In case you haven’t noticed, much of my past/present life and way of doing things seems to stem from having received a raging dose of do-it-yourself/crafty/experimental/entrepreneurial/hippie pioneer DNA when I was formed. (Thanks, parents! I am quite a fan of it.)
And with each passing day of being a wife and creating a home with Keith and thinking about the future, the more crafty and DIY and borderline hippie-commune I am leaning, if that makes any sense. And since I am also a hardcore researcher at heart, I tend to want to know everything about everything in that department.
At this point with the thought that sooner or later we’ll have kids, I’ve been way more interested in promoting a healthy atmosphere, such as cutting back on chemicals in the house/our foods/my body, etc. I like to know and understand all the ingredients in something I am eating or using. I like to know why something is there and if there might be a better option.
So in the past couple years I’ve been experimenting some to try and phase out unnecessary chemicals and have come across the following random potentially useful things to recommend:
Olive Oil: This is the only thing I’ve used to moisturize my face morning and night for over two years now. Lo and behold, my skin is now the absolute best it’s ever been since maybe childhood. And these past two winters I’ve had ZERO dry winter-mixed-with-combination-skin issues which was always a pain in the neck for me during years past. This both slightly blew my mind and also left me somewhat pissed off that I spent so many years spending tons of money on facial care products that didn’t work. (The only other thing I use is a Burt’s Bees facial cleanser at night, and splash water on my face in the morning.)
Homemade Deodorant: I know some of you are probably chuckling right now. This is sort of a weird thing to do. This is a recent experiment and my personal reasons for it involve enough of a history of cancer in female extended family members that I’d rather have a different option from most normal deodorants which studies have been showing may not be the greatest idea due to substances like aluminum which has been linked to breast cancer. I ended up trying this recipe.
And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve found that it actually works. (Now the ultimate test will be this 104 degree summer weather we have here in Richmond.)The only thing I’m tweaking now is maybe putting some sort of natural fragrance into the mix, because going from regular deodorant which actually has a nice strong fragrance, this homemade stuff smells like, well, nothing. Which at this point kind of weirds me out and I’d just personally prefer a fragrance.
Hair Color: Oh man, this is my FAVORITE. Back when I went to my hairstylist more frequently (Or, y’know, ever), she and I would talk about life and whatnot and one day I was telling her about how Keith and I want to have a lot of kids. And she said that was awesome and to let her know whenever I got pregnant so that she could show me how to use all-natural henna-based hair dyes during pregnancy just to be safe as far as chemicals (There is still some debate as to whether it matters or not if you use chemical hair dyes during pregnancy. The research is still pretty limited so the most I’ve heard is “It’s probably okay.”).
Anywho that peaked my interest because if there’s a natural option that works for you then why not Always use it, pregnant or not? I love playing with my hair color, most frequently in the red or dark brown department, both of which are perfect for henna-based dyes. This is what I most recently used, and while the process takes longer (You have to leave it on for about 2 hours for the best results) and can be messy (I fixed this the second time around but putting it into a cheap dollar store condiment squeeze bottle) and smells very grassy (Some people don’t care. I thought this was awfully strong so I added a few drops of peppermint oil and nooo problem!), the results are awesome. I order from HennaKing on Etsy because they had jillions of great reviews and so far I’ve been totally impressed. I ordered this color:
My results, in daylight:
It lasts for 4-8 weeks and gradually fades out, so my hair settled down to a nice auburn later. =)
Hair Care: Ok, last things here. These shampoo bars are made of natural recognizable ingredients and don’t strip all the oils from your hair. So after about two weeks of your hair adjusting to the change these are great. Keith and I use the same shampoo bar (He uses it daily since he comes home covered in dust and dirt from his foxy construction work.) It lasts a while and I also use this conditioner bar (And then also use it as an awesome substitute for shaving cream.)
Maybe that sounds like a LOT right now, but really, if you’re interested in this sort of thing just go slow and experiment over time and find what works for you. I really think you shouldn’t lose sleep over stuff like this. To read anything online today you’d think everything is out to kill you or give you cancer, but if you find yourself stressing out trying to figure this out then you should step back and chill. Crazy unnecessary stress will definitely do damage, so be free and don’t be all militant and guilt-tripping on yourself. But these are the things I’ve found so far that work. =)