Friday, 15 March 2013

Going green - Homemade personal hygiene products

In an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals we are exposed to daily, I have been busy making simple, natural products for all of our hygiene needs. I'm only getting started, and still have a few more products to switch to natural alternatives, but here is what I've been trying out so far;
  • Deodorant
  • Shower gel
  • Hand wash
  • Facial cleanser & makeup remover
  • Moisturiser (face and body)
All of the "recipes" I have used are a combination of ideas from a variety of different blogs and sources on the Internet. But I'm very happy with each product so far, there are some things (like shampoo, toothpaste and a few more) that I have either tried and not succeeded on the first go (shampoo!) or just haven't gotten around to making yet, but ill let you know when I do!

I LOVE the natural deodorant I made, it's incredibly easy to make and just as, if not more effective than the deodorant I did use. It's made by mashing coconut oil, baking soda, and cornflour together, then I add in some essential oil (I used lemon and some lavender), how easy is that?! The smell is delicious, and it's extremely effective too. I still feel fresh at the end of the day, and only need to use a very small amount every day. I feel much better knowing that there are no nasty chemicals sinking in to such a sensitive area every day too. This was one of the products I was sceptical about working, but I think it's actually my favourite out of everything that I have tried! I can't see myself ever switching back to my old brand!

For shower gel and hand wash I have just mixed 50:50 water and Castile soap, with some essential oils added to give a nice scent and to add anti bacterial properties (great for the hand wash) . I love the scent of lemon - which is antibacterial - tea tree oil would be very effective too. I ordered some lovely aluminium bottles with pumps from Bomar Aromatherapy, and I'm also using some old plastic hand wash pump bottles. These are fine, but I plan on "upgrading" to glass bottles/jars (to store all of my products) as soon as I can, to eliminate any contact with BPA (bisphenol A) or any other "nasties" that can seep from plastic into your products. Since changing hand wash, my hands are hardly dry at all, before now they were extremely dry, chapped and sore (I have suffered this for years now).

To remove makeup (mostly mascara, I actually haven't been using much more than that lately) I have started using coconut oil and I can't believe how well it works! It works as well as conventional eye make up remover, with out the stingy after feeling that it leaves! I just put a TINY bit on a piece of damp muslin (I cut up some old muslin squares into small squares), give it a squeeze to distribute the oil (coconut oil is solid at room temp) and remove my eye makeup as normal, then throw the muslin into the wash. I then use a mixture of almond oil, witch hazel and water (i put it in a spray bottle) on a bamboo face cloth to cleanse the rest of my face, then rinse. My face is left feeling fresh and clean, and I haven't needed to use a moisturiser since beginning this regime (if I did need an extra moisturising boost I would use some coconut oil) and my skin is much clearer and brighter looking than before.

I like to keep it simple when it comes to facial cleansing, and this seems to be working out great for my skin, but I will probably do some more experimenting in this area soon (it's not that I'm unhappy with the results - I'm very happy with them! - but I'm not sure if I could get even better results using something else.), so I mightn't stick with the witch hazel/almond oil combo,but I will definitly keep using the coconut oil for removing makeup. I also tried a very mild castile solution (about 1 part castile soap to 10 parts water) for this purpose, but it was quite messy and required a lot of rubbing,which obviously isn't great around the delicate eye area, so I wouldn't personally recommend this method.

To use as a body moisturiser I am planning on making some lotion bars (there are TONNES of different recipes for them on Pinterest) but despite having all of the ingredients I haven't got around to actually putting them together yet! So for now coconut oil is working out great. I simply break off a lump after showering and apply every where while my skin is still wet, then dry as usual! My skin used to feel itchy in spots, and tight after showering,but since swapping baby oil for coconut oil (and shower gel for the Castile soap) I haven't experienced this at all.

I also experimented with Castile soap as a base for "shampoo", followed by a vinegar rinse, which I have read of some people having great results with BUT this just did not work for my hair! It's the one disappointment I've had so far, which in itself is pretty good going, but I'm determined to find a natural alternative to shampoo that provides great results, minus the harsh chemical detergents. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve, so will be experimenting more soon, but for now I have been "cheating" with my old shampoo! I will be rectifying this soon, and as soon as I find something that works for me, I will describe what it is as well as anything else that didn't work for me. I think the Castile soap would be suited to somebody with pretty short hair that is less prone to getting greasy than mine. My hair is also very long, and reasonably thick, so I think that the weak Castile soap solution just wasn't able to get through my hair, and cut the grease.

I think that's about all of the changes I've made for now, as I said there are still more things I need to try and come up with practical affordable alternatives to, but as soon as I do I will let you all now how it goes! I am more than happy with everything I have changed already, and everything is just as convenient and hassle free as any products that I used to buy, so I'm giving all of my natural beauty products a MASSIVE thumbs up for now!

If anyone would like any (limited!) advice about anything I've mentioned above please don't hesitate to ask and I will try my best to help you!

What natural products have you tried, or which are your favourite? Have you had any natural product disasters?! Leave a comment below!

Sarah xo


  1. Great Post! I have been doing the baking soda deodorant for years - I saw it on the afternoon show on tele and its so easy, you just get a big makeup brush and dust your armpits. I use the crystal rock deodorant first and then brush the bicarb soda on second. It works much better than normal deodorants. I am on my second week of washing my hair with bicarb of soda and cyder vinegar, so far so good, I regret all those years of sodium laureth sulfate. Wish I had started when I was pregnant.

  2. Thanks you saffron! How is the bicarbonate/vinegar working out? That is the next thing I was planning to try out! I have found the shampoo the hardest thing to get right so far... Early days though, I'm really only a beginner at this stuff!