DIY (Pt.1): KICK-ASS CLAY CLEANSER


Hello, gorgeous. 

It's nice to see you, again. Today I'll be launching a new series on Toofufu to give you all a bit of a break from the 'Ally' posts, and to talk about something special to me. DIY! A field curiously devoid of any widespread sexual innuendos.

I first began my forays into DIY (*stifles giggles in an attempt to be a good, grown-up beauty blogger*) when I was given a bottle of LUSH's Scrub Scrub Scrub as a Christmas present by G's mom two or so years ago now. I loved it so much that I went to go fill up my tub, only to wither and die at checkout.

Side note, isn't it great how the chic, super-breezy staff act like it's normal to pay two hundred bucks for what is essentially sea salt and some good-smellies? And that's not a dig at them, I'm genuinely impressed. Much as frat boys (and now me) still quote to this day, 'I'm not even mad, that's amazing!'

 

It was around this time that I had also given Pinterest another go. I had deleted like I think many of us had since it's launch in 2010. Pinterest, I had believed, was for my amazing grandmother - cake-baking, tech-savvy evidence of a clash between old worlds and new. I always encouraged her to post there, and to find ideas for her baking business, but never did I think anything on there was for me and others my age. 

Oh how I was wrong. Pinterest has something for everyone - especially women. Being a woman in tech, I know how unfriendly the online world can be. Having for so long the image that Pinterest was for women, by challenging the importance of comment sections, and by making the share-ability of feminist thoughts and literature easy, Pinterest blossomed into a happy, feminist safe haven. Or so it seems to me. 



Pinterest's designation as my go-to happy place was aided by all the incredible DIY skincare recipes and ingredient lists I found there. There are LOADS of fantastic beauty ideas that aim to cater for everything on your beautiful body. There's also a huge LUSH-imitation section, and that's where I first found this recipe for a LUSH-inspired sea salt scrub. I was hooked, naturally. 

SO IT BEGINS

I saved up some cash and bought a bunch of natural ingredients to add to the essential oils my mom had given me a while back to make my own mosquito spray. I had smiled but silently balked and shoved them in the back of the fridge where they would live for possibly years before an older and wisened version of me would have the good sense to throw them away.

Now that I had had my DIY bat signal all lit up, I was suddenly grateful. Essential oils I didn't pay for? 

So, what did I do with my new essential and carrier oils? I made everything! I made body scrubs, body lotions, hand cream, foot cream, and face cream. I worked with coconut oil, both refined and not. I used grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and fifty or so more essential oils; learning which smells I liked most, and what did what for where. 

It's been quite the adventure. I've learnt what should and shouldn't go on my face (no sugar, salt, walnut kernels or anything as abrasive). I've learnt that I'm a capable creator, which is always nice. And, probably conversely, that DIY natural makeup is incredibly tricky.

Sign me up - twice, just in case. Essential oils don't come cheap. 

That said, once you have a good basic set and some carrier oils (vegetable oils that act as a carrier or barrier between the essences and your skin), you can save a lot of money over time, by using lasting ingredients and no longer needing to use store-boughtproducts. God, especially if you shop at LUSH or any other green-faced outlet. If you're used to cheaper, synthetics products and don't think you'll get much benefit from a switch to natural, know that natural products are often interested in reaping maximum benefit for your skin, animals, and the environment. 

Do a bit of poking around and see if you like what myself and other nature-enthusiasts are selling. I promise we're not all loonies, we just look that way because saving the world one cleanser at a time makes us morally superior and not everyone can handle that kind of pressure. 

After using natural ingredients for my day-to-day skincare needs, I though, 'Screw it, I can make my own makeup.' I then bought about a grand's worth of containers and ingredients (among them lovely things like nutmeg and acacia berry powder, both for their colour), substituting where I could for ingredients I didn't find.

I guess the substitutions led me astray, because all I managed to do was waste a good deal of spices, oils, and energy, as well as making a right royal mess. Disheartened, I switched to Dr Haushka, which is not a statement anyone working at Dr Haushka is likely to want toappear in their marketing materials so, 'toodaloo' to that sponsorship. 



Although I'd given up on making my own makeup (for the time being), I was and have remained interested in using natural ingredients to create goodness for my body and in my home. This is especially true thanks to the results I've seen while using green skincare.

A MIRACLE OCCURS

I've always had spot-prone skin. I wrote a while earlier that I now know, with some research undertaken, that I don't have problem skin, necessarily. Instead, I have sensitive skin that is  prone to breakouts, which is different.  My skin is also very oily, which is annoying and baffling to both me and my TV-work makeup artist. 

I've now learnt that oily, sensitive skin is helped with clay cleansers, rose geranium, and militant moisturiser application. In conjunction with a vegan diet, and one that bans too much refined sugar (oreos don't count because they're not sugar, they're vegan magic), these rules have made a long-time issue go away almost completely.

I know some of you will call my bar for miracles a little low, but for me this has been nothing short of that distinction. It's a wonderful, spot-free miracle, and in a haze of post-miracle glow, I'd love to share what I've learnt with you.

Let's begin, shall we?



The ingredients that I bought to make this post came from a local online store called Essentially Natural. The store is run by two women, who kindly also sent me some freebies. They have a a really great, extensive range of raw ingredients and other bits and bobs.

Essentially Natural is my answer to moods that call for DIY play, and they often have an ingredient I can't find anywhere else. 

They also offer free shipping to anywhere in South Africa - a surefire way to my heart if there ever was one. Give them a gander.

CLAY IS BAE

Now, before we take a look at the cleanser recipe, I'd first like a moment to talk about what makes clay such an incredible natural ingredient for your oily, spotty skin. Sorry if that sounded a bit rough. I still love you.

It's difficult to find scientific sources that give clays like bentonite, green, and kaolin the thumbs up as far as skincare goes. And websites that do, like herehere, and here, aren't very upfront about where they're pulling their information from, or don't get it from reputable and accessible sources. That said, I've had some experience with using clay now, and everything has been positive. Not neutral - positive. I give it review as glowing as my skin.  

I honestly feel like dressing up in pantaloons and running through the town square shouting 'Hear ye, hear ye, the clay - it works!' Apparently my mind thinks everyone in 1500s England wants to know.

In any case, the reason I'm so ready to vouch for clay and its benefits are that I've seen them myself. I had tried a great many things to help with my skin, including a wide range of both natural and synthetic products and recipes, as well as dabbling in hormonal therapy. None of those worked, but the clay sure did. Here are some things others claim about the wonder ingredient that I've seen for myself to be true. 

- Clay gently soaks up dirt from your lovely face by absorbing excess sebum that clogs pores and causes nasty zits

- Clay acts as a gentle exfoliate, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and radiant 

 - Clay acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve inflamed skin

- Regular use of clay shrinks your pores and reduces chance of future blackheads

Sounds good? Yay! I'm happy to be offering a solution to problem skin that sticks. Everyone's skin is different, but I really wish that this works out for you as it did for me.



Right, so no more waffling. Or if you read recipe posts like I do, no more slightly annoyed scrolling through a writer's hard work in attempts to find where they finally give the method and list of needed ingredients. You've arrived in the right place. 

This is my favourite DIY recipe of late, and I've started mixing up a batch every few days to keep me going. I hope you'll love it just as much. If you're keen on using the recipe as a mask instead of a cleanser, scroll down until you get to the part of the post where I go into that with a bit more detail. Otherwise, let's hop to it. 

KICK-ASS CLAY CLEANSER


  • Prep time: 5min
  • Mixing and application time: 5min
  • Amount made: Enough for up to eight washes
  • Usage: Cover your face, neck, and other problem areas in a thin layer and wash off with warm (not hot, nor cold) water after a few minutes. Use twice daily, morning and evening - unless skin is clear, in which case, skip a cleanse. Follow with a light moiusturiser, and an appropriate skin serum.
  • Expiry date: Three to four days after mixing
  • Total cost for raw materials: Around R700 if you're starting your homekit from scratch. Yikes- I know. That's a lot to fork out for a cleanser. But, and it's a big one, these ingredients will last you a long time, and help you to make many batches of this cleanser, as well as other DIY skincare goodies. Think of it as a skinvestment.
  • Allergies: I know it's a pain in the ass to check your skin for allergies, but really do it this time. If just for me. If you're not keen on spending stacks just to find out you're allergic to the ingredients, scan your current beauty products for this cleanser's ingredients. If you're already using them you're unlikely to have a problem with this recipe.
  • Vegan status: Proudly 100% vegan

TOOLS

  • A teaspoon, and tablespoon
  • A glass or ceramic mixing bowl
  • A small glass container for your finished cleanser, or cling wrap if you're fresh out of small glass containers
  • A clean makeup brush for application (I use handwash to clean mine - works like a charm)

