The biggest advantage of homemade natural beauty products is that they are genuinely natural. There is no need to add chemicals for a certain colour or fragrance, or to achieve a shelf-life of several years.
You simply add what’s good for your skin at concentrations which are effective for you, making each product explicitly yours. This includes many different botanic ingredients, such as concentrated herbal extracts, precious plant oils and plant distillates, sugars, vitamins, lipids, proteins and natural essential oils.
You don’t need any knowledge of chemistry or cosmetology and you don’t need laboratory experience. All you need are the proper recipes and ingredients.
1. Coconut Oil
We should only use unrefined, organic coconut oil in cooking, but a cheaper expelled pressed oil could be used in skin recipes to save money (though by ordering in bulk, we still get the good stuff for cheaper than the expelled pressed in the long run!).
For those sensitive to coconut, grass fed organic beef tallow can also be used and it is great for the skin, though you will need to add essential oils to cover the mild scent.
2. Shea Butter
Organic unrefined shea butter has a naturally nutty, earthy smell (very mild) and is incredibly nourishing for the skin! There are many cases of children seeing improvement from eczema from using shea butter or a mix of it and coconut oil.
It has natural antibacterial properties and is great for preventing stretch marks, for wound healing, and as an anti-aging treatment for skin. It naturally has an SPF of about 5 and can be used as a daily sunscreen. We can use shea butter in lotion, lotion bars, deodorant, face cream, baby lotion, diaper cream and many other recipes!
3. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is another “butter” and a great addition to natural beauty recipes. It imparts a delicate chocolate scent, and it can be mixed with mint or citrus in lotion bars, lotion or face cream. It can be used interchangeably with Shea Butter and Coconut Oil.
Beeswax is a great natural thickening agent, and high quality versions have a gently honey sent. Beeswax can be used in lotions, lotion bars, baby care recipes, lip balm, foot cream, etc. Only a little is usually needed to thicken recipes, and a pound lasts us for at least six months.
5. Liquid Carrier Oil
Recipes like smoother lotions, baby oil, salves, and after-shave balms often need to be thinner than coconut oil and the butters will allow. In these cases, you can use a liquid carrier oil. Most often, I use olive oil, almond oil, or apricot kernel oil. Apricot Kernel has the most gentle scent and almond oil is also relatively unscented. Olive oil is typically the least expensive if you don’t mind the olive scent in your recipes or if you plan to cover it up with essential oils.
6. Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot is perfect for thickening sauces when cooking and it also gets added to a lot of natural recipes like deodorant, baby powder, diaper cream, dry shampoo, etc. It works much like cornstarch but isn’t GMO like many corn products.
7. Essential Oils
Not technically needed, but essential oils give great natural scents to beauty recipes and can also be very mood lifting. Great fragrances for beauty products are mint, lavender, lemon, orange, and sandalwood.
Other Helpful Ingredients
Some other helpful ingredients that can be added to the above recipes are:
• Dried herbs: especially chamomile and calendula for skin recipes
• Zinc oxide: for diaper cream and sunscreens
• Sugar: Not to eat but great for sugar scrubs!
• Baking Soda: For deodorant
• Salt: For hair spray or skin exfoliating
• Other essential oils
• Coconut Milk: for homemade shampoo
• Liquid Castille Soap: for cleaning/washing
• 6 T coconut oil
• 1/4 cup (4 T) baking soda
• 1/4 cup (4 T) arrowroot or cornstarch
• essential oils (optional)
• Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
• Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
• Add oils if desired.
• Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.
• ¼ cup coconut milk (homemade or canned)
• 1/4 cup Liquid Castille Soap like Dr. Bronners
• 20 drops of Essential Oils of choice
• For dry hair: add ½ tsp olive or almond oil (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients in an old shampoo bottle or jar of some kind (pump soap dispensers and even foaming dispensers work well for this. If you use a foaming dispenser, add 1/4 cup of distilled water)
2. Shake well to mix.
3. Keep in shower for up to a month.
4. Shake before each use.
5. Use about a teaspoon every time you shampoo.
6. If you use a foaming dispenser, it also makes a great shaving cream- just dilute with 1/4 cup distilled water!
Note: Some people find that a 50:50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water used as a rinse helps get hair cleaner and increases shine.
