Having a community of like-minded, compassionate and inviting individuals is very important to me. I want to be able to reach out to my (soul) peers and gain more insight on topics I’m not as familiar with.
DIY skin care and herbalism are two of those areas I reached out to my good friend Kathleen for more insight on, and she provided me with these 5 simple and easy DIY skin care solutions that you can make at home using essential oils and herbs.
If you wish to check out more from Kathleen, visit her blog and read about her herbalism background and her upcoming travel adventures!
Here are, in her own words, 5 simple DIY skin care recipes (using natural ingredients, essential oils and herbs):
1. Clay Masks
Use kaolin or pink clay for a gentle detox, or bentonite/ multani miti/ french green clay for a deep cleanse.
Less than a tablespoon mixed with a small amount of water to create desired paste consistency and apply to cleansed/ damp face.
Rinse in 5-20 mins or when clay dries. For the more powerful clays may instead choose to use as a spot treatment.
Add powdered herbs to your clay for extra benefits (a coffee grinder works well to powder your herbs, and sift herbs through fine mesh strainer to keep larger pieces out of final product).
Instead of water, you may combine your clay mask with apple cider vinegar, which is great for rebalancing ph and for acne prone skin but may be too strong for sensitive skin, or combine with mashed up avocado to nurture skin.
I love a gentle clay combined with lavender for an aromatherapy experience, with added antimicrobial and anti-depressive actions.
Example Recipe: 3 Tbsp clay (note that pink clay on it’s own can dye your face pink so use in small quantities), 1 Tbsp herb(s) of choice.
2. Honey Mask
Apply unpasteurized local honey (1-2 tsp) to cleansed and damp face to nurture skin, hydrate; honey is anti-microbial so it can be used for breakouts and it hydrates skin so it’s amazing in the winter.
Add powdered herbs of choice, colloidal oats or ground bee pollen (to exfoliate)
Unpasteurized local honey, colloidal oats or bee pollen, powdered rose, rose hips, plantain, lavender, calendula, chamomile (one, some, or all).
Example Recipe: 4 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp herb(s) of choice
3. Face & Lip Scrub
Mix brown sugar with olive oil and massage into cleansed/ damp face
You can add a small amount of fine pumice to enhance exfoliation, an essential oil of choice for fragrance and herbal benefits, or powdered herbs.
Example Recipe: In a small jar, fill 3/4 full with brown sugar, cover with oil of choice, add 1/2 tsp vitamin E if you have it, 5 drops lavender EO, 1 tsp exfoliator of choice (powdered herb, oats, pumice).
4. Facial Toner
Simple: flower waters! Rose or lavender are beautiful.
Extra Mile: You may choose to infuse witch hazel (4 weeks in a cool, dark place) with herbs of choice. Make sure the witch hazel has alcohol content, which will help to preserve your infusion.
I am currently using rose flower water as a hydrating toner. I have also made witch hazel toners with sage or lavender, which are great for acne prone skin.
Example recipe: fill a small mason jar (120mL) halfway with dried lavender buds, cover with witch hazel and mix, put on lid, infuse for 4 weeks, gently shaking occasionally, strain and bottle.
5. Facial Serum
Simple: Use an oil of choice and apply to skin while still wet with toner – this helps the oil to absorb and makes it easier to spread. You only need about 4 drops – I apply one to my forehead, one on each cheek, and one to nose and chin. Organic oils are best and skin type will determine what oil works best for you – test out different types – olive oil, safflower, grapeseed, jojoba, rosehip, coconut, etc.
Extra Mile: infuse your oil of choice with an herb(s) of choice.
Choose a stable oil – olive oil is great.
You can do a cold infusion: fill a small mason jar (120mL is plenty) about 1/3 with dried herb, fill with oil, mix throughly, cover, and keep in a dark and dry place out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks, gently shaking throughout, strain and bottle (brown bottle is best).
For a heat infusion do the same thing but instead of leaving for 4-6 weeks you will place your jar, lid on loose, in a double boiler for a few hours on LOW heat. Should keep 1-2 years. Can add more delicate oils once strained and cool, like jojoba, rosehip, argan, evening primrose. You may also simply add some essential oils to your oil of choice (e.g., 2 tbsp oil to 10 drops EO).
I am in the process of deciding what oil works best with my skin – so far I really like grapeseed. Once I decide on the oils I like I will try various mixtures and then start experimenting with infusions. If you want to treat yourself, WildWood (@sacredwildwood on Instagram) is absolutely amazing.
Some Herbal Properties:
Calendula for wounds, eczema, inflammation, anti-fungal, astringent.
Chamomile helps skin heal and is soothing.
Lavender is therapeutic and a mild anti-microbial.
Rose is soothing, moisturizing, and great for acne prone, dry, or sensitive skin.
Oats soothe, cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate.