Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to Save - Personal Care Products

I’m calling this particular blog entry “How to Save,” which I’m sure led you to intinctively think “money”. However, that’s only one aspect of your life that you’ll find you’ll be able to cut back with these tips and recipes. You’re also going to be saving time, saving fuel, saving your health, and saving the planet. Obviously, making your own personal care products saves you money in one big way - you don’t have to buy the store shelf version of the item. However, when you start to think about it, you realize you’re also saving time at the store and having to go to the store less often which, in turn, saves fuel and fuel costs. Additionally, you can control what goes into your products. So, you’re not exposing yourself to parabens (http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/99-percent-of-breast-cancer-tissues-have-parabens-from-cosmetics/) and potentially hazardous chemicals (http://www.rodale.com/hormone-disrupting-chemicals?cm_mmc=TheDailyFixNL-_-868210-_-04022012-_-what_is_a_hormone_disruptor_anyway_text), thereby protecting your health. Finally, you’re not using and tossing packaging, you’re reusing what you’ve got on hand or, ideally, using a glass or stainless container that can easily be rinsed and used again.

While there are a TON of different recipes for different DIY cosmetics and other personal care items, these are a few that I’ve tried and love. The bonus is that these are things I use every day, sometimes two or three times a day, meaning that I’m really cutting back in all the areas mentioned above!

Eye Makeup Remover

As crunchy as I tend to be, I still love my heels and my makeup. I’ve been trying to wear less and less cosmetics since there are certainly chemicals and plasticizers present in my foundation and eyeliner, but to completely go cold turkey just isn’t in my future (particularly since I haven’t found the secret to reversing or freezing time and aging). I decided to, instead, ditch my Maybelline Eye Makeup Remover which I use at least four times a week. In the process, I found myself not having to use my toner, either - BONUS!

All you’ll need is water (practically free), vegetable glycerin (less than $10 per bottle and you’ll only need a smidgen per recipe), and oil (you can use coconut, almond, vitamin E, olive, avocado, baby oil...whichever you choose or happen to have on hand). I used an 8-ounce bottle I originally purchased for taking toiletries with me on vacation. It’s got a squirt spout, which is perfect for applying the remover to a cotton swab and swiping your face!

Here’s the recipe...just put all the ingredients into your chosen container, then swish around a bit and there you go!

1 ½ tablespoons vegetable glycerin
¾ tablespoon oil
approximately ⅔ cup water

Voila! All in all, the solution costs about $1 for an 8-ounce bottle of remover, whereas I was previously paying $5 for a 3-ounce bottle. It doesn’t seem like a whole lot of savings, but everything adds up!

Don’t be scared. I know everyone hates sweating and no one wants a deodorant which isn’t going to be able to stand up to heat and activity. I live in Texas where it got so hot last summer that our state was literally on fire. So, believe me when I tell you this stuff works!

The next time you run out of deodorant, don’t toss the container! Simply follow this recipe (adapted from littlehouseinthesuburbs.com), then press the mix into the container. Within minutes, you’ve got a smooth and effective perspiration-fighter!

¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch
10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I used tea tree but I think next time I’ll try rosemary - love the smell)
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl until well-combined, then stir in the coconut oil, adding more a little bit at a time until you reach the right consistency for you. Remember that coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but starts to melt above 72 or so...be sure to store this somewhere that stays relatively cool. Also, word to the wise: this must be applied by hand. I’m okay with that, especially since a little bit goes a long way. I made this recipe about two months ago and I’m still only halfway through mine.


Have you ever taken a minute to think about all the stuff you put in your mouth throughout the day? I’m sure you take steps to clean up your diet, so the food you eat is (hopefully) organic and chemical-free. But what about your oral care products? I didn’t really give it much thought until I realized that the ingredients label on my mouthwash is not required by law to be all-inclusive. And what the manufacturers choose to list there is enough to give me great pause. So, the last time I ran out, I decided to try my hand at DIY whitening mouthwash. I remember my mom using hydrogen peroxide as a teeth whitener when I was a kid; it was time I tried something myself.

I chose to use an empty mouthwash container, but as soon as I buy more small mason jars, I will switch to using one of those. I don’t expose the plastic container to heat (I simply rinse out with lukewarm water when I’m out), so I’m not terribly afraid of the consequences, but I’d still like to un-plastic my life as much as possible.

It’s a simple recipe, really. And one you can easily adapt to your own tastes. I use a mixture of ¼ hydrogen peroxide to ¾ water (filtered is best), then I add drops of peppermint extract until it tastes perfectly minty and fresh. I use this twice a day and I’ve noticed that my teeth look great and my mouth feels delightfully clean!

1 comment: