My (Almost) Completely Natural Bath Regimen


Skin is the largest organ on a person's body, and it absorbs almost everything you put onto it. I once read somewhere a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with: "If there is a product you wouldn't put into your mouth, why would you want it on your skin?"

Take a look at the labels of your lotions, creams and cosmetic products, most of the commercial brands contain complicated chemical compounds that don't need to go onto, or into, your body. In particular, many cosmetic products contain chemicals such as pthalates, parabens, titanium dioxide, to name a few. These are all chemicals that over time can do harm to the human body by causing cancer, allergies and compromised immune systems. Some chemicals can also prematurely age your skin, even if they are advertised as ways to preserve your youth.

You don't have to take my word for it, do your own research. Start looking into the chemicals listed on the labels of your cosmetics and consider whether you want to continue to exposing yourself to them.

In the meantime, I prefer to make most of my own bath products. Take a look at what I keep in my bathroom.

Left to right: Baking soda shampoo, apple cider vinegar hair conditioner, Nesti Dante bar soap, honey face wash, rice vinegar face toner, virgin coconut oil moisturizer, olive oil makeup remover.

The reason why included the word "almost" in the title of this post is because notice I have a bar of Nesti Dante soap in there. Although it is mostly comprised of natural ingredients, there are still some preservatives and controversial chemicals in there, and I didn't want to seem dishonest. The reason why I still use this soap instead of making my own is because I haven't been brave enough to do so. Making soap requires handling lye, which can be dangerous if you're not confident about what you're doing. I imagine sooner or later, when I have the space and resources to attempt making soap, I will, but not yet.


That said, here is what I do on a daily basis to get clean after a long day, in a more natural way.

1. Remove my makeup with olive oil.
2. Wash my hair with baking soda, ocassionally lightly running a bar of soap through it on particularly dirty days.
3. Soak my hair with an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition it, leaving it in.
4. Slather my face in organic honey as a mask, occasionally exfoliating with baking soda paste beforehand.
5. Wash my body with my Nesti Dante bar soap, using a konjac loofah.
6. Rinse away all the apple cider vinegar out of my hair, the honey off my face, and soap off my body with water.
7. Use toner made of rice vinegar on my face and neck to restore the pH balance of my skin and prevent breakouts, then use organic virgin coconut oil to moisturize my skin.

When I step out of the shower, my entire body is clean, the skin on my face is soft from my honey mask, and my hair is silky smooth from the apple cider vinegar rinse. And I do all this using mostly natural ingredients, without many commerical bath products containing complicated chemicals. You can easily do it too.

Salubrious Selection: Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance logo
I recently discovered Rainforest Alliance, which is an environmental advocacy group that encourages businesses to use eco-friendly practices to make sure they maintain a sustainable environment while still appealing to customers.

On the organization's website, there's a Green Living section with sub-pages offering tips on how to make your home, office and travel plans more environmentally friendly. There is some really wonderful and practical advice there I highly recommend everyone checkout if they're interested in making greener adjustments to their lifestyles.

How to Use Corn Starch as a Natural Face Powder


If you know how to use it correctly, corn starch is a perfect natural alternative to commercial face powder. I have an oily complexion, and in the past I was never able to keep the shine off my face no matter what brand of face powder I used or how many times I blotted throughout the day. After I switched to using corn starch as a face powder, I can go an entire day without blotting and the most I would end up with is a sort of dewy look to my face, but for the most part my skin stays matte.

How to Use Corn Starch as a Natural Face Powder
You can fill old face powder containers with corn starch, but if you don't have one, here is a suitable container I found at Muji. The link takes you to the Taiwan store site. Unfortunately I couldn't find this product on the US site. Also, the brush in the above photo is heavily loaded with corn starch so that it would show up better in the picture, but you want to use a lot less powder than that for actual application.

The downside is, corn starch is very, very white, so it may only be suitable for those with paler complexions. All you need to do is load a little bit onto your powder brush, and remember to tap vigorously to make sure most of the excess is shaken off, then apply to your face as you normally would.



If you have a darker complexion that contrasts too much with the corn starch, mix non-sweetened cocoa powder into it, blending and adding until you get a color that matches your skin tone. The ratio can even be more cocoa powder than corn starch. Then do the same thing for application; load up your brush, vigorously tap off the excess, and swipe it over your face.

