It’s remarkably easy to do-it-yourself when it comes to natural home-made beauty treatments: our great-grannies knew a thing or two about looking after their skin and they didn’t have a fortune to waste on expensively-marketed products.
One of the major benefits is that you know exactly what’s going onto your skin or hair – no nasty chemicals, just pure and natural goodness. You can also experiment and develop the perfect formula for your skin whether it’s dry or oily, young or wrinkled.
We’ve tried to bring you some starter recipes that use natural ingredients you’re likely to have about the house or that are easily available. From these basics, you can build your own range of homemade beauty treatments.
Shampoo for All Hair Types
- 1 fl oz olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender and use as normal.
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 6 fl oz lukewarm water
Whisk the egg yolk until it’s thick and creamy. Beat in the oil and gradually add the water, stirring well. Massage into the hair after shampooing. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with clean warm water.
For an extra-rich and nourishing conditioner you need 1 egg white and about 5 tablespoons natural yogurt. Whisk the egg white until fluffy and then gently fold in the yogurt. Massage into hair after shampooing. Leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing with warm clean water.
These are moisturising and soothing masks for facial skin. Used on a regular basis they can help improve the texture and tone of your skin.
Wash and dry your face before applying, and avoid your eyes.
Mash a very ripe small banana to a smooth paste. Apply to your face and leave on for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, splash with cold, and gently pat dry.
Honey and Yogurt Mask
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
Mix the yogurt and honey together until well-combined. Spread over your face. Relax for 20 minutes then wash off with warm water. Splash with cold and pat dry gently.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 leftover cooked carrot
- 8 fl oz single cream
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons honey
Scoop the flesh out of the avocado and place in a bowl with the cooked carrot. Mash well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until smooth. Apply to your face – and neck if you wish – and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water before splashing with cold and gently patting dry.
Rich Moisturising Mask
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients together to give a creamy paste. Apply to the face and neck. Leave for 15 minutes then wash off.
Fennel helps to cleanse and tone your skin and thyme is a good astringent. Use daily, dabbing it on with a piece of cotton wool before rinsing.
- the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- ½ cup boiling water
- juice ½ lemon
Crush the fennel seeds in a bowl and add the torn-up thyme leaves. Pour on the boiling water; add the lemon juice and leave to stand for about 15 – 20 minutes. Strain into a bottle with a close-fitting lid. Store in the fridge.
- 1 cucumber
- 2 teaspoons runny honey
Peel the cucumber and chop into pieces. Whizz it in a blender to create a puree. You then want to separate the cucumber juice from the pulp. The easiest way is to line a sieve with cheesecloth or a coarsely-woven t-towel and place the sieve over a jug. Pour the puree into the sieve and leave it for the juices to drip through.
When you’re satisfied no more juice is going to come out of the cucumber discard the pulp and mix the juice with the honey. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge for up to a week.
Shake before using. Tip some of the toner onto a cotton wool ball and wipe it over your face and neck. Leave it to dry naturally.
For the Bath
- 1 cup freshly gathered rose petals (preferably from an old-fashioned rose with a strong perfume)
- ½ cup coconut milk
Simply add the petals and coconut milk to the running water next time you’re having a bath. Then sink down into the warm delicately-scented water and drift away to a desert island paradise.
Rose Bath Salts
- Epsom salts (available from chemists)
- a handful of dried rose petals
- a few drops of rose essential oil
- a few spoonfuls of dried milk powder
Carefully mix together and store in a lidded jar. Add to your bath water as required.
- Try different essential oils and petals. Experiment until you find your perfect mix.