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Thursday, February 08, 2007

All Natural

Photo credit: Flickr/strph
Hello friends. I apologize for being gone for so long! It's been a crazy couple of weeks...we are still getting settled, my mom flew in from Des Moines and was here all week, we don't have a consistent Internet connection, and well, I've been busy living life. Please don't fret if I'm not "keeping up" with my blog. I have lots of ideas...but not a lot of free time. Thanks for your patience!

I'd like to share a few of my thoughts on cleaning products...both for home and for body. The cleaning product industry is BIG business. Just walk into Target or any drugstore and count how many items you have to choose from to clean your floor. Or you face. Or you toilet. It's madness. Even the natural cleaning market is easy to get sucked into. There is a better way!

Natural Home
About a year ago, I decided that I wanted my house to be completely safe...and I didn't want to spend a lot of money doing it. I gave away all of my old cleaners...Lysol, Clorox Wipes, 409 spray, etc. It was amazing how much space I had under my sinks and in my closets after they were gone. I replaced it all with a simple spray bottle of vinegar, water, Dr. Bronner's, and essential oils. I use this mixture as a multi-purpose spray for everything. For windows, I use straight vinegar and wipe with newspapers. For scrubbing the counter, sinks, tubs, and toilet, I use baking soda and essential oils.

I love letting Bella help me clean now (and she loves it too) because I know there is nothing that could hurt her. She sprays and I wipe...we're a great team. There is no way I would have ever let her help when I was using traditional cleaners. I have noticed that I am much more sensitive to the harsh smell of cleansers now that I don't use them. I usually have to tell hotel staff to not clean the bathroom while we are there because the chemicals are much to strong.

When you make the change to natural cleansers, the first thing you might notice is that they don't "smell clean" like you are used to. There is no bleach smell. No chlorine. No watery eyes, itchy skin...no turning the fans on and opening the windows. You may get a slight vinegar scent, but it fades quickly. The smell of the cleaner is not what cleans...don't be deceived :)

I also think that we, as a culture, have become so phobic about germs, etc. There is no need for artificial anti-bacterial soaps, sprays, etc. They actually hurt your body's natural ability to fight bacteria. Plain 'ol soap and water is the best defense again spreading germs.

Adding essential oils to your cleansers is so fun...because you can choose your scents! I especially like tea tree oil for it's natural anti-bacterial power and lavender for it's soothing scent. Lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and sweet orange are also high on my list. The sky is the limit...there are so many options.

I stick with a very basic concoction...I just fill a spray bottle up about 1/4 way with white vinegar, add a little Dr. Bronner's (so many scents to choose from there as well), add my essential oils (just a few drops) and fill the rest up with water. That's it. Simple. One bottle.
If you need a "recipe", check out this site. And more here. They have everything from furniture polish to drain cleaner to air fresheners.

I use a natural soap for washing dishes. I will be switching to my own mixture for laundry soon. Here are the recipes I am checking out. Baking soda is an amazing help in the laundry room and everywhere else. Being that we don't use bleach, our whites tend to look a little dingy. Sunning is a great natural way to bleach things. Even in the winter, you can lay or hang things in sunny windows. We don't have a dishwasher right now...but please be aware that traditional dishwasher detergent is one of the most poisonous items in your home. Go natural!

There is a huge market for all natural cleansers...but they are SUPER expensive. I do purchase them sometimes...but there really isn't a need. If you read the ingredients, you will see that all it is is exactly what you can make at home. You can make wonderful, inexpensive cleansers for pennies.

Natural Body
Shampoos and conditioners have insane amounts of disgusting things in them. I can hardly believe that our government allows us to purchase some of these items and put them on our delicate bodies! Some of the main ingredients to avoid are sodium laurel sulfate and any parabens. Yucky!

Your skin is your largest organ and it drinks in everything you put on it. I like the rule "If you can't eat it, don't put it on your body!". You can check your own beauty products here. There are 8 ingredients/chemicals that have been outlawed in America, but over 1,000 that have been outlawed in Europe. I urge you to do your own research on the ingredients in your makeup, shampoos, soaps, etc. If you aren't scared, alarmed, and angered...something is wrong with you. However, if you have trouble believing it...it might be because there are billions of dollars spent on commercials to tell you otherwise. You will find contradictory information on everything, but you have to think for yourself and make the best decision for you and your family. There is a lot of money at stake...if everyone switched to natural body care, the beauty product business would be in a lot of trouble. I'm sure someone is making sure that doesn't happen. It's always about the bottom line.

