Friday, March 30, 2007

Natural Exfloliating Materials

If you are wondering what natural exfloliating materials to use on your particular skin type here is what you should use:

Normal to Dry Skin: Ground oatmeal, oat bran, ground almonds, cornmeal, wheatgerm, powdered milk, rice bran, strawberries, grain flours, ground herbs and herbal powders.

Oily or Problem Skin: Ground orange peel, ground lemon peel, sugar, oatmeal, lecithin granules, fine-ground coffee, pysllium husks, small-textured cereal grains (ie amaranth), fibrous fruit such as pineapple.

Source: Natural Bodycare...Recipes for health and beauty by Julia Meadows. Page 56.

Herbs & Essential Oils for Facial Steaming, By Skin Type

If you are interested in what herbs or essential oils are you can use for your particular skin type during a facial steaming are as follows:

Dry, sensitive skin: Lavender, chamomile, rose geranium, melissa, jasmine, orange blossom, elder flower, parsley, meadowsweet, patchouli.

Normal Skin: Lavender, rosemary, rose gernium, melissa, chamomile, rose, peppermint, marigold, sweet orange, sandlewood, comfrey.

Oily, overactive skin: Rosemary, eucalyptus, sweet basil, peppermint, marjoram, thyme, lemon verbena, cedarwood, lemongrass, petitgrain, sage

Blemished, acneic skin: Eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, juniper, cypress, yarrow, pine, lemon, niaouli, cajeput.

Source: Natural Bodycare...Recipes for Health and Beauty by Julia Meadows. Page 54.

Essential Oils for Use in Natural Footcare Formulas

If you have found the perfect natural footcare recipes and you are wondering what would be the ideal ingredients for your skin type, according to Author Julia Meadows Natural Bodycare...Recipes for Beauty and Health, she recommends:

For swelling and fluid retention: Juniper Berry, cypress, lemon, grapefruit, petitgrain, bitter orange, chamomile, rosemary, yarrow, valerian.

For itchy, infected skin: Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, niaouli, cajeput, eucalyptus, lemon, marjoram, thyme, sage.

For sweaty, sticky skin: Peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, mandarian, lemongrass, sandalwood, cedarwood, lemon, lavender, geranium.

To fragrance and soften skin: Neroli, lavender, rose geranium, sweet orange, mandarian, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, chamomile, patchouli, vanilla.

Source: Natural Bodycare...Recipes for health and beauty by Julia Meadows. Page 106.

Ingredients for Making Therapeutic Herbal Tub Tea Bags By Skin Type

If you have found the perfect Herbal Tub Tea recipes and you are wondering what would be the ideal ingredients for your skin type, according to Author Julia Meadows Natural Bodycare...Recipes for Beauty and Health, she recommends:

For dry, sensitive or easily irritated skin: Fine-ground oatmeal; almond meal and other nut meals; powdered milk; honey; essential oils, e.g. lavender, rose geranium, chamomile, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

For normal to dry skin: Oatmeal; cornmeal; almond meal; dried citris peel; powdered herbs, e.g. benzoin, franincense, myrrh, sandalwood; essential oils e.g. ylang-ylang, sweet orange, mandarin, lavender.

For oily, problem skin: Oatmeal; cornmeal; brans e.g. oat, wheat and rice bran; powdered herbs, e.g. goldenseal, echinacea, St. John's Wort; essential oils, e.g. eualyptus, lemon, rosemary, clary sage.

For itchy skin prone to rashes: Rice starch; oat starch; collidal oatmeal; powdered milk; whey powder; aloe vera powder; honey; essential oils, e.g. rose absolute, lavender, chamomile.

Source: Natural Bodycare...Recipes for health and beauty by Julia Meadows. Page 72.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Natural Carrier Materials

If you are wondering what natural carrier materials you should use on your skin type, here is a list to check out:

Normal to dry skin:

Distilled/spring water, mineral water, milk, cream, honey, vegetable glycerin, floral hydrosels, rose water, cooled herbal teas, cold-pressed oils.

Oily or problem skin:

Yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, vodka, honey, orange flswer water, herbal vinegar, aloe vera gel, cooled herbal infusions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

San Francisco Herb Company

I was asked in one of my classes that I taught last year if I had ever been to the San Francisco Herb Company. And I said that I have never had.

In looking at the Soap Maker's Guild website, I found that they have a website ( I checked it out and they sell essential oils, fragrance oils and more. I have posted a link to their website under "Where to purchase Supplies Online."

Since I really don't like driving to the city, I am going to have try and order some items from their website. And review the items here.

If any of you have been to the store, I would like to hear what you think and with your permission, I will post your reviews.

Flexible Ice Cube Trays

I was in Mollie Stone's in Palo Alto today (3/21) to check out if they had a scent of an essential oil I was looking for. While I was exiting the store, I found that they do sell the flexible ice cube trays. They have a limited selection (hearts, etc.), but there is one I do not have which I plan to buy in the near future.

So if you are looking for some small soap shapes to make they have them in the frozen food section towards the magazine rack.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Project Added to the Bath Salts and Body Scrubs Class

After teaching the Bath Salts and Body Scrubs class twice, I found out that there was so much time remaining that I realized (plus suggestions from the CSM Class on 3/3) that I needed to add a third item.

So, It has been decided that the third item will be a Milk Bath recipe. If you in the class on 3/3 and would like a copy of the recipe and information to add to you hand out, please email me at and I will send you a copy. Just to let you know that the document will be created in Word.

If you do not have email, I will post it here on my blog.

Currently I am working on the document, so please be patient.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stretch Tite Brand (Cellophane)

If you have ever taken one of my soap making classes, you have used Stretch Tite to wrap your soaps in. I have told you that I have found it at Trader Joe's. And you could never find there!

I have good news. I was in Smart and Final on Monday and I found that they sell it. So, I would recommend that you should go there first to by this product.

You do not need to have a membership to purchase items there, but if something was on sale you would not get the discount unless you had a membership. It is like the cards at Safeway or Albertson's.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Simplers Botanicals Company

Whole Foods Market, Mollie Stones Market, Elephant Pharm and most health food store sell the Aura Cacia brand of essential oils. All of these sources also sell an organic brand of essential oils by a company by the name of Simplers Botanical Company.

If you are interested in find out more information call or write:

Simplers Botantical Company
PO Box 2534
Sebastapol, CA 95473

Phone: 1-800-652-7646 or 707-887-2012
Fax: 707-887-7570

website site:


If you happen to see this particular brand at your local retail establishment, they have produce a pamphlet, Aromatherapy Guide to Essential Oils. I would recommend picking up a copy because it has some good information about essential oils.

Mollie Stones Market

I just wanted to let you know if you do not have a Whole Foods Market, Elephant Pharmacy or health food store, Mollie Stones Market carries the Aura Cacia brand of essential oils.

Here is there website to see if there is a Mollie Stones near you.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Local Stores Carrying Ingredients

In my search for ingredients to create my bath products, I came across the following establishments having some of the ingredients that you can use for making your bath products:

(1) Country Sun Natural Foods
440 California Avenue
Palo Alto, Ca
(650) 324-9190
Monday - Friday 9 am to 8 pm, Saturday 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday 10 am to 7 pm

In the bulk section they carry Arrowroot powder, Anise Seed, Calendula Flowers, Cinnamon Chips, Chamomile Flower, Hibiscus Flowers, Passion Flower, Poppy Seed, Red Rose Petals, Rose Hips, Lavender and Red Raspberry Leaf.

I just want to warn you that you may get sticker shock on the price per pound on these items. For example, Lavender was $38.58 per pound. Sometimes they will have things on sale.

(2) Crossroads World Market
720 San Antonio Road (cross street Middlefield)
Palo Alto, Ca
Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 7:30 pm; Saturday 10 am 7:30 pm; Sunday 10 am - 5 pm

In the bulk section, they carry Citric Acid (1.89/lb); Course Salt (1.29/lb); Crush Mint (12.99/lb); Poppy Seed (2.99/lb).

(3) Elephant Pharm (closed as of Sept. 2008)
4470 El Camino Real (Near San Antonio Road)
Los Altos, CA 94022
Phone: (650) 472-6800
Pharmacy Phone: (650) 472-6801
Fax: (650) 472-6802
Monday - Saturday 8 am to 10 pm; Sundays 9 am - 9 pm

I heard about Elephant Pharm through Juniper Tree, but never went there because at the time there were only two locations: Berkeley and San Rafael. This location in Los Altos just opened up recently and finally I got the opportunity to visit the store.

They do sell the Aura Cacia and Simpler Organic brands of essential oils just like Whole Foods Market and Sun Country. They also sell Oshadhi Essential Oils which are a professional masage type of essential oil, so they may not work in your bath products. You may want to consult with a staff member on this.

In the back of the store, they have a whole wall of herbs that you can purchase. They have a variety of herbs including Chinese Herbs. Some of the herbs I saw that you can purchase for your bath products are Dead Sea Salt (Bath Salt Blend); Calendula Flowers; Rose Bud and Petals; Hibiscus Flowers; Lemon Verbena; Lavendar Flowers, Peppermint Leaf; Spearmint; Licorice Root; Organic Orange Peel. You can also purchase Beeswax (for perfumes, etc.); Kaolin White Clay (for Dusting and Body Powders) and Benonite Clay. They even sell Muslin Bags for your tub teas. The sizes available are small (3x5), medium (4x6) and large (6x8). All prices for the herbs are priced by the pound.

Also, what is nice is that they offer free classes on a variety of subjects. Check out their website for classes you may be interested in.

Friday, March 9, 2007

How to Make a Cheap and Easy Bath Product Gift Basket

In my classes, I have started to discuss this subject. Even though I have included some information on packaging your bath products in gift baskets, it is nice to have additional information on the subject. I found this article that might provide additional information to help you create your gift baskets.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wholesale Supplies Plus Sister Sites

If you come across the following websites, they are all divisions of Whole Sales Supplies Plus:


There may be specials running with these sites. As of today, the following sites are running a special of Free Shipping on internet orders over $50.00:,, and

Aromatherapy: Essential Oils Recipes

If you are interested in using your essential oils for aromatherapy purposes, here is a site that has alot to choose from:

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Therapeutic Grade Esssential Oils

Here is an article about Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. If you click on the link "100% Pure Essential Oils", a list will appear of all of the essential oils by Aura Cacia.

I know that Aura Cacia essential oils is carried by Whole Food Markets and Sun Country Market in Palo Alto. And I am sure there are other places that carry this product. If I come across any other locations that carry Aura Cacia, I will let you know. You have an option of purchasing the oils directly from them.

If you have ever taken one of my classes in the last year, I have provided some of these oils in my classes.

History of Aromatherapy

If you are interested in the history of aromatherapy, here is an article for you.

Another Product Supply Website

I recalled an internet site that a friend forwarded to me where I could purchase bottles and jars for my bath products classes.

I needed to place an order this week for my upcoming Homemade Bath Products class at the Redwood City Parks and Rec. I need a particular bottle for the bath oil and Wholesale Supplies Plus was out of that particular item. So, I searched my emails and I found it. As I surfed their site, I realized that that site and are one in the same. But does not list soap supplies and it has some other bath related items listed. So, I am going to give you the site address anyway, in case you want to check it out for other items that may not be listed on

Selling Your Homemade Products

If you are considering selling your homemade bath products here is a good article to read:

This article covers FDA labeling rules, what sells and about selling. Under what sells click on the link on "Click on here to see that article" will lead you to information on saving money on bath salts and water vs. oil based fragrances.

You may also check out her archieves for other articles on other topics for making your own homemade products. I know I will referring back to her articles.

Sugar Scrub Recipes

If you are interested in creating your own sugar scrubs, I have located some sites that have a variety of recipes you can choose from:












If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Fizzing Bath Crystal Recipe


1 cup cornstarch
1 cup citric acid
2 cups baking soda
fragrance (add drops of essential oil or fragrance oil until the aroma is as strong as you like it)


Mix cornstarch and citric acid together and add scented oil until you are pleased with the scent. Remember this is a concentrated mixture that will be dispersed in the bath. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to each bath.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: (Check out for other great recipes)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Fizzing Rose Petals Recipes

1 c. baking soda
3/4 c. citric acid
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. sea salt handful rose petals, fresh or dried glass bowl, clean glass, jar glass bowl


1. This mixture can be made with fresh or dried rose petals. If you're making it for immediate use, you can use fresh petals. If you're planning on making a batch for use later or as a gift, however, use dried rose petals: moisture from fresh rose petals could cause premature fizzing.

