One of the things I’ve learned to make that have been wildly popular with everyone who have tried them are Arnica massage bars. They are packed with menthol and peppermint oil for a gentle cooling and tingling effect, and the arnica oil provides a nice warmth that lingers and leaves sore muscles all relaxed. I think I’ve mentioned them before.
I did some research, and decided to up the warmth a little by adding cassia, clove, and clary sage essential oils. I also increased how much arnica and menthol were being used just a tiny bit, while reducing the peppermint oil from last time by about ten drops. The overall results are fabulous. These bars are more warming and tingly, but only subtly so. They seem to penetrate deeper into the muscle. I poured them into deodorant tubes, which makes applying them to yourself easier and less messy than using them as massage bars.
I’m excited to pass a few out to some victims-I mean friends. I hope to enlist my ex to test drive this batch on his knee and make sure they work well with no complaints. We are rapidly using up the original bar I made for J so I will stash one back for home use as well. As soon as labels are printed, hopefully I can come up with a catchy sales pitch and make some sales.
Last night, I made sunblock bars, from a blend of butters, coconut oil, beeswax, and zinc oxide powder.
Zinc Oxide is the white stuff life guards have been using for decades to prevent sunburns, and it’s effective. Coconut oil has an SPF of between 4-6, depending on the brand, so that means you can stay outside 4-6x longer than you normally would without sunscreen before you’ll burn. Just reapply it often as you sweat it off or splash around, because it’s definitely water resistant (I can testify from having to do clean up on making these) but no oil is waterproof.
These could be especially good for kids; you need to reapply it hourly but it’s not full of plastics or other irritants (I’ve had problems with eye irritation from sunscreen). We learned the hard way that the spray sunblock is useless and the lotion sunblock can wash off pretty fast. I hope this has more staying power.
While these were fun to research and make, I’m not adverse to layering or alternating this with quality, well researched store made sunblock! Sunblock is one of the few things we have that defends us from the sun. The more layers, the better! I’m just adverse to paying over $10 for a sunblock stick for my purse if I can make packaging for one of these (so far a tiny Glad ware container is working but smooshes the edges). While I probably wouldn’t use homemade sunblock on Tatum, as she is a ginger baby, I wouldn’t hesitate with Poots who rarely burns without sunblock and already has a tan developing in April from playing outside. Or on myself, since I’ve had exactly two sunburn in ten years, including all my time in the desert. So you have to know your limits and use common sense. My husband definitely needs commercial sunblock, as does my son, etc. Are you seeing a pattern here? Needless to say, our little bottle of high quality sunscreen will remain part of our sun care arsenal.