As my other blog posts tell the story, I am working on more sustainable living practices and paying closer attention to what I buy. Part of this adventure has included making some of my own natural products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and cleaning solutions. Well, I’ve tried some of it, and here are the results.
First I will report the results of the armpit detox I tried. I’ve been doing it pretty routinely over the last few weeks and have definitely noticed my sweat smelling ‘cleaner’. I don’t know how else to put it. I don’t even really know how to describe what it smelled like before, (I attempted to here), but now it is better so I am going to say it worked. My armpits are like new again! Haha.
As for the homemade, all-natural deodorant, I will share the process because I did do it after all, and it will give you an idea of the work involved should you also try to make your own.
For the beeswax I just bought a pure beeswax candle and grated it up rather than spending an arm and a leg on a big block of it. (I put the wick aside should I need it for a DIY candle sometime).
The little container of this Shea butter was already infused with rosemary and lemon grass essential oils. Here was a red flag. I did buy a block of the pure stuff as well, but decided to try this little container of on sale stuff in my first batch, because, hey, the more essential oils maybe the more effective, right? Uh, no. More on that later.
I melted 3tbsp beeswax, 2tbsp Shea butter, and 1/3 of coconut oil and mixed them together.
I then removed from heat and whisked in 1/3 cp arrowroot powder and 2 tbsp of baking soda.
Then I added about 5 drops of tea tree and 5 drops of lavender oils.
I used a funnel to pour it into my old deodorant container. I did this wrong. I maybe should have properly positioned the thing that pushes it up. I thought I had, but maybe not. I found somewhere that you can also reuse glue stick containers for this, which I think is an interesting idea.
And here is where I possibly save you some time. It didn’t work for me.
First, it stung a little, which I imagine had something to do with my overdosing the concoction with essential oils. And yes, my skin was a wee bit red and irritated. I applied it a few times and it did not mask the smell of my sweat. I do not want to block my body from sweating naturally, but I also do not want that kind of odour coming through after it’s been on a few hours. I am just not comfortable with the stinking. I guess I am not comfortably in touch enough with my inner hippie.
The experimentation could continue. I could try again, this time using the regular Shea so as not to overdo the essential oils. Or give it a longer trial since my body wasn’t given the most opportunity to adjust to the new stuff.
Here is what I have done instead. I bought this today in the natural beauty products section at Zehrs.
Aluminum free, vegan, non-gmo, not tested on animals, certified ECOCERT, and made in Canada. Citrus. Cost $5.49. Will it work? Well my pits are all newly detoxed and ready for something new and still natural, (that I did not make from scratch myself), so we will see!
As for the other stuff? I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out as a topical bug repellent in the summer. Don’t want it going to waste.
I also vowed to try a new brand of shampoo because previously I was using TREsemme, a product made by Unilever, one of the companies I have decided to boycott entirely. So the new stuff I am trying out here is 98% natural and made in Canada. It was on sale for $6.99. As for conditioner? Still using up the other stuff, but I imagine it will be replaced with a brand such as this.
The toothpaste I made I am happy to say, is fantastic. I am very glad I stumbled upon the recipe for it. The defining moment was after I had been smoking at a social gathering. I don’t smoke, but I had a few drinks in me on this occasion, so I did. The homemade toothpaste completely eradicated that foul taste out of my mouth whereas the other kinds only masked it. I have also noticed they just feel cleaner, and yes, are shades whiter too.
As for the chocolate flavoured batch I made for my daughter, she still sort of shunned it. She would dab the slightest trace on her brush, probably because I guilted her over how expensive the ingredients in it were. However, today I broke down and decided to try this.
No fluoride, SLS (sodium-laryl sulphate), triclosan or artificial colours or flavours. Ethically sourced, cruelty-free, Berry Smart flavour. Cost $5.79. This is a child who detests the taste of minty freshness, so we will see how we do with this as staying on top of dental hygiene is a good idea.
I love love love my homemade cleaning products and hope to continue to make and use them forever. I bought this wonderful concoction of essential oils called Thieves, which I add to everything because the story is that it was used by thieves, (hence name), back in the day to protect themselves from the plague while they were robbing the dying and dead. So I feel comfortable that my environment is being properly sanitized without the chemicals.
I have yet to make my own laundry detergent, but the ingredients are all here on standby.
In Conclusion, Here’s The Thing
There will be trial and error, but my ultimate goal in all of this is to live as sustainably as I can, and know that I am doing my best in my every day living practices to contribute the least possible to the damage being done to our planet and the life upon it. The truth is that I do not have the biggest budget, and some of these earth friendlier brands are more costly than the ones I am trying to avoid. Here’s the thing: WE CAN MAKE THESE PRODUCTS MORE AFFORDABLE IF MORE OF US BUY THEM. Another thing is most of us in our society simply do not have the time to be making our own stuff. It is far easier to blindly dive at what is on sale on the the shelf at the store. This is what ‘big business’ is counting on. We would prefer to spend our spare time doing things like spending it with our loved ones, I know. I am playing around now while off work. This spell of freedom is almost over for me. But I will not give up on my goals to fight the good fight and put thought into what I buy when I go to the store. I want to support the green businesses, the people who care more about the state of our environment than their greed for money. As long as my conscience knows I am doing my best and still working it out, I’m good. We do exercise a lot of power through what we choose to buy.
Thoughts? Please share!