Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)!

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may remember my previous post on my Quest for the Holy Grail of DIY Deodorants.  Turns out, what I thought was the holy grail failed to live up to my expectations in the long-run.  It was great in the beginning but then the unthinkable happened, I was approached at work and informed that there had been a complaint about my body odor.  Seriously, the most embarassing thing to have ever happened to me in my adult life.  Try as I might, I still to this day cannot figure out who would have been close enough to actually smell me.  But I digress.  Either way, a change had to be made so I headed to some of my crunchy granola online groups to see if anyone had any suggestions.

In one of my previous deo posts I shared about my failed attempt at using Milk of Magnesia as a deodorant alternative.  You may be wondering how on Earth MoM would work to decrease body stank.  The active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture thereby preventing odor from this buildup.  When I turned to my support group for answers, several of the women pointed out that they had also had failed attempts until they learned the magic trick.  See, MoM works best when it has dehydrated a bit.  Someone, somewhere along the way discovered that the thicker, creamier paste that started to crust around the top of their MoM container was more effective than the liquid itself.  Who knew?  The trick they suggested was actually pouring it out onto a baking sheet and letting it dehydrate for 24 hours or so to let it thicken up. (More information about this trick from Buddhaful Brit) So, I thought “What the hell? I’ll give it a shot!” But I was a bit skeptical that MoM by itself would be effective enough.  I wanted to make sure it had some drying power and that it smelled good too.  So I set to researching options.

Since I have a sensitivity to baking soda I considered adding Arrowroot powder.  This would be effective I’m sure but I’d heard a lot of people say that they had good luck with corn starch.  I had a container of J&J Natural baby powder that is basically just corn starch with some Vitamin E and Aloe added.  I don’t use baby powder on my child so it was never going to get used and I thought it might make a suitable alternative and that the added Vitamin E and Aloe might help soothe the skin as well.

But I wasn’t done yet.  Y’all know me, I had to throw in some essential oils! I had good luck using Rosemary neat so figured I’d add it to my recipe and I had been learning about the deodorizing benefits of Geranium and Cypress essential oils in my aromatherapy class so I set to researching different oils and selected 5 to add to my recipe.  These are the ones I chose:

Geranium – Geranium not only has a pleasing fragrance, it also has properties that help combat odor-causing bacteria on the body.  Geranium essential oil is wonderful to add to your collection for a number of skin conditions as it helps cleanse oily skin and soothes dry, cracked or irritated skin.

Rosemary – Another great oil that provides a refreshing and cooling sensation to your deodorant blend while helping to protect against odor causing bacteria.

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps provide a nice, earthy balance to this blend while also preventing body odor.

Lavender – Like Geranium, Lavender has a lovely fragrance and many deodorizing, skin-soothing, and healing properties that make it a wonderful oil to add to your homemade deodorant and skin care recipes.

Cypress – Cypress helps reduce excessive sweating and prevents body odor.  It has a somewhat woody fragrance that pairs well with Geranium and is suitable for men or women.

 

Other oils I researched that you may want to add to your homemade deodorants:

Lemon – Often added to homemade deodorants and body washes, along with other citrus oils (like Bergamot), due to its refreshing aroma.  It’s cleansing properties help prevent odor causing bacteria growth.  Citrus oils pair well with Geranium. *Note: Many citrus oils can cause photosensitivity so be mindful if you are sunbathing as you don’t want to burn your pits. Grapefruit is a wonderful alternative as it does not cause photosensitivity but still contains many of the same properties as Lemon and Bergamot essential oil.

Tea Tree – A beneficial oil to keep in your oily first aid kit as well because of its ability to help cleanse wounds, promote healing, and prevent the harboring of bacteria which can cause odor and infection.

Lemongrass – Another oil well renowned for its ability to help prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.  This oil has a strong but refreshing fragrance that provides a nice complement to many of the other oils listed or can be used on its own.   Note: Lemongrass is a “hot” oil so make sure not to use this oil “neat” on the skin. 

Patchouli – An acquired fragrance but Patchouli is a strong smelling oil that has long been famed for its ability to help reduce and masque the scent of unpleasant body odor.

**Feel free to research other oils that have antibacterial, antifungal or astringent properties as any of these would make great additions to your homemade deodorant blends!  I really like the Essential Oils Pocket and Desk Reference Guides by Life Science Publishing as well as Dr. Scott Johnson’s Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy for references and resources when researching essential oils and their properties.

I’m pleased to report that my experiment was a TREMENDOUS Success!  I have been using it for awhile, long enough to completely run out of my first batch and I also shared a sample with a very athletic friend of mine who has been on the quest for the holy grail of deodorant for a long time as well.  We have both put this recipe to the test! It has not only stood up to the challenge that she has presented it while hiking and rock climbing but it has stood up to the heat and humidity of 100º+ heat index of Alabama summers! I do cleanse with baby wipes and reapply my deodorant after my lunch time walks in the heat of the summer but when it was cooler outside this wasn’t necessary.  And I’m super stoked that no one has complained again! I even walk with my co-workers and have had feedback that my office smells lovely from client’s that have come in for afternoon sessions.

So, without further ado, here it is:

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DIY Milk of Magnesia Deodorant

(for sensitive skin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of plain, unflavored Milk of Magnesia
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch (I like the J&J cornstarch baby powder with Aloe and Vit E added)
  • 5 drops each of: Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress essential oils

Instructions:

1.       Pour entire bottle of Milk of Magnesia out into a baking sheet (with sides) and allow to dehydrate, usually 24-36 hours, until it forms a creamy paste.  If you live in a humid environment, it may take a little longer.  If it starts to harden or crack around the edges just a tad it’s perfect! When you mix it all together it will be like the consistency of cream cheese icing that has started to melt.

2.       Add in ¼ cup of Cornstarch and mix well (before you allow your mixture to dehydrate).  While you can skip this step, I chose to add the Cornstarch to help absorb some of the liquid from sweating and to keep my pits drier.  If you swore by an antiperspirant but don’t want to use aluminum, you probably want to add something like Cornstarch or Arrowroot to help provide a sense of dryness to your homemade deodorant.  This is an especially good alternative if you are sensitive to Baking Soda in homemade deodorant recipes.

3.       After your mixture has dehydrated and is ready, add 5 drops each of your essential oils.  I like Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress.  Stir until your oils are mixed well throughout your mixture.  You do not want to add the oils before you let your mixture set out because they will evaporate and lose their potency.

4.       Transfer to a small glass jar.  I found this recipe made a bit more than I could fit in my 4 oz jelly jar but I like this size for ease of application.  I now transfer the remainder to a 2 oz tin that I carry with me to work or when traveling.

Instructions for Use:

1.       Apply underarms using your fingers (I find this works better than using a cotton round) and allow to dry while you are getting ready.

2.       If you are especially prone to body odor, make sure you shower or scrub your pits with your soap/body wash of choice before applying.  You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to help balance the pH of your pits.  I spray a bit on a cotton round and apply under my arms.  Allow to dry before applying your homemade deodorant.  I haven’t had to use this method since I started using this deodorant recipe, however!

 

So, there you have it! Did you make this recipe? What did you think?  I love to hear feedback from my readers! Please comment below to share your results or other homemade natural deodorant recipes!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

 

My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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When You Vacation With an OIL Addict!

Essential oils are cool but ever wonder how often people actually use essential oils in their daily lives? It really became apparent to me the degree of oily addict I’ve become when I started packing for our recent vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. It was serious work trying to decide which oils I thought I couldn’t live without rather than just bringing my entire (growing) collection.  And I thought what better way to highlight how I actually use my essential oils in my daily life for my followers!?!  So read on to find out which oils made the vacation cut and to learn some of my favorite oily recipes that I use in my daily life!

My Bathroom Sink

Above is the picture of my bathroom sink in our beach house.  I brought many more oils and products with me but I always find it telling to see what people keep within easy reach.  You really know how much someone uses a product if it’s right there on their bathroom sink.  She here’s my list of oils on my bathroom sink:

DIY Lavender & Rosemary Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin) – Seriously, I love this stuff! It really is my Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant (<– click on the link to learn more) I’m almost out of it and will have to make a new batch soon.  My only complaint is that it does leave a bit of a powdery residue on my shirts from either the Bentonite clay or the arrowroot powder, especially on black tank tops.  Read on to find out my solution for when I want a powder free deo alternative!

Deep Relief roll-on – This was the first (and so far only) thing I spent my Essential Rewards points on (I’m saving the rest for high $$ oils) and who doesn’t love FREE oils!?!  Deep Relief is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier.  It comes in a 10 ml roll-on bottle for ease of application and helps provide support for head and muscle tension and helps ease minor aches and pains.  I love this stuff for when I get a crick in my neck from either long drives or sleeping funny.  Gulf Shores was an almost 7 hour drive from our home and its never the same sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own so this one I knew I couldn’t leave home without! Deep Relief is highly coveted because of Young Living’s commitment to quality and sustainable farming practices which means that the sometimes the ingredients have to wait to be harvested and distilled.  As a result, Deep Relief is often out of stock and members rush to order it as soon as it comes back!  Message me for a DIY “Ache Away” recipe which I use as an alternative to Deep Relief when I can’t get my hands on the real stuff!

DIY Thieves Toothpaste – Seriously one of my favorite recipes! I’ve been making my own toothpaste for almost 2 years now (I haven’t had any cavities and my oral hygienist approves!).  I modified my recipe when I joined Young Living back in April to include Thieves essential oil because of all the awesome properties that support oral health and help fight bad breath! I’ve already shared my recipe, but in case you missed it you can find it in my blog post Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste?

DIY Natural Sunscreen – protecting your skin from the sun is important every day, but especially at the beach! But I don’t like using sunscreen on my face because I find that the ingredients in store bought sunscreen tends to clog my pores and cause breakouts, so I made my own, with essential oils of course! I use this as an alternative to moisturizer every day to help nourish and moisturize my skin every morning as well as providing 40+ SPF protection from the sun! In case you missed it, find my recipe here: DIY Natural Sunscreen.

DIY Facial Serum – I have a lot of scarring from my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control back in 2013.  So when I started my essential oil journey it was important to me to find something to help minimize the appearance of these scars.  Frankincense oil was the answer! This stuff is amazing! So after doing a bit more research I found a great combo and created my own facial serum to use to help heal and nourish my skin at night. You can find my recipe on my blog post My All Natural Skin Care Routine: Plus My Favorite DIY Facial Serum Recipe (using essential oils)!  I will add that since I wrote that blog my skin started breaking out somewhat so I modified my original recipe by using jojoba oil instead of fractionated coconut oil and that seems to have fixed the problem.

DIY Astringent – Historically I have just used Thayer’s alcohol free witch hazel toner as my astringent.  I have always loved the Rose scented one.  But recently I’ve been using the unscented with aloe and just adding my own healing oils.  Young Living’s Melrose essential oil blend, which includes Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Clove is the perfect addition to my DIY Astringent because it helps cleanse and nourish the skin while providing natural protection against occasional breakouts.   I fill a 2 oz travel container with witch hazel and add about 8-10 drops of Melrose. Shake well before use and squirt a little on a cotton round to apply all over your (clean) face morning and night.

Stress Away – one of my FAVORITE essential oil blends, Stress Away combines Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender for a unique combination to help reduce every day stress and provide mental clarity.  I added the roller fitment that came in my Premium Starter Kit to my bottle of Stress Away and use it almost daily as a perfume alternative.  It’s lovely and was the perfect, almost tropical fragrance to wear on my beach vacation and help keep my mind relaxed and carefree!

Rosemary – So Rosemary essential oil is technically a dietary supplement that can be added to cooking but a quick google search (check out NIH, Mercola, and Dr. Axe for some interesting facts about Rosemary and other essential oils) will turn up dozens of other uses (that may not technically be FDA approved but who doesn’t love to experiment!?!).  A friend of mine had shared with me that she was using Rosemary as a deodorant alternative so I excitedly ordered my first bottle to give it a try before I found the recipe I linked above for my Detoxing Deodorant. Since I was wearing a lot of tank tops at the beach and didn’t want to walk around with powdery residue on my shirts I brought my trusted bottle of Rosemary with me as a deodorant alternative. And I must say, it didn’t let me down!  Just a couple drops on my fingers rubbed into the pits kept me odor free!

 

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NingXia Red – I started my 30 Day NingXia Red challenge on September 21 as part of my morning routine and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox. My detox may be over (and Lord knows I wasn’t “dieting” on my vacation!) but I’ve enjoyed continuing to take my shot of NingXia Red in the mornings.  NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices and it does help provide a bit more energy and get up and go in the mornings (although admittedly I started drinking coffee again every morning on vacation because I just missed the taste and having my warm cup of yummy coffee while swinging in a porch swing and watching the sunrise over the lagoon was priceless!) and helps keep you healthy!

DiGize – In addition to my morning shot of NingXia Red I’ve been adding 2 drops of DiGize to help promote healthy digestion and keep me regular.  DiGize is Young Living’s blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.  I’ve been taking it daily since starting the NingXia Red challenge and honestly I do believe that it helps keep my tummy comfortable throughout the day.  It was especially important on vacation because for the last month or so I’d been eating really healthy but I was bound and determined to eat my weight in fresh seafood on this trip and didn’t care if it was greasy and fried!

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Our beach house rental had an amazing Jacuzzi tub! I’m a big fan of hot baths for relaxation, always have been, and have long since swore that whenever I can afford to renovate my house I am SO adding a Jacuzzi tub to my bathroom! So I planned ahead and made myself some relaxing aromatherapy bath salts to bring with me so that I could really reap the benefits of the tub at our rental.  I’m blessed to have a hubby who gladly accepted baby duty to give mama some personal tub time to rest and relax on our vacation!

Aromatherapy Muscle Soak:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 10-12 drops Aroma Siez essential oil blend – Aroma Siez is Young Living’s blend of Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, and Cypress specifically formulated to help reduce tension and ease aching muscles.

Directions: Combine ingredients in glass container.  Mix well.

To Use: Fill tub or jacuzzi with hot water and add 1/2 container bath salts for a relaxing aromatherapy bath to ease aching muscles!

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Do you sleep well when you aren’t in your own bed? I know I don’t.  Plus, we had our 9 1/2 month old daughter with us who was sleeping in her pack ‘n play rather than her crib so it was especially important to me to bring ALL the sleepytime oils in my collection to help!  We haven’t found the perfect sleep inducing combination to help our daughter sleep through the night but we do diffuse oils in her nursery nightly and I feel like she sleeps “better” on the nights we do compared to the nights we don’t.  So I wasn’t about to leave the diffuser at home!

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps promote a calm, grounding, relaxing state of being when applied topically or diffused.  Plus, I just love the earthy, woodsy smell! There is a lot of research on how Cedarwood can help promote restful sleep so do yourself a favor and google it – them PM me to order some Cedarwood essential oil! 😉

Lavender – Lavender is another soothing oil that can help promote rest and relaxation.  Often called the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils because of all the amazing properties that Lavender oil has, helping with sleep is perhaps the most cited use of the oil.  It is great to add to your bath or lotion to help your mind and body wind down  before bedtime or diffused to promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep.  Lavender and Cedarwood are probably my favorite sleepytime diffuser combo!

Stress Away – I love Stress Away so much I brought not one, but TWO bottles with me! lol! My first bottle (pictured in the Bathroom Sink graphic) I added the roller fitment attachment to so that I could wear as a perfume.  But I keep a second bottle of Stress Away to use in recipes and diffuse.  I love the way it smells and it also couples well with Lavender or even a little extra Cedarwood to help you relax at bedtime!

(not pictured) SleepyIze – SleepyIze is part of Young Living’s KidScents oil collection.  It is a proprietary blend of Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Bergamot, Sacred Frankincense, Valerian and Rue pre-diluted and safe to use topically as is on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse this at bedtime but do prefer to use it topically in conjunction with diffusing other oils.  Since my little one is under 2 I do dilute with just a touch of coconut oil (I keep a baby food jar with CO on the changing table to use for diaper rash and diluting oils so I just grab a small little dab and put one drop of any of the KidScents oils and rub my fingers together to mix before applying to feet, chest and/or belly and/or behind the ears, depending on the oil and purpose).

(not pictured) Gentle Baby – Gentle Baby is Young Living’s blend of Geranium, Rosewood, Coriander, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose designed for babies and mother.  It is specifically formulated to calm emotions and is particularly soothing for the skin, making it not only a good oil to add to sleepytime blends but also for DIY Diaper Rash Ointments (one day I’ll get around to writing a blog post about that too!).  It’s not only safe for use with babies but also pregnant (and nursing) mothers to use to help alleviate anxiety and promote a feeling of calmness and can be a great addition to your homemade Belly Butters to help prevent stretch marks!

 

Other Oils That Made the Cut (but aren’t pictured):

Abundance – Abundance is one of my recent favorites and perfect for Fall! It is a blend of Orange, Frankincense, Patchouli, Clove, Ginger, Myrrh, Cinnamon, and Spruce.  It smells a little like Constant Comment’s orange spice tea and I love, love, love to wear it like a perfume.  Abundance was specifically formulated to enhance the magnetic energy field around us.  This higher frequency creates a “Law of Attraction.”  Therefor, Abundance essential oil blend is supposed to help us open ourselves up to what we attract to ourselves.   Who knows, we could all use a little more abundance in our lives, right?  May sound like hocus pocus but I do love the way this oil smells and wear it often since I purchased it in August.  I admit, I didn’t wear it as much on our beach vacation as I’ve been wearing it at home.  It seems much more fitting to wear as my daily perfume while home watching the changing of the seasons in my little mountain community rather than lounging at the beach.  Stress Away’s somewhat tropical vibe just spoke to me more on vacation but now that I’m back at home Abundance has re-emerged as my daily fave!

