Don’t worry if you’re running low on your usual products! Instead, try these Natural Alternatives to Everyday Personal Care; you’ll look and feel better!
Being in extended lockdown has brought with it several challenges. We’ve had to make do with whatever we have, and it’s not just in terms of food – we’ve also have to make do when it comes to personal care. Not having access to our usual stores has made us rethink the way we care for ourselves and if you ask me, it’s for the better!
A lot of us have our favorite products that we rely on, and when they’re not available, we are forced to try something that we otherwise wouldn’t. That’s how it came as a revelation that you can actually do without 90% of your personal care products, if not all!
We all know that most skin and hair care products available today are packed with chemical ingredients, many of which are hard to pronounce, let alone understand. These can cause a great deal of damage in the long run, not just to our health, but to the environment as well.
If you’ve noticed that more and more people seem to be suffering from hormonal issues like irregular periods, PCOS and even infertility, these chemicals certainly have a share in the blame. The more products you use and the longer you use them, the more harmful the effects.
That’s why we go back to nature to find solutions – and you bet she has all of them! Here are some healthy, clean and natural alternatives to everyday beauty products, including skin and hair care.
Natural Alternatives to Everyday Beauty Products
Every good skin care routine requires a CTM sequence, the first of which is cleansing. But you don’t need the synthetic chemical foaming cleansers when milk and honey will do the trick! Just mix raw milk and raw or wild honey in a 1:2 ratio. Apply this all over the face, massaging gently and then wash off.
The milk cleanses gently, while also improving the complexion and providing hydration. Honey is antibacterial, which means it gets rid of the bacteria which causes acne and breakouts. Both ingredients are soothing to the skin as well, so you don’t have to worry about irritation and rashes.
Toner helps to close open pores so that they don’t get clogged and cause breakouts. The problem with commercial toners is that they often end up drying out the skin, which is one reason many people skip this step. But you have an easy solution – rose water. Rose water is hydrating and cooling to the skin, and it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which keeps skin acne and irritation-free.
Another easy toner you can make is by mixing apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a 1:2 ratio. Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is packed in AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids – a common ingredient in many skin care products. It balances the pH level of the skin and leaves it feeling fresh and smooth.
3. Face Scrub
Cleansing is great on a daily basis, but exfoliation is also important, even if you don’t do it everyday. Unfortunately most scrubs available in the market contain particles that are not biodegradable and end up polluting the water and soil. Some of them are so abrasive that they end up scratching the skin.
When it comes to homemade scrubs, there are so many options to try! For oily skin, mix a tablespoon of oats with a teaspoon of raw honey. Oatmeal acts like a sponge absorbing all the dirt and honey helps keep the skin safe from infection.
For dry skin, opt for a scrub made with brown sugar, olive oil and raw honey for hydration along with getting rid of dead skin cells. Combine ground oats with yogurt for a scrub that’s suitable for combination skin.
Moisturizer is something none of us can do without, even those with oily skin. This is something we apply everyday, so it’s worth our while to choose an option that is healthy and does not suppress the skin’s natural oil production.
We have a moisturizer recipe for dry skin that’s perfectly safe for children too. Another option is to combine aloe vera gel and almond oil in a 2:1 ratio. Add some Vitamin E oil for extra nourishment. A drop or two of essential oil can also offer medicinal benefits.
5. Lip Balm
Dealing with chapped lips? Have you noticed that commercial lip balms offer only temporary relief? That’s why natural alternatives are much better. Coconut oil is one of the best things you can apply on your lips to soothe them, and raw honey is another one. The emollient nature of these ingredients trap moisture and prevent skin from drying out.
Almond oil is also a good option. You can also make your own lip balm with beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and an essential oil of your choice.
6. Face Mask
For most Indian women, a homemade face mask is a must have weekly self care ritual, and every family has their own special recipes, passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter!
Besan and gram flour is a popular face mask, and when combined with milk, it soothes the skin and gives it a glow. Ripe fruits also make great face masks – papaya, banana, avocado and tomato. Each fruit has its own nutrients to add to the skin.
Add in a little honey for some intense hydration or some turmeric for that golden glow. You can also add some essential oils for medicinal properties and aromatherapy.
