I love formulating and using complex natural blends of cosmetics; there is nothing like a well-crafted, natural cosmetic made with an exotic mix of nourishing ingredients. They are super rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, improve many skin conditions, help keep the skin soft and hydrated, and are sheer bliss: they are exquisite and luxurious! But sometimes simple is best. Individual natural ingredients and simple cosmetics can be used to help keep the skin and hair looking great. They also contain high amounts of nutrients and can address your skin’s basic needs.
If you are using only simple, fresh ingredients and a very basic skin care routine, you may need to rotate ingredients a little more than usual (whatever ingredients or products you use—whether individual ingredients, simple formulations, or complex cosmetics--I always suggest using different ingredients or products from time to time to make sure your skin’s ever changing needs are being met, and that you are providing your skin with all the nutrients it needs. Very simple formulations may need to be rotated more often though).
Here are a few ingredients that can be used on their own to keep the skin looking its best.
Use avocado as a skin mask! Mash a slice or two of an avocado. Apply to clean, damp skin, and leave on for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse well.
Many people also like using avocados as an all over body mask, or as a deep, hair treatment too. If you use it on the hair, apply only a small amount to damp hair, rinse very well, and follow with a shampoo if needed (avocado can be hard to wash out of the hair sometimes, depending on the texture of your hair). It leaves the hair soft, shiny, moisturized, and bouncy.
When preparing avocados (or many other fruits) when I am making something to eat, after I am done scooping the flesh from the skin, I will either rub my hands with the inside skin of the fruit, or scoop the small amount of leftover fruit from the skin and use it on my hands (I rub my hands together and leave it in for a minute or two, and then rinse). This only takes a minute and keeps my hands very soft.
Honey can be used as a daily cleanser, mask, light serum, spot treatment for blemishes, or hair conditioner.
For a cleanser or mask, apply a small amount to damp skin (it will feel a little sticky at first, but the water will make it feel less sticky). Rinse after a minute (if using as a cleanser) or leave it on for 10 to 30 minutes for a mask. For a light serum, after cleansing and toning, apply a very thin layer to damp skin, mist the skin with more toner or water, and then apply your oils or creams. Any kind of honey can be used for these uses.
For a spot treatment, use manuka honey. Apply to damp skin directly on the blemishes after you complete your skin care routine. Mist the skin with water.
To use honey as a hair conditioner: after shampooing, apply a small amount to damp skin and leave on for 10 minutes or up to an hour. Rinse well.
Honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, or cucumber:
Honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, or cucumber add hydration to the skin. A super simple way to use them: cut a small slice of fruit and (after cleaning) rub the skin with it to tone and hydrate the skin. Some people don’t like rinsing it off, and some people like rinsing it off after a few minutes. (My skin is sensitive so I usually rinse most fruits off, except for cucumber, which I don’t rinse). Follow with your oil or cream.
Link to my Eco Living article on spring and summer skin care:
My Eco Living article on sun protection, sunburn, and hydration:
Link to my Eco Living article on skin care travel tips:
My recipe for an easy aloe cleansing gel (great for sunburn too!), from my personal eco blog, Solarkat’s Eco Blog:
My recipe for an easy vinegar skin toner and hair rinse (posted on Earth Alkemie’s forum):
See the rest of my Eco Living articles for many other simple skin care recipes that use only 2-4 ingredients (like oatmeal cleanser, simple apple mask, and more!):
Please visit Earth Alkemie: my all natural, eco-friendly, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup line.
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.
For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkatecoblogspot.com