Just lately I mixed up some new batches of homemade hygiene products and thought I'd share them... what I use for deodorant and toothpaste, and with emphasis on low-waste. I'm hesitant to use the expression zero waste, as that is not always completely possible... :/
My most favorite form of homemade, low-waste deodorant is a VERY simple... Super easy! And it works, too!
Mix 50-50 --one part each-- of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and cornstarch (or arrowroot), add several drops of lavender essential oil. Mix together and store in a glass jar.
To use, dust the deodorant powder into armpits with a makeup brush.
As we're having quite a warm summer for Norway standards, I'm sometimes finding my powder deodorant needs refreshing during the day. So I've been trying a different low-waste, homemade deodorant--one that is coconut oil-based...
Low-Waste Homemade Deodorant:
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 cup cornflower (or arrowroot)
20 drops of lavender essential oil
Mix up ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, scoop a small amount on the tip of the finger and rub into the armpits. Tip: wait a couple/few minutes, allowing the deodorant to absorb into the skin, before putting on clothes.
** NOTE: the coconut oil can be sensitive to heat fluctuations and melt. Those in warmer climates might prefer to store the deodorant in the refrigerator than at room temperature, in order for the deodorant mixture to maintain its stability. **
And a homemade toothpaste is similar to the deodorant, just a different essential oil!
Low-Waste Homemade Toothpaste:
6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
20 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix up ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, scoop a small amount on the tip of a toothbrush.
** NOTE: the coconut oil can be sensitive to heat fluctuations and melt. Those in warmer climates might prefer to store the toothpaste in the refrigerator than at room temperature, in order for the toothpaste mixture to maintain its stability. ...Also, if a sweetener is desired, a little stevia powder can be added to the mixture. **
We are trying out the Humble Brushes... toothbrushes with bamboo-handles and nylon bristles. The bristles can be removed at the end of the toothbrushes life and the bamboo handle composted! Eco-friendly and recyclable packaging too. The supermarket we frequent most now has these in stock! These are medium on the comfort scale. I would prefer a softer brush, so will look for a soft brush next time...
In truth, switching from commercial products to homemade can be a process. My own transition from commercial products to homemade began three years ago. It can take a period of adjustment getting used to setting aside time to make your own products, getting into the habit of using them, and even getting used to enjoying them. For example, I have used a simple toothpaste of baking soda (bicarb) and water for some time while phasing out commercial toothpaste. Switching it up to this one using coconut oil, it took me a few days to get used to the new, different texture, taste and overall experience. But being able to make my own products--to say NO to environmental disruption, NO to plastics, NO to chemicals, NO to big company advertising tactics and greed, NO to over-consumption, etc... it all matters. Every choice, no matter how big or small, matters.
For more full disclosure here... These homemade deodorants and toothpastes are ones that I am using. TJ's not been following me completely yet on the journey of homemade, sustainable hygiene products. He's still using some commercially made products, like toothpaste and deodorant. And that's OK. We all have our choices to make. Each of us has to be ready to try different turns in the road. We have to allow others their space for their journey.
One day at a time, one step at a time, one product at a time to reduce impact on the planet, reduce our consumption and waste... Sometimes it feels slow, this low-waste, low impact, sustainable journey, but it feels good!