What are the options? Natural shampoos and conditioners. Pure bar soaps for shampoo or body. Many people go without soap altogether because it's so drying. Hot water and a wash cloth work great. Pure toothpastes (fluoride is poisonous ...I'm not crazy...do your research). You can use baking soda for toothpaste, flavored with essential oils. You can use Dr. Bronner's to brush your teeth as well...it's very sudsy, but it works. The other (and I think better) option is to go completely natural and use baking soda to "wash" your hair and apple cider vinegar to rinse. You can also use honey and other foods to condition. It's wonderful.

As for face washing routines...I use the oil method. I'm sure many of you have heard of it or use the same thing. Basically, you wash your face with oil...because oil dissolves oil. It's the best face cleansing "system" I've ever used...and I've tried MANY. My skin is acne prone and oily and this really helps to keep blackheads under control. Here is how you do it:
  • Combine 1 part extra virgin olive oil (organic is best because pesticides are concentrated in fats) to 1 part castor oil and add whatever essential oils you want. I like tea tree oil and lavender. Store it in an airtight glass container. If your skin is super oil, you may want to increase the amount of castor oil...to keep it lighter.
  • Tie all your hair back and have a wash cloth handy. Pour a liberal amount of the oil mixture into your hand and then start massaging it onto your face. Think of it as a mini-facial. Massage the oil into your skin for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
  • Wet the wash cloth with STEAMING hot water. Ring it out and lay it on your face. When it cools, do it again. And again. You're steaming out the impurities. Just be sure to make the water as hot as you can stand. Sometimes I'll just sit on the bathroom floor with the wash cloth on my face and enjoy my facial.
  • Rinse the wash cloth out and use it to wipe the oil off of your face. Be sure to get all of it...especially on the jaw and hairline. This is the part that exfoliates...your skin will be silky smooth!
  • Splash more hot water on your face and pat dry.
  • Use extra moisturizer after your done if you want...you can just use a small drop of the oil and rub it in your hands and then on your face as well.
I was hesitant to use this at first because I thought it would make my face more oily, but it doesn't at all. It's wonderful and my skin is amazingly soft and glowing. It does take more time and energy, but it's worth it.

Another wonderful, cleansing practice is dry brushing. I first heard of it when I was on my raw food kick last summer, and I love it. Check it out.

It's really easy to make your own lip balm, lotions, salves, etc. But if you want to buy them...one of my favorite sources is Prairieland Herbs. I have met the mother and daughter who make and sell the products and they are wonderful. I love the lotion bars and the cheek gloss. The soaps that they sell on the site are amazing too.

The only mainstream brand I will buy is Aubrey Organics (if I do buy something...which is not very often). All of my research shows that they are the purest and "cleanest" brand out there.

Please be aware that the phrase "natural" is not regulated by the FDA. Any company can put "natural" in their advertising and get away with it. Even many of the brands you can find at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and your local health food store contain the ingredients I have told you about. Be sure to read labels...and then read them again! If it's a long list of unpronounceable ingredients...don't buy it!

There is a lot of information here...and it can be a bit overwhelming. Try not to become cynical...it's easy to just dismiss it and say "well, everything is toxic...who cares?!". But please consider how many times a day you put on that chemical lip gloss, and the 12 gels and lotions and concoctions when you're getting ready in the morning. Every day...for your entire life. There are so many cancerous chemicals that we willingly put on our bodies. Educating yourself is the first step.

Go check out your bathroom right now...and make the choice to go natural!

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65 Comments:

Blogger Charity Singleton said...

I have been wanting to find all this information for so long, but haven't had time to chase it all down. This post is a VALUABLE resource! Thanks so much, Sara.

2/09/2007 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! We sound pretty similar :D
I already knew everything you posted but it's nice to know that there are other eco-friendly CHRISTIAN mamas out there, kwim?

I have a question for you....what body products (if any) do you use on Bella? I'll be going back to baking soda/vinegar once my "organic" shampoo is gone - but i've been using Burts Bees on DD.

Have you tried a baking soda/vinegar rinse on your daughter? Araseli (my kiddo) has super sensitive skin - and fragrance bugs me so i'm thinking of trying bs for her...just curious if you have any opinions! Thanks :D

2/09/2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Thank you so much for this post!! This is awesome. I don't use nasty store bought cleaners either. My mom turned me on to vinegar and newspaper. I was amazed and hooked.

I will try the oil cleaning on my face. I am very intrigued!!

2/09/2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger lindsay said...

i am going to try that oil facial - sounds interesting!

i also have tried a milk and honey rinse i(1 c. whole milk, 1 t. honey, poured in and left for 20 minutes before rinsed out) in my hair to condition it once a week - i saw it in 'real simple', and it's amazing. better than any store-bought deep conditioning treatment i've ever tried, and i'm sure i've tried them all.

2/09/2007 3:33 PM  
Anonymous MelanieMC said...

Sara, thanks for another great post! I already know a lot of what you posted, but I love reading the links you provide! I hope everything is going great for you guys!
God Bless,
Melanie

2/09/2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

I already make my own cleaning solutions, except I never though about using oils!! How nice! I just do a mix of vinegar, borax, and baking soda occasionally. My hubby always complains about the vinager smell! Now I'm gonna have to find some oils!!!

I can't wait to try the face cleansing system! Right now I'm using Burt's Bee face cleanser, and I'm not to wild on it. I always have a ginormous bottle of olive oil, so I just need to get castor and the other oils! I'm so excited! I've added your blog to my bloglines! I really learn a lot from you!

2/09/2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger emily said...

Great post! *takes notes*

I'd love to use more essential oils, but with cats and rabbits they're a big toxic NO-NO. However, I have found that Dr. Bronner's is an excellent all purpose cleaner, even with pet messes...

2/09/2007 7:29 PM  
Blogger Brynn said...

I am with you...au natural is best! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas. I just started using my own laundry and dishwashing detergent. Still working on the laundry solution because cloth diapers and a high efficiency machine are a little tricky.

For the beauty products, a great resource I came across is the book "Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair" by Dina Falconi. Great recipes for every kind of beauty product you can imagine, plus a lot of fun chemistry experiments to enjoy with the kiddos. She also examines which types of oils and essential oils are good for different types of skin/hair.

Blessings!

2/09/2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Oh my!!! I think I've said this before but I love your blog!!! Thanks for sharing all of this. I used to dry brush in the afternoons when I got home from work sometimes too even just with a hairbrush over my cloths and it really gave me a nice pick me up feeling. Thanks for reminding me!

I used to make our laundry soap before I had my kiddo but between washing diapers, washcloths/ dish towels, and napkins plus cooking organically and mostly from scratch and gardening and canning what we can I just can't find the time for everything I guess! LOL! I'm sure if I made it a priority again I'd find that time, but now I'm in love with the bio-kleen products and buy them when our market has them on sale.

I never thought to use oils in vinegar solutions either that would be lovely. And I'll be trying that oil face wash too. It does make sense so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I have the same question for you that the anonymous commenter did, what do you use on Bella. I've been using the california baby products on my son (bath body wash/shampoo, bubble bath and lotion) to you use something homemade for her? I'd love to find something cheaper since those products are pretty pricey. Thanks!!!

2/09/2007 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Estella said...

Sara- Thanks so much for the blog! I've been waiting for this one!

I just found a recipe last weekend in a "make your own cleaning supplies" book that is supposed to be au natural. The recipe was for laundry detergent and included sodim lauryn sulfoacetate. I didn't even think twice about it! Great info you have here!

2/09/2007 8:56 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

To answer your question about what we use on Bella...

We rarely use soap on her at all. She just soaks in a warm tub and scrubs with a washcloth...or she showers with us. When we do use soap...we use a natural bar soap with just a few ingredients and when she was younger, we used the Baby Dr. Bronner's.

I used to use Burts Bees apricot oil and lotion when she was younger...but haven't for awhile. I love the smell, but there is a lot of stuff in that lotion to make it smell that way.

Baby skin is so wonderfully soft on it own...it doesn't need much help.

For shampoo...I just wash with the Aubrey's shampoo that Matt uses. I used to use just the Baby Dr. Bronner's on her hair as well, so I don't use it much any more. I'm sure baking soda and vinegar would work on baby hair too.

Hope this helps!

2/09/2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

i'm going to have to try to that facial. i have some castor oil left over from a couple of horrid attempts to get labor started. maybe using it up will clean away those bad associations with it!!! lol!

