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Natural beauty: Home-made products
7:20am Friday 13th September 2013 in Leisure latest news
Why not mark Organic September by going au naturel with your beauty regime? Lisa Haynes finds recipes for products you can make at home.
Women are wising up to the chemical nasties that could be lurking in their bathroom cabinets.
The month-long Organic September celebration organised by the Soil Association is the perfect time for a product detox, but even the natural beauty market is slightly murky.
Since there are no legal standards for organic beauty products, some brands can label an item as 'natural' or 'organic' even though it may contain as little as 1% of organic ingredients.
But there is one way to be sure that your lotions and potions are completely natural - by making them yourself!
"After working in the skincare industry for so many years, I forget that most people don't realise how easy it is to make beauty products at home," says Karen Gilbert, author of new book Natural Beauty, which is packed with 'recipes' for home-made cosmetics.
"There's something I find very therapeutic about hand-crafting a product from scratch. Just like creating a meal from fresh ingredients, it does take a bit more time and knowledge than grabbing something off the shelf, but the results are worth it."
Here's how to concoct three of Gilbert's top products:
Barbados-ready body scrub
Relive memories of summer with this Caribbean-inspired scrub that smells like a tropical cocktail.
"Pure coconut oil is a great body moisturiser," Gilbert says. "I've also used macadamia oil to fit in with the tropical theme and for its moisturising properties, but you could replace it with almond oil."
50g coconut oil (solid), 10ml macadamia oil, 10 drops orange essential oil, 5 drops lemon essential oil, 5 drops lime essential oil, 60g raw brown sugar (unrefined).
Small glass bowl or mug, teaspoon, airtight 100ml jar.
:: Add the coconut oil to the bowl or mug.
:: Add the macadamia oil to the mixture, then stir the oil and coconut mixture vigorously with a teaspoon, whipping it up until soft and fluffy.
:: Add the essential oils and stir, ensuring they are evenly distributed in the mixture.
:: Add the brown sugar gradually to the coconut oil mixture, stirring carefully to ensure it is all mixed in.
:: Carefully spoon the mixture into the jar.
How to use:
"Massage into damp skin while in the shower, paying special attention to knees and elbows," Gilbert advises.
"Always go easy when using scrubs on the delicate skin on collarbone and chest. Rinse off the scrub and you will be left with a layer of the coconut oil, which you can massage into your skin to keep it soft and supple."
Macadamia & Jojoba cleansing oil
Loosen the day's make-up and dirt with this cleansing oil that uses castor oil as the base ingredient.
"Despite having such an unglamorous name, castor oil is an extremely effective cleanser - it attracts dirt and grime to itself and is very slow to absorb into the skin," explains Gilbert.
"If you intend to use the cleanser to remove eye make-up, then don't add essential oils because they can irritate your eyes."
30ml macadamia oil, 40ml castor oil, 25ml jojoba oil, 5ml vitamin E oil, 10 drops essential oil (optional). For normal/dry skin try camomile, sandalwood, geranium, rose. For oily skin: tea tree, lavender, lemon, juniper.
Small glass or metal jug, metal spoon, airtight 100ml glass bottle with pump dispenser.
:: Add the oils one at a time to the glass jug.
:: Add the essential oils (if using) and mix thoroughly.
:: Carefully pour into the glass bottle and seal.
How to use:
"Massage into the skin and remove the cleanser with a damp cotton pad followed by a quick wipe with a floral water or toner," says Gilbert.
"Alternatively, you could remove with a face cloth soaked in warm water or a damp muslin cloth."
Exotic perfume oil
Whip up your own cedarwood and ylang-ylang perfume and experiment with other essential oils once you're feeling fragrance confident.
"These essential oils were chosen for their gorgeous, heady and exotic fragrances," Gilbert says.
"Ylang-ylang's sweet and heady aroma can be a bit overpowering if used in large amounts but it's gorgeous blended with other oils and used in small doses."
10ml jojoba oil,
7 drops ylang-ylang oil,
6 drops cedar oil,
3 drops geranium oil,
4 drops orange oil,
2 drops vanilla abstract.
Airtight 15ml glass bottle.
:: First pour the jojoba oil into the glass bottle.
:: Add the drops of the other essential oils carefully.
:: Place the lid on the bottle and shake to ensure all the oils are well blended.
How to use:
"Dap onto pulse points to intensify the fragrance," says Gilbert.
"Perfume oils don't give fragrances the same lift as alcohol-based sprays so they become much more personal perfumes, largely experienced by the wearer."
Tried & tested
Fragrance isn't just for skin these days. Our testers spritz their locks with the latest in hair perfumes.
:: Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness Shine and Fragrance Spray, £22 (uk.spacenk.com)
This multi-tasking spray adds shine and scents your hair with just a few spritzes. The light formulation doesn't weigh down my hair and there's a delicate rosy fragrance. Best reserved for English roses who want a subtle smell.
:: Herra Protect Hair Perfume, £24.99 (www.herra.com)
A hair perfume that protects and also hydrates, but I'm tempted to wear this on my skin as I love the heady, luxurious scent so much. Somebody actually asked what perfume I was wearing after some not-so-subtle hair flicking. Result.
:: Unite U Luxury Colour Protectant Hair Perfume in Alanna, £35 (www.urbanretreat.com)
I needed a few pumps to distribute evenly but the uplifting floral fragrance is incredible and distinctive (two variations are available). It protects coloured hair against UV rays and the scent lingers beautifully all day.
Buy it now
This autumn, brown is the new black, according to make-up artist Bobbi Brown. Actress Katie Holmes fronts the new Rich Chocolate cosmetics collection featuring bittersweet choc and ripe raspberry tones. The limited edition Rich Chocolate Eye Palette is the standout product, £39.50, available nationwide or online at www.bobbibrown.co.uk.
:: Naked truth
British women are the happiest in the nude at an average age of 34. When it comes to checking out full-length mirrors, 40% of women admit to looking at themselves naked in the mirror every day, 25% sneak a peak at least once a week and 16% revealed they never look at themselves naked, according to a survey by Sanctuary Spa to mark the launch of the Active Reverse Body range. When it comes to bikini idols, over-40 Elle McPherson cemented her supermodel credentials by securing the most votes (50%) in the Best Bikini Body category.
:: Recessionista alert
Dazzle with your smile - and talons - with Colgate. To celebrate the launch of MaxWhite One Luminous toothpaste, Colgate has teamed up with Nails Inc to create a Luminous Red shade. The bespoke 10ml bottles are available exclusively in selected Boots from September 2 while stocks last and are free with the purchase of any MaxWhite One toothpaste, £3.99.
:: Natural Beauty by Karen Gilbert is published by CICO Books, priced £12.99. Available to readers for £9.99 including p&p. Call 01256 302 699 and quote GLR 8UQ
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