INGREDIENTS


METHOD

  • Not much to it, really. Mix all the ingredients together with a teaspoon until well-blended and mostly lump-free. Get rid of extra bumps by squishing them on the side of your bowl with the back of your spoon.
  • If the mixture is too runny for you liking, add half a teaspoon of kaolin clay at a time, until you get the desired consistency. If your cleanser is too thick, add a teaspoon of water until it hits the sweet spot. 
  • Decant into your clean glass container, or wrap film around the top of your mixing bowl. You'll need to make sure the cleanser is kept in glass, though, as some of the ingredients are affected by plastic and so on. Here are some more tips about safely using natural products. 
  • After use, keep the cleanser in the fridge, adding more water with each wash if needed. This is a good precaution, but I keep my cleanser next to my bathroom sink and it still worked great. 


KICK-ASS CLAY MASK


  • Prep time: 5min
  • Mixing and application time: 5min
  • Amount made: Enough for up to four masks (did someone say 'slumber party'?!)
  • Usage: Cover your face and neck in a thick layer and wash off with warm (not hot nor cold) water after 5-7min, but before it begins to crack. Use twice weekly. Follow with a light moisturiser, and an appropriate skin serum.
  • Expiry date: Three to four days after mixing
  • Total cost for raw materials: Around R700 if you're starting your homekit from scratch. Yikes- I know. That's a lot to fork out for a mask. But, and it's a big one, these ingredients will last you a long time, and help you to make many batches of this cleanser, as well as other DIY skincare goodies, like the cleanser above.
  • Allergies: I know it's a pain in the ass to check your skin for allergies, but really do it this time. If just for me. If you're not keen on spending stacks just to find out you're allergic to the ingredients, scan your current beauty products for this mask's ingredients. If you're already using them you're unlikely to have a problem with this recipe.
  • Vegan status: Proudly 100% vegan

TOOLS

  • A teaspoon, and tablespoon
  • A glass or ceramic mixing bowl
  • A small glass container for your finished mask, or cling wrap if you're fresh out of small glass containers
  • A clean makeup brush for application (I use handwash to clean mine - works like a charm)

IINGREDIENTS


METHOD

  • Not much to it, really. Mix all the ingredients together with a teaspoon until well-blended and mostly lump-free. Get rid of extra bumps by squishing them on the side of your bowl with the back of your spoon.
  • If the mixture is too runny for you liking, add half a teaspoon of kaolin clay at a time, until you get the desired consistency. If your cleanser is too thick, add a teaspoon of water until it hits the sweet spot. 
  • Decant into your clean glass container, or wrap film around the top of your mixing bowl. You'll need to make sure the mask is kept in glass, though, as some of the ingredients are affected by plastic and so on. Here are some more tips about safely using natural products. 
  • After use, keep the mask in the fridge, adding more water with each wash if needed. This is a good precaution, but I keep my cleanser next to my bathroom sink and it still worked great. 
  • Ta-da! Happy, spot-free skin awaits you. 


BYE FOR NOW

A while ago a friend told me that they couldn't say 'goodbye' without adding something to make that state impermanent, like, 'for now' as in 'bye for now', or just a 'see you later' instead of the finality of something as seemingly innocuous as 'cheers'. It was their OCD crutch, and I've picked it up, too.

When I write something with a little more oomph I backtrack, visioning the irony my sign off might have should I die before I can say anything else. Morbid, isn't it? And really not the way I think either of us thought this blog post might end, but here we are, darling. 

Maybe it's a cry for help - save me from my superstitions. I could probably also get rid of knocking on wood, and refraining from walking under ladders. Here's hoping, fingers crossed, salt thrown, wood knocked...

Until then, here is my safer parting gesture. Ta-ta-for-now. If you enjoyed the post, please drop me a note in the comments below, and let me know what are some of your own favourite DIY (still smirking) recipes. If you have any requests for specific products you'd like to replace, let me know and I'll try whisk up an alternative for the next DIY post. Also, let me know how the recipe went for you!

Remember to check out Essentially Natural for the ingredients in this post as well as ones you can use for future post DIY tries, and in your own concoctions. You can also check out their blog, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. They're a lovely bunch and deserve the support you give.

All the best of luck for your follow-through of this recipe. I'll see you in the next post. 

XOXO

Disclaimer: The brand and products featured in this post were sent to Toofufu at the brand's expense, knowing it would result in coverage like this post. Toofufu does not offer reviews on the 'Ally' series, for more info, see our mission statement. Feel free to email questions to hello@toofufu.com.