February: Homemade Cosmetics
By Ellen Victoria Gunn
This post is covering quick recipes for alternative beauty products that can be made at home with minimal-to-no packaging. Perfect for everyone who is skint / cares about the environment and their body.
I have saved a hell of a lot of money by not buying into promotional advertising for new hair care products, skin care regimes & general crap that supposedly improves your aesthetic. I can assure you – my younger self bought into all of it and by the end I’d lost out on money and was red raw. Ultimately, these products will neither change the temperament of your body nor drastically improve your appearance. So you’re better off saving your cash and accepting that we all have sweat clans and it’s okay to be human with porous skin, as much as the beauty industry punishes us all for it. They just want to make a bomb from your ‘misfortune’ that they condition you to think of as bad in the first place – so remember…
The beauty industry = unnecessary packaging = cancerous ingredients = false insecurities = a shit tonne of your money. So leave it all out and your life will be simplified. Much like mine is now.
1. Best transition for a waste free bathroom – literally an all purpose bar of soap. Faith bars of soap are the best, sold in local stores such as Infinity Food. They require no packaging and are all made with natural, vegan ingredients, costing roughly under £2. That covers shampoo, conditioner and body wash – so literally if it’s the only move you make to reduce your waste, it’s a killer move!
2. Metal safety razor over a plastic one: all you have to do is purchase new blades every so often. Or just don’t shave – your call.
3. Homemade mouthwash: this takes me to the term ‘oil pulling’ – really weird name, even stranger action! Treat this as your fluoride-free Listerine, where for 15 – 20 minutes you melt one spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swirl it about. It detoxifies your mouth and body by sticking all the toxins to the oil, so that once swirled, you spit it out (into your bin not your sink as it can clog), removing with it all the toxins from your body and mouth. Obviously, do not swallow it. I’ll say again, it is really strange. I tried it for the first time and it felt bizarre, but you get used to it, and once you’ve spat it out your teeth have a natural coating all day. It’s a method that has been widely practiced and even recommended by dentists.
4. Homemade face & body scrub contains three ingredients: coconut oil (2 table spoons) bicarbonate / baking soda (1 tablespoon) and 10 drops of peppermint oil. Mix it all together and BAM you’ve made your own toothpaste / scrub – literally that easy. This is perfect for your face as it’s not too rough, but if your body requires a bit more grit, replace the soda for sugar. Note – sugar is too harsh on your face so stick to baking soda. As you can see I’ve put it in a Body Shop glass container (and by the way Body Shop are owned by L’Oréal. I’ll say no more).
4. Deodorant – I’m all for essential oils, so since I couldn’t be bothered to browse recipes for underarm care, I instead figured a couple of drops of peppermint oil underneath my arms everyday would be the perfect deodorant – and honest to God it works a treat! Use coconut oil as a base and add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (putting essential oil straight on your skin is quite a strong sensation). I do understand for those who sweat more this might not be great, but it’s worth trying out as you literally smell minty fresh all day.
5. Moisturiser for hair, face & body – try Jojoba oil (below) as that is a natural oil-balancing option. I use a few drops for my face and hair (ends not roots) with water so it’s not too oily, and I wake up with calmer-looking skin and smoother-feeling hair. Fushi (below) are amazing – they support the environment to the tenth degree as they even use vegetable oil to print their packaging, and the bottle is glass.
I am intending to make my own SPF moisturiser but it is pretty technical as it requires non-nano zinc oxide to make it white in colouring – that is the soul ingredient for SPF protection. In the meantime, therefore, I use People Tree, a totally natural and mainly organic beauty range. Their plastic bottles are recycled and the brand actually give a shit about what you are absorbing into your skin. This makes them a great alternative to most brands you find. Sold pretty much most places now.
6. The bamboo toothbrush – any local organic-looking shop will sell one, Infinity Foods had mine.
I understand that when I purchase my ingredients, most individually consist of packaging. I’m not saying packaging is always avoidable. But, essentially the things I do buy contain little, to no plastic (maybe lids and things). I also carefully choose the brands I buy, based on them being great local labels that are responsible for their environmental impact. So don’t punish yourself for having a little plastic here and there, the best step is buying into companies such as Green People who – if you are tight for time – create positive products with minimised packaging: they do the considering for you. That in itself is a really positive move. So begin with supporting more conscious labels, and then eventually making your own products. Working in bulk essentially minimises your plastic footprint overall.
So yes, hopefully that was slightly insightful, and reminds you that you don’t need things like toner (honestly the most pointless product out there) and that by actually doing nothing, literally not purchasing the occasional pretentious bottle of whatever, that in itself is something brilliant! The more you love yourself and the happier you are in your own skin, the more the beauty industry will struggle and the more you will save in money, time and space.
Thank you for reading,
Ellen Victoria Gunn xxo