Lemon – I love to add Lemon essential oil to my water because it ensures that I drink enough water throughout the day so I always have it with me! I just add 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil to my 20 oz glass water bottle and fill with ice and water.  Once I’ve drank all 20 oz I can refill my water bottle with ice and water and don’t even have to add more essential oils, although you could if you wanted to, because I can still taste a little bit of the lemon! A little goes a long way and it tastes really yummy!  Plus, Lemon is one of three oils in the “Seasonal Relief Trio”: Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.  I had my Seasonal Relief roller bottle with me (see below for recipe) but also like to have them on hand to diffuse together if something triggers a sneezing attack or gives me that itchy throat feeling.

Peppermint – Peppermint is by far my favorite instant headache remedy! I have my Headache Remedy roller bottle blend (see recipe below) that travels with me but a drop of Peppermint on a q-tip applied neat to my temples often will help get rid of more severe headaches.  You can also layer it with the Headache Remedy blend for an extra strength formula! Some people love to put a drop or two of peppermint in a spray bottle with water to help cool them off in hot climates or a drop or two in their water for a cooling sensation, both of which would be excellent for use at the beach! (Note: Peppermint is a “hot” oil which means it can tingle or burn the skin where applied.  Always do a patch test before using any oil neat but especially hot oils! More about essential oil safety here –> What are Essential Oils? (And why you will want them as part of your natural lifestyle!))

R.C. – R.C. is Young Living’s blend of Cypress, Spruce, and three types of Eucalyptus (E. Globulus, E. Radiata, and E. Citriodora) oils which includes the naturally occurring constituent Limonene (do yourself a favor and google uses of Limonene! You won’t regret it!!!).  RC was specifically designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I love to diffuse it when I am stuffy or having difficulty breathing for any reason.  It’s also the main ingredient in my Breathe Easy roller bottle blend (see recipe below).  My daughter seems to come home frequently with colds from day care so we often diffuse a little bit of R.C. with some Lavender and sometimes even Cedarwood to help her breathe easier and have a more restful night’s sleep!

SniffleEase – SniffleEase is part of Young Living’s KidScents collection and is pretty much the children’s version of R.C.   It is a blend of Eucalyptus Blue, Palo Santo, Lavender, Dorado Azul, Ravintsara, Myrtle, Eucalyptus Globulus, Marjoram, Pine, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Cypress, Eucalyptus Radiata, Black Spruce and Peppermint essential oils prediluted for use topically, as is, on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse SniffleEase but prefer to diffuse R.C. and apply SniffleEase topically to the Vita Flex points on her feet and a little on her chest to help her breathe easier.  Just like with SleepyIze I dilute more with a little coconut oil since my little one is under 2.

Thieves – Thieves is one of those oils you should seriously never leave home without! I use it in so many ways! I brought it with me on this trip specifically because the hubby had been a bit under the weather before we left home and I wanted to have the option of diffusing to help keep me and the little one healthy.  Plus, gargled with some water or added to hot tea, Thieves is excellent to help relieve a minor sore throat! Learn more about Thieves in my blog post All About Thieves!

 

Celia’s Personal Collection of DIY Roller Bottle Blends (that travel with me daily, even when not on vacation):

All of these recipes are intended for a 10 ml glass roller bottles (stainless steel roller balls are preferred because essential oils can break down plastics).  Add your drops of essential oils first then fill with the carrier oil of your choice (I find having a small funnel and a pipette helps).  I prefer fractionated Coconut Oil as my carrier but if you are allergic or want an alternative, Sweet Almond Oil is a good choice.  But any carrier oil will do. I usually fill halfway with carrier oil and test my blend before filling the rest of the way.  This way I can add more essential oils for a stronger blend or more carrier for a more diluted blend, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.

Ouchie – 30 drops Tea Tree, 20 drops Lavender, and 15 drops Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any minor cut, scrape, blister or sore to help cleanse, promote healing, and reduce that stinging sensation! It’s also great to apply to scaly, itchy patches of skin to help provide relief! See my previous blog post about this blend here –> Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises: An Essential Oil Roller Ball Recipe

Itch Relief – 20 drops Purification essential oil blend and 10 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any bug bite, minor rash, or itchy spot to help provide relief.

Seasonal Relief Blend – 15 drops each of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this to my throat to help calm that itchy throat sensation or to the bridge of my nose to help with a runny nose.  Be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Breathe Easy – 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this blend to my chest or bridge of my nose if I’m extra stuffy! Just like with the Seasonal Relief blend, be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Headache Remedy – 10-15 drops each of M-Grain, PanAway, and Peppermint.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Valor.  You can also add more Peppermint to the blend or layer with Peppermint for more severe headaches.  I apply directly to my temples, forehead, and/or back of my neck for relief from sinus or tension headaches.

 

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Totally forgot to pack my DIY Bug Spray (<– click link for recipe) which was a pretty Doh! moment.  I could’ve kicked myself when we were sitting outside on the porch enjoying our impromptu boiled (fresh caught) Blue Crabs for lunch one day.  I don’t know if it was sand fleas or biting flies or what but the hubby and I were getting eaten up! Thankfully, I had my trusty bottle of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” in the diaper bag so I ran inside real quick to grab it and sprayed us both from the knees down.  The biting stopped and the best part was our lovely daughter who was also outside with us in her booster seat didn’t get one single bite! Winning! See my review of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” and find out how to order yours here –> Want an eco-friendly, chemical-free, safe and effective bug spray but don’t want to DIY it? Check out Eco Diva’s Bug Me Not Bug Spray!

 

Also in the diaper bag (not pictured) is my DIY Alcohol Free Thieves Hand Sanitizer (<– click link for recipe) which I love having with me at all times because you never know when you will need to clean gunk off your hands or get rid of germs but aren’t near a bathroom or sink! Plus they put all sorts of nasty chemicals in store bought hand sanitizers and the alcohol dries my hands out.  So this recipe is perfect!

 

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So there you have it! The oils I can’t live without and use in my daily routine, both at home and while on vacation! Can’t get away to your own beach vacation? No problem! Grab a bottle of Stress Away to help the stress melt away and promote a relaxing sense of calming!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant

Before I started my WordPress blog I had a Facebook page where I was sharing about my adventures and DIY ideas. This past Spring I shared a post per special request about my Quest for the Perfect Deodorant.  I never shared it here but it seems pertinent to do so in order to give you some background on just how long I’ve been seeking the what was starting to look like the Holy Grail of deodorant recipes. So here’s my original post:


(5/1/15) The Quest for the Perfect Deodorant:
There was a lot of hype on the interwebz about the dangers of antiperspirant a couple years ago, theorizing that your deodorant caused everything from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, science has pretty much debunked most of these rumors. But the gist of these rumors was that the active ingredient in antiperspirant, aluminum chlorohydrate, was the culprit.

In the 1960’s researchers found high levels of aluminum in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the safety of any household or cosmetic product containing aluminum was called into question. Since then, no sound scientific study has been able to prove that aluminum is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (remember correlation does not equal causation). In fact, most researchers point out that the aluminum chlorohydrate in deodorants doesn’t enter into the body at all. It works by reacting with the sweat produced in your underarm area to form a plug or sorts into the sweat duct effectively blocking the sweat from being released. Which brings me to the rumors about breast cancer risk.

In the 1990’s a group of researchers theorized that aluminum chlorohydrate in antiperspirants was linked to breast cancer because the majority of breast cancers develop in the upper, outermost portion of the breast, the area closest to the armpit. Two theories emerged: 1) because antiperspirants block the sweat we are preventing the body from its natural ability to rid itself of heavy metals and thus leading to cancer, and 2) the chemicals in deodorant and antiperspirant are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving, and that these chemicals supposedly interact with DNA to interfere with estrogen levels and can lead to cancer cell growth. Again, neither of these hypotheses have been supported through peer reviewed research.

There is some legitimate risk concern over aluminum possibly leading to dementia in patients with kidney disease, however. This comes from several studies showing that dialysis patients given aluminum hydroxide had difficulty ridding the aluminum from their system due to improper kidney function and leading to higher percentage of these patients developing dementia. This lead to the FDA requiring the warning you may have seen on antiperspirants that says “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Despite this relationship, however, most doctors believe that the likelihood of absorbing enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys is unlikely.

My quest for the perfect deodorant began when I wanted to decrease the number of chemicals and questionable ingredients in my skincare and beauty products several years ago. Even if aluminum chlorohydrate doesn’t lead to cancer or Alzheimer’s there are still a lot of other questionable ingredients in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, including:

Phthalates– chemicals used to soften and increase flexibility in plastics that may* cause endocrine disruption or hormone imbalance. (* this relationship is largely unknown and more research is needed)

Propylene glycol– also called antifreeze. There is a lot of debate about adding this ingredient in skincare and beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) propylene glycol carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.

Formaldehyde – recognized as a known carcinogen but commonly added to help kill germs.

Parabens – a preservative used in pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and even the food industry. There is some concern that Parabens cause estrogenic disruption but this is largely unsupported by the research.

Antibacterial Substances– There is emerging concern that antibacterial substances, such as triclocarban (commonly found in soaps), can be endocrine disruptors and thus negatively affect the immune system

So, armed with a list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce I declared that I would give up my beloved Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. I don’t know about any of you but I sweat… like a man – there is no “glisten” where my pits are concerned. And, I stink. I said it, I can have pretty wicked BO… So giving up my Clinical Strength deodorant that I had used for years was no small feat. I tried lots of products that claimed to be “better” than other deodorants that had more chemicals. Even falling victim to the “Natural” marketing campaign (which if you didn’t know marketers can put the words “natural” on pretty much anything when there may be nothing “natural” about that product – it means zilch in the real world…) and landing on Secret’s Natural Mineral Antiperspirant and Deodorant for a couple years thinking it was a better alternative.

Once my blinders were removed I transitioned to Tom’s of Maine deodorant as a healthier choice and was terribly disappointed because quite frankly it didn’t really work for me (hindsight is 20/20 and a lot of why I think it didn’t work was diet – more on that in a minute). So by that time I was getting into the whole crunchy granola lifestyle and thought “what the hell, why don’t I just make my own deo!?!” So I tried one of the most common homemade deodorant recipes out there:

• 1/4 c. baking soda

• 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

• 5 Tbsp. coconut oil

• Essential oils (optional – I used 3 drops of lavender, 4 drops of sweet orange, and 2 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together very well in a small container. Pack it in an old deodorant container and use it just like you normally do.

And you know what? It worked!!! I was thrilled! But after using it for a while I discovered that, like many people out there, my skin is way too sensitive for baking soda as a deodorant. My pits turned an angry shade of red, peeled, and itched like crazy. Nothing so sexy as walking around scratching your pits like a monkey all day. So I tried decreasing the baking soda and added more arrowroot powder and much to my dismay I continued to have the same reaction, although slightly less severe. Saddened by this turn of events, I continued my quest.

Next I tried Milk of Magnesia (MoM) – yes, the same stuff you use for constipation and heartburn, but hear me out. Because the active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture. This worked okay, but I wasn’t a super huge fan of having to rub a quarter sized dollop of MoM on my pits and wait for it to dry. Some critics of MoM as deo point out, however, that an inactive ingredient in MoM is sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach and while this does a fantastic job of killing bacteria, it is a known skin irritant. These critics will often advocate for using magnesium oil (which can be purchased in an aerosol spray) as an alternative or even just increasing your magnesium through supplements to decrease body odor (but I take a mag supplement daily and still need deo).

Next I was led to the Natural Crystal deodorant, which is basically a “salt” crystal, or potassium alum. It has also received a lot of criticism for being a type of aluminum but since I know that the aluminum-cancer/dementia risk is slight (see above) I wasn’t particularly concerned. Again, I was surprised by how well this actually worked for me! But again, sadly disappointed when my pits started itching. Not as bad as BS but still not sexy and super annoying.

So feeling dismayed I went back to Tom’s of Maine. I was pleasantly surprised that it was working better than it did a couple years ago and I credit our change in diet/lifestyle as the reason behind this change. We gave up processed foods, cut back on sugar (although admittedly I’ve relapsed since the little one was born), and traded in “white” foods, like sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, etc. for whole and ancient grains, sweet potatoes, and sugar alternatives, like honey or agave nectar. I haven’t found a whole lot of evidence to support my claim that my healthier diet changed my BO (because I still drink caffeine and eat lots of garlic and onions as well as other BO-causing spices like curry) but that’s my anecdotal evidence for ya!

That said, I still wanted to get away from having to purchase store-bought deodorant and continued my quest for a homemade recipe that didn’t irritate my armpits. My recently re-ignited passion for essential oils lead me to search for new recipes. Below is what I discovered!

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant:

A  fellow essential oil enthusiast recently shared with me that she was having luck using Rosemary oil as a deodorant alternative. Now, Rosemary essential oil is technically classified as a dietary supplement but I’m all about experimenting and finding new ways to use essential oils.  My friend had said she just dropped a few drops in her hands, rubbed them together and applied neat to her pits. I admit, I was super skeptical that one single oil, let alone something I associated more with cooking than sweat could tackle this challenge. But, willing to try pretty much anything, I added Rosemary oil to my Essential Rewards order back in July and gave it a whirl.


This stuff is amazing! For a month and a half I wore nothing but Rosemary oil, neat, as a deodorant alternative and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t stink! I still sweated but the Rosemary oil is a natural camphor so it provides a nice cooling sensation in warm summer breezes which was nice. But I did want to try to find something to provide some wetness protection.  I had such a bad reaction to Baking Soda in my deodorant that I wanted to find something else to help absorb sweat and set out to look for alternatives.  While scouring the interwebz I stumbled upon Simple Life Mom’s blog post and recipe for a Detoxing Homemade Clay Deodorant.  She skips the Baking Soda and adds Bentonite Clay to help absorb wetness and odor.  In addition to soothing the skin, the clay also helps detox heavy metals and other toxins from the skin!  The blog was originally published  on my daughter’s birthday so I thought that perhaps this was kismet.  I already had all the ingredients on hand and decided to give it a whirl.  Since I’d had such good luck with the Rosemary essential oil I knew I wanted it to be included and decided to add a bit of Lavender essential oil as well to help with any skin irritation that I might have from the Arrowroot powder or Bentonite Clay.  Here’s the recipe with my essential oil ratios:

 

DIY Rosemary & Lavender Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay (Simple Life Mom suggests substituting Kaolin or other clay if you desired to have a whiter deodorant)
  • 5 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 tsp Beeswax (I used pastilles because they melt easier and get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms brand and get it at Costco. That big ol tub is only like $14.99 and we use it for cooking in addition to my DIY projects.)
  • 2 tsp Shea Butter (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of Lavender essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine Beeswax, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter in double boiler.  Heat on high and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  2. Combine Arrowroot powder and Bentonite Clay in bowl.
  3. Pour oil mixture into powder mixture and stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Add essential oils and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour into empty deodorant container (mine was gifted to me but you can find them on Amazon or at other online aromatherapy supplies dealers websites)

 

I’ve used this new deodorant for a week now.  I’ve made sure to wear every color and style shirt conceivable and the verdict is I freakin’ love this stuff!!! I feel like my long quest for the perfect deodorant is finally over.  This, my friends, is my holy grail of DIY deodorants!!! I absolutely love that I get the fragrance of the Rosemary essential oil, with just a touch of the Lavender, in addition to the wetness protection from the Arrowroot and Bentonite Clay.  It goes on smoothly which I also really like. For what it’s worth though, I have two (small) constructive criticisms of the recipe. First, it does show up on black (but not white as I feared) fabric.  It is not any more visible than a white solid deodorant, however.  But if I was going to wear a black tank top, or little black dress if you’re more fashionable than me, I would probably just use my Rosemary oil neat to avoid the powdery bits.  And second, because it is pretty soft, which makes it glide on easily, it does tend to ball up a little bit in the creases of my armpit.  However, this is very short lived as the melting point of the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter is pretty low so after 30 minutes to an hour it is all absorbed and no more balls or clumps.

So there it is.  Try it out and let me know what you think!  Comment below with your results to help keep the conversation going!!!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant

Before I started my WordPress blog I had a Facebook page where I was sharing about my adventures and DIY ideas. This past Spring I shared a post per special request about my Quest for the Perfect Deodorant.  I never shared it here but it seems pertinent to do so in order to give you some background on just how long I’ve been seeking the what was starting to look like the Holy Grail of deodorant recipes. So here’s my original post:


(5/1/15) The Quest for the Perfect Deodorant:
There was a lot of hype on the interwebz about the dangers of antiperspirant a couple years ago, theorizing that your deodorant caused everything from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, science has pretty much debunked most of these rumors. But the gist of these rumors was that the active ingredient in antiperspirant, aluminum chlorohydrate, was the culprit.

In the 1960’s researchers found high levels of aluminum in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the safety of any household or cosmetic product containing aluminum was called into question. Since then, no sound scientific study has been able to prove that aluminum is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (remember correlation does not equal causation). In fact, most researchers point out that the aluminum chlorohydrate in deodorants doesn’t enter into the body at all. It works by reacting with the sweat produced in your underarm area to form a plug or sorts into the sweat duct effectively blocking the sweat from being released. Which brings me to the rumors about breast cancer risk.

In the 1990’s a group of researchers theorized that aluminum chlorohydrate in antiperspirants was linked to breast cancer because the majority of breast cancers develop in the upper, outermost portion of the breast, the area closest to the armpit. Two theories emerged: 1) because antiperspirants block the sweat we are preventing the body from its natural ability to rid itself of heavy metals and thus leading to cancer, and 2) the chemicals in deodorant and antiperspirant are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving, and that these chemicals supposedly interact with DNA to interfere with estrogen levels and can lead to cancer cell growth. Again, neither of these hypotheses have been supported through peer reviewed research.

There is some legitimate risk concern over aluminum possibly leading to dementia in patients with kidney disease, however. This comes from several studies showing that dialysis patients given aluminum hydroxide had difficulty ridding the aluminum from their system due to improper kidney function and leading to higher percentage of these patients developing dementia. This lead to the FDA requiring the warning you may have seen on antiperspirants that says “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Despite this relationship, however, most doctors believe that the likelihood of absorbing enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys is unlikely.

