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 Shower Yourself with Scents

Most people take showers to simply get clean quickly. But, have you ever noticed when you are feeling icky, stuffed up, stressed or foggy headed how a nice shower can really help. The soap you use can make this experience much more healing. Here I will guide you to craft your own customized shower soaps to: cool you down on hot summer days, clear your head, and decongest; heal skin imperfections; help your mood; and get you clean, rinsed off and ready to go in minutes. I will also include a recipe just for children in the good for skin section.

First things first, start with a good soap base. If you are a soaper and know how to craft your own, great. If not I recommend a good unscented Castile liquid Soap. Vermont Soapworks organic castile is what I use. It contains saponified oils of coconut, olive and jojoba, aloe vera, rosemary extract (natural preservative). It is free of artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives, animal products, byproducts and testing.

Then depending on your skin type you may want to add some coconut milk or coconut cream. This is a good option if your skin tends to be dry. If your skin is normal to oily you can skip the next step. 

Use Coconut milk or cream (cream for very dry skin) that is just coconut. Some brands meant for deserts add sugars or flavors; other brands add thickeners, so read the can. Next, shake the can well. Pour in a pyrex measuring cup. Mix with a spoon to get all the lumps out. If you are using cream, melt in the microwave for about 15 seconds and it will melt most of the lumps and make the few left easier to mix away. When adding it to castile soap use 75% castile soap to 25% coconut milk or cream. So if you are making a 16 oz bottle use 12 ounces Castile soap and 4 ounces of coconut product. You can either mix several bottles at once or use the excess coconut product in cooking. It should last a few days to a week in your fridge. You will see that at first the coconut milk will settle on top. Put the cap on and shake the bottle and you will get a creamy soap. Shake before each use.

Now a common question. If the coconut product goes bad in my fridge, will it go bad in my soap? The soap I use adds rosemary extract which is a natural preservative. If you are a soaper you can buy it and add it to your soap which will preserve both the soap and coconut milk. Many Essential oils also act as a natural preservatives. I'd say it has at least a month or two, maybe longer. If you don't add the coconut product you don't have to worry at all about keeping it fresh. It should last at least a year. 

To learn how to use and mix essential oils safely and to know if you should avoid any essential oils (Read) Scent Safety. Note that many of the Cooling Oils should only be used in very small amounts.  

Now for the fun part. Adding the Scents!

Add ten drops of essential oils per each ounce of product you are making. So if you are making 16 ounces, 160 drops total. If you are making 8oz, use 80 drops total. In the blends we discuss below, I will consider that we are making 16 ounces of soap. Start with 16 oz of your soap or soap and coconut blend in a 16 ounce bottle. Fill it almost to the top, leave enough room to add oils and shake at the end).

Cooling Essential Oils (these can also wake you up, unstuff sinuses, and ease headaches)

 

Basil (Ocimum basilicum):Basil's fresh, herbaceous scent can heighten focus, reduce nausea, stimulate blood circulation and bring comfort to body and spirit while helping to cool you down. It is also used to help lift bad moods.  

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens): This cooling, strengthening oil has a clean, evergreen scent. It is cleansing and comforting. It aroma is recommended to ease nervous tension and stress.  It is used to reduce cellulites so it is great to use in soaps when you loofa your body.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): Clean, camphoraceous Eucalyptus oil is great for helping to ease headaches and respiratory ails. It helps open up sinuses, is used to strengthen the immune system again common ills, and its scent can help lift fatigue. It great to use for cooling and deodorizing purposes.

Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia): This oil is a cross between true lavender and spike lavender. Its scent is similar to true lavender, but more herbaceous. It is more stimulating and cooling than lavender. Like lavender, it can help to heal a host off ills, including migraine headaches, anxiety; depression; and feelings of fear, anger, aggression, and irritability. 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary is the herb of love and remembrance. The essential oil is fresh and cooling. It can help with memory and concentration as it has been said to strengthen both the brain and the nervous system. Emotionally it is used to increase confidence, energy, clarity, structure, and awareness. In skin care, it has been used to fade varicose veins. It has also been used to: help relieve fluid retention, aid the immune system in fighting infections, relieve headaches, fight nervous exhaustion, and bring relief to respiratory ailments.

Pine Needle (Pinus sylvestris): With a fresh, cleansing turpentine-like aroma, pine needle oil works as an expectorant, deodorant, and restorative. It's used to help lift fatigue and stress and can strengthen the immune system. Its scent is used to help with motivation, concentration and patience. It is also nice and cooling. 

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Cool, clean peppermint essential oil boosts energy and has been known to ease headaches, nervous stress, nausea and the common cold. It definitely wakes us up and bring instant cool/coldness. Emotionally, it is recommended to ease mental fatigue and feelings of helplessness while increasing self-acceptance and vitality. When used in soaps, shampoos, and misters it can really help cool us down in the summertime. Read Powerful Peppermint Oil to Learn more.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata): Cool and minty, this essential oil is the gentlest of all the mints. It works as a decongestant, and expectorant. Its scent is said to be comforting to the head, thus it is often employed for tension and migraine headaches. It is a nice option when making a cooling soap for kids.

