The organic beauty market is thriving and there are so many amazing natural skin care products available but sadly they still come at such a hefty price, leaving those on a lower income on the sidelines. Natural skin care on a budget might sound like an impossible feat but it really isn’t.
Ditch the toxins and save yourself a bucket load of money by switching to natural skin care on a budget. Just raid your fridge and pantry to glow like a model!
Maybe you’re a single mum, maybe you just don’t want to make the upfront investment in case you don’t like what you buy, or maybe like me you don’t always have the cash to be able to afford such luxuries – that’s why I’ve come up with some cheap and non-toxic ways to vamp up your face care regime. Not only that – you’re totally going to be able to grab these items form your local supermarket. In fact, they’re probably living in your refrigerator or food cupboard already! Did you know that the average British woman spends £70,000 in a lifetime on her appearance? That’s roughly £1350 a month and apparently, £54.00 of this is on the face alone, which is utterly batshit crazy to me considering that I spend just under £100 a year equating to around £8.30 a month. Think of all of the money you could save just by raiding your fridge! It really is a no-brainer.
I often get asked what products I use on my face and hair, and the truth is I don’t, I literally don’t buy a thing, not even organic brands. This is purely because I cannot afford to but also because there is something so primal and amazing about using raw ingredients in their natural state. It almost becomes a ritualistic event and I find that since I have been hitting my kitchen cupboard my stress levels have also reduced drastically.
So, if you have an open mind and an extra 5 minutes to add to your beauty regime then read on…
Natural Skincare Swaps
Muslin cloths are simply lightweight pieces of woven cotton or bamboo fabric which offer a great alternative to cleansing brushes and are antibacterial. Brushes are more likely to build up bacteria and cause unwanted breakouts whereas you can use one muslin cloth twice a day then throw it in the washing machine and you’re good to go again. It’s also a great way to ditch the face wipes when you pair with oils, making it an amazing eco-friendly alternative.
I absolutely cannot live without my muslin cloths now, they’re super soft and gentle enough to be used twice daily. Although they are best when used with a cleansing balm or facial oil they can also be used on their own to gently exfoliate the skin too. If you have super sensitive skin you may want to use them only once/twice weekly instead.
I’d highly recommend the Aurelia Weekend Muslin Cloths (Pack of 3, £16.99 from Content Beauty).
Coconut Oil Make-up Remover
Back in the day I used to fork out for Lancome, Chanel, or Guerlain makeup removers and looking back I can’t believe how stupid I was to pay £20-£30 for a chemical laden product when I could basically crack out a jar of virgin organic coconut oil (or even a bottle of extra virgin olive oil) for just £3 and get the job done. Not only is it a 10th of the price but it also lasts 10 times longer too.
How to: Apply a generous amount of virgin organic coconut, or extra virgin olive oil, all over your face and eyes. Massage gently then wipe clean with a damp, warm muslin cloth. Great when followed up with a fermented rice water wash and rose water toner.
Fermented Rice Water Face Wash
This might sound a) a bit gross and b) just a little bit odd but please do bear with me. Rice water has been a beauty staple for centuries across Asia and it’s not hard to see why – packed full of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals it’s pretty much an instant facial.
So why go fermented? Well, ferments contain a healthy dose of probiotics and, I’m sure you’re all aware, probiotics are great for healing inflammation within the body. So, you can apply the same reasoning to your skin, it is an organ after all. It’s no surprise to me that more and more companies are now releasing probiotic rich skincare products, both in the green beauty and mainstream beauty scene, which can help to shield your skin from nasty microorganisms and bacteria – but you don’t need to break the bank – you can do this all by yourself with some trusty rice. (To read more about probiotics in skincare click here.)
Chances are you’ve all got a bag of white or brown rice at home, and if you don’t you can pick up organic white rice from your local supermarket for £1.50. If you’re not already soaking your rice before you’re eating it, then start doing it now! Soaking rice neutralises phytic acid, the anti-nutrient that prevents the absorption of several vitamins and minerals. This soaking also makes rice easier to digest.
You’ll find that rice water is great for all skin types, but especially oily or acne prone skin as it cleans away impurities, leaving skin soft and matte (but not dry) making it a great primer for your make up. Rice water can also be used as a strengthening rinse for your hair too.
