Have you ever stopped to think how many chemicals our body comes in contact with on a daily basis?
Shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste, shaving/hair removal products, makeup, nail polish, perfume, even feminine hygiene products often contain harmful, irritating, carcinogenic or hormone disruptive ingredients. Yet we lather these chemicals onto our skin voluntarily, several times a day. And what goes onto the skin, eventually gets absorbed into our bloodstream.
It makes total sense to use skincare products that are safe enough to ingest, right?! And the best way to do this is to make your own products using edible ingredients from the pantry!
LET’S GET STARTED
I want to share with you the daily skin care “products” that I use daily. Making home-made cosmetics is super easy, I promise. And it gives you a sense of power knowing exactly what goes on your skin and into your body.
A word of warning though! I don’t measure much when cooking up food OR cosmetics! Just ask anyone who I‘ve ever had to pass a recipe to. (It’s a “pinch-of-this and-a-handful-of-that” kind of story!) So don’t worry too much about the exact measurements here either. These recipes aren’t too delicate so just give them a go and have fun experimenting!
OLIVE OIL FACE CLEANSER
I call my nightly face cleansing and toning “my salad dressing ritual” because, well, you could as well pour this mix into your salad greens and voila, lunch is served!
I got the recipe for the cleanser from Wellness Mama’s blog, she is one inspiring lady and the queen of home-made anything!
I use the cleanser and toner at night time (in the mornings rinsing my face with warm water is enough for me). If your skin is very oily, this may not be the recipe for you, but it works a treat for my combination skin.
The cleanser is simply olive oil mixed with a liquid honey. Roughly a ratio of 1 part honey to 4 parts oil. I store it in a small glass jar next to the sink. To apply, I dip a cotton ball into the oil-honey “dressing” and wipe my face with it. It cleanses gently and also removes make up well. Next I run a small face washer under very warm (but not hot) water, squeeze the excess water off, and gently wipe the oil off with it. I love to inhale the warmth of the towel as I press it to my face. Feels amazing!
I was a bit skeptical at first about using oil as a cleanser. Would it be cleansing enough? Would it clog my pores or make my skin break out? None of this happened though. Finishing off with a towel removes the oily feeling but leaves the skin nice and soft. I don’t need to moisturise with this method. And since olive oil is so good for us to eat, then why not applied externally aswell!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TONER
Next comes toner. With apple cider vinegar.. ummhh not so sure about this? I hear your doubts, but ACV is fantastic at brightening your your skin and balancing its pH. The vinegary smell disappears as soon as your face dries off so my tip is to wait for a few minutes after using the toner before you kiss your spouse goodnight! (Trust me…)
I mix about a table spoon of apple cider vinegar (organic if possible, I use Bragg’s) with about a half a cup of (preferably filtered) water and store it in a glass jar. Sometimes I go 50/50 with water and rose water for a rosey scent. Often I add in a few drops of essential oils of my choice. I like to use relaxing and calming oils, such as lavender or rose or jasmine, as this is my bedtime ritual, but you could use any you like. Apply normally with a cotton ball.
While we are talking about my nightly rituals, I want to share this fantastic recipe for a natural chemical-free tooth paste. I got the recipe from my friend Olivia.
But before I get into it, you may wonder what’s wrong with the store bought toothpaste. Well, a lot actually. Without boring you with too long a story, let’s just say that one of the common ingredients of a conventional toothpaste is SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) is also used as a pesticide! And when it comes to fluoride, it appears not to be as safe as we are lead to believe… (Read more about the chemicals and controversies in commercial toothpastes here)
Homemade toothpaste is as simple as this: mix equal parts or bicarb soda and very finely ground salt (I used pink Himalayan salt), add “enough” coconut oil (melted if not in liquid form already) to form a paste, 2-3 tablespoons should do, then add a few drop of peppermint essential oil to give it a fresh minty taste. Scoop a little nugget onto your toothbrush, and brush way! Rinse your mouth well afterwards.
It takes a bit to get used to the saltiness of the toothpaste, but my teeth feel amazingly fresh and clean after using the paste, due to the salts abrasive quality. It is best to use salt that has a high mineral content (natural sea salt or Himalayan salt) and one that is as finely ground as possible. And if you are worried about the salt content, you can always alter the salt-bicarb ratio, say 1/3 salt to 2/3 bicarb.
The coconut oil also tends to harden in cool temperature but I have a little spoon next to my toothpaste jar that I use to scoop it onto my toothbrush. You could also dip the (glass) jar into hot water for a moment to soften it if you can be bothered.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE RECIPES…
That’s all for now friends!
Let me know how you go with cooking up your own cosmetics. And keep your eye out for more scrumptious potions to follow in the next few blog posts…
Riina Kosonen is a remedial massage therapist whose many passions include reducing waste and chemical exposure in our everyday life. She loves finding easy, simple ways of replacing conventional cleaning/beauty/hygiene products with a natural alternatives. Vinegar, bicarb and vegetable and essential oils are her best buddies on this mission.