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The best cleanser in the world? DIY cleansing balm

A question has been bubbling away in me for sometime now – is it possible for someone like me to completely free myself from the beauty counter and make everything I put on my skin for six months? I’m going to give it a shot and hereby declare my Beauty Independence (as of 1st July)! DIY cleansing balm | Blah Blah Magazine

I have loved beauty bits for a long, long time. Straight out of school I studied beauty therapy and aromatherapy. Such a keen bean, I opened a beauty salon with a vision to starting a natural beauty range, but the call of adventure was too strong and I went travelling instead.

Over the years, I’ve worked for some of the largest cosmetic houses – behind counters, managing stores, running promotions and nearly ended up as a Beauty Editor for one of the big magazines. All because I love the nurturing, the self care and the loveliness of it, but… And there always has been a big BUT and that BUT is getting BIGGER AND BIGGER.

The more I read, the more the beauty industry annoys me, from advertising and false promises to weird ingredients shrouded in magic and mystery. Magazines aren’t game to talk about it, because so much of their advertising revenue comes from the cosmetics companies, but I really think a lot of the industry needs a bit of a kick up the proverbial.

There are some fabulous changes happening and some wonderful new products available. The problem is they can be hard to find and tend to be expensive, because they often don’t have the advantage of mass production lines. And, let’s face it – it’s all downright confusing trying to figure out the good from the ugly.

Beauty Independence

Luckily, I love making my own – other people love baking cakes, I like whipping up beauty bits, so I thought it’d be fun to lay down the gauntlet for myself and see if it is possible to make everything I put on my skin for six months and share my adventures, here. Perhaps, I’ll tackle hair care at a later date, but for now I’m going to focus on skin. My two exceptions are: sunscreen and mascara, because skin cancer and eye infections are not my friend!

I’ll tag my adventures #beautyindependence on Instagram and will be researching recipes on Pinterest. If you make any homemade beauty of your own, I’d love you to use #beautyindependence so we can all share the what and hows.

If you have a moment I’d love to hear if you make homemade products and what you love to make in the comments below?

In honour of my decision, I’ve decided to do a cheeky rip off recipe.

DIY cleansing balm | Blah Blah Magazine

Vogue and a host of bloggers  have declared the Eve Lom cleanser as ‘probably the best cleanser in the world’. And, yes, this made me very curious, but not quite curious enough to pay $110 for 100ml of privilege, although I did pop into a fancy store to sample some and yes, it is quite lovely.

Those of you already rocking the oil cleansing method will look at the ingredients below and nod and say, ‘told you so’, because it’s basically a glorified oil cleanser. Really, if you wanted to keep it simple you could wash your face with coconut oil and be done with it, but if you’re like me and like trying new things and getting a bit fancy, read on.

In my mind this is a good cleanser for normal to dry skin, because using coconut oil on the face is not recommended if you are prone to black heads (it’s considered a comedogenic oil). If you’re concerned about blackheads, but really like the sound of this cleanser, I would head over to the oil cleansing method post and come back when your blackheads are no longer a concern. Personally, I’ve found oil cleansing one of the best (long term) ways to slowly dissolve and tackle blackheads. I also did a bit of a round up of cleansing options in this honey face wash post.

DIY cleansing balm | Blah Blah Magazine

Oils ain’t oils

The use of a large amount of hops and clove essential oils in the Eve Lom cleanser surprised me. The two oils are listed as potential skin irritants in aromatherapy texts, so I went the prudent route and only used 1 drop. Hops (yes, the stuff they use in beer) is not very common and I think it’s a waste to buy an essential oil you won’t use much, so I looked at its chemical composition and found that my beloved sandalwood is quite similar and doesn’t have the same skin irritant issues.

Lanolin is quite expensive – you’ll need to cut off an arm and a leg if you want the organic stuff – so I listed it as optional. I made one batch with lanolin and one without and couldn’t see much difference in texture, however it is a phenomenal skin softener, nourisher and protector, which is why it’s been used.

I’ve added Vitamin E, because it’s an anti-oxidant and can help stabilise natural oils for longer.

Curiously, Eve Lom has a mineral oil base, something I just can’t face doing, because mineral oils are thought to clog pores (hence, used in barrier type creams), kind of questionable and bad for the environment, too. I added the skin-friendly grape seed oil, instead.

The amount of grape seed oil may need to change depending on where you live. If you’re in a cold climate then two tablespoons, while warmer climate folks may want none. This is part of the adventure of working with coconut oil without chemical emulsifiers and the like.

Personally, I would do a first batch, using the recipe below and use it no matter what the texture, because the product will work just fine no matter what the texture is. When you’re making your second batch, think about adjusting the recipe to suit you and your climate better – if it’s too hard make the next batch with two tablespoons of grape seed. If it’s not setting or is too soft, don’t use the grape seed oil and if need be increase the cocoa butter by a teaspoon or two.

Muslin cloth

Muslin cloth is great for washing the face, because it acts as a gentle exfoliant and dries quickly. I buy a length from the fabric shop and cut it up, but I have been known to use tea towels and they work pretty well, too.

How to use the cleansing balm

If you’re new to the world of oil cleansers – welcome! I doubt you’ll look back.

This cleansing balm works well when used once a day and can also double as a make up remover, so a lot of people use it at night.

Massage the balm into the skin, hold a hot cloth over the face for a moment or two to help relax the mind and dislodge the stubborn stuff and use the cloth to wash the oil off. You can repeat this process for even better results. Follow with a toner and moisturiser.

