To follow up on yesterday’s post about 5 “Must Have” Ingredients for the home I wanted to share 5 more “Good-to-Have” Ingredients that I also make sure to keep in stock at my house for all my DIY home and beauty projects!
5 “Good-To-Have” Ingredients for DIY Natural Home and Beauty Projects
#1 – Castile Soap – Castile soap is vegetable based soap traditionally made from olive oil, water, and lye. It gets its name from a style of soap that originated in the Castile region of Spain. True castile soap does not contain any synthetic detergents or harsh chemicals and the most respected brands also avoid artificial colorants, fragrances, or preservatives making them wonderful products for natural cleaning and sensitive skin. Because there are no animal fats used castile soap is a truly vegan product which also increases its popularity among some circles. Castile soap is a surfactant which helps lift away dirt and grime and cut through grease. It makes a wonderful laundry detergent and dish soap as well as a shampoo, shaving cream and body wash or an excellent addition to DIY recipes like my foaming hand soap. In addition, because it is eco-friendly and biodegradable, castile soap makes an excellent soap for washing your car or patio furniture! I prefer Dr. Bronner’s brand which is probably the most well-known castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s comes in Unscented Baby Mild formula as well as in several fragrances made with organic oils, including the most popular Peppermint*, Lavender, and Almond as well as lesser known (and harder to find) fragrances Eucalyptus, Hemp Rose, Tea Tree and Citrus Orange. (*Note: the Peppermint, while very popular, can be quite invigorating and some sensitive skin areas may not enjoy this fragrance as a body wash) Dr. Bronner’s is widely available now. We find it’s cheaper at our local Kroger than health food stores and some Costco locations carry it as well. For more information on Dr. Bronner’s All-One Magic Soap check out their website: https://www.drbronner.com/
#2 – Vegetable Butters – These are natural vegetable fats obtained from plants, trees, roots, or seeds that are rich in beneficial nutrients. They are solid at room temperature but melt with body heat and are popular additions to cosmetics and body products because they are excellent emollients, softeners and protecting agents. There are dozens of vegetable butters available, including Avocado, Cocoa, Green Tea, Kokum, Mango, Orange Peel, Palm, Peach, and Shea – each of which has their own beneficial properties. Two of my favorites are:
1) Cocoa Butter – an aromatic butter pressed from the toasted seeds of the cocoa tree. It’s solid when cooled but will soften at body temperature and is a great addition to soaps, lotions, and creams to add a soft, rich, creamy texture and to reduce dryness. Contains natural antioxidants and is a rich source of Vitamin E which helps soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin. I buy mine here from Mountain Rose Herbs: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/cocoa-butter/profile
2) Shea Butter – an aromatic, unrefined butter pressed from the fruit of a tree from West Africa. It is naturally high in Vitamins A and E and is a great addition to body and skin care products for its soothing and rejuvenating effects. It even offers low-level UV protection (approximately SPF – 6) and could be incorporated into DIY sunscreen recipes. It does have a stronger smell than cocoa butter, kinda “nutty” in nature. I buy mine here from Mountain Rose Herbs: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/shea-butter/profile
#3 – Beeswax – Not just for candles! Beeswax makes a wonderful addition to body products because it is a naturally hydrating ingredient that adds moisture to skin. It’s a great thickening agent that helps bind and emulsify ointments, salves, lip balms, and lotions. I prefer the Beeswax Pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs because they melt easily. Buy them here: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/beeswax-pastilles/profile
#4 – Epsom Salt – Salt crystals from combining the minerals Magnesium and Sulfate. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammation remedy that is probably best known for throwing in hot bath water to treat aching muscles. In addition to making a wonderfully relaxing bath, Epsom salt has dozens of uses for around the home. It makes a great foot soak and scrub; help remove splinters; can be added to your facial cleanser to exfoliate your skin; can provide headache relief; can soothe itching skin from bug bites or relieve minor sunburn irritation; used as a laxative; boost growth of tomato plants by adding to your garden soil; added to water for houseplants to help them grow; get rid of garden slugs; even used as a tile and grout cleaner in your bathroom! We buy ours in bulk at Costco.
#5 – Other Essential Oils
1) YL’s “Everyday Oils” collection is a great place to start. This collection includes 10 of Young Living’s best-selling oils, including: Thieves, Tea Tree, Lavender, PanAway, Peppermint, Stress Away, Lemon, Frankincense, Purification, and Joy. Send me a message to find out more about specific oils and their properties! Ready to order? Then follow this link: Shop Now!
2) Have you gone from borderline skeptic to full blown addict? Then check out the “Fab-14” essential oils and blends which make great additions to the Everyday oils collection! These include: Ylang Ylang, Idaho Balsam Fir, Cinnamon Bark, Grapefruit, Copaiba, Endoflex, Melrose, M-Grain, Motivation, Aroma Siez, Clarity, Dragon Time, Exodus, and Mister.
Keep the conversation going! What other “good-to-have” ingredients to you always keep on hand for DIY natural home and beauty projects? Comment below!