It’s the season for everyone’s favorite autumnal spices. Crisp fall scents and flavors are in our lattes, our pastries, our diffusers, our perfumes, and more. They’re also in one of my favorite Mountain Rose Herbs lotion recipes! Although I love thicker creams and body butters for everyday moisturizing, I like to keep lotion in a pump bottle by the sink to use after hand-washing. This DIY lotion recipe is so easy to make, which means it’s simple to switch up the scent to match the seasons or my current mood. This time of year, it’s all about the satisfying aromas of autumn.
Let’s talk for a moment about shelf life. Although this is a fun and easy way to make lotion, it does not have a preservative and includes water in the form of chamomile hydrosol. This means it’s going to have a shorter shelf life than a product that includes preservatives. Water breeds life, including microbial life, so mold and other bacterial spoilage can become an issue with any formulation that includes water, hydrosols, witch hazel, aloe vera juice, flower waters, milk, etc. Without a broad-spectrum preservative, water-containing emulsions like lotions, hair rinses, room and linen sprays, and cleaning products all need to be made and stored properly to achieve their longest shelf life.
Perhaps every herbalist or skincare formulator has a recipe that once wholly intimidated them. Homemade lotion was one of those for me. I had a pretty epic and expensive DIY lotion fail once, and it took me a long time to build up enough confidence to try blending water and oil into something usable again. Mountain Rose’s organic sweetgrass hydrosol was the impetus to suck up my courage and try again. Its subtle, honeyed aroma has a wonderfully green-earth undertone that makes it a perfect base for a variety of skincare formulations, from facial toners to body sprays to lotions. In this simple lotion recipe, I love it with just a touch of vanilla in the form of organic benzoin resin.
Humans have been cultivating sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) for over 6,000 years, and it has a long history of spiritual use: strewn on the floors of Medieval churches in Europe and considered one of the four sacred herbs by First Nations peoples in North America. Sometimes called the “hair of Mother Earth,” sweetgrass is said to please the spirits and is an excellent choice to prepare spaces for prayer, ritual, and meditation. In its hydrosol form, I find it has that same “clearing” element to its scent; it resets my mind and opens my heart.
Humans have been cultivating sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) for over 6,000 years. Sometimes called the “hair of Mother Earth,” it is said to please the spirits and is an excellent choice to prepare spaces for prayer, ritual, and meditation. In its hydrosol form, sweetgrass brings this same sense of “clearing” in its subtle, honeyed aroma and offers a green-earth undertone that makes it a perfect ingredient in a wide variety of skincare formulations including facial toners, body sprays, and lotions. We wanted to give people an easy way to experience sweetgrass hydrosol for themselves, so we whipped up a new homemade lotion recipe we think you’re going to love!
Have you ever had the opportunity to experience guasha? This traditional East Asian practice is sometimes used as a complement to massage, acupuncture, herbalism, moxibustion, energy work, lifestyle medicine, and more. Practitioners draw a guasha ban (刮痧板) (guasha tool) over the skin with varying degrees of pressure to elicit different effects on the body.
Although guasha is used to treat complex bodily issues, one wonderful way to experience this age-old art is a gentle facial guasha. We’re excited that our friend, herbalist, and East Asian Medicine practitioner, Jiling Lin, has a new blog with all the information we need to do facial guasha at home!
Many of us are ready for fall, but the truth remains that we are still in summer and it is hawt! With the heat and sun come sunburn, heat rash, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. There are things we can do to prevent these from happening and natural remedies for when they do.
Why Do We Get Sunburn?
Sunburn is an acute inflammatory response by the skin in reaction to excessive exposure to sunlight. The harmful changes that occur in the skin cells’ cytoplasm (a gel-like substance that is between the cell membrane and nucleus) and the nucleus itself are cumulative over a lifespan and can lead to an increased incidence of skin cancer. Sunburn is common in this era of popular outside summer activities and clothing styles that leave more skin exposed to the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. We’ve all had that burning sensation after being in the sun too long. While limiting sun exposure is the most reliable method of preventing sunburn, we do want to be able to bask in the sun, don’t we?
A good shaving cream can make all the difference when you want a close, smooth shave. Whether you’re doing some full-body grooming or just cleaning up your beard, the rich texture of this cream feels wonderful as it creates the perfect barrier to safely and softly shave away unwanted hair.
We chose kukui nut oil for its wealth of linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids to nourish your skin and we’ve added rosemary and bergamot mint essential oils for a fresh and clean scent. This shaving cream is also completely customizable—substitute oils and butters of your choice or create a different essential oil blend to make it your own!
A good shaving cream can make all the difference in both the quality and comfort of a shave. It’s no wonder then that this homemade shaving cream recipe has been such a longtime favorite of the Mountain Rose Herbs community. Whether you’re working on your beard, your head, or a full-body cleanup, the rich texture of this cream feels wonderful on the skin as it nourishes, hydrates, and makes a perfect surface to safely and comfortably shave away unwanted hair.
We’ve chosen kukui nut oil for its wealth of linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids and added rosemary and bergamot mint essential oils to give our shaving cream a wonderfully clean scent. But one of the beauties of this recipe is that it is supremely customizable. Feel free to substitute oils and butters (sunflower oil would be a good swap for the kukui nut oil) and create your own essential oil blend to suit your mood.
This time of year, I’m reminded of my love for herbal salves, and in particular, this Gardener’s Salve. The blend has been in the Mountain Rose recipe book for many years and is one that I turn to each spring and summer. Between planting, weeding, and pruning, my hard-working hands reach for this DIY hand balm time and time again. Being with the plants does wonders for my emotional wellbeing so taking the proper steps to ensure I can do it in optimal comfort and for many years to come is very important to me.
Herbalists love hydrosols for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy, body care formulations, therapeutic applications, cosmetics, and more. They add variety and scope to our herbal practices and we appreciate the added safety they give us when working with children, elders, and pets. But what exactly are hydrosols, is one as good as another, and how do you use them? We’re excited to tell you more about these distilled botanical extracts, plus we’ve got good tips on best uses and some suggestions about which ones you might like best.
The holidays are upon us, and this season we’re making luscious bath truffles! They’re less finicky than making bath bombs and they’re packed with rich, hydrating oils and butters so you can soak away the stress of the day and give your skin some extra love at the same time. We originally learned how to make these bath truffles from our friend Janice Cox, and we’re loving the myriad of ways we can customize her base recipe. We think this fresh, uplifting chocolate chip mint variation is perfect for winter 2022! Bonus: for the perfect gifts, you can make these balls of skin-loving goodness look like little chocolate chip-sprinkled ice cream scoops!