Teatree (Melaleuca alternifolia): Teatree is a clean, camphoraceous oil. Much of what is known about the healing properties of teatree oil was learned from its long history of use by the aboriginal people of Australia. Scientifically it is shown to be active against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It works as an expectorant. It can be used in skincare to treat oily skin, acne, and fungi (not for sensitive skin).

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): This fresh, cooling herbal oil can be employed to treat headaches, sinusitis, and as a preventative against colds and flu.

Although, Lemon (Citrus limon) and Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) are not considered the most cooling essential oils, they balance very well with all the oils listed above. Lemon & Lime oils both: have a light, clean citrus scent which can enliven us. They are often employed to help fight infections during the cold and flu season. They can act as restorative and general tonic.  In skin care they are used to treat acne, cuts, oily skin, warts and more.

 

I find the a lot of men enjoy a cooling blend. Here is one that is often requested.

Drop these essential oils into your 16 oz bottle of soap

Peppermint - 4 drops

Spearmint -  8 drops

Basil - 58 drops

Rosemary - 40 drops

Lime - 50 drops

If you are feeling sick with a cold or flu, you might enjoy this healing blend.

Eucalyptus - 15 drops

Teatree - 15 drops

Thyme - 3o drops

Basil - 3o drops

Lemon - 40 drops 

Lime 30 drops

Healing Skin Imperfections (Many of these oils can also effect mood in a positive way as noted below)

Balsam – Peru (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae):  Heavily vanilla balsamic, this essential oil is warming, opening, and comforting. It can be of great aid to dry, cracked skin. 

Carrot Seed (Daucus carota): Warm and earthy, this oil revitalizes and tones. It is used to help skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, slack skin and more. It is also recommended for wrinkle prevention. 

Cedarwood (Juniperus Virginiana): Warm, woody oil with honey overtones, cedarwood oil helps with a variety of skin issues including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, and acne.  

Roman & German Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile and Matricaria recutica): These oils are recommended to heal inflammation and for cell regeneration. They may also help acne, boils, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, and rashes. 

Geranium (Pelagonium graveolens): Dry with a rosy undertone, geranium oil is wonderful to help to heal cuts & wounds. Its astringent action makes it ideal for controlling oily skin and acne.  

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Highly floral and mildly herbaceous, lavender is considered the most versatile essential oil. It may be used on all skin types and helps to prevent scarring, stretch mark and premature aging. It helps heal burns, cuts, wounds, bruises, acne, eczema and many types of rashes.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata): This light, sweet, citrus oil is often employed to fade stretch marks & scars. 

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha): This deep, rich resin can be of great aid to dry, cracked skin. Using it in skin treatments may help slow done the formation of wrinkles. It is also using to treat eczema, wounds, and some fungal infections. 

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var. martinii):  Palmarosa is a wild growing herbaceous plant, with very fragrant grassy leaves. The essential oil has a dry, rosy-floral scent. It works as an antiseptic and is great for controlling oily skin. It is used to treat acne, dermatitis, and sores. It is said to help reduce wrinkles and scars. 

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): This sweet amber oil is rich and earthy. It's used to help heal cracked dry skin, acne, some fungal infections, dermatitis, and eczema. It may also help prevent wrinkles. 

Teatree (Melaleuca alternifolia): In proper dilution this oil is fabulous for healing many forms of acne and controlling oily skin. To make it gentler, use a blend of Teatree with Geranium and/or Palma Rosa. It can also help with fungal infections, insect bites, wounds, rashes, and warts. 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina):  This gorgeous floral oil makes a wonderful general skin tonic. It is used to help heal acne, insect bites, irritated and oily skin. 

Baby Soap: This blend is gentle enough for infants. If you are making this blend for an older child you can double the essential oils. If you are making for an Adult you can add 4 times the essential oils than if making for an infant. I will give you the drops for Infants, Children and Adults. This is a good blend for people with sensitive skin.

Lavender: Infants 20 drops Children 40 drops; Adults: 80 drops

Roman Chamomile: Infants 10 drops; Children 20 drops; Adults: 40 drops

German Chamomile:Infants 10 drops; ; Children 20 drops; Adults: 40 drops

The next recipe is for a Relaxing Soap that is good for dry skin.

Lavender - 80 drops

Geranium - 40 drops

Carrot Seed -20 drops

Balsam Peru - 20 drops

Keep in mind my suggestions are but a few of countless combinations. One of my clients loves a custom blend with warming scents including a drop of a few different spice oils combined with Balsam, Patchouli and other warming oils. Her partner prefers a cooling bath with mints, basil, lemon and lime. This proves that opposites can attract and opposites can each enjoy aromatherapy.

Enjoy your Shower!

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