Sweet Almond Oil

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Well, hello there!

You probably came here to learn a little about one thing, didn’t you?

Almonds.

Or, more specifically, Sweet Almond Oil.

Well, you came to the right place.

Lets start with the basics:

1.) Almonds originated from the Middle East and South Asia.
2.) Sweet almond oil is extracted from almonds.

“No way!” you exclaim sarcastically, slapping a hand to your forehead. “They are?! I thought it was extracted from walnuts.”
“Well, some poor soul lied to you,” I say, patting you comfortingly on the arm. “And there’s more.” I lower my voice to a secretive whisper and cut my eyes from side to side. “There are two kinds of almonds.”
“Two?” you say.
“Oh, yes. Two.” I drape my arm around your shoulders. “Sweet and bitter. The sweet kind is more popular. Those are the ones you can eat and not worry about dying.”
“Dying?” you say, horrified.
“Yep. See, if you eat the bitter ones…” I trail off and take a finger across my throat. “Deadly, they are. Poisonous, they be. I wouldn’t recommend using it. For anything. But you’re not here to talk about those, are you?”

Now that we have covered how almond (sweet) the oil is made from, let us proceed to the vitamins in this oil: A, B, D and E along with some magnesium, zinc, potassium and healthy fats. Not to bad of a combination, eh?
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With all that goodness in one oil, you must be wondering what all the benefits are. Well, wonder no more, little traveler. Here are some of the benefits this marvelous oil possesses:

For Skin:
1.) Delays Signs of Aging. Now, I didn’t say, “Stops all aging! It’s the fountain of youth!” No, no. Just delays the signs. Which is nearly as good, right?
2.) Removes Impurities and Dead Skin Cells. Because of the vitamin A, it helps for maintaining healthy cell membranes
3.) Good solution for Psoriasis and Eczema. Ever get a little dry and itchy? Who hasn’t, right? This product is all about staying moist and smooth, let me tell ya. Ever see anyone walking around just glowing and beaming? They probably use a bar of soap containing this fabulous oil every night.
4.) Reduces Wrinkles and Fine Lines. Who knew looking younger started with a small dab of soothing oil?
5.) Heal Scars And Stretch Marks. Studies have found that almond oil heals post operative scars. This highlights the potential to heal any kind of scars and also applies to stretch marks. The cause behind stretch marks is a tearing in the dermis. It creates a differential movement between the dermis and the epidermis, leaving the collagen no time to fill up the stretch, so therefore heals slowly. Almond oil can boost this healing process and help the skin fill the camber formed by stretching
6.) Reduces Dark Circles. No need to be running around looking like a zombie when you have this product on hand
7.) Relieves sunburn
8.) Improves texture
For Hair:
1.) Promotes shiny, bright, and silky hair. Besides the high concentration of proteins and vitamins, all of which help add shine to dull, dry hair, additional fatty acids omega 9, 6 and 3 help reflect damaging UV rays and protects from the sun. This helps prevent the dullness that comes from hair that is very dry.
2.) Nourishes dryness. Not only to the lengths of the hair but the roots as well. It is lighter than many other oils, which makes it an excellent natural resource for leave-in protection. Because it is lighter, it is also an good option for finer hair that gets weighed down easily. It is also a perfect base for other helpful essential oils that may further moisturize the scalp and assist in fighting off dandruff.)
3.) Stimulates hair growth
4.) Reduces Scalp Inflammation. Being exposed to all those nasty elements like dust, heat, pollution, chemical styling products, does have an effect, most often leading to inflammation. But, fear not! Due to its high content of fatty acids, Sweet Almond Oil moisturizes and softens the scalp tissues and improves blood circulation, which helps reduce the inflammation.
As you probably noticed, there are a ton of benefits for Sweet Almond Oil! I only listed a few because I don’t want this turning into a short book.

It’s an amazing product. However, before you come to me saying how it didn’t work after trying it for one day, remember, like anything, consistent use will bring results.

You can always just use this oil straight from the bottle, but another easy way to stay consistent is by using soaps and lotions that have this oil in it already, of course! Having that bar in the shower or the lotion waiting on the counter in it’s pretty little container will be much more appealing then just a small, drab bottle of yellow liquid. And, when combined with all those other great oils, like castor, coconut, palm, etc., it becomes a powerhouse of goodness. Who can go wrong there?
– Zoie Yoder

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Oat Extract and Colloidal Oatmeal

Itchy skin is, well, awful! Most times when someone tells me they have itchy dry skin, the first thing that pops in my head is OATMEAL! And rightfully so. Oatmeal has a good reputation for helping sooth skin and add moisture.

Recently, I was making a new batch of soap with a new recipe  by Brambleberry’s Soap Queen, Soothing Baking Soda & Oatmeal Bar  and discovered, once again, that I was missing 2 ingredients, oat extract and colloidal oatmeal. So true to my nature, I went on a hunt to 1)see if can I make it and 2) what are the benefits to adding it in my soaps and other skin care products. To my wonderful surprise and amazement I could make both and adding these 2 ingredients were a definite plus to any bar. However, my current bar would not have the oat extract because I just don’t have patience to wait for the extract to be done!

