When you are new to the plantbased transition its easier to take things a step at a time. There are a few products I buy consciously to reduce my workload. I know how to make homemade cosmetics and it is something we will explore and use as this blog progresses but these are the few things I still buy.
We can’t get around soap, it uses are too many and too beneficial. The soap we choose should be biodegradable and paraban free. Why? Our soap goes directly onto our skin and more importantly into our water. We should have a clear and strong motivation to protect both. If you don’t then a year or so into reading this blog, you will probably change your mind. Any biodegradable vegan soap will do but for years I have been buying Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1. I stumbled upon it one day during my college dorm life and haven’t gone back since. I like it because it’s safe enough to use for 18 different things from washing your clothes to brushing your teeth. You are going to buy soap, next to candles it is one of the hardest (read time consuming) things to make so decide know what soap you want to buy, it doesn’t have to be Bronner’s. You can probably find a local soap maker to support and that would be even better, buy consciously and buy locally.
I have very sensitive teeth and have had many cavities in my life. I was using homemade toothpastes for a long time before I made the decision to start using Toms of Maine. I hope to teach you about natural toothpastes and dental higiene regimes because they do have a time and a place and some people don’t have as sensitive teeth as me. This version of toothpaste has helped my teeth be stronger and have a considerable reduction in my cavities, meaning I haven’t had a new cavity since switching my toothpaste brand. I use it intermediately with other methods.
Toms has my money because the product works, but they do even better than that , they are transparent in what the ingredients are, how they work and where they came from. If that wasn’t enough Tom’s also helps protect water, and recommits their labor force to community based volunteer projects each year. They are a model of sustainable business design, and I support that.
Another simple product that we need daily, but we tend to use comercial products filled with chemicals. Our bodies are sensitive and I encourage you to consider changing your deodorant sooner rather than later.
It took me years to find the best product for me, I will introduce you to everything I tried, but today I want to tell you about where I ended up. My underarms are highly prolific sweat factories, it’s not pretty. The first thing I have to do is shave. I hate shaving and honestly who doesn’t, but if I have hair under there no natural remedy helps. I use a combination of products to help my skin stay hydrated and also dry.
First thing I have is a salt stone, this is a smooth compact crystal of salt that you can moisten and rub under your arms. This is not recommended for the day you shave, but I use it as my daily deodorant. It helps to dry the skin a bit and the salt kills all smelly bacteria. On normal days I apply once, but on very hot and sweaty days I need a mid-day pick me up application. The good news, most stones come with a little carry bag and they dry extremely quickly. My only advice is try to keep a good grip, if you drop a salt stone it will break and the rough edges will not work well. If used properly a single salt stone will last 6 months.
On days I need a little moister under my arms I use a coconut oil and tea tree balm. Here in the tropics I keep that in the fridge but everywhere else I have lived in was next to my salt stone in the bathroom.
Simple Deodorant Mix
1/4 cup baking soda
3 T coconut oil
5 drops of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an antifungal product of amassed wonder and I use it more than any other natural extract but it can be strong. If you don’t like tea tree you can use citrus oil or lavanda in this deodorant too, but the tea tree oil is the most effective. Last note some people become irritated with baking soda, take it slow are your underarms start to adjust. If you know you have sensitive skin test this on your arm for at least one hour before use. If you do find this mix is too harsh for you you can half the baking soda and replace it with arrowroot starch. I don’t usually keep arrowroot on hand that is why I ops for the full baking soda version.