Save Your Skin First

Before we look outside to save our world, let’s look a little closer to home. Look down at your hands. Go on, do it. Do you know what went into the soap you used? Do you know the ingredients used in your hand sanitiser, in your hand cream?

It’s time to start really thinking about the cosmetics and personal care products we use; really think about where they came from, what was used to make it and its impact on our world. Much of the cosmetics we use today can be replaced by handmade ones – products made from natural ingredients.

It’s good for your health because there are no chemicals involved. You can store them in old jars and bottles instead of using new ones, thus cutting down on packaging costs – and recycling storage containers is an added plus. Many of the cosmetics you can make use fresh, local produce so you’re doing domestic farmers a favour too. You’ve also taught yourself a skill and there’s a great sense of pride in using something homemade.

It’s also great for the environment, as Jo Fairley, co-founder of British chocolate giant Green & Blacks, told The Guardian:

One of the benefits of brewing your shampoo at home, says Fairley, is that you know exactly what’s going into it and whether any of the ingredients have an impact on the environment. ‘I don’t think petrochemicals have any place in what we put on our skin,’ she says. ‘I would rather use something that is renewable and sustainable, and can be grown season after season. It’s possible that our descendants will need every last drop of oil that the earth can produce to light and heat their homes, and I don’t want to be responsible for having consumed a single extra drop of that, just to slather something on my face, when I can use something that is natural and renewable.’ Ditching branded beauty products is also a way of reducing the “moisturiser miles” that are an inevitable result of buying products shipped from the other side of the globe, while decanting your concoctions into old glass bottles and plastic containers means less waste, too.

So here are some quick and easy recipes to make simple products which you can use everyday. Facial Cleansers, Toners, Face Masks to suit all skin types and Lip Balms.

This website has also got recipes for face cleansers that use everyday oils like olive oil and castor oil, with a few drops of essential oil. They say to use 1 tbsp of olive oil or castor oil, and 1 drop of essential oil. Mix the ingredients together and apply them to your face in circular motions before rinsing and wiping your face with a warm face cloth. Though you will feel oily when applying the cleanser, any excess oil will come off when you rinse and wipe your face. Here are their suggestions:

Sweet almond oil is a great emollient for softening and conditioning the skin and hair. It is well suited for eczema, psoriasis and itchy, dry and inflamed skin. It is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E.

Apricot kernel oil is a light, yet emollient oil that is high in oleic and linoleic acids. It is recommended for mature skin, sensitive skin and skin that is inflamed, irritated or dry.

Avocado oil has been used in African skin treatments for centuries. This highly therapeutic oil is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B5 (Panthothenic acid), Vitamin D, E, minerals, protein, lecithin and fatty acids. It is a useful, penetrating nutrient for dry skin and eczema. Avocado oil is said to have healing and regenerating qualities.

Pomegranate seed oil is remarkable ability to nourish, moisturize and improve skin elasticity. Pomegranate seed oil is high in lipids including pucinic acid and is effective in treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and sunburned skin. Studies have shown that pomegranate oil is effective at killing cancer cells when applied topically.

Jojoba oil is highly penetrating and closely resembles the natural sebum within our skin. Use jojoba in facial blends to remove excess oils and to help balance the skin’s natural oil. You can slo substitue the olive oil for Jojoba oil for normal to oily skin.

Strawberry Seed Oil is an ideal ingredient for inclusion in anti-aging formulations and products intended for dry or damaged skin.

Coconut oil is useful in formulations for dry, itchy, sensitive skin. It will not clog pores, and it absorbs readily into the skin.

Hazelnut oil is a light, penetrating oil that is slightly astringent. It is a suitable addition to formulations intended to be used on acne prone skin. Hazelnut oil is high in essential fatty acids and is soothing and healing to dry, irritated skin

Flax seed oil is a nourishing addition to formulations intended to help treat eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and aging skin. Flax seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an the Omega-3 series of essential fatty acids.

