If you’ve got sensitive skin chances are that some commercial products can irritate your skin leaving it red or even spurring on excessively oily skin leading to pesky acne. This homemade facial cleanser is super easy to make and leaves out the hidden nasties that are potentially causing your signs of irritation.
Avoiding Nasty Commercial Beauty Products
Modern day commercial skin care products can often contain ingredients that can actually cause skin irritation.
- DEA, MEA, & TEA (Diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine) – These are all linked to cancer and organ toxcity, they have bioethical concerns and they build up in the body, accumulating over time – Yuck!
- Fragrance – This one really gets my knickers in a twist. The word fragrance on a list of ingredients isn’t regulated and pretty much any toxic substance can go unlisted under the term. Companies have been found to hide many toxic ingredients under this umbrella term under the guise of “trade secrets”. If that doesn’t make you cringe then I don’t know what will.
- Formaldehyde – Even the word is disgusting isn’t it! Formaldehyde is actually banned in cosmetics in countries in the European Union as it’s classified as a carcinogen. You can still find it in many cosmetics in Australia, the US and the UK though….. Why?! Probably because plenty of gigantic companies (like Johnson & Johnson) are making too much money from it.
- Parabens – Made to kill mould and bacteria but their oestrogen-mimicking properties have them linked to breast cancer which is something I’d really rather avoid thank you.
- Phthalates – Endocrine and reproductive system disrupting chemicals. Would you like a side plate of fertility problems with your facial cleanser?
- SLS / SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate) – They make your cleanser foamy and sudsy, but they also irritate the skin and lungs so I can live without the bubbles.
- Propylene glycol – Is an alcohol that softens the skin but in doing so also can cause dermatitis and allergic reactions.
- Synthetic dye – If you see the letters “F” or “D&C” in relation to colour it’s synthetically derived and is a known skin irritant, also a possible carcinogen.
- Toluene – Often listed in the ingredients as “benzene” or “methylbenzene”, toluene is derived from petroleum and has been linked to reproductive damage and immune system toxicity. That’s a firm no from me.
- Triclosan – Some international bodies have banned it because of it’s endocrine disrupting properties and it’s links to antibiotic resistance due to it’s antibacterial nature but the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), the governing body of chemical substances use in Australia didn’t think it was a problem so we’re still finding this in our cosmetics (a common ingredient in our toothpastes) over here.
Ew, I’m glad we’ve got that list out of the way, that’s enough to cause anxiety in even the calmest llama. Let’s move on to something with more natural ingredients.
What To Look For In Commercial Products
If you don’t have time to make your own homemade cosmetics you wouldn’t be alone but what can we look for when choosing an off the shelf product?
Look for ingredients that you can pronounce and that you recognise. Things like:
- Tea tree oil
- Witch hazel
- Flower essence
- Fruit extract
- Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Olive Oil or Avocado oils
All of these things are easily recognisable as natural ingredients. These can be hard to find on the supermarket shelf however and you could just as easily make your own skincare products from everyday ingredients growing in your home garden, like this DIY face cleanser for sensitive skin.
A DIY Face Cleanser For Sensitive Skin (With Soothing Aloe Vera)
If you’ve got a supply of aloe vera in your garden or have a friendly neighbour who does, then you can’t go past this super easy DIY face cleanser that is packed with antioxidant properties, has anti-inflammatory properties and is a good face cleanser for daily use.
- 1/4 cup of distilled water
- 1 tablespoon fresh aloe vera gel
- 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap (health food shops often sell this)
- 1 tabs apricot kernel oil or jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
- 10 drops chamomile essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
- First step, in a glass mixing bowl combine room temperature distilled water and pure aloe vera gel, whisking until thoroughly combined.
- Add the liquid castile soap, apricot kernel oil (or jojoba oil if using that) and raw honey and again whisk to combine.
- Continue to whisk as you add the essential oils and then using a funnel pour into a glass jar or pump bottle (this is the amber glass bottle that I use).
- Keep in the sealed jar for up to 2 months.
How To Use:
- Wet face with warm water and dispense a small amount of cleanser (dime-size amount) onto the palm of your hands.
- Using your fingers rub into face using a circular motion, rinse with cool water and you’re done!
A good skincare routine is crucial for combatting fine lines, dark spots and getting rid of excess dead skin cells.
For best results use as a daily face cleanser first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening before going to bed.
I hope you love this facial cleanser as much as I do!