Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oh, E. O., It's Wednesday (Sage Essential Oil)

Happy Wednesday! Today we are going to learn about Sage essential oil. Apparently, this one little plant can do pretty much anything!

Sage essential oil is antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, & antibacterial. What exactly does that mean? It means that Sage is your go to for everything that you need to treat on your skin! It will get rid of fungus and bacteria while lessening swelling and refreshing your skin! Amazing, and with such a great scent! You go, Sage!

Here are some Black Willow Soaps products with Sage Essential Oils:

Soothing Earth Bath Salts

Soothing Earth scented Avocado Cucumber Soap

Non-Toxic Deodorant Spray

Sea Salt
3 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 drops Purification Essential Oil
Distilled Water
Spray Bottle

Drop a pinch of sea salt into the bottle. Add essential oils. Fill the bottle with water. Shake & Spray!

Add it Again, Monday (Poppy Seeds)

Hello again! Welcome back to Add it Again, Monday. Unfortunately, today's post is on a Tuesday (sorry). Today we are looking at poppy seeds! We all know that they taste great on bagels and in lemon poppy seed muffins, but what do those little black beaded seeds really do for you?

Poppy seeds are packed full of your daily dose of iodine, manganese, zinc, magnesium & copper. They help to quench thirst, reduce fever, reduce inflammation, aid constipation & tummy aches. I never knew that about poppy seeds, did you?

For skin care purposes, poppy seeds are an excellent moisturizer and exfoliator. I add them in my soaps for that extra scrub! They also treat eczema and dandruff!

Here are some Black Willow Soaps products that contain poppy seeds:

Christmas Tree scented Olive Oil Soap

Sea Breeze scented Olive Oil Soap

Reindeer Poo scented Avocado Cucumber Soap

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Scrub Recipe

4.5 oz granulated sugar
1 oz shea butter
1/2 oz jojoba oil
1/4 oz apricot kernel oil
1/2 ml lemongrass essential oil
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Melt your shea butter in a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Add jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil. Mix together. Add lemongrass essential oil and blend. (add coloring if you desire). In a separate glass bowl, combine sugar and poppy seeds. Pour the oil mixture onto the sugar mixture and stir together with a fork. Place into your favorite glass container and get ready to scrub!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oh, E. O., It's Wednesday! (Tea Tree Essential Oil)

Last week my stepdaughter, Ally, and I were racking our brains trying to come up with some new and exciting essential oil soaps to add to this blog! We were plucking bottles of essential oils from my drawer and smelling them. We both turned our noses up at first smell of tea tree oil. How horrible on its own! I then started digging through my fragrance oil drawers for something to add to the tea tree oil to balance out the fragrance. Eureka! A perfectly blended essential oil soap (that has not yet been added to my Etsy shop, but I am going to share it with you today anyway).

So, stinky (by itself) tea tree oil was named by sailors back in the 18th century who believed it to smell like nutmeg. I'm not sure if my senses are screwed up, or if the olfactory glands were not as developed back then as they are today, but I don't smell the nutmeg. Anywho, it comes from a tea tree plant and is used for a huge laundry list of ailments. Essential oils are amazing that way. Tea tree oil can be used for acne, fungal infections, lice, scabies, athlete's foot, ringworm and is a natural antiseptic for burns, insect bites, stings, boils, cold sores, and much more. Another wonder oil to add to your first aid essential oil pack, right?

Drum roll, please. Here is the soap that we have all been waiting for:

Tea Tree & Tobacco scented Mango Butter Soap

Remember how I said that tea tree oil was good for acne? Well, here is a DIY recipe for Tea Tree Oil Toner that will help clear that up!

Tea Tree Oil Toner

Spray Bottle
Distilled Water
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil

Fill the spray bottle 3/4 full with distilled water. Add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil for every 25ml of water. Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil for every 25ml of water. Shake and spray onto skin (spot test first). Shake before each use. (for an extra punch, you can add a few drops of Witch Hazel - that acne wont stand a chance).

**Caution** Tea tree oil can cause dryness of skin. Lavender essential oil should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or attempting to become pregnant.

What do you use to get rid of that pesky acne? (P.S. I would really like to know!)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Add It Again, Monday (Kaolin Clay)

Over the years I have learned that I absolutely LOVE adding clays to my bath and beauty products. One of my go to clays is Kaolin Clay.

Kaolin Clay is used in a lot of bath and beauty products today, especially in facial masks. It improves blood circulation, evens out oily skin, eliminates toxins from your body, mineralizes dry skin, and is 100% chemical free. Who wouldn't want all of that happening??

For a basic clay mask, you can mix kaolin clay with a carrier oil and a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Mix it all together and spread it on your face (spot test first to check for allergic reactions). Leave it on for 5 - 10 minutes and then rinse off. Your skin will thank you!

Here are some Black Willow Soaps products that use kaolin clay:

Soothing Earth Herbal Facial Mask

Hunter Shea Butter Soap

What is your favorite cosmetic clay?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Oh, E. O., It's Wednesday (Eucalyptus Essential Oil)

Oh, it's Wednesday again! I hope that your week has not been too taxing. This week we are going to talk about one of my long time favorite essential oils. When I was growing up, my friend's mother had a bunch of eucalyptus throughout her home and I always loved the smell of her house.
Eucalyptus oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, & has antibacterial properties. This makes it a great oil for use in home remedies (a lot of home remedies). First, its germicidal properties make it perfect for cleansing wounds. The decongestant nature is what makes Vick's Vapor Rub and other eucalyptus/menthol products so helpful in clearing out a stuffed chest or nose.

