Switching to a non toxic lifestyle can feel so overwhelming. There are so many areas that we are being exposed to toxins, so it’s hard to know where to start. This comprehensive guide to DIY non toxic body care will give you tips and recipes to help you make switches in each area of your life.
In a previous post, I wrote about 5 Easy Ways To Switch To Cleaner Beauty. It was just a quick overview of a few areas to start focusing. Now, I want to really dive in and give you a full resource to help you start utilizing easy DIY non toxic body care.
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Toxic Ingredients To Look Out For
There are toxic chemicals literally everywhere. They’re in the foods we eat, the skincare products we use, they’re even in our medicine & cleaning products.
The drug administration (FDA) lets a lot slide when it comes to toxins in the products we use. There are some key ingredients to look for when you’re making a switch to non toxic body care products.
Common Toxins In Body Care Products
Start checking the ingredient list when looking for lotion, soaps, & even makeup. There are toxic ingredients hidden in plain sight on the labels.
Honey Girl Organics gives a great comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid. Here are many of the toxic ingredients to avoid in your body care products:
- Artificial colors
- BHA & BHT
- DEA Ingredients (ethanolamine, triethanolamine, diethanolamine, etc.)
- Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl-, etc.)
- Parfume & synthetic fragrance
- Petroleum products
- Mineral oil
- Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, etc.)
- Coal tar
- Salicylic acid
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (common in toothpaste)
- Aluminum (common in deodorant)
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)
Although this list is super long, it isn’t totally comprehensive. A good rule of thumb I use is if I can’t pronounce it, I should probably look it up and make sure it isn’t harmful.
Looking through the ingredient list of products before you buy is the best way to start switching to non toxic body care.
Why Are The Toxic Ingredients Included?
It has always puzzled me to think about all the chemicals that are listed on body care products. Why did the company decide to include so many ingredients that can be harmful to us?
One main reason is for preservation. The chemical compounds help to keep the products shelf stable.
Another reason they include these toxins is because it is a cheaper way to give you the same outcome.
For example, petroleum products are way cheaper than using natural oils. Petroleum gives your skin a glow and appearance of moisture, even though it is not good for you.
Many of the toxic ingredients on this list will give you a positive outcome externally, but internally they can be doing damage that you don’t realize.
Natural Ingredients For DIY Non Toxic Body Care
There are so many natural body care products out there that use natural ingredients. This is a great way to start switching to non toxic living.
I find that the natural products are more pricey than what I’m comfortable with, so I’ve looked into sourcing my own natural ingredients to make DIY non toxic body care recipes for myself.
There are many ways you can go when it comes to making your own DIY non toxic body care products. Sometimes it is as simple as opening up your pantry and using what you have on hand.
For example, simple ingredients like olive oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar can be used in SO many different ways when it comes to body care.
Going with simple ingredients is great for all skin types. You can choose what works best on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.
DIY Non Toxic Ingredients & Their Uses
Here are different types of non toxic ingredients you can use in your DIY body care products. They are split into groups, but many are good for several areas of non toxic living.
DIY Non Toxic Skin Care Ingredients
These ingredients work great in lotions, makeups & moisturizers. It is not a comprehensive list, but these ingredients cover the basics of almost all of my DIY non toxic body care recipes. Several of these ingredients can also double in personal hygienic products.
Find my favorite recipes in Ultimate Guide to Natural DIY Bath, Beauty, & Household Recipes.
The Ultimate Guide to Natural DIY Bath, Beauty, & Household Recipes
Coconut oil is great for your skin. It is a source of Vitamin E. It helps to hydrate and retain moisture when used in your skincare products.
It can also be used in your hair for moisture & on your teeth in place of toothpaste (and even oil pulling!)
Coconut oil is the main ingredient in a lot of non toxic body care products. I even use it as the main ingredient in my DIY deodorant recipe.
I also use fractionated coconut oil by itself to moisturize my face in the morning. It is so light and nourishing!
Shea butter is a go-to when you need a moisture boost. Not only does it super hydrate your skin, but it also helps with any inflammation you have.
It is full of fatty-acids which help to promote collagen and elastic production in your skin. It will give you a healthy glow while helping to rejuvenate any dead skin.
Shea butter is one of the main ingredients that I use in my popular body butter recipe.
Cocoa butter is well-known for helping with stretch marks. This is because it is a great source of fatty-acids for your skin.
Fatty acids help to improve your skin’s hydration while also strengthening your skin’s barrier. This means that cocoa butter “locks in moisture” on your skin and allows your skin to really benefit from it over a period of time.
I use cocoa butter in my belly butter recipe so my skin has that extra boost during pregnancy. It has also helped reduce the appearance of stretch marks!
Avocado oil & olive oil are my go-to carrier oils because I always have them on hand. They are probably already in your pantry too!
They are great to include in your DIY non toxic body care products or to use on their own.
Using a carrier oil will help give your recipes that creamy texture while boosting your skin’s moisture.
