hardened, pop them out of the mold and store in a container.

To use, massage the bar into your skin and watch the oils and butters penetrate and moisturize! The fragrance of sandalwood oil is better than any perfume I own. I love it!

Check out my post on how to use sandalwood essential oil for your hair. My husband loves this fragrance too by the way. 😉

 

Have you tried Sandalwood Essential Oil? How do you use it?

Piping Rock – Herbs, Supplements, Essentials Oils and more… Always the best for less! 

*It is an honor to partner with New York Biology. Their oil was sent to me freely for my review. All opinions and experiences are my own.

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essential oils for pain

Essential Oils for Pain by Phytopia

Essential Oils for Pain by Phytopia

Now that I am beyond 30-something, I look to essentials for more than just beauty.

Recovery after a workout or road race is now imperative. In the past I have resorted to over the counter creams for muscle pain, but they don’t always work and often smell terrible.

10K Flying Pig

Over the last two weeks I have used Phytopia’s essentials oils for pain – Pain Away. After a run I experience leg pain. Usually it is hamstring pain and around my calves and ankles.

Running less is not going to happen anytime soon. I love the sport. It is a great way to relieve stress and stay strong.

So I now have to plan for my recovery after a long run or hard workout at the gym. If I am proactive, I can get out of bed the next day. Lol

Pain Away is part of Phytopia’s Clinical Collection. Here are the benefits!

It’s natural.

Phytopia’s essential oils for pain is 100% organic and therapeutic grade. They use top grade carrier and essential oils for their products. This is important since the oil is applied and absorbed into your skin.

Carrier and essential oils in this blend include: peppermint, sunflower, eucalyptus, lavender, and evening primrose. This oil does not contain synthetic chemicals.

To help with the shelf life, this blend is sold in a dark amber bottle. Store in a cool dry place and you’re good to go.

Unlike the medicated scent of most creams, this oil has a nice subtle fragrance. You won’t get odd stares at the gym. 🙂

Relieves pain, soreness, strain and tension.

My after-run pain usually occurs in the lower body, but for those that may suffer from back pain, cramping, or headaches, Pain Away oil offers relief.

When applying this oil to my muscles there is a cooling sensation that helps to alleviate any tension right away. This oil works best for me when applying right after a run, as the soreness is beginning to settle in.

After applying the oil I simply relax and do a little bit more stretching.

The oil releases from the bottle in small drops. With essential oils, more does not always mean better. I start with just a few drops on each leg and then massage it in.

Then maybe a few more, if aching persist. Recommended usage for children and adults is printed on the label.

Phytopia’s Pain Away comes in a 50ml bottle, so one bottle will last a long time.

The blending is already done.

Pain Away takes the guess work out of blending oils.

The appropriate quantities of each oil has been measured and tested for optimum results. And if you do not already own all of these oils, you don’t have to break the bank purchasing them individually.

I plan on distributing some of this oil to my family. If they enjoy it as much as I have, I will purchase Phytopia’s Pain Away. It is available on Amazon and currently selling for $39.99 

Please note that my positive review of essentials oils for pain should not replace the advice and recommendation of your physician. If you have persistent pain or have other medical concerns, consult with your doctor.

Have you tried products from #PhytopiaUSA? Have you tried essentials oils for pain? What were your results?

 

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7 Beauty Products Under $10 + $10 Amazon Card Giveaway

7 Beauty Products Under $10 + $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (I’ve included a few oils too!)

There is often a high price for higher quality beauty products. Fortunately there are quality beauty products on the market that will give your budget a sigh of relief.

I have compiled a short list of my favorite beauty products that you can find under $10. Some are natural or contain natural ingredients. Even though they are on the cheap, they will leave you with amazing hair and skin.

Check out my list of beauty products under $10 and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below. I wanted to throw in one more giveaway before the summer comes to an end.

Think you can’t purchase much with a 10 dollar gift card? I beg to differ. 😉

My Favorite 7 Beauty Products Under $10!

BEAUTYOILS.CO Camellia Oil – This is a 100% pure cold-pressed face beauty oil moisturizer. You can purchase a 1 fluid ounce bottle for around $8.95 on Amazon. 1 ounce doesn’t sound like much, but just 4 or 5 drops covers my entire face and leave my skin feeling silky soft and moisturized.

