Friday, December 17, 2010

Kitchen Cosmetics: No-Poo Update, Deodorant, and Moisturizer

It's about time I post a little something about how I've been "greening up" my personal hygiene routine. While I enjoy the peace of mind that I'm not exposing myself to unnecessary chemicals, I especially like how economical these methods are.

First, a no-poo update. If you've been following along, you're well aware that I've given up shampoo and conditioner for the "no-poo" method of cleaning my hair. Read more about it here and here. I'm still going strong with that, and have even got a friend on the bandwagon with me. She shared similar frustrations with finding a shampoo/conditioner that didn't grease up and weigh down her hair but also didn't dry her scalp. If you're curious, go to the two links above as they describe how no-poo works. There are 2 things I do differently now: 1) I put a sachet of dried lavender into the bottle of vinegar which scented it and has helped soothe my itchy scalp and 2) I clean with baking soda and vinegar less often - I've got it down to once a week. Once your hair stops overproducing it's natural oil, you don't have to wash nearly as often. I still wash my bangs daily, however since they tend to get oily fast. I use soap for that (Dr. Bronner's Shikaki Soap, if you're really curious), so I guess I cheat a smidge :)

Next, deodorant. In this great less-chemicals-more-naturals lifestyle many of us are trying, deodorant/antiperspirant is one of the big bad guys. I won't go into detail about the chemicals in cosmetics, that's for website articles like this. Many of us have tried natural varieties of deodorant only to be disappointed by the fact that they don't really work. Enter: baking soda. It deodorizes trash cans, refrigerators, smelly shoes and yes, your armpits. It's quite simple, really. I put some baking soda in a small cosmetic jar (that used to hold some kind of facial cream). I put about 10 drops of lavender essential oil, screwed on the lid and shook it to mix in the oil. You can use whatever scent you like, or none at all. I tried applying the powder with a makeup brush, but that made a mess so now I get some powder on the brush, brush it onto my hand, and then apply with my hand to my underarms. Mess-free, keeps me stink-free (at least that's what J has assured me because I asked him a lot in the beginning!!), and best of all chemical-free. I've been going strong for about a month now, so I think this is a habit that is going to stick. (Not stink...hahahahaha)

Finally, moisturizer! I had such a hard time finding a facial moisturizer that worked well. I have combination skin, and I found that commercial products would either end up leaving my skin super oily or not moisturized enough. The better products I found were in the $30 range; not very economical. Then I read about using oil as a moisturizer. I was skeptical at first - oil would leave me oily, right? I bought coconut oil and jojoba oil at my local health food store and fell in love. Coconut oil is wonderful, smells delicious, and while it goes on greasy it absorbs quickly. In the summertime, I used it at night before going to bed but now I use it twice a day as the winter air is more drying. It works well for a facial and body moisturizer. Jojoba (pronounced "ho-hoba") oil is lighter and also absorbs quickly. I used it more often in the summer. Sometimes I'll put a bit on the ends of my hair if I notice they are dry. Coconut oil will become solid below 75 degrees, but have no fear, once you touch it the right amount will melt due to the heat from your finger. The jojoba oil has always stayed liquid. I've heard of people with very dry skin using olive oil as well, but I haven't tried it.

Have any of you tried these methods? What kitchen cosmetics have you found to be useful? This is a topic that really interests me, so I'm curious to know your opinions.




Megan said...

Thanks for this post Meghan! I have been frustrated at the ineffectiveness of natural deoderant, so I'm excited for another natural alternative! I appreciate your other suggestions as well - way to pave the way!

Meg said...

Thanks, Megan. Good luck!

Sonia said...

I use virgin coconut oil on my children's dry skin. It has anti-fungal properties in it as well (says my physician friend) so I have used it to combat suspect yeast (while breastfeeding). I will certainly try your deoderant trick because those chemicals get into breast milk and you sweat so much more while nursing, so you need deoderant more than ever! Thanks for the tips! Nice blog.

Meg said...

Nice! I love coconut oil. Waaaay less expensive than lotion, and works way better. Tell me how the deodorant works for you; it won't keep you from sweating but it'll keep you from stinking!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...

I'll have to try the coconut sounds great. Sometimes I see it on special in the flyers I get in the mail. I tried baking soda for shampoo for several months, but for some reason, it didn't work very well for me. One of my students gave me a $100. gift certificate for GlenIvy Spa, so I splurged and bought a year's supply of their fancy lavender shampoo and conditioner! Now my hair is soft again. I tried using baking soda for deodorant, and it worked well, but I got a rash. Rats. So, now I use Herbal Magic. Baking soda is much more cost effective, though! You are saving a lot of money this way. That stuff is so inexpensive when you buy it in bulk!!! I make my own cold cream with olive oil,vegetable oil, eggs, and lemon juice. I love it! Great blog and wonderful writing Meg!!!


Meg said...

awakened soul, I had to stop using the baking soda and go back to regular shampoo. It dried out my scalp SO badly. I still use it for deodorant though. You're right, it's way cheaper. They sell 5 lb containers of it at smart & final for like $5. Can't really beat that price, and I only have to buy it once a year for all of my deodorizing and cleaning needs!

Your cold cream sounds wonderful! What is the recipe?