This week our guest blogger, Katie Jenson, shares with us her tips for creating your natural skincare spa at home. Katie is a former trained beauty therapist and spa therapist. She is currently training to become a Naturopathic nutritionist.
We’ve loved learning more about natural ways to nurture your skin this month and hope you’re enjoying reading what we’ve been up to, drop us a comment below and let us know if you try any of Katie’s fabulous ideas. Don’t forget that the perfect pick you up alongside a bit of self-care is our new Cherry and Collagen Macaroons!
Creating your natural Skincare Spa at home.
When I was little all I wanted was to go into the garden and get lost in nature. I would make lotions and potions with my mum’s empty glass milk bottles for hours. Using leaves and flowers to create a rose perfume from the petals. Little did I know that this was the start of a lifelong hobby. I’d love to help you with creating your natural skincare spa at home.
(Rose petal photo)
Glowing healthy beautiful skin has always been a focus of mine. I believe that it is obtained by much more than simply what we placed on our skin. I’m passionate about the whole process of looking after ourselves, resting more, being in touch with the moment, in nature, eating whole foods that nourish us. There’s been a massive rise in the natural skincare industry in the last few years; people are looking to nature to look after themselves. Creating self-care that has more meaning and is more soulful.
Nothing is more enjoyable than opening my kitchen cupboards and preparing myself something totally natural and homemade. I must admit when I first did this my husband thought I had gone slightly crazy and asked me why I had porridge on my face! There is an element of, ‘what am I putting on my face?’ when you literally have food on your face. It was only once I became a mum that my love for making my own skincare really exploded. It was a way of me beginning to take care of myself again. Easily creating my own home spa that was inexpensive, homegrown, and non-toxic. Short of time, on maternity leave and with no childcare I began to get creative within the kitchen. Carving out some much needed time to myself, to recharge my batteries. Slowing down and pampering myself.
I work on the principle of a “wholefood wardrobe”. A skincare wardrobe of sorts in which you can select whole food and fresh ingredients, using real foods that are beneficial to your skin. Before I select my ingredients I take a look at my skin and say to myself, what does my skin need today? What do I need today? I then go and take a mindful walk around my garden collecting herbs and any flowers in season that I can use. I also take a look through my fridge for fresh ingredients and grab store cupboard staples from my cupboards.
Because you are using what you already have, natural beauty is a wonderful way to be more sustainable, cutting down on the packaging that enters your home and creating less waste. It is also a great way to be more mindful of what you are putting on your skin and limiting your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients that disrupt hormones and are potential carcinogens.
After all, between 60-70% of what we put onto our skin is potentially absorbed into our bloodstream. Therefore, we should be super careful about what we are using on a daily basis. When I first started my journey with natural beauty I found www.thinkdirtyapp.com super helpful. We are often so careful about what we put into our mouths with the food we eat, so why aren’t we taking the same care about what we put on our skin?
There are a few golden rules that I always follow before I make anything. Yes, the ingredients may be natural but that does not mean that they are all safe to use. Even natural ingredients are powerful and can cause reactions. Before you go off making your creations you must go
and do your own research. There are some amazing websites out there dedicated to all things natural beauty.
The basic rules before I begin putting anything on my skin are:
1. I always do a patch test first before applying any of the ingredients. Although they are natural they could still cause an allergic reaction.
2. I soon realised that making my own natural skincare was not as glamorous as beautifully packaged products. My drains learnt the hard way, I now use an old towel that I perform my body scrubs on so not to block them.
3. I always make sure to use my natural beauty creations straight away so they do not spoil. They don’t have all the chemicals and preservatives to keep them fresh and safe so I make sure to make and enjoy asap. Like food, if something smells bad I do not use it!
4. The first thing I do before making anything is to make sure that my containers are sterilised and clean before using them.
With all that being said, I find making your own natural beauty so rewarding. My five favourite ingredients to use within my creations are:
1. Oats are wonderfully nourishing. They also make a great gentle exfoliator and help to soften the skin. They contain natural saponins that help to draw out toxins and absorb dirt. Perfect for sensitive or irritated skin.
2. Ingredients full of antioxidants and vitamins help to fight free radicals and help to prevent and protect against ageing skin. They are also radiance-boosting helping to brighten and even out skin tone. Antioxidant ingredients can come in the form of acai berry powder, cacao powder, and even mashed up blueberries or strawberries.
3. Dairy in particular full-fat yogurt is a super ingredient. I like using yogurt as it is not only moisturising but the lactic acid contained also acts as a gentle exfoliant leaving my skin glowing.
4. If I need a quick fix for my face I love to put a mashed banana on it as it is packed with potassium and vitamins that help to feed the skin.
5. I use coconut oil the most out of all my kitchen ingredients within my natural beauty. I use it as a cleanser to dissolve and take off my make up at night. Using a cloth with warm water to gently wipe and remove it. I also like to use it as a night-time moisturiser a couple of times a week. I also make lip balms with it, body scrubs, and use it as a base to face masks.
Possibly my favourite natural beauty treat to make is a super simple and nourishing bath soak. Always using oats that leave my skin super soft. I also like to add dried camomile flowers which are so beautiful and calming for the skin and mind. Sometimes I will switch these out according to the season, adding dried lavender or homegrown rose petals or beautiful fresh revitalising herbs from the garden. I also like to add dried milk when my skin looks lacklustre and needs a boost to glow. The lactic acid in the milk helps to gently exfoliate and soften skin. Of course, leave this out if you are vegan.
For an easy recipe to create at home I will use:
½ cup oats
¼ cup of dried milk
¼ cup dried chamomile flowers buds
Add to a muslin and tie with string under the running tap. Watch as the bath turns a delicious creamy colour and then enjoy and let your mind unwind and go into a relaxed happy state.
I hope you enjoy carving out some me time and enjoy your natural beauty journey. Remember that this whole process is much more than simply what you are putting on your skin. It is about creating time for you and carving out time for nourishing the inside too.
Enjoy creating your natural skincare spa at home!
Katie has a background in the skincare industry and is a trained beauty therapist and spa therapist. She is currently training to become a Naturopathic nutritionist. When she isn’t studying you can find her gardening, cooking seasonally, and creating with nature @storiesoftheseason. She also has a page dedicated to glowing from the inside out @slowtoglow where the message is that being mindful and slowing down all contributes to a delicious healthy glow.
This blog is for information only and does not constitute advice. Please consult a professional and do your own research.