Non-toxic Personal Skin Care - Alternative Solutions for Common Body Care Challenges: General Information, Related Research, Holistic Treatment Options as well as Disease Prevention

Non-toxic Personal Care


Alternative Solutions for Common Body Care Challenges:

Toss those expensive creams and see how inexpensive it can be to treat these little problems yourself:

Acne Treatment ... Age Spots ... Broken Capillaries ... Burns ... Cellulite ... Foot Odor ... Mature Skin ... Oily & Acne Prone Skin ... Stretch Marks ... Sun-burned Skin ... Swollen Ankles / Tired Feet ... Bad Teeth and Unhealthy Gums ... Thinning, Damaged, Greying Hair .... Tired Eyes & Under-eye Circles ... Wrinkles

Natural Anti-aging Treatments for Your Skin ... Sun Protection

If you don't have time to make your own, there are a couple of options for you:

  • Natural health stores, such as Whole Foods, carry some nice product lines. However, it is really important to be diligent even when buying products from such stores as I have found that not all products are completely "natural" and contain undesirable ingredients. It pays to read the list of ingredients.


  • This website has a variety of non-toxic make-up and skin care products for you to choose from and has information on recommended products available at some grocery or health food stores; and warns about products sold as "organic" and "natural" yet contain toxic ingredients.



"Mix Your Own" Natural Personal Care Items:

Bookmarks on this page: After Shave ... Astringent ... Body Power ... Body Scrub ... Body Lotion .... Conditioners ... Dental: Tooth & Gum Care ... Deodorant ... Exfoliant ... Facial Creams ... Facial Toners ... Facials / Facial Mask ... Foot Powder ... Hair Care ... Lip Balm ... Massage Oil ... Perfumes ... Skin Cleanser ... Shampoo ... Skin Softeners ... Soap & Cleansing Agents ... Tanning Oil

The "Green" Home: Instructions for Preparing Safe Cleaning Products Yourself


Holistic Health: Organic Oils to Lower Cholesterol, lower blood-pressure and overall good health ... Herbal Anti-Inflammatories (addresses skin problems, bacterial / viral diseases, joint problems and arthritis ... Risks Associates with Commercially Available Personal Care Products



Natural, Healthful Alternatives to Commercial Products:



Astringents/ After Shaves:

Witch hazel, diluted isopropyl alcohol.



Body Lotion & Facial Creams:

Don't put anything on your skin that isn't safe to eat. Your skin is a sponge that will effectively absorb anything that you put on it, including any chemicals. Breast cancer tissue has found to contain chemicals used in commercially available body lotions. Whether it actually caused the cancer, simply contributed or didn't contribute at all is not proven at this time. But why chance it? You should also choose food-grade oils only. You will find that many manufacturers will also offer "skin care grade" as opposed to "food-grade" oil -- but there is a reason why it is "downgraded."

  • Non-toxic Body Lotion: 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.

  • Mature Skin: I am mixing my own body oils to specifically address the problems associated with mature skin.

    • Body: I mix Shea Butter, Walnut Oil, Avocado Oil, Borage Seed Oil and Jojoba -- carrier oils that are very effective in moisturizing the skin. I add the following essential oils: Carrot Seed, Frankencise, Parsley Seed, Lavender and Patchouli (the latter of which is a natural insect repellant and aids against cellulite). The other essentials oils basically are restorative (reducing sun damage) and moisturizing. i use a handheld food blender.


    • Face: Grape Seed Oil, Walnut Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil (best anti-aging oil there is in skin care), Jojoba and Frankincense (ideal for mature, wrinkled skin in need of a lift), as well as Carrot Seed Essential Oil. (Essential oils).


    • NOTE: Experiment with the different carrier and essential oils. Initially, you will buy a lot of ingredients, but they will last a long time. Considering what you are spending on body care products now, you will find that you get better products and yet save money.


    • Moisturize Your Skin From Within: Beautiful skin starts with good nutrition. Please visit this webpage for information on what food items will keep your skin healthy and beautiful.



Body & Foot Powders:

Mix cornstarch and aluminum-free baking soda (such as Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda) with your favorite essential oil. For a foot powder, mix cornstarch, baking soda (again, aluminum-free) and tea tree* or peppermint oil. Baking soda acts as a deodorizer and soothes the skin. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, germicide, antibacterial, and fungicide. (Some severe allergic reaction to Tea Tree Oil is possible. Please refer to www.exoticbird.com/gillian/teatree.html.) Peppermint oil is soothing to the feet and swollen ankles.



