Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to find one new natural product to use in your home.
This marks Kitchen Stewardship’s first two-week mission, as it’s been some time since I visited this topic and there’s plenty to say. Plus, if you’re anything like me (i.e. slow as molasses) it might take you two weeks to work up to something new. For you quick changers, you can pick two. So there.
Level of Commitment: Making Strides
I often find it overwhelming to “go green” in so many areas of life. If you’re a green rookie, you may feel like there are so many changes you want to make and simply don’t know where to start.
I have to tell you, I think it’s funny when people say, “I’m not as “crunchy” as you…” because I barely think of myself as exceedingly crunchy at all. Then when I finally start listing all the places I’ve “gone green,” I do start looking rather seriously eco-conscious:
It’s head to toe and ceiling to floor! I really didn’t work that hard to get almost 100% switched over to eco-friendly products in our house. I often just used up what I had before and had a pretty good idea in my head of what I would choose to replace an item. I tackled one thing at a time, and after about two years, our house is nearly non-toxic.
Today’s goal will be to share with you resources for natural changes in personal products. (Here are the natural cleaning products listed out in the same manner, floor to ceiling.) You can see some of the options I’ve chosen for natural products, plus a few that other friends recommend. (My personal Monday Mission is to actually use my castor oil and try the oil cleansing method on my face once and for all.) Remember: just choose one at a time, and before you know it, your friends will be accusing you of being crunchy, too!
Head to Toe (Natural Personal Products)
- Here’s my experience with the “no ‘poo shampoo” method of washing hair. (Here’s Stephanie and Tsh, to add to your courage!)
- NaturOli has a shampoo bar that does a good job (it smells a little like anise, though, which isn’t my favorite). I like to have it around for when I don’t feel like the no ‘poo thing about once a week or so.
- MadeOn sells hair butter, perfect for African hair or as a replacement for gel.
- Here’s a homemade shampoo recipe I’ve had bookmarked but never tried.
- Keys Soap makes a castille soap based formula that my kids like. You can also just use castille soap, only a few drops, or dilute it in some water and use a bit more than a few drops.
- The ultimate baby step: just cut down on hair spray and gel products by loosening up a little and seeking less than perfection on your hair. (I know, easy for a stay-at-home mom to say.) You could also use less product by washing your hair every other day instead of daily.
- 2011 UPDATE: NaturOli‘s soap nut based shampoo (see my review)
Face – Cleaning
- The oil cleansing method has made its way around the blogosphere. Megan at Sorta Crunchy (Sorta? Really?) made it famous and Tsh at Simple Mom explains it well. I finally have the ingredients (olive oil is easy, but I needed castor oil), so I’m reading the posts now to get it figured out for this week!
- Natural Momma, a local Etsy seller I discovered a year ago, sells a Minty Face Wash that I’m currently out of (but need to reorder).
- To remove eye makeup effectively, no matter how I choose to wash my face, I use regular coconut oil. I also learned last week that straight coconut oil does wonders for no-tears, natural Halloween makeup removal! (You can buy coconut oil from Provident Essentials, one of the KS sponsors this month.)
- Super fun homemade masks and treatments – I bookmarked this thinking I’ll have a pamper party someday with my girlfriends from around here. Avocado on your face, anyone?
- 2011 UPDATE: Hydramitt, which gets makeup and dirt off with just water
- 2011 UPDATE: Skin Free creamy facial cleanser
- Try Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin by Crunchy Betty – she’s hilarious and brilliant when it comes to natural facial care.
- See my 2011 reviews for more info HERE, and my 2013 reviews here.
Face – Makeup
- I admit this is one area I haven’t ventured very far into. I’ll tend toward mineral makeup, and I bought some Physician’s Formula organic mascara last year. I did see a post on homemade mascara just last week which looked pretty cool. Another idea is to use coconut oil and a lash curler. I guess my strategy on makeup is to just…
- Wear less of it. It’s not of consequence quite so much if I’m not using it often.
- UPDATE: Create make-up from your fridge using recipes from DIY Organic Beauty Recipes. (see my review)
Face – Blemishes (2011 update)
- Redmond Clay‘s Facial Mask (or you could mix your own clay with water) – just leave a dab of it on the blemish overnight to reduce redness and draw out toxins.
Attention foodies with acne and oily skin! Crunchy Betty’s Food on Your Face offers 35+ recipes especially designed for those with special skin types including 18 on-the-spot treatment ideas like dabbing tea tree oil on the pimple. The best part? Most recipes can be made using ingredients from your own kitchen! (Be sure to buy quality essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
- I’ve been using Miessence brand toothpaste since I won some from Heartland Renaissance, but for the price there’s got to be something better. I bought a tube of Tom’s of Maine but haven’t used it yet.
- My bookmarks are getting a workout today: here’s a homemade toothpaste recipe and another.
