The Big Idea:
I’m going natural! Over the next 29 weeks, which run through October 1, 2012, I will be making all of my own homemade, 100% natural personal care products. Each week, I will give up one or two of the store-bought beauty products I regularly use, gradually replacing all of my synthetic items with natural, homemade ones. Hopefully, by October I’ll be one step away from brushing my teeth with a fresh sycamore limb and drying my hair with a small wind turbine.
Now I don’t want you to think this is some fly-by-night operation I’m running here – this is a serious challenge, and I have strict rules.
- After I’ve given up a product, there is no going back until October 2.
- It is possible to research and attempt multiple homemade/natural alternatives to a single product
- Products must be homemade; pre-made natural products designed for personal care uses are off limits. (Exception: The AMAZING Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, which I allow to be used as an ingredient in my recipes)
- One or two products must be given up each week (or as close to this schedule as possible), but research/new attempts may continue even after the given week is up
- Cost comparisons (homemade vs. store-bought) will be given for each product
*Note: If my health, emotional well-being or hair is too adversely affected by any given homemade/natural product, then all these rules go out the bathroom window faster than Polythene Pam.
The Basics│hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, face wash, bar soap, body wash
Skin Care│face lotion, sunscreen, chapstick, hand lotion, exfoliator, acne wash
Hair Care│shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, leave-in conditioner, mousse
Extras│nail polish, shaving cream, perfume, tooth whitener
How I got started:
Now I may drive a (soon to be “historic” and rather retro, if I do say so myself) 1992 Volvo station wagon, and I may take reusable grocery bags to the supermarket, and I have been known to last months at a time without taking a razor to my legs, but I’m no hippie. First of all, I need my deodorant, and we all know that non-deodorized pits are the first criterion for being a hippie. I don’t deal well with sweat. Second of all, I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s.
But you don’t have to be a hippie to be taken aback by some of the chemicals that are allegedly swimming around in your personal care products. My challenge started with tomato juice – I’m not kidding. I got the idea to attempt a 100% natural lifestyle after reading articles on Mercola.com about the hidden dangers of antiperspirants. I wanted to try natural deo myself, but I sweat a lot, and one thing I know about deodorant is that, for all its freshness, it does not stop sweat. I needed something more sophisticated – a natural alternative to antiperspirant, not just deodorant. Turns out tomato juice was the key. (Read about how I stopped the sweat with tomato juice!)