Thursday, 19 May 2011

Nontoxic Personal Hygiene Recipes

Looking for nontoxic skin care products was not something I did. It never occurred to me that harmful chemicals could be a part of my skin care routine.

I bought what I wanted. I didn't think product safety was an issue. The front label told me all I needed to know. If it said natural or contains some Vitamin or ingredient that I recognized as being good, I thought I was doing the natural, healthy thing by buying it. The back label I rarely read, it was always a long list of things that I didn't understand anyway.

But a chance article on the web mentioning toxic chemicals in so many items in our everyday life, some of which could be found in skin care products started me thinking.

I began to do some research and what I learned was disturbing.

personal care products Maybe I needed to find out more and understand why it is so important to buy nontoxic skin care products.

Who knew toxic chemicals are common additions to many of the products I used everyday. They make fragrances and nail polish last longer, helped my lotion glide on more smoothly, added elasticity to hair spray, preserved the product and more. Sounds necessary. But I want products that work and nontoxic skin care.

Synthetic Ingredients To Avoid

I don't know about you but during the course of the day I use quite a few different products on my skin. Through the years my skin has been exposed to all kinds of different chemicals some of which have been found to be toxic.

The effects of combining these synthetic chemicals are not known and it's not possible to check for all the possible combinations anyway. It's important to at least know the worst offenders when shopping for nontoxic skin care.

After some research I was finding plenty of lists of the worst ingredients and except for a few exceptions they were pretty much in agreement. The below ingredients I found to be the most troublesome not only for our own safety but also for the effect using petroleum ingredients have on the environment.

  • Parabens (as in methylparaben etc)
    There are quite a few paraben ingredients. At the very least they are known to cause irritation while some forms of parabens are considered to be toxic. They are cheap and effective and are most frequently used as preservatives in all kinds of skin care products.

  • Phthalates (Dibutyl and Diethyl):
    An ingredient typically used in hair spray, nail polish and some fragrances as a plasticizers providing flexibility. Considered high hazard on Skin Deep for it's various potential health problems.

  • Synthetic colors:
    FD&C and D&C followed by a number. These artificial colors are coal tar based and some of them are known to be carcinogen.

  • Synthetic fragrance:
    Fragrance is often the ingredient in a product that will cause an allergic reaction. The word fragrance tells us nothing and could mean all kinds of different ingredient.

  • Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine (TEA, DEA):
    These ingredients help to stabilize the ph of a product. They act as foaming agents in cleansers and are considered irritating and possibly toxic.

  • Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea:
    These are used as preservatives and have been found to cause contact dermatitis. They also release formaldehyde which can be toxic.

  • Petroleum based ingredients:
    sodium laurel sulfate (a cheap detergent used in shampoos can be very irritating and cause allergic reactions)

    propylene glycol PEG and PPG (usually used in the synthetic form can cause a variety of allergic reactions)

    PVP PVA copolymers (used in hair products can be toxic if inhaled)

    petrolatum-petroleum jelly (used to help retain moisture in the skin but has been found to do just the opposite)

  • Stearelkonium chloride
    Used in hair conditioners and creams maybe even in your fabric softener, can be very irritating and considered toxic.

  • 1,4-dioxane While not an ingredient but a by-product of other chemicals, it has been found in many of our personal care products and is linked to cancer

  • Toxins can quickly and easily be absorbed by the body through the skin, and the most common sources of toxins (in the home) is our chemical personal hygiene products, chlorinated/fluoridated water, stuffy air, processed and refined foods, and poisonous cleaning products. But poisons, toxins and chemicals are certainly not necessary, nor are they healthy (or safe) for any of these purposes! So here are some nontoxic personal hygiene product recipes you can make and use instead:

    Nontoxic Personal Hygiene Recipes

    4 oz Aloe gel
    4 oz Cornstarch
    1 oz Primrose oil
    5 drops Sage essential oil
    5 drops Brier Rose essential oil

    Blend together aloe gel, primrose oil and essential oils (with a fork or hand beaters); then mix in corn or potato starch, and store.

    My favorite deodorant is the crystal deodorant. It has no smell, leaves no stains, doesn't irritate my skin, lasts forever (well almost), and has no toxic chemicals in it. The crystal doesn't inhibit sweating but kills the bacteria on your skin that makes the sweat stink.

    2 Cups Water
    2 Tbsp Organic Sea salt
    5 drops Peppermint extract
    4 drops Horsetail extract
    1 drop Sage extract

    Combine ingredients and store in a tightly sealed bottle; shake before use.


