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If you shave regularly, you probably know the side effects all too well: dry skin, ingrown hairs, and razor burn. Here’s some good news: you can make your own DIY shaving cream, and it will combat all of those issues. Homemade shaving cream is also more environmentally-friendly and wallet-friendly than commercial, store-bought shaving cream. What’s not to love?

There are plenty of DIY shaving cream recipes floating around online, but my personal favorite is also the simplest and easiest. It calls for just two ingredients: coconut oil and shea butter.

Yes, the same ingredients that regularly nourish your skin and hair can also be transformed into a smooth, easy-to-use shaving cream. This particular DIY shaving cream won’t foam – instead, it’s like a whipped cream that you apply directly to the skin.

Unlike most shaving creams, this version basically doubles as a moisturizer, thanks to the power of coconut oil and shea butter. It’ll leave your skin softer, smoother, and razor-burn-free. It lasts well, and is easily stored.

The only downside? Shea butter and coconut oil are both pretty heavy oils, so if your pipes are easily clogged, be careful and use this shaving cream sparingly.

Onto the recipe!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Coconut oil
1/4 cup Shea butter

1. Combine equal parts coconut oil and shea butter in a stand-up mixer. If the ingredients are too solid to mix easily, melt them on the stovetop together first, then place the mixture in the refrigerator until it’s firm.
2. Whip the ingredients until the texture resembles whipped cream.
3. Store in a glass jar at room temperature.
4. To use, apply a thin layer on the skin.

You can also add extra ingredients to this “base,” if you’d like. Popular choices include extra virgin olive oil (1/8 cup) and baking soda (2 tsp), which lead to a lighter consistency. You can also add liquid castile soap (1/4 cup) and baking soda (2 tsp) if you prefer a foamy, soapy shaving product.

Other possible extras include your favorite essential oils, vitamin E oil, clay, honey, or aloe vera gel.

Keep in mind, though, that your choice of ingredients will impact the shelf life of the final product. If you use water-based ingredients, for example, the cream won’t last as long as long and may need to be kept in the fridge.

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Making Leaf Mold for Your Garden

Leaf mold is a substance that’s made from decomposing leaves. As leaves rot, they break down into leaf mold, which is a grainy, crumbly, black matter. Although this process takes up a lot of time, preferably one or two years, it’s not much of a problem since leaf mold doesn’t have to be applied regularly.

How Does It Work?

Although leaf mold isn’t considered to be very rich in the nutrients your soil needs (because it’s primarily composed of dead leaves) what it does is acts as a conditioner for your soil, greatly improving its texture. Additionally, it gives your soil better structure and enhances its ability to retain more water, which is helpful in the event that a heavy rain spell occurs.

Making Leaf Mold

Storage

Start by setting up space where you’ll store all the decaying leaves. Since we’re all urban city farmers here, it’s probable that you don’t have much space, so using a large garbage bag (the black ones) will do. Just remember to add holes for air circulation. Then you have to keep the bag out of sight because it’s not the most appealing thing you want your guests to see.

Get Leaves

Next, you’ll need to collect the leaves, which sounds easy, but is pretty difficult if you think about how much time will go into the task. To make it easier, you can purchase a garden vacuum or leaf blower. Garden vacuums always have bags attached in which they collect fallen leaves and other debris. You can empty out this bag and separate the leaves from other materials before using them for the leaf mold. Remember not to just use any leaves that come your way, but only ones that are healthy and don’t show any sign of disease. Using leaf mold made from disease-ridden leaves puts your crops at the risk of being affected by the disease too.

Shred ‘em up

If you live in an area that often gets heavy rain during the monsoon season, then leaf mold is a staple for you because it prevents soil from getting waterlogged. In this case, you’ll need your leaves to decay quickly. An easy way to do that is to shred them before adding them to your leaf mold bag. If you have a garden shredder, you can effortlessly shred your leaves into thin pieces. Otherwise, simply use a rotary mower on the leaves a few times. It isn’t essential that you shred your leaves, but it does speed up the process because otherwise, large leaves can keep air from circulating and enhancing the process of decomposition.

Bag Them

Add your shredded leaves to the large garbage bag and spray a little water when the leaves reach the top. Tie the bag from the top and leave it in a nicely shaded part of your garden.

Leave and Shake

Now you have to keep your leaves away for a period of 1 to 2 years for them to decompose. Remember to turn them over every month or so to keep them from getting compacted while increasing air circulation. Keep the leaves moist and you’ll have your leaf mold ready to use in your garden soon. Happy Farming!


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