Tuesday, July 14, 2015

DIY Homemade Sunscreen and Bug Repellent

by Carla Ludington

OK, so this will be a quick and short post, just to let you know how this went and where to find more info!

With two family reunions and a mini vacation in the middle, we were going to be in the southern part of New Mexico, pretty much outdoors and/or camping, in July (100 degrees + kind of weather). I have 5 kiddos ages 2-11, and didn’t want our vacation marred by miserable sunburns (and away from home). I thought I could pick up zinc oxide at one of the natural grocery stores in town, but found NO ONE carried zinc oxide, and I would have to order it.  Huge bummer, because I waited too long to make it, and didn’t have time to have it shipped and get it before we left :0(   I posted on my Facebook for any local friends that may have some, and found someone on our travel route that was super generous to let me pick some up (shout out to Cathy, you’re awesome!!!).

So, here is the skinny on what I did.  I didn’t have a scale on me while traveling, lol, so I used a rough estimate on measurements and compared quantities with a few other recipes.

1/8 c (1/2 oz) beeswax
1/4 c (2 oz) shea butter
1/4 c (2 oz) coconut oil
2 Tbsp (1 oz) zinc oxide powder, NON NANO

1/2 tsp vitamin E oil

Melt the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler (I just used a glass bowl on top of a pan). After it is melted completely, add the zinc oxide and vitamin E oil.  Stir until dissolved and mixed thoroughly.  Transfer to another container for storage.  (Glass won't be a great option if you are going pool side. I considered reusing an empty plastic sunscreen tube, but as it was last minute, I ended up reusing another container instead.)

I wanted to make this sunscreen and bug repellent all in one, so I added essential oils, but right after I did this, I decided it was really dumb, because I didn't want to put it on the kids faces so it wouldn't get in their eyes, argh :-\
(we ended up using it everywhere except on their faces).  Guess I will be trying a spray on bug repellent next! (BTW, the essential oils I used were lavender, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemongrass.  I find citronella is one of the most referenced, but 1. I can't stand the smell and 2. I didn't bring it anyways)

My DIY sunscreen worked GREAT, but you definitely need to REAPPLY OFTEN.  All of my research and reading has said that as well, so this may not be a great option for everyone. I personally think we need more exposure to vitamin D than what is recommended, so we rarely if ever use sunscreen at our house, but ALL DAY outdoors activities is another matter all together!

This page was a very informative (and fascinating) read with info about SPF. A few important tidbits I learned there:
* Adding twice the zinc doesn't make it twice as effective. (SPF of 15 always seemed low to me, but I found it blocks 93% of UVB rays. Going higher in SPF is NOT proportional to the amount of zinc added, doubling to an SPF 30 only gives you another 4% of protection).
* Being skimpy in your sunscreen application can really kill the effectiveness since it doesn't just decrease by the amount you skip, it decreases by the square root - a 1/2 application of SPF 30 will yield an SPF of 5.5!!
* It is recommended you use 1 oz of SPF 15 for full body coverage every 2 hours.

Here is the other page I found most helpful in my research, PLUS you can purchase homemade sunscreen in her shop for those who don't (want to/have the supplies/have the time) to make it yourself!  My out of pocket expenses for this were just for the zinc oxide, as I had everything else already on hand from several projects, but primarily from making lotion bars a few years ago (which I LOVE and will have to post about!)

Well, hope this was helpful and saves you some time and research.

Enjoy your time in the sun!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Edgewood Community Self Reliance Fair

Homemade Home & Personal Care Products
by Carla Ludington

A Big Shout Out to everyone who came to the Self Reliance Fair.  It was fun to chat with everyone who came by the booth :0)  I hope you learned a lot and found a lot of great resources.  I was bummed I didn't get to go to the classes, I heard they had some great info they shared!

Here are links and info for all the items on my table yesterday.  I hope you found something you would like to try, it is great to be able to make them myself when I am running low, especially when it saves money and the ingredient list is small and known!!

You could probably find most of the ingredients at any type of health food store, i.e. Vitamin Cottage (store and online), Whole Foods, Vita Cost, or Bulk Apothecary. Some of the items can also be found at your local grocery store.

