Natural skin care

MANY people are interested in making their own cosmetics to avoid harmful chemicals, and also to save money. It is surprising, even with the use of organic quality raw materials, how little of the price of a product is made up of the actual ingredients.

When you buy cosmetics, particularly the well-known brands, you are paying for advertising, packaging, research and development, and sometimes the expensive spas set up by the companies. The ingredients cost the company perhaps 5% of the retail price. Some companies that give the impression they have beautiful gardens of medicinal flowering plants actually purchase a lot of their raw materials from factories in China. In the past we saw ingredients on labels such as 'essential oil of geranium', 'rose', 'chamomile' etc, whereas today you often see 'linalool' and 'geraniol' that are described as derived from essential oils. These are ingredients extracted in factories and concentrated for export market to the cosmetics industry. They are incredibly cheap compared with using pure essential oils.

There are some excellent books available where people can learn about making their own cosmetics. I have run popular workshops on the subject. These are very hands-on and participants go home with some beautiful products they have made themselves. Making a cream base, for use in a moisturiser, is complex but there are some simple recipes for home-made cosmetics which can be a good starting point before moving onto the cream-making.

How to make a massage oil

This is the basic formula which can be used with any combination of essential oils.

100ml of carrier oil, 50 drops of essential oils, and 2ml of 100% vitamin E oil.

Simply place in a glass bottle, shake and invert until blended. A dark coloured bottle, such as a cobalt blue or dark green, will preserve the quality of the oil for longer, as the oils will deteriorate from exposure to light. The simple formula for the ratio is 'half the number of drops of essential oil as there are mls of carrier oil (eg 50 drops to 100 ml)'. For babies, elderly people, and people with sensitive skin, the ratio should be halved (eg 25 drops of essential oil to 100ml carrier oil). It is advisable to do a small patch test on the skin first, in case of an irritation reaction.

Vitamin E is included because the oils will deteriorate with time and produce a stale odour and the vitamin E as an anti-oxidant prevents this from happening. If you are making a small amount to be used immediately, the vitamin E is not necessary.

One of the best carrier oils is the locally grown 'cosmetic grade' of macadamia oil. It is a beautiful consistency, and similar in quality to natural skin oils so it is very well suited. Here are some examples of essential oil blends for making your own massage oil:

A relaxing blend - lavender 15 drops, rose geranium 10 drops, bergamot 10 drops, rosewood 10 drops, and West Indian sandalwood 5 drops.

A refreshing uplifting blend - peppermint 10 drops, lemon myrtle 10 drops, rosemary 10 drops, basil 5 drops, bergamot 5 drops, rosewood 5 drops, lemongrass 5 drops. This blend is particularly good for studying and concentration.

Making your own blends of oils is fun and there are basic aromatherapy books with information about the properties of the oils. I suggest using a small number of drops initially, sampling and then adjusting the formula.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Shark victim: "I just want to enjoy being alive today'

A young surfer had a lucky escape after being hit by a shark at Broken Head near Byron Bay. Photo: Twitter - Geoffrey John Knapp.

“I just want to enjoy being alive today.''

Federal grant keeps NORPA telling our local stories

ANNOUNCEMENT: NORPA's Producer Marisa Snow, Artistic Director Julian Louis, General Manager Patrick Healy, Chair David Wolff, with Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

Arts company granted almost $400,00 over two years

Brave boy uncovers man's cow sex, child sexual abuse

A beast in the main arena at the 2012 Ekka.

Police praise boy for testimony of man's abuse and sex with a cow

Local Partners

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals