Saturday, July 24, 2010

Low chemical, low plastic beauty

I think I have figured out that I can meet my beauty needs without purchasing mass-produced chemicals and reducing my use of plastic. I haven't got all my needs met yet, but I'm working my way through.

I have dry skin and usually leave it dry and flaky except for my face. I put fancy Neutrogena lotion with sunblock on every day. Recently I bought a small bottle of jojoba oil from the farmers market. I've used that on my legs and arms and it works really well. Better than the fancy Neutrogena oil I've tried. It's much lighter. After rubbing it on my arms and legs I can touch my face and that should do it. Yay, no more lotion with chemicals I can't pronounce. No more plastic bottles to buy.

I have been washing my hair less frequently and in between washings I've been using baking soda to wash and apple cider vinegar to rinse. The baking soda and apple cider vinegar work very well. Especially the vinegar. It leaves my hair very soft and shiny. I will probably keep regular shampoo around but I find it works better diluted 50-50 with water. I can probably buy a bottle once a year. Yay, less petrochemicals for my hair. Less plastic!

Additionally, the jojoba makes my hair very happy. I put a little in my hands and rub it on my hair, or I braid my hair and rub my oiled hands down the braid. It doesn't make my hair oily at all. Just soft and smooth.

A lady at the farmers market sells olive oil castile soap. I haven't tried it yet because my other coconut castile soap is still being used. I'm sure her soap will work just as well. She sells it with nice scents and unscented, too. It's not wrapped in plastic and the olives are local.

I still use toothpaste. Baking soda is supposed to be quite harsh on your enamel. I may look into natural alternatives. So far I can't find a natural alternative to the toothbrush itself. There is a natural bristle toothbrush for sale at the health food store but it has a plastic handle and comes in a plastic box. That's not much of a savings of plastic and you have to add in the poor boar they shaved or killed.

I'm looking for a wooden comb. If I can't find one, my plastic one will probably last all eternity.

For a while I used baking soda for deodorant. It worked very well. I didn't like how difficult it was to apply it. I would make a paste and then spread it on my underarms. I attempted to dilute it more and spray it on, but it clogged the spray bottle. I bought some natural deodorant in a roll-on bottle with the plan that I would attempt to refill the bottle with water and baking soda with some essential oils once it was empty. If that doesn't work, if I can't get the roll-on ball off to refill it, I'll just try the powder puff method and puff dry baking soda onto wet armpits. Yay, no more chemical deodorant! No more plastic applicators to throw away.

Other than those items, I'm pretty low maintenance. No make-up, no hair gels or any of that kind of thing.


  1. A great inspirational email. Coconut oil is also good stuff; cheaper than jojoba and tastes great too. You can also make cider vinegar from old apple peels if your compost pile can spare them.

  2. Besides using a little soap to wash my hands, I haven't used any shampoo or soap since April 1st. Sometimes I use a little apple cider vinegar on my hair.

    For deodorant I use the remains of lemon or lime after I squeeze it in my water. It works great.

    In "Where there is no dentist" book they recommend getting a twig and chewing the end to make your own toothbrush. in that book they say you don't need toothpaste.

    There is someone on the internet making wood handled toothbrushes---once they wrote to me and offered to send me one.

  3. I found the Story of Cosmetics online today. Using natural alternatives does a lot more than reduce plastic. The stuff they put in regular cosmetics is astonishing.