In a world where clever marketing distracts us from the actual ingredients in our toiletries, it’s hard to know exactly what we’re using to wash our bodies. In reality, 10,500 different chemical ingredients can be found in our vast body care market—some of which are thought to be carcinogenic or harmful to our endocrine system. Research done by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review in 2012 revealed a list of unsafe ingredients commonly used. The study exposed safety concerns ranging from skin depigmentation to reproductive problems. Other research on these chemicals remains inconclusive, but you can avoid any potential risks by opting to cook up your own body care products at home. Here are a few that we tried.
- ½ cup distilled water
- ¼ cup unscented liquid castile soap
- ¼ teaspoon essential oil of choice
Combine all of the ingredients in a bottle—any old bottle will work. Shake the ingredients well to make sure that the mixture is consistent. Pour some atop your head and lather.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 drop essential oil (peppermint, sweet orange, clove, or cinnamon bark is recommended)
- A few drops of tap water
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. A thick, not-too-watery paste should form after proper mixing. Brush as you normally would.
Follow with water rinse or mouthwash to avoid any residue.
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 to 10 drops essential oil of choice
First, stir the cornstarch and the baking soda together in a bowl. Then, add the coconut oil until the ingredients are well mixed. Take the essential oil you’ve chosen, and stir that in, too.
After the ingredients have been properly combined, store the resulting deodorant in a sealable container and place it somewhere cool. When ready for use, apply the deodorant with fingertips.
- 3 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons oil (when I tried this, I used olive oil)
- 10 drops essential oil of choice
Measure all ingredients into a liquid measuring cup. Do not whisk or blend the ingredients (doing so can cause bubbles). Instead, mix with a spoon.
- 2 teaspoons pure, filtered, unbleached cosmetic grade beeswax pastilles
- 1 teaspoon organic raw shea butter
- 3 teaspoons organic unrefined coconut oil
- 20 drops essential oil of choice
- Lip balm container
Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat at low-medium, occasionally stirring. When the beeswax and shea butter melt, remove from the stovetop. Pour liquid into lip balm containers (a funnel might be useful).
Let the lip balm cool and set for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to touch the balm too much before it has set.
This article originally appeared on YES! Magazine