Tag Archives: natural beauty

Lavender, Rosehip & Coconut Face Oil

Homemade Beauty

Healing Lavender

Healing & fragrant lavender

A while back I wrote a post about my natural beauty regime.  Since then I’ve been keen to have a go at making up my own products – in particular a moisturiser for my face – so have been doing a bit more research on what ingredients to combine which will suit my skin. This article is a great resource from which to start.  Or, If you want to do some more in depth research there is a fantastic book by Neal’s Yard on Essential Oils.  For my recipe I settled on Coconut oil (base oil), Rosehip oil (bonus oil) and Lavender oil (my essential oil).

Here’s a little more about my ingredients and why I chose them,

  • Coconut oil: The base oil.  I always have plenty of extra virgin coconut oil hanging about in the kitchen for cooking, and since I already know it works on my skin beautifully without any extras I decided to stick with coconut oil for my base oil.  Almond oil, avocado or grapeseed oil are also commonly used in natural products. If using coconut oil on your skin, always use organic, cold pressed extra virgin oil – it is purer and has a lovely coconut aroma.  True, it is more expensive, but a little goes an awful long way and if you compare it gram to gram of a pricey moisturiser it is an absolute steal.  Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal – seems like a great start for something that goes on your face – helping to clear up acne, eczema and maintaining youthful supple skin.  I am a walking example of how it can help with eczema.  back in January I had a painful bout on my eyelids (lovely I know).  Daily use of coconut oil on the affected area sent it well and truly away (as well as making some amendments to my diet such as bone broth at that time).
  • Rosehip oil: The bonus oil – adds an extra therapeutic dimension to the moisturiser. Rosehip oil is extracted from wild rose – Rosa Mosqueta.  The hip is the fruit of the plant.  It contains fatty acids (omega 3,6,9), antioxidants, beta-carotene & vitamin C.  It’s known benefits are helping to keep skin supple, reducing signs of ageing and reducing scars particularly acne scars for example.  I choose rosehip oil because I have a number of scars on my face – some from the ridiculous acne I suffered in my early 20s and others from a road accident 7 years ago.  I wish I’d started using rosehip oil way back then instead of Bio oil (which doesn’t work by the way).  Since I’ve started using rosehip daily I have noticed a change in my skin for the better.
  • Lavender oil: The essential oil.  Lavender adds a gorgeous smell to the product, but also brings a multitude of therapeutic healing properties – such as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral.  It can be useful in healing scars, and the anti-inflammatory properties can help sooth eczema, and acne.  Sounds like a great fit for my other oils in this moisturiser and perfect for my skin!  Pure lavender oil is also a brilliant natural product to use directly on insect bits – I tried this when I got eaten alive in Italy earlier this year.  It stopped the itching and brought down some of the inflammation.  Other oils such as tea-tree oil etc. can be wonderful in a home made moisturiser too. 

Bonus and essential oils are available from health food stores, or shops like Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Ingredients for Lavender Face Oil

Ingredients for Lavender Face Oil

Here’s my recipe for a small pot.  You can of course up or downscale these quantities to fit whichever pot or glass jar you have to hand.  Oh and the real lavender in these photos is just for show, it’s not in the recipe…

Recipe (Makes up 1 v small tub which will last a good few weeks), 

  • 1 tablespoon of organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp rosehip oil
  • 2-3 drops of essential lavender oil

Method

  • If the coconut oil is solid at room temperature, melt then allow to cool slightly.
  • Pour the coconut oil into a small container with the rosehip and lavender oils, stir till all oils are well combined. That’s it!
  • Storing the oil at room temperature is fine.  It should solidify however in warmer climates it will remain a liquid.
  • When ready to use pour (or scoop out if the oil has solidified) a drop into your hand, warm on the palm of your hand with your fingers, and massage into your face after cleansing in the morning and at night.

If you want to have a go at a simple product yourself I can also recommend this Olive oil, brown sugar and tea tree oil scrub recipe by Adura.  A great way to use up any pesky sugar you have lying around (you certainly shouldn’t be eating it 😉 )

With thanks to Nutiva for the organic extra-virgin coconut oil.  A great quality product which I also love to cook with.  Available on line and from health food stores, or shops like planet organic & whole foods. 

Natural Beauty Products

Adventures in Cosmetics… Naturally 

It is not just in the kitchen that I’ve been adventuring with natural ingredients of late.  Over the last year or so I have also made many changes to my beauty regime – following the mantra that if you don’t want to put chemicals into your body – then why would you put them on your body.  Your skin is your largest organ and by smothering it in chemical filled lotions and potions, you can unbelievably effect your hormone balance, cell mutation and weight!  Admittedly it took me a lot longer to clean things up than it did to clean up my eating habits.  Give up my favourite hair mousse and skin cream?  Well, now that I finally have I can honestly say my skin and hair is looking a whole lot better for it.

