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A Day in the DIY Life

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I realized that what started as making a homemade soap here and a homemade shampoo there has morphed into a complete lifestyle and I now officially use more homemade products than store-bought. I've already shared some of the recipes for some of these products, but I thought it would be nice to have one easy-to-find post that includes everything in one place.

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DIY Shampoo

For a few months I went the "no-poo" baking soda and water route, but I missed having a shampoo that really suds up. Now I use this instead. It feels creamy and leaves my hair feeling clean and soft.

Ingredients: 1/4 c coconut milk
1/3 c liquid castile soap
1 t vitamin E, almond or olive oil
10-20 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Source: One Good Thing By Jillee

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DIY Conditioner

I have a serious problem with tangles and was highly skeptical that this concoction would be able to combat them, but for some reason it just works.

Ingredients: 1 T apple cider vinegar
1 c water

Source: DIY Natural

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DIY Shower Gel

I've been using this for months and it works as well as any store-bought body wash. It smells good, too.

Ingredients: 1/2 c liquid castile soap
1/2 c raw honey
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Source: You Queen

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DIY Face Wash

Making my own face wash was another thing I was really skeptical about because I have super sensitive skin. I find this face wash to be super soothing but also a very effective cleaning agent.

Ingredients: 1/3 c liquid castile soap
1/3 c raw honey
3 T distilled or boiled water
2 T nourishing oil like jojoba, almond, olive, apricot or argan

Source: Live Simply

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DIY Hand Soap

To me this one is the biggest no-brainer because the soap I buy in stores seems unnecessarily expensive and this alternative is cheap, easy, and effective.

Ingredients: 1/2 c liquid castile soap
1/2 c distilled or boiled water
1 T vitamin E oil
1 T nourishing oil like sweet almond or jojoba
10-20 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Source: Live Simply

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DIY Whipped Body Lotion

You're supposed to whip this body lotion up with a mixer, but I used a food processor instead.

Ingredients: 1 c coconut oil
1 t vitamin E oil (optional)
A few drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Source: Living The Nourished Life

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DIY Blemish Treatment

"Watch the honey!" is now a common phrase in my household, which I use to warn my husband when he leans in to kiss me after I've dabbed a little of this onto any blemishes on my face. If you can get used to the slight stickiness and wear it overnight, it works wonders. 

Ingredients: A few drops tea tree oil
2 t raw honey

Source: Home Remedies For Life

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DIY Eye Cream

I love how gentle this feels when I apply it around my eyes right before I go to bed. The directions for this one are SLIGHTLY more involved than most of the recipes I'm posting here, so I definitely recommend visiting the Redefined Mom site for the full directions.

Ingredients: 1/2 c coconut oil
6-8 vitamin E capsules

Source: Redefined Mom

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DIY Bronzer

I was originally going to use this as a foundation, but I got it too dark for my fair complexion.  I've found it works well as a bronzer instead. 

Ingredients: 1 T arrowroot powder or cornstarch for lighter skin, 1 t for darker
Small amount of cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and/or nutmeg until desired color is achieved
Optional jojoba, olive or almond oil if you want a more compact foundation

Source: Thank Your Body

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DIY Handwashing Dish Soap

For awhile I was making a much more complicated version of this, but finally I settled on this super simple concoction.

Ingredients: 1 part liquid castile soap
10 parts water

Source: Lisa Bronner

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DIY Dishwashing Soap

Look how clean those dishes are! This stuff really works.

Ingredients: 3 drops DIY handwashing dish soap
Fill cup 2/3 way with baking soda
Fill rest of cup with salt

Source: Huffington Post

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DIY Reusable Kitchen Wipes

Get yourself a jar and cut up an old t-shirt (or in our case, an old pair of jeans). Then head over to One Good Thing By Jillee for the full explanation. 

Ingredients: Cloth strips & jar
1 c warm water
1/8 c liquid castile soap
5-10 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Source: One Good Thing By Jillee

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DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner

It's important to follow the instructions on this one because you'll create a volcanic explosion if you just willy-nilly throw all the ingredients together. Instead spray the vinegar mixture into the toilet, let set for a few minutes, and THEN add the baking soda. Go to DIY Natural for full instructions. 

Ingredients: 1/2 c baking soda
1 c distilled white vinegar
1/2 t tea tree oil (optional)

Source: DIY Natural

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DIY Glass Cleaner

I had to experiment with different recipes until I found one I thought was truly effective. It seems so simple, but a little water and vinegar is really all you need.

Ingredients: 2 c distilled or filtered water
2 T vinegar white vinegar
10 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

Source: Wellness Mama
 

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DIY Face Mask

I don't actually use toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner and face masks EVERY day, but I use them often enough that I think they belong on this list. This face mask is something I swear by for those weeks when your skin is being problematic and you want to stop the breakouts. 

