Archive for the ‘Skin and Hair Care’ Category

 rose petal macerate

My most recent project, rose petal macerate. 

The rose petals are added to olive oil, sealed in a glass jar or bottle, placed in a warm spot (like a windowsill that catches sun).

After two weeks the plant material will be strained and the remaining oil will be used as a carrier oil for a product. 

I found the macerate to be rather pretty at this point.  Thinking spring!

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goat milk soap

When I receive questions that I think others will benefit from I like to post them here. 

These are some recently asked questions:

Is your goat milk soap considered a body or facial soap?

  • Both.  When I create a soap I keep skin types in mind.  Some of the soaps are good for oily or combination skin (such as lemongrass, cedarwood).  Some are a good match-up for skin blemishes (such as lemongrass, patchouli, or tea tree). Some of the soaps are less drying, great for mature or dry skin (examples are:  unscented or honey oatmeal soaps, lavender, and orange mint).

Can your soaps be used as a shaving cream replacement?

  • Yes, I consider the lather from my soaps to have a thick luxurious feel.  This enables a smooth shave with less skin irritation, resulting in less nicks and chafing.  Honey oatmeal, for example, provides a wonderful rich lather that leaves the skin less irritated (as compared to shaving cream).

Do any of your soaps contain an exfoliant to assist with dead skin removal while cleansing?

  • Yes, the honey oatmeal is very mildy exfoliating.  The lemongrass poppyseed contains a natural exfoliant, poppyseeds. ,

Are any of your soaps or lotions helpful to those with”special or sensitive” skin conditions?

  • When using a new product I advise the client to 1) begin using the product in a small test area, 2) use the product sparingly, 3) overall body use must begin gradually. 
  • I suggest, when a person has tried many products that have failed, to give your skin a rest.  Try one product at a time.  There is something to be said about goat milk soaps and lotions, with their  lack of detergents and chemicals, but I cannot say they cure, heal or treat any certain condition.   Results (if any) depend upon your personal skin type.  Always consult with your physician!

If you have anything to add, please jump in and voice your comments. 

If you have questions, this is a great place to ask, someone else may be wanting to know the same thing!

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With H1N1 on the scene, people are washing their hands more frequently and are using antibacterial products more often as well.

With frequent hand-washing, I recommend products that are natural, or as natural as possible. 

Dry your hands completely between washing.  Do not expose your hands to extreme cold temperatures while damp.

When bathing, do not use overly hot water.  Hot water tends to sap the skin of its natural oils.  When the hands and skin become stripped of natural oils, they are more susceptible to bacteria and skin irritation.  Skin allergies can also flare following over-washing of hands.

Use products that moisturize the skin often.  Products that contain natural oils are beneficial to dry skin in the coldest of seasons.  They can provide a thin protective barrier to the elements.   

I read an article, and have chosen to not link to it, that advised readers to not use a bottle of soap if it lists “soap” on the label.  I disagree with part of that statement.  Soap that is just that, soap, and not a detergent, is better for sensitive skin than a soap that contains detergents and surfactants.  A “true” soap simply does just that, it cleanses the skin without additives that may/or may not irritate your skin.

I have talked about anti-bacterial products before, and I am not going to dive back into them in-depth today.  In my opinion, for your own immune system to work properly (to not develop immunities), and for the environment’s sake, I personally avoid anti-bacterial products.

Simple skin care…less irritating, the bottom line.

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I love it!

I made 2 more jars today. 

This is the original post and pic.

I am using the product as a late night facial treatment when needed.  It goes on like a salve (not heavy).  Wonderful results in the morning.  The skin does not feel dry.   The skin feels refreshed, very soft.  A very small dab does it, about the size of a pencil eraser.

I can see this being a huge boost in the winter, especially when the skin is exposed to dry air, wind.  Indoor heat is harsh as well.  My goat milk soap has proven itself to be mild, but sometimes we need a little help when the harshest of seasons comes into the scope.

I am going to toy with the recipe a bit more.  And then offer it on the website.

Healthy, natural, no offensive smell.  It is wonderful on the lips as well.  Has a very slight chocolate taste due to the cocoa butter. 

I was concerned about skin reaction…I had none. 

Have a beautiful Saturday!

I received this in my Daily Bible Verse today.  A good reminder to stay well grounded:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18

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Calendula Cleanser

Isn’t this beautiful? I think so.

Sometimes I do my best thinking and experimenting when I am in the worst of bodily states.  Tired!

This evening I clipped some marigold flower heads (calendula) and headed to the shop for what my husband calls, his little “mad scientist” at work.