Since this was a voyage of discovery, experimentation and learning on my part I thought I would jot down in a blog post some of my tried and tested products.  I wish when I started I’d had this all written down in a neat place, by someone who had the same skin and hair type as me.  I have combination skin that tans easily but also burns quickly and medium thick frizzy/curly brown hair with a hint of darker red tones in the right light.  The ginger came from my Mum and the curly hair is a trait from my Grandad – which all my siblings share!

paleo cosmetics

Ceri’s Natural Beauty Favourites

Most of these products can be found on Amazon, some in Boots, Whole Foods, Planet Organic or in independent health food stores. 

Deodrant:  If you change just one thing please make it to a chemical-free deodorant.  Putting chemicals right next to your sweat glands, and breasts is not a great move.  I use Naturally Fresh Deodrant Crystal or Crystal Body Deodrant (both pictured above).  I have also tried the Jason deo which wasn’t great – left me a little sweaty and smelly.

Make Up:  My new favourite brand is Bare Minerals.  I love their powder foundation, which also contains SPF15.  Honestly my skin has never looked better.  Bare Minerals often do free makeovers in store so well worth a visit if you’re not sure what to get!  There are lots of other brands to explore but honestly I’d be happy with an entire make-up bag of Bare Minerals.  I also like Mascara by UNE and lip balm by Burts Bees. Melvita is another one worth trying.

Shampoo and Conditioner:  Reasonably priced brands I have tried in the last few years are Jason ( the kelp range is my recurring favourite), Avalon Organics, Faith in Nature & Weleda.  There are still plenty out there to try.  When I’m feeling wealthy Aveda is a treat.  I have also tried Boots Nakd range but turns out it isn’t that Naked after all and left my hair feeling dirty.  Whatever you choose the things to check on the label are Paraben and SLS free.  

Hair styling products: I have curly hair that needs a bit of love and help to stay curly and defined.  I have spent most of my life trying to find the perfect product – it’s been an eternal never ending quest through mousse  hairspray & serum – none of which are very natural.  Recently I have been simply using a dollop of conditioner on my towel dried hair before twirling into curls with my fingers.  It is working incredibly well!! It is just moisture you need to avoid frizz, nothing special – said by my hairdresser even who has never been into fancy products.

Shower gel and body lotions:  There are literally hundred of brands:  I’m currently using Dr Bromner’s Castile soap and a home made body butter my my good Friend Adura.  I like Cowshed too.

Face:  I wash my face with a Sukin gentle wash – a fantastic Australian brand I stumbled upon by chance.  A few times a week I use their exfoliating wash – I know there are further natural ways like using nothing at all, but this is working well for me at the moment.

Mask:  I use Fullers Earth Clay Betonite mask once a week – often mixed with a little honey and apple cider vinegar.  I was introduced to this by my natural beauty guru Adura.  Adura blogs about healthy living – food, beauty and exercise over at www.adura-o.com and has lots of tutorial videos on You tube too.  Here is the Fullers Earth one;

Toner:  Diluted organic / Raw & unfiltered apple cider vinegar.  If you can get over the smell this works fantastically well!

Face moisturiser:  Back to Adura again… Adura makes me a homemade face oil (contact her if you are interested in purchasing any of her Demora products) which is working amazingly on my skin – Adura won’t tell me what’s in it as due to copyright, but I think it might include almond and rosehip oil which is fantastic for helping with scarred skin.  I have a few scars on my face because I was run over by a bike a few years ago and ended up with stitches as a result.  I also have some acne scaring from years of picking at my spots…  I also have used pure rosehip oil from Neals Yard Remedies.  They do a great range of paraben free products and pure essential oils.

Secondly when my skin is very dry or displaying any signs of eczema, I use extra-virgin coconut oil (yes the same stuff you use for cooking) on my skin.  Recently having never suffered from eczema before I had a painful bout on my eyelids.  Not very comfortable or pretty at all, and it made me quite grumpy.  Warming a little coconut oil in my hands and then smoothing across the troubled area before bed did much to my surprise really help with the symptoms.  Also great as a general moisturiser eczema or no eczema – just decant a little into a pretty pot for adding to your bathroom shelf and you will never know the difference between your home made product and a ridiculously over priced designer cream.

Toothpaste:  I use Aloe Dent which is fluoride free (contrary to popular opinion fluoride isn’t essential for clean teeth and its negative aspects outweigh any perceived benefits).  There are lots of homemade toothpaste recipes I may attempt soon – most involving bicarb of soda and coconut oil.

Perfume:  Sorry I am still using my Channel No. 5 and Mark Jacobs Daisy – I just can’t give it up – but a top tip is to spray it on your clothes so that its not on your direct skin.

I’ve also changed all my household products over to Ecover

There are lots of entrepreneurs out there moving into this natural beauty market, and you will usually find small brands, are of a higher quality and better value for money, as they use less crap in the products to make a massive profit.  Plus supporting small bespoke businesses is great for the economy.

Above all, the thing that has made the most difference to the quality of my skin and the shine of my hair is a good diet  – low in sugar (even natural types), less dairy (it can exacerbate dry skin and eczema) and less or no caffeine.  Plus adding mineral rich bone broth (post coming soon) .  Foods rich in Vitamin E and Omega 3 are also good for skin.   People say it starts with food.  It really does.

What are your favourite brands or home made natural beauty products?