Moist

Not entirely plastic-free

Not entirely plastic-free

I am really trying to reduce the amount of waste for which I am responsible and so it was with a sense of dread that I realised I was approaching the end of my current jar of moisturiser. I don’t use many cosmetics, but I do like to have face cream. Last time I needed to buy some I searched until I found an organic one in a glass container, only to discover, when it arrived, that the lid and the pump were hard plastic and it was packaged in completely unnecessary cardboard. So, as I get close to the end of that product I started some research. A particular source of inspiration for all sorts of ways to reduce the use of plastic is the website of Polythene Pam, Plastic is Rubbish. And it was there that I found inspiration… why not make my own?

Here's the kit

Here’s the kit

Actually I was a bit intimidated about this, so I decided to heed Pam’s advice and buy a starter kit from a company called Aromantics. This kit came with some plastic packaging and some small plastic pots in which to keep the end-products, but compared to the amount that would be associated with the equivalent volume (five litres with a few additional oil purchases) of face cream, it’s tiny.

And so, this morning I made a whole litre of moisturiser. The process was really easy and it made me wish we’d done this sort of thing in chemistry classes when I was at school!

It’s plain and unperfumed currently, but I can add whatever essential oils I like to small batches of it. And this was all the plastic I ended up putting in the recycling (it includes the bubble-wrap that was round the thermometer and the glass bottles):

Waste plastic

Waste plastic

So, a quick test confirms that it’s a lovely moisturiser, and I’m looking forward to being able to add various different essential oils to small amounts of it (for which the little plastic pots are ideal)… I rather fancy orange to begin with.

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15 Comments

  1. It’s incredibly difficult to get a handle on all this plastic waste so I applaud you for your efforts–have fun with the project and thank you for thinking of the Earth & its inhabitants! 🙂

    Reply
  2. I have used coconut oil with drops from half a dozen essential oils mixed in for a number of years……. Now and again I try something else, but I always return to my easily made favourite. No plastic involved 🙂

    Reply
    • Sounds good – I have some handcream made by my friend Dave (Cambridge Aromatherapy) which is mainly beeswax and olive oil, but it feels quite greasy and takes a while to soak into the skin, so I only use it last thing at night. My cream contains an emulsifier so as well as the oil (mainly sweet almond and thistle in my first attempt) there is lots of water and so it soaks into the skin very readily, which seems to work well. It will be interesting to see whether I like it long-term, but Polythene Pam is very positive about it.

      Reply
  3. This sounds like such a good idea I am very tempted indeed. Thanks for the idea.

    Reply
  4. I’ll be interested also to hear how well it keeps, as I know the commercial ones are full of preservatives, not necessarily something I want to put on my face…

    Reply
    • It does have a preservative in it, which I used, but Polythene Pam says that she has stopped adding this and claims that hers still keeps well. I followed the suggested recipe exactly, but in future I will almost certainly make a much smaller quantity and omit the preservative… it’s easy to make, so I don’t mind producing a pot every couple of months if I can cut down on the additives. Also, I’d be happy to keep it in the fridge if that made it last longer.

      Reply
  5. You have such brilliant ideas – I have passed this on to my daughter who is home educating her daughter and she has already made perfume, adding moisturiser to her range of products would be fab! I don’t wear perfume but I’d be happy to use home-made moisturiser.

    Reply
  6. Kudos Ms Snail, another nail in the plastics coffin 🙂

    Reply
  7. You’re amazing!

    Reply
  8. What a wonderful idea – and not only kinder to the Earth, but to sensitive skin, too 🙂
    Thanks for the links, too 🙂

    Reply
  9. They would have had a lot more girls interested in pursuing chemistry had they taught cosmetic concoctions in schools. Love that thought. I rarely use anything anymore but when I use a bit of coconut oil to cook with, a little will wind up all over my hands for some reason. 🙂 Things that are shipped routinely arrive with more plastic than wanted. Although my son received a box where things were wrapped in paper instead. Now there is something I can reuse. I was wondering about the fats you used?

    Reply
    • The fats in my particular concoction were sweet almond oil and thistle oil, but I plan to experiment with different ones in the future.
      Wouldn’t it be great if subjects like chemistry could be adapted to capture the imagination of ALL pupils?

      Reply
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