It’s been a while since I decided that I ought to live a less-toxic, less-polluting, less-depending-from-big-brands life, with more natural products and more-simple ingredients. I’m trying to organize my life towards this path and it’s not as hard as it sounds. It surely gives you a satisfaction, knowing that you are “crafting” your way of living. It’s not the same to go and spend a lot of money on facial creams that are made of animal or mineral by-products and a long list of chemicals (not to mention products that are tested on animals) and on the other hand to open your jar of handmade sweet orange cream that you know exactly what’s inside and it doesn’t have to be tested on poor animals, cause there’s nothing harmful in there.

I am going one step at a time, I’ve stopped restocking on beauty and household items and when they finish I try to make my own. If not I try to buy handmade and organic products. The internet and my books are a big help. So far I’ve made soap, facial cream, body scrubs, lip gloss, deodorant cream (that works!) and last Sunday I’ve tried my luck to mixing a batch of general bath cleanser and what a surprise! Success!

I’m gonna share with you my Sunday beauty recipes. They are based on the book by Stephanie Tourles’ Organic Body Care recipes, but I’ve tweaked them a bit to fit my taste and needs (and supplies too!)

Serious beauty cooking inside:

Sweet Orange Facial Cream (light cream for oily skin)(tweaked)

70ml Calendula infused oil

1 tbsp coconut oil (better unrefined)

1 tbsp emulsifying wax (or beeswax)

1 tsp glycerin

1 cup distilled water

2 pinches of borax

3 small Vitamin E capsules

30 drops sweet orange essential oil

6 drops tea tree oil

Follow the instruction given for any cream. Melt in a double boiler the oils (calendula oil, wax, glycerin) and heat the water until the borax is dilluted. Don’t boil either of them! Let cool for a while. 5-10 minutes will do. take a hand mixer or whatever comes in handy for small amounts of materials and start pouring the water mixture slowly into the oil mixture, keep mixing and you’ll see the texture starting to change, If you’ve ever made mayonnaise you’ll recognize the texture. To speed things up I put my little ball in an ice bath. At this point pierce the capsules and squeeze the oil in your cream and then add the essential oils. keep on mixing until the mixture has coolen down completely. you must have a light fluffy cream by now. use a suitable jar to store it. remember to use clean and sterilized in boiling water jars and tools. I keep my cream in the fridge and I take care to wash my hands well before opening to avoid contamination with bacteria. If the cream looks or smells funny, use your common sense and throw it away. if kept in the fridge it should keep for at least 4 months.

Simply Sweet and Spicy Brown Sugar Body Polish (tweaked)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup white granulated sugar

3/4 to 1 cup sesame seed oil (I like the smell of sesame seed oil, if you don’t feel free to substitute with your favorite, almond oil is a good one)

2 tsp ground cinammon

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground nutmeg

40 drops coriander essential oil

5 drops peru balsam essential oil

5 drops myrhh essential oil

I add the last 2 EOs to soften the spicy aroma of this scrub. Mix everything together well breaking any lumps. Put in jar and use 3-4 tbsp each time. I guarantee you will smell so spicy you might want to bite for hours later. If you are sensitive to spices don’t use it, or substitute it with another. The book mentions that it shouldn’t be used on acneic or sensitive or burnt skin, cause the spices might irritate you further. For the rest of you, just enjoy.

Vanilla-Honey Lip Balm (tweaked)

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp castor oil (you can also use soybean or almond, I chose castor cause it gives more shine 😉

1 tbsp besswax

1 tsp natural vanilla extract (the kind you use for cooking)

Put all ingredients except vanilla on a small bowl on a double boiler until the wax melts. Give it a good mix with a handheld mixer (I use the one for coffee because it’s such a small quantity). Add the vanilla extract and some more until it is velvety soft and pale golden color. Now you have to act quickly because you don’t want the balm to dry on the sides of your bowl. Pour quickly into prepared strerilized containers and let cool for 2 hours before use. You don’t have to refrigerate it. And the bonus is you can actually lick your balm and don’t worry about harmful chemicals. It is edible and harmless.