2. Combine baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch and sea salt in a glass bowl. After mixing together thoroughly, add the rose petals.

3. Fill a dry glass jar with the mixture. Note: It's very important to keep the ingredients dry; otherwise, the fizzing will take place in the jar and not in the tub.

4. Draw yourself a warm bath and drop in a scoopful of the mixture; or decorate the jar and give as a gift.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: Creative Juice Episode #DCRJ-106L from website:,2025,DIY_13767_5058397_03,00.html

Scented Rock Potpourri Recipe


1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1/4 tsp. essential oil
2/3 cups boiling water
Food coloring, if desired
Glitter or other "mix in's" as desired


In bowl, mix all dry ingredients well. Add your favorite essential oil and boiling water to dry ingredients. (The scent will be strong, but will fadeslightly when your rocks dry.) For colored stones,blend in food coloring, one drop at a time, untildesired shade is reached. Blend ingredients and formroughly shaped stones. Allow stones to dry.Place scent stones in a bowl or dish to scent a room,or try in the ashtray of your vehicle.

Homemade spa treatments, beauty treatments, cosmeticsand more, courtesy of Guide to Day Spasand Stay Spas. The web's most comprehensive resourcefor Spa Enthusiasts.

Essential Oil Safety Guidelines

Since essential oils are completely natural it is important to be aware that they are highly concentrated compared to fragrance oils. With this in mind they need to be used correctly and in a safe manner. Here are some guidelines on how to use essentials oils in particular situtations. It is should be noted that you should consult your medical practioner if you happen to have any physical or psychological symptoms as essential oils are not a replacement for professional medical treatment.

No to Oral Use

The most important guideline you can follow is simply do not take essential oils by mouth. As stated before essential oils are highly concencrated substances and if ingested, especially in large amounts, they cause internal damage. If oils have been swallowed, seek medically help immediately.


It is recommended that if you are pregnant, lactating or breastfeeding, it is very important that not to swallow any essential oils. Any oils that you use on yourself or anyone who may be pregnant should be in very weak dilutions. You are best advised to use flower and fruit oils only because they are very gentle. The best advise is to consult a qualified aromatherapist for their advise.

Skin Safety

Before you apply any essential oils to your skin, you should dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil because they are so concentrated. If you have any allergic reactions to almond oil, you may want to use grapeseed instead.

Phototoxic Oil

Essential oils extracted from citrus fruits-bergmont, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, and mandarin-contain an ingredient that cause skin reaction in sunlight. If you masssage a blend that happens to contain a citrus oil into your skin, you should avoid direct exposure to strong UV light or a sunbed for 12 hours after application. This caution does not apply to inhaltions or varporations with this oils.

High Blood Pressure

Rosemary essential oil is very stimulating and should be avoided if you have high blood pressure. Calming oils like lavender or ylang-ylang are preferred for their soothing effects.

Epilesy and Asthma

Like with high blood pressure, people with epilsey and asthma should avoid rosemary essential oils. It can slightly increase the frequency of epilectic seizures, so it should be avoided with epilesy. Calming oils like sandlewood, neroli, or orange are more appropiate. It is important to never attempt to apply oils during a seizure. If you have asthma, it is advisable not to inhale essential oils. Only use essential oils during bathing, vaporation, and massage applications.

Babies and Children

Using the correct dosage of correct amount of essential oils on babies and children is crucial on their delicate skin. For babies up to 2 years old - one drop of roman chamomile or rose otto or lavender in a 4 teaspoon of sweet almond carrier oil for general skin care or a massage. Children from 2 to 10 years of age - any blends that are created for an adult should the drops of essential oils should be cut in half. If there are and odd number of drops is given then reduce the number to just under half (i.e. 3 drops to 1 or 5 to 2). As for elderly skin where it can be delicate and very transparent, you should use half of the amount of drops stated.

