Zero Waste Deodorant

This post has been a very long time coming.

Why? Because of all of the questions I have been asked “how do I make my own deodorant” is by far the most prevalent.

The reason that I waited so long to post this recipe is because we are all different.

If you go into any pharmacy, there are dozens of different types of deodorants. Ones that smell like ocean breeze, or vanilla bean, or man. Ones that make you smell less bad, ones that reduce sweating, ones that eliminate sweating, ones that make your armpits lighter, or softer… the list goes on and on. The point is that there are so many choices because everyone’s body is different which means that different types of deodorant work better or worse for different people.

When I was using conventional (aka store bought chemically deodorant) I was always switching brands. It seemed like after a while one would just stop working, like my body changed, and I had to find something new. I would try brands that worked well for my friends, but they didn’t work for me, and vice-versa.

When I transitioned to a plastic free and zero waste lifestyle I stopped using store bought deodorant. This was for many reasons but the main reasons were the packing, the ingredients, and the fact that the natural version was less expensive and worked really well.

The Packaging: 
Conventional deodorant comes packaged in a plastic container with a plastic or foil (probably lined with plastic) protective thingie, and a plastic lid. Making your own deodorant you can prevent all of that waste from being created because you can buy your ingredients package free and keep reusing the same container over and over. I love to put my deodorant in a small mason jar. I also make a pocket sized version by re-using a glass ounce sized makeup container. It is perfect for when I’m on the go.

The Ingredients: 
The deodorant I make is different from conventional/store bought deodorant because it is free of chemical elements like aluminum which have been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s, propylene glycol which can damage the central nervous system, and parabens which are carcinogenic and environmentally disruptive. All in all, no fun.

I have played with sooooo many recipes. Ones that were runny, ones that were firm, ones that smelled like lavender… I realized that the best way to make the perfect deodorant was to listen to my body. That means making adjustments here and there, but overall the recipe in this video is the one that has kept my armpits happy over the past few years.

BUT OHMAGOSH IF THIS DEODORANT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU PUH-LEAZE DO NOT GIVE UP ON NATURAL DEODORANT! TRY AGAIN!

I can not emphasize this enough. There are so many toxins in conventional deodorant and, again, everyone’s body is different. So if this recipe does not work for you, try another recipe. Play with the amount of each ingredient, leave ingredients out, change the essential oil, and most importantly, give your body time to adjust.

I recommend testing each ingredient on your wrist to ensure there are no allergic reactions (for instance, some people do not react well to baking soda). If that is the case, leave it out. Also, if you shave your underarms, like with any deodorant, I’d wait a few minutes before applying.

Switching to natural deodorant has been amazing for so many reasons: I save money, I do not use any single use packaging, I can adjust the scent and ingredients to make it perfect for my body, and I am not exposing myself to any toxic chemicals. Try it out, share your experiences, and post any recipes in the comment section that work well for you. We can all learn from each other!

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My 4-Item Beauty Routine

Since adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle three years ago, I have transitioned away from all store bought products, minimized my beauty routine, and simplified my life. 

How have I done this? By making all of my own products.

I used to have dozens of beauty products. Multiple lotions, creams, deodorant, toothpaste… all of these things that society seemed to be telling me that I needed. Truthfully, I bought into it, I really thought I needed them. But when I transitioned to a Zero Waste lifestyle, it turned out that I didn’t need most of the products that I was certain that I did, in fact, I only needed four.

My Zero waste beauty routine is now clean and simple: I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth with toothpaste that I make myself, moisturize with my own face oil blend and body lotion, and keep all stinkiness away using my homemade deodorant. I repeat this routine at night. That’s it. Four items and zero waste.

You might be thinking… “​That must be SO time consuming, making all of her own products!”, ​“​I can’t do that”, ​or “​I can’t afford it”​. But the truth is, it is neither time consuming nor inaccessible. In fact, making my own products has saved me a lot of time. In addition to that, it has saved me money, kept toxic chemicals out of my body, and resulted in less trash entering landfill.

I save time.

One of the biggest responses I get when I tell people that I make my own products is, “​ but doesn’t that take so much time!?”​ Nope, it really doesn’t Most of these products don’t take more than a few minutes to make, which is exponentially less time than I would spend walking to the store and back to buy an item. Making my own beauty products is much faster than buying them! For example, for me to go and buy toothpaste at the store would take me about 20 minutes. Making it at home takes about 30 seconds. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of me making it.

I save money.

