Tuesday, April 22, 2014

10 Things To Do With Oatmeal Other Than Breakfast!

     Oatmeal. Such a humble grain, tasty, hearty and healthy for breakfast. I like morning bowl of oatmeal, old fashioned steel cut with a handful of walnuts, cinnamon, a drizzle of honey and vanilla soy milk. Yum! That's a heart-healthy breakfast with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, iron, beta-glucan (which may help regulate blood sugar) and the antioxidants. Oatmeal is also believed to help reduce harmful cholesterol levels and it may boost the immune system.
     Although I do mess it up a bit with a couple slices of turkey bacon (love), very tasty, less sodium and fat than other bacon, but still, no real nutritional value. But here I go remiss and miss the point of this post.
     Oatmeal is not just breakfast, I use it in soaps and my soap-free facial cleansing grains and lotions. I also use it my mud mask for it's skin soothing abilities and clay-free "mud" masks, making up the bulk of the mask, more for moisture masks. Some other, little known uses for oatmeal are:
  • Treat Acne: make a slurry of oatmeal and water and gently scrub your face. This is great cleansing sensitive skin when you have breakouts. Too much grit action can irritate skin further.
  • Neutralize Odors: use like you would baking soda for the refrigerator!
  • Soothe Dry Skin: same concept as above in treating acne, but place the oatmeal slurry on your itchy body parts then rinse thoroughly. Oatmeal is said to heal and open pores.
  • Soothe Pet's Skin: place oats in sock and soak it a tub full of lukewarm water and bathe your itchy pet with it, using the oatmeal sock as washcloth.
  • Oatmeal Bath: 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of uncooked oatmeal and a couple tablespoons of honey in lukewarm bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Some do use colloidal oatmeal for less mess, but I prefer old fashioned rolled oats in a sock (don't add the milk and honey into the sock, add it separately to running bath water).
  • Face Scrub/Mask: 1 tablespoon of rolled oats with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water to make a medium thick paste. Gently exfoliate your face with this paste and leave on for 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
  • Boost Your Workouts: instead of sugar packed drinks or bars, try a small bowl of oatmeal 3 hours before a workout for endurance. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, pure energy for your body.
  • Go Beyond Your Morning Cereal: use oat flour for bread making, baking muffins and pancakes.
  • Make A Hair Mask: itchy scalp? Oatmeal is good for that too. Same idea with the oatmeal slurry but for your head instead. Really work into your hair so reaches your scalp and massage it in. Leave the hair mask on for 10-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
  • Foot Soak: tired and sore feet? Make a mini oatmeal bath, placing oats in a sock in a foot bath or dish washing tub with warm water. Add a cupful of Epsom salts and soak for 30 minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Honey, Lemon Tea & Me!

     A few nights ago I had a sore throat and woke up with a little chest congestion. I thought it was just my seasonal allergies, but this morning I woke up with an annoying cough. I don't need this cold business slowing me down! I have things to do. The Mister comes home after months of sea time (he's a merchant marine). Utah is very dusty and I have a couple furry old cats that make dust bunnies like crazy no matter how much I clean, wooden floors make it worse since you can see it. I now know what carpet and drapes are for; they're giant dust filters!
     But yes, this is definitely a cold, I need something soothing with a bit of a kick, which green tea with lemon and honey seems to fit. Green tea does have caffeine in it, approaximately 20-24 mg of caffeine per 8-oz cup while a cup of coffee is 95-100 mg. I like green tea and it contains a little cold fighting antioxidants and an antiviral if its organic green tea.
    I also like to add some fresh squeezed lemon juice and it does boost your immunities, reduces phlegm, especially if it is served hot as I do in tea. Then add honey for sore throat soothing. Additionally, if have local honey, it's the best if you are prone to seasonal allergies due to the bees collecting nectar from flowering trees and yes, weeds too will help you build a tolerance to these trees and weeds if the honey is consumed in small daily quantities.
     As for simple recipe for green tea with lemon and honey:
     In a tea cup add
     2 teaspoons of quality loose green tea or 1 tea bag
     1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
     1 tablespoon of local organic honey (or more)
      Then pour 8-oz boiling water and steep for 3 minutes. 
I like to float a lemon slice my cup of tea, for the extra lemon juice and oils that release with the heat of the hot water, but you can forgo this. Though it does look pretty. I drink a two or three cups of this tea a day when I have a cold.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sea Salt & Amber Soap!

