Personal Care Products
One challenge in the journey toward optimal health is that healthy choices are often more expensive. It’s so sad that drugs and disease care appear to be so cheap (that appearance is very deceiving). There are many tools you can put in your tool belt to overcome the challenge. One is to make things for yourself, like household cleaning products and even personal care products. THIS WILL SAVE YOU MONEY!!! AND improve your health! If you have some recipes you use, please share them with us by emailing [email protected]
HOMEMADE HERBAL STYLING GEL FROM DIYNATURAL.COM
This homemade styling gel contains no harsh, drying chemicals or synthetic materials.
¼ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
½ cup hot distilled water
4-6 drops essential oils (email [email protected] for suggestions)
Heat water and mix together with gelatin in a small bowl. Stir well to combine and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or until set. Once cooled and set, add essential oils if desired, and stir to combine. Using a funnel, transfer to a small squeeze bottle for easiest dispensing. Keep styling gel refrigerated between uses. Gel will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Use this homemade product on wet or dry hair and style as usual.
Lavender: The most versatile oil for hair care, lavender is good for all hair types. Bring about 1 cup water to a boil. Steep 1-2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers in your water for about 15 minutes, strain, and measure out ½ cup of the hot water for your recipe. Or for an easier method, use the original gel recipe and add lavender essential oil.
Chamomile: Great for light hair, chamomile will add shine and enhance natural highlights. (Since chamomile can have a lightening effect over time, it’s not recommended for dark hair.) Chamomile can also improve the texture of hair that is dry and brittle. Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, and measure out ½ cup to use as the liquid in your recipe.
Rosemary: An excellent choice for dry hair. This herb will keep dark hair glossy. It has been used historically to help stimulate hair growth, and has antioxidant properties that aid in protection against cell damage. Use rosemary essential oil or steep dried rosemary leaves in hot water for 15 minutes, strain, and use in your gel recipe.
Horsetail: This herb can improve the condition of your hair due to its mineral content. It contains the mineral silica, which strengthens hair and adds shine. Steep 2 tablespoons dried horsetail herb in 1 cup hot water, strain, and measure out enough for your gel recipe. Get horsetail from our affiliate: Mountain Rose Herbs.
Enjoy the benefits of the above herbs or just choose an essential oil that is pleasing to your senses! I encourage you to do more of your own research to find other herbs that are beneficial for hair.
Note: Essential oils are highly concentrated pure plant extracts that can benefit the condition of skin, hair, and body. Always use caution when handling these powerful oils, and label all products well that contain essential oils. Consult your health care provider before using if you are pregnant or nursing, and use half the suggested amount of oils if making a product for children.
HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER
Most of us have heard that the overuse of antibiotics and antibacterials are causing germs to change and get stronger, so we shouldn’t use antibacterial gels that are so popular today. And the chemicals in hand sanitizers are TOXIC, which is not health!! But there are times when you don’t have access to soap and water and you need to clean something off your hands. A non-chemical, naturally scented version of hand sanitizer can be made right at home using powerful essential oils and a few other ingredients. These essential oils boast the following beneficial properties: antibacterial, antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal. Email [email protected] for information about the essential oils we use.
• 5-10 drops lavender essential oil (I used a brand that is very strong, but I wanted to cover the scent of the tea tree, and I added a few drops of another oil which also boosts the immune system, then the scent was very pleasing)
• 20 drops tea tree essential oil
• 1 Tablespoon witch hazel (commercially prepared is fine)
• 8 ounces pure aloe vera gel (available at health food stores (or – a GREAT one is available at www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=123519 —DO NOT use the green medicated variety that you would put on a sunburn)
(7/17/12 I made my first batch when I was about to go out of town, so I didn’t have time to order aloe. I got some Aloe/witch hazel blend from my healthfood store which also had some alcohol and water in it. It was acceptable.)
Add essential oils to a small glass bowl or container and swirl to mix. Add witch hazel to the oils and swirl again. Add this mixture to the aloe vera gel and mix well.
Tips and warnings
You can put your sanitizer in 3 or 4 ounce squirt bottles. Perfect for throwing into a purse or a backpack! You could also mix up a batch and keep in a container with a pump. Use a dime-size portion. Using more than the suggested amount of essential oils is not recommended. Keep in mind these are very concentrated, powerful plant extracts. If you are new to using essential oils you may want to test for an allergic reaction before slathering on this hand sanitizer. As with any natural plant, family members could be allergic. For a simple patch test mix one drop of essential oil with about 1 TBSP of olive oil. Rub a bit on the inside of your elbow, cover with a bandage, and wait 24 hours to see if there is any negative reaction.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use tea tree oil, and this formula should not be used on infants.
