In case you didn’t know, microbeads (present in many shop-bought face scrubs and exfoliants) are terrible for the environment. They go into the water system and cannot be broken down as waste, instead weaving their wicked way into our seas. They’re so damaging they’ve been banned in some places, with many petitions on the go looking to have use of them revoked altogether.
Now that the doom and gloom facts are out of the way, I am happy to bring you some alternative facial care ideas which are animal and planet friendly, cheap as chips and easy to make out of things you would usually have at home. These homemade face treats are indulgent and effective, leaving your skin feeling fresh and soothed. It’s a lovely routine to follow on a lazy Sunday, or before a big event. I’ve tried these combinations twice now and thought I would share the how-to with you!
Although you can mix these concoctions up on the back of your hand, I would definitely recommend using a receptacle of some sort. I know you have some empty LUSH pots knocking around somewhere! Make sure you have a face cloth or flannel nearby, too.
Step 1 | Exfoliate :: Coffee + Sugar Scrub
You will need
• 1 tsp coffee grinds
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 1 tsp coconut oil
Coffee – an antioxidant – and sugar are perfect natural exfoliators, and they add a gorgeous scent to this scrub, along with the coconut oil.
In a small glass or pot, mix together the above ingredients with your fingers to really combine them. If you prefer, you can melt and cool the coconut oil before hand, but I find that the heat from your fingers softens it adequately. Once it’s all combined nicely, apply the scrub to your clean face in circular motions, as roughly as your skin can handle. Leave the scrub on your face for around 5 minutes or so, before rinsing off with warm water.
Step 2 | Steam
Now that you’ve gently scrubbed off that dead layer of cells, it’s time to open those pores! You can go all out on this step if you’d like by doing a proper facial steam using a bowl of boiling water and your chosen essential oils or steam supplements. Sarah of The V Nice Life reviewed some from LUSH in her recent video.
If you’re in more of a rush or just keen to move onto the mask stage, then I would recommend wetting your face cloth with hot water, wringing it out just a little and placing it on your face for a few moments. Do this a few times, enjoying the feeling of the warm material on your freshly scrubbed face.
Step 3 | Soothe :: Yoghurt + Oatmeal Mask
You will need
• 1 tbsp non-dairy yoghurt
• 2 tsps oatmeal
Most of the shop-bought face masks I go for aim to clear my spotty skin or close my pores. I’ve yet to try one which is purely to soothe my skin. Oats contain anti-inflammatory properties to help heal and repair damaged skin, and non-dairy yoghurt (I used Tesco’s free from plain yoghurt) is deliciously cooling. I’m awful at buying a pot of yoghurt and neglecting to finish it before the expiry date, so this mask is great for reducing waste.
In a small glass or pot, combine the two ingredients. Ensure that the yoghurt is fresh out of the fridge, as it will be most cooling and refreshing in this case. I use my coffee bean grinder to grind porridge oats into meal. Whole oats would work too, but grinding them make them easier to work with in my opinion.
Once combined, carefully slather the mixture onto your face and leave for at least 10 minutes. Unlike your average face mask, this one will not go tight, dry and flaky on your face. Wash off with warm water and finish with your favourite cruelty-free toner and moisturiser.
In terms of keeping these DIY skincare treats, I would personally just make enough for one use, and make a fresh batch next time. That being said, the scrub would probably last a good while, and the mask would last as long as the yoghurt is good in the fridge.
There are so many interesting combinations for face scrubs and masks online, and I’m looking forward to trying out more in the future! If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments.