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Beauty from the Kitchen

The beauty industry is a multi-billion pound enterprise, with ever more complicated products promising to make us beautiful and look younger. You cannot turn on the television without the mad men of marketing trying to convince us that we need the latest new beauty product.

Have you ever stopped to think how much you spend on beauty products, or what is in them, and whether you could reduce your beauty bill? What happens when the shops have closed and you find you have run out of your favourite hand treat? Well, not only can you reduce the money spend on beauty products but you can create your own. Look around your kitchen, and you will find a wealth of skin friendly ingredients. Olive Oil, fabulous for skin and hair, and great if you use the Oil Cleansing Method for your face; Avocado Oil, high in Vitamin E which is great for acne; Coconut Oil, a great cleanser; in fact most of the oils you find in your cupboards can be used in skin care products. With growing concerns over the environment, a leaning towards a living more natural lifestyle and issues with allergens, you can, in the comfort of your kitchen, make some lovely, simple skincare products which really do the job.

A few years ago, I began to make soap as a hobby (now a business). Quite surprisingly, I found that a happy by-product of my soap making was that I needed far less moisturiser on my hands, particularly in the winter. The beautifully scented soap I make helps to stop my skin drying out, and I saved money. Win, win. Some of the simplest products are balms and butters, which are intensive moisturising products. Balms, because of their wax content, create a barrier on the skin and are fabulous for really dry area like heels, knees and elbows and all you need are a few simple ingredients.

Foot Balm Recipe

15g olive wax (you can use beeswax if you prefer)

20g cocoa butter

40ml avocado oil (or other oil of choice)

10g coconut oil (available from Asian supermarkets)

10g avocado butter (available on-line)

5ml Vitamin E

20 drops essential oil of choice (Lemon and Tea Tree would be good in this).

Heat the solid oils/butters in a baine marie, add the liquid oil. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Allow to cool a little and then pour into a jar. If you want to make the balm firmer then add more wax and reduce the oil and little, if you want to make it softer reduce the wax and increase the oil. The oil you choose will also affect how ‘dry’ your balm is. Rice Bran oil available at the supermarket is great for making a non-sticky balm that absorbs easily. Try other oils, to see what difference they make to your recipe.

You could turn this into a lovely lip balm. Unrefined cocoa butter would give you the flavour of chocolate or if you can resist eating it, you could add real chocolate with a touch of orange essential oil. If you want a touch of gloss, add castor oil.

The options are endless.

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