Beauty from the Hive

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I am getting ready today for Oregon Honey Festival this weekend in Ashland, Oregon and just finished making some Lip Balms and thought I would share the recipe.  I am a fairly new beekeeper but I do love my bees and what they have done for my garden.  They are also some of the best “natural cosmetologist.”  Their raw honey and beeswax is amazing and I love using it in my DIY beauty recipes.

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“Honey You’re the Balm” 

This is a simple to make lip balm that is perfect for keeping your lips soft, smooth and protected.  Feel free to experiment with the basic recipe using your own favorite oils.  If you don’t have access to beeswax you can easily purchase some at your local natural food store or from beekeepers.

Ingredients: 

1 tsp. beeswax

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. Cocoa Butter

1/8 tsp. raw honey

Directions:

Gently melt all ingredients and stir well.  Pour into clean lip balm containers or small jars.  Let cool completely until solid.  To use:  Spread onto your lips.

Note:  This balm can also be used on other parts of your body where you need a bit of extra conditioning such as elbows, knees or heels.

Yield: .5 ounces

Have a sweet day and remember to “Just BEE You”  that is the best beauty tip!

xoxo Janice

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Upcycle your Citrus Peels

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Whenever I use an orange or lemon in the kitchen I never discard the peel – I save it to use in my favorite DIY Beauty recipes.  Citrus peels make highly effective facial and body scrubs.  All of the essential oils are contained in the peel.  Dried peels can also be purchased in the spice section of your grocery store but it is so much easier (and more cost effective) to just make your own!

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Here is how easy it is:

Remove the colored part of the peel; this can be done with a zester or sharp paring knife.  Dry the peels thoroughly; this can be done four different ways:

  1.  Lay the peels on a rack to air dry near a sunny window.
  2. Place the peels in a microwave safe ceramic bowl and microwave on low until dry (about 5 to 6 minutes) allow to cool completely.
  3. Arrange the peels on a cookie sheet and place in a low temperature oven (150 degree) for several hours or overnight (remember to turn the oven off when you are sleeping).
  4. Use an electric food dehydrator and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying citrus peels.

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Once dry you can coarsely grind in a food processor or clean coffee grinder until they’re the consistency of coffee bounds or fine cornmeal.  Place the group peels in a clean bowl.  Leave out to air-dry further if they are not completely dry after grinding.

Use the ground peels mixed in equal amounts with water, plain yogurt or your favorite cleansing product.  Other cleansing grains such as oatmeal and cornmeal can also be added to the orange peel for extra cleansing power.

You can also add the dried peels to sugar and salt scrubs and bath mixtures.  Here is a simple DIY recipe for Citrus Honey Bath Salts:

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Enjoy!

Janice

Autumn Beauty

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Today it really is starting to feel like Fall!  After a hot and smoky summer (we had a lot of forest fires) the temperatures have cooled and the leaves are starting to change in color.  I find myself cutting back some of my summer flowers and wanting to buy pumpkins and gourds in the market and decorate with leaves and acorns.  There are also some awesome fall beauty ingredients available this time of year. Quince, apples, pears, nuts, figs, persimmons, pumpkins ….

With the weather changing and cooling it also means drier air which can affect your hair and skin.  Use more oil rich products to help lock in moisture.   You may also want to use a good allover body scrub to help even out a fading summer tan and get your skin super soft and clean.  Fall nuts are perfect for this simply finely chop or grind in your food processor or blender and massage into damp skin.  If you want a bit more scrubbing power apply with a loofah or mix in a bit of cornmeal.

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Keep you hair fully hydrated too and easier to manage .  My favorite simple hair conditioner is honey.  It does wonders for dry, damaged hair and washes out easily.  Simply massage a tablespoon or two into damp hair before washing and let sit for fifteen to twenty minutes, then shampoo as usual.  Honey does have a mild bleaching effect over time so if you have very dark hair, you can use molasses or maple syrup.

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Persimmons are one of my favorite fresh fall fruits.  They are common fall staples in the southeast but today you can find fresh persimmons this time of year in most markets.  Persimmons contain the same acid level as normal, healthy skin and make an ideal simple facial mask for deep cleansing all types of skin.

Simply mash the persimmon into a smooth consistency.  Spread the mixture over your clean face and neck.  Allow it to sit for 10 minutes or longer and then wash off with warm water.  If you have oily skin you may want to add a little cornstarch or egg white and if you have extra dry skin, mix in and egg yolk or some walnut oil.

Happy Fall Y’all!

