<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Putting DIY bath products to the test

My ingredients

The ingredients I used: brown sugar, rolled oats, olive oil, lavender buds and ginger oil.

My scrubs

The final products: oatmeal and lavendar scrub, and sugar and ginger scrub.

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Today I tried out a few homemade body care ideas. After a few false starts, it turned out pretty well. I’d love to hear more tried and true ideas from our readers - let us know if you’ve got a favourite DIY makeup or bath recipe.

I started with a little research on the internet. This wasn’t very encouraging at first: I kept finding lovely sounding recipes, but the writers seemed to think I had half a day spare to make just one facial cleanser. I have a job and lots of hobbies, I don’t have time to spend boiling and straining through muslin just to get enough to wash my face three times.

Things picked up when I started adding the word “eco-friendly” to my searches. I found these two pages in particular very helpful: Planet Green’s 50 all natural beauty products you can make yourself and Homemade Gifts’ Homemade Body Scrubs article. The scrubs one doesn’t just give recipes, it explains what each item is for so it’s easier for you to find substitutes if you don’t have special ingredients on hand. What can I say, us greenies are just a very practical-minded people!

I made myself two body scrubs, one with brown sugar and ginger essence, and one with oatmeal and dried lavender buds. This was just what I had in the house, because I love ginger and lavender. Since essential oils are so expensive, I recommend that you buy just one or two of whichever scent you like the most. I added olive oil to both, since that’s what I had available.

Both scrubs worked very well, I was pretty impressed. The sugar one was a bit scratchy for my tastes, but I’d happily use it again on the rough skin of my feet or elbows. The oatmeal one made a slight lather, and felt really nice. My legs felt moisturised as well as exfoliated. Cleaning up was a bit of a problem though - there was oatmeal and sugar and oil all over the shower floor when I was done! Luckily I don’t use a scrub more than once or twice a month anyway, and prefer a face washer most of the time.

I also tried moisturising with a little bit of olive oil, like this girl does. At first it seemed way too oily, but by the time I wiped my face with a flannel and dried it with a towel, I felt like it was just right. Apparently sunflower oil is better, because your skin absorbs it more quickly. I might try that next time.

I would probably use the oatmeal scrub again, especially since you can make a batch ahead of time and just add a little water when you need to use it. I’d like to try the olive oil experiment again before I decide if I’m going to use it regularly. I’m pretty sure I don’t have time for anything more complicated - the point is to help the environment and get some pampering, not to become a full-time cosmetics maker!

If you have any suggestions for how I can improve these recipes, let me know.