One of my favourite Christmas gifts this year was from my sister and her family. Like me, she is really interested in simple living and especially cutting down the amount of chemicals and additives used around the home and in our food.
For her gift she creatively gave me a box filled with the raw materials to make my own skincare products. It included coconut oil, cane sugar, beeswax, honey, oatmeal, bicarb and some essential oils.
I love it for two reasons:
Firstly, it's filled with products that I have heard talked about and seen as part of natural recipes but that I have never got round to buying myself. This has given me a boost to try some ideas that I've wanted to do for ages but haven't because I was always missing the vital ingredients!
Secondly, although I strive to buy and use natural products in our home I have been failing to do so on a large scale for a while now. When we lived in Aberystwyth we had a couple of organic stores very close to our house which made it really easy to make sure that everything we bought - from toilet cleaner to deodorant - was as natural as possible and inspired me to try new things. However, since moving to Cardiff and then Pembrokeshire I have been unable to find local shops that stock a decent amount of natural alternatives and I have found myself buying more and more cheap chemical filled products just because it's easier. I can get things online but the postage costs and need to be more organised has put me off a bit.
This box of goodies has given me new enthusiasm to try and cut down on the amount of chemicals in our home, and should last me for a decent time so that I can create my own balms, moisturisers, body and face washes instead of buying un-natural alternatives.
I have made an un-official new years resolution that I will not buy anymore 'conventional' cosmetics and toiletries this year but will always opt for organic and natural products.
So far I have been really impressed with my skincare box. I have been using the natural cold pressed coconut oil as a moisturiser and it leaves the skin beautifully soft without any hint of greasiness.
I have also made some Peppermind Lipbalm which is AMAZING (and much needed in this cold weather!) so I thought I would share the recipe here in the hope of inspiring some of you too:
Mix 2 parts coconut oil and 1 part beeswax in a microwave container and heat until melted, stirring well as you go.
Stir in a few drops of vitamin E oil and some peppermint essential oil.
Pour into a small pot and leave to set.
I'm really looking forward to exploring more options with these ingredients. I think it's so easy to buy into all the advertising that says we need have tons of chemical-laden cosmetics and toiletries to be beautiful when actually natural alternatives are safer, healthier and cheaper while still being as good as even high-end products!