We have mentioned that the Metal & High Heels team is eco-friendly and loves natural alternatives to products. And although that is a long story for another day, let me leave you with this: just as cosmetics must list their ingredients, we really should understand what exactly they are, what exactly we are putting on our skin. On top of that, even natural cosmetics are still mostly sold in plastic bottles. So in order to reduce plastic garbage, I have started making my own cosmetics. Here are a few recipes!
Homemade Body Butter
This amazing moisturiser is super easy to make and perfect for all skin types, but especially for dry or sensitive skin. It’s made of three ingredients:
- Shea Butter (or mango or cacao butter – or a mix of two)
- Coconut Oil
- Essential Oil of your choice for perfume
- Optional: Rose and apricot oil for extra skin care
- Optional: a teaspoon cornstarch to give the final product a silkier consistency and make it less greasy
The quantities, obviously depend on the amount you want to make, but as a general guideline: use around 75% butter (or butter mix) and fill up the rest with the coconut and/or rose-apricot oil. As an example, with approximately 150 g shea butter, 50 g coconut oil and 20 drops of orange oil I made the body butter in the picture.
Melt the shea butter in a clean pot in a water bath on a low burner, add the coconut oil, which will melt very quickly. Take the pot off the stove and pour the mixture into the intended jar and let cool. I chose a 200 ml empty glass jar (of coconut oil), which I cleaned beforehand; I disinfected it with boiling water and when it was dry inside, I put the cold shea butter in it and the glass into the pot with water that went onto the stove. If you do this, be careful with the hot glass and don’t allow any water into it!
Once the mixture is cool but still liquid, add the essential oil (count the drops!) and give it a good stir, so that the body butter turns out soft and fluffy. Then you can put it in the refrigerator to set for about an hour. With 20 drops of orange oil the orange scent wasn’t very strong, since shea butter has a strong smell itself, but I liked it.
Homemade Lip Balm
If you got the butter and the coconut oil, you can also make some lip balm:
- 1 teaspoon shea or mango butter
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Half a teaspoon beeswax (or the vegan jojoba wax)
- Optional: 2-5 drops of essential oil for fragrance (grapefruit or mint work well)
Much like for the recipe before, melt the butter in a water bath then add the oil and wax until everything is one uniform liquid. The essential oil must be added when the mixture has cooled down. Pour the liquid balm into small containers and let cool completely.
Even though here in Germany cosmetics are submitted to a very strict quality control, there has been an important discussion about the aluminium in antiperspirant deodorants in the last few years. There’s no definitive conclusion yet, but the sweat-inhibiting aluminum is associated with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. German marketers have even started to advertise aluminum-free deodorants big time.
Be that as it may, I prefer to know exactly what I put on my skin, so I prepare a super easy cream deodorant with these 4 ingredients:
- 2-3 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Optional: essential oil (as fragrance)
Coconut Oil has a very low melting temperature, so it will be liquid at room temperature in the summer. If it’s not, melt it in a water bath and have it ready.
Mix baking soda and starch together well and then add the coconut oil slowly while stirring, keeping an eye on the consistency and adding more if necessary. Add a few drops of essential oil when the mixture is cool if you want a nice smell for your deodorant.
The shelf life of homemade cosmetics
These beauty products can be used up to six months, as long as the containers you are storing them in and the utensils they were made with were cleaned and disinfected beforehand (with boiling water, for example). Since we aren’t using any preservatives, the preparation must be free of bacteria that could accelerate the decaying process. Think of them as food almost: you prepare it with clean utensils and don’t consume it after it’s been open in the fridge for too long, right?
You might want to consider this before deciding on the amount of product you’ll make, so you only make as much as you will use in 6 months. Or you can make bigger batches for gifts. Maybe use little stickers with the date marked?
Do-it-yourself cosmetics – it comes down to experimenting
The parenthesis in the title around the word “organic” are there, because all the ingredients that I use are organic. As long as you are doing your own cosmetics, you get to choose the quality of the ingredients and I chose them to be organic. As you might have noticed I am a big fan of coconut oil. It is all the rave right now, but even more so in skin and hair care and we have to take advantage of its many benefits! You can either apply it pure and directly or as a main ingredient as in the recipes above.
But in general, it comes down to experimenting and discovering what suits you best. The first time I tried to do the body butter I changed the proportions and it was more coconut oil than butter, with a funny lumpy consistency, but equal moisturising effect.
Have fun in the kitchen with your DIY-beauty products! Do you make your own cosmetics? Share with us your recipes in the comments!