 

 

Hannah Natural Henna Powder – This henna is 100% henna. There are no chemicals. I have been coloring my hair with Hanna Natural products for almost two years now. The color of the henna (and Hannah Natural indigo powder) lasts for several months. Henna not only adds a lovely reddish color to my hair, but also strengthens my hair. It retails for around $3.95 on Amazon.

 

 

Heritage Store Rosewater and Glycerin – Rosewater is a wonderful natural conditioner for the hair. I add rosewater to my roller setting lotion. Once I remove my rollers I am left with soft and bouncy curls. I also keep a small bottle of rosewater on my desk at work for aromatherapy throughout the day! It retails online or in local health food stores for around $8.00.

 

 

L.A. Colors Color Balm – I found these balms while browsing around the Dollar Tree. Yes, these balms are only $1.00! The colors have lasting power, but I am most impressed with the moisture factor. The balm applies smoothly and the colors are fun.

 

 

Lavender Essential Oil – My favorite affordable brand of lavender essential oil is the Now Foods brand. You can purchase 1 ounce of Now Foods lavender essential oil for around $8.00 including shipping on Amazon. I also enjoy the Majestic Pure brand. You can purchase a 4 ounce bottle for around $13. Essential oils are potent, so a little goes a long way. A few drops of lavender oil to a carrier oil, shampoo, or conditioner usually does the trick. I love it for scalp treatments and homemade skin products.

 

Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil – Did you really think coconut oil would not make my list? 😉 You can find coconut oil just about anywhere now. From Marshall’s department store to your local grocery, you can purchase coconut oil for under 10 bucks. I use coconut oil in nearly every part of my beauty regimen. Hair treatment, makeup remover, body scrub, lip moisturizer, natural deodorant…you get the idea. The Spectrum brand is currently selling on Amazon for $5.31, that’s 15 ounces!

 

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation – This one runs right around the $10 threshold. Being a brown girl, I like the tawny foundation. It gives me a natural, no-make up, look. It is not drying to my skin and it’s super affordable.

 

 

With a little shopping around, you can find a lot of beauty products under $10. Of course it is always nice to splurge when you can. 😉

So what are your favorite beauty bargains? And don’t forget to enter the giveaway…starting August 18th!

 

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pregnancy and essential oils

Pregnancy and Essential Oils

pregnancy and essential oilsPregnancy and Essential Oils

Some of you have commented and asked questions about pregnancy and essential oils.

Understanding essential oils can feel overwhelming. When pregnant, you definitely want to choose the safest options for you and your baby.

So which essentials oils are safe to use when pregnant? What essential oils should you avoid?

I recently signed up to receive the Revolution Oils newsletter. In the process, I stumbled upon this video created by Samantha Lee Wright.

The Revolution Oils podcast and blog have been so enjoyable. I have learned so much about the history and chemistry of essential oils. This is a great essential oil resource and I know that you will find this video very informative.

No one reached out to me to share their site or to promote any particular brand of essential oil. This is just me finding something good and sharing it with you! 🙂

So here ya go… your pregnancy and essential oils questions answered. If you still have questions about pregnancy and essential oils, visit Samantha’s blog for more information. She frequently features other essential oil experts on her YouTube channel and Podcast.

Be sure to subscribe below to the Coconut Beauty newsletter for more natural hair and skin care information.

Enjoy!
Blog Share! – Revolution Oils

 

Thank you as always for visiting Coconut Beauty!

~Candra Evans
I love all things coconut oil! Take the time to browse my blog for skincare recipes, essential oil information and even hair growth tips! Subscribe to my newsletter and receive 2 to 4 updates each month on the latest and greatest here at Coconut Beauty!

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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis and Lemongrass Essential Oil

Piping Rock… carrier oils, supplements, herbs, essential oils. Always the best for less.

Interstitial Cystitis and Lemongrass Essential Oil

Interstitial cystitis came into my life seven months ago. Before Thanksgiving of 2015 it started with minor pelvic pain. When the pain prolongs for an hour or more, I feel drained. 

The pain persisted every day for two months. This finally drove me to make an appointment with my doctor. Yes, that’s just how much I loathe going to the doctor.

Several visits to my family doctor and gynecologist brought no resolve at first. I past one test after the other with flying colors. Thank the Lord for that! 🙂

But then some frustration set in. How can I be as healthy as a horse and still have this mysterious pelvic pain?

By lunch time all I wanted was to go home and lie down, but my life doesn’t afford that. Work and my daily to-do list consumes about 16 hours of my day
often non-stop.

After reviewing my symptoms and by process of elimination, my doctor offered an answer: Interstitial Cystitis (IC). It is also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS).

