Believe it or not, your toothpaste or deodorant can be made from simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen. In fact, many of the body products we regularly buy at the pharmacy are surprisingly simple to make (spoiler alert: Coconut oil will be your new best friend). By making certain products at home, you can avoid the harsh chemicals and toxins notoriously found in commercial products—not to mention, making your own stuff can save you money and is a lot of fun. Here are four simple recipes for products you can make in your kitchen:
In recent years, one of the ingredients in a bestselling toothpaste has come under fire for causing cancer in mice. While the FDA is still investigating these claims, there’s a homemade toothpaste that’s both easy to make and literally good enough to eat.
Simply mix 1/3 cup of coconut oil (virgin coconut oil has been shown to have antibacterial properties) with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 7 tbsp of xylitol, a natural sweetener. To flavor the paste, you can add 20 drops of essential oil. Mint, cinnamon, or fennel are great options. Baking soda is a common ingredient in many commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes as it balances the pH levels of your mouth and provides a mild abrasive to clean off stains.
Unlike store-bought toothpaste, this paste won't create a lather when you scrub because it doesn’t contain any sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical often used in body care products to create foam, an effect we’re conditioned to associate with cleanliness.
While many of the links between the aluminum compounds found in most antiperspirants and health issues have been disproved, there are still many reasons people may opt for all-natural deodorant. For starters, it's gentler on your skin and better for the environment.
Like toothpaste, deodorant is also simple to make. Mix 1/2 cup coconut oil with 1/3 cup arrowroot powder and then add two tablespoons of baking soda. To add a fragrance, add about 20 drops of essential oils: Lavender or grapefruit are recommended choices. The arrowroot power is a thickening agent often used in baking. It will make the paste less oily and create a thicker consistency. You can experiment with the consistency by trying different ratios of coconut oil and arrowroot powder.
To make your own lotion, simply take 1/3 cup cocoa butter and melt it on a low heat until it’s a liquid. Then mix this with 1/3 cup of coconut oil. Once combined, mix 1/3 cup of shea butter, preferably in a blender. If you’d like to make this lotion less oily, you can add 2 oz of melted beeswax (this can be a good option particularly if you have oily skin). Once you mix the solution, add about 20 drops of essential oil for fragrance. It can be fun to experiment with different scents: eucalyptus, cinnamon, grapefruit, or orange, for example. Let this mixture settle overnight in the fridge. This lotion is thicker than most store-bought ones so you won’t need to use as much to get the desired effects.
4. ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING SOLUTION
To make an all-purpose cleaning solution, mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 cup of baking soda or 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Both the baking soda and the vinegar cut through grease, so this simple solution can be used for cleaning surfaces, glass, floors, and windows.
For deeper cleaning, you can use undiluted white vinegar, or a higher ratio of baking soda to water. This cleanser won’t contain the toxic ingredients found in commercial cleaning solutions, or leave behind residue or a chemical smell. Like the other recipes, you can always add an essential oil like lemon, grapefruit, or lavender for a fragrance. These recipes are also incredibly cost effective in comparison to commercial cleaning products.