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Oh it is also starting to be gift giving season — here is a cute packaging idea I like to do and so easy — simply fill a ball canning jar with epsom salts or your favorite bath salt and then top with some cute paper and a drawer pull  you have or buy at your local hardware stores. (screw the pull right through the lid top)

xoxo Janice

Natural Soap Alternatives

 

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Many of us grew up using “soap and water” to cleanse our face and body and this works for many of us — it is simple and easy!  However if your skin is taught and dry or super sensitive you may be using too strong a soap or cleanser for your skin type.   There are several natural ingredients that can be used in place of the traditional bar of soap to get your skin clean and glowing and with beautiful results.  Here are a few of my favorites:

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Oatmeal:  This common breakfast grain is probably the most popular non-soap cleanser around.  It is gentle and mild and can be used by all skin type, especially those with dry and sensitive skin.  To use, simply grind whole oats in a food processor, blender or clean coffee grinder until you have  fine powder.  Mix this with a little water to form a paste and massage this mixture into your skin with a warm washcloth.  You may also add 1/2 cup of ground oatmeal to a warm bath to treat and cleanse your whole body.

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Sugar:  Granulated sugar works well as a gentle skin cleanser and scrub.  It is not at all dehydrating and is perfect for dry skin types  Mix one teaspoon with a bit of water to forma paste and massage into wet skin with a warm washcloth or your fingertips.  Sugar is gentle enough for your face and whole body.

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Honey: Use as a skin beautifier since Egyptian times, honey is an excellent skin cleanser. It can be used alone or mixed together with a bit of lemon juice for oily skin types.  Simply massage into wet skin as you would any liquid soap or cleanser and fine well.

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Milk:  For clean healthy skin, milk is an instant beautifier both inside and out.  It is rich in protein, natural fat, and lactic acid, all of which help clean and detoxify your complexion, leaving it soft and smooth.  Make sure you rinse your skin well after cleansing.  Other dairy products such as sour cream and plain yogurt also work well as natural cleansers.

Many of us wash and shower in the morning to wake up, which is a great day to start the day.  But your mother was right,  “Never go to bed with a dirty face”.  Bedtime and nighttime is the best time to cleanse your skin as it gives it a chance to rest and rebuild while you sleep.  Always follow up any cleansing regime with a light moisturizer or natural oil to help lock in moisture and keep your skin fresh and glowing.

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For more cleanser recipes and ideas check out my book Natural Beauty at Home

You are beautiful!

Janice

Honey I love you!

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September is National Honey Month, so of course I have to post something about one of my favorite natural beauty ingredients.  This summer I added a bee hive to my garden and the results have been amazing.  “Busy as a Bee” is  so true these super pollinators are constantly working to make the world a better place full of fresh flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Honey is made by bees from the nectar of flowering plants and trees and contains many vital vitamins and minerals.  It has a very high potassium content which makes it almost impossible for bacteria to survive in it.  Honey is one of the best-known humectants (materials that hold moisture).  My favorite way to use honey is in the bath: a tablespoon or two makes your skin feel like silk!  If you don’t have your own bee hive not to worry honey is easy to find at your local grocery store or local farmers market.

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Here are a some more ways I like to use honey.  I even have a “Honey Bear” in my bathroom as a beauty staple.

Hair Conditioner

Honey can do great things for hair that has been mistreated and damaged by giving it back color, moisture, body, and shine.  It may seem a little sticky but well worth it.  Don’t worry it rinses out of your hair very easily.

Ingredients

1/4 cup honey

massage the honey into your hair and leave on for 20 minutes.  You may cover your head with some plastic wrap or a shower cap.  Wash and condition your hair as you do normally.

Yield 2 ounces

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Honey & Yogurt Facial Mask

One of my favorite facial masks is pure honey it is simple and perfect for cleansing and refreshing tired skin.  Honey also makes an excellent treatment for blemishes simply dab a bit on a breakout in the evening after washing your face and before going to bed.   I also love using plain yogurt as a simple facial mask weekly so this recipe combines both of these natural beauty ingredients into one super skin treatment.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream

1 Tablespoon pure honey

Mix the yogurt and honey together until smooth.  Spread on clean skin and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  Rinse with warm then cool water and pat dry.

Yield: 1 ounce

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haha I look a bit crazy here but hard to take a cute selfie with honey and yogurt on your face.  For more recipes check out my book Natural Beauty at Home.

Also  few years ago I helped the National Honey Board with a beauty pamphlet  they are a great source of info on all things honey.

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You are all Bee-utiful!!! 

xoxo Janice