I love the idea of making my own toiletries and even more so when it’s using mainly edible ingredients I have around the kitchen. These recipes have been adapted from various places such as Zero Waste Home and Trash is For Tossers.
I’ve tried three types of zero waste deodorants; a mineral crystal stick which is the fastest and easiest but probably not as effective as the other two, which include a DIY cream and a store bought version. The DIY recipe is below and I’ve found a similar deodorant by the Natural Deodorant Company which comes in a cute and very portable glass jar and smells absolutely amazing.
DIY deodorant recipe
- 2 tbsp. arrow root powder
- 1 tbsp. bicarb soda
- 1 tbsp. shea butter
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- Essential oil: a few drops of Bergamot & Orange or lemongrass
In a double boiler melt the shea butter, then add the other ingredients and mix. Pour into a jar and let set in the fridge for at least 20min. To use just take some in you fingers, rub to warm up then rub under your arms until absorbed. I love the smell of this combination and the softness of it on my skin, but while it helps fight bacteria that causes odour, it doesn’t stop sweat.
- 1 part bicarb soda
- 2 parts coconut oil
- A few drops of peppermint essential oil
Melt over a double boiler and mix. Pour into a jar and cool in the fridge. Apply a small amount to your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth as normal. It may taste a bit salty and wont foam like regular toothpaste but my teeth always feel clean afterwards. There are several companies that make bamboo tooth brushes, I use one from a Swedish company as it’s stocked in a shop near me. While I made the switch from plastic for environmental reasons I actually also love the feel of the bamboo when brushing my teeth. Not being a dentist, you should obviously check with yours about what they think of this toothpaste option for your teeth.
The idea of cleansing your skin with oil may seem counterintuitive and a bit scary if you have acne-prone skin (like me) and haven’t tried this before. But since like dissolves like (in this case a non-polar solvent being dissolved by another non-polar solvent), it is an effective way to dissolve and replace the oil that has hardened with impurities and stuck in your pores, without stripping or irritating your skin.
I’ve been using this method consistently for a few weeks and found it really works for my skin. There are numerous different combinations of oils you can use/try for different skin types and like many things you probably have to try a few before you find one that works best for you. Below is what I use for my oily-type skin. As it’s coming into winter in Helsinki and the indoor heating really dries out my skin, my next batch will have less castor oil as it is astringent and can dry out your skin if you use too much. Update: while this worked well for me during the dryer/colder months, in summer I reverted to a traditional cleanser.
In a 30ml bottle add the oils and shake thoroughly.
- 30% castor oil
- 50% jojoba
- 20% raspberry seed oil – high in vitamin E and anti-inflammatory properties
- a few drops of tea tree oil – antibacterial properties
To use, pour about 1/2 tsp. of oil in your hands, warm by rubbing your palms together then massage in small circles on your (dry) face for a minute or two. Soak a facecloth in warm-hot water, wring and drape over your face until it cools, wiping off oil as you remove it. Repeat once or twice more until you feel the oil has been removed. If my skin feels dry afterwards I use a little of my regular face moisturiser. I use this pretty much every night and in the morning use a general liquid cleanser- I’m on the look out for a solid face soap that works well with acne-prone skin and is sold in Finland- let me know if you use/know a great one 🙂
- 1 tsp of beeswax or pawpaw ointment
- 1 1/2 tsp of coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp kohl/charcoal powder
- 1/2 tsp honey
Melt everything except the honey in a double boiler. Once melted and combined add the honey and mix. Transfer to a jar and allow to cool into a solid, then stir vigorously to make a paste. I transferred some to a small travel sized bottle and kept the rest as a stock in the larger jar in the fridge. I use a cleaned old mascara brush to apply.
This is super easy, mix coco powder and corn starch/arrow root powder to create a hue that matches your hair. Apply to your roots, rub in and then brush hair. I’ve found it to be much more effective than store bought dry shampoos, without the chemicals and horrible smell many of them have. I store mine in a small glass bottle which is great for travelling but an old spice shaker would also be perfect for easily applying to your hair.
Whipped Body butter
- 2 tbsp. shea butter
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. raspberry seed oil or similar for vitamin E
- 1 tbsp. argan oil
- 10-15 drop essential oils- orange and lavender or whatever scent you like
Melt the shea butter in a double boiler then add the other oils except the essential oils. Once combined, sit to cool then refrigerate for 1 hr. Add the essential oils then whip it for a few minutes. I used my thermomix but other mixers would also work. Store in jars and keep any stock supplies in the fridge.