I’ve been making my own skin care products for well over a year now. Like so many others, for years I would blindly buy products promising to give dramatic results and didn’t give any thought about what was in it or how it was tested as long as my skin was radiant and as smooth as baby’s bottom. After I became vegan, I began doing some research on beauty products for the sole purpose of separating the vegan and cruelty free companies from the others. This was a great start, but then led me to further research the ingredients. (This post isn’t about animal cruelty, although I do implore you to do a google search on animal testing in beauty products)
Vegan product or not, there are some disgusting things in beauty products, many you probably don’t know are there. Just to name a few:
- Formaldehyde – a tissue fixative and embalming agent. Low levels of formaldehyde have been found to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. The National Toxicology Program’s June report classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen under conditions with high or prolonged exposure and in 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as known to be a human carcinogen.
- Triethanolamine – used primarily as an emulsifier. It is a reactionary byproduct of two toxic substances: ethylene oxide and ammonia and proved hazardous short term and long term effects ranging from skin and eye irritation, to damaging the respiratory and immune systems and inciting cancer
- Hydroquinone – used as a skin lightener. Studies have shown that hydroquinone has some carcinogenic effects when applied to skin. It is considered cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and mutagenic.
Other than vowing to never buy products that have been tested on animals again, I also decided that I wanted to stay away from unnecessary chemicals and preservatives. After all, your skin is your largest organ and it really does matter what you expose it to.
There are so many ways to make your own face washes, toners, scrubs, lotions, etc. My recipes vary with the seasons and my mood. Of everything I make, this scrub is one of my favorites. I use it on my face a few times a week and on my body about once a week. It is so easy to make, requiring only four ingredients, and leaves your skin smooth and hydrated, not to mention smelling yummy. There is something calming knowing that I am exposing my skin to pure, natural ingredients…not to mention saving money making it myself rather than buying something from the store.
Sugar Cookie Facial and Body Scrub
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup cold pressed unrefined coconut oil, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined using either a fork or your hands. Store in a glass jar at room temperature.
2. To use, wet skin with warm water. Scrub and massage area well and rinse with warm water.
Did you try this? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista. Can’t wait to hear from you!