Raw bodycare cosmetics
I’ve been slowing the pace of living more recently. Maybe this happens naturally as we get older but since I’ve been more Eco-minded my consumer behaviour has become more considerate. Ditching plastic packaging in the bathroom was the first transition, then came the kitchen cleaning products and now I feel myself discontented with my cosmetic range. The world has become a different place to me with my new found awareness and I can’t consume anything without analysing the packet or doing a background check!
Over the years I’ve found my bathroom cabinet overflowing with half used products. Half of these being unwanted gifts and the other half I bought impulsively. These products should have a shelf life and it’s pretty alarming that years later most of them look as good as the day I opened them. My skin is sensitive and quite often I am recommended products that are overcomplicated, overpriced and overhyped! I’ve asked my friends and family to no longer gift me any body care products and thankfully the cosmetics cabinet is nearly bare.
I have a new and very simple regime underway…. ‘If you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin!’ Our skin is the biggest organ in our body and it absorbs external substances every day. It also needs to breathe and regularly be free from any layers of product. I have reduced my use of make-up drastically over the last few years. Most days I brave a fresher face and save make-up products for more special occasions. A make-up bottle might last me up to a year now so I make sure I treat myself to a quality one.
It’s not easy to buy 100% natural cosmetic products on the high-street and you are more likely to find someone local who makes bespoke natural creams and body products. Over the last year I’ve bought a few of these home made products and even attended a workshop on DIY home and body care products. Feeling all inspired and determined to make my own mini range of skin care products I hit the supermarket with my ingredients list. OK, so the local supermarket didn’t have everything I was looking for and I had to order a few things online but the bulk of the ingredients can be found in most peoples kitchen cabinets.
Firstly I needed to replace the products of my old routine. Worried that I wouldn’t have a solution for everything I thought who better to get advice from then from my parents generation. We’ve all sat through those lectures of yesteryear and the good ol’ days but seriously take the time to listen to the older generation; they are the last generation to know the world before mass consumerism and single use products. After quizzing a few old wives for their tales I noticed all of the same basic ingredients kept coming up such as oils, honey, salt and baking soda. These all made great bases but I still wanted to source some trendy and exotic ingredients! We are living in the 21st century after all and anything from all over the world is but a click away! In order of daily routine, the ingredients and methods of my own raw bodycare cosmetics are below.
Lavender + Walnut
I created this scrub last year for a feature on the DIY section of the blog and I just love it. This gorgeous lavender and walnut face scrub uses the same base ingredients as the body scrub but just in different proportions. The mixture is dryer and can be used once to twice a week and is perfect for gentle exfoliation. Apply a thumb nail size scoop to your dry face and gently rub using small circular movements. Rinse and pat dry to reveal beautiful fresh skin!
1½ cup sea salt
¾ cup of oil (I’ve used Donegal Irish rapeseed oil)
A handful of freshly ground walnuts
A handful of dried lavender flowers
A dash of essential oil (I’ve used lavender oil to keep it in the family!)
In an electrical grinder, blitz the walnuts for a few seconds, avoid grinding them to a powder; they need to be gritty! If you don’t have a grinder just finely chop them or bash them up. Fill a glass jar with the sea salt, add the dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add the oil, stirring gently. The mix should be slightly dry but sticky like a paste. If your mix is too runny just add more salt. Finish off with a few dashes of essential oil.
Honey + Spirulina
This enriching mixture is not my own creation but it was shared to me by a glowing skinned colleague! I often end up with nearly empty jars of old honey. When my colleague gave me this recipe I thought ‘what a great way to finish off the end of a crystallising jar of honey’. The paste can be used as a soothing mask or an every day gentle face scrub. I use it in the shower in the mornings to avoid any green splashes of spirulina at the sink!
½ jar of honey
1 tablespoon of spirulina powder
Simply mix the two ingredients into a paste. I mix it in the honey jar itself. If you want a soft mask opt for a firm honey which isn’t too runny or use old crystallising honey if you want scrubbing action!
EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUBS
Making your own scrubs is another solution to consuming less cosmetic packaging. Using basic natural ingredients, It’s so unbelievably cheap and easy to make beautifully luxurious sea salt body scrubs. Why not make a batch and gift to friends and family?
Rosemary + Citrus
1 cup sea salt
Half a cup of oil (I’ve used Donegal Irish rapeseed oil)
1 freshly ground rosemary branch
Zest of one lemon
A dash of essential oil (I’ve used Olbas oil)
In an electrical grinder, blitz the rosemary branch (including the twig). If you don’t have a grinder just chop the branch using a sharp knife. Fill a glass jar with the cup of sea salt and add the blitzed rosemary, the jest of one lemon and mix. Slowly add the oil, stirring gently. If your mix is too runny just add more salt. Finish off with a dash of your favourite essential oil.
Beeswax + Vit. E
Your skin will thank you for this healing balm! Ideal during winter for dehydrated skin or use as an enriching night cream all year round. It is quite testing to make the 1st time around and I thought after all my efforts the mixture wouldn’t bind but keep mixing the oils rapidly and they will blend eventually! Like any raw food this balm will have a shelf life of a few months. The ingredients makes several small jars which you can gift to friends. The balm also makes a great lip salve and I made a small tin to carry around in my bag.
1⁄4 cup grated beeswax (or use pellets)
1⁄4 cup of coconut oil
1⁄4 cup of nut or seed oil such as almond, rapeseed or walnut.
3-4 capsules of vitamin E oil
1 dash of essential oil (I’ve used Geranium oil)
Like melting chocolate, melt the beeswax, coconut oil and nut/seed oil in a tempered glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Have patience and keep mixing until the oils bind together making a creamy paste (the mixture will look like shavings in oil for several minutes!) Remove from the heat and add the vitamin E and one dash of essential oil (it’s best not to over fragrance a facial cream). Pour immediately into a small glass or tin jar; once removed from the heat the mixture will set very quickly.
Rosewater + Camomile
This is where I thought DIY cosmetics could fall short; ‘how will I remove stubborn make-up?’ This floral cleansing tonic is really easy to make. I keep it in a spritz bottle and spray directly onto the face. Using my finger tips I massage it into the face and eye area to dissolve make-up and wipe clean with a micro-fiber cloth.
2 parts rose water
1 part vegetable glycerine
A dash of essential oil (I’ve used camomile oil)
I use the ingredients in a 2:1 ratio with a dash of essential oil. Shake the bottle gently before use to keep the ingredients blended.
Charcoal + Baking soda
In my family home we always had a jar of baking soda by the sink. This home made charcoal paste should never replace your dentists recommended toothpaste but I use this tooth whitening mixture once a week as well as my regular fluoride toothpaste.
1⁄4 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of Himalayan ground Sea salt
1 teaspoon of activated charcoal
1 ½ teaspoons of glycerine
A dash of peppermint essential oil
Honey + Spirulina
Who doesn’t love a good face mask? In the past I used expensive store bought masks which more often than not left my skin irritated or red. Face masks are fun to make and share with your friends. This honey mask is much the same as the honey and spirulina face wash but with more nourishing active ingredients. I use this mask in the evening with calming and soothing camomile oil.
2 tablespoons of firm Manuka honey
1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine
2 teaspoons of spirulina powder
1 capsule of vitamin E oil
A dash of essential oil (I’ve used camomile oil)
Simply mix the ingredients into a paste and apply directly to clean skin. This portion makes one mask but if you have some left over its best to store it in the fridge.
Seaweed + Bentonite Clay
Bentonite Clay is composed of aged volcanic ash and is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. My allotment partner gave me a jar of this clay to try after I was complaining of breakouts. Bentonite clay carries a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. Because of this, when preparing or storing the mixture avoid using metal spoons or tins (I used my old bamboo toothbrush to mix and apply the paste). Magnesium is an alkalising ingredient and is best taken at bedtime for optimal absorption and to provide a deep and rejuvenating sleep.
2 tablespoons of bentonite clay
1 teaspoon of chopped dried seaweed
1 teaspoon of Ocean magnesium
1 tablespoon of rose water
In an electrical grinder, blitz the dried seaweed with just one to two pulses, avoid grinding it to a powder; they expand to silky ribbons when wet. If you don’t have a grinder just finely chop them. Combine the seaweed with the dry ingredients and mix in the rose water until smooth. It drys onto your skin as any other type of clay and it’s important to note that you don’t want to rinse this clay down any drains!
Let me know how you get on with the recipes and If you have any of your own DIY cosmetics I would love to hear about them! You can drop us an email or leave a comment below.