Have you ever considered growing a beauty garden? There are many herbs and flowers that can be used for your own homemade beauty products that are easily grown or that you may already be growing!
There are many good reasons to make your own beauty products and skin care products. You can make high quality products, control the ingredients, and customize them perfectly for yourself.
It may seem daunting to learn at first, but there are some easy projects you can try first. I particularly like the lip balm recipe from The Herbal Academy. If you find that you really want to delve deep into making your own skin care and beauty products, you may also want to check out their Botanical Skin Care Course.
No matter your skill level you can start out growing a beauty garden with some of these excellent plants:
Aloe Vera is a great plant to start with becasuse it is very easy to grow, and can be grown indoors in a pot. You are probably already familiar with aloe vera for sunburns and burns. To use your own homegrown aloe vera, simply cut off a leaf at the base, then slit it open lengthwise. Scrape the gel out and you can use it directly on your skin.
Aloe vera can also be moisturizing in small amounts, although it can dry out your skin if you use too much. It does however make a good ingredient in lotions. Here’s a recipe for one you can make.
Calendula is great to soothe burns, abrasions and inflammation. It’s also useful for eczema and acne. Calendula cream is one of my personal favorite first aid items. Plus the flowers are beautiful to grow.
Chamomile is a popular herb for teas and other internal uses. It can be used to make a hair lightening rinse. Some of the very things that make it good for tea also benefit your skin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties!
Chickweed is more commonly found on eat your weeds lists, but it has uses for skin care too. It’s particularly good for itchiness and irritation. It has anti-fungal, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Comfrey has been described as the king of permaculture, and it has a million uses in the garden. It’s beautiful, attracts bees, and is good for your soil fertility. As a bonus, it can also be used for eczema, psoraisis, acne, and as an anti-inflammatory.
Cucumber is a bit stereotypical, with the slices of the eyes and all, but cucumber water can be easily used in skincare recipes when desired.
Dandelions have been one of my favorite plants for years, but even I didn’t know that the white sap is germicidal and fungicidal and can be put directly on your skin! It’s also good to treat acne and scars.E
Echinacea is another classic medicinal herb that is commonly thought of for teas, but it is also great for skin inflammation and acne.
Elderflowers have some awesome culinay uses, and they also make great infused water or oil. They are particularly good for fading freckles, spots, and scars.
Hawthorn is not a garden plant, but rather a tree. However, if you are lucky enough to have a tree nearby, you can use the plant mateial to make rinses that will encourage your hair to grow faster.
Honeysuckle is generally considered ornamnetal (and for good reason!). But if you need an extra excuse to plant this attrative and sweet smelling plant, it is also good for acne and eczema.
Lavender has a long history of being used for skin. Historically the flowers were added to baths. Lavender is good for all skin types, including oily skins, and it has anti-aging and skin healing properties. It is anti-sceptic and anti-inflammatory. Plus is can speed healing of cuts and burns.
Lemon Balm makes a good toner as it is astringent and it is well suited for oily skin. It can stimulate cirtuclation and tighten skin. It’s good to treat cold sores or sunburns and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Lemon Juice wiped on skin will remove excess oil.
Marsh Mallow root soaked in water is a great addition to use in skin care recipes. It moisturizes and makes a soothing gel when soaked in water.
Plantain has long been known to heal cuts and wounds. It also moisturizing. You can easily make infused oils with the leaves to include in your skin care recipes.
Rose makes an excellent skin toner and it is also hydrating and anti-aging. It is a good choice for those with sensitive skin.
Rosemary can be used to make an infusion (basically an herbal tea) for great hair rinse for dandruff. If you use it frequently it can darken your hair. For the skin, rosemary is an astringent toner and stimulates blood flow.
Sage can also darken your hair when used as a rinse and it is best saved for oily skin types.
Thyme is most frequently used in the kitchen, however, it makes an alcohol tincture that is good for treating pimples.
Violets are not only beautiful and edible, but you can also use the flowers and leaves to make infused oils to use in recipes. They are moisturizing and anti-inflammatory. Plus violets have anti-itch properties and can heal cuts and wounds.
Witch Hazel is very commonly known as an astringent for skin care, but it is not hard to make your own. All it takes is boiling the bark!
Yarrow will happily keep your bees busy and makes a good addition to a medicinal garden. However, it is also an astringent toner that is good for acne and oily skin. Plus it’s anti-allergenic and anti-imflamatory.
How To Use Plants For Homemade Beauty Products
You can often use plants straight from your beauty garden by making a water infusion. This is essentially a tea using your herbs and flowers. You can then use the water as a hair rinse or directly on your skin.
However, fresh herbs can spoil quickly. If you want longer lasting products you will need to dry your plant materials and then use it to make a tincture or infused oil.
Tinctures and infused oils are very easy to make, If you’d like an example of a tincture, check out my homemade vanilla post. Make infused oils simply by keeping each plant in oil in a sealed jar for 3-6 weeks. Once it’s done, strain the plant materials out and use the oil as an ingredient in balms, salves, and creams.
You can use flowers such as calendula, chamomile, or lavendar for making infused oils. Or you can also use leaves, such as lemon balm, yarrow, rosemary, plantain, or comfrey. For an example of how to use herb infused oil, check out this lip balm recipe from Lovely Greens.
Growing your own beauty garden and using those plants for your own homemade skin care products is a fun way to increase your self reliance and utilize your homesteading skills!
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