DIY: Natural Toothpaste

We’re probably all guilty of not really thinking too much about what is in our toothpaste. We squeeze it onto our toothbrush and 2-3 minutes later we’re done, with minty fresh breath and a set of pearly whites to show for it. However, a lot of ingredients used in conventional toothpaste can be harmful to our bodies and our health.

The Tooth About Conventional Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpaste is filled with artificial colors and sweeteners, like aspartame. Do we really need to have red and blue stripes swirled into our toothpaste? I don’t think we’re getting any marks for patriotism there.

These conventional pastes also contain fluoride, which can cause tooth discoloration and stomach problems. The FDA actually requires a warning label on every tube of toothpaste sold in the US that contains fluoride, true story folks.

So, you know that rich foamy/bubbly lather you get when brushing your teeth? That stuff is made possible by Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which is a surfactant that is used in a range of products from industrial cleaners to toothpaste, its main purpose is to provide a foaming lather. The problem with SLS however, is that it may cause canker sores, mouth ulcers, stomach issues, and cancer.

Call me crazy, but something that we are putting into our mouths upwards of two times a day, and inevitably ingesting, shouldn’t be dangerous to our health, right? This is why I switched over to natural toothpaste several years ago, and eventually started making my own, because ain’t nobody got money to pay $5 for a tube of toothpaste that you can make for less than $1. Can I get an Amen?

Brush It Off

If DIYing just isn’t for you, here is a list of natural toothpaste recommendations. These toothpastes are all from respected and trusted natural brands. Number 5 on the list is actually the toothpaste I used and loved before I started making my own.

Anyway, I was mindlessly scrolling Instagram just about a year ago now, when I came across a post from SW Basics, where they shared a simple, and boy do I mean simple, toothpaste recipe. When I saw this I thought to myself, shit I can do that, so I did. And I’ve been making a slightly modified version of their toothpaste recipe ever since.

Here is the recipe I found:

  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 20 drops peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)

Combine all the ingredients into a paste, store in a sealed container. It will last up to six months.

In my version, I omit the salt altogether as the baking soda has enough of a salty taste to me and I didn’t feel the need to add it in; the taste just wasn’t as appealing to me. I also use around 25 drops of peppermint essential oil, to boost the minty flavor of the paste. I am a huge peppermint fan, but if you aren’t there is no need to add more, 20 drops is sufficient in helping to freshen your breath reduce bacteria and mask the majority of the baking soda taste.

It’s always important to remember too that a simple recipe like this can easily be adjusted and modified to fit the needs of each individual person. Add a little more, or less of each ingredient until it has the consistency and taste you like best. It is your toothpaste after all; you should make it how you want!

I will say it did take me several weeks to fully adjust to the new taste and texture of my new homemade toothpaste. This stuff doesn’t foam and bubble, nor does it have a fake overpowering spear-minty flavor. It may not taste great to you at first, but trust me you will get used to it, and let’s be real for a second, does our toothpaste really need to taste good? As long as it freshens our breath and gets rid of plaque and bacteria we’re all good, and this stuff definitely does that.

So, please guys, let’s get brushing and give this stuff a chance. I promise your teeth, health, wallet and the environment will be thanking you! And the satisfaction you’ll feel from making your own health/body care products is such a great feeling in and of itself.

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Shopping Locally: Invigorating Espresso Scrub

I’ll admit it; I’m a die-hard coffee junkie. The smell, the taste, the color, all the possibilities, I want them all and I want them now. So, it’s only fitting that I would be in love with an espresso scrub. I received this scrub from Terra Luna Beauty, as a gift, quite some time ago, and I have loved it from the moment I saw it, I guess love at first sight is real, who would have thought.

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You’ll be begging for a coffee break with this scrub! The gritty espresso grounds are a great exfoliant and the peppermint oil is a refreshing surprise for your skin. With the harshness of the scrub the peppermint really helps to soothe your skin, along with the shea butter and Aloe Vera. This scrub is loaded with an abundance of hydrating, soothing and repairing ingredients.

