It has been quite a while since I posted any "tips" or recipes, so as I'm now in "Santa's Workshop" mode and have been making a lot of natural body products, I thought I'd share a recipe.
Whenever possible, I like to use all-natural products in my home. I have found that either time or money is an issue in doing this consistently throughout the entire house (I do still buy bleach, laundry detergent, dishwasher tabs, etc...), but I have found some ways to make natural products that are very effective - some work better than the store-bought kind, in my opinion.
I love natural oils... Olive oil. Coconut oil. Essential oils... you name it, I love working with it. I also have an affinity for beeswax. When I have the supplies on hand, I am regularly experimenting with various mixtures to use for skin care.
Just yesterday, I made a recipe found on the Passionate Homemaking website. All natural deodorant. I'll post the recipe here, but did find it on the PH page.
5-6 T (71-84g) coconut oil
1/4 C baking soda
1/4 C arrowroot powder or talc-free cornstarch
Measure out coconut oil and put in mid-size bowl. In smaller, separate bowl, mix cornstarch or arrowroot powder with baking soda. (I used arrowroot powder, but due to its relatively high cost/oz at my local coop, I'm likely to use cornstarch next time.) Slowly add powder mix to coconut oil, using a spoon to mix the two together. I started out using 71g coconut oil so there was room to add more if necessary. This is kind of like making a dry paste. It took several minutes for me to get the whole mix to stick together without crumbling. If this is the case, add a few more grams of the coconut oil. Store in a plastic container with a lid, a metal tin with a lid or recycle an old (cleaned) deodorant tube.
So far, I have been very pleased with the result of the product. Note that this is a deodorant recipe, so it will not prevent perspiring. The perk of this recipe is that it is aluminum-free. It has been said that aluminum has been linked to cancer - particularly breast cancer in women.
I also tried a recipe for non-petroleum jelly. I found the recipe online, but can't remember the source.
1/4 C shredded beeswax or beeswax pearls
1 C liquid oil - Olive, Jojiba, Canola, Almond, Grapeseed
*Essential oil - I did not do this, but you could add 1ml or so of an EO or EO blend.
Place beeswax in medium glass bowl. Use a double-boiler system to heat. I use a medium size pot with a built in steamer basket. I place the bowl in the steamer basket and use steam to slowly heat the bowl and in turn, melt the beeswax. Once the beeswax has melted, add 1 C of your choice oil (you could also mix 1 cup worth of various oils). Adding the room temp oil will cause the beeswax to solidify a bit. Keep bowl over steam until the liquid oil and beeswax have completely melted. Stir with a hot fork if necessary - I place fork in a cup of hot water and dry it off before stirring the liquid. Using a room temp fork will cause the wax/oil blend to solidify on the fork.
Once the oil/beeswax have completely melted, remove steamer basket from heat and begin the cooling process. I did this at room temp, stirring occasionally with a warm fork to ensure that the beeswax doesn't float to the top during cooling. If using an EO for fragrance, add during the cooling process to minimize vaporization. Before the blend has completely solidified - I waited until the edges began to solidify against the bowl - transfer to storage container. I used an old (cleaned) coconut oil jar.
Though my experience with both of these recipes is very limited, I have been impressed by the cost-efficiency and quality of the products. Honestly, the biggest "sacrifice" for these natural, homemade products is the time it takes to make them. However, I made the "jelly" while unloading the dishwasher, so there are ways you can make excellent, 100% natural products for your family without taking time away from your husband or kids. ;)