There are countless beauty products on the market and it seems like there's a balm, lotion or spray for all kinds of skin problems. But health experts warn that many of these products have adverse effects. To avoid cosmetics made with harmful chemicals, try some recipes for DIY natural hair and skin care products.
Avoid store-bought cosmetics that use these harmful ingredients
Conditioning polymers retain moisture on your skin or hair. Glycerin, a natural component of vegetable oils and animal fats, is produced synthetically for cosmetics.
Fragrance sounds harmless, but it can be the most dangerous part of cosmetics. Fragrance is often made with chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction.
Preservatives are additives used to slow bacterial growth and prolong shelf life. The cosmetics industry is making the switch to "self-preserving cosmetics," but they may contain ingredients that can cause skin irritation or cause allergic reactions.
Ina De Clerq, who runs the popular health, beauty and wellness website TheMakeupDummy.com, presents three recipes for makeup enthusiasts who are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to products that can cause negative side effects.
This all-in-one stick is a natural solid lotion body balm that can be used to highlight your lips, cheekbones, collarbones or legs.
1/2 teaspoon cosmetic mica (use the color of your choice)
1 twist-up container (0.6 oz)
Melt the beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Let the ingredients melt together until they're liquid.
Remove the double boiler from the heat, then add coconut oil. Stir the mixture until the ingredients are combined.
Add the cosmetic mica. Stir until the mixture has an even color.
Wind the mechanism of the twist-up container down to the bottom. Use a small funnel to carefully pour the mixture into the container.
Set the balm aside for two to three hours to let it set before using.
To use the all-in-one stick, apply an even layer of the balm on clean, dry skin. Store the balm in a cool, dry place. It should last for at least six months.
Matcha powder face mask
This powder face mask combines antioxidant-rich matcha and oatmeal grains that will help exfoliate your skin. The recipe below should make enough for at least 10 applications.
Ingredients for 0.6 oz face mask powder:
3 Tablespoons finely ground (colloidal) oatmeal
1 Tablespoon matcha tea powder
1 Airtight container (0.6 oz)
Combine the matcha powder and oatmeal in the airtight container.
Seal the container, then shake until the powder has an even green color. Let the powder settle at the bottom before opening the container.
To use the matcha powder face mask, place one heaping teaspoon of the mixture into a small mixing bowl or small plate. Add a teaspoon of milk or water.
To moisturize your skin, add a drop of carrier oil, like sweet almond oil then stir to combine the ingredients. Apply an even layer on clean, dry skin, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse the face mask with lukewarm water, then use a mild toner or flower water to remove the green mask.
Put the lid on and let the water boil for five minutes. Remove the lid and remove the saucepan off the heat.
Add the aloe vera gel and sea salt to the water, then whisk until the ingredients have dissolved. Set the mixture aside and let it cool to room temperature.
Pour the coconut oil into a small mixing bowl and add the lavender essential oil. Stir the mixture until combined.
Add the cooled water mixture to the mixing bowl, then whisk again to combine the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the spray bottle using a small funnel, then attach the nozzle.
Since this recipe doesn't include an emulsifier, the water and oils in the spray won't mix on their own. Always shake the bottle before using the spray.
Spray the mixture several times on dry or damp hair, then use your hands to scrunch your hair upward and arrange the strands to make waves. Leave the spray on for several minutes until it dries. The vitamin sea spray is a water-based product and it needs to be refrigerated and used within three to five days.