I truly believe that the solution to all of our skin woes can be found in nature and it’s just a matter of discovering the right plants or extraction method or combination of both to figure out what works. I love trying out and exploring brands that contain botanical and natural ingredients like essential oils, and have written about a few I like to use here. I’ve tried and researched about so many different natural ingredients that I always wondered if I could try making my own DIY beauty products.
It was completely by chance that I came across this book All Natural Beauty in one of my favorite bookstores. Of course, I was drawn to the cover first (so gorgeous!), and when I flicked through the pages I realised these DIY recipes are super easy to make at home. So I purchased it and then set about acquiring all the ingredients – mainly shea butter, beeswax, carrier oils like Argan oil and avocado oil, and tons of essential oils.
You’ve probably heard of essential oils for aromatherapy but they also have remarkable healing properties. People who swear by essentials oils call them nature’s healers because they have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. They get their potency through distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. Really good quality essential oils can actually be ingested and as essential oils are incredibly concentrated, they need to be diluted in carrier oils before being applied to the skin.
Coincidentally, my dear friend Eddie, who’s the popular Dubai Mommy blogger, Seashells on The Palm, was also getting into essential oils and used them to help heal her children’s skin rashes. I decided it would be fun to DIY my own beauty products, and who knows, maybe they would help improve my skin concerns too.
The first recipe from the book I made was Anti-ageing Rose Facial Oil because it only required 3 ingredients: rosehip oil, avocado oil and rose absolute essential oil. Rose essential oil comes from the Bulgarian Rose Damascena and is available in two main forms – rose otto and rose absolute. Rose otto is steam distilled rose petals and it takes 60,000 rose to get just 1 ounce of pure rose oil making the Rose Otto essential oil one of the most expensive, hence it’s nickname “liquid gold”. Rose absolute, on the other hand, is extracted using a liquid solvent of fragrant compounds from fresh rose flowers. Although the rose absolute contains essential oil compounds, it requires fewer petals than from distilled essential oils, making it much more affordable. Rose oil is popular for skincare because it counteracts the visible signs of ageing, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and helps smooth skin.
Here’s what the book says about the Anti-Ageing Rose Facial Oil:
“Full of protein and fats, avocado oil is ideal for dry skin. It is rich in Vitamin C, E and K and magnesium and potassium. Rosehip oil is very high in important essential fatty acids and helps regenerate damaged skin tissue. It penetrates deep into the skin and stimulates collagen production. It is also moisturising and anti-inflammatory and helps to heal wounds and soften scars. Rose absolute oil is antibacterial, antiviral, antispasmodic, is known to have rejuvenating properties and promotes a glowing complexion.”
I used it for a while and found the Rosehip oil fragrance more prominent than the rose. So, I bit the bullet and purchased the teeniest 2.5ml bottle of Rose Otto (that still cost $90!) and added a couple of drops to the glass bottle. It smelt so much more decadent, like roses in summer. It also made me wake up with a bit of a rosy glow.
Encouraged by my first DIY product, I went on to make body butters, body creams, deodorant, and more face oils. I start off by following the exact recipe in the book, then depending on the resultant effect, I tweak the recipe to my liking. As you never know what essential oil your skin will take well to, what it will react against, or what may cause an initial reaction but later adapt well to, it’s important to do skin patch tests with different recipes. Even the carrier oils may be fine for one person and cause a reaction in someone else.
Most of the products I’ve made, especially the body creams, I end up mixing in a lot more essentials oils than the recipe requires as I prefer the fragrance to be a little stronger. I also sometimes reduce the amount of one and increase another. Keep in mind, though, that unless specified otherwise, the ratio of dilution should be around 2%-3% (2-3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil) to be safe.
After some trial and error, here’s my own personal concoction of a face oil that is based off a recipe in the book called Divine Moisturising Facial Oil:
- 4 tsp Argan Oil
- 2 tsp Tamanu Oil
- 2 drops Jasmine Absolute essential oil
- 4 drops Chamomile Roman essential oil
- 4 drops Frankincense essentail oil*
- 2 drops Geranium essential oil*
I absolutely love this oil. I have reactive skin that easily becomes inflammed with hives or mild rosacea, which is why I added in the Frankincense – which promotes skin healing and is anti-inflammatory. My pores also clog easily which can lead to whiteheads, so I added in the Geranium – which is supposed to encourage clear skin. Since using this oil along with my Rose Facial Oil, my skin has been clear, even and problem free. The last time I went for a facial, my facialist told me my skin was looking really good and there was nothing she really needed to do. She squeezed a few blackheads, applied a moisturising mask, and sent me on my way. Even though she didn’t do much, so thrilled was I with the verdict that I gave her a good tip and did a little mental happy dance when I walked out.
Conclusion: I’m going to keep experimenting with different oils and concoctions just to see if I can one-up my favorite facial oil combo. I find it really easy to create these products following the recipes. I’ve even made a body cream for a friend who loves it. I’ve yet to try making lip balms and body scrubs, so watch out for a post update when I do!
If you’d like to know where I got my essential oils from, or give this recipe a try, or have a fave DIY beauty recipe you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments, I’d like to hear!