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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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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DIY: Essential Oil Calming Blend

Making an oil blend is simple and easy. One of my favorite blends to make and use is a calming blend. You can rub it on your pulse points or your neck or even just smell it when you are feeling stressed, anxious or worried. It is a great blend to keep on hand, in your purse or by your night stand; it can always come in handy for you or a friend.

What you need:

  • Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Lemon Essential Oil (Optional)
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Roll-on refillable glass perfume bottle
  • Fractionated coconut oil

This combination of oils works great for a calming blend because they all have similar calming and relaxing therapeutic properties. Each oil is also has a very subtle smell that blends well with other oils; no one oil in this blend will over power another, I find the smell is refreshing and relaxing.

Chamomile

  • Therapeutic, calming effect on the skin, mind and body

Lavender

  • Calming and relaxing qualities
  • Eases muscle tension
  • Therapeutic properties

Lemon

  • Uplifts your mood

Peppermint

  • Stress relief
  • Clears breathing
  • Calming effect

Sandalwood

  • Enhances mood
  • Grounding and uplifting properties

What you do:

  • Fill the glass bottle half way with the fractionated coconut oil; I got mine on Amazon for pretty cheap.
  • Next, put 5 to 8 drops of each oil into the bottle.
  • Finally, screw in the roller ball top and shake the bottle until well combined.

IMG_1306

That’s basically it, now you have a homemade essential oil therapeutic calming blend, to use whenever you need a bit of a stress reliever or when you are practicing yoga or even meditating.

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DIY: Lavender Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

A few months ago I was staring at a huge tub of coconut oil that was sitting on my bathroom counter wondering how I was ever going to use all of it when I thought to myself; maybe I can make something out of this that will get rid of a bunch of it. That is when I decided to create a body scrub.

Ingredients

Coconut oil is very moisturizing and nourishing and sugar is a great exfoliator, and I had run out of soap; it seemed like a great idea.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of Organic coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of Organic sugar
  • 3-8 drops (I used 5) of Essential oil
  • A container to store it in

Coconut Oil

Add a ½ cup of softened coconut oil into a bowl (You can put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it, but you do not want it to be completely melted as the sugar will settle at the bottom of the jar separating from the oil. Once the liquefied oil hardens, the two ingredients will not be combined well).

 

Then add in your sugar and essential oil. I used lavender but you can choose whatever you like, orange or lemon would be very refreshing for the summer.

Mix until everything is combined well.

IMG_0248

You can put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to help the oil harden up faster for immediate use, or just put it in your shower and use it tomorrow!

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