As I continue my journey into SF hippiedom, I’m into making things myself these days (or at least attempting to).
Val, a friend of mine and true DIY queen, is on a mission to empower people to create their own beauty products so they know exactly what they’re putting on their skin and hair (as we’ve already discussed – many over the counter products contain petrochemicals, parabens, and gross things like that). I went to her first DIY beauty-product class to try my hand at making products from scratch that work as good, or better, than those we buy. The night I attended, we created a coconut oil scrub, citrus astringent and a custom moisturizing face oil. I was nervous that the products would be complicated to make (I’m super lazy), and was pleasantly surprised that it was actually super easy.
We started with the coconut oil scrub (sounds dreamy right, and you’re already willing to shell out $12 for a bottle). Well save yourself some cash and a whole lot of time and mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl and stick it in a little tub (you can even use an old product tub). Yes, that’s seriously it. Use it as you would any exfoliating face wash: 2-3x/week, wet, rub on and rinse. You’ll feel the oil on your skin after you rinse and understand what moisturizing really means. You can also try sugar and salt instead of baking soda to get the right grain of exfoliation for you.
Benefits/things to know:
- The commercial moisturizers you’re spending a fortune on contain mostly water, which makes you feel like your skin is being moisturized, but as soon as the water dries, your skin becomes dry again.
- Coconut oil instead provides deep (and actual) moisture.
- It also helps strengthen underlying tissues, remove excessive dead cells, improves dark circles and helps with wrinkles.
- Baking soda is a common cleanser and odor neutralizer and doesn’t seem to dehydrate my skin or strip away healthy oils.
- I have rosacea and the combo proved too much exfoliation for my rosy cheeks. Now I use the scrub as an all over body wash and use coconut oil (w/o baking soda) around my eyes. I also use coconut oil on my hair about once a month to make it shine (heat up 3-5 tablespoons, pour and rub into your scalp or just the ends, wrap it up with a shower cap or old t-shirt, leave it on for at least 2 hours though 4 seems to be my sweet spot, shampoo it out. Mine usually takes 2 shampoos to get the greasy feeling out but it’s magic on your locks.
- This combo is also super cheap. Baking soda is about $1/box and coconut oil is $12 for a sizable tub. I still haven’t worked my way through either the box or the oil and it’s been about 3 months.
- I also use the baking soda/coconut oil scrub on my teeth once or twice a week. Baking soda is an amazing way to whiten teeth and lift those annoying wine/coffee stains (I drink a lot of wine and coffee) and with the coconut oil it rubs on really easily and makes my mouth feel nice. Here is a good list of other ways to use baking soda.
- Liv Tyler and Emma Stone also use baking soda to bathe so it really isn’t that weird.
Moving on quickly to the last two products (I know, that first one was a lot). We made a super easy astringent (use with a cotton ball to deep clean your face and open up pores or at night to remove make up). Below is the recipe and the highlights are it smells nice, removes makeup and gunk and wakes me right up!
- 1 oz witch hazel (you can get a measuring cup shot glass that has liquid ounces at Crate & Barrel – that may be obvious to everyone but I’m still learning these things)
- 3 oz orange blossom water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- + essential oils. You only need a few drops (seriously 1-3 drops) of whatever you want to smell.I used lemon because citrus seemed a peppy way to wake up in the morning.
- I know it can be annoying to buy a bunch of essential oils so this one is for the more advanced who want to really experiment and make these products for long term use/savings.
And finally, and arguably maybe my favorite: facial oil. First of all, I could not believe that there is this whole group of people out there that clean their face (yes clean, not just moisturize) with olive oil and other oils. You can straight up rub oil all over your face (olive oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.) as a cleanser and apparently it’s great for many people. I haven’t made it to that part yet but have started using a facial oil at night instead of a night creme. I made mine with macadamia nut oil (the lightest one for my sensitive skin), 2 drops of vitamin E oil (anti-oxidant but only use a few drops), 2 drops of rosehip seed oil (firming/anti-aging) and 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil for a nice calming night-time smell.
Let me know if you try any of these out and how they work for your skin. While everyone’s skin is different, these are pretty basic and can be a fun place to start when entering the world of DIY products. Use them for a few weeks before you decide if it’s working for you (my face broke out with the oil for about 4 days then calmed right down). Stay tuned for my next DIY adventure: I learned how to use the sewing machine.