Today, in every supermarket and chemist, you’ll see rows of skin care treatments for men, ranging from own-brand after-shave to designer anti-ageing creams. But if you study the list of ingredients on any of the packaging, you might well wonder what exactly goes into these products for which you can be paying serious money.
Making alternative herbal cosmetic treatments for men at home takes time and planning initially, but you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin, and you can personalise it to suit your own taste.
Essential oils, which aren’t the same as perfumed oils, are available from health food shops, herbalists and through the internet. When handling any pure essential oils, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid getting any in your eyes.
We’ve used cups for measuring out ingredients. The measurements don’t have to very accurate and we suggest you use a small mug. For information, a cup is 8 fl oz, which is slightly smaller than most mugs, which are 10 fl oz (half-pint).
Suitable for oily or normal skin
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup hempseed flour
- 2 green tea bags
- 10 drops vitamin E
- Essential oils: lime, cypress, lavender and juniper
Put the flours in a bowl and mix with contents of the tea bags. Add the vitamin E and mix well. Add the essential oils, one at a time: 15 drops of lime and 5 of each of the others. When thoroughly combined, store in an airtight container. Leave to settle for 3 days before using.
To use, scoop out a spoonful and mix with enough warm water to make a paste. Apply to the face and neck avoiding eyes and lips. Rinse well.
Old English Aftershave
- 2 lemons
- 5 tablespoons lavender water
- 5 tablespoons witch hazel
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
Squeeze the juice from the lemons and strain it to remove pips or pith. Mix 5 tablespoons of juice with the remaining ingredients and store in an airtight bottle. Shake well before use.
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- ½ cup witch hazel
- 1 tablespoon mint
- 1 tablespoon lavender
Use dried herbs for this recipe. Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar in a cool dark area. After about 2 weeks, strain and rebottle.
Cap’n Jack Aftershave
- 3 cups bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
You’ll need a large screw top jar and dried herbs for this.
Crumble the bay leaves and fill a large jar leaving about 3″space free at the top. Add the rosemary and orange zest. Cover with rum, leaving only about 1″ gap at the top. Leave to steep for about 1 month, then strain and bottle.
Now we move from head to foot and tackle a couple of things that may be a problem for you footwise.
Foot Bath for Athlete’s Foot
Tea tree and lavender both have anti-fungal properties and work on the cause of the problem. Sandalwood soothes sore skin and helps prevent secondary infections.
- 2 gallons warm water
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops sandalwood essential oil
Pour the water into a suitable bowl and add the oils. Mix well and the place your feet in the warm, soothing water, sit back, and let the herbal remedies do their work.
Smelly Feet Powder
A sprinkling of this powder into sports shoes or socks will help keep the smells at bay!
- ½ cup arrowroot
- 8 drops cypress essential oil
Mix the oil and arrowroot together with your fingertips, rubbing carefully to break up any lumps and to make sure the oil is thoroughly distributed through the powder. Store in an airtight container.