ANOTHER HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER
8 oz bottle
4 oz aloe vera gel
4 oz 40% vodka
20 drops Clove essential oil
17 drops Lemon essential oil
7 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
OPTIONAL a little cinnamon oil, but it tends to be “hot” so should be avoided for sensitive skin and especially for children
Carefully drip the essential oils into the vodka, counting as you go. Shake well. Combine Aloe Vera Gel and vodka in bottle. (Vodka and aloe both help to extend the shelf life of the product by acting as preservatives.) Shake well to mix all ingredients and enjoy!
Deodorant. It’s the one toiletry most of us won’t do without – after all, who wants to stink? Not even our ancestors put up with nasty body odor. Early commercial deodorants ate through clothes they were so strong, but people enthusiastically put them on to avoid smelling foul all day.
Unfortunately, even modern deodorants still have nasty side effects. Almost all of them contain aluminum, which suppresses perspiration, and parabens, which serve as stabilizers for the formula. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, while parabens mimic the effects of estrogen.
That’s no good – and neither is the fact that going off the grid may mean leaving behind drugstore aisles. Thus, it’s a great idea to learn to make your own all-natural deodorant.
This simple deodorant recipe has been tried by thousands of people who love it. Even better than positive endorsements from real people who run, work outside, and have to deal with teenager funk? A three-month supply for two people costs just $1 to make.
¼ cup non-aluminum baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder (arrowroot is a bit better, but since it’s hard to find in some areas, go with cornstarch if that’s easier)
6 to 8 tablespoons coconut oil (semi-soft state – refrigerate or microwave to adjust)
Put the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend them. Add the coconut oil bit by bit, working it into the powder. You should end up with a solid mass that is firm enough to hold a shape but still soft enough to melt into your skin (just like commercial deodorants). If it’s still too mushy, you can add some additional cornstarch or arrowroot. However, in really warm climates (or at the height of summer), it may never set up (it might stay liquid), but that’s okay. If it’s really cold where you are it may stay a bit grainy, and that’s okay, too. The anti-bacterial properties of the coconut oil remain whether it’s liquid or solid. Put the finished mixture into an empty deodorant tube or any small jar with a lid. You just need something with enough room for about a cup of finished mixture and wide enough that you can get your fingers in to scoop it out later. When you want to apply your deodorant, simply rub it in to your armpits. The mixture will “melt” into your skin. Use a small amount (about a pea-sized glob) to get the job done all day long.
Tips for Homemade Deodorant
Your homemade deodorant does require you to adjust. You won’t smell over time – trust that. However, since it is so different from the chemical commercial deodorants your mind and your body know, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
? Give your body a week to detox and chemically adapt. You’ve been using aluminum and paraben-packed deodorants for years – the stuff is in your pores, and it needs to seep out. Expect a kind of funky first few days – everybody’s body is different – this is normal and it goes away.
? Wait an hour before applying to freshly shaved or waxed armpits. Guys, this is rarely an issue for you, but ladies, this will sting like crazy.
? Itchy = use less baking soda. The baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. There are a couple of options to fix this. You can decrease the baking soda in the recipe by one tablespoon and make up the difference with cornstarch or arrowroot. If you used cornstarch originally, swapping to 100 percent arrowroot does help some people. Alternatively, you can add ¼ cup shea butter or cocoa butter to the mix (though this does raise the cost per batch).
? Adjust the scent with essential oils. If you miss the scent of commercial deodorant, add a few drops of essential oils to your mix. Tea tree oil is a good choice, since it has anti-bacterial properties, but citrus oils, florals, and mints can all work. I’ve even heard of liquid smoke getting added to win over a reluctant spouse. Basically, when it comes to the smell, get creative – you’re in charge now!
Voila! Deodorant that works and costs pennies compared to the commercial stuff. Now, it’s not an antiperspirant, but many people say they sweat less after going all natural. Skin allergies and sensitivities also tend to fade since you have less chemicals in contact with your body all day.
It’s just smart, practical self-care anyone can try. The recipe takes less than five minutes to put together … get it a go and let me know how it works for you!
HOMEMADE LIP BALM
If you ever thought lip balm was only something you could buy at the drugstore you were very mistaken. Lip balm is super easy to make and customize to your own special taste or needs whether it’s to give yourself some au natural beauty or heal some chapped lips. And it’s always nice to make lip balm in big batches and give it away as presents, because people always appreciate the homemade touch.
