Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Facial Cleanser and/or Body Scrub

I decided to make my own body scrub and facial cleanser after learning about the potential health effects of many ingredients found in conventional beauty products such as parabens and phthalates. Parabens have been linked to cancer and phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Since a facial scrub or body scrub is used daily and is directly applied to the body's largest, porous organ (the skin) I figured it would be best to cease using any product that contained any such ingredient (which my old facial scrub did contain). At first I looked for products that didn't include and nasty parabens or phthalates, unfortunately such products in my price range were not very easy to find.  So as usual I did a little research and decided to make my own.


Check out the video and the recipe below to learn how to make it yourself!



Ingredients

I decided to mix elements of a few recipes to create something that was super easy to make with ingredients that were cheap and easy to find. I also want to create something that would exfoliate and moisturize at the same time; and I wanted to be able to use it as a facial scrub or as a whole body scrub. 

The three ingredients in my recipe are:
1. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
2. Castor Oil
3. Extra Fine Sea Salt


Why it Works

Conventional facial scrubs often strip all the natural oils from your skin. This cleanser will remove impurities while maintaining the natural oils that will aid in maintaining healthy skin. Additionally, the three ingredients in this cleanser have specific health benefits that make them ideal for use as a body or facial scrub. 

Sea Salt: The extra fine salt is a natural abrasive that opens the pores. It works well since it begins to dissolve when it reacts with water so it is rarely so coarse that it will cause any discomfort. The salt scrub can help remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate and hydrate remaining cells. A salt rub can also aid in improving circulation and reducing swelling. 

Castor Oil: This oil is derived from the castor seed. It is known for its anti-inflammatory effects as well as its effectiveness in treating skin disorders and skin problems. According to Wikipedia:
Castor oil is used for  skin disorders or skin problems.[18]Castor oil penetrates deep into the skin due to its molecular mass, which is low enough to penetrate into the stratum corneum. Ricinoleic acid is the main component of castor oil, and it exerts anti-inflammatory effects.[20] It is believed that the antibacterial properties of the castor oil are mainly due to its high ricinoleic acid content.[21] Source
Therefore, castor oil will serve as the main cleansing oil in this facial scrub as it works well to draw out and purge any impurities in the skin and the skins natural oils.

Olive Oil: The purpose of olive oil in this facial scrub is to aid in the moisturizing of the skin as the castor oil can leave the skin slightly dry as it cleanses. Olive oil has a very similar pH level as the natural oils in your skin and therefore helps protect and maintain the natural balance of oils in your skin, which in turn will prevent your body from going into overdrive to replace the natural oils that may be cleansed out by the castor oil.

This link explains the pros and cons of using oils as a cleanser: The Nitty Gritty on the Oil Cleansing Method
This link explains the history of using oils as a cleanser: The Oil Cleansing Method

Recipe

This is the recipe that I have found to work really well for me.

1/2 Cup Sea Salt
1/8 Cup Olive Oil 
1/8 Cup Castor Oil

Feel free to adjust it to fit your needs. If you feel you need more moisturizing then add more olive oil, more cleansing would mean more castor oil, and more exfoliating would mean more salt. The ratios can be changed to fit your needs! 

If you have been using a conventional facial scrub it may take a week or two for your body to adjust. This is because your body has been working extra hard to replace the oils that your conventional scrub has been removing. For the first few days your face may feel a little extra oily but it as your body readjusts the oily feeling will subside and you will be left with happy healthy skin! Does this seem easy enough for you to give it a try? Let me know what you think!

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