When I decided to commit to living with less waste – producing less waste – one of the areas that I knew I would have to take a serious look at was my beauty stash. I have a lotion and potion for everything. Not to mention, make up for every occasion.
There was a time that all these things made me happy. Each new beauty-related purchase sparked a little fire of satisfaction in me. But it’s funny how we grow and change, isn’t it? These days, I look at the excess and cannot wait until most of it is gone! I feel the burden of the clutter.
I’m in the process of working my way through these beauty products one by one and then hoping to either not replace them at all, or with something I can make myself. This, of course, isn’t possible for everything. I will still continue to make some purchases. But I’m taking the time to think about recyclable packaging and ethical sourcing this time round when required.
There are give solid replacements that I’ve made in the past year. I say solid because I can’t imagine myself ever not using them now! They are DIY versions of essential beauty products, for me anyway. I know exactly what’s in them, there are no preservatives and I have now branched out into gift-giving similar items to my friends and family.
- Body/Hand Lotion – Before I attempted to make a lotion/body butter myself, I would have 3 or 4 on the go at any one time. One would sit on my desk, another in my bag, another on my bedside table, another in my bathroom. You get the picture. But after reading the ingredients list on each of them, I stopped and thought: surely I can make a simpler version myself? I remember having heard about a version by Lauren Singer of the glorious Trash Is For Tossers. So one lazy Sunday, I made the purchases and got going! I couldn’t get hold of the shea butter from anywhere local so I subbed for more cocoa butter. The final product turned out amazingly well and I’ve since experimented with different essential oil combinations depending on my mood. I make one big batch and sub-sample into smaller pots to take to work, put in my bag etc. Sorted!
- Body Oil/Massage Oil – There are times that only a body oil will do. I say that because they can be slapped on in less time than a lotion. For day to day when I can’t be bothered to rub in a lotion, I use an oil. I’ve stocked up on a ridiculous supply of sweet almond oil and make my body oil by decanting some of this into a glass bottle and adding an essential oil of my choice. At the moment I seem to be going nuts for ylang-ylang. This oil also works wonders for massages. Sweet almond oil actually isn’t considered totally ideal as it doesn’t absorb straight away. Something like jojoba has a more similar makeup to our skin’s natural sebum and so absorbs faster. I can’t say that I am noticing anything negative about using the almond oil, but I’m definitely looking to experiment with jojoba, argan and avocado oil.
- Body Scrub – There are so many luxurious scrubs on the market. And they cost a ridiculous amont. With either salt or sugar as the main ingredient, I figured, why not at least give it a go? It won’t have costed too much if it doesn’t work out, plus can go straight into the compost bin! Kilner jar at the ready, I made a concoction consisting of granulated sugar and almond oil + peppermint, eucalyptus and pine essential oils. Voila! I’ve also made another variation using loose chai tea mixed in to sugar with some vanilla essential oil and the scent was ridiculous (in a good way).
- Toothpaste – Coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil are all you need to make your own toothpaste. I do get lazy and use my boyfriend’s standard toothpaste if I can’t be bothered to get a clean spoon from the kitchen to scoop some out of the jar with, but overall, I love the more natural version. If push came to shove or if I lived on my own, this is the one I would go for.
- Lip balm – Every couple of months I still treat myself to a new Crazy Rumors for on the go, but at my bedside is a DIY concoction that I simply have deemed perfection in a pot. I use this recipe and decant into a small round pot. As she suggest though, you could well put into your own plastic tube for on the go as well!
I am so excited about extending this list. On the horizon are deoderant, apple cider hair rinse (in place of conditioner) and I’m hoping soap too! The science nerd in me is loving the experiments. Do you have any recommendations? Is there anything DIY you’ve incorporated into your stash that you now can’t live without?