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Where To Get Your Stuff

September 9, 2010

Having an unusual hobby as this, finding the material to work with can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. There are some good webshops that sell raw material for homemade skin care, but a lot of material can also be found in local shops and similar, as long as you know where to look. Here are a few tips:

Oils – Many vegetable oils can be found in the food section of your basic grocery store. Depending on where in the world you live, you will find different oils. Also if you have any turkish, indian or chinese shops around, check them out as well. You will probably find stuff like coconut oil and almond oil there (and might also find that your basic olive oil is cheaper there). If you can get the oils cold-pressed and organic, it is always to be preferred due to their higher nutritional values.

Herbs – The best way to get herbs is of course to grow them yourself. Some you can also find fresh from grocery shops, but a good tip is also to look at the tea section. Many herbal teas are 100% of a specific herb and can be used just as well in cosmetic care. Making an herbal infusion with a tea bag is even easier! Some herbs that you are bound to find are for instance chamomile and peppermint, but probably also a lot of other cool stuff. Also check out the blends of herbs or green tea with herbs, you never know if you find a blend that happens to be made for your skin type.

Hydrolates – Again, check out your turkish and indian shops for rose-water and orange blossom water, as they are used in desserts. You might also find peppermint water and even lavender water. These hydrolates will probably not be made with distilled water, however, so the shelf life is shorter than cosmetic hydrolates. (Check the ingredient list – if it says distilled water, even better) I still only use store-bought ones and I have been very satisfied. You might also find 100% cosmetic rose-water in the pharmacy or in some beauty shops; but probably 10 times more expensive than the asian ones.

Beeswax – Check out farmer’s markets or similar, sometimes beekeepers sell beeswax (and if not, you might be able to order for next time). Don’t forget to get honey at the same time! You can also look in hobby stores, where beeswax is sold as raw material for candle making.

Water – Using plain tap water in homemade skin care products is not always the best idea, because water goes off rather quickly and significantly reduces the shelf life. If you want to use tap water, boil it first.
You can also look at gas stations or in bigger grocery stores for so-called battery water or deionized water, which will improve the shelf life. If you want distilled, completely sterile water, look in pharmacies. It’s not necessarily worth it though.

Clay – The clays that are used in skin care are also used for all kinds of weird stuff. The quality is not necessary as good as cosmetic quality clay, but if it’s 100% clay it’s not going to be bad anyway. I often use cheaper clay especially when trying out recipes for the first time. For example, I use white kaolin clay that was sold as parquet floor whitener. White clay (and some other) are also used in ceramics, and might be found from ceramic suppliers. Also some cat litter is 100% bentonite, which is apparently really good for your hair!

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