If any one is interested in a good website or book for understanding some of these basic natural ingredients you can use in face washes, lotions, lip balms, hair care stuff, you can check out http://www.hmbeautyrecipes.homestead.com/ or read Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles. They're pretty interesting and have made me want to start pampering myself with a few things I already have around the house.
A List of some ingredients and oils purposes: (esp for use in hair conditioners)
Bananas: Softens skin (emollient)
Oats: calm skin aggravated by environmental influences, support cell rejuvenation, restore moisture balance, and help prevent further UV-related damage
Almonds: an emollient and for bleaching
Strawberries: Have a bleaching effect (great for teeth)
Jojoba oil is similar to sebum, which is secreted by human sebaceous glands to lubricate and protect skin and hair. Jojoba oil conditions hair and prevents it from becoming brittle and dull.
Avocado oil Softens skin, helps skin and hair retain moisture and fights the aging process
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shinny complexion. Coconut oil prevents dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged air and provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair.
Honey is high in vitamins and minerals, and has wonderful benefits for the skin and hair. Honey is a good humectant and emollient, serving as a good moisturizer and conditioner. (also flavor and color)
Basil: Oily hair. Promotes hair growth, eczema, psoriasis
Bay: relieves scalp conditions and to act as a hair tonic
Yogurt: contains healthy probiotic bacteria and is wonderful for cleansing and moisurizing the skin.
Chamomile: Fine to normal hair. Gives golden highlights. Long known for it's calming and sedating effects as well as having anti-inflammatory effects for sensitive skin.
Grapefruit oil: Promotes hair growth, astringent for balancing oily skin and hair
Lavender: Normal to oily hair. Scalp treatment for itchiness, dandruff, and even lice! Controls oil production, reduces itchy/flaky scalp. Also, it is a relaxant, anti-spasmodic. tonic for the nervous system, antibacteral, analsgetic and antiseptic. It's a mood lifter.
Lemon: Oily hair. Gives golden highlights; treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands. Provides a cooling, refreshing and uplifting feeling as having bleaching, exfoliating and anti-viral properties.
Myrrh: Dry hair. Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and underactive sebaceous glands
Orange Oil: Oily Hair. regulates the production of sebum, the hair’s natural oil
Peppermint: Dry hair. Promotes hair growth. reduces itching and irritation
Roses: antidepressant, astringent, cleansing, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, as well as aphrodisiac.
Basic Foot Scrub: 1/4 c cornmeal, 1/4 c. ground oatmeal, 1 T sea salt, water, few drops of essential oil (if desired: peppermint or lemon)
Strawberry Tooth Brightener: just mash (without green tops) and apply on teeth using toothbrush (as if you were brushing with toothpaste)
Soda and salt toothpaste (similar to the one I use): 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt (finely ground), 1 drop peppermint essential oil (for fresh flavor), few drops water. Mix all to a paste and dip tooth brush in; brush as normal.
Uplifting Cold and Flu Bath: 3 t jojoba oil, 3 drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile (And a bunch of others I don't have, so I just use these). Add all these at once to hot bath water while it is running.
Basic Lip Balm: 4-5 T almond or jojoba oil (or castor oil if you want extra shiny), 1 T beeswax, 2 t honey (unless you think you'll lick your lips a lot because of this), 10-20 drops essential oil of choice (opt. for flavoring), and 1/4 tube of your own natural lipstick (opt. for coloring). In a double boiler mix honey, oil and beeswax. Remove from heat and add essential oil and lipstick if desired. Place in shallow ise bath and whisk for 30-60 seconds until honey is incorporated and it all looks like frosting consistency. Then spoon into covered storage container and let cool for 2 hours before use. USe within one year (no need to refrigerate).
Oatmeal/Almond/banana Exfoliant, Cleanser and Mask: 1 T finely ground oatmeal (or 2 t ground almonds, or 1 2 inch chunk of banana), water/milk/cream. Combine oats and liquid to make a paste. Apply and let sit one minute (5 minutes if you use banana), then rinse. (Use water if you have oily skin, milk (or milk powder with water) for normal to slightly dry, and cream for really dry skin (or if you use the banana). If you want, you can keep a container of ground oatmeal with powdered milk in it, in your bathroom....then all you have to do is add water!
Cornmeal and Honey Scrub: 1 1/2 t cornmeal, 1 t honey, 1/2 t water. Combine all, allowing cornmeal to dissolve, and then apply on face. Let sit 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. (Be sure to wear a shower cap, because this is sticky and can get in your hair...yuck). Do not try and store this mixture. And don't use this if you have acne or facial irritations.
Go ahead and try one and let us know what you think.... I haven't tried them all