Source: The Guide To Remedies, Homeopathy, Essential Oils, Crystal and Home Remedies. Published by Barnes and Noble by arrangement by Paragon Publishing, 2004. Pages 78-79.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Suitable Bath Herbs

If you like to add herbs to your bath or bath products, the following herbs can be easily grown in your gardenor ordered from an herb supplier:

Garden Sage
It should be noted that herbs have a lower concentration of essential oils than pure oils and they will have to be crushed prior to adding them to the bath. This is to ensure releasing their oils. It is best to store herbs as whole as possible to retain the essential oils. And your herbs should be dried prior to storing.

Source: The Essential Oils Book...Creating Persoanl Blends For Mind & Body by Colleen K. Dodt, Storey Publishing, 1996. Pg 95-96.

Cautions About Adding Essential Oils to the Bath

Are you wondering if you can add essential oils directly to the bath? Yes, you can. Essential oils should be added to the bath before you get in rather than adding them while the tub is filling. If you add the oils while the tub is filling you lose much of the precious essences in the steam and very little is left to be absorbed by the skin. If the essense escapes with the steam, you would benefit from inhaling it, but you would be missing out on the benefits to the skin.

Once you add your favorite oils to the bath, be sure to mix them well with the water. It is very important to avoid direct contact with the skin because undiluted oils may irritated or cause skin sensitivity. If you like you can dilute essential oils in a carrier oil prior to adding it to the bath.

When adding essential oils to the bath remember that less is best. Adding more oil will not necessarily help you feel better than a small amount.

Carrier Oils for your bath products

Carrier Oils

Essential Oils cannot be applied directly to the skin in their pure state; they must be diluted in carrier oils or otherwise known as "base oils". These oils are rich in fatty acids, vitamins and moisturizing nutrients. Carrier oils contain important healing substances that render the skin more elasticity and softness. Once the essential oil has been diluted in a carrier oil, the mixture can be added directly to bath water for a nourishing soak or to be used as a massage oil.

The following is a list of the most common carrier oils that you can use in you bath products. They can be purchased at your local health food stores, Juniper Tree, through mail order or internet.

Almond Oil (sweet) - For all skin types. Softens the skin; relieves itchiness.

Apricot Kernel - Excellent for facial massages; dehydrates; restores skin's glow.

Avocado - For dry skin; easily absorbed; plumps up prematurely lined skin.

Borage - Rich in Gamma linolenic acid; treats eczema and psoriasis; anti-aging properties.

Calendula - Heal cracked skin and rashes.

Carrot seed - Rejuvenates; reduces premature aging and scarring, itching; restores elasticity.

Coconut - Excellent for cracked or brittle skin; helps retain skin's moisture.

Evening Primrose - For dry skin; high in essential fatty acids.

Grape seed - Good for full body massage; odorless and easily absorbed in to the skin.

Hazelnut - Good for oily skin; easily absorbed.

Jojoba - Anti-bacterial; anti-inflammatory; hydrating; good emollient.

Macadamia - Helps maintain the natural moisture level of the skin.

Olive Oil - Disinfecting; healing; excellent for soothing chapped skin.

Passion Fruit - Helps maintain the skin's elasticity.

Rosehip - Promotes tissue regeneration; good for scars, burns and wrinkles.

Safflower Oil - Light texture; easily absorbed.

Sesame - Good natural sunscreen; practically odorless.

Sunflower - Softens the skin; helps the skin maintain its natural level of moisture.

Wheat Germ - Aids muscle and lymph function; good for dry skin; natural antioxidant; strong odor.

Source: Secrets of the Spa...Pamper and Vitalize Yourself at Home by Catherine Bardey, Black Dog and Leventhal Publishing, New York, NY. 1999. Pages 166-167.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Precautions of Essential Oils

Some of you maybe interested in purchasing essential oils to use in making your own bath products. To assist you with your creations, I am going to list some of the most popular essential oils. For further information, you may want to consult an trained aromatherapist or a reference book on essential oils.

