Recently, the beautiful and spunky LulaLola caught me off-guard on Twitter.
After a very lively chat about pimples and ordering clay from Mountain Rose Herbs she said:
“Thanks for the help! Okay, if you were placing your first order, what would your top 5 purchases be?”
What? Are you kidding me? I haven’t already answered that question? I haven’t written an insightful and informative post about the handiest natural skincare purchases you can make? Am I really that forgetful?
I am. I was. Thank you, LulaLola. Now, I am not.
If you’re even remotely interested in creating your own skincare and haircare products, you might want to add a few things to your cupboards. These are the most useful items I know of – the ones that are versatile and work well with various natural ingredients (or alone).
You don’t have to buy them all. Heck, you don’t have to buy any of them. But there are many things in here that will, in addition to enhancing your natural skincare/haircare forays, come in handy in other parts of your life. They’re just good things for a green (or sorta green) household to have around.
7 Important Natural Skincare Ingredients (That You Probably Don’t Have, But Might Want)
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, just let me say again that you don’t need any of these products to start dabbling in your own skincare and haircare recipes. At some point, you will want them. And at the next point, you’ll be looking for nooks and crannies to store it all. I warn you now, this can be very addictive.
Dried Herbs (and Flowers): I tried to narrow it down to just one, but it’s impossible. However, buying just one (at a time) from this list will open up all sorts of new possibilities:
- Lavender Buds
- Lemon Balm
Where can you buy them? Pretty much any natural foods store, an herb shop (not to be confused with a head shop), or at MountainRoseHerbs.com. Likely, it will be cheapest at a natural foods store (without the shipping), but MRH offers the best prices for herbs online that I’ve found.
.Apple Cider Vinegar: In addition to balancing skin and hair pH, being antimicrobial and antibacterial, and a deodorant, ACV is great in several homemade household products. It’s also an effective go-to for heartburn relief. And it can help with weight loss. The list goes on. In fact, I own a book that has 180 pages solely dedicated to apple cider vinegar and honey.
Where can you buy it? Any grocery store. My recommendation is Bragg’s or any other organic ACV that is “with the mother.” (Look for that on the label. It just means it’s raw and unpasteurized, which is a good thing.)
Clays. Kaolin or Bentonite clays are probably the most common, and the most versatile. They are white/grayish, fine, and odorless. Any skin type will benefit from them, but they’re super effective on oily skin. They also work well as an addition to powders and even homemade deodorant. French green clay, which is what you see on most “spa models” (ooh la la), is great for toning and pulling out impurities in the skin. Red clay (or Moroccan red clay) is a little more expensive, and easier on sensitive skin. Rhassoul clay (which also happens to be Moroccan) is another popular common cosmetic clay, and can be used for just about any skin type.
Some people actually take clay as a supplement (like, swallow it) because of it’s purifying properties and extremely high mineral content.
Where can you buy them? The natural food store or herb shop down the street (or across town), MountainRoseHerbs.com, FromNatureWithLove.com (note: I’ve never ordered from them, but they do have good prices).
Witch Hazel: You’ve seen me mention this a hundred times, so maybe you have it already (fingers crossed). It’s an astringent, but it can also be used in place of rubbing alcohol for cleaning wounds, reducing swelling from bug bites or other various calamities, bringing down eye puffiness, and creating your own deodorant (uh-oh, I think I’m leading up to a homemade deodorant post now).
Where can you find it? Walgreens. Wal-Mart. Though surprisingly not Target. Also, your local grocery stores and natural foods stores. Try to find the purest witch hazel you can (oddly, many companies seem to love putting extraneous stuff in witch hazel).
Essential Oils: Again, too hard to narrow down to just one. As you can see by the picture, I have many. And what you see is probably half. You don’t need this many. You will never use them all. At least, that’s what Fiance says to me. This is a list of my essential essential oils:
- Tea Tree
- Rose Geranium (or Rose Absolute if you can afford it)
Where can you buy them? The venerable Mountain Rose Herbs or From Nature With Love (the latter has very competitive prices on EO). They’re also easily found at Whole Foods or any natural foods stores, and tea tree oil is in most grocery stores now.
Carrier Oil: When you’re working with essential oils, most of the time you need a carrier oil to help spread the EO love and dilute it. Handily, carrier oils are stellar for skin even without adding essentials. Here are a few to choose from (the first four are the most versatile and inexpensive):
- Sweet Almond
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
Find them here: Scroll on up to the answer for essential oils. You’ll find them in the same exact places. Easy peasy!
Rosewater: I heart rosewater to death, and it may really not belong in this list, but it should be mentioned. It’s the most amazing thing to add to clay for a simple mask, and I use it daily as a quick spritzer on my face. I’m also known to spray it on my pillow at night (how romantic, dahling). It’s just … peachy. Or rosey. You know what I’m saying.
Find it where? Where I’ve been saying all along. Mountain Rose Herbs, From Nature With Love, natural grocery stores (including Whole Foods), and Amazon (threw you for a loop there, didn’t I?).
BONUS: More things you could consider while purchasing: Beeswax, shea butter, evening primrose oil, mango butter, any other essential oil that “calls” you, emu oil, aloe vera gel, sesame oil … and I’m probably missing a million things.
In fact, can any of you think of anything I missed?
In love and overwhelming list crunch!