Friday, May 23, 2014

All Purpose Balm from Zero Waste Home

I haven't given up on my zero waste efforts; I just haven't written about it in a while. I get a little frustrated on this front because it's just so dang hard sometimes to find viable alternatives in our little town. It makes me want to give up, truth be told, but I can't. Because I am obsessed. And I will win.

The kitchen is the obvious place to start with this, and there I've made some good progress. One area that's proven a little more difficult is the bathroom. Specifically: My self care products.

I focus on myself, by the way, because Eric hasn't quite caught my mania yet. I'm a big fan of converting through example. Hey, it worked for minimalism. :)

All of that is to say: I've been making All Purpose Balm from Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home for a couple of months now, and I am in love.

Figure 1: Melting! Turns out it's hard taking a clear picture at
this stage because of the steam. Who knew?

I purchased Bea's book the minute it came out. For my Kindle, because that's the way I roll. It looks beautiful on my iPad's Kindle app (because I am all kinds of pretentious). I follow her blog and have learned so much from reading about her experiences. She's the reason I take jars and reusable bags to the store. True story.

Anyway, a couple of the recipes caught my eye immediately, one of which is her All Purpose Balm. I'm not going to share the recipe because, hello, copyright. Although she does have kind of a similar recipe on her blog here... but it's not exact. Look, let's just say this: The whole ordeal involves a mason jar (I used a cutie four-ouncer), beeswax (yay bulk section!), and oil (I used organic olive). And that's it. You melt and mix and if you mess it up (i.e., it's too thick or too thin), you simply remelt and add a dash more of this or that and see what happens.

Here's what happened: Awesomeness. Of which I am a big fan.

Figure 2: I love these jars. They're so cute.

Not on the first try, though. I didn't think it was going to be thick enough, so I added more beeswax. Alas and alack, I was wrong and it was then too thick. More melting, more oil, and perfection.

I'm on my second jar of this stuff now. It's just a delightful concoction that smells like honey that I can use on my face, lips and body in a general kind of way. I've even used a tiny bit in my hair as a leave-on conditioner. If I heat it momentarily in the microwave, it gets warm and lovely, and I can massage my feet and feel kind of like a princess, if princesses had to massage their own feet.

I'm exceedingly pleased with this as a face cream, by the way. I tend to break out a lot with commercial products, and my Adult Onset Acne (is that actually a thing? I may have just made that up. You're welcome, science) is so much better now.

Figure 3: Cooling on the counter. I reused a small tin
for easy lip balm access in my purse.

Pros: I enjoy smelling like honey; super easy to make; soft skin; all-natural; readily available bulk ingredients; inexpensive; zero waste!

Cons: Are you afraid of boiling hot oil? I'm not when it's only a few tablespoons. Just something to ponder.

P.S. Just in case you're wondering, this is not a paid endorsement of any kind. I mean, for one thing, my blog isn't big enough for anyone to think paying me is a decent financial investment, plus I wouldn't do that anyway. Take that, The Man! (But bribing me with coffee? That's an entirely different matter...)


Kathlyn Atwood said...

I already make my own shampoo but I had no idea how to make an all purpose balm. This recipe sounds amazing. I am trying to reduce the plastic waste and I started to make most of my cosmetics alone. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Trisha Walker said...

Wait... how do you make your own shampoo?! I get mine in the bulk aisle, but now I'm curious.

And you're welcome, although really it's Bea Johnson who gets the thanks, as it's her recipe. It's an easy (and relatively cheap) way to cut down on plastic containers. I also reuse a small tin so I can have some with me in my purse. Small victory against the machine, I guess, but every bit helps, right?

Thanks for stopping by!