Ingredients: 5 strawberries
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 T raw honey

Source: Heal With Food

A Few DIY Tips

As you can see, most DIY recipes require very few ingredients and a lot of them use the same ingredients over and over again. If you can get your hands on some coconut oil, liquid castile soap, and raw honey, you'll be able to make all kinds of homemade household and beauty products. Throw in some baking soda, lemon, and optional essential oils, and you're pretty much set. Try stocking up on these staples in bulk and you'll ultimately save money when you stop buying store-bought products. 

To not overwhelm myself, I have a few general DIY rules.

1.) I try to make my own version of something when I run out of the store-bought version. This way I don't feel like I'm wasting anything and I'm also not trying to make a lot of things at one time. Try it: next time your shampoo runs out, make your own. Next time your dish soap runs out, make your own. See how you like it. I love it. If it causes you stress, forget about it. The point of this is to make things easier and LESS stressful.

2.) I only use recipes that require approximately five ingredients or less. Again, the point of this is to make things simpler. I have no interest in running around town in search of unusual ingredients and I have no interest in following ten steps to get a final product. Look for recipes that are simple and that require minimal ingredients.

3.) Have fun. I mentioned this already, but seriously: if making your own products stresses you out, don't do it. I think a lot of people will be surprised to find just how easy and affordable it is to make your own versions of products you use every day. But if you don't think it's easy or you don't like the finished products, don't sweat it. I do this because I enjoy doing it. It makes me feel healthier because I feel like I have greater control over the toxins my body consumes. But if it's not your thing, it's not your thing. I'm happy it's become my thing and I'll continue sharing recipes as I experiment with them. Coming soon: DIY laundry detergent.

 

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DIY Day: Making Your Own Shampoo and Conditioner

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For those of you who have been following my DIY adventures, this post will likely seem like the craziest one yet. Trust me, I'm with you: in the beginning, I thought this was absolutely crazy. But I wanted to give it a fair shot, so I've been using it for a few months. And now I have to tell you: I wouldn't go back to regular shampoo and conditioner. It took some getting used to, but this weird DIY shampoo and conditioner works for me. 

Let's start with the shampoo, which I found on DIYNatural.com. You will need TWO ingredients:

1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup water

Whaaaat?! You can clean your hair with a little bit of baking soda and water? And it works? Yes and yes, but with a few caveats. Anyone who is used to using traditional shampoo (so: pretty much everyone) is used to using a product with big, foamy lather. Washing your hair with baking soda and water (which is often referred to as no-poo) feels nothing like washing with traditional shampoo. Washing your hair with no-poo feels like you're washing your hair with water. It feels like nothing. And for the first few weeks I used it, it seemed like I was washing with nothing: my hair was greasier than it's ever been.

But I waited it out. After a few weeks, the grease went away and I started noticing a new glossiness and softness to my hair. Whether this can be attributed to my DIY shampoo, conditioner, or a combination of the two, I'm not sure. So let's move on to the conditioner, which is also from DIY Natural. 

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The conditioner again requires only two ingredients, which are:

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup water

Is this some sort of joke? Is someone really trying to tell me I can replace my normal rich, creamy, luxurious conditioner with a bunch of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar?

People, let me be clear here: as crazy as it sounds, it works. Not only that, but it works SO much better than traditional conditioner. I feel slightly guilty for saying this since I just returned from Morocco, home of the much-hyped argan oil. Had I taken that trip a few months earlier, I likely would have loaded up on hair products when buying souvenirs. But since I've started using this funky apple cider vinegar concoction, I no longer have a need for such things.

Here's what happened. My hair has an interesting texture. On the one hand it's incredibly thick and on the other it's quite fine. I've worn it long for many years now, so I have a lot of hair. I always pull this hair back when I'm exercising, especially when I'm running. I often run in the rain thanks to Portland's gross, disgusting, never-ending rainy season (can you tell how over it I am?). When I come back from these runs, my hair is a tangled up, snarly mess. In the past, it has taken me a good THIRTY MINUTES to comb conditioner through my hair and try to work through the tangles and knots. With the apple cider vinegar, I don't know why and I don't know how, the tangles are gone in SECONDS. That's all the proof I need.

But here's a little more, just in case. This past Saturday, I went to my first hair appointment in eight weeks. My hairstylist told me my hair and skin have never looked better. She wanted to know what products I was using. When I told her I was making my own out of basic ingredients I had around the house, she was floored.

I'm floored too. At first it felt so weird, like I was literally washing my hair with water and doing absolutely nothing productive. But then I saw the results. And now I wouldn't go back. 

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