Simplify Your Beauty Routine To Save Money And Go Green

The following is a guest post from Mrs. Money of the Ultimate Money Blog.  Mrs. Money and I have a lot in common, and our beauty routines are pretty similar too.  When I was pregnant with our son, I purged everything from our bathroom that contained suspect ingredients.  Lotions, nail polishes, hair products, fake tanners… I got rid of all of it, and opted for simple things like baking soda, coconut oil and Dr. Bronners soap.  They’re less expensive, much better for my family’s health, and much easier on our budget.  Plus, I no longer have a bathroom counter cluttered with bottles of chemical goo.  Read on for some great ideas from Mrs. Money.

When I first was interested in natural living, one of the first things I did was go through my bathroom cabinets and rid them of anything toxic.  I didn’t want to be putting anything with parabens, silicones, sodium lauryl sulfates, or fragrances on my skin.  Parabens have been linked to cancer, silicones coat the skin and don’t allow it to breathe, and sodium lauryl sulfate is a dangerous irritant.  I knew everything I put on my skin was going to be absorbed into my bloodstream, so I wanted to seek safe alternatives to the conventional products I was used to.  The only bad thing about purchasing all natural body care products is that they are expensive!  I had to come up with a solution that would fit our budget and be healthy all at the same time.  Here are some of my favorite body care routines:

1. No Poo.  Despite the name, no poo is actually a method of cleaning your hair with just baking soda and water.  It only has one ingredient: baking soda.  If you desire, you can also rinse your hair with a vinegar rinse, which ups the ingredient list to two.  It’s super simple and so cheap!

2. Oil cleansing method.  Using oil to clean your face sounds like a bad idea, but it works so well!  When you use the oil cleansing method, your skin will be soft and supple and it’s all washed with natural oils.  I used to suffer from acne, but now with the oil cleansing method I haven’t had better skin in years!  It’s awesome.

3. Making soap.  I have learned how to make my own all natural bar soap with lye and oils.  I use a blend of vegetable oils and make my own bar soap.  When I feel like adding a little fragrance, I add a few drops of essential oils.  They are all natural, and I don’t have to worry about weird chemical fragrances irritating my skin.

4. Make your own toothpaste.  Toothpaste contains flouride and sodium lauryl sulfate, which both are not very good for your body.  I know Frugal Babe uses just baking soda to brush her teeth, and that works just fine too!  I use my toothpaste recipe to get minty fresh breath.  If you don’t want to fool with making your own toothpaste, you can just dip a wet toothbrush in a small amount of baking soda and brush as normal.  Your teeth will be just as clean as if you used normal toothpaste!

When you go green, it’s easy to want it all.  There are many areas you may want to spend more money on green items: for example, you may want to buy all organic produce and start making a lot of your body care products.  Whatever you do, any step you take to be more green will help you in the long run.  It’s better for you and better for the environment.

What steps have you taken to go green that also help you save money?

Last updated by on .


  1. April says

    I’ve had some successes and some failures with simplifying my routine.

    Failures: Baking soda shampoo and vinegar rinse. I stuck it out for almost three weeks and finally couldn’t take it anymore. Hair felt gummy and gross and looked flat. I have a ton of fine, curly hair, and it was just a no-go, no matter how I tried to adjust it. Dr. Bronner’s was the same. Loved the suds, but the results were YUCK.

    Also tried the oil cleansing method for a month, and I thought I was liking it, until my skin retaliated in a big way. So big that I started to see a esthetician who said it really wasn’t working for my skin. Crazily enough, it was drying my skin out. I know. How the heck could oil do that?

    My skin was in such a bad state that she recommended Cetaphil cleanser and lotion (luckily both cheap) over the expensive line they carried at the spa, just out of fear that introducing something new would aggravate my skin further. My skin has dramatically improved since.

    I really wanted to like these things, but had to finally move on. Also tried Ayurvedic skin care recipes, which my skin also rejected. I normally have great skin, so it’s pretty obvious when something is aggravating it.

    Things that have worked: Coconut oil to moisturize skin, cuticles, feet with socks on overnight, lip balm before bed, deep conditioner before washing my hair…love it.

    Baking soda as an exfoliator–love this. My sports bra makes my back break out where the straps touch my shoulders, but showering and using a combo of Dr. Bronner’s and baking soda as a scrub has cleared it up. My new best friend the esthetician also uses it in her microdermabrasion machine, so it’s good for the face, too.

  2. says

    I did the oil cleansing method for a bit. I really liked it and the way my skin felt. The only problem was it was a bit more time consuming. I usually just use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap now. I haven’t done the no poo method. Well, I tried it once. I have read there is an adjustment period when you hair may be super oily or super something. Have you found that? If so, about how long did it last?
    Honestly, I go back and forth…I will purge everything icky from my bathroom, and then turn around and buy something with fragrance later. We all have pretty sensitive skin in my household. In the summer, with Chicago humidity, we don’t really have to rely on many moisturizers, but now with winter and its dryness, I will need to start evaluating what we use to keep us from feeling super dry.

  3. says

    Six months ago I started on the same journey with beauty products and have had a ball!
    I’ve got long thick curly hair and have been doing the baking soda/ vinegar thing for a month. I add jojoba oil to my roots which helps the dryness. Last week I cut my hair short to make the process easier. It’s not perfect but I’m experimenting with different things until I get the results I want.
    I clean my face with honey (from my bees), rose essential oil and jojoba oil. It’s taken care of the redness in my skin and leaves my skin soft.
    One night I gave my girls a facial with raw onions. Their eyes were watering but rather then letting them wash it off I made eye towels and made them tough it out! They won’t let me touch them now (although their skins was very soft afterwards!).
    I’ve loved the results so much and am enjoying all the experimenting that I’m starting a weekly blog about it next month.

  4. says

    I’ve never been big on personal care, though I’ve wasted plenty of money on various products over the years. Now I’m more likely to make my own, and spend the money on good quality ingredients that tend to last a long time. The more I read on natural skin care the more I find myself actually paying attention to my skin. Maybe I’ll finally get these large pores to shrink up, though they’ve never really bothered me.

    I now use a bit of raw honey + baking soda + a few drops of rose water for a facial cleanser. it only takes a little of each, maybe a half teaspoon. Honey is hygroscopic, baking soda is exfoliating, and it feels wonderful after a rinse. I tried the no-poo, but didn’t like the results. I’ve switched to bar shampoo, I’m still on my first $7 bar and it’s been 2 months. I’ll probably get another month out of it at least. I’m testing out different detangler recipes to replace bottled conditioner.

  5. says

    Eek! I would not recommend anyone brush their teeth with baking soda on a daily basis. It’s very abrasive to your tooth enamel — maybe once every couple of days, but definitely not every day. You can brush with just a wet toothbrush or brush while holding a bit of water in your mouth (warning: this can be very dribbly).

    More info on using baking soda and/or salt on your teeth:

  6. FrugalBabe says

    I use baking soda on my teeth, but not on a daily basis. I alternate with a Tom’s of Maine fluoride-free toothpaste, although I recently discovered that Tom’s was bought a few years ago by Colgate-Palmolive, so I’m looking for a new toothpaste… I never use any toothpaste with fluoride in it, and I also avoid sweeteners and food coloring.

  7. FrugalBabe says

    One more thing to note…. that link about the dangers of baking soda and H2O2 (which my husband and I both use daily as a mouth rinse – food grade, diluted) is basically the opinions of dentists and dental associations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong, but it’s always suspect when an organization presents an opinion that has a direct impact on their own income. Ob/Gyns in the US generally say that having a baby at home is a very bad idea. Our son was born at home, and our licensed midwife earned $3000 for assisting us. No Ob/Gyn earned a dime. Thus their opinion that homebirth is a bad idea has to be looked at in conjunction with the fact that if more people started having their babies at home, Ob/Gyns would miss out on some of their current income. Same thing with dentists…. if more people did a better job of cleaning their teeth at home, dentists would miss out on some of their current income.

    I am 32 years old, and have had one cavity in my life (when I was 9). I go to the dentist about once every five years. Whenever I go, they tell me how clean my teeth are. I go through stages where I use baking soda everyday instead of toothpaste, and other stages where I switch back and forth between baking soda and a fluoride-free toothpaste. I don’t go in for cleanings and x-rays twice a year. I basically provide very little opportunity for dentists to make money. And it’s working out quite nicely for me. I’m sure that most dentists would still say that I need to go for a cleaning every six months, but does that really make sense from any point of view other than the dentist’s?

  8. says

    I recently tried cutting out most chemicals from my personal hiegene (how the heck do you spell that?_. After reading on about all the nasty stuff in your shampoos and conditioners (and subsequently finding them in the bottles in my bathroom), I decided that I’ll try to avoid those stuff…
    So for shampoo, I’m using liquid soap made from homemade bar soap, and it works fine, just dries out my hair. So I add a tiny little bit of coconut oil afterward and all is good.

    I tried the noo poo route, but at first it made my hair really dry, but after about a month my hair got really greasy and nasty looking, so I nixed that.

    I use baking soda to brush my teeth, and am trying to switch to baking soda/potato starch deodorant (and want to try a recipe that includes coconut oil and made into a bar once it gets cold enough for my coconut oil to stay hard)…

    Thanks for this post- I have to start the oil cleansing method…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *