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Cosmetics and beauty products are a major source of chemical exposure for most people. The average beauty product contains dozens of harmful chemicals, many of which have not even been tested for safety in humans. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to every beauty product, and most work better than the chemical-laden alternative.
Since I make most of our beauty and personal care products, I keep many of the ingredients on hand. By buying in bulk and making your own beauty and personal care products, we can save a lot of money in one year.
Natural ingredients cost more upfront but save us money in the long run because they are so versatile and can be used in multiple recipes and because it is not needed as much for natural products. I order these products once or twice a year at most and we have smooth, healthy skin all year long!
Natural beauty ingredients
For a quick and natural facial, give yourself a honey mask. Take a warm shower, or hold your face over a bowl of steaming water to open your pores. Rub the hot honey on your face and sit for 20-30 minutes, rinse with warm water and splash with cold water to close your pores. Honey also works great as a mild face wash that can be used every day.
Instantly rinse and remove oils from your hair by mixing 1 part white vinegar with 5 parts distilled water and pouring it over hair after conditioning. Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to make a fresh smell. I recommend lavender, lemon, orange, or mint. Depending on your hair type, you can also benefit from detoxifying your hair with healing clays and using a natural shampoo.
For an intensive hair conditioner, mix avocado and coconut milk or cream in a blender and apply to dry hair. Leave on for up to 30 minutes and rinse.
For oily hair, massage baking soda into hair, shampoo as usual, and rinse. This can be dry for some people and irritating to the scalp. For a gentler option, also try DIY dry shampoo for dark or light hair.
Ingredients for natural beauty recipes
These seven products are my natural beauty staples… these are great to have on hand and you can make many, many recipes with just these ingredients!
1. Coconut oil
I order Gold Label Coconut Oil in five gallon pails from Tropical Traditions. This is by far my favorite coconut oil and I can tell the difference in taste and quality. We save a lot by buying in bulk, and since we use it in cooking, in recipes, and as a skin lotion, it never goes to waste! (It also comes in smaller quantities!)
We will only use unrefined organic coconut oil in cooking, but a cheaper pressed oil could be used in skin recipes to save money (although by ordering in bulk, we still get the good for cheaper than press in the long run)! ).
For those sensitive to coconut, organic grass-fed beef tallow can also be used and is great for the skin, though you'll need to add essential oils to cover the mild smell. We have our tallow in five gallon buckets here.
2. Shea butter
Our most used natural beauty ingredient after coconut oil. Unrefined Organic Shea Butter has a naturally nutty and earthy smell (very mild) and is incredibly nourishing for the skin! I have heard many cases of children seeing relief from eczema using shea butter or a mixture of shea butter and coconut oil.
It has natural antibacterial properties and is ideal for preventing stretch marks, for wound healing, and as an anti-aging skin treatment. It has an SPF of about 5 and can be used as a daily sunscreen. I use shea butter in my lotion, lotion bars, deodorant, face cream, baby lotion, diaper cream, and many other recipes!
3. Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is another "butter" and a great addition to natural beauty recipes. It is also an ingredient in organic homemade chocolate (recipe soon!). It has a delicate chocolate scent, and I love mixed with mint or citrus in lotion bars, lotion, or face cream. It can be used interchangeably with shea butter, although I think my favorite recipes include shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
Beeswax is a great natural thickening agent, and the high-quality versions have a sweet sweet tooth. (Note: I have been told by several readers that brands ordered from other sources had a strong, unpleasant smell and that I can only vouch for this brand.) I use beeswax in lotions, lotion bars, baby care recipes, lip balm, foot cream, etc. It usually only takes a little to thicken recipes, and a pound will last us for at least six months.
5. Liquid carrier oil
Recipes like gentler lotions, baby oil, balms and aftershave balms often need to be thinner than coconut oil and butters will allow. In these cases, I use a liquid carrier oil. Very often, I use olive oil, almond oil, or apricot oil (my favorite). Apricot has the mildest aroma and almond oil is also relatively unscented. Olive oil is generally the least expensive if you don't care about the olive aroma in your recipes or if you plan to top it with essential oils.
6. Arrowroot powder
I keep Arrowroot on hand to thicken sauces when I cook and it is also added to many natural recipes like deodorant, baby powder, diaper cream, dry shampoo, etc. It works a lot like cornstarch, but it is not GMO like many corn products. I also use it in my homemade makeup recipes. I've only used this brand, and others have reported that brands from elsewhere are often not as finely ground and don't work as well in fur recipes.
7. Essential oils
It's not technically necessary, but essential oils add great natural scents to DIY beauty recipes and can also help lift your spirits. I get mine here in 8 ounces or larger amounts and they literally last for years. Our favorites are mint, lavender, lemon, orange, and sandalwood.
Other useful ingredients
Some other useful ingredients that can be added to the recipes above are:
- Dried herbs: especially chamomile and calendula for skin recipes
- Zinc oxide: for diaper cream and sunscreen
- Sugar: not for eating, but great for sugar scrubs.
- Baking soda: for deodorant
- Salt: for exfoliating hair or exfoliating for skin
- Other essential oils
- Coconut milk: for homemade shampoo
- Liquid castile soap: for cleaning / washing and for homemade baby wipes.
Source: (in English)