home made skincare

jars of lovely stuff

jars of lovely stuff

Last year, friends and I went off to Temple Spa for a catch up and some pampering. It was a lovely treat and amongst the chat and fizz, we managed to shoehorn in a few treatments too. I was so taken with the body scrub treatment that I had, that I bought some of the products they had used along with and ye cream a friend had recommended.

One of the products I bought was the Sugar Buff. I loved it so much that I literally bought everyone I know a tub of it for Christmas.

It is very lovely but pretty expensive. If you use it regularly, and with any kind of enthusiasm you can get through it very quickly. Once I’d got to the bottom of my tub of loveliness, I decided to see if I could save some cash and have a go at making something similar myself.

Using only what I had to hand, on a whim and without a shred of research to help me out (bit crazy when you consider everything you need can be researched on the internet now) I set about combining some sea salt, some solid coconut oil that I had in the bathroom cupboard (superdrug coconut oil to treat hair – not perfect but a cheap alternative and on hand) and some essential oils that I use in burners around the house.

It was a success albeit it limited; the salt I used was a bit too coarse so the texture wasn’t quite right.  Not one to be thwarted at my relatively rubbish first attempt, I did a bit of research on the internet and invested in some of the basic skincare ingredients from Summer Naturals (please don’t buy palm oil for any of your home made recipes as it is only farmed from devastating natural habitats and is about the least earth friendly beauty product money can buy).

I have bought lavender oils and other essential oils and products from them before so felt safe in the knowledge that it is pretty good quality stuff. They don’t cater for all your needs but they go a pretty long way.

Ironically, my sister gave me some gorgeous bath salts and also some really lovely hand made Bath Melts in a hamper for Christmas. She had made them herself from a recipe on the be beautiful blog and so my interest was peeked again.

I have had very little time to do anything with my purchases but with a hostess and a birthday gift requirement for last weekend, I opened my box of delicious smelling goodies and set about seeing what I could create with my £50 of ingredients.

creams, balms, oils and scrubs

creams, balms, oils and scrubs

Here are some of the recipes that I have used (all variations of those found on the internet and changed to suit my own requirements as I have sensitive skin with an oily T zone skin and delicate high colour areas around my cheeks as well as constantly dry hands):-

FACE OIL

50ml sweet almond oil (or jojoba)

10ml Vitamin E Oil (good for your skin but also acts as a preservative – you can also use Olive Oil instead)

10 drops Borage Oil

3 drops Lavendar Oil

5 drops of Geranium Oil (Rosemary is a good alternative to Geranium for less sensitive oily skin)

Mix them all together and put into a bottle (a spray top bottle is easiest to use and less messy)

Tip – I added Lavender and Calendula flowers which make it look pretty but they are a bit of a nuisance in use.

I have been using this face oil most successfully at night. Once I’ve cleansed I then applying it to my face and neck which makes my skin feel lovely in the morning. I’ve also been using it during my morning shower when I apply to my face and neck but also all over my body just before I am done.  It is just lovely.

rosemary and lemon zest sugar scrub

rosemary and lemon zest sugar scrub

SUGAR SCRUB

3 parts organic brown caster sugar

1 part Coconut Oil (Shea Butter can be used instead)

3 teaspoons of freshly chopped Rosemary

3 teaspoons of Lemon Zest

1 tablespoon of Sweet Almond Oil (or Jojoba Oil)

Melt coconut oil in a bowl over hot water

mix into other ingredients

put into clean sterilised jar, decorate if required label (include date)

Variation – I also used Lavender flowers and Caledula flowers instead of Rosemary and Zest for half of what I made

rosemary and lemon zest hand & body cream

rosemary and lemon zest hand & body cream

HAND AND BODY CREAM

50g Cocoa Butter

25g Beeswax (reduce this and increase cocoa butter to change consistency)

2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin (optional)

30ml Sweet Almond Oil

10ml Vitamin E Oil

10 drops of Lavendar Oil

2 teaspoons of Aloe Vera juice

melt the cocoa butter and bees wax in a glass bowl over hot water and stir in the rest once is has cooled down.

decant into a sterilised jar

Variations:-

10 drops of Borage Seed Oil

10 drops of Orange / Tangerine Oil

10 drops of Rose Water

The oils you use can be almost any you like the smell of or know to be particularly good for what you want from a hand & body cream

The consistency is quite solid and to make it into a lotion you need to put the warm mix (as above) into a blender and slowly blend in warmed water (same amount as your oils etc and this could be rose water). Blend until you get the creamy consistency you want.

lavendar and calendula sugar scrub and hand cream

lavendar and calendula sugar scrub and hand cream

CUTICLE CREAM

25g of Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil

2 drops of essential oil (any flavour you like)

Put all ingredients into a glass bowl.

