Personal Care Products

We asked Program Coordinator Lucie Lavoie to write about personal care products. Lucie is an expert on chemicals and health, and so we figured she would know a few good DIY recipes. But the lovely guest post that Lucie wrote turned out very differently. Lucie shared her own routine, which gives a great example of how to avoid toxic chemicals and use only products that are good for your health. Enjoy!

My colleague phoned to ask me to write something for the blog on DIY personal care products like shampoos and lotions.  I was quick to point out that she’d asked the wrong person because I use so few ‘products’ that my personal experience is quite slim.  I’m not what you’d call a ‘Make-it-yourself’ personal care product connoisseur.

‘Well, what do you use?’, she asked.  I was reluctant to respond because everyone uses a LOT of stuff when they are doing their grooming.  It’s almost embarrassing to reveal to anyone outside my close circle of friends that I use bar soap, toothpaste and vegetable oil—three items do it all for me!

SoapToothpaste1olive_oil

 

“More details!’, she demanded.  Well, I just shampoo with water (I guess it’s not called shampooing then).  Every time I bathe, I make sure to massage my scalp very well to remove the dirt and grime.  No grease.  No smell.  No itching.  Nothing to give me allergies.  Once a month or so, I’ll use a non-toxic shampoo that I’ve found by checking out the ingredients at Environmental Working Group’s database. I’m still somewhat of a slave to convention but I refuse to use conditioner.

And toothpaste?  I tried baking soda mixed with a few drops of peppermint oil.  It was ok, but not very portable.  Again, I went for a conventional toothpaste, but made sure that all of the ingredients are non-toxic by checking them out at SkinDeep.  After all, some toothpaste contains microbeads (tiny beads of plastic) that not only get lodged under your gums, but wreak havoc on the Great Lakes because they go down the drain and are not entirely removed at the wastewater treatment plant.  So these microbeads end up in Lake Superior  where they can be eaten by birds, fish and other wildlife. Yuk!

PeasizedTPaste

The little blue dots are microbeads.

 

To round out my repertoire of ‘products’, I use a bar of vegetable-based glycerin soap.  No petroleum in my soap, thank you very much!  And no perfume, deodorants, preservatives, anti-bacterial products, detergents or colouring.  And when my skin gets dry—which doesn’t happen very often because the bar soap doesn’t dry it out—then I massage in olive oil infused with basil from my garden (and it’s good to eat too!)

Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahaca

Infuse olive oil with basil for an alternative to lotion that smells great.

 

So, I don’t have many DIY recipes for personal care products, but I do have some advice.  Simple is better for you and much cheaper.  And you will look and smell just as beautiful as ever!

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