When it comes to the wide world of beauty products, you may find two aspects rather disturbing: the fact that most of the lotions, potions, and cosmetics you use are filled with chemicals, as well as the often outrageous prices manufacturers charge to poison you with these toxic wares. If you’re looking for ways to save the environment (and your own health) even as you save a little cash, there’s no reason to purchase beauty products that are laden with harmful chemicals. It turns out that looking beautiful can start at home. With just a few simple, inexpensive, natural materials you can make all the toiletries and cosmetics you might otherwise spend an arm and a leg for. Here are just a few of the products you can make on your own.
1. Shampoo and conditioner. These are actually some of the easiest natural, at-home products to concoct. For example, you can easily make shampoo with boiling water (3 cups), soap flakes (1/2 cup), and glycerin (3 tablespoons). In a pinch you could just add about ¾ cup of Ivory soap shavings to the boiling water since it already contains glycerin and is largely chemical-free (although it does contain some fragrance, according to the label). From there you can add ingredients like rose water or a few drops of essential oils for scent. As for conditioner, all you need to do is massage oil into your scalp (olive, coconut, or safflower, for instance), comb it through your hair, and leave it wrapped in a towel for an hour or so before washing it out.
2. Deodorant. You might be surprised to learn that all the ingredients for natural deodorant can be found in the average kitchen. By mixing equal parts baking soda and cornstarch (try ¼ cup of each) and then adding ¼ to ½ cup of coconut oil (for desired consistency), a tablespoon at a time, you can create a basic bar of deodorant that can be placed in a dispenser or jar and applied with your hands.
3. Lotion. Many people opt to simply rub on olive or coconut oil immediately after a shower for maximum moisture absorption (and adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil will give your skin a lovely scent, as well). But if you’re looking for something a little less oily, think about ordering some natural shea butter online and adding a bit of oil to it until it’s the consistency you prefer. It will make for a rich and creamy lotion that is free of the chemicals normally found in such products.
4. Lip/cheek tint. You may have noticed that certain food items tend to stain your lips naturally when you eat them (berries for example) and you can use this to your advantage when creating a tint. Beets are one good option because of their rosy hue, so chop up a couple, microwave them for 30-60 seconds to draw out the juice, then discard the beets and mix the juice with a couple drops of olive oil and some powdered sugar or cornstarch (the former will be rather tasty). Simply add the powder a bit at a time until your desired consistency is reached (although a product that is too thick may be hard to apply, especially to cheeks).
5. Fruity facial masks. While some women like anti-aging products filled with retinols (or a lunchtime trip to the dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Botox or a thread lift), you can endeavor to keep your skin looking smooth, firm, and wrinkle-free with a facial mask that includes specific fruits. The acid found in strawberries and citrus fruits will help to slough off dead skin cells and dry up excess oil, the antioxidants in blueberries will combat free radicals produced by sun exposure, and the oil in avocados will help to hydrate your skin without clogging pores. When mixed with oatmeal and honey, these items could also aid in exfoliation and kill bacteria that play a role in the formation of acne.