Tag Archives: beauty

The Shampoo v. “No-poo” Compromise

I’ve been on the crunchy lifestyle bandwagon for a while now. My mission to live a sustainable lifestyle has taken some unexpected turns. One of my favorite things to do has been replacing my beauty items with sustainable, homemade versions. In fact, I have a batch of homemade body butter cooling in the kitchen right now.

I’ve tried the so-called “no-poo” method (i.e. baking soda and water as a replacement for shampoo). Can I just take a moment to say what a horrible name that is!?! Okay, end rant. I tried the standard baking soda and water shampoo replacement method. Long story short, for whatever reason, this method did not work for me. I can’t pin the failure on the water, my hair type or the environment, or just the plain fact that it doesn’t work. My hair just felt thick and dirty, never that fresh and clean feeling. However, my fellow sustainable bloggers swear by it. It just did not work for me.

This failure spurred a desire to fix it. I could not simply go back to shampoo. I had to find some answer to a healthier method to cleanse my hair than the chemical-laden cocktail that was sold at the store. Organic versions are better, yet expensive and still don’t fix the problem of using detergent on my hair.

I am advocating against washing your hair with conventional shampoo. Why? Here are my reasons:

  • Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils and moisture. Our hair actually produces its own natural oil which acts as a conditioner and moisturizer;
  • Conventional shampoo is toxic, see an article here; I don’t want to spread toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens onto my scalp each and every day;
  • It’s unnecessary. Before 1930, we didn’t even have what we now know as shampoo.

I have now been washing my hair with my “compromise” method for a few months. To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical and not sure if I would stick this one out. I think the method I have designed is a nice compromise between using organic shampoo and the baking soda method.

This method does take some getting used to. You will more than likely go through a bit of a greasy phase. If you experience this, have no fear, there is a natural dry shampoo method found here. Use this dry shampoo during the transition phase.

This is my compromise recipe:

Shampoo

  1. Fill and 8 ounce squeezable bottle with water, leaving some room at the top. You can also re-use an old shampoo bottle or any other suitable container.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of organic shampoo. I use this kind.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Now shake to combine.

To use:

  • In the shower, I wet my hair thoroughly and massage my scalp to loosen any oil or dirt
  • Next, I squeeze my alternative solution onto my roots and scrub, scrub, scrub
  • I wash my face, allowing the mixture to remain on my hair for a few minutes
  • Then, rinse while massaging my scalp.
  • I’m still working on an alternative to conditioner … so stay tuned.
  • I then use my homemade body wash.

Let me know how this works for you! Everyone’s hair is different, so tweak the recipe as needed.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

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DIY: All-Natural Toothpaste

For about a year now I have been making and using my homemade toothpaste. Most people cringe and wonder if it works. I am here to tell you that it does. I have never had a cavity, and my dental hygienist says my teeth and gums looks great.

Why did I stop using store-bought toothpaste? The answer is simple. I figured if the label says “do not swallow” and “if swallowed contact poison control” that it probably wasn’t a good thing to be putting in my mouth. It seems like a pretty easy task to keep our teeth clean, brushing and flossing and mouthwash isn’t too complicated of a routine, so why did toothpaste have to be complicated? Why does it have to contain sugar … something that causes tooth decay??? seems counter productive. Why does it have to contain nasty chemicals that can poison me? Why would I put that in my mouth? Okay, you get my point.

diy toothpaste

(this picture is from the first sample I made myself)

I’ve researched different toothpastes and tooth powders, tried some differing variations, and I have no concrete “recipe” to share with you. But here is my go to toothpaste ingredient list:

I usually make a large batch (a couple jars at a time), sometimes I make some to give to my friends to try. But here is my general method:

  1. Melt some coconut oil in a small bowl or right in your glass jar. If this is your first batch, just make a little bit to try it out, a few tablespoons will do.
  2. Now add enough baking soda to the toothpaste to make a paste. (the paste consistency will be determined by the temperature of your house. In the summer the toothpaste can be more liquidy due to the heat, and in the winter very hard due to the cold)
  3. Now add 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil. (Obviously, more or less depending on how much you are making)
  4. Now add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil.
  5. If you need to make it sweet like the store bought kind, this is where you add the xylitol or stevia to your taste. I made mine sweet at first when I was transitioning to natural toothpaste, now I leave it out completely.

You can also add other cleaning agents. I have heard of ground sage and bentonite clay being added. Also, you can leave out the coconut oil completely and make a toothpowder. People add sea salt to some tooth powders. It’s all about experimenting to see what you like and can tolerate.

To use, I just dip my brush head into the jar and get some on the bristles. I also use an electric toothbrush. I feel like it does a better job of using the grit from the baking soda to get my teeth nice and clean.

I will also be putting up my recipes for mouthwash and retainer/denture cleaner!

Until next time, I send you peace, love and good energy.

~Sharon

 

Cornmeal & Honey Scrub

honey2Getting back to basics can be the best way to take care of ourselves inside and out. I’m always looking for natural ways to take care of my skin and avoid the processed and chemical laden store-bought products. This recipe is a great way to refresh your skin by sloughing off dry skin to reveal and fresh and dewy face.

This recipe is from Stephanie Tourles book Organic Body Care Recipes:

This product leaves skin smooth, soft, and very hydrated. Because this scrub can be a bit runny and sticky, don a shower cap or wrap your hair in a towel before use. 

What you will need:

  • 1.5 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon water

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients thoroughly and allow cornmeal to absorb the liquid for 1 minute.  Using your fingers, gently massage onto the face and throat, lie back, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rise with warm water to revel your new dewy skin. 

Until next time, I send you peace, love and good energy.

