If you’ve ever walked through a beauty, perfume or lotion store, you may have felt a sudden wave of nausea or a throbbing headache as you inhaled and your entire system is assaulted by an overwhelming concentration of chemicals.
The synthetic fragrance and other chemicals in beauty products are often incredibly toxic, so much so that many of them are banned throughout Europe and other western countries.
In my twenties, I began to have a lot of health challenges and my research eventually led me to understand the damage that synthetic chemicals can do to my body. I always sort of thought of my skin as impenetrable, but it turns out our skin absorbs about 60% of what we put on it. I began looking at the list of ingredients in some of my products and realized that was not stuff I wanted in my blood stream.
They say the average American woman exposes herself to over 400 chemicals before she leaves the house each morning. Think about all the hairspray you inhale when doing your hair, the lipstick that you unconsciously lick throughout the day, or the minute mascara particles that enter your eyes!
Dousing myself in FOUR HUNDRED CHEMICALS every day sounded downright scary and prompted me to find a better way. The problem was that as much as I admired women like Martha Stewart and all the Pinterest wonder-women that can whip up beauty in all corners of their home – I am not super crafty and have quite a track record of “Pinterest fails”, so making my own stuff was definitely met with great resistance.
But after reading about some of the worst offending chemicals present in many beauty products, I decided being poisoned every day was not as convenient as I thought. Read the labels on your own beauty products and see if it includes:
- Coal Tar
- DEA (Diethanolamine)
- Mineral oil
- Lauryl sulfates
- Propylene glycol (PEG)
So, despite my resistance to making my own stuff, I was determined to uphold my new motto, “If I can’t eat it, it doesn’t belong on my skin”.
After reading many blogs and resources, I found that by using high quality ingredients like those on the list below I could now easily create some amazing concoctions.
- Shea Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
Lip Balm, for example, is one of my favorites and is super easy to make.
- 2 teaspoons sweet almond oil or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon beeswax / beeswax beads
- 1 teaspoon Shea butter
- Essential Oils (I like frankincense, geranium, lavender, lemongrass or ylang ylang. Must be safe to ingest, read the label.)
- Melt oil, beeswax and shea butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in optional coloring powder
- Remove from heat and stir in a drop or two of essential oil for fragrance and nourishment.
Put in refrigerator to cool and use when desired. You can substitute cocoa butter for shea butter if preferred. And you can add a dash of coloring powder such as beet, cinnamon or cocoa powder if you like a little punch to your pout!
This is probably something we all take for granted. We hop out of the shower, slather it on so we can avoid the reptilian look, and move on with our day. You may be surprised that lotion is often packed with harmful fillers and preservatives like parabens, mineral oil and fragrance that you definitely don’t want assaulting your system.
Switching to something natural can be the easiest thing in the world, or you can take it a step further and get a bit creative.
For many, the easiest and most effective moisturizer is a simple ointment reminiscent of something our ancestors used to enjoy. All you need is a healthy, non-toxic base (often referred to as a neutral or carrier oil) and some essential oils.
- 1 oz of the carrier oil of your choosing (fractionated coconut, MCT, jojoba, almond, olive, sesame are all great options)
- 5-7 drops of your favorite essential oil (geranium, roman chamomile, helichrysum, frankincense, lavender, myrrh and sandalwood are all some of my favorites)
If you want a thicker lotion or cream-type of consistency, try my body-butter cream! I don’t absorb coconut oil very well so I use shea butter as my base, but many people love coconut oil as a base instead.
- 1⁄2 cup (4oz) shea butter
- 2 TB skin-nourishing oil such as: jojoba, avocado, apricot, or sweet almond oil. (I prefer jojoba but this can even be coconut oil.)
- 15 drops drops frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops myrrh essential oil
- 5-7 drops sandalwood oil
- 3-5 drops lavender essential oil
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the shea butter. Add in the nourishing skin oil of choice. Turn off the heat.
Pour into a bowl (I use my Kitchen-Aid bowl). Place in the freezer and allow to cool and return to a solid (not hard) form. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Don't freeze the mixture.
Once the mixture is "solid"-looking remove from the freezer. Add in the essential oils. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the mixture until soft and looks like buttery whip cream. This takes just a minute or two. Don't over-whip. Scoop into a jar and store at room temp.
Apply to both body and face as desired. Enjoy the Glow!
Open to learning more ways to use Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils? Check the NIHA website for current Essential Oil classes.
Christi Flynn is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Essential Oil Educator. She’s been featured on Whole Health TV, is momma to 3 littles, and a relentless holistic health researcher.