August 15, 2011

Personal Care Recipes: An Essential Arsenal

So, I haven't made jack in terms of personal care products. I'll let you know when I do, but I'm in the researching phase, so that I CAN make some truly good products. And what I'm finding is extremely encouraging. The key seems to be keep it simple (aka easy) and make it small & often (as needed) in order to avoid spoilage. Below is my new go-to list for the tasks to come. What have you tried that's worked...and not worked?

Make My Easy Body Lotion
Easy. A nice Body Lotion Recipe from Ready Made.

Here's a super Easy Liquid Soap Recipe from Savvy Housekeeping. It took me less than 10-minutes, including preparation. I used a sample size bar of soap (and using a cheese grater made soap flakes), a tsp of vegetable glycerin (optional), 2.5 cups of water, and a few drops of my favorite essential oils (optional). Heated 2-3 minutes until melted. Left to thicken overnight, stirring occasionally throughout the evening. The result: perfect liquid soap.

Shampoo Bars (the 100% natural variety)
Have you tried some--what do you think?

Okay, this one's not a recipe, just a recommendation; albeit, an untried one. I'm not yet sure I'll ever make my own hard soaps from scratch. But they sound like such a fab, natural and wasteless (or nearly) way to keep clean. Still, I've heard mixed reviews and I don't have my own two cents to add just yet. UPDATE: my first shampoo bar is called Egghead from Connecticut Natural Soaps (Etsy). It lathers great, though not as foamy as commercial shampoos, and left my hair feeling squeaky clean. I will update again after some weeks with my satisfaction rating.

Make My Hair Silky Conditioner
I couldn't find much in the way of conditioner bars. And what I did find wasn't good. So here's the next best thing: a site with a fantastic Hair Conditioner recipe.  And an adaptation of that Recipe <--here from Ready Made.

I was astonished to learn about the ease of finding guar gum & xantham gum and how fantastic they can be for DIY personal care products. I will probably adapt and adjust/tweak this recipe over time. But it looks like a FANTASTIC base.

DIY'ers Best Friends: Reference Materials
Emulsifiers - Check out this great page on various natural Emulsifiers: the key to many a great homemade product.
Skin Deep - Skin Deep is a great site for learning more about cosmetic ingredients, including their potential for being hazardous to our health.
Borax - this natural wonder mineral can be used for everything from preservative (cosmetics) to detergent to emulsifier. While borax shouldn't be ingested, it is natural and less toxic than many chemicals used as preservatives.
Washing Soda - great for tough cleaning jobs. Per eHow, it is cheaper and easily made from baking soda (cook baking soda on a sheet at 400 F for 2hrs), let cool and store in an airtight container. Or, make liquid washing soda by boiling baking soda in water.

HELP: this page is heavy in web links. And we all know links are made to be broken. Please let me know if you notice any of my links are ever broken.

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