Last Thursday, I did a demonstration of natural beauty products for a Cancer Support France Drop-In Day, for the most part using store-cupboard ingredients. CSF supports English-speaking people living in France who are affected by cancer.

So here, for all those present (and anyone else who’s interested), are the recipes we tried out, rather messily, on the day.

We started off by looking at simple cleansers.

You can use vegetable oil, such as sunflower, sesame, grapeseed (especially good for removing waterproof make-up), milk (including oatmilk, ricemilk etc.) or an oil + beeswax balm (see below). You can also use honey, or a combination of honey and oil:

Take 2 tsp honey + 1 tsp oil. Gently massage into face and neck for 2-3 minutes before rinsing.

Honey makes a great natural cleanser

Honey makes a great natural cleanser

Now onto scrubs:

Put your used coffee grounds to good use by combining equal  parts coffee and oil and use as a scrub on  face and body.

It's coffee scrub time!

It’s coffee scrub time!

If you have unused coffee grounds like I do in the house (not a coffee drinker) then you can use them too but it will give a slightly coarser scrub.

As a tea drinker, I experimented with a used tea bag, yes, this works too, just tear the teabag and mix the tea leaves with a little oil and scrub away.

You can also use sugar (granulated or caster depending on how coarse you like your scrub) or sea salt (add dried lavender flowers for the lovely smell). lavender

For a gentler scrub, especially for your face and neck, use ground almonds or oatmeal (ground or flakes).

We also made a honey and ginger sugar scrub from Humblebee and me. Click on the link for this recipe and many more.

One word of warning: BEWARE OF OIL SLICKS IN THE BATH. Don’t want you to hurt yourselves…

Face Masks

Oats are super soothing and gentle – dry, irritated skin loves oatmeal and it’s good for rashes and skin abrasions. Try mixing a handful of oats with a little milk or yoghurt to make a paste, apply to your face and neck and leave on for up to 10 mins.

Onion face mask

A surprising mask with skin-softening properties.

Onion face mask and cucumber eyes

Onion face mask and cucumber eyes

Mix 2 tbsp flour, 1 1/2 tbsp onion juice and  a pinch of nutmeg to make a paste, apply to face and leave on for 20 mins before rinsing. And no, your face won’t smell of onions.

I got my onion juice by grating it finely on a cheese grater and squeezing the juice out through a muslin cloth, but I guarantee lots of tears if you do this. Use a food processor or a blender if you have one and avert your eyes!!

Fruity face mask

Use over-ripe/nibbled-by-birds soft fruit such as  strawberries or rasperries. Mash to a pulp, add some oatmeal or ground almonds (flour if you have neither) to soak up the juice, apply to face and relax for 10-20 minutes. You’ll look like this (remember my earlier post?)

Happy smiling strawberry face!

Happy smiling strawberry face!

Over-ripe avocados can be similarly mashed up and applied directly to your face , or loosen up with some oil and apply as a mask to hair (wrap it in clingfilm) for 20 mins. Or if, like me, you prefer to eat your avocados, try rubbing the skins over for your face to get the last goodness from them.

And finally an egg-white face mask can tighten pores and give a temporary lift to lines and wrinkles. Just whisk up an egg white until fluffy, apply to your face for 5 mins then rinse off.

Whilst you’re lying down with face mask on, don’t forget your eyes: slices of cucumber or potato are both soothing and decongesting, then there’s the old tea bag (helps puffy eyes and the caffeine is good for dark circles) or herbal tea, especially chamomile (soothing).

Cold teabgs on your eyes helps reduce dark circles and puffiness

Cold teabgs on your eyes helps reduce dark circles and puffiness

For zero ingredients, try two cotton pads soaked in iced water. Or rub an ice cube wrapped in clingfilm all over the eye area, especially soothing for hayfever sufferers.

My quick fix for radiant skin is a thermal and ice facial splash.

Run a basin of hot water + 2 drops lavender essential oil

Place a bowl of iced water (with ice cubes) + 2 drops lemon essential oil next to it.ice

Soak a face flannel in the hot water and press onto your face. Breathe deeply for 3 secs.

Soak another flannel in the cold water, press into face and breathe deeply for 3 secs.

Repeat for 1 minute.

This helps to tone, decongest and brighten the face.

Finally I showed how to infuse oil with plants – in this instance with calendula flowers.

Marigolds (calendula) in my garden

Marigolds (calendula) in my garden

Since I did a lengthy blog on this some time back, here’s a direct link to it: how to make a plant-infused oil.

With your infused oil, you can then make an all-purpose balm by melting 10g /2 tsp beeswax into 40ml infused oil in a double boiler – a jam jar stood in a pan of simmering water will do the trick.

Phew, I think that’s everything we covered, not bad hey, for a first demo.

If you’re looking for other natural beauty recipes check out the Homemade beauty remedies on this blog or:

Aroma-Zone

Hello Natural

Humblebee and Me

Enjoy yourselves!

And don’t forget to send me the photos of those masks…

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