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.
If I told you there’s a pantry staple that can soothe sore muscles and calm irritated skin, would you guess it’s vinegar? It’s true! From minor aches to dry or itchy skin, I turn to herbal vinegar baths. On its own, a cup or two of vinegar in the tub will leave skin soft and rejuvenated with a healthful glow. But herb-infused vinegars take this concept a step further, using plant constituents to boost the already impressive benefits of a vinegar bath.
This juniper-rosemary blend was formulated to increase circulation, soothe sore muscles, and calm irritated skin. If tension and muscle stress build up during your work week, whether from commuting, computer work, or overdoing it in the garden, make this restorative soak a regular weekend or mid-week ritual.
Welcome to part three of my Elemental Perfume Blend series. What started as a journey to create fun DIY party favors for my upcoming wedding has turned into a rabbit hole of perfume recipe development. So far, I have shared an Earth Goddess perfume, an Aquatic Mermaid perfume, and now this wind-themed blend for my air sign friends.
With just three essential oils, this blend is made of top and middle notes to keep it as light as air.
Ravensara, one of the most underrated essential oils, is derived from the leaves of the Ravensara aromatica. This uplifting oil has herbal and camphoraceous notes with gentle hints of sweetness and becomes warmer and spicier as the scent begins to evolve. The oil is also renowned for its calming and “go with the flow” properties.
Coriander makes an appearance in this blend and is, in my opinion, THE most underutilized oil in natural perfumery. Extracted from the seeds of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum), this oil brings a touch of warmth, harmony, and familiarity. As a seed, it contains life-bearing and grounding qualities that help to promote a sense of stability when you have your head in the clouds.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi ) tops off the blend with a burst of zest and freshness. Known for its energizing qualities, grapefruit oil awakens the senses and revitalizes the mind. Its vibrant citrus notes infuse the blend with liveliness and a sense of weightlessness.
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!
Here we are again in the dog days of summer. We all know how important it is at this time of year to pay extra attention to our hydration and wellness. When the days and nights are too hot and your whole body is screaming for something cold and refreshing, herbal extracts and herbal syrups are an easy, delicious way to whip up nutritive, beat-the-heat fizzy drinks at a moments notice. The base of these “functional fizzies” is the same—with just ice, lime juice, and a carbonated water of your choice, you can mix and match simple syrups, herbal extracts, and herbal syrups to get exactly the flavors and wellness boost you need. We’ve got 3 delicious fizzy drink recipes to get you started: a Strawberry Aphrodite Fizz and Gingery Hibiscus Fizz with Ultra Elder extract, and a Gingery Green Tea Fizz with ashwagandha and cinnamon extracts. Keep your favorite simple syrups, extracts, and herbal syrups on hand to make the best summer refreshers.
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.
Summer being what it is—with all the extra sunshine and outdoor fun—our deodorant choices start to matter in a bigger way. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the potential issues that can come with using deodorants with ingredients like propylene glycol, aluminum, and triclosan, and have been turning more and more to natural deodorants. Unfortunately, while over-the-counter natural deodorants are a safer and more earth-friendly option than those loaded with parabens and chemicals, they are still packaged in mostly non-recyclable plastics that millions of Americans throw away every year. Happily, it’s an easy task to make your own natural, herbal, roll-on deodorant.
Just so we’re on the same page, it’s important to know that deodorants aren’t meant to reduce or eliminate sweat. No matter what those old antiperspirant ads used to tell you, sweating is essential for the human body. Its primary task, of course, is to help control body temperature, but sweating also helps moisturize the skin and increase skin hydration. The kind of sweat we produce when exercising or relaxing in a sauna is also evidence that we’re supporting heart health and mental wellbeing. Our bodies need to sweat, so it behooves us to find natural, safe ways to neutralize any resulting underarm odors from this necessary bodily process. That’s where our herbal allies come in!
This simple recipe for a liquid roll-on deodorant is a longtime, tried-and-true Mountain Rose Herbs favorite. It’s effective, wonderfully low-mess, and easily portable so we can take it with us and reapply as needed. Also, it is easy to customize to meet your unique needs and aroma preferences. Need more absorbency? Add a bit of baking soda or organic arrowroot powder. Want to customize the scent? Create your own blend of essential oils!