Two weeks after being diagnosed with a severe allergic response to limonene and fragrance mix II, my allergist added “propolis” to the list after a delayed response marker appeared on my back. Shit.
Propolis is resin collected by honeybees used to fill crevices and to seal honeycombs. Fucking bee glue.
Confused on why I would be so upset at this revelation? Check out my “Homesteading: Bees” category on this site. I am a beekeeper, damnit.
It’s been an interesting couple of months. I have never been someone that one would call high maintenance or a “girly-girl”. I don’t have product after product lined up in my shower and on my bathroom shelves. But the updated “approved products” list? It is shit. The few items that I have been able to find are either a) overpriced and purchased only at a major department store in the mall (uh, hell no), b) overpriced and backordered on Amazon, or c) they don’t work.
So I did what any other slightly creative, stubborn, penny-pincher would do…. I set out to make my own. And the biggest lesson learned so far?
Most DIY Bloggers are a bunch of fucking liars.
“Whip three ingredients into a luscious body butter.” Wrong. The ingredients whip up nicely but once cooled, solidifies into a nail-breaking, rock hard, brick in the jar. Once you are able to remove said “butter”, it becomes an oily, greasy mess upon skin contact. I have tried different butters (shea, cocoa, mango), different oils (coconut, almond, jojoba), added arrowroot powder to bring down the greasiness… I am currently working on batch #3 of body butter and I can already tell this one is going to be a flop. While the consistency is decent, shea butter smells like turpentine. Yep, exactly what I want to smell like. Freaking paint thinner.
“Combine vodka, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder for an easy dry shampoo!” Uh, yeah… not really. Better have the tarp down and your poncho on when you spray this concoction in your hair. Once applied, be ready to blow dry as if you were freshly out of a pleasant-smelling diarrhea shower (brown) and clean up the massive amounts of overspray (brown). From your face. The sink. The walls. And the floor. On a positive note, I did create a dry, dry shampoo that I actually really love. It combines baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder. Sprinkle on roots, rub in, and style. Plus, chocolate-smelling hair is a nice surprise in an otherwise unscented world!
“Easily dye your hair with coffee.” Uh, no. Not in the slightest. Decaf instant coffee added to conditioner does nothing but make your hair smell like the bottom of the office coffee pot that was left on over the weekend. Bleh.
“Make your own amazing toothpaste!” ‘Amazing’ isn’t quite the word I would use. ‘Dirt’ is a better description. I now brush my teeth with dirt. Granted, I am not allowed to add peppermint, clove, or citrus essential oils to the mix which would surely help make this toothpaste a little more palatable, but… it is growing on me. The mix of bentonite clay, baking soda, and Xylitol isn’t that bad and has whitened my teeth slightly since starting to use it.
While frustrating at times, I do feel better getting rid of all of the chemicals that I used to brush, apply, rub, and slather all over my body. I mean, have you ever looked at what is in some of the shit that we depend on every day?!
Ending on another positive note – I have discovered a few truly amazing items on my hunt for all things unscented and natural. First and foremost, Norwex face cloths are the bomb!! My oldest daughter gifted me a few of these for Christmas. You can easily wipe off the day’s make-up with water only. And white vinegar? It inexpensively does everything, from fabric softening to window cleaning to deodorizing. Lastly, while I haven’t gotten the consistency down right, I made an amazing cream blush/lip tint using beet juice, glycerin, and turpentine – er, shea butter, that even my oldest is raving about. But who sounds like a DIY Liar now? 😉