~Sharon

Aloe Vera Toner

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven’t put up a tasty recipe in a while… I have been developing some new recipes for you and will post them in the very near future. In the meantime, enjoy another selection out of Stephanie Tourles’ book Organic Body Care Recipes:

aloe-vera2

Aloe Vera juice makes a great all-over gentle toner. Contrary to popular belief, it’s a bit drying if used routinely and is thus most effective for oily, combination, and normal skins in need of calming treatment and gentle handling. Aloe is extremely soothing and healing when used to relieve environmental irritations and the itch from insect bites.

Note: Aloe vera may irritate very sensitive or dry, dehydrated, sunburned, or windburned skin. You can lessen the irritating effects and still benefit for its healing properties by diluting the juice or gel 50% with distilled water. Store the mixture in a small jar in the refrigerator and shake vigorously before each application.

You will need:

Pure aloe vera juice or gel, commercially bottled or fresh-picked leaf.

(I prefer this aloe gel from Mountain Rose Herbs. My Sweetie uses it everyday.)

  • recommended for: oily, acneic, combination, normal, or mature skin that is not dry; sunburned, windburned, or irritated skin
  • Use: daily 
  • Follow with: moisturizer
  • Prep time: none
  • Blending tools: none
  • Store in: refrigerator in original container or store cut leaf in a plastic bag.
  • Yield: 1 treatment

If using commercial juice or gel, follow label directions regarding storage; it almost always requires refrigeration. If using the gel from a leaf or your own alow plant, cut off the amount you are going to immediately need and store the remainder of the leaf in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for about three days.

Application tips: Simply soak a cotton pad with the juice or gel and apply to skin as desired.

I don’t know about you, but I learned a lot about a lot from this recipe. I always thought aloe was a moisturizer … guess I was wrong! And now I know how to use it properly. 🙂

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

Honey Massage Mask

HoneyRecipe from Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles

This is a delicious, sweet way to soften, deeply hydrate, and moisture your skin. This treatment leaves skin with a rosy glow resulting from increased circulation.

You will need:

2-3 teaspoons of fresh, raw honey at room temperature

  • Recommended for: all skin types, especially dry, dehydrated, sunburned, windburned, mature, or environmentally damaged skin
  • Use: as desired
  • Follow with: moisturizer if necessary
  • Prep time: approximately 1 minute
  • Blending tools: small spoon
  • Store in: do not store, mix as needed
  • yield: 1 treatment

Application tips: Honey thins and get runnier as it warms to skin temperature, so be sure to wear a shower cap or pull your hair off your face and neck prior to application. Using your fingers, apply a very thin coat of honey to your entire face and neck. When the honey is spread evenly, it will bead on your skin much like water beads on your car after a rain shower. Leave on for 15 minutes or longer while you relax. Before rinsing, for about 5 minutes, begin to pat your skin lightly with your fingertips in quick tapping motions, as though you are playing the piano. Rinse using a very warm, damp cloth.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from the new body care book I recently purchased. I can’t wait to try out more recipes and share them with you.

Until next time, I send you peace love and good energy.

~Sharon

 

Eco Emi January 2013 – Unboxing

Check out what I got in this month’s Eco Emi box!

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy!

~Sharon

Eco Emi December 2012 – Unboxing

Here’s a long-ish video I shot yesterday showing you the samples in my Eco Emi box. Eco Emi is a monthly subscription service that sends you samples of food, make-up, lotion and other goodies. It’s a service that highlights the many earth-friendly products that are available out there that you may never have heard of … or some that you already love. In any event … I love getting a monthly package full of healthy goodies. So check out my dorky video linked below … I’m no youtube sensation … this is purely for those that are interested in discovering new products.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy!

~Sharon

DIY All-Natural 5 Minute Body Wash!!!

When I began my mission to eliminate chemicals and toxins from my household that also included the products I used on my body. It’s scary to think about all the things we put on our skin (our largest organ) which we have been lulled into complacency to believe are safe. Instead of putting {insert long list of unnatural synthetic carcinogenic ingredients here}, I decided to do a lil digging to see what other’s are doing. My friend Sarah B. had recently posted on facebook a picture of homemade body products. I asked her if she would share her recipes with me, and she was kind enough to do so.

At first, it was hard to get used to the natural body wash – it was not gel-like like the products you would buy at the store. BUT!!! I instantly felt better about what I was using. It left me feeling clean and slightly moisturized. I always disliked how store bought body wash made my skin feel stripped of all its natural oils. My sweetie and I use this everyday. One bottle lasts us about two weeks.

So, without further adieu here is my adaption of Sarah B.’s recipe:

What you will need:

Directions:

  1. Make sure your container is big enough to handle
    a
    ll the ingredients, or adjust the recipe up or down to meet the needs of your container.
  2. Insert funnel into the top of your container. This makes it much easier to pour the ingredients in your bottle.
  3. Pour the warm water in the container
  4. Melt the coconut oil if it is hardened (10 second increments in the microwave or on the stovetop in a double boiler)
  5. Pour coconut oil, soap, and olive oil in the container.
  6. Shake!
  7. Go take a shower and try it out.

Note on the oil:  you can use whichever oil works best for your skin type. I have noticed that the coconut oil can cause a build up in the bathtub. I have recently changed to using only olive oil, or sometimes half olive oil and half almond oil. You could use any oil that is liquid at room temperature. Oils that are hard, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and even coconut oils may not incorporate uniformly, may clump, and may leave residue in your bath tub and possibly clog your drain.  Oils that I would use: olive, jojoba, almond, and hemp

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try. The ingredients are not very expensive and it’s so easy to make.

What have you done to live your life more naturally? Please share in the comments.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon