Homemade Beauty Products.

I have been interested in making my own beauty products for a number of years. It is one way of knowing exactly what you are putting on to your skin and is definitely cheaper than shop bought items. This period of lockdown has given me the time and opportunity to have a go.

I have been using shampoo bars to wash my hair for over a year and several weeks into lockdown I was nearly at the end of my last bar. I have never made soap before and had no idea how difficult it would be, so searched the internet for the simplest recipe I could find. This is the recipe for the one I chose to make. Check this hair shampoo link for information. I had to buy a couple of items and alter the recipe a little but it made 2 large bars and I really like the way my hair feels.

Two finished bars of soap.

The items I bought online were a glycerin soap base and a pot of shea butter. I already had olive oil and coconut oil in my kitchen cupboard. I left out the orange and seasalt completely as I didn’t have either of them. I used some essential oils I already had first checking that they would be okay for my hair and skin. The oils I had were rose, geranium and bergamot. As I didn’t have any soap moulds I used some old soap dishes which worked really well. 

I started running out of skin moisturiser a few weeks after lockdown started so again looked for the simplest recipe I could find using the shea butter I had bought for the shampoo bars. I found a recipe and then altered it slightly. My final moisturiser was made by melting 40 gms of the shea butter in a pyrex bowl placed on top of a saucepan partially filled with water over a medium heat.

Once the shea butter was melted I took it off the heat and added 25 gms of carrier oil. I used jojoba oil as I already had some of this but you could also use sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil. I had some vitamin E capsuals so split a couple of these and added the contents as well and a few drops of the essential oils I already had. I let the mixture cool and then put into the fridge for a couple of hours. Once it had become thick and creamy I gave a stir and then put into a sterilised tin ready for use. I have read that a calendula infused oil would also be good for this recipe. I am growing calendulas in the garden so this is an idea to try in the future.

Homemade face cream ready for use.
Calendula flower

I also wanted to make a body scrub and the first one I tried was 50 gms coconut oil, mixed with 50 gms brown sugar and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla essence. I found it best to rub over dry skin and then wash off. It smells delicious. A word of warning however, be careful that it doesn’t make a bath or shower slippy. You could also add sea salt instead of sugar. 

Brown sugar and coconut oil body scrub

One item I tried to make but unfortunately it failed was a rosewater skin toner. Mine did not smell very much like a rose. Here is a recipe which looks good to make rosewater. It is not the one I used so I will try again. I love the smell of roses and they are meant to be really good for your skin.

Show the Love

Every February since 2015 the Climate Coalition have encouraged people from all walks of life to join in one of the biggest climate movements yet to Show the Love for our earth. This is what they say on their website,

‘Join us in 2020 to start new climate conversations, and in making and sharing green hearts to #ShowTheLove for all the things you want to protect from climate change. It has never been more important to make your voice heard to the people who have the power to make a world of difference.’

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/show-the-love

In February, Belper will be holding a series of events and courses related to climate change. These are:-

Our Carbon Footprint: 1st of February at Strutts 9.30-12.30. 

Transition Belper and Belper Town Council are presenting a free course to be held at Strutts, Derby Road on the 1st of February from 9.30am – 12.30pm. The course, Our Carbon Footprint: Understanding and Managing the Impact, will be presented by Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency. This is an opportunity to find out more about the threats we face from climate change, and what we can do about them. The course is free, but you will need to reserve your place through eventbrite.  Transition Belper     Belper Town CouncilShow the Love Event at St Peter’s Church – 15th of February 16.00-18.00

This is a drop in event suitable for everyone who would like more information on groups that are already active in the Belper Area. Come along to find out more about how each one of us can make a difference. We will have free Blue Hearts and Wild Flower seeds to re-wild parts of your gardens, information on the new Belper Community Orchard, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust and the Derwent Valley Cycleway. There will be a chance for the brave to sample edible insects and talk to kids from the Nature Savers Group. Ideas on living more sustainably, cutting down on single use plastic, local recycling initiatives, find out more about Extinction Rebellion and possibly print your own T-Shirt. Katherine Wheatley author of the book, Carbon Monster will lead some craft activities and have some books for sale. There will be refreshments of tea/coffee/squash, homemade cakes and biscuits. St Peter’s Church, Belper.

Zero Carbon Training at Fleet Arts – 22nd and 23rd of February 9.30-16.00

The course aims to further knowledge and deepen understanding of the climate crisis and inspire the change we now need, with examples of carbon neutral projects. It will include a combination of education, discussion, participation and fun! (Play the Carbon City Zero game). It will take many of us pulling in the same direction to enable change, and each of our actions can contribute to making a zero carbon future happen. http://fleet-arts.org

Climate Change is an issue that it is difficult to ignore as it is regularly  in the news showing us some of the devastating effects of Global Warming. I feel  it is important that we try to understand what is happening and then work with others to make a difference. There are things that we as individuals can do  but it is also an issue where communities can work together to make a difference. We need to be careful not to get bogged down in despair but look at all the amazing things going on worldwide and work with others to make a difference. There is hope and many amazing people rising up to lead campaigns.

Greta Thunberg https://www.facebook.com/gretathunbergsweden/ a young person who has inspired many to take the issues of Climate Emergency more seriously.

Amy and Ella Meek, young people leading a campaign against single use plastic. http://www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle climate issues, pledging “a decade of action to repair the Earth”. https://earthshotprize.org

David Attenborough who tirelessly campaigns  so that we can better understand what is going on. Sir David’s facts-on-climate-change

There have been many inspiring and worrying films in the last few years including TOMORROW and A PLASTIC OCEAN both shown in Belper. There is a new film 2040  by Damon Gameau is an upbeat documentary predicting our best selves saving the planet which we hope to show later in the year. 2040 Trailer

Fashion Revolution Week

Belper’s first Fashion Revolution event took place during Fashion Revolution Week 2019. The action happened in St Peter’s Church on Friday April 26th,  it was very well supported by people from Belper and beyond.The idea for the Fashion Revolution movement came from Carry Somers after the tragedy of the Rana Plaza disaster. On 24 April 2013, a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring 2500 more. Carry (who has a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne) felt this was a tipping point and something needed to be done. She phoned Orsola de Castro, founder of up-cycling fashion label ‘From Somewhere‘. Orsola immediately said, ‘Yes we have got to do this.” The first fashion Revolution Day took place in 2014. Fashion Revolution Day has now become Fashion Revolution Week and this year took place from April 22 – 28. Continue reading Fashion Revolution Week

Reusable Gift Wrapping

At Christmas I decided to wrap all my Christmas presents with brown paper because I wasn’t sure whether normal wrapping paper was suitable for recycling.

This is the information I found on the internet.

  • Some local authorities accept wrapping paper in home recycling collections
  • Others ask for wrapping paper to be taken to the local recycling centre
  • Some do not collect wrapping paper at all because wrapping paper is not accepted by some recycled paper mills. There are a number of reasons for this.

I looked on my local Councils recycling page and wrapping paper was not mentioned so I am still not sure.

 

We didn’t manage to recycle all our brown paper as in all the mayhem of Christmas there wasn’t a huge amount of time to remove all the sticky tape. I should have probably folded the paper and then kept it in place with ribbon and not used any sticky tape.

As a family we always have a celebration on New Year’s Day and give small gifts. I decided this year to make up some fabric bags to wrap presents. This worked really well and they can all be reused next year. I didn’t buy any new fabric, just used up bits I had. The only downside will be next Christmas working out which bag is the best for each gift. I tried different ways of making and then came up with one that I could complete in 10 minutes.After Christmas I decided to make some bags by the same method to keep our reusable coffee cups in. We like to keep a couple of cups in the car as you never know when you are going to feel like a coffee and of course by using reusable cup you cut down on single use plastic. You also save money usually at least 25p a cup.The larger bag on the left has two cups in it and the smaller one on the right is big enough for one cup. This fabric I bought years ago on a trip to Estonia. I had used some of it but had a small amount left.

To make the bag for one cup I cut a piece of Fabric 36 cms by 28 cms. I like to stop the edges of the fabric fraying so I used a zig zag stitch around the whole piece. I folded the piece in half with the right sides facing each other and sewed with a straight stitch down the side seam, starting about 6 cms from the top edge and along the bottom of the bag.The next stage was to make the top with a casing for a piece of ribbon to go through. Again I like to neaten my work so I folded back each short 6 cm edge at the side and sewed it in place with a straight stitch.The last step was to turn over the top edge so that it came down about 3 cms and sew with a straight stitch right around the bag. I then used a straight stitch to sew about half a cm down from the top folded edge.The bag can now be turned out the right way and a piece of ribbon threaded through the top casing. This will close the bag and can be tied with a bow.

Continue reading Reusable Gift Wrapping

Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm

As a family we are trying to reduce our use of plastic items, particularly single use plastic. Everyones lives are full of plastic which for years has proved to be very convenient and useful. However we now realise the harm it is doing to both animals and the environment. There is also the problem of potential toxins leaking out of the plastic we use to store and cover food.

We have stopped buying bottled water and now use refillable bottles. I have to admit these are plastic but at least not single use. I have however bought a bamboo reusable, take away coffee cup rather than using the ones supplied by the coffee companies. I have already found I can benefit from a 25p reduction in the cost of the take away coffee from some companies. Continue reading Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm