Self-care is important. All the more important, each person needs to create and maintain a sustainable self-care routine. Personal care should mean safe caring for oneself, and all other beings. In fact, we should try to do some DIY personal care items to have a safer and more affordable self-care routine.
Most products in the beauty and cosmetics industry hide danger behind their glossy packaging. Some fatal dark truths of beauty and personal care products are harsh chemicals, artificial junk, preservatives, and worst of all, possible carcinogens. To find the safety of the products you use, check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep database.
The plastic bottles we rely on to transport shampoos and lotions from store to home will remain on the planet for 450 years, on average. Making beauty products at home gives consumers complete control over how much plastic enters – and exits! – the home.
Adopting DIY products saves money, too, because name-brand items are often significantly marked up. According to Stephanie Seferian of The Sustainable Minimalists, common ingredients in many DIY beauty products include beeswax, coconut oil, and Shea butter; buying these items in bulk results in even greater savings.
In the 3rd part of the Saving Money Through Zero Waste series, the Zero Waste Lifestyle System asked prolific beauty experts, lifestyle bloggers and environmental experts about how should a person create a sustainable self-care routine on their own. Get inspired to try and make your own DIY personal care recipes with their insights.
DIY Personal Care recipes
In a microwave-safe container, melt 3 T beeswax, 2 T shea butter, and 4T coconut oil in 30-second increments, stirring well after each one. Stir in essential oil, if using. Carefully pour into tubes or containers and allow to cool before using. Wash out old eye shadow containers and use them to store homemade lip balm.
Hand and body lotion
Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup coconut oil, and 1/4 cup beeswax in a coffee can atop a double boiler. Add Shea butter. Stir occasionally as ingredients melt. When all ingredients are completely melted, add 1 t. Vitamin E and essential oils, if using. Cool.
Separate my DIY lotion into baby food jars and leave them in various places throughout the home such as next to the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, and in the car’s center console, too.
Combine 3 T coconut oil and 2 T Shea butter in a large glass jar of coffee can, then place within a saucepan filled with water. Heat saucepan and melt the contents of the coffee can.Remove from heat; add 3 T baking soda and 2 T cornstarch. Mix well. Add essential oils, if using. Let cool.
If you prefer to reuse your old deodorant stick, let the texture cool completely before inserting.
Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the petroleum manufacturing process and is made from the waxy petroleum material that formed on oil rigs and distilling it. It’s entirely possible to reap the same moisturizing benefits from Vaseline without the questionable ingredients.
Combine 1/8 cup beeswax and 1/2 cup olive oil in an old coffee can. Melt over low heat in a double boiler. Cool. Store inside a repurposed glass jar with a lid.
Exfoliating is an essential aspect of skincare. Weekly exfoliation can remove dead skin cells, encourage skin renewal, and ensure that products are able to be properly absorbed into the epidermis.
Adina Mahalli of Maple Holistics notes that many conventional exfoliators not only contain more chemicals than necessary but they tend to contain microbeads. These beads’ rough texture aims to remove dead skin cells, but they are toxic to marine life and pollute our waterways.
Instead, try mixing ¼ cup of honey with ½ cup of brown sugar into a bowl. Add a carrier oil of your choice – I recommend sweet almond oil because it’s gentle on all skin types – and blend well. Exfoliate as usual, rinse your face with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Conventional makeup removers, or worse makeup remover wipes, are not only unsustainable but are also often too harsh on your skin. They usually contain high levels of alcohol which tends to strip the skin a little too well.
Instead, try using coconut oil which is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids to renew and rehydrate your skin. Just place a little on a cotton pad and wipe across the face like you would with any other makeup remover. Don’t forget to wash your face with warm water and pat dry after use.
Place cornstarch in a repurposed jar. Add cocoa powder to tint. (Dark hair will require more cocoa powder than light hair.) Shake to mix. Apply to hair roots using an old makeup brush.
Mix 2 parts arrowroot powder or baking soda with 1 part coconut oil and 1 drop peppermint oil (optional) with a fork. Store toothpaste in a container that tightly seals. When ready to use, apply to toothbrush with a clean spoon.
DIY teeth whitening
In our beauty conscious society, one of the first things that people will notice about you is your smile! Dr. Catrise Austin of VIP Smiles Dentistry, PLLC says that having a beautiful smile is not a luxury it’s a necessity and having a white smile makes you more confident, happier, and more successful in every area of life.
