Rachelle and I are big fans of DIY beauty. Of course most times you’ll want the reliability and expertise of a professional product/ treatment. But in certain cases (as long as you have a bit of cop on ) it can be just as easy and way cheaper to do it yourself.
One of my favourite Lush products is their gentle daily exfoliator Angels On Bare Skin. Unfortunately when I moved away from my local Lush store (they’re only in Dublin and Cork, boo hoo!), despite bringing a truckload of stuff with me, I found myself one day lacking my favourite cleanser. I sadly examined the empty container, tears in my eyes and realised, I have most of these ingredients in my cupboard! So I set to work and developed a recipe for my own ground almond-based exfoliant, inspired by Lush.
Now I must emphasise that this is no substitute for the lovely Lush cleanser. But what’s nice about the DIY version, is that you can customise it to your own skintype. More about that below.
- 3 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp clay (for substitutions see below)
- 1 tbsp boiled, cooled water/ rosewater/ witchhazel & rosewater/ your favourite toner
- 1 tbsp glycerine (from your local chemist)
- 1-2 drops of essential oils. Lavender, rose and chamomile are what Lush use, but feel free to use your favourites.
If you can’t get your hands on some of the ingredients, don’t worry! You could actually just use ground almonds on their own with a bit of water to make a paste and exfoliate with that alone. The ground almonds, when wet, make a lovely gentle exfoliator. It just won’t be as paste-y and fragrant as if you had used the clay and essential oils.
If you can’t find powdered clay/kaolin, you could use a dollop of a clay based mask and leave out the water. Or just forget it, as above!
Glycerine is a humectant, which helps the product retain moisture. It’s cheap and can be found in any pharmacy, but if you can’t get it, don’t worry. Just make your batches little and often, so that you use it up before it dries out.
And finally the how-to:
- I like to swipe the area, utensils and container I’m using to prepare this with some methylated spirits on a cotton pad. It’s ingrained in me from working in a microbiology lab. Just make sure everything you’re using has been recently cleaned, wash your hands and you’ll be grand.
- Place 3 tbsp ground almonds in a bowl, add 1tbsp clay and 1tbsp water (or a squirt of clay based mask) and mix well
- Add 1 drop each of the essential oils you’re using. Essential oils are extremely concentrated, so don’t go overboard, especially if you have sensitive skin. I like to use a drop of tea tree oil, as it’s anti-microbial and anti-fungal. We’re not using any preservatives here, and I don’t like washing my face with mould thanks very much
- Add 1 tbsp glycerine, to bind it all and prevent dessication.
- Mix well to combine and pop it in a clean, sealed container.
To use it, splash some water over your face, take a blob of cleanser and mix with a dribble of water to form a paste, then smooth all over your skin. If you’re wearing makeup, remove it gently first, as the almond-clay milk generated won’t be enough to dissolve foundation and you’ll end up over-exfoliating to remove it all. I love to use this in the morning to brighten my complexion for the day ahead.
What I love about making this myself, is that it can be customised to your skin type or whatever ingredients you have handy. For dry skin, I’d suggest adding a splash of your favourite facial oil. For sensitive skin, I’d suggest leaving out all essential oils but chamomile and/or those you know your skin will tolerate. Adding some aloe vera would soothe skin also.
So there we go! What do you think ladies, will you be giving this a go? If you have any questions please ask!