How did we take care of our skin before the onset of commercial cosmetics and skincare products?
We looked to nature, and today we can still return to an holistic beauty program to achieve healthy skin and hair and to prevent early ageing.
Many herbal products can be produced at home inexpensively, both internally and externally.
Article by Su-lin Sze
Su-lin is a Medicinal Herbalist, Iridologist, Nutritionist & Holistic Movement Instructor
Go Natural with Herbs for Natural Beauty Care – Nourish your inner beauty! by Su-lin Sze
Take chamomile for example, not only do the flowers taste nourishing and cleansing in a tea, you can also use the tea infusions and the essential oil in a variety of beauty products from lotions, shampoos, soaps and spritzers to massage oils.
Chamomile is a strong anti-inflammatory and useful to calm sensitive skin. Great for adults, children and babies alike. It has been used for centuries as an anti-microbial to kill germs and has the added benefit of soothing the nervous system.
Herbalists use the liquid tincture for many nervous conditions including insomnia and anxiety.
There are plenty of herbs that you can buy in your nearby health food store and start using right now.
Here are just a few ideas:
Oats as a low sensitivity/low allergy soap alternative that can be used on adults, children and pets as well. Great for irritable skin.
Eyebright tea to refresh tired eyes can be applied over closed eyes.
Orange blossoms can be used in products as skin hydrators. Many of the most beautiful tasting herbs are actually sourced from flowers.
Marshmallow root as a softener both internally for the digestive system and externally for the skin.
Sage for cleaning teeth and breath freshener to which you can also add Thyme and Mint and for a stronger antiseptic, add some Tea tree. Yarrow herb also makes a fabulous mouthwash.
Calendula for inflammation and damaged skin – one of my ALL TIME favourites!
Use Essential Oils, floral waters & herbal extracts to make natural beauty products
Not only raw herbs can be used. Essential oils, floral waters as well as herbal extracts can be used to make natural beauty products.
Beauty products which are geared toward the ‘natural’ market are less likely to contain additives and harmful chemicals which may including dehydrating and allergy inducing ingredients and fragrances. It has been estimated to up to 10% of the USA and European world experience reactions to cosmetics.
Some common products that people can react to:
Nail varnish removers
Sensitivity to harsh commercial ingredients
The most common reason people choose natural beauty products is due to sensitivity to harsh commercial ingredients. If you experience any of the following symptoms you are most likely to be reacting to the products you are using.
Common reactions to harmful chemicals and ingredients in commercial beauty products are redness, itchiness and swelling (contact dermatitis). Also, red raw skin, acne and pimples and photosensitivity are common reactions. That said there are also common allergies to plant family groups such as the Asteraceae family to which Chamomile itself belongs. So always patch test on your skin first before using a product.
Recipes to whet your appetite! You can make these up yourself fairly easily
Uplifting Massage oil inspired by the goddess of Love – Aphrodite.
Great to soothe the soul and rejoice in femininity. Enjoy!
100 mls cold pressed Grapeseed oil
10 drops Sandalwood
8 drops Orange blossom
6 drops Rose
4 drops Cinnamon
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Cypress
Face wash for pimple-prone skin
Add a tablespoon of Cleavers herb to a cup of hot (not boiling) water and let it infuse for 5-10 minutes. Let cool down to room temperature, then splash over the face as a face wash after cleansing. Rinse off. Use daily to promote blemish free skin.
Chamomile/Calendula Herbal face mask to soothe inflamed or irritated skin.
Mix the following ingredients into a thick paste and apply for 5-10 minutes while the kaolin and herbs soothe your skin. Then rinse off and moisturize. Suitable for all skin types.
3 tablespoons Kaolin
3 tablespoons of an infusion of Chamomile & Calendula infusion
1 teaspoon Oatmeal Flour
1 tablespoon Honey
Face oil for dry and mature skin
Due to the intensity of UV and light in Australia our skin will age much more quickly than European skins. This face oil is great to apply in small amounts, while massaging the face to boost circulation and tonify the facial muscles. Use upwards strokes and apply gentle pressure.
20 mls cold pressed Almond oil
10 mls Rosehip oil
20 drops Carrot seed oil