Are you trying to shift towards low toxic living in your personal care routine? Maybe you heard how chronic illness and toxicity exposures have a positive association and you wanted to find out more ways to heal and improve your life. You’re in the right place, friend.
Today I’m going to share my top five favorite DIY recipe swaps for your most used personal care items that will set you down a path towards low toxic living quickly. Instead of blindly purchasing products without much thought, why don’t you build your knowledge base around key ingredients that are non-toxic and make your own personal products? Let’s get back to the basics.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects don’t have to waste time or money with an inferior product: in fact, they can do the opposite if you have a good formula follow. I also think it’s worth mentioning that it took Thomas Edison 1,200 experiments to perfect the light bulb. And these done for your recipes for personal products won’t leave you second guessing about the quality that many times. You can get started on creating your own products today and use them immediately.
Will Low Toxic Living Make Your Health Problems Disappear?
Maybe you’ve already read through my other posts about going chemical free at home. One of them covers my favorite DIY recipes for at home cleaning products. There I also cover just how heavy a toxic load some common household cleaning products can leave behind in your home, along with the associated health issues they cause. But common household products such as cleaning supplies aren’t the only place where toxins accumulate. Many personal care products (PCPs) also contain chemicals that can cause issues.
Personal care products are becoming a real issue at water treatment facilities where the chemicals found in PCPs are hard to remove. Apparently many are considered to be pollutants with real world implications on the environment not to mention your health.
Furthermore, PCPs are thought to be behind the explosion of reproductive and developmental issues in the past fifty years. Many of these synthetic organic chemicals such as Bisphenol-A and phthalates have been well documented as causing adverse health effects but alternative exposures are also rising and are commonly found in personal care products.
These chemicals are known endocrine disrupters which does not bode well for hormone balance, an important component in endometriosis, thyroid health and auto-immune conditions. Yes, there are many lists about which chemicals to avoid and the Environmental Working Group does an admirable job at finding low toxic load products for consumers. However, if you really want to eliminate all toxic chemicals from your PCPs then it’s time to consider making them yourself and going down the low toxic living route.
Which Ingredients Do You Need for DIY Personal Products?
You can easily find distilled water at any supermarket. Distilled water is the water of choice for making your own personal care products because it is considered disinfected and sterile and is as close to pure water as one can get. It’s used in surgery to help kill tumors. Distilled water is important for products such as making your own mouthwash and skin care items because of the sterility factor.
Liquid Castile Soap
Castile soap is effective in operating room environments for eliminating and reducing bacteria. It’s also an effective cleaner for your low toxic living mindset. It’s an excellent base for many cleaning solutions and personal care products.
Each essential oil has different properties that make it excellent for special tasks. For personal use products I favor different scents for different products. I really recommend this starter essential oil set or this 16 piece essential oil set to cover all of your bases. Essential oils provide a wonderful plant based scent that helps with maintaining low toxin living.
Aren’t sure what else to do with essential oils? Check out my favorite essential oils for endometriosis and hormone balance. They are the BEST for low toxic living planning.
French Green Clay
French green clay is a perfect ingredient for detoxification and is used in products from face masks, soap to toothpaste. In fact, I like to use it in my DIY toothpaste. Natural clays such as French green clays have been used for a long time to heal skin infections such as ulcers. It is great for gently drawing out impurities in the skin.
Coconut Oil MCT
Coconut oil has so many benefits for health, including oral health. Why use MTC coconut oil? Because these medium chain triglycerides are easily absorbed and stored by the body and contain caprylic acid and capric acid as opposed to lauric acid which isn’t as effective. You want a steam distilled or cold-pressed oil that is organic and contains the highest levels of C8 and C10 MCTs and a nutraceutical grade that is safe for internal and external use.
This Garden of Life brand hits those notes. I use Garden of Life because my natural care practitioners recommend it and the reviews are great. I also like the Perfect MCT brand (comes in glass) and Alche Mystery’s steam distilled bottle of MTC oil.
Beeswax pellets are commonly used in personal care product such as lip balms and salves. Well sourced beeswax pellets melt easily, are filtered and have a cosmetic grade for human use. They help thicken serums and help form a oil based barrier on the skin when used on the surface. Beeswax comes from the bee hive and is a low toxic living product.
Carrier oils help form a base for many personal care products when you embark on a path of low toxic living. These are my favorite carrier oils that can be used in many different personal care products. Olive oil can be used in a salve. Jojoba oil is high in vitamin e oil, is not sticky and is a great oil used on the face. Argon oil is a bit more oily and can be great for certain facial products and hair care. Almond oil likewise is also not very oily and can be a great oil for the face and hands.
