When I was sixteen, my family went on vacation to Mexico. I was excited to go – I hadn’t seen my grandparents in a few years and I loved the warmth of the area. Much of my excitement also stemmed from a book of recipes for natural beauty products. Many of the ingredients were somewhat exotic and I knew I could find them in Mexico. You can imagine my delight when I found a giant aloe plant growing in my Grandma’s turkey pen. Excited, that is, until I realized that I’d have to face the turkey to get to it. (Turkeys are mean!) Luckily, I found plants elsewhere.
Since those days, I’ve come to appreciate more simple ingredients. Although, I grow my own aloe plant (mainly because it’s one of the only plants to survive my black thumb and inability to water a plant on a regular basis).
I only use natural, homemade beauty products now and the reasons are many:
My decision to live a life of voluntary simplicity extends past the amount of dishes I own or books I possess. Simplifying every aspect of life that I can is important to me. I love that I can take two ingredients and have shampoo that works better than any I’ve ever purchased. Or that, in a pinch, coconut oil can be used to moisturize my face or heal my baby’s diaper rash. (Find high quality coconut oil here.)
Much of what I own needs to do more than one thing, including my beauty products and the ingredients they’re made with. The aftershave I made for my husband does double duty as my deodorant. Actually, it does triple duty as my moisturizer as well. What? I got curious one day… Many of the ingredients I use in them are used for other things as well. Baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, castile soap, essential oils – all are used around my home on a daily basis, in many different applications. This translates into significant cost savings as well.
Being able to personalize something is pretty important to me. Many times, I’ll make something and get a few ideas for how to improve it on the next go-round. Maybe a different scent would be better. Or maybe I could use more of this to make it more creamy. Sometimes I decide that an ingredient wasn’t necessary or that I could improve it by adding something. I love the freedom I have to be creative.
Homemade gifts are easy and inexpensive to make. My favorite method is making extra and then packaging it in something pretty. This is usually a glass jar or a plain brown craft bag, dressed up with a cute label. Just about any homemade beauty item can be gifted (or sold).
Bringing less packaging into our home is an important part of lowering the amount of waste our family produces. This is yet another reason why I love to make my own beauty products. When they’re all finished, they get stored in a glass container that I have on hand. Or they go into a previously purchased container that’s been washed for reuse. No more packaging coming in, no more waste going out.
There has been a lot of alarm raised about the ingredients found in commercial beauty products. Many of them include ingredients that cause cancer, pollute the earth and that are just plain bad for us to use. This doesn’t concern me with products I make myself, because I know exactly what’s in it – often times I can eat the final product. Concerned about the products you’re using now? Check out Skin Deep, a database that lets you know exactly what’s in that jar of firming skin cream.
Creating my own natural beauty products has become second nature to me. It’s fun, inexpensive and allows me to express my creativity.
What are your reasons for creating your own natural beauty products?