Until a few days ago I was completely obnoxious regarding aromatherapy, self-made cosmetiques and essential oils. It seemed a lot like black magic to me (how can a few drops of something like essential oils be that powerful??) which really made no sense since I love DIY and learning new things. Why didn’t I look into it sooner?
The Slow Cosmétique movement and the association by the same name were created in 2012 by the Belgian aromatherapist and cosmetician Julien Kaibeck. Today, Slow Cosmétique is a consumer movement carrying out actions in various countries to raise public awareness and take the right steps for a more natural and simple beauty. It is also an eco-friendly and ethical approach based on a widespread will to promote a natural, healthy and simple way of using cosmetics, including a battle against wasteful packaging and brand marketing campaigns that are not sufficiently “transparent”.
” We are a Movement striving for responsible natural skincare. The current ecological and psychological impact of cosmetics weighs heavy on the planet, for our finances and our state of mind. Faced with this observation, some people say that alternative cosmetics is possible. ” Julien Kaibeck, Founder of Slow Cosmétique
Synthetic ingredients, silicones and chemical preservatives such as Phenoxyethanol are banned, the purpose of this movement being to use products made from 100% natural ingredients and formulas that are better both for consumers and the environment. In 2013 the group introduced a special “Mention Slow Cosmétique” to distinguish the best slow products in the world on the basis of 80 strict criteria.
What could have seemed like a utopia a few years ago is now becoming a real movement, consumers becoming increasingly aware of the chemicals they use is cosmetics and in cleansing products, and the beauty industry is changing aswell! It might be only the latest fashion and be over in a few years, but for once it is good for us, for the planet and for the future, so hopefully it will raise awareness not only a way to be more Instagrammable but for the benefits it really brings.
Anyways, I head already heard famous “green” YouTubers and some of my friends talk about the benefits of essential oils, slow cosmetique, Aroma-Zone, etc, but with my many other interests I didn’t even think about looking into it. However, as I am now 31, I know myself more and more, I can see that my body has different needs than when I was 20, I see my skin becoming more and more sensible to changes in weather, my hair becoming more oily and thinner and shapeless with every additional year. When a few years ago it took me 15min for my Morning face/hair routine (time for brushing my teeth included), certain mornings I now have to get to work upset about my makeup, my skin, my hair…I also always thought that until 30 nothing could get to me, no one gets sick under 30, all health problems come later (I know it’s not true but everyone has some milestones that rule their lives), hence it was my limit to start eating better, drink less and using less chemicals in my life.
So, a few weeks ago I was looking for the cleanest deodorant that could exist, the first battle I decided to fight being against shelf deodorants which, for the most part, include parabens and aluminum which allegedly lead to health risks including breast cancers and Alzheimer. Quickly enough the internet seemed to agree on Schmidt’s brand (that all my friends seemed to already know except me!), which is 100% natural, cruelty free, vegan and apparently very efficient. While I ordered one to try (I still haven’t received it) my Internet research led to blogs and articles explaining how to make your natural, organic, healthy deodorant at home. I don’t like buying 100 ingredients to make something, I like DIY when most of what I spend is my time. Then I looked at the ingredients, and the recipe seemed easy enough to me, 4 ingredients easy to find (2 from the kitchen), I could definitely try! Of course then it led to looking into how to make other products (solid shampoo, hair masks, face oils, serums, body scrubs, etc..) so I ended up with a slightly larger cart than originally forecasted.
In fact, I finally discovered what Aroma-Zone is, a formidable store where you can find absolutely everything and more related to making your own natural, organic beauty and household products. Because I like optimisation I went to the store, bought 2 books, came home and then looked at the optimum combination of products with common ingredients, made an Excel spreadsheet with the quantities and then placed a huge order on the website!
4 days later I received it by mail and the fun could start.
My solid deodorant
The first thing I made was the one it all started with, the simplest and most efficient deodorant I have ever used. The list of ingredients is minimal and easy to find:
- 35g of Coconut oil (it is naturally antibacterial and healing oil)
- 33g of baking soda (serves as an odor eliminator)
- 20g of cornstarch (it will absorb and trap moisture)
- 17g of bee or vegetal wax (I used soy wax which was cheaper)
- 25 drops of Palmarose essential oil (anti-infectious, it amplifies the efficiency of the deodorant)
The recipe is even simpler, you heat the oils and powders together until everything has melted. You add the essential oils, place the mixtures in an empty deodorant stick and put in the refrigerator. The next morning it has hardened, it has a light scent of coconut, it works so well and doesn’t stain the clothes! I am huge fan!
My face oils
After this first success I gained confidence and started trying new recipes every evening (this started last week). For starters I combined my personal oils (that I used 100% pure) with essential oils (that I purchased) and made 3 different ones for 3 different applications (I also purchased 30ml bottles with drop dispensers):
- 30ml of white Tea Tree oil (purchased at Make it Beauty) & 5 drops of Palmarose essential oil (anti-infectious) for greasy and mixed skins with a tendency for spots, to be applied before bed
- 30ml of Jojoba oil & 2 drops of Lavender essential oil (soothing) & 3 drops of Roman Chamomile oil (anti-inflammatory) to calm sensible and irritated skins
- 30 ml of Macadamia oil & 4 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil (healing and soothing) to protect the skin against aging and external aggressions
My intention is to alternate them every day to combine the actions and increase efficiency.
Starting to see the advantages of package free products, I also made a solid eye-lifting serum which I hope will be revolutionary considering the price of the essential oils needed to make it! It is fairly simple to make but the number of ingredients starts to increase. However I couldn’t find a formula with less ingredients than that so, we’ll see:
- 25g of Cacao Butter (famous for fighting the signs of aging)
- 15g of bee or vegetal wax (it contains natural emulsifiers, which help retain moisture in the skin which is especially helpful for dry and chapped lips)
- 5g of Shea Butter (its buttery rich consistency makes it an excellent moisturizer, ideal for use as a natural eye cream, lip balm, or body butter, but it also delivers key anti-inflammatory and anti-aging components)
- 2g of Avocado oil (the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in avocado oil help the skin stay smooth, strong, and elastic)
- 2 drops of Helichrysum essential oil (anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial skin helper, it makes the skin smooth, soft and helps retain moisture)
- 2 drops of Roman Camomile essential oil (it promotes smooth, healthy skin and relieves irritations thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties)
- 2 drops of Vitamine E (for longer conservation)
Texturising Hair powder
I recently bought a solid shampoo for oily hair which, in a few applications, has made my hair incredibly wavy again (the waves had disappeared a few years ago when I started using a curling iron daily) and magically reappeared a few weeks ago!! Hence, although I have the necessary ingredients to make a recipe for a shampoo with Shikikai powder (generally used to add softness and shine, to fight dandruff, to detangle hair and to make them stronger and thicker), I will first finish this excellent shampoo and avoid adding products in my shower! I still made something for my hair, a styling power that I use in the morning to give some texture to my thin hair. It smells like peppermint (because of the Ylang Ylang essence) and I love it. It is also very simple to make as you only need to mix 2 powders and one essential oil:
- 14g of Amla powder (rich in iron and antioxidants it reduces hair loss, enhances hair growth and prevents premature graying)
- 4.2g of Kachur Sughandi powder (used to give strength, volume and shine, to stimulate the roots of the hair and to slow down the greying process)
- 2 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil (natural way to treat thinning hair and split ends)
My Lip Balm
To initiate my battle again chemical ingredients, I am slowly replacing my beauty products (not throwing them away necessarily but putting them in a cupboard for the moment), so Yesterday I emptied an EOS lip balm to use it as a container for my hand-made one. This one I am trying today but doesn’t seem very moisturizing to me, although all websites agree on this formula:
- 5g of Shea butter (its buttery rich consistency makes it an excellent moisturizer, ideal for use as a natural eye cream, lip balm, or body butter, but it also delivers key anti-inflammatory and anti-aging components)
- 5g Coconut oil (it is an excellent moisturizer, that can penetrate hair better than other oils and it is naturally antibacterial and antifungal)
- 2g bee or vegetal wax (it contains natural emulsifiers, which help retain moisture in the skin which is especially helpful for dry and chapped lips)
- 2 drops of Vitamin E (for conservation)
There couldn’t be more fat in it and yet I cannot see any benefits. It may take a few days to get to the lower skin layers hopefully, so I will keep using it while I wait for some results.
I guess this is all I have made so far, but I still have many products to make in this upcoming week with the remaining ingredients: a dry shampoo made from cornstarch, a face night serum with Shear butter and some coffee body scrub for instance. Today, my first impression is that making my own products is fun, rewarding, healthier and apparently efficient although I will see the effects in the long run (althought the effects on the hair is quite immediate).
In fact, I believe that I should go further and apply it to a healthier diet and a more conscious way of consuming: starting with reducing packaging and buying less but better products. And at some point, also for the happiness of my couple, I guess I will have to use this new passion of mine for creating our household natural detergents.
Also, if you like DIY and have any recipe that you love please share.