DIY to Simplify

I recently noticed the skin on the back of my arms was feeling less than smooth. Initially I wrote this off to yet another fun aspect of aging, but after further consideration realised it had been quite some months since I used a body scrub. “Hmm, time to buy a new one,” I thought. Then I thought again. As part of SIMPLIFY19, why not do a bit of DIY for beauty products rather than simply buying everything? (Let’s be clear here, I won’t be throwing away my favourite products, I don’t intend to make every product I use, but I will be making some, starting today.)

Putting on my conscious consumer hat, I decided this was not only an excellent option, but also a kind option for the following reasons:

  • Kind to the planet – no packaging would be required, as I could use ingredients I already had and package the finished product in an old glass jar.
  • Kind to my body – no nasty chemicals to be found here, just kitchen ingredients and pure essential oils
  • Kind to my goals – avoiding a trip to the shops minimises temptation to spend on unnecessary items
  • Kind to my wallet – my home-made version would cost very little, a fraction of the cost of commercial options.
  • Kind to myself – an opportunity to be creative and make something, which always brings a feeling of accomplishment.

Having made the decision to make my own body scrub, I got a little carried away with possibilities, a frequent occurrence in my world. I was nearly out of shower melts; better make another batch of those. My epsom salts could do with a bit of a makeover, now that I’d used up all my scented ones and was left with just the plain old unscented variety. Within moments, I’d gone from making one DIY bath product to making three. Oh well, fortunately each one is really simple to make and this wouldn’t take long at all.

Now I needed some recipes. A quick google search revealed basic recipes and fragrance suggestions. A quick check of my pantry revealed I had all the ingredients necessary. Time for some DIY!

First up, bath salts. I know, I got a little distracted from my initial mission, but that’s OK. I adjusted ingredients and quantities to suit my needs and the jar sizes I wanted to fill, but basic quantities came from Making Sunshine. 

Click here to save or print bath salts recipe.

This combination of oils smells absolutely divine! I look forward to spending an hour in the bath with these bath salts and a good book very soon. You could reduce the number of drops to 15 -20, but I like my bath salt fragrance quite strong, so it doesn’t get lost when it hits the water.

Next up, body scrub. Once again, I took elements from others’ recipes, Making Sunshine and The Idea Room, combining them to make my own version. For this batch, I used ginger, bergamot and grapefruit essential oils for a citrus spice fragrance. The ginger dominates and leaves the skin with a fresh, gingery scent, which I quite like but if you’re not a fan of ginger, just use a few drops or leave it out altogether. My skin feels soft and gently scented after using this scrub. Choose oils to suit your own needs and preferences and experiment with different combinations. I always hold the oil bottles together and smell them in combination to see if they will combine harmoniously if unsure. As a starting point, citrus and peppermint oils will be uplifting whereas lavender will have a calming effect. I prefer to use Doterra essential oils, as I know they’re pure and ethically sourced. (Be careful with cheaper oils, as they often are not pure and may contain toxic fillers.)

Click here to save or print scrub recipe.

Finally, body products made and packaged into reused glass jars, it was time to mix up my batch of shower melts. These beauties were introduced to me just before Christmas by Renae from Making Sunshine. The idea is, you add a few drops of essential oil to a melt and place it on the floor of your shower just prior to stepping in. As the bicarb melt dissolves, the oil is released, diffused by the steam and you inhale the aroma. Any oil can be used. Some examples are lavender for bedtime showers, On Guard (an immune-boosting blend) during flu season, Easy Air or a tea tree/ melaleuca oil for easing congestion and the list goes on. I’m loving peppermint at the moment, as it smells delicious and has an invigorating effect, clearing the nose and waking up the body. Citrus bliss is another favourite of mine for morning showers. (All blends mentioned are Doterra brand.) As essential oil is only added to these shower melts at the moment of use, you can use a different oil every day to suit your mood if you want to, but I find it easier just to keep one or two oils next to the shower melt jar. [Note: unlike the other two recipes, this one requires specialised equipment -a silicone cupcake tray, and needs to be baked. If you don’t have a silicone cupcake tray, paper cupcake cases may work but I can’t guarantee it. You won’t be able to remove the baked melts from a metal tray without breaking them.]

Click here to save or print shower melts recipe.

Mission accomplished! Three bath products made by me in my kitchen using everyday ingredients. Each item took only a few minutes to mix and even the shower melts require only a few minutes active time. All three could easily be made in 30 minutes and are easy enough even if you’ve never tried any DIY beauty products before. Go on, give one of them a go!

Of course, all of these items would also make great gifts. Packaging in smaller jars means one batch could be used for several people or alternately, one person could get several versions of a product. (For example, a set of two smaller scrubs, one invigorating and the other relaxing.) Essential oils can be varied to suit what each friend likes. The shower melts would require a bottle of essential oil to be gifted with them, but the scrub and bath salts could be given as they are and make very economical and thoughtful gifts.

If you do decide to try one of these recipes, I’d love to know how you go. Please comment or post to instagram, using #OEASIMPIFY19 and tag me @ordinarilyextraordinaryanna.

By the way, yesterday was my birthday, and I’d like to give you a gift. Each of the recipes featured here can be downloaded to save or print. Simply click on the link below each recipe to go to the PDF version and you’ll have it for later use. Enjoy!

Anna xo


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