Thursday, September 1, 2011

DIY Green Products

As I mentioned back in May in my post "Naked Toes" I'm passionate about doing everything I can to try to limit the chemicals my family and I are exposed to. Over the past 8 months I have worked hard to find products that do not contain pthalates, carcinogens, parabens, and other harsh chemicals.  Finding some things was easier than others.  Mascara: piece of cake. Antiperspirant: still searching.  Sure, I have found plenty of products that are made of safe chemicals but it's been hard to find ones that are comparable to the products that do not even come close to being made of safe chemicals.  I've gone through lots, and I mean LOTS of different brands of safe shampoo and conditioner and I am still searching for the perfect one. Changing my entire personal care collection is a work in progress.

Something that I have started to really enjoy is making my own products.  It's pretty funny--when it comes to cooking and baking I have zero patience.  I'm the type of gal that likes to ignore recipes (i never follow exact measurements, to my own demise of course) and just throw random things in a skillet and see what happens.  But for some reason, I'm really getting into making my own personal care items as well as home-cleaning solutions. 

My latest ventures:

Body Scrub: This one is a piece of cake (and if you want it can smell like one too!) What you'll need:
1) A Container--I save jars from jams, sauces, etc. and reuse them for my products
2) Oil--preferably olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil but you can use a mixture instead of just sticking to one. Fill your jar about 70% full of the oil.
3) Sugar--add sugar to the oil until the sugar is saturated in the oil, but with no oil sitting on top of the sugar. It should blend nicely.
4) Essential oil (if you prefer a scented scrub)--lavender is nice and calming, peppermint is nice and revitalizing and vanilla just smells good. Add 3 to 6 drops of your preferred essential oil into the base oil before you add the sugar. Voila! You have your very own body scrub!  AND, it's cheaper than any sugar scrub you will find in a store.

Face Wash: I made my very own face wash the other night and it was so easy. I got the recipe off of Whole Living -the magazine, not sure if it is their website though. What you'll need:
1) a container, preferably something with a pump.
2) Castor oil.  fill your container with about 75% Castor oil.
3) the remaining 25% can be either olive oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil or almond oil.  Since the weather is warm, i skipped the olive oil since it is heavier and did 20% grape seed oil and 5% jojoba oil.
4) peppermint essential oil--about 3 to 5 drops to add an invigorating scent!

Here's the gist behind facial cleansing oils: many face washes on the market strip our skin of its natural sebum which causes our skin to produce even more oil and can cause acne.  Oil attracts oil, and cleansing oils attract oil, dirt and makeup but maintains a healthy skin balance--not to mention its a great moisturizer!  There are many cleansing oils on the market but I didn't feel like gallivanting through the mall to track them down so I decided to make my own.  Many of the in-store cleansing oils are made to be rinsed off with water.  This particular recipe works a little differently.  First, you massage the oil, about 2 pumps worth, onto your skin. Then take a hot wash cloth and lay it on your face until it cools, then wipe off the excess oil.  The heat from the wash cloth helps to open your pores and you'll feel like you got a mini-facial when you are done!

All-Purpose Household Cleaner: Vinegar is an amazing disinfectant and is the primary ingredient in this easy cleaner. What you'll need:
1) a container, preferably with a spray nozzle.
2) distilled white vinegar.  fill your container about 50% full
3) lemon juice, fill about 10%
4) water, fill up to the rim
5) lavender essential oil, a few drops to help with the smell.
This easy-to-make concoction kills germs, is great on glass surfaces and the vinegar smell lasts for just a minute or so.  Lavender helps with the smell of course but it is not necessary.
This cleaner is particularly great because it is ridiculously safe to use around your house and doesn't come with any harsh fumes.

I haven't finished reading it yet, but The Green Beauty Guide has been a great resource for greening my cosmetics and personal care products. It also has great do-it-yourself recipes for cleansers, etc.

There are also plenty of green-cleaning books on the market and I encourage you to browse through one to get some ideas on diy household cleaners.

Any suggestions for what I should make next?

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