Posts tagged non toxic

How to Make Your Own Natural, Non Toxic Shampoos

Although most people are happy with the huge array of choices we have in our department stores and find that most commercial products work well for them, there are many of us who find hair care challenging and difficult. For me, it’s an allergy to fragrances and a sensitivity to chemical additives. If I use the wrong shampoo, my head itches, flakes, gets a rash and sometimes burns for long periods of time, even as long it might take me to wash the residue out with another shampoo. So my search for shampoo has become a real challenge. I just can’t use whatever my sister leaves in the shower. Mine has to be fragrance free, without dyes or chemicals and usually has to have organic ingredients. Same for my hair color. I have found a few products that work for both purposes, dyeing and washing, but they are expensive and I have to order them online. In the meantime, I have come up with a lot of homemade alternatives and most of them are really good.

In my next post, I will give recipes for making homemade rinses and conditioners. I am also working on an ebook about homemade hair dyes and the methods for using them. Here, in this post, I want to share some of my recipes for homemade shampoos. These are safe, non toxic, hypoallergenic, easy to make and to make adjustments to. You will see when you get started on the recipes and after you use this stuff, you may be inclined to give up the commercial chemical based products you’ve been using most of your life.

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Natural Homemade Summer Skin Care

Not too long ago I wrote a post on sunscreens. I investigated their ingredients, the effectiveness of those ingredients and any known hazards presented by their use. You can read that post HERE . And, from that, you can decide whether sunscreens are for you and whether the benefits outweigh the risks in your situation. But there is a wide range of needs in the area of sun care for your skin, from the professional tanner who spends endless hours in the sun to the weekend tourist who is exposing tender white skin for the first time. I have been on both ends of this spectrum, living in Florida and growing up in the 1960s when every girl on TV was blond and tan. Even the English ladies had tans! So I wanted to be dark, blond and thin, of course.

Young girls have every reason to want a tan. It is considered a form of beauty in white culture and girls who are “too white” are laughed at. And although suntanning can be dangerous to the skin, especially if you have a history of cancer or a family history of skin cancer, most people do it anyways. So I want to offer some projects to make your own homemade skin products for suntanning that will be natural, sustainable, safe, non toxic and good for your skin. If you read my post on sunscreens, you will realize that most sun products are made of chemicals. Why expose yourself to that, as well as whatever danger and / or damage the sun might do to your skin. Here are my recipes:

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Natural Cleaning for Spring

If you are like me, you are looking forward to Spring for the new blooming flowers, the heated sunshine, the wildlife emerging from their long hibernation and open windows ushering in fresh air. But when I open our windows I see dust flying. When the sunshine comes pouring in I see the dirt bunnies and the crumb stashes in the dark places. A lot of this stuff is leftover from the holidays! Boy does that sofa have some body oil stains on the arms! And I cannot believe there are old potato chips behind the entertainment center. All winter long our home is like a dark cave. Now the sunshine is revealing way too many blemishes and I am not looking forward to cleaning.

One of things I hate about spring cleaning is the cost of the new supplies. Floor cleaners, furniture wax, rug shampoo, upholstery cleaner, bathtub scrub, window wash and air fresheners! Not only does this stuff put a huge dent in my wallet but it ends up adding tons of chemicals to our home environment. I hate the residue. I have to wipe the furniture down every time I walk past it just because I can see that oily sheen. This year I am passing on air fresheners altogether. The effect is only temporary while the lingering spray ends up all over the house, on surfaces. And it makes me sneeze. So this year I am trying some new ideas. I thought I’d share them with you. Here are some great recipes for natural cleaning alternatives. Some of them will save you money, some won’t. But all of them will help detox your home after the long winter has passed.

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Are Sunscreens Effective or Dangerous?

Sunscreens have a history of being greatly desired, on the one hand, and generally feared, on the other. This is because everyone has become convinced that sun exposure causes skin cancer and sunscreens are the only remedy for this while, at the same time, coming to the realization that sunscreens are made up of unnatural chemicals and additives that are suspected of toxicity. Very few of us remember this, but the very first sunscreen made for public use was made up of red vetinary petrolatum (yes, I said vetinary) and it was just a horrible, sticky goop that wasn’t proven to do much of anything. And, yet, it was the only product offered at the time. In contrast, today we have more than 500 choices for sunscreen, mostly because people have become terrified of sun exposure and this has carved out a an enormous wallet in the market.

