When faced with worrying headlines about toxins, as well as confusing ingredients lists on our skincare products, it can be difficult to know what to choose when out shopping.
The fact that we don’t know how most of the added chemicals will affect us as the residual amounts build up over the years is also of concern.
We do have great resources, such as the Environmental Working Group website, which works hard to keep us informed:
It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals.
Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.
But there is another solution, which comes in the form of DIY beauty and skincare recipes for all of your needs. We have searched online to come up with some fantastic ideas that you can create quickly and cheaply from your home. These have you covered from head to toe. Have a look through and see what inspires you, and be sure to let us know how you get on!
The awesome people over at DIY natural.com have our all time favourite calming cleanser, created with chamomile tea. This recipe comes with a ton of variations so that you can create your ideal cleanser based exactly on your individual needs.
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup brewed organic chamomile tea (for its anti-inflammatory properties)
- ¾ teaspoon grapeseed, sweet almond, hazelnut, avocado, or olive oil
- 8 drops essential oils
- several drops of Vitamin E oil – optional, but recommended
Brew a cup of strong chamomile tea and set aside ¼ cup to cool. (Enjoy the rest of the tea while you’re mixing together this recipe!) Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add tea when completely cooled. Mix ingredients well and pour into a small squirt bottle or pump bottle. Be sure to label your container. Makes about 4 ounces of face wash.
Squirt facial cleanser into hands or washcloth and gently wash face. Rinse well. Follow with your typical toner and/or moisturizing routine.
Use your favorite essential oil (EO) to benefit your particular skin type.
For OILY skin use an astringent or antiseptic EO like tea tree, bergamot, geranium, or lemongrass.
If you have DRY skin, choose a more mild EO like sandalwood, chamomile, lavender, or rose.
For MATURE skin, use an oil that is known for stimulating new cell growth such as lavender, neroli, jasmine, or geranium. Adding several drops of Vitamin E oil to the mixture will also nourish mature skin.
Substitute rose water, distilled water, or pure aloe vera gel for the chamomile tea.
If using chamomile EO feel free to use plain distilled water instead of chamomile tea.
Scented liquid castile soaps will also work great in this recipe. Feel free to omit essential oils if using a scented soap.
If your skin is very sensitive, then we would recommend that you try this mild and creamy DIY recipe found at HomemadeOrganics. This cleanser is a fantastic base to add other ingredients to if you wanted, plus it can be used as a mask if you simply add less water.
1 tablespoon powdered goat’s milk (substitute powdered organic buttermilk or powdered regular milk as well)
1 tablespoon organic oatmeal
A few drops of honey (optional for a face mask version)
Directions: In a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle – grind the oatmeal into a fine powder. If you have a food processor, kitchen mill or oat grinder than those are your best options for this step. The finer the oatmeal – the nicer the overall texture in your final cleanser. (this finely ground oatmeal has a fancy name – colloidal oatmeal.) Add the powdered milk, and blend the two ingredients together. To use: put a tablespoon of the powder in your palm and add bout a teaspoon of distilled water. Blend together to form a paste, and slowly add more water as desired until you have a milky, yet still spreadable paste. Use this mixture on your face – ( I like to wet my face first) and clean in circles until your full face is covered. Wash off with warm water.
This moisturizer is great for anti-aging and is good enough to eat! It will leave your skin dewy and fresh, helping it to hold moisture and softening the complexion. must. It comes highly recommended by Dr. Ordon, a plastic surgeon who shares this recipe with his patients.
3 tablespoons of fresh cream
1 tablespoon honey
Place all three ingredients in a blender and puree into a smooth cream. Apply it to your skin and leave on for at least an hour. Rinse off with warm water.
Gently exfoliating your face can help to remove dead skin cells, giving your skin a chance to breathe and leaving it looking smoother and brighter. We love the following recipe that we found on ReadersDigest.com.
3 tablespoons of fresh cream
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of ground almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all ingredients well. Apply to dry face in a circular motion Wash your face off with warm water, followed by cold water. Pat your face dry. Place in a jar and store in your refrigerator for future use.
CrunchyBetty.com has 9 simple and effective solutions that you can try if you find that a spot appears at an inopportune moment! These are designed to be used in a small area, so don’t slather them all over your face.
Making Nice in the Midwest has a great eye makeup remover recipe that we can’t wait to try. The ingredients are simple and you may even have a few of these lying around at home already.
Using a funnel, pour all ingredients into an eight ounce bottle that has a secure lid. Shake ingredients before each use.
- ⅓ cup aloe vera gel
- 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
- 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 10 drops of your favorite essential oils
- Heat the almond oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax in the double boiler until melted and well combined (it takes about 2-5 minutes for me)
- Pour the oil mix into a bowl large enough to use a hand mixer in without splashing
- Walk away and let the mixture cool to room temperature- for at least an hour, probably more.
- Mix the essential oils into the aloe vera gel
- Once the mixture is room temperature, start slowly adding the aloe vera gel as you use the hand mixer to whip up the moisturizer. You may not need all of the aloe so add it gradually.
- Continue to whip until it reaches your desired consistency (I used my hand mixer for about 10 minutes)
- Put in a container with a tight lid and enjoy!
My mouth is watering at the thought of this one! Living the nourished life.com has a whole list of different coconut oil skincare recipes but this is our all time favorite. The claim is that this costs less than $2 to make
It feels sinfully luxurious as a moisturizer, and yet an entire jar of it costs less than $2 to make if you buy your coconut oil in bulk, yet it feels sinfully luxurious. Sounds divine!
