Put your best face forward: how to make your own skincare products

Cleansing, toning and moisturizing is second nature to many, but pharmacy brands can be costly. The following all-purpose recipes are suitable for most skin types, but remember: they should be tested on a patch of your skin before use.

Put your best face forward: how to make your own skincare products

Yogurt and honey cleanser

  • 15 ml (3 tsp) natural acidophilus yogurt
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) organic, unfiltered honey
  • Additives for oily or dry skin, or skin that needs deep-cleaning
  1. This cleanser can be whipped up in a few seconds, morning and evening. It is quick and easy to apply and rinse off in the shower. Combine the ingredients in a teacup or small saucer. Warming the honey slightly makes it easier to blend and measure. Wet your face and neck and massage the mixture into the skin. Rinse off thoroughly.
  2. For oily skin, add five millilitres (one teaspoon) of lemon juice. For a deep-cleansing scrub action, add five millilitres (one teaspoon) of finely ground blanched almonds. For dry skin, substitute ordinary cream for the yogurt and use only five millilitres (one teaspoon) one teaspoon of honey.

Facial moisturizer

After cleaning and toning the skin, the moisturizer is applied to smooth and protect its surface.

  • 3 fresh, ripe apricots, peeled, stoned and chopped (or substitute dried apricots soaked in water until plump, about two hours. Use sun-dried not sulphur-dried fruit.)
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) glycerine
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) rosewater
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) distilled water
  • An herb for your skin type, if oily or dry
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) cornstarch
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) quality cold-pressed oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) unrefined honey
  1. Blend apricots and 60 millilitres (four tablespoons) of the glycerine to a purée in a blender or food processor. Add the rosewater, distilled water and the appropriate herbs for your skin type. Mix the cornstarch, oil and remaining glycerine to a smooth, runny paste and stir into the main mixture.
  2. Leave to stand, covered, for three to four hours, then strain through muslin into a ceramic or glass (pyrex) pot and heat over a low flame, adding the honey at this stage. Stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat, cool and place in a glass jar. Seal, store in the refrigerator and use within five days.

All-purpose toner

  • After cleansing, tone your skin. That is, an astringent solution should be applied with a pure cotton pad to remove final traces of the cleanser and any remaining dead cells.
  • Rosewater is a pleasant natural toner with a slightly moisturizing effect.
  • It is important to use the petals from fragrant old garden roses: gallicas, damasks, provence (centifolias) or moss or tea roses are all suitable.
  • Use 500 grams (one pound) of rose petals (16 to 20 cups, depending on the type of rose used).
  • Set aside half the petals and grind the remainder in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle.
  • Place the paste in a ceramic bowl and allow to stand for several hours.
  • Add the remaining petals and stir them through the rose liquid.
  • Cover and let stand for at least 24 hours, then place in an enamel or glass (pyrex) pot (do not use metal).
  • Heat over a low flame until the mixture barely simmers.
  • As soon as the first bubbles appear, turn off the heat and strain the mixture through muslin.
  • If necessary, strain the mixture several times, the last time through a coffee filter when cool.
  • Place the liquid in a glass jar, seal firmly, and leave in a sunny place for a few days to allow the natural oils to infuse.
  • Store in the refrigerator, diluting with distilled water as for the all-purpose toner described above.
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