Read more: How to Make Homemade Lip Balm http://www.kidzworld.com/article/26581-homemade-lip-balm#ixzz1n3Co7D6YIngredients:
• 1 quart sized glass jar
• 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
• 2 tbsp jojoba oil
• 2 tablespoons beeswax pellets/ block
• 2 tbsp honey
• 5 Vitamin E capsules
• 25 drops essential oil of your choice
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (Hint! The pinch of cayenne pepper brings the blood to your lips and makes them look redder. Be careful not to add too much though – just a pinch!)
• 16 flat ½ ounce containers
Think of the essential oil in this recipe as the flavoring of the lip balm. Email [email protected] for the BEST essential oils which are much stronger, so you can use less. They are completely pure, and most are food-grade.
Try lavender if you want something relaxing and peppermint if you want something perky and energizing. It’s up to you!
*If you aren’t able to purchase beeswax pellets, but only the beeswax in block form you’re going to need to melt a chunk of it down before adding it to the mix. To melt the block use a double boiler method and make sure to line the top bowl with parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap to protect the beeswax as it melts. You don’t want it to take on any of the qualities of the metal bowl or pot.
1. Once you have all your ingredients ready to go place the quart size glass jar into a pan half filled with water and turn the heat to medium. Make sure that water doesn’t get into your Lip Balm mixture. Then carefully add the sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and beeswax into the glass jar. Use a potholder to hold the top of the glass jar while stirring it around until the beeswax is completely melted. Remember heat and movement will help the mixture turn to a liquid.
2. Once that mixture is smooth and liquid stir in the honey and Vitamin E and mix until the mixture is again smooth and liquid.
3. Then you can remove the container from the pan of hot water and turn off your stove. Be careful because the glass will be HOT!
4. Now you can stir in the essential oil of your choice and the pinch of cayenne pepper and pour the mixture into it’s containers. Using pipettes makes this process much easier.
Mixing Your Ingredients
At this point make sure not to dally pouring the balm into containers because without the heat the mixture is going to want to harden and in that state it is impossible to pour. I like to lay the containers out on a tray so that if it gets messy you can simply clean the tray rather than your table or floor. Once you’ve poured the mixture out into the containers let them cool to room temperature before covering with the container lids. You can even put them in the fridge for a bit to help them cool down.
Pour the Mixture into the Containers
Now all you have to do is clean up and you’ve got some lovely homemade lip balm. Though be warned the clean up can be a little tricky because the waxy balm and oil based ingredients aren’t happy to leave the containers they’ve been in. But let’s concentrate on the good part- You Have Some Wonderful Homemade Lip Balm that is well worth the clean up!
ROSEMARY AND SAGE SHOE FRESHENERS
These potent herbal fresheners will absorb moisture and odor while deterring bacteria from making a home in your favorite boots.
1 lb or 2 cups of Baking Soda
40 drops Organic Rosemary Essential Oil (I suggest adding some melaleuca oil, too
1 cup of Organic Sage Leaf
6 Large Cotton Muslin Bags
6 Large Paper Tea Bags (optional)
You can get these ingredients from this link Mountain Rose Herbs. Using quality ingredients will produce a quality product that will be EFFECTIVE!! Otherwise, it’s probably a waste of your time.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Fill the tea bags with the mixture and then stuff inside the cotton drawstring bags. Tea bags will keep the powder from seeping out, but you can skip this step if you don’t mind a light dusting. Place one bag inside each boot. Makes enough for 3 pairs of stinky shoes and lasts up to 3 months. The baking soda will absorb the rosemary scent after a while, so feel free to add a few more drops of essential oil when needed.
Put some aloe vera water in a spray bottle. Add some peppermint and lavendar essential oils. You could add some tea tree oil, but it wouldn’t smell as good. Coconut oil (yes, the one you cook with) and vitamin E oil are also helpful.
1/3 cup witch hazel
1/2 tsp lemongrass oil
1/2 tsp eucalyptus oil
1/2 tsp citronella oil
Combine in a 4-oz spray bottle. Be sure to shake it up before each use. The oils will separate naturally.
NATURAL TICK REPELLENT
Here are a few natural tick repellents you can make at home for yourself and for your pets. You should get a spray bottle (one that holds at least 16 oz) for some of these combinations.
In a small container or bowl, combine 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or almond oil, 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, and 30 to 40 drops geranium essential oil. Mix it well and use an eye dropper to apply the mixture to your skin and rub it in. You can also apply two to three drops to your dog’s collar to repel ticks.
Make the same combination but use lavender essential oil instead of geranium. You can also use half geranium and half lavender essential oils.
