I love natural skincare and have recently been experimenting with some cleanser and toner ‘recipes’. Making my own products was actually much easier than I thought, and often works out much cheaper too!
Unfortunately many skincare products in the shops today are full of different artificial ingredients, from cheap preservatives such as parabens, to foaming agents called sodium laurel sulphates. The continued exposure to these compounds on a daily basis is concerning largely because the long-term effects are unknown, with some studies reporting that they have the ability to interfere with our hormonal activity. Avoiding these ingredients where possible is a great start – and making your own skincare products is even better. 🙂
Here are some nice simple concoctions that will get your skin glowing in no time:
Coconut & Honey Cleanser
Coconut oil is a very effective cleanser and moisturiser, even for oily skin. The natural oils are antibacterial and help to slow down the skin’s own production of sebum.
- 60ml coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of honey – additional moisturising and antibacterial properties
- 5 drops of essential oils – choose your favourite to personalise your cleanser – Lavender is good for relaxation and to reduce inflammation; Bergamot is good for oily or acne-prone skin
- Whisk the ingredients together (with the coconut oil at liquid consistency) and pour into a container
- Massage mixture onto damp skin in a circular motion (can also be used as an eye make-up remover)
- Rinse with water and remove any excess oil with a muslin cloth
- Can also be used as a weekly exfoliator by adding a teaspoon of brown sugar or bicarbonate of soda
- The mixture may solidify in colder weather – putting the container into a cup of warm water beforehand will soften it again
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
Apple cider vinegar is full of beneficial enzymes and trace minerals to restore the natural PH of the skin, preventing excess oiliness or dryness. It is also a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids, an ingredient added (in much smaller amounts) to many off-the-shelf skin products to remove dead skin cells.
It has quite a strong smell, but only a small amount is required – increase the amount used gradually, since using too much at the beginning can irritate the skin. It may sting when directly applied to spots for a few seconds and be careful not to get the mixture near your eyes.
You can also replace the vinegar with lemon juice if preferred, which is also naturally antibacterial and antioxidant-rich.
- 125ml water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (gradually work up to this amount to test what works best for your skin)
- Decant ingredients into a small spray bottle and shake to combine
- Spray 5 times onto a cotton wool pad and gently smooth onto dry skin after cleansing, focusing on any troublesome areas
Beeswax & Jojoba Moisturiser
This is a very lightweight cream, perfect for use in the warmer months. Jojoba is also ideal for oily skin as it reduces the skin’s own production of sebum.
- 5 tablespoons Jojoba oil
- 2 tablespoons hemp seed oil – a dry oil that helps minimise pores and maintain moisture balance
- 5 teaspoons beeswax –anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel – contains vitamin C & E for skin-brightening benefits
- Essential oils (optional) – tea tree, rosemary or citrus are good choices
- Gently heat the Jojoba oil, hemp seed oil and beeswax together until combined
- Allow to cool – once the mixture starts to solidify, add the aloe vera gel and essential oils before whisking with a hand mixer
- Once fully combined, store in a small container and apply to the face and neck as/when required
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
So now you have your lovely handmade products to use on the outside, but what’s going on inside? More often than not, the quality of our diet is reflected in our complexion, with one of the main issues being spots and breakouts.
Spots can be caused for many different reasons, with hormonal imbalance often being a common factor. The main two steps you can take for clearer skin is to make sure you are drinking at least two litres of water a day and avoiding excess sugar, which can negatively impact hormonal activity. Sugar can also reduce the effectiveness of our immune function, increasing levels of bacteria.
If you have ongoing issues with your skin, it is worthwhile booking a consultation with a nutritional therapist to devise a specialised plan for you.
Enjoy making some products and let me know how you get on!