Back to basics: DIY cosmetics

November 12, 2018

WordS

Chelsea McEwan Millar is a passionate advocate for going back to basics. She doesn’t buy into big business marketing, and believes people should be free to make and experiment with the often very basic ingredients that come together to create often expensive cosmetic products.

As co-owner of Go Native New Zealand, an online, natural and organic skincare ingredient retailer, she’s well versed in what products are made with, and how to move away from synthetic ingredients.

“Marketing plays a big role in these types of products and people will pay huge amounts of money for tiny bottles of product. When you actually look at what’s in these products, more often than not, they’re 80 per cent water,” Chelsea says.

“What many people don’t realise is how easy it is to make your own products from scratch. It’s something many people don’t even consider, mainly I believe, due to the clever marketing of skincare and cosmetic products.”

This lack of information about basic cosmetic products led Chelsea and the Go Native team to start creating DIY kits, and they cover everything from deodorants and hair masks to solid shampoo and conditioner bars through to body butters, lip balms and both cold process and melt and pour soaps.

“The kits come with all the ingredients in the right quantities and simple instructions for how to make the product,” Chelsea says. “They’re a great way for people to test the waters and start to understand how these products are made, and how they can be made easily and naturally.”


Natural deodorant, for example, is very simple to make; the ingredients include only organic deodorised cocoa butter, organic refined shea butter, arrowroot powder, diatomaceous earth and essential oil.

“By making your own products, you’re able to use natural alternatives and have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you’re putting on your body,” Chelsea says.

Sustainability and steering clear of synthetic ingredients, waste and toxins is a central part of Go Native’s ethos. All their packaging is either recyclable or compostable in home systems, and if anything requires bubble wrapping, that wrapping is made from recycled materials. Go Native also operates a cardboard box “munching machine”, which allows staff to repurpose old boxes and reuse them for a variety of purposes including box fillings and wrappings.

Go Native New Zealand is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and is a family-run business specialising in ethically and sustainably sourcing the best natural ingredients and supplying them in small (or large!) quantities to those who want make their own cosmetic products for personal or commercial purposes. Buying directly from the grower where possible, the Go Native team's ethos is no frills at a fair price.


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