skin series #2. body love.

I think it’s time we had a talk.  A little chat about our bodies.  No, no that talk, but this one for me, has been pretty significant.

Would you believe until a few months ago, I would never bare my legs?  I was the ‘girl who always wore black leggings,’ (title for my new novel?)  In Melbourne, this what not an issue, as the weather there is so sporadic you will get rain, wind, hot and freezing all in the space of a few hours.  You have to be clothing-ly prepared.  Also, people wear a lot of black in Melbourne; I think it’s to do with being trendy and mysterious or something.  In New Zealand, the black leggings were fine, as come on- it’s generally freezing there, even in the middle of Summer.  I fitted in well, wearing my leggings by day – spending my nights next to a cozy fire, braiding my leg hair.  It was all good.

Then I moved to Queensland.  A place that could be considered on the border of being sub-tropical.  A place where the catch phrase is ‘Queensland.  Beautiful one day, perfect the next.’  It’s actually called the ‘Sunshine State.’  So yes, it is warm and sunny.  All the time.  Black leggings?  Hmmm not really appropriate attire.  Especially at the beach.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the heat.  I love the sunshine, the outdoors, the beach, the water – it all makes me so happy.  What was making me unhappy was the state of my skin.  In particular, my legs.

The leggings were because my legs were pretty much constantly covered in a gross itchy rash.  If I shaved or waxed my legs, it would make it worse.  So I had hairy, rash covered pins.  Sexy.  I tried everything – super fancy supposedly sensitive razors, different creams/gels, different waxing techniques, you name it, I tried it.  Those depilatory creams are just so toxic it’s unbelievable (the smell along should be warning, I think I got a buzz off one) not to mention what they did to my skin.  Burning off your hair?  Oh yes, please, burn me!  I’ll pay money for you to burn me.  Amazing.

See the gap between where pants stop, and feet start?  That’s all that was ever bared.

So I kind of just gave up.  Resigned myself to constantly having tanned feet and ankles, with the rest of my legs being hairy, blue and rashy.  It was really depressing actually.

mmm, looks delicious, can I have a slice?

You actually could if you wanted to, but I’m not sure how you’d do swallowing this bad boy.  This (well, actually coconut oil) has given me the gift of bare legs… this Summer I’m wearing shorts.  Yeah.

I decided a few months ago I was over the leggings.  Over wearing any sort of long pants or skirts in Summer.  It’s ridiculous, and I want brown legs for once.  My cure?  Going back to basics.  No fancy pharmacy products with all their claims… just keeping things simple.

I figured if I can eat it, I can use it on my body… I came up with this idea, the concept of using coconut oil in the shower as a protective layer over my skin before shaving.  I already use it as a moisturiser, so I know my skin likes it.  Yes, it clogs up my razor, but now I can even use the crappiest of crappy cheap-o razor and my legs stay rash free.  Seriously, I love coconut oil.

I decided to take things a step further (read: had too much time on my hands, and a bag of beeswax I’ve been meaning to do something with for ages) and created a type of exfoiliating/moisturising shaving bar.  This is really simple.  Stupidly simple.  If you don’t have the shaving problems I did, this is just a lovely treat for your skin.  One side has oats and herbs to scrub away dead skin, and the other is a beautiful moisturiser.

Lou’s  Lotion Bar For Lovely Legs (and other bits)

  • Equal parts grated beeswax and coconut oil (pack beeswax down tightly) I used 3T of each.
  • 1/8t baking soda
  • 1t honey
  • 1/8C oats, roughly chopped
  • 1t rosemary (dry)
  • 2t lavender flowers (dry)
  1. Use a double boiler or a stainless saucepan that you don’t care about (I have a designated, non food creating one).  Gently melt down beeswax and add coconut oil.  Do not let it boil, you just want it melted.
  2. Add in everything else.  (This is super easy and quick as the heavy stuff sinks and the layers sort themselves out).
  3. Pour into desired moulds, or clean plastic container which has been lightly greased with olive oil. (I just use whatever is in my recycling bin).
  4. Place in fridge.
  5. Using a blunt butter knife, ease out of mould(s).  Chop up into pieces/slices if you made one large bar.
I store mine in the fridge due to the humidity here, and it prolongs it’s life.  Use within 2 weeks.
So that’s about it.  I have been wearing shorts constantly for the last 6 weeks – I actually have brown legs for the first time in years.  All thanks to coconut oil.   I got a wolf whistle yesterday… gotta love tradies (sorry, it is totally demeaning as a woman to be heckled at like an object by men on a building site.  Come, on you know you love it).
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About Lou

I'm a stay at home Mum, recipe book addict who can't stick to a recipe to save my life.

