Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Make-At-Home Cosmetics: Experimenting with Ingredients & Cosmetic Safety

Chicken eggs © ComZeal - fotolia.com

One of the best things about making your own cosmetics is experimenting with the ingredients. You can tailor your skincare to changes in the skin, whether that is through ageing or simply from season to season. For example, when the weather is cold, I add a little more oil to the recipes to make up for the drying effects of the winter elements and heating systems on the skin.

Before trying out new ingredients on your skin - whether those ingredients are included within this book or not - spend a little time doing some research to see if they will benefit you. The internet is a great resource for this. Not only does using more ingredients than necessary increase cost, but they might not be right for you (especially if you are prone to allergies). When applied topically onto the skin, ingredients can have a different effect than when taken internally. I’d recommend that if you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredient or recipe, or you haven’t tried it before, you should complete a patch test on the inner arm twenty-four hours before using the product: Just apply a small amount of the product in a dot and cover to prevent it rubbing off. Monitor for any redness, swelling or adverse reaction. If anything unusual happens, discontinue use of the product. 

Bear in mind that very little research exists to show the effectiveness of individual ingredients on the skin and so long-term effects are unknown. For that reason, when I make my own products, I look simply at the effect it has on my skin—if I can see a noticeable improvement, I run with the recipe. If I don’t see any difference, I try something else. As time goes on, evidence might come to light about the beneficial nature of applying certain ingredients to the skin. I’ve tried as often as possible to only include ingredients which have withstood the test of time, and in fact you’ll find recipes like these dating back many years. 

Make-at-home products are contraindicated in the following cases and should not be used on skin that is cut or has abrasions, is sunburnt, displays signs of bruising, has undiagnosed lumps or bumps, or is suffering from allergic reactions. 

When applying the recipes, keep away from the eyes, nose and mouth. This is particularly important in recipes that contain eggs that must not be ingested raw. 

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