I am coming to the belief that the shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps and so on should be as natural as possible. How did humans survive before chemical were invented? Surely there were products that were used hundreds of years ago that were useful all on their own without emulsifiers, stabilizers and antibacterial agents added to them. And some research has turned up numerous things that can be used. My first shot at sourcing something locally was a bust due to an apparent allergy. So what have I done since then?
First, I purchased a bunch of items from a cosmetics ingredient manufacturer. I bought several things because I wasn’t sure if any of the items would work so I wanted to ensure that whatever shipping I paid wouldn’t be wasted. I purchased these products based on what information I could find online. I really believe that it is best to go as natural as possible for ingredients. And so far… it wasn’t a total bust. Read on.
Avocado Butter – this is like a thick paste. It is a cream colour with a slight tinge of green. It smells faintly of avocados. I purchased a 1lb tub of it for about 10$. I have been using this in the morning because it spreads easily and quickly. Who has time in the morning for anything complicated? It feels a little sticky when you first apply it but it goes away almost immediately. My other choice for a paste type moisturizer was Almond Butter. I selected Avocado Butter isntead because the Almond Butter said it was mixed with Hydrogenated Oil. Not quite as natural as I had hoped.
Cocoa Butter – This comes in several varieties. I purchased prime pressed but I could have also purchased deodorized or white. It is a yellow/brown colour. It has a VERY strong cocoa smell. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it smelled like chocolate – more like carob. I purchased a 1lb block of it for around 10$. I found the smell too strong for me and Eduardo absolutely hates it. If I went this route again, I would have to say that I would likely go for deodorized. Cocoa butter will melt if you rub it between your hands. It does not melt on contact like coconut oil so it does take a bit of work to melt in on your skin and rub it in. This takes a bit more time but still yields a nice moisturized feel. It doesn’t feel sticky but rather a little greasy. This takes a bit longer to go away than the Avocado Butter.
Illipe Tree Butter – This is white and smells like some kind of nut or maybe nut shells. The smell was unusual but not offputting. Eduardo liked the smell of this. The description for this butter said it was the most healing of all butters. That sounded good. It also said that it had a higher melt temperature than cocoa butter. I wish I had of paid more attention to that fact. Not knowing that cocoa butter did not melt easily on contact, it didn’t occur to me that I might not be able to melt illipe tree butter on contact. I really want to make sure of this butter but am not sure how to put it in a more useable form. If you rub a piece of it really, really hard between your fingers, you can get it to melt. I have used it to moisturize my hands with some work and it doesn’t seem greasy at all. I may have to experiment with the microwave or something. This is the most expensive of the three butters that I bought with a 1/2 lb costing about 10$.
So after smelling/looking at the items, Eduardo is not convinced of my sanity. He also thinks it is foolish to purchase this kind of stuff. I think some of his purchases are foolish too but I refrain from commenting. What we want to do with our allowance is our business. I don’t think it is foolish to reduce the amount of chemicals going into your body. What goes on your skin, ends up under your skin.
But I didn’t stop there…
I put an order in at Chagrin Valley Soaps. I replaced my Butter Silk lotion. This is a natural bar that is made up of several of the components above but melts a little better on contact than Cocoa butter. I wanted it as a travel moisturizer. I also put in an order for Castile soap. Castile soap is made from olive oil. It is supposed to be so gentle that you can use it on babies. Most soap seems to be made from coconut products because it suds well. I wanted to stay away from coconut products on my skin and I liked the sample I had ordered last time.
I also wanted to try out their shampoo bars. They have no added perfumes or SLS or any other ‘natural’ chemicals. Some have essential oils although their Olive Oil bar does not. I purchased a single Olive Oil shampoo bar because it didn’t have coconut in it and seemed very similar to their Castile soap and samples of their Neem/Tree Tea and Nettle shampoo bars. Both of these shampoos are supposed to help with dandruff and itching scalps. This has been an issue for me since before I started the Lush soap and it has actually gotten worse ( I know… I know… TMI) The Neem and Nettle shampoo bars really do smell horrible. The kids helped me unpack everything and sniffed everything and so did Eduardo. We all disliked the strong smells of both of these bars. I have tried the Neem shampoo bar for the last two days and have to say that my scalp is not as itchy. I will continue to use it and see how it goes. There is no getting used to that smell tho!
I also purchased 2 sisal wash sacks. You are supposed to put your soap in them and use them as wash cloths. They hang up to dry. I thought these might help with soap melting in the soap tray because it sits right under the spray from the shower and soap sitting on the edge of the tub in little plastic containers so it is NOT in the soap tray melting. I haven’t asked Eduardo how he likes his ‘soap on a rope’. I find it a little rough but I bet it cleans better than just rubbing the bar over the body.
All told – with shipping – I have spent about 75 or 80$. Shipping is not inexpensive but I don’t know where to source this stuff locally *sigh* I expect this stuff to last me months and months as I bought in ‘bulk’ to make the shipping worthwhile. Am I nuts to want to go with more natural products? Have I spent too much money? I sure hope not. I also hope to make my own soap once I get rid of my second job. I have found several tutorials for soap making and one of them specifically talks about Castile soap. Yes the ingredients can be dangerous but it doesn’t sound too hard to do.