7 Essentials For Beauty Recipes
Cosmetics and beauty products are a major source of chemical exposure for most people. An average beauty product contains dozens of harmful chemicals, many which have not even been tested for safety in humans. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives for every beauty product, and most work better than the chemically laden alternative.
Since I started exploring own personal care and beauty products, I keep a lot of the ingredients on hand. Buying in bulk and making my own beauty and personal care products save a lot of money in a year!
Natural ingredients cost more up front but save money in the long run because they are so versatile and can be used in multiple recipes and because not as much is needed for natural products. You can order these products once or twice a year at most and have smooth, healthy skin all year!
Ingredients for Natural Beauty Recipes
These seven products are my natural beauty staples… (There’s a list of recipes I use them in below!) If you’re just starting out with DIY beauty products, these are great to have on hand and you can make many, many recipes with just these ingredients!
1. Coconut Oil
Unrefined, organic coconut oil is great for cooking, but a cheaper expeller pressed oil could be used in skin recipes to save money. Coconut oil is used in most beauty recipes where moisture is needed and it's often used as a skin and hair moisturizer.
For those sensitive to coconut, grass-fed organic beef tallow can also be used and it is great for the skin, though you will need to add essential oils to cover the mild scent.
2. Shea Butter
Our most used natural beauty ingredient after coconut oil. Organic unrefined shea butter has a naturally nutty, earthy smell (very mild) and is incredibly nourishing for the skin! I’ve heard many cases of children seeing improvement from eczema from using shea butter or a mix of it and coconut oil.
It has natural antibacterial properties and is great for preventing stretch marks, for wound healing, and as an anti-aging treatment for skin. It naturally has an SPF of about 5 and can be used as a daily sunscreen. I use shea butter in my lotion, lotion bars, deodorant, face cream, baby lotion, diaper cream and many other recipes!
3. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is another “butter” and a great addition to natural beauty recipes. It is also an ingredient in organic homemade chocolate (recipe soon!). It imparts a delicate chocolate scent, and I love it mixed with mint or citrus in lotion bars, lotion or face cream. It can be used interchangeably with Shea Butter, though I find that my favorite recipes include Shea butter, Cocoa Butter, and Coconut Oil.
Beeswax is a great natural thickening agent, and high-quality versions have a gently honey scent. It can be used in lotions, lotion bars, baby care recipes, lip balm, foot cream, etc. Only a little is usually needed to thicken recipes, and a pound lasts us for at least six months.
5. Liquid Carrier Oil
Recipes like smoother lotions, baby oil, salves, and after-shave balms often need to be thinner than coconut oil and butters will allow. In these cases, you can use a liquid carrier oil. Most often, beauty recipes will call for olive oil, almond oil, or apricot kernel oil. Apricot Kernel has the most gentle scent and almond oil is also relatively unscented. Olive oil is typically the least expensive if you don’t mind the olive scent in your recipes or if you plan to cover it up with essential oils.
6. Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot can be used for thickening sauces when cooking and it also gets is used in natural recipes like deodorant, baby powder, diaper cream, dry shampoo, etc. It works much like cornstarch but isn’t GMO like many corn products. It can also be used in homemade makeup recipes which I'm excited to explore.
7. Essential Oils
Not technically needed, but essential oils give great natural scents to DIY beauty recipes and can also be very mood lifting. I get mine here in 8 ounces or larger quantities and they last literally years. My favorites are lemongrass, patchouli, ylang-ylang, rose, and oudh.
Other Helpful Ingredients
Some other helpful ingredients that can be added to the above recipes are:
- Dried herbs: especially chamomile and calendula for skin recipes
- Zinc oxide: for diaper cream and sunscreens
- Sugar: Not to eat but great for sugar scrubs!
- Baking Soda: For deodorant
- Bentonite Clay: For internal, skin, and hair detox
- Salt: For DIY skin detox and exfoliating
- Coconut Milk: for homemade shampoo
- Liquid Castile Soap: for cleaning/washing and for homemade baby wipes.
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Photo credit: helloglow.com.