I’ve already done a few posts with recipes for body care, this post gives you an overview of the ingredients that I use. I have been using these for years, and my skin is always commented on as to how clear and soft it is. Beyond that, both my sister and partner who have struggled with acne most of their lives have found a massive improvement since using the products I make. I would like to point out that there is always an adjustment time when switching away from harsher cleaners. This is true for both skin and hair, you may find initially you feel more greasy, but as your body stops having it’s natural oils stripped, it will stop over-producing them.
When you start making your own products you’ll be surprised how few ingredients you actually need. As you get into it, you’ll probably want to add to your list of essential oils, and you may discover more specialised solutions for your own specific needs, but to start off with there is a whole repertoire you can make with just a few ‘basic’ ingredients you probably already have around your house!
Here for you is my go-to list of body care ingredients, it includes all the stuff I have in the house, and a couple I haven’t needed but you might find useful.
‘Castile’ is a type of soap rather than a brand. These days Castile has come to describe soap made using only vegetable oils: making it vegan, cruelty-free, and better for the environment as it quickly biodegrades.
You can find out how I make my own liquid castile from the most basic saponified olive oil soap bar, as well as what I mix it with to make hand soap, body wash, and shampoo here.
This is by far the simplest and most comprehensive replacement to toothpaste, coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and non-abrasive. You can find out more about why this is my product of choice for my mouth here.
I also use coconut oil as a body moisturiser. It’s properties help with many skin conditions, and leave you feeling soft but not greasy (Tip: if you feel greasy you’re probably using too much)
NOTE: It is important (especially for oral use) to get the right coconut oil, make sure it is cold-pressed, unrefined, and 100% organic in order to get all the benefits of the natural properties.
Baking soda cuts grease and oil, so I also add this to a clarifying shampoo. Please be sure to read my ‘why PH matters‘ post to understand why I don’t use this as a daily shampoo.
I have also been trying out the method of mixing baking soda with coffee grounds for hair removal, while I wouldn’t feel right calling this a hair removal product, it does seem to be making my leg hair less coarse over time.
Witch hazel has been used for centuries for its skin soothing benefits. It’s antioxidant and astringent properties are perfect for killing bacteria that lives within skin’s pores. My sister uses it as an added ingredient in the liquid Castile face wash. It can also be used neat as a makeup remover, or for healing a number of skin complaints.
Calendula: This is my choice for adding to skin cleaners, as well as the coconut oil if my gums need extra healing power. There is almost no way to get 100% pure marigold calendula essential oil making calendula essential oil an infusion and not a pure extract. Nonetheless, the oil is highly effective in treating nearly every sort of skin disorder.
Rosemary: This I add to my shampoo. Since it has natural antiseptic properties, it’s a good disinfectant for scalp and hair. It is a stimulant, boosting the blood circulation at the scalp. It is reported to promote a healthy, moisturized scalp and reverse premature graying, increase hair growth, and be beneficial in treating dandruff.
I also use rosemary in my deodorant, which is simply a blend of oils diluted so as not to be too harsh on my skin. The combination changes but I usually choose at least one antibacterial/antiseptic in order to combat the bacterias that make sweat smell. I will write a post on deodorants later.
Finally, check out my essential oil recipes list for loads more ideas here.