Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Beauty is... fridge deep!

This week has been all about beauty. I have over the last 6 months been questioning the ingredients in my current beauty products – my skin is both dry and sensitive (this is at it’s worst in Winter). Anyway, my current staples are Clarins moisturiser (given to me by a friend), Superdrug moisturiser Vitamin E (to test against Clarins) and a L’oreal Rose cleansing lotion.

I recently read up on the subject of the ingredients present in most commercial products and well, the lists are scary. Surely, given how quickly us women go through these products, we don’t mind if it has a shelf life of say 2 months, but only around 4 or 5 ingredients instead of 15? I know my ‘shopper’ self believes all the marketing hype, but my money-saving and live-greener self is starting to question things.

So, to this aim, I have made some of my own products this week after some Googling. This site gives some interesting recipes that inspired me to make a natural face cleanser:


I adjusted it slightly and my ingredients for a cleanser were:

1 x Tablespoon Ground oatmeal (I used a pestle and mortar to get it very fine)
Drizzle Honey
1 x teaspoon Yoghurt
Drizzle of olive oil
Dash of milk

Mix all until you have a cleanser consistency to your liking, similar to what you might get in a store.
This lasts around 1 week, pop it in a sterilised lidded pot and should be kept in the fridge.

I estimate it costs around £0.20p, if that, to make. That’s around £0.80p per month for a nice natural cleanser, 5 ingredients worth, made in 5 minutes and you KNOW everything that went into – in fact, you know it can be eaten – I tried some to prove this!

Plus I can report it works amazingly well, my skin feels softer and I am definitely happier – my L’Oreal will be disposed of and recycled because I really don’t want to use more chemicals and prefer to spend £0.20 a week. So, £9.60 for a years worth of cleanser – that’s pretty amazing. I just need to make sure I make a new pot weekly.

My next experiment was Lip Gloss. That’s right – my last purchase was a Honey balm from REN which I seem to recall was around the £5 or £6 mark. Well, I was running short and almost bought another pot… Then I remembered I had bought some natural ingredient items off ebay last year in a moment of Shoppaholism. I had almond oil, jojoba oil, macademia oil and shea butter (unrefined). I found them all and made some of my own lip gloss – 2 pots worth and it worked amazingly well.

I now have 1 pot in my handbag and 1 pot on the bedside table – my hubby is also using it and loves that it’s natural. The recipe involves:

- Beeswax
- Shea Butter
- Jojoba Oil
- Essential oils
- Honey

I estimate these cost less than £0.50p per pot to make, compared to the £5 per pot – that’s something! I have as a result ‘Snowflaked’ £4.00 to my savings account, to cover the pot I *would* have purchased this week.

This site has some useful info:


and this one has some other recipes:

Of course you need to get the basic ingredients from a good seller, I liked ebay for this overall. Once you have them, you can make so many items – whipped body butter, lip balm, cleansers, cold cream and so much more. You can add the oils to shampoo, shower gel, conditioner etc.

I have also made a cold cream (see pic) with only a few ingredients – this site has an example:


This would have cost me around £3.00 to purchase, and only has a few ingredients instead of a long list of unpronounceables. I have made a pot and a half which I keep in the fridge, and massaged/cleansed my face with it last night, followed by a spritz of rose water onto a cotton pad and a final cleanse. In the mornings I am using the oatmeal/honey/yoghurt facewash which also helps to wake me up!

My home made whipped shea body butter worked out at around £1.90 for a whole tub:

This body butter contains many of the same ingredients and has simply been whipped with a blender, to add air and make it lighter.

All these are so quick to make, fun and natural plus I have noticed an immediate difference over the period of just 1 week.

I really don’t think you would regret making them, plus think of the a) money you will save, b) recycling you will avoid and c) happier skin!


CharlotteSometimes said...

I like your thinking and have been quietly reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it.
On the matter of less ingredients I read about the oil cleansing method which sounds good and simple to me and removes the issue of keeping it in the fridge (which would be my downfall as fridge and bathroom are too far apart in my house!)
Haven't tried it yet but will at some point. Here is a link if you are interested http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

Slice of life said...

ohhhh, this is interesting...

SavingsNow said...

Hi CharlotteSometimes & welcome! I have also heard of that technique and wanted to try it for my dry sensitive skin, I think I was just lazy to try and find where I could buy castor oil...
I have enough homemade items now to last me a while but if you try it in the meantime let us know how you get on?

And same for you Slice of Life - if you make any mandmade stuff let us know how it feels / cost savings etc!

Have a lovely weekend ;o)

Mellika said...

Hi could you let us know which ingredients you put in the shea body butter? I really want to make this!!

Gunna said...


Seen your link to your blog on MSE !!
I have really enjoyed reading up about natural things and making your own this interests me greatly as not only do i worry about the crap we put on our bodies but the price of it and it's so called claims.....it annoys me when manufacturers say "contains shea butter" and when you look it is the very last ingredient and is only about 1% !!! and even then might be processed to high heaven.
I would love to know how to make natural baby products as i feel babies are extra vunerable to all the chemicals in they baby products and even the most natural product is either way way overpriced(i am not paying £15 for a lotion that costs under £1 to make)or have a lot of chemicals in still.....oooh am blabbing on but i love this whole subject of natural and aromatherapy!!!
Keep up the blog am enjoying it a lot !!!

SavingsNow said...

Thanks Lee - great to hear this article was of use - hopefully we'll all feel inspired to make more natural products that save us some cash! In fact this weekend I am going to show a friend how I made mine so she can save some cash too.

At Easter I made a new variation of the cleanser in this article, but made it with a white tea base, instead of rosewater, packed with antioxidants... for the price of a teabag and some apricot oil! In Winter I will se jojoba and in summer apricot (a lighter oil for dry skin)...

Gunna said...

Oooh the cleansers sound lovely and like something you would expect to pay £10-15 in a posh shop for !!! I think i mgith have a go at an oatmeal and honey cleanser sounds yummy and luxurious :)

I loved the whipped shea butter so much in fact i am going to make my own, i found a recipe using jojoba,rose and lavender and it sounds soooo good for the body and mind hehe.....
All the raw ingredients are so cheap on ebay and refined so you can't go wrong.
Am making a list of stuff to get including unrefined cocoa butter and aloe vera(i have found granules which make a whoppping 2 litres of organic pure aloe gel for £5.99) but downside it lasts for 7 days tops so if i was going to make aloe cooling foot/leg gel and face masks etc i would have to add something to extend it's like or buy aloe which already has it in and that ia quite expensive....so a bit more research needed there.
I thought about loads of thing si could make last night as well as reading entries in the blog(which stimulated the frugal in me lol)am going to have a go at making my own washing gel(i can get candle making perfumes on ebay was going to get yankee candle clean cotton so it smelt like cotton)or i might add my fave coconut and have tropical washing lol...gosh the list is endless as to what you could do and most of the ingredients are so cheap and easy to source it is all so exciting and fun(just have to watch i don't waste money whilst experimenting).
Lots of reaidng and finding mises and recipes now but if you have any recipes i would love to know them and try them myself......right back to reading now lol

Gunna said...

lol i mean un-refined for the ingredients duhh

SavingsNow said...

Hi Gunna I am so glad you're finding inspiration here - I have been experimenting alot with ideas from the web and do love making my own. Even if it doesn't last as long, I can always make less, but more often, so it's always fresh and with no added nasties.
Be careful on ebay not to overspend... once you get addicted to making your own, it might be worth buying in bulk - ie: 500ml of apricot oil rathern than say 100ml, as you will always use it... plus cuts down on postage and plastic bottles... always re-use what you can as well, like jars, tubs, bottles etc. Especially pretty blue aromatherapy ones. I have some from ebay that once the rosewater was used, I refilled with some spring water and some drops of lavender for a nice night time spray...