Why Homemade Skincare?
Do you hop from one beauty product to another in search of the perfect skincare product? Do you have inexplicable break outs and skin conditions no matter what products you try? Are you obsessed with using make-up to cover your imperfections and try and imitate the flawless skin you see in advertisements? Or do you find yourself confused by unknown chemical ingredients in personal care products, and you just can’t find truly safe and natural products for yourself or your family?
Homemade skincare can give you the solutions you have been looking for.
Let’s look at some of the most compelling reasons why:
1. Chemicals used in personal care products
An average American woman is said to use 12 personal care products daily according to the Washington-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), and teens use even more. Now almost each and every product we use daily can contain up to 14 different chemicals, thus exposing us to more than 100 chemicals every single day.
In 1991, the term ‘endocrine disruptors’ was first used to classify a group of chemicals that interfere with a mammal’s hormone system. Learning disabilities, birth defects, cancers, and infertility are some of the diseases caused by these chemicals. While some of these substances have been banned in some countries, other equally dangerous endocrine disruptors like p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters or paraben continue to be used in cosmetics worldwide. Further research by EWG calls for more regulation of these chemicals as ‘1 in 5 of all products contain chemicals linked to cancer, 80% contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities, and 56% contain penetration enhancers (which make it easier for different substances, many of which harmful, to penetrate the outer layers of our skin). And there are still more problems. Firstly these chemicals may take a long time to leave our bodies, if they leave us at all. And secondly they could have a cocktail effect. You know how you’re not to mix different drinks, or take certain drugs together? Let’s say each chemical is tested and proven not to harm our health. That would be fine if we were using them one at a time. But each product has many chemicals, and we use many different products every day. Slowly, these chemicals build up and we don’t truly know how they might interact with each other. And that’s before we look into untested chemicals.
So why is this even happening? ‘89% of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety,’ according to the EWG. And even if it is tested, often those assessments and test results are made by the very companies who manufacture the products, many tested only on healthy skin as opposed to sensitive skin, and it is extremely rare that any company actually conducts tests on babies or young children. The suitable age for a product is therefore solely determined by the company. What is more, manufacturers are not obliged to list any premixed ingredients in the raw materials. An example is perfume or fragrance; which most personal care products contain. The ingredient fragrance can be less than 1% of the components, but it can contain more than 100 chemicals. The businesses are even excused for not releasing ingredients lists, because often these are considered “company secrets”. This means that a company can also cherry-pick results, only releasing the ones that make their product look good. There is no regulatory board involved in this process, unlike with medicines or food, and sadly this is a practice generally accepted by the industry and it will not change anytime soon.
2. Be a part of green earth efforts
According to research from the Union of Concerned Scientists, ‘most palm oil plantations are driving tropical deforestation… The harvested area of palm oil in Southeast Asia has tripled in just a decade.’’ The WWF reported in 2014 that ‘forests now cover 31% of the planet’s land area, and while over half of the Earth’s forests have been destroyed in the last 10,000 years, the majority fell in the last 50.’ Furthermore, collaborative work between the University of Maryland in the United States and Google Earth reveals that roughly 50,000 square miles of forest is erased every year—the equivalent of 36 football fields a minute. This is a shockingly painful truth, and each and every one of us is responsible so long as we consume these products.
Unfortunately there are many skincare products that claim to be ‘natural’ use palm oils, but rarely do we see ‘palm oil’ on labels because it is listed often as glycerin, stearic acid, or vegetable oil. These oils are inexpensive and multitask as: emulsifiers, cleansing and foaming agents, or even moisturisers. This explains why palm oil is so commonly used in personal care products.
The negative impact of personal care products on our environment does not stop on the land. Researchers from the Department of Chemical Engineering from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain note that, ‘in recent years, an increasing concern about the presence of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment and the unknown long-term effects on aquatic organisms and human health has arisen. We should avoid some of these ingredients not only for health reasons but also for ethical reasons.
Another issue: a study by the Royal Society demonstrates some of the effects plastic bottles have on the environment: ‘Product containers contribute to the environmental pollution of plastic. Over 260 species, including turtles, fish, and mammals, have been reported to ingest or become entangled in plastic debris, resulting in impaired movement and feeding, reduced reproductive output, and death.’
