I have been posting an awful lot of stuff about how awful commercial beauty products are and I haven’t even covered all of it yet. But I thought I would take a respite from horrible news and try to offer something useful and wonderful. I have a lot of natural ideas that will help everyone take it down a notch and I thought it was time to share some new ones. I just wasn’t sure what kind of post to create, other than I knew it shouldn’t just be herb based because I’ve already done a lot of that. And that’s when I received a great gift right out of my own TV.
I saw a great local program last month that showed us how to make natural, organic and cheap beauty products from everyday stuff. I laughed at first, watching the women painting their lips with fresh strawberries but then was pleasantly surprised to see that I liked the color and it did not just fade away. In fact, it’s kind of hard to wash off. So it got my interest and I started to think about how you can use fruits, veggies and other natural resources, to make organic beauty treatments that are cheap and safe. The trick is to make sure that the fruits, veggies and herbs you use are truly organic to begin with.
So here are some great, safe beauty product projects that you can get started on right away. Check out the recipes before you go shopping and make a list of the produce you need to get. And remember to make it organic.
Simple Fruity Facial
Everyone is all excited about great additives like COQ10 and Alpha Hydroxy Acids and we are all willing to pay a big fat price for those benefits. Not EVERYTHING they put in beauty products is bad, in fact, some of it is pretty good. So take the best of what they offer and find a natural way to produce the same results.
And beleive it or not, this is really simple and cheap. Save all those precious dollars and leave the high priced lotions on the shelf. You can get the same results from Pineapple. And I don’t mean you have to do much with it, in fact, all you need is the rind. So wolf down the fruit to your heart’s delight (literally) and save the rind for your nightly facial.
When you are ready to do it, rub your face down with the wet side of the rind, getting the fruit juice and pulp on your face. You should leave it on for like 15 minutes or so, to allow the great enzymes to work on your skin. And then wash it off slowly with warm water, allowing it to “dissolve” as you do so. This makes it work even better! And this is pretty much as darn good as the big ticket lotions you’ve been buying in the pharmacy. Try it.
Cucumber Facial Cleanser
This one requires a few more ingredients than the last one and can be a bit more pricey. However, if you make it up in a big lot all at once you can store it in the fridge and use it for months, saving lots of money over time. You’re going to need a few slices of Cucumber, which you will puree in a blender. Strain out the liquid and set it aside.
Melt a tiny teaspoon of emulsifying wax over low heat and then, as it melts, add in 4 Tbsp of organic, cold pressed Soy oil. Once the mix is melted, you should whip it up until it’s blended. While it cools, warm up the liquid from the Cucumber puree in one pot and a handful of fresh, organic Yarrow in another pot. Add about 1 cup of water to the Yarrow and boil it down to about 1/3 cup. DO NOT BOIL the Cucumber liquid, just warm it gently. Once boiled down to about 1/3 cup, drain out the Yarrow and scoop out about 6 tbsp of yellow liquid. Then mix both liquids together (the Yarrow liquid with the Cucumber liquid). And then add in the wax / oil mixture and blend really well.
Allow the mix to cool and thicken. Once it’s cool, you can add a tincture of your choice to scent it and add an astringent to the cleaning action. My favorite is tincture of Myrrh.
Elderflower Yogurt Skin Cream
This one is super easy and all you have to hunt for is Elderflowers, which are available in many health food stores. Some of you are lucky enough to live where Elderflowers grow like crazy, and you can just go out a pick a few. And then go to the supermarket and get a few tubs of plain organic yogurt. Of course, check with local growers to be sure that the Elderflowers ARE from organically grown plants and this might make your search a little harder. But if push comes to shove, I know for a fact that you can order them online from organic nurseries and craft suppliers. But always try to get them fresh if you can.
Pick the small flowers from the Elderflower heads and clean out any stems or seeds. Toss the debris into the compost pile. Then get out 1 1/2 cups of the organic plain yogurt and mix it together with the Elderflowers in a pot. Stir them gently from time to time over low heat and let them simmer this way for about 30 minutes. Then set aside and allow to cool and congeal for 3-4 hours.
After a few hours, toss out the flowers and strain the remaining yogurt through a seive or strainer to remove any remaining petals or debris. Put it back in the pot and stir in about 3 tbsps of organic, natural Honey. Whisk this mixture thoroughly until it’s blended and thick. Now you just put it in the refrigerator, in any container of your choice and use cold as you like. It’s fantastic for your skin and pleasant feeling, too.
Spicy Lip Blush
This is actually a sort of “scrub” that exfoliates your lips while it fattens them up and colors them, too! When you’re lips are dry, this simple idea will take off layers of flakiness at the same time. So here it goes.
All you need for this is some Cinnamon and some softened, organic Beeswax. If you can’t find softened Beeswax, buy the hard stuff and soften it a bit in the microwave. You will have to give it a few short blasts at a time and check it often because you don’t want it melted or too hot. Just soft.
Rub your lips with the softened wax and then top it off with some Cinnamon. Rub the Cinnamon in pretty good, sort of “scrubbing” your lips with it. It should blend with the wax and stay on the lips in a thin layer. This is a gentle exfoliation, taking off flaky layers and making your lips look shiny and plump. At the same time, it brings blood to the surface of the skin and makes your lips look redder, for a natural blush. Peppers would do the same thing but I don’t recommend using them for this unless you are tolerant of Capsacin.
Herbal Bath Bags
OMG, these are so easy, cheap and work so good! I love them. I had like baskets full of these homemade goodies and I used them all up. Now we don’t have a tub at this new place I’m living so I can’t do it anymore. Boo Hoo. But you should get in on this and do it every day if you can. Do you have a tub or a whirlpool or a jacuzzi? If so, then give this idea a try.
Take any dried herb, spice or flower you like. Choose it for it’s health properties, like Comfrey or Speedwell.. or choose it for scent, like Lavender or Geraniums. Let me recommend a blend of Comfrey and Peppermint Leaves. WOW! Talk about feeling refreshed and recharged! This will erase all that wear and tear and make you feel new. So try it sometime. And don’t forget the buy the dried herbs from an organic supplier or pick them yourself and don’t just go for the crap they put in glass bottles. That stuff is over dried, usually heated too quickly in the process, and mostly come from plants grown in other countries with lots of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Yuk. The best kind of herb is the herb you grow and pick yourself.
Then get out your old nylons, a piece of netting or cheesecloth or other thin, flimsy material. Cut the feet off your old nylons.. this is how I do it. Fill the material with the dried herb and pull it all up into a ball, tying it off at the top. If you don’t use the feet of old nylons, then cut the material you do use into a large circle. Fill whatever you do use with the dried herbs but not too much. You will need enough length at the top to tie it off. Tie it off with anything you like. I always use long ribbons that I tie to the faucet in the tub and let the bag dangle in the water as it fills.
Natural Foot Soaks
They call Comfrey this name because it’s comforting. And it’s great for pain, wear and tear and body stress. Nothing will get the cramps and creaks out of joints and muscle tissue like a good soak in some Comfrey. So the simplest foot soak is simply that. Hot water and fresh or dried Comfrey. Make the water super hot, even boiling, and drop the Comfrey, fresh or dried, into the water. Add as much as you like, you can’t overdo it but make sure you put enough to at least turn the water greenish. And then let the boiling water cool for a bit, until it’s tolerable. Then put your feet in it.. you don’t need to sift out the Comfrey, just let it float. Leave your foot in the water until it cools and then toss it in your plants. A little extra food never hurts.
Another method of using Comfrey is to put it in a bath bag, in the same method as the previous recipe. Use a mix of Comfrey, Sea Salt and either Chamomile or Lavender buds. Tie them up in the nylon or netting and make a bag out of the mix. Then add it to a bucket of hot, boiling water and let it simmer as the water cools. Once it’s tolerable, soak your feet and sigh.
Lavender and Milk
This is a cold soak for the feet. It will exfoliate and soften the skin and save you a fortune in pedis. Pick a bucket, basin or tub and fill it up with organic milk. 6-8 oz is good. Add 3-6 drops of Lavender essential oil (organic) and a few fresh Lavender flowers if you can get them. Dried is fine in a pinch, they smell almost as good. Leave your feet in this mix for up to 20 minutes.
The lactic acid will exfoliate your skin and leave it super soft. Also, Lavender is really soothing and relaxing. The oil and flowers will help releive soreness and muscle pain while also being antiseptic and anti fungal. This is just all around good for your feet. Enjoy.
For smelly, hot and over tired feet, try some Sage. Fill a bucket or tub with boiling hot water and toss in a handful of fresh or dried Sage leaves. For an even stronger infusion, boil the Sage on the stove in a big pot and toss this water into a bucket or tub. Leave the Sage in the water; do not strain. When it’s cooled down enough to be tolerable, sink your feet into this! Talk about sweet. That’s how they’ll smell when you’re done!
