By Mike Zook
Guest writer for Wake Up World
There are a million reasons to be wary of commercial bath products. Like many of the cleaning products lining the shelves of your nearby grocery store and pharmacy, bath products are also full of toxic chemicals. Even “safe and gentle” children’s products can be toxin-laden and dangerous – both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane have been found in children’s bath products. Both are linked to cancer and skin allergies. Safe and gentle? Not exactly.
There are a number of eco-friendly bath products on the market. Many brands not only use organic material in the soaps, balms, and oils themselves, but also incorporate reused materials in the bottles and jars as well. When considering whether a product is environmentally sound, water content also plays a role: the less water used in making the product, the better. The drawback of many of these products, though, is that they are significantly more expensive than their mass-produced, bad for the planet counterparts.
So what is an environmentalist on a budget to do? Here are several easy-to-make beauty products that you can put together with ingredients you probably already have.
Take a dip into a moisturizing oatmeal bath
If you’re suffering from dry skin, there is no better way to treat yourself to a full body boost than an oatmeal bath. Simply put a handful of oatmeal in a cheesecloth or coffee filter, tie it off with a string or rubber band and hang it beneath the running tap so that it drips into the bathwater. Like milk, oatmeal is full of natural detoxifiers and skin softeners.
A very basic (but great) shampoo
Making your own shampoo is a lot easier than it sounds, but don’t expect it to smell like what you’d buy at the drug store – those fragrances are almost always hazardous. To make your own shampoo, just combine one part baking powder with two parts water. Yup, that’s it.
Make a natural conditioner with eggs
Running low on conditioner? No problem! Whisk together a couple of eggs with some warm water and massage it into your scalp. (Be sure to rinse thoroughly so you don’t smell like breakfast!) The proteins in the eggs have natural conditioners and hair sealants.
Even easier conditioner
If you’re not willing to sacrifice your farm fresh eggs for the sake of your mane, here’s another natural conditioner: olive oil. Just rub some into your hair, put on a shower cap, and relax for thirty minutes while it does its work.
Highlight hair with chamomile tea
Skip the bleach and rinse your hair with some strongly brewed chamomile tea for a few nights in a row. Even brunettes with very dark hair will see their hair lighten.
Refresh your scalp simply
This one is so easy, it’s hard to believe how well it works. Try it tonight: rub equal parts water and vinegar into your scalp. Wash it as usual the next morning, and you’ll see your hair will be shiny and chemical-free.
Brighten your skin with lemons
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is full of strong detoxifiers that will immediately make your skin look more effervescent. Mix together a bit of lemon juice and filtered water and rinse your hands with it. Try it anywhere, but be careful not to get any in your eyes.
The old cucumbers on the eyes trick
You’ve probably seen your mother do it, or maybe you remember it from Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, but the age-old cucumber on the eyes move really works to get rid of puffiness. Chamomile teabags do the same, but let them cool down before putting them on your face.
About the Author
Mike Zook spends most of his time researching such environmental solutions as collapsible pillow tanks. In his free time, he loves taking his dogs on nature walks.