Did you know you can treat your skin and hair, protecting it from the summer elements, with all-natural beauty products? Many people prefer to know exactly what they’re putting on their hair, face and body. Others appreciate the cost savings.
Whatever your reason, summer is a great time to go natural!
“You can use essential oils combined with everyday household ingredients to make many natural skin care and beauty products,” says Melissa Morton, a West Babylon, NY-based essential oils distributor for Young Living. “Because essential oils are highly concentrated and very powerful, a little goes a long way. People often find they save money over store-bought beauty products.”
“Whenever you go to the source and don’t pollute organic products with additives, and you use them topically, the skin—our biggest organ—rewards you for it,” says Gonen Yohananof, founder and CEO of Mary Tylor Naturals, a maker of high-end beauty products.
Try these do-it-yourself products to help your skin and hair stay beautiful all summer.
If you want to start simple, our experts recommend turning to shea butter as a replacement for conventional lotions and moisturizers. This all-natural, multi-purpose skin care product can be used alone in a bar form or combined with other ingredients to help create smooth, soft skin all summer. “Shea butter moisturizes the skin and also creates a moisture barrier than can help treat skin irritations,” says Yohananof. “When you use pure, organic shea butter you enable your skin to work for you.”
You can buy shea butter online, in natural/whole foods stores, many vitamin stores, and other mass market retailers. It comes in bars, creams, or as refined shea butter sold by the pound.
Shea butter happens to be a key ingredient in one of Morton’s favorite all-natural homemade beauty products. “I combine half a cup each of shea butter, food-grade coconut oil, and jojoba oil, then add about 10 drops of whatever essential oils I’m in the mood for,” she says. Morton lists Frankincense as her “go-to” oil for skin health.
Before you pack up the kids and head to the water, Morton promises glowing, beach-worthy skin by using a homemade sugar scrub, which helps exfoliate and moisturize. She combines ¼-cup fractionated coconut oil and 1 cup sugar with eight to 10 drops each of essential oils. “I would probably use lavender and Roman chamomile if I wanted a relaxing scrub,” she says. “But for a refreshing, summery scent, I’d choose my favorite citrus oils.”
Tip: Fractionated coconut oil is often used to dilute essential oils, is a liquid at room temperature, and is not safe to eat. You can buy it online, at pharmacies and vitamin shops, at health food stores, and sometimes even in craft stores if they sell soap-making supplies. It is often used in massage oils, serums, and scrubs. Food-grade coconut oil, a solid at room temperature, is also used in a variety of beauty treatments. You’ll find that in any grocery store, either in the natural foods section or the baking aisle. The sugar scrub can use either kind.
Coconut Hot Oil Hair Treatment
Mysti Linne, author of “The Pantry Cleaner: Chemical Free Cleaning” and natural living advocate, recommends food-grade coconut oil to help strengthen and protect the hair. “It’s fantastic as a hot oil treatment!” she says. “It’s a low-heat oil, so the warmth of the shower water turns it liquid. Just make sure to shampoo it out after a few minutes.” Use a dime or quarter-sized amount, depending on the length of your hair, a few times a week for smooth, shiny tresses.
Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
For clean and healthy hair without all the additives, Long Island, NY-based office manager Maria Cavalluzzo relies on tea tree oil shampoo with peppermint and lavender. “It helps prevent dandruff and it feels good! I love how it makes my scalp tingle and I love the scent,” she says. She only washes her hair once a week to eliminate shampoo build-up and let the hair’s natural oils do their job.
Make your own by combining 1/8-cup coconut milk, 2/3-cup baking soda, ½-teaspoon olive oil, ¼-cup filtered water, 20 drops of tea tree oil, plus about 10 drops each of lavender oil and peppermint oil until you’ve created a scent to your liking. Shake it all together and store in a sealed, dark container to use. (You can even reuse an old shampoo bottle.)
If you don’t feel as if your hair is clean unless you see suds, substitute liquid castile soap and water for the coconut milk, baking soda, and olive oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanser / Makeup Remover
To cleanse your face, use a combination of olive oil (1/2 cup), apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup), and water (1/4 cup) on a cotton ball or sponge. “Apply a second round after your skin is clean, and leave it on overnight to lighten dark spots, eliminate bacteria, and moisturize your skin,” recommends Linne.
All-Natural Lip Balm
Summer’s heat and sun can wreak havoc on the lips, but conventional lip balms can further dry them out, requiring you to use even more of the product. “For summer, the most important challenges to tackle include dryness from the sun and exposure to the elements,” says Yohananof.
Make your own hydrating lip balm using 2 tablespoons each of beeswax pellets, shea butter, and coconut oil. Melt the ingredients in a double boiler, and then remove the boiler from the stove. Keep the bowl in the hot water so ingredients don’t harden immediately, and add 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil, until it has the scent you desire. Use a dropper to fill empty lip balm tubes or scoop the lip balm into small jars and apply with your finger.
Beeswax pellets, you ask? They aren’t as exotic as you might think. Find them online or at nearly any craft store or big box retailer—they’re a common ingredient for candle-making.
Beautiful Means Clean and Healthy
As many of us look to lighten our beauty routine as the days get brighter, these all-natural solutions can help you look beautiful with minimal makeup. After all, what’s more beautiful than clean and healthy?
By Dawn Allcot