My quest for the perfect deodorant began when I wanted to decrease the number of chemicals and questionable ingredients in my skincare and beauty products several years ago. Even if aluminum chlorohydrate doesn’t lead to cancer or Alzheimer’s there are still a lot of other questionable ingredients in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, including:

Phthalates– chemicals used to soften and increase flexibility in plastics that may* cause endocrine disruption or hormone imbalance. (* this relationship is largely unknown and more research is needed)

Propylene glycol– also called antifreeze. There is a lot of debate about adding this ingredient in skincare and beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) propylene glycol carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.

Formaldehyde – recognized as a known carcinogen but commonly added to help kill germs.

Parabens – a preservative used in pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and even the food industry. There is some concern that Parabens cause estrogenic disruption but this is largely unsupported by the research.

Antibacterial Substances– There is emerging concern that antibacterial substances, such as triclocarban (commonly found in soaps), can be endocrine disruptors and thus negatively affect the immune system

So, armed with a list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce I declared that I would give up my beloved Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. I don’t know about any of you but I sweat… like a man – there is no “glisten” where my pits are concerned. And, I stink. I said it, I can have pretty wicked BO… So giving up my Clinical Strength deodorant that I had used for years was no small feat. I tried lots of products that claimed to be “better” than other deodorants that had more chemicals. Even falling victim to the “Natural” marketing campaign (which if you didn’t know marketers can put the words “natural” on pretty much anything when there may be nothing “natural” about that product – it means zilch in the real world…) and landing on Secret’s Natural Mineral Antiperspirant and Deodorant for a couple years thinking it was a better alternative.

Once my blinders were removed I transitioned to Tom’s of Maine deodorant as a healthier choice and was terribly disappointed because quite frankly it didn’t really work for me (hindsight is 20/20 and a lot of why I think it didn’t work was diet – more on that in a minute). So by that time I was getting into the whole crunchy granola lifestyle and thought “what the hell, why don’t I just make my own deo!?!” So I tried one of the most common homemade deodorant recipes out there:

• 1/4 c. baking soda

• 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

• 5 Tbsp. coconut oil

• Essential oils (optional – I used 3 drops of lavender, 4 drops of sweet orange, and 2 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together very well in a small container. Pack it in an old deodorant container and use it just like you normally do.

And you know what? It worked!!! I was thrilled! But after using it for a while I discovered that, like many people out there, my skin is way too sensitive for baking soda as a deodorant. My pits turned an angry shade of red, peeled, and itched like crazy. Nothing so sexy as walking around scratching your pits like a monkey all day. So I tried decreasing the baking soda and added more arrowroot powder and much to my dismay I continued to have the same reaction, although slightly less severe. Saddened by this turn of events, I continued my quest.

Next I tried Milk of Magnesia (MoM) – yes, the same stuff you use for constipation and heartburn, but hear me out. Because the active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture. This worked okay, but I wasn’t a super huge fan of having to rub a quarter sized dollop of MoM on my pits and wait for it to dry. Some critics of MoM as deo point out, however, that an inactive ingredient in MoM is sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach and while this does a fantastic job of killing bacteria, it is a known skin irritant. These critics will often advocate for using magnesium oil (which can be purchased in an aerosol spray) as an alternative or even just increasing your magnesium through supplements to decrease body odor (but I take a mag supplement daily and still need deo).

Next I was led to the Natural Crystal deodorant, which is basically a “salt” crystal, or potassium alum. It has also received a lot of criticism for being a type of aluminum but since I know that the aluminum-cancer/dementia risk is slight (see above) I wasn’t particularly concerned. Again, I was surprised by how well this actually worked for me! But again, sadly disappointed when my pits started itching. Not as bad as BS but still not sexy and super annoying.

So feeling dismayed I went back to Tom’s of Maine. I was pleasantly surprised that it was working better than it did a couple years ago and I credit our change in diet/lifestyle as the reason behind this change. We gave up processed foods, cut back on sugar (although admittedly I’ve relapsed since the little one was born), and traded in “white” foods, like sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, etc. for whole and ancient grains, sweet potatoes, and sugar alternatives, like honey or agave nectar. I haven’t found a whole lot of evidence to support my claim that my healthier diet changed my BO (because I still drink caffeine and eat lots of garlic and onions as well as other BO-causing spices like curry) but that’s my anecdotal evidence for ya!

That said, I still wanted to get away from having to purchase store-bought deodorant and continued my quest for a homemade recipe that didn’t irritate my armpits. My recently re-ignited passion for essential oils lead me to search for new recipes. Below is what I discovered!

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant:

A  fellow essential oil enthusiast recently shared with me that she was having luck using Rosemary oil as a deodorant alternative. Now, Rosemary essential oil is technically classified as a dietary supplement but I’m all about experimenting and finding new ways to use essential oils.  My friend had said she just dropped a few drops in her hands, rubbed them together and applied neat to her pits. I admit, I was super skeptical that one single oil, let alone something I associated more with cooking than sweat could tackle this challenge. But, willing to try pretty much anything, I added Rosemary oil to my Essential Rewards order back in July and gave it a whirl.


This stuff is amazing! For a month and a half I wore nothing but Rosemary oil, neat, as a deodorant alternative and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t stink! I still sweated but the Rosemary oil is a natural camphor so it provides a nice cooling sensation in warm summer breezes which was nice. But I did want to try to find something to provide some wetness protection.  I had such a bad reaction to Baking Soda in my deodorant that I wanted to find something else to help absorb sweat and set out to look for alternatives.  While scouring the interwebz I stumbled upon Simple Life Mom’s blog post and recipe for a Detoxing Homemade Clay Deodorant.  She skips the Baking Soda and adds Bentonite Clay to help absorb wetness and odor.  In addition to soothing the skin, the clay also helps detox heavy metals and other toxins from the skin!  The blog was originally published  on my daughter’s birthday so I thought that perhaps this was kismet.  I already had all the ingredients on hand and decided to give it a whirl.  Since I’d had such good luck with the Rosemary essential oil I knew I wanted it to be included and decided to add a bit of Lavender essential oil as well to help with any skin irritation that I might have from the Arrowroot powder or Bentonite Clay.  Here’s the recipe with my essential oil ratios:

 

DIY Rosemary & Lavender Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay (Simple Life Mom suggests substituting Kaolin or other clay if you desired to have a whiter deodorant)
  • 5 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 tsp Beeswax (I used pastilles because they melt easier and get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms brand and get it at Costco. That big ol tub is only like $14.99 and we use it for cooking in addition to my DIY projects.)
  • 2 tsp Shea Butter (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of Lavender essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine Beeswax, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter in double boiler.  Heat on high and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  2. Combine Arrowroot powder and Bentonite Clay in bowl.
  3. Pour oil mixture into powder mixture and stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Add essential oils and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour into empty deodorant container (mine was gifted to me but you can find them on Amazon or at other online aromatherapy supplies dealers websites)

 

I’ve used this new deodorant for a week now.  I’ve made sure to wear every color and style shirt conceivable and the verdict is I freakin’ love this stuff!!! I feel like my long quest for the perfect deodorant is finally over.  This, my friends, is my holy grail of DIY deodorants!!! I absolutely love that I get the fragrance of the Rosemary essential oil, with just a touch of the Lavender, in addition to the wetness protection from the Arrowroot and Bentonite Clay.  It goes on smoothly which I also really like. For what it’s worth though, I have two (small) constructive criticisms of the recipe. First, it does show up on black (but not white as I feared) fabric.  It is not any more visible than a white solid deodorant, however.  But if I was going to wear a black tank top, or little black dress if you’re more fashionable than me, I would probably just use my Rosemary oil neat to avoid the powdery bits.  And second, because it is pretty soft, which makes it glide on easily, it does tend to ball up a little bit in the creases of my armpit.  However, this is very short lived as the melting point of the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter is pretty low so after 30 minutes to an hour it is all absorbed and no more balls or clumps.

So there it is.  Try it out and let me know what you think!  Comment below with your results to help keep the conversation going!!!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: A lesson in a failed no poo recipe

I recently shared a blog post about my no poo journey. I had found a routine that worked for me and had gone 18+ months without using shampoo. So why on earth would I feel the need to change my well established routine? Perhaps I liked the idea of a premixed “shampoo” that didn’t have to be boiled and cooled before using… Perhaps I was bored… Perhaps I just wanted to DIY something new… Whatever the reason, lesson learned: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

So here’s the story. I love Dr. Axe’s videos and blog posts. I recently watched one of his webinars and was really intrigued by a Rosemary thickening “shampoo” recipe he shared. I have a new found love for Rosemary essential oil (be on the lookout for a future blog post on Rosemary oil as a deodorant alternative plus a new deodorant recipe for sensitive skin) and had heard lots of people say that using Aloe Vera as part of their no poo routine made their hair silky and smooth. So I thought, how could I go wrong!?! Ha!

I had high hopes for the recipe. See, I even made a cool graphic in anticipation of writing about how much I loved it!


