Thursday, March 26, 2009

Making Your Own EVERYTHING

A friend asked me a few days ago, "So, Laura, is there anything you're not making right now?" And the answer to that is pretty much no. Here's what's on the list:

Toothpaste: Thanks to "Seeking the Old Paths" for this awesome recipe. Super-simple, too. I tweaked it a bit -- equal parts coconut oil and baking soda, plus spearmint oil and tea tree oil for flavor, and xylitol (a non-nutritive sugar alcohol that the bacteria in your mouth can't use) for sweetness. I'm putting it in a little half-pint glass jar and just dipping my toothbrush into it. It's a little salty-tasting but I like the creaminess of the coconut oil. It's nice, and let me tell you, my teeth are insanely clean-feeling when I use it!

Shampoo and "conditioner": inspired by, who else, but Little House in the Suburbs. The shampoo is just soap and water, blended up with olive oil and some essential oils. The conditioner is a mix of apple cider vinegar and water in a squirt bottle. I'll let you know how these work when I run out of my regular stuff.

Basil-rosemary sugar scrub: another Little House recipe. Mine wound up being about 1/4 cup powdered herbs, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup olive oil, and 30 drops or so of tea tree oil. Can you tell I'm obsessed with the tea tree oil? I just found a great price for it online, too. Fab. Just used the scrub on my face and it feels amazingly smooth and not the least bit greasy. I'm already in love.

Anti-perspirant/deodorant: Yes, I'm totally serious. Yet another Little House concoction, made all the more brilliant by the fact that you put it in your old deodorant container. Luuuurrrve this idea -- cramming aluminum in my pores day after day kinda freaks me out, honestly, so I'm stoked about not having to use commercial deo anymore. It's just baking soda, cornstarch, anti-bac essential oils (geranium, tea tree, etc.), and some coconut oil. Easy-peasy.

Plus, I'm using coconut oil for face moisturizer (I have combination skin that's pretty blemish-prone, and it works beautifully for me), and making my own soap is on the horizon.

Man, I just love NOT having to buy stuff. Saving money, AND cutting chemicals out of my life at the same time? Yes, please!

11 comments:

Sarah Cosper said...

You will love making your own soap. I hope to start it again this fall when baby maggie is bigger. Maybe we can trade bars!

Laura said...

Ooh, Sarah, I would love to get a little tutorial from you! I'll teach you how to can, you teach me how to make soap. And then we'll start a hippie commune and... wait.

I made lye soap (pioneer style with lard) in junior high for a school project but I don't totally remember it.

Laura's Dad said...

Um, Laura, the lye soap you made in junior high was horrifying. Remember, we used ashes from the wood-stove, and shortening, and all that. Fascinating to make, but so harsh.

HHH

AAA

RRR

SSS

HHH

!!!

That is NOT the way to go!

Laura said...

Duh!! No way would I make it like that! Tell you what, though, it was a great stain remover.

Laura's Mom said...

And remember, because we put it through an old red t-shirt in a pop flat to set, it turned out looking like pink rice crispie treats? And some kid tried to take a bite out of it before we got the SOAP sign put on it? Good times.

Laura said...

Hahaha... they did look very weird.

Jeremy & Kristin Perrine said...

You're blog has been so helpful, Laura! And I'd love to jump on that soap-making tutorial too, Sarah!

Laura said...

Thanks Kristin! I'm glad that my wacky experimentation is beneficial to other people! :)

Christi Lee said...

A friend of mine has done a ton of research on aromatherapy and ESPECIALLY soap making. She has her own recipes for everything. We helped her make a bunch of bars of lye soap for a farmers market, but I don't remember the proportions... maybe I could get in touch with her if you'd like. We still have some left if you want to try 'em, but the essential oils lose their scent after a couple of years.

sherrieg said...

Thanks for the links, especially the deodorant one! I've tried a few recipes, but haven't come up with one I love yet.

As for soap, that's my thing! I have a cold process tutorial on my soap blog, here:
http://www.birchbarksoap.com/?p=33
Maybe that will be helpful. Warning: making soap is completely addictive. :)

Laura said...

Christi, I for sure would love some of that soap if you can spare some.

Sherrie, thanks for the link and the comment! :)