Tuesday, February 14, 2012

going natural


(Counterclockwise, from top left: Deodorant, Coconut Oil Body Butter, Peppermint Toothpaste, and Shea Butter Body Cream, before it set)
I took Violet to the optometrist last week because she'd been blinking a lot, squeezing her eyes shut every time. I was worried about her eyesight. Turns out, her eyes are just dry. Not unusual at this time of year, as we heat our home with wood. My skin and hair are always dry  and I'm always trying products that fail to give me that deeply moisturized feeling I crave. My elbows, feet, hands, and face are the worst. Itchy, dry skin...a sure sign of a long winter.

I had already made homemade toothpaste, thanks to Crooked Moon Mama's great posts on the subject. 

With a bit of web searching, I came across this oh-so-simple recipe for coconut oil body butter. Two ingredients only! We already use coconut oil for massage, so it wasn't much of a leap to whip it up with some lemon oil for a nice sunny scent.

Now, this homemade deodorant, I absolutely love. Please note: removing chemicals from deodorant means it's NOT an anti-perspirant (I think sweating is kinda important anyway, don't you?). Your pits won't be dry. But they'll be softly-scented. I try to give my pits a wash daily whether I take a bath or not, and especially in the winter when I'm not sweating profusely, this stuff is soft, gentle, and does the trick just fine. I always feel kind of unsettled about shaving my pits then rubbing chemicals all over them...like I'm opening a door to all kinds of problems (read: breast cancer?). I just feel better using this homemade stuff, and scenting it just the way I like. It goes on beautifully, and I find myself acting like this... (watch it till the end...)

Finally, I tried this Shea Butter Body Cream. It smells divine but didn't solidify, even when the house is cold first thing in the morning when the fire's died down. Still, it quenches my skin's thirst and makes me delectably soft!

Buy a few ingredients from your local natural food store: shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, cocoa butter, baking soda, and a few beautiful essential oils, and you can save yourself a pile of money, AND give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what you're putting on your (and your children's) skin.

I have to say, it was an amazing feeling to be measuring and mixing and pouring these gorgeous ingredients into clean jars, hands slippery and soft from the oils. I hope to add more to my repertoire soon: lip balm, massage bars, and so on. I'll keep you posted. 

Do you make any of your body care items by hand? Which recipes/books are your favourites?

21 comments:

  1. try a few tablespoons of grated beeswax to help solidify your cream- works like a charm every time!

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  2. I make our lotion too! Well it's more body butter then lotion. I love it. Bees wax, coconut oil, olive oil and some vitamin E. I also like to add some lemon grass essential oil. My skin has never felt so good. Especially out here in the desert. I tried to make toothpaste but we couldn't get past the saltiness of baking soda. Maybe I'll try again. :) How those questions going? I'd like to put up your interview before March. Have a lovely day!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder...I'll get on it (report cards done, finally!!)...I'd love your recipe for that lotion...sounds divine!

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  3. Lip balm is dead easy! I make pots of the stuff and send it off to my kids in the city for their little people. I melt about a 2 square inch chunk of bees wax (I get it from the fellow who comes to the Pembroke Farmers Market, Mr. Semple from Quyon), then beat it together with a cup of warm, pure virgin olive oil. I save the nice little mustard jars for it.

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  4. I also love the stuff that's made at home. I have been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for shampoo and I will never go back to store-bought stuff. I had been buying green stuff, but I'm a stay-at-home mum and I can't keep up the cost. I have been making toothpaste and hand lotion for some time. I find the recipes posted online from clever people such as yourself! (Thank you!) I am currently "in love" with my hand sanitizer, made from cinnamon leaf oil.

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    1. Oh, please email the recipe for hand sanitizer! Sounds wonderful. I've been wanting to try the shampoo-free thing but wonder about hair products...I have wild curly hair and have to use anti-frizz things...

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  5. Love this post! I am always curious about homemade deodorant recipes, but I have been using a mineral stone for years, and it is so easy and mess-free and lasts so long that I guess I will just stick with it.

