DIY Soap!

handmade and homemade soap

There are few things in the world of DIY home goods that carry as much of a unique coolness factor as bath and body products. For some reason, it never occurs to people that they can actually make their own versions of these products. It’s as though people think that these things need to be made in some huge factory, using crazy machines that no one even knows the name of. I don’t know if this says worse stuff about us or the products we slather all over ourselves, but either way, it doesn’t need to be this way. There are a few really great soap recipes out there that just about anyone can easily complete.

The one I’m putting on here is a cucumber soap recipe, and it’s great. This one is super simple and very easy to make. Not only does it use some more common items than other soap recipes, but it carries with it a certain natural cache. After all, cucumbers are used around the world for their astringent properties, so you’ll be making soap with a kick. The recipe is pretty simple:

1 & 1/2 c. cleanly rendered tallow
1 c. cucumber pulp
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. cold soft water
1/4 c. lye flake3s
1/2 tsp. wheat germ oil or vitamin E oil

Grate every part of the cucumber to the finest texture that you can possibly get it. I mean EVERY part of the cucumber. Nothing goes to waste. Bring the tallow to a melt, and stir in the cucumber until you get a good mixture going. Keep it on the lowest heat your stove can manage for about half an hour, stirring infrequently.

Add the vegetable oil to the tallow, and set it aside. Add the lye flakes to the cold water, and set that aside as well. Once the two are cooled to about equal temperatures, you’re going to start stirring the lye into the tallow. It’s very important that you stir the lye into the tallow. Lye is an extremely caustic substance that can produce severe chemical burns. If you pour the tallow into the lye, you run a greater risk of having lye splash up onto your skin, so pour the lye into the tallow gently. Stir them together, and let the mixture sit.

Grease your molds with the petroleum jelly, and add the rest of the ingredients (wheat germ, vitamin E) to the lye/tallow mixture while stirring very slowly. Once they’re mixed and relatively lukewarm, pour the mixture into the molds and let it sit.

Lo and behold… soap!

The Scoop on Sulfates in Shampoo

empty shampoo bottles

You may already buy healthy shampoo. By healthy I mean shampoo that does not contain harmful chemicals, parabens, or sulfates, and that is not tested on animals. No matter what the product claims, look closely at the ingredients because it may, for example, not contain parabens, but it still could contain other chemicals and the company may test on animals.

You may have heard that shampoo that is “sulfate-free” can be great for color-treated hair and for individuals with an allergy or sensitivity to sulfates. This is very true and it is also ideal for anyone looking to eliminate unhealthy ingredients from their daily cleansing routine…

Many of the hand soaps, shower gels, bath bubbles, and facial cleansers on the market today are made with “surfactants” rather than natural soaps. Sulfactants is a group of chemicals known as “sulfates”, along with the bad-for-you trio of related chemicals diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA), and triethanolamine (TEA).
Similar to soap, surfactants make washing with water more effective by suspending dirt and oil in the water to wash off of you more easily. They also help create that thick foamy lather Mr.Bubble showed some of us when we were kids. That does not mean that they are good for you. The most common sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLES) which is a milder, chemically altered version of SLS. Keep an eye out for this ingredient in shampoo and liquid soaps so you can avoid it if possible. In addition, avoid other sulfates such as sodium myreth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate. These ingredients may cause soapy lather but they can cause dry skin, scalp irritation, and hair loss! Even worse, the process of converting SLS into SLES can contaminate the shampoo with dioxane, a human carcinogen. Read labels — just because a shampoo says “SLS-free” does not mean that it is sulfate-free.
Sulfates can cause irritated skin because the sulfates are incredibly harsh. They can also cause a depleted layer of oil on skin and hair which makes the skin prone to dryness and environmental damage. In addition, surfactants can react with other ingredients in the formula to create other carcinogenic compounds.
It can be an adjustment to switch to less foamy, not-so-bubbly shampoos and liquid soaps. Remember that suds are not what cleans away dirt and oil. Try switching to low sudsing formulas that are free of sulfates, DEA, TEA, and MEA. Look for cleansers that contain gentler ingredients instead, like Cocamidopropyl betaine, sorbitan laurate, sorbitan palmitate, and sorbitan stearate. Your skin and body will thank you.
Two of my favorite brands are Aubrey Organics and Avalon Organics.
Source: Green Guide

Dying Your Hair Without Harming the Environment

hair dye on a wig

Thousands of people dye their hair every day, including me every once in a while. While it may look nice and be considered fun it is very harmful to the environment due to the harsh chemicals that are involved. The good news is that there are eco-friendly options out there in the form of natural hair dyes. Below is a list of hair dyes that are natural and can be easily purchased online. All dyes come in various colors.

Surya Henna Powder Hair Treatment (Brown)
A new concept of powder temporary coloring and hair treatment. It colors white hair while provides treatment, due to its conditioning, toning, fungistatic and bacteriostatic action, which prevents from hair fall and dandruff. Since it is totally natural, it does not contain peroxide, ammonia or heavy metals and it can also be used for children, people allergic to chemicals, pregnant women or people undergoing chemotherapeutic treatment. It is available in eight different colors. 100% plant product with pure honey.

Surya Henna Cream Hair Coloring With Natural Extracts (Black)

Surya Henna Cream is a temporary coloring and hair treatment, in a ready-to-use cream presentation. Practical and easy-to-use, it is a natural and organic product, made from rare and exotic herbs and fruits of Brazil – Amazônia – and India. This product also colors white hair, with no peroxide, heavy metals or ammonia. It treats and conditions, due to the action of the natural properties of herbs and fruits. Available in other colors aside from black.

Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner Kit (Mahogany)
Choose from Light Mountain’s original line with the famous “henna animals” in 12 shades, or Light Mountain’s unique Color the Gray line with 8 shades. Light Mountain uses no chemicals and no synthetic ingredients, only pure premium henna, and other botanicals. Light Mountain has been blending henna based natural hair colors since the early 1980′s. Complete application kit. 100% pure botanical hair color. No animal testing and no animal ingredients.

Rainbow Research Henna Persian (Marigold Blonde)
Henna is a natural plant-based alternative to chemical hair colorings. Rainbow henna coats each hair shaft with color. Smooths and seals the hair’s cuticle for greater shine. Texturizes hair and gives it body. Blends naturally. Fades gradually. Lasts 4-6 weeks. Available in the following shades: Black, Red, Sherry, Mahogany, Burgundy, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Copper, Strawberry Blonde, Blonde, Marigold Blonde. Neutral Henna is a natural, colorless conditioner for all hair types.

Herbatint Herbal Haircolor Permanent Gel (Platinum Blonde)
Herbatint is a permanent hair coloring with a natural herbal base and no ammonia that gently colors and protects hair structure while giving hair a deep natural gloss. Gentle and easy to use Herbatint’s gel formula is easy to apply and gentle for your hair.

Safe and Natural Hair Spray


Do you have trouble trying to keep your hair stay put all day after styling it? Do you prefer to use all-natural, or almost all natural at least, hair and beauty products? Well, there is good news to those of you who all answered yes to these questions. There’s a simple solution to your problem, and that solution is waiting for you in your kitchen. The solution being homemade hair spray. For the most part homemade hair spray is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and very safe for you to use. Who could ask for more? Typically speaking homemade hair sprays don’t take long to make and you don’t have to be a genius to make them either. Try one or more of the following recipes for homemade hair spray and you will be making a difference for both yourself and the environment. Happy spraying!

Homemade hair spray for normal to oily hair:
In a small pot pour two cups of water in it and add the juice of one lemon (store-bought lemon juice can be used as well). Allow the mixture to simmer until it boils. Once it comes to a complete boil let it boil until half of the mixture remains in the pot, and then allow the mixture to cool. Once it has cooled strain the mixture. Pour the liquid that was strained into a spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator. Tip: Add more water to the mixture in the bottle if you find that the hair spray is too sticky. Try adding the zest of a lemon into the mixture when you combine the water and juice. Add an ounce of rubbing alcohol or one of tablespoon vodka to the mixture as a preservative after you fill the spray bottle.

Homemade hair spray for dry hair:
In a small pot pour two cups of water in it and add the juice of one fresh orange (orange juice can be used in place of fresh orange). Allow the mixture to simmer until it boils. Once it comes to a complete boil let it boil until half of the mixture remains in the pot, and then allow the mixture to cool. Once it has cooled strain the mixture. Pour the liquid that was strained into a spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator. Tip: Add more water to the mixture in the bottle if you find that the hair spray is too sticky. Try adding the zest of an orange into the mixture when you combine the water and juice. Add an ounce of rubbing alcohol or one tablespoon of vodka to the mixture as a preservative after you fill the spray bottle.

Try the following tips and tricks when using hair spray, whether it be homemade or store-bought:

  • Hair sprays roots and then fluff them a little to get an instant lift.
  • Apply a very light application of hair spray on a hairbrush to keep small flyaway pieces of hair at bay.
  • Hair sprays roots and then tip head upside down and shake. This will help add a little volume to roots.

