I like to consider myself a crafty person. However, more often than not, my good intentions and imagination get the better of me and instead of producing a home-made creation worthy of the cover of Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine, my project should be featured on Regretsy, my favorite site for DIY gone wrong.
As I started to research all the toxins in our cosmetics and personal products I also started pricing the “organic” and “all-natural” replacements, which, as I stated in my post, “Toxins in Cosmetics“, are most likely no better than the cheaper products. I don’t have the income to pay $10 for an ounce of lotion from a specialty store, but even if I did have that kind of income, I’m cheap. In the last year, I have researched various home-made recipes for beauty and personal products made with ingredients you very likely have in your kitchen right now. Most of the original recipes included essential oils and other froo-frooifying ingredients. If you are one of those people whose DIY looks closer to Martha Stewart than my regretsy projects, I’ll include some links to more complicated recipes. But if you consider yourself lazy or directionally impaired, please follow these very simple instructions for my extremely easy DIY Kitchen Cosmetics.
Kitchen Cosmetics #1 – Lotion
Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. The epidermis literally drinks the lotion you put on your skin. I live in San Diego where it’s dry. No matter how much water I drink in a day my skin is always dry. The average cost for an 8-10 oz. container of non-toxic lotion in a store or online is going to cost $10-15 or more. If you don’t cook with coconut oil, you should try it. Other than being the world’s healthiest cooking oil, coconut oil can also be used as lotion on your whole body – including your face! Worried that smearing oil on your face will make you break out like a teenager? Don’t be. Coconut oil is actually an anti-microbial and anti-fungal so it won’t clog pores or cause acne. In fact, it’s probably a better acne treatment than the chemically enhanced pimple creams sold at stores (I don’t have acne so I can’t confirm or deny this claim). Coconut oil has a melting point of about 75 F so it’s most likely solid at room temperature. Simply scoop some out of the jar with your fingers or a spoon and rub it in between your palms or directly against your skin. Your body temperature will melt it. Use it sparingly, as it is oil, and rub over your whole body. If you get too much, simply wipe it off with a towel; if you get it on your clothes, it will wash out.
Kitchen Cosmetics # 2 – Deodorant
If you are still using deodorant with the active ingredient aluminum, please reconsider this daily habit as the ingredients have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. To make homemade deodorant you need coconut oil, baking soda and a container with a lid (preferably a glass jar or BPA-free plastic container). Take 1 C of solid coconut oil and put it in the jar, close the lid and run hot water over the container to melt the oil. Once melted add 1 cup of baking soda. Shake. I like to shake it as it cools so the baking soda doesn’t settle to the bottom. Once it has cooled, you can use your fingers or a spoon to scoop it out and apply to your underarms. I don’t have AC, so in the summer it melts and I apply the liquid the same way. Also, on warmer days I apply a second layer in the afternoon. The coconut oil is an antimicrobial and antibacterial so it fights the odor causing bacteria naturally. The baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer so it is a secondary guard. Only apply coconut oil the day you shave as the baking soda can irritate the skin.
Note: I know people allergic to coconut oil, so if you have never used it alone or in lotions I suggest applying to an inconspicuous area of your body first. If you are allergic to coconut oil, I’ve been told (but haven’t tried personally) that using lemon juice and baking soda works as well.
Kitchen Cosmetics # 3 – Toner
I add raw apple cider or coconut vinegar to my protein shake in the mornings to balance the pH level of my stomach. Guess what, it can also balance the pH level of your skin. I use it daily as a toner and acne treatment on my face. As I stated, I have dry skin so I dilute it with filtered water, dab it on a cotton ball and apply to my skin. You can use a stronger or more diluted amount depending on your skin type.
Kitchen Cosmetics #4 – Sugar Scrub
Previously, I wrote about the toxic and addictive properties of sugar. If you are looking for a way to get it out of your kitchen, here you go. Sugar scrubs can be expensive in the store, but made easily at home. Simply take a spoonful, or more, of sugar and mix with either melted coconut oil or just plain water and scrub away. You can also use grape seed or other oils as well.
Kitchen Cosmetics #5 – Deep Conditioning Treatment
This might be my favorite beauty secret of all times. I have long hair, or as my hairdresser would say, ‘mermaid hair.’ I love it, but it can be hard to keep healthy. The further your hair is from your scalp, the less natural oils it gets; only wash the roots using a tiny bit of shampoo. Additionally, once or twice a week you can do an overnight deep hair conditioning treatment using coconut oil. Simply rub coconut oil on the ends of your hair and let it soak in overnight (or at least an hour during the day). The next day wash it out (you will have to wash the ends for this). Again, a little goes a long way so only apply to the ends. I use a clarifying shampoo to wash it all out and still get the benefits.
Kitchen Cosmetics #6 – Teeth Whitener
Professional whitening treatments can be costly and questionably safe. Whitening toothpastes and at home treatments seem just as dangerous. All natural toothpastes don’t have the whitening kick needed to get rid of coffee and tea stains. Need a kitchen cosmetic secret? – baking soda. Either add it to your toothpaste or use it alone. It’s a completely safe and effective teeth whitener.
These are all tried and tested alternatives that I promise work. With exception of the deep hair treatment and sugar scrub, I use these tricks daily. If you are interested in trying more advanced recipes here are some links. Please share your own kitchen cosmetic treatments in the comments section!
When I was younger my mom had us brush our teeth with baking soda.. In Michael Pollen’s book, In Defense of Food, he said we shouldn’t be eating stuff that our grandparents wouldn’t be able to recognize as food. Maybe the same advice should go for our health products, too.
Great article. Read a study some years ago that demonstrated coconut oil was a more potent dermal antibacterial than many antibacterials on the market. We used it for my daughter’s eczema when she was young and it worked wonders.