How to make skin care products from garden plants

Want to make your own favorite bath sparkles, soaps and other skin care products with plants from your own garden?

If you grow roses, chamomile, lavender, and other common plants, you can use them in your regular skin care routines, says organic gardener Tanya Anderson, founder of Lovely Greens ( and author of A Woman’s Garden: Grow Beautiful Plants And Make Useful Things, a guide on how you can use your garden plants for wellness.

“We tend to think of plants as prepackaged plant extracts, but the truth is, you can turn chamomile, roses, lavender, and more exotic plants into premium skin care in the average kitchen.” , she insists.

“You don’t need a lot of space,” she continues. “You can grow plants in pots or planters, or even forage for plants such as chickweed. “

Which plants to cultivate for skin care?

Cucumbers are a soothing astringent, Echinacea roots can be made into a tincture or glycerite which is beneficial for healing the skin, while soaking marshmallow roots in water can provide a refreshing and hydrating infusion. for the skin, she said.

Rosemary, purple thyme and peppermint also have beneficial properties for the skin, she adds.

Anyone with indoor space could grow an aloe plant, for the obvious benefits that freezing a leaf can bring in soothing sunburns or regenerating tired skin.

“Different plants have different functions for your skin. Some promote healing, so if you have eczema or acne it can help build regenerative tissue. Other plants have properties that make them humectant (which can draw moisture from the air).

“Some plants have natural tannins that help firm the skin, so you can use them as tonics. Witch hazel, for example, contains tannins. You use the extract in firming lotions and creams, while Lady’s mantle also contains tannins which also help firm the skin.

“If you are a beginner, I would grow sweet plants which are also edible. Chamomile, for example, is fantastic for regenerating skin care, as is calendula. They can both be used as edible flowers, in a soothing tea, or in skin care.

What about carrier oils?

To make herbal oils, you’ll need a carrier oil that’s right for your skin type, she says.

“My favorite carrier oil is sweet almond oil, which is popular when used in massage. Those on a budget can use extra virgin olive oil, if your skin is not too oily.

“Coconut oil is good for your skin but can cause rashes if you use it on your face – but we all have different skin types, so it’s all about testing, mistakes and research. “

Projects to try

Create vegetable oils

Jars and bottles of vegetable oils with herbal infusions (Tanya Anderson / PA)

To do this, soak the dried plant material in a carrier oil and you will end up with a solution that can be colored or scented, which will contain fat-soluble components of the plant, she says.

Oil can be made by filling a jar halfway with dried plant material – like calendula flowers – and then filling it with a light carrier oil, like sweet almond or grape seeds.

Leave it for two to six weeks in a warm place away from direct sunlight, pass through a sieve and the finished product can be used to make massage oil, ointments, lotions and cleansers. .

Rose petal facial mist

Rose water spray surrounded by roses (Alamy / PA)

“It’s an easy question. To make the Rose Petal Skin Toner, you make a glycerite (from vegetable glycerin, which you can buy, and distilled water) and infuse these rose petals into it.

Add this to an infusion of rose tea, prepared by putting rose petals in boiling distilled water, then turning off the heat, putting a lid on the pot and allowing them to steep for 20 minutes, advise- she does.

“Shake everything in a spray bottle. It’s a very light astringent that smells great, and the vegetable glycerin helps promote hydration. Use it anytime, but make a small amount as it doesn’t last very long. Keeping it in the fridge will help it last longer.

Herbal bath sparkling

Herbal Sparkling Bath (Tanya Anderson / PA)

“These are some of the easiest things to do – and make great gifts. You combine baking soda with citric acid and Epsom salts, then mix them with herbal infused oil that contains dried herbs. It is very safe and you can do it with the children.

“The sparkling ones have infused oil. The fizzing is just for fun, but the oil will float on the surface of the bath water and when you step out of the bath this layer of oil will coat your skin and help revitalize it afterward.

Easy soap

Lavender soap (Tanya Anderson / PA)

“If you want to make soap from scratch, it’s home chemistry, but you can buy pre-made ‘melt and pour’ organic soap bases, which you can cubed and microwave, and once it is liquefied, you can add an infused oil and dried herbs afterwards.

“You have to work quickly, pour it into molds and it will firm up. “

A Woman’s Garden: Grow Beautiful Plants And Make Useful Things by Tanya Anderson is published by Cool Springs Press, priced at £ 18.99. Available now