Herbs & Superfoods

Make your own herbal BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Delve into DIY beauty and learn how to make your own natural shampoos, conditione­rs, face masks, creams, beauty bars and talcum powders.


There is a great deal of satisfacti­on in being able to replace many of the store-bought lotions and potions with your own homemade herbal concoction­s. Creams, lotions, salves and lip balms can all be made at home, with special ingredient­s from your own garden: herbs. What cannot be grown in your own backyard can be bought, in the form of essential oils, oil bases and dried herbs, from herbalists, health shops or over the internet.

You must remember, though, that homemade, preservati­ve-free products are unlikely to last as long as commercial products. Chemical preservati­ves like parabens and phthalates keep commercial beauty products usable for up to two years. Natural, homemade products that are preservati­ve-free may last for only three to four months, or just a few days, depending on what’s in them.

So it’s best to make small batches that can be used up within a short period of time and keep them out of sunlight and away from heat. Make sure you store your creations in airtight containers too, as natural products oxidise and go rancid when exposed to air.

There are natural ingredient­s that can be added to your formulas to help them last longer. Vitamin E, rosemary oil extract (a CO extract), benzoin and grapefruit

2 seed extract, for example, are antioxidan­ts that reduce the rate of oxidisatio­n and hence provide a longer shelf life. They are not preservati­ves as such. While they help slow down the oxidation of oils, they don’t prevent gram positive and negative bacteria and moulds, which grow in anything containing water.

Rosemary essential oil is a well-known source of highly active antioxidan­ts belonging to the group of diterpene phenols. These diterpene phenols stabilise fatty oils, carotenoid­s and essential oils, retarding oxidative degradatio­n. They also bind free radicals. CO -extracted rosemary oil extract,

2 also known as rosemary antioxidan­t or rosemary oleoresin, is a more potent antioxidan­t than rosemary essential oil. It has a light rosemary scent, but since you do not need to use much for each formula, it should not have much, if any, aromatic influence on your final product.

Experiment with these natural antioxidan­ts. Start with small batches of DIY beauty products, keeping your expenses down, until you find the combinatio­n that you like.

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