But alas, I’m writing a different post.

In case you are interested, the recipe is:

  • 6 oz Aloe Vera gel
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 10 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 20 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients in an 8 oz glass jar or BPA-free plastic container.  I just recycled one of my daughter’s body wash/shampoo containers.

Sounds lovely, right? So I enthusiastically jumped in my shower Saturday night ready to get clean and smell pretty (because of the yummy essential oils) for my date night with the hubby the next evening to celebrate our 6 year anniversary.  (Note to self: do not experiment with new recipes the night before an event!!!) My first impression was a little did NOT go a long way.  I was used to 1 tbsp of Baking Soda cleaning my whole head when diluted with 1 cup water and I found myself having to use two palm-fulls of this recipe to cover my entire scalp.  What I did like, however, is that while I was washing my hair with the recipe it did seem to make my hair feel silky and smooth and didn’t tangle nearly as much as it tends to do when I use my BS mixture. So I was super hopeful!

Because of the Baking Soda in the recipe I rinsed with my ACV rinse as normal to help re-establish my hair’s pH balance.  Per my usual routine I went to bed with my hair wet and never thought twice about it.

I first started to get concerned when I woke up in the middle of the night to nurse my daughter back to sleep.  My hair didn’t feel like it was drying as fast as usual but I didn’t put a whole lot of stock into my worries because I figured it would finish drying by morning and wouldn’t be a big deal.

But when I woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror I was sorely disappointed in my recipe experiment  My hair looked like an oil slick…   I tried brushing with my BBB with little to no change. And I quickly had a sinking feeling as I tried to figure out how in the world I would have time to re-wash my hair while wrangling an independent 7 month old while daddy was at work.

After her first nap I carried my daughter’s booster seat into the bathroom and locked her into it with a her tactile book and a couple of toys while I took a shower and tried to fix my hair. I first tried my usual Baking Soda and boiled water routine with no luck.  My hair still felt super slick and oily and I knew I didn’t have time to take yet another shower later in the day if this didn’t work so I grabbed the Dr. Bronner’s, even though I never liked it as a shampoo alternative.  I was quickly reminded why I didn’t like Dr. Bronner’s on my hair – it no longer felt like an oil slick but like it was coated in wax! Ugh… started to feel super defeated.  As a last resort, I grabbed my daughter’s Shea Moisture Baby body wash/shampoo and used it to try to get some semblance of normal back to my hair.  I wasn’t very optimistic but it did seem to get rid of most of the waxy feeling.

I am pleased to report that despite being SUPER FRIZZY my hair was back to some sort of normal after re-washing it.  I was able to straighten it with my flat iron and get sexified for my hubby and our date night.  I’m a little scared that I might have set myself back or might have to go through some sort of transition again.  I’m hoping because Shea Moisture is low poo with no sulfates, parabens, or silicone that it won’t hurt too much.  But alas, I’ve learned something new and won’t be making that mistake again!

Maybe the recipe would be better sans the olive oil because I know the Aloe Vera is supposed to be a great no poo hair cleansing ingredient.  Maybe… I don’t know.  I don’t have enough Aloe Vera to remake the recipe and honestly I don’t know that I have the heart to try again.  Want to give it a go? I’d love to hear how it works for you! Comment below.

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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I haven’t poo’d in 18 months, but it’s not what you think!!! The low-down on my no-poo journey!

Yup! The last time I poo’d was in December 2013!!! Used shampoo that is! And I think my hair looks pretty damn good!

So what’s all this no-poo buzz about anyway? Basically, consumers have started to realize that there are lots of questionable ingredients in shampoo and conditioners, some of which are downright toxic, and can actually cause damage to your hair over time.  No-poo means that you’ve gotten so fed up with chemicals that you’ve given up using shampoo at all.  It’s quite the commitment and generally not the first course of action for most people.  I was so tired of my hair breaking and excessive hair loss that I first chose to go low-poo before I went no poo.  Low-poo means avoiding sulfates, silicones, and parabens (more about these ingredients below) in your hair care products. There was also some unfounded rumors a couple years ago that sulfates were causing cancer.  These rumors helped lead consumers to seek out alternatives to traditional shampoo and thus shampoo companies have responded with the recent sulfate-free shampoo movement. The end result is there are a lot more options available to people who want to avoid using harsh chemicals in their beauty products but creative marketing has made it so that consumers have to be educated to know what to avoid.

So here’s a run down of all the common shampoo and conditioner ingredients you will want to avoid on your adventures in living a natural lifestyle:

Sulfates – Sulfates are harsh detergents that are often added as lathering agents.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are probably the most common sulfates and have gotten the most attention recently. They are powerful cleaners but work so well that overtime they can strip the hair of it’s natural oils (called sebum) causing damage (split ends and hair loss) and halting healthy hair growth. They are especially bad for color treated hair, as they can strip all that expensive dye off, as well as naturally curly hair, because they can make it extra frizzy.  If you have allergies, eczema, or find your shampoo irritates your scalp but aren’t ready to give up shampoo just yet try switching to a sulfate-free shampoo.

Is your shampoo low-poo? Here’s a list of ingredients that sulfates can masquerade as so you can be on the look out: Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate; Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, and TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate.

**Be aware of SLS or SLES “from coconut” as this is a marketing ploy to make consumers believe it is a safer product.  While the raw materials, or lauryl alcohol may be obtained from coconuts it is still combined with other chemicals to form the SLS or SLES and is a long way away from coconut oil!

Sodium Chloride – Also known as table salt, sodium chloride is often added as a thickener to shampoos that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.  While not a toxic chemical it can cause a dry, itchy scalp and should especially be avoided if you use keratin treatments on your hair as it can reduce the effectiveness.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) – DEA and TEA are foaming agents often added to shampoos as sulfate alternatives to help create the lather consumers have come to expect in their shampoo.  In addition, these ingredients are also found as thickening agents in mascara, foundation, facial cleansers, and body washes.  But DEA and TEA can cause skin irritation and, when combined with nitrosating agents (nitrites), can cause a toxic chemical reaction. Currently cosmetic manufacturers are not required to list nitrites on their ingredient labels so it is next to impossible to know if a product contains them so it’s best just to avoid anything containing these ingredients.

Is your shampoo low-poo? Other names DEA and TEA can be listed as include:  Cocamide DEA or Cocamide Diethanolimine, Lauramide DEA or Lauramide Diethanolimine, DEA Lauryl Suphate or Diethanolimine Sulfate, Linoleaide DEA or Linoleaide Diethanolimine, and Oleamide DEA or Oleamide Diethanolimine.    

Silicones – Silicones, like Dimethicone, are often added to shampoos and conditioners because they make your hair appear shiny, soft, and easy to comb but can cause unwanted build up that can weigh your hair down.  Pretty much you want to avoid anything that ends in “cone,” “conol,” “col,” or “xane,” unless it has the abbreviations “PEG” or “PPG” in front of them as these are silicones that are designed to be water soluable and do not cause the same kind of buildup over time as traditional silicones. I prefer to avoid silicones all together though.

Are your shampoo and conditioner low-poo? Here’s a list of ingredients that silicones hide behind: Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Stearyl Dimethicone are common silicones.  Amodimethicone, Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane, and Trimethylsilyamodimethicone are gentler silicones that will slow down the buildup that traditional silicones leave behind but are still technically silicones.  And lastly, Behenoxy Dimethicone and Stearoxy Dimethicone are still technically silicones but are somewhat soluable in water.

Polyethelyne Glycol – Also referred to as PEG/Polyethelyne or Polyoxyethelyne, polyethelyne glycol is a water soluable silicone often added as a thickening agent to shampooos that can strip the hair and skin of its natural moisture.

Parabens – Parabens are used to kill bacteria and prolong shelf life in cosmetics including shampoo, conditioners, sunscreen, moisturizers, anti-aging serums, mascara, etc. They are the most commonly used preservative and unless your skin or beauty product specifically says “paraben-free” it probably has parabens in it.  Despite their common usage, parabens can cause skin irritation, including dermatitis, rosacia, and other allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.  There’s even some rumors that they may be carcinogenic or have an estrogenic effect with continued exposure.

Are your shampoo and coditioner low-poo? Look for parabens listed as methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, and polyparaben.

Other Ingredients to Avoid: 

Lanolin, Petroleum, and Mineral Oil – These ingredients are often added to shampoos and conditioners marketed for ethnic hair.   However, they offer no additional moisturizing benefit and can actually weigh the hair down and prevent the natural oils (sebum) from being absorbed by the hair shaft, thus actually having a long-term drying effect making hair more brittle.

Formaldehyde –  Formaldehyde is often added as a preservative in cosmetics.  However, it is a known carcinogen and can damage the skin’s natural oils causing dryness, flaking, dermatitis, and other allergic reactions.  Excessive exposure to formaldehyde can actually cause hair loss. **Formaldehyde was an ingredient in the original J&J No More Tears Baby Shampoo, which has recently been reformulated as a result of an outcry by concerned parents.

