It is just as important to use natural ingredients on our skin as it is to consume them. Whatever we put on our skin is absorbed into our body. Also, whatever we wash off in the shower is going into the lakes & streams. The less chemicals all around, the better for everyone and everything. There are some good options for natural personal care products out there, and recipes to make your own. I know I don’t want to spend a ton of money on products and would rather spend more money on our food, so I try to find better products at lower costs.
Of course, regular deodorants typically have a plethora of chemicals in them. Some have been linked to possibly causing breast cancer. I feel like I have been through every kind of natural deodorant you can find in the stores. This is really getting personal but I used to sweat a lot more than I do now. I think it was from the meds I was on, and also from being overweight. Anyway, I couldn’t find a natural deodorant that worked for me and the Tom’s scented deodorants (even though they are all-natural) were causing me to breakout. Now that I don’t sweat as much, the Tom’s original unscented works just fine unless it’s summertime. Then I have to reapply a couple times throughout the day! I have heard great things about Pit Paste but haven’t tried it yet. Here’s the Pit Paste if you’re interested in trying it (there is lavender-scented available and you can buy it in a stick too):
I do like Tom’s toothpastes but I did make my own toothpaste once using baking soda. Regular toothpaste has a lot of chemicals including dyes added, which aren’t good for our teeth and gums. I buy Tom’s for my kids too. They have a strawberry flavored product specifically for kids. I am also doing oil pulling (started in March of 2014). Oil pulling is where you swish around about 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes each day. Try to go at least 5 minutes to get the benefits of it. Since I have been doing it, my husband pointed out that I don’t have bad breath anymore. I always had bad breath, and not just in the morning. I had gum and mints on hand because I was so worried about it. My teeth are whiter, and gums don’t bleed like they used to when I floss. I also got my daughter to start doing it (only sometimes). She definitely needs all the toxins out of her mouth! She doesn’t do it very long but I figure some is better than none. My husband did give it a try once. I have been doing it just about every morning, between 5 and 15 minutes. It just depends on how long I feel like going. Sometimes it gets really gross and I have to spit it out. When you spit it out, make sure you spit into the garbage can, not the sink. It can mess up your pipes! And DO NOT swallow it. You can use other oils but I have heard so many great benefits of coconut oil for your teeth and gums so that is what I am going with. I used to do it every day, now it’s about every other day, and I did skip a week a couple times just because we were low on coconut oil. When on a budget I wasn’t going to go out and buy more just so I could do the oil pulling. 😉
For shampoo and conditioner I was using a natural Tresemme, but when you read the ingredients you can see that it isn’t really ‘natural’. I was very disappointed. I have used a coconut shampoo and conditioner before that I found in the natural section of the grocery store but you get this small tube @ like $9 each so for shampoo and conditioner I was spending $18, and that just seems crazy. So I had to pick and choose what I would rather spend money on. An all-natural shampoo or fresh organic fruits & vegetables? Yea, I think I’m going to put more money towards food than personal care products. Of course, you can make your own too. But I did decide to try the “no-poo” method (sham-poo that is). Sounds weird but it really works! Here’s all about it:
Week 1 – I used 1/2 tsp baking soda with a drop of tea tree oil and a little warm water, just on the scalp. I did this one time during the week, and other times I showered I didn’t use anything. There’s no way to avoid it. Your hair just gets oily and gross in the beginning.
Week 2 – Same method as above except I started applying apple cider vinegar to the ends.
Week 3 – Same method as above. I’m starting to notice that my hair is looking healthier and there’s a wave to it. Plus I am not losing as much hair in the shower or when brushing. Before I had a handful of hair that would come out. The top is still oily looking. Sorry, these aren’t the best pictures.
Weeks 4 & 5 – Getting better (picture above, on the right). I do the baking soda on top once a week and sometimes add the tea tree oil. And I apply apple cider vinegar to the ends once/week. Overall it seems to be going okay but my hair does look oily sometimes.
Week 6 – I got a hair cut and specifically told the stylist what I am doing and not to use any products on my hair but water was okay to wet it down. Well whatever he was spraying me with was not just water. I could see the bubbles in it and it had a scent to it. Then he said he needed to use something on my hair just so he could make sure the cut and layers were even (I can’t remember what he called it). I was like okay… I really think he was playing with my hair. He did a good job on the cut but I was just annoyed that he put products on my hair when I asked him not to. Then I felt like I had to start all over with this. The good thing was that he mentioned how healthy and nice my hair looks. This picture is after I got my hair cut and them using the product on my hair. Wish I would have gotten a picture before but you can still see that it is pretty healthy looking.
So, this does really work, over time, but I was having a hard time keeping everything balanced. My hair became dry so I added coconut oil and then it was too oily looking. The baking soda works on top to keep the top from being oily but I read that baking soda isn’t good for your hair. And my hair wasn’t smelling good between the baking soda w/tea tree oil and the apple cider vinegar…. It didn’t smell that bad, but my husband always liked that my hair smelled so good. So I needed something to balance out the oily and dry in my hair, and smell good. I decided to start using Trader Joe’s tea tree shampoo & conditioner (picture to the right). It’s a great price and has some really good stuff in it. Like peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus botanicals. My hair seems balanced now, and my husband likes the shampoo because it helps with his usually dry itchy scalp and dandruff. What I noticed though after I started using shampoo again is that more hair is coming out in the shower or when I brush. But I just put a little shampoo on the top and work it in, and a little conditioner worked into the ends. Everyone’s hair is different so you may find something else that works for your hair. I tend to have thick dry hair, usually. I may end up making something that will work to wash my hair with and if I do, I will report back on that.
I use coconut oil for shaving. You only need a small amount at a time and it’s so great for your skin. It’s not perfect but it does work and feels good. It leaves my skin smooth after. I just keep a small tupperware container of it in the shower so it’s easily accessible. Using the coconut oil in the bath/shower has not clogged my drain either. And I do use an electric razor sometimes too. Which is great for camping. 😉 Here’s the one I have:
I use a Burt’s Bees peach facial scrub and I also do a lemon and honey face mask a couple times a week (whenever I remember). Just take about a ½ tsp of honey and a squirt of lemon juice, rub together and apply to your entire face, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off with luke-warm water. I like the Kiss My Face soap to wash my body with, and I take an Epsom salt bath every now and then. Sometimes I add lavender (I have a lavender plant but you can get lavender essential oil too). I also came across a pure castile bar soap with lavender. Both are pictured above, to the right. I found both bars of soap and the facial scrub at Fred Meyer (Kroger).
For lotion I found a good coconut lotion that isn’t too expensive and has lasted me a while (Desert Essence), found at Fred Meyer in the natural section, or just use coconut oil as a moisturizer. I use coconut oil for Sunscreen (it has an SPF of about 10) but only when I am just going to be in the sun a little, or in and out of it. If we are going to be out in the hot sun all day, I will use a natural sunscreen, which is what I use for the kids. Just anything I can find that says ‘natural’. It’s not perfect, but better. Here’s a natural organic ‘Food Babe approved’ sunscreen:
I use Burt’s Bees chapstick and lipgloss. There are different colors too. I use the chapstick a lot more than I use the lipgloss. You can probably find these at any grocery store but I purchased mine at Fred Meyer (Kroger).
Make-up & Make-up Removal:
I don’t wear make-up that often anymore but if I do, I use grape seed oil to remove it. It works great and is good for your skin too, but a little goes a long way. You can also use coconut oil. I found some natural make-up at our local food co-op. It’s made with much better ingredients. It’s expensive but like I said, I don’t wear make-up that often.
There are many recipes out there for making pretty much anything, from deodorant to mascara and in-between. There are also companies you can buy from like The Honest Co. One of these days I am going to sign up to receive their products each month! I think you get to choose 5 products each month for a certain price.
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