Each year, we spend hundreds and thousands of dollars trying to make our skin look clearer, our body smoother and our hair healthier. And each year, we apply no end of chemicals on ourselves just to achieve those ends. Yet before the mid 19th century, there were no commercially produced cosmetics besides soap, and many of our great grandmothers age with barely any wrinkles and skin damage.
I am not suggesting commercially produced skincare is bad, especially since they undergo strict testing to ensure they are safe to use before market launch. But many people that you know and I know find themselves allergic to mineral oil, synthetically manufactured fragrances and preservatives, and have started looking for natural options and DIY solutions.
The mantra for a clear complexion - Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise. is really simple but has long been replaced by mass produced skincare delivering big promises.
While I do not have celebrity skin, it is still skin that I can quite happily live with. I use commercial face products like everyone else but occasionally make my own face preparations for extra therapy. One of the easiest cleansers to make has buttermilk as its base and contains only 3 ingredients - 150ml buttermilk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 5 tablespoons floral water or herbal infusion of your choice. Simply whisk all ingredients together, pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge where it will keep for up to a week. To use, soak a cotton pad in the milk and wipe it gently all over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Et c'est tout!
- For normal skin, try Calendula, Chamomile or Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) water.
- For dry skin, opt for Chamomile, Neroli (citrus aurantium) and Elderflower water.
- Oily skin would benefit from Lavender (lavandula angustifolia), Fennel, Witch hazel and Rosemary (rosemarinus officinalis).
- Sensitive skin should stick to Damask rose, Chamomile and Neroli (citrus aurantium)
- For mature skin, go for Damask rose, Geranium or Frankincense water.
*INCI names in brackets are to help you in getting the right essential oil of therapeutic grade.