When it comes to beauty products, we’ve come a long way from the days of the awful chemical treatments our ancestors had to endure. The offerings on the store shelves are certainly free from lethal poisons, but do you really know what’s going on your skin? Most mass produced products contain phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone, all of which may speed up menopause, lower your IQ, and increase the risk of cancer. It wasn’t until just ten years ago that the FDA began to monitor beauty products, yet manufacturers have no legal obligation to report health problems related to their products.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some popular beauty products that can indeed cause more harm than good, and give you some tips on how to make homemade flower beauty products that are better, healthier options.
Every girl has her go-to perfume or body spray. Combined with pheromones, scent can invoke a wide range of feelings, including happiness. But take a look at the back of your bottle, and the list sounds like a strange chemistry experiment. You’ll see words like ‘ethyl’ and ‘benzyl’ and certain chemicals can also contain trace amounts of pesticides, phthalates, and plastics. Between 1999-2008, Dr. Amber Cooper, of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Washington State University, closely monitored women and the long-term effects of hormone disruption in their urine. It was discovered that based on the chemicals found in their perfume, women with the highest level of these chemicals reached menopause 2-4 years earlier than those with lower levels.
Lotion, Shampoo, Shower Gel & Cosmetics
We get it; dry skin can be a bummer. We girls will slather on heaping amounts of body lotions, body butters, and creams every day, all day long. Finding a great shampoo is imperative for that perfect hair day. Of course, we need to clean our bodies, so we turn to yet another product to get the job done. Shower gels come in hundreds of varieties, all boasting their ability to keep your body fresh.
U.S. Researchers report that between 1-8 of the 82,000 different ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals. This includes, but is not limited to carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and those hormone disruptors we mentioned earlier. What’s even scarier? Many of these products include plasticizers (chemicals used to keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get the grime off auto parts), and surfactants (these reduce the tension and water in inks and paint.)
Some cosmetics use a preservative called Butylated Hydroxyanisole, which is known to cause organ toxicity. The European government has since placed a ban on it. Your foundation and lipstick may contain lead acetate, chromium, and thimerosal.
Let’s Bring it Home
Take a moment to consider what all of this is doing to your body! And what about our environment? There are many alternative options that you can use to keep your skin safe. Women all around the world are beginning to turn to homemade beauty products that include some of the most wonderful ingredients Mother Nature has to offer: flowers. Flower beauty products have begun to emerge and we’re here to give you some tips to get started with making natural beauty products. There is something satisfying about using a product that’s safe for the environment and guaranteed safe for your body.
Soap- Chamomile flowers aren’t just for tea; they are wonderful to put into soaps. Known for its soothing qualities, chamomile is a win for relaxation. So, try your hand at making your own soap! Check out Healing Harvest Homestead’s guide here.
Lotion- Get ready and grab some roses! This luxurious flower can be made into a rose lotion. Roses are known to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of well being, and they also function as a natural antidepressant. It’s easier than you think to make your own lotion. Follow this guide to get started.
Cosmetics- Imagine how wonderful it would be to have the perfect makeup, made without irritating chemicals. Not only is it better for your body, but making your own cosmetics can be fun, too. You will need some basic ingredients to get started:
- Kaolin Powder or Arrowroot Powder (this is the base for foundation)
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Activated Charcoal; we recommend Bulk Apothecary for their raw ingredients.
- Cinnamon (The Ceylon variety)
- Dried Hibiscus (these are also great for making teas!)
- Mica Powder; these can also be used to make clear soaps, grab them here
- Iron Oxides for pigmentation
- White Organic face lotion; this is to make a base for liquid foundation. Burt’s Bees has an awesome one!
- Aloe Vera gel (This is for eyeliner)
Finally, follow this amazing step by step blog by One Green Planet to start mixing and sieving your way into naturally beautiful results. When your friends ask you where you shop, be sure to tell them it’s Mother Nature’s personal line.
Make Your Own Floral Fragrance
Now that we’ve covered the basics, why don’t we step it up a notch? Flower beauty products can be used in so much more! We are going to explore how to make your own perfume. DIY perfume is made with real flowers and is free of toxins. A homemade water-based perfume is definitely the best way to go! Make sure you pick a highly fragrant flower. Lavender, honeysuckle and rose are some great suggestions. Pro tip: buy a bouquet and take a few flowers off to make the perfume and gift the bouquet alongside the perfume!
Basic supplies for making perfume:
- 1 1/2 cups chopped flower
- Medium-size bowl with lid
- Two cups distilled water
- Small saucepan
- Washed and sterilized vanilla extract bottle, or another small colored bottle with a lid or an airtight stopper.
Instructions for making perfume:
- Wash the flower petals. Gently clean off any dirt and sediment with water.
- Soak the flowers. Put cheesecloth inside a bowl with edges overlapping the bowl. Put the flowers into the cheesecloth-lined bowl and pour the water over them, covering the flowers. Cover the bowl with the lid and let the flowers soak overnight.
- Heat the flower-scented water. The next day, remove the lid from the bowl and gently bring the four corners of the cheesecloth together, lifting the flower pouch out of the water. Squeeze the pouch over a small saucepan, extracting the flower-scented water. Simmer over low heat until you have about a teaspoon of liquid.
- Bottle the perfume. Pour the cooled water into the bottle and cap it. The perfume will last for up to a month if stored in a cool, dark place.
If you still aren’t totally convinced that choosing all-natural, flower beauty products is the way to go, we have a few more reasons that might just make you a believer. Your skin and body absorb 60% of whatever you put on it, and we ingest our lipstick and hand creams when we eat. If you want to reduce your toxic intake, going natural and plant-based is the way to go. Let’s talk about our planet for a second. Did you know those phthalates we mentioned earlier eventually make their way into our water and pollute it? It’s affecting the reproductive health of our fish.
For whatever reasons you choose, the trend of creating homemade beauty products is one we can all get behind. It’s simple and a lot of fun to do, all while protecting our planet and ourselves. And it’s a great way to reuse the petals of your favorite Bouq.Shop All