But regardless of the fact that we have come to believe that sun exposure causes skin cancer and sun screens are somehow a miraculous barrier to that exposure, and thereby desired and, in some cases necessary, tools in the summer safety kit, the only thing that sunscreens are truly proven to do is prevent sunburn. In fact, according to the FDA’s 2007 draft sunscreen safety regulations, the “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) agrees with this and, in fact, they recommend clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation. Their materials also say that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun. In other words, there is NO PROOF that sunscreen prevents skin cancer.

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Natural Teeth Whitening Experiment Update

I wrote an article here awhile ago about natural methods of whitening teeth. I do believe that natural methods are far more desirable than chemical commercial products that are known to be toxic and are even banned in other countries. In many of these countries, they have government funded health care and they do not want to pay for all the teeth at break, crack or shatter after the enamel has been stripped by these commercial “whiteners”. But beside this fact and whether or not you base judgements on the actions of other countries or whether or not you approve of government funded health care, the down skinny is that these products don’t work. I have friends that have used just about every one of them, from the high dollar bleaches to the Wal-Mart brand whitening toothpastes. And everyone is saying that none of them work and the results are even more disappointing if you drink tea, red wine, coffee, chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes or cigars. I, myself, have tried a few of these in passing over time but was always hesitant because I am one of those who cares about toxins and when my Dentist told me, himself, that these products were toxic I feel the choice was the right one.

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Get Beautiful with Baking Soda

I absolutely love baking soda. I used it for everything. I brush my teeth with it (with either peroxide or lemon juice for whitening power!), use it for antacid (works great and saves $$), use it as a mild abrasive household cleaner, use it in the cat boxes to reduce the ammonia stink and I rinse my sinuses with it (you need a neti pot). But it has a large list of other uses, many of which don’t matter to me personally for various reasons but may be of use to you. And this has nothing to do with making biscuits or tortillas (which you may use it for if you like!).

You can buy any brand of baking soda, whatever is cheapest, it’s all the same basic ingredient and just doesn’t vary from brand to brand. If there are additives, avoid it! Pure sodium bicarbonate is all you want or need. You can get a basic version store brand at almost any store, from Dollar General to Walmart. Or you can just go with old fashioned, old faithful, Arm and Hammer. I buy several boxes every couple of weeks and usually get them on a 2-for-1 deal. You just can’t beat the price.

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Spring Project: Keeping the Bugs Out

Although not everybody is worried about being kind to insects almost everyone is worried about the dangerous poisons in the insecticides they use to get rid of the things. Either way, whether it’s compassion or fear, most of us have an interest in a safer, kinder, less toxic method of ridding ourselves of pests. I, for one, have had problems with how to handle bugs for a very long time. In some cases, I feel horrible about the insect (such as bees, wasps and other flying winged creatures like moths as well as some crawling insects that aren’t too ugly) and just can’t bring myself to kill it. Other, uglier and nastier, bugs like cockroaches and beetles make a big splat mess when killed and I despise the smell as well as I am allergic to their debris. So I hate stomping on them. I end up chasing most bugs around with a towel trying to trap them and toss them outside.

But I have had infestations in some of the rentals I have moved into. And these are nice places. They are just infested with bugs. Our previous unit had an explosion in roaches, German Cockroaches, which were nigh impossible to rid of. I spent tons of cash on special poisons like MaxForce and Raid Pro just to watch them step over the gel and continue raiding my kitchen. I ended up killing as many as twenty at a time with a fly swatter. And then push came to shove, we moved. I was successful at leaving the monsters behind after many hours of careful packing and unpacking only to have a flea infestation outbreak in the new digs. OMG, I spent endless hours trying to kill those things! I now have it under control but only after a litany of poisons, fogs and sprays where I can to empty my room, ban the pets, leave it on for hours and hours and then vacuum repeatedly and move everything back in. After exhausting rows with many a poison I still had fleas all over me. The only thing that finally worked was a natural miracle, Diatomaceous Earth. I have left the stuff in my carpets to this day and nary a flea!

Anyways, as you can see I have some experience with bugs. I think we all have. You don’t have to live in the slums to have roaches walking on your table. And once they arrive and move in, they are hard to evict. What has always amazed me is that the final solution, the one that really worked in most cases, was a natural, safe, non toxic one. So don’t believe the hype of the chemical manufacturers that you have to use deadly poisons. It just isn’t true. In the case of fleas, I highly recommend Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle it on and leave it. It takes a few days but they will be gone… I can promise you. I had a million and now there are none. And the same is true of other pest control. You can do it with natural and non toxic elements such as the Fossil Shell Flour I used. But the very best way is to ward them off to begin with which should be done all the time even if you do not see a bug yet. By practicing good, safe and non toxic repellent methods you can be sure you will not have bugs to begin with.

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