Basil - Usually stimulating but has a stupefying effect when used in access. An emmenagogue so perhaps best to avoid using this particular oil while pregnant. Also basil maybe an irritant to people with sensitive skin.

Bay - Bay maybe an irritant to the skin and possibly the mocous membrane, so it is best used with caution or not at all. Pregnant women should stay clear of it.

Bergamont - One should avoid use to bergamont after use because it is strong to sunlight which means that it increases photosensitivity of the skin, This is due to the chemical Bergaptene which will help with tanning, but will not protect the skin from burning. It may also irritate sensitive skin.

Carrot Seed - It is best to avoid during pregnancy.

Celery - Celery should be avoided during pregnancy, especially in the early months.

Chamomile - It is regarded as an emmenagogue, so it should be avoided in the early months of pregnancy.

Cinnamon - The essential oil of the cinammon leaf is often preferred over the oil of the bark or the bud. The latter two may cause a severe skin reaction in some and also contain a large portion of Cinnamic Aldehyde often the cause of skin sensations. Nevertheless, cinammon leaf is a very powerful oil and should be used with care. Cinnamon essential oil would be best avoided in pregnancy as it could be abortifacient. A high dosage could cause convulsions.

Citronella - Can be a skin irritant.

Clary Sage - Can be very sedative and can make concentration very difficult, so it is best on to use before driving or using heavy machinery. Alcohol should not be consumed while under treatment of Clary Sage because it may result in feeling of nausea. Also, consider that large doses of Clary Sage can also produce headaches.

Clove -A very potent oil and should be used with caution. Using it during a massage may not be a good medium of application since skin irritation could occur.

Eucalyptus - A powerful oil so care should be taken with dosage. Best avoided by people with high blood pressure or epliespy. May antidate homeopathic medication.

Ginger - Could irritate sensitive skin.

Grapefruit - Skin irritations could occur if exposed to strong sunlight after treatment.

Jasmine - This oil should not be used until a woman is about to give birth. It will help to ease labor. Its overuse could distrub the bodily fluids "narotic" like properties may impede concentration. Certainly the powerful aroma indicates low dosage.

Juniper - Prolonged use of Juniper may overstimulate the kidneys. It certainly should be avoided in cases of severe kidny disease or other inflammatory conditions. An emmenagogue, so best avoided during pregnancy.

Lavender - Some people who suffer from low blood pressure may feel abit dull drowsy after using this oil. It is also an emmenagogue, so it would be best to avoid this oil in the early months of pregnancy.

Lemon - This oil may irritate to sensitive skin.

Lemongrass - This is a rather harsh essential oil and could irritate sensitive. Low dosage of this oil is best.

Lime - This oil may cause photosensitivity in presence of strong sunlight and possibily irritates sensitive skin.

Mandarin - This oil may phototoxic, so it best not to used before going out into strong sunlight.

Myrrh - This is an emmenagogue, so it best to be avoided during pregnancy.

Nutmeg - It is best to be cautious with this rather potent oil since prolonged use may overexcite the motor nerves possibly causing mental discomfort. At worst delerium and convulsions through conversely may induce numbness. Nutmeg could also overstimulate the heart as well as irritate the skin. It would be best to avoid during pregnancy and probably altogether.

Orange - Prolonged use and high dosage of Orange essential oil may irritate sensitive skin. And there is a change of phototoxicity as well.

Patchouli - Apparently this essential oil can be a sedative in low doses and rather stimulating in high doses. May cause loss of appetite which is fine if eating habits need to be curbed. Also, its odor may be a little persistent for some people.

Peppermint - Peppermint is a powerful and overwhelming aroma so care should be taken with dosage. It is probably best used in infusers rather than through masssage. Peppermint might be ok in local areas. It is likely to irritate the skin and mucous membranes, however it should be kept away from the eyes.

Rose - Since rose is an emmenagogue it is best avoided being used during pregnancy.

Rosemary - It is highly simulating action may not be suitable for people with epilepsy or high blood pressure. It should also be avoid being used during pregnancy since it is a emmenagogue. Rosemary might antidote homeopathic remedies.

