Cosmetics Recipes (using botanicals)

Cosmetics Recipes (using botanicals)

Our skin is the largest organ of the body. While it protects us in many ways, the skin also allows substances to absorb directly into the bloodstream. Over 12,000 ingredients are used to create cosmetics (includes all personal care products). Some of these ingredients are prohibited in other countries due to their abilities to cause cancer, birth defects, or DNA mutations.

To create personal care products that are good enough to eat, look no further than your own pantry. As with any food item, be aware of allergies.  Also be sure to use clean, dry containers. Label any jars you will save for another day. Extend the life of any solution containing water by using distilled rather than tap or spring.

Recipes (except for Lavender Toilet Water) are compliments of Annie Berthold-Bond of After November 15, 2010, find these recipes and more at:

Peaches and Cream Mask

Peaches are rich in skin softening enzymes.

Cream is a natural alpha-hydroxy acid—ideal for sloughing off dead skin cells.

2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and mashed

½ teaspoon almond oil

1 Tablespoon heavy cream

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Scoop onto a clean washcloth and massage onto your face. Let set for 15 or 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.  May be used on body as well.

Calendula Skin Healer

Calendula is healing for eczema, psoriasis, varicose veins, acne, and more. This recipe is very healing during times of a lot of sun exposure.

½ cup avocado oil

small handful dried calendula flowers

6 Tablespoons aloe vera gel

Heat oil and calendula in a double boiler on low for 30 minutes. Cool. Strain out flowers and stir in aloe vera gel.

Shelf life: 2 weeks refrigerated

Caution: Do not use calendula if pregnant.

Skin Toner from the Garden

¼ cup cucumber juice

cup carrot juice

½ cup spearmint tea

¼ cup chamomile tea

½ cup lemon juice

Make the cucumber juice and carrot juice in a juicer. Make strong infusions (herbal tea) of spearmint and chamomile. Let cool. Combine everything in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Massage a bit into your face. Rinse.

Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes does not have oil glands and tends to dehydrate. As we age, this area is more prone to wrinkles.

cup avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, or sesame oil (or a combination of these)

cup aloe vera gel

Combine ingredients in a glass jar and shake to blend. Dab some on your fingers and massage into your skin.

Shelf life: 4 months refrigerated

Skin Lightener

Dab freshly squeezed, straight lemon juice on dark spots like “liver spots”. Let it fully dry and then rinse.

Hair Conditioner

Aloe vera is a skin and hair conditioner. It treats hair loss, balancing the pH of the scalp. Coconut milk kills pathogens, softens hair, and conditions the scalp.

Aloe vera gel

Coconut milk

Mix equal parts of aloe vera  and coconut milk. Mix up just enough as you need. Slather on hair, massaging your scalp. Cover with a towel. Let set for 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual.

Light and Lemon Hair Spray

2 to 4 lemons


Slice the lemons and cover with water in a pan. Simmer for 1 hour, adding more water as it evaporates. Let cool, then strain. Pour the lemon liquid into a pump spray bottle.
Makes 2 to 3 cups.

Shelf life: About one week refrigerated.

Lavender Toilet Water

Handfuls of lavender flowers

White wine vinegar

Steep handfuls of the lavender in vinegar. Keep the jar for three days in a warm place (back of stove). Strain and bottle.

Use as facial spritz or hair conditioner.

-Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia, 1913, by Lucia Millet Baxter

Click Cosmetic Recipes for a printable pdf version of these recipes.

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