I LOVE comments, so please, if you have an opinion or would like to ask a question, do so. But do check back as I shall answer any questions in the comments of the relevant post - that way, everyone can benefit from everybody's knowledge and advice.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Perfect Skincare Routine


A skincare routine should be cleansing, toning and moisturising - these three you do every day. This does not include makeup removal which you would do prior to the cleanse, tone and moisturise routine.

If your skin is very dry, you could simply tone and moisturise in the morning, saving the cleansing for evening only.

Knowing your skin type will help you choose which natural beauty recipes to use in your skincare routine.

On top of this daily routine, you should deep cleanse on a regular basis. Deep cleansing can be done with mud masks or skin peels but don't be alarmed... all of these can be made from very natural and simple ingredients.

How often is a regular deep cleanse? Well, once again it depends upon your skin type. And everyone is different so you will have to experiment to see how it goes... but a good guideline is that you need to deep cleanse your pores about once a fortnight... increase or decrease this as you adjust your routine, based upon how your skin looks and feels. I have a greasy complexion and I need to deep cleanse about once a week... but sometimes twice a week... it depends what I see in the mirror every day!

There is also an extra step that many people forget about...

Feeding your skin.
This is required less frequently when you are young and more often as you get older. Feeding involves using creams, serums or face masks with more nourishing ingredients. Sometimes these are best applied at night as they tend to be richer and oilier than a daily moisturiser.

Even oily skins need to be fed... but if you have an oily skin you may like to choose recipes that include less 'greaasy' feeling ingredients, or ingredients that are absorbed into the skin more quickly. There are a number of plant oils suitable for oily skin. It's up to you to do a little reading and then choose one and try it out. There isn't a quick fix for this... I can't just tell you to use this organic face cream or that cold cream, you really do have to put a little effort in to understanding your own skin.

Yes I know this blog does seem to be veering away from it's title - Soap Teacher - Once all this theory stuff is on the site I promise there will be more posts of soap making recipes. Honest!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Do You Know Your Skin Type?

Why should you know your skintype? It's all very well my telling you how to make a wonderfully natural oil-based skin cleanser but if you already have very greasy skin, or perhaps a tendency to acne, then you are definitely not going to be very happy with it. Knowing your skintype is the key to improving on what nature gave you. Plus it will save you a lot of money and aggravation in the long run!

Choosing which products will be most useful for your particular skin is paramount if you wish to save money, time and energy (and possibly tears too!). Your skin will reflect your general health and the conditions under which you live, more or less updating on a day-to-day basis.

Firstly, if you do not eat and drink well (as in water not alcohol!) your skin is less likely to look its best. 'Burning the candle at both ends' is notorious for making the complexion look grey and dowdy - you only have to remember the 'morning after the night before' to understand where I am coming from.

Pollution, too much sun, too much wind, extreme cold, central heating, computer monitors, fast food, processed food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs (recreational and prescription), age and illness are all reflected in the health of your skin and will contribute to your natural skintype, making it worse or better.

There is also the predisposition of your genes. Yes, your skintype is inherited, and there's little you can do about that, but if we take what nature has given us as our starting point, there is quite a lot we can do to improve on it. Without breaking the budget or resorting to surgery I might add!

We need to be realistic here. When we are young and healthy we will be able to cope with most of the items on that long list without too much fuss, but as we get older, or if we become generally unwell (or continue to abuse our health), then the damage becomes much more obvious and our skin recovers much more slowly. It is really important therefore, to understand your skin type and the pressures that you are putting on your complexion. You must also review this regularly so that you can 'tweak' your choice of skincare products accordingly. Your regular skincare routine should be reviewed from time to time as your skin ages or as environmental changes take affect.


Know your Skintype: Normal has an even tone, the pores are usually not visible and there are no flaky or greasy patches. A normal complexion is supple and smooth and glows with inner health. The occasional spot or pimple may appear from time to time depending upon various conditions, puberty, menstruation, illness etc but in general this skintype is not likely to suffer from acne or other skin complaints. As always, you do have to continue to take care of your health (eat and drink healthily and take regular exercise) and follow a suitable skincare routine in order to maintain this skintype.Someone with normal skin can use just about any natural beauty product they like, it will be down to preference and the end result, to choose which ones become part of your regular routine.


