26 Sep How to Make Your Own Organic Beauty Products from Scratch
Over the years I have experimented with dozens of DIY kitchen and bathroom recipes to find the ones that I like and that work.
Below are my favourite organic beauty products that I made from scratch. The best thing about these is that none contains more than four ingredients, and chances are good you have them all in your kitchen already.
Simple body scrub
Many body scrubs, even the ones that claim to be sugar, or salt-based, actually contain beads made out of polyethylene, which is environmentally unacceptable. It all goes down the drain and may find its way back into our food chain. Apart for the polyethylene, preservatives, fragrance, penetration enhancers, and sulphates that typically bulk up these products will also harm our planet.
Instead, head to your kitchen. Grab a bowl and combine a quarter cup of olive oil, an eighth of a cup of coarse brown sugar, same amount of salt, and an essential oil you love. Vanilla seems to me the can’t-beat option for smell, but go with your favourite! And if you have dry skin, a sunburn, or eczema, leave out the salt and double up the sugar. I use extra virgin olive oil on my skin on a regular basis. I have an olive / Mediterranean complexion, and it works well.
Honey face wash
In the palm of your hand, combine a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered honey with a half a tablespoon of baking soda, mix it together, and apply to damp skin. The honey is antibacterial and it also soothes dry skin, and the baking soda is gently exfoliating without tearing or irritating your face. What’s more it is affordable! I am personally very much into honey. I have about four pots in my cupboard. I have a local honey for medicine, a raw organic honey for my muesli and porridge, a spare rare jar of African Bee Honey which I use for special occasions, and some ordinary honey just in case.
One-ingredient eye liner
For the ladies, or the gents with a flair for the dramatic this is as easy as it gets: Grab a capsule of activated charcoal, which you can get at most pharmacies and any health food store. Instead of ingesting it for your tummy ache, dump out the contents on a clean surface, moisten the tip of a makeup brush with water, and sweep it on like you would any other eye liner. It goes on easily and lasts just as long as regular powdered liner — minus the preservatives, artificial dyes, fragrance, and other chemicals. I learnt how to do this when I was in Rajasthan in India. The Rajput men are prone to wear eyeliner, and at night curl their moustaches into concentric coils bunched up into moustache nets – it looks fantastic!
Because fragrance is protected under trade secret laws, there is no way to know what the perfume or cologne contains. There are around 3,100 stock chemical ingredients which companies use for colognes and perfumes, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer. Makers of popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays market their scents with terms like floral, exotic, or musky, but they don’t disclose that many scents are actually a complex cocktail of natural essences and synthetic chemicals – often petrochemicals.
Instead, make your own: Combine essential oils you like—cedar, ylang ylang, vanilla, lavender, citrus oils — with a little bit of vodka, and keep it in an airtight container. You can experiment and tweak it as the seasons change — lighter in summer, heavier for winter — without having to slather on potentially dangerous chemical cocktails onto your skin.
Outside the shower, grab an oil you like — olive, argan, jojoba, and coconut work well — slather it on the area that needs a shave, and go for it. Oils are hard at first: We are hard-wired to think oils on our face are a bad idea, but if you use a skin-compatible oil like the ones listed, it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. (In fact, some people find the opposite happens).
Yogurt face mask
This organic beauty products can raise some eyebrows, because putting yogurt on your face sounds a little gross at first — but it can be a great skin-brightening, moisturising mask on its own for sensitive skin. Once again I heard about this trick in India, I haven’t actually tried this one myself, but I would be interested to hear about its effects from our readers:
Combine a cut of yogurt with half a cup of non-instant oatmeal, mix, and apply. The lactic acid in the yogurt softens skin gently, and can be great for dehydrated and congested skin. Leave it in for 15 minutes, and rinse. No need to wash after.