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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Tag: organic body care

3 Skin Rituals for Spring

Katie Gordon

Spring is a weird time for my skin. It feels as if a layer is being shed, like a snake sloughs off its skin, each year in the spring and again in the fall. It's a time of transition, sort of the inbetween. In the spring, our body's naturally want to purify and clear out old sludge, which it does partially through the skin. So it's important to be supporting that purification process by doing things like drinking lots of water and incorporating more greens into your meals. Herb-infused vinegars are a fun way of moving liver qi and also getting liver-loving herbs like nettle, sage, and rosemary into your diet. You can use them to make homemade salad dressings, add them to soup/broth, or make it into a sweet + sour sparkly beverage by adding sparkling water and fruit juice. 

But, I always love trying out new homemade skin care products and routines. And I believe in skin care as a ritual. So here are 3 ways to help your skin make a smooth transition from winter to spring this year:

  • Wash with Honey - That's it. Spoon a nickel size of honey into your hands, warm it up a bit by rubbing your hands together, and spread it over your face in light circles. If you want to get really fancy and add another purifying element to your skin care ritual, you could add a bit of fine sea salt (not course sea salt!) to your honey for a bit of exfoliation. 
  • Wakame + Aloe Vera Facial Mist - Seaweed (like Wakame) is wonderfully moistening and nourishing to the skin. That tissue that's trying to emerge from under the snake skin is going to love the combination of sea vegetables and aloe. To make this, put a bit of wakame in a jar and cover it with rose water or any hydrosol. Let it sit for a day or so (or even an hour) strain it, and add a bit of Aloe Vera Gel. Side note: I use about 3:1 hydrosol to aloe ratio. Seaweed smells a little...oceanic. So you may want to add a few drops of a skin-soothing essential oil such as lavender. Mist over your honey-cleansed face, allowing the seaweed and aloe to soak in. 
  • Make your own facial oil - I think people get a little overwhelmed when trying to decide what carrier oils to use, how much of each ingredient, what's right for your skin type, etc. This time of year, I like to use lighter carrier oils so my skin can breathe. I suggest equal parts of jojoba and grapeseed oils, with a half part of argan oil. You can leave it at that, or add a few drops each of rose, lavender, helichrysum, and vetiver essential oils. Shake it up in your dropper bottle, and you've got yourself a pretty dang good facial oil. Now, part of the ritual is actually making your facial oil because creating = magic! But if you can't be bothered with making your own, (hey no judgments here, we all have stuff to do), I've been using the Luna Face Serum No. 2 and my skin's been loving it!

Lavender Mint Body Butter

Katie Gordon

Last weekend I got to hawk my wares for the first time ever (!!!) at Portland Plant Medicine Gathering. It was one of the best experiences I've had in owning a business, and it made me realize how much easier it is for me to simply sell my products online, either through Etsy or my own website, than it is to actually have to stand up in front of people all day and talk about what I do and why. But I loved it! Getting to see HOW people experience the things you've put so much love, time, and energy into crafting is one of the best things ever. Knowing that people deeply resonate with your art, in whatever form that art takes, is what keeps us creating and doing the work we feel compelled to do. 

Photo credit:  HerbRally

Photo credit: HerbRally

One thing I got great feedback about was my body butter. People actually asked if I ever take on apprentices to teach how to make body care. (I don't. But if you're interested, live in the area, and don't mind being paid in tea and good, albeit sometimes sarcastic, company, feel free to shoot me an email ;) ) I will, however, share my body butter recipe! I don't actually sell this particular scent, although maybe I will now, but it's one of my favorite essential oil blends. This is, however, the base that I use for all my body butters, sometimes mixing and matching various butter and oil combinations.

Lavender Mint Body Butter

1/4 c. Shea Butter
1/4 c. Mango Butter
1/2 c. Sunflower or Almond Oil
A few drops of Vitamin E Oil
30 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
30 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil 
Optional, few drops of Vetiver Essential Oil - because it's rooty and cooling and wonderful

As a side note, this is just my method. It's a bit of a process, but one for which I very much enjoy setting aside the time. 

Begin by melting the butters and oil together in a double boiler over low heat. Once completely melted, put the bowl in the fridge and let it cool until it becomes mostly solid (at least one hour). Shea butter crystallizes if it doesn't cool quickly enough, which is why sometimes DIY body butters feel a little gritty. Cooling it in the fridge will keep this from happening.  

Once solid, take it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature. Add your essential oils and vitamin E oil. Then use a hand mixer to whip everything together for a minute or so, just until it's smooth and the oils are all mixed in. Since we waited for the mixture to come back to room temperature, it'll be much easier to spoon into your jar. This will make about two 4 oz. or one 8 oz. jar of body butter. 

Keep in mind, a little goes a long way. I like using body butters right after a bath or shower so that it can really soak in. Enjoy!