My dear friends Amy & Jeff have posted here before about their first shot at budgeting. They recently emailed me with some tips they found online for personal care products that are both cheaper and (in many cases) healthier than their commercial counterparts. Being one who loves to kick as many commercial products filled with unnecessary chemicals to the curb, I was all ears. Here are a few of their tips…
Jeffrey and I have always been interested in taking a natural approach to things. If there is a more natural alternative available, we are usually willing to give it a try. We’ve made a couple recent discoveries that we would like to share our thoughts.
Amy: Recently, we have been using rubbing alcohol in lieu of regular deodorant. Just dump a little onto a tissue and rub under arms. Or you can put in in a spray bottle (much easier). I thought it would be weird or smell bad, but once the alcohol dries, you can’t smell it. I saw a youtube video where they added some essential oil of peppermint, orange, or something comparable to add some smell. Apparently the alcohol just kills the bacteria that cause B.O. (lovely, right?). I saw another video that suggested only using the rubbing alcohol every once in a while and using plain baking soda the rest of the time. Is there anything baking soda can’t do? Jeff and I looked at the ingredients in the deodorant he had been using, and guess what the first ingredient was: alcohol (then about ten more ingredients including dyes).
Jeff: I first learned of the uses for vinegar and alcohol here under the subtitle Other Options for Personal Care. I would disregard the use of 91% to 96% isopropyl alcohol because such a strong concentration can cause chemical burns. I a chemist friend told me that 70% is safe for use on the skin. Give the alcohol a little bit of time to evaporate before letting your arms down and putting on clothes. The best way I’ve found of applying the alcohol as a deodorant is by using a spritz bottle. You can buy the travel kind at dollar general and they work really well.
This has the same concept as the deodorant- alcohol kills stuff. This one is a bit more fun though: Vodka. Just swish a little (slightly diluted if needed) around in your mouth just like regular mouth wash except without the extra chemicals and dyes. Extra bonus, you can swallow when finished for an extra bit of pep. It might not leave you feeling minty, but it kills germs and warms you up!
Vinegar Hair Rinse
Amy: And yet another, vinegar can be used instead of shampoo! Apparently, this has been done for hundreds of years. Just pour a bit in your hands or a few sprits from a spray bottle after a shower and rub it on your head and through your hair a couple times a week. The vinegar can help hair to be tame and shiny, prevent itchy scalp, and make hair more voluminous. Jeff has been doing this for a few weeks now and it seems to be working well.
Jeff: Here is a site that gives more detail about the vinegar hair rinse. I do not really follow most of the advice on this site because I do not use shampoo, I use the vinegar rinse after the shower, and I do not add any water or essential oils to the rinse. I just use 5% apple cider vinegar by itself a couple times a week.
Amy: Another incentive: Jeff has done some research recently about sodium lauryl (and laureth) sulfate. These chemicals are used in most soaps as foaming agents. This same stuff is used to degrease engines and the like. They can mimic estrogen and cause complications such as decreased male fertility and cancer. Yikes! Doesn’t sound like something I want to rub all over myself.
How about you?
Have you tried any of these options? Do you have other alternatives or research?
For more DIY personal care, check out another recent guest post (and v-blog) from my friend Megan!