Personal care products
You may know that most commercially available personal care products such as deodorant, lotions, shampoos, and even toothpaste are packed full of hundreds of chemicals. While most of these are "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA in small doses, what we don't really know for sure is what the impact of these chemicals may be on our health over time, with repeated use, and in combination with each other.

That's why, several years ago, after reading a truly eye-opening book, I started switching all of my personal care products to all-natural and organic versions. (You can find some of my favorites in our Recommended Products section.)

I am very happy to see so many of these types of products gaining market share, as it shows that people really are starting to wake up to what they're putting in their bodies, and making a choice to take back control of their health. As more people purchase these products, and more companies make them, the price has already started to come down, and many of these products are just as affordable as their chemical-laden counterparts - at least for the higher end stuff.

However, some of the better all-natural products still remain somewhat expensive, or at least they're perceived that way. That's why it's great that you can make many of your own products at home, yourself, for a very minimal cost. Plus, when you make it yourself, you know exactly what's in it!

This week, just to mix things up a little, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of all-natural recipes for common personal care items that you can actually make at home, using simple, inexpensive ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils. They're very affordable, easy to make, effective, and safe.

Let's start with toothpaste...

If you think making your own toothpaste sounds difficult, or weird, it's not! In fact, many people made their own toothpaste out of baking soda and water or other similar ingredients for many years before it became widely commercially available.

This recipe tastes a lot better than that, though! It contains extra virgin coconut oil for whitening and gum health, baking soda for cleansing, essential oil for flavoring, and xylitol for sweetness. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is gaining popularity as a natural sugar substitute, as it does not impact your blood sugar the way regular sugar does. But the hidden "superpower" of xylitol is that it's actually GOOD for your teeth! That's right. Xylitol actually fights plaque bacteria and neutralizes bad breath. It's disappointing that it isn't available in very many commercial toothpastes yet, though it is starting to catch on with a few companies. Until then, just make your own!
Homemade Coconut Oil Toothpaste

Mash together:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (room temperature - slightly soft but not melted works best)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coral calcium
  • 1 teaspoon of xylitol
  • 20-25 drops of spearmint oil
Adjust to your preference: add more coconut oil for a creamier texture, and adjust flavor and sweetness to taste. You can also try other oils for different flavors. Try anise seed oil for a licorice flavor, or peppermint if you prefer that to spearmint, etc.

Bugs bugging you this fall? Try this easy, all-natural bug repellent balm instead of those chemically insect sprays that always leave you feeling greasy and sticky. It's super simple to make, and probably a lot healthier for you too!

Coconut Oil Insect Repellent Balm

Melt together:
  • 1 part pure beeswax
  • 1 part extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 part pure cocoa butter or pure shea butter
Remove from heat and stir in 25-30 drops of your choice of insect repellent essential oils such as lemongrass, geranium, and citronella. Pour into molds or tins and cool. When completely cooled, just pop out the bars and rub them on your skin before going outside, then store in a tin or jar with an airtight lid - will keep for months. (Keep in mind that these may melt in very warm temperatures, but it will not affect their performance.)

Lastly, just in time for winter, here is a great recipe to keep your skin soft and supple throughout the cold and dry months ahead! These lotion bars work great for moisturizing, they don't have any harmful junk in them, and you can tailor them to your preferences using your favorite scents. Keep in mind they may soften in hot weather, and they can be a little greasy, so use them in moderation - a little goes a long way.

Easy Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
  • Melt equal parts pure beeswax and coconut oil.
  • Add your choice of essential oils for scent.
  • Pour into tins, molds, or muffin cups and cool. 
  • Pop them out and rub them on your skin whenever it needs some extra love!
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
You can mix and match your own scents to suit your taste. Try combinations like lavender and vanilla for a calming rub before bed, or rub on some ginger or sandalwood for a warming scent on a cold morning. Check out this link for more info on different essential oils and what they are good for, as well as some scent combinations to try.

Enjoy these non-food uses for coconut oil - it's a safe, affordable way to take better care of your body - naturally!


P.S. Thanks to Swanson and Homemade Mommy for the ideas!



10/01/2015 11:38am

Sounds like some interesting recipes - will definitely have to give these a shot! The coconut lotion sounds luxurious.


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