    4 oz Powdered Horsetail (stems)
    2 Tbls of sea salt
    2 oz Distilled Water
    3 drops Rosehip extract
    2 drops Peppermint essential oil
    1 drop Sage essential oil

    Powder sea salt and dried horsetail stems in a coffee grinder; mix dry and wet ingredients separately; then slowly mix all ingredients into a paste, and store.

    Another recipe for a whitening toothpaste uses baking soda. This should only be used on an occasional basis as too much use of baking soda may wear away the protective enamel on the teeth.

    A baking soda toothpaste recipe is made by using specific amounts of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and peppermint oil. You can combine 4 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of dilute hydrogen peroxide (3 percent concentration) and 4 drops of peppermint oil. This will give a peppermint flavored baking soda dentifrice. If desired, you can add rinds of lemon skin to impart a lemon fragrance. Likewise, you can add other useful ingredients like table salt (in small amounts),and cinnamon. After making baking soda toothpaste, fill it in a refillable plastic squeeze bottle.


    6 oz Barley Milk
    4 oz Water
    2 oz Aloe gel
    2 oz Primrose oil
    2 oz Brier Rose water
    2 drops Alfalfa leaf, Barley grass, Carrot, Soybean and Sunflower seed extracts
    2 drops Brier Rose hip, Lavender, Lemongrass and Peppermint essential oils

    Combine ingredients and blend well with a fork or hand beaters; bottle and store.


    2 Cups Water
    2 tsp dried, powdered Soapwort (roots, leaves and stems)
    1 tsp Primrose oil
    4 drops Barley Grass extract
    4 drops Horsetail extract
    4 drops Mullein extract
    4 drops Lavender essential oil
    4 drops Lemongrass essential oil

    Bring water to a boil; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in soapwort; let cool, then mix in remaining ingredients. Bottle and store.


    2 Cups Water
    2 oz Aloe gel
    2 oz Cup Barley Milk
    2 tsp rose water
    1 tsp primrose oil
    2 tsp dried, powdered soapwort (roots, leaves and stems)
    4 drops alfalfa, carrot and rosehip extracts
    4 drops lavender and lemongrass essential oils

    Bring water to a boil; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add soapwort and mix; let cool, then mix in remaining ingredients. Bottle and store.


    4 oz Water
    4 oz Brier Rose water
    4 oz Sunflower Seed Oil
    4 oz Primrose oil
    3 drops Alfalfa leaf, Barley grass, Carrot, Soybean and Sunflower seed extracts
    2 drops Brier Rose hip, Lavender and Lemongrass essential oils

    Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and store in a dark cool place; shake before use.

    My Mother used to burn very easily until one day when someone told her about combining baby oil and iodine tincture. Now I'm not sure of the health ramifications of this but all I can say is every time I ever used it I got a nice dark tan. I filled a small container with 3/4's baby oil and added about 1/4 iodine. It has to be vigorously shaken before each use as the components separate when standing any length of time. I used an old facecloth to apply it to my body.

     I only used this when I was at home because A) it smells funny and B) it sometimes produced bright yellow splotches if I hadn't shaken it up well. These splotches all come out when you take a shower and all that is left is a gorgeous golden tan. We never got burnt when using it which seems unusual considering it was baby oil but maybe the iodine counteracts that? That being said , I also use common sense when tanning and never tan between 10am -2pm and even then only in small doses at a time.

    I hope you will stop and consider what you are putting on your skin. Not only does it affect your health but when you wash it off in the shower, all those chemicals go into our water system. They aren't treated at the water plant so they eventually make their way into the environment and affect all the living organisms that live in or around the water. Please be mindful of what gets washed down your drain, it should always be nontoxic and biocompatible!
    Note I said biocompatible not biodegradable. Just about everything will biodegrade to some point at some point but it doesn't necessarily mean that it is good for the environment. Look for products that are biocompatible...this means that they break down into plant food and pure water, perfectly good for the environment and perfect for grey water recycling systems!

    Oasis makes a great laundry soap that can be used diluted for other household cleaning jobs and dish soap that can be used as a body soap and shampoo.

    There are many books and recipes for nontoxic body care and cleaning supplies, please take a moment to do some research and find ones you are comfortable with. Take inventory of the chemically laden products in your home and vow to change them for healthier alternatives. You just might save yourself, the planet and future generations.

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, Rhianna

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