29 December 2010

Non-toxic self care

Have you see The Story of Stuff: Cosmetics?

It's sobering to think about what we put on our bodies every day -- and how much of it we absorb into our bodies.

Add to the scary chemicals the fact that I am cheap and a control freak, and I have spent the last several years working to figure out how to keep myself fresh and clean without expensive commercial products.

You've seen my laundry detergent recipe.

It's been years since I used a commercial deodorant.

It's been two years since I went shampoo free.

I have been making my own skin cream for about a year, and I am working on getting rid of toothpaste. (I still regret it when I stop using my high-powered sensitive tooth toothpaste, but I am using less and less.)

We all use soap but we get the very simple castille liquid soap from Dr Bronner. One day I'd like to get away from even that, but for the moment, it's what we do.

My most recent exploration is in the oil cleansing method for a face wash. It sounds odd at first to use oil to clean our face -- after all, we've been sold a lot of expensive products to get rid of the oil! But when you really think about it, our body produces oil because it's good for our skin and hair. The trick is to remove the dirt and the *excess* oil.

Anyway, I had tried something similar a few years ago. I kept a bottle of castor oil in the shower and used it occasionally on my face. But when the bottle ran out, I didn't replace it. The castor oil was a little drying even on my then-oily skin, so I just went with warm water. That worked ok for a while, but the older I get the drier my skin gets, and lately even with no soap on it I have sandpaper cheeks and a tight dry feeling after my shower. When I ran across a variation on the castor oil skin wash, I had to give it a try. I have only been using it for a couple of days, but the sandpaper cheeks are gone and my face feels softer than it did a week ago. I think this is a keeper!

Here's what I tried:
1/4 castor oil
3/4 jojoba oil
(use more castor if you have oily skin, less if this is too drying)
a few drops of orange oil and a few drops of myrrh oil

I keep it in the shower, and once my skin is warm from the shower but not yet wet, I rub a small amount into my skin and massage it in.

Then I continue my shower, letting the oil sit on my face in the steam. When I am ready to get out of the shower, I use a warm damp cloth to gently wipe away the excess oil and dirt.

When I get out of the shower my face doesn't feel oily, it just feels soft and fresh.

I'm happy.

I will be be teaching a non-toxic self care class for free skool in February and this one will be on the list!

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