August 15, 2013

DIY Body Butter & Other Natural Products


I have chosen to make a lifestyle change with my health and beauty regimen.  I've mentioned in some previous posts/videos that I have very sensitive skin, and I am unable to use many of the commercial beauty products sold on the market.  I have had to learn how to accommodate my skin sensitivities and find more natural solutions. So I've sought preventative measures that would minimize my exacerbation and allow me to experience more freedom.  My sensitivities have changed a little and have prodded me to become more creative and experiment with what I already had in my cupboard.

I have been using unrefined (yellow) shea butter for years, and I have recently experimented with coconut oil (T.rader J.oes') after doing some research.  Both work so well with my skin, however I would use regular lotion on my body after I showered and my skin would react in some cases.  That's when I realized that my sensitivity level increased and I had to make some changes.  I found some left over refined (white) shea butter I had purchased several years ago (my least favorite because I prefer unrefined), and experimented with that just in case something went wrong and it went to waste. When I run out of the white shea then i'll start using my yellow shea.

I mixed a 1 to 1 ratio of refined (white) shea butter with TJ's organic, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, which I read is the best kind of coconut oil to use (cold pressed = preserved nutrients).  I melted it down in the sun because it was a hot day, stirred the oils together and then put it in the fridge to cool and solidify.  This is a picture of my first batch (the size of my fist) and it lasted me 3 months.  With my second batch I just melted down both products in a pot over the stove, let it cool, and put it in the freezer for several minutes to harden and transferred it to the fridge (it's so much faster this way).  Here is my regimen and the results:

Goal: Create a natural body butter that is safe and healthy for my sensitive skin.
Process: Melt down equal parts shea butter and oil.
Use: After each shower, cut a chunk out from the bowl, rub it together in my hands until it melts, and smear it all over my body from head to toe.
Results: My skin has cleared up, it's so much softer and it has retained moisture.  My skin responded so well to my mix that at one time I didn't use my body butter after I showered, and my skin was still very soft!!!  This is something that I will definitely keep using long term, and my skin is screaming thank you!!

Other Natural Alternatives

Using Shampoo and Condition as Soap
So i've been using Alaffia's African black soap as my shower soap, but it can be kind of drying and so i've come up with another solution.  Remember that shampoo and conditioner bottle that did not cleanse my hair and scalp very well?  It was called Everyday Shea butter Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner.
I didn't toss it out because I figured that I would use them for another purpose, and I have!  I know this might sound unusual, but I use them both as my shower soap because they work incredible well and have nearly the same ingredients as my black soap.  I was thrilled to discover how well my body responded to it after trying it one day in the shower.  It's sudsy, so I used the shampoo as my body wash and it really cleansed my skin after a good workout.  After my rinse I slathered the conditioner all over my body like it was lotion, and just rubbed it in with my hands and rinsed off.  Since these bottles are Vanilla-Mint scented I had a very subtle scent on my body, but it was not strong enough to linger.  I prefer using this as my shower soap because it leaves my skin feeling moisturized. 

All Natural Toothpaste
Months ago I started using the all natural Mint Toothpaste from T.rader J.oe's because I've noticed that I have become more sensitive to the whitening agent found in nearly every kind of non-natural and some natural toothpastes.  T.J. has a toothpaste with just the basic but natural ingredients, minus the whitening agent, and I've noticed a big difference.  My mouth feels cleaner, and my breath/morning breath has decreased significantly.  I do believe that it's because of the baking soda that's in it that kills all that bacteria. 

For some time i've been using Funk Butter from Oyin as my all natural deodorant of choice, and it is a life saver.  When I sweat I don't have an odor, but the not so fun part is that if it leaves a yellow water mark when I wear white or light colored tops.  Other than that, my skin responds well to it because I am practically allergic to any other commercial non-natural deodorant.  I would like to eventually make my own deodorant and I do believe it's possible, so that's like a mini-goal of mine.  Maybe in the long run I can consider making my own soap, but since I have lots of the black soap remaining then I'm good for now.

If you have any natural DIY products that you would like to share, then please do so.  My goal is to not only find relief for my skin, but to share more healthy and natural beauty solutions with others at the same time. :)


anthia-ofo said...

I've made my own body butters (using raw shea and cocoa butter as a base)for a few years. An easy eye cream/make-up remover is:
1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
•Vitamin E capsules
•Lavender essential oil
Mix a few drops of vit E oil add the 2-3 drops lavender and mix well.

Scylla Charybdis said...

Hi Dewdrop,
I make my own deodorant. I stopped making my own toothpaste b/c I ran out (after about a year - I made that much) and got lazy. But we also had packs left over from CostCo in the house that I felt obligated to use up. Unfortunately, I have to mix the brand name stuff with baking soda because it tastes too sweet. Ick.

Anyway, back to the deodorant. I find that the recipe here works well. Every once in a while I'll get a tad too sweaty, but even so, I don't leave stains in the underarm of my shirts or dresses. Btw, if the link doesn't work, the vlogger's ID is AshleysGreenLife. I decided to pour off some of the excess oil because, while the mixture doesn't stain, the oil certainly will. I also used a few drops of tea tree oil (if you decide to add this, don't use too much; it smells medicinal) and a few more drops of peppermint essential oil. Mint peppermint or spearmint essential oils work well with my body chemistry, but "warmer" oils like clove and cinnamon work well too. I just prefer "cooler" scents for daily use.

Hope that wasn't TMI. All the best to you!

Neenz said...

So I have sensitive skin as well, and also very dry skin (due to excema). That being said I cannot use anything with fragrance ( other then perfume) or harsh chemicals. I was wondering what was the extent of your sensitivity? If its similar then I think i moght give this mix a try

dewdrop said...

@Anthia-Ofo: Thank you for sharing!

@Scylla: You are a life saver! I will definitely look at her page and see what might work for me. I'm sensitive to most oils (even jojoba), but I'm sure i'll be able to make something work. Thank you so much for sharing! Question, I keep coconut oil in the fridge, and even with my body butter mixture I still keep it in the fridge because of the oil that's in it. Would I need to keep the deodorant mix in the fridge because it contains coconut oil too?

@Neenz: I've had this skin sensitivity all my life and I mainly have seb. dermititis, but I do have varying degrees of eczema. Like you I am sensitive to products containing a fragrance of some kind, as well as harsh chemicals. (I'm even sensitive to lip gloss and most chapsticks too). I would encourage you to try this mix and see how your skin responds to it. I don't use any essential oils because my skin reacts to many of them, so I just use the shea and coconut alone. As soon as I started my skin responded very well to the mixture within a week of using it. If you do try this mixture. Let me know how it works out.

Scylla Charybdis said...

Hi Dewdrop,
I think it is best to keep the deodorant in the fridge for long term storage/use. However (had to be a "however" huh?), I often leave mine out to stay soft. I do this because I like being able to determine the size of the "dab" I use for the day; it depends on how much physical activity I think I'll be doing. A bigger dab for more physical exercise.

I also like to keep the deodorant soft because I can periodically mix it with a chopstick. The baking soda and arrowroot powders can "fall" to the bottom of my jar and separate from the oil (another reason I pour off some of the oil). And, as my comments say, I use a jar, but others use push-up sticks which can be easily recycled from old, store-bought deo or purchased from places like SoapGoods online.

So, yes, you can definitely leave the deo in the fridge. I have a separate, small cube sized fridge for all of my concoctions - deo, homemade butters, insect repellent, etc. Forgive the mention of essential oils in my previous comments - I was not thinking about your skin condition. But with it in mind now, I would research whether the arrowroot or cornstarch is better for your skin. The odor fighter is the baking soda, so I hope that won't irritate your skin. Dab on, don't rub in and you should be OK.


dewdrop said...

@SC: Thank you so much!! This is helpful information and I appreciate how thorough your answer is about using these ingredients. No worries about the e.o.'s, but it sure is fun to read about their use and benefit. I ordered my ingredients and plan to make a trial batch of the deodorant and toothpaste, so i'll post my results soon. Thanks again! :)

Colorado PitStik said...

Hi Dewdrop,
My husband and I make an awesome natural deodorant called Colorado PitStik. Just take a peek at what people are saying about it on facebook and Etsy =) We read your deodorant post and would like to send you a sample to try.

Kris R.

Dewdrop said...

Hello Kris, I will definitely visit your site and thanks for commenting on my blog! I also emailed you. :-)