Propylene Glycol – Also known as antifreeze, propylene glycol is often added to shampoo and other cosmetics to prevent them from freezing during shipping and storage. However, it can cause skin irritations, allergic reactions and even alter the structure of the skin which may allow other chemicals to be more readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Alcohol – Almost all hair products contain alcohol of some sort but it can be drying in high concentrations.  Stay away from products that list alcohol as one of the first four ingredients on the label.

Synthetic Fragrance or Parfum – Synthetic fragrance can be a complex combination of thousands of chemicals that don’t have to be listed individually on ingredient labels.  Many of these can cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.  Best to just avoid products with fragrance or find products that use essential oils to add natural fragrance instead.

Artificial Color – There is no reason other than aesthetics to add artificial coloring to cosmetics.  Yet artificial colorants can cause skin sensitivity or scalp irritation.

My Journey:

So now that you know why you want to avoid these ingredients, here is a little bit about my journey into the low- and no-poo realm.

I first became interested in the low-poo movement after learning about how harsh SLS and SLES was on the skin.  I had thrown out my facial cleansers and switched to castile soap as a body wash alternative so naturally looking into my shampoo and conditioning routine would be the next logical step.  My hair had been dry, brittle, and damaged for years on end.  I had chalked it up to my own laziness and the fact that I only tend to get my hair trimmed every 1-2 years (yes, you read that correctly…).  In addition to dry, damaged hair I had been losing excessive amounts of hair for the last year or so before I started my journey.  It was bad enough that I had even switched to really expensive, department store shampoos, like Aveda, in a desperate attempt to improve the condition of my hair and help prevent breakage and loss (and I’ve mentioned before how cheap frugal I am so you know this was huge!).

Low(er)-Poo:

After being incredibly disappointed that I didn’t get better results spending ridiculous amounts of money on what I thought was a natural line of department store shampoo and conditioner I swore I’d never spend that much again. So when I went on my quest to find a sulfate free shampoo I started looking for brands that I could buy at a drug or grocery store for half (or less) the price of what I had been spending. My quest led to me to discover the Organix line of hair and beauty products. I started using Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner because I liked that it didn’t contain SLS or SLES and had the keratin added as a natural hair strengthening ingredient to help prevent breakage.  Overall, I really liked this product.  However, it claims to be sulfate free but does contain Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, which is technically a Sulfate. So in hindsight, it’s not actually Low Poo, hence my classification of Low(er) Poo.  I felt duped upon this discovery, so I continued to my quest and traveled further down the no poo rabbit hole.

**I’ve since learned that a better bet for drug-store low-poo brand is Shea Moisture. They have several formulations for different hair types all of which do not contain parabens, phthalates, paraffin, formaldehyde, popylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, petrolatum, sythetic color, or DEA and (bonus!) NO Animal Testing!  In fact, we use the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argon Oil Baby Head-To-Toe Wash & Shampoo with my daughter and love the way it lathers (makes a great bubble bath) and smells!

Oh Poo:

I was already using Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap as my body wash and in my research I had discovered that lots of people used castille soap as a no poo alternative to traditional shampoo so thought I would give it a try.  While my hair certainly felt clean, the Dr. Bronner’s sadly left my hair flat and kinda dry.  (I still use it as my daily body wash and have even converted my not-so-crunchy husband as well!) But, my favorite all natural blogger Crunchy Betty suggests combining Coconut Milk with Castille Soap to get the nice lather your used to with traditional shampoos and the extra moisturizing effect of the coconut milk. I personally haven’t tried it but if you’re up for it, check out her Sorta Poo recipe!

* I’ve listed this as Oh Poo because since my journey started castille soap, as well as shampoo bars, have been reclassified from No-Poo because technically any kind of soap is well… soap.  Just like you will learn below about other cleansing methods, soaps are very alkaline washing methods (some even more than baking soda) and still need to be followed up with an acidic rinse of some kind.  

**I cannot take credit for this witty renaming… The phrase Oh Poo came from here

No Poo:

When you finally get fed up enough and decide to take the plunge and go full on no poo you will see a lot of people recommend using a clarifying shampoo first.  I didn’t use clarifying shampoo, although this is a step commonly recommended.  Clarifying shampoo will help strip the excess silicones and other chemicals that have built up on the hair over time from using traditional shampoo and conditioning products.  This is also supposed to help decrease the amount of time you go through the transition period.  Since I started with low(er)-poo methods I felt I could skip this step.

So what is the transition period? Basically it is a period of detox for your hair as it releases all the toxic chemicals and allows the buildup of silicones and other ingredients to fade away.  The idea is you want the natural pH balance to return to your hair, a sort of homeostasis as it begins to produce just the right amount of natural oils, or sebum.  We’ve done so much damage to our hair by constantly stripping away the oils that our hair compensates by over-producing oil to try to maintain it’s health.  So it makes sense that when you stop stripping the natural oils that you would go through a period where your hair gets greasier.  This is why many people give up on the no poo methods of hair care.  But I promise, IT WILL GET BETTER! The trick is to give it time.  My transition was about 3 months overall, which is a bit longer than normal and probably couldn’t been shortened had I known more about my hair type and found my ideal routine sooner.

It may take several approaches before you find the right no poo method for you.  Do the research, learn about your hair and what it needs (take the porosity test here), and most importantly don’t give up!

No Poo methods I’ve tried, what worked for me and what didn’t:

  1. Honey – I had read so many scary things about the baking soda/vinegar combo (probably the most common no poo method) damaging people’s hair that I was too afraid to try it initially.  So I scoured the interwebz for other options.  I had already started washing my face with honey at the point that I stumbled across the Empowered Sustenance blog about her DIY Honey Shampoo. I was initially concerned that the honey would make my hair super sticky but if it’s mixed right it doesn’t.  The big turn off for me was having to mix up my “shampoo” before each wash because it can, and will, grow mold (which in hindsight isn’t a super big deal and I have to do that now anyway).  My hair was super soft and shiny using honey but it got super greasy really fast.  There is a big possibility that the grease factor was just my transition period.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried it again since then (because raw honey is expensive), but it would probably work just fine now that I’m out of transition.
  2. Bentonite Clay – A friend had given me some Bentonite Clay to use to make a face mask to help with my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control so when I decided honey wasn’t the right choice for me I figured I’d give the clay a shot.  Mommypotamus has a good blog on using clay for a mud wash and I used her technique.  I honestly wasn’t impressed and only used the mud wash a few times.  I felt like the clay was harder to get out of my hair and felt that it was pretty drying.  My hair wasn’t as soft, shiny, or as easy to run my fingers through as normal.  if you choose to go the mud wash route, try Rhassoul clay instead.
  3. BS/V – After several incredibly frustrating weeks of trying out the honey and the Bentonite clay I finally gave in and tried the baking soda/vinegar combo and eventually found the routine that works for me.  I originally tried the method I’ve listed below and didn’t feel like it worked well while I was in transition.  I then discovered the “paste method” where I would take 1 tbsp of baking soda and mix with just a touch of water until it formed a paste and would massage the paste into my roots.  I found this much more effective at getting me through my transition but I’ve since learned that this can be really damaging to your hair.  When I got pregnant my paste routine didn’t seem to be working as well and I switched to the method I describe below and it worked so much better! In hindsight, I wouldn’t do the paste method again, I would simply try to wait out my transition period. The key to any no poo wash is making sure that you restore the pH balance of your hair.  Wash methods are mainly alkaline in nature so its important that you use some sort of acidic rinse to return your hair to its slightly acidic baseline. This seals the cuticle of the hair, so to speak, and helps the keratin lay flat on your hair resulting in soft, silky, and smooth hair! The most common acid rinse is vinegar.  But I’ve also tried coffee and beer with some success.  If you want to lighten your hair, lemon juice is also a good alternative.  (See link at bottom of blog for more details on different wash routines and acid rinses).
    1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – This is generally recommended for people with dryer hair.  My hair actually tends to be a bit oilier so I’m not sure why I originally started with ACV (it may have been because the smell is ever so slightly less offensive to my hubby) but I did and it seems to work well for me.  But if you try it and you feel like it weighs your hair down, a switch to DWV may do the trick. *Some people will tell you to use the ACV “with the mother” (like Bragg’s) which basically means that the raw enzymes used to ferment the vinegar haven’t been removed.  If I was drinking vinegar for health purposes I would totally make sure that I was using vinegar with the mother because it is full of gut friendly bacteria that help promote overall health but to rinse my hair that stuff is just way to expensive and seemed largely unnecessary. 
    2. Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) – Often recommended for people with oilier hair.

BS-ACV routine

Celia’s BS/ACV “No Poo” Routine:

Baking Soda Hair Wash: 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water.  One trick I learned is that if you have hard water, boil your water first.    The baking soda will fizz a bit when the boiling water mixes in.  I take a spoon and make sure that it completely mixes.  Let cool then use to wash the roots of your hair, scrinching and massaging the scalp. I mix this up a few minutes before my shower and wash dishes or pump while it cools off. *If your head gets a little itchy or you feel like your scalp is too dry, try decreasing the amount of baking soda until you find a ratio that works for you. 