Body Scrub:

Stir together 1 cup of salt or sugar with 1/2 cup of olive, canola, or jojoba oil and 50 drops of your favorite essential oil blend. Experiment with different kinds of salt or sugar. Coarser grinds of both will provide a rougher scrub for hands and feet. Finer grinds are perfect for the body. Scoop the mixture into glass jars or PET plastic containers. Make sure you have a tight seal without any sugar or salt on the rim, as this will result in leaking.



Exfoliant:

Aluminum-free baking soda is a gentle and effective exfoliant that almost all skin types can tolerate and only rarely causes an allergic reaction. It cleans and opens pores, diminishes whiteheads and clears oily skin.To remove dead cells on the outer layer of skin, splash some water on your face, put some baking soda into the palm of your hand, and gently rub on the baking soda, using circular motions. Rinse.

Hair Care:

Beer:

  • Hair volumizer – Dousing your hair with some beer will give it more bounce and volume. Beer is rich in nutrients such as potassium and niacin, and contains some protein.
  • Hair color protector: Beer is also good for prolonging the color in dyed hair and boosting shine. To use, warm up some beer, soak your hair in it and rinse off with a cold water rinse to lock in the shine and bounce. For even healthier hair, you can mix some raw egg to the beer.

Coconut: The secret of many renowned hair dressers is coconut oil, and it is used in many commercial products -- however, the ingredients are likely to be inferior to the organic, expeller-expressed, extra virgin coconut oil that you can get at better health stores or online. However, Noel made this recommendation:

    CHEAP COCONUT OIL SOURCES: Noel from Georgetown, Texas writes: "If you're on a budget (aren't we all) I have found a TWO POUND tub of Coconut Oil at WAL-MART for $2.82. The brand is LouAnn and it is in the aisle with baking supplies and oils. No need to buy that expensive stuff at the health food store."

    The richness and highly moisturizing properties of coconut oil are said to promote shine, keep hair from turning gray and, believe it or not, are said to help sparse hair grow thicker and fuller - especially if a few drops of Rosemary Essential Oil are added, which increased blood flow in the scalp.. The oil also helps repair damaged hair, offering essential proteins to strengthen and nourish it.

    A hot coconut oil scalp massage once a week is rumored to be the secret of the luxurious hair of Indian women. Follow these steps to do your own treatment at home:

    1. Heat coconut oil in a pan on the stove. DO NOT MICROWAVE.
    2. Massage scalp.
    3. Distribute oil throughout hair.
    4. Place a clean towel over your pillow and leave oil on over night.
    5. Rinse out in the morning.
    6. Enjoy your lustrous look.

Hair Lightening:

    Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleaching agent and is used for lightened hair. Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide with water (50 / 50) and spray the solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will not have the peroxide burnt blonde hair like the hair dye packages, but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, faddish, or dirty blonde. It also lightens gradually so it's not a drastic change. \

Hair Spray: You can easily make your own "hair spray" that gives hold without the sticky, coarse feel of commercial hairsprays, while the oil from the peel adds sheen.

    • Cut three oranges into quarters and place them in a pot. Add enough water to cover and let simmer for an hour, adding water as needed. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle and store in the fridge. It should keep for a week or more.



Massage Oils:

Mix 4 ounces of either apricot, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed or avocado oils with up to 50 drops of either the Relaxation Blend (20 drops of lavender, 3 drops of ylang ylang, 2 drops of frankincense or sandalwood essential oils) or Sensual Blend (10 drops of orange, 10 drops of sandalwood or cedarwood, 5 drops of ylang ylang essential oils). Rich, moisturizing avocado oil is helpful for dry wintertime skin. Jojoba or grapeseed oils make a lighter, quicker absorbing oil. Pour into glass or PET plastic bottles with flip or pump tops.



Conditioners:

The secret of many renowned hair dressers is coconut oil, and it is used in many commercial products -- however, the ingredients are likely to be inferior to the organic, expeller-expressed, extra virgin coconut oil that you can get at better health stores or online. However, Noel made this recommendation:


CHEAP COCONUT OIL SOURCES
Noel from Georgetown, Texas writes: "If you're on a budget (aren't we all) I have found a TWO POUND tub of Coconut Oil at WAL-MART for $2.82. The brand is LouAnn and it is in the aisle with baking supplies and oils. No need to buy that expensive stuff at the health food store."

The richness and highly moisturizing properties of coconut oil are said to promote shine, keep hair from turning gray and, believe it or not, are said to help sparse hair grow thicker and fuller - especially if a few drops of Rosemary Essential Oil are added, which increased blood flow in the scalp.. The oil also helps repair damaged hair, offering essential proteins to strengthen and nourish it.

