DIY Vegan Beauty Products & Skin Care : Lavender-Rose Toner

My dabblings in homemade vegan skin care continue with a lucky little experiment I tried. I’m one of those kids who really bought into the “you must use astringent” and later, in my mid-20s, “you must use toner” babble skincare manufacturers pushed to incite us to buy more-more-more! I’ve heard very conflicting opinions from people in the health and beauty industry as to the real necessity of using an astringent or toner as part of a 3 or 4-step cleansing/moisturizing ritual. Personally, I feel like something’s missing if I don’t do the toner thing before moisturizing, and I do sometimes see that the toner helped budge tenacious traces of make-up, so necessary or not, I’m a subscriber.

I tried this little “Flower Garden Toner” to see if I could create something decent at home, and at a fraction of the price I pay for my Dr. H toner (which I do love, but I am a member of the proletariat damn it!). I was thrilled at how this toner turned out! The positives are it is light and gentle, and really helps keep my skin feeling clean and fresh. The triple-flower-power helps right excess shine (sebum busters), and that’s a plus in the summer when I am very often make-up free. Oh, and did I mention that it’s purple (Katie!). The down side to this toner for me was two-fold : 1) It should be kept in the fridge since it is a water-based toner and hasn’t got much in the line of preservatives. Because it’s in the fridge, it’s a bit chilly, but that’s probably a good thing circulation-wise. It just weirds me out a smidge (which rimes with fridge). 2) I was expecting my flower medley to smell as sweet as the Springtime, but it has a bit of a hydrogen peroxide smell to it (which doesn’t linger on your face, rest assured). I thought with all that flower action it would have a more pleasant odor, but that’s not the case. I based this on two different recipes I found for toners, both of which calling for dried rose petals, rose water only, and essential oil of rose. I didn’t have those things on hand, and rose EO is really, really expensive (at least it is here), so I went with what I had. Chamomile and lavender are really great for the skin, too, and I don’t regret winging it at all! (Just remember, I’m not a chemist or professional, so please proceed at your own risk! Remember to sterilize your jar & lid carefully, and to sterilize the bottle you’ll store your toner in, etc.).

Lavender-Rose Toner

  • 25g dried lavender flowers
  • 100ml rose water
  • 150ml chamomile water
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil

Everything goes in a sterile jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well and put it in the fridge for about 7-10 days, shaking once or twice a day. It will be very purple and pretty. Filter out the flowers and pour into a sterile bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Keep refrigerated. This should keep well for about 2-4 weeks, but remember, if it suddenly changes in color or in smell, or if in doubt, discard. I’ve been using mine for two weeks now and it’s still ok.

Make Your Own Vegan Beauty Products : Magical Make-Up Remover ou Sérum démaquillant biphasé

My DIY Vegan Beauty Products experimenting continues with this newest concoction which I slightly adapted from a new book I scored : 90 recettes de beauté bio à faire soi-même (90 Organic Do-it-Yourself Beauty Recipes) by Sophie Macheteau and Vania Guet. This is my first attempt at something from their gorgeous book, which is really written for the débutante that I am.

90 recettes is some terribly delicious eye-candy : beautifully photographed and edited, I found myself feeling rather soothed just leafing through the recipes. As I glanced at the various possibilities, I found myself wanting to try everything, but the majority of the cosmetics, lotions & potions require ingredients other than what one would find in the common kitchen. I had the vitamin E capsules, as well as the essential oils, but had no jojoba oil or grapefruit seed extract on hand. Maybe you do.

Taking note of what I needed cosmetically-speaking, and what I could make without dropping 40E at the health food store, I decided on the Sérum démaquillant biphasé jojoba-camomille (Double-phase make-up removing serum with chamomile and jojoba). Nearly out of make-up remover, this very easy recipe was worth trying. I adapted it a bit (because I can’t leave good enough alone) by adding geranium and chamomile essential oils.