- 2011 UPDATE: seeking to avoid fluoride – tooth chips from Rose of Sharon Acres or tooth cleaner from Tropical Traditions (read my reviews); also one more homemade toothpaste recipe, plus something interesting: tea tree sticks that you chew on! Here’s the post on safer toothpaste, including notes on SLS, artificial sweeteners, and fluoride.
- My experience with oil pulling, seeking to improve my sensitive teeth after pregnancy.
- 2012 UPDATE: Our family is loving Earthpaste, a marriage of Redmond Clay and Real Salt!
- 2013 UPDATE:
- The Bass brushing technique helps us to avoid gingivitis and not brush so hard. We use Bass toothbrushes and an essential oil based brushing blend from Orawellness.
- Tips and success stories with oil pulling, plus an exploration of some research on both sides of the “is oil pulling a myth?” issue.
- How Much Fluoride do you Drink? an interesting and frightening video about fluoride dosage from a dentist
- I’m still using my homemade deodorant even though I have tried a couple natural brands. HERE is the update on how the homemade deodorant is working out plus reviews of Miessence and Herbalix. I like adding tea tree essential oil or another antibacterial blend.
- 2011 UPDATE: Skin Free also makes a deodorant with zero weird, unpronounceable ingredients (read my review)
- I use a foaming pump and either castille soap or Shaklee Basic H instead of buying hand soap over and over again (UPDATE: See comments for more on Shaklee). See my instructions for how to refill a foaming hand soap pump in the first Monday Mission ever.
- Michele makes homemade liquid hand soap and so does Cara.
- Graham Gardens is a sponsor for next month, and their homemade bar soaps are simply magnificent. They smell delicious (unscented too), keep things moist and always suds up enough to feel like I’m getting clean.
- My hands never stop being dry in the winter, unless I’m faithful about using my Hard Lotion bar from MadeOn.
- Garden of Francis has a simple, simple soap that I keep meaning to try. A commenter uses it to make liquid soap, how cool!
- Check craft shows in your area! Handmade soaps are often featured. I just bought some homemade liquid soap this weekend from a gal who also makes goat’s milk soap from her own goats! The ingredients are right on the bottle…
- 2011 UPDATE: Here’s a discussion of the safety of alcohol-based hand sanitizers vs. soap, plus MadeOn now sells goat’s milk soap and my review of Skin Free anti-bacterial hand soap.
- Michele makes a homemade shaving cream that I have yet to try, mostly because I’m too lazy and just use soap, or just water.
- Legs are my favorite place to use my MadeOn hard lotion bar…perhaps because I’m torturing them with a quick water-only shave!
- I painted my nails about twice when my son was a baby and hated the fumes being in my house every time. Here are a few water-based nail polish options I’ve run across (but haven’t tried myself):
- Use coconut oil for diaper cream.
- MadeOn sells a natural diaper cream with just a few ingredients, including the highly effective zinc oxide, rated quite safe at EWG’s Skin Deep Database. Natural Momma has a good one, too.
- I make homemade baby wipes using Shaklee Basic H or castile soap. The recipe is in the Family Camping Handbook, too.
- A bunch of winners from my bookmarks: Natural Solutions for the Common Discomforts of Infancy
- UPDATE 2011: homemade baby body wash and natural diaper cream and baby soap reviews
- How to get rid of cradle cap naturally
I know…I Missed a Spot
I have only just stepped into the pool of natural feminine care, but I will tell you about my baby step next week, along with a giveaway.
Some Upcoming Posts in this Series
- My experience with “no ‘poo”
- An Update on Homemade Deodorant and some purchased attempts
- A Green Christmas List Top 10
- Next week’s Monday Mission on Green household Products (with a big ol’ list like this one)
- The Interview with Dave Wetzel of Green Pasture (about fermented cod liver oil)
- 4 natural ways to help a sick child using what you have in your home already
- A big giveaway package, plus my review of some green-er diapers, feminine products, and cleaners, including an update on the dishwasher detergent that I love.
- Tomorrow and next Tuesday I’ll have to depart from the green to participate in the real food progressive dinner: Whole Foods for the Holidays. Breads and Main Dishes are coming up next!
By the way, did you see Friday’s post called Katie Learns About Gluten? It went up later in the afternoon and would have been easy to miss if you were busy over the weekend. The comments at the post are hopping!
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: There are a whole bunch of affiliate links in this post, which means that if you click on something for MadeOn, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs, Crunchy Betty, DIY Organics Beauty, Orawellness or NaturOli, I’ll get a commission, which is a pretty cool way to tell me you love my stuff. Thanks! I’m not all ruled by money, though – some of the links are NOT affiliate links, just products I use or have heard of that I want to share with you. See my full disclosure statement here.
Photo by Cote.