Let me start by introducing some of my all time favorite ingredients and products when it comes to skin care. These can all be used on their own, or together with other stuff to make them even more effective. I might get more into these specific products later on, so this is just some brief comments about them. These products can all be found in larger ecological shops (depending on where you live) or from the Internet (you can find some links on the reference page).
I love clays of all kinds for skin care, but my favorite is Rhassoul clay (also called Moroccan or African clay). Rhassoul is definitively the most versatile in the family of clays. It has a high level of minerals that are good for the skin (for example silica, magnesium and calcium). What makes rhassoul different from for example white, green and red clay, apart from the fact that it’s the only clay that isn’t named after its color, is that it is also cleansing. It can be used instead of soap, shampoo or shaving cream. One would think that clay would dry out the skin, but amazingly enough, skin feels moisturized and hair is soft and shiny after the clay.
I think it was Tove Jansson who said something along the lines of: “Aloe vera can cure everything – from psoriasis to heartache.” Although I’ve never tried it on either, I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually worked also on a broken heart, because it really does feel like aloe vera is good for everything. It works wonders on hair and skin, is a fantastic after shave on irritated skin and can even be drunk as a juice.
It’s easy to grow, even up here even in the nordic climate, and apparently if you want to clone an already existing plant, you just have to take one of the leaves and stick it into earth and it will start sprouting roots.
A few years back, I used to dye my hair this copper color. Only last year did I discover that henna powder actually could give me more or less the same shade. What’s so great about henna is that, as opposed to chemical dyes, it is only benefical for the hair. It make the hair softer, shinier and feels thicker. If you don’t want your hair red, it’s also possible to make henna glosses (look for Fia’s henna gloss), by mixing a bit of henna paste into a conditioner or some yogurt. If you have blonde hair, it might still give your hair a reddish glow though.
Shea butter is a thick fat that comes from Africa. It can be used as such as a moisturizer, or melted and mixed with any vegetable oil for a slightly more creamy fat. It’s probably my favorite of all the fats because it is so thick it can be used on it’s own without making a mess.
It’s best bought from the internet from places that sell raw material for cosmetics, because sold as such as a skin care product it can be really expensive. My jaw dropped to the floor when I during the Faces etno festival saw a guy selling 100% shea butter lip balm on “sale” – with the same price for 20 ml that I only just before paid for 1 kg!
Many of you probably already use soap nuts when washing clothes. For those of you who don’t – you should. Soap nuts contain saponins that washes the clothes in the same way as (i.m.o. even better than) normal washing powder. The same nuts can be used 2-3 times before they are thrown in the bio waste bin. It is also possible to boil the soap nuts in water to get a kind of “soap”, that can be used as body wash, washing-up detergent or shampoo. The shampoo didn’t work very well for me but everyone’s hair is different and I know that some people really like it.