Sustainable Beauty Pt1: DIY
Time to talk about something that means a lot to me: sustainability! Sustainability is a word that has been thrown around a lot in the last year or so, and I think that's a good thing. It's about becoming aware that when you throw something away, where does it actually go? We're all learning that it doesn't disappear into thin air, but in fact is still on our earth somewhere. As a makeup artist and makeup-using human, I feel quite a lot of responsibility for the plastic waste we're becoming surrounded in. Makeup and beauty products come in lots of packaging, often just to look pretty, and we use lots of disposables. The first place I looked to try and reduce my waste is, what am I disposing of that I really don't need to be? Not only does this help the earth, but it helps your wallet and you only have to buy one item! I am by no means a zero-waste wizard (yet!), but I'm constantly learning and giving it my best go. I would like to take you on this journey with me! For today's blog, I want to give a few simple DIY's that have started me on my eco adventure- and they've also saved me a few pennies.
As an eczema sufferer, I get through a LOT of moisturiser, and a lot of it is also wasted because it is too irritating on my skin. I was fed up of all of this waste of product and money, so I took to the internet and found a great recipe. This formula is very cost effective and easy to do at home, and I love how it feels on my skin! It's all oil based, which I think feels lovely and is intensely nourishing, but is something to keep in mind should you decide to use it.
1/4 Cup of Shea Butter (I bought mine from Amazon in a glass jar)
1/4 Cup of Coconut oil (my eco beauty hero!)
2 tbsp Base Oil from Boots, or Almond oil
Optional Vitamin E oil
Drops of essential oil. I use lavender, it's not my favourite smell but it's very soothing on sensitive skin.
Place your Shea butter and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl. Simmer some water in a pan and place the bowl on top to melt your oils (bain-marie style). Once melted, mix in the Base Oil (or almond oil) and vitamin E oil.
Place your mixture in the fridge or freezer to cool. I've tried both methods, and I found fridge to be easier as you can keep an eye on it better, but the freezer is much quicker. Your oils are ready to take out once they've started to solidify and go white around the edges, but are still a little runny in the middle.
Now it's time to whip! Take out your electric whisk and whip, whip, whip. If your mix doesn't go white or fluff up, it needs longer in the fridge/freezer. If it's too cold to whip, you can give it a go in the microwave. If needs be, you can go between the fridge and the microwave until you have a good consistency for whipping! Add a few drops of your essential oil, and shimmer if you chose. I find liquid highlighters can give the butter a lovely finish once the oils are on your skin. Continue whipping with your whisk until your mixture is light and fluffy, and then you're done! Decant into a nice jar (or a jam jar that you just washed out) and enjoy. From the ingredients I bought I've already made 2 batches, and have at least enough left to do a 3rd, so you will certainly be saving money whilst you also save the Earth.
This recipe is far simpler, but I really love it. Apply on your face with gentle, circular motions, then remove with a warm, damp cloth. If you'd like to keep the extra bit of moisture on your skin, just wash with warm water and leave the oils in place.
Coconut oil (see, it's great!)
Mix the ingredients together. Yep, that's it! I haven't given measurements as you can alter this recipe (can you call it a recipe?) as to what suits you. You can also add honey to the mix, as it has great anti-bacterial properties.
Online you can find heaps of recipes for natural face masks, depending on the type of treatment you're after. This is just one that works for me!
Take your oats and grind them up to a dust in a food processor or blender (my old Davina McCall juicer does the trick!) These ground oats can also be used in the bath for a calming oat bath, if you enjoy a soak like me.
Mix the oats with some warm (but not hot/boiling) water, and leave them to sit for a minute or so. Mix in your honey, again for it's wonderful antibacterial properties. Then all that's left is to sit back, and relax! Keep the mix refrigerated if you made too much for one use, and it can be used again.
To remove your face mask or scrubs, you could reach for cotton pads. However, whilst they aren't plastic themselves, they do come in plastic packaging and are another thing going into landfill. Reusable bamboo or cotton rounds are easily available online and, whilst they cost you more initially, in the long run they will end up saving you a fortune. They are also softer on your skin!
A while ago I purchased a cloth that claimed to remove makeup with only water, and I was thinking 'Yeah right, I need to see it to believe it!' This was during my time on Roaccutane, so standard cleansers were too harsh on my face. Now, I love my cloth! It truly does remove makeup with only water, but for extra cleansing power I also use my old pal coconut oil. I bought mine from Makeup Eraser, but in truth they are just soft, micro-fibre cloths. To experiment with this idea, I bought a few soft duster cloths from the supermarket and cut them into squares. I stitched the ends together to stop the material from fraying and, voila, my own reusable pads. I use them myself for things such as removing nail varnish (I keep 1 cloth specifically for this), but I also use them in my professional kit in place of cotton pads. Clients have said they felt lovely and would happily use them again. They go in the wash between jobs, and then are fresh to reuse over and over!
I'd like to add that binning what you already own and replacing it with an eco-friendly alternative is even more wasteful, so maybe consider what you might use once your current products run out. It's also about reusing what you already own, so whilst the tupperware you keep your face mask in might not look good on your Instagram feed, it does look good for the planet.
I hope to have inspired you just a little bit, and let me know in the comments how you get on if you try any of these recipes!