Its true - Im not a hippy, I dont buy organic food or let my underarm hair grow long (though in winter...) but I am becoming more conscious of the amount of chemicals in the the things I use on my body.
It all started when I first made some melt and pour soap just to save money. Then when my hubby wanted a more lathery soap I made some cold process soap from scratch. Lovely soap - just oils that I chose to put in it and no nasty additives, chemicals or preservatives.
Then I made a shampoo bar and used a cider vinegar rinse instead of commercial conditioner and my headaches disappeared. I checked the ingredients of my "natural vit E face cream" and was shocked a the amount of additives in that and so sourced a proper natural cream with only items I could understand on the label. Next was soap nuts for the laundry to save money and again no chemicals in them and they wash the clothes just as well.
Toothpaste is the latest conversion - have you checked the label on your toothpaste at all? Mmmm quite a few nasties in there too including SLS and some other unpronounceable items. You can use just baking soda or bi carb but it doesnt have a nice taste (I used salt once when I was a child as we had run out of toothpaste and it made me vomit so that is not an option).
I looked online and found a few recipes for natural toothpaste and the first one I tried (as I had the ingredients already) was bicarb soda, vegetable glycerine and a few drops of spearmint essential oil. I mixed a small amount of bicarb with some glycerine to make a paste and a tiny bit of the spearmint oil to get rid of the salty taste of the soda and dipped the toothbrush in it and cleaned my teeth. No foam but it cleaned my teeth great and they felt clean and smooth for a very long time. Next I got some bentonite clay and mixed that with some bicarb soda, a bit of cinnamon and some glycerine to make a paste and a few drops of spearmint for flavour. Ok so its a bit off putting putting mud on your toothbrush and you look like you have been eating dirt when you are brushing with it but once rinsed away you are left with clean smooth feeling teeth and they look shiny and white. I will continue to try these and make sure the grittiness doesnt make my teeth sensitive to hot and cold - when I used a baking soda toothpaste years ago my teeth became so sensitive I had to stop using it (but it could have been other things in the toothpaste and not just the soda causing that).
As with anything I make - I test it on myself first - then convince the family (a husband and 2 teenage sons - not an easy conversion!) to try the item and then once they sort of get used to it I stop buying the commercial item and they dont miss it. My youngest son just rolled his eyes when he heard I had made toothpaste and said "no way!!!"
So that is hair, body, face, teeth and clothes all pretty much chemical free - I guess food is the next thing? But Im not a hippy - really!