They are also a great source of Vitamin E which helps keep your skin moisturized and glowing.
Aloe Vera is another great ingredient to include in your DIY non toxic body care products.
It is especially helpful to soothe certain skin conditions. We usually hear about aloe vera helping sunburn, but did you know it is also great for acne?
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory & healing properties which helps to heal the skin from blemishes and wounds.
I love to include aloe vera in this lotion recipe so I can reap the benefits of all its great properties.
Beef tallow has become my all-time favorite ingredient to use in DIY non toxic body care products. It is full of vitamins and has so many health benefits!
You can buy beef tallow at the store, online, or make your own from beef fat. I ask my local butcher for beef fat and save so much money by rendering my own beef tallow.
Beef tallow is super moisturizing & it doesn’t clog your pores. It is a great choice if you have sensitive skin!
Beef tallow also helps with collagen & elastin production. This means less stretch marks & more youthful looking skin!
You can’t go wrong with beef tallow when you’re making your own body care products. My latest recipe using beef tallow is this tallow balm.
Essential oils can play a huge role or no role in your non toxic living switch. It all depends on your preference.
You can use essential oils for their fragrance. You can also use them for their benefits.
For example, I use essential oils in my deodorant to help mask odor. You might also include essential oils in your lotions to help with any skin conditions you’re dealing with.
A great example of a recipe that uses the benefits of essential oils is this Face Serum For Glowing Skin (by Akin For The Simple Life).
Always do your own research and use what makes you comfortable.
DIY Non Toxic Personal Care Products
There are several non toxic ingredients you can use when it comes to personal care products. Many ingredients you have in your pantry help to keep your body clean and odor free.
Baking soda is well-known for its odor fighting. It works just the same when it comes to personal care products.
You can use baking soda for your oral health and even to eliminate body odor.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another great ingredient to use in your personal care products due to its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.
Many people use apple cider vinegar as a toner for their skin because it helps to keep your skin clean & treat acne.
You can also use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse in the shower to lock in moisture & naturally detangle your hair.
Many people use vinegars in their cleaning products as a non toxic way to clean their home and wash their clothes.
Many non-toxic products that you make won’t need a natural preservative because the ingredients are shelf stable.
When you start adding water to your recipes, that is a good indicator that you’ll need a preservative.
Some natural preservatives that you might use in your non toxic body care products are witch hazel, everclear alcohol, or vodka.
Since these ingredients can be drying to your hair and skin, you just need a small amount to help with the preservation.
A simple non toxic soap is Castile soap. It is made from natural oils reacting together. It gives a great lather and a gentle cleansing.
I use Castile soap in this dog shampoo (but it can also be used for humans!) because of how gentle it is on the skin.
Melt & Pour Soap Base
If you want to make your own soap bars, then melt & pour soap base is a must. It makes the soap-making process so much easier.
It is ready to go, and all you have to do is melt it down and mix in any other ingredients you want.
Be on the lookout though, because some soap bases aren’t fully non-toxic. They might sneak in a few toxic ingredients.
How To Start Making Your Own DIY Non Toxic Recipes
There are several areas where you can start making your own DIY non toxic recipes. The main areas to focus on are skin care, beauty, & personal hygiene.
DIY Skin Care Recipes
When I think of DIY skin care products, I think of products for my face & my skin. This category is mostly for moisturizing & keeping your face clean.
You can use any of the ingredients listed above to moisturize with. All of the natural oils (like coconut oil, avocado oil, and shea butter) work great by themselves when it comes to moisturizing your skin.
If you need a little extra moisture boost, or you’re looking for some fun recipes, then here are a few DIYs to try out:
- Homemade Lotion With Tea Tree Oil (great face lotion for acne or body lotion)
- Body Butter With Tallow & Shea Butter (works wonders on dry skin)
- DIY Night Cream (by She Mams With Oils)
- Winter Body Butter (by Naturally Chaotic)
- DIY Wisteria Lotion Bars (By The Homestead Challenge)
- Belly Butter For Pregnancy (great for itchy skin & stretch marks)
- Easy Homemade Bath Oil Recipe (helps to moisturize while in the bath)
- DIY Beef Tallow Balm (makes a great body cream)
There are so many ways to moisturize. It is best to find the recipe or ingredient that works well on your skin and that you can sustain.
You don’t want to be burdened with making your own moisturizer constantly if the recipe feels too overwhelming.
Start simple and work your way up!
Exfoliating is another important part of skin care. When you use an exfoliating scrub, you are aiding your skin’s production.
You are getting rid of dead skin and stimulating your skin for production. Use body scrubs once or twice a week for best results, and then finish up with one of the moisturizing lotions above.
Exfoliating can be as easy as mixing sugar and olive oil. Here are two easy recipes that you can make yourself:
- Brown Sugar Lip Scrub (can also be used on your body)
- Sugar Body Scrub (By She Mams With Oils)
- Oats Face Scrub (by My Journey to Green)
Non toxic beauty focuses on hair & make up. There are easy switches you can make to your beauty routine to show your natural beauty.