     One of my favorite things to do in soap making is to design new soaps. I use all methods of soap making, cold process (CP), melt & pour (MP), hot process (HP), cold process oven method (CPOP) and hand milled soap. I usually do CPOP and MP, then sometimes handmill soap from fresh soap I made earlier.
      Handmill soaps are nice since I can add herbal tinctures or less fragrance/essential oils without worrying I will burn off those special added ingredients.
     The newest soap I have designed is the Sea Salt & Amber Soap which I've made from CPOP and MP soap methods.This a spa bar of soap, large size of five ounces containing pink kaolin clay, Himalayan sea salt, honey and shea butter. It has a lovely fragrance of amber resin, rosehips and jasmine.
     Pink clay and gold flecked soap reminds me of the sun as it sets behind a mountain range here in Utah. What's more, with the addition of clay, it gives a silky smooth feeling to skin and it's non-drying due to the honey and shea butter. You may purchase this soap for $6 in my shop right here while supplies last.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cannabis Sativa: What The Heck Is That?

     What is Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil? To some, this oil may sound familiar, it is hemp oil. This oil does not have narcotic components as the leaf, otherwise known as marijuana does. Hemp seed oil has therapeutic properties, many benefiting skin and hair because is rich in essential fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are said to prevent moisture loss in the skin and help prevent premature aging, and is effective in maintaining moisture balance. It can also be useful in alleviating certain skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.
     Hemp seed oil is also rich in gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, another type of omega-6 fatty acid. Other oils such evening primrose and borage also contain GLA. These oils have anti-inflammatory properties, which leads me to believe it is good for itchy dry skin, particularly for eczema. I have not used hemp seed oil in bath and body products, but have used evening primrose for personal use pertaining to eczema on my fingers ( a most annoying miserable place to have such a skin condition due to constant use, thus irritation).
     Also, this oil is good for oily skin care as it doesn't clog pores. In fact, it helps to reduce the size of pores, blackheads, acne, protects the skin from free radicals and provides the body with essential nutrients required in order to maintain epidermal lipids, skin’s water barrier, elasticity and softness.
     This hemp oil is considered a dry oil and needs to be used with a thicker oil to benefit dryer skins. I feel with the addition of olive oil it would be an exemplary oil for skin care, including the scalp. easily penetrating the epidermis layer to where it can be most useful, working from the inside out.
   Hemp seed oil is more cost effective compared to evening primrose and borage, making it easier on the wallet to include it in a more significant amount in base oils for handmade soap and lotion recipes. I say this, and do not have a single product with hemp seed oil! I need to get some, I really would like to offer it my customers and use it since researching it to do this  mini review of the oil to do this blog entry! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Over Ripe Bananas? Make a Face Mask Instead of Bread!

     One of the simplest (and cheapest) at home beauty treatments we can do at home is to make facial masks from ingredients in our food pantry and refrigerator. Also, it's the healthiest since there are no harsh chemicals like paraben (preservatives) and formaldehyde, which are known to be potential carcinogens/are carcinogens.  None of these harmful ingredients need to be added if freshly made bath and beauty products are used right away. Additionally, anything that water is introduced to and not used right away needs a preservative because nasties like mold will grow and multiple like dust bunnies on a hardwood floor.

     So, Let's GO Bananas! Use those bananas that sit over ripe and you don't have time to eat them or make them into banana nut bread. Mash them up in a bowl for a quick facial mask! You don't have to limit yourself just using the banana mask on your face, you can do a full body mask, including hair as well if you have enough bananas.
     Go a little bit health-nut crazy and drizzle some honey in the mashed bananas for added benefits, boosting skin soothing, hydrating banana mask. Leave the banana mask on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off, from head to toe. After this, you likely won't need a moisturizer, but you can, and are encouraged to do so if it include sun screen. However, remember to look for paraben-free moisturizer since it's readily available since minimizing your exposure to such ingredients wherever and whenever you can does your body good.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Remiss and a Revamping

     Hello! It's been quite awhile since my last post but Nebo Soap Company LLC is still alive and kicking up red dirt clouds, or so to speak. Red dirt clouds? The dirt around Utah is red from the iron oxide, which by they way, is a natural clay colorant. I've made a lot of soap, bath and body products due to this inspiration, for which I plan to continue because the beauty here in Utah is an everlasting visage. Quite literally, some rock formations go back as far as the Jurassic period 170 million years ago!
     I have changed the layout of this website and will be adding pages as you all may notice the links running across the top of the page. Some of these links are not currently working because I am constructing the pages. Once this is complete (hopefully this week) every link will be working on new pages then I can get back to posting to this blog on a regular basis. meaning new posts are coming soon and new posts each and every week!

Until then, take care all!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013