Are you stuck home because of a snow day?
Lacking time and money for glamorous spa day?
Concerned about ingredients in many store-bought self-care & beauty products?
Quarantined following a stem cell transplant?
Ok, the last one was just me.
I am a firm believer that each of us needs to maintain some type of self-care practice in order to have energy to help and connect with others. You cannot fill another’s cup if your’s is empty. Lotions and potions are important to my self-care routine. Taking the extra minutes to apply a nice smelling lotion after a shower or try out a face mask after my kids are asleep makes me feel pampered. We could all use some of that.
I have my favorite chemical-free beauty and personal care products, but I am notorious for running out of these without re-ordering. In addition, while undergoing chemotherapy I developed aversions to the lemon and lavender that are popular in many natural products. The combination of my post-transplant quarantine, my desire for pampering, and my aversions to certain smells led me to look into making my own potions and lotions. The following recipes might not be as “natural” as some of the products I sometimes purchase, but for me they are definitely good enough. And, they are fun to make. I have even made them with my kids and called it a science experiment. Whatever works, right?
I hope you try out some of these recipes for an at home spa using ingredients from your kitchen cabinets.
DIY Coconut Oil and Honey Face Mask
When I underwent chemotherapy, my skin reached a new level of dryness. I had to be very careful about any ingredients I put on my skin (it’s your biggest organ and absorbs everything!), so even my most natural face care favorites were not cutting it. An approved stand-by? Coconut oil. The raw honey that this recipe calls for is still a no-no for me, but I have had great luck using organic honey.
This recipe is from Coconuts and Kettlebells which is one of my new favorite blogs.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1.5 tsp honey (C & K recipe calls for raw and unpasteurized honey, but I use organic honey)
- optional 1-2 drops lavender essential oil (none for me, but do as you like!)
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and throw it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Once it’s hardened slightly, remove from fridge and whip it with a spoon. After cleaning your skin, apply face mask with your fingertips and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Lime Coconut Sugar Scrub
This one is near and dear to me because my mother made it as a party favor for my big sister’s baby shower. I couldn’t attend the shower, but my sweet mama sent me some of the scrub in the mail. I’ve since made it for friends and also substituted epsom salt for the sugar to make bath salts.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3-4 drops lime essential oil
- 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
Combine first three ingredients in bowl. Fold in lime zest. Portion into small containers.
Whipped Cocoa Body Butter
When a dear friend first told me she was making lotion in her stand mixer I was both impressed and skeptical. Then she mentioned that the whipped lotion smelled like chocolate I was on board. She deserves a big thank you for this one, because in addition to smelling delicious it works better than any body butter I have tried. (When I started making my own I couldn’t find the exact recipe she sent me, so this is adapted from bydreamfactory.com)
- 1/3 cup light olive oil
- 1/3 cup shea butter (chopped or grated into small pieces)
- 1/3 cup cocoa butter (chopped or grated into small pieces)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (unmelted when measured)
- 10-15 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat.
- Heat until everything is melted.
- Pour into another bowl and cool for an hour or until the oils are just starting to re-solidify. This is important – you won’t be able to whip it up if they’re still too liquid. (I put mine in the fridge).
- When the oil mixture is starting to solidify around the edges, start beating with a mixer, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Continue for a few more minutes, or until it looks like thick whipped cream.
Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake
All this at home pampering might make you hungry. While most spas serve tea and fruit, at home I prefer to serve tea and chocolate. Since I try to keep it healthy at least 80% of the time, I follow several healthy dessert bloggers for inspiration. I just pre-ordered this brand new Clean Sweets Cookbook from one of my Instagram favorites, Arman of Big Man’s World. This mug cake recipe is a go-to for me when I am looking for something sweet during my at home spa treatments.
- 1 medium overripe banana (or ½ cup canned pumpkin if you are a banana hater like me)
- 2 tbsp smooth almond butter can sub for any nut or seed butter of choice
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips (I like Enjoy life brand)
- Grease a microwave safe mug or ramekin (I use coconut oil.)
- In a blender or large mixing bowl, add all ingredients, except for chocolate chips
- Blend/mix until a smooth batter remains.
- Stir in chocolate chips, reserving a few for the top.
- Cook in the microwave for around one minute.
We all need to show ourselves a little love. For me, sometimes that involves journaling, meditating, exercising, and hanging out with friends. Other times it involves lotions, potions, and chocolate mug cake. Today, it is the later.