Sage - A very powerful which in extreme cases may adversely effect the central nervous system by producing convulsions, epiletic fits or paralysis. Even low dosages can be toxic. Sage should not be used during pregnancy nor breastfeeding as it can stem the flow of milk. It may also induce excessive uterine spasms. Clary sage has similiar curative properties and is thought to be a safer alternative.

Sandlewood - A lingering aroma, often persists in clothes after they have been washed. It has aphordisiac qualities and should be used at your peril. Perhaps it is best to avoid during states of depression because it may lower mood even further.

Spearmint - A sharp oil which is not good for a total body massage unless a minute dosage is used. However, massaging spearmint oil in local areas may be a preferable option. The possibility of irritating the eyes as well as sensitive skin. It is best to avoid using peppermint during pregnancy. It also could antidote homeopathetic remedies.

Tangerine - Could be phototoxic and care shold be taken nto to expose the skin to strong sunlight after treatment.

Tarragon - There is some risk of toxicity with prolonged use and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Thyme - A very potent oil, one of the strongest anti-septics and toxicity is possible with prolonged use. Inhalation maybe preferable. Using thyme as a massage or bath oil can possibly could irritate the skin and the mucous membranes. Should not be used in cases of high blood pressure or during pregnancy.

Violet - Reputedly can cause sensitisations, so caution is advised.

Ylang-Ylang - Excessive use of ylang-ylang may lead to headaches and nausea. It could possibly irritate sensitive skins and advise against using on inflammatory skin conditions and dermatitis.

Source: The Directory of Essential Oils by Wanda Sellar. Vermilion an imprint of Ebury Publishing. Random House UK Ltd. London. 2005.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Whole Foods Market

Just want to let you know that if you are interested in purchasing some essential oils you can purchase a variety of scents from Whole Food Markets. The essential oils are located in the beauty section of the store and the price range is from about $5 to $45 depending on the scent. They only carry one size.

The philosophy of the high cost is the more of the plant they have to use, the more the cost. Or the smaller the bottle, the larger the cost.

If you need to purchase and perservative you can purchase grape seed oil for about $12.

The only thing you must be aware of is that essential oils will eventually expire. I have read that it be 2 years after you open the bottle. You will know if the essential oil is not good because it will have a rancid smell.

To help prolong the life of your oils, store them in a cool dark place or have a dedicated fridge. You do not want the fragrance to mingle with your food or visa versa.

For a location near you, check out their website at

Juniper Tree

Juniper Tree is a store in Berkeley which carries supplies to make your own soap and bath supplies. I was introduced to the store in 2003 when I took a Melt and Pour Soap Making class taught by Lori Nova through DeAnza's Community Education.

If you have taken anyone of my classes I make references to this retail establishment to purchase supplies. I have been to the store and have made purchases there. Everytime I go there to purchase some supplies, I have a game plan of what I need and wind up purchasing more than I need.

I like the variety of fragrances and botanicals they have. On my next trip, I am planning to purchase some of the coloring used for soap making and will give a product review in the future.
So, look out for future product reviews.

The staff at Juniper Tree is very helpful and resourceful. I highly recommend anyone to make the trip over there.

Although I find parking to be a problem, I often will take Bart to the Downtown Berkeley Station. Once I get out of the station, there is a Bus Stop. If you wait for the #9 Bus it will take you to San Pablo Avenue. And you are only a couple of stores away.

They have a website you may want to check out before you venture out.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Learning a New Craft

Crafting is always fun and addicting. If you are new to crafting and wondering where to look for craft classes here are some places to look: your local Michaels Store, Parks and Recreation Departments, Adult Schools, Community Education Departments of your local community colleges. Prices of classes can vary from venue to venue. But if you are on a budget, I would recommend your local Michaels.

Believe me this is a great way to learn a new craft. And I can tell you this is how I got started with soap making. I found the class through my local community college's community ed 5 years ago. And it snowballed from there.

Look where I am now - teaching classes and composing a blog. This craft may take me to the next level of starting some kind of bath product business.

Craft Message Boards....

I am always checking out what other people are posting on craft message boards. I do learn alot from what others are posting. Check out the column to the right to access these message boards.

Also what is good about HGTV, DIY, and Michaels, you can search for soap and other related bath related items to make.