Word on the street is that I’m crunchy. Or, as my mom likes to call me, a hippie. While I’m still not sure if that’s how I’d describe myself, I know it all started when I decided I was going to DIY my personal care products.
It started out innocently enough – I was going to try out this ‘no poo thing to see if it would help my itchy scalp (turns out not eating sugar and other foods that feed candida are most helpful for that). Plus I wanted to save money so we could pay down our debt.
It all kind of snowballed from there. And now I don’t even wash my hair with anything but water and every personal care product I have was DIY or purchased from someone who made it themselves.
If you’re wanting to start making your own products but aren’t sure if it’s time (I’m still not sure if being called a hippie is a good thing or not), check out these reasons for taking the plunge.
You’d be appalled at the amount of toxic chemicals that go into your average personal care item. You’ll find known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, skin irritants, etc. And you’re putting all of this on your skin, where it is absorbed and circulated throughout your body. Shudder.
Want to see what’s in your personal care products? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Guide.
The reason I love to DIY my own items is because I know what goes in them. I use natural, organic ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, which offer helpful benefits to my body, not harmful side effects.
The most expensive part of making your own products is the initial investment. After that, making your own personal care products costs a fraction of what you’d spend on commercial products that are free of all the junk you don’t want.
And the great part? You can find creative ways to make that investment easier on your budget:
- Split the cost with friends and have a DIY party
- Choose projects that include the same ingredients so you’re spending less money overall (here are my favorite multi-purpose ingredients)
- Sell your extras to friends and family or open a shop on Etsy (here’s my guide on how to do that)
- Swap with your friends who make things you don’t
- Start by replacing products you use every day and take the money you would have spent on those to buy ingredients
- Add a small amount to your monthly budget for supplies and natural ingredients
When I started making my own personal care products several years ago, I was just hoping to save a little money. I was a bit overwhelmed and wasn’t sure if I’d ever get the hang of it.
Fast forward a few years and I can’t imagine not doing this.
Making your own personal care products is so fun and rewarding, that it soon becomes an enjoyable habit. Instead of wondering how you’re going to get started, you’ll soon find yourself wondering what you can make next.
How do you get started
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend and you want to get a feel for what this will entail, check out this list of 40 DIY projects that you can get started with.
If you want a comprehensive guide with everything you need in one place, then I highly recommend DIY Organic Beauty Recipes. It contains over 50 all-natural recipes to help you start making all of your personal care products. You’ll find it here.
Ok, this is gonna sound strange, but could you write a post on your hair cleansing routine? You mentioned you just wash your hair with water, I’m fascinated and want to know how this works for you. I would love to not use anything but water to clean my hair. I’m curious as to if you have something else you do instead. I tried the ‘no poo’ method but my husband had a hard time with the smell of my vinegar hair so I stopped and started buying organic (expensive) products, but I’d really like to be rid of that as well. So could you explain your, I don’t know how else to say it but shower routine? Thanks.
BreAnne, I use about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a shaker bottle (about 24 ounces) fill with water. Use just on scalp. For “conditioner” I use a half squeezed lemon in another shaker bottle filled with water. I didn’t care for the vinegar rinse either and the lemon water helps detangle much better. I’ve been doing this for about 2 years.
I heard your podcast with Tsh and am also very interested in your hair washing routine now that you just use water….
I replaced my face wash which was drying out my skin, with a homemade olive oil/castor oil/tea tree oil mix. I was buying the $20 soap and now a tiny bottle of my mix lasts 2 months and costs pennies to make. Never.going.back.
Thank you Alison, I’m going to try this! I really appreciate the advice! 🙂 I have pretty thick, long hair… Do you think I may need more? It’s healthy. I haven’t used chemicals on it for a long time and it already went through it’s detox phase when I switched over…
We use coconut oil for a lot–lotion, hair, etc. Make my own hand salve out of olive oil and beeswax, use baking soda and cornstarch for deodorant. Most of this I find to be much more effective than the expensive, not particularly safe products we were using at the drugstore.
I started with homemade aftershave for my husband about 10 years ago, when he joined the army and had to have a clean shave every day all day. His face and neck was all tore up. Then I didn’t do anything nee for my body until 3 years ago and started making melt and pour soaps. Now I make most everything except make up, I buy that. I will never go back.
I started by switching over to coconut oil instead of lotion almost 2 years ago. I now make my own deodorant and water-wash my hair. My skin and hair have never been this healthy before.
thegreatlakesgirl, how do you “water-wash” your hair?
BreAnne – Water washing your hair is just that – using only water. I massage my scalp while in the shower, but that’s it. I usually do this once a week or so, but you need to find what works for you. Sometimes my hair does better with an ACV rinse, sometimes just water does the trick.
I’ve been no poo for years, but am ready to start making some of my other personal care products!
Erin, that’s fantastic! I tried a baking soda/water rinse and lemon/water rinse for detangling and my hair feels great. I have long thick hair so I’m gonna continue with this for a while and see how it does. I would love to switch to just water but am afraid I’d have a lot of build up. Do you find your hair to be hard to detangle after washing with just water? What do you use to wash your skin? Do you go to a pool often? Would it still work well if I’m trying to wash chlorine out of my hair from the pool? Thanks for your advice!
I have long wavy hair, & the ACV rinse wasn’t enough to keep my hair detangled & it left it crunchy 🙁 I don’t remember where I found it, but someone has posted a ‘conditioner’ that was simply 1 T aloe vera gel, 1 T honey, 1/3 c water! It helps SO much! These days I also add a few drops of jojoba oil, or massage a little coconut oil into the ends. I hope this helps