Once you start making your own beauty products, you’ll notice your skin start to naturally glow. You won’t feel the need to wear as much makeup, which will help to eliminate those toxic ingredients.
If you want to glam up a bit, then there are many makeup recipes you can make at home.
If you want more in depth recipes, you can always check out my “Ultimate Guide to Natural DIY Bath, Beauty, & Household Recipes.”
Homemade Foundation & Bronzing Powder
Starting at the foundation – you can make your own foundation/bronzer at home with cocoa powder and arrowroot powder. Just mix the powders together until you get the right color tone.
To apply, lightly moisturize your skin first and then brush on your powder.
A Farm to Keep has a great DIY Natural Cacao Face Powder.
Blush is just as easy as the foundation powder. Mix together arrowroot powder & hibiscus powder until you get your desired tone.
If you like more of a rosy or more of a brown tone, then add cocoa powder or beet root powder. It’s all about experimenting and finding what color works best for you.
DIY Mascara & Eye Liner
The easiest ingredients to use for mascara & eye liner are bentonite clay & activated charcoal powder. They’ll give you that dark smoky color.
Our Oily House has a super easy eyeliner recipe & you can find the mascara recipe in my “Ultimate Guide to Natural DIY Bath, Beauty, & Household Recipes.”
Sometimes, a natural lip is the best way to go. Here is my favorite Natural Shea Butter Lip Balm Recipe. It keeps your lips super moisturized, while giving them a pretty glow.
You can also make tinted lip balm with added color. Beet root powder and hibiscus powder are natural ways to tint your lip balm.
Natural Makeup Remover
After wearing makeup products, you’ll want to find non toxic ways to clean your face.
One easy way to clean off makeup is with castor oil. Castor oil is especially great as an eye makeup remover.
Just rub it on your face & eyes. Then use a clean washcloth to wipe your makeup away.
Face masks are a great way to clean and moisturize your skin. You can make your own non toxic face masks at home with simple ingredients.
A few combinations I like are
- Honey, oatmeal, & yogurt
- Bentonite clay, charcoal, & apple cider vinegar
- Banana & coconut oil
Or make this Tulsi and Clay Face Mask by A Farm to Keep!
Hair Styling Spray
To style your hair, I use this Sea Salt Spray Recipe That Won’t Dry Out Hair. You’ll love the body and shine that it gives, while leaving your hair moisturized.
Beard Balm For Men
I don’t want to forget about men when it comes to non toxic living! I have an easy and natural DIY Beard Balm Recipe recipe that my husband loves.
It moisturizes the beard, while helping to style it.
Non Toxic Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene usually comes down to your teeth & your body odor. These are some easy recipes you can use to start making non toxic switches.
You can find my full toothpaste recipe here. For the easiest tooth brushing experience, I like to mix coconut oil and baking powder together.
Your mouth will feel fresh and your teeth will be polished.
Deodorant was one of the hardest switches I made when it came to non toxic living. I felt like I couldn’t fight the odor, no matter what I tried.
Non Toxic Hair Washing
A good hair routine is not always easy to come by. Finding the right recipe that won’t leave your hair frizzy & dull can be hard to do.
One option is to use liquid Castile soap as your shampoo. I also like to use this Simple Shampoo Bar Recipe No Lye on my hair in place of store bought brands.
For conditioning, use 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water to rinse your hair. It will leave your hair tangle free and lock in the moisture.
If you’re looking for a way to really simplify your hair routine, then check out this post about Hair Training. You’ll learn how to push your hair washing day out so you only need to wash it a few times a month.
As I’ve switched to DIY non toxic body care products, I’ve noticed I don’t wash my face anymore. I just use a warm washcloth to scrub my face a few times a month.
If you feel like you need to wash your face, you could use Castile soap as it is gentle on your skin. Just make sure to moisturize afterwards.
Again, my go-to soap is liquid Castile soap. It works great for hair, skin, & body. You can put it in a pump bottle and use it like a body wash in your shower.
Add some essential oil to your bottle if you want a little fragrance.
I also use it for our hand soap in the bathrooms. You can’t go wrong with Castile soap. (Or make this homemade hand soap without Castile soap by That Zoi Life!).
When it comes to bar soap, Kowalski Mountain has a great DIY rosemary peppermint goat’s milk recipe.
DIY Non Toxic Conclusion
Switching to non toxic might not seem like much fun, but I know you’ll find ways to love it. Making your own DIY non toxic body care products is so fulfilling and has many benefits.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all in one day. Start making slow switches now and you’ll be surprised in a few months how far you’ve come.
I always tell people that a great start is to switch out your moisturizer. You can go with a simple coconut oil or make a fun recipe.
No matter where you start, the switch to non toxic living is so worth it!
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Posts on this blog are for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with expert professionals. Always do your own research if pregnant, nursing, or dealing with young children.