ACV Hair Rinse: I use a 22 oz spray bottle from the Dollar Tree.  Fill 1/3 of the way with ACV and fill the rest up with water.  I don’t boil this water, but I’ve seen some people recommend boiling it for this step too.  Then I add 20 drops each of my essential oils (you can use less if you have a smaller spray bottle).  Currently I’m using Lavender, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang.  The Ylang Ylang completely covers up the vinegar smell (and my hubby has a nose like a bloodhound where vinegar is concerned so this is awesome)!  *Check out my list below for details on which essential oils are good for your hair and pick your favorites based on your hair needs! I only use my hair rinse on the hair from my ears down.  All the no poo fanatics will tell you this is wrong and that you should make sure to spray it on the top of your head too in order to restore the pH balance of your hair but I find that if I do this my hair gets greasier quicker, but be warned, my routine is technically “wrong.”  Try spraying your whole head first and make the decision that works best for your hair.  I leave my hair rinse spray bottle in the shower and use it until it’s gone and have never had any problem with mold growing in it.  But I have seen people recommend only mixing up the amount that you will use at a time.

Essential Oils for Hair Care:

* You can use any of these oils as part of a no-poo, low-poo, oh-poo, or poo-poo routine! Just add a few drops to your preferred rinse or conditioner!

  • Cedarwood – Great for a dry scalp or thinning hair, helps prevent hair loss (I chose this for my current rinse because I was battling the postpartum hair loss and wanted an oil to help combat that)
  • Frankincense – Maintains healthy hair and stimulates regrowth
  • Lavender – Helps control hair loss, improves hair growth, and helps get rid of an itchy scalp and dry flakes.
  • Peppermint – Great for an oily scalp.
  • Rosemary – Encourages hair growth.
  • Sandalwood – Helps restore moisture to hair and gives it a nice shine. Also supposedly helps combat premature greying of your hair!
  • Tea Tree – Helps minimize flakes and prevents lice.
  • Ylang Ylang – A natural hair conditioner that stimulates hair growth. Plus it smells lovely!

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount. Message me for more details or join today here!

Other considerations and helpful tips for your no poo journey:

  • Learn to love wearing your hair in a ponytail or braids – it will save your sanity while you are going through transition! You need to go as long as possible between washing to help your hair through transition.  Especially with the BS/V routine you don’t want to wash your hair any more often than every 4 days.  It was seriously painful going this long between washes and seeing how greasy and gross my hair looked in the beginning.  Eventually I got to where I could make it 6-7 days between washes.  Now that I’ve cut my hair and have a difficult time putting it in a ponytail I admit that I can no longer go that long between washes.  I generally wash every 4 days now.  My hair looks great for the first three days, the fourth it starts to get a little flat but is still totally presentable. I can go 5 days but my hair is looking pretty rough by that 5th day.
  • Dry shampoo – another trick that saved my sanity during transition. When your hair starts to get greasy on day 2 or 3 but you need to go longer between washes, use an old makeup brush to apply dry shampoo to your roots.  I made my own using a recipe I found on the Wellness Mama blog (find it here).  I used arrowroot and cocoa powder since I have dark hair.  Blonds can get away with just arrowroot. And redheads can use cinnamon or red clay.
  • Boar Bristle Brush (BBB) – A BBB is a natural bristle brush that is used to help distribute the natural oils (sebum) along the length of your hair. This is technically the best type of hair brush to use, but I find that it makes my hair really staticky so I don’t really use it much anymore. But when in transition this is really important because it can keep the shaft of your hair moisturized and keep the sebum buildup from being quite so noticeable.  The Morocco Method is what is frequently recommended for brushing with a BBB.  Check out a how to video here.

Notes and References: 

I found a great deal of information and support on my no-poo journey from the No Poo (no shampoo) & Low Poo Hair Care Group Forum on Facebook.  It’s a public group so you can peruse the files without joining but must join as a group member to comment and ask questions.   Here are links to some of their files:

  • Getting Started With No Poo
  • No Poo Wash Methods – a pretty comprehensive list of the no poo wash methods out there.
  • Oh Poo – a list of soaps that can be used to wash the hair without the damaging effects of sulfates, silicones, and parabens found in commercial shampoos.  Note: Soaps are alkaline and you WILL still need an acid rinse of some kind to balance the pH of your hair
  • Acidic Rinses & herbal Rinses/Teas/Infusions – a pretty comprehensive list of rinses that help restore the pH balance of your hair when using alkaline washing methods and provide a conditioning effect

Want to take it even further, check out Water Only (WO) and Sebum Only (SO) methods of hair care!

Another great, non-Facebook, resource is the No Poo Method website.  It has a great list of FAQ’s and describes a variety of methods and problem solving approaches to common pitfalls with the no poo method.

Do you no poo? Share your method below to keep the conversation going!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 3 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally.

Let’s face, no one really enjoys cleaning the toilet. And when you factor in all the gross chemicals involved it makes the whole process even less desirable. When I caught the spring cleaning bug over the weekend I knew I had to find a way to clean my toilet naturally so that I could at least generate some excitement about the process. I was surprised at the number of natural cleaning methods I found so I’ll share them below as well as share what method I used (I’ll spare you the before and after pics this time!).

Let’s begin by looking at some common store-bought toilet cleaners and why you’ll want to avoid them!

Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite is the main ingredient in bleach and is a known allergen and skin irritant. It can cause severe skin burns and eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life. (Not to mention that if you are clumsy like me you’ll wind up bleaching everything else in your home by accident…)
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner – The main ingredient in Lysol’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner is Hydrochloric Acid which can not only cause severe skin burns and eye damage but also acts as an upper respiratory irritant and can contribute to asthma attacks and pulmonary edema.
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel – Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel contains Polymers, which are not only toxic to aquatic life but also skin and eye irritants, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, another skin irritant, and artificial Fragrance which can be an allergen or skin irritant.
2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner – 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, while convenient (IF it truly does “clean with every flush”) also contains several harmful ingredients, including Surfactants, which are toxic to aquatic life as well as being skin and respiratory irritants; 1,3-Dichloro-5-Ethyl-5-Methylhydantion, which is a known allergen and skin irritant; Chlorine Bleach (see above); and artificial Fragrance.

So now that you’re ready to throw out your toilet bowl cleaners, let’s look at some common household ingredients that you already have on hand that help clean naturally!

Baking Soda – Baking Soda is a natural abrasive that can help you scour your toilet bowl and act as a natural deodorizer. However it does not have any germ-fighting qualities. Pair it with Vinegar for the ultimate toilet bowl cleaning duo!
Borax – Not everyone has this on hand but it is easily found at your local grocery store. Borax is often mistaken as Boric Acid (which is toxic!) but it is NOT the same thing! Borax is actually Sodium Tetraborate which is non-toxic unless ingested in very large amounts. It’s a great, old-fashioned multi-purpose cleaner. It is commonly used as a natural laundry detergent but can also be used to clean, whiten (it doesn’t bleach, just removes stains) and deodorize your bathroom or kitchen and even used to rid your home of ants naturally!
Citric Acid (or Lemon Juice) – Citric acid is a natural, eco-friendly and cost-effective cleaning agent/ingredient, especially effective at removing stains and hard water buildup. Citric acid is also found in lemon juice and while we may not all have citric acid laying around our home, many of us have lemon juice in our fridge! (Note: Lemon essential oil does NOT contain citric acid) You can order citric acid through Mountain Rose Herbs here: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/produ…/citric-acid/profile
Essential Oils – I’ve already discussed how awesome I think essential oils are as additions to homemade cleaners (because of germ-fighting properties and ability to prohibit bacteria and fungal growth) and cleaning the toilet is no exception! Oils such as Tea Tree and Thieves are especially effective. But others oils, such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and Citrus oils, also have germ-fighting properties as well!
Vinegar – Vinegar is a natural acid that is mild enough to not irritate the skin but is effective at cleaning, disinfecting, and eliminating odors. Use in combination with Baking Soda or Borax for an especially effective toilet bowl cleaner!

Another wonderful way to help rid your toilet of those awful rings (especially if you get the hard ones around the rim of the toilet that never seem to come out no matter how much you scrub) is to invest in a natural Pumice Stone (just like the one your grandmother uses on her feet!). I found mine on Amazon for less than $5. Buy it here:http://www.amazon.com/Pumice-Scouring-S…/…/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1…

I found several great methods of using the above ingredients to clean my toilet over at DIY Natural but opted for my own method, which I’ve included below.

How to Clean Your Toilet Naturally:

Ingredients:
• Borax (or Baking Soda)
• Thieves cleaner (find my recipe here)
• Pumice Stone

Directions:
• Pour ½ – ¾ cup of Borax (or Baking Soda) in toilet bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Use toilet brush to scrub inside of toilet then flush.
• Use Thieves cleaner to spray the inside and outside walls of the toilet bowl and clean with sponge.
• Use the Pumice stone on any hard surface stains or toilet bowl rings that did not come out with the above methods.

Keep the conversation going! What’s your favorite all natural method of cleaning the toilet? Comment below!

Did you miss Part 1 and 2 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally