Instead of the usual articles about Detroit’s resurgence, the City’s cultural scene, or urban farming and gardening, I want broach a different kind of “green” subject: natural skin- and hair-care products. Nowadays with people being so health- and green-conscious, natural and organic cosmetics and beauty products are increasing in demand and popularity.
In the malls there are stores that claim to have “natural” beauty products, but beware. The moniker “natural” can have a wide range of meanings, from giving you a “natural look,” to containing one or two natural substances, to being made completely of all-natural ingredients. It’s kind of like when a food product is labeled “light”—you’d better check the list of ingredients.
Another thing about store-bought organic beauty products is the price is usually high, much higher than traditionally made cosmetics. So, what do you do when you want to pamper your outside with products that are safe enough for your insides? My suggestion is to make them yourself!
I have been mixing up lotions and creams since I was a little kid and I still enjoy it. It is not difficult to make your own body products, it’s economical, and it’s fun! Plus, you can make them just the way you want them. These days, there are many resources for cosmetic-making supplies, including local health-food stores and online retailers. And of course, you can find oodles of recipes for beauty products online. From shampoos and lotions to conditioners and scrubs—you can make it all for cents on the dollar.
To ease yourself into the process, let me recommend starting with scrubs. Scrubs are some of the simplest body products to make. And who doesn’t love the silky smoothness of freshly exfoliated skin? To make a simple sugar scrub for your lips, use 1 part sugar to 1 part oil (I use olive oil). 1 teaspoon of each will make enough for a couple applications. Also, you can add one or two drops of flavoring like vanilla or mint oil, or whatever you like.
Just slather some on your lips—some people use a toothbrush, but I think a finger works just fine. Rub it around and wipe off with a damp cloth. Then, presto! Nice soft lips! If you want a deep moisturizing effect, just leave it on longer. I sometimes sleep with it on, then scrub it off in the morning. Body scrubs are just as simple; just increase the ingredients from 1 teaspoon to 1 cup. You can use white or brown sugar or finely ground salt in place of sugar and mix it with equal parts oil.
Different oils like almond oil or coconut oil, which is luxurious on the skin, can replace the olive oil, or you can mix oils. Also, essential oils can be added to your scrub for fragrance or for therapeutic purposes. For instance, adding some finely grated fresh ginger is good for increasing circulation, as is fresh-ground rosemary. A little research will yield a bonanza of healthy, economical at-home beauty options.
Once you try it once yourself, I think you’ll enjoy the process and the results enough to try it again and again. Do-it-yourself body products are a great way to enjoy a spa treatment without the spa prices. You may even become inspired to host your own girls (or guys)-night -in spa party.