Melt over hot water and pour into a clean sterilised container

bath melts in moulds waiting to harden

lavender and calendula bath melts in moulds waiting to harden

LIP BALM

25g of Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon of honey

Put all ingredients into a glass bowl.

Melt over hot water and pour into a clean sterilised container

Variations:- You can use petroleum jelly instead of coconut oil and a tiny bit of lipstick into the mix if you want to add colour.

rosemary and lemon zest bath melts

rosemary and lemon zest bath melts

BATH MELTS

recipe as link above to BeBeautiful blog recipe

bath melts ready to use

bath melts ready to use

ROOM DIFFUSER

Equal parts of Sweet Almond Oil, vitamin E oil and 10 drops of Jasmine Oil

I had some carrier oils left over so decided to try this and it is working well. I repurposed an old diffuser that had dried out.

sugar scrub tub with a little floral decoration

sugar scrub tub with a little floral decoration

I still have some of what I bought left over for my next batch of making but for my £50 I got the following:-

4 medium kilner jars of sugar scrub

3 small kilner bottles of face oil

4 small kilner jars of hand and body cream

3 spice kilner jars of cuticle cream

1 spice kilner jar of lip balm

3 medium kilner jars of bath melts

1 room diffuser

That is 18 pots of skincare and a room diffuser which average at less than £5 each (less than £3 each if you take out the cost of buying pretty jars and recycle containers instead).

In the meantime, I’m very happy with the results and can’t wait to get ‘cooking’ up the next lot and just handling the ingredients for making these lovely things has softened my dry and troubled hands.

I’ve learned loads and will be trying more new things next time but I don’t think I will be running out of scrubs and creams any time soon though, I got a huge amount for my £50.

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5 thoughts on “home made skincare

  1. Wow – what an amazing post! (And completely unexpected in terms of contents 🙂 )

    This all looks lovely – I can almost smell it from here. Have you ever read any of the Ben Goldacre pieces on skincare and debunking the myths of what the products can do for you? Its very interesting – you’ll find that there probably isn’t any difference in the products you’re making and the exceptionally over priced ones you get in the shops. Your skin can only absorb so much, and certain types of chemicals anyway, and so most of what they add on top actually does nothing. Sorry – this is meant to sound positive, just realised thats not how its coming out. The point is, it looks lovely, and will be as good if not better, than anything you can buy.

    Also, that is a LOT of jars! You’ll be the most moisturized woman in town 🙂 I bet your house smells amazing!

    • Hi

      Yes I suppose the content is a bit of a surprise but I am now a convert and will only use up commercially available stuff that I already own. There are so many places to got with making your own and I want to do lots more.

      Thanks for the tip on Ben Goldacre, I’ll look him up and see what he says (all sounds very sensible though 🙂 and your comments are very encouraging thank you.

      I will have to reduce the quants I do next time unless I have gifts to make as it is quite a lot of stuff to get through. Good thing is though that without water in the ingredients, it has quite a long shelf life.

      Watch this space as I will undoubtedly do more!

  2. I read Ben’s book Bad Science, which has a section on cosmetics. I can’t find a good, lengthy article online now, but here’s a short one to get the tone: http://www.badscience.net/2004/09/sitting-pretty/ he basically deconstructs the cosmetic industry’s claims, takes out the marketing and leaves you with the facts. A noodle round a search engine should come up with more articles.

    Just re reading your post, some of the things you’ve made look and sound so nice I wouldn’t know whether to apply them or eat them 🙂

    It sounds like we have similar skin. Interesting that the face cream is so good. I’m really fussy with face cream as it often just sits on the surface of my skin and then I get spots. Let us know how it goes over time, as it does sound really good. (I use cheap face cream as it’s the best I’ve found for my skin)

    • I will definitely let you know how it goes. I’ve done a bit more research since I posted the blog and will probably refine what I use as I have subsequently found out there are other (possibly better) things to use as we’ll and some instead.

      Wish I’d done this as a teen instead of now, my skin might be in better shape (& I certainly would have hung onto more of my cash).

      I think I may have the Bad Science book but abandoned it when homeopathy was dismissed. Will dig it out & try again.

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