2/09/2007 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

I'm a natural cleaner also,along with natural body care. Have you checked out the skin deep website?
I'm sure you probably have. It is very helpful with choosing porducts that are safe for you and your family.
Blessings Sara!

2/10/2007 6:04 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Sara
Some great resources, here.
Thanks for sharing.

2/10/2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger denise said...

So glad to see this blog! I have a lot of people I am going to send this entry to. People have the mentality that "If it wasn't safe they wouldn't sell it." which is just not true!

...and I never use any soap on my kids... or shampoo. Normally when I tell people that they look at me like I have 3 eyes :)

It's always good knowing we have like minded friends! Love, you, Mama!

2/10/2007 6:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! Way to go! Thanks so much for this post! God will bless you for all of your hard work in educating people! I will write a post today on my blog, again stating for all of my readers to read your blog! I have learned so much from you, you have changed my life for the better! Again, Excellent work Sara!!

2/10/2007 7:44 AM  
Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

do you know anything about the Tom's line of skincare/toothpaste/etc?

I see it at our whole foods grocery store, and wondered how "natural" it really is?

2/10/2007 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Mindful Momma said...

great summary of homemade cleaning options! thanks so much for doing the research and laying it out for the rest of us! I too dislike the vinegar smell - adding essential oils is a great option.

2/10/2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Toms's of Maine...I use their kids no-flouride silly strawberry toothpaste for Bella (which, now that I looked closer, I see has sodium laurel sulfate...grrrrr). I use Jason Sea Fresh...but she doesn't like it :) It's too "hot" she says.
I would like to find an alternative...if anyone has one they like, let me know.

Tom's was bought out by Colgate recently, so I don't like supporting them anyway.

2/10/2007 10:19 AM  
Blogger barefootchick said...

i really admire you for all you're doing and have done to live naturally. your whole blog is an excellent resource. i thank you so much for sharing your research and insights.

God Bless!!!

2/10/2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger AIMEE said...

Glad you are back! I had just written about natural cleaning earlier this week in my blog...fun to have a kindred cleaning friend! Thanks for the info on all the beauty products....I usually use Burt's Bees everything but have never really investigated the labels.

2/10/2007 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I've been doing the homemade laundry detergent for years - I found the same recipes you are looking at. I do the powdered recipe, using Ivory soap. I honestly don't know if there is anything bad in the Ivory - I'll have to check it out. I use my food processor to get the pieces very small - first shredding the soap, then using the regular blade to combine the soap and the other ingredients. It really doesn't take that long, and since you use so little, it lasts. This certainly saves a bunch of money too. It's always inspiring to visit your site. :)

Jennifer

2/10/2007 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

Sara,here are the top toothpastes from Skin Deep website.
1.Fresh
2.peelu
3.Accelerade
4.Dr. Bronner's
5.Garden of Life
6.Eco-Dent International
7.Burts Bees
peace:)

2/10/2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger turnip said...

I would love to try that facial method since my skin is extra acne prone, especially being pregnant!

I'm a chemist and it is scary some of the stuff that is out there that people liberally use in there homes. Many people are surprised that I go almost compeltely natural for everything...its because I know exactly what those chemicals do! I think you posted some great recipes.

The whole germophobe thing really gets me. Chemical companies spend buckets of money on marketing to make us feel this way. I even saw a study where they showed that most people think that a blue cleaner will actually get things cleaner then a clear one or some other cleaner...thank you windex sales reps!

2/10/2007 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Laura O. said...

oh how i've missed your wisdom dear sister :) It's so awesome to hear all this stuff again...I try to explain to people all the crap they use (I'm guilty of some too)..but not many will believe me, or else they just look at me like i'm insane..hopefully someday I can follow all your advice..but I still really like the facial routine. I even asked the ladies I go to for my professional facials and they recommended it! Crazy : )

2/10/2007 5:23 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

My little ones use a baby toothpaste by Weleda that's great - Children's Tooth Gel. Here are the ingredients - Ingredients (INCI): Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Silica, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Esculin, Limonene*.
* from natural essential oils

I love it!

2/10/2007 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,
I found your blog a couple weeks ago, and have now read all the way through the archives! I LOVE what I'm reading...the ideas, the passion, all of it!

