Try-it Tuesday: Homemade beauty products

If there was ever one area with high prices and profit margins, a 20-billion dollar industry where you can save incredible money doing it yourself, it is the beauty and skincare market. Not only are a large percentage of these products made with chemicals, sometimes tested on animals, and often unsafe for the workers in the industry (many in or from third-world countries) – it’s an industry that also charges you heftily for its products.

In the last 5 years or so, I have gotten into making my own beauty products with ingredients from my own kitchen and bath. I started doing it to save money, to put only TRULY natural ingredients on my skin, and also because it’s really a lot of fun. Last week I made a batch of some new recipes, and thought I’d share them.

Almond & Milk Hand Cream

I absolutely adore Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream. And I also like the company (I use a lot of BB products, and wouldn’t be caught without my beloved lip balm). But it’s not that hard to replicate this cream at home.

I created this recipe myself, using:

  • 1/2 cup hot water with 3 tbsp powdered milk mixed into it thoroughly (dissolved, no clumps);
  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vitamin E oil

These measurements are approximate; feel free to adjust them according to what works for you. Using a double boiler method (I use a simple glass bowl sitting atop a saucepan of boiling water), melt the beeswax and them remove from heat. Stir in the other ingredients and blend well.

This is the important part to achieve the right creamy consistency! Place the blended ingredients in the refrigerator, going in to stir the mix every 10 minutes or so because it will separate. When it is semi-hardened — definitely not liquidy at all, but not completely refrigerated solid — take it out to blend it. For me, this was about an hour or so. You may need yours to sit longer; it’s better to be more refrigerated than less, but if it’s too solid it won’t be able to blend well.

You then need to blend it, using a blender or hand mixer or food processor. I used a hand mixer. Within a minute or so of blending, you’ll see it form a beautiful, creamy texture. If it’s too hard and won’t blend easily, let it sit out until it softens some. Once it’s blended completely and creamy, you can transfer it to a container and it won’t separate anymore.

This cream smells wonderful, and is so moisturizing and soothing. Just note that it WILL start to mold after being at room temperature for a couple of weeks (after all, it doesn’t contain any of those nasty chemicals or preservatives). You can either keep it refrigerated, or do what I do and keep it in a very small container, with the rest of it stored in the fridge to refill as needed.

I also recreated the wonderful Burt’s Bees lemon butter cuticle cream, using this recipe!

Another thing I love to make is my own sugar and salt scrubs. I make a mild sugar scrub for my face and neck (only use once a week for exfoliation), and this great one for hands which uses salt and sugar, and is super softening. I have very dry hands with cuticles and nails that peel easily, and I’m always picking at them. This recipe makes them feel so great.

Salt and Sugar Scrubs

I also make different salt or sugar scrubs for body. The one I like BY FAR the best is a recipe I just made up myself, from a brand-name salt scrub I used. I took a look at the back of the label for the ingredients list, knowing they are in order or percentage of use in the product.

  • Sea Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Almond oil
  • Pepperment oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Lavender oil

I started with the salt – a fairly fine grain natural Mediterranean sea salt that I bought bags of in Portugal for 50 cents per bag – then added about a teaspoon of baking powder. Then I poured in the almond oil slowly, until it coated the salt enough to make it just wet when I stirred it around. Then about 5 drops each of peppermint, tea tree and lavender essential oils. This smelled heavenly! But what I like best about it is, it’s one of the most therapeutic body scrubs I’ve ever made. I’ve never made one with peppermint oil before, and the tingling/rejuvenating feeling on your skin is incredible. In fact, it lasted long after I got out of the bathtub, probably for another hour or more. Just felt, in a really great way, like my sore feet and neck, and all the muscles on my legs and back where I had scrubbed with it, were being massaged and reenergized.

And all for the incredibly low cost of about 25 cents that this cost me. I could buy all the products – salt, baking powder and 4 oils – at full size for probably around $30 total (depending on your cost of oils) and have enough to make a 10-ounce jar of this 10 times over. That beats store-bought prices for a mile!

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Moisturizer

I also made substitute for Paul Mitchell tea tree oil hair and body moisturizer. I love that stuff — but have you ever looked at the ingredients list? 28 ingredients before even getting to the tea tree oil. 28!! And most of those are multi syllable chemical compounds, 5 of which are rated a concerning 3 or higher on the EWG database. I made my own, feels smells and works the same, using only a few natural ingredients. And for about 25 cents – a tiny fraction of what some people pay for the chemical-filled, lab-created brand name product. I loosely followed this recipe.

Ingredients in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer:
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, PCA Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycol Distearate, IPDI/PEG 15 Cocamine Copolymer Dimer Dilinoleate, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, PEG 150 Distearate, Polyquaternium 7, Dimethiconol, Isolaureth 6, PEG 8 Dimethicone, Silicone Quaternium 2 Panthenol Succinate, Cetyl Triethylmonium Dimethicone PEG 8 Succinate, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Disteareth 75 IPDI, PEG 7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Polyquaternium 10, Glycine, Histidine HCl, Tyrosine, Cysteine, Leucine, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Spica (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Linalool, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methyisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate

And, here’s a tea tree oil/mint shampoo to make!

Here are some other of my favorite beauty recipes, and you can check out my Pinterest board here:

Facial Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup sugar
Enough cold-pressed oil (olive, wheat germ, peanut, corn, or sunflower) to dampen the mixture
Optional – I add a favorite oil to this; a few drops of yling ylang, lavender, jasmine or rose oil makes it smell fantastic!

Gently massage this exfoliating scrub all over your face before cleansing with a light soaping and rinse. Repeat once or twice a month (I use this weekly for exfoliation).

Rosewater & Witch Hazel Facial Toner
1 1/4 cups rosewater
3/4 cup witch hazel
6-8 drops glycerine (more for normal skin and less for oilier skin)

Combine ingredients gently in a very clean air tight jar. Apply using a clean facial wipe after cleansing. I have been using this toner for more than a year now, and I love it! Sometimes I will add a couple of drops of lavender oil as well.

Yoga Mat Spray by Yoga with Adriene (my favorite yoga channel ever!)


More On MapQuest

8 Unspoken Rules of the Airport Charging Station
8 Things to See and Do in the Bahamas
Top 10 Must-See Cyprus Attractions
World’s 10 Most Expensive Buildings
Eastern Europe in 5 road trips
8 Historic Canadian Forts That Still Exist Today
Wildlife Adventures in the Galapagos Islands: The Land Before Time
10 Things To See and Do in Cornwall, ON