Create your own natural beauty kit
Boost you skin the natural way with these DIY recipes
For many of us, work stress - and bad diet and exercise habits arising from long hours in the office - take a toll on our skin's condition, dulling our natural glow. As a working model, entrepreneur and food blogger, Danielle Copperman (pictured) knows the demands of a busy lifestyle only too well.
"Just like our dietary habits, our beauty habits have been misled by the introduction of mass-produced products made with artificial chemicals that promise quick blemish-busting or age-defying results that require very little effort on our part," she writes in the introduction to her new book, Well Being. In it, Danielle draws on her knowledge of yoga, meditation and holistic traditions to bring together a collection of recipes not just for food, but for DIY beauty products. "These recipes provide alternative methods that utilise natural ingredients and essential oils," she says. "These not only provide gentle options for daily rituals, they also offer mental healing through inhalation."
MOCHA, COFFEE, CACAO, ALMOND & MACADAMIA BODY SCRUB
Exfoliation has always been a constant in my day-to-day beauty regime. It is the most refreshing and invigorating ritual and, due to the sensation of the rough, grainy texture and the motions involved in application, it has been proven to increase blood circulation and promote lymphatic circulation. If you exfoliate at least twice a week you will help to encourage the growth of new skin cells, whilst breaking down fatty tissues (bye, cellulite!). In this scrub, caffeine-rich coffee and cacao wake up the skin and serve as the main exfoliants of this scrub (use sand if you live by a beach, or collect some next time you visit one), and almond and macadamia oil add a rich aroma and leave the skin feeling soft and naturally moisturised. This might be my favourite recipe in this book and it is the one I make most often. Luckily, it's one of the easiest too.
Lasts about 10 uses
Equipment: airtight container
100g organic coffee beans, ground
10g cacao or cocoa powder
20g coconut sugar or salts
2 tbsp almond oil
2 tbsp macadamia oil (or olive, coconut or walnut oil)
6-8 drops of your chosen essential oils (I like vanilla, bergamot, ylang ylang, but choose yours depending on how you are feeling at the time (consult the book for details)
Elevate it: 1 tsp chilli oil, powder or flakes, 1 tsp
vitamin E oil, 1 tsp pink clay, 1 tsp vanilla powder
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined. Transfer to a jar with a lid and store in your shower (you're more likely to use it if it's there in front of you). To use, apply to damp skin whilst you are in the shower (preferably once you've finished your hair regime) and leave on for 5-10 minutes, if you have the time. If not, rinse off immediately, rub dry and follow with moisturiser.
BODY BUTTER & LOTIONS
Moisturising is another big part of my beauty regime and even if I have time for nothing else, I always make time to moisturise. My skin changes with the seasons and my personal hormonal cycle and alternates between being dry and sensitive and oily and prone to blemishes. I therefore need different products to meet different needs and the lotions below provide for both. The first is made with a base of nourishing avocado and shea butters, and coconut and jojoba oils, which contain antibacterial and antiviral properties and work to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. The second has a light, refreshing base of aloe vera gel, which contains cleansing, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties and so is tailor-made for oily skin. I alternate as and when appropriate.
Lasts about 20 uses
Equipment: jar or airtight container
AVOCADO BODY BUTTER
50g avocado butter
50g shea butter
10g coconut oil
1 tbsp jojoba or walnut oil
2 tbsp arrowroot (for more oily skin types)
10 drops of essential oils of your choice
Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan (creating a double boiler) and then add the avocado butter, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba or walnut oil, arrowroot and essential oils of your choice. Stir with a spatula to combine and then place in the fridge to cool.
Once set, use an electric or hand-held whisk to whip some air into the mixture, then transfer to an airtight container or jar with a lid and store at room temperature. Use essential oils such as jasmine, tuberose, fern, birch, frankincense, hibiscus or geranium - depending on your mood. I often make one batch of body butter and then halve it, and make one energising and the other more relaxing.
COCONUT OIL AND ESSENTIAL MAKE-UP REMOVER
Not only is coconut oil incredibly nutritious, when applied externally, it can also treat skin conditions, irritations and infections, soothe sunburn and even heal cuts and scars. It deeply cleanses the skin, preventing breakouts, and it increases softness and smoothness across the surface. To this day, coconut oil is by far the most effective make-up remover I have ever used. It eases the make-up away from around my eyes and doubles up as a natural all-over moisturiser as I remove the make-up from the rest of my face.
Equipment: a glass jar or container
100g coconut oil
2 drops of essential oil (choose soothing, relaxing and antibacterial oils), but avoid using essential oils around the eye area as they can iritate the skin
Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan (creating a double boiler), and add the coconut oil. Once melted, add the essential oils and mix to combine. Transfer to a glass jar or a container with a lid and place in the fridge to set. To use, scoop up a tablespoonful of the mixture and warm between your fingers, or apply directly to cotton wool pads and use to remove make-up accordingly. If you prefer, melt the oil by sitting it in a bowl of boiling water, and use it in liquid form. Use a hot muslin cloth/flannel to remove any residual greasiness.
VANILLA, ALOE VERA & COCONUT BLOSSOM LIP SCRUB
A lip scrub is a gentle yet effective way of removing dead skin and hydrating dry or chapped lips. It is easy to make and, by using only natural ingredients, you’ll ensure the new sensitive skin is refreshed and deeply nourished.
Lasts about 10 uses
Store in the fridge or at room temperature
20g aloe vera
40g coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
20g coconut oil, softened
1–2 drops of essential oils
Elevate it: ½ tsp activated, charcoal ½ tsp pink clay
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and use a small spatula to blend them together. Once combined, transfer to a pot or a sterilised jar and leave to set in the fridge for 10–20 minutes. When ready to use, apply to a toothbrush or your finger and scrub across each lip for about 1 minute, using circular motions. Leave to settle and soak in for 5 minutes if you can, or remove instantly by rinsing with hot water. Use a muslin cloth or a flannel to remove residual dead skin.
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONING SPRAY
I am lucky to be blessed with pretty strong hair. On shoots, hair stylists are pleasantly surprised at the condition of my hair since it endures constant hassle in my line of work. I think my diet is largely to thank for this, but I also keep my rituals simple. I favour organic natural products and use this simple hairspray to liven up dry ends. Just spray and leave on. Argan oil is deeply conditioning but is non-greasy, making it perfect for a spray that will refresh the smell, look and feel of your hair.
Makes approx. 150ml
Equipment: 1 x 150ml bottle with a spray-top lid
80ml filtered water
2 tbsp argan oil
10–20 drops of your chosen essential oils
Put all the ingredients into a bottle and secure the lid. Shake to combine and store at room temperature until ready to use. Spray 4–6 times all over the hair to calm frizz and nourish brittle ends. To use as a leave-in conditioner, spray 15–20 times into your hand and massage into the roots and through the lengths of your hair. You could spray into wet hair after a shower and wrap in a towel and leave for a couple of hours before rinsing too.