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Nature provides us all kinds of compounds that are necessary for keeping our skin healthy. After our article about which ingredients to avoid, let’s focus on the nourishing gifts of plants to our skin. The Ecoizm Team is passionate about natural homemade cosmetics, and we offer a wide range of raw materials that you can mix and match according to your skin type.
The most basic ingredients for your homemade beauty routine are natural butters, liquid base oils and essential oils. You can create your own nourishing body butter, sensitive skin conditioner and lip balm from these three types of natural components.
Natural vegetable butters are thick, bulky fats extracted from plants. They are a bit harder to apply on their own, but melted together with liquid oils they absorb better and cherish your dry skin well. They make your cream heavier and richer in consistency, as they are solid at room temperature. Perhaps the most popular butter is unrefined shea butter, as it treats common skin problems like eczema effectively. Shea is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree, and is also used for cooking. It has high contents of valuable oleic and stearic fatty acids. Many mothers use it for their baby’s bottom as a diaper cream, because it is so gentle on the sensitive skin of infants. We also offer refined shea butter, because it is better to use in soaps. The other very well-known butter is cocoa butter. This luxurious, chocolaty smelling fat is more brittle than shea, and has a natural SPF of 5-7 which makes an excellent base of day creams and sunscreens. Cocoa butter is also rich in stearic acid as well as palmitic acid. Both of these butters are great to soothe skin irritations caused by shaving, or by skin diseases like psoriasis. If you want to try even more exotic butters, we recommend babassu or mango butter.
Liquid base oils are used in skin care, aromatherapy and massage. In aromatherapy carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils, to “carry” them in the skin, and to avoid skin irritation caused by strong, undiluted aromas. In massage oils, you can use them on their own, or also with essential oils for even greater relaxation. In your beauty routine, they are great purely for moisturizing, or as a makeup remover, or blended with other oils and butters for a customized cream. Usually they melt below room temperature; however, coconut oil is an exception, because it melts at 24 °C, so when stored in cooler places it is solid. The highest quality base oils are cold pressed, unrefined and organic. Cold pressed and unrefined is important, because they contain all of the valuable nutrients and vitamins that the plant naturally provides. For homemade soaps however, refined coconut oil is perfectly fine to use, because the saponification process breaks down a lot of nutrients anyways. You can use all of our base oils for dry skin, but for oily and acne-prone skin jojoba oil is the most recommended. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax, that is much more stable than other oils, and it has a remarkable quality: it makes certain microorganisms impossible to function, for example the bacteria that cause acne. Natural oils make great hair masks for damaged hair and split ends: the best are probably argan oil and coconut oil. You can try neem oil against dandruff, and castor oil for hairloss. Evening primrose and pomegranate oil have excellent anti-aging qualities; you should definitely add one of them in your anti-wrinkle eye contour cream. We offer a wide range of oils, so check out the full selection in the Natural cosmetic raw materials category!
Essential oils are extracted aromas of plants, which can be used for their effectiveness treating skin problems, or just for the joy of their scent. Before using an essential oil, make sure to be aware of its uses and effects on body and soul. Essential oils have to be dosed sparingly, only a few drops are enough. A few examples for using them in skin care: If you have acne-prone and oily skin try geranium, tea tree or ylang-ylang as they regulate oil production and prevent breakouts. Lavender oil is great for skin cell regeneration, eczema, mature skin and sunspots. The calming essential oil of rose promotes healing and soothes psoriasis.
Vitamin E is a great additive in creams because it acts as a preservative, and also has its own benefits: it prevents rancidity of oils. It is an antioxidant, which means it is a free radical scavenger, which is great against aging and UV damage. But it decomposes from heat, so it should only be mixed with the ingredients when they have already cooled down to body temperature. Another great skin protective additive is beeswax, which provides a richer texture too.
Whipped body butter
If you have natural butters, oils and essential oils at home, you can prepare the body butter recipe of Lauren Singer, the famous author of Trash is for Tossers blog.
· 1 part unrefined organic shea butter
· 1 part unrefined cocoa butter
· 1 part unrefined organic coconut oil
· 1 part almond oil
· a few drops of lavender essential oil
Melt shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and almond oil over hot water, but always make sure not to overheat raw ingredients, to preserve their valuable components. Mix them well, and put it in the fridge until it is completely solid. Whip it with a hand mixer for ten minutes, until it has the same consistency as whipped cream. Scrape down the sides of your dish a couple of times. When it can stand on its own, it is the perfect time to add an essential oil of your choice. Lauren added a few drops of lavender oil. If you have very sensitive skin, you can simply skip the essential oil.
Sensitive skin conditioner (eczema or diaper cream)
· 30 g shea butter
· 18 g evening primrose oil
· 18 g organic almond oil
· half a teaspoon of Vitamin E
Melt the shea butter over a hot water bath, then mix in the oils. Blend it for 5 minutes with the dough hooks of your mixer, and then put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Repeat this process twice, and add Vitamin E after the third round. It will have a creamy and fluffy consistency when it is ready.
Regenerating lipbalm for chapped lips
· 3 parts calendula oil
· 5 parts macadiamia oil
· a few drops of argan oil
· 2 parts beeswax
Melt the ingredients over a hot water bath, mix them well, and then pour it into small metal or glass containers. Let them cool down in the fridge, and enjoy!
These are just three simple examples of homemade natural skin care products, but you can find tons of different ones on the internet. What is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!