Shaker Remedies

It’s a gift to be simple*.  
All-in-one skin care remedies inspired by the Shaker herbal traditions.

The Shakers, or Shaking Quakers, were the most successful utopian society in American history.  In 1792 their 7th community was formed in Canterbury, NH where they were entrepreneurial herbalists and practiced botanical medicine.  Their site is an active museum today and is a source of inspiration for many naturalists, including myself.

These hand crafted formulas use local ingredients and herbs harvested from my organic gardens.  Packaging is historically correct including the border artwork that was scanned from an original Canterbury Shaker product.

Calendula and Honey cleanser and masque : A lotion-cleanser to gently exfoliate, soothe, and cleanse the skin. Containing cold-pressed nutritive oils as well as enzymes from raw honey, this formula breaks down accumulations, dissolves dead skin cells, and boosts the skin’s immune functions to strengthen and brighten tissue. Uniquely silky texture and rinses away beautifully.  Leave on to hydrate skin.  NOTE: this is the same product as MeadowMilk cleanser.

  • Directions: Apply 1-2 pumps to finger tips and massage into face and eye area. Remove with warm water or a dampened washcloth. Repeat for neck and chest. Skin can be washed twice for a deeper, therapeutic cleanse.
  • Key ingredients: Locally Harvested Honey from the Canterbury Shaker North Family farm, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Wax, E.O. of Calendula and Orange Blossom
  • 4oz. $30

Rose Geranium Foaming Wash: Inspired by Shaker remedies, this is a very gentle, all-purpose cleanser suitable for the face, body, and hair. Highly concentrated and self-foaming, this formula features rose geranium extract, known for its soothing and regenerative qualities. Ideal for all skin types.

  • Directions: Pump into hand to dispense the foam. Massage onto skin. Rinse.
  • Key ingredients: Rose Geranium Extract (organic, home-grown), Glycerine, Water, Polyglucose
  • 5oz. concentrate $24

Quince and Cranberry Hydration Lotion: Inspired by Shaker remedies, this is a simple, all-purpose lotion that soothes & deeply hydrates the face, hands & body. Suitable for most skin types as an everyday formula.

  • Directions: Apply to face, neck, and chest as needed
  • Key ingredients: Quince Seed Extract, Cranberry Oil, Oat Oil, Sweet Almond Oil
  • 4oz. $30

Pumpkin Seed and Orange Lip Balm: A penetrating, non-waxy, and long lasting balm that soothes the skin and has the delightful, natural taste of orange.

  • Directions: Apply as needed to dry lips.
  • Key ingredients: Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Orange Peel Wax, Oils of Pumpkin Seed, Kukui Nut, and Vegetable
  • .5oz. $14

Lavender and Bilberry Bath Fizz: A delightful powder that fizzes when dumped into water to relieve aching muscles and bones, and to soothe skin.

  • Directions: Dump 2-4 T. into a full tub of warm water and soak body or feet.
  • Key ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Oatmeal, Epsom Salt, Arrowroot, Lavender, Bilberry, Beet Root
  • 1/3lb.  $24

Herb and Mineral Masque: A DIY botanical powder that can be mixed with your own liquids to create a medicinal paste. Concentrated herbs and clays promote healing of cuts, rashes, bug bites, poison ivy, and acne.

  • Directions: Mix with various liquids and oils from your cupboards to make a soothing poultice.
  • Key ingredients: French Green Clay, Bentonite, Arrowroot, Colloidal Oatmeal, Southernwood and Comfrey Leaf (home-grown)
  • 1/4lb. $24

*“It’s a gift to be simple”; lyrics taken from an 1848 Shaker song.


CALENDULA AND HONEY CLEANSER AND MASQUE: Distilled water, honey (natural enzymes deep clean), meadow foam seed oil, raw vegetable Ecocert CreamMaker, sunflower seed wax, fractionated coconut & palm oils, cocoglucose, gluconolactone, sodium Benzoate, essential oils of calendula & orange blossoms.

ROSE GERANIUM FOAMING WASH: Distilled water, tincture of rose geranium leaves from my organic Canterbury gardens (deep cleansing, brightening & purifying properties), kosher vegetable glycerin, polyglucose, sulfosuccinate, alpha olefin sulfonate, cocomidopropylamine, citric acid, gluconolactone, sodium Benzoate.

QUINCE AND CRANBERRY HYDRATION LOTION: mucilage from quince fruit seeds (soothing and hydrating properties similar to aloe), sweet almond oil, olive oil fractions (cetearyl olivate/sorbitan olivate), ECOCERT glyceryl stearate/cetearyl alcohol/ sodium stearyl lactylate, cranberry seed oil, (anti-oxidant, anti-aging), oat oil (soothing), gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate.

