There's no decent health food shops here in Oxford. Holland and Barrett (colloquially known as horrible and barret) don't count. there's one small one but it's little and pretty pricey. My old workplace, Natural Choice, in Cork, afforded me the bliss of having everything I could possibly want or dream of at hand, or at least accessible in a catalogue.
So the problem with this situation is getting hold of natural skincare products. Most skincare products contain all sorts of nasties. According to "The Chemical Maze" ( a great gift from Malcolm's sister Jean) paraben, appearing in skincare products as ethyl, butyl, methyl, or propyl paraben, can cause dermatitis, endocrine disruption, possible increased risk of breast cancer, and is toxic for animals. Do I want to slather this on my skin? Um, no. Added to this, many skincare products - such as vaseline (petroleum jelly) paraffin and so on are fossil fuel derived. maybe a good idea to switch, as it's non renewable resource.
I am always annoyed at the amount of beauty products marketed to women, and increasingly men too. I try to be as simple as possible in my 'beauty regime' because you can spend a fortune and most of it isn't necessary or even good for you. We use olive oil soap, which is pure saponified olive oil, and doesn't dry out your skin. I know that shower gels smell nice, but they generate more plastic containers, and often contain sodium lauryl sulphate, another nasty - linked to ulcers, excema, mucous membrane irritation, and is toxic to aquatic organisms. bicarb soda is a brilliantly effective underarm deodorant, but if you are living with people, you may want to label it clearly to avoid icky mix ups...
For facial moisturiser and cleanser, I use Weleda's iris day cream, which is gorgeous and not expensive at all compared with other natural face products. Weleda are highly ethical, and their products are organic and wonderful. For cleanser, I use their almond milk cleanser. I don't use a toner, but if I were to, witch hazel is good, or rose water. For perfume, the Weleda rose deodorant smells divine, and the sage one smells lovely and fresh and could be used for either gender I think (and doesn't really work so well as a deodorant so I just use it for the smell).
my friends at millstream gardens are my total heros, and they make one of the most gorgeous body lotions I have encountered... but it's a little far to return and collect it. Their little jars of solid oil perfume are also wonderful. Malcolm has the man blend, and it is scrumptious.
So what to do for a body moisturiser that is natural and doesn't cost huge amounts?
The only solution, having found a good cheap source of coconut, almond and other oils from the indian supermarket on cowley road... is to make some!
25g grated beeswax
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond oil
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp filtered water
2 tsp glycerin
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rose essential oil (in coconut base)
5 drops frankincense essential oil
Gently melt beeswax and water. Add other oils on low heat, stirring till all is dissolved. put into glass jars/ other containers and let cool.
It's best put on straight after a shower, and is quite rich, as I have dry skin. It takes a couple of minutes to soak in, but you only need to use it every other day.
I would like to try some variations, if I can find a source of cocoa butter, and also I would like to make one with maybe double the beeswax amount as a heavy duty gardening hand cream.
Estimated cost? I think this batch cost less then 4 pounds in total, will last for about 2 months, and took about 15 minutes. Awesome.