Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Natural Beauty Regime

Welcome to the January 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

What a great carnival topic, to start the new year off with a green / natural resolution. I'm going to share my natural beauty regime, part of it I have been doing for a while whilst a few things I tried especially for this experiment and they worked so well I'm keeping them!

I should probably tell you a bit about my skin before I tell you what works for me. I have pretty low maintenance skin, slightly on the oily side with a few patches of pigmentation made more obvious during pregnancy. I therefore use a scrub often.

What a natural beauty regime consists of. 

Here is what has worked for me:

Firstly, I make my own toothpaste. I have been making my own toothpaste for nearly 6 months now and absolutely love it. I found a fantastic recipe, and have adapted it to make it my own. I will share it below. Unfortunately after my pregnancy I did suffer from a few cavities (before I started using this toothpaste), and then one of my teeth cracked needing to be rebuilt and a pin inserted... and I'm one of those people who hate the dentists :( It is now very sensitive but this toothpaste does not seem to irritate it. I should add that I use an electric toothbrush which seems to help keep my teeth super clean.

Home-Made Toothpaste Recipe

4 tablespoons Coconut Oil (gently heat under running hot water to liquefy)
1 tablespoon Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)
5 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil

You could use any essential oil, I have tried peppermint before but really like the fruitiness and freshness of grapefruit. Whip ingredients together and store in a cool place in a small jar. I use a small scoop to apply it to my toothbrush. 

In terms of skin care I have been using minimal products for some time already. At the beginning of last year I switched from commercial day creams and night creams to using only pure Jojoba oil as a moisturiser. This worked wonderfully in the winter as it nourished my skin. In the summer I apply it only to dry areas such as my cheeks and not the oilier areas such as my nose and forehead. I often use pure Aloe Vera gel if my skin feels irritated or is sunburnt.

For this experiment I tossed my cleanser and opted for pure water, a face cloth and lavender and tea tree essential oils. I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  I found the face cloth worked perfectly for my slightly oily skin. I suffered no break out and my skin felt clean. What's more is that my skin is now clearer, softer and has a better tone.

Face cloth
Lavender and tea tree essential oils, or find another combination that works for you. This seems to work well for slightly oily skin. 
I simply run a basin of warm water, add a few drops of the oils and immerse the face cloth in it and then give my face a gentle but thorough clean. Some people prefer a harsher cleanser and so could use a soft bristled brush such as a shaving foam brush.

Pure Jojoba oil
Apply a few drops with your fingertips to a wet face and gently pat dry with a soft towel. 

I also had fabulous results with using bicarbonate of soda as a microderm abrasion scrub. It wasn't as harsh as the commercial varieties but left my skin with a lovely glow. I use it once or twice a week to reduce my pigmentation.

Home-Made Microderm Abrasion Scrub

1 tablespoon Bicarbonate of Soda
Wet face cloth

Simply dust the bicarb over the wet face cloth and gently massage your face in circular motions. Rinse once your skin feels tender. 

I no longer use soap of any kind to wash my body either. I generally bath, which is not very 'green' of me, but Jesse and I do use the same water. Before I get into the bath a brush my skin with a soft bristled brush. This is a great exfoliater whilst getting my circulation and lymph drainage going. Then, I add a few drops of tea tree oil to my bath water, which is naturally anti-bacterial and wash with a face cloth. Works wonderfully, and I'm not smelly at all ;) I also, often add coarse salt to the bath which is another antibacterial and I find helps to soften skin. Epsoms salts in the bath is a real treat to ease aches and pains as well as help expel toxins.

I do, however, often wash my hands with soap after changing nappies, playing with the dogs etc. Its an old habit, and one I am unlikely to change. I do vow to start making my own anti-bacterial liquid hand soap, and promise to share the recipe once I have found the perfect one.

I have also been experimenting with a few natural deodorant recipes and haven't quite found the right one just yet. I will be trying this pro-biotic deodorant next, which sounds promising.

Jesse decides my hair straightener really needs to be included in my beauty regime. 

Do you use any natural beauty care recipes? What works for you?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


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  3. I've been intending to overhaul my beauty regime for a while now. I haven't really been using many products recently because I know they're not eco-friendly or are full of nasties, but my skin is suffering! I'll definitely be trying a few of these things, it's good to have a load of ideas all in one place - thanks!

  4. You have some great recipes here! Your coconut oil toothpaste sounds fascinating.

    I've been trying water-only washing, and I have to admit I've been smellier than normal. How often do you bathe, if you don't mind my asking? :)

  5. @Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    Im totally in love with this toothpaste!

    I have to bath every day... living in a hot climate I cant bring myself to bath any less... probably why water only bathing works so well for me.

    We do have family baths where Jesse and myself and usually my husband all re-use the same water.

  6. I would love to try all of these recipes! Thank you for sharing!

    I'm also a fan of jojoba oil. I rubbed it on my belly throughout my last pregnancy and didn't wind up with any stretch marks. It's also great on dry winter hands.

  7. I love your toothpaste recipe and am totally trying it after I finish my tube from Tom's of Maine! TY for sharing!!

  8. @I Thought I Knew Mama

    Thanks for visiting :)
    Jojoba oil is the best, wish I had found it before I got my stretch marks :(

  9. I can't wait to try some of these recipes! Along with starting to use vinegar for all my cleaning, my other goal has been to green my health and beauty stuff. We made facial scrubs as gifts for Christmas and I've been wanting to make a new one for myself. Yours sounds so easy though! Love it.

  10. @Kristen @ My Semi-Crunchy Life

    Its definitely the easiest scrub I've found! Let me know how it goes for you :)

  11. My husband will love you for posting this. He has been wondering why I spend money on expensive skin care chemicals that go against how we generally live our lives. I have written these ideas down, and will definitely be trying them. You have inspired me!

  12. Your recipes all look great! I overhauled my self-care routine awhile back, but have been getting lax and using store bought products again. I'm delighted to have a few new recipes to get the ideas and inspiration flowing again!

  13. Thank you for sharing all of those recipes! I am going to try the toothpaste.

    As for the bath--I'm pretty smelly. In the pits and the nether regions. (Like you needed to know). I use soap only there... I wonder if the tea tree oil bath would work better (?)

    As for the deodorant, I have used a very simple recipe that I love. The recipe is here:

    But I think I want to add probiotics to it. That is such a good idea. I wonder if bathing in probiotics would make me less smelly... or is that just overkill?

  14. @Syenna

    Lol! *whispers* - that's one of the main reasons I started using these recipes, because I couldn't afford all the chemical laden ones. Bonus is that they work so well too :)


    I found the less I use soap (especially down there) the less I smell, almost like I need to wean myself off it. Smells are caused by bacteria and tea tree oil is anti-bacterial so I'm sure it does help.

    Thanks for the deodorant recipe, so simple! Going to try it.

    Not sure about the probiotics in the bath, I don't think they can take heat. Perhaps apply them directly? If you make a paste with a bit of water? I know they work wonderfully for yeast infections down there so perhaps you are on to something. Let me know how it turns out! :)

  16. I love making our own products. I recently bought jojoba oil for my face, if only I rembered to put it on at night.


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