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Herbal health at home

Sharkey & Friends Health and Wellness seeks to promote a London where all Londoners have the knowledge they need to live healthy, more sustainable lives.

Where much of our activities to date have been physical activity coaching and training, healthy lives aren’t only about physical activity. Just before this year's COVID-19 lockdown, we held our first workshop helping people build do-it-yourself natural health and beauty skills.

We taught people how to make natural facial scrubs, deodorants, sore-muscle rubs and body butters.

I sat down with our coaches to ask more about their contributions to the session and their interest in natural health and beauty.


Jenny, hosting a natural health and beauty workshop for Sharkey & Friends was your idea. What made you want to take this on?


I've always wanted to make my own body butters but felt intimidated by the process. So I thought it would be more foolproof doing it with a friend who was an expert. Plus, I always feel it's more fun trying new things with a group of people.

I like to use natural organic products which are better not only for my skin but also for the environment. Making homemade products allows me to use less single-use plastics and save money as well.


And Jenny, you helped people make a winter face scrub, why did you choose this product?


Living in London, I feel like after a week your skin really needs a refresh, given the pollution and cold weather. So I chose to bring to the workshop a face scrub because its a simple DIY product which you can easily customise with ingredients easily found in your kitchen cupboard. For this class we made an olive oil sugar scrub with chamomile flowers and everyone chose different essential oils to make it more calming or uplifting.

I still have so much to learn so would love another chance to gather a group of friends together to make other products. The more I am learning the the more it seems we really can make everything at home that we need for our face and body.


It's great the way you drew from your personal experiences for the workshop Jenny, I know everyone really appreciated it. What about you Lila, how did you choose which products to tech at the workshop?


When it comes to skin, everyone is different and in my family a big part of my own natural health and beauty journey has been preparing and using different types of products based on what my family or I needed at certain points in time.

So I wanted to teach people how to make some essential base products like body butters and lotion bars, give them one nice variation of these, and then also inspire them to try other variations based on their own needs.

One nice way to vary DIY beauty recipes is through infusing your oils with medicinal herbs. It's a totally optional step, but for this session I'd infused Calendula into the grapeseed oil for the body butter. Similarly, while we added cayenne, peppermint and various other essential oils to our sore muscle lotion bar to give it a warming and cooling effect, I wanted to make sure people knew that they could adapt the base recipe to help them make sunblocks, bug repellents, eczema balms and so on.


And how did you learn all this stuff?


How does anyone learn anything? Through practice! It's been a hobby for years and I've enjoyed learning how to make my own products for myself and my family. Homemade self-care products make excellent gifts!


It's been cool seeing you involve your daughter in this. Those fairy kiss lip balms and unicorn poo bath bombs you made for her birthday were amazing!

Well ladies, all I can say is how much I am looking forward to our next session. Thank you both again for all your time and effort. I'm going to post a couple photos from the day along with the blog. Will tag you both on socials and if you have any other good ones, you can share back.

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