We are becoming increasingly aware of the hazards of eating a chemicalladen diet, and many have taken steps to avoid toxins in their food. But avoiding human-made additives and petrochemical derivatives can be more difficult when it comes to body products. Commercial body products can contain dozens of chemicals, in the form of stabilisers, preservatives and artificial dyes, many of which are harmful to the environment and your body.
Here are some pared-back recipes which you can make at home with a few easyto- find ingredients. These recipes are simple, natural and they work! Standard tools required for the recipes include: cooking thermometer, cooking pot, electric mixer, grater, kitchen scales, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, spatula. Additional requirements are noted in the recipes.
LATHERING SHAVING SOAP
This is great for everything from faces to legs. The shea butter is nourishing to the skin, and will allow you to get a close shave while conditioning the skin. The addition of grated natural soap ensures you’re left feeing clean. The honey adds additional lather and can be substituted by sugar syrup for a vegan option. The essential oil is optional, but I prefer my soap to have a scent. I choose lemon myrtle essential oil because it is universally liked in my house. Vitamin E is an important ingredient in this recipe as it acts as a natural preservative which will give your shaving soap a shelf life of three to six months.
- 200 g good quality handmade soap
- 200 mL filtered water
- 150 g organic shea nut butter
- 100 g raw honey
- 10 mL essential oil of choice (optional)
- 5 mL vitamin E
You will also need two, clean, largemouthed flip-top or screw-cap glass jars.
- Grate the soap and dissolve it in the water in a medium-sized pot on the stove, over medium heat. Gently heat and stir until the soap melts into the water.
- Add the shea butter to the pot and stir into the soap-water mixture. Continue stirring until they are evenly combined.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to below 40 ÅãC before you stir in the honey, essential oil and vitamin E.
- Before the mixture thickens, pour it into the glass jars, and let sit overnight to solidify into a semisolid consistency.
- To use, splash water on skin and add a small amount of shaving soap. Rub in to form a thick lather and shave as usual.
This works by using the antibacterial properties of the beeswax and essential oils, as well as the action of the bicarb soda to fight the microbes that cause bad body odour. This is not an antiperspirant, as it does not contain dangerous aluminium. It is a great natural alternative to the heavy metal and chemical-laden commercial deodorants on the market today. I like using patchouli, lavender, clove bud or rosemary essential oils for their antimicrobial properties and pleasant scents.
- 200 g coconut oil
- 50 g natural beeswax
- 50 g hempseed oil
- 30 g bicarb soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 5 mL essential oil of choice
You will also need soap moulds or a refillable deodorant stick container.
- Put the coconut oil, beeswax and hempseed oil in a medium-sized pot on the stove, over medium heat. Stir and heat until the beeswax melts into the oils and they are evenly combined, at around 70–80 C.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and add the bicarb soda and mix in well, ensuring you remove any lumps. Allow to cool to 40 C.
- Once cool, stir in the essential oil.
- Immediately after you mix in the essential oil pour the mixture into soap moulds and place in a fridge or freezer until they solidify. Unmould once they have hardened, and store wrapped in waxed paper. Alternatively, refill an old deodorant stick container.
WHIPPED BODY BUTTER
This can be made using as little as four natural ingredients and no nasty chemicals! The vitamin E gives this nourishing product a nine to twelve month shelf life, and the glycerine ensures the oils are absorbed into your skin faster, avoiding that oily feeling. Adding mineral micas for colour and essential oils as scent isn’t necessary but is recommended; try ‘starlight green’ mica with peppermint essential oil, or ‘pansy’ mica with lavender essential oil, or a bit of ‘bronze’ mica for a bronzing effect. Hint: body butter makes a great gift.
- 200 g shea nut butter
- 50 g vegetable glycerine
- 50 g sweet almond oil
- 5 mL vitamin E
- 5 mL essential oil of choice (optional)
- 5 g mica colour of choice (optional)
You will also need metal containers.
- Put the shea butter, glycerine and almond oil in a medium-sized pot on the stove. Stir and heat gently until the butter has melted and is evenly combined. Remove the pot from the heat and place it in the freezer for five minutes.
- Remove the pot from the freezer and whip the mixture with an electric mixer for five minutes. Return the mixture to the freezer for another five minutes.
- Remove the pot from the freezer and add the vitamin E, and essential oil and/ or mineral mica colour. Whip for a further five minutes, or until the colour and scent is mixed in well. Place the mixture in metal containers and use for the next nine to twelve months. For best results, store below 30 C.
LUSCIOUS LIP GLOSS
Fewer things makes a person feel more glamourous than lip gloss. This recipe is easy, natural and fun, and can be made in dozens of lip-safe colours using mineral micas. I don’t add essential oil to mine, but a lot of my friends do. You can also add natural flavours such as honey or stevia if you don’t like the glycerine taste. As long as you use cosmetic or food grade glycerine it will be lip-safe. I prefer mineral mica colours over liquid colours because most liquid colours are full of chemicals and all have preservatives I have to avoid. Mica colours are natural (or re-creations of natural products) which do not contain chemicals and preservatives. Always use lip-safe colours on lips, and avoid heavy metals!
- 3 teaspoons vegetable glycerine
- . teaspoon lip-safe mica colour
- 3 drops food grade essential oil (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon honey or stevia (optional)
You will also need a 15 mL glass pot or lip gloss tube.
- Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir well with a spatula, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Transfer the mixture to a glass pot or lip gloss tube. This will last up to twelve months.
- The mineral mica colour powder may settle out, so shake or stir immediately before use. I add a small stainless steel bead to mine to make it easy to mix with a quick shake!