In my last post, I explained why I make many of my own homemade body care products, and shared my homemade deodorant recipe. Here are the rest. Enjoy!
OK, I am NOT an expert on dental care, so I won’t even go so far as recommending this recipe to you. I’m just letting you know that it’s what I use. I’ve been using it for almost two years and my teeth are as white as ever. I’ve had problems with sensitive teeth in previous years when using commercial toothpaste but never while using this recipe.
I must confess that I haven’t been to the dentist in several years, though, so I don’t know how she would evaluate my teeth. I can’t imagine she would be horrified by anything she saw, considering I don’t feel any sensitivity and haven’t noticed any discoloration. But I just wanted you to know that I haven’t been evaluated by a professional.
Why make my own toothpaste?
It can be kind of scary to take your dental hygiene into your own hands, but I decided I was more scared of fluoride and Sodium Laurel Sulfate, so I took the plunge.
Dental health is a topic I want to learn much more about. All I currently know is that modern dentistry and oral hygiene practices are clearly not working. It’s rare to meet a person who has never had a cavity filled. I, for one, have had literally dozens of fillings in my lifetime, between my primary and secondary teeth. (So has my husband.) I got my first fillings at the age of two, despite the fact that my mom followed all the rules, brushing my little teeth with fluoridated toothpaste from the start and taking me in for regular dentist check-ups and cleanings. And all that fluoride I was given in school and at the dentist’s office? Yeh. Didn’t seem to work out that well for me.
I understand that diet plays a huge role, but I find it remarkable that modern dental practices seem completely unable to abate the decay.
So while I may not know everything there is to know about caring for my teeth, I do know that it could hardly get any worse than it was under the care of professionals.
(OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now and just give you the recipe).
- 5 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s baby mild; you could also try peppermint)
- ½ Tbsp baking soda
- 10-20 drops essential oil (I use 10 drops peppermint and 10 drops sweet orange)
- ½ tsp stevia or 1 tsp xylitol
Mix in a small container. Chill to let it firm up; stir again (the baking soda tends to settle on the bottom).
To use, scoop a little onto your toothbrush with a spoon if you’re all hoity-toity about germs; dip your toothbrush into it if you’re not.
The coconut oil and peppermint oil are antimicrobial; the baking soda is a mild abrasive; the soap gives you a little foam. The stevia or xylitol sweeten it, although xylitol is reported to help remineralize tooth enamel.
The taste isn’t half bad. You can’t really taste the soap or baking soda. It’s no Crest or Aquafresh, but it’s all right.
I tried this other homemade toothpaste recipe, but found the salt taste disgusting. However, the article regarding fluoride is worth a read.
Oil Facial Cleanser
I first read about cleaning your face with oil from Simple Mom. You massage a blend of olive oil and castor oil into your skin, and then steam it out with a hot washcloth.
The idea is that like dissolves like: oil dissolves excess oil on your face, along with any gunk, and then gets wiped away with a warm, wet cloth.
I have to admit, this one was a hard sell for me. I’ve always had acne-prone skin, and slathering oil onto my face just sounded so counter-intuitive.
But I wasn’t comfortable slathering on the chemicals, either. Besides, I’d tried everything on the market growing up, and nothing — I mean NOTHING — ever worked. So I put on my big girl panties and gave it a try.
I love it. It works great. My skin is soft and as blemish-free as I can expect it to be, given my poor genetic foundation.
Instead of reprinting the whole thing, and repeating the benefits, I’ll just direct you to the Simple Mom post.
I use the dry-skin formula, i.e. one part castor oil to three parts extra-virgin olive oil. And again, tea tree oil is important for its antibacterial properties if you have problem skin.
I have also made my own hard hand lotion, whipped body lotion, and lip balm, but honestly, ever since switching to a high-fat, traditional-foods diet with fish oil supplements, I don’t have many of the skin problems I used to have — namely, dry, flaky skin in the winter, mild cellulite, and Keratosis pilaris (i.e. red bumps on the backs of my arms). And I’m too lazy to apply these things just for the pretty smell.
If I ever do need a bit of moisturizing, I usually just rub on a dab of coconut oil. (Coconut oil also works as a general lubricant . . . *cough* . . . ). I rubbed it on my belly while I was pregnant, too. (I never got any stretchmarks, but that was probably just luck).
If I’m going to be out in the sun for a bit I rub on a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. According to the authors of No More Dirty Looks, in addition to packing antioxidants and skin-friendly fats, EVOO also enhances UVB protection. (I wouldn’t recommend this to really fair folks or for truly extended periods of time in the sun. You probably need some proper sun block in these cases. I have a dash of Aboriginal blood in me and rarely burn). If I do get a bit of a pink tinge from the sun, I re-apply EVOO as it reduces sun damage.
So I have tiny little Tupperware containers filled with coconut oil and EVOO sitting around in the bathroom and bedroom for these purposes.
Oh, and as I’ve mentioned, I do also use some commercial makeup from time to time, which I’m not thrilled about. I use Physician’s Formula, which isn’t fantastic, but at least isn’t Maybelline or Cover Girl.
* * *
So there you have it: my entire homemade beauty regimen.
Have you ever tried making your own body care products? What was your experience?