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sustainable cosmetics

Natural Cosmetics You Can Make At Home

Sometimes, it can feel impossible to find a truly sustainable cosmetic product. When you find one in plastic-free packaging, it uses ingredients that have a huge carbon footprint. When you discover a fantastic all-natural product, the transportation to get it to the store uses a lot of water.

Ultimately, the only way to really know how sustainable your beauty and hygiene products are is to make them yourself. And it’s not as hard as you might think.

You probably have items lying around your house that you can repurpose into beauty products all by yourself, from the comfort of your own home. Once you know how to, you can save money, plastic, and valuable global resources by switching out shop-bought items for DIY ones. 

Here are a few ideas to help get you started. 

Lemon Face Mask

Face masks are great for refreshing oily skin, reducing spots and giving you clearer pores. There’s a super easy recipe to make one as well: simply mix a little fresh lemon juice with fresh yeast until it forms a smooth paste.

Apply it directly to clean skin and leave it for between ten to fifteen minutes. Wash your face thoroughly afterwards with lukewarm water, and you’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your skin will feel.

You should only apply a face mask one or two times a week, so don’t overdo it, or your skin might start to feel dry or cracked.

Clay and Carrot Face Mask

Another simple face mask recipe uses healing clay and carrots – an unlikely pairing, but it really works! Its purpose is to clean our skin and shrink the pores. 

To start off, grate a carrot from the fridge with a fine grater. Mix three tablespoons of carrot with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and two tablespoons of healing clay. You can buy healing clay from most apothecaries or natural beauty stores. 

You want to grate the carrot as finely as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with lumps of the mask and it’s harder to apply to your face. You can store any leftover carrot in a container in the fridge for future masks.

Leave the mask on for fifteen minutes, then wash off with warm water. Once again, this mask should only be used a few times a week, so as not to upset the natural oil balance of your skin.

Protein Hair Mask

Treat your hair as well as your skin with a protein hair mask. If you’ve got particularly dry hair, lots of split ends, or you regularly dye your hair, this is a perfect choice. Protein is great for healing and moisturising hair in poor condition.

Mix 150g of natural yoghurt, one egg, two tablespoons of jojoba oil (or any vegetable oil will do), one teaspoon of honey, and two drops of wheatgerm oil together. Heat everything briefly in a bain-marie (a glass bowl over a saucepan full of boiling water). 

Leave to cool slightly, until it’s comfortable to touch, then pour everything through the length of your hair, including the roots. With the mixture still in, wrap your hair in a towel or an old T-shirt. Leave the mixture in your hair for about 15 minutes, then wash out whatever is left with shampoo.

Honey Sugar Scrub

A natural exfoliator is a great way to remove dead skin and leave you feeling silky smooth. Plus, all you need to knock this up is brown sugar and honey. 

For one use, combine two tablespoons of brown sugar with one and a half tablespoons of honey. Mix together well. You should end up with a paste that you can gently use all over your body. Make sure to rinse it off well. You could even add a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice if you have these lying around at home too.

All of these products should be kept in the fridge. Remember that using natural products means that they will also go off, just like food will. Keep them refrigerated and make them in small amounts, so you have time to use them up before they go off.

There are some fantastic businesses and individuals focused on the world of sustainable beauty and hygiene – get inspired by their work by coming along to the Zero Waste Berlin Festival. 

Tickets are currently available to buy here, so make sure you secure your space alongside like-minded professionals, entrepreneurs, and activists on September 17-19. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!


  • Rachael Davies

    Rachael Davies is a freelance writer and journalist based in Edinburgh, with work in National Geographic, Huffington Post, and TechRadar. You can find her on Twitter @rachdaviesetc or via her website.