This week my kitchen concoctions took a new direction, away from food. I tried some all-natural recipes for body care products and I think I’m really on to something. Not only is it fun to make scrubs and washes from scratch, it’s also really satisfying to know every single ingredient that’s gone into them. Plus, they feel amazing and are way cheaper than any truly organic, natural, store-bought equivalents. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a trip to the local health food store and Bulk Barn (where I managed to find everything), and start mixing!
Homemade Oatmeal Scrub with Almonds, Lavender, and Chamomile
(Almonds are moisturizing, oatmeal exfoliates, and lavender and chamomile are soothing.)
1/4 cup raw almonds (or 2 tbsp almond flour)
4 tbsp oatmeal
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp chamomile flowers (I used the contents of chamomile tea packets)
2 tsp sweet almond oil + 5 drops lavender extract — OR — 2 tsp lavender oil
Chop raw almonds in a spice grinder or food processor until they are a fine meal.
Skip this step if using almond flour. Add remaining ingredients and blend well until mixture is a soft granular powder.
To use each morning, put half a tablespoon of this mixture in your palm and add just a couple of drops of water.
Rub hands together to make a paste. Gently rub and massage it onto damp skin in circular motions to exfoliate.
Wash off with warm water and a warm, damp washcloth; end with a splash of cold. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
Keep the scrub in a well-sealed glass jar.
Scented Garden Body Scrub
“The salt draws impurities from the body and its coarse texture gently removes dead skin cells. If you use Epsom salts in the recipe, they will act as a natural relaxant in the tub as you soak in the aromatic oils.”
1 cup sweet almond oil
1 cup Epsom salts (or a mixture of fine and coarse sea salt)
10 drops essential oils (I used lavender, but geranium, orange, lemon, rose, and chamomile would all be nice)
Stir all ingredients together with a spoon until a thick oily mass results. Spoon into a wide-mouth glass jar.
At the end of your shower, scoop out a handful and scrub it all over your body for a satisfying exfoliation.
Rinse quickly, then step out of the shower and pat skin dry gently. The scented oil will act as a perfume and moisturizer. For use in the bath, wet skin and scrub as above.
Note: This scrub felt really weird when I applied it, because I’d already soaped up and am not used to the sensation of smearing oil all over myself. But once I’d towelled off, my skin felt the smoothest and most moisturized that it’s ever felt. Now I’m a total convert.
In fact, oiliness and greasiness has been the biggest adjustment for me getting used to all-natural body products. We’ve become so accustomed to the cosmetics and skin-care industries telling us that greasy is bad, when, in fact, it’s not. Oil is excellent for our skin, as long as it’s the right kind of oil. I have to be more selective about when I use my favourite pure shea butter on my hands, because it stays greasy for quite a while. Usually I do it at night and by morning my hands are silky soft — no more moisturizing on the go!
If you’re interested, check out this interesting article called “Why You Should Stop Washing Your Face,” all about the oil cleansing method.
Recipes from “There’s Lead In Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How to Avoid Them” by Gillian Deacon