Have you ever thought about making your own skincare products? You’ve probably seen loads of amazing-looking recipes floating around the Internet, but get put off actually making them due to the vast number of ingredients, or ingredients you’ve never heard of or wouldn’t have a clue where to find. The great thing about making your own natural beauty products is that sometimes, simple is better, and simple can certainly still be effective (not to mention purse-friendly!). We’ve come up with a some fab recipes that are really easy to make, using few, everyday ingredients that you almost certainly have in your cupboard (have you ever heard of a vegan who doesn’t consume avocados or coconut oil? We thought not!). None of these products should cause irritation, but if your skin is overly sensitive then it might be a good idea to test a small amount of the product on your skin first.
Avocado Face & Hair Mask
This mask is rather messy but it feels so lovely on your skin that it is definitely worth it! Avocados are packed full of antioxidants, which help to combat free radicals which can contribute to ageing. They are also high in essential fatty acids and are therefore super moisturising. Olive oil is also really nourishing and moisturising and helps to soften and smooth the skin.
• 1 avocado
• 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Mash the avocado then stir in the olive oil. Apply the mask to your face and hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing (it might be a good idea to lie down while this mask is on so you don’t drip avocado everywhere!).
Olive Oil & Sugar Lip Scrub
This homemade lip scrub will leave your lips really soft and kissable! Sugar is an excellent natural exfoliator – all types work well so just use whatever you have in the cupboard. Olive oil provides moisture and will add a hint of shine to your lips. The vanilla extract is added for a hint of aroma and flavour. If you don’t fancy vanilla then other extracts, such as peppermint or orange, would work too.
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1-2 drops vanilla extract.
Mix all of the ingredients together then store in a small pot. To use, simply massage a small amount into your lips with your finger, then wipe off.
Green Tea & Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
Green tea has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it great for calming the skin. It is also high in antioxidants which help to fight free radicals. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the skin’s natural pH levels and is high in alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which help to speed up the removal of dead and damaged skin cells. Apple cider vinegar may therefore help to fade acne scars and even the skin tone. It also has anti-microbial properties which may help to combat acne. If your skin is sensitive or prone to irritation, then omit the apple cider vinegar and just use the green tea on its own.
• ¾ cup strong green tea
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar.
Make the green tea and allow to cool completely. Mix with the apple cider vinegar and store in a glass bottle in the fridge (this should keep for a couple of weeks). To use, place a small amount onto a cotton pad and sweep over your face and neck after cleansing.
Coffee Body Scrub
This exfoliator is made using coffee, which makes an interesting change from the usual sugar or salt body scrubs. Not only will the ground coffee beans help to remove dead skin cells and boost the circulation, but the caffeine in the coffee may help to combat cellulite as well. Research has shown that caffeine prevents excessive build-up of fat in cells and also stimulates the lymphatic system, thus aiding the removal of fats and toxins. Coconut oil is also used in this scrub to help soften and smooth the skin.
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 4 tablespoons ground coffee.
Mix both ingredients together in a bowl (you may find it easier to do this if the coconut oil is slightly warm) until well combined then transfer to a glass jar. Massage all over your body in the shower, paying particular attention to areas such as your bum and thighs, then rinse off. You can use this scrub once or twice a week, and it should keep well if you store in a cool, dry place.
Whipped Coconut & Chamomile Body Butter
For this recipe, ordinary coconut oil is transformed into something even more magical with the help of an electric mixer! Whipped coconut oil has a velvety, mousse-like texture that will make this simple body butter feel really luxurious. Chamomile is added for its ability to relax the mind and body and calm and soothe the skin.
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• 4-6 chamomile tea bags.
Put the coconut oil in a bowl and place over a pan of water on the stove. Tear open the teabags and add the chamomile into the bowl with the coconut oil. Heat gently over a low heat for about an hour to allow the chamomile to infuse into the oil. Take off the heat and strain through a pair of old clean tights, or a piece of muslin cloth if you have one. Allow the oil to cool and set completely, then whip using an electric mixer on a high setting for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and store in a cool place. Massage all over your body for silky smooth skin!
Photography by Kathy White