Don’t get too worried on the how-tos, basically massage your skin while your washing your face or moisturising, by pressing your fingers in nice, deep circles so it feels good.

DIY cleansing balm | Blah Blah Magazine

If you’re new to making homemade products

Here is a post on sterilising equipment and storing products. And, always, always test for allergy in a discrete spot first. There is no point in using something that is irritating you when there are so many good options available.

Here is the printable tag for the pretty label: DIY cleansing balm | Blah Blah Magazine

Cleansing Balm
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup coconut oil
  2. 1 tablespoon finely grated cocoa butter
  3. 1 tablespoon lanolin, optional
  4. 1 tablespoon grape seed, sunflower or macadamia oil
  5. 8 drops sandalwood essential oil
  6. 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  7. 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  8. 1 drop clove essential oil
  9. 3 drops vitamin E
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil and cocoa butter in double boiler or in a stainless steel bowl, sitting in a saucepan of water over a medium heat.
  2. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the lanolin and grape seed oil.
  3. Remove from heat, allow to cool for about 5 minutes and whisk in essential oils and vitamin E.
  4. Pour into a sterile jar.
  5. Leave to cool with the lid off for an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the cleanser hasn’t hardened, it can take the best part of a day to set.
  6. Label with date and ingredients.
  7. To use: Massage the balm into the skin, hold a hot cloth over the face for a moment and use the cloth to wash the oil off.
  8. You can repeat this process for even better results.
  9. Follow with a toner and moisturiser.
B l a h B l a h M a g a z i n e http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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18 comments

  1. Nicole - champagne and chips

    Cheeky question but have you thought about selling this? I would love to try it but by the time I buy oils and such it would be cheaper just to buy a cleanser. I know that is totally not the point and that it would work out cheaper in the long run. Still, I think there is a business idea for you 🙂

    • You’re a sweetheart. You make a good point about starting out. This recipe is a bit more complicated that what I usually post, because lots of ingredients can be a turn off and can seem expensive. However, the essential oils are always optional, as are lanolin and vitamin E. For the coconut and grape seed/sunflower oils it’s fine to use the ones you would cook with. This only leaves the cocoa butter, which is used in making chocolate and a good deli or fancy grocer often stock it for only a couple of dollars. All up you would need: coconut oil, grape seed/sunflower oil and cocoa butter for the basic version and that should come in under $15.

  2. Oh to be genetically blessed with glowing skin! I’ve previously looked to magazines and beauty editor reviews but the point you made about big beauty companies and their big advertising dollars makes complete sense. I’m looking forward to following your beauty independence adventures Bele – good luck! xx

  3. I’ve always been a bit wary of the cosmetic industry and their “magic” ingredients and the hefty price tags. I can’t wait to follow along on your #beautyindependence adventure!

    • My main issue is that it is so unregulated, because for many years we believed the skin didn’t absorb much. Now we know that’s not the case and a lot more is absorbed than previously thought x

  4. Oh, I look forward to trying this out. I’m just about to run out of my own DIY cleanser, made with castile soap, water, raw honey and some essential oils – it’s actually been quite lovely and my skin hasn’t felt this smooth in a long time.

  5. You are seriously the cleverest person I know. I’m really not happy with the cleansers I’ve been using lately so am very keen to give this a go. Ooh I can’t wait to see how your 6 month beauty independence challenge goes! Go you!!

  6. Skin cancer and eye infections are not my friend. Haha best line ever! I am pretty bad at DIY but I do love a good cleanser so I might give this a go. The instructions are so beautifully written and easy to follow, I can’t possibly mess it up right?! 🙂

  7. I love your recipe! I had to slightly modify the recipe because I didn’t want any scent, but that I seem to have come across an issue. My balm stays a solid, but an oily solid and I’m scared that it will melt in room temperature. I have found keeping it in the fridge helps, do you have any recommendations?

    • Apologies, I missed your comment. Your strategy of keeping it in the fridge is the best. It depends on how warm the room is and the climate. I would just up the solid ingredients when making it, because we don’t have solidifiers, emulsifiers and other stuff to keep a product stable in all conditions our homemade beauties can be a bit temperamental. In won’t hurt the product to turn to liquid, but it is harder to use. I hope his helps

  8. This is fantastic. I love buying and trying products but I also making them myself. Beauty balms are my favorite so I am really looking forward to trying this recipe out. Thanks so much!

  9. I just made and used this after falling in love with Ole Henriksen’s melting cleanser but hating the steep price tag. I have dry skin and am also acne prone when I am not hydrated enough, so this seems to be a possible solution to my problems. I used my own blend of essential oils based in what I already have and omitted the grape seed and vitamin E as I don’t have any on hand. However, this took off my makeup beautifully and my skin feels very soft and not irritated. Now to follow up with my homemade ACV toner and whipped argan oil moisturizer and hope for radiant clean skin. Thanks so much for this recipe!!! I truly hope it ends up working out for me as I love to use real ingredients on my skin but also save money.

    • Hi Amy, enjoy. I love how you’ve worked with what you had on hand. It’s a lovely cleanser. Let me know how you go as it’s easy to tweak homemade goodies to suit you, particularly with the essential oils you use. The vitamin e is there to help the product stay fresh long, so as long as you use it quickly it’ll be fine and the grape seed can be replaced with many nut or seed oils, but grape seed has a great relationship with the skin. Enjoy x

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