Making your own beauty products from items found in your kitchen seems a little nuts. If you had told me three years ago that I’d be washing my hair with baking soda or using the rough equivalent of salad dressing as a facial toner, I’d have thought you were crazy. Who on earth has the time for making something when you could just pick it up from the commissary or exchange on a shopping trip?
Fast forward to today, when I’ve gone the do-it-yourself (DIY) beauty route. I’ve saved money, my skin has never looked better, and my worries about “What exactly am I putting on my body?” have vanished. Even while stationed overseas with a small commissary, I’m never frustrated about not being able to get my favorite beauty supplies. It’s less stressful and much simpler. This is how I converted. You can too!
I was raised by a mom who was into organic food even before it was “a thing.” I was taught from day one to read labels and always be cautious about products you put on and in your body, and my mom was always buying us non-toxic beauty products, often at a hefty price.
That all changed when I went to college. On a budget that allowed little wiggle room for the luxurious, I bought the cheapest I could find of everything. Ninety-nine cent shampoo did the trick and I could afford it. Never mind the laundry list of health hazards each bottle of shaving cream and deodorant contained.
After graduation I married my husband. Once at our first duty station together in New Orleans, I started learning more about the connection of certain chemicals and illnesses. With a list of health concerns growing yearly in my extended family, I began to wonder, “Why is this happening? And why are these illnesses affecting mainly the women in my family? What are we doing that the men aren’t that’s causing such drastic health problems?”
I don’t have the answer and probably never will, but I felt that I could take control of at least one thing in my uncertain life, and that is what I put on and in my body. I happened upon the Skin Deep database, a website maintained by the non-profit Environmental Working Group. This website allows you to search by the name of most beauty products, and the results list ingredients and rank their toxicity.
First, I decided to tackle my face wash. Yes, I bought it at a health food store, and it was ”organic,” but I couldn’t pronounce 90% of the ingredients. Turns out, about 10 of the ingredients were linked to either a neurological issue, an allergy, or some form of cancer. The evidence was sitting there on my computer screen. This “non-toxic” item that I was putting on my face every morning and evening could be contributing to a future health issue.
Once moving to Germany, and facing the almost immediate deployment of my husband, I committed myself to learning as much as I could about making alternatives to my store-bought beauty products. I compiled a shopping list and much to my surprise, I already had most of the ingredients in my kitchen: Honey, olive oil, lemon juice, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar.
In all, my first trip to the store to compile my ingredients cost $94. A bit shocking at first, but I was able to make six batches of shampoo, facial toner, face wash, body wash/shaving cream, and detangler. And everything I bought, other than the castile soap and shea butter, I could use for various recipes in the kitchen. It was win-win situation. Plus I know no matter where I move, I can always get my hands on olive oil, honey, and baking soda.
Make sure you continue to follow my posts. Over the next several weeks, I’ll share with you the recipes that have changed my life. Together, I can help you save money and enjoy the benefits of a truly organic beauty routine.
Are you willing to try something new?