With more and more toxins and nasty chemicals making their way into conventional cleaning, bath, and body care products, I’m proud to support a day that celebrates the benefits and necessity of natural products. On March 24—Natural Products Day—our friends at the National Products Association (NPA) and industry leaders came together in Washington, D.C. to educate and discuss the important role of natural products in keeping our society healthy.
But if you’re like me, you care as much about what you put on your body as what you put in it. Eating clean and using clean products is a day-to-day commitment. So let’s make Natural Products Day an everyday affair. Here are my 5 favorite beautiful and easy DIY body care recipes to celebrate natural products all year long.
(One note before you transform your kitchen into a bustling DIY laboratory: I prefer my body care products to be free of pesticides, so don’t forget to choose Certified Organic or spray free ingredients when available.)
Natural Exfoliating Salt or Sugar Scrub Recipe
Sea salt (or raw sugar for a gentler, more moisturizing scrub): 1 cup
Apricot or almond oil: 2 tablespoons
Essential oil: 5 to 6 drops (for an invigorating morning scrub, try rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis or peppermint Mentha ×piperita; for a long day pick-me-up, try geranium Pelargonium graveolens)
Put the salt or sugar into a bowl and add the oils. Mix together with your hands. Store in a covered container until ready to use. This natural exfoliating scrub will last for up to one month. (I mix this right into the container I plan to keep in the shower—usually a recycled screw cap jar.)
This mixture is most effective and just lovely when used in the shower. Use small handfuls of your natural sugar or salt scrub and rub over the body in brisk circular motions.
I love to focus on acupressure points: lymph nodes, collarbone, ear lobes, the base of the neck, and even around the nostrils (gently). There is also one just under the knee on the outside of the leg that supports the gallbladder.
Restorative Herbal Ointment
Comfrey Symphytum officinale root: 2 ounces
Calendula Calendula officinalis flowers: 1 ounce
Mullein Verbascum thapsus flowers: 1 ounce
Plantain Plantago major leaf: 1 ounce
St. John’s wort Hypericum perforatum flowers: 1 ounce
High-quality cold-pressed olive oil: enough to cover herbs
Beeswax: quantity will depend on the amount of infused oil
This is my go to “owie” herbal ointment recipe.
Use freshly dried herbs if possible (nothing over 2 years old) and grind them finely. Cover them with an extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil in a tightly capped preserving jar. Allow it to sit in a warm place (but not direct sunlight) for 10 to 14 days. Shake the oil mixture twice a day, ensuring that all the herbs are covered in the oil. Top it up if necessary.
After steeping for two weeks, strain out the oil using butter muslin or cheesecloth and squeeze the herbs to ensure as much of the oil is released as possible. Place this oil in a saucepan over a water bath, or in a double boiler, and bring it to a low temperature that will melt beeswax. For every cup of oil, add one to two ounces of grated beeswax depending on the consistency required.
At this point you can use the “spoon test” to gauge the consistency of the ointment. Take one teaspoon of the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for five minutes. The consistency after this time will indicate the hardness of the final product. Add more beeswax to harden or more oil to soften.
Moisturizing Hair Oil for Dry Hair
Argan oil: 4 tablespoons
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 1 teaspoon
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia essential oil: 1 teaspoon
Mix all ingredients. Massage this natural emollient hair oil into hair and scalp twice a week in the evening and leave on all night. Wash and condition your hair as usual the next morning for glowing and moisturized hair.
Nourishing Herbal Dry Skin Mask
German Chamomile Matricaria recutita flowers: 2 tablespoons
Raw free-range egg yolk: 1
Wheat germ oil: 1 teaspoon
Honey: 1 teaspoon
Mix all the ingredients to a smooth texture. Apply to a clean face, avoiding the area around the eyes. Lie down with your feet up to improve the circulation to the facial area. Leave on until dry and wash off with warm water. Splash the face with a mild toner to tighten pores.
Berry Beautiful Exfoliating Mask
Strawberries: 3 to 4
Blend all ingredients. Add ground oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, or fuller’s earth if the mixture is too wet. Apply to the face, avoiding the area around the eyes. Do not leave the mask on your skin for more than 10 minutes, or if the mask starts to sting, particularly on sensitive skin, as the papaya has a powerful enzyme action that may leave the face raw. Finish by splashing the face with lukewarm water.
I hope you enjoy these recipes—and please let me know how they turn out for you. Then share with me how you spent your Natural Products Day 2015 in the comments!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the President and Founder of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.