Repost: Home Apothecary

Due to my complete burn out leading up to my Spring Break next week, I am reposting my most popular post. This is from March 24, 2011. I’ll be back in a few days with a new post. In the meantime, enjoy.


My latest foray into being ‘that kind of girl,’ I have begun making some of my own spa and beauty products. Never a wiz at chemistry, I have worked with some recipes I found online, in books, and in magazines to create my own little cocktails. Some of the ingredients I have discovered are pretty common; some require a trip to the natural food market or some choice websites.

Before you get started:

  • I would advise selecting a set of measuring, mixing, and cooking things that are just for your apothecary. Maybe those measuring spoons that are missing pieces or the pan that got scratched when someone used a metal spatula in it? This stuff does come out and there is no reason you can’t use the pans and spoons for normal cooking; it just makes it easier to have your go-to set.
  • If you are just starting to dabble in making your own stuff, you might just buy a few key ingredients to try out. I would suggest coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, beeswax, shea or cocoa butter, glycerin, and maybe one or two essential oils (one fruity and one flowery). I also just keep tea tree oil in my house as a staple because it is like a miracle cure-all. As with everything, read the labels to make sure they are as natural and unrefined as possible. I’ll post things from least to most complicated so that if you aren’t into going full hippie, you can still try some out.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Super Simple Eye Moisturizer

Pour 1/4 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive, jojoba, almost, or apricot kernel oil into the palm of your hand. Dip your ring finger into the oil and gently pat it around your eye beginning with the outer corner and slowly moving beneath your eye toward the inner corner. Then work onto the very upper portion of the lid or brow bone area and back to the outer corner. Repeat several times and then pat off any extra oil.

Face Scrub/Mask

This scrub is really gentle and is great for all skin types for the face, neck, and chest. I use it about 3 times a week.


1/4 cup powdered milk (doesn’t matter fat content)

1/2 cup ground oatmeal (I just grind mine up in the food processor. Make sure it is plain oatmeal because you don’t want the added chemicals of the flavored kind)

1 tsp cornmeal

Distilled water

Combine all the dry ingredients together by either whisking in a bowl or shaking in a plastic bag. I tripled my recipe and shake them up in an old clean drink mix container. These dry ingredients are good for 1 year.

When you are ready to use it, add water to 1 TBS scrub until you have a paste. Massage over your face and rinse with warm water.

For mask: Apply the same paste you would use for the scrub over your face and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Apply moisturizer directly after either type of application.

Bubble Bath

This is super easy to make and can be customized to your needs.


1 bar soap, grated (I like to do a moisturizer bar. These work better than the clear type of soaps.)

2 cups distilled water

4 oz. liquid glycerin

1 oz. Coconut oil, optional(Almond oil also works; I just like coconut oil better. This works to soften skin, but it is not essential to the recipe.)

Essential oil, whatever scent blows your hair back (I usually do lavender because I keep it on hand and it’s relaxing. But you can do whatever or mix different things to get your own scent.)

Empty Plastic container

  1. Put all the soap gratings into a large bowl and add 2 cups warm or hot water. Stir until all the soap has dissolved.
  2. Add the liquid glycerin and continue stirring. If using the coconut or almond oil, include those now. Continue stirring until everything is evenly mixed.
  3. Add in about 1 ounce of essential oils. Go for more or less, depending on how strong you like your scent.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool, and then pour it into the plastic container.


  • Avoid contact with eyes, especially in children. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it won’t burn.
  • Some people opt to add dye to make the bubble bath prettier in the bottle. I don’t really see the point because it’s just chemicals that don’t make the bubbles any different.

Hand and Foot Butter

This cream is fantastic for hands and feet. It is a bit more greasy than processed types right after application, but it soaks into the skin in about 20 minutes. It’s really great at night.


1 TBS cocoa butter

2 TBS Beeswax

1/4 cup coconut oil (unrefined)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond or apricot kernel oil (depending on the scent you prefer)

40 drops of the essential oil scent of your choice (I like grapefruit or lemon)
Using a double boiler*, warm the cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and almond/apricot oil until melted. The beeswax will be the last to melt.

Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes, and then add the essential oils. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes opaque but can still be poured. Pour it into a storage container and lightly cover the container with a paper towel to allow the mixture to cool before capping. Leave the product at room temperature overnight. This recipe makes about one cup of hand cream.

*If you don’t have a double boiler (or don’t know what one is), take two pots that are about the same size. Place one on the burner and fill with water. Bring to a boil and place the other pot on top of that. Put contents into the top pot to combine.

These are just some of the basics. I make a mean lip balm and facial steams, as well as some other recipes I am working on. What would you like to learn to make? What recipes do you have to share? Send them my way.



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