DIY: 6 Tips for Homemade Body Care Products

May 5, 2015 Updated: May 21, 2015

Personal care manufacturers have convinced us we need fancy formulated products to look our best. But we don’t. It’s no secret that chemicals are used widely in household and personal care items.

From phthalates and petroleum to detergents and fragrances—what we put on our skin is as important as we put inside it. By making our own personal care products, we decrease the amount of excessive packaging common in household items; we save money; and we can control the ingredients that feed our largest organ. Check out these tips for DIY body care products.

(M-image Photography/iStock)
Make toothpaste with a little baking soda, water, and the right essential oil. (M-image Photography/iStock)

1. Oral Hygiene

No one wants bad breath, or worse, a cavity. Bad oral hygiene has been connected to serious health issues including gingivitis and heart disease. You can have an impeccably clean mouth by using all-natural, chemical-free products.

A “toothpaste” can be made with baking soda, a bit of water, and an antiviral essential oil like clove, cinnamon, or thyme.

Rinse your mouth with salt water, a drop or two of essential oils, and a splash of vinegar instead of alcohol-based, artificially colored mouthwash.

Decrease your hair washing to just once a week or less (Shutterstock)

2. Shampoo

Can you believe that just 100 years ago, people rarely washed their hair more than once a month? It’s true. But we’ve been convinced that daily hairwashing is best. It actually causes a lot of damage—stripping the hair of healthy oils. Further, most shampoos, even those marketed as organic or natural, contain harmful chemicals.

Try washing your hair instead with a mixture of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda:

  • 1 part vinegar
  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1/2 part lemon juice

The mixture should be thick and pasty. Massage it into your scalp.

You can also mix it into a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s. If you aren’t able to give up your shampoo completely, try a 50-50 blend.

But most important of all, decrease your hair washing to just once a week or less. It may take some time for your scalp to balance out. Excessive washing away of the sebum oils means excessive production. But once you allow those oils to do their thing, your hair will be naturally less oily.

3. Conditioner

In cultures around the world, oil is used on the hair to condition and nourish. 

Coconut, avocado, sesame, and almond oil are great at moisturizing hair and scalp. You can leave the oil in or wash it out. Even if you’re not ready to give up your favorite conditioner just yet, your hair—especially if chemically treated—will benefit from the healing effects of a good oil treatment.

(Alexey Mhoyan/iStock)
Regardless of your skin type—oils are cleansing, moisturizing, and balancing. (Alexey Mhoyan/iStock)

4. Lotion

Commercial lotions are made by “whipping” oils much in the same way mayonnaise is made. They’re stabilized with chemicals and scented with fragrance.

You can easily skip all that nonsense by going straight the moisturizing goodness: the oil. Shea butter, cacao butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil are just a few excellent options. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a natural fragrance if you like.

5. Deodorant

Antiperspirants are made of harmful cancer-causing agents that try to prevent your body from performing an important and natural function. While preventing perspiration is not recommended, you can “deodorize” your armpits naturally.

 Baking soda makes a wonderful odor absorber. If you sweat lightly, spraying essential oil-scented water may be all you need.

In a 2-ounce spray bottle, mix 50–75 drops of your favorite oils with water. Spray.

If you sweat lightly, spraying essential oil-scented water may be all you need. (Shutterstock)

6. Natural Facial Care

Women love their facial care products, but many of them are not only ineffective and even damaging, but they’re also expensive. Regardless of your skin type, oils are cleansing, moisturizing, and balancing.

Try these three ingredients for glowing skin: Wash with apple cider vinegar (or a gentle castile soap), cleanse and moisturize with jojoba or coconut oil, and get a fabulous glow with sea buckthorn oil.

Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and look better than ever. Really!

Jill Ettinger is the managing editor and contributing writer at Naturally Savvy where this article was originally published.

*Image of “natural products” via Shutterstock