I Don't Love DIY - And 3 Favorite Personal Care Products
I am slightly preoccupied (obsessed) with using the safest, non-toxic products in my home and for my family. So, naturally I gravitate towards researching all the best ways to invest in non-toxic options for just about anything I need to buy. Cleaning products? For sure. Mattresses? Definitely. Food? Absolutely. Shampoo, makeup, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, condiments, furniture, dishwasher detergent, the list is literally endless. I end up on Pinterest often, and frequent natural/healthy living blogs regularly. I end up coming across and wanting to make A LOT of DIY options, because honestly when it comes to a product that is being manufactured, it’s very likely to have added ingredients that I do not approve of and don’t want in my house or body.
I find this process quite maddening. Here’s why. There are so, so many ways to make, for instance, toothpaste. But guess what? Many of those ways results in a product you are never going to want to put in your mouth. Believe me, I have tried some. The first DIY project I tackled for my home was a powder dishwasher detergent. The recipe resulted in a solid block of white stuff that even chipping at it with a knife wouldn’t loosen any of it enough to scoop out. I had to throw it, and the container, away. Not only a waste of the cost of the products I had to buy to make said detergent, but a monumental waste of my precious time. All the steps involved in any DIY project can be time consuming, from finding the right container to purchasing sometimes hard-to-find products in order to make them. Which is why I approach any DIY project with healthy skepticism, and have come up with a list of things I have given up on making myself and feel decently good about using in my home.
LOTION - First and foremost, my most favorite product that I have spent the energy and money on making at home but feel like I absolutely hate the process is lotion. There’s a dizzying array of lotion recipes online, and they all look absolutely gorgeous, if not edible! But making lotion is a major pain in the heiny. Not only because, well, making anything takes time, but the cleanup can be a bit of a nightmare. When you use a bunch of oils and need to emulsify with a machine, have a GREAT time cleaning up that greasy mess. Not to mention, many lotions have to be used up quick before they start going bad, or have to be kept in the fridge, which results in a solid product that is not exactly user friendly. And if it gets too warm? Yeah, it’s all gonna melt and separate and you’ll have to go back to the kitchen to salvage it by re-emulsifying. Sounds fun, right?! Meh, not so much. While no commercial lotion is going to be as absolutely pure and free of any and all unsatisfactory ingredients, I feel really great about Sun Valley Remedies and stock up on it about once a year.
TOOTHPASTE - If there’s one DIY project that really annoys me, it’s toothpaste. I have tried more than one recipe, and have hated all of them. They’re either too salty or too soapy, or just plain taste weird. Not to mention, they aren’t always very user-friendly, particularly when kids are involved. I’m definitely a sucker for convenience, and feel good about using Earthpaste for myself and Spry for my kids. Both products avoid the typical offenders that are hard to avoid in toothpaste (sulfates, fluoride, glycerin, to name a few). The ingredient lists are short and don’t leave me guessing as to the potential harm of using the product.
SUNSCREEN - My oh my, the agonizing I have done over this topic. My original go-to product when #1 was just a wee little thing, was Badger. After using this product for several years, I had to finally give in and try to find something a bit more user friendly. Applying sunscreen to babies and children is already torture in and of itself (enter toxic spray sunscreens!), and Badger comes with its own brand of torture, having the consistency of spackling. While I trust the product, and am comfortable recommending it to others, I just hated using it. I looked up on the Environmental Working Group’s list of safe sunscreens and settled on Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, the baby version. It’s easy to apply and so far has been effective. Although I believe making my own sunscreen truly would be the very best DIY to invest in for my kids and I, having a commercial product easily on hand that is the next best thing works for me. I do plan to try out Holistic Squid’s homemade sunscreen this summer, however much a dread the process and mess of making it.
I’m always open to finding new products to try, so please leave a comment if you have one you love and feel good about using!