Thursday, April 05, 2012

Natural Shtuff

I'm sure that you all know that Jason and I like "natural" products: wooden toys for the kids, beeswax candles, organic food (when affordable and in season).  I'm just a northwest hippie (wink) into breastfeeding, natural childbirth (as much as my wimpiness will allow), homeschooling, and cooking from scratch.  I will admit to a fondness for fast-food hamburgers, though I've noticed that as I have gotten older, my stomach doesn't like a Sourdough Jack as much as it used to.  Compared to some, I know we are newbies when it comes to "natural living" and we haven't yet gotten into the world of making our own kombucha and kefir, though we do make yogurt on occasion.  This isn't to say we won't get there eventually, but I just haven't started doing those things yet. 

Over the past few years, we've been using more natural products, especially with our kids.  After reading some not great things about some baby wash/shampoos and diapers, we changed what we bought for them.  And Jason has been encouraging me to start using natural cleaning products (something I've pinned lots of ideas for, but haven't really used yet) and natural beauty products.

A year or so ago we started making our own deodorant.  I'm sure that many of you will think this is crazy (at least maybe to those who aren't from our community).  But I assure you, it's not as strange as it might sound and especially when it comes to women's deodorant, it definitely does not have all the yucky additives that can be harmful (aluminum, triclosan, etc...).  Jason was happy with our recipe, but I wasn't super cheerful about the consistency.  I need to give it another spin.  So right now I use Tom's of Maine brand and am fairly happy with the results, but making and using our own is of course the cheaper alternative.

And about two months ago, I gave up using any face wash products and instead use just honey.  I could have gone whole hog and just started washing with water, as do several of my friends and husband, but I couldn't quite get over the comfort of using something to clean my face.  And I can say that it is wonderful!  Even though I am approaching the big 3-0, I still break out quite often.  And I've noticed over the past months that my breakouts have gotten fewer and farther between and when I do get a pimple, they go away much more quickly than before.  Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which makes it a good fit for someone who breaks out occasionally.  There are a million websites out there with more info, but here is one of them.  We also use a Vitamin E oil with almond and coconut oils in it as our moisturizer.  I love it.  And it smells yummy.
Another facial treatment that I've been liking lately is a turmeric/garbanzo bean flour mask.  It does make you smell a little like curry while you're wearing it, but it makes your skin very soft and works to take away dark spots and blemishes.  You also look slightly crazy while wearing it.  To make you combine:
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 spoonful of almond oil (less than a tablespoon)
  • a bit of milk, to make it the proper consistency (thick enough to stay on your face and for the flour and turmeric to dissolve)
The next thing we are going to do, once we run out of our current products is start using this homemade shampoo recipe.  My good friend and I like to joke about how we have such funny conversations about "granola mom" topics.  She started using this shampoo recently and says that it's wonderful.  She and a lot of other people out there also recommend using coconut oil as a natural conditioner.  So that will be our next step and I'm excited to give it a whirl!

On a side note, this video is me and Abby some days. 

And I'm starting to research body soaps/bar soaps and more natural alternatives to what we use now.

I have also made dish soap using this recipe, but was not impressed with the consistency or the soap's ability to suds up.  I need to do more research and try another option.

So that's our little update on our home and beauty products.  We'll let you know how the shampoo turns out and if I find a great dish soap recipe.


Peach14 said...

Okay, Hippie Niece of mine. Two questions: 1. Isn't the honey awfully hard to remove?
For those of us of a certain age, what do you recommend for wrinkles, sagging eyelids and bags under the eyes?
Love to hear you are taking such good care of my grandniece and nephew, but i bet their grandfather won't let them grow up without an "In n' Out" burger. That is if and when you northern nature lovers ever get civilized enough to get a truly great hamburger restaurant!
Love to all,

Liz said...

Da - of course we are indoctrinating the young ones in the ways of In n' Out whenever we are back in California. :)

The honey isn't hard to take off. Just hot water does the trick.