Can you use simple, home made cosmetics to save money? Or use items that you keep in the larder? A blog post I wrote about budget beauty led to a suggestion from a reader that almond oil made a great cheap cleanser and moisturiser. On investigation it appears this is true. You can spend quite a bit on it if you buy almond oil packaged for this purpose. However, to save money you can get a small bottle for cooking much more cheaply and splash that on instead – it is just a couple of pounds in Sainsbury’s. If it’s good enough for eating then it’s good enough to use on your face, surely?
It got me thinking about what other cosmetics you can make cheaply at home rather than splashing the cash in the shops and I have come up with the following. I haven’t tried them all, so it would be great to hear if you use any. I am thinking here about speed and simplicity.
It is possible to make all sorts of fabulous and luscious home made cosmetics such as bath bombs, soaps and body butters. I used to make beautiful soap before I started working full time, but I want to explore the quick and the cheap! Scouring the internet I found the following, some of which I have tried, some I use regularly and others are completely untested, by me anyway.
Home made cosmetics from your larder
#1 Instead of buying shoe deodoriser, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in your footwear, leave overnight, then just tip out the excess before you wear them.
#2 Dip your toothbrush into bicarbonate of soda and brush, or dissolve a teaspoon in a glass of water and use as a mouthwash. You can make proper toothpaste from bicarbonate of soda too and there are lots of recipes out there.
#3 Oatmeal and water makes a quick hand scrub for when you have been gardening – and it leaves your hands soft too.
#4 Oatmeal also makes a nice face mask. Mix about quarter of a cup of instant oats with 2 teaspoons of runny honey. Leave 5-10 minutes then rinse.
#5 Cold used teabags or cucumber slices really can reduce dark shadows under your eyes! Just leave on for 10 minutes whilst you relax then rinse and moisturise.
#6 Lemon juice acts as a bleach. If you want a few lighter streaks in your hair try this on a sunny day. Mix a cup of lemon juice with quarter of a cup of water in an old spray bottle. Spritz you hair all over then sit in the sun for a couple of hours. Rinse off and repeat weekly. You will need to do it a few times before you notice the difference.
#7 Hot oil treatment for dry hair: wash and towel dry your hair first. Warm some olive oil very gently in a pan. You want it warm, not hot! Rub it all over your hair from roots to ends then wrap in a warm towel. Leave for 15 minutes. Then wash your hair and dry normally. You can repeat this once a month. This would work well with almond oil too.
#8 For dry skin, mash a ripe avocado with some olive oil and spread all over your face. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off.
#9 Make your own lip scrub using 2 tsp of brown sugar, 2 tsp runny honey and 1 tsp olive oil.
#10 An infusion of cold green tea kept in the fridge makes an excellent skin toner.
An obvious advantage of using store cupboard ingredients in your simple, home made cosmetics is the reduction in fancy packaging. You also know exactly what you are putting on your skin. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home made cosmetics from the larder. Now I am wondering why I buy any commercial products when they are expensive and full of chemicals! What are your top tips for making natural beauty products?