DIY Cosmetics - Giving Yourself The Good Stuff & Self Defense

For some time now I've postponed watching Annie Leonard's Story of Cosmetics. I knew it would be brilliant and I'd lover her a bit extra for the effort, but I also knew I'd have to get more strict with myself after seeing it. And of course that happened.

What became my latest mandate is to get rid of is store bought shampoo, conditioner and deodorant. I had long kicked antiperspirant and was even using a deodorant my herbalist friend made, but decided it's time to make my own.

I'm going to try out Dr. Bronners peppermint soap for shampoo, which I have used before and it is a bit drying but I'm going back to it. And for conditioner, I'm trying something based on tip in Amy Karol's Potions & Concoctions (mailorder no 11). In the newsletter she suggests using apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, I'm going to modify this a bit and try a batch of my own kombucha which I let ferment longer until it turns to vinegar.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of having just seen Annie's film, today I refreshed by batch of toothpaste which is a simple mix of Dr. Bronners with a few drops of peppermint essential oil. I put this on my brush after dipping the brush in baking soda.

For deodorant, I mixed up a batch loosely based on a recipe in Amy Karol's guide. It included: equal parts shea butter, cocoa butter (couple table spoons), a tbs of baking powder, dash of vitamin E and lemon and thuja essential oil. I melted them all together in a double boiler and poured it off. I already love the pasty feeling.

It only takes a couple of months of making one's own products to see the very clear benefit of reducing packaging. I reuse every bottle and jar over and over and over refilling it again and again with the same contents when I run out. Needless to say the amount of waste I am producing is shrinking greatly.


Crunchy Diva said...

i love being able to not use or have to buy commercial products. i use baking soda & constarch deodrant, baking soda to wash my hair & vinegar as conditioner. i have FAB hair...lol.

Nat said...

I can give you a great hand/face lotion recipe if you would like which you can use many of your home grown herbs with!

yarrow said...

i make my own conditioner. the mix is one half apple cider vinegar and one half herbal decoction of rosemary, yucca root and nettle root, with a handful of hibiscus thrown in to enhance red highlights (i also henna my hair). i've used this for i think about 4 years now, and i love it. it had an instantly volumizing effect when i switched to it. vinegar will make your hair a bit greasy if you don't apply it right -- it doesn't want to be on the roots at all, just the hair shaft, and depending on your hair, it may need to be in more or less time than conditioner would. a couple weeks of tweaking the details with each application, and it comes out fabulous.

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne said...

YESSSSS Nat I'd love it.
And wow Yarrow... those are some great tips. When you say "decoction" do you mean boiled in water to extract?

yarrow said...

Wendy, yes, I boil the herbs in a half-gallon of water -- about a handful of each herb, a bit more rosemary than anything else, a bit less hibiscus (which is just for color anyway). Then let it cool, strain the solid stuff out, and mix with a half-gallon of apple cider vinegar. Makes about a 6-8 month supply, if used twice a week on really long hair. :-)

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne said...

thank you yarrow, I'm going to give it a try. it really sounds great.

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne said...

by the way (yarrow). since i dont have nettle root, do you know what property it lends? also I'm going to add soap nuts and also use yucca root. soap nuts (like yucca root) have saponin.