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Why You Should Use Natural Skin Care Products

I have been making handmade soap and skincare products for personal use since September 2019. It started out as an experiment driven by curiosity (see my article Making Natural Soap At Home) and became a hobby. I started by making soaps at home, and investigating further on the net, I discovered, one by one, recipes for creams, tonics, balms (lip balms and others), masks, exfoliants, serums, shampoos, conditioners …

Believe me, you have to investigate some. Not everything is true, not everything works. I never adopted the “no Poo” movement (it defends that you don’t need to use shampoo everyday) nor did I ever wash my hair with baking soda …


But I tried the products I made at home one by one. I have a small garden with rose bushes, rosemary, spearmint, verbena, lavender and calendula growing, and that makes the whole experience funny! It is very cute and rewarding to leave the house with a basket in hand, take half a dozen steps and collect the herbs and plants that will serve as the basis for the beauty products that we will do next. But I’m already rambling …

As I was saying, I tried the products I made at home one by one … and the differences are noticeable !!

Like this:

homemade soap bars of various colors

Natural Handmade Soaps and Body Lotions

The natural handmade soaps, made with natural ingredients, mostly vegetable and edible, moisturize the skin to the point that the daily use of moisturizing creams is no longer necessary (because they contain glycerin! See this article “Glycerin vs Vegetable Glycerin“). Something I bet the companies that sell creams don’t want very much…

Body creams, also made with natural ingredients, moisturize deeply. Combined with the use of natural soaps, the need for hydration is more weekly than daily, or just a matter of habit, because it is good to feel a scented skin. The most shocking part … the cost is between 3 € to 5 € for a 200 ml cream …. I leave you to take your own conclusions about the subject.

Balms

The balms I’ve made so far, especially lip balms, are more moisturizing and softer than any lip balm I have ever bought (even organic ones from stores like The Body Shop). The balms I’ve made are made of …. olive oil + beeswax. That’s it! Obviously, we can make a more “complicated” balm, with shea butter and noble oils like jojoba oil. But keep it simple, and you still have a great product with excellent effects.

More about balms: using a sort of “infusion” (maceration) of oil with a certain type of medicinal plants (calendula, for example) and making a balm with this oil, not only moisturizes the skin, but soothes, treats and helps regeneration of a myriad of minor skin problems: irritations, itching, burns, scratches, etc. I ended up with most commercial ointments at home. Once again: simplicity, combined with good results !! It’s in nature that we get magnificent and cheap products!

Facial Products: Toners, creams, serums

The rose toner: it was one of the biggest surprises !! It is not quite rose water, as this is obtained by distillation by steam, but rather an infusion of rose petals (a “rose petal tea”). I started by making it for the creams I tried to make at home, but very quickly I tried it as a product in itself. Result: clean, smooth, and hydrated skin !! No micellar water has ever come close to the effectiveness of this tonic in harmonizing the amount of sebum on my skin to the point of feeling clean for a few hours. Clean and hydrated without resorting to a single cream !!

Facial creams and serums: there was something that continually disappointed me about the cosmetics I used. No matter how much I changed, used or stopped using creams and serums, they did nothing in the medium or long term. They could leave the skin hydrated and fresh right away, but the days, weeks and months passed, and … they had no effect. I didn’t feel my skin was ever more hydrated, or I saw fewer wrinkles.

Once again, I started using facial creams made at home, and serums made with the regenerating, anti-oxidant and anti-ageing oils that I wanted. I will not say that now I look 20 years old, that would be a huge overstatement 😀 but I recognize a recovery of skin elasticity that was not there a year ago, or that I did not feel with other products.

Some oils are expensive, it is true – jojoba oil, rosehip oil, pomegranate seed oil. But an anti-aging face cream is expensive as well!! And you can buy 10 bottles of these more expensive oils at the price of a single face cream box … By making your own products you are SURE these oils are there, in the quantities needed to have an effect on the skin, and not in the almost homeopathic quantities of commercial creams…

Facial Masks

I confess that it was in facial masks that I saw less differences. Perhaps because the commercial ones I was using before were already good, natural enough, or because the effects of a mask are not so permanent to not notice big differences. Don’t get me wrong, the mask recipes I tried are good masks !! They are based on clays, oils, honey or yogurt, hydrolates, among others, all natural ingredients. They moisturize, but above all, they clean the skin in depth. I just didn’t see the big noticeable difference I saw in the products I mentioned before. Even so, and because I already have all the necessary ingredients anyway, I do a cleaning mask once a month (I don’t do it more often due to lack of patience and time) and I don’t have any need to buy commercial masks.