Combine 1 cup water, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, and 6 to 10 drops of geranium or lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. This tick repellent can be sprayed on clothing, your pet’s fur, your skin, and your lawn.
Neem oil is an effective tick repellent for both humans and dogs, but you must use the mixture within 8 hours of preparing it, because the neem oil will lose its potency. First combine 16 ounces of warm water with 2 ml of mild detergent. Slowly add 5 ml of neem oil and stir vigorously. Use the mixture in a spray bottle. This tick repellent can be applied to the skin and to a dog’s fur.
Another way to use neem is to bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add ½ cup dried neem leaves to the water. Steep the leaves for one hour, then strain off the liquid into a spray bottle. This neem water can be used on clothing, skin, and pets (rub into their fur). Avoid contact with the eyes or ears on pets and yourself.
Ticks are not fond of citrus, so you can make a citrus tick repellent. Boil 2 cups of water and add any combination of 2 sliced citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit. Allow the mixture to boil for about a minute, then simmer for one hour. Remove the fruit and put the liquid through a strainer. Pour into a spray bottle and use on your skin, your pet’s fur, and on your lawn.
Combine 16 ounces of water and 20 to 25 crops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle and spritz onto clothing, your dog’s fur, and your lawn.
Most essential oils are toxic to cats and should not be used to repel ticks. The natural tick repellents using vinegar, citrus, and neem leaves should be safe, but talk to your vet before using any type of tick repellent on your cat.
Along with using a tick repellent, other measures you should take during tick season is to regularly inspect yourself and your pets soon after you have been outdoors. If you discover a tick on yourself or your pet, remove it carefully using tweezers in a twisting motion – or use a tool specifically designed for tick removal – you can get one on Amazon.
Ticks can attach themselves to both you and your pets, possibly exposing you and them to Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Natural tick repellents such as those noted here may help protect you and your family from these pests.
NATURAL NON-GREASY HAND AND BODY MOISTURIZER from diynatural.com
(recipe yields about 2 cups of cream)
1 cup pure aloe vera gel, distilled water, or strong-brewed herbal tea
½ cup grated beeswax, packed
½ cup sweet almond, grapeseed, or jojoba oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
15 drops essential oil
Other ingredients are available at http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=123519
In a medium-sized bowl combine aloe vera gel, Vitamin E oil, and essential oils. Set aside for later.
Add grated beeswax and oil to a glass measuring cup. Place measuring cup in a small pot of water and bring water to a gentle boil. Heat, stirring occasionally, until beeswax is completely melted then carefully remove measuring cup from pot.
Pour beeswax/oil mixture into blender and allow to cool. (It will begin to harden as it cools, this is ok.)
Once cooled, turn blender on LOW. Remove top of blender and pour aloe vera mixture in a slow, continuous stream. Stop blender as often as needed to run a spatula around sides to incorporate ingredients. If liquid is pooling at the top, stop frequently to push it around with spatula. (This step may take as long as 10-15 minutes, and patience is key!) Continue blending until desired consistency is reached. (DIY uses and highly recommends a Vitamix blender. Blendtec is also a good choice.)
Transfer moisturizer to clean jars and refrigerate any portion that will not be used up within a few weeks.
While Vitamin E oil acts as a natural preservative in this moisturizer, it doesn’t keep indefinitely, and should be used up within 2-3 months. I keep a small container of it in the bathroom, and refill it from the large jar in the refrigerator. (Although I will say – I conducted an experiment with this cream, and found that it did not change in smell, consistency, or color for almost eight months when kept at room temperature. However, I don’t recommend keeping it around this long, as bacteria can begin to grow in homemade products containing water.)
I love to experiment with different essential oil blends in this cream, depending on my mood or the seasons. My current favorite is a mixture of lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus.
It bears repeating that patience is key while blending and waiting for this cream to emulsify. Do not leave your blender unattended, and be sure to continuously push any separated liquid around so it reaches the blades. You can add a pinch of borax to the mixture if you’re really having trouble getting it to emulsify.
This moisturizer can also be made with a hand mixer, although a blender works best.
Tips for cleanup
Once moisturizer is completed, scrape as much as possible off blender, spatula, and other utensils before cleaning your equipment. Rub this excess into your hands.
After transferring cream to jars, I wipe out my blender thoroughly with old rags that can be tossed (paper towel can also be used). This prevents oils and beeswax from going down the sink and clogging drains.
You can fill your blender half way with water, add several drops of liquid dish soap, and blend on high for a few minutes. Add a little sea salt to blender for scrubbing if needed.
Blender and utensils can be cleaned in hot soapy water.