Did you know….

Your skin is your largest organ, it respires (breathes), regulates body temperature and absorbs both beneficial and harmful substances into the blood stream, nervous and lymph systems – that includes all the personal soaps, wash gels, shampoos, conditioners and plethora of skin creams, tonics, cleansers, moisturisers, anti-wrinkle, anti-pimple, aftershaves and everything we put on our skin and come into regular contact with.


  • your skin can weigh up to 3.5 Kg and cover up to 2 square meters surface area
  • Over 20,000 untested chemicals are used in perfumes and to fragrance make-up, skin-care products, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, detergents and numerous other everyday item
  • Sensitivity to chemicals can contribute to asthma, migraine, fatigue, and immune system deficiency
  • Mineral oils and creams based on petrochemicals block the skin and leach vitamins out of the body, especially Vitamins. A, D & E

Natural & herbal skin care products you can make for yourself include:

Cleansers & scrubs: oatmeal, almond meal
Steam baths:  fresh & or dried herbs & boiling water in bowl
Skin Toners:  Rose water, Lavender water
Face packs:  Dry-Normal skin: cream, banana, rose petals.  Oily skin: tomato, cucumber
Moisturisers: natural oils, infused oils, creams (emulsions)
Healing ointments:  calendula, comfrey
Hair care:  Herbal Vinegars (conditioner wash, 1 Tblsp/liter water), Rosemary oil, beer
Hands: comfrey oil
Nails: wheatgerm oil
Herbal baths: fresh herbs and flowers, dried herbs in muslin cloth
Massage & body oils: infused herbal oils, essential oils in base oil



  • Fresh herbs from the garden
  • Dried herbs (home-grown/dried, store bought)

Things commonly found in the kitchen

    • Cucumber                     Eggs               Oranges
    • Cream                           Honey            Tomato
    • Copha or coconut oil     Lemons          Wheatgerm
    • Beer                              Milk                 Vinegar
    • Banana                         Oatmeal          Yogurt

    Other ingredients

    most of these can be readily purchased in health food shops, chemist, deli, supermarket, herbalist etc

      • Almond powder            Aloe Vera Gel
        Cold pressed oils (almond, avocado, wheatgerm, olive)
        Vegetable oils – sunflower, olive, coconut
        Essential oils (rose, lavender, lemon, ilang, rosemary etc)
        Herbal waters (witchhazel, rose, orange blossom, jasmine)
        Herbal extracts/tinctures (calendula, chamomile, nettle, sage)
        Distilled water            Bees wax

      Implements you might need

        • wooden spoon
          measuring spoons (teaspoon, tablespoon)
          measuring cup (regular plus medicine for small amounts)
          glass bowl
          enamel bowl
          stainless steel bowl
          cutting board
          cutting knife
          mortar & pestle or rolling pin
          hand mixer/ beater
          double boiler or suitable substitute
          plastic film (e.g. cling wrap)
          kitchen scales with small measurements (e.g 2 gram accuracy)
          glass containers – jars, bottles etc  with plastic or ceramic lid


        Want to know more?

        Check out these recipes and practical tips by Robyn Francis

        Garden Apothecary #1 Infused oils and ointments – Robyn Francis

        Related Articles:

        Medicinal Plants – Use of and means of Extraction – N. Llewelyn-Smith

        Robyn’s Kitchen – Sally Fields