Friday, 25 October 2013

Paleo Make-up

As we age our skin changes, usually getting drier, but I found I also developed skin conditions that I have never had in all my 60+ years.  Eczema, dry skin to the point of cracking, breakouts and itchy scalp were making me crazy (ier).  There are companies (in the U.S., of course) that sell skin products with natural ingredients at a significant cost but I also found a few websites that had recipes for skin products using ingredients mostly found in the kitchen - arrowroot, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, jojoba oil and Castor oil (almost sounds like a recipe for cake, doesn't it).

I read the label for every different brand of shampoo in London Drugs searching for one with only a couple of recognizable ingredients - nada.  I then read up on shampoo alternatives (especially on Paleo sites) and found "no 'poo".  This was my first homemade cosmetic experiment and the easiest.  I was used to squirting a liquid into my hand and rubbing it in my hair, being careful not to get any into my eyes because that stung.  It also stung as the shampoo water ran down my face and into the eczema I had on my forehead and around both eyes.  With the "no 'poo", you wet your hair, put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in your hand and sprinkle it over your head, and then work it through, giving your scalp a good rub.  Rinse thoroughly and then, to help the pH levels, rinse with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (half and half).  Easy, right?  My hair is clean, soft and my scalp doesn't itch.  I keep the baking soda and and vinegar mixture in plastic bottles for safety.

Face Wash

Another easy recipe.  You can buy all sorts of jars and bottles to put your homemade products in at any dollar store.  For the face wash I got a small pump bottle.

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp. Castor oil
2 tsp. baking soda
Optional:  add a few drops of your favourite essential oil

  1. Place it all in the pump bottle and shake well.
The ratio is:
Dry skin: 3:1 ratio Castor oil to coconut oil
Normal skin:  1:1 ratio of coconut oil to Castor oil
Oily skin:  1:3 ratio coconut oil to Castor oil

You can try other oils - jojoba or almond oil, for example.

I credit this one with clearing up my eczema when prescription creams didn't.  Again, I found make-up jars at my local dollar store.

Ratio of 1:1 of coconut oil and jojoba oil (find it at your health food store - make sure it is pure jojoba).

Warm the coconut oil until just melted, add the jojoba oil in an equal amount.  Stir well and pour into your container.  In the warm weather it will be liquid and, in the colder weather, a solid.  When it is solid, a small scoop will melt from the heat of your hands.

It may feel slightly oily at first, but it quickly soaks into your skin, ready for the next recipe - face powder.

Face Powder

Another small container from the dollar store, and these ingredients:

cinnamon powder
cocoa powder
turmeric powder

Start with a few tablespoons of arrowroot, add 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder (brown) to start and a pinch of cinnamon (red) and a pinch of turmeric if you want a touch of yellow (turmeric is good for your skin whether you eat it or put it on top).  Gradually add small amounts of cocoa powder, cinnamon or turmeric until it is the right colour for you - try it on your hand until it matches.  The powder gives you a matte finish and keeps my skin oil free for most of the day. Brush on with a large powder brush.


I also developed lichen planus inside my right cheek a few years ago.  Anyone can get lichen planus but, unfortunately, it is most common in middle-aged adults and women get lichen planus in their mouths more often than men do.  They don't really know what cause lichen planus, but one theory is that it is an autoimmune disease. I have had to have cortisone injected inside my cheek a couple of times (not fun), and it was so bad on some occasions that all I could eat was ice cream - the cold soothed it.  That wasn't exactly a hardship, but a diet of ice cream wasn't doing the rest of my body any good.  I couldn't use regular toothpaste when I had a flare-up, so I looked for alternatives for toothpaste too.  Again, easy to make with ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

1/4 cup coconut oil, warm just until it is liquid
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp. baking soda
Optional:  a few drops of essential oil - peppermint or orange are good, if you want to flavour it

Mix all the ingredients together well and store in your dollar store container.

I have not had a lichen planus flare-up in months and I swear it is because of my homemade toothpaste and the changes to my diet.  No injections - yay!

With those few ingredients I was able to make:
  • toothpaste
  • face powder
  • moisturizer
  • shampoo (no poo!)
and, after using these products exclusively, my eczema is gone, my skin is no longer dry, and my scalp is no longer itchy.  And, bonus, it costs practically nothing compared to the cost of chemical filled skin care products that you buy on-line or in a department or drug store.

If you want to read more about the various products you can make at home (i.e. mascara, blusher, eye shadow) try one of these links but I am giving you my recipes below.

Everyday Paleo

Wellness Mama


  1. May I ask how long you have been no 'poo? I have tried it a couple of times now (same recipe you posted above, with a few variations on ACV dilution) and my hair goes crazy dry like straw within ten days ...

  2. Are eye creams necessary? Well maybe. Some beauty experts strongly recommend eye creams. Why? The skin around the eye contains no fatty tissue and is therefore very thin and susceptible to wrinkles. Special eye creams are formulated to "thicken" this area. Yet other experts (including the beauty editors of Allure in their new book) claim your daily lotion works around the eyes just as welleye creams necessary


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