Keeping up with an all natural, handmade beauty regimen has its challenges. Not the smallest among them being the gathering of ingredients. Let's say you are in the mood to whip up a fresh mask? Do you have all of the ingredients on hand? What if you're hair is looking a little lack luster. An herbal vinegar rinse or a hot oil treatment might do the trick, but have you got all the ingredients in stock?
Just like the kitchen pantry, your beauty pantry should include good sized reserves of staple ingredients. Having these main ingredients on hand means that you can whip up a treatment on a moment's notice. It can also help you save money on your beauty routine. Buying larger amounts of natural ingredients often costs less per portion. Instead of buying a little bit here and there, keep a stock of your most used items. Order your specialty items in smaller amounts. Keep an eye out for Sales & Specials. Those are great opportunities for purchasing large amounts of pantry ingredients!
So what exactly should you keep stocked in a Natural Beauty Pantry? That depends on you. Everyone's routine is a little different, so selecting the exact ingredients is up to each individual. However, I can give you some tips to get you started. Here are some of my must-have Natural Beauty Pantry Items.
- Oat Flour Fine - I use Oat Flour in almost everything! It's great for scrubs, milk baths, facials, and for making gifts like bath bombs or soaps. If you prefer a grain that isn't wheat based, try keeping a stock of Rice Bran Powder instead.
- Honey Powder - Keeping Honey Powder on hand allows me to whip up fresh facials, everyday cleansers, and special treatments for skin and hair.
- Sea Salt and Epsom Salt - These two salts are essential for baths and salt scrubs, two of my favorite homemade beauty recipes!
- Fractionated Coconut Oil - This shelf stable Carrier Oil is very versatile. It can be used in hair care recipes, scrubs, lotions, balms, and massage blends. It has almost no color or aroma, making it a great fit for a wide range of formulas. Use Fractionated Coconut Oil alone, or blended with more expensive Carrier Oils in your recipes.
- Raspberry Seed Oil - I keep a small stock of super nutritious Raspberry Seed Oil at all times. This oil is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, making it a great addition to beauty boosting facials, moisturizers, and hair treatments. This is my go-to super oil, but yours may be different depending on your skin type and preferences. No matter which oil you choose, it's good to have a bottle of something your skin and hair loves close by.
- Essential Oils - While there are countless essential oils that can be used in natural beauty, I keep a small selection of my favorites stocked at all times. Your favorites may be different, depending on the recipes you use most, but for me I love having the following oils in my pantry: Niaouli, Lavender, Mandarin, Eucalyptus, Carrot Seed, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Bergamot, and Ylang Ylang.
- Beeswax - An important component to a long list of recipes, Beeswax always comes in handy. I use it in lip balms, salves, body butters, and pomades on a regular basis. It can also be used in lotions and creams, if it is combined with the right additives. I also like to keep a little Emulsifying Wax for quick emulsions. If you are vegan, you might prefer to keep Candelilla Wax stocked in your pantry instead of Beeswax.
- Hydrosols - These gentle waters are great as toners, but can also be used as hair spritzes, hair rinses, wetting agents in masks and facials, and water phases in creams and lotions. My favorites are Rose, Yarrow, Rosemary, and Neroli.
- Cocoa Butter & Shea Butter - These are by far the most popular Vegetable Butters for use in natural beauty products, and for good reason. They are both wonderful for your skin, and they are both pleasant to use. I keep a tub of each stocked at all times so that I can always whip up a quick batch of moisturizing goodness.
- Kaolin Clay - Having a clay that matches your skin type is very important, if you ask me. Any time I am feeling dingy, I whip up a mask with a little clay. 20 minutes later, I feel fresh and pretty once again. It also makes a great addition to daily cleansers, scrubs, soaps, or body masks!
- Apple Cider Vinegar - This is very inexpensive to buy by the gallon and can be used to detox your hair, tone your skin, or even soothe itchy bug bites. Infuse it with dried herbs to amp up its super powers.
- Jars, Bottles, and Bags - Don't forget to keep a stock of packaging on hand to pack up your creations. I keep Lip Balm Tubes, 2 oz. PET Jars, 4 oz. PET Jars, and Small Cello Bags handy all the time.
Now that you've had a peek at my Natural Beauty pantry, check out what some of our readers keep stocked. I asked folks on our Facebook Page, Twitter, and on Google+ to share their essential beauty ingredients. Here's what they told us:
- Allyson: The "essential" essential oils: lavender, tea tree, peppermint, sweet orange, rose absolute; grapeseed oil, rose water, glycerin, honey, and witch hazel!
- LaWanda: Coconut Oil, JBCO(Jamaican Black Castor Oil), rosemary, peppermint & lavender essential oils, shea butter.
- Dawn: Jojoba oil is #1 great for hair and skin, essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, patchouli; honey and witch hazel.
- Liz: Castor oil is my #1! Honey, ACV (apple cider vinegar), tea tree oil, mango butter, avocado butter, brown sugar, kosher salt, epsom salt. lol Should I go on? :)
- Robbin: Coconut oil, avocado butter, castor oil, aloe vera juice, shea butter...nothing fancy!
- Stepha: Shealoe, murumuru , illipe butters are my faves. I love so many oils, but if I had to choose a few it would be castor oil, coconut, olive, sweet almond, grapeseed, brazilian nut, hempseed and camellia. I would also have to have some aloe vera gel and honey :)
- Sabine: Olive, almond, coconut oil, shea butter, sugar and some basic EO/FOs. Some lye. That's pretty much all thats needed to make a whole load of things.
- Deann: I'd add beeswax to that list.
So what do you keep in your own natural beauty or soap making pantry? We'd love to find out! Let us know by leaving a comment.