7. Eye Cream
The skin under the eyes is extra delicate and it is prone to many common problems like puffiness, darkness and visible veins. The eye area needs special care, and remedies for the face will be too harsh for this area. Instead of paying exorbitant amounts for a tiny tub of eye cream, you can try natural remedies with things already at home.
Apply a few drops of almond oil under the eyes for a visible reduction in puffiness. Aloe vera gel also helps to refresh this area. You can also try frozen coffee cubes or chilled tea bags for instant cooling and clearer eyes. Potato juice and cucumber juice also provide the same kind of benefits.
8. Blackhead Remover
We’ve all seen those nose strips which you stick on your nose and pull off and the blackheads are supposed to come with them. If you’ve tried it, you know that they’re only partially successful, if at all. Instead, try baking soda – a common pantry staple that works!
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a little water to create a paste and apply on the nose and the forehead, if required. Let it dry fully and then wash off. The baking soda is a great exfoliator which loosens up all the blackheads and dirt trapped in the skin.
9. Acne Treatment
Acne is supposed to be part of the teenage years, but unfortunately, many of us still struggle with it in adulthood. Kick out all the medicated acne creams and pimple scrubs. You don’t need them when you have some natural alternatives that are better!
Mix some almond oil with sandalwood oil and apply on the affected area. Another solution is to mix sandalwood powder with some turmeric and curd. The turmeric’s antibacterial properties prevents the acne from worsening, and its anti inflammatory properties treats the irritation on the skin.
10. Makeup Remover
If you wear makeup regularly, you know that it is absolutely essential to get rid of every last trace of makeup before you hit the sack. This ensures your skin is able to breathe and recover while you rest. Most makeup removers are alcohol based, which can be drying for skin.
Instead, a small amount of coconut oil or olive oil works just as well to get rid of all the makeup. In the bargain, you also get some valuable Vitamin E and healthy fats to nourish your skin!
11. Body Lotion
You’ve seen all kinds of ads for body lotions for summer and winter, and which promise smooth skin and a lovely aroma and other benefits. But if you ask me, nothing comes close to good old coconut oil!
However, coconut oil needs to be applied before your bath instead of after. Give it some time to penetrate deep into the skin to nourish it from within. It doesn’t just moisturize the skin, it traps the moisture in so that you have soft, supple skin hours after your bath.
For an energizing body scrub, combine coconut oil with coffee grounds to make a delicious smelling scrub that’ll also perk you up instantly. The combination of coconut oil and coffee takes care of visible signs of ageing and promotes the production of collagen.
Shampoo is one of the most notorious things that are practically packed with chemicals, and this is one thing most people don’t know how to replace with a natural alternative. Fortunately, we’ve got many options for you!
One of the best things you can try is mixing chickpea flour or besan with enough water to have a runny mix that’s not too watery or too thick. Apply like you would shampoo, and then wash off. Or, mix powdered amla with some water, keep it overnight and use as shampoo. You can even use simply aloe vera gel or raw honey to cleanse and soothe the scalp.
Once you’ve cleansed the hair, you need something to soothe the cuticles and make it soft and smooth – and that’s where a conditioner comes in! But rather than assault your hair with more chemicals, you can follow up your natural shampoo with a natural hair rinse to condition.
A good option is a citrus rinse with 1 cup water mixed with the juice of half a lemon or orange. Apple cider vinegar in water also makes an excellent rinse for dry hair. Adding a spoon of honey adds some more nourishment, and is ideal for coarse hair. Blow dry on a cool setting for soft, frizz free hair for days.
14. Hair Serum
Those with frizzy hair know the struggle of keeping those pesky hair strands under control, especially during humid weather, when it all tends to stand up like you’ve got a shock! If you’ve done the natural shampoo and conditioner and need a little more help along the way, try a homemade hair serum.
You can easily make a hair serum with a combination of essential oils and a carrier oil. Depending upon how dry or frizzy your hair is, you can combine olive oil or coconut oil with jojoba oil, lavender oil or almond oil. You’ll have soft, manageable hair that also smells amazing!
15. Dry Shampoo
Sometimes you need to refresh your hair without going ahead with a full wash. That’s when dry shampoo comes to the rescue. However, when you see how easy it is to make it at home, you’ll never buy dry shampoo again!
Just mix some cornflour with a few drops of your favorite sweet smelling essential oil and you’re done! Just dust it on your scalp and wait a while for the mix to soak in the extra oils so your hair and scalp feel fresh.