Experimenting with Clean Beauty: Moisturiser
For many years, as I’ve been slathering creams and potions on my face and body, I’ve had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind, questioning if this was the right thing to do.
What are all the mystery ingredients in them?
What have I been putting on, and therefore, in my body?
There is much debate about how much of the chemicals and ingredients in beauty products get absorbed into your skin. And what happens when they do get absorbed and react with other chemicals is also unknown, but enough cause for concern. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been releasing findings of a major study into Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, which shows hundreds of synthetic chemicals in people’s bloodstream, some of which likely come from beauty products.
I finally figured it was time to see if there’s a better way
I happened to see a book on the shelves at Waterstones called Clean Beauty (written by Elsie Rutherford and Dominika Minarovic) and I just grabbed it and though I’d give it a go. The book sums up the approach very nicely: “Gone are the days of paying a premium for fancy-pants moisturisers and toners, whose ingredients read like a chemistry lesson. The Clean Beauty girls challenge you to take control over what you put on your skin and hair by making it yourself.”
But how hard and time consuming is it to create potions from scratch in your kitchen and can it be done in between juggling my work and kids? How expensive is it to find all the ingredients needed? And does it work? Will I see results for all my efforts?
I’ve embarked on a regular experiment to test some of the Clean Beauty recipes to see if they work and if I can realistically maintain a clean beauty regime.
The experiment: Home-made moisturiser
The first recipe I decided to try was a moisturiser, which I mainly wanted for my face but it can be used on the body too. (You can also read about another experiment with Belly balm for stretch marks and wrinkles here.)
I have combination to dry skin, depending on the time of year and how much I sit indoors with the central heating on. It also depends on how clean and healthy my diet is or how many glasses of wine I’m consuming, the effects of which I really notice as it causes drier skin.
I managed to find some quiet time while Daddy took the kids to play lego. I was surprised at just how quick and simple this recipe was (you can find it in this book).
I boiled up some hot water in a pan, put a bowl on top to act as a bain marie and got to mixing the coconut oil, avocado oil (as my ‘carrier’ oil as i happened to have it in my pantry – but you can use different options here) and two drops of vitamin E oil (which I had to order as I didn’t have any to hand!).
It took less than 10 minutes to make, and it made a full pot of cream’s worth which I think will last possibly a good month or more. I then put it in the fridge to set. Half an hour later I was able to use it.
Applying the moisturiser
I was quite excited to try it, knowing how pure the ingredients were and that I had actually made it myself. But I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to leave it on or wash it off. Would it clog my pores and cause an outbreak as it felt really quite greasy? Or maybe it just wouldn’t work, leaving my skin still dry.
The first time I put it on, it felt a little bit like I was slathering coconut-smelling cooking grease all over my face, which in all honesty felt a little unpleasant! But not enough to put me off continuing with the experiment. I then rinsed it off with water fairly quickly because I didn’t want it to clog my pores. I couldn’t really tell any difference after that, and the following morning my skin still felt dry. I was a little disappointed but knew I should expect miracles from one application.
I didn’t put it on for another couple of days (mainly because I couldn’t find the right time to put it on knowing how greasy it is and how I’d smell like a coconut afterwards). But over the course of the week I managed to use it a few more times. I had also been applying it to my hands, which are also quite dry.
Over the week I have felt an improvement on my face and it no longer feels dry although it could still feel more supple. I think these results will improve if I keep going with it (and I think I need to leave it on my face to soak in longer for better results). And it hasn’t clogged my pores at all.
The most impressive result has been on the back of my hands. I’ve been able to leave it on the back of my hands without rinsing and even after just a few applications over the past week, I’m finding myself rubbing them all the time just to feel how soft and lovely they feel. It has been incredibly effective here.
There is also a feeling of real satisfaction that I’m putting only pure natural ingredients that I’ve mixed, onto my skin and not needing expensive pots of shop-bought cream to get the same effect.
I’ve been keeping the pot in my bathroom, although I’ve noticed it’s melted into liquid in the spots I’ve dunked my finger to get the cream. I plan to pop it back in the fridge briefly to help it solidify again.
There is also an option to add another essential oil to get a different fragrance – when I’m ready to make more I will definitely be doing this to see if it masks the coconut aroma.
I found the greasiness of it puts me off using it regularly so I want to experiment with other types of home-made moisturisers. But I still use it on occasion when I have time to let it soak in.
I’ll be experimenting with further Clean Beauty treatments to see how effective they are in future blogs.
Coconut oil: £3.99 per bottle / £1.07 per portion
Avocado oil:£4.50 per bottle / £0.54 per portion
Vitamin E oil: £6.99 per bottle / £0.01 per portion
Estimated cost for the Clean Beauty moisturiser
From scratch cost £15.48
Per portion cost £1.62
(Out of 5, with top score being 5)
Speed to make: 5
Cost effectiveness: 5
Ease of use: 2
If you really don’t have the time to make it yourself, you can check out the Clean Beauty Co’s website where you can buy ready-made ones with 100% natural ingredients.
Or if you want to learn more about how to make them yourself you can buy the Clean Beauty book here, or check out workshops they offer on their website.
Have you experimented with making your own beauty products? Or never thought about it before? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: please read the book for the health warnings – never use essential oils without diluting. This is not intended to be advice. Any experimenting is done at your own risk.