What you need:
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
- a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance
What to do:
1. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Note: Do not melt the coconut oil first. It will only whip up if it’s solid.
2. Mix on high speed with a wire whisk for 6-7 minutes or until whipped into a light, airy consistency.
3. Spoon the whipped coconut oil body butter into a glass jar and cover tightly. Store at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your house is so warm it melts the oil.
Tip: An electric hand mixer will work, but my KitchenAid stand mixer did an amazing job and I was able to get other work done while it was mixing away. A blender or food processor will not work with this coconut oil recipe, because they tend to warm the oil too much and prevent it from whipping up.
Note: Your whipped coconut oil should stay relatively soft, even at colder temperatures. If it’s really cold, it will become a little more solid, but not rock hard like it normally does. I noticed mine beaded into a froth of tiny coconut oil pearls that melt right into my skin. Love it!
The School of Natural Skincare has shared a wonderful DIY product that they have dubbed ‘a manicure in a bottle’. With essential oils of lavender and myrrh, this would also make a great christmas gift.
This is particularly good for anyone suffering with brittle nails that flake or break easily.
Jojoba oil – 57%
Avocado oil – 25%
Carrot tissue oil -5%
Rosehip oil – 10%
Vitamin E – 1%
Myrrh oil – 1% (20 drops per 100g)
Lavender oil – 1% (20 drops per 100g)Instructions
1) Use only clean equipment and tools, and always following good manufacturing practices (GMP) when making any natural product.
2)Measure the plant oils by weight (grams), into a clean glass or stainless steel bowl, according to the measurements provided in the chart above (for a 100g batch).
3) Once all of the oils have been measured and added, gently mix the oils together until well blended.
4) Decant the Lavender Myrrh Nail & Cuticle Oil into 15ml empty glass nail polish bottles, or 15ml glass dropper bottles, and clearly label.
This is an unusual DIY recipe, and we had to share it with you. WellnessMama.com has a few recipes for moisturizing bars, and here she has tweaked the ingredients to offer protection from the sun too!
Sunscreen Bar Instructions
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 cup)
- 1 cup beeswax (can add an extra ounce or two if you want a thicker consistency, which leaves less lotion on the skin when used)
- 2 tablespoons (or more) of non-nano Zinc Oxide
- Optional: Vitamin E oil to preserve. I added 1 tsp vitamin E oil for this recipe made with 1 cup of each ingredient)
- Optional: a few drops of vanilla or essential oil for scent (do not use citrus oils!)
Sunscreen Bar Instructions
- Combine all ingredients (except zinc oxide and essential oils if using) in a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it.
- Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth:
- Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide powder and essential oils.
- Gently stir by hand until essential oils are incorporated.
- Carefully pour into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in. I used these silicon baking cups, though any mold would work. This recipe exactly filled 12 silicon baking cups when I made it.
- Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts (hearts for valentines, flowers for Mother’s day, etc.) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
- They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge or freezer for longer term storage. Keep below 80 degrees or they will melt! Adjust coverage to your needs and be careful not to burn while determining how long you can spend in the sun with these.
This is not shampoo as you may recognize it – as it is designed for the ‘no-poo’ lifestyle, where hair is not washed with bubbling soaps, but rather kept hygienic while the scalp is allowed to get on with it’s own natural self-cleaning.
This recipe is safe to use on all hair types – it is extremely cheap when compared to standard shampoo, and it won’t strip your hair of it’s natural oils. We found the following on DIYNatural.com.
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 cup water – Like I said, one of the ingredients is free. Use whatever kind of water you wish – we use tap which is English for “out of the sink.”
We mix ours in double batches into a clean, repurposed shampoo bottle. Feel free to use whatever container you like, doubling up on ingredients until it’s full.
How to use
Simply shake the bottle before each use and squirt directly onto scalp and hair. Gently massage into the scalp hair for a minute or two and rinse well.
For best results, follow with homemade conditioning rinse. The homemade conditioning rinse is imperative for restoring the pH of your hair and smoothing the hair cuticle. It will also keep your hair from feeling greasy/sticky after using homemade shampoos.
Note: This homemade shampoo will give best results when used with soft water.
This is to follow on from the previous recipe – homemade shampoo. The conditioning rinse is a necessary step in the ‘no-poo’ process. You can read more about it here.
1 Tbsp ACV (apple cider vinegar) – I suggest always using the raw kind “with the mother.”
1 cup water
I suggest combining ingredients in a clean repurposed squirt bottle for your conditioner. Double up on ingredients until you fill your bottle – the recipe above makes 8 ounces.
How to use
Simply shake the bottle before each use and gently massage into the hair and scalp for a minute or two and rinse. After drying, your hair will not smell like vinegar. Trust me.
This conditioner is the best option for use after a homemade shampoo. Whether you are making a castile soap-based shampoo, or a baking soda-based shampoo, the vinegar rinse will smooth the hair and eliminate the greasy, sticky feeling some of these homemade shampoos may leave.
So there you have it! Natural recipes for almost all of your skincare desires, and not a chemical in sight.
Always remember that these natural skincare products have a shorter shelf life than what you usually buy in stores. That is because they aren’t packed with chemicals designed to keep everything ‘fresh’. So make smaller batches and use your goodies within 3-6 months.
We hope you enjoy making your own skin care recipes! Please share any of your own ideas with us here in the comments. We would love to hear from you.
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