This week, I’ve been taking part in #TheSeaAndMe: a Wildlife Trusts‘ initiative focussing on protecting our seas. I’ve pledged to pick up five pieces of plastic litter each day (and have been doing so as part of #LoveNotLitter anyway.)
I’ve also pledged not to use single use plastics. This is hardest with food packaging. Where it’s unavoidable, I add it to my crafting stash or turn it into a garden to prevent it being ‘single use’.
Toiletries packaging is one of the things I first noticed was wasteful. I’ve been making my own toiletries for years to avoid excess packaging and save money.
After the initial (not ridiculous) investment in oils and butters, it works out much cheaper than buying toiletries – and great if you have allergies as you can avoid anything you know is unsafe.
My basic toiletries kit includes:
- Coconut oil.
- Shea butter.
- Lemon juice.
- Fresh herbs.
- Aromatherapy oils.
I decided to spend a damp afternoon making sea-safe toiletries. Microbeads may now be banned but there are no doubt still many microbeads lurking in people’s toiletry collections.
Use this instead, if you need a scrub. It works out at well under £1 for a ramekin full and left my skin feeling super-soft rather than ‘stripped of all oils’. There’s also enough left for at least one more face mask and body scrub. Store in the fridge to extend its life.
Step One: Put Oats in a Bowl
I used a (recycled) ramekin (shown in final photo) full of oats. You don’t need posh oats – the bargain range will do.
Step Two: Add Coconut Oil
Again, go cheap. My bottle cost under £2 from my local corner shop. I used three teaspoons but adjust depending on how oily you want it to be. The oats are already softening to skin so you don’t need loads.
Step Three: Rub Together
It should have a similar texture to a light crumble mix. NB: If you get the urge to make crumble to eat in the bath, follow it (I keep blackberry and apple mix in the freezer at this time of year to make this quick and easy. Just rub together oats, butter and sugar for a super-quick topping. Do not use your toiletries mix for crumble).
Step Four: Add Sea Salt
I used three tablespoons of salt but you may prefer a rougher or smoother scrub. For a mild exfoliation, the oats alone work. For more of a scrub, add more salt.
Step Five: Add Aroma (or Not)
If you have sensitive skin, skip this step. However, I tend to add aromatherapy oils and fresh herbs to make the scrub more aromatic (with mint, roll the leaves together then slice to get elegant strips).
Today, I used rosemary, clary sage and neroli oils, along with fresh mint. However, tailor the oils to your favourites (lavender can be soothing and uplifting for me).
Finally, mix it all together and add cold water to make it as creamy as you want.
Now you just need to slather it on, face mask style, and gently rub, or use a teaspoon or two as a scrub.
You can also put few spoonfuls in old tights, tie with a ribbon, and use as a bubble bath alternative.
I wish I could transmit the delicious aroma.
It’s easy to make your own toiletries. I’ll post more nature-friendly recipes soon. Stock up on oats – they tend to be a common feature…