How to: Soak organic white or brown rice in cold water overnight or for as little as 30 minutes. Make sure the rice is submerged in about an inch or so of water. Massage the rice grains until the water becomes milky and decant into an airtight bottle. Leave out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 24 hours in order to ferment. Once fermented store in the refrigerator and use within 3-5 days. It should smell a little like sour milk when ready. If you can’t stand the smell you can also use unfermented but you won’t reap any probiotic benefits!
Remove all makeup with coconut oil first. Either splash the rice water all over your face, massage in and leave. You can use a cotton pad or soak a muslin cloth if you prefer. To use as a hair rinse simply pour over your hair once cleaned. Massage in and leave for a few minutes. You can then rinse or just leave it and go!
Clay Face and Hair Wash
I’m a huge clay fan and I often wash my face 4 times a week using clay mixed with rice water and the other 3 days using oil and rice water. I also wash my hair with Ghassoul clay every other day and it increases the volume of my fine, poker straight hair. Clay is packed full of minerals and is fantastic for topically exfoliating the skin and drawing impurities from the skin leaving your pores looking immaculate. There are a few different clays that are great for different skin types so take a look below to find your perfect clay:
- Bentonite (a.k.a. Fuller’s Earth) – normal/oily, acne prone, hyperpigmented, and dull skin.
- White or Yellow Kaolin – perfect for sensitive and dry skin. If very sensitive stick to white kaolin.
- French Green – oily/acne prone skin. Best for exfoliation, pore tightening, and oil absorption. Enhances circulation so also great for combating cellulite.
- French Red – oily, acne prone, flaky, and normal skin. Also great for healing spider and varicose veins, stretch marks, wrinkles, and bruises. Has a toning and radiance-boosting effect.
- Ghassoul/Rhassoul – best for all skin types but great for mature skin, If you’re 30+ make this your go-to clay. Has elasticity and texture improving properties as well as removing blackheads. Also makes a great shampoo and has a lubricated feel. Take caution as this swells once rehydrated so a little goes a long way!
How to: Take 1 tsp of your favourite clay and mix into a paste with a little water. Massage onto your face, leave for a few minutes, then wash away. When using on the body mix up a larger quantity and follow the same method! When masking leave on skin for 10-15 minutes until dry and then rinse off.
For a Ghassoul shampoo simply mix together 1-2 tbsp of the clay in a non-metal bowl with water or fermented rice water until you reach a consistency slightly runnier than yoghurt. Add an additional 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar for a deeper clean and a few drops of organic peppermint or rosemary essential oil to promote hair growth. Wet your hair then massage in the clay mixture, leave for a few minutes, massage again and rinse clean. You shouldn’t need any conditioner but if you have particularly dry/damaged hair massage in a few drops of argan or camellia oil into the ends whilst still damp.
Adzuki Bean Exfoliator
Adzuki beans have been used by women and men across Japan for centuries and can now become part of your natural skincare routine too. When powdered they can be used as a natural and environmentally friendly exfoliator for both the body and face. They contain saponin, a natural foaming agent, that cleans the pores by absorbing excess oil and bacteria. They also slough away any dead skin cells.
How to: Grind 1/2 cup organic adzuki beans in a coffee grinder of bullet style blender (with a milling blade) until the beans become very finely ground. Sieve the bean powder to remove any larger particles and decant into an airtight container. You can save the larger bean particles to exfoliate your body so don’t throw them out!
To use simply take 1/2 – 1 tbsp of powder and mix with a little warm water until you make a thick but spreadable paste. Wet your face and gently massage in small circles. Rinse with warm water and say hello to your baby soft skin! When exfoliating your body take a big handful and mix together with water in a bowl then scrub away.
Ice, Ice, Baby!
One of my favourite things to do after cleaning my face is giving it a good old submerge in some ice cold water. It helps to close your pores, calm any redness and swelling, reduce acne, brighten the complexion and boost the circulation, reduce oiliness, wrinkles, and my favourite – eye bags!
How to: Simply run your cold tap until super icy and splash over your face for 30 seconds, alternatively fill your sink with ice cold water, hold your breath and submerge your face for as long as possible. Now, if you don’t live in Britain then the chances are your taps don’t get as ridiculously cold as they do here so simply whip up a batch of ice cubes! Grab an ice cube, wrap in a muslin cloth and wipe/massage all over the face in a circular motion. You can also freeze herbal teas too. Tone and moisturise as normal.
Rose Water Toner
Yup this is so simple, buy a 100ml bottle of organic rose water for £3 or £4, pop on a cotton pad and wipe away! It’s cooling and has the most uplifting and relaxing scent ever. You’ll find that it will rejuvenate dry skin and as it’s anti-inflammatory it is fab for acne and eczema prone skin. It also balances the PH of your skin and regulates oil production too. Whether you’ve got dry, sensitive, mature, or oily skin you will find it poifect!
If you’re not a rose fan then give organic orange blossom water a go too as it possesses the same properties. It has a gorgeous scent and almost reminds me of bubblegum for some strange reason.
Natural Face Masks
There are a number of ingredients in your fridge and cupboards that can all help your skin in so many ways so feel free to mix and match. I usually take 1 tbsp of my fave clay and mix together with 1 tsp of any of the dry ingredients below then use the wet ingredients to mix into a spreadable paste. When using raw honey or mashed avocado I often add some water or another liquid ingredient to make the mask spreadable. Just leave on your face for 10-15 minutes before washing off gently.
- Cacao powder – mineral rich (particularly magnesium), this smells great and serves as a great anti-stress mask that will pep up the dullest of complexions.
- Matcha green tea – crazy amounts of antioxidants this is a real glow-getter! Great combined with pretty much anything.
- Seaweed – I grind up my wakame and mix this together with some spirulina or chlorella to become a fully fledged mermaid. There’s a fab mermaid mask recipe on Primal Eye by the amazingly talented Amy of Skyn.Therapy so check it out!
- Spirulina/chlorella – like a shot of vitamins and amino acids for your skin but also has great antibacterial properties too. Great for all skin types but a good anti-ageing weapon.
- Turmeric – has great anti-inflammatory properties so is brilliant for healing scars, acne, and leaves a gorgeous glow. Only use 1/2 tsp and combine with yoghurt, coconut oil, and raw honey to ensure it doesn’t stain the skin.
- Organic and sulfite-free red wine – packed full of resveratrol and other polyphenols this can even be used a toner that you wash off. When masking combine with yoghurt and raw honey for a super anti-ageing and rejuvenating treatment. Patch test on sensitive skin first.
- Raw honey – antibacterial, antifungal, and humectant properties. Perfect for all skin types.
- Hibiscus tea – chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants this will leave your skin glowing. Take caution on sensitive skin.
- Fermented rice water – mattifying and softening properties. Probiotic-rich.
- Yoghurt or kefir – packed full of lactic acid, probiotics, and AHAs. Great when combined with raw honey and white kaolin clay for an anti-ageing and moisture injecting mask.
- Rose or orange blossom water – toning and moisturising effects.
- Avocado – super hydrating and nourishing. Perfect for dry and mature skin. Great combined with raw honey and matcha green tea.
- Nut or oat milk – great for sensitive and dry skin.
I don’t know about you but with this hectic modern lifestyle, eye bags are almost becoming mandatory. My natural solution? Potatoes. Yup, you heard me right, potatoes. Potatoes contain the enzyme catecholase which helps to reduce the puffiness under the eyes, they also help to bleach the skin when used over time, thus eradicating dark circles. The antioxidants, starch, and vitamins A and C help to moisturise, nourish, firm, and rejuvenate the skin.
How to: Chill a potato in the refrigerator, cut 2 large slices into a sort of flat, boat shape so that they fit the curve of your eye. Place under the eye area for 20-30 minutes then rinse and pat dry. Alternatively, you can blend a potato in a bullet style blender and use a muslin/cheese cloth or nut mylk bag squeeze out the potato juice and bottle. Store in the refrigerator and soak cotton balls or pads in the juice and follow the method above.
This one is a bit of a funny one. Sometimes I like to whip up a batch of my Nourishing Grapefruit and Mandarin Body Butter in the old stand mixer but I pretty much just use organic virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil on my body and even my face on a daily basis. If you’ve got particularly dry skin then I’d recommend using shea or cacao butter for your body without a doubt. If you’re looking to moisturise your face then a few drops of avocado, jojoba, rosehip, camellia, or argan oil will go a long way. These can be a little pricey but a little goes a long way.
Fancy taking the plunge into the world of DIY beauty? Want something a little more luxurious? Why not get started by making my super easy Cellulite Busting Mandarin, Vanilla, and Coffee Sugar Scrub or Sweet Orange and Coconut Body Butter.