Friday, 20 July 2012

Spa Product Course

One of my classmates' creations

 While visiting with a friend recently, I attended a do-it-yourself spa product course. I'm generally not one to use tons of spa-like products, but I figure that since it is self-care month, I should make a bit of an effort. I love the idea of only using edible products on my skin. A recent experiment with rubbing garlic on my feet (in the cadre of a culinary pharmacy workshop) demonstrated to what point I absorb things through my skin (I had terrible garlic breath the next morning).

Over the course of three hours, we were introduced to the properties and smells of various essential oils and had the opportunity to create our own products.

This is what I made:
Massage oil: super easy - just add your favourite essential oil to an almond oil carrier (this is the little bottle in the photo). I chose lemongrass + basil + cypress. Based on my class notes, this combination should help tone my skin and reduce cellulitis.

For the next three products, our teacher had to change the recipe that was in our handout on the fly because of product shortages, so I am including recipes from other websites that are similar.

Massage bar: cypress + pine + wintergreen (to soothe muscles)

1/3 butter (cocoa, shea, mango, kokum, etc.)
1/3 oil (sweet almond, jojoba, any light oils are nice)
1/3 wax (beeswax, soy wax)

Melt the above contents (in a double boiler) and pour into a jar or a mold (candy molds work well) and once hardened pop it out of the mold and you have a massage bar.

Exfoliating scrub: lemongrass + lavender (to calm)
1/2 cup oil. Use sweet almond, grapeseed or another light-textured
1 cup fine sea salt
5-15 drops high quality essential oils
Put the salt (or sugar) in a small bowl.

Add the oil, mixing well with a spoon or wooden stick. The texture should be moist enough to hold together, but not overly oily. You can adjust the amount of oil to achieve that texture.
Gently tap in the drops of essential oil and combine well.

Body mask: tea tree (chosen to mask the scent of the seaweed, not for aromatherapy reasons)
Add a small amount of cold-pressed organic oil to hydrated clay, and mix well.
Grind finely a good macrobiotic sea salt and kelp (in a food processor or coffee grinder).
Mix the salt and kelp in with the clay and oil.

Learning points from the DIY spa experience
- Making high quality, all-natural cosmetic products is actually pretty easy. It's also way cheaper than buying commerically made equivalents.
- When I have products around that I love, I actually use them. Since the class, I have been having a weekly solo spa night in my apartment. It feels great.
- I have a new respect for essential oils. I used to just think they smelled nice. Now that I have experienced a zen-like feeling post exfoliation and had my muscles soothed after using my massage butter post-long run, I realize that there is more to aromatherapy than just nice smells. In fact, I'm actually quite keen to learn more.

Anyone else have any experience with DIY cosmetics or aromatherapy? Any tips?

1 comment:

  1. Just realized that we took this course exactly a month ago! Thanks for encouraging me to try this out! What a new and exciting adventure!