Enroll in the Botanical Skin Care Course with the Herbal Academy

In The Future

I am fascinated with natural cosmetic products. I don’t want anything else. So much so that I decided to start this blog and tell everyone about my experience, sharing what I learned, and give everyone the opportunity to experience the same. I would also like to sell some of them, but the legislation in Portugal is truly discouraging when it comes to small producers or artisans of handmade skin care products. I’m still deciding whether to go ahead or not …

There are still a lot of products that I want to try and haven’t done yet: solid shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, bath bombs, honey-based products, sugar-based exfoliators… I hope in a year from now I will be writing a similar article, with more experiences, more recipes, more comparisons …

I also hope that you start using natural skincare products at some point, made at home or not, as I now believe… correction, I know by experience that they improve health and can make our lives more pleasurable and happy.

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4 thoughts on “Why You Should Use Natural Skin Care Products”

  1. Thank you for sharing this information on natural skin care products.  It is fascinating that you can create these items using all-natural ingredients.  Is it time consuming? Or do you hardly notice how much time it takes since it is a hobby for you.  I must say this is a good hobby.  The soaps look absolutely beautiful.  I love using natural products but never got into making them myself. Again, thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hello Patricia and thanks for your nice comment.

      You are right, time flies when I make soap, creams, conditioners, etc. but, to be honest, making cosmetics takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour to make.

      And it’s much simpler than we think! Once you have some key ingredients, like beeswax, an emulsifier (like Polawax 60 for example), a preservative (like Geogard), and lye, you are good to go, assuming you do have some oils at home, like olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil – and water! This is assuming you don’t care for scent and color – I care for scent and I use essential oils on my cosmetics 🙂

      It is very, very close to cooking or baking a cake! And as simple as that! You don’t need expensive equipment, or weird ingredients (at least weirder than the ones I mentioned)! The best of all is that they are good, effective and you can tailor them to your own needs – for example, if you have dry skin or oily skin, you can choose the right ingredients and the right proportions until you find out something that really works for you.

      It’s ok to buy some natural cosmetics too, though 🙂 Not everyone likes DIY, or has the patience. I have a post where you can find some natural cosmetic kits, some very affordable: Women Beauty Gift Sets.

      If you wish, please, subscribe here to my website.

      Cheers,

      Sofia

      Reply
  2. You seem to have done a lot and I am guessing some of these involved you making a lot of mistakes. It seems you have probably used these products on your skin. Did you get any negative effects while using them on your skin? 

    I am asking this because I know there are people that probably tried making these and ended up making it the wrong way which became toxic rather than helpful on the skin which is why I just like buying these instead of personally making them.

    If I am to do this it would be more like a hobby which was exactly how you started and maybe I can start applying them to my skin in very little quantity and observe how they do before I become very confident that I can actually make use of them as my skincare products.

    Reply
    • Hello Manuel, thanks for your comment. No, I had absolutely zero negative effects with the products I’ve made so far. And I say so far as I haven’t tried them for years, but I hope to get there and tell about its effects 🙂 

      To make them safe I have a few precautions: 

      – I use mostly natural ingredients (I am also running away from toxic!!), like oils, water, natural colorants, many of them which are actually safe to eat. Nothing like strange chemicals that I don’t know about; 

      – I use fresh and good quality ingredients, not waste-like ones (such as used oil from frying)

      – In doubt, I always use antioxidants and preservatives to make these products safe in terms of bacteria, mould and fungus. To stay away from the most artificial/chemical ones, though, I go for the ones that are used in natural cosmetics or are ECOCERT approved. This is probably where most natural cosmetics become toxic or bad, by not using preservatives, or using them in a wrong way…

      – I always follow the preservatives’ manufacturers recommendations and instructions

      I’d recommend you to give it a try at the simplest of them, a lip balm, by following this tutorial: How to Make Natural Lip Balm, and try it yourself in small amounts to see if it’s safe 🙂  

      Soap is a bit more complicated, but when done properly it is really good for your skin (one of the reasons is explained here: Glycerin vs Vegetable Glycerin).

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers, Sofia

      Reply

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