DIY skincare and bath products are easy, fun, economical – and make the best personalized gifts. Plus, they’re the safest, healthiest, and greenest choice, according to Debbi Burnes, natural beauty expert and creator of the all natural skincare line, Sumbody. Not only do we get to vet and decide exactly which ingredients to use, many of the ingredients are already in our kitchens. These all natural recipes only take a few minutes and will save you time and money while creating pure and natural products.
Growing up, my children loved to cook with me. From the time they could hold a knife, they were chopping, slicing, and dicing. Dinner became a time we all loved and embraced. We baked for fun. Before Sumbody, we also started to make bath products for ourselves and as gifts. This was a natural way to spend time with my children that also resulted in wonderful products. It was a valuable teaching tool: we would measure, divide, and multiply while learning about plants and herbs. We’d invite friends over for girls’ night and make enough products for the month. It also made for a lively birthday party activity. Making your own products isn’t just a blast- it’s a healthful (and even educational), hobby that the whole family can enjoy.
Here are a few tips when making your own products:
- Whenever possible, buy organic and in bulk.
- Fresh is best.
- Use glass for making and storing products. Cleaning and reusing empty condiment jars is an inexpensive, eco-minded option.
- Be mindful when storing products. For example, if you’re making a dry product, such as Sumbody’s polishing grains, keep it away from moisture.
- If you’re making a liquid product, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also save time by making extra and freezing it in ice cube trays.
- Cleanliness is extremely important. You don’t want hair or dirt contaminating your beautiful creations. Wash your hands well and sanitize with alcohol or wear gloves while concocting. Pull your hair back and wear a scarf or hairnet. Treat it like cooking and apply the same rules for working with open cuts, hand-washing, and the other rules of hygiene.
- Remember, when you wash your hands, you must dry them completely before continuing to make products.
- Stay off the internet! There are so many crazy concoctions that are not good for skin. I love sharing products you can make at home so you are getting a safe, effective formula that works. Look for a reliable source for your skin care.
Here are some simple and sumptuous recipes to get you started. After you get the basics, experiment and have fun with your own additions and twists–make them your own!
Custom-Scented Dead Sea Bath Salts
These salts are quick to make and can be done in large amounts at a time and stored for six months to a year. Olive oil makes the salts go from matte to shiny and adds moisture, however leaving it out of the recipe greatly extends shelf life.
- 1 cup pure Dead Sea salt (perfect for all skin types)
- ½ cup Epsom salt (optional, to relieve muscle tension)
- 3 drops essential oil, like one of Sumbody’s Six Scent blends
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional—makes the salts go from matte to shiny, adds limited moisture)
- 1 teaspoon rose or lavender petals (optional)
Pour the salt into a large bowl. You can use any combination of Dead Sea and Epsom salts you choose. If you’re adding olive oil, mix the essential oils with the olive oil first, then add to the salts. Mix by hand or with a spoon or fork. Sprinkle in the flower petals. Pour the salts into a clean jar with a lid and keep closed until ready to use. Essential oils will lose their scent over time if not in closed glass or a PET plastic jar.
Use 2 or more tablespoons per bath.
The Ultimate Bathing Oil
- Avocado, apricot, grape seed, almond, coconut, and/or olive oils
- Red turkey oil (note: this is not an animal product)
- Essential oils of your choice
You can use any combination of the above oils. Avocado, apricot, and olive are richer, almond and coconut are lighter. Have fun finding a combination that works best for your skin.
For every cup of oil, add 1/8 cup red turkey oil (this helps the oil suspend in your bathwater instead of only floating on top) and up to 10 drops of essential oils.
Please note: Using oils and butters in your bath makes surfaces slippery. Be careful when leaving your bath, and clean well after bathing.
Helpful hint: Keep baking soda near your bath and sprinkle it in after the water drains to absorb the excess oils; then wash the surfaces with soap.
Gentle Oat Face Cleanser for All Skin Types
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- ¼ tablespoon almonds
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (optional)
Put the oats, almonds, and coconut in a food processor and pulse until powdery, but not a paste. Place in a small bowl, add the powdered milk, and mix well.
Use a dime-sized amount to cleanse your face.
Moisturizing Bath Fizzer
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¼ cup citric acid
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- 2 teaspoons cocoa butter
- 5–20 drops essential oils
In a glass or metal bowl, mix the baking soda and citric acid. Add the powdered milk. Heat the cocoa butter in a microwave until just melted, but not scalding hot. Be very careful—heated butters can burn skin. If the butter is too hot, let it cool a bit before using. While it’s still melted and warm, mix with the dry ingredients, using a spoon or your hands. Add the essential oils and mix. The mixture should start to “come together” and feel slightly sticky. If needed, spray a tiny amount of water into the mixture. Press firmly into a silicone muffin pan, ice cube trays or bath bomb molds. Let it dry overnight and then pop out of the mold.
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- ½ cup shea butter
- 2 tablespoons apricot oil
- Essential oils
Melt the cocoa butter in a microwave until just melted but not scalding hot. Be very careful—heated butters can burn the skin. Add the shea butter. The heat from the cocoa butter should be enough to melt the shea butter. If it isn’t, put the mixture in the microwave for 10-second intervals, waiting after each interval to give the shea a chance to melt, until it is completely melted. Add the apricot oil and blend well. Add essential oils of your choice to your desired scent level. Pour into a wide-mouth container or mold.
- 1/8 cup avocado oil
- ½ cup jojoba oil
- 1 cup safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon carrot oil
- 1 teaspoon evening primrose oil
Pour the oils into a glass jar with a lid. Close and shake well. Add essential oils of your choice to your desired scent level.
When choosing oils, remember that different oils have different properties. Some, such as olive, apricot, and avocado are heavier, whereas pistachio, safflower, and canola are lighter. Choose a combination of oils that feel the best on your skin and are easily accessible.
Get creative and have fun with add-ins. You can use fresh milks, fruit purées, honey, vinegar, or champagne. The possibilities are unlimited.
- 1 cup sea salt or sugar
- Enough oil to saturate the salt/sugar
- 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oils
- Add-ins of your choice
Using your hands, mix together all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well blended. If you use fresh ingredients, store in a closed container in the refrigerator and discard any unused scrub after a week. Without fresh ingredients, the scrub will last in a sealed container in your bathroom for approximately 3 to 6 months, or until the oils go rancid. If you use fresh ingredients and your scrub is a gift, make sure to have it opened upon receipt and write “keep refrigerated” on the label.
For more natural beauty recipes, check out Debbi Burne’s book, Natural Beauty Skin Care: 110 Organic Formulas for a Radiant You!