There are a few things I will only buy a brand name product – you just can’t substitute with the generic brand. Last week I just added one more item to that list. I purchased a different dish soap, one that was on sale and I thought, hey, soap is soap. Wrong! Not only does the water get greasy faster, and I use a ton more soap to get suds, but my hands are cracking and dry and look like the hands of a miner.I was lamenting about my sorry state of hands to a friend, and she told me she used to use Ivory dish soap because it was so gentle on her hands, but she said it is not available anymore. Now before you start tweeting me and calling me…. I believed her. Then she said her friend makes her own dish soap from Ivory bars of soap. I thought my hands are in a state of 911, so I would try it.First of all, set out your bars of soap on a rack to dry out. I left 6 bars out for about 2-3 weeks. Then shred it and let it dry out on a sheet rack for another 7-10 days. Then grind it in a food processor and store in a container. Just use a scoop in your water for washing dishes… voila. Clever! I will let you know how my hands improve. Now, and I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, but I just Googled Ivory Dish Soap – and you can get it on Amazon for $2.99… in stock. I am not saying another word! Sometimes there is an irreplaceable joy from making it yourself!!Quick Paraffin Hand TreatmentSpread vegetable shortening on your handsCover with plastic bags and elastic bands around the wristsPut hands in hot water and soak for 20-30 minutes.Sugar ScrubIn bowl mix 1 3/4 c. Sugar (white or brown)3/4 c. Grape Seed Oil or shay butter or avocado oilAdd 2 drops of colouring and essentials oils like lemon or grapefruitPut in pretty jar and keep by your sink for a quick mini manicure.Use spoon to stir, and scoop onto your hands.I have made my own hand soap twice and that is a real savings. One bar lasts forever. I have lots of recipes for fancy soaps, and I always intended on making them, but this is the basic soap recipe I made and it turned out really nice.Home Made Soap24 oz. Olive Oil24 oz. Coconut Oil38 oz. Crisco12 oz. Lye32 oz. WaterFragrance OilsScaleGlass juice container2 wooden spoonsStainless Steel potPlastic or Glass Measuring CupWire WhiskCandy ThermometerOld BlanketVinegar2 Plastic containers or moulds – grease well with Crisco ShorteningPut on gloves. Put the Lye into a 2 cup measure container. Weigh 32 oz. Cold Water in a glass container. Add lye to the water – stir with a wooden spoon in a well ventilated area. Set aside to cool (about 1/2 hour)Weigh 24 oz. Coconut Oil and 38 oz. Crisco Oil into a metal pot. On low heat, stir frequently until melted. Take off heat and add the Olive Oil.**Important ** Before you can combine the lye and oil mixtures, they must be between 95-98° F. Use hot or cold water baths to get them to that temperature.Meanwhile prepare your pans or moulds by greasing with lots of crisco lard.Once your mixtures at at the right temperatures, slowly pour in a steady stream the lye mixture into the oil mixture stirring constantly until it has all been added.Stir approximately 10 minutes until it slightly thickens and you can trace a design in the mixture.Add your essential oil scents and stir well. I split my batches and made soaps of:spearmint, lemon, bergamot, ylan ylang, lavendar. You may also add oatmeal or grain for texture.Carefully pour into your moulds.Put on a lidCover with blankets and keep warm and undisturbed for 18 hours.Then after 18 hours, remove the lids and let sit another 8-12 hours.To remove, dump upside down onto a clean towel.Cut and set on ends back in the container to cure.Facial Luffa ScrubSave your used coffee grounds and let dry out on a plate. Store in a jar.Lather your face with face soap, dip your fingers into the coffee grounds and then gently scrub your face. Rinse well. It may be messy but it definitely works to get rid of dry skin.