Here are some recipes for personal care products I use myself and on my kids to help reduce our toxic burden from chemical-laden, mainstream shampoos, body washes, moisturizers, toothpaste, ect...
Did you know your skin is your largest organ? Everything you apply to it is absorbed into your body and is a huge source of the toxins that your liver then has to filter out to keep you healthy. Once your liver gets over-burdened, your health starts to deteriorate. You become fatigued and vital systems in the body become disrupted, mainly your endocrine system which is responsible for the hormones in your body which keep everything else running properly.
I stopped using mainstream personal care products a few years ago after I really started going more natural and organic in my life. I had read of all the potential side effects of having phthalates (potential carcinogen, reproductive system disrupters), sulfates (skin irritants, drying agent), parabens (hormone disrupters) and artificial fragrances (unknown chemical cocktails that could contain parabens), etc... continually applied to my body and I didn't like it.
I started with my hair, by switching to a more natural and organic shampoo. That helped, but there were still some ingredients I wasn't sure about (and it was quite expensive.) So, then I started hearing about going "poo-free" meaning not shampooing at all. So, since I have curly hair, I thought that would be a good option (curly hair shows grease less.) Well, I started cutting back by only shampooing every other day instead of every day until my hair started looking normal and not greasy. Then, I cut down to every 3rd day and on over the course of many months. Just about every day, I would still rinse my hair when in the shower with a 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water solution. Now, I wash my hair with castile soap every 5-6 days and rinse with the 50/50 ACV/Water since and then rinse every other day until the next washing. Once I started all this, I also noticed that I was losing less hair throughout the day.
A great source for finding commercial products that are not full of toxic chemicals is the Environmental Working Group. You can also look up your current personal care products to see how they stack up. I used them to identify a shampoo/body wash for my babies. Now that my son is older and will take a shower, he uses castile soap too. I thought it left too much residue when used in the bath for my daughter, but most days I just wash the kids with water to get the dirt and food off anyway. There have been recent studies that we wash ourselves too much. Especially people who don't really get dirty during the day (such as office workers who don't exercise). We are washing the beneficial bacteria away that help fight off the bad germs that make us sick. Side note: stop using antibacterial soap for daily use for the above reason.
By not shampooing or washing every day, you are keeping the natural oils in balance in your body. When you use harsh shampoos, soaps or body washes to wash yourself every day, your body produces more oil, trying to remoisturize itself causing you to look and feel greasy, so you feel you need to take another shower and the cycle continues. Seems like the intention of a industry trying to increase profit; the more you use their products, the more you buy and the more profit they make.
If you like my Facebook page, you may have seen the homemade toothpaste recipe my son uses. It is made with baking soda, coconut oil and Xylitol. I started using it too. For adults, you can also put some essential oils in the mix. I don't, because my son and I use the same container and you have to be really careful with essential oils for kids, especially those taken orally. Essential oils are so concentrated and kids are so small, they could get over-dosed.
Face / Skin
I recently started using a coconut oil/baking soda face scrub about every other day before bed. The other days, I just use castile soap. I then moisturize with coconut oil. It has helped my skin look better by keeping the pores cleaner and looking smaller. The baking soda helps exfoliate dead skin cells and makeup, making my skin feel smooth. Coconut oil has an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral effect, so it is also helping my skin from breakouts due to bacteria overgrowth in the pores. I only do the face scrub every other day because it is a bit abrasive. This first batch, I did a 50/50 ratio of baking soda to coconut oil. Next time, I'll use a little less baking soda to see if it is more gentle.
Every 3-4 days or so, in the morning, I apply a mask of bentonite clay to my face to really help detox and clean my pores. This mask can also be applied to your armpits, or really anywhere on the body you feel you needs detoxing. I apply it to bug bites and it helps soak up the toxins from the bug so the bite heals quicker with less itching. I now have a little container in the diaper bag in case we get bites while at the park or out and about.
I haven't yet entered the realm of homemade deodorant, but buy Primal Pit Paste which would be easy to make at home with these ingredients: baking soda, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, arrowroot powder, lavender essential oil and vitamin E.
I've tried two different body scrubs. One is coconut oil and sugar based, and the other is coconut oil and salt based. Both can be enhanced with various dried herbs or essential oils.
Something very important to remember when making home made products is to label them. You want to remember which is which and for your family members to know what is what if they also want to use them.
Recap of Recipes
Shampoo/Body wash/Hand soap = castile soap (I use Dr. Bronners)
Hair Rinse = 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar and Water
Toothpaste = 1/2 c coconut oil, 1/4 c baking soda, 2 TBS Xylitol (optional/for adults only: 30 drops sweet orange essential oil or clove oil or cinnamon oil or peppermint oil)
Moisturizer = coconut oil
Face scrub = 50/50 baking soda and coconut oil
Mask = Bentonite clay and water
Body scrub 1 = 1/2 c coconut oil, 1/4 c granulated sugar
Body scrub 2 = 1/3 c coconut oil, 1/4 c salt, 2 TBS dried lavender
Shaving cream = coconut oil
What home made personal care products do you use? Let me know in the comments!
With love, hugs and smiles,