Homemade Cosmetics

Written by laura barten
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Homemade Cosmetics
Save money and skip the harsh chemicals by making your own, handmade cosmetics. (Make-up image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Simple to mix and customise, homemade cosmetics are a chemical-free alternative to commercial products. This is important because many packaged cosmetics contain chemicals considered harmful to humans and the environment---and you might not even know it. Why? Because cosmetic companies use generic terms, like "fragrance," to describe a product's ingredients rather than listing the many secret chemicals used to make its special blend, says the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Why take a chance when you can make your own cosmetics at home in a few simple steps? It's satisfying, safe and fun!

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Perfume:
  • 1/4 cup jojoba or other base oil
  • Essential oils
  • Dark-coloured glass vial
  • Toner:
  • 1/4 cup of distilled water
  • 2 organic green tea bags
  • 1-2 drops lemon juice
  • Clean, microwave-safe glass bowl, cup or other container
  • Glass container with tight twist cap for storage
  • Lip Balm:
  • 2 teaspoons almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon natural beeswax, grated or pellet form
  • A few red berries, such as red raspberries or strawberries
  • Clean, microwave-safe glass bowl
  • Small glass bowl
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Screw top tin to hold final product

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure out about 1/4 cup of your "base" oil. Try jojoba for its moisturising properties; almond or sesame oil will work as well. You can purchase these oils in a natural foods store or online. You can also adjust the recipe ingredients, in proportion, if you prefer to make more or less than a 1/4 cup's worth of fragrance.

  2. 2

    Pour your oil into a dark-coloured glass vial or container. You can find these in natural food stores or online. The dark colour protects the mixture, so the essential oils used to provide the fragrance's scent will not break down and lose their potency as quickly.

  3. 3

    Mix in one to two drops of the essential oils of your choice, testing the scent as you go. This is where the fun begins. You are crafting a fragrance tailored just for you. For first-timers, have enough oil on hand to make a few different mixes, allowing you to play and find just the right combination. Try a two-to-one "drop" ratio of lavender oil to vanilla or jasmine oil for a light, relaxing scent, or experiment until you find your favourite.

  4. 4

    Cap and gently shake your vial or container to be sure the essential oils are completely incorporated into the base oil.

  5. 5

    Store your vial in a cool, dark place---like a drawer or make-up case---to extend the life of the scent and protect the essential oil.

  1. 1

    Measure out 1/4 cup of distilled water. Pure water is the key to this recipe. Get two organic green tea bags ready. Tea bags are easiest, but 2 tablespoons of loose tea will work as well.

  2. 2

    Bring 1/4 cup of distilled water to a boil in a clean glass cup or container using your microwave.

  3. 3

    Add two green tea bags, or 2 tablespoons of loose leaves, to the boiling water. Steep for three minutes. Remove the tea bags. If you used loose tea, filter the mixture through a tea strainer into another clean glass container, so that your water-and-tea mixture is clear. Let cool to room temperature.

  4. 4

    Add one to two drops of fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice is a natural astringent. Be sparing---it is quite strong so only a small amount is required.

  5. 5

    Apply the toner using your hands, a wash cloth or clean cotton pads. You may also increase the recipe---for example using one cup of water, eight tea bags and four drops of lemon juice. Store the mixture in a glass bottle with a tight-fitting cap to use throughout the week.

  1. 1

    Add 2 teaspoons each of almond and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of natural beeswax, either grated or in preformed pellet size. Craft stores often sell beeswax pellets made specifically for body care; all items are typically available at whole foods stores or online.

  2. 2

    Gather the red berries of your choice---raspberries or strawberries work well. Use a mortar and pestle to pulverise the berries, attempting to squeeze the red-tinted berry juice out of the mixture. Pour off the liquid into a separate, clean glass container. Make sure the juice is free of debris. Strain if needed. You only need a few drops. This step is not required; it simply adds colour and flavour to your balm.

  3. 3

    Return to your beeswax-and-oil mixture. Microwave the mixture on low, 30 seconds at a time and stirring as you go, until melted completely.

  4. 4

    Add a few red berry drops to your mixture and stir. This will add a hint of natural flavour and colour to your lip balm.

  5. 5

    Pour the mixture into a small, screw-top tin. Allow to cool completely and your natural lip balm is ready for use.

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