So Fresh and So Clean: Zero-Waste Deodorant and Toothpaste

It always seems what’s bad for us is bad for the Earth, doesn’t it? 

That’s certainly the case with our typical household cleaning products

But have you ever given any thought to the ingredients in your personal care products?

Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and these companies want us to put what on it?

And if we zoom out, think of the cumulative impact — all those toxins get into our waterways.

What’s more still, our personal care products come in plastic, which is choking the planet.

What’s bad for us is bad for Earth, and what’s bad for Earth is bad for us. 

That’s why I made my own rule: to never put anything on my body that I wouldn’t put in my body.

(Admittedly, after a fair amount of experimentation, I do break this rule for makeup and, at least for the time being, shampoo…always looking for ways to change this though!)

So I set out to create my own personal care products. 

For lotion, I use food-grade oils, like coconut or olive oil.

And once I’m done with the bulk shampoo I have now (and I do some drain prep), I’ll give rye flour a try again.

As for deodorant, I tried many different recipes I found online, steering clear of the ones with beeswax

I discovered that baking soda gives me a rash something awful. 

I tried a magnesium oil spray, but found my skin was again too sensitive.

I discovered a fantastic line with an effective sensitive skin version.

But sigh, it only came in a plastic deodorant stick. And double sigh, I found out it had been bought out by Unilever. 

So my quest continues. 

And for those of you experimenting along with me, arrowroot powder and cornstarch might be good substitutes for baking soda.

Candelilia wax is a good replacement for beeswax (and it has the added benefit of not being so sticky!).

And activated charcoal might be a promising addition to any recipe.

This site lays out all you’ll need for your experiments.

For toothpaste, I use pure baking soda with a few drops of peppermint essential oil! And a charcoal powder every once in a while to keep stains at bay.

I started off with a toothpaste recipe online that suggested putting salt in it for additional abrasion, but I found the concoction waaaay too salty. 

I’ve found that baking soda actually does a better job at cleaning up my teeth. My mouth feels so fresh and clean!

There are tons of other recipes you can find online. Some claim to remineralize your teeth, others might whiten. Give them a try and report back on which ones you love!

Just when you think things can’t get any better (wait, they’re already zero waste, toxin free, vegan, easy to make, and they work — how could they get any better!?), these recipes are pennies on the dollar of anything store bought. 

Thank goodness it turns out that what’s good for Earth is good for us!

If you’re in the Bay Area and would like to learn how to make your own deodorant and toothpaste, be sure to sign up for MudLab’s upcoming workshops!

DIY Deodorant Workshop – Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

DIY Toothpaste – Sunday, March 1, 2020, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

MudLab is Oakland’s new zero-waste grocery, co-working space, event hub, bookstore, artist’s workshop, and bakery!

3933 Telegraph Ave, Oakland 94609

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