Homemade herbal BEAUTY RECIPES
Replace harsh chemicals and additives with natural ingredients straight from your herb garden and make your own beauty products for yourself or as gifts.
Herbal face mask This soothing mask cleans the skin and
Ingredients • 1 tablespoon honey • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled chamomile flowers • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
Mix all ingredients together. Apply to your face and neck, and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Chamomile and lavender talcum powder
Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herbs runs workshops on making natural herbal creams and cosmetics. Here’s her skin-calming chamomile and lavender talcum powder. It’s ideal for babies, children and delicate skins.
Ingredients • 1½ cups cornflour (maize) • 1½ cups arrowroot powder • 6 drops each of lavender and chamomile essential oils
Grind essential oils into a small quantity of mixed powder, using a mortar and pestle or a cup and the back of a spoon. Blend with the balance of the powders. Store in a glass container.
Men’s talcum powder
Don’t let your blokes miss out. Try Donna Lee’s talcum powder for men.
Ingredients • 1½ cups cornflour (maize) • 1½ cups arrowroot powder • 4 drops lime essential oil • 6 drops ylang ylang essential oil • 2 drops jasmine essential oil (optional)
Make as for the chamomile and lavender talcum powder, above.
Aloe vera face mask
Aloe vera contains soothing emollients that help soften and moisturise the skin. Its natural ph of about 4.3 makes it ideal for use on our skin, the ph of which sits somewhere between 4 and 6. You can simply apply the gel directly, or use it as an ingredient in this luxurious, moisturising face mask.
Ingredients • 1 aloe vera leaf • 1 egg yolk • 1 teaspoon warmed honey • 3 teaspoons powdered milk
Using a sharp knife, cut along the centre of the leaf, without piercing right through, and peel back the two cut edges. Scrape out the clear aloe vera gel – you’ll need about 1 teaspoon – and place in a small bowl.
Add the egg yolk and honey, and beat until combined. Then add the powdered milk to make a spreadable paste.
Smear the face mask gently on your skin. Leave for 15-30 minutes, then remove with a damp face cloth.
Aloe hair conditioner
To make your hair soft and shiny, massage half to a teaspoon of aloe vera gel into wet hair (use more if you have long, thick hair). Leave for 2 minutes, then rinse as usual. For a deeper conditioning, leave for 15-30 minutes. Aloe vera is also said to promote hair growth by stimulating scalp enzymes, so leave it on for the full 30 minutes if you’d like longer locks.
Dry skin lotion
NZ Gardener contributor Janet Luke makes her own skin lotion.
Ingredients • 1 cup grated organic beeswax 400ml organic coconut oil • 1 teaspoon frozen, crushed propolis (optional, but propolis has antibacterial and antifungal properties) • 10 drops of your favourite essential oil (Janet uses rose geranium)
In a double boiler gently heat the coconut oil, wax and crushed propolis. When all the ingredients have melted and combined, take off the heat and stir well. Allow to cool slightly and then add essential oil.
Pour into small silicone muffin trays and allow to cool overnight. In the morning, remove from moulds and enjoy.
Rose and ylang ylang bath salts
Make sweetly scented bath salts to perfume your whole body. The essential oil in rose petals helps to soften skin.
Ingredients • 2-3 cups Epsom salts • 1 cup baking soda • ¼ cup dried rose petals, finely ground • 10 drops ylang ylang essential oil • a few drops of red food colour
Mix the salts and petals in a large bowl. Place ½ cup of this mixture in a smaller bowl. Gradually stir in the essential oil, mix well, then stir in the food colouring. Add the colouring gradually to ensure a subtle, even colour. Add to the rest of the salt mixture, mix well and store in an attractive glass container.
Rose petal steam facial
Add freshly boiled water to a heatproof bowl and add a handful of scented rose petals. Cover and steep for 5 minutes, so the rose oils diffuse into the water. Take off the cover, lean over the bowl at least 30cm from the surface and drape a towel over your head. Steam for 5 minutes with breaks as needed. Rinse with cool water.
Chamomile bath milk
If your skin is dry and itchy, add milk to your bath! Powdered milk helps moisturise and soften skin. Use calendula petals in place of chamomile if you prefer.
Ingredients • 4 cups powdered milk • 1 cup boiled water • ½ cup dried chamomile flowers
Steep chamomile in freshly boiled water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and add it to the milk powder. Mix, then add to your bathwater.
Basic herbal shampoo
Let your hair go au naturel with this basic, sweet-smelling shampoo.
Ingredients • 1 cup distilled water • 30g dried herbs of your choice • 90ml liquid castile soap • ¼ teaspoon jojoba oil (if you have oily hair, replace with horsetail, rosemary or lemon oil) • 25 drops essential oil
Bring water to the boil, add herbs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain. Add castile soap to the herb water, a little bit at a time, stirring as you go. Add jojoba and essential oils. Pour into a bottle. Shake before using.
Basic hair conditioner
For a very simple hair conditioner, pour 30ml jojoba oil and about 20 drops essential oil of your choice into a bottle. Shake before using. Pour a little oil into your palm and rub onto hair and scalp. For long hair, you’ll need 1-2 teaspoons. For short hair, you’ll typically need no more than ½ teaspoon.
Leave for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Honey & rosewater cleanser
Include this healing and beautiful-smelling cleanser in your nightly beauty ritual.
Ingredients • ¼ cup honey • ¼ cup rosewater • 1 tablespoon bee pollen • 2 teaspoons castile soap
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Screw lid on tightly and shake well.