Creating your own body care products can be very rewarding for a variety of reasons. From having control over what goes in them, to customizing according to your preferences, to reducing waste, saving money and more.
1. You decide what goes in them
When you make your own DIY body care products, you know exactly what’s in them. If you choose to reduce your exposure to the common preservatives, fragrance and color chemicals found in many commercial body care products, then you can when you DIY.
2. You can customize according to your needs and preferences
DIY body care products let you customize the aroma, batch size and benefit from your own personal preferences and needs. Need a relaxing massage? Just mix a small amount of skin care oil with your choice of a gentle essential oil. Want a soap-free hand gel with a purifying benefit? Mix aloe vera gel with tea tree essential oil.
3. You can reduce waste
DIY body care products help you reduce waste because you’ll throw the less unused product away while reusing your own custom containers. Amber glass is the premium container for your DIY products because it’s recyclable, dishwasher safe and provides great protection against light degradation. Cut down on plastic waste by using your amber glass bottles over and over again.
4. You can save money
Yes, in addition to other great reasons, DIY body care products can save you money because you can buy ingredients in bulk and make just the amount you need. Aura Cacia skin care oils, for example, come in a variety of sizes so for instance, you could buy a 16-ounce container of sweet almond oil and fill a single 2-ounce amber glass bottle with a sweet almond oil based bath, body or massage oil 8 times over rather than buying the products 8 times.
5. Engage in simplicity and mindfulness
Finally, when you engage in the practice of making your own DIY body care products, you engage in simplicity and mindfulness. The process can be approachable for anyone who cares to be creative, cares about what they put on their body and cares about the impact those products have in the world. You don’t need to be a cosmetic formulator with a technical degree in product development when so many easy-to-make recipes are available and you have access to ingredients.
Quick tips for DIY hair care
Finding the right products to highlight the best aspects of my hair has been challenging, to say the least. After being told far too often as a child that my hair was ‘difficult’ and a myriad of bad salon experiences in my young life, I was left with some angry follicular issues as I moved into adulthood.
A trial and error approach
As I learned more about myself and my hair, it became clear to me that the solution was within my grasp. I figured out that I couldn’t wash my hair as often as my friends because my fine, tight curls are also very delicate and both dry out and break off easily. I discovered that I needed a whole lot more moisture and way fewer drying agents. It was a true trial and error process.
What I learned
My hair responds well to deep conditioning. Coconut oil and argan oil are mainstays in my weekly organic haircare regimen, along with a little help from rosemary essential oil and apple cider vinegar. I treat my hair as I treat my children – with a lot of love and care and respect. The result is that now, my hair once maligned by stylists for its difficulty is easy to manage and thrives without much shampooing. While I once spent hours straightening, spraying, gelling and mousing my curls into submission, I now run some argan oil through it while it is wet and I let it air dry. Easy, nourishing and authentic for the hair I have.
Try it for yourself
DIY hair care is all about learning what fits YOU. With the right amount of understanding of what your locks love, you can simplify your hair care regimen and feel good about what you put in your hair. Here are some tips I like to rely on with DIY hair care:
1. Know that if your hair is oily and thick, a coconut oil hair treatment, while trendy, isn’t the best fit for you. Stay true to your hair and pick the right oil to use in conditioning based on what your hair needs, not what your favorite blogger recommends.
2. Simple, naturally derived ingredients like clay powder, cornstarch, argan oil and avocado oil can go a long way in the creation of dry shampoos and homemade conditioners.
3. The right essential oils can help with the aroma of your DIY haircare product AND can contribute to a happy scalp.
4. Organic vegetable glycerin is an ideal swap for heavily formulated, silicone-based frizz and flyaway serums. A couple of drops can tame flyaway hair with ease.
Homemade deodorant: The quest for a clean counter to body odor
For years I have searched for the perfect clean alternative to commercial deodorant. Perfect for me, that is. Not one to be overly concerned about sweat or perspiration (it is natural and healthy for the body to perspire, so why to suppress it?), I wanted something that was a good counter for body odor that was also effective — meaning, something that would last longer than an hour or two.
Before I explored homemade deodorant, I tried many naturally derived, store-bought deodorants, which have a bit of a bad rap. They aren’t as effective as the consumer wants them to be, often requiring reapplication throughout the day. In some cases, the ingredients in these deodorants aren’t as clean as we want them to be, which can also prove to be a challenge.
After a little bit of digging, I found a couple of recipes online that were quite simple to make in my own kitchen. I tweaked the recipes to create a formula that incorporated some of the best aromatic effects of the chosen essential oils and to give them a stronger odor fighting punch. Once all the ingredients were gathered, it took less than 15 minutes to create a cream deodorant that rivaled a natural version I paid a tidy sum for someone else to make for me. Never again with this recipe. I am happy to report it worked well — sometimes for a couple of days at a time, and didn’t leave permanent white streaks on my clothing.
What you need to make your own homemade deodorant:
1. Baking soda
A key ingredient in clean deodorant, baking soda can be used on its own for a simple deodorant as a paste made with water. It is a must-have in any homemade deodorant recipe, as it is free of harsh chemicals and very effective at keeping odor at bay.
2. Powdered clay
Another great component used to fight odor, clay comes in a lot of varieties. I like bentonite clay, but other powdered clays can be used as well. However, color-rich clays are generally not recommended as they could cause discoloration of the skin.
3. Coconut oil
Great for fighting odor and for moisture, coconut oil was is the key binding ingredient in the dry powders.
4. Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Either powder can be used to absorb moisture. This is great for keeping underarms dry.
5. Essential oils
Essential oils contribute the desired aroma to homemade deodorant. Choose gentle oils like bergamot (bergapten-free), lavender, coriander or geranium because the underarm is a sensitive area. Bergamot (bergapten-free) essential oil, in particular, is great because it is a terrific odor fighter with a fresh, light scent. Be sure to use a bergapten-free version because the bergapten in standard bergamot essential oil makes the skin susceptible to UV radiation should your skin be exposed to sunlight.
It’s important to know that these ingredients function primarily as deodorants and not antiperspirants. Perspiration, specifically underarm sweat, is a normal function of a healthy body. The body odor that sweating produces can be a nuisance, but fortunately, it can be controlled naturally through regular washing and the application of a deodorant. Unlike antiperspirants, which can be formulated with substances which plug and suppress the sweat gland, deodorants won’t interfere with the normal functioning of these glands. Deodorants can interrupt the formation of body odor by decreasing the bacteria that cause body odor, as well as helping to mask body odor when it does occur. Essential oils provide cleansing and purifying aroma benefits to the mix. Essential oils are easy to incorporate into completely natural DIY homemade deodorants which will feature less worrisome, more wholesome ingredients than conventional commercial versions which often rely on odor neutralizing chemicals, drying alcohol, bactericides, and synthesized fragrances.
Powder Deodorant with Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Hands-on Time: 15 mins
- Makes: 4 ounces
A deeply floral DIY powder deodorant made with baking soda, cornstarch, rice, and ylang-ylang essential oil.
- 48 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- 4-ounce Amber Wide Mouth Jar with Writable Label
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon uncooked rice
- cotton ball or powder puff
1. Into jar, measure baking soda.
2. Add ylang-ylang essential oil and stir until a damp powder form.
3. Add cornstarch and rice and stir until well mixed.
4. To use, apply deodorant to underarms using a cotton ball or powder puff.