How to Use Corn Starch as a Natural Face Powder


I only use corn starch to set my makeup now, and it works amazingly well, definitely better than any cosmetic face powders being sold in stores. It also makes a great "dry shampoo."

I've read online that some people are concerned about corn starch clogging your pores. I personally have not had this problem, and I'm speaking as a person who is prone to breakouts. I think if you clean your face thoroughly (and I mean, really dedicate your time to gently removing your makeup and massaging every crevice of your face to get it clean), it shouldn't be a problem for you either.

How to Wash Your Dog Naturally With Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Wash dog with baking soda and apple cider vinegar
This dog is the inspiration for my other
blog, The Pointy Eared Beast.

I wash my hair with baking soda and condition it with apple cider vinegar, but did you know this is also a great way to wash dogs? Especially those with skin conditions.

I have a dog that for years suffered from folliculitis, which would result in horrible, small red bumps on his back that caused him incredible itching and pain. I had been stressed for so long trying to help relieve his discomfort with medication, various diets and gentle shampoos.

Then it struck me that if I'm benefiting by using only natural bath products, perhaps it would work on my dog too. After researching and confirming that neither baking soda nor apple cider vinegar would harm him (you should always check to make sure new things you try with your pets will not hurt them), I decided to give him a mild bath with baking soda, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse.

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You'll Need:

- baking soda
- apple cider vinegar
- warm water


Directions:

1. Bathe your dog with a solution of about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in every 1.5 cups of warm water you use.
2. Let it soak into its fur for about a minute, during which I like to run a rubber brush through my dog's fur to remove dead skin and hair.
3. Thoroughly rinse out the baking soda solution.
4. Follow up with a rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per cup of warm water).
5. Let that sit for 1-2 minutes. My dog finds this extremely unpleasant since he isn't a fan of the smell.
6. Rinse out your dog's coat thoroughly, then dry him off completely, preferably with a hair dryer.

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Make sure that if you choose to bathe your dog this way to keep the solutions away from his face. Both baking soda and apple cider vinegar are extremely painful if they get into a dog's eyes or nose. Also, be gentle if your dog has any skin conditions, as there may be a stinging sensation if any open wounds come in contact with the apple cider vinegar.

I stuck with this bath once every week, and was amazed at how much my dog's skin improved. By the second month he was completely free of painful red bumps and itching. I suspect his previous condition was due to clogged hair follicles caused by sensitivities to even the gentlest of dog shampoos. But the baking soda cleared that right up and even neutralized any unpleasant doggy smells, and the apple cider vinegar restored the pH balance of his skin. Speaking of which, apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are also great natural deterrents against fleas and ticks.

I highly recommend this method to anyone with a dog who may be suffering from the same condition. I was so glad to have thought of it for my dog, and he's been a much happier and more comfortable canine ever since.

How to Wash Your Dog Naturally With Baking Soda and Apple Cider VinegarHow to Wash Your Dog Naturally With Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Salubrious Selection: Cruelty-Free Companies and Products Lists


Salubrious Selection: Cruelty-Free Companies and Products List  
 
I have mentioned before that I prefer only buying cosmetics and bath products from companies whose policies are not to test on animals. If you're the same way, might I suggest checking out Go Cruelty Free or PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website, where they have compiled lists of companies and products that are cruelty-free. PETA's list also indicates which brands are vegan companies.

How to Use A Generic Organizing Rack As A Laptop Stand

I've never understood why people buy super expensive specially designed laptop stands, especially when all I use is a generic plastic rack I got in a stationary store. I think it cost about $5.00.

  
The metal legs, which are designed to stack several racks together, are detachable, allowing me to use only the plastic slatted base. It's about 4 centimeters tall, which is enough elevation to allow air to flow underneath the computer to prevent it from overheating.

The metal legs are still useful though, I often reattach them when I'm using my laptop in bed, and it works like a small breakfast table for me to stick my legs underneath.














Seriously, don't spend a lot of money on a laptop stand. Save yourself a few bucks and just pop into your nearest stationary store or household storage accessory store and pick up anything reasonably priced that will work.