I’ve been looking at recipes/instructions for making your own skin care products out of natural vegan sources. It’s pretty clear that the chemicals and materials in mainstream products can be harmful to our bodies, and it’s also common for brands to test their products on animals.
I want to commit to practices which avoid these negative impacts, and this is one area where it’s pretty easy to do something about it! So why not.
This was also a fun project to undertake from the research, trials and errors, and use of the products. And it didn’t take very long to make these things. Thought I’d share in case anyone is interested in giving it a go!
Grapefruit Scented Body Butter & Cuticle Cream/Lip Balm
Together in a saucepan I melted 1 Cup Shea Butter with 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil and 1/2 Cup Agave Syrup (instead of Beeswax – to keep it vegan). Once melted together I removed the concoction from the heat, and stirred in the White Willow Bark Powder which acts as a natural preservative (although I pretty much winged this and I later read something about this only working under the precise concentration and ph level…so we shall see if it works!) After it cooled for a few minutes I added in some drops of Rosehip Oil (which contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids… and those are good for us, right?), Vitamin E Oil (which helps our skin retain water and stay moisturised), and Grapefruit Oil for the scent.
I separated a little bit into a small re-used vanilla essence jar (for my cuticle cream/lip balm), left the rest in a bowl and popped both into the fridge. They stayed in there for at least 1-2 hours until the substance had solidified. I had an odd experience where all the Agave Syrup separated itself and sunk to the bottom, which is something to look into and work on for next time. I whipped all the stuff that was in the bowl to soften it and make it more of a ‘body butter’ consistency and popped it in a little glass container. I am keeping them in normal room temperature so I will see if it keeps its consistency and stays fresh enough to use over time. So far so good!
Lavender and Thyme Scented Sea Salt Scrub & Vanilla Scented Brown Sugar Scrub
These are so straight forward and super lovely to use! I wanted to make both a salt and sugar scrub to test out the difference (salt isn’t a good face scrub as the pieces are too large and harsh, so sugar is a gentler alternative). I used Olive Oil in both – this ingredient works well for me and my skin but if you have very oily skin already you may not like it. You could substitute Coconut Oil or Almond Oil which may feel less thick but give a similar slick quality.
For the salt scrub I used 1 Cup Sea Salt, 1/2 Cup Olive Oil and abundant drops of Lavender Oil. Then I just added some dried Thyme into the mixture.
For the sugar scrub, I used 1 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 Cup Olive Oil and a small amount of vanilla essence. I wasn’t super precise with these measurements and ended up adding a lot of olive oil because initially it seemed a little dry. After letting it sit overnight both seem very oily now… so I would be more careful to add bit by bit next time.
Another shameless plug for re-using jars/tubs: I’ve used an old cranberry sauce jar and an old instant coffee jar! yup yup. It comes in handy to save the more sturdy of containers that our products come in and find new uses for them.
The last thing isn’t something I make, but I started using Olive Oil as make up remover about 5 months ago and I love it. It’s natural and simple which is great. It takes off make up easily. It’s convenient and easy to always have around because I also use it for cooking. If you wanted to try this but don’t want to use Olive Oil, try Coconut Oil as an alternative.
*Note: using natural ‘preservatives’ will unlikely allow DIY products to keep the same that store bought ones would. However this really grounds your DIYs in their natural origins, and perhaps making your skin care products can become a part of your weekly/bi weekly routine that you look forward to. There’s honestly nothing comparable to putting the time and effort into creating something by hand and utilising it.*
See the links below for related info.
A List of Some Harmful Ingredients Found in Many Skin Care Products
50 Things You Can/Should Stop Buying and Start Making
A Cruelty Free Company Guide for Mainstream Products