  • Green tea
  • Coconut oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Jojoba oil

Just to name a few, there are plenty more where that came from, in the small jar packed to the brim with this amazing scrub. I say small because the jar is only 9oz. However, it has lasted me forever; I have had it for almost a year now and it doesn’t even look like I made a dent. This may be because I only use the scrub on my face once a week. I’m sure if you used it more frequently or as a body scrub, you would run out much faster than me, but I have found that I love using it as a facial scrub and personally, once a week does the trick for me.

Another reason I love this scrub is because it comes from a local and ethical company. Terra Luna Beauty is a Detroit based skincare company. I love supporting my local stores, even if I don’t live there any more I know that my money is going towards a great company and I try to support local brands and companies wherever I am.

Their products are cruelty free and mindful to our bodies and our environment. All of their products are guaranteed to be:

  • Organic 
  • Cruelty-Free(certified by the Leaping Bunny Program)
  • Fair-Trade
  • Handmade
  • Paraben-Free
  • Vegan(All products are 100% plant based)

Terra Luna donates 10% of their profits to independent animal rescue programs. I love companies that give back, because then I feel like I am also helping to support those charities and programs as well by buying from a company that supports them.

This month I challenge you to find at least one locally made product, wherever you may be, that you love. It can be beauty, skincare, or even food! Anything that can help to support our local businesses, and feel free to share them with me too!

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DIY: Coffee and Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Lately I have been loving making/trying to make my own beauty products. Not only is it cheaper to make my own products, it also gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I am making something that is healthy and good for me.

Another reason I really like making some of my own products is that it is helping me with my goal to start living a more zero waste lifestyle. Since I am not buying these products anymore, I am not throwing away the packaging that these products come in. Sure you can recycle, but most packaging cannot be recycled and not having any paper or plastic packaging at all, whether recycled or thrown away, is still and will always be the best alternative.

Now, I am not making every single beauty product that I use, nor am I going to for a while. This is true for multiple reasons, one of which is that I don’t know how to make all of them right now, and because it is a lot of trial and error to figure out what recipes you like and what works for you. You may have to go through quite a few experiments until you find the right one that works for you.

At the moment I am just enjoying getting my feet wet and trying out something new. Who knows, in the future I may be making all my own health and beauty care products and selling them at the local farmers market, or I may still be making a select few personal items and buying the rest. The point is that I am trying, and that I’m having some fun in the process.

One of the easiest and best things, in my personal opinion, to start making first is body scrub.

Body scrub can get to be really expensive and they all seem to come in small plastic squeeze bottles that you can never quite get all the products out of, and are not recyclable, by the way.

They are filled with artificial and unhealthy fragrances and perfumes. Not to mention the ones that are psychedelically colored, to be a rad blue or a gorgeous green. Hello, nothing is actually that color. Also when they smell too good to be true, and you all know what I mean, they probably are.

I love the smell of coffee, so naturally I decided to make a coffee body scrub and seeing as that I am a bit lazy, when it comes to making things this is super easy too.

What you will need:

  • 1/2-cup olive oil
  • 2/3-cup brown sugar
  • 6-Tbsp. coffee grounds (fresh or used, it really doesn’t matter)
  • 1/2-Tsp. cinnamon

What you do:

  • Mix all ingredients until well-combined and then place it in a reusable jar, such as a mason jar, then store it in your bathroom or shower.
  • Yes, I promise it is that simple.

If you like the smell of coffee and having skin as soft as a baby, I highly recommend that you try out this scrub. I love it and I hope you do too.

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Favorite Night Cream of The Moment

I have been using the same night cream for the last 6 months and I have really been enjoying it. I figured if I have been using it this long and still like it, I should probably share it with all of you. I use Reviva Labs, Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester and DMAE Cream, which I realize is quite a mouthful, but I pretty much like everything about it. I feel like that is a bold statement, but it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It could be a bit thicker, when I have some dry patches or flakey skin, from an acne scar, that I most likely picked at, sorry if that’s gross, but I’m human. However that is normally my own doing and not the creams fault that it can’t fix it, anyway besides that it normally does exactly what I expect it to do.

