If I could hold my head up high and proudly look you square in the eyes, you’d see that my skin is looking great. I’m slightly ashamed to tell you it’s not because of the plethora of DIY natural skincare concoctions I’ve been trying on my face.
For more than a year starting with my DIY hand soap recipe, I’ve been making the switch to all-natural cleansers and moisturizers for face and body using ingredients like beeswax, nourishing carrier oils, shea and cocoa butter, vegetable glycerin and essential oils. It’s been fun to customize my own products, but despite my best efforts, my results have been hit or miss.
I confess: I just went back to my face care regime I used for a decade with great results. The no-frills but proven products from Paula’s Choice are made of chemicals, some I cannot pronounce. My skin now looks better than when I used my homemade face moisturizer with the expensive argan oil or when I spent six months using the oil cleansing method exclusively.
I hung on with DIY face care routine longer than I should have. Even when my cheeks had red splotchy dry patches on them and my eyelids were red and flaky, I was too stubborn to throw in the towel because I so wanted it to work.
After a lot of reading and learning, I settled on the premise that blindly combining natural ingredients together with no knowledge of how they react with the skin is not wise.
I also decided I do not believe putting chemicals on the skin is the same as ingesting them. I read somewhere that if it it was the same, then all medications could be topical instead of pill form. This resonated with me enough to justify logging back into my Paula’s Choice online account and placing my order.
I still want to use as many natural care products as possible because I want to minimize my exposure to chemicals that could be harmful to my health, and I believe they are more gentle on the environment. In some cases, you can save a boat load of money and you can customize them using your favorite essential oils. I buy all of my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Homemade tooth powder – I have not used commercial toothpaste in a year. Instead, I make a powder containing activated charcoal, baking soda, bentonite clay and essential oils. It works beautifully, and I am no longer plagued by the agonizing canker sores I’ve suffered from since childhood.
- Homemade hand soap – My recipe works and is perfect for the multiple hand soap dispensers around our house. I love the fragrance too; it’s better than anything I can buy.
- Body cleanser – I use unscented Dr. Bronner’s castile soap – it’s plain, simple, eco-friendly and effective. I add my favorite essential oils for fragrance.
- Body moisturizer – This is simple. I use a body oil that is a combination of a good carrier oil like almond or avocado oil mixed with smaller parts of whatever I have on hand: jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, kukui nut oil, vitamin E oil and my favorite essential oils. I can smooth the oil on while still damp from my shower and it soaks right in without feeling greasy.
- Homemade lotion bars – I love these beauties. They are fun to make, pretty, good for gift-giving, portable and super-moisturizing.
- Lip balm – I love my homemade lip balm. I’ve since tried a few different recipes, and they all beat anything I can buy. Each recipe yields between five and ten tubes of lip balm. It costs pennies to make and I can customize the fragrance with my favorite essential oils.
- Eye oil – My luxurious eye oil is from Shannon Buck’s awesome book. The skin around my eyes soaks up the moisture, and I swear it has improved the fine line situation.
- Face masks – Bentonite clay mixed with a little apple cider vinegar and water is all I need for deep cleansing.
And, the losers:
- Oil cleansing method – My face was always clean using this method, and it was always, always dry and flaky. Many people experience dryness with the oil cleansing method when their oil contains too much castor oil. Even when I cut the castor oil, the most cleansing of all oils, to nearly nothing, my face was still too dry. It also left my bathroom sink with a yucky oily film.
- Homemade facial moisturizer – Regardless of how much I tinkered with the ingredients, my skin was dry in places and sometimes red and splotchy.
- Homemade deodorant – I’m still up in the air about this one, because I may try to tweak my recipe to include far less baking soda than my original attempt. The high amount of baking soda left my underarms very itchy, red and even sore.
If you are interested in DIY natural skincare, I hope my experience encourages you to try. After all, there are far more winners than losers on my list!