DIY beauty and home care
In line with my philosophy of practicing medicine, I have always looked for ways to include natural ways of healing, cleaning and beautifying. The chemicals in the products that we use affect our body slowly but surely. This post is an effort to satisfy my patients' who have been asking me to write about natural methods that I use in my day to day life. I have included most of the things that I do in my daily life that incorporates easy and natural products with fewer ingredients, so that we could eliminate chemicals and lead a healthier life.
Even though I had eliminated all the chemicals from my foods and cleaners a long time ago, I hadn’t paid attention to my cosmetics until one day I wondered why I wouldn’t let my kids wear my cosmetics and the answer obviously was the chemicals in it. We have gotten so used to the idea of having chemicals in our cosmetics that we don’t even give it a thought. I have listed some of the things that I have done to move more towards natural ways of beautification.
Face Care - I have never used face wash, but I found a better way to clean my face even without the natural soaps that I used. Now I mix the oils from vitamin E and vitamin A capsules and apply it generously all over my face and neck in circles for a few minutes and let it soak for half an hour before I shower and wash it off with baking soda or quick cooking oats ground into a fine powder. This has made my skin have a healthy glow, moisturized and clean.
Acne treatment - When I get acne at times, I don’t panic and use acne face wash or cream. It is just our body’s way of eliminating something it doesn’t want. I grind up the turmeric root after peeling off the skin with lemon juice and apply it on the acne spots. The acne dries up and falls without getting infected and causing discomfort or leaving scars.
Body Wash - I also use baking soda or the oat powder as a body wash instead of soaps.
Deodorant – Deodorants have aluminum which is connected to breast cancer and many other ingredients that block the lymphatic excretion of waste. The deodorant I use is made up of just 4 ingredients, baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil and lavender oil. It acts like an anti-perspirant, not by blocking the lymphatic excretion but by absorbing the sweat as it appears and thereby preventing the growth of odor causing bacteria. You might wonder if it is effective, it is very very effective and keeps the body odor off for more than 24 hours with moderate activity.
Body Lotion - The body lotion I use has 4 ingredients too, raw cocoa butter, raw Shea butter, unfiltered cold pressed coconut oil and lavender oil. This can be used as a body lotion and also as a conditioner for hair. This has been pretty effective as a treatment for mild eczema.
Make up - The compact powder that I use is made up of organic corn starch, cinnamon, spirulina, cocoa powder and bentonite clay powder. These ingredients are not only natural, but also have anti-oxidant properties and anti-bacterial properties. They also do not clog pores causing break outs.
Hair care - I have curly to wavy hair and prone to frizz. Shampoos are a big source of chemicals that get absorbed through our scalp and cause dryness and itchy scalp due to the fragrance and harsh drying agents. In some cases it even causes dandruff. I wasn’t a big fan of the “No poo method” to begin with, but I persisted and I have realized that my hair is much healthier, softer, and shinier and the frizz is so much more manageable. It also gives me the peace of mind that I am cleaning my scalp and hair without a 100 unknown chemicals.
Toothpaste – As many of you might have learnt by now, fluoride is bad for you and it is added in most toothpaste, also the sweeteners added in these toothpastes are one of the reasons for caries. Have you ever thought about the concept of removing sugar from our teeth by using sweetened toothpaste? In my quest to replace as much chemicals as possible, I found a recipe, but made changes to make a toothpaste that works wonderfully as a cleaner, removes cavity causing bacteria and whitens too.
Bentonite clay – 2 tbsp
Baking soda – 2 tbsp
Sea Salt – 1 tsp
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Xylitol –1 tsp (optional)
Peppermint oil – few drops.
Myrrh – few drops (optional)
Laundry Detergent – There are many dyes and chemicals in our laundry detergent that are absorbed by our clothes and stay on our skin. The recipe that I used comes from budget101.com. This detergent cleans very well without the harsh chemicals and deodorizes too. I usually use a wet wash cloth with a few drops of lavender oil as a fabric freshener in my dryer to make my clothes smell good.
Household cleaners - In my practice, I have noticed patients suffering from allergies and asthma like symptoms improve from removing house hold harsh chemicals like bleaches and irritants along with treatment. When I was researching the alternatives that clean as well without eroding the mucosal lining of the upper respiratory tract, I came across a product called, “Orange TKO”. It is made 100% from orange peels with no other ingredient and that was enough for me to give it a try. When I did try it, I was impressed beyond words. Now I use it to clean my bathrooms, toilets, sinks, counters, mirrors, glasses, tiles and even as a stain remover on carpet. It also works as an air sanitizer and air freshener when I use it with an atomizer. I have also been able to keep bugs away by spraying it around every inlet to my house. I don’t have to reiterate the fact that the household chemicals like bleaches, air fresheners, glass cleaners, wood cleaners etc. have ingredients that gets absorbed by our skin and affects the internal organs.
These are not new methods of using natural simple ingredients for our day to day needs, but I realize that incorporating these can be hard for some people. I have slowly included one thing after another to get here and still have some ways to go before I remove all the chemicals from my life.
If you have used these or anything else that works better for you, please post your comment below.