Don't feel like you have to do them all!!!!  It is so easy to get overwhelmed, just start where you are and do a little bit at a time. I started several years ago, and have really only done 1 things every couple months.  Now, several years later, I have a lot under my belt lots but more to go!!

One last note, if you are using essential oils, it is best to store them in glass bottles, as the essential oils can deteriorate plastic, however re-purposing / recycling plastic bottles is a great way to keep them out of the landfill, and once they start deteriorating, you can consider another container.

If you have questions or suggestions, we'd love to hear about them in the comments, we are all learning together.  Best of wishes on your journey, hope to see you again soon!!

Thanks again for stopping by!!

Tooth Soap is one of my favorite homemade finds.  It is easy to put together, short ingredient list, and super healthy for your teeth.  For more info you can check out "The Perfect Prescription for your Teeth" by K. "V" Van Cleef, or check out the Dr. Weston A. Price Foundation

Tooth Soap
2 Tbsp HOT water
4 tsp liquid castile soap
½ c melted coconut oil
2 tsp xylitol
20-30 drops essential oils (Oil of Oregano is super powerful, Clove helps with gingivitis and sensitivity, or kids really like Sweet Orange)

Boil a small amount of water. In a glass bowl, glass jar, food processor, or blender, dissolve sugar in hot water. Add coconut oil, soap, and essential oils. Blend until frothy. Scoop into an airtight container (can put in a quart sized Ziploc bag, snip one of the bottom corners off, and just “pipe” the tooth soap into a pump bottle).

Source: http://homesteadwannabes.blogspot.com/2010/11/homemade-tooth-soap-recipe-healthy.html

3 T Baking Soda
2 T Arrowroot (optional)
Essential Oils (optional)

Combine shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler (or a quart size glass mason jar with a lid and place this in a small saucepan of water) until melted. Add essential oils.  Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder (can use cornstarch or more baking soda instead of arrowroot powder). Mix well.  Pour into a glass container for storage. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.  You can let it cool completely and put it into an old deodorant stick for easier use, however if it begins to melt, it will come out of the bottom of the deodorant stick container (hypothetically, lol).

Don’t want to use shea butter? (it helps keep it firm in warmer weather) try using 6 Tbsp coconut oil, 4 Tbsp baking soda, and 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder, (also essential oils are still optional). Mixdry ingredients together, then “cut in” or mash coconut oil int until well mixed. Add oils if desired. Store in same manner as above.

The hand sanitizer is one of my favorite items (after the tooth soap!). My favorite scent is the combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary.  I keep it in my purse for times when we are out and about and need a little cleaning, changing diapers, public bathrooms, meals in public, zoo trips, etc.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Hand Sanitizer Spritz/Spray
4 oz glass spray bottle
2 tsp aloe vera gel
8-10 drops vitamin E oil (optional)
30 drops total of essential oils
(8 drops each of Lemon, Lime, Eucalyptus, and 6 drops Lavender OR 10 drops Clove, 9 drops Lemon, 5 drops Cinnamon, 4 drops Eucalyptus, 2 drops Rosemary)

Fill your glass bottle half-full with water.  Add aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and essential oils.  Fill any remaining space in bottle with water and shake well.  To use:  spray liberally on hands and rub together.

Hand Sanitizer Gel
1 c pure aloe vera gel
1-2 tsp witch hazel (add until the desired consistency is reached)
25 drops tea tree oil (NOT for pregnant or nursing women or children under 1)
OR safe for families:  lavender and pine (round out with citrus or rosemary)
Combine mixture in a glass bowl, shake or stir to combine. Can re-use a small plastic hand sanitizer bottle . Shake before use to distribute the oils.

This is another favorite at our house.  Easy and inexpensive!  **I will confess the initial outlay for the liquid castile soap seems pricey (I bought the large bottle on sale for $10) but it lasts, literally, FOREVER.

Foaming Hand Soap
1 c water
2 Tbsp liquid castile soap (4 Tbsp for thicker soap)
8-12 drops of essential oils.  (Our family loved lemon-grass)
Foaming hand soap bottle (recycled)

Add water, soap and essential oils to the foaming hand soap bottle.  Mix gently, and enjoy.  If you have very hard water, the soap can suspend in the water and will look cloudy (this didn’t seem to affect usability).
Source:  right here!!!  well, on this post here to be exact:  http://ourjourneytoselfreliance.blogspot.com/2012/04/homemade-foaming-hand-soap.html

Laundry Spot Remover
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup liquid castile soap
¼ cup liquid vegetable glycerin
5-10 drops of lemon essential oil
Glass (or plastic) spray bottle

Mix all ingredients together. To use:  shake well and apply liberally to spots and stains. Lightly rub mixture into fabric with fingertips.  Works best if you treat spot immediately and allow to soak before washing.

Another favorite at our house.  (Please be careful not to leave this one down where little hands can get it as it does contain rubbing alcohol, even if it is in small amounts).  

Alvin Corn Glass Cleaner
1/8 c rubbing alcohol
1/8 c white vinegar
½ Tbsp cornstarch
1 c hot water, filtered preferred

Boil your water and let it cool just a bit. Add cornstarch to your spray bottle, and then the hot water.  Shake well to dissolve. Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar, and shake again. Every time you use this, you’ll want to shake it up to avoid clogging the spray nozzle with un-dissolved cornstarch.  Use liberally and happily. Smile.

All-Purpose Orange Power Cleaner
1 quart sized mason jar
Repurposed spray bottle
1 quart White Vinegar
Orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime peels (or any combination of these)
Optional: 3-4 drops lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oil

Place 3-4 citrus rinds in a quart jar about half full of citrus peels.  Fill the rest of the way up with white vinegar.  Cover tightly with a lid and shake. Steep peels and vinegar 2-3 weeks (the longer it sits, the more potent it will get!) Remove peels and strain through a fine strainer.  Dilute 1:1 with water (one part citrus vinegar to one part water) and place in a spray bottle.  Optional: add 3-4 drops essential oil to boost it’s cleaning power.  Use as you would your plain vinegar cleaner: on sinks, countertops, bathtubs, toilets, floors, etc., and as the rinse aid in your dishwasher. (not recommended for wood floors, granite, or marble)

Bathtub & Shower Cleaning Gel
1 cup white vinegar (hot)
½-1 cup blue Dawn dish detergent

Place both in a squirt bottle (or an empty shampoo bottle). Shake to create a gel. Squirt the solution all over your tub, and allow to sit for a few minutes (you can let it sit overnight if you have some really hard to clean spots). Wipe off with a sponge or rag, then rinse.  Works great with hard water :0)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Awesome Christmas gifts for the prepper

 It can be tricky to get just the right gift for someone. I do think I am a good gift-giver all it really takes is thinking about the person in minds interests and listening to them and you will know just what to get. Though it does seem to take longer to come up with the right gift for some more then others.There is great satisfaction in giving gifts that are thoughtful and meaningful. My father in law is hard to get the right gift for so as I was thinking about what to get him I figured I would share some ideas not just for the hard to buy for men on your list but the prepper on your list too. These will make great gifts or stocking stuffers.

Milk Kefir Grains
Milk Kefir Grains (Make sure to get the plastic strainer) Carla got this for me last Christmas and I thought it was a great gift, it was thoughtful too, she knew I wanted to start making Kefir on my own.

Gun Ball Bouncing Target 
We got this for my FIL for his B-day and he loves it.
Para-cord bracelet. Always there if you need it para-cord can handle up to 550lbs of weight, it has a ton of uses check out the site to see them all.
Men's Fire Hose Work Pants
Fire Hose Work Pants. My FIL and husband LOVE them. My hubby wears out pants fast and these have really held up amazingly. They are comfortable according to him and they look good on him so that doesn't hurt either;)

6 - 10 ft Rolls X-Treme Tape
X-treme Tape. It can stretch 3x it's length, doesn't melt until 550F , insulates up to 800 volts, and forms air and water tight seals. A good thing to have around and a great stocking stuffer for the home improvement person in your life.

Re-usable canning lids

Dissolvable canning labels

Well hope this helps and if nothing else triggers ideas for other gifts!

Merry Christmas!