Fresh Start Challenge Part 1

One of my aims for 2017 is to make my own skincare products 💆 I’ve seen various recipes for masks/scrubs floating about Pinterest and Instagram and I thought this could be an interesting project for the summer, when my 3rd year Pharmacy exams are complete 💊 A great opportunity to become a ‘Beauty and the Bee’ apothecary came along much sooner than expected in the shape of Little Green Dot’s Fresh Start Challenge 🌿(you can find her on Instagram @littlegreendot or Facebook)

This may seem like I’m going to extremes, but my thinking behind wanting to make my own products is that it’s the only way to be 100% sure that they are cruelty-free and not tested on animals🐰 Cosmetics giants are sneaky and the amount of previously cruelty-free companies now owned by parent companies who practice animal testing is disappointing to say the least.

Although I’ve said before that I have no problem with synthetic ingredients and synthetic doesn’t equal ‘bad’, the same way that natural doesn’t equal ‘good’, it’s a lot of effort having to look into the purpose of unknown ingredients with impossible-to-pronounce names, and the concept of ‘freshly-made’ is always more appealing than something loaded with preservatives and stabilisers.

So I started last weekend by printing out the ‘Fresh Start Guide’ and hunting out some bottles/tubs/pots…..mostly old Lush pots or Oway glass bottles……and gathering ingredients according to the list

Raw honey, apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed hemp oil, ground coffee, rice flour, oat flour, brown sugar

I’ve split this up into two blog posts so I can give more detail without writing a 2000 word report! This one will focus on the 3 main products I made:

  • Honey Cleanser
  • Apple Toner
  • Glow Oil Moisturiser

While Part 2 will focus on the 3 additional products I made over the course of the 5 days:

  • Glow Scrub
  • Cleansing Oat Mask
  • Shower Workout Body Scrub

If you want to try this for yourself, start by checking your cupboards, then try your local tesco/asda/morrisons, before heading to specialist shops like Holland and Barrett. I made the mistake of going straight to Holland and Barrett and bought the exact apple cider vinegar I spotted later in Tesco at half the price!🙊

On Sunday afternoon I got to work making the cleanser, toner and moisturiser I would be using for the next 5 days…….

Honey Cleanser

Raw honey……and that’s it! Try to buy a runny raw honey, mine was quite set which led to problems on my first day (more later) 🍯

Honey has well-established antibacterial properties so makes a great, gentle, cleanser for skin. As I had already been using Daisy and Mallow’s Rose and Mallow Facial Scrub which is honey based, this wasn’t such a massive change for me…..not compared to the toner and moisturiser!

One point about the Honey Cleanser – it doesn’t take your make-up off so you need to do this separately. I used Ultrabland by Lush as a neutral product for make-up removal.

Apple Toner

I would never have thought to put apple cider vinegar on my face! I have memories of drinking it (mixed with apple juice) when I had gallstones 10 years ago 😫 It didn’t cure me- I had to have the surgery!  Like the honey, the vinegar should be raw/unfiltered and you make it by mixing a tablespoonful of vinegar with half a cup of water. Best stored in the fridge (the water content means it’s prone to microbial growth), I found that because it’s winter, mine stayed fresh on the bathroom windowsill for 5 days ❄

It doesn’t smell great initially but the smell dissipates very quickly. I used my pretty little gin bottle to store this…

Glow Oil Moisturiser

The biggest challenge for me was getting used to putting oil on my face. The guide advised cold-pressed sunflower oil, but I couldn’t find any that said ‘cold-pressed’, so I chose hemp oil instead. It has the same zero comedogenic rating as sunflower oil so I knew it wouldn’t clog pores.

I filled a little dropper bottle with hemp oil and my new skincare products were born… took all of 5 minutes 🙌

My Fresh Start Diary

Day 1 Monday

The first day of 2nd semester, I’m up at 6am and not really awake when I reach for my pot of honey. I scoop out a little and start rubbing it into my face…….not realising that the crystals in set honey actually make it quite abrasive.

I was nervous about using the vinegar as for some reason I thought it would sting (especially after the rough honey). It doesn’t! And the smell disappears really quickly.

I’m even more nervous about using the oil…….I’ve always used oil-free everything to try to avoid new breakouts! For this reason I use two drops instead of the three suggested, and surprisingly my skin is a little dry throughout the day, so I end up applying a little Daisy and Mallow salve.

Day 2 Tuesday

Monday was a long day; I left the house at 7.30am and didn’t return until 12 hours later. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s anything my ‘glow’ oil can do for the dark circles under my eyes today! I’ve rectified my honey problem by adding some runny honey to the pot and mixing, and rubbing it in the palm of my hand before smoothing onto my face so the heat dissolves any crystals – much better!

The oil is what I’m struggling to get right- it’s logical that if you strip your skin of its natural oils, it will be stimulated to compensate by producing more oil, so applying a little oil to the face is beneficial…….so why am I finding it so hard!

Day 3 Wednesday

A breakthrough day: I decided to go for it with the oil…..3 drops on my fingers, warmed up before lightly pressing the oil into my face, with one extra drop for any drier areas.

My skin is starting to feel more balanced….

Day 4 Thursday

Still not getting much sleep this week. But my skin feels well adjusted and I’m worrying a lot less about looking ‘shiny.’

Day 5 Friday

Think I might continue this challenge for a little longer…..


Final Thoughts……

Overall, the biggest revolution for me was that hemp oil works well for my skin 💆I’ve continued using the same products into this week (making up a fresh bottle of the Apple Toner). When the honey runs out, I will go back to my Daisy and Mallow Facial Scrub (also honey based) or mix some raw honey with cleansing grains 🍯The hemp oil will stay; I use so little each day that the large bottle I bought will last forever! The toner worked well, but I prefer the smell of my frankincense toner, which also has natural ingredients, so I will reserve the apple cider vinegar for when I think my skin needs a little extra help/refresh/calm. It was confidence-boosting and empowering to know that I can make my own skincare products and I will definitely be looking into more recipes and ingredients 🖒

Have you tried making your own products before? Do you have any recipes/recommendations?

Part 2 on making the Glow Scrub, Cleansing Oat Mask and Shower Workout Body Scrub COMING SOON

Thanks for reading!





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