Honeyed Coffee Salve

This salve is so simple, it doesn’t even qualify to be called a recipe šŸ˜€ 

Three parts coffee-infused organic coconut oil and one part organic raw beeswax come together into a salve that’s firm enough to pour into a lip balm tube. I’ve chosen this darling little container because I plan to use it as more than just lip balm. 

The coffee scent come through quite strong because the oil infusion was very potent and my testers (willing and unwilling…lol) have given it the thumbs up! 

C.O.F.F.E.EĀ 

I infused some good quality ground coffee into organic coconut oil a few days back. The plan is to use the result in a few applications which I will blog or instagram šŸ˜€

After a few days of infusing in a warm sunny spot, I strained the oil in the fancy setup pictured above for about 18 hours to ensure I got at least 90% of the oils out (this is not an exact science of course but it works for me) and emptied the grounds into a clean jar. 

This can be used as is for an amazing body scrub in the shower but I couldn’t leave it alone. I like the feel of an emulsified scrub so I added in some P80 and fine sugar.

The P80 helps to disperse the oil left in the scrub in water so that the result is a scrub that’s slightly easier to apply and rinses off clean. 

I’m leaving half this batch beside the kitchen as coffee is brilliant for getting rid of odors (garlic onion etc) and the rest will be used up tonight šŸ˜‰ 

 

How I Make Ginger Oil

A few days ago I posted this picture on my instagram page @ninibodytreats.

It’s wet ginger pulp in case you are wondering and in spite of all the things it could have ended up being, my only intention was to turn it into aromatic oil for use in bath and body products. 

To make the oil, I thoroughly dry out the pulp before maceration. 

If I’m in a hurry, I use a small crocpot to gently steep the dried herb in oil (either a single oil or combination) on very low heat for over 6 hours. If I have time on my side, I steep the herb in oil in a glass jar for 6 weeks, shaking the bottle at least once a day.

The result is the most fragrant natural oil that can be used directly (depending on the ratio of herb to oil) or mixed with Shea or cocoabutter for a warming body butter. I also use it in lip balm. 

Hope this has been useful. I would like to hear about your herbal oil creations.

Shelf Life of Handcrafted Creams & Lotions

This post was inspired by finding a jar of thick lotion I made for my sister last year in one of her cupboards. It was a fragrance free cocoabutter lotion made with a strong calendula tea. 

Why? Although everything looked smelled and felt okay, it had passed the ‘fresh by’ date on handcrafted lotion (with preservative) that I’m comfortable with and its not always that nasties growing in product is visible to the naked eye. Especially if you live in hot, sticky high humidity areas like I do. 

Unlike commercially produced lotions which are usually no more than chemicals that help preserve the emulsion for a very long time and under stressful conditions, handmade creams are not meant to last forever.

Also, unlike handcrafted soap which tends to get better with age (unless one or more of your oils go rancid) creams and lotions are best used up within 6 months. Some may last up to a year if kept in pump bottles away from direct heat, etc, but I would err on the side of 6 months and just make a fresh batch with active ingredients.