Empowerment for me comes in all shapes and aspects of our lives, from what we say, to wear, eat and put on our skin. From some of us, that have the time making your own products can be a wonderful way to empower yourself, so can buying from those folks that align with you and are ingredient conscious.
What are Natural Products?
I want to start off with the word 'Natural', as a scientist, we must note that everything in cosmetics is a chemical, weather straight from your garden or from your local apothecary.
There are many ingredients that based on the rate of human consumption, can not grow quick enough, so is made in a lab, but plant derived and has all the properties that occur in nature.
I use a combination of plant derived and occurs in nature, but made in a lab.
I find the internet a wonderful source of information and I have a feeling some readers would prefer me to take a particular stance on what one should do, I say to everyone, if you can do your research and then do what feels good to you, is within budget and something can safely be achieved in a home mini cosmetic lab.
I would suggest that you have two notebooks, the first for your research, make a note of everything, or do this an easy to access way online, in google notes, etc and a formulation notebook, this should at the very least have a all the ingredients written noted by percentages, irrelevant of what weight measurement you use.
You will also want to note what the actual amount was that you ended up using, and as many notes as you can, about how it functioned, as to your hopes and the date and time that you made it. this will give you a great tracking tool to improve, and replicate the recipe exactly as initially made.
I could spend many hours going into what i adore about making my own products, but instead I will keep this short and sweet!
Where to Start
If you are new to making your own products or a season formulator,
I would say, look at the things you are already use on a daily or at the very least regular basis.
Read the label and see what goes into them and then look up recipes online, on how to make a similar product, usually they require less ingriendts. which can make the product, a more 'Green product'
If you are looking for a more visual tool then YouTube is a great source, with cosmetic formulator's and scientists that can help you get the basics down and start to build your skill set quickly.
1. Cleaning Detergents
The cost of cleaning detergents has gone up especially amid the pandemic. When Covid-19 begun, most people rushed to the stores and bought cleaning detergents. There are many home made formulations that you can begin to make that can support you and your loved ones.
I would add that review your formulation to make sure that it is an effective cleaner.
Cleaning detergents using basic ingredients. For example, one can use basic ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, to make all-purpose cleaning detergent., can be a great starting point.
Studies have shown home-based products work just as well when compared to chemical-based brands. Besides cutting on cost you will be keeping you and your loved ones safe from the harmful chemicals used in manufacturing detergents.
If you can grow your own, through many a small balcony or window ledge, you can begin to provide not just a great mental wellness tool, but a nutritional one as well.
I have many friends and family members that don't know where to start, I say, start with what you eat, most scrap foods can be regrown, in simple water and than placed in a sunny spot.
I would discourage you trying to go all in, unless you have the time and space to do so, but instead start small and feel your way through learning and growing your own food, little wins make for big wins!
It’s not a must that you have to grow food, there are other ways if you have the finances to i would say , shop local, and seasonally, include going to the farmer’s market and shop for fresh produce, it is cheap compared to processed meals.
The beauty and skin care industry, is one of the industries that uses alot of harmful ingredients, that in many cases causes skin irritations. As noted earlier, i would look at all the items you wear and use, and see which ones you can feasibly make your self, and for those that you cant, i would suggest that you look into sellers that align with the types of ingredients that has a lower, if not zero irritation factor.
A great website to check is the www.ewg.org/skindeep, where they look into the list of ingredients and from there you can make a more informed decision as to what you want to put on your skin.
I encourage you make your skincare products. It’s a simple process that uses basic ingredients and your skin begins to glow.
For example, you could use a oat and avocado facial mask to soothe and encourage healing of irritated skin.
Big manufacturing facilities produce a large amount of plastic waste which end's up polluting the environment. The chemical waste has also been documented to trickle down into the Oceans, Lakes, and River. This, in turn, leads to new strains of diseases and infections within our environment.
At times where we have limited budgets, this can be a great way to save money.
in addition you might grow your organic food which keeps you healthy and reduce your monthly expenditure.
Another aspect for those of us, who are interested in Urban homestead, these suggestions and tools can start us on the path of self sufficiency. Making your products from scratch is a great way to dip your toes into urban homesteading. In urban homesteading, we advocate growing your food, if you can do it within a permaculture frame work, then, it would be both beneficial to you and your local environment.
Making your products is a great skill to have and start to build and you will also be helping to protect the environment.