I've been making most of my own skin care products for many years - lip balm, body cream, hair balm to name a few. I make these easily with natural ingredients and think anyone else can and should do the same. Most products use the same natural ingredients - it's just the proportions which change the thickness of the end product.
If you want to make your own natural products here's the top four ingredients I suggest you use:
ALMOND OIL (SWEET ALMOND OIL)
What is it? Almond oil is made from almonds. It’s light yellow in colour and had little odour.
Skin care products you can make with it: lip balm, body cream, bath bombs, hair products.
Why use it: Almond oil has many uses – as a base oil in massage and aromatherapy as well as adding a liquid component to balms and creams. It contains fatty acids, minerals and vitamins (especially vitamin D) which help to nourish, soften and moisturise the skin.
Almond oil isn’t the cheapest oil available but it is less greasy on the skin than some other options and has a longer shelf life.
Other uses: Almond oil is edible so as well as using in in your balms it can be used in cooking for dressing and marinades. Infuse flowers in your almond oil – use some in a balm and some on your salad!
Storage: Keep cool once opened and use within a year.
The almond oil we use is cold pressed from Spain.
What is it? Beeswax is a wax secreted by bees to make their honeycomb.
Skin care products you can make with it: lip balm, hair products, body lotions.
Why use it: Wax adds the firming component in a product - a cream will use a small amount and a salve or balm uses more. As well as adding firmness to products it’s also moisturising.
There are various waxes you could use in home made cosmetics but beeswax is an affordable option and is easily sourced in New Zealand from local producers.
Other uses: Beeswax can be used to make candles, furniture and shoe rubs as well as the popular beeswax food wraps.
Storage: Under cool conditions beeswax has an extremely long shelf life – years and years.
The beeswax we use comes from a local apiary. It’s unprocessed. It’s yellow because it’s stained from natural pollen and has a faint smell of honey which disappears in time. Flecks of propolis may be present.
What is it? Coconut oil is made by pressing the white flesh in coconuts.
Skin care products you can make with it: lip balm, body lotions, hair products.
Why use it: Coconut oil is an affordable, easily accessible oil. It’s very nourishing on the skin and there are many claims about it’s healing properties.
Other uses: It’s used a lot in soap making. In the kitchen coconut oil is used in cooking and there are claims about health benefits from cooking with it.
Coconut oil can be used straight - rub it through dry hair, use it as a massage oil, rub it on lips and so on. Pets may also benefit from having coconut oil rubbed onto itchy skin.
The coconut oil we use has been refined to remove the strong smell of coconut.
What is it? Shea butter is made by pressing the nuts/seeds of the Karite/Shea tree - grown in Africa.
Skin care products you can make with it: body lotions, lip balm, hair products.
Why use it: It contains vitamins and fatty acids so is used for this moisturising ability. There are claims it can help heal damaged skin.
It’s odourless and is stable in warm temperatures (it doesn’t turn to liquid) which makes it easy to work with.
Shea butter is extremely moisturising but has a tendency to turn ‘gritty’ in fluctuating temperatures in home made products so it’s a balancing act to get the right amount in a product.
Other uses: Shea butter is mostly used externally in skin care products. Although it’s a butter produced in a similar way to cocoa butter (which is edible, think chocolate) shea butter is not generally thought to be edible.
Storage: Under cool conditions it has a good shelf life which means 6-12 months. Keep yours in the fridge if you don’t use it quickly.
The shea butter we use has been sustainably produced and has undergone little refinement.
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