Saturday, July 16, 2011

Benefits of Lanolin, Vitamin E, Honey, and Vegetable Glycerin

If you're like me, you like knowing the "whats" and "whys" of the different products you use. Like "why is that good to use" or "what exactly does that do?" So I've taken the main ingredients for the lip-gloss and broken down those answers for you below. These are very brief descriptions, but will give you an idea of the part each ingredient plays. Click the product name for a link with more information.

Lanolin: A waxy oil derived from sheep's skin. This ingredient traps moisture into the skin and draws humidity from the air in, creating a great source of hydration for skin/hair.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant that has great benefits whether ingested orally or applied topically. Can reduce acne, help to reduce scarring, work as a protector against sun damage and other pollutants, also moisturizes skin.

Honey: When applied to skin- attracts and retains moisture, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal wounds, filled with anti-oxidants that fight off free radicals giving it an anti-aging property.

Vegetable Glycerin:  An earth friendly, popular cosmetic additive. A natural source of moisture that also retains moisture making it a great skin softener. Not only makes skin look good, may have a positive affect on skin conditions.

So now you know a little more about these products (yet another bonus of making products from home, you can recognize and customize every ingredient in your products, no unnecessary preservative or chemicals)!

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*Side Note* SUPER quick and easy DIY lip-gloss for kids

Kicking myself that I didn't capture any pictures of this process, but these are darn near identical to what our finished products looked like :)
Anyone who has children, or has been around children, knows that they have a very strong "what's yours is mine" mentality. Because of this, I am always looking for ways to give my Daughter imitations of things we use (old cell phones, old purses, etc.) so that she feels grown up like us... and we don't have to worry about what condition the "borrowed" items are returned in. Recently she has been a chapstick magnet, somehow sniffing out every last one in my purse and around the house, then digging out all of the contents with her little fingers and rubbing it all over her face. Imagine my delight when I discovered a SUPER SIMPLE way to make her her own lip-gloss so that mine *hopefully* remains in tact :)

If you're going to be hosting a slumber party, or if you're looking for a great indoor activity for your Daughter's, Granddaughters, nieces, etc. you HAVE TO TRY THIS! At one point this past week we had a total of 7 girls in our house (ages 2,4,5 and on... all the way up to 15), and thought this would be the perfect time to try it out!

What you'll need...

  • Vaseline
  • A variety of Kool-Aid packets
  • Small containers to hold the gloss (can be found at Wal-Mart 2/$1)
  • Toothpicks or something to stir with
  • Wax paper or some other surface to lay down so that creativeness can run rampant
  • If you're feeling fancy you can add 1 or more of these items (powdered glitters, vitamin E, fun bags or containers for decorating to take the gloss home in, etc)
Once you've rounded up all the ingredients, you just divvy out a bit to each girl, and let the mixing begin! The Kool-Aid makes the gloss look and taste good, while the glitter gives it a fun shimmer. It amazed me how completely different each girls gloss turned out. It was fun to see their personalities shown through their little creations!

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"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."

-James Dent

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First thoughts on making lip-gloss AND Final Review on lip-gloss

CLICK HERE to see where I got my recipe inspiration!

Parts and Price
Organic Lanolin: $7.99
Organic Vegetable Glycerin: $3.99
Organic Castor Oil: $3.99
Organic Vitamin E Oil: $5.99
Honey: $2.99
Total: $25 (approx. prices vary dramatically depending on size and brand)

Here is how I decided to make it:

Whoops, forgot to picture the honey!
The Process: Super easy, just mix everything in a hot water bath (boil water in a larger bowl, then place a smaller bowl inside that bowl for mixing. Just make sure no water from the larger bowl gets in your mixing bowl!)

Complaints: If you don't have any of these ingredients at your house already, this lip-gloss is an investment. I decided to bite the bullet and spring for all of the ingredients that I didn't have already because they all have multiple uses (I have been wanting to get some Vitamin E oil to add to my moisturizers, the lanolin will be used when I breastfeed, and the castor oil I already use for my face-wash... the OCM).

Compliments: Easy to make and ingredients were easy to find. Also, as I said, I was excited about purchasing most of these because I had been wanting them for other projects.

My Final Thoughts:
Cons- Yet another smell complaint. The lip-gloss definitely doesn't smell bad, it just doesn't have that nice smell  of other lip glosses/chapsticks I have grown accustomed to. It smells "raw" if that makes sense... it basically smells like the ingredients I added, with lanolin being the most significant. My suggestion would be to add an essential oil of your choice, or some vanilla to give it a little pinch of yummy smell :) Also, if you are wanting a tinted lip gloss, it takes some practice. Berries seem to be the most natural way to color the gloss (smash and strain them before adding) but this takes some knowledge of what berries produce what color... well, knowledge or trial and error, that's why I decided to skip a tint this time. If you keep the gloss colorless, it will apply as a clear coating.

Pros- Easy to make, it REALLY works... and if you go the unscented/non-colored route, your Man can use it too!  It feels really good on your lips, not gloopy or globby.

Overall- This product is a great example of what an investment choosing a more "natural" lifestyle can be. Other than the time investment it takes to make your own products, it is also a financial investment at times. I think the majority of products I have made generally cost less or equal to their store-bought counter part- although they generally seem to work better. Occasionally I will come across products like these that really make me evaluate what's "worth it." Once I start researching the ingredients, I typically get so excited about their multiple benefits/uses that I can justify just about any purchase. Also, I know once I get the goods to make a more expensive product initially, I will have enough to make that product a ton of times over. Each person has to decide where they draw the line. For me, the investments I have been making seem to be paying off. I choose to make products that I will use frequently (normally daily) so that I feel I am getting my "money's worth" out of them. I also feel like these small changes of daily use items will make the greatest impact in my family's life down the line. I now have a little cupboard full of my left-overs from previous projects and as it grows, the amount I have to spend on newer projects shrinks. 

Bottom line, this lip-gloss/chapstick really, really works and LASTS. It is a lot softer and smoother than I anticipated, not waxy or hard at all. 

Finished lip balm. I was going to post a picture of how the balm looks once applied, but I figured a close up picture of my lips would be uncomfortable for everyone involved ;)
*If you will be making this, my two tips would be: add something (fresh berries smashed and strained/vanilla/essential oil) for scent. Also, this mixture can easily be poured into an old chapstick/lip gloss applicator you are using now. Whether it's a wand, or stick, just boil the applicator to clean it and pour this liquid inside. Once you've poured the mixture in, place it in the fridge/freezer and it will solidify. I did this with an old soft lips and it works great! Once it solidifies, it will stay solid. No need to keep it in fridge or freezer*

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