Want to Know What's in Bath and Body Products? Make Them Yourself

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Toiletries and beauty products often contain potentially dangerous chemicals like parabens and sulfates, in addition to artificial colors and fragrances – for the most sensitive people, even natural perfume in shampoos, conditioners, grooming products and makeup may irritate the skin, eyes or respiratory system. There are several brands that rate a 1 on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, meaning they have the least amount of potentially hazardous ingredients of any products on the market. You can use these product lines – or you can use a little ingenuity and make your own from common household ingredients. That way, you can be absolutely sure of exactly what substances you’re putting onto your skin or hair.

If you have dandruff, using coconut oil on your hair before shampooing can help moisturize your scalp. You can then wash the oil out so that your hair isn’t greasy, but your scalp will stay flake-free. Coconut oil is also great for an after-shampoo conditioner, especially if it’s the solid kind that melts with the heat of your hands.

Another alternative to conditioner is apple cider vinegar. The aroma will fade quickly, so you won’t smell like salad dressing. It’ll leave your hair shiny. Joette Calabrese at the Homeopathy Works blog suggests mixing homeopathic remedies with the vinegar for extra conditioning – she addes four pills each of Silica 6x, Nat mur 6x and Kali sulph 6x.

As a substitute for hairspray, use vodka in a spray bottle. Most styling sprays contain alcohol. Again, the smell won’t last, but the alcohol will help set your style, especially if you’re curling your hair.

Those who like fragrance can mix beeswax, lavender oil and lavender water to make a great natural moisturizer. Heat the wax until it’s melted, then whisk in the oil and water until it achieves a creamy consistency. This moisture cream will last about three months. You can find a more detailed recipe at MookyChick.

You can make your own body wax by mixing sugar, lemon juice and water. Heat the mixture in a saucepan till it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit: don’t let it boil. Let it cool until it’s hot without being scalding. Then apply the hot wax with a popsicle stick, put strips of old bedsheets over the top, and pull the strips off quickly in the same direction your body hair grows.

Your homemade beauty products won’t have as long a shelf life as store-bought products do, so make them in small batches to ensure you use them up before they go bad. You’ll save money if you go DIY instead of buying commercially manufactured products. You’ll also limit your exposure to chemicals that, in the best case scenario, may provoke allergic reactions – and in the worst-case scenario, could even cause cancer.

Originally published at GrannyMed