Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DIY C.O. Bigelow Inspired Rose Water Tonic

I've been meaning to write this very simple tutorial for...evvv...errrr (Sandlot, anyone?). Probably a year or two.
I used to love this stuff when I was a teenager. I loved C.O. Bigelow in general and it inspired many a trip to Bath and Body Works (especially during sales!). Their peppermint infused lip gloss made a gobby, sticky mess out of me... but I reached for those tubes *every time*.
Anyway, a quick glance at the ingredient list inspired two thoughts, a) ew... I don't love that being on my skin and b) I could totally make this.
Based on those two reactions, this recipe is altered a bit to include some more friendly ingredients and leave out the harmful ones. That being said, you'll need to keep it refrigerated and make small batches, I don't know how long it will last. Probably not more than a few weeks.
Start off with rose water. This is a very simple way of doing it, and there are more detailed versions on the internet. If you're committed to purity, google a version for distilled rose water and then come back when you've got your rose water. If you're looking for a the fast route, read on!
 Start with some roses! My cousin gave me these GORGEOUS roses for my birthday last weekend. I absolutely loved them, and once they were bloomed and starting to wilt, I wanted them to live on as rose water. These were a little too bloomed, you probably want the roses to be more fresh, they're more fragrant then. Also, if you can use wild (read: chemical free) roses, that is much better. If you have a friend or family member with a rose bush, perfect!
 Remove the petals from the stems.
 Rinse the petals under cool water to remove any chemicals, dirt, buggies... whatever.
 Crush up the petals, I used a combo of hand torture and a potato smasher to do the job. You need them to be bruised up and damaged to release their goodness.
Add just enough water to barely cover the petals, you don't want to dilute the rose water.
 Simmer the petals just until they lose their color, not any longer.
Strain out the petals and place in the jar (or spray bottle!) of your choice.
Once the rose water is done, the rest is super easy. Add in 1 tablespoon of high quality witch hazel for each 1/2 cup of rose water produced.
5 drops of chamomile essential oil for each 1/2 cup will keep this recipe close to the original, which also includes chamomile. To round it out, remove the added perfume in the original which does nothing for the skin and add in some great essential oils instead. They will add lovely scent and provide other benefits. I recommend a few drops of lemon + grapefruit if you have oily skin. To punch up the rose scent, you can add rose oil. All skin types generally benefit from rose hip oil, too. A few drops per 1/2 cup is sufficient, but you're welcome to add more as long as it doesn't irritate your skin. Remember to always use high grade essential oil, too!
That's it! To use, apply with a cotton ball or pad. Remember again to store it in the fridge and discard after a few weeks.
I've been field testing some different ways to wash hair naturally without store bought shampoo OR baking soda. I used to be a big fan of washing hair with baking soda, but I'm reading that it's a bad idea long term. If you're interested or have any suggestions- let me know!
All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!

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