Monday, 23 April 2012

Part1. Make Your Own Facial Products

 It can be very amazing when you look at what ingredients are in our skincare products these days, most of them have to be looked up as we don't know what they are. Wouldn't it be nice to use skincare products that you know exactly what is in them and what they will do to your skin? 

Facial Product Ingredients
 Here we explain some of the benefits we get when using natural ingredients in skincare preparations.The most important benefit is keeping chemicals out of our blood stream, over time constant use use of chemicals creates a build up in our blood stream and can cause, sometimes catastrophic, health problems. On top of that heaps of companies do animal testing which is cruel and inhumane.
In part 2 we will show you how to use the following ingredients to make your own facial products for the whole family and some suggested skincare routines. These are what we use at home and we have had great results.

In part 3 we will share some other great ingredients to use when making your skincare preparations that can be catered to your skin type. 

One of my favorites and is useful for sensitive skin.  Can relieve irritation, inflammation, and itching. Works as a gentle exfoliate, is cleansing and soothing to the skin. Oatmeal added to bath water, wrapped up in an old sock or piece of fabric and squeezed to release the milk, assists skin itch and inflammation caused by eczema, dermatitis and chicken pox. It leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and really clean.

Oatmeal infusion
1tbsp of ground oatmeal
2-3 cups of distilled water or water.
Add oatmeal to the water and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes, Strain through coffee strainer to remove solids and use oatmeal water as skin softener and soother.  Works as an all purpose cleanser and toner, you can also use it in food preparations.
Water is a natural hydrator both inside and out.  You can enhance the benefits of recipes containing water by infusing plant material within it. Using bottled or distilled water has less chance of germ growth and will last longer than using tap water.

Water infusion
Bring your choice of one fruit, vegetable, tea or herb to the boil with 1 cup of bottled/distilled water, let cool down then strain and keep refrigerated.
Will keep for 4-7 days without a preservative, tea and herb water may last longer depending on the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of the tea or herb. Can be added to scrubs and masks or used as face mist or toner. Use straight away in other skincare preparation along with a preservative to prolong the life of the water. 

Sunflower Oil  
Moisturises and protects the skin.  Sunflower is light for oily skin, when used in small amounts.It is also high in antioxidants and can help prevent oxidative damage to your skin caused by bright sunlight or pollution from factory or car emissions.
Oil infusion
Put dried herbs or tea leaves in a jar and cover with oil, let it sit on a window sill for 1-2 weeks. Shake everyday. Strain oil twice to remove all residue, bottle and store in the fridge. You can infuse vinegar this way and also use in food preparations.

Heated oil infusion
Put fresh herbs or tea leaves in a Pyrex jug or heat proof bowl and simmer over a pot of water for 20 minutes.To keep the jug off the bottom of the pot use metal egg rings. Let cool and strain twice to remove residue, bottle and store in fridge.  It is best to use the method as pictured below as oil has a high chance of catching fire when it is heated too long or at high temperature. Store oils in a cool dark place to prevent them from going rancid, if stored properly they should last 6-12 months. 

Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are used for a variety of benefits and can assist our health inside and out. Drink a cup or rub some on your skin.   
Calendula- an all purpose skin soother that can be used by sensitive skins. Helps moisturise, soften & heal skin.
Rosehip- used in the treatment of damaged skin tissue including winkles, scars and burns and aims to fight cellular aging.
Green tea- Aims to fight cellular aging inside/out as it is rich in antioxidants, deeply cleansing and revitalising to the skin. Also one of my favorites, use as a pick me up and skin lift.
Chamomile-a natural relaxant if used internally, and works to relieve irritation/itch, sunburn symptoms, dermatitis and improves wound healing externally.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain natural alpha hydroxy acids which are used in common skin peals and other products.They are a natural exfoliating ingredient.  
Banana- has wonderful softening properties and improves skin hydration.
Apple- grated or mashed apple is soothing and smoothing to skin.
Peach & pear- smooths, softens and hydrates the skin.
Carrot-natural antioxidant and softening to the skin.
Cucumber- very soothing and works as an anti-inflammatory. Calms puffy eyes.

Other Ingredients
These common ingredients are used for skincare preparations for many reasons but most of all to benefit our skin.
Cornflour- absorbing and moisturising.
Honey and glycerine- used as a humectant in skin care recipes due to their water-binding abilities and also dissolve in water.
Apple cider vinegar- helps restore skins PH level. It balances oily skin and softens dry skin.
Beeswax- is used to bind ingredients together and can assist in softening and protecting the skin.
Cocoa butter- it makes a wonderful emollient and lubricant, softening and protecting dry skin.
Vitamin E oil- is a deep penetrating oil that softens and protects the skin. Is helpful in the reduction and prevention of winkles.This oil stops other oils used in skincare preparations from going rancid.
Bi carbonate soda- gives a great deep clean, can remove and prevent blackheads and can help restore skin PH balance.

To find out other uses for Bi-carb click here

Aloe Vera
This plant has a tremendous amount of benefits for our skin and internally. It is best used on oily skin as it absorbs quickly and does not block the pores. Heavy creams and lotions on oily skin block pores and creates pimples and acne. It is also useful on burns and sunburn, it can reduce burns from 3rd degree to 1st degree if applied immediately after sustaining a burn. 

For more information on Aloe Vera uses and growing visit here

For more information on natural skincare ingredients click here

After years of searching, and trial and error, these are some of the best ingredients to use on our skin and most of them give us large amounts of health benefits when taken internally. We hope you enjoy using these simple wonders of nature.

A book we use at home, Do It Yourself Pure Plant Skincare by Carolyn Stubbin, has a load of recipes and information can be purchased from the link below, also I (Shannon) participated in a workshop with Perfect Potion about making your own products. They are passionate about what they do
To order this book online visit here
Must do 
Some things you must do to prevent nasty germs growing in your preparations. 
Sterilise equipment
Boil a big pot of water and boil equipment, spoons, jars and lids for 5 minutes. Remove using tongs and place on baking tray. Place in oven at 120-150 degrees and leave for 5-10 minutes to dry.

Alternatively use baby bottle solution for plastics, although it can leave a strong chemical smell or a baby bottle steam sterilizer. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Add Preservative
Adding preservative to your products will prolong their life. You can use natural preservative as they are less likely to cause irritation and have the same properties as other harmful ones.

Water- use citrus seed extract
Oil- use vitamin E
Lavender oil will help keep germs away for 3 months.

When buying skincare products look for ones that have a list of 10 ingredients or less. With products that have more than this usually they have been bulked up with preservative and chemicals to prolong the self life. 

Ethical shopping
Here is a link to companies that do not test on animals and Perfect Potion is one of them
Here is a link to the ethical consumers guide
Learn more about animal testing

Questions and answers
Follow these links to get the answers to these questions.

Try out an infusion and sterilise equipment so you have them ready to use for part 2 of this blog. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and we will answer you as soon as we can.Also visit Animals Australia, the link is above, and make the pledge to buy cruelty free products.

Thank You For Reading


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