A hot coconut oil scalp massage once a week is rumored to be the secret of the luxurious hair of Indian women. Follow these steps to do your own treatment at home:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan on the stove. DO NOT MICROWAVE.
  2. Massage scalp.
  3. Distribute oil throughout hair.
  4. Place a clean towel over your pillow and leave oil on over night.
  5. Rinse out in the morning.
  6. Enjoy your lustrous look.

Also very effective hair treatments are vinegar and beer! Mix vinegar with filtered water, rinse your hair with it AFTER washing your hair and see the difference! Alternatively, pour on old left-over beer straight on your hair. Your hair will have a wonderful sheen to it. Don't worry about the smell. That will dissipate quickly. Rinsing your hair with COLD water after your shower will result in shiny hair.

Aging Hair or Hair Damaged by Coloring or Perms: Recommendations: weekly hot oil treatments. Warm half a cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Apply oil to dry hair, wrap in towel, and let penetrate for an hour before showering and rinsing.



Deodorants:

Please keep in mind that deodorants or antiperspirants that contains any form of aluminum are very dangerous and a cause of cancer (i.e. breast cancer). Perspiration is one way the body expels toxins and it's best not to inhibit that. The below natural substances will stop bacteria from growing, thus reducing / eliminating smell.

  • Baking Soda: Only use aluminum-free baking soda (such as Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda).
    • Sprinkle some baking soda on a damp wash cloth and apply it on your underarms; it should neutralize the smell and keep you cool throughout the day
    • Mix one teaspoonful of baking soda into enough warm water to make a thin, milky paste, which you then rub into your armpit.
  • Coconut Oil: Make your own totally natural deodorant with coconut oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil. To start with, warm up about one tablespoon of food-grade coconut oil, add a few drops of both tea tree oil and lavender oil, stir and refrigerate until it solidifies (about an hour). Apply mixture to your armpits (sparingly so it won't get onto your clothing)
  • Basic: White clay, or deodorant crystals
  • Vinegar: If you can recycle an old roll on deodorant with a removable ball that would be great. Just refill the container, pop the ball back on and use after your shower. Do allow to dry before dressing to avoid any "salad" smell.
  • A Fragrant Herbal Deodorant: Mix: 4 oz Aloe gel, 4 oz Cornstarch, 1 oz Primrose oil, 5 drops Sage essential oil and 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.
  • Foot Deodorant: Use aluminum-free baking soda as a foot deodorant -- just sprinkle a bit on your feet or in your shoes.



Facial Toner:

Mix green tea, chamomile or ginseng tea (made with mineral water or distilled water) with lavender or lemon oil. Green tea is rich in antioxidants which fight free radicals that damage and age the skin. Green tea is said to diminish fine lines. Lavender oil is a good toner and lemon oil is a good rejuvenator and toner. Add Vitamin C crystals as a preservative and antioxidant. MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) is a natural vegetarian source of organic sulfur good for the skin. Add MSM crystals to your toner, or eat high sulfur foods such as kale or watercress. Prick a vegetarian capsule of Vitamin A, E, or wheat germ oil and smooth directly onto your skin; add to coconut, almond, or apricot oil, or to your toner. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and Vitamin E is said to slow down the aging process. Almond oil soothes and lubricates the skin. Apricot oil protects and softens the skin. Wheat germ oil promotes skin elasticity.



Homemade Facials / Facial Mask:

Honey, oatmeal, bananas or slices of cucumbers make great homemade facial treatments!

Mix avocado with shredded cucumber. Avocados are rich in protein and Vitamin A. Cucumbers are cooling and cleansing. Use a mashed banana for a skin firming mask. (Avocado is toxic to birds - make sure your bird does not have access to this!)



Lip Balm:

  1. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt 1 ounce of crushed or grated beeswax in 3 ounces of extra-virgin olive oil until the wax softens. Stir together. Remove from heat and mix in 12 to 25 drops of Essential oils. Always start with a little and work your way up. Pour the mixture into a 1/4 ounce plastic lip balm tube, carried in some natural food and herb shops. Let tubes sit, uncapped, until the mixture solidifies.


  2. For a lip balm, use coconut butter on its own, or add peppermint or spearmint oil (organic Essential oils)


  3. Dottie provided the following formulation: "1/3 Oil (i.e., Almond), 1/3 Beeswax, 1/3 Butter or Coconut Oil. You can desolve Stevia in the Coconut Oil for a "sweet taste". Do make sure that the Stevia is dissolved before adding it though, or you will get a 'grainy feeling'." My own tip: add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil for a nice taste.


