Ginger Orange Guide to DIY Natural Chemical-Free Skincare
What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it.
From the Able & Co veg boxes dotted on doorsteps to the organic Suma coffee brewing in local cafés, one thing is clear: Londoners love to eat and drink organic. So, we care about what we put in our bodies, but what about what we put on them?
Our skin is the body’s biggest organ and whatever is slathered, spritzed or rubbed onto it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Now, there are plenty of products out there that boast that they are ‘paraben’ or ‘SLS free’, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other, potentially harmful, chemicals lurking in there. If the label lists more than 3 or 4 ingredients, or contains things you’ve never heard of, it might be better to search elsewhere for that perfectly soothing face wash or plumping moisturiser.
We’ve found that the only way we can be sure of what we are putting on our bodies is to make the products ourselves. It has meant going back to the drawing board with our skin-care routine. Or, more accurately, into the kitchen: here’s what we’ve learned along the way…
*As with all new products, do a patch test on a small area of skin (such as your inner wrist) and leave for 24 hrs to check for any adverse reactions, before continuing to use product.
Organic lemon & olive oil face wash:
For oily skin, mix 1 part olive oil x 1 part lemon juice x1 part filtered water.
For dry skin, reduce the amount of lemon juice and replace with water.
Lemons are naturally astringent and so help cleanse your skin and shrink your pores as well as being full of free-radical fighting Vitamin C which helps with collagen synthesis and skin elasticity. Olive oil is naturally high in antioxidants and packed with polyphenols (which have anti-inflammatory properties). The balance of these two natural ingredients gives you a face wash that is fabulously moisturising, balancing and cleansing.
Sea salt exfoliator:
We keep a little pot of ground sea salt by the sink and whenever we need an extra bit of oomph to slough off that London grime, we tip half a tea spoon into the palm of our hand and mix it with our face wash.
The salt helps clear blocked pores and dead skin cells, improves circulation and makes it easier for your skin to absorb and benefit from those awesome, natural products you’re going to put on it.
Organic apple cider vinegar toner:
1 part apple cider vinegar x 3 parts filtered water – pop into a bottle and shake!
Dab onto a cotton ball and sweep over your face, avoiding the eye area. Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic – so is the perfect natural toner as well as being amazingly cheap!
Organic avocado & oat face mask:
Half a mashed avocado x 1tbs oats x1tbs filtered water
Ok, so we are self-confessed avocado addicts and tend to use them to cure all ills (we swear that eating one mashed on toast can solve the problem of one too many G&Ts the night before!) They also make a wonderfully soothing and moisturising face mask. So, if your skin is a little parched, spent too much time in polluted air or just needs a pick-me-up, just smooth on this mask and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing off and patting your happy skin dry!
Organic rosehip oil moisturiser:
Pat this amazing moisturiser onto your skin after toning – it’s fatty acids will help smooth wrinkles and quench dry skin and it’s naturally occurring Vitamins C and A have anti-aging properties.
Organic coconut oil body lotion:
Scoop a little coconut oil, warm it between your hands and use as a gorgeously scented natural body lotion. Coconut oil increases hydration and reduces water loss. It also cares as it hydrates as it is naturally anti-bacterial!
Our bathroom cabinet now looks a bit like a green grocer but we are so happy we are finally being good to our whole body – and making sure we are mindful of what we put on it as well as what we put in it. And of course, all these amazing natural products are chemical free and not tested on animals… unless you count our terrier chasing us around the house trying to lick the coconut oil off our legs!
Store all of the above products (excluding the face mask, which should always be made fresh) in glass containers to ensure no leaching of petrochemicals from plastic. They should keep for up to 6 months!
Written by Martha