Update on Beauty Products

by marilynk

Some of you will remember back in August I wrote about giving up commercial shampoos, conditioners, facial cleansers, moisturizers, and exfoliants. I finished up (or gave away to my mom & sister) the commercial products I still had and replaced them with baking soda & water (shampoo), apple cider vinegar & water (conditioner), olive and castor oils & a hot wash cloth (facial cleanser & moisturizer), and ground adzuki beans (exfoliant). Click here for more details on the recipes I use.

I’ve been using these methods consistently now for more than two months, so I thought I’d give you an update – especially now that the weather’s nose-dived and we’re all dealing with Edmonton’s super dry air. Generally, I really like this change and I’m going to stick with it, but I think some things need some fine-tuning.

The baking soda and apple cider vinegar work well for my hair (I have pretty fine hair, but lots of it. My hair used to get fairly oily, but my scalp would be dry and itchy). I’m not getting the greasy-by-mid-afternoon look that I used to get pretty often (yay!) and my scalp is still itchy sometimes, it doesn’t seem as bad as before (also yay!). I’ve used all my usual styling products and everything gets cleaned out nicely when I wash my hair. I am finding I need to be careful to make sure I’ve really washed all of my hair, though – there’s a spot right at the crown of my head that I sometimes have to wash twice. I think it’s that the hair there wasn’t fully wet when I pour the baking soda and water on, so it just rolls off the hair and doesn’t get down to the scalp. The vinegar and water spray definitely smells like vinegar when I first spray it on, but the smell is gone even before I rinse my hair. Once it’s dry, my hair feels soft, looks nice and shiny, and doesn’t smell like anything.

The face-cleaning method is awesome. It’s really perfect for me and my love of getting every last second I can in my warm bed on winter mornings. It’s really only 2 steps at night: 1. Rub on the oil mixture & put a hot cloth over your face for a few minutes. 2. Wipe off the excess oil (and makeup, etc.) with the cloth. In the morning, I just splash my face with cold water and pat it dry. My skin feels great too. I have dry cheeks and oily T-zone, so cleansers seemed to over-dry my skin & moisturizers made me feel like my face was greasy. With this method, I don’t feel the greasyness at all, but I might up the olive oil in the mix to combat the drier air we’ve got right now. The other thing I wasn’t sure about was how well this method would clean makeup. I don’t wear tons of makeup, but I consistently wear a mineral foundation (now that I’m not using moisturizer with SPF, it’s even more important), mascara, blush, and lip stuff (usually gloss). The oils do a great job of breaking down the makeup and it comes right off on the cloth – even the mascara. And I’m not worried about getting the stuff in my eyes ’cause it’s non-toxic and it doesn’t burn or do anything harmful.

As I mentioned in the last post, I’d used adzuki bean scrubs before, so I’ll just say I continue to love it. I use the scrub on my face on days that I’m washing my hair (2-3 times a week) and my skin feels nicely polished, but not dried out. Since I found a good container for keeping the scrub in the shower, I’ve also started using it to scrub my body too – anywhere that needs a little exfoliation, like my elbows, back, and feet. It works great.
The thing I like best about making these changes is that I’m saving a ton of money. I filled the container of olive/castor oil mix at the beginning of August and it’s not empty yet. I filled the containers in my shower at the beginning of September and I just filled the baking soda again yesterday, the others won’t need to be filled for a while yet. I kinda wish I had a record of how much I spent on shampoo, conditioner, and face products last year so I could make a real comparison, but I know it’s significant. None of the products I’m using now are costly in an of themselves and they last much longer than commercial products. I’m thinking this was a good move!

I reused an existing cleanser bottle. That's an airline-safe 1.7 fl oz that's lasted more than 3 months.

The sugar containers are from IKEA, as is the cup, the spray bottle is reused from an old hair product.

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5 Comments to “Update on Beauty Products”

  1. I’m so excited to read how well this is working for you! It makes me want to clear out all my commercial products too. =)

    Where did you buy your adzuki beans? The new version they carry at The Body Shop is so heavy scented that I can’t use it without triggering DD’s fragrance allergies, so I passed it on to @pashleymuse… and I need to grind my own.

    • The beans I’m using now were actually given to me along with the grinder (I have nice friends), but I think you can get them at Planet Organic. Why would you put fragrance in ground beans? That seems very strange to me.

  2. If you haven’t tried virgin coconut oil as an overnight moisturizer I highly recommend it. It’s even helped with my acne. I use a bit of sugar and mix it with olive oil as an exfoliant. Do adzuki beans have special properties for the skin?

    • Wow! Apparently I missed this comment months ago and haven’t been around here much lately!

      I started using coconut oil as a dry scalp treatment & body moisturiser, but I don’t like it on my face for some reason. I’ll be trying that sugar scrub, though!

      I have no referenced info about the properties of adzuki beans, but they’ve been used in Japan for hundreds of years. I used to buy an adzuki scrub from the Body Shop, but they discontinued it…so I started making my own! I find that the larger grains exfoliate and the almost flour-like powder just makes my skin feel really soft. I’ll bring you some to test out!

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