Over the past few years, I’ve greatly reduced the number of personal care/cosmetic products I use. This is mostly due to being cheap and lazy. I no longer wear eye makeup (I do wear concealer, foundation, blush, and lipstick/lip gloss). I don’t paint my fingernails (I do toes but only as often as absolutely necessary). I haven’t had my hair colored in a year. The only trim I’ve had is one I did myself, so I haven’t stepped foot inside a salon since last February.
I stopped wearing contacts because of the waste (my eyes do best with the contacts you wear for a day and then toss, and that’s a lot of packaging) and because I try to, as much as possible, avoid products made by companies that test on animals (I spent years trying to find contact solution that qualified and never did). I love wearing glasses and think they’re a good substitute for eye makeup, so this ended up being awesome for me.
I’ve also been becoming more of what I guess you could call a hippie in general. I’m into growing our own veggies, eating homemade food as often as possible, composting (coming soon — the bins should be operational later today), buying natural products, using cloth diapers, living simply and frugally, and all that good stuff.
So I figured, as a fresh, new hippie, now that I’ve given up the products I didn’t really need, why not take it to the next level and try making, rather than buying, some of the products I do need?
Don’t worry, I’m not delving into totally crazy territory here. I won’t be going on and on about how, for example, antiperspirant causes cancer or any of that shit. I don’t think that’s true. I do, however, think it’s probably a good idea to limit exposure to chemicals and avoid excess packaging, waste, and expense as much as possible without going totally nutty about it.
Look. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I’m no scientist or anything. But my experience in life has taught me that, in general, with stuff like this:
What’s natural = what’s cheapest = what’s most environmentally friendly = what’s healthiest.
I could be full of shit (and probably am), but that just makes sense, doesn’t it? If I can make something out of natural ingredients that are much cheaper than buying the finished product, while also reducing the amount of packaging I’m buying, that’s awesome.
So, I started with deodorant. I’ve been using antiperspirant/deodorant but honestly, I don’t think antiperspirant really works. So giving it up isn’t a big deal for me.
I used the Natural Homemade Deodorant recipe from Bonzai Aphrodite. I used 12 drops of lavender essential oil and 12 drops of tea tree essential oil, and added a tablespoon of water as recommended in a comment (to help the deodorant stay solid at high temperatures). I had a hard time getting a “thick paste” consistency, so after stirring for a while, I microwaved the mixture for 15 seconds, and that helped. I put the finished product in an old salsa jar (after soaking the lid in white vinegar for a while to get rid of the salsa smell).
I’m new to coconut oil and have no idea what I’m doing. I got this organic extra virgin coconut oil and yeah, it smells like coconut. It’s not a bad smell but it makes the deodorant smell kind of like Thai food, which is a little weird. Mmmmm curry. The good news is that after putting it on, I don’t notice the smell at all. Next time, though, I’ll try to find coconut oil that isn’t so coconutty.
Today is my first day of homemade deodorant use. It’s been fine so far. I went to the gym to lift weights and was no more sweaty than usual. So yay! And I promise I won’t talk about how sweaty I am or am not ever again!
Next up is homemade body lotion. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Update: This deodorant works just fine, but I don’t love the texture. It’s clumpy, which results in dropping deodorant crumbs on the floor while applying. I’ll keep using it, but next time I’m going to try a different recipe, probably one that involves melting and pouring, like this one or this one.