Ingredients you can add to the Oil mixture:Castor oil acts as a skin cleansing agent. It can be drying. If you skin is oily, add more castor oil instead of olive oil.Olive oil also acts as a cleansing agent and is rich in antioxidants and helps help free radical damage. Great for wrinkles! Sandalwood Essential Oil has an astringent effect on oily skin and helps soothe irritated skin. Use sandalwood in facial blends to help balance the skin. Also helpful for removing wrinkles and scars.

Chamomile Powdered Herbal Extract is used for its anti-inflammatory properties. When added to cream and lotion formulations, chamomile powdered extract soothes irritated skin and reduces redness and swelling due to rashes or other irritations.

Tea Tree Essential Oil is helpful within acne products and can help fight cold sores and heal wounds.

Green Tea Leaf Powdered Herbal Extract is a powerful antioxidant that helps rejuvenate the skin, prevent damage from the sun and promote elasticity.

Elizabeth‘s Facial Toners

These toners are incredibly easy to make, keep for long enough and really do work wonders with your skin. Almost all ingredients are readily available in your local supermarkets, too.

Françoise Rapp’s Face Masks for different skin types:

Honey Mask for Toning and Cleansing (good for all skin types)

3 TBS of liquid honey

1 drop Rose essential oil

2 drops Lavender essential oil

1 drop Lemon essential oil

Combine all ingredients and apply mixture evenly on face and neck. Leave it on for at least 7 minutes and rinse with warm water. Pat dry, and apply the following “toning and cleansing” aromatic blend, prepared in advance in a 10-ml bottle filled with vegetable oil:

1 drop Rose essential oil

3 drops Geranium essential oil

Aloe Vera Mask for Healing and Soothing (great for sensitive and dry skin, especially after sun bathing)

3 TBS pure and certified organic Aloe Vera juice

1 drop Helycrisum essential oil

1 drop Rose essential oil

Combine all ingredients and apply mixture evenly on face and neck. Leave it on for at least 7 minutes and rinse with warm water. Pat dry, and apply the following “healing and soothing” aromatic blend, prepared in advance in a 10-ml bottle filled with vegetable oil:

1 drop Neroli essential oil

3 drops Lavender essential oil

Clay Mask for Deep Cleansing (good for oily complexions, use once a week for one month)

3 TBS of either green, white or pink clay green clay offers a deeper cleansing

white and pink clays are both good for sensitive and dry skin

2 drops Rosemary essential oil

2 drops Lemon essential oil

Combine all ingredients and apply mixture evenly on face and neck. Leave it on for at least 7 minutes and rinse with warm water. Pat dry, and apply the following “deep cleansing” aromatic blend, prepared in advance in a 10-ml bottle filled with vegetable oil:

2 drops Lavender essential oil

2 drops Geranium essential oil

Here are some more recipes from Erica at Fat Free Kitchen:

Cucumber Face Mask

Make a paste by mixing one small cucumber and one cup of oatmeal. Mix one teaspoon of this paste with one teaspoonof yogurt (for oily skin) or milk malai (for dry skin) and leave for 30 minutes and then rinse.

Turmeric Facial Mask

This is the traditional mask, also used for a bride, seven days in advance of marriage.

Take in a cup half a cup of besan (gram flour), 2 tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tsp of sandal wood powder, 2 tsp of ghee or almond oil, add some water to make a paste. Apply to face and whole body and leave for 5-10 minutes. Rub with pressure with both palms and fingers to remove all the paste.

Honey Facial Mask

Rinse your face with warm water to open up the pores. Apply honey and leave for half an hour. Rinse with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores. Rinse with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores.

Oily Skin Mask

Mix 1 tsp. brewer?s yeast with plain yogurt to make a thin mixture. Apply it thoroughly into all the oily areas and leave for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores.