You mentioned Whole Foods in your entry, and that reminded me: I think it's important for consumers to know where their money is going, directly or indirectly. For example, I recently found out that Whole Foods supports Planned Parenthood (an organization that I personally am not a big fan of!). So, I don't plan on shopping there anymore. Just thought you'd be interested.

Thanks so much for sharing your life and calling!

Rebecca

2/10/2007 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We almost never use soap on our boys David and Philip. A bath in warm water is fine for cleaning kids' skin. I do have a very gentle soap from Earth Mama Angel Baby (they use organic herbs) if I need to soap up their hands or feet or somewhere else on their bodies.

We've always used cloth wipes with just warm water for diaper changes and had no problems.

Sara, I agree with just about everything you wrote, but you forgot to mention "sanitary" napkins and other "feminine hygeine" products. Ladies, paper treated with chlorine bleach is full of cancer-causing dioxins, and you do not want it next to your sensitive areas. If you must use tampons or disposable pads, seek out an unbleached brand at a natural foods store.

Better yet, find some good reusable cloth pads or use the Keeper or Diva cup in place of a tampon. I bought the Keeper around 1993 or 1994 after I read an article in Ms magazine about toxic chemicals in cosmetics and other feminine products. I used it for every menstrual cycle until I got pregnant in 2002 (you are supposed to buy a different size after vaginal birth). It saved me a bunch of money while reducing my exposure to dioxins--with a strong family history of cancer, I need to be extra careful.

Anyway, sorry if this grosses anyone out, but it's really not good for your body to absorb all those chemicals from bleached paper products.

Laurie

2/10/2007 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Just Jana said...

Thanks for posting such a complete list. I've been making our home more "natural" - been using vinegar to clean, etc. - for over a year, but I've been wanting to do more. This post inspired me. Thank you!

2/11/2007 6:52 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

This is a wonderful list Sara. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together. I think I need to get busy underneath my sinks!

2/11/2007 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

I loooove when you do this! :O) Another awesome post and links and information and reminders and you got us to think or rethink about what we use in our lives!

I placed an order with Sara (Wallypop)! Thank you for the information on her products and how you use them as well.

xoxoxoxoxo Cat

2/11/2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger nowmidwesternmama said...

Sarah, I enjoy your blog so much! Thank you so much for all the time you take to share with us what you have learned. I was curious if you have any thoughts on Miracle II soap and lotion? I use both and really love it, but now I am paranoid it might not be as good as it seems. What are your thoughts? Also, I have been using Tooth Soap, which I really like. Do you have an opinion on it? Thanks again. :)

2/11/2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whom it may interest:

To piggyback on what was said about feminine hygiene, if you're not quite ready to venture into the world of the DivaCup, I thought I'd mention that contrary to what I expected, I found 7th Generation unbleached fem. hygiene stuff actually cheaper than what I'd been spending on Tampax and Playtex. The trick was to wait until it went on sale at drugstore.com and to stock up sufficiently to get free shipping.

Great post! Lots of ideas to try out...

2/11/2007 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah. You are just so darn great.
Thanks for all the great info!
I just got a big bottle of organic olive oil at the COOP.... and I will be off to get some castor oil.
Thanks again. You are a treasure.
Em

2/11/2007 7:04 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Laurie...thanks for the reminder on the feminine products. I did mention it in the previous post...but forgot to put it here. I use the Diva Cup and cloth pads and I love it.

2/12/2007 12:19 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

i wanted to throw in another vote for weleda children's tooth gel- it is "banana" flavored i believe, and i chose it several months back after checking out children's toothpastes on the skin deep website...it received the best safety score of the bunch!

2/12/2007 5:37 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Wow- my mom should read this so she doesnt think I'm the only one in the world who lives this way.

I havent actually washed my face in a couple of years- I slather it in Joboba oil and lavender as much as I can and poof my "oily" skin is balanced. I spent years stripping it with even product imaginable.

The no shampoo thing is a challenge because I love my blue hair (it's not all blue, but the bottom half is), and it seems the baking soda DOESN'T love the blue- it totally yanks out the color. I'm so sad. I'm not ready to compromise the color yet. So I try to use the most basic stuff. Any other shampoo suggestions?

Other than that- I'm doing pretty good- except for washing windows. Still on papaer towels with that because we dont get newpapers. I'll get there!

2/12/2007 8:55 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

So much great info! (got to find a way to link to this). I use raw coconut oil on my skin; a friend swears by olive oil.