PUMPKIN SEED AND ORANGE LIP BALM: shea butter, vitamin E, oils of pumpkin seed, kukui nut and vegetable, orange peel wax, beeswax, sweet orange E.O.

LAVENDER AND BILBERRY BATH FIZZ:  Sodium bicarbonate, colloidal oatmeal, citric acid, epsom salt, arrowroot, bilberry & beet root, & french lavender essential oil (healing & soothing.

HERB AND MINERAL MASQUE: French green clay, arrowroot, colloidal oatmeal, bentonite, allantoin, southernwood & comfrey leaf from my organic Canterbury gardens, chlorella algae. 

Recent Posts

How much water does your skin need?

originalHydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This fad-ish conversation of drinking more water has really got us thinking. Being properly hydrated helps our joints and helps our digestion but no where in this recent dialog am I hearing about how much we need for our skin.

“Back in the day” diet counselors and skin clinicians said to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. That 64 ounces felt like swimming in a 100 lb. woman but to a highly active 180 lb. man it bordered on dehydration. Most modern health advocates give us the formula of dividing your body weight in half and drinking that number of ounces. But where the skin is concerned there is more to consider.

Given that our bodies are 75% water it does make sense that we need to constantly replenish it to keep it going. Our skin specifically needs water to remain plump but interestingly only around 15% of what goes in our mouth ever makes it to the surface. This lack is compounded by the fact that as we age some of the bio-chemical components within the cells that are responsible for holding water in place diminish and our natural skin oils that form an evaporation protection barrier lessens.

Only 15% of the water we drink ever makes it to the surface of the skin.

This means that perhaps we need more water and definitely need to prevent dehydration. Once a cell flattens from lack of water it is very difficult to plump it back up and prolonged dehydration crystallizes some of those bio-chemicals leaving shards that can cut and damage cells. Damaged cells = wrinkles.

So how much is enough? That modern formula is seems to be pretty perfect but consider that if we are consuming dehydrating liquids or are exposed to wind & sun, or heat our homes with wood and forced air, or are perspiring daily with exercise, or flying on airplanes, we need even more. You know what they say; if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. And if your skin looks crepey like a desert floor then you are way, way past dehydration.

To keep your skin plump, in addition to the water consumption formula above, here are some replenishment calculations to help you understand your skin’s need for water:

  • Coffee, black or green tea, caffeinated sodas, alcohol.  These are all diuretics which means they cause the body to expel as much water as they put in.  For each ounce consumed replace with an equal amount of water.
  • Laxatives, magnesium.  These draw the water from the central parts of the body to the bowels and in the process dehydrating the outermost part of the body.  Drink several glasses of water for each one taken.
  • Hormonal therapies.  These block hormones that regulate the production of skin oil so skin dehydrates very quickly.  Drink as much extra as you can with water beverages that increase your electrolytes for better maintenance.
  • Flying on airplanes.  The air in the cabin is de-humidified to lighten the load of the plane so bodies dehydrate quickly.  For every hour on the plane drink 8 oz. of water.  Additionally misting the skin with water hourly is helpful.  My Rehance Mist is excellent for this.  NOTE: Most air sickness is due to dehydration.
  • Perspiration.  If you perspire a lot, many health advocates are recommending consuming up to a gallon of water.  I calculate that for every hour of perspiration I need an addition 16 oz. of water.
  • Exposure to the outdoor elements or over-heated homes.  Wind and sun dehydrate the surface of the skin as does air-blown heat in our homes.

THIS IS KEY: to help your skin maintain the water you give it, consider how the skin itself is designed to do so.  Sodiums and sugars within the cells are responsible for holding water in place and sebum produced in the oil glands released to the surface of the skin helps the bio-components themselves from drying out.  As I mentioned previously, as we age all of these become diminished thus the need to help our skin.  Moisturizing your body daily before the skin dries out is important.

  • Look for body and face moisturizers that contain water retaining ingredients like sodium PCA and sodium hyaluronate, beta-glucan and beta-fructan or polysaccharides.
  • Look for moisturizers that contain sebum-like oil such as squalane and oils that have nutritional omega-3  fatty acids like almond and olive and oils that help seal/sooth the skin like shea or sesame.

This is how I formulated my body lotion.

NOTE: a properly hydrated body should produce 6 to 8 cups of clear to slightly yellow urine per day.  If your urine is very yellow you are dehydrated.

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