  4. The National Honey Board suggested the following recipe for a super-moisturizing gloss to soothe chapped lips. Start with:
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 drop of vitamin E oil
  • add 10 fresh cranberries to provide a tint

Mix the honey and oil together in a pot on low heat until it reaches the brink of boiling (but don't allow it to boil). Remove from heat and stir the berries into the mixture, greatly crushing and mixing the berries until they are lukewarm. Strain through a fine sieve to remove all the fruit pieces and then pour the mixture into a small container or empty lip balm tube before it cools.



Perfumes:

Essential oils provide nontoxic fragrances that can be used to scent shampoo, bath soaks, or even, in the case of peppermint, to flavor toothpaste. In addition to which they have amazing health benefits. I would really recommend checking out the Essential oils page.



Skin Cleanser:

  • Mix 2 Cups of Filtered Water with 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.



Skin Softener:

  • For soft skin, soak in some beer. A warm bath with six cans of beer is all that is need. Darker beer works better for a beer bath than the pale varieties. However, be warned that if you are going outside immediately after such a bath, the scent will attract insects.

Shampoo / Conditioner:

  • Don't Wash! You really don’t need to shampoo your hair every day. In fact, that is not really good for your hair. Your scalp will produce a natural oil that gives your hair a unique sheen and softness.
  • Mix 2 Cups Water with 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.
  • Tip for Shiny Hair: Rinsing your hair with vinegar / water mix will really bring out the sheen in your hair. Beer works too! So don't toss that left-over beer! You will be amazed about the difference.
  • Tip for thicker hair: In a spray bottle combine equal parts of champagne and water, then spritz onto wet roots after shampooing. Doing this before blow-drying ensures hair doesn't get sticky or stiff. (Source: Francky L'Official, owner, Francky L'Official Salon, New York City)
  • Dandruff




Sun Protection:

To shield your skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays -- which may cause harmless age spots to deadly melanoma -- avoid the midday sun. During the spring and summer, when you are outdoors a lot, make the application of sunscreen part of your daily skin care routine. If you live closer to the equator, do this more often.

Do make sure to use NATURAL sunscreen products only. The chemicals in many sunscreen products are highly carcinogenic, and they get absorbed right through your skin where they can contribute to damaging your liver, heart, brain and other organs. They also block vitamin D, which is crucial for preventing cancer.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) - a nonprofit environmental research organization based in Washington, DC - has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don't adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals. EWG states that some of the products of the nation's leading brands -- including Banana Boat, Coppertone and Neutrogena -- are the poorest performers. The active ingredients of sunscreens are compounds that absorb, reflect or block ultraviolet light. Sunscreens are rated based on their Sun Protection Factor (SPF); the higher the SPF, the better the protection against sunburn. EWG indicates that the SPF rating on a sun product is only part of what consumers need to know, and that the biggest problems with sunscreens are that they don't offer appropriate protection and that many contain unsafe ingredients.

When choosing sun protection or daily moisturizers, look for natural vitamin E, or d-alpha tocopherol. Other natural ingredients would be aloe extract, green tea extract, caprylic acid, comfrey, pycnogenol and squalene.

Choose a product that contains zinc oxide to block the sun, as well as the antioxidant vitamins C and E and selenium, since sunscreens that contain antioxidants are more helpful in preventing skin damage. Use products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and that offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid chemicals and fragrances.

Many people believe they can apply sunscreen first thing in the morning and safely bask in the sun for hours. It doesn't work that way. Don't overestimate a sunscreen's ability to protect you from the sun's ultraviolet rays. If you are spending the day at the beach or in the sun, reapply every hour or so.

Coconut Oil applied regularly to your skin (not before sun exposure, but daily) will provide natural sun protection.

Mineral makeup has grown in popularity amongs those seeking healthier alternatives. In addition to color, mineral make-up's main ingredients: zinc oxide and titanim dioxide - create a natural sunscreen for the skin.

No available sun protection will block all UV rays completely, so it's best to wear a hat and lightweight clothing when outside in the sun. Do remember that you will need 10 days daily outdoors without sunscreen or sunblock early or late in the day to make sure that your body can obtain natural vitamin D from the sun.



Soap & Cleansing Agents:

Castille soap, olive-oil based soap. (Please refer to article on the negative effects of anti-bacterial soaps)



Tooth / Dental Care



Tanning Oil:

  • 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.




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