A small caution with the essential oils... tea tree and lavendar have a lot of estrogenic properties... I've heard this could be problematic. Anyone else heard about this?

2/13/2007 5:13 AM  
Blogger Julie Luse said...

Good info Sara! My all time favorite is pure Shea butter, I use it like crazy and I use on Asher, his little cuts heal within 24 hours. I also just found some organic/natural shea butter shampoo and conditioner I love. And unbelievably, I started using a natural soap in my dishwasher, it gets things cleaner without all the chemicles. That was an interesting fact about the flouride, I've been feeling paranoid lately about Asher not getting much of that, I am going to do a little research, thanks to you! I am also researching plastics for my next blog, I've got some great info (nothing you probably don't know thoughm :) )
Julie :)

2/13/2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Hi Sara - love your blog! I have switched to natural homemade cleaning products - it is amazing what you can do with baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and water! I also recently made some homemade laundry detergent (soap, baking soda and water), and it is as good or better than the ones you can buy at the store (and it has the additional benefits of being environmentally friendly and very inexpensive). Thank you for continuing to inspire me to explore natural alternatives to body care - a switch to natural toothpaste and shampoo will be next on my list! Take care, Erin

2/14/2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so curious about the oil method of facial cleansing...do you do this every day? What's the difference between oils mentioned in the other comments? Maybe easiest for you, is there an online resource where I can learn more about this? It sounds awesome! Thanks for the info! You're inspiring!

2/14/2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I do it in the morning and evening...and you defintely can use whatever oils work best for your face. Sometimes you just have to experiment. If you Google on "oil cleansing method" ... (OCM)...you will find many resources. Thanks!

2/14/2007 4:55 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wonderful post. Thank you so much for all the information! :)

2/15/2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger angela said...

Sara, just wondering if you have tried or heard of http://www.crazyrumors.com/index.html? I found it while looking up the other lip balm names you gave me.

2/15/2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger Jessica Kramer said...

I just found your blog by accident and I love what I've seen so far! I'm bookmarking right now and passing along to my Compact group.

Thanks!!! :)

2/16/2007 6:44 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks for posting all this!! Especially about the facial. I have oily skin, too so I've been soooo hesitant to go natural and have a major breakout. I'll definitely try this!

2/16/2007 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

I am so enjoying this post! You have helped me to get rid of the last few things in my bathroom that I was clinging to :). I have one question though...do you wear cosmetics? The most natural ones are SO expensive. I was just curious how you handle this issue. Thanks so much!

mamashortcake

2/16/2007 4:59 PM  
Blogger Ticia said...

I was thinking about all you said about using natural cleaners and it reminded me of what this salesmen told while I was remodeling my kitchen. I was considering not having a dishwasher anymore. And this salesmen says: But what about sanitation you won't be able to make the dishes sanitary you could get sick. I thought oh my! I'm lucky to be alive growing up with no dishwasher! hehehe!

2/16/2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Moon said...

Sara,
Thank you! Some great info.

***(As a heads up, I just checked out some of your photos on Flickr (btw-the new place is cool!), and when I viewed you "Saying Goodbye" photos as a slideshow the picture titled "Daddy Waddy" didn't come up with the right picture - you might want to check it out.)

God bless!

2/17/2007 8:05 AM  
Blogger Rach said...

Just wondering if you can tell me how you get the plastic bag thingy on your blog! I'd love to ahe it on mine, especially as I want to do a post with pictures of my children's old clothes recycled into reusable shopping bags!
Thanks in advance.

2/17/2007 11:10 PM  
Blogger AndiMae said...

Your last two posts have been so awesome! Thanks for all the great insight! We're slowly but surely making good changes around our house...

P.S. What kind of art supplies do you use with Bella? I used to be a preschool teacher and now I have a toddler and have been thinking a lot about what kind of stuff I am exposing her to while "creating". Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks!

2/18/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Rae said...

Sarah,

I ordered Sals Suds from Dr. Bronners and the first ingredient is sodium laurel sulfate. What now?

2/19/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the toothpaste... My aunt once told me that her dentist told her that toothpaste wasn't necessary. He said, that just brushing with the brush is good enough. Think about it though, what did they use years ago? NOTHING. I also heard that just eating apples will naturally clean your teeth.