Take These Homemade Lip Balm Recipes For a Spin

Looking for a new project to do or
just simply want to make your own eco-friendly lip balm? Homemade lip
balm is a lot easier than one may think. To make these lip balms
(thanks to recipes truly eco-friendly simply replace
the oils, such as almond oil with organic almond oil. Have fun

Recipes For Making Lip Balm:

40% of your recipe should be any
cosmetic grade oil that is liquid at room temperature (sweet almond,
apricot kernel, avocado, grapeseed, hemp seed, macadamia, olive,
sunflower, etc.)

25% of your recipe should be any
cosmetic grade oil that is solid at room temperature (coconut,
lanolin, palm, mango butter, shea butter, etc.)

20% of your recipe should be cosmetic
grade Beeswax (white or yellow, pellets or solid blocks)

15% of your recipe should be any
cosmetic grade oil that is brittle at room temperature (cocoa butter,
palm kernel, etc.)

The above measurements are “weights”,
so you can calculate your own recipe in ounces, grams, or pounds.


melt all carrier oils, honey, beeswax
and butters over low heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then
add the flavored oils, essential oils, vitamin E, etc. Stir until all
ingredients are blended well and pour into containers. The easiest
way to do this, is to purchase those inexpensive “pointy”
paper drink cups (like the kind on the side of a water cooler). Cut
off the point and use it as a funnel. Then you can just toss them out
when you’re finished!

You may have to “play around”
with these recipes by adding a tiny bit more or less of the beeswax
pellets. As with any of these recipes, if it comes out too soft, add
a few more beeswax pellets; if it’s too hard, add a little more
almond oil (or other oil). They’re really hard to mess up, so enjoy
yourself and have fun.


2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Grated Beeswax or Beeswax

1/2 Teaspoon Shea Butter or Cocoa

Sweeten to taste, if necessary

Any Flavored Oil To Taste

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative)


3 oz. Almond Oil

Sweeten to taste, if necessary

1/2 oz. Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative)

1-4 Drops Essential Oil (peppermint or
tea tree or sweet orange, etc.)


2 Teaspoons Grated Beeswax or Beeswax

3 – 6 Drops Flavored Oil

1 Teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba
Oil or mix 1/2 and 1/2

1 1/2 Teaspoon Cocoa Butter

1 Vitamin E Capsule (as a preservative)


This one is positively excellent for
dry, cracked lips – even helps heal cold sores (it’s the emu oil….)

1 oz. Emu Oil

1 oz. Almond Oil

1 oz. Avocado Oil

1/2 oz. Shaved Beeswax or Beeswax

6 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

2 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

3 Drops Lime Essential Oil





The Days of Eco-Friendly Bubble Baths Are Here!

illustration of a woman having a bubble bath

The majority of women love to take bubble baths. Bubble baths can be very soothing and comforting, especially when the lights are turned off and or are turned down low, along with having a candlelit. While regular bubble baths are great, what about an eco-friendly bubble bath? Eco-friendly bubble bath soap can be homemade or even bought already made, just like with regular bubble bath soap. So, the question is now, how would one go about making homemade eco-friendly bubble bath soap? Keep reading to find out!

Follow this recipe for great ideas on how to make your own eco-friendly bubble bath soap:

Homemade Bubble Bath


Eco-Friendly Liquid Soap

3/4 cup Water

1/2 – 1 tsp. Glycerin
Essential Oils (optional)

Combine 1 cup baby shampoo or eco-friendly liquid soap with ¾ cup water, and ½ to 1 teaspoon glycerin in a reusable plastic bottle. Add a few drops to running water at bath time for a fun, bubbly, nourishing bath. As an added perk, add a few drops of essential oil such as lavender, orange, or chamomile directly to the bathwater.

This recipe is by Jenn. Please visit The Green Parent to view her complete article with this recipe in it.

Take a look at these bubble bath soaps that you can purchase online:

Bubble Bath with Grapefruit Seed Extract
This bubble bath put out by Nutribiotic is a very gentle bubble bath and hypoallergenic. It is moisturizing, natural, oil-free, and tear-free.

Bubble Bath Vanilla 
Bubble Bath vanilla is put out by Rainbow Research. Their bubbles are very long-lasting, and also is safe for kids.

Bubble Bath, Rose Geranium & Citrus –
This bubble bath is put out by EO. Their bubble bath is gentle and is made with essential oils.

Organic Bubble Bath with Lavender, Lemon & Tea Tree –
Organic Bubble with Lavender, Lemon & Tea Tree is put out by Little Twig. Their bubble bath is gentle and works really well with sensitive skin. It contains vitamin E, aloe vera, and jojoba oil, which soothes sensitive skin.

Quick Tip: Replace your regular candle during bubble bath time with a soy or beeswax-based candle for an environmentally friendly touch.