But I’m also the kind of person who gets carried away easily, especially when I have new things.
So after recently purchasing and flicking through the Neal’s Yard Remedies‘ all natural beauty book, I thought nothing of signing myself up to the challenge of using only natural skincare products for a week.
And I’m not talking natural as in pleasant smelling organic products that come in nice packaging, I mean DIY, homemade, brewed-in-the-kitchen kind of products.
“How hard can it be?”, I told myself. Ah, the naivety.
Considering my scientific skills and knowledge are severely limited (I chose environmental science at school as soon as chemistry, biology and physics were no longer compulsory), I decided to try and keep it simple. (Post continues after gallery.)
Anything that required five or more ingredients was immediately struck off the list, as was anything that required dried rose petals, frankincense (do I look like a wise man?) and emulsifying wax (sounds far too intimidating).
I ended up with recipes for four products – shampoo, conditioner, a hair mask and toothpaste.
So on a rainy Saturday I hit the shops with my shopping list. Turns out the regular supermarket just won’t do.
I thought I had picked recipes that required not ordinary but not uncommon ingredients – things like coconut oil, glycerine and essential oils. After no luck in the supermarket, I stumbled upon a health shop and managed to tick off most things in the list, although I was surprised by just how expensive everything was.
Once I got in the kitchen, I laid out all the ingredients, chanelled my inner Hermione and got cooking. Well mixing, but there were measurements involved too.
The recipe for "Herbal toothpaste" calls for a delicious mix of bicarbonate of soda, glycerin, table salt and drops of rosemary, thyme and sweet fennel essential oils. I couldn't find fennel oil, so I settled for mixing ground fennel into the mix. "How different could it be?" I justified. That should give you an indication of how this particular product went.
The mix doesn't make much and looks a bit like marzipan. Unfortunately it doesn't smell that way, giving off a very strong fennel odour. Oops.
I'm hesitant as I put it on my toothbrush. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and start brushing... and immediately start gagging. It tastes DISGUSTING. I actually spit it out (not that you can swallow it anyway!) and proceed to wash my mouth out with gallons of water, and brush my teeth with normal toothpaste just to rid myself of the taste.
Sorry nature, I don't think I could stomach this one again.
The first hair washing product on my list is the shampoo or "cleansing hair paste", which requires the simple mix of bicarbonate of soda, water and two drops of rosemary essential oil.