Saturday, September 10, 2011

Make Your Own Multi-Use Oil

With fall almost here and winter close behind, it's important to get ahead of the game and start hydrating your skin and hair a bit more than usual to prevent dryness once the cold really sets in. I absolutely love natural oils, as I'm sure you know if you've read my blog before. They have so many uses and they're so amazing!

Anyway, I thought I'd share one of my oil recipes for creating a multi-use oil. This oil can be used for your hair, skin, and even as massage oil! For the recipe I'm going to do it in "parts" rather than specific measurements so that you can decide how much or how little you wish to make at one time.

I suggest using a dropper to dispense the oils into whatever container you use to store the multi-use oil because it can really cut down on the mess. I also suggest using a dark glass bottle to store the oils as this will protect them from light, which can leave them less effective. Also, oil can break down plastics, which you don't want, so glass is best.

You'll need the following oils, all of which I've seen at health food stores I frequent. I purchase mine from a co-op I'm a part of, but obviously you can get yours wherever is most convenient. I'd just caution you from buying from non-natural companies as the oils can be of poor quality.

You'll need...

Apricot Oil - Apricot is great because it has amazing moisturizing properties, but does not leave a super greasy feeling and it is very gentle on sensitive skin. Lots of vitamin A and E, fatty acids, etc.

Grapeseed Oil -  Grapeseed is high in antioxidants and is great for oily skin.

Castor Oil - Castor has many internal and external benefits, but it is extremely high in fatty acids so it is amazing for your skin. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and a million other fabulous properties.

Rosemary Seed Extract and/or Grapefruit Seed Extract (Optional) - This only needs to be added if you intend to store the oil you make for a period of time. Rosemary seed extract and grapefruit seed extract are used as a preservatives in oils as they have antioxidant properties that prevent the oils from going bad sooner.

Essential Oil of Your Choice (Optional) - I avoid using things that include "fragrance", meaning chemical fragrances, whenever possible. I do wear perfume, though not daily, but I don't douse myself in it the way I would a moisturizing oil or massage oil. Essential oils are a natural way to get an amazingly scented product without the unnecessary chemicals. My preference for scents tends to be citrus-y over musky or spicy, but obviously you want to use whatever you like best!

The recipe...

5 parts Apricot Oil
5 parts Grapeseed Oil
2 parts Castor Oil
12 drops essential oil (or more or less depending on your presence)
1% Rosemary Seed Extract and/or Grapefruit Seed Extract (1% of the volume of the total multi-use oil made)

Put all of the oils into a bowl if you don't intend to store the finished product and use a whisk (I use mini whisks for small batches) to mix them. If I plan to store the final product, I put the oils directly into a glass bottle (amber or cobalt), cap it, then gently swirl and shake it.

How to use the multi-use oil

1. In your hair: The next time you plan to take a shower, put the oil into your hair 20-30 minutes beforehand, then simply wash your hair with an SLS-free shampoo and condition it with a light conditioner. You can choose to warm the oil a tad beforehand or not. You don't want it super hot!

2. On your skin: You can use this oil to moisturize your skin after showers, simply smooth it into your skin the same way you would a lotion. This recipe is light enough that it won't leave your skin super greasy! I use oils on my face, but I know many people with super oily skin prefer not to. It's up to you! This really does a great job of leaving skin very hydrated.

3. Massage: This can work really well as a massage oil. Even though it's a less heavy multi-use oil, if you use a bit more than you would to simply moisturize it gives you a nice glide and of course you can reapply if you need more glide. I love this as a massage oil!

I usually add Sweet Orange essential oil with a touch of Chamomile (Roman) essential oil, I love it and Hubs doesn't mind the scent either! Let me know if you give this a try ;)

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