The January garden

I can’t believe it but 2014 is already 1/12th over! šŸ˜® Where did January go I ask you? Likely up in steam given the hot weather from the other week and again heat is forecast here to usher in February. Continue reading

I’ll make it myself

I resent having to buy personal care products. For several reasons.

This picture was doing the rounds on Facebook last week and this sums up many of my reasons…

Kind of revolting to think that, by trying to feel good about ourselves with a pamper session or by putting on some pretty or smelling nice we are increasing our chances of ill in future years. Feel good now and pay the price later. Well, I don’t like this. I also don’t like having to fork out money for this stuff either. And in many cases I have been able to make my own safe, cheap and effective homemade products to replace many of these.

Shampoo: This was one of the first products I changed. There are many companies out there that make natural and organic shampoos and conditioners free from all the garbage packed in by your supermarket brands. I switched over to using Babyscent Ā products just over 4 years ago. I found my hair lighter, easier to manage and needing a lot less washing. In the end I was washing my hair every 2 weeks and it wasn’t even particularly oily even then! I decided about 2 years ago to take it to the next level though and go “poo free”. I have not used shampoo or conditioner on my hair since then. If it gets particularly grotty (maybe every 3 or 4 months, I make a paste of bicarb soda and water and scrub it into my scalp. After a thorough rinsing I use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water to condition it. It’s great. But mostly, hair is self regulating and self cleaning. Hair gets oily in order to clean it and keep it healthy. By stripping the natural oils the scalp ups the oil production, hence starting the cycle to needing to shampoo all the time. When I went poo free I was pregnant and I think it took longer for my scalp to settle but it took a few months and then the greasiness just disappeared. My hair is as healthy as it has ever been.

Eyeshadow: This is for me, one of the simple ones. I just don’t use it. lol However, there are truly natural make up companies out there. I have used some of the Adorn Mineral CosmeticsĀ which are all natural, organic and toxic free. I haven’t tried their eye-shadow however, but if it’s anything like their lipstick it will be amazing.

Lipstick: As above. I have used the Adorn Mineral Cosmetics lipsticks and they are beautiful and creamy.

Nail Varnish: I’m not a real varnish user but I came across a page a few weeks back with some information on nail polishes. ItĀ is worth a check out.

Fake Tan: As much as lying in the sun for hours to achieve a healthy glow is not a safe alternative with the incidence of skin cancer being so high, neither is pouring toxic chemicals all over your body a wise move. Personally, I would rather spend some time in the sun working, being sensible with using sun protection than fake tan. If I get some colour then that is a bonus. Having a husband who prefers pale skin to a sun tan is a big bonus though too. Being sun smart is very important though. Slip, slop slap (see my comments on sunscreen though), and staying out of the sun when UV rays are at their worst is paramount. However, I have heard mentioned that our fear of UV rays is leading to a deficiency in Vitamin D. On a sunny winters day like today, hang out the washing with your sleeves pushed up and sans hat. You may or may not get some colour but you will get the glow of health from breathing in fresh air, absorbing some Vitamin D (the skin can’t absorb it if you have sunscreen on and it won’t pass through glass either) and just generally being outside. That’s enough for me.

Hairspray: This one stumped me for a while until a friend one day pinned a recipe for homemade hairspray on Pinterest which I immediately repinned. I never followed it up until after attending a class on vintage beauty tips where the same recipe was shared as a substitute for pin curl setting spray. During the war women made their own. Essentially it is just sugar water. Take 1/2 cup of water, just boiled, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (I found this at the chemists) and you can add oils of your choice for scent if you need. Stir sugar in the water untilĀ dissolvedĀ then add the alcohol. That’s it! The only thing I have had trouble with is I’ve been using too much. This stuff is so effective it will stun you! Not to mention cheap as chips, not needing propellants to spray (use a very fine mist spray bottle) and you can scent it as you like too. Win!

Deodorant: Another homemade job, again a Pinterest find and this deodorant works perfectly.

Blush: Pinch pinch the cheeks for some colour, then flick the hair back! It’s what they used to do before cosmetics. As someone who rarely uses make up… Well, again, worth checking out Adorn Mineral Cosmetics

Foundation: And again, Adorn can help you here. :o)

Perfume: Most perfumes these days are made with synthetic ingredients. There are still some that are made with natural oils or you can make your own too. I’ve pinned several pages on Pinterest for cream perfumes and for liquid ones. I’ve made a few and I mist them on when I need a treat. HereĀ and here are some recipes.

Body Lotion: Well, including facial moisturiser too, I have the perfect substitute here. Coconut oil. A little goes a long way and it smells divine! My skin is soft and supple, it’s great to use on your tummy during pregnancy, all over the body and n the face too. It takes a little time to absorb completely but it makes a great make up base too. If you still like the idea of lotions, Pinterest and the net are full of recipes. Some I’ve pinned but I have only tried. The recipes are here, here, hereĀ , hereĀ and this oneĀ which I have tried and it is DIVINE!

Other products to consider carefully before you use them are sunscreen, medicinal creams and for babies and young children, nappy creams. We use a home-made sunscreen here too. It is a Thermomix recipe but you could easily make it without a Thermy using a double boiler.Ā It also states to stop before adding the zinc if you want a great nappy cream, but since many nappy creams contain zinc, you can also use it with the zinc. Your call. šŸ™‚

As for salves for stings, bites and grazes etc, I have use the BabyscentĀ multi-purpose cream but at the moment I am addicted to The Eco Mum’s Essential Salve. We use it for chapped lips, bites, stings, scratches, grazes and sore bums too.

I love making my own products. It feels so good to know that I am in control of what I put on my skin. And it’s saved me money and cupboard space too.