READ THIS BEFORE USING THE DIY RECIPES

These DIY recipes are simple and yet create lovely products. Try them out with small quantities and adapt them to what your skin, hair, teeth and brain need. You can find more elaborate recipes online, with more ingredients or ingredients that require a bit more work (e.g., beeswax). Here, we went for simplicity, just to get you started.


Go for organic ingredients as much as possible, and always work on clean surfaces, with clean containers (just wash them in the dishwasher, or boil them if you prefer).

Don’t throw away your current products. That would go against the zero-waste idea. While you are finishing your current products, test these recipes, adapt, find exactly what you like so that you are ready to move to homemade only when you are out of product.

When using essential oils, please read the instructions below as they are quite powerful ingredients.

The basic shopping list for homemade products

Stock up on these products and you will be able to make all the homemade products in this swap list. 

  • Sugar. Used for body scrubbing, so choose the grain accordingly.

  • Honey. Used for body scrubbing and facial toner.

  • Apple cider vinegar. Used for mouthwash.

  • Flower water (rose, orange blossom, lavender, …). Used for face toners, make up removal.

  • 100 gr food grade bicarbonate of soda – also commonly known as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Used in toothpaste, face scrub, deodorant. Buy food grade one.

  • At least two pure vegetable oils. Used in moisturisers. 50 ml coconut oil and 50 ml of another oil you select based on its properties or smell (guide below); add more oils for variety.

  • Two to three essential oils. Used in most products, for additional properties and fragrance (guide below)

  • 200 gr clay, for facemasks (guide below). All options available online at Ecco Verde.

  • Shea butter, for body moisturizer.

  • Aloe vera gel: 10 ml used in a variant of the face moisturizer.

Containers

Do not buy new containers. Use what you have: any small jars will do the job, ask friends for their empty jars, or check the charity shops for fancier containers.

Warning when using essential oils

Some warnings regarding essential oils. They are used in many recipes because they are powerful. But this power is to be handled with care. As a rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil in a 1 to 5% solution (i.e., 1 to 5 drops maximum of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil). Citrus oils make the skin more sensitive to the sun. For pregnant women, children, people with sensitive skins/allergies, avoid using or check with a professional. Always do a skin test first in the crease of the elbow. Never use around/in the eyes.


Quick guide to choosing oils and clays


Vegetable oils

  • Jojoba: light, for all skins, especially for oily skins. No smell.

  • Sweet almond or marula: dry skin.

  • Argan: normal skin

  • Avocado: great for make-up removal

  • Rosehip: irritated, red skin

  • Pomegranate: acne prone skin

  • Olive oil works too!

  • Carrot: gives a nice glow, helps with sunburn; you need only a small amount diluted in another oil


Essential oils

Handle with care. They should be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil in a 1 to 5% solution (i.e., 1 to 5 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil). Citrus oils increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Pregnant women, children, people with sensitive skins should avoid using or check with a professional. Always do a skin test first. Never use around/in the eyes.

  • Rosewood: antiaging

  • Chamomile: dry, sensitive skins

  • Tea tree: acne prone

  • Fragonia: oily skin

  • Lavender: relaxing


Clay

  • Pink: sensitive skins

  • Bentonite: healing

  • Red: regenerate

  • Green: normal or oily skins

  • White: oily skins