So, as per my last post, I’ve decided to try my hand at making my own beauty products. I figured that, after six years of slathing myself in all manner of lotions and potions in the name of beauty journalism, I should be able to concoct a few of my own DIY unguents to keep my now high-maintenance vanity regime up to scratch while on maternity leave, without access to the fruits of the magazine beauty cupboard (sob).
First up: Lime and Bergamot shampoo.
I thought I’d start off with a simple cleansing, uplifting morning shampoo. Lime and bergamot make great bedfellows; although both from the citrus family they complement each other well, and being nigh on eight months pregnant, are both safe to use in my fecund state.
I wanted the sweet, fragrant warmth of the bergamot to take centre stage (think Earl Grey Tea: its peel is the main ingredient), pepped up by the zesty zing of the lime. Bergamot has long been used in natural skincare for treatment of psorasis and other skin complaints, so I figured in a shampoo it would do well as a scalp conditioner, while the lime is there purely on a psychological level to wake. me. up.
So, using G Baldwin & Co’s pre-mixed gentle, cleansing shampoo base (the lazy girl’s short cut to bathroom alchemy and with the faintest hint of rosewater) I started on the first batch. Having never blended essential oils before it was a bit hit and miss with ratios. I knew I wanted a bergamot with a hint of lime blend and soon settled on a 10 drop : 5 drop ratio per 250ml of base. My first schoolgirl error was to try and add the essential oils to the base once I’d decanted it into the bottles. Of course the base was too viscous for the oils to blend thoroughly and evenly, and I didn’t leave enough room for displacement when I added the pump. Sigh. I bet Coco never had these problems.
By batch two, and with the help of my trusty Denby gravy jug, I had the technique, perfectly:
Decant base into jug
Dropper in essential oils
Decant into bottle.
Batch two was still a bit too Bergamot-y so by batch three I was onto 10 drops: 7 drops ratio. Perfect.
For batch four I decided to throw a curve ball. I wanted a good cleansing shampoo, but also one that would nourish while it cleaned. So, I added a glug of good extra virgin olive oil to the mix for added pampering for my dry-prone locks. The finished product was immediately more creamy and luxuriant.
I have dispatched my first batches to friends and relatives with varying hair types/ages/lengths to get their feedback. All I can say so far is, it smells bloody lovely.