DIY at-home "beauty" recipes for children

  • 3 min read

Looking for easy lockdown activities with kids? We've got the best surplus food at-home beauty recipes, from children's book author Joanne O’Connell.

While I can’t rustle up something as outstanding as UpCircle’s Face Serum (love it!) or the Eye Cream with coffee and maple, or that delicious smelling Hand + Body Wash… these #foodwaste #plasticfree hacks are a perfect way to treat your skin, and have a fun lockdown activity with children or teens.

Avocado foot massage

If you’re eating an avocado, scoop out the fruit and rub the inside of the shell on your elbows, knees or feet – instant moisturiser! And don’t throw away the stone! Use it with a slick of olive oil for a foot massage stone. Once you’re done, rinse the stone and plant it in compost and soil to grow a lovely leafy houseplant.

Strawberries and cream face mask

Mash two or three strawberries, with a tablespoon or two of porridge oats (grind them up a bit if you can), and a dash of cream (you can use soya, or oat, or a dollop of yoghurt). Apply straight away and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Oat bath soak

Are those porridge oats going dusty at the back of the cupboard? How about making a bath soak? Get an old sock or pair of tights and put a handful of oats into the end. Add anything else you like – maybe there are petals from cake decorations languishing in a drawer? Or try some cut herbs, like rosemary, say, if you have some going off in the fridge. You could also add some essential oils, if you have any. Then tie the ends up and pop under the tap and relax in a lovely warm, creamy bath.

Hair conditioning oils

Use up those last drops of oil in the jar or bottle as a nourishing hair conditioner. Smooth a little coconut oil or gently massage olive oil on your scalp and hair, before shampooing and rinsing out.

Banana foot mask

If you’ve got bananas too squashy even for a smoothie, mash them up and pop on your feet for a super-fast conditioner. Or blend them with a little syrup (anything from the back of the cupboard to use it up – agave or maple works well) and a teaspoon of oats for a fresh face mask.

A word about Beauty and the Bin from Joanne:
Some of my happiest childhood memories of are of summers in the garden, shaking jam jars of rose petals and water to make ‘perfume’ with my sisters. And as a teen, I loved whipping up face packs from strawberries and yoghurt, making my hair shine with herb-infused vinegar, and putting mashed bananas on my feet.

So, when I came to write my novel for children, Beauty and the Bin, it was so much fun to create a character – a girl, called Laurie Larksie – who loves plant-based, homemade beauty hacks too. In the book, Laurie enters a school entrepreneur competition with her gorgeous homemade beauty recipes. She uses surplus food to make lemon drizzle lip scrub, camomile tea toner and a range of ‘pudding perfumes’ including blackcurrant crumble body oil.

She wants her skincare range to ‘not only solve blocked pores but help save the planet’. (Which is why, of course, in real life, Laurie would be just as obsessed with the fabulous UpCircle products as I am!). The fantastic thing about repurposing food is that it’s an everyday hack we can all do at home.

*Remember, be careful if you have allergies, and if you’re worried, test the recipes on a small patch of skin before you put them on your face.