Whether you’re on a saving binge or a personal campaign to eliminate problematical ingredients from your beauty routine, there’s something appealing about making your own skincare products.
It’s not a new practice, of course. For centuries before beauty products were commercialised, women were whipping up their own solutions for attaining and maintaining a beautiful complexion and luscious, shiny hair. Here are a few recipes from our ‘oldie but a goody’ files:
· Weekly apple and honey mask: Add a spoon of honey to a mashed apple, mix them together and smear the result all over your face, neck and décolletage. Relax for half an hour then rinse off, tone and moisturise. This mask helps to remove dead skin cells and treat spotty breakouts.
· Night mask: Mix a teaspoon of manuka honey with glycerine (shea butter or coconut oil derived), apply to your face and wait 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and a face cloth, tone and moisturise.
· Lightening mask: If you’re worried about pigmentation caused by pregnancy or age, rub cucumber slices on your face. Let the juice dry, wait 10 minutes then rinse.
· Pre-ball mask: Before a big night out, crack an egg white into a bowl, add a tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey. Mix thoroughly and then apply to your face, neck and décolletage with a cotton pad. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Tone and moisturise.
· Morning wake up scrub: Get into the shower with a handful of rolled oats. Dampen your skin, then turn the shower off and rub the oats over your face and décolletage. Use circular motions to polish your skin. If this sounds a bit messy, try Brown Sugar Body Scrub.
· Acne treatment: Make your own acne solution with one part apple cider vinegar and three parts water. After cleansing, apply to acne-affected areas. Leave on for 20 seconds, rinse with water, tone and moisturise. Do this twice a day.
· Wrinkle treatment: Massage a few drops of cold pressed virgin olive oil onto clean skin at night. ·
· Hand treatment: Add half a cup of glycerine (choose one derived from shea butter or coconut oil), half a cup of rose water and ¼ cup of witch-hazel to a jar, shake vigorously. Apply a little of this mixture to your hands after every wash. Alternatively, use Okanas Avocado Smash Body Butter as a hand cream.
· Hair shine treatment: For naturally shiny hair, add a splash of white vinegar to a litre of warm water and use it as a final rinse after washing and conditioning. The herbs burdock and sage can also be infused to create a natural hair rinse.
· Hair lightener: To lighten mousy blonde hair, pour 500ml of boiling water onto a chamomile tea bag. Let this mixture steep overnight. Next day, use it as a final rinse for your hair.
· Hair conditioner: Warm ½ a cup of extra virgin olive oil (don’t boil it). Apply it to your hair and comb through. Cover your hair with plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave it for 45 minutes. Shampoo, then rinse thoroughly.·
· Dandruff treatment: Massage your scalp with aloe vera gel before going to bed. Shampoo and condition your hair in the morning.
Relaxation and aromatherapy
Relaxing bath: Put a large sprig of fresh rosemary and a handful of fresh lavender flowers in the water while the bath is filling.
· Rose perfume: Collect a jar of fresh rose petals, press them down tightly. Pour glycerine (from shea butter) over the petals and leave to steep for at least three weeks. Dab on pulse points.
· Perfume sachets: To make your own fragrance sachets for your undies drawer or linen cupboard, dry the heads of lavender flowers in the sun, then make little bags from 100% cotton fabric. Fill the bags with dried flower heads, then sew them shut.
· Room spray: It’s easy to make your own aromatherapy room spray for bathroom use or to spritz into the air while you’re at work. Just add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to distilled water in a small spray bottle. Peppermint oil is energising, a blend of lavender and rose is good for relieving stress, patchouli and sandalwood are calming. If you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before using essential oils.