- Olive Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Argon Oil
- Almond Oil
Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)
I wish I can say I had a healthy appreciation for baking soda my whole like about how cool this everyday product is, but it took awhile for my understanding to deepen. I do have a memory of being stung by a bee after kindergarten let out for the day and my mom rubbed some damp baking soda on the sting to help remove the stinger.
Baking soda is cheap and plentiful. Sure it’s used in baking, but it is also antimicrobial making it a powerful tool in your household cleaning arsenal. Baking soda disrupts and kills bacteria with short, frequent exposure. Baking soda is frequently used in combination with more acidic products in order to create a chemical reaction and form a neutral substance afterwards. Have plenty for your low toxic living household.
When you begin to make your own personal care items you will need a place to store your new products. I typically store mine in easily accessible and cleanable glass jars like the ones below.
Low Toxic Living – What are 5 DIY Swaps for Your Personal Products?
Low Toxic Living Swap #1: Herb Infused Oils
- Your choice of herbs (lavender, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, rose, vanilla beans, marigold, avena sativa)
- Choose your carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil)
- Warm infusion: Combine herbs and oil in a saucepan. Heat slowly for 2-5 hours. Strain. Decant into a jar or bottle.
- Cold infusion: Fill equal parts of oil and herbs into a glass container. Let sit for two weeks, shaking daily.
- Your herb infused oils can be used as a massage oil or can be a base for salves such as hand salve.
Low Toxic Living Swap #2: Hand Salve
- infused oil
- beeswax pellets
- vitamin E (or jojoba oil, rich in vitamin e)
- small jars
- Warm 4-6 ounces of infused oil in a glass container. Set inside of a pot of water on the stove.
- Add 1 cup of beeswax gradually and stir.
- Add vitamin E oil and stir.
- Pour into small jars to set the salve.
Low Toxic Living Swap #3: Shampoo
There are so many wonderfully easy recipes for DIY. I modify this one a little bit based upon my hair’s needs and my low toxic living needs. It’s a simple way to start low toxic living today with fresh and clean hair.
- Distilled water
- Liquid Castile soap
- Jojoba oil (or other light oil, like almond oil)
- Empty shampoo bottles
- Essential oil of your choice
- Add 1/4 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup liquid castile soap, 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil and 1/8 teaspoon essential oil. I like tea tree oil and peppermint for a nice wake up smell. Lavender is very relaxing. Sweet orange and vanilla is a very relaxing cheerful smell.
- Shake ingredients in their shampoo bottle.
- For added moisturizer, add 1/4 cup aloe vera gel.
- For shiny hair, boil 2 Tablespoons of rosemary (dried herb) and water. Steep, strain, let cool and add to your shampoo bottle and shake.
Low Toxic Living Swap #4: Conditioner
- Olive Oil
- Mix 2 Tablespoons of raw honey, 1/2 ripe banana and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Rinse hair in warm water.
- Add mixture to hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse well
This recipe has been adapted from the Best Organics Skincare website.
Low Toxic Living Swap #5: Face Oil Serum
- Jojoba oil
- essential oils such as frankincense or geranium or lavender or seabuckthorn oil)
- optional mica in rose gold
- Add 1 ounce of jojoba oil, 1-2 drops of your choice(s) or essential oil and optional 1/8 tsp mica in rose gold for an added shimmer to a small jar. Shake before use.
You may also be interested:
Embarking on a low toxic living lifestyle is a process. First, you may realize you have chronic illness and work to manage your symptoms. Then, you may begin to see how toxins can play a role in your health. Eventually, you may wish to take your lifestyle to the next level by making your own health, beauty and household products in an all out effort to reduce your toxic load as much as possible.
Or, like me, you may just enjoy the creative process involved.
Either way, I applaud you in your efforts to take on low toxic living as a pathway to health and creativity. When you have chronic illness it can leave you feeling stuck and hopeless, but when you realize all of the portals for toxins that have entry into your life you can begin to shut those down.
Shutting down pathways that are not in your best interest can be very liberating. You can start today by making these small steps, learning something new and getting toxins out of your life and body.
Do yo have a favorite way of low toxic living? And please let me know how you liked these DIY personal care recipes! I would love to hear how they worked for you in the comments section!
Author’s Note: Thanks for reading! I personally use and support the products featured above. Occasionally, I recommend products I genuinely love and will earn commissions as an Amazon Affiliate if you decide to make a purchase through the links at no cost to you. Posts like these allow me to keep A Pain in the Endo’s content free.