Updated: Feb 28, 2022
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This blog post provides ideas of eco-friendly swap for face products: make-up removal pads, cleanser, toner, scrub, mask, moisturiser, lips balm and scrub, and make-up. There are both readymade and homemade options. For easier reference, download all our beauty DIY recipes (and don't forget the cleaning DIY recipes from our cleaning section).
A priority: Reusable Make-up Removal Pads
If you can change only one thing in your face beauty routine: stop using single use coton pads, and move to reusable pads. Buy reusable pads, or make your own using old towels and thin cotton cloths. Use and re-use them over and over again. Just wash them with your normal washing – best with a washing net. Available at The Source on Battersea Rise and Etsy for more options (search for facial wipes/pads).
You need: vegetable oil(s) (not essential oils!). For best results, mix 1 to 3 oils in a separate mini jar. 15 ml will go a long way.
How to use it: the key is not the recipe but how you apply the oil. Your skin will feel moisturized enough and not oily if you apply it correctly. Just pour 2 drops (really, only 2 drops) in one hand, massage your hands together to warm up hands and oil, and then gently massage your face for a full minute. Use the guide in the beauty section to choose the best oils for your skin.
For a different texture, you can use aloe gel as a basis: 10ml of aloe gel, with 5 ml of vegetable oil, and 3 drops essential oils. Mix and use directly on the face.
Store options: If you like your creams, use less of them, choose paraben-free creams, and alternate with the homemade options. An outlier: The Seated Queen, a versatile cream that works as make up remover, soothing/nourishing cream or mask. Really!
Face Cleanser & Eye Make Up Removal
Use a soap bar for the face: A shea butter facial soap or the charcoal bar for a bit more exfoliation from the Source.
Handmade cleanser: A very simple recipe that work as eye mke-up removal too.
You need: a vegetable oil and eventually some flower water. Jojoba is great but avocado, almond or any vegetable oil, such as olive oil, work. You can also dilute the oil with flower water.
How to make: pour a bit of vegetable oil on a wet pad. Massage on your eyelid and wipe clean by adding some (flowered) water on your pad. The mix will keep in a bottle (preferably glass and dark) for weeks.
Use vegetable oil – not essential oil. Never put essential oils around the eye, or in the eye.
In the morning, to gently wake you up, just use some flower water (rose, orange blossom) on a cotton pad.
In the evening, to help clean the skin, create your own face toner cleaner. Don’t do more than 25 ml as it will last long. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 3 tbsp water + ½ tsp honey + 2 drops essential oil (lavender goes very well there). Pour a few drops on a cotton pad, and clean your face, avoiding the eyes. I love it.
Facial (and Lips) Scrub
Super simple homemade options: (but don't use on open cuts)
You need: 1 tsp baking soda and 1tsp water or oil. Instead of water, you can use oil (avocado, almond, jojoba; but any vegetable oil, such as olive oil, would work) for a different consistency, and to keep the paste a bit longer.
How to make: Pour water in the baking soda until you get a smooth paste
How to use: massage the paste onto your nose and other areas (especially those affected by pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads); rinse off with warm water or leave it on for about 2-3 minutes to use as a mask. Pat dry with a clean towel. Use twice a week.
For blemishes: same recipe but use lemon juice instead of water (same proportion), massaging the paste on the areas affected.
For lips, it works too.
No oil scrub
You need: 2 tsp honey with 3 tsp thin sugar (more or less depending on the scrubby grain you wish, and to have a solid rather than liquid paste) + some drops of lemon juice if you wish. If you use this for your lips, choose thin grains.
How to make: mix and pour in a jar – Keep in the fridge
You need: 2tbsp of clay, water
How to make: pour approx. 2 tbsp water in the clay until you get a thick smooth paste (it is usually 1 part water 1 part clay).
How to use: apply a thick coat of this paste on your face, and remove it with water and a pad before it fully dries (5 to 10 min max).
Note that face masks work deeply, and may cause break-outs initially, so use them for your regular skin treatment, not right before a big event. You might have a few pimples in the next 2 or 3 days if it is the first time you use them, or if your skin seriously needed cleaning.
You can change this base: mixing different clays, adding powders (spirulina, lavender, activated charcoal), adding a bit of apple cider vinegar (reduce the water then), adding oil (my favourite is carrot as it gives my clean skin a nice glow) or essential oils (only 2 drops, tea tree for extra cleansing), use green tea instead of water.
Store option: Use a ready-made clay mask
The blog, from A Considered Life, provides options in the UK.