Tag: homemade

Feb 17

Homely Beauty

That’s right.  I’m pretty proud of my homely beauty.  I love that many of the products from my beauty routine come right from my home.  In fact, most the things I’m wearing on my face today are edible.  No, I don’t eat the leftovers.

Prove it, you say?  But of course.  Here’s a summary of my daily beauty routine:

If I’m feeling a little rough around the edges, I start with a sugar scrub to buff away the sins of old.  (You can make a basic one by mixing a little white and brown sugar with olive oil and honey.)

Then, I shower with one of my homemade soaps.  While these incorporate such ingredients as coconut milk, oatmeal, green tea, or pumpkin puree, a super-simple soap could be made with just olive oil, distilled water, and lye (100% sodium hydroxide).  Another option is to dilute a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s and use that in place of shower gel.

After showering, I slather on one of my homemade body butters, but another option would be to use a small amount of high-quality, plant-based oil, such as extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.  Coconut oil is another favorite, but some people (myself included), find it drying when used alone. *You’ll optimize moisturization by applying oils or body butters to damp skin.

Before continuing, I should warn you things are about to get a little bizarre (or maybe bizarre-er).  For my deodorant, in order to avoid villainous aluminum and other additives, I use…don’t laugh…plain Milk of Magnesia.  (*NOTE: Some brands add Sodium Hypochlorite–aka bleach–as a preservative, but I’d definitely stick to the ones which contain only Magnesium Hydroxide and water.)  Okay, you can laugh–especially when I add that I sometimes need to help along the drying with my hairdryer.  If you happen to give this a try and are less than successful at first, you might want to go through an armpit detox.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I hear it works wonders.  Are you laughing again?

After my questionable deodorizing, I swipe on a little witch hazel as my facial toner.  It’s not only all-natural and non-drying, but also cheap.  I have to admit, though, it can be slightly embarrassing to buy witch hazel (the main ingredient in hemorrhoid medications, I believe), along with Milk of Magnesia (a digestive-ailment cure) and the castor oil I use in making lip balms (another digestive-ailment cure) all in the same shopping trip.  You’ve been warned, in case you decide to shop similarly.

Time to finish where we started, with my mostly edible face. Recently, I’ve dabbled in making up my own makeup (see what I did there?)  My powder foundation is a mix of colloidal oatmeal with a hint of cocoa powder and turmeric for color.  My eyeliner is made of activated charcoal powder, mixed with a little arrowroot powder.  The color of this could be softened with a little cocoa powder, but I find it works well as is, especially when applied with a narrow brush just along the eyelashes.  This could also work as an eyeshadow, particularly if you’re going for a smoky effect, but my eyeshadows tend to be lighter, more natural shades, made from a base of eye-safe mica, mixed with some arrowroot and cocoa powders.  My blush is comprised of hibiscus powder (ground from the flowers–I purchased it this way), plus some cocoa powder to tone down the color and a little arrowroot to smooth out the mix.  My lip balm includes the previously mentioned castor oil, as well as honey, coconut oil, etc.  Like I said, my face is only mostly edible … although, it might smell good enough to eat.

Before we leave the topic of food, there are of course some other tried-and-true home remedies, such as the face-adoring combo of an oatmeal and honey mask or using yogurt and eggs to make hair shiny and happy.  Also, hasn’t flat beer been recommended as a hair treatment since the ’70s?

The moral of this story? Choose what you will for your beauty routine, but remember, you don’t have to look far for homely beauty.  At least I don’t.

*As always, use your own best judgment in figuring out what works for you.  I’m not a medical professional and this blog is offered as a reference only.  Any questions you have regarding the information presented here should be directed to your doctor.

 

Feb 17

Why I Began My Journey to the Natural Kind of Life

This path first presented itself to me when my children were very young. I’d always loved the natural world and my favorite place to be was outdoors in the fresh air. Still, I thought little about our home’s indoor environment. That all changed the first time I read a list of the toxins people were being exposed to on a daily basis, even within the confines of their homes. Short of tearing down our house and building an eco-friendly structure from the ground up, I decided to start where I could.

Looking around me, I found it made little sense to chase germs from the nooks and crannies of my home with strong, chemical-laden cleaners. I stopped buying these products and switched to making my own cleaners with human-friendly ingredients like vinegar and water, baking soda, lemon juice, or castile soap. I’m still just as pleased with these non-toxic cleansing products today as I was back then. Eventually, I discovered even more complicated cleaners like laundry and dishwasher detergents could be replaced with friendlier substitutes. These, too, joined our household.  More recently, I’ve made the jump into creating personal care and beauty products from natural ingredients and am very excited about this new step.

 

I love that nearly all of my ingredients are safe enough to eat and even the ones which aren’t are still pure and non-toxic. If you think about it, our skin is our largest organ, so it makes sense that the products to be absorbed by it shouldn’t fill us with poisons.

Though I can’t erase the presence of toxins in my family’s environment, I can certainly limit them. It isn’t always easier to choose the natural alternative, but in my opinion the effort is worthwhile, if only in terms of the peace of mind it brings. Personally, I’m still learning everything I can about how to create a simpler, more natural life. I am grateful to others for sharing what they’ve discovered and I’m more than happy to pass along what I’ve learned.