There are a variety of symptoms and triggers. The main trigger for my Interstitial Cystitis is stress.

She gave me a few websites to read, the phone number of a specialist (in case my symptoms become unbearable) and told me to come back in two years for my checkup. Relief and frustration set in.

I was grateful to not have a severe sickness and to be a healthy 41-year-old woman. At the same time I sat there wondering what I was going to do about this pain that shows up on a whim and drains my strength.

Since there isn’t a cure for interstitial cystitis, she recommended going a holistic route first. Avoid certain foods and reduce stress was at the top of her list of recommendations. Other options include prescribed medication, but that will be my last course of action.

Having about three essential oil apps on my phone, I decided to see what could relieve chronic bladder pain. I searched conditions on the Modern Essentials app and actually found “Cystitis” under primary uses for lemongrass essential oil.

I decided to apply the following blend to my lower abdomen and see what happens.

My Interstitial Cystitis Essential Oil Blend

  • 1 ounce – Fractionated Coconut Oil (To use as my carrier oil)
  • 10 drops – Lemongrass Essential Oil

I massage the oil blend into my skin at night or in the morning. The very first day I felt relief. I didn’t jump for joy initially in case it just happened to be a mild day anyway. But time after time when I use the Lemongrass essential oil, my pain eases.

The healing properties of essential oils never cease to amaze me. It’s no wonder how humanity managed to survive before the days of modern medicine. There are healing balms that have been naturally growing from the earth since the beginning of time.

According to Dr. Axe, lemongrass essential oil relieves muscle pain and reduces body aches. Lemongrass essential oil contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and Vitamin C. It also contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron just to name a few.

Lemongrass essential oil uses includes so much more than pain relief. It is has been used to treat wounds, Carpal Tunnel, lactose intolerance, mental fatigue, hair loss and more.

The scent of lemongrass essential oil can be overpowering. It has a citrus scent of course very similar to lemon essential oil. But the scent lightens up as the oil blend is absorbed into my skin.

Although I love to blog about how to use oils for hair and skin, I wanted to share my experience with Interstitial Cystitis and how lemongrass essential oil has been a wonderful, natural blessing from God.

After all, if you don’t feel beautiful on the inside, it shows.

The following sites offer more information about Interstitial Cystitis and ways to treat it.

Be healthy. Be beautiful. Be blessed!

~Candra E.

Disclaimer: Health topics shared on Coconut Beauty should not replace the advice or recommendation of a physician. Always consult with your physician for proper diagnoses and recommended medical treatments.

 

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What Cooking Oil is Best for Skin

What Cooking Oil Is Best For Skin + Giveaway Winner

What Cooking Oil is Best for Skin by Anna De Souza and Dr. Oz + Amazon Gift Code Giveaway Winner!

A few years ago I would have been mortified of the idea of putting cooking oils on my skin.

But since I started my healthy hair journey, I have grown accustomed to finding my favorite beauty products in the kitchen.

My favorite oil for facial cleansing is castor oil, but in pinch I can reasonably reach for a cooking oil!

So what cooking oil is best for skin?

It depends on your skin type. If your skin is oily, dry, normal or a combination of the three, there’s a cooking oil that can work for you.

Contrary to how it sounds, using cooking oils gives my combination skin a nice cleanse. My skin does not feel oily or greasy. Most days I do not need to follow-up with a moisturizer because my skin isn’t stripped and feeling dry.

{Piping Rock – Herbs, Supplements, Essentials Oils and more… Always the best for less! }

I do have acne prone skin, but so far I’ve had no issues using castor oil, jojoba oil or sesame seed oil.

Whenever you’re applying carrier or essential oils to your skin, do a patch test first. Not everyone’s hair, skin and body responds the same to oils depending on body chemistry and possible allergies.

In this clip of the Dr. Oz show, beauty expert and blogger Anna De Souza says what cooking oil is best for skin. These oils will also help you look younger too!

  1. Extra Virgin Olive – Perfect for Dry Skin
  2. Sesame Seed Oil – Perfect for Oily Skin and helps fight acne
  3. Coconut Oil – Perfect for combination skin and helps balance your skin PH

A special thank you goes out to everyone who entered my Amazon Gift Code (Card) giveaway. Thank you for tweeting, subscribing and sharing Coconut Beauty! I hope you stick around for more from Coconut Beauty!

Congratulations to the winner!

Stefanie G.

 

 

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