One great at home recipe is called the “Julianne Hough’s Spicy Smile” – She uses the popular Asian and Indian spice called Turmeric. Turmeric spice with baking soda and coconut oil , brush it on your teeth. Let it marinate for 5-10 minutes and rinse. You’ll instantly see whiter teeth!
Smart Tips on Sustainable Personal Care
Aside from learning some personal care recipes, we also advise you to take care of yourself by doing things wisely. Here are some smart tips you can use to maintain a sustainable self-care routine.
Sleep well and relax before bedtime.
As a leader in women’s loungewear design, Maureen Barillaro of I Love My Nighty recommends that personal care starts with a good night’s sleep. When you prioritize your beauty sleep, everything else in life becomes easier. Sleep is not just about getting to bed on time.
It’s about creating a lifestyle that allows for relaxing moments throughout the day, so that you don’t get home in the evening, completely wound up and unable to relax. When you get home, change out of your day time clothes into something that sends the message: it’s time to focus on relaxation.
Barillaro loves to have a cup of Nighty Night loose tea, do a little net flexing yoga workout while catching up on my favorite program and then a facial massage starting with a homemade spritz (water, rosewater and vitamin E oil) then 6-8 drops of homemade aromatherapeutic serum (grapeseed oil, rosehip oil and frankincense) and massage in with a jade roller.
Use coconut oil, for everything!
According to Casper Ohm of Water-Pollution.org.uk, multi-purpose items such as coconut oil can replace many store-bought products. For example, you can cook delicious meals with coconut oil and also use it as a skin moisturizer. So it can replace butter, as a zero-waste ingredient to have in your kitchen. Not to mention coconut oil is nutritious and is healthy for your body, as it’s loaded with fatty acids.
Ohm says that he always have a large tub of coconut oil in the house that I use for these purposes, and it can last me a few months at a time. It definitely beats having to buy hand cream, moisturizer, suntan lotion, and butter, all of which tend to be packaged in plastic.
He recommends everyone to embrace coconut oil as one of the best zero waste personal care items you can incorporate in your daily routine. When you’re on vacation, use coconut oil instead of sunscreen, which spares the ocean from toxic chemicals that are found in most store-bought lotion.
Upcycle your old bamboo toothbrush.
If you’re aiming for a zero waste lifestyle, there’s a good chance you’ve
already converted from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one. According to Angela Ott, Founder and CEO of TreeBird, while bamboo brushes can be composted after use, they can also be upcycled for personal use.
Simply sanitize the toothbrush in boiling water, and it’s now perfect for scrubbing out the grout in your bathroom, garage, and kitchen (it’s perfect for the cheese grater!) If you spend a lot of time on your computer, your sanitized bamboo toothbrush can also be a nifty tool for cleaning those hard to reach spots between the keys, as well as a variety of other household electronics, including your dryer filter, hair dryer, and vacuum cleaner.
As a beauty tool, an old toothbrush can be used to plump up your lips for a big, full smile even Julia Roberts would envy. Simply dip your toothbrush into a yummy mixture of coconut oil and sugar to create an all natural scrub. Exfoliating your lips will even out of the surface of your lips, so when you apply a gloss or stain, they will look fuller and firmer.
Pro-tip: be sure to mark your upcycled toothbrush with a little doodle, like a flower or a smiley face, so you don’t confuse it with your daily toothbrush!
Essential Oils for Bath Time
With the rising awareness of the benefits of essential oils, bath time (and shower time!) can become a whole new experience. Although bath bombs are a fun way to embrace self-care, Stacie May of Lucky Watcher says that the benefits of essential oils are not only more sustainable but also better for your skin.
Depending on the benefits that you wish to reap, add a few drops of lavender essential oil for stress-relief, or lemon essential oil to refresh and awaken your senses, to your bathtub. You can also add some to the base of your bathtub and enjoy the steamy diffusion while you shower.
In your free time, you can try creating natural personal care items in the comfort of your own home. Creating them yourself is one of the best hobbies to take up, especially during long periods wherein you cannot go outside. The DIY personal care recipes and tips are just the tip of the iceberg of the whole sustainable self-care lifestyle.
It’s important to point out that you can try to DIY some parts of your personal care. But it’s not particularly necessary to do everything by yourself. DIYing everything is not the answer to the problem of harmful personal care products.
Rather, think of DIY personal care as a transition until you find better options in the market for your needs. The most important thing to do is to pressure and compel the beauty and personal care industry to change how they produce. While doing some DIY recipes, you can also voice out your concerns for more sustainable products in the global market.