Dry Skin Mask

Mix 1 tsp. of butter in 1 teaspoon of water. Apply it thoroughly into all the dry areas and leave for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water,,

Banana Mask for wrinkles

Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy and apply on face and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores.

Avocado Facial Mask

Mash the meat of the avocado into a creamy texture. Apply it thoroughly on face and leave for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores.

Oatmeal Facial Mask

Take 2 tsp oatmeal and 1 tsp baking soda and add water to make paste. Apply to face and all over the skin and rub gently.

Facial Mask

Squeeze half a lemon and mix the juice with one beaten egg white. Apply on your face and leave for overnight. Wash your face with warm water.

Clay Facial

Choose the right clay for your skin type. Add plain water or floral waters or try wetting agents such as fruit purees . Make a thick paste of the clay. Apply the mask to your skin and let it dry for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry. Repeat weekly.

Multani (Gypsum) Mitti Body Mask

Make a paste of multani mitti adding water to the mitti powder. Apply to whole body and hair. Take bath after half an hour.

Grape Cleanser

Split 2-3 grapes and rub the flesh over face and neck. Rinse with cool water.

Banana Face Pack for Dry Skin

Mash half cup of natural yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/4 ripe banana. Apply this pack on face and neck and leave for 10 minutes and then rinse off.

Cucumber Face Pack to get Smooth Skin

Mash 1 whole cucumber, strain water, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and mix well. Put in a container, keep refrigerated and take out whenever you want to use it. Apply on your face and leave for 10 minutes, then wash with cold water and enjoy the smoothness of your skin.

Lip Balm recipes from Eco Friendly Daily:

Recipes For Making Lip Balm:

40% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is liquid at room temperature (sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, grapeseed, hemp seed, macadamia, olive, sunflower, etc.)

25% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is solid at room temperature (coconut, lanolin, palm, mango butter, shea butter, etc.)

20% of your recipe should be cosmetic grade Beeswax (white or yellow, pellets or solid blocks)

15% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is brittle at room temperature (cocoa butter, palm kernel, etc.)

The above measurements are “weights”, so you can calculate your own recipe in ounces, grams, or pounds.

Directions:

melt all carrier oils, honey, beeswax and butters over low heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add the flavored oils, essential oils, vitamin E, etc. Stir until all ingredients are blended well and pour into containers. The easiest way to do this, is to purchase those inexpensive “pointy” paper drink cups (like the kind on the side of a water cooler). Cut off the point and use it as a funnel. Then you can just toss them out when you’re finished!

You may have to “play around” with these recipes by adding a tiny bit more or less of the beeswax pellets. As with any of these recipes, if it comes out too soft, add a few more beeswax pellets; if it’s too hard, add a little more almond oil (or other oil). They’re really hard to mess up, so enjoy yourself and have fun.

LIP BALM RECIPE #1:

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Grated Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets

1/2 Teaspoon Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter

Sweeten to taste, if necessary

Any Flavored Oil To Taste

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative) (optional)

LIP BALM RECIPE #2:

3 oz. Almond Oil

Sweeten to taste, if necessary

1/2 oz. Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative)

1-4 Drops Essential Oil (peppermint or tea tree or sweet orange, etc.)

LIP BALM RECIPE #3:

2 Teaspoons Grated Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets

3 – 6 Drops Flavored Oil

1 Teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil or mix 1/2 and 1/2

1 1/2 Teaspoon Cocoa Butter

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative)

LIP BALM RECIPE #4:

This one is positively excellent for dry, cracked lips – even helps heal cold sores (it’s the emu oil….)

1 oz. Emu Oil

1 oz. Almond Oil

1 oz. Avocado Oil

1/2 oz. Shaved Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets

6 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

2 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

3 Drops Lime Essential Oil

Carrot seed essential oil is used primarily for its healing properties and effects on the skin. It stimulates circulation, repairs and tones the skin, increases elasticity, reduces the formation of wrinkles, and scars.

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