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Skincare in tinted glass bottles

Make Good: DIY Beauty

Maximise your kitchen stash with simple and effective homemade skin care, packed with active ingredients
By: Sarah Dancer

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By: Sarah Dancer
DIY Beauty
Make Good

DIY Beauty

Maximise your kitchen stash with simple and effective homemade skin care, packed with active ingredients

Shop Beauty

With a bit of creativity and know-how, great skin isn’t far away. The source of inspiration for many cult beauty products, raw ingredients are an unstoppable force when combined correctly. Take matters into your own hands with these all-natural, high-performing skin care recipes – readily accessible from your kitchen cupboard.

1/ Brightening Anti-Blemish Face Mask

1 tbsp manuka honey
Juice from ½ a lemon
½ a tsp turmeric
Ground rolled oats, optional

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl
2. Apply an even layer to the face and neck
3. Leave on for up to 10 minutes (a slight tingling sensation is normal)
4. Remove using a face cloth dampened with lukewarm water

This turmeric-based mask contains a double (or triple) dose of natural anti-inflammatories, working wonders for an acne-affected – or any – complexion. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial, helping fight infection and heal blemishes pronto. Honey hydrates – make it manuka to address inflammation – and the gentle acid in vitamin C-rich lemon dissolves dirt and bacteria.

Tip: Add rolled oats (ground to flour in a bender) for super-powered radiance and a thicker, more manageable texture.

2/ Balancing Toner

1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts distilled or filtered water
2-3 drops of skin-friendly essential oil (based on a 150ml batch)

1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass jar and shake well to combine
2. Twice a day, after cleansing, dampen a cotton wool pad with toner and apply to areas of concern
3. Follow with moisturiser

If you’re no stranger to making your own beauty products, you’ll know that wonder tonic apple cider vinegar is a saviour for skin. High in tannins and rich in AHAs, its astringent properties are particularly beneficial for oilier complexions, and for fading scarring. Always dilute with filtered water, and customise with a fragrant essential oil suited to your complexion – try rosemary for oily skin, tea tree for acne, lavender or chamomile for sensitivity, or rose for anti-ageing. Mix in batches and store at room temperature – this concoction will keep!<

Tip: Use with caution on dry or sensitive skin, as apple cider vinegar can be drying – we recommend doing a patch test first.

3/ Antioxidant Body Scrub

1 part fresh coffee grounds
1 part brown sugar
1 part virgin coconut oil

1. Use your hands to combine the ingredients
2. Massage all over the body, using circular and upward strokes
3. Leave on for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water

Put discarded coffee grounds to good use with this antioxidant-rich body scrub. Using commercial beauty product favourites – and guaranteed pantry residents – it employs smoothing, energising coffee and brown sugar as a base. Caffeine helps tackle signs of cellulite, whilst coconut oil offsets the grittiness with creamy hydration – revealing a silky-smooth and bright skin finish.

Tip: Melt the coconut oil, then allow it to cool and solidify slightly to make mixing lighter work.

4/ Herbal Hot Oil Hair Treatment

2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
3 drops of essential oil
A generous pinch of dried herbs, chopped (rosemary, black tea or chamomile)

1. Gently warm the oil to a hot – but not scolding – temperature in a bain-marie
2. Stir in no more than three drops of essential oil, and the infused herbs
3. Separate hair into sections and brush on oil from ends to roots, then massage into scalp
4. Wrap hair or wear a shower cap for 20-30 minutes
5. Shampoo thoroughly at least twice to cleanse away the oil

A time-honoured remedy for dry, coarse locks, take the intensely nourishing hot olive oil hair treatment up a notch with a targeted essential oil – and add to the aroma with a dried herb infusion typical of ancient recipes.

Tip: Boost the conditioning benefits with a fragrant essential oil that complements your hair type – try sweet almond, argan or coconut for normal hair; jojoba or castor oil for oily hair and tea tree oil to address a flaky scalp.

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