‘Do you have any recipes for natural cosmetics in your books?’ I was asked recently.
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, yes but not really enough to merit buying them purely on the basis of unguent recipes.
So I thought I’d post a few here.
Why make your own stuff? Well, some people like that artisanal approach. When I was in my early twenties I used to spend hours buying raw ingredients from Neal’s Yard (back when it was just a tiny little shop off the side streets of Covent Garden). It was good fun but the real beauty of home-made products is that you know exactly what is going into them. No chemical nasties. Because, as I’m sure you know, even products which promise, hand on heart, that they’re ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘pure’ – often aren’t.
They won’t keep as long as shop-bought products though so keep them in the fridge and use swiftly.
LIGHT MOISTURISER (suitable for most skins)
10ml melted beeswax
45 ml wheatgerm oil
20ml boiled water, mineral water or rosewater
6 drops geranium essential oil (if your skin is very oily use bergamot instead)
1. Put the beeswax and oil into a small heat-resistant bowl and place in a bain-marie containing boiling water.
2. Stir thoroughly and remove the bowl from the pot.
3. Now slowly add the water into the warm oils, stirring all the time until the cream thickens and cools.
4. Add the essential oil.
5. Pour into a clean (boiled) jar and refrigerate.
RICH BODY CREAM
20ml almond oil
20ml grapeseed oil
5ml wheatgerm oil
20 ml rosewater or mineral water with 5 drops of cider vinegar added
6 drops essential oil (your choice from cypress, fennel, juniper, mandarin, neroli)
1. Melt the beeswax and pour into a small, heat-resistant bowl.
2. Add the grapeseed and wheatgerm oils, and place the bowl in a pot of simmering water until the oils are blended and warm.
3. Remove the bowl from the pot and slowly add the water, stirring thoroughly all the time until the cream thickens and cools.
4. Add your choice of essential oils. Pour the cream into a clean (boiled) jar. Store in the fridge and use within a month.
Feet often get neglected. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes in a large bowl of warm water containing the following: 15ml sea salt, 3 drops almond oil, 2-6 drops peppermint or patchouli oil.
While you’re soaking, give your hands a treat. Soak them in warm water for about five minutes. Then massage them with a mixture of 10ml of wheatgerm germ oil, 5ml of wild honey and five drops of lavender oil. Use small circling movements. Push back your cuticles and massage your nails with the mixture.
Give your face, hair and body a soothing treat.
1. Mix up a luxurious hair treatment.
• Mix together two egg yolks, one tablespoon of almond oil and a drop of tangerine essential oil.
• Moisten your hair slightly and then massage the mixture into your scalp and hair.
• Wrap your head in a plastic bag and then a towel over the top (to add some heat). Keep this on throughout the following steam and bath.
2. Steam. Add two or three drops of geranium oil to a bowl of just boiled water. Put a large towel over your entire head and over the bowl, keeping your face about eighteen inches away from the water. This steam will open the pores for deep cleansing. Stay under for about ten minutes if you can – but don’t become uncomfortable.
NOTE: do not steam if you have thread veins, if you are asthmatic or suffer from a heart condition.
3. Make a cherry mask with fresh cherries (if available). Crush them into a slushy paste and put all over your neck and face.
4. Next pour a hot bath. Add four drops of fennel oils to a cup of milk and agitate to mix. Now add to the bath. Soak for about twenty minutes. Drink a cup of green tea while in the bath.
5. Pat off the cherry mask. Finally unwrap your hair and wash.
Have an early night. Beautiful dreams!