I will share bits and pieces of this recipe with you, perhaps you might want to try it too.   I plan to test it, along with a few other ingredients, and possibly offer it as one of Annie’s Goat Hill natural skin care products.

Misc 001

I started with fresh marigold (calendula) heads, removed the petals.

A double broiler is recommended, but I am handy with the microwave.  I melted a tablespoon of cocoa butter in a glass measuring cup.  Careful…this stuff gets hot! I buy cocoa butter in 7 pound blocks.  I would imagine you could also buy it in a health food store.

Once the cocoa butter liquified, I stirred it into the petals.  I also added a few tablespoons of grated beeswax, and approximately 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil.

I gently heated the mixture, not quite to a boil.  Stirring occasionally. 

Once the mixture blended well, became liquid, and the petals were softened, I strained the liquid.  I used a milk filter.  You will need something sturdy for the task.

Misc 002

I stirred several times as the mixture cooled, then poured it into a clean jar.

This recipe can be used as a facial cleanser.  Apply the cleanser to the face.  Then use a warm, moist wash cloth to gently remove.

I believe it can also be used as a hand salve, but that will be tested

I know it is full of antioxidants.  It is completely natural.  It smells devine, clean.  And I am excited to give it a try.

Again, keep your allergies in mind.  Always patch test when trying new products.

I do use my own goat milk soap on my face…I live by my own regimens.  Never discount good skin care with poor soap. 

Have fun…be safe!

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HOney Salt Scrub
Honey Salt Scrub

I have studied loads of books on natural skin care, “green” cosmetics, and cosmetic ingredients.  There is a lot to learn because the list keeps on growing! Let me tell you, the products (cosmetics) sitting on most department store shelves have some scary stuff in them!

My promise to you are products that are as natural as possible, and as safe for your body as possible.  And, I will share tips and recipes that you can make in your own home as well. 

With that in mind…I love a good exfoliating scrub.  They say we really cannot do anything, short of surgery, to fix the fine lines that appear on our face, but I feel confident and convinced that I see good results! Our skin is one large organ.  It takes in air and it absorbs what we put on it.  Our skin can do so much better once we help it by removing dead skin cells.

Honey and Salt Scrub

Mix 2 parts honey, one part mineral or sea salt (unrefined salt) to form a thick paste.  

Rub the paste on the skin in small circular motions.  Do not pull on the skin.  Do not apply pressure, use a very light hand.

Rinse with warm (not hot water). 

You will find your skin refreshed, softer, with the dull rough skin removed.

I first tested this recipe on the top of one hand and arm.  I could not believe the difference between my arms! The scrubbed arm was soft and silky.  The other felt dry and rough.  

My facial skin did tingle slightly after the scrub.  If you have sensitive, broken, blemished, or thin skin, use caution.  Do not use this scrub more than once a week if you have sensitive skin.

Avoid the eye area.

I did follow up with applying my own goat milk lotion to the face. 

I use milk goat milk soap, my own, once daily, to cleanse my face.  I follow up with goat milk lotion, twice a day.  Nothing will replace that routine.  The natural lactic acid in the lotion and soap helps to renew the skin cells. 

Recipes to come include deodorants, hair care, bath soaks…the list will go on! When you try the recipes, I would love for you to share your results (pros and cons).  I hope to hear how they work for you!

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Honey Lemon Oatmeal Scrub

Honey Lemon Oatmeal Scrub


 This scrub contains simple items, easily found at your local grocery store.

  • Oatmeal, gentle exfoliation.
  • Lemon juice, clears blemishes and lightens age spots.
  • Honey, humectant (retains and attracts moisture)
  • Olive oil, conditioning


Oatmeal and Honey Facial Scrub

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup oats

Mix all ingredients until a thick paste is formed.

The scrub can be used on any part of the body that needs exfoliation, brightening, or toning.  I begin with the face.

Because I have mature skin, I do not wash my face with soap prior to applying the scrub.  I use a warm moist washcloth to gently remove excess dirt before application. 

Warning, this is a messy process, so you will want to apply the scrub while leaning over a sink or towel.   

Begin applying the scrub to the face in small circular motions.  Never pull downwards on any part of your facial skin or eye areas.  Pulling downwards leads to excess sagging of the skin.   The oatmeal does not stick to the skin, however, the thin layer that remains (film from the oatmeal, lemon, honey, and olive oil) will nurture your skin. 

Relax…leave the scrub on the skin for 10 minutes.

Gently remove the scrub with a warm (not hot) water rinse.

My skin really benefits from this treatment.  It always feels better conditioned, toned, and brightened after several uses.  I never have to follow up with a moisturizer after the treatment!


  • Avoid the eye area.  The citric acid will irritate the eye membranes.
  • Oily complexion? Substitute water for olive oil. 
  • Use natural honey.  Be aware, some manufactures do include corn syrup in their honey products.
  • You may grind the oatmeal to a finer consistency prior to mixing the scrub.  Do not use instant oatmeal.
  • If you do not want to apply the oatmeal directly to your skin (it is messy), add a small amount of clean clear water to the recipe.  Using a cotton ball, apply the excess liquid (milk-like) to your skin.  Leave on for 10 minutes.

Enjoy and relax!

I have many recipes and tips to share with you in this new category, Skin and Hair Care!




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Bing! I opened my newest package of shea butter and instantly felt as if I needed sunglasses.  It was as deep yellow as it could be! Nope, there is nothing wrong with the shea butter.  It is completely natural.  Shea butter varies in color from cream to yellow. 

As a reminder, due to natural variances in shea butter, my goat milk lotion ranges from a pale butter color to nearly pure white.    The scent of the shea butter also varies in strength.   The scent of shea butter in a lotion dissipates within minutes of application to the skin.

Shea butter is an excellent skin softener! A small dab of shea butter applied to the ends of your hair after shampooing works better than an expensive bottle of conditioner. Shea butter is also great for sore or ragged cuticles.  And, my family and I have used shea butter to heal burns and scars!

For more shea butter information, here is my original shea butter article.  And here is my article regarding product storage.  Shea butter and other natural ingredients require room temperature storage.  DO NOT leave your lotions, creams, or other natural products in a very hot environment.  The car is NOT a good place for storage!

FYI…whipped shea butter samples will soon be available.  The cooler fall temps will allow me to ship without the fear of a melt-down.  Who wants a melt-down???!!! Not I!

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Today I am launching a new blog category, skin and hair care!

It has become obvious to me that my clients are very interested in getting down to the basics in life, including the natural care of their skin and hair.  In the skin and hair care category I will be posting discussions that share my knowledge and experience of skin care that brings us as close to natural as possible.

At Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps, I provide the basic products (soap and skin care), and I will provide education for skin care, recipes and potions that contain common ingredients, most found at your local grocery store!

I am a strong believer in naturally erasing a part of what comes into our lives that can (and has) been damaging to our skin and hair.  Damage from chemicals, the sun, stress, and age!

I am excited, as I hope you are, to start this venture.  I hope I can help many! And I hope you and I grow from this experience together!

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Young or old, we all battle the effects of the winter season on our skin.

With the new lotion and face cream products being added to my store, and with myself happily seeing improvement in my own skin this season, I wanted to share a few winter skin care tips.

  • Remember to moisturize more in the winter. Switching from a water based moisturizer to one that is oil based is smart skin care during the colder months. Oil based products provide a protective layer on the skin, acting as a barrier to the harsh winds, snow, and cold of winter.
  • Do not forget the sun screen when working outdoors. Exposure to the sun can be skin damaging even during the winter months.
  • Drink enough water! If you cannot tolerate 10-12 glasses of water a day, supplement some of that liquid with decaffeinated drinks. Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which accelerate dry skin.
  • Pay close attention to your hands. Hand skin tends to age faster than the rest of our bodies. Why? The skin on our hands is much thinner. Always remember to wear dry gloves, and moisturize the hands often.
  • Do not forget your feet. Dry socks are a must. You may need to slough off the dry skin areas of your feet with a pumice stone, or with a foot scrub, and then lavishly apply moisturizer to your feet as well. I find help with a pumice stone, heavy moisturizer, and then by wearing cotton socks in the evenings.
  • Heated winter air tends to be on the dry side. You may need to invest in a humidifier. If you are watching your pocketbook, boil a tiny bit of water on your stove once a day to keep the humidity levels higher in your home.
  • Dress in layers. Not only will this keep you much warmer (with lighter layers underneath), but it will also protect your skin from the elements.
  • Avoid very hot baths. I have problems with following this rule myself! I love a hot bubble bath. Hot baths make dry skin so much drier!
  • After bathing, slather on the moisturizer. It is best to moisturize while the skin is still fairly damp. This helps retain the natural moisture of your skin!

I have heard others say that our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. I find that statement interesting, and it compels me to try a little harder at taking care of myself.

Do you have any skin care tips to share? I love comments! 🙂

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