Think about all the plastic bottles and pots full of lotions and potions cluttering up our vanities. Chances are most of them aren’t made or packaged in an eco-friendly or cruelty-free way. Maybe you want to make your skincare routine less wasteful but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you think being waste-free means buying more expensive products.
Don’t worry – it’s very easy and affordable to DIY your way to a zero-waste skincare routine with just a few ingredients! You probably have most of them in your home already, and you can buy them all from your local supermarket. Here are some easy ways to reduce your skincare down to six multi-functional ingredients so your skin and the planet can feel good.
Sugar is a popular natural exfoliant and is the main ingredient you will need for making your own scrubs. Take your skin type into account when choosing brown or white sugar. White sugar provides a tougher scrub as the granules are smaller, whilst brown sugar’s larger granules are less abrasive. If you have more sensitive skin, stick to brown!
How To Use It: Make Your Own Face And Lip Scrub
- Mix sugar and extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil together in a shallow container to make a paste with a consistency you’re happy with.
- Apply it to your face and scrub in a circular motion with your fingertips.
- Rinse and pat your face dry. The sugar will have removed the dead skin and the oil will sink into your skin in a few minutes, leaving you moisturised.
- For best results, exfoliate your face twice a week maximum.
Honey isn’t just Winnie the Pooh’s favourite food – it’s fantastic for your skin. Honey has antibacterial properties, is full of antioxidants and is very soothing. People generally recommend using organic/raw/manuka honey for increased health benefits; however, there’s no conclusive evidence supporting those claims, so use whatever makes your skin happy.
How To Use It: Make A Face Wash
- Mix honey with some jojoba or coconut oil so it can be applied more smoothly.
- Massage the mixture into your skin until dry for best results.
- You can leave it on as a mask for a few minutes or rinse off immediately with warm water.
- Pat dry and feel renewed! You can apply moisturiser as a final step if necessary.
Anti-bacterial, astringent and full of nutrients, apple cider vinegar is excellent for your skin. Be sure to get raw apple cider vinegar as it’s unprocessed, unfiltered and unpasteurized. It should be cloudy and contain something nicknamed “The Mother” – a wispy substance with beneficial bacteria and acids. An important thing to remember: you must dilute apple cider vinegar. Never use it straight out of the bottle; it’s highly acidic and will damage your skin.
How To Use It: Make A Toner
- Shake the bottle of apple cider vinegar.
- In a bottle, mix one part vinegar to two/three parts water. Dilute it more if you feel it’s necessary.
- Apply the toner to your skin with a cotton pad and let it work for one minute.
- Rinse your face with water and moisturise as usual.
- BuyMeOnce Tip: Instead of mixing the vinegar with water, try using green tea for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
Tea tree essential oil is probably in your beauty kit already. It’s great for clearing breakouts as it’s antiseptic and clears your pores. Warning: don’t use pure, undiluted tea tree oil and never ingest it as it’s toxic if consumed! Most tea tree oils on the market are not full strength and safe to use from the bottle, just be sure to check the label. Otherwise, dilute it with another oil such as coconut or jojoba oil before use.
How To Use It: Toner And Spot Treatment
- Pour a few drops onto a reusable makeup pad and apply to problem areas, or lightly sweep it across your forehead, nose and chin.
Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are fantastic for your skin. The idea of putting oil straight onto your face might sound terrifying but don’t worry. If used correctly, it won’t make your face oily or clog your pores. All you need to do is rub a little oil on your fingertips, massage it onto your face and give it a few minutes to soak into your skin. If you use a good quality oil, you can mix it into your foundation, serums or even your regular moisturiser for an added boost.
These oils are good staples for making your own skincare products. Both coconut and olive oil are great for soothing and softening your skin, but they’re best for normal to dry skin types. However, they’re quite comedogenic because they’re rich oils, which means they’re more likely to clog your pores.
Sweet almond oil is a popular substitute for olive or coconut oil and is much lighter on your skin. It’s very moisturising, hypoallergenic and some report that it’s helped clean out their pores. But be careful if you have nut allergies!
Try swapping out your vanity products for these natural substitutes to make your skincare routine better for the environment, your budget and you.
Christy Ku is a writer, spoken word poet and videographer based in London, UK. She recently performed in the Barbican Young Poets 2018 Showcase and is always prepared with a good GIF.