Several years ago, I went through all of my personal care products and tossed nearly everything. Anything with parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, dyes, sodium laureth sulfate, etc. I kept just a few items, and it’s made my daily routine much simpler too. Not to mention the fact that the air quality in our bathroom is much better without all of the fragrances from the products I no longer use. After I got rid of my conventional body lotion, I switched to using coconut oil instead. We live in a very dry area, and humidity here is usually non-existent… some sort of lotion is a must, even for those of us who are very careful to get lots of Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet.
I liked using coconut oil because of how simple it was – only one ingredient, and it’s edible (I prefer to avoid inedible body care products, since our skin absorbs whatever we put on it… why would I want to put something on my body if I wouldn’t be willing to eat it?) But it was a bit greasy. After putting it on, I would have to be careful to not let my skin rub against stuff for half an hour or so while it soaked in. I figured it was a good trade off though, for not having any nasty gunk in my lotion and for not having to pay an arm and a leg for fancy organic lotion at the health food store.
When we were getting ready for the birth of our second son earlier this year, our midwife brought over a little supply bag of stuff that she likes to have on hand for new babies. It included a tiny little bottle of grapeseed oil, labeled as a moisturizer. She told us to rub it onto our baby’s bottom at each diaper change in order to keep the initial tar-like newborn poop from sticking to his skin. She also mentioned that it would be a great all-over moisturizer for him. We used it on our son, and it worked great. I noticed that whenever I would rub it onto his skin, my hands would absorb it very quickly and didn’t feel greasy afterwards. So I decided to try it on myself, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I have been buying grapeseed oil at Costco for quite a while now – I love it for cooking as it has such a high smoke point. And now it’s my daily moisturizer too. A little goes a long way, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or sticky at all; it soaks in within just a few minutes. It has a very neutral fragrance that pretty much disappears once it soaks in, and best of all, it works! No more dry skin.
Instead of buying a tiny little bottle labeled as a moisturizer, I just refill the one I have from my giant jug in the kitchen. Definitely my current favorite personal care product: inexpensive, easy to use, no greasy legs, and no questionable ingredients.
On a completely different note, I love this post about saving bugs instead of killing them. I have always been a rescuer of creatures (so are all of my siblings – it’s just how we were raised). I can remember my little brother being afraid of the spiders (harmless, but big) that were in our farmhouse, and my mother sat on the floor with him and let a spider crawl all over her to let him see that there was nothing to fear. We grew up in an area that had lots of copperhead snakes, but also lots of other non-poisonous snakes. Rather than teaching us to fear snakes, my parents taught us how to tell the difference between the copperheads and all the other snakes. (They also taught us to be careful – to never put our hands or feet somewhere we couldn’t see, for example.) Same thing with spiders – there are very few spiders in the US that can actually cause serious harm to humans, and they’re pretty easy to recognize… the rest are only a concern if you’re a fly. So my siblings and I all have a healthy respect for creatures that can harm us, but no irrational fear of bugs, snakes, mice, etc. And we have all been known to go out of our way to rescue bugs from drowning, squashing, or being encased in concrete. Anyway, I loved Gena’s post about catching bugs and taking them outside, so I had to share it.