The skin is the body’s largest organ, and while it’s commonly thought of as a barrier protecting us from the outside world, that barrier is actually more permeable that many of us imagine. The products we use on our skin are readily absorbed into the tissues and bloodstream, so it makes good sense to avoid those ingredients we suspect or know to be harmful—such as parabens, synthetic colors, parfum/fragrance, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing preservatives, toluene, and propylene glycol.
One way to avoid these nasty ingredients is to methodically read labels or run all of your personal care products through the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which analyzes close to 70,000 personal care products for health and environmental safety. Another option is incorporating as many ingredients as you can from your kitchen into your beauty routine. One rule I try to abide by is that I don’t put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t feel comfortable eating.These clean ingredients are not only safe, but they’re surprisingly effective when compared to their dirty drugstore counterparts. Some of my favorites are
Mommypotamus Leave-In Conditioner
This leave-in conditioner is quick and easy to make, smells great, and works well for many different hair types.
This recipe (from my personal blog!) uses apple cider vinegar along with foraged plantain (the very common lawn weed, not the banana-type fruit) and essential oils for a soothing toner that’s great for all skin types. I keep mine in the fridge and use it morning and night, as well as after yard work, exercise, and any other time my face gets particularly glisteny.
Apple cider vinegar helps remove product buildup and seal off the hair cuticle, resulting in soft, shiny hair. The smell isn’t too bad and fades pretty quickly. Still, I sometimes add a few drops of lavender or bergamot essential oil because I enjoy the smell.
I’ve been using this shaving cream for several months now, and it’s the one of the few I’ve found (homemade OR store-bought) that doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.
Honey is the perfect facial cleanser for all skin types because it’s super gentle and moisturizing without being greasy. Its antibacterial properties are especially beneficial for inflamed, acne-prone skin.
Rice Water for Skin and Hair
I haven’t had a chance to try rice water just yet, but the humidity has my skin sticky and my hair puffy, so I plan on mixing some up this weekend and using it as a toner and hair rinse. I’ll be sure to report back!
That’s all for now, but I’ll update this list as I try new products! Have you tried any of the above? What are your favorite kitchen beauty substitutes?