Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Day out With Vicky

Face Care - The Natural Way
I had a really great day yesterday. My friend and I went on a day course to Harlow Carr Gardens run by Siobhan and Rob from Pringle and Fairweather called "Face Care - The Gentle Way". It was all about making your own face creams and cleansers using natural products. It was terrific, and I made loads of potions. I made two different cleansers - one for me and one for my daughter (if she can be persuaded to try it !). I also made a facial scrub. I don't use scrubs myself, but it may come in handy for my gardening hands later this year. Then I made a green tea toner - I'm going to use it in a spray bottle for when my hot flushes overcome me in the night ! After that we broke for lunch. In the afternoon we made a moisturizer. My first attempt wasn't too successful, but my second one turned out better. Perhaps I need to be a little more accurate in my measuring, and it's just a little tricky getting the oil and water to emulsify. I learned that they both need to be at between 70 - 80 degrees, and within about 5 degrees of each other. We finished by making a lip salve. What a day!! And I got to spend it with my friend. I would definitely do it again, though I might do some research beforehand on essential oils. Being sensitive about oestrogen, and as many plants contain phyto-oestrogens, I might try to find time to check on the oils that would be most appropriate for me. ( I didn't mention my condition as some people get a bit anxious about letting you use essential oils if you mention the C word - and what is life if it doesn't smell nice !?! Some people (who should know better !) do have dire fears of the hazards of some of these oils, whilst at the same time being perfectly happy pushing toxic chemotherapy agents at you !!I think you have to be guided by your own common sense and just do a bit of research.) Let's face it, there's going to be less chemicals in the lotions and potions I made than in anything you buy in the shops. And it was fun to make them.There were glass bottles and jars and tins available to decant and package our precious elixirs in, and I came away with a bagful of goodies. They're all nestling in my fridge at the moment. Rob and Siobhan couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful . There was a wide range - and I mean wide ! - of oils and essential oils to choose from and we all came away with a recipe booklet so that we can make them again at home. I love this kind of kitchen alchemy, and feel a lot more confident having been guided through it. I now smell sweetly of lavender, ylang- ylang and frankincense

Pringle and Fairweather are a Cumbrian based company and can be found at
They sell a range of hand creams, body butters, soaps, and bath products. All produced by hand, in small batches and with healthy skin in mind. They've come to making these products from a similar angle to myself and that really reassures and resonates with me.

The day wouldn't have been the same without Vicky. We had a girly day together and managed to catch up which isn't always easy. It's difficult finding time when we are both busy.But it was really nice to share the day with a friend. As I say, it was just a great day. I hope we do it again soon. I'll have to find something else to stimulate and excite us !

It's just struck me that you might like to know what I put in my magic potions, and I may need to refer back, so below is my aide memoire :

Stimulating Milk and Honey Scrub Cleanser :
ground almonds
dried goats milk
runny honey
Sweet almond oil
Ylang-Ylang and Geranium essential oils

Avocado and Aloe Vera Cleansing Oil :
Macadamia oil
Jojoba oil
Avocado oil
sweet almond oil
vitamin E oil
Aloe Vera
Vegetable Glycerin
Geranium, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils
(someone in the group added chamomile essential oil and the cleanser turned a lovely shade of green )

Almond Scrub :
sweet almond oil
ground almonds
cider vinegar
distilled water
lavender essential oil ( palma rosa oil was also recommended)

Green Tea Toner :
green tea
ylang-ylang essential oil

Super Hydrating Cream :
apricot kernel oil
olive oil
aloe vera juice
vitamin E oil
rosewood, lavender, and frankincense essential oils

Serum for Mature Skins :
macadamia oil
rosehip oil
evening primrose oil
jojoba oil
borage seed oil
sandalwood, carrot seed, lavender and vitamin E essential oils

Lip Balm / Rescue Salve :
cocoa butter
sweet almond oil
hemp seed oil
caster oil

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