I’m excited to be participating in the Go Green & Save Green Series with several other green bloggers this week! We’ll be talking about different areas of green and natural living, showing you how to go green while saving money at the same time! Be sure to check out the great links at the end of this post!
One of the first places where I decided to “go green” was my bathroom’s medicine cabinet; yep, my personal care and beauty products. Of course, often, the more-natural products also cost more. I hope that this gets better as we spread the word to our friends and family members and demand for these products goes up.
But as I began phasing out the toxic products and looking for more natural alternatives, I also found myself simplifying the amount of products I even needed, and thereby spending less money.
Here are a few of the areas where I was able to simplify– eliminating some items, and making others myself.
I used to keep a big ol’ bag of makeup, with eyeliners in every color, multiple eyeshadows, and a variety of everything else. This is definitely an area where I learned to value quality over quantity.
I’ve slimmed down my makeup to a simple mineral powder, one blush, and a couple of mineral eyeshadows that also double as liners with the change of a brush. I use a natural mascara now, which does cost more, but I only buy one shade of color as opposed to the three I used to keep on hand.
This is one of the areas where I’ve made the most drastic changes. I used to purchase and use specialized soaps known to the masses as “face washes.” Now? I use oil. If you’ve never heard of the oil-cleansing method, this might sound totally bizarre to you, but let me tell you, it is amazing.
A little goes a long way here, so not only does it feel wonderful, but it saves me money, too. (I use a small squirt bottle filled with equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and castor oil, along with a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil.)
For a little while, I used the No ‘Poo technique (i.e. washing hair with baking soda and a vinegar/lemon juice wash), but at the time I had very long hair and it just didn’t seem to work for me in the long run. What I believe it did for me though, was strip my hair of all the toxic stuff I’d been putting in my hair for the past twenty-some-odd years.
When I started gradually phasing back into shampoo (I use California Baby), I required substantially less– we’re talking a nickel-sized portion for hair that went halfway down my back.
In addition, for the first time ever since I began washing my own hair, I could skip the conditioner all together (and use a rinse of lemon juice diluted with water) or again, use a very small amount of my daughter’s (and now my) California Baby conditioner (I don’t rinse my conditioner all the way out, by the way).
I never would have believed it myself, but my hair is smoother, less frizzy and more manageable than ever before (I don’t use any other hair products except maybe a dab of coconut oil at my temples). And I’m able to afford a pretty pricey brand of products simply because they will last so long.
For soap, I use simple, handmade soaps from local vendors or from Graham Gardens. Someday, I hope to foray into making my own, but not yet. For a few great resources on making soap and other beauty products, check out Renee’s list over at FIMBY.
On my face? Simple: I use coconut oil. Sometimes I use this on my body as well, especially after a lot of sun exposure (it’s very light so I love it in the summer). I buy a less-expensive coconut oil for this since I’m not eating it.
For severely dry, cracked skin? (i.e. hands in winter, feet in summer) I use MadeOn lotion bars.
For all-over body moisture? I have finally found my favorite natural/homemade lotion! My friend made it for me as a belly balm when I was pregnant, and I fell in love with using it all over (especially on freshly shaved legs!). I’m so excited to share with you this recipe for a body lotion, or body butter, because, seriously, I love it so much.
Homemade Body Butter
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined)
1/4 cup apricot or almond Oil (I used apricot kernel oil)
2 tsp grated beeswax
10,000 IU of Vitamin E oil (from capsules)
Stir over low heat until mixed and pour into jars. You could also add herbs or essential oils if you want, but the cocoa butter gives it a nice chocolatey scent which I like.
Some of the ingredients are a little pricey but one batch makes quite a lot (everything in the top photo on this post), and the ingredients will make more than one batch as well. The cocoa butter I bought online ended up having jojoba oil in it, too. This was fine, but I think it made the final lotion a bit greasier.
My next homemade beauty product is definitely going to be sunscreen. I recently received a copy of Renee from MadeOn Hard Lotion‘s new recipe book (with five recipes with five ingredients for five dollars!), My Buttered Life, and I can’t wait to dig in and try a couple of them, especially the sunscreen. I’ll be sure to share my review with you, and maybe even give away a copy, too!
Check Out These Other Great Posts in the Go Green & Save Green Series:
Live Renewed: My Green and Frugal Beauty Routine
A Delightful Home: How to Make Leave-In Conditioner
Kinda Crunchy Kate: A Crunchy Girl’s Guide to Curly Hair
How do you save money on personal care and beauty products? Do you make any yourself?