The Hippie in Me

A few years ago, I found myself leisurely shopping in a Fresh Handmade Cosmetics chain store that shall remain unnamed. I was looking for a birthday gift for a friend, and she was a fan. I, on the other hand, was not. As a matter of fact, I found myself perusing their selection of soaps and lotions with a sense of skepticism while silently scoffing at their seemingly overpriced products. I remember referring to the store as “the hippie hot spot for hemp fantatics”.

Fast forward a few years, a marriage, and baby later. We lovingly hear the many characteristics that our little guy has acquired through his genetics; dad’s chin, mommy’s eyes, tall like his uncles and grandpa, fair-skinned like his grandmas, and the list goes on. Somewhere in that list, you’ll find that my son has had the (mis)fortune of having his momma’s overly sensitive skin.

At our 3-month ped visit, we asked about what we could use on his skin to prevent rashes. The pediatrician was quick to pull out her prescription pad, and without a second thought, prescribed a steroidal ointment.

Something about this just didn’t sit right with me. My baby’s skin was so soft, so new, and so perfect. I didn’t want to taint it with the harsh chemicals and medication that the prescribed ointment was inevitably loaded with.

So my search for an alternative began. Thanks to a thoughtful gift, I stumbled on a local Toronto company that made an all-natural “Magic Balm” that did the trick. The ingredients list is short and simple. As much as I loved the product, the price tag was a bit shocking. The 2-oz container lasted a week and cost $18 – which meant just under $1000 for the year. Ouch. Clearly, my EI cheque was burning a hole in my pocket. Right.

So I did the unthinkable; I ordered the items on that short and simple ingredient list (Amazon FTW!), browsed a few recipes, YouTube’d a few videos, and gave it a shot. I am pleasantly surprised – surprised with the ease of the process as well as pleased with the result. While my “Magic Balm” was not an exact replica of the one I had been using, it works just as well.

The best part is I know exactly what I am applying on my baby’s skin. I know it is free of those harsh chemicals, it is pure and natural, and, perhaps most importantly, it is made with love.

There you have it. That’s the story of how I turned into a hippie.


For those interested, here is a study that looked at the benefits of olive oil and honey (vs. steroidal treatment, in a controlled study) on dry skin, eczema, or psoriatic skin.

The “Magic Balm” Recipe

1/2 cup beeswax
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup jojoba oil
1/2 cup shea butter
1/4 cup raw, unprocessed honey
~10 drops rosemary essential oil
~10 drops lavender essential oil

Melt the beeswax in a double boiler setup. Add butter and oils (except rosemary and lavender). Stir slowly as ingredients melt and form a uniform liquid. Remove from heat. Add essential oils. Pour into containers and let cool. This recipe made 12 oz of balm (three 4 oz containers).

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

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