With a few easy-to-find products, such as essential oils and exfoliants, you can create a DIY skin regimen.
Making your own beauty products can be cheaper than the price tag at the organic-food store and healthier than buying chemical-laden goods at a conventional grocery or drug store. After the initial investment in a few basic ingredients such as liquid castile soap and coconut oil, you can quickly personalize your beauty products over and over again.
DIY Body Wash
Foaming soap pump (if you don't wish to purchase one, reuse the pump from the foaming hand soap of your choice)
Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap (unscented if you intend to add essential oils)
Essential oils (optional)
In a clean foaming soap pump, combine about 1/8 cup castile soap with one cup water. In subsequent batches, experiment with the soap to water ratio to produce your desired consistency. If you are happy with the scent of your body wash, you can stop here and enjoy with your next shower. Otherwise, add about eight drops of the essential oil of your choice.
DIY Body Scrub
Exfoliant of your choice (white sugar, brown sugar, sea salt or baking soda)
Essential oils (optional)
Mix coconut oil and the exfoliant in equal proportions until they're thoroughly blended. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired. Store in a reusable container such as a mason jar. DIY Bath Salts
For a relaxing and detoxifying bath before bed, add about one cup of Epsom salts and six drops of the relaxing essential oil of your choice, to the water while it is running. Cut those amounts in half for a child's bath.
DIY Moisturizing Lotion
It doesn't get much easier than this. For soft, healthy skin, try rubbing a small amount of raw African shea butter directly onto your hands, feet, face or whatever area is in need of moisture. Some people also swear by shea butter to soothe eczema, clear acne and help diaper rash, among other things.
Ditch the chemicals and go for the easiest odor control there is. Simply rub aloe vera directly into your clean, dry armpits and allow to dry before dressing.
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup liquid castile soap (unscented if adding essential oils)
1 teaspoon almond oil
A few drops of the essential oil of your choice (tea tree oil is a nice choice for dandruff sufferers)
What Essential Oils Do You Need?
None of these recipes need essential oils to work, but here are a few ideas if you are new to the use of essential oils.
Important safety tip: Essential oils are very potent. Mix in a carrier oil before applying to the skin, and test on a small area first. Avoid contact with eyes. Use sparingly with children and others with sensitive skin.
Tea-tree oil has many useful properties. It's antibacterial and antifungal, and it helps with dandruff and flea problems for pets.
Lavender has a calming scent that promotes relaxation and sleep. It is thought to have antiviral properties and sooths coughs when rubbed on the back and chest in a carrier oil such as coconut.
Peppermint has a stimulating scent and can soothe ailments from nausea and gas to nasal congestion.
Lemon oil can calm anxiety, give energy and lift your mood. It also has disinfectant properties.
This is only a small list of the essential oils available. Rainbow Co-op (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602) has essential oils for a range of health and beauty needs.