Using natural cosmetics gives you the advantage of plant-based oils for moisture and nutrients and essential oils for delightful scents. Here are the most common ingredients and their benefits.
- Apricot kernel oil makes an excellent massage oil and has a faint scent of almonds. It is appropriate for all skin types, but particularly for dry, sensitive skin.
- Avocado oil promotes cell regeneration and mixes well with other oils.
- Jojoba oil, a liquid wax made from the seeds of the boxwood, controls moisture, and doesn’t leave skin with an oily sheen.
- Macadamia nut oil is rich in fatty acids, making it an ideal ingredient for creams.
- Use almond oil for massages.
- Olive oil nurtures every skin type, but in particular dry, rough skin.
- Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, which combats skin aging.
These plant oils have healing and/or nurturing qualities. They should therefore be added only in very small amounts.
- St. John’s wort oil comes from fresh blooms. It is used frequently as a massage oil, and can soothe sensitive or rough skin.
- Evening primrose oil heals, stimulates and improves the appearance of skin. It is also sometimes used in conditioners for brittle, overprocessed hair.
- Seabuckthorn oil does wonders for mature, dry and cracked skin.
- Black cumin seed combats bacteria and fungi on irritated, inflamed skin.
- Wild rose oil comes from rose hips and provides rough skin with ample moisture. It also encourages cell regeneration.
- Cetaphil cream is a soft, unscented cream that washes off with water; it is well suited as a base for making creams.
- Beeswax gives creams, salves, lotions and lipsticks a thicker, more solid consistency.
- Vinegar reduces itching, cools and refreshes. It regulates the pH value of your skin, acts as a natural antiseptic and promotes blood circulation. The vitamins and minerals it contains also make organic cider or other fruit vinegar an ideal additive for cleansers and baths.
- Glycerin is a clear, syrupy alcohol used as a lubricant in creams and lotions.
- Cocoa butter melts at low temperature and makes a good base for soaps and creams.
- Lanolin — the pure oil from sheep’s wool — is a moisturizing skin care all-star in large part because of its water-repellent properties.
These common oils provide the finishing touch to so many homemade beauty products: a delightful scent.
Bergamot oil: The finest of all citrus oils with a sweet, citrus-fresh scent
Geranium oil: A soft, flowery, feminine touchLavender oilA pure, fresh, flowery scent used in many products
Neroli oil: A fresh, flowery scent with a touch of bittersweet orange
Rose oil: A sweet, flowery scent; a very feminine oil
Rosemary oil: An intense scent similar to camphor; use sparingly
Sandalwood oil: A warm, heavy, and long-lasting scent used by both men and womenIncense oilA heavy oil with a touch of lemon and camphor
Ylang-ylang oil: An exotic, sensual scent, ideal for perfume, deodorants and bath additives; use sparingly
Lemon oil: A pure, fresh scent with a subtle and sweet touch; ideal for cleansing
- Healing earth, found in health food stores, is a fine-grained soil consisting of white and red clay, loam and aluminum silicates. The sterilized powder can be used in wraps, compresses, face masks, baths and hair care products.
- Rhassoul and kaolin, found in some health food or natural products stores, are natural clay cleansers that provide a gentle, non-sudsy alternative to shampoos and soaps.