Earthero founder Bertha Shum shares five all-natural DIY beauty tips and home cleaning hacks…
We’re always hearing how costly it can be to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle. But from my experience, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five inexpensive ways to introduce natural and package free products into your life. You should already have most of the ingredients you’ll need in your pantry, and you can find the everything else at your local zero waste bulk food store. Here are five all-natural DIY beauty tips and home cleaning hacks — scroll through to find out how you can make your own body butter, all-natural dishwashing liquid and more…
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All-Natural Body Balm
We all love a good body balm but they usually come in a big plastic tub and aren’t cheap either. Here’s the kicker, you can easily make your own at home! Rich, moisturising and all-natural, this DIY body balm does wonders for your skin (and is kinder to the planet too).
- 1 cup raw shea butter (helps to heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis and reduces fine lines by moisturising the skin)
- ½ cup coconut oil (strengthens underlying tissue, is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal, and contains antioxidants that promote skin cell regeneration)
- ½ cup olive oil (gentle, moisturising and soothes skin irritations)
- 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice
- Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over low heat.
- Add in the olive oil and essential oil then place the mixture in the freezer until it starts to solidify, this should take around 20 to 30 minutes. Take it out when you see that the outer circle has solidified, while the inner circle is still liquid.
- Use an electric mixer to whip the mixture until it takes on a butter-like texture.
- Transfer into any jar and store at room temperature.
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Natural Glass Cleaner
Who knew just a few simple ingredients could make your windows squeaky clean? You can forget about buying expensive and non-environmentally friendly bottles of glass cleaner at the supermarket.
- 2 cups distilled or filtered water
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a spray bottle.
- Spray on glass and use a towel to wipe clean.
Read more: Your Guide To Zero Waste & Bulk Food Stores In Hong Kong
DIY Coffee Mask
Do you brew your own coffee at home? Don’t throw away your used coffee grounds! Use them instead to make this two-ingredient skin-brightening mask. Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, which neutralises free radicals that damage and age our skin. Not only does the caffeine improve blood flow and make your skin look more radiant, coffee is also known to increase the elasticity of your skin, reduce fine lines, hydrate your skin and protect it from harsh sun rays. You’ll only wish you’d been using this coffee mask sooner!
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp finely ground coffee (I recommend fully drying the coffee grounds before using)
- Mix the coconut oil and coffee grounds together in a shallow bowl and apply the mask to your face in circular motions, avoiding your eyes.
- Leave the mask on for 15 minutes to an hour, then rinse off with warm water in a circular motion.
Read more: Where To Buy Coffee Beans In Hong Kong
Natural Dishwashing Liquid
Turn over your bottle of store-bought dishwashing detergent and you’re sure to find a long list of chemicals that you can’t even pronounce, let alone identify. These are not only harmful to the environment, but also bad for our skin. To be frank, these detergents are also not the most effective for removing stains.
This all-natural alternative contains a very basic component — enzymes — which are naturally found in commonplace foods such as oranges, lemons and vegetables. These enzymes can speed up the breaking down of particles, making them perfect for washing greasy dishes.
- Raw vegetable scraps and citrus fruit skins
- Brown sugar
- Place your veggie scraps and fruit skins in a large lidded container. Be sure not to add anything that has been in contact with human saliva.
- Dissolve some brown sugar in water (enough to cover your scraps) and pour into the container with scraps.
- Close the container and leave to ferment for 2 to 3 months, opening the container from time to time. If you start to see white mould, it’s working! If not, you will have to start over.
- After a couple months, the liquid should smell like vinegar. Pass the liquid through a strainer and discard (or compost!) the scraps, then transfer the liquid into a spray or pump bottle for dishwashing.
All-Natural Lip Balm
If you’re looking for a lip balm with minimal packaging, made with natural ingredients that won’t damage your lips, follow this super easy DIY recipe. There are two different versions to choose from, depending on the texture you prefer.
- 3 tbsp grated cocoa butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp beeswax
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp shea butter
- 15 drops pure rose geranium essential oil (or other essential oil of your choice)
- Gently melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler and stir in the olive oil.
- Leave the mixture to cool overnight in a small container (no need to put into refrigerator).
- Put the beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter in a pot over low heat. Stir until beeswax is liquified and warmed through.
- Take the mixture off the stove and mix in the essential oil. Pour into tins.
- Leave to cool. Lip balm will set in 20 to 30 minutes.
Sassy Tip: Remember to wash up the pot as soon as possible as the beeswax will quickly solidify as it cools.
Read more: How Hard Is It To Go Plastic-Free In Hong Kong?
Images courtesy of Bertha Shum.