I thought today I'd write about something a little different and share some of the things I made for friends and family last Christmas which went down extremely well, so over the next few days I'll post a few recipes and methods, these kind of gifts appeal to the herbaholic in me, I love playing with herbs and essential oils to make a vast array of things from balms to pot pourri...
Because let's face it at some points in our gift giving endeavours we hit a brick wall deciding what to get for some people at Christmas and we end up resorting to buying flowers, potted plants or chocolates, the poor men folk get a worse deal receiving alcohol, socks or the dreaded Christmas jumper. It doesn’t have to be that way, with a little careful planning and a little time sourcing your ingredients you can make a selection of fabulously fragrant goodies for bath and body to give as gifts to 6 people and more if you’re so inclined!
I’m talking all 4 items in the photo above a sugar scrub, lip balm, bath melts and bath fizzers which will appeal to chocoholics and fragrant bath pampering addicts alike and they can all be made in just 1 day! My future daughter-in-law commented recently how much she loved her body scrub and said it was nicer than the ones you can buy, which made me smile. As this post would be huge if I added all the recipes at once, I thought I'd split it in to a few parts and start with the lip balm and body scrub today.
The beauty though of all these homemade gifts, is they contain no chemical nasties, they can be tailored to favourite flavours and preferred perfumes of the recipients and you can make gifting goodies for the ladies on your gift list and the men folk as well, because contrary to popular belief, men like to be pampered to, in a ‘blokey’ kind of way of course ;)
As gifts go, these items can be made any time of year for giving for birthday presents, a thank you gesture, to say get well soon, or for occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The Bath fizzers can also be made in small petit four cases and packaged in organza bags, then given as wedding favours to female guests, they can be coloured and fragranced to echo wedding décor and make a very personal and fragrant gift.
Remember when you give your gifts to include a list of ingredients either on the product or in a little booklet that you can give with your gift, and if you know that a recipient has an allergy, then don’t make items using things they need to avoid e.g. nut allergy, avoid nut based oils and use sunflower or grapeseed oil instead, dairy free don't add any dairy products! I know that part isn't rocket science but you'd be surprised how many people forget that allergens like nuts and dairy products can be in cosmetics and so many other things.
Chocolate, Ginger & Orange Sugar ScrubGiving sugar scrubs and lip balms with chocolate box flavours will appeal to the recipients with the added bonus that they won’t pile on the pounds when they indulge in their chocolatey gifts. For several years we’ve made homemade sweet treats for giving as presents, but some of the recipients, although very appreciative of our gifts, made comments about weight gain. We took the hint and last year I decided that we’d give none edible goodies, so we weren’t giving too much temptation.
This deliciously scented sugar scrub is perfect for friends and family who are partial to chocolate orange and chocolate ginger chocolates, but are watching what they eat, it contains real organic cocoa powder as well as some of fragrant essential oils and smells heavenly.
To make it you'll need: -
300g Dark Muscovado Sugar – You can use demerara but the fragrance won’t be the same
100ml Jojoba Oil
2 Tbsp. Organic Cocoa Powder e.g. Green & Blacks
2 Tsp Orange Essential Oil
5 Drops Ginger Essential Oil
Method: This is so easy to make, place sugar in a mixing bowl and sieve the cocoa powder on top then stir, once the cocoa and sugar are evenly mixed, add the jojoba oil and essential oils, lick lips, but do not taste ;) Put into decorative jars and label.
To Use – First dampen the skin in the shower, then take a golf ball sized blob of the sugar scrub in to the palm of the hand and massage in to the wet skin, rinse off with warm water and pat the skin dry.
Try experimenting with fragrances, adding Lime Essential Oil will give you the smell of the old fashioned sweet ‘Chocolate Limes’, a little Geranium Essential Oil or Rose Oil and you have ‘Turkish Delight’, Lavender and Chocolate also work well together. If you want to use cosmetic grade fragrance oils you can make ‘Bounty’ style sugar scrubs by using coconut fragrance oil. Strawberry, mint and coffee are also heavenly variations. If you have time you can manufacture a whole chocolate box full of bath time delights.
Tip - If your recipient has skin that is dry or prone to flaking or itchiness then using Avocado Oil instead of the Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil can be very soothing and moisturising for dry/irritated skin.
Chocolate Peppermint Lip Balm
This lip balm is really wonderful, make sure that you only use food grade essential oils to make sure they are safe for using in beauty items that may potentially be consumed. The hemp seed oil and cocoa butter are both very moisturising and contain antioxidants, they will help sooth dry cracked lips caused by winter winds.
To make 10 x 30ml Jars you'll need: -
100ml Hempseed Oil
60g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% Cocoa Solids – I used 85%)
30g Organic Unrefined Cocoa Butter
16 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Method: Place all ingredients with the exception of the peppermint oil in to a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of water that comes about 2” below the base of the bowl. Stir slowly until all the ingredients are melted and the resulting mixture is smooth and dark glossy chocolate brown. Pour the mix in to a heatproof glass jug - you can skip this stage but it’s easier to pour in to the pots from a jug. Add the drops of peppermint oil and stir with a metal spoon to combine everything together, then pour in to your jar or tins.
To Use – Use a lip brush or the tip of your finger to apply a little of the lip balm to the lips. N.B. Because this lip balm contains real chocolate it may stain clothes if it gets on them, it will also give the lips a slight chocolatey look if too much is applied.
You can experiment with other ‘flavours’ by following the suggestions in the sugar scrub recipe above, substituting the cosmetic flavouring or food grade essential oil of your choosing.
That's all for today, tomorrow I'll share my recipes for making bath melts and bath cupcakes!