9 responses to “skin series #2. body love.”

  1. lindsay says :

    i am a firm believer in this. In fact, I break out in rashes if I use certain products. Now about this lotion, are you going to bottle it and sell it?! hmmm, just a thought!

    • Lou says :

      Well, funny you should say, I’m thinking of doing up a bunch of bars for a little local craft market that was started up by my old boss (the one that threw the pig-on-spit birthday party for me!) It’s just a little project that might be fun 🙂

  2. Crafty Earth Mama says :

    I love coconut oil too and that’s mostly what we use as a moisturizer. Nothing comes close to it and it has natural spf too!!
    I have everything needed for this bar, I think I’ll try it this weekend. TMI, but I just shaved my legs for the 1st time in months and they could use some exfoliating 🙂

    • Lou says :

      It’s really really lovely – I actually used too much honey in my first batch, so the scrubbing bit stayed a bit sticky, but it smells soooo dreamy, i really wanted to take a bite 🙂
      Dude, you would have had NOTHING on my legs the way they used to be – so ridiculously hairy (and I have dark hair, so was similar to a gorilla!)

  3. Hannah says :

    Lou, this is amazing. I’m so, so happy for you. Although I know, and believe, that things like this shouldn’t make us feel badly, as a 24-year-old who still struggles with skin problems (ie, acne), I know how upsetting it can be to feel self-conscious and out of control about things like this. I’m also going to pass this along to my mum, who struggles with eczema. Thank you 🙂

    • Lou says :

      Skin problems really effect you emotionally, there is nothing worse than having something so visibly wrong… I once had a massive eczema outbreak all over my face, and refused to leave the house for 2 weeks. Have you checked out crunchybetty.com? If not, she is AMAZING and has some awesome natural remedies for acne, I think you would dig it 🙂

      • Hannah says :

        Thank you for the link, and the understanding. I still force myself to go out when I’m had an outbreak because I do believe people need to accept me for who I am, but it does make you feel so vulnerable. :S

  4. Yolie @ Practising Wellness says :

    That’s completely amazing that you make your own shaving cream – I would love to try some. You must make that and sell it, it would be absolutley fantastic, we need more poroducts borne out of health and experience like yours 🙂
    Oh my goodness, just read the comment above, and I completely empathize! I got an awful outbreak of eczema, all over my face, neck, and arms, the very first time I went on holiyda with the Kiwi and a bunch of his guy friends…we’d only been going out a few months, it was HORRIBLE! I was bleeding, itchy, oozing, gnarly, embarassed and in pain. Not cool, man, not cool. Thankfully I still had an amazing time – I learned to keep smiling and try not to be self-conscious about things you cannot control. But eczema can be so tough emotionally as well as uncomfortable and painful physcally.
    I try so hard to eat skin friendly food and avoid envirnmental and edible irritants, but it’s a learning curve, and quite restrictive – however, SO worth it to have clear skin. For me, no dairy, no tofu or tempeh or too much soy, no tomatoes (weird), no avocadoes too sometimes, or prawns as well.
    Lots of love to you and Hannah! ❤ Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Lou, you're an angel!
    So glad you're rocking the shorts now, bet it feels AMAZING! xyx

  5. Lou says :

    Thanks for the lovely comment, you are such a sweet lady!
    Yes, shorts feel fantastic, especially as we’ve been having some sweltering days, love it 🙂 Eczema sucks, there are no 2 ways about it… any skin issue is just soul destroying – you just feel so vulnerable and uncomfortable. Sounds like you are doing all the right things for your skin – booo I couldn’t handle not having my soy products, I’m lucky I guess. Dairy definitely effects me though, in big amounts…. sugar is my big offender. I have heard that tomatoes and similarly acidic foods can be quite troublesome… a friend of mine who suffered terribly was told to cut out tomatoes and gluten – bam, beautiful skin! It’s amazing how little sensitivities have such a huge effect. love LOVE XX

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