Going to the store and buying beauty products was not at all cost effective. I’d be lucky if I escaped a pharmacy without spending upwards of $40.00 on a couple of things. Now, instead of paying $6.00 for a natural toothpaste, I pay about $.40 for the same amount. Instead of paying $14 + dollars for lotion, I spend about $1 – $2 to make mine. Besides being drastically less expensive, they are also better for the environment.

I keep toxins out of my body.

This is the primary reason that I started making my own cleaning products. I began learning about some of the ingredients that were lurking in both conventional and more sustainable products: triclosan, ​potentially carcinogenic and disruptive of the endocrine system, a​ nd sodium lauryl sulfate (​SLS), possibly contaminated with 1-4 dioxane, a carcinogen, a​ mongst a long list of others​.​ Realizing that product manufacturers had the ability to put toxic chemicals in the products I was buying, and that by buying them, I was putting myself at risk, I decided to begin making my own products to have complete control over what I put in and on my body. Instead of chemicals, I make all of my products using organic, vegan, and fair-trade ingredients, all of which I would be A-OK if ingested.

I keep trash out of landfills.

Besides saving you time, being less expensive, and healthier, making my own products is super sustainable. When you think of conventionally packaged beauty products they typically come packaged in… plastic. A lot of the time it is plastic that is not recyclable and thus ends right in landfill or in our oceans resulting in pollution. NO BUENO. Instead I buy the simple and easy to find ingredients for my homemade products in bulk or package free and put them into refillable and washable containers to use over and over again, preventing any trash from being created.

It has been over three years that I have been making my own products and I have never looked back. Having control over what I use means that if I get bored of a scent or want to try something new, I can. I have that freedom. I can change my moisturizing oils seasonally, the scent of my deodorant in minutes, and the flavor of my toothpaste in seconds.

I began making my own products to decrease toxins and trash from my life, but what I gained was time, money, and freedom from companies telling me what I should buy, how much it needs to cost, and what they believe is best for me. Every person is different and we all like different products, scents, and ingredients. By making my four everyday products myself I now I have the ability to have each one be exactly how I want them to be!

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5 Easy Beauty DIY’s


Did you know that you can make so many of the products that you buy? It’s true! And you can do it from scratch with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet!!

What?!

Yes­. I’m talking about ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, sugar, and sea salt. Forget the unnecessary colors, additives, and fillers that are always found in toiletry essentials such as toothpaste and makeup remover. By making your own products using minimalist ingredients found in your home, you get get the job done twice as fast for just a fraction of the price­.

1. Toothpaste

You don’t need to buy that $5 tube of toothpaste from the drugstore. Instead, you can whip it up in under two minutes using only coconut oil, baking soda, and an essential oil of your preference. Not only is making your own toothpaste easier than pronouncing the ingredient list on the back of a conventional store­bought tube, but you are also doing the earth a favor. You are keeping a tube of toothpaste that is difficult or impossible to recycle out of a landfill.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1 tablespoon baking soda

20 drops of organic essential oil (peppermint, spearmint, anise, cinnamon)

Directions: 
Combine all three ingredients in a small jar. To use, spoon onto your toothbrush and brush as you normally would.

2. Makeup Remover

Who says the only way to remove last night’s smudged mascara is by applying one­time use pads drenched with abrasive toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances? Instead of going for some expensive product or oil, one of the best (and most frugal) makeup removers you can find is coconut oil. Just use about a teaspoon on your face, rub it in,
and wipe off with a washcloth. Then follow with your normal face washing routine. If you have a coconut oil allergy, you can swap coconut oil for sesame, olive, or calendula oil.

3. Hand/ Body Scrub

Make coffee in the morning? Throw away the grinds? If so, you are actually tossing an unsuspecting beauty item… hand/body scrub! Coffee grounds are one of nature’s most effective exfoliants. Just take the grinds and scrub your skin to remove dead skin and soften your hands or body. Because coffee grinds contain caffeine, it is a natural
anti­-inflammatory, which thereby helps to enhance circulation and can help to boost the production of collagen. We won’t blame ya if you find yourself rubbing it into your rump now and again, it’s the perfect cellulite blaster!

4. Exfoliating mask

For a simple and effective face mask that is sure to fight acne, baking soda is the best go­to. Baking soda is a gentle exfoliant and when 1 teaspoon is mixed with a splash of water and rubbed into your skin, the exfoliation process will remove oil, dirt, and dead skin. Leave the mixture on for about 5­-10 minutes and then rinse with water for a mask that will help to prevent breakouts and blackheads in the future by removing excess oil.

Bonus: ​You can use a paste of baking soda and water as a spot treatment for pimples. The soda will help to draw out the infection and also dry out the inflamed area.

