The desire to live a more natural life is an understandable one. We live in a world where something as simple as water is a marketed commodity. Ingredient lists for products are hard to read, with letters and symbols you need a chemistry degree to understand.
Yet somehow, we made it this far. Humanity survived without these things for millennia. Okay, there was the occasional Black Death or bizarre, hysterical dance craze (yes, really), but generally, we did okay. The reason we did okay is because we used what was available to us. Some may sneer at natural health, but those same people are only here because of these remedies. Sometimes, the old wives knew what they were talking about.
In a quest to change the way you do things, you'll probably look online for inspiration. You'll find recipes for the whole family you want to try, and then promptly realize you don't have any of the required things. A good baseline of natural health favorites is a good place to start.
Waxes, Butter and Oils
Any skincare recipe you find online is going to need these. As a good base point:
- Carrier oils, such as coconut, grapeseed, almond, and avocado. Some are more pore-clogging than others, so get a range across the comedogenic scale. The four mentioned above have ratings from 1-4.
- Shea butter, and its alternative mango butter if you have a latex allergy. Perfect for soothing angry skin, try to find these unrefined and organic.
An astringent is something that makes blood rush to the surface when applied to the skin. These are needed for many skincare recipes, such as acne treatments and those for uneven skin tones like those found if you click here. Witch hazel is the go too for many naturopaths, as well as citrus-based essential oils. If you want to know more about the uses for astringents, for more information.
Cleansing and Exfoliating Agents
- Borax. There is some debate on the safety of Borax, but the science says it's safe to use. If you're still not comfortable, then there are natural alternatives.
- Bicarbonate of Soda. Safe for skin and home, this pops up in recipes as diverse as floor cleaner and deodorant.
- White vinegar. Buy in bulk; you're going to be using this a lot.
- Washing soda and Castile soap. Cheap alternatives to the likes of washing up liquid and laundry detergent.
And Everything Else
- Activated charcoal. The WHO recommend this for first aid kits, as it is known to help with mild cases of poisoning. It can also be used to whiten teeth.
- Arrowroot powder. From thickening recipes to being used a dry shampoo, this cheap talc alternative is a must-have.
- Essential oils. The basics would be: peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, lemon and tea tree. If you have a particular issue, it's easy to research which oils you might require.
- Magnesium flakes. Up to 80% of people have magnesium deficiencies. Get your dose by using flakes as a sore muscle soak, or distil to oil for a deodorant.
Finally, if you buy in bulk, you're more likely to be able to make savings. One big shop per year can save you as much as 25%!