Posts from the ‘Homemade beauty remedies’ Category

Soothing Calendula recipes

Like Marie from Humblebee and Me, I’m a big fan of calendula and have some growing in the garden – here’s the proof!

Marigolds (calendula) in my garden

In fact with the lovely Spring weather we’re experiencing here in Bordeaux, I have plenty in flower at the moment (time to make some infused oil…).

So I am definitely taking note of this collection of recipes using calendula from Humblebee and Me – some may seem a bit complicated but if you tweak the ingredients a bit, you’ll find they’re not so hard.

And check out my own step-by-step guide to infusing your own oil here, and my “magic” cream (magic because it heals a variety of skin complaints), a simple but effective calendula skin balm.

Calendula macerated oil


Happy skincare DIYing!

Soothing eye mask

All you need is some cucumber, potato and a blender.


Take a two-inch piece of cucumber (keep the skin on) and a slightly smaller piece of potato. Put them together in a blender and whizz to a pulp. Put half the mixture into a small bowl. Place two cotton pads on top and cover with the rest of the mixture. Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a lid and place in the freezer for 10 mins.

After chilling, the pads will have absorbed lots of the liquid and will be cold to the touch. Squeeze the pads gently to remove drips, whilst keeping them moist. Knock off any bits of excess veg, place over eyes and relax for 5 mins. Rinse off with cool water and pat dry.

How does it work?

Cucumber contains antioxidants and potato starch acts as an inflammatory agent – both help to ease irritated eyes. The coldness helps reduce puffiness.

Source: Kazia Pelka for Prima October 2014

For other recipes for your peepers, check out:

Egg white and carrot anti-wrinkle eye mask

Home-made eye treatments

Get brighter eyes


Chocolate orange soap

I experimented a bit more in November last, having successfully made my first soap in September.

My aim was to make some festive soaps for Christmas presents, and so this choco-orange one fitted the bill perfectly.

The original recipe was from Humblebee and Me, but I tweaked it a bit, just leaving out the castor oil (I didn’t have any, so I used more olive oil) and the silk. I also calculated the quantities for 500 g of fats/oils.

Ingredients for 500 g fats/oils

235 g olive oil (47%)

140 g cocoa butter (28 %)

125 g coconut oil (25%)

15 g orange essential oil

1  tbsp clay

4 tsp cocoa powder

221.3 g commercial caustic soda solution at 30% dilution (10% reduction)

{or 223.8 g commercial caustic soda solution at 30% dilution (9% reduction)}

Follow the soap-making instructions in my previous post. When you reach trace, blend in the clay, cocoa powder and  essential oil.

Pour into moulds (I bought some new heart moulds!) and leave for 24 hours before removing from mould and allowing to dry for at least 4 weeks.



Kiwi seed facial mask

Seen on the Natural Beauty Workshop blog, this fresh fruit mask recipe needs a couple of unusual ingredients (kiwi seed oil and yarrow essential oil)  but is otherwise fairly straightforward.

photo: the natural beauty workshop

photo: the natural beauty workshop


  • 1 tablespoon Bentonite Clay
  • 1/2 fresh Kiwi, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kiwi Seed Oil
  • 5 drops Roman Chamomile or Yarrow Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Honey


  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mash thoroughly until well blended.
  2. Use right away, or refrigerate for up to three days.

Check out the original recipe and the rest of the blog:

Quick honey facial

Honey makes a great natural cleanser

Honey makes a great natural cleanser

Honey Kiss Cleanser
Apply two tablespoons of dark organic honey to face, rubbing in gently with some warm water to create a lather like feel. Rinse face clean with warm water. Your skin will look and feel like a sweet kiss of honey.

Pretty little face scrubbies

If you’re handy with a crochet hook (I can just about manage one, I’m more of a knitter myself, but adaptable!), try your hand at these eco-friendly, washable and re-useable face scrubbies. Good for using leftover bits of wool/cotton yarn.

Recipe in a Bottle

IMG_4920.JPGI took a break from my latest blanket project to try out an idea that my grandmother-in-law, J, suggested. She was in a soaps-and-lotions-and-other-smelly-stuff store, and saw some crocheted cotton face scrubbies. They were soft, she said, and replaced the disposable cotton that people use to wash their faces so often. It saved waste, they were beautiful, and they looked like they would work up quickly!

I was right: I found a beautiful pattern at The Stitchin’ Mommy, and some lightweight wool (had no cotton handy, but I will order some!), and in 30 minutes, I had this lovely little circle! I had to learn the puff stitch for the first time, but even Husband commented that it looks even, professional, and quite functional. Success!

The ladies on my Christmas list are definitely getting some of these, especially since I can make one faster than I can watch most…

View original post 37 more words

Soap update

So my soap “officially” matured last Friday, and it has been tried and tested by yours truly.

I’m pleased to report it was a success (yippee), a lovely creamy texture, just a little lather and more importantly not a trace of caustic soda!!

So my next soap adventure will be adding scents and colours, like these:



And I’ll be telling you about the properties of different oils and fats used in soap-making – in fact, the choice of oils will influence different aspects of your  finished soap – for example, how hard it is, its lathering properties and its skin-softnening properties.

So watch this space.