So I’ve been trying a bunch of new all-natural home and beauty products recently and I thought, “Hey, maybe some other people I know wanna try them too!” So here we are. I’ll share a few things that I’ve tried and some new things I’ve found out. Maybe I’ll share some crafty projects or other hobbies as well. Or maybe I’ll just rant. I really never know what’s going to come out of my head!
For those of you who don’t know me very well yet, my name is Melissa. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Matthew, for 4.5 years already. We started dating in December of 2007 and were married by June of 2011. We’ve been through more than our share of tough times, but God has always provided the things we need and some extra (maybe I’ll elaborate another day). We started a crazy new journey this past April when we were finally licensed foster parents! We’ve had 5 kids so far (3 of which are still with us at the moment) between the ages of 2 months and 5 years. It’s been crazy, stressful, hectic, frustrating, and wonderful.
Anyways, let’s get to it. I guess for this first post I’ll start with just listing a few of my staples for any of the home and beauty products I make. I like to keep these around at all times because you can use them in so many things!
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Thieves Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Baking Soda
- Liquid Stevia (or any liquid sweetener)
- Dr Bronners Magic Soap
- Containers! (Jars, balm containers, spray bottles, etc)
Another thing that is essential is a double boiler. You can buy one but it’s much easier to just make one. All you need is a small pot and a heat-proof bowl (I use a stainless steel one). If you don’t know what a double boiler is then check out this link.
A few brands of things that I like to use are:
- Barefoot Venus – They make awesome natural lotions and bath powder.
- Jason – My very favorite natural shampoo and conditioner! Also they make good body and hand soaps.
- NOW Essential Oils – This is what our local store mostly sells but any essential oil brand would be good as long as it’s 100% pure.
- Dr Bronners Magic Soap – This is a natural, fair trade soap that you can use for so many things! From hand cleaner to toothpaste to floor cleaner…it cleans pretty much anything if you know how to use it.
The reason that I started looking in to the all natural home and beauty products was not at all an interesting story haha. You know how sometimes you start reading stuff on the internet and you end up going down the rabbit hole and it’s like an hour later and you aren’t anywhere close to where you started? I have no idea where I started, but I ended up on a page talking about ingredients in shampoo and other beauty products.
Here are a couple websites if you’d like to read for yourself:
- What Chemicals Should You Look Out For In Your Personal Care Products?
- Shampoo Ingredients You Want to Avoid
- 12 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo and Conditioner (They Cause Cancer..)
I don’t know if you stopped to check those out, but when I read these the ingredient DMDM Hydantoin probably freaked me out the most. Did you see that it’s a fancy name for FORMALDEHYDE?! As in dead bodies and frogs you dissect in biology class…ew. Also, some of those ingredients are linked to cancer. If you know about Matthew’s history with cancer then you know that was a huge red flag for me, too. So I went and looked at my shampoo and stuff and sure enough all of those ingredient were in them!
Anyway, after I read all that I started researching simple ways I can change or make things to replace those products. Of course the next day I went to our local Nutters to get new shampoo and conditioner (and threw out the other stuff). I decided to try the Jason brand and I’ve never looked back! It has way less of those nasty ingredients than other shampoos. Plus, it has made my hair softer, lighter, and thicker. Even my hair dresser noticed the next time I saw her! I’d suggest trying out a few different kinds before you decide which of the Jason shampoos you like. I prefer the sea kelp, whereas my mom likes the biotin and my sister likes the jojoba.
Next I looked up a few blogs written by stay-at-home moms* who make their own beauty products. I’d never used essential oils before, but they all talked so much about them that I did a little more research about them. If you haven’t tried using essential oils then you should run to the store NOW and get some! They have so many health benefits and they smell amazing! (Depending on which scent you get lol.) If I had to pick a few oils to start with, I’d pick peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and thieves for the most basic products. As you experiment you can expand to more. These 4 oils can help anything from burns to bad breath, lice, colds/flu, eczema and more! Once I was making waffles and steam came out and hit the top of my ring finger and pushed the skin up. It was just all bunched up in one spot…really weird looking. Anyway, I soaked it in a bowl of ice cubes, water, and lavender essential oil for a while and I don’t even have a scar now! Yes it stung for a while, but then I put a bandaid on it and it didn’t even hurt after a while. I swear it was the lavender because I’ve had burns before and they took a lot longer to heal and they all hurt for a lot longer after.
Also, they are great to add to products to make any smell you like. If you read the above links, you know that “fragrance” is an awful ingredient in many products (basically a hundred chemicals mixed together). You can’t always get away from it, even in natural products you buy…but you can certainly avoid it when you make your own!
Also, if you like candles and smelling things you should definitely get a diffuser. It works as a mini humidifier, you can add whatever smell (essential oil) you like and change it as often you want, and the oils that are diffused in to the air have natural health benefits (anything from cleaning the air to calming for sleep and even healing).
*Here are some of my favorite mom blogs: The Humbled Homemaker, Modern Hippie Housewife, and Scratch Mommy. I also really love Everyday Roots. They all have a lot of great DIY’s for the body and home.
Once I started looking up recipes for lotions, lip balms, hair detanglers, etc. I found a few common ingredients. Coconut oil and beeswax were in pretty much every one. I found both of these at our local Nutters as well. If you don’t know much about coconut oil please check out this link (seriously, check out that link!). The beeswax is for lotions and balms that you don’t want too soft or runny.
Another good thing about making some of these things yourself is that it’s not nearly as harmful for little fingers that like to get in to things! Which is great for me with kids coming and going all the time.
I hope these lists and info help you start your journey! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite products I’ve made and continue to use, as well as new ones that I find and we’ll see together if they work or not. I am by no means an expert, but together we can figure this out!
***I’ve added a lot of links to information pages so you can make your own judgments about what’s in your products. I hope they’ve helped!***
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12