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September 11, 2015

How to Help the Animals, our Bodies & our Environment? Simple.

nist6dh/Flickr

A few years ago, I was shocked to find out that nearly all of my beauty and personal care products were tested on animals and had unhealthy, unnatural chemicals in them.

What’s a girl to do? I began researching alternatives. I found that it was easy to find natural products, but it was even easier to make them at home.

Being able to avoid man-made chemicals is awesome in itself, right?

Making beauty products at home creates a sense of self-sufficiency and decreases reliance on corporate companies.

What’s the problem with corporate companies? Well, they test on animals for one. Secondly, they’re making a profit from torturing animals and selling us chemicals.

Deodorant, perfume, sunblock, body wash, body scrub and even makeup can all be made at home! While some of the more natural and organic ingredients needed to make these products can be more expensive, the amount of product made is well worth the expense. The ingredients can be used to make the products repeatedly before they run out.

What else is so great about making homemade beauty products? Saving the animals, saving our bodies and the planet.

Animal testing involves bunnies, rats, mice, monkeys, dogs and cats kept in metal cages in labs. They have chemicals sprayed into their eyes, shoved down their throats and eventually they are euthanized after the experiment has been completed and the results are recorded. These chemicals are marketing as being “the best ever” whether it be a commercial hair dye, mascara, eye shadow or a new celebrity perfume. Then, we, the consumers, purchases these products and the chemicals are going on and into our bodies.

I discovered that I could avoid this entire process by making my own products. When making homemade products, there’s no need to purchase chemicals that will eventually be hurting our bodies and the earth.

There’s no need to support unnecessary animal testing.

Purchasing such simple products as baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils can create beautiful, great-smelling products that keep our environment, our homes and our animals safe from chemicals and toxicity.Is aluminum really needed to keep our armpits from being smelly? (Well no, no it’s not.) I’ve found that cultivating usage of natural products allows me to be more self-sufficient and engage in natural practices.

Our bodies were not made to process these heavy chemicals being used in our environment. Anything that smells fake or has a really strong smell—typically perfumes, laundry detergents, candles and those scent things that plug into the wall—is not healthy. Our lungs were not designed to filter out weird man-made coloring chemicals, scents and other oddities.

Are the ingredients listed on the label?

Is there a “no animal testing” label on there?

Do they want me to know what’s in there?

If the product in question doesn’t brag about its lack of animal testing or its natural ingredients, something is indeed very wrong.

After finding out my products were not doing me any favors, I set out to make a change. Here are some homemade beauty products that I’ve made and tested to see if they do their job:

Homemade sunblock.

I used raw shea butter, red raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil, coconut oil and beeswax to make a SPF of over 100! All these oils have natural sun-blocking SPF in them. The mixture is thick and creamy and stays on even in water. I’ve been keeping it in a small jar and applying it for swimming, running or driving. Add essential oils to customize the scent—I put lavender in mine. So far, I have not been sunburned and my skin is soft even after soaping off the sunblock! It’s like a moisturizer and sunblock all in one.

Homemade mascara.

Have blonde eyelashes like me? I used henna to create a mix that can effectively dye the eyelashes. Make it as dark or as light as needed. Henna can be made into many different mixtures, and often uses natural foods and spices like coffee, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to make the color. For mine I used cinnamon and cayenne pepper to make a darker red combination. I applied with an old mascara brushed that was cleaned and let it sit for a few minutes. It lasts for about a week, so no need to apply every day.

Homemade body scrub.

Coffee, coconut oil and coconut palm sugar? Yes, please! I combined all these ingredients and exfoliate twice a week. It smells and tastes amazing. The texture is a little rough, so scrub gently. Try not to eat it, delicious and edible as it is.

Body wash.

Honey, castile soap and essential oils. Yup, it’s that easy. Dr. Bronner’s is a popular and versatile castile soap that’s naturally scented with essential oils and can be used for just about anything. I found this combination to be both gentle and thoroughly cleansing.

Homemade Perfume.

Essential oils are natural and smell amazing! They come in scents such as sweet orange, vanilla, jasmine, lavender, pine and many more. For perfume, I used pure jasmine in a 5-ounce dark bottle (to protect the oils). Adding about 40 drops and some pure water makes for an amazing sensual perfume. Other combinations to try are lavender and orange, grapefruit and lemon or cinnamon and vanilla.

With these natural products, I pondered why we would ever need to purchase commercial ones.

Being empowered and creating natural products establishes healthy, lifelong habits that make environments that are safe for our bodies, our children and our pets.

Where to find?

The local health stores and the Internet are great places for finding natural ingredients. For products more difficult to find—such as the red raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil for the sunblock—I order online. Other products—like Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and essential oils—are easily found in a health store and even supermarkets.

There are many natural companies that create natural beauty products that are not tested on animals which can be great. However, cultivating dependence on these products hinders our abilities to care for ourselves and experiment with fun coffee henna or grapefruit body scrub recipes.

I transitioned from commercial products to natural products by first buying non-animal tested products at the store and now I simply make my own from home!

Making natural homemade beauty products is rewarding because we can save animals, ourselves and the planet. We can also look and smell fabulous while doing so.

There are so many different recipes and ingredients out there that can be used for these products. Why not try some of them out? It’s easy, fun and of course totally natural!

 

 

Relephant:

Vegan & ‘Cruelty-Free’ Products Causing Orangutan Extinction?

Pretty Misleading: Are your “Natural” Beauty Products full of Sh*t?

15 Minute DIY: Deodorant that Works!

 

Author: Jenn Ryan

Apprentice Editor: Jaimee Guenther/Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: nist6dh/Flickr

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