First, let’s talk about some benefits of oats in your skin care products. Most of us have heard about how to take oatmeal baths for poison ivy, rashes, or other skin irritations because it helps to relieve the condition you or your loved one is suffering from. It is also a great moisturizer, it gets congealed when it is wet and helps to build a thin layer on your skin to keep moisture in. Oats are also filled spaonins, which are natural cleansers that gently clean your pores to remove dirt and oil.

The really great news is that you can make colloidal oatmeal right in your kitchen! Just grab some rolled (preferably organic) oats and grind those babies up till they are a fine powder. That’s it! This site on benefits of colloidal oatmeal has more detailed information and many great ways to use colloidal oatmeal for you and your pets (yes, Hank the dog and Millie the cat get itchy skin too). Colloidal oatmeal can be used in conditioners for hair, lotions, soaps, face creams, and masks. Usage rate varies depending on the product you are making: for soap up to 5%, added to a bath for milk bath-50%, masks up to 25%, and creams and lotions up to 1%.

Now on to oat extract. Oat Extract is a great addition to your skin care creations for the moisturizing properties and anti-aging properties for all skin types. This extract would also be a great additive for baby skin products (think lavender or rose water, oat extract, and colloidal oatmeal in a soothing bar) for diaper rash or other skin irritants. The nice thing about using oat extract for your skin care products is that you don’t have to worry about bits of oatmeal clogging up your lotion pumps or soap dispensers in case you don’t get the oats ground fine enough.  You can just pour the extract in and let it do its work. Recommended usage rates for oat extract is up 10% for soaps, lotions, conditioners, and creams.

If you have made tinctures before you will have no problem making this extract. Tinctures are wonderful way to extract oils, nutrients, photochemical (chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants (phyto means “plant” in Greek)) and other important compounds in plants. A tincture usually uses a solvent, such as alcohol (90-100 proof vodka—you can also use Everclear using ½ water and ½ Everclear). Tinctures can also be made by using glycerin, although it will not make as strong of a tincture and the shelf life will not be as long. Tinctures are usually taken orally as medicine but for our purposes we are using it for skincare.

Ok so grab your tincture ingredients and lets get busy!

Oat Extract

1 quart glass jar
Coarsely ground rolled oats, enough to fill your jar ½ to little less than ½ full
Vodka, glycerin, or a equal parts mixture of Everclear & water
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1. Grind your oats to a coarse flour.

2. Place oats in your glass jar and fill to the top of the neck with your vodka, everclear mixture, or glycerin.

 

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3. Place lid on your jar and put in cool dark place for 3-6weeks. Shake every day.
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4. After 3-6 weeks take out a second jar, place cheese cloth over the neck and strain your new tincture. You can use a coffee filter to strain your oat extract for the 2nd and beyond straining. It may take several strainings to get it really clear.

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5. Store in a jar in a dark cool place.

Note: If you don’t want that much tincture/extract (about a pint) you can cut it in half and so on, follow the rest of the directions.

 

 

Whoa! Now That’s Some Red Soap! Coloring With Red Kaolin Clay

Clays can be  a very beneficial ingredient to add to your creations. Everything from masks to colorants in soaps and the best part is they are natural. I don’t have a lot of experience with the colorant clays, i.e. red, orange, or French green clay, but I have worked with bentonite clay in our soaps and love it.  It is also just a good all-round clay to have in your medicine cabinet and every home should have some. But today I decided to experiment with the red kaolin clay in a new bar that I put together for Valentine’s Day.

First Some Information On Kaolinite Clay

Kaolin is a clay mineral and comes in shades of yellow, red, and pink, and white. White kaolin is very  versatile and is popular ingredient used in a wide  range of powdered and dry cosmetics and can also be found in skincare products for an example in face masks, soaps, scrubs, deodorants,  and many more products.

The reason that white kaolin popular  can be attributed to the fact that it is the mildest of all clays, as-matter-of-fact,  too mild to draw out oil.  Unlike bentonite clay, kaolin clay does not swell much with adding  of water,  also unlike bentonite clay it does not absorb and bind toxins and other impurities, which makes it perfect for those with very sensitive or dry skin. It’s just absorbent enough to gently draw dirt, toxins and bacteria from the skin while leaving behind your skin’s natural oils in tact. Kaolin is  also great for use in cosmetics because it tends to be gentle enough for more long-term wear.

And Now–Red Kaolin Clay

The most absorbent of all the Kaolin Clays. It draws toxins and oils from the skin and can be very drying to your skin if you have sensitive skin. This clay is great though if you have oily skin.

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Red Kaolin Clay

Dry red kaolin clay

Natural Colorant for Soap—It is a very bold red with a hint of orange. Recommended usage for soap making is 1 TBSP per 1 pound of soap. In our experiment we used 3 TBSP and thought that it was a bit more red then what we wanted. It will quicken your trace so be prepared to pour into your molds as soon you’re done. We’ll post how it turned out when it is done curing! NOTE–It can stain towels, etc. when used in scrubs or masks.