key ingredients for natural skin and hair care

key ingredients for natural skin and hair care

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To continue our low tox living series, which started with our blog post ten tips for low tox living, here we introduce the ingredients used in our homemade skin and hair products much like we did for natural home cleaners.

Activated Charcoal

A form of carbon that absorbs other substances on the surface it’s applied to, making it great for face masks and scrubs.

Almond Oil (Organic)

A great carrier oil suitable for skin care thanks to its high levels of essential fatty acids, glucosides, minerals and vitamins. Often used in either massage / aromatherapy or mixed with other ingredients in body scrubs, face oils and soaps.

Aloe Vera Gel

Great in skincare as it’s easily absorbent and leaves the skin feeling soft.

Beeswax (Organic)

Super versatile, used in face and beard balms, hair waxes, candles, soap and more.

Bentonite Clay

Technically Bentonite Clay is aged volcanic ash, and when mixed with water it becomes ‘charged’ which allows it to absorb toxins. Whilst food grade Bentonite Clay can be bought for detoxifying toxins, chemicals, heavy metals and other impurities from the body, we use it for the same purposes but on the skin in a face mask.

Castor Oil (Organic)

Another oil rich in fatty acid, particularly Omega 5, perfect for keeping the skin moisturised. Also great in soap and massage oils.

Cocoa Butter

Although Cocoa Butter is solid at room temperature, it melts when in contact with the skin making it the perfect candidate for lotions, creams, balms, soap and so on. Cacoa Butter is full of healthy fats, antioxidants and nutrients which are easily absorbed when used.

Coconut Oil

Rich in in fatty acids and with excellent healing properties, Coconut Oil has a multitude of uses including make-up removal, hair treatment, massage oil, moisturiser and soap.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar is full of much needed minerals and fatty acids; couple this with its texture and mixed with a carrier oil it is the perfect body scrub and exfoliants.

Essential Oils (Organic)

Not only for nicer aromas, Essential Oils hold their own in beauty products. Here we’ve listed a few of our favourites, and their key attributes.

  • Carrot Seed – a natural stimulant of new cells and tissues, so great in skin care products, particularly face
  • Copaiba – reliever of muscle tension and headaches, especially when massaged into the temples during a facial
  • Eucalyptus – a bit of a grease buster and natural germicide making it perfect in face cleansers to wash away the day
  • Lavender – with natural antiseptic qualities, Lavender is used in similar ways to Eucalyptus in face cleansers
  • Rosemary – a duo of antibacterial and antiseptic properties, Rosemary is perfect for face cleansers too
  • Sandalwood – a nice manly scent for the hair wax

Flaky Sea Salt

Rich in some of the same minerals as Coconut Sugar, and equally suitable for body scrubs and exfoliants, we mix the two together with a carrier oil making it perfect for both uses.


The natural sugars and antioxidants in honey help to increase lather when used in soap and works well when mixed with oil.

Manuka Extract

Manuka oil has proven to be a protector against harmful microbes, which is great in any skincare products including soap.

Olive Oil (Organic)

Olive Oil is great for moisturising and restoring skin and hair – we mix it with Honey and Manuka Extract to homemade no-nasties soap.

Shea Butter

Shea Butter comes from a tree called Karite which is found in several African countries; the butter is pressed from the seeds of the tree for use in soaps, creams and cosmetics. The vitamins and fatty acids found in Shea Butter make it a natural moisturiser and protector of the skin’s natural oils.

Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

Lye is the key ingredients that turns fat and water into soap when combined. It is considered a hazardous substance, so we recommend using gloves to handle it in soap making, and not using homemade soaps for a minimum of four weeks after making them.

Aside from these ingredients, you’ll also need the right tools. Since a lot of the recipes in our next blog post include beeswax, a double-boiler or similar will be needed. We use a stainless-steel bowl in the top of our two-part vege steamer pot. Beeswax is also very hard to clean off tools properly, so we recommended having a dedicated bowl, spoon and spatula specifically for making recipes with beeswax in them.

Check out our next blog post to see how we use these ingredients to make natural skin and hair care products.

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