Making your own natural skin care products from pantry staples offers a wide array of benefits, including less cost, less packaging, less chemicals, and customization. As a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach, I aim to reduce the toxic load on the body wherever possible, and cleaning up your beauty products is a great place to start.
The skin is our body’s largest organ and it has the ability to absorb what we put on it, topically. Many chemicals like fragrance, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and dyes found in our daily beauty products can lead to skin irritation and disruption of hormone balance.
Alternatives like coconut oil, oats, plain yogurt, flowers and herbs from your garden, honey, apple cider vinegar, essential oils, cacao powder, ground flax seeds, olive oil, sea salt, and sugar are just a few of my favourite pantry staples that go from being edible to being food for your skin. These all have amazing benefits for the skin and hair, from reducing inflammation and soothing, to exfoliating and moisturizing.
This holiday season, we might feel the need to focus more on self-care and giving gifts from the heart. My favourite kind of gift to give, and receive, is a homemade one. So much thought and love goes into those little packages and tiny jars of natural goodness.
DIY gifts are great to give as hostess gifts at holiday dinners, too, not to mention stocking stuffers for the natural beauty care lover. Gather some dried herbs, flowers, and some ingredients from your pantry, and settle in for an afternoon of fun and relaxation, as you mix up these two recipes.
Tip: Always remember to include a little info on all the ingredients you used, plus directions for use. You can get creative with your packaging and labels, either by hand writing them, making them on the computer, or tucking the info into the top of the jar. Get festive with your ribbons and sneak in a jingle bell, sprig of rosemary, or snip of cedar to the outside of the jar.
CHOCOLATE OAT FACE MASK
Oats are an excellent exfoliant and moisturizer, and help to relieve rashes. Raw cacao powder and raw chocolate are very stimulating for the skin and are rich in antioxidants too. Plus, chocolate is a mood booster—even when simply inhaled! Chamomile flowers are wonderfully soothing.
- 1 cup organic oats (or oat flour)
- 1 tbsp grated raw chocolate
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp dried chamomile leaves
- honey (needed when mixing mask)
- Add oats to a blender or food processor and blend until the oats have turned into a
fine powder. If using oat flour, go to next step.
- Transfer oat flour to a small bowl and add the chocolate, raw cacao powder, and
chamomile. Mix well and scoop into a small jar and secure with a lid.
- Add a gift tag with ingredients and instructions for use. Consider including honey
along as part of the gift.
To use: Mix 1 tbsp of the face mask with 1 tbsp of warm honey. Massage into face and
rinse off after 15 minutes
ROSEMARY LAVENDER BATH SALTS
Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, excellent for soothing tired muscles. Rosemary is invigorating and uplifting. Lavender is soothing and healing. This combo is a pleasure to the senses and makes a beautiful addition to a bath or foot soak.
- 1 cup Epsom salts
- 1 tbsp carrier oil (olive, grapeseed, jojoba, or apricot kernel)
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- ¼ cup dried lavender
- ¼ cup dried rosemary
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix well and transfer into a large jar.
- Add a gift tag with ingredients and instructions for use. You could also include
a drawstring muslin bag or reusable tea bag, which will contain the dried flowers,
preventing them from going down the drain and potentially clogging it.
To use: Measure ½–1 cup bath salts into the bag and place in a warm bath.
Jen Casey is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She focuses on holistic, diet-free approaches to weight loss and balancing hormones through nutrition and lifestyle. Book a free 30 minute online nutrition appointment with Jen or one of our other nutritionists at naturesfare.com