Mix one banana and one avocado and puree until smooth (great way to use over ripe bananas and avocados!). Add essential oils if Banana isn’t your fragrance of choice. Comb through clean, damp hair and put a shower cap on. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and rinse out in the shower.
Use olive, coconut, or almond oil with Castor oil to clean your skin instead of a harsh soap. This will cleanse your skin naturally and keep from pulling out natural oils. My personal blend is 25% Castor Oil (don’t use straight!) and 75% sweet almond oil.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar rubbed on freshly clean face (dilute with water! A teaspoon per half cup of water is a good ratio…). The vinegar scent fades as soon as it dries, and a few drops of essential oil in a few ounces of apple cider vinegar really helps the smell. Apple cider vinegar tightens, brightens and freshens the skin and percents dry skin and breakouts. It is also great to have on hand for heartburn, yeast overgrowth and other common complaints.
• 1/4 cup finely ground dry coffee
• 1/2 cup organic sugar
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 2 tablespoons castor oil
• 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1. Place the coffee and sugar in a medium size bowl.
2. Add the vanilla and mix well.
3. Add the oils and stir with a fork or the back of a spoon until well mixed and moistened.
4. Store in an air-tight container and use as desired for soft skin. Especially good on legs for helping with cellulite.
Plain olive or coconut oil will remove mascara (even waterproof) and will remove other make-up as well but isn’t as ideal if you have oily skin.
For oily skin- Liquid Castille soap in water will remove makeup without adding oils to the skin or stripping the natural ones.
Lotions and Moisturisers
For most people, pure coconut oil is all that is needed for moisturising the face. It is naturally full of collagen supporting lauric acid and is easily absorbed by the skin. Even for oily and acne prone skin, coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial properties make it a great option.
• 1 cup coconut oil
• 1 cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three)
• 1 cup beeswax
• Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
1. Combine all ingredients (except essential oils if using) in a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it. Or: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…
2. Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth:
3. Remove from heat and add the essential oils.
4. Gently stir by hand until essential oils are incorporated.
5. Carefully pour into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in. I used these silicone baking cups, though any mold would work.
6. Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts (hearts for valentines, flowers for Mother’s day, etc.) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
Note: This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you’d like. I made with equal 1 cup measurements. The recipe I used made exactly 12 lotion bars with my molds. For a small batch, this recipe could be cut in half or even one fourth.
A sugar/oil scrub is great for most skin types when extra exfoliation is needed. Just mix equal parts oil (coconut, olive, etc.) and sugar (white or brown) and use as a whole body exfoliator.
For more oily skin, plain baking soda can be used to exfoliate skin and remove blackheads or dirt.
There are a ton of anti-aging products available but the best options are the ones you take internally. All of the collagen products that are supposed to firm up skin don’t take into account that collagen must be produced internally and is too large to absorb through the skin.
To promote natural collagen production, I’d suggest using coconut oil as a moisturiser and taking Gelatin, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend and Vitamin C to support natural Collagen production internally.
• About ½ cup coconut oil
• 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda
• 2 small packets of stevia powder
• 15-20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil
• 10 drops myrrh extract (optional)
1. Melt or slightly soften coconut oil.
2. Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
3. Put mixture into small glass jar
4. Let cool completely.
5. To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. Could also use a small spoon to put on toothbrush.
Avoid the dangerous chemicals by using pure baking soda on a toothbrush. Brush lightly in small circles for five minutes before regular brushing once to twice a week. Alternatively, rub fresh strawberries on the gums or mix mashed strawberries and baking soda and wear in mouth tray for 30 minutes once a week.