For those out there who have muscle pains or arthritis, eucalyptus can be used to loosen those sore muscles. It can also be used to treat lice, control blood sugar levels, reduce fevers, and can even go so far as to relieve the symptoms of tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Eucalyptus can also be used to wake you up mentally. On those days were your head feels completely clouded, take a sniff of eucalyptus oil and your brain will get right back on track (something to keep in your office desk drawer for such occasions).

For my purposes, eucalyptus oil is great for skin care and soap. It's antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it a powerful agent for clearing up skin conditions. Additionally, it is great in soaps because of the deodorant properties as well as the vapor that can rise from the soap in a hot shower to help clear out your congestion. I knew I liked this plant.

Here are some Black Willow Soaps products that have eucalyptus essential oil in them:

Soothing Earth Avocado Cucumber Soap

Patchouli, Eucalyptus, & Sandalwood Olive Oil Soap

Sinus Bath Soak

1 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
10 drops Eucaluptus Essential Oil
Food Coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container until you would like to use them.

What does Eucalyptus remind you of?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Add It Again, Monday (Orange Peel)

I'm getting kind of a late start today, so I apologize. My stepdaughter flew in from Florida this past weekend and we were out having family time. But, I am here now, and ready to tell you about the benefits of orange peel (yes, the stuff that you usually throw away).

Believe it or not, the rind of an orange has many health benefits when consumed. Antioxidants found the in the peel can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. For those of you who are looking for more fiber in your diet, the peel of an orange in high in fiber (fiber = weight loss). Additionally, it can reduce bad breath and has anti-inflammatory properties that when consumed can reduce swelling in your limbs, etc. If peel is seeped in hot water and used as a tea, it can help cure bronchitis. Also, for you partiers out there, orange peel makes a great hangover cure (boil in hot water for 20 minutes, add salt, and drink). Sounds delicious!

For bath and body purposes, I put orange peel in my soaps. It makes for a great exfoliant that is not harsh enough to tear your pores. Here are some soaps from the Black Willow Soap shop that contain orange peel:

Monkey Farts Olive Oil Soap

Jamaican Me Crazy Shea Butter Soap

For those of you who are in it for the DIY recipe, here it is.

Natural Orange Peel Toothpaste

1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Glycerin or 1 1/2 Tablespoons Peroxide
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Orange Peel

Blend it all up in a blender (or Magic Bullet) and store if not using.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Oh, E. O., It's Wednesday! (Lemongrass Essential Oil)

Introducing another new series on the Black Willow Soap blog: Oh, E. O., It's Wednesday. A blog dedicated to the benefits of essential oils. Today, I am going to talk about Lemongrass essential oil. While it is kind of an acquired fragrance for some, it is clean, light and can really wake you up in the morning (if you know what I mean).

Lemongrass not only has amazing benefits for your skin, but can also be used for other health issues, to ward of pests, and to purify your living space. First, let's go through the health benefits of lemongrass. When used correctly, lemongrass can help treat bladder infections, respiratory infections, digestive issues, torn ligaments, carpal tunnel, cataracts, cholesterol problems, hyperthyroidism, menstrual cramps, headaches, and gout. Other blogs have claimed that it can also remove warts, reduce the effects of shingles, and treat MRSA. Talk about a versatile oil!

In addition to getting rid of your warts, lemongrass oil can also be used to keep mosquitos and other biting insects away. While Citronella has been "chosen" as the catch all for warding of pesky mosquitos, lemongrass is the better choice. Citronella should not be used indoors. Lemongrass can be used wherever. Citronella will upset your dogs (they hate the smell of Citronella). Lemongrass does not seem to bother your canine companions.

Now for the skin benefits. In addition to all of the awesome things listed above, lemongrass can be used to treat bruises and varicose veins. Additionally, it can be used as a stress reliever, muscle relaxer and antioxidant. For skin, it can reduce inflammation, curb hair loss, reduce scalp problems, kill bacteria, detoxify the skin, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles...and bonus, it can boost your sex drive. Use caution when putting this oil on your skin as it can burn if not diluted with a carrier oil.

Finally, if you want a clean, light lemon fragrance in your home or workspace, lemongrass can be used in a diffuser or in a spray to purify the air in your home or office. Careful using it in your office, though. Some people are intolerant to this oil (just like lavender).

Below, I have a great Black Willow Soap product that uses lemongrass essential oil as well as a DIY recipe for lemongrass bath salts (Note: this is a basic bath salt recipe and does not contain any of the natural additives used in Black Willow Soap's bath salts).

Lemongrass Foaming Facial Cleanser Scrub

Lemongrass Bath Salt Recipe
Items Needed:
2 cups of Epsom salt
10 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil
Place Epsom salt in a medium sized bowl (one that you will not be using to prepare food in ever again). Add 10 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil and stir with a wooden spoon (again, one that you will not prepare food with again). Place in an air tight container (like a mason jar) until use, or use right away.
*You can add food coloring or soap colorant to color your bath salts, if you are so inclined.