Are you tired of spending a ton of money on skincare products? Making your own beauty products is a great way to save money, and it has the added bonus of being greener than most shop-bought offerings. Most of the ingredients that you’ll need are probably already in your cupboards, but they are inexpensive if you don’t already have them.
There’s no need to buy expensive skincare products to take care of your skin. Natural cleansers, toners and facial scrubs can work very well and don’t contain harsh chemicals.
Strawberry/Kiwi Cleanser: This is a quick and easy cleanser that should be suitable for all skin types. Take a few strawberries, 1 kiwi (peeled) and half a cucumber and use a blender to mix them together into a thin paste. If the paste is too thin to apply without dripping off your face, add a bit of oatmeal to thicken it up. To use, massage gently across the face, leave for 5 to 10 minutes and remove with warm water.
Cucumber Toner: To make a soothing toner, take half a cucumber (unpeeled), puree it in a blender and strain into a bowl. Add half an ounce of witch hazel, mix together and transfer into a clean and sterilized container. Because the cucumber used in this recipe is fresh, you’ll need to use the toner within a few days of producing it. Make fresh batches as you need it, and keep it in the fridge when it’s not in use.
Strawberry/Lemon Toner: This toner works well for oily skin. Take some medium-sized strawberries, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Pulverize the strawberries in a blender and transfer the juice into a bowl and add the other ingredients. Stir well and transfer to a sterilized bottle. Because the ingredients are fresh, the toner will need to be kept in the fridge when it’s not being used and should be used within a few days.
Spot treatment: For this natural spot treatment, dip a cotton bud in a mixture of apple cider vinegar (1/4 tablespoon) and tea tree essential oil (1 drop). Apply to blemishes and leave overnight to work its magic.
Maple Oat Facial Scrub: For this exfoliating scrub, you’ll need finely powdered oats (3 tablespoons), pure maple syrup (1 tablespoon) and milk (1 tablespoon). Heat the milk in the microwave for around 15 seconds, add in the maple syrup and stir well so that the syrup dissolves. Add the oats and stir again. To use, massage gently onto your skin and follow with toner and moisturizer. Because the milk is fresh, keep the mixture in the fridge and use within a few days.
Face masks are one of the easiest skincare products to make at home, and you don’t need fancy ingredients. No matter what your skin type, you can create a natural face mask quickly and cheaply.
Normal skin: Mix two egg whites with a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt to create a moisturizing face mask that suits most skin types. Leave it on your face for a few minutes after application to give it chance to harden and then rinse off with warm winter. If you prefer a more exfoliating face mask, add a tablespoon of yogurt (preferably organic, but plain will do if you don’t have any) to a tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal and mix together. Add a few drops of warm honey (heat the spoon under the hot tap for a minute or two beforehand) and stir into the mixture. Leave on your face for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Because your face will probably feel tight and dry afterwards, apply some moisturizer.
Oily/spot-prone skin: Instead of buying expensive spot treatments, why not create a strawberry face mask? Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid, which is the main spot-fighting ingredient contained in acne treatments. Take 1/4 of a cup of fresh strawberries and mash them together with 1/4 of a cup of plain yogurt. Leave on your face for 10 to 15 minutes. To absorb excess oil without drying out your skin, apply Milk of Magnesia to your face, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with tepid water.
Dry skin: Mashing half an avocado with 1/4 cup of honey makes a good face mask for dry skin. Leave on your skin for 10 minutes and rinse with tepid water.
Lip balms can be made at home, so you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive products that promise to keep your lips soft and supple.
Cocoa lip balm: To create this chocolate-flavored lip balm, you’ll need cocoa butter (2 ounces), peppermint essential oil (4 drops), neroli essential oil (1 drop), chocolate fragrance oil (1 drop), and sweet almond oil (1 drop). Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler, add the sweet almond oil and stir well. Add the essential oils and chocolate fragrance oil and stir well. Transfer to a suitable container and allow to cool before using.
Bath-time treats can be expensive so why not try making your own for a fraction of the price?
Chocolate Milk Bath: To create this nourishing and indulgent bath milk, you’ll need baking soda (1/4 cup), finely powdered oats (1/4 cup), chocolate milk powder (1/2 cup), rose geranium essential oil (2 drops) and ylang ylang essential oil (1 drop). With the exception of the essential oils, add the other ingredients to a bowl and stir together. Add in the essential oils on a drop-by-drop basis, stirring well in between drops. To use, add to the bath water after it has finished running.
Coffee Body Scrub: For this body scrub, you’ll need sweet almond oil (1/4 cup), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), peppermint essential oil (8 drops), granulated sugar (1 cup) and fresh coffee grounds (1/2 cup). Add the sweet almond oil, vanilla extract and essential oil into a glass measuring cup, stir well and put to one side. In another bowl, add the coffee grounds and sugar, combine with the first mixture and stir well. To use, massage gently across your body and make sure you avoid your face.
Making your own skincare products doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult and because you have complete control over the ingredients, you shouldn’t encounter too many adverse reactions. Even if you don’t have the right ingredients ready and waiting at home, making your own beauty products can still work out cheaper than buying chemical-based products in the store, and you can feel good about how green you’re being too!
Do you have any good green skincare recipes?
(photo credit: j_silla)