Customized, organic beauty products using your favourite scents? Sounds dreamy, right? Well, with just a few additional ingredients (and sometimes, a little patience), you can make all-natural skincare and beauty products from the flowers and herbs in your own garden.
Here are three recipes for making homemade beauty products, plus one very simple way to turn just about any herb or flower into a skin or haircare treatment.
You really can make your own perfume at home. While it may not have the same staying power as a commercial fragrance, it will definitely smell more natural. And without spending thousands of dollars, you’ll have a personal, customized fragrance that’s all your own.
Rose and lavender are popular in perfume but lilac, rosemary and even mint might be more your style. Choose your favourite herbs and flowers, pick a small sprig of each then sniff the combination together. If you like the resulting scent, combine them into a homemade fragrance. Or, to avoid creating a scent you don’t love, make separate fragrances for each ingredient then layer the perfumes for your perfect scent.
• One cup Flowers/herbs
• Large bowl
• A large pot
• A small bottle with lid
• Glycerin (optional)
• Collect your flowers or herbs in a measuring cup. You’ll need at least one cup of leaves or petals.
• Rinse your petals or herbs of dirt and bugs.
• Place a large piece of cheesecloth inside a large bowl so that the edges hang over.
• Place your flowers or herbs in the bowl on top of the cheese cloth.
• Pour hot water over your petals so that they are submerged.
• Let the flowers and water sit for at least 24 hours.
• Pull the edges of the cheesecloth together and secure the petals inside with a rubber band.
• Pour the water from the bowl into a large pot and add the cheesecloth-wrapped flowers and herbs.
• Simmer the water until you’re left with about a teaspoon. The less liquid left, the stronger the fragrance. Pull the cheesecloth out of the pot and inhale to get a sense of the strength of your scent.
• Pour the remaining liquid into a dark bottle and add a drop or two of glycerine to lengthen the life of your fragrance.
• Storing your perfume in the fridge will help keep it fresh.
Hydrosol or Floral Water
Rose water is known to soothe irritated skin, moisturize and repair, so it’s a great way to prep skin for moisturizer after cleansing. Simply spritz or splash with rose water. But you don’t have to stick with rose petals for your skincare hydrosol.
Lavender and chamomile can help with acne, rashes and burns, sage is a great astringent and basil detoxifies.
• The flower or herb of your choice
• A large pot with a rounded lid
• A small heat-safe bowl that floats OR two small heat-safe bowls
• Ice and baggies
• Collect about five cups of petals/herbs.
• Rinse them of dirt and bugs.
• If you have a small bowl that floats, place the petals in the pot and half fill the pot with water then float your bowl on top.
• If your bowl doesn’t float, place one bowl face down in the pot, place the second bowl face up on top of the first, then add the petals and the water so that the water level is below the rim of the top bowl.
• Place the lid of the pot upside down over the pot so that there’s a bit of a bowl on top.
• Put ice cubes into a baggie and place the baggie in the curve of the pot lid.
• Turn on the heat to simmer.
• As the water from the pot evaporates, the steam will collect on the inverted pot lid. The ice will make the steam condense and turn back into liquid, which will collect in the floating bowl. The resulting liquid in the bowl is your rose (or lavender or rosemary) hydrosol.
While mint is a popular main ingredient for lip balms, you could also use chamomile or lavender to soothe dry lips.
• A handful of dried or fresh herbs (either tie bunches of herbs together and hang or place on a paper towel in a cool, dry place for a few days)
• 1/2 cup of light oil (try sweet almond oil, light olive oil or jojoba oil. You want something without much of a scent)
• A heat-safe glass jar
• 1/2 ounce beeswax
• A large pot (optional, if you’re impatient)
• A small tub or jar for the finished product
• Place your herbs in a glass jar and drizzle with oil.
• Stir the mixture until the herbs are submerged in the oil.
• Set your jar aside in a sunny spot for at least a week, stirring now and then.
• OR place the jar in a large pot, add enough water to submerge the bottom of the jar and set on low heat for a few hours to speed up the infusing process.
• When you have your herbal oil, combine a few ounces with the beeswax in a heat-safe glass jar or measuring cup and place it in the pot with a few inches of water at the bottom.
• Heat until the oil and wax are melted and combined, then pour the mixture into a small tub or jar.
If you can make tea, you can make an herbal rinse that can be used on your hair, skin or, actually, consumed like tea. Apply it with a cotton pad to your face after cleansing or pour it over hair after shampooing.
Rosemary is great for adding some shine to dark hair and it strengthens weak hair. Chamomile, Sage and Thyme are good cleansers for oily skin. Lavender is soothing and Rose is moisturizing and helps with anti-aging.
• 1/2 cup of herbs
• 1/2 cup boiling water
• A coffee press or any heat-safe vessel and a strainer
• Place herbs into the coffee press, mug or jar.
• Add boiling water and let steep for a few hours until the water is cold.
• Strain the herbs and put the water into a sealable container.
• Store the solution in the fridge, if possible, and it will keep for longer.