Now that it's summer time, it's super important to adjust your skin to the new season. Prepare for extra heat, sun, and fun! That's why I've devised this little 'summer essential kit': It will teach you how to make everything you could want or need this summer, including (but not limited to) an after-sun lotion, sunscreen, deodorant, and more. While I certainly encourage you to go out and enjoy the beautiful, sunny weather, I do advise you pay extra attention to your skin. It's important to avoid too much prolonged sun exposure and to give your skin the attention it needs. With this kit, you will be able to craft products that help you prevent sun damage, and also treat it.
After-Sun Comfrey Lotion
Even with the best sunscreen, sunburns happen to the best of us. That's why this after-sun lotion is super essential. It's made with comfrey root, which soothes the skin and minimizes inflammation. I would suggest applying this lotion to sunburned skin for immediate relief and faster healing. Of course, consult with a doctor if your sunburn is very severe.
- 3 tablespoons fresh comfrey root
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon beeswax (unrefined)
- ¾ cup sweet almond oil
- ¼ cup cocoa butter
- 4 vitamin E capsules
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 to 16 drops essential oil (peppermint, lavender or sandalwood are good choices)
- Place the comfrey root and water in a small pot and bring to a boil, simmering for about 30 minutes. Strain, retaining the water. Discard the root.
- In a double boiler, combine beeswax, oil, and cocoa butter, stirring over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Pierce the vitamin E capsules and add the oil from inside, stirring to combine.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the comfrey water, aloe vera gel, and baking soda, stirring over low heat until the baking soda is fully dissolved. Allow to cool.
- Once both mixtures are cooled to room temperature, pour the beeswax and oil mixture in a thin stream into the comfrey water mixture, whisking vigorously to combine (or use a food processor). Add the essential oils and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Put it in a jar, cover, and store in a cool, dark place.
Soothing Wound Salve
Sometimes while out and about, we get hurt (especially kids). If you love to spend time outdoors or have kids that do, expect an occasional cut or two. This salve is perfect for any minor cuts and can even be used on minimal burns, if you'd like. It has an antiseptic quality and it encourages the growth of new skin tissue. It also does the trick on sprains and bruises.
- ½ cup herb infused oil (ingredients for that listed below)
- ¼ ounce beeswax (grated)
- ¼ teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
- 5 drops myrrh essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
Ingredients for herb infused oil:
- 3 ½ ounces comfrey
- ½ ounce chickweed
- Oil of your choice (olive, grapeseed, avocado, etc.)
- First, start out by making the herbal oil. Put four cups of the oil of your choice (olive, grapeseed, avocado, etc.) in a pot on the stove and warm it over low heat. Aim for about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (but you don't want to cook or boil it).
- Then, chop or crush the comfrey and chickweed and add it to the oil. Allow the oil to sit for 2 to 4 hours and keep an eye on it. It should change color and smell like the herbs you added. The longer you let it sit, the more potent it becomes.
- Using a mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth, carefully strain all of the plant matter from the oil. Once it's strained, it's ready for use in your wound salve.
- Pour the herb-infused oil into a saucepan and (if you need to), warm the oil over very low heat. Make sure it doesn't come anywhere near simmering.
- Now add the grated beeswax to the oil and stir until the beeswax melts. Test the consistency of the salve. To do this, simply dip a room temperature spoon into the mixture and put the spoon in the fridge for about a minute so that the mixture can cool and harden. Then, take the spoon out of the fridge and see how you like it: If the salve on the spoon seems too runny, add a little more beeswax to the oil and wait for it to melt. If it's too hard, add a little more oil to the pot. Repeat until you're satisfied with the consistency.
- Now, take the pot off the heat and pour the oil into your measuring cup. Add the vitamin E oil and essential oil, then stir. When it's mixed, pour the salve into the containers and cover them. Allow the salve to set and harden before trying it!
Most conventional sunscreens are loaded with harmful ingredients, so this one will make your skin quite happy. It's rich, protective, and nourishing (plus easy to make). With an SPF that falls somewhere between 4 and 8, it's probably not strong enough for a day at the beach, but it provides perfect coverage for a walk or a meal at an outdoor café. If you'd prefer a vegan sunscreen (with no beeswax), give this recipe a go.
- ¾ ounce beeswax
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup cocoa butter
- ¼ cup Shea butter
- 1/8 cup jojoba oil
- ½ cup sesame oil
- ½ cup calendula infused oil (follow oil infusion instructions in wound salve recipe)
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel
- 50 drops essential oil of your choice (avoid bergamot)
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the aloe vera gel and the essential oils in a clean pot.
- Heat the mixture on the stove until the beeswax has melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add the aloe vera gel. Stir until it's dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into a container, add the essential oil, and stir.
Commercial bug sprays stink. Not to mention they contain equally disgusting chemicals. Luckily, here's a healthy alternative that actually smells good and won't make you cough up a lung. It will certainly keep those buzzing pests at bay; just give it a spray (on you, or the area you need to protect).
- ½ cup distilled water
- ½ cup witch hazel extract
- 8 ounce spray bottle
- 75 drops total of these essential oils: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Cedar, Lemon, and Lavender (You can combine which ever essential oils you already have, just as long as it totals to 75 drops)
- Pour the water and the witch hazel into the spray bottle.
- Add the essential oils and cap the bottle. Shake the mixture well before you try it out. Spray on yourself or anywhere needed, like the patio or front porch.
Baking Soda Free Deodorant
Everyone sweats more in the summer, so having deodorant on hand is super essential. Some people find baking soda to be very irritating, so I decided to focus on a baking soda free deodorant recipe. If baking soda doesn't bother you, feel free to check out this DIY deodorant recipe.
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (antiperspirant properties)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 10-20 drops tea tree essential oil (and/or lavender essential oil)
- 10 drops of one, or a combination of lemon, orange, peppermint, and/or frankincense
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then place in a jar. It's easier to do this if the coconut oil is melted, so you might want to do that first by melting it over the stove or via a microwave. Whatever the case, you now have baking soda free deodorant. Just apply using your hands and rub under your armpits. Store in a glass jar with an airtight cover.
Hand Sanitizer Spray
Since it's summer (and you'll probably be touching a lot of stuff outside), it's important to make sure your hands stay clean. I'm not a fan of conventional hand sanitizers (the scent tends to be too harsh). That's why this hand sanitizer DIY is cool: It's nowhere near as strong and irritating as conventional ones and surprisingly simple to make!
- 1 tablespoon alcohol (or witch hazel)
- 2 tablespoons vitamin E oil
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
- 10 – 12 drops essential oils (lavender or orange work well)
- Filtered water
- Cup with a spout
- Spray bottle
- Mix the first four ingredients into a cup with a spout. Pour into a small spray bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with filtered water. Shake well before each spray.