In our second demo of the year we addressed how easy and cost-effective it can be to reduce your exposure to toxins from everyday skincare products and household cleaners. We made a whipped body butter, chapstick, a facial serum, and a multipurpose cleaner.
But no worries if you couldn’t join us! Below you will find some easy-to-follow videos and articles with simple recipes to make these same products, as well as some general tips, including how to choose the best ingredients to use in these recipes. The great part about making your own skincare products is that you get to choose the quality of the ingredients you use. Most store-bought brands use low quality ingredients because it’s less expensive for them.
And if DIY projects just aren’t your thing, not worry, we’ve got you covered too! See below for some helpful resources that will help you select personal and home products that are safe for you and your family.
Lastly, you’ll definitely want to check out our last lecture, “Minimizing the Effects of Living in Today’s Toxic Soup” (available on HealthStream). In it we review details of how we get exposed to different chemicals and toxins, what effects this can have in the body, how to minimize our exposures, and how to optimize our bodies’ own ability to detoxify.
Tips for DIY Skincare Recipes:
- When purchasing an oil (i.e. coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil), always try to buy oils labeled as “USDA organic,” “cold-pressed,” “virgin,” and “unrefined.” This ensures that the oil is minimally processed (i.e. exposed to methods including heating) and will retain the maximum amount of its nutrients and beneficial properties.
- Always purchase and store oils (this goes for cooking oils and skincare oils) in dark glass bottles. Chemicals in plastic leach into oil over time, and when you put that oil on your skin, you absorb those chemicals into your body (yikes!). Clear glass exposes the oils to light, which causes the oil to oxidize (i.e. go rancid) faster and lose its beneficial properties.
- Store all your oils and essential oils in a cool, dark place. This will help them last longer and retain more of their healing properties, as excessive heat and light can destroy these properties.
- When purchasing solid butters (i.e. shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter), look for the labels “USDA organic,” “unrefined/raw.” Again, this ensures minimal processing, and maximum nutrient content.
- Whenever melting your ingredients, use the MINIMAL amount of heat needed to melt the ingredients. I recommend using the double-boiler method (heat-proof bowl over a pot of lightly bubbling water) instead of microwaving, as this will more gently heat your ingredients. The more you heat your ingredients, the greater the chance of destroying the beneficial, nourishing properties they have.
- Many good quality oils and solid butters can be found online on Amazon. Just make sure that you read all the specifications of the ingredients and check the reviews. Amazon is a great place to start when first learning to do make your own products. If you choose to experiment further, there is an excellent company called Mountain Rose Herbs (I have no affiliation with them), based in Oregon, that has the most extensive array of organic and wild crafted (i.e. harvested in the wild) carrier oils, butters, essential oils, and spices and herbs that I’ve ever seen!
DIY Whipped Body Butter:
This is a great basic recipe to start with, that includes only 4 ingredients. I usually make it with just 3 ingredients actually, making it even easier. I replace the sweet almond oil with just coconut oil.
This is a basic, 2-ingredient chapstick recipe. In the demo, I also added peppermint essential oil after melting the 2 other ingredients. You can use any essential oil(s) you prefer or omit that step.
A few tips:
- She uses a block of beeswax and grates it, but I would strongly recommend purchasing beeswax pellets. They are MUCH easier to use and will not ruin your grater!
- If you are vegan, you can substitute candelilla wax for the beeswax.
- The proportions of oil to wax is 1:1. In this video, she weighs the ingredients. But I always just do 1:1 volume, instead of weight. So, for example, 1 Tbs of wax to 1 Tbs of coconut oil. Much easier this way!
DIY Facial Serum:
There is no one specific recipe for this. A facial serum/oil is one or more oils that can be used as a daily moisturizer on your face (and body). You can make it as simple or complicated as you like, using specific oils and essential oils that are best for your skin type. I will just discuss some of the basics here.
There is a common myth that using oils on the face will lead to clogged pores and more breakouts and pimples. For the most part, this is completely false. There are certain oils that are classified as “comedogenic,” meaning that they clog pores. These include coconut oil, which is a great moisturizer for the body, but not for the face. But there are many, many other oils that are wonderful to use to moisturize your face. I’ve been using facial serums exclusively for the last 3 years and have had no issues with clogged pores leading to breakouts.
Good oils to use for the face:
- Jojoba oil (oil that most closely resembles sebum, our natural body oil)
- Rosehip seed oil
- Argan oil
- Evening primrose oil
DIY Multipurpose Cleaner:
Article on Natural Cleaning Products:
Safe Household Cleaning Products: