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LITHESTYLE! 13 Sep 2012

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This edition of Lithestyle is brought to you by Laura Mackie. Laura is an integral part of the Lithe team by day, and goes home to make an array of her own natural, homemade beauty products by night! Read on to find out why she started experimenting with things like sheabutter and beeswax, and learn how make your own chemical-free deoderant and body cream.

In the last year or so, I’ve become very aware of all the evil little chemicals and preservatives that are hiding in just about everything we use. Due to my penchant for researching everything under the sun (because I’m insane) and the wealth of information and controversy on the subject, it quickly became an obsession of mine. I’m seven different kinds of crazy with this stuff, so I won’t get into all the details (but if you’re curious…just ask!), but long story short, with everything I was learning I was no longer willing to use 99.9% of commercial products out there, so I started making my own. From dish soap to laundry detergent to deodorant. I started the trial and error process, tried countless recipes and did plenty of improvising. The end results aren’t always awesome (I’ve made horribly salty toothpaste and deodorant that makes your under arms smell like lemon drops), but after playing around with everything, you can always get it right! It’s also a lot of fun getting to play mad scientist with a relatively small pantry and very little cost. If you have baking soda, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and a few essential oils, you have a surprisingly solid foundation, but from there you can get as crazy with it as you want.

Here's a sweet and simple deodorant recipe (fitting, right?). You only need 4 ingredients.

  • 1/3 c of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree pure essential oil
  • I also add 10 drops of lavender essential oil (which is also antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic as well as an awesome skin soother, but it’s totally optional)

It’s best to melt the coconut oil first and then smoosh everything together into a paste and pop it in a wide mouth jar. Tadaa, deodorant! Use a dab (sligtly larger than a pencil eraser) to rub under each arm. It’s so easy and inexpenisve. I’ve been using this recipe since November 2011 and have had awesome results. It takes care of any stinkiness and works so much better than any natural brand deodorants that I’ve tried, but be warned that it doesn’t ward off sweat!

There’s also a really easy body/night cream recipe I’d love to share with you. This one is great because you can customize it. The recipe calls for:

  • 2 ounces of shea butter
  • 2 ounces of oil
  • ½ an ounce of beeswax

You mix the three together in a double boiler (or in my case, a glass bowl sitting in a pot of boiling water.) Once they’re all melted, take the bowl off of the heat and blend together. I use one of those stick blenders you can get for $20 works awesome. Continue to blend it while it’s cooling for a whipped texture. Just a heads up, when you use it, it might seem a little grainy at first (it’s the shea butter) but it will vanish almost instantly as it melts into your skin.

I’ve used a number of oils while making this. I made some for my face using 1½ oz of red raspberry seed oil (it has a natural SPF of 30-50), ½ oz olive oil, and also added 2 tbsp of zinc oxide powder (provides approx 30 SPF of protection and is also very soothing for the skin and can help heal break outs) If you use zinc oxide be very careful not to breathe it in, the fine powder can irritate the lungs!

I have dry skin, so I love rich oils like olive oil! If you have oiler skin, you can use grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, or a combination of the two to lighten the cream up a little bit. You can also experiment with using a different butter. Kukui nut butter is very non-greasy, but not for me. My skin will soak up anything so I like my creams to be very heavy. When I make this to use on my body, I love using coconut oil. That stuff is a miracle tonic. It works well for everything; it’s no wonder Lithe Foods is such a fan of coconut. Shea butter and beeswax create a great protective layer that helps prevent water from leaving the skin while helping to improve our skins natural barrier functions. And the best part is that there are no unpronounceable chemicals!

I’d love to know if anyone decides to try making their own!

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I'd love to know where you source your ingredients as I'm very interested in making my own products.

Madeleine, occasionally I'll look on amazon if I need something relatively soon, but mountainroseherbs.com has the best ingredients all for a really good price. The caveat is that they're in Oregon so it takes a little longer for your stuff to arrive, around a 7-9 days, but if you have the patience, it's well worth the wait!

They don't have zinc oxide powder, I bought that on eBay from the seller EssentialDepot. It was the best price for the only zinc oxide that met my crazy lady standards!

Good luck :-).

Just plain coconut oil has done wonders for my hair. It's made me a believer in natural beauty products! Thanks for sharing these recipes

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