Know your Skintype: Dry is uncomfortable and can be visibly so. With dry skin there is usually a lack of the skin's own natural oils which means the complexion is often flaky or even cracked. It is not simply lack of sebum (the skin's natural oil) that gives this appearance but also lack of moisture/hydration. Dehydration is often the cause of the most obvious symptoms for this skintype. A dry skin will feel taut after washing and is often prone to sensitivities. Wind, sun, central heating (including car heaters) and our computer screens, make dry skin noticeably worse. Illness and some specific medical conditions can cause extreme dry skin and related skin problems such as excema or psoriasis - if you suspect that your health is to blame then do seek professional advice from your doctor or specialist.
Our complexions have a tendency to dry out as we get older, and the age at which this happens is totally an individual thing, but our modern lifestyle definitely speeds up this process and dry skintypes will often develop wrinkles far sooner than normal or oily complexions.


Know your skintype: Oily often looks shiny and greasy with enlarged pores prone to blackheads. The complexion may look sallow or dirty. The skin has a tendency to look coarse and dull. This condition arises generally when there is overproduction of sebum (natural skin oil) and there are times in our life when this is prompted by our hormones. Adolescense is one of these. Oily skin is prone to acne and unsightly blemishes - again this is no stranger to most of us during puberty. However, hormonal imbalances can cause oiliness of the complexion at any age and diet is definitely a contributing factor. People with oily skin needs to deep cleanse more frequently and may find that natural skin peels become a regular and slightly more time consuming part of their routine. On the bright side, those with oily skintypes are often the last to get wrinkles and show the signs of ageing. But this benefit hardly outweighs the drab look that oily skins can often have.
Some people have combination skins where greasy patches form around the nose, chin and across the forehead. Managing this type of skin requires a mixture of products from the recomendations made for all the skintypes and you will have to take a little extra care in choosing which and what you use.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

De-Stressing... yes please!

De-Stress Bee Balm Recipe

This bee balm is perfect for massaging onto temples shoulders and neck at the start of a tension headache.
20ml Apricot Oil
10ml Calendula Oil
10ml Jojoba Oil
4g Bees Wax
1ml Vitamin E
2 drops Rosewood Essential Oil
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Follow instructions for making the basic bee balm.

It's as simple as that!

 Or.... if you want to be more complicated follow the instructions for infusing herbs in the oil - here you seem some wild thyme growing in Spain.  It was wonderfully aromatic, antiseptic and a bit stimulating for a de-stress balm, but some lavender perhaps would be more suitable for the de-stressing.  The thought, care and attention you put into making your balm will be rewarded in the results that you get.    A truly beautiful balm deserves the best therapeutic essential oils that you can afford - remember to wait until the balm is almost gloopy before mixing them in, that way you don't lose too much to the heat.  The act of massaging the oil in (either yourself or getting someone to help you) and relaxing while breathing in the aroma of the essential oils is also very important.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Babby Bottom Balm

Nappy Rash - The Natural Solution

Nappy rash, or diaper rash as it is known in the USA is easily prevented by the use of a barrier cream. The one's that you can buy in the chemist or supermarket always contain a preservative and often other ingredients such as synthetic fragrances that you might prefer not to put on your baby's bottom.

On this page you will find a couple of natural formulas that will do exactly the same job but without the worrying chemical ingredients. Of course if you are at all concerned about the safety of these recipes, as always, do check with your health professional before using them on your child.


This is a barrier cream suitable for use as a nappy cream or where a vegetable replacement for Vaseline is required. It is developed from the basic Bee Balm Recipe  The end result is quite thick and it stays on the skin for quite some time before slowly sinking in. The addition of healing shea butter and soothing jojoba will help protect delicate skin.
40g Castor Oil
18g Shea Butter
22g Jojoba
10g Fractionated Coconut Oil
10g Bees Wax
5 drops lavender Essential oil
2 drops Chamomile Essential oil
(The use of essential oils in this recipe is optional. You may prefer - while baby is under 6 months old to leave them out, if you are in doubt please check with a qualified aromatherapist.)

Combine all ingredients except the shea butter and the essential oils in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water. Melt everything very gently. Once the bees wax has melted remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the shea butter. The heat of the bees wax should melt the shea quite quickly. Stir it well. Allow the mixture to cool until like thick soup at which point add the essential oils, again stir very well, then pour into a clean sterilised jar. Leave for at least 24 hours to settle before use. (My hubby uses this balm on his thighs when he goes running - it really stops the chaffing and was one of my very first creations that got his seal of approval.  I was simply glowing I can tell you!!)