In today’s world we are inundated with messages that are intended to convince us that we are simply not good enough just as we are. What is the solution? Buy this pill or potion or have yourself mutilated in order to fit the “norm.” The fact is, that you are just fine exactly as you are. Your body is your temple, and the best way to keep it beautiful is to take good care of it. There are lots of ways to take care of yourself, but in this article, I would like to focus on natural beauty products.
There are a lot of wonderful recipes for making masques and facials and various products. I am not the sort to go to that much trouble. As I have looked for natural alternatives to the outrageously expensive, chemical laden products on the general market today, I have tried very hard to find simple, easily available products that need little or no preparation that perform as well as or better than commercial products. Often that just means reading labels and/or using my imagination.
Here are some alternatives that I have found.
Shampoo: Doctor Bronner’s liquid almond soap makes a wonderful shampoo. It is rich, wonderfully scented, and contains no artificial ingredients. In fact, it is organic. Although, this all-natural soap may seem a bit expensive at about $12 a bottle, it takes very little to wash your hair – even long hair. If you find it is a bit drying for your hair, try adding a little walnut oil to the bottle. One part oil to three points soap is a good place to start. Adjust as needed.
Conditioner: I usually just look for the conditioner that has the fewest ingredients and the least amount of chemicals included. Three chemicals to be sure to look out for are sodium lauryl sulfate, aluminum, and parabens. Also avoid mineral oil or any other petroleum product. Surprisingly, I have found some good conditioners at the Ninety-Nine Cent Store. Just read all the labels and pick the one that suits your criteria the best. I usually add a bit of walnut oil to the bottle for extra conditioning. When you add oil to your conditioner, it also makes an excellent shaving cream for legs and underarms. Using this, you will get no dryness or razor burn.
Soap: Doctor Bronner makes wonderful bar soap; although, I find it a bit pricey. Kirk’s Castile Soap is a nice, inexpensive, natural soap. Again, check your Dollar Store and Ninety Nine Cent Store for surprisingly good soaps at bargain prices. I have found some very nice goat’s milk soaps, lavender soaps and other finds there. Read the labels and reject anything that is a long list of chemicals or contains any of the chemicals mentioned above.
All-Over-Body Moisturizer: I use walnut oil as an all-over-body-moisturizer. I also use it around my eyes at night before I go to bed. It is organic, light, odorless, and non-sticky and does a great job of moisturizing dry skin. It is also good for dry hands, nails, and feet. Apply it generously at bedtime and put on cotton socks and gloves to protect your sheets and help the oil soak into your skin.
Toner: I use Witch Hazel as a toner and have for years. At a little over a dollar a bottle for the generic brands, you can’t beat the price. This old-fashioned toner is more-or-less natural and quite effective. I use it to clean my face at bedtime, wiping with cotton balls until my face is thoroughly cleaned. I also use it to refresh my face when I get up in the morning.
Moisturizer: I use pure Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer. It is light and non-greasy and extremely healing to the skin. It is also quite affordable at about $4 for a 16 ounce bottle. I use it morning and evening. Just squeeze a quarter teaspoon or so into your palm, rub your hands together and apply it to your face, neck and throat after cleaning. Occasionally , in the winter when the air is very dry, I add a drop of walnut oil for extra moisturizing. If I am having problems with my face breaking out, I might add a drop of tea tree oil. Be careful to avoid the eye area, if you try this.
Blemish Medication: Tea tree oil. Can’t beat it. Just apply a couple of drops directly to the blemish at bedtime, and your blemish should clear up or at least begin to heal nicely by morning. It is also great for minor skin irritations and small cuts, scrapes, and bug bites and stings.
After Bath Deodorant Powder: This is so inexpensive and so easy to make. Half-and-half cornstarch and baking soda makes an excellent after bath powder. You can give it a scent by mixing it up in a big jar and putting in some cinnamon sticks, potpourri in a mesh bag, cloves in a mesh bag or whatever else suits your fancy. Leave it sealed for a couple of weeks, and you will have a nice, scented, after-bath deodorant powder. If the texture is too coarse for you, you can run it through a cake flour sifter or put it in the blender in very small batches.
For more on natural beauty, you may enjoy:
Gaining Health with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Sleep Without Drugs
DIY Natural Beauty