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The Natural Beauty DIY Dilemma

As a natural beauty writer and author of “do-it-yourself” (DIY) recipes, I understand the attraction to crafting handmade products, especially when platform
Jun 6, 2015 | Seanna Cohen

As a natural beauty writer and author of “do-it-yourself” (DIY) recipes, I understand the attraction to crafting handmade products, especially when platforms like Pinterest make everything look so good! Recently, I wrote about a few precautions to take when using essential oils in your DIY recipes, so to go along with that, I wanted to share a couple of general rules to keep in mind when whipping up any DIY beauty product.

“Natural” does not mean that it is right for you or your skin type.

I learned this the hard way when concocting (what I had read to be) a miracle- working cinnamon face mask. Cinnamon is an ingredient that has been used in many cultures for centuries, both in food and beauty rituals. I was intrigued by video tutorials and blog posts for this acne-busting remedy, and so I tried it. After carefully measuring out cinnamon, yogurt, and honey, I smothered the sweet smelling paste all over my face and waited for the miraculous results. Let’s just say that the end result was far from miraculous – more like horrifying. My face resembled a blotchy tomato.

The lesson to be learned:

Just because it works for some people does not mean that it will work for you.

Natural ingredients can still have side affects and you must take your skin type into account. For some skin types yogurt and cinnamon can work wonders to balance oil and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately though, the exfoliating properties of lactic acid from the yogurt and stimulating effects of the cinnamon were too much for my sensitive skin.

Even though it is not eaten, DIY products should be treated like food.

Natural products have a shorter shelf life than their synthetic counter parts and are more susceptible to bacteria, particularly when made with tap water, which can contain bacteria. Unfortunately though not all DIY recipes that you find on blogs and websites offer safe handling practices.

Storage temperature, moisture, and anything that may introduce bacteria into your handmade masterpiece needs to be monitored. Small steps can be taken to help prolong shelf life and keep your products safe. For example you can boil all tools and containers before use, use distilled water, keep fingers out, store in a cool and dark place, and include natural anti-microbial ingredients like lavender essential oil, or vitamin E.

Before you begin, do your research and implement best practices for creating beauty products. Find websites and authors that you trust, and spot- test ingredients on your skin before jumping on what might look like a great trend.

That said, enjoy making your own products! DIY activities can be so satisfying and an incredible way to incorporate natural (and often edible) ingredients into your beauty routine.

Jun 6, 2015 BY Seanna Cohen
Sue de Zwart   •   December 2, 2015

Hi Joy - I am looking for a natural body wash for myself and my hubby. Do you have a product? Sue


Lisa   •   August 1, 2020

Great article! Sometimes I forget that just because something is natural, it doesn't mean my skin will tolerate it. I found this out the hard way doing face masks; pineapple, grapes and avocado leave my skin red and tingly (in a bad way!)

Joy McCarthy   •   August 4, 2020

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