Some people may call me crunchy, and I have to say, I truly wear that label as a badge of honor! Over the past few years I have been experimenting with natural beauty products. It started as I really began to focus on my health. I would get allergic reactions to most things with fragrances and I started to learn that external skin reactions were really a result of something much bigger happening internally. I was also diagnosed with endometriosis, and a lot of chemicals used in traditional beauty products are known to be endocrine distruptors (you can read about that stuff here or here). I started to see that I could take my personal care routine into my own hands. And all health stuff aside, it’s just pretty amazing to be able to make beauty products out of stuff I have in the kitchen! Talk about being self reliant! No more expensive drug store trips for me 🙂 Plus the natural products actually tend to work better than the traditional products! So, let’s explore!
There is actually a huge movement for natural shampoo – it’s actually called “no-poo”! You can’t make something like that up! Chemical and fragrance laden shampoo can actually damage your hair, and make you dependent on it (it’s kinda like the chap stick stories – after a while you start to need the chap stick to keep your lips moisturized). Anyway, I won’t get into the pros or cons of traditional shampoo, I just know that I like to know what I’m putting in my body and on my skin and I’m particularly sensitive to fragrances and dyes.
Ok, so, natural alternatives? The most popular one is a baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse. I personally still use a traditional shampoo some days (without dye, fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, paraben and other potential endocrine distruptors), and use an apple cider vinegar or aloe rinse on other days. I used to use traditional shampoo everyday. Now I’m down to 2 to 3 times per week. Hooray! If you have dry hair, coconut oil works great! You can leave it in for an hour and then wash it out or if you have dry ends, you can just rub some on.
Don’t want to get your hair wet? Try a dry shampoo! Arrowroot works great on its own (or cornstarch). If you have darker hair mix in some cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix! plain unsweetened cocoa powder please).
I’ve been making my own deodorant for years, and selling it, too! It’s actually quite popular 🙂 And, you could eat all the ingredients! It’s just arrowroot, baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils. I also know other people who rub lemon juice under their arms instead of using deodorant. Just be careful not to use either of these options right after shaving. Ouch!
Apple cider vinegar diluted in water is a great toner. Smells a little funky, but otherwise it’s great!
I personally like to use the oil cleansing method. If you haven’t heard of it before, you basically use a specific blend of oils, massage your face with them, then apply a hot towel to give yourself a little steam bath and take off the oils. It’s such a great way to treat your face at the end of the day and it really works! I use a blend of either grapeseed or almond oil, castor oil and tea tree oil.
I love to exfoliate with a combo of vitamin C powder and almond oil. Just mix them together, rub in gentle circles on your face and remove with a damp cloth.
Coconut oil is my go to moisturizer for everything! I LOVE coconut oil. If it makes you break out, try almond oil or jojoba.
I have yet to make a toothpaste that I like, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there! The very basic combo is coconut oil and baking soda. I’ve also heard great things about activated charcoal. But do some research and play with some recipes! It’s very powerful to be able to make your own beauty and hygiene products.
A friend of mine was looking for a gel alternative and we came across a chia and flax seed gel! How cool is that!? We just soaked the seeds in hot water so they got all sticky and gel-like. From there you can use pantyhose or a cheesecloth to strain out the seeds and you’re set to go! I found the recipe online and it called for aloe and vitamin e as well. I didn’t have that stuff so I went with the bare minimum, but it worked great!
Again, I’m not big on makeup so I’m not speaking from personal experience here. That said, I’ve heard from tons of women about making their own make up with cocoa powder, coconut oil, arrowroot and mica powder (ok, mica powder probably isn’t in your kitchen). Wellness Mama is one of my favorite resources for DIY and natural products. Here’s her post all about natural DIY makeup.
I personally like coconut oil, but here are a bunch of other recipes!
I hope this post was helpful in getting you started on a new DIY journey! Let me know if you were inspired to try any of these ideas!