    I have an herbal balm I came up with for one of my infants who had blistering diaper rashes and would scream at the application of normal diaper creams. This one doesn't hurt, and I couldn't believe that weeping blisters had scabs on them within 24 hours. It has a base of calendula infused olive oil along with a few other herbs, tea tree oil, vitamin E, and a bit of beeswax to solidify it. We use it for everything around here.

    I ought to try the coconut body butter--I use coconut oil now, and it is lovely, but kind of mess to use!

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    1. Yes...coconut oil is messy. So melty! Would love the recipe for your special balm...would you share it?

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  6. Yep, we do our own lip balm, body lotion, diaper cream, and toothpaste (same inspiration as yours). I also use just pure aloe vera gel for my super-sensitive face AND for my hair product. I have the same underarm deoderant bookmarked as the one you used, but have been using the mineral stone to date. I also plan to make some lotion bars. No wonder we get along so well!

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  7. Oh, I love this and hearing about everyone's concoctions! We use coconut oil for baby massage, too :) We use baking soda for "toothpaste" and vinegar (apple cider or white) as conditioner. I've been meaning to try the deodorant recipe!
    -Jaime

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  8. We just use coconut oil straight up as a moisturizer, with some essential oils added, usually lavender. I use it for face and body. Baking soda, some sea salt and peppermint for the teeth. It has been awhile since I have made lip balm, at least two, maybe three years, shall have to do that again very soon. And deodarant, au natural here, sometimes a few drops of essential oil, but that is it.

    Love hearing about everyone mixtures, thanks for sharing everyone.

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  9. I use the oil cleansing method (a few drops of sweet almond oil to one drop castor oil) for my face and it is amazing. I read about on Angry Chicken's blog. The books that I like are Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant health and Organic Body Care Recipes.

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  10. Hmm. I make salves for bug bites, dry skin, rashes, etc. We use coconut oil as lip balm. I make deodorant powder and laundry soap.

    I haven't ventured into toothpaste/powder yet. But I will some day. (:

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  11. Doesn't it just make you so happy to make all your own stuff?!?!
    Good job mama!
    xoxo

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  12. You've inspired me and I will have to check out your links! I use a more natural deodorant, shampoo, goat soap, massage oil and moisturizer- but I usually purchase them all premade and I have never explored the idea of making my own. I am going to start with a moisturizer, as I have very dry itchy and sometimes inflamed skin from sensitivities. Maybe this would help? Worth a try! :) thanks!

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  13. I've had good luck moisturizing my hands with pure coconut or olive oil. I rub it in as much as possible and then use a (designated) towel to lessen the excess oil so I don't stain everything I touch.

    Very tempted to try many of the other recipes listed here!

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  14. I've just tried this so very recently myself and also LOVE it. So many natural deodorants accumulated over the years under my bathroom sink! So ineffective and kinda stinky in their own way.
    My "own" concoction (a blend of various recipes on the net)has been the most effective and best smelling so far. I have not gone a day (about 3 weeks now) feeling self-conscious. Of course, the true test will be the summer months.
    I was going to try to make a solid stick today (beeswax) and see how that fares out.
    : )

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  15. I've recently tried making my own deodorant and LOVE it. My "own" concoction was a mix of recipes out there on the web and whatever I currently had in my home.
    It is replacing quite nicely the slew of homemade deodorants under my sink that I've accumulated over the years. Ineffective and smelly in their own way, and used but a few times.
    Its been about about 3 weeks with the one I made and I have not had one self-conscious day.
    I am going to try a hard stick deodorant today (the other one was creamy in texture). Going to test out the beeswax and coconut oil I recently purchased. A worthy endeavour for spending a few extra dollars.

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  16. lol, rounded them up this morning and made the grand count of nine! Nine deodorant and anti-perspirant sticks! Obviously a long matter of discontent!

    Will start the toss! Out with the old!

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