I started making my own skin care over ten years ago, and I’ve never gone back, because it is so easy, it feels so much better, and I want to avoid the chemicals that are so common in commercial products.
A study by the Environmental Working Group showed that the average American woman uses 9 commercial personal care products a day – many of them containing chemicals like phthalates and parabens that interfere our natural hormone balances and have been linked to cancer. Watch the short but informative Story of Cosmetics to learn why we need to be so careful about the commercial products we put on our skin.
It’s relatively simple to replace expensive commercial skin care – cleansers, moisturizers and face cream – with DIY recipes at home with organic ingredients. You can incorporate fresh flowers from your garden like calendula, lavender, rose and more. You’re skin will notice the difference between store bought and freshly made, and you may never go back!
If you want to get started on some herbal DIY care now, here are few tips for nourishing dry skin without chemicals or commercial products:
- Avoid soap-based cleanser for your face. It is rare that our faces get so grimy that we really need soap to clean off the ick. Believe it or not, using an oil – like almond, or olive – to clean the skin works really well – it removes dirt without drying the skin, and even helps oily skin become more balanced! Apply it with a cottonball or soft cloth, and you will see how the dirt comes off with oil. If you don’t want to use oil, try using a teaspoon of oats soaked for a few minutes in water. It will lightly clean your face while leaving it moist but not oily.
- Hot showers and baths can really dry out the skin. Before you go into a hot tub of water, rub olive or coconut oil on your skin to help keep the moisture in your skin from coming out. The oil will soak in your skin, or you can gently remove it by filling a muslin tea bag with oatmeal and rubbing it on the skin.
- You can make a simple and nourishing blend of oils as a facial serum, with ingredients like rose hip seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, avocado seed oil, and a dash of sea buckthorn oil (don’t use too much – it will make your face turn orange!). Some of these oils are more expensive, but they go a long way and really nourish your skin. Oils applied directly on the face are easy and work well, but a blended cream will do a better job of absorbing into the skin.
If you want to learn more tips and techniques to make high quality products at home check out my upcoming classes. Below is a nice body cream recipe for the spring season, as we ease our way into longer, sunnier days. It has some built in sun protection and repair with the green tea, coconut oil, aloe, calendula and lavender. Its a modified version of Rosemary’s Gladstar’s famous Perfect Cream recipe – give it a try! This is a fresh and perishable product – use it up within a few weeks, and store it out of direct sun and heat.
Spring Body Cream
Makes approximately 7 ounces
2.5 oz green tea (use 1 tea bag in about 3 ounces of water. Strain it afterwards if there is visible plant material.
1.5 oz aloe vera
.5 teaspoon vitamin E (you can also use the contents of 1-2 vitamin E pills)
3 oz olive oil infused with calendula – learn how to infuse an oil here.
2.5 oz coconut oil
1/4 oz grated beeswax (in weight)
15 – 20 drops of Lavender essential oil
Melt beeswax on low heat. Then add coconut oil until melted, and then olive oil. When the mixture is all melted, pour it into blender and let it cool to room temperature. When cooled, measure out the “waters” ingredients into a measuring cup, turn the blender on high, and slowly pour in the waters into the blender. Stop the blender to stir and scrape sides as needed until fully emulsified into a fluffy white cream. Then add lavender essential oil and do the final blend. Store in glass jars, and keep out of direct sun and heat. Use it up – this is a fresh, perishable delight!