All the ingredients we recommend for homemade skincare is food source or naturally derived from the earth hence biodegradable. This saves our environment by reducing the amount of synthetic products going into the drain when we wash our faces. We also recommend you recycle glass or ceramic containers and eliminate the use of plastic.
3. Freedom from the beauty standards imposed by big businesses
The process of creating your own homemade products will work deeper than skin deep. As you learn to cater to your specific needs and experience the true connection between your emotional and physical being, you will enjoy a positive transformation of the way we see your own unique beauty. You will not be chasing the doll-like, identical perfection that big businesses promote, but learn how to embrace the “imperfections” that make you naturally beautiful. You will not be chasing outer beauty but a whole beauty.
4. Bespoke skincare product to suit you right now
Many commercially available products stop working effectively after a while because they serve common concerns or targets rather than your very unique ones. At first they address one specific symptom, but over time we suffer what is called “diminishing returns”, where every day we improve less until we plateau. Your very unique concerns and targets change depending on various factors: your lifestyle, the weather, monthly cycle and emotional balance. Having the right product at the right time is the key to enhancing your natural beauty whilst minimising or preventing common skin concerns. Homemade won’t give holistic long-term solutions if it is a generic formula for everyone which is simply safe and natural. Creating truly bespoke products makes homemade beauty an unrivalled solution to overall skincare. You are the best beauty therapist for yourself. To personalise products is about learning ingredients and recipes but also listening to how your skin reacts to what is happening inside and making positive changes to your lifestyle. Use that wisdom to create your very own products that are truly beneficial –then you are empowered.
That is where the true benefits of homemade products begin. The recipes provided on JOJOMOKA Homemade Skincare offer clear focus on the functionality of each product: purify, purify, combat, nurture and enhance, whilst giving a plenty of options to personalise each recipe to suit you.
5. Healthier family and children
If you are in a position to influence young adults who have little experience with beauty products, going homemade will become even more meaningful. Just imagine how many synthetic chemicals you could have avoided had you started at an earlier stage of your life, and how much strength your skin may have built over the years. Youths are particularly vulnerable to aggressive marketing campaigns on a mental level, and on a physical level to synthetic chemicals that we know very little about.
Download my e-Book Safe and Chemical-Free Skincare for Children to get started. The book will give you a specific guidance with the most suitable ingredients for young people and customised recipes as well as great ideas to get children to embrace and engage in making their own products as fun activities.
6. Other benefits
The benefits of homemade skincare products go much deeper than skin-deep: they impact our emotional and physical well-being as well as being gentle to nature.
So, How much effort and investment will I need to put into this?
3 hours every 3 months. Yes, only that! While there are recipes like ‘mash your strawberry and apply as mask’, I understand that this is not sustainable to many of us. We can’t use natural beauty if we need to cook every time we use the product. Products for daily and weekly use will mostly be in dry foam or in oil forms, which can last up to three or even six months. If you spare three hours every two months, then you will have continued stock of natural and freshly made products. If you chose to make cream then that is pretty much the only product that needs to be ‘whipped up’ just about every month. Be sure to label each batch with an expiry date and look out for signs of expiration.
A mini refrigerator is the biggest investment you’ll need to make most of the equipment required to make skincare products is already in your kitchen. A mini refrigerator is all you need besides ingredients. You may be tempted to use your food refrigerator to store the finished products and some raw materials, but that is not sustainable in a long-term. Non-food ingredients such as essential oils, clay, butter and wax are best not stored with food, and food often carries bacteria which could take hold in your beauty products. After all, we don’t keep a tomato for four months, so why would we let our beauty products possibly receive bacteria from a tomato and then preserve them that long? While it is very possible to make good effective homemade products with only food ingredients, ingredients like essential oils, clay or butter & wax will improve usability and efficacy greatly. Start with fewer ingredients and add on as you learn more about each ingredient and your skin’s concerns.
It is simple and joyful to make your own skincare products. It requires few skills, much like those needed for cooking.
The efficacy of homemade products goes beyond our expectations, too.
When you choose all-natural ingredients, every ingredient works in one way or another to build long-term health. Skincare products no longer serve one purpose, but rather, they are versatile. Every time you apply them, you can expect not only immediate results in one aspect, but also slow yet steady improvements to your skin on a deeper level. What is more, we can take great pleasure and pride in making skincare products as the process connects you to your beauty in a very special way.