5. Lip Scrub

For a great lip exfoliant look no further than your sugar dish. Organic sugar is an amazing natural exfoliant, and you can eat it too! If you don’t want to use sugar, you can use a coarse ground salt for the same effects.

By making these products not only will you find yourself saving hundreds of dollars over the course of the year , but they are also amazing for the planet (and your body). They are organic, contain no toxic chemicals, and many of the necessary ingredients can be purchased package free in bulk or natural product stores.

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Zero Waste Lotion

I have been making my own lotion for over three years. I’d melt down the ingredients, put them in a a jar and call it a day. But then… I whipped… and my mind was blown. It took a regular hard moisturizer and turned it into a fluffy amazing mound of goodness. You have to try it. Your skin will feel amazing, you can feel good because you are using only natural organic ingredients to moisturize as opposed to toxic chemicals, it is package free, and it smells SO DAMN GOOD! Check out this video to learn how to make it!http://www.youtube.com/embed/KgORGHaPa9U

Additional Information:
This lotion will last for months (but it won’t, because you will use it up before then). Also, just combine equal parts of the ingredients, in this video I used 1/4 cup of each, but you can use more or less depending on how much you need.

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Why I Make My Own Toothpaste


I haven’t purchased toothpaste in years, and y​es–I brush my teeth!​ How is this possible? I make it myself! (original post with links and pictures found at EcoWatch)

When I transitioned to a Zero Waste lifestyle over two years ago, toothpaste was the first product I stopped buying and started making. The ingredients are simple and easy to find at almost any store: baking soda, organic coconut oil, and organic essential oils. It takes no more than 2 minutes to combine these three ingredients, and the toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling so incredibly fresh— way fresher than store­bought toothpaste. In fact, when I used my friend’s store bought toothpaste a week ago, I couldn’t believe the difference!

But let’s take a step back… why did I make the switch from “conventional” packaged toothpaste to one that I make myself?

The Packaging:

For starters, I live a Zero Waste lifestyle and toothpaste tubes are totally wasteful. They are typically sold with not just the tube, but a box as well. While the box is recyclable, the tube is very difficult or impossible to recycle and will most likely end up in a landfill. The benefit of making my own toothpaste is that I can put it in a glass jar that I can wash and reuse infinitely. No plastic tubes, no trash, no landfill.

The Ingredients:

I like to have control of what I am putting on and in my body. There has been a lot of controversy around the ingredients that are in conventional toothpaste. Two that I will focus on are triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, but conventional toothpaste also contains fluoride, propylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide, all of which are controversial because they are linked to cancer and a long list of other ailments.

Triclosan:​ A chemical added to many products to reduce bacterial contamination which is also used in toothpaste to prevent gingivitis,​according to the FDA and toothpaste manufacturers.​In addition, it has been said to be potentially carcinogenic and have negative effects on the endocrine system in animals. It is banned in certain applications in Europe and in 2011, some of Colgate’s soap products were reformulated without the chemical, but not their toothpaste. The ecotoxicology of the ingredient is still under heavy scrutiny and EWG rates it to have a moderate/high health hazard. That’s all I needed to hear to make the decision to stay clear of it for good.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):​is a surfactant (a foaming agent that lowers the tension between two liquids or a liquid and a solid) used in toothpaste to evenly disperse the ingredients and help with effective rinsing and removal of mouth debris. It also promotes foaming. Many studies on SLS show that it is contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process, which is also a possible carcinogen. SLS is also said to aggravate gums. No, thank you.

If something has a supposed risk, I will avoid it until I have concrete evidence that it is safe. This is why I choose to make my own toothpaste with just three ingredients that I trust and buy package­free: baking soda, organic coconut oil, and organic essential oils.

The Savings:

Toothpaste can cost anywhere between $1­$8 for a 6oz tube depending on the brand you are buying and where you are purchasing it from. In my experience (purchasing ingredients in NYC), I have spent at most $.60 for 6oz of toothpaste. All aside, the cost savings alone are worth it!

With so much to gain and not much to lose, making your own toothpaste makes sense! It’s cheaper to make, tastes better, feels better in your mouth, and is better for you. See for yourself, to learn how to make my zero waste toothpaste by checking out this video. 

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Zero Waste Toothpaste

My YouTube channel has officially launched and I’m kickin’ it off with a video on how to make one of my favorite products, Zero Waste toothpaste!

This toothpaste is super quick and easy to make and is an awesome way to transition away from toothpaste tubes that end up in a landfill after using them. 

I want to hear from you! What how-to video would you like to see next?

For more tips on how to make Zero Waste toothpaste- check out this post! 

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