I realized I just complained that it could be thicker, but I actually like the consistency of this cream, it is just thick enough for night time, but light enough that I can, and have, used a very thin layer of it in the morning in lieu of a day cream, if I have run out, or if my face is feeling a bit dull and dry in the morning and it needs a little pick me up.

 

The cream is an antioxidant; this is the alpha lipoic acid, which helps to prevent future damage, as well as to treat past damage. I can definitely see this in regards to my acne scars. It also contains DMAE which helps to firm and tone skin.

I buy my cream on, surprise surprise, Vitacost. I buy most all of my skin and body care products there. I find that they have the best deals and everything ships out very quickly; I think I have gotten every order I have placed within a week or less. The only hitch is that you only get free shipping if you spend fifty dollars or more. I normally don’t have a problem finding enough stuff to fill up my cart to reach that amount, but my bank account might have a bit of a problem with it. Besides that I couldn’t be a bigger advocate for their site.

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Must Have Natural Beauty Products For Fall

Fall Must Haves HeaderIt’s that time of year again, when we pull out our scarves and boots and, dare I say it, pumpkin spice lattes (or just lattes for us simple folk). There are songs, clothing items and beauty products that remind us of fall and I am here to tell you a few of the products I own, that just scream fall to me.

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Weleda Skin Food, hand cream

This cream is literally a lifesaver. I keep it on my nightstand and use it every night before I go to bed. I have had a problem with getting really dry and cracked skin on my hands ever since I used Accutane in high school; it’s been a nightmare. I also work and have worked at a coffee shop for the past several years, which is super drying since I am constantly washing my hands. Anyway, this cream works wonders on my hands and smell great too.

Burt’s Bees cuticle oil/cream

This cuticle oil is an added bonus to my hand cream; I will apply it directly to my cuticles after putting on the Weleda Skin Food. It is just extra moisturizing and I unfortunately have crazy dry and crackly cuticles, this has nothing to do with my job or medication I took, it is just an unfortunate genetic tragedy that I have to deal with.

Burt’s Bees lip balm (Original and Mango)

These lip balms are a staple for me year round, but when it comes to fall/winter time I have one everywhere, my purse, book bag, on my nightstand and in the bathroom. I stock up on them and make sure I always have one in reach. The original is my favorite; I like the tingly peppermint-y sensation it has on my lips. However, I have been using the mango flavor a lot recently since it is the one on my nightstand and I like that one a lot as well. I like buying the variety pack and trying out all the new flavors they have. I am still trying to finish an entire tube of lip balm, before losing it; so far it has not been a success.

Facemask

Like the rest of my skin in the cooler fall weather, my face tends to get a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot) dry and flakey. For this reason I tend to grab for a facemask more often. Recently I have been liking the Moroccan Red Clay Mask; it hydrates my face and helps to combat my (snow) flakey skin. If I am feeling extra-dry I mix the mask with coconut oil instead of water. The mask will not set if you do it this way, but it does definitely help to moisturize my face more.

Red lips

I think red lips are just a staple in the fall. When I think of fall, I think of orange and yellow leaves, hot coffee and red lips. I think that the purple berry reds are really pretty to change up the classic red look, but you can also never go wrong with a bold red lip either. I don’t have that many lipsticks but I really like the Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Brandy and the Honeybee Garden Lipstick in Risqué.

Hair mask

In the fall/ winter I start using a hair mask once a week to keep my hair soft and moisturized. Since I don’t wash my hair every day, using a hair mask really helps to lock in the moisture and keep my hair from drying out. I have the macadamia mask right now, which I don’t really like that much. I just don’t think that it gets my hair feeling as smooth and clean as I would like and I also don’t really like the smell of, but unfortunately have a ton left, so I have to finish it up before trying something new.

Lip Scrub

It’s like an old record on repeat, but like I said before I have dry skin in the winter and my lips are no exception. I really like using a lip scrub one to two times a week to slough off all the dry and dead skin. I have the Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub; it works well and smells great too.

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