I've been trying out beauty product recipes that I've found online and have come up with some basic guidelines:
- Olive oil is a fantastic skin and hair moisturizer. Yes, it will make you smell like an Italian restaurant, but you can use it at night and wash the smell out in the morning.
- Regular granulated sugar makes a fabulous exfoliant. Simply add it to your face or body cleanser for a very effective scrub. Salt works, too, but I prefer sugar because salt will sting if it gets into an open wound or is rubbed over dry, delicate skin.
- A handful of oatmeal, mixed with just enough water to make a thick paste, makes a wonderfully gentle exfoliating scrub.
- Honey has anti-microbial properties, so it works great as a masque to avoid getting pimples, especially after a good exfoliation.
- To scent your oil-based beauty products, just buy a little bottle of an essential oil that you like and add one drop at a time. Be careful, though. A tiny bit goes a long way and too much can severely irritate your skin.
- Many oils also have anti-microbial properties, making them good for acne-prevention, too.
- Coffee grounds mixed with oil or chocolate syrup makes a lovely-smelling, very coarse scrub. It's great for waking up in the morning, but is probably too coarse for sensitive or delicate skin. Not good for facial skin!
- Petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) may seem like a great base for a scrub or skin masque, but it can dehydrate delicate skin, so I wouldn't recommend it, unless you're making lip products.
- Do an allergen test on a small patch of skin several hours before you use anything new. You don't want to spread something all over your face, only to find out it gives you hives!
- Keep all of this stuff - especially the essential oils - away from your eyes. If it accidentally gets into your eyes, call your doctor immediately for instructions.
I've started using my own facial scrub a couple of times a week, consisting of 2 tbsp of granulated sugar, enough olive oil to saturate and cover the sugar, one drop of lavender oil and one drop of clove oil. I get dry patches on my face and this really seems to help, without causing acne like the store-bought deep moisturizers can. I've just had to try them out to see what works for me. Let us know what works for you! :-)