Cosmetic Bath Water
There are two variations and you can try them both for pennies. The first one is done with Cider Vinegar. Get some organic Cider Vinegar at the health food store and while you’re there, pick up some fresh or dried organic herbs. Take this stuff home and fill the bath. Drop in about 2 1/2 cups of the organic Vinegar and several handfuls of your favorite herbs. Now, this is astringent, antiseptic and cleansing. You do sort of smell like salad dressing when you’re done but your skin will be CLEAN and toned.
The other variation with done with Milk. Using Organic Milk, add either organic Elderflowers, Roses or Linden Blossoms. Put 1 cup of the milk with 4 oz of the herbs or flowers in a pot. Heat them up over low heat, never boiling. Simmer slowly at a low heat for 15 minutes. Another method is to heat the milk and then pour it over the herbs or blossoms in a jar. Either way, once the milk is hot, allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes and then remove from heat. Let the mix simmer as it cools. Once cool, strain out the flowers or herbs through a sieve or strainer. Then dump the milk into your bath.
This makes your skin super soft and supple. As a matter of fact, your skin will be softer over night than after any lotion you’ve ever used. Try it and see.
Quick Fixes for Frizzy Hair
This is an area of expertise for me. In fact, I won an award at an online wiki for my knowledge about frizzy hair. I kid you not. I have what you would call “frizzy” hair: coarse, thick and unmanageable. So I have become well versed in the natural, cheap methods of taming the mess. One of these methods involves oil and the other involves aloe vera. There is nothing tricky about this tip, either. Each method only requires one ingredient.
To use organic natural oils on your hair to tame the frizz, remember to use an cosmetic quality oil made from olives, avocados, coconut or jojoba. These are lovely, rich emollient oils often used in cosmetics and beauty products and are just fine to use on your hair. I use these oils often in my hair and they work wonderfully, better, in fact, than most conditioners. What you must do is wash your hair first, get it squeaky clean. DO NOT use a conditioner. When exiting the shower, dry your hair just so that’s not dripping. And while it is still wet, pour a puddle of oil into your palm and then rub your hands together. Run your fingers through your hair, making sure to get the entire length of it, from top to bottom and to work it in really well. If you find your hand runs dry before you are done, use more oil, a palmful at a time, until you have worked it into your hair, down to the scalp. This also helps dry scalp and does wonders for dandruff and Eczema. Just be careful not to use too much or you will have to wash it out and start over. Nobody likes a greasy look! If you use the right amount, when your hair dries, it will be tame, shiny and maybe even wavy. You’ll like the results. Give this method a few tries until you get the right amount. If you have coarse, dry, flyaway, frizzy hair, this is a cureall you just can’t beat because you always have oil in the house and, yes, it’s ok to use ordinary organic olive and vegetable oils in a pinch.
The other method, for those of you who don’t want to use oil in your hair or have a problem getting it right and keep ending up with really greasy hair, is to use Aloe Vera instead. Get a fresh piece of Aloe Vera, preferably from a live plant. The other bonus about this method is you don’t have to use it only on wet hair. You can rub it on dry in a pinch and it works just fine. Squeeze some of the Aloe juice into your palm, like you did the oil, and just rub it into your hair. You don’t have to work this in so much as you do the oil because it won’t look greasy on the surface. So you can just rub it over dry hair and comb it in. Or you can wash your hair and apply it in the same way you would the oil, allowing it to dry. The effect of doing it wet is that your hair actually absorbs it and makes use of the proteins. In that manner, both methods actually feed your hair and make it stronger as well as weighing it down and keeping it tame. Both methods make your hair shiny and bright and you will get comments on that. So use whichever method suits you best and enjoy the lovely results.
This is a literal method of feeding your hair and it is a method that can make use of just about any natural organic food source you have. I would restrict this to vegetables and fruits, though, because animal products might actually contribute to greasiness and bacteria. The exceptions in this are milk, eggs and yogurt, which are animal based products that actually transfer protein to the hair. These are also easy to rinse out and won’t leave your hair smelling like a bbq.
The method is simple. Mix up fruits, vegetables and products like eggs, milk or yogurt if you don’t object to animal sources, and mash them up really good. You can even put the stuff in a blender. May I suggest berries, melons, bananas, avocados or lemons? Maybe some of each. This is a great way to use up leftovers that are going to go bad if you don’t have a compost pile. After you’ve blended everything really good so that it’s like a “mash” or a “paste”, then grab up handfuls of the mush and rub it right into your hair. Don’t be stingy. Pile it on and finger it in down to the scalp.
Once you have the mash in your hair, dampen a towel and blast it in the microwave for like a minute. Wrap your head in that warm, moist towel and just leave it for 30 minutes or so. And then just wash it out like you would wash your hair normally.
TO CHECK YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS FOR DANGEROUS CHEMICALS GO HERE:
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