I’ve been on the antiplastic campaign since early 2019 which has completely changed my life. This means that I rarely buy plastic packaged products which means that I have to go without many of the things that I love to eat, cleaning products and skin care products. Thus, I’ve been reading online about the various ways of making home made products, such as household cleaners, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos and conditioner. The primary base for these products is bicarbonate soda aka baking soda.
Sensitive skin means that I don’t buy cosmetics but I do moisturise my skin, wash and condition my hair. I refuse not to moisturise my skin but I’ve not replaced either my shampoo or conditioner. Eeek!!!
Shampoo recipes consist purely of baking soda and water. Simple enough. Conditioner was a different story. Not a drop of baking soda to be seen. However, many of the recipes interestingly require food. Honey, eggs, olive oil, cider vinegar, coconut oil, lemon juice, yoghurt, curd, milk.
Despite having my hair washed and conditioned by a professional hairdresser last week, without conditioner, my hair felt dry. The photo below was taken a day after having my hair cut. The presence of the conditioner, means that the curls weren’t well defined and it felt dry. Thus, I decided to try a recipe that required a banana, olive oil, milk, honey and an egg. Banana and egg are supposed to be great conditioners and the olive oil is supposed to strengthen one’s hair. Exactly what the doctor ordered. I blended everything with a stick blender and then coated my hair, using a plastic shower cap to contain the liquid.
Surprisingly my hair isn’t sticky nor is my scalp irritated. The latter is always a risk factor due to having sensitive skin. However, no adverse effects but, my hair feel doesn’t feel normal. The texture I would describe is like I have mousse in it and there is a thin film of oil coating my hair. Next time, I use this recipe I’ll use less milk and olive oil to minimise the liquid content.
Thanks to the oil, my curls as shown in the pictures above are more defined than they were late last week. The oil also makes it difficult to discern whether my hair feels dry, so it’s hard to know whether the experiment is successful. Food for thought!
A week after I tried the recipe above, I washed my hair with pureed aloe gel, half a teaspoon of honey, a few drops of sunflower oil and avocado oil. The recipe used rosemary oil and argan oil, the latter is a favourite of mine, however I didn’t have either of those oils. Rosemary oil can be made by placing rosemary sprigs into an oil for 3 weeks but I haven’t done that yet. I then rinsed my hair with strained aloe gel and lemon juice.
The result is soft hair and well-defined curls. However, due to the smaller quantity of oil, my curls aren’t as defined as they were the previous week, with the previous recipe.
I rarely use face masks because the store bought variations have never offered anything. My face and right hand were sun burnt in New Zealand mid September 2019 and my skin has been dry and irritated ever since. As a child I was afflicted by eczema but as an adult, I’m used to soft supple skin. Suffice to say after 5 months of itching and sparingly applying an ineffectual over the counter steriod ointment, I decided to try a home made face mask, made of avocado, aloe vera gel and olive oil.
The recipe stipulated half an avocado, a tablespoon each of olive oil and aloe vera gel. I used a quarter of an avocado and guestimated the gel amount. I smeared some of the concoction onto my face and onto the back of my hand. There was quite a bit left over so, I smeared it onto sourdough toast and ate it.
The result was amazing! Within a couple of hours, the irritation on both my face and hand had stopped and the healing was clearly evident. The bonus was that the skin on my face felt highly moisturised. Bear in mind, I still applied my usual moisturiser, Nivea.
Two days later I walked from the Alfred Hospital to South Melbourne and then cycled home to Preston. Stupidly, I hadn’t reapplied my sun block and was sunburnt. After a couple of hours of itching, I decided to make another batch and within minutes the itching, stinging and dryness subsided. The next morning the skin on the back of my hand is almost healed and there is minor facial dryness. Suffice to say, I’ve found my favourite moisturiser and healing balm, which is more superior than aloe alone.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Gone are the days of spending between $8 to $11 for 1-1.250 litres of Listerine Mouthwash and, approximately $6 for a decent teeth whitening toothpaste. Equal parts of baking soda and coconut oil with an essential oil of choice (currently I’m using cardamom and cinnamon bark oils) blended together, makes a great toothpaste. Blending the paste makes it soft and fluffy!
Mouthwash is baking soda, water, tea tree and pepper essential oils. I multiply the recipe below to fill an old 1L listerine bottle.
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ cup filtered or distilled water (find the best water purification systems here)
- 2 drops tea tree essential oil (find 100% pure essential oils here)
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
Not only am I saving money, but I’m saving on the consumption of plastic! Overall, I’m happy with the outcome and looking for more food recipes.