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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Chemical light toiletries

I've decided to make a bit of a change to how I post. I have been posting my weekly menu on a Sunday. Given that our meal plans run Saturday to Saturday so that means I can only post photos of Saturday's dinner. So I've decided to tweak things so I will post our meal plans retrospectively so I can include photos with recipes.

This means I have a week in hand, so I'm going to fill that gap with a post about chemical light/frugal toiletries. I did post about this some time ago, I having reviewed that post I see that I've gone much further now and I thought I'd share that with you.


I previously mentioned that I use a tooth powder mixture made of crushed myrhh, sage and bicarb. It's fab, cheap and most importantly fluoride free. Hmm, but isn't fluoride important for your teeth I hear you say. Well apparantly the science behind that assumption is highly flawed and in actual fact fluoride is seriously toxic and bad for you. Check out this post by Dr Jay Gordon, a Californian pediatrician for more details.

The powder is definitely an aquired taste and a bit salty for N. Instead she uses a nice fluoride free tooth paste by Green People.


I had my hair cut really short about two years ago and it was the perfect opportunity to give up shampoo. Why give up shampoo? Because it's full of parabens and phthalates, I knew I wanted another baby and I wanted to cut out as many of these nasty chemicals as I could. I wasn't ready to completely give up washing my hair so instead I chose a 'no-poo' method. Basically I wash my hair with about two tablespoons of bicarb mixed with a little water to make a paste. Then I spray a diluted mix of apple cider vinegar on my hair, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse. It doesn't make me smell of vinegar, instead my hair is shny and soft and I only need to wash it once, maybe twice a week. If I blow dry my hair it gets a bit dry, but I just use a bit of coconut oil and then it's smooth and shiny again.

It takes a bit of experimentation to find what works best and I admit I'm not loving my hair at the moment. I have to tell myself though, that's my hormones rebalancing and my hair would probably dissapoint me even if I washed it with pantene at the moment.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I use tea tohide my grey hairs. I've done a bit of experimentation with that and have tried coffee too, but the best mix for me is strong tea boiled up with some sage.


My initial push towards moving chemical light was a prograame on Channel 4 a few years ago called How Toxic Are You. I was really stunned by this programme and threw out most of my cosmetics as a result. To be honest I don't wear make up every day, but for days when I do I use Lily Lilo products.

Their mineral foundation is amazing, so light! And the minerals are good for you, so it actually counts as skincare.

I haven't tried their mascara yet, but I'm going to give making my own a go, using cocoa powder. I'll let you know how it goes. Actually, this is an interesting point. At first when I tried to go chemical light I looked for new products, but increasinly I find I have what I need already in  my food cupboards.

I also use food to wash and moisturise my face. I used ground up oats to simultaneously cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise. Amazing! If I need a bit of extra moisture or want to remove eye make-up I use coconut oil.


I use olive oil soap to wash and a crystal stick deoderant. It's the most effective natural deoderant I've used. It costs about £4.50, but literally lasts years. I also use oats in the bath and ground up as a body polish.

Women's stuff

Still being in that 'not quite back to normal' post baby phase I haven't had to think about sanitary wear again yet, but when I do I will go back to using my mooncup. Ok, so a menstrual cup sounds really weird, but probably not as weird as the normalised bleached products that I used to use. It takes a little practise, but then is much better and gives you a much better idea of what's really going on with your body. The initial outlay seems expensive, but given that two of these will probably last a woman's entire menstruating life, then they're really actually a very good deal.


N uses olive soap when she's dirty, but mainly I just use plain water, maybe with a few drops of lavender oil, in the bath for my two children.  N has some shampoo and conditioner from the health food shop, but I just use water on E's hair. I massage E everyday with coconut oil. I use homemade wipes with water to clean his bottom and reusable nappies. The wipes are just squares cut from an old towel double zig zag sewn around the edge. Squares of fleece also work well and I'll use fleece as resuable liners when he starts on solids. The great thing about reusable wipes is that I can just check them in with the nappies when I wash them and never run out.

So that's it basically, oats, vinegar, bicarb and coconut oild are our staples here. I also use a lot of these things for cleaning, but that's another post.

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