2/21/2007 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apples have TONS of natural sugars in them that will cause cavities if you don't brush - but eating them DOES make your teeth feel less plaque-y ;)

2/23/2007 7:49 PM  
Blogger Silver Maple Leaf said...

Love this post. Just found your blog. I have used a lot of these methods, including not using any shampoo on my hair at all and just using water and my fingertips to get my scalp clean.

2/25/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I started using the olive oil cleansing method on my face the day you posted this, and my skin feels wonderful! I use just olive oil with a little lavender EO as well because that's what I have, but I may mix it with some castor oil when I remember to buy some.

Ds is 2, and we've been using Burt's Bees toothpaste for kids which he really likes, but our co-op said Burt's Bees is discontinuing their entire toothpaste line, so we need to figure something else out before the tube we have now runs out.

Someone asked about what to use to wash little ones' hair. We very rarely wash ds's hair. I mean, it's not even once a week and you can't tell! It always looks clean. We wet it down when it's sticking straight up (sometimes!) but that's it. I don't think kids need to have soap used on their skin and hair very often. I wonder if we keep up with not washing his hair much if he will ever need to, you know?

Anyway, as always thanks for the great post and ideas!

2/26/2007 7:53 AM  
Blogger hannahjoy said...

Sara - just wanted you to know that because of your posts, I've started using all-natural deodorant, facial care, shampoo/conditioner, and lotion, and my skin is thanking me!

2/26/2007 5:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I use cocout oil to wash my face. sometimes I mix it with raw honey and oatmea. it's great is you have combination oily and dry skin like I do. I'm also acne prone. the only thing I've ever found to help.we also use pretty much the same household cleanerds as you. good to know I'm not alone in that! my ideal is to not rely on anything premade. that way I feel more self suffient and don't need to feel like I can't think of alternatives on my own. money isn't always readily available. money aand ability to buy whatever whenever really makes us kinda stupid - not able to think on our own. what if I can't afford toothpaste? will my teeth fall out? LOL ykwim...

2/28/2007 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't how many of you have heard of this, but I take oatmeal (raw and organic) and grind it up in the blender until it is a fine powder. Then, using hot water, I scrub my face with it. It is a GREAT scrub- very easy on my skin, never dries it out and sloughs off dead skin gently. I have done this since I was 13 and my face at 38 is still very clear, soft, and rosy. I learned this from a natural beauty book and since I did not have money for store bought facial cleansers and makeup when I was a teenager, I used this and some vinegar and water as astringent and my skin stayed in great shape.

2/28/2007 4:34 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Hey, great post! You have some great ideas and hints here.

Thanks for using my photo, too! I'm glad it was what you needed for your article. :)

3/13/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,
I've been using the oil cleansing method for about a month now, and I love it! But...I still use my old moisturizer because it contains an SPF (along with SLS, etc...bummer). Any suggestions on sunscreen? What do you use on Bella? Thank you SO much!

3/26/2007 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Lora said...

Here's a question -- what is the most natural way to bring -cooked- food to work. Plastic is bad. Have you used any other containers that are packable, and heatable? or is the mr. bento good for keeping food warm for 5 hours?

4/02/2007 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Whitney said...

Okay...wow. I've made a big change in my life this week. I freecycled all my cleansers and use vinegar/water/tea tree. I just washed my hair with Dr. Bronner's for the first time (switching from Herbal Essences...appartently it's not so "herbal" ha) and I got the funky hair syndrome. So I rinsed my hair with plain white vinegar...and MAN. I've started using the oil method for my face and it's never looked so good! It's hilarious to me that God gave us everything we need and with science we have messed it all up! My HAIR looks great... my skin looks great. and now I'm not terrified that my son is going to get into the 409 or something. Thanks for showing me the light.

I'm also seriously considering some compacting. We're broke anyway, so I don't spend a whole lot, but we have a lot of STUFF.

Thanks for your help.

4/14/2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Whitney...
Yay! What a huge step...that's awesome! I never really liked Dr. Bronner's for my hair until I had dreads...it's very drying. You might switch to just using baking soda or using a shampoo bar and then use apple cider vinegar...it has a better chemical make-up I think for a conditioner. Not sure why...but that is what everyone recommends. Congrats!

4/14/2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger New Mama's Nest said...

I've been cleaning with vinegar, baking soda, lemon, etc for some time but had NEVER thought to add essential oils! Thanks for the tip!

4/20/2007 8:44 PM  

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