It recently came to light to me , that not only are the ingredients used in most brands of cosmetics are harmful to the environment in a multitude of ways, but a huge number of people don’t actually have a clue about it! The other day I saw a great post attempting to shed light on the fact that the tiny plastic micro beads you find in cosmetics have almost entirely polluted our water, and consequently, our sea life too. You’ll notice the micro bead fad popping up in things like exfoliating scrubs, toothpastes and various other cleaning products; and I felt rather ignorant for having no idea how detrimental they were! These beads are made of tiny pieces of plastic, and mostly too small to be sieved out by filtration systems, these beads are infecting our lakes and oceans with waves of polluting plastic. In turn, they are being consumed by the sea life and sooner or later, if not already, us humans will be eating these tiny beads in our suppers.
The latest campaign by the Marine Conservation Society, ‘Scrub It Out!’ sets out to raise awareness of the problems being caused by these beads, the companies that used them and also a total lack of awareness on the consumer’s part.
It’s an outrageous truth that companies can exploit our planet’s natural resources like this, especially when there are so many natural, non-toxic alternatives! But it’s down to us, the consumer, to take action. Many people don’t tend to bother turning the bottle around to read what is really contained in their cosmetics and beauty products; but by just being aware and conscious of these things, it will help change them. Often advertisers and marketers “green-wash” products with fancy packaging and ‘eco-jargon’, causing the unsuspecting customer to assume the companies care about their impact on the environment. The truth is, it’s down to us to put a stop to this by raising awareness. Is ignorance still bliss when we are putting the future of our planet at risk? Be educated, be aware and be conscious of what you’re buying, cleaning with and most importantly, what you’re washing down the sink into our seas!
What can you do?
Well, get making them yourself!
Natural scrubs are inexpensive, easy to make and often you don’t even need to go out to the shop to buy ingredients! It’s not as hard as it may sound, in fact the simpler the better when it comes to natural cosmetics. Replace these plastic beads with other ingredients such as sugar, salt, apricot/ poppy seeds, or coffee (all of which have their own beneficial properties to the skin.) Natural exfoliant scrubs have got to be one of the easiest, simplest and most brilliantly useful things you can make. Great to have at home or away, you can experiment with smells and colours to no end, and they make wonderful, thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
I’ll be making lots of natural scrubs myself to sell, in order to raise funds and awareness for the Marine Conservation Society (all whilst smelling fabulous with super soft skin! More on this as it develops.) I’ll share some of our favourite recipes and ideas for you to make your own cosmetics, or for those of you who aren’t keen on getting your hands mucky, you can always try ours, and feel good knowing that you are doing your bit for the ocean, and for a great charity.
Sunny Citrus Exfoliating Lemon Scrub
I’ve included a recipe for a super easy, inexpensive and DELICIOUS sugar scrub, just so you can see how easy it is.
For this simple recipe, all you need is:
- 1 cup / approx 200kg sugar (granulated or raw)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon of organic honey (local is always best!)
- 2-3 drops of essential oil (I used lavender)
- Save our seas from plastic beads!
Mix your lemon juice and oil together in a small Tupperware container or air-tight glass jar until the mixture has blended. Then add the honey (which has great antioxidant properties!)
The beauty of homemade cosmetics are that you can tailor your own recipes to exactly the consistency and flavour you desire; add as much honey and oil to your desired thickness. Once stirred together, add a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil.
Now begin to add the sugar and bind together until the mixture has completely blended. -And Voila! You have a beautifully scented, homemade scrub that will leave your skin feeling amazing!
Let me know how yours come out!