Double-Phase Make-up Removing Serum with Chamomille and jojoba adapted from Sérum démaquillant biphasé jojoba-camomille de 90 recettes de beauté bio à faire soi-même par Sophie Macheteau & Vanina Guet. This recipe is for a 100ml container (about 3.4oz). I made it in a 50ml container since this was just a test-run. Don’t forget to sterilize your containers & be super-careful about washing hands & such since this is homemade, kids!

  • What you need: Jojoba oil, Chamomile Water, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E Oil (I used a capsule, pierced with a sterilized needle), optional essential oils with good-for-your-skin properties
  • Using your container to measure the doses, pour it 2/3s full of the Jojoba Oil, then top off the remaining 1/3 with the Chamomile Water.
  • Add 20 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Add 7 drops of Vitamin E oil
  • I added 4 drops each of Essential Oils of Geranium & Chamomile
  • Close your container & shake like crazy (you’ll need to shake like crazy before using).

I loved it! It smells great, and it works wonderfully. I just dabbed some on a cotton circle and used it not just for the eye make-up, but for my entire face. I don’t wear terribly heavy make-up (they days I do wear it), and it’s water-based so easier to remove than the water-proof sort. This make-up remover would not have worked for me about 10 years ago when my skin was just out of the teens and still more on the moist side. I don’t have dry skin, but now that I’ve hit the 30s, I do notice I am using more moisturizer than I did back then. After using I just sprayed on a little toner and put on some moisturizer and was good to go. It took me about a week and a half to go through my 50ml bottle, and I’ll be making more tonight!

Make Your Own Vegan Beauty Products: Sweet & Simple Sugar Scrub

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a wee bit ticked off at the “health and beauty industry”. Maybe more than sometimes. Often. Let’s not even get into the twisted manipulation of young people from the earliest age possible, distorting body image and creating a non-existent need for ridiculously over-priced, gratuitously invasive, (most) often un-necessary products. We quite literally buy into the fallacy relatively early – I remember well buying my first skin cleansers, toners & astringents, etc. with my hard-earned paper-delivery-chica cash when I was 9. My mom was willing to supply me with soap, washcloths, even that facewash that begins with a big N, but I had seen the commercials inserted towards the latter half of the Saturday morning cartoons. I knew what would work, and knew I had to have it. Didn’t I already have a pimple on my nose?

And so it begins, our seeming “dependency” on cleverly-marketed products which will help us look like we’re supposed to look, you know, according to them, the people who make all these nebulous decisions for us…

ça sent bon! that smells good!

But the manipulation is more insidious and far-reaching than we often realize. Those of us who are looking for environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free products often find what we are looking for, but with price tags often showing significantly higher prices than their chemically-laden counterparts. So-called green products are often just the objects of skillful marketing, and clever packaging- add some essential oils, slap it in a recycled paper box and voila! Tree-huggers will love it! Well darn it- that’s just not fair, because really, if these mega-companies would just go green, they would, in fact, save money…

We are the revolution, my peeps! While I’m far from suggesting we toss out all our mascara or make some homemade eyeliner, wouldn’t it feel terribly liberating to make what we can, saving money, resources, and excruciating procedures on animals? Why yes! Can I get an amen, my sisters?

While hanging out over at Amy’s always fun Angry Chicken blog, I spotted her sugar scrub that she nabbed from RecipeZaar and got a flash-back to an amazing-smelling shower scrub I used to use from time to time back in the States. Feeling inspired (and inwardly thrilled because I knew I had all the ingredients) I got to work (which took all of two minutes, maybe less). Personally I would suggest using a glass jar because it won’t absorb the essential oils (meaning you can re-use it for other things or other fragrances). I also found that another 1/4 cup of sugar was necessary because I found it a wee-bit oily the first time I used it. I added mint, bergamot and lavender oils this time around… and it was just as lovely as the very expensive sugar scrub I used to get for birthdays or holidays back in the day. I’m also a lotion-after-shower gal, but when I use the scrub, I don’t need it. Amy also blogged about these fun-looking bath melts that I really want to try.

Here’s to sweet-smelling showers…