Category Archives: Natural Living

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Learn how to make safe and toxin-free homemade natural deodorant, and which harmful ingredients to avoid in conventional store-bought deodorants!

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Ever since learning about all the toxins present in conventional deodorants, I stopped using deodorant for years. Luckily, I’m not much of a sweater so this was working out for me fine. If I felt a bit stinky, especially after a workout, I would just wash my underarms and was good to go.

However, after moving to Southern California, summers here can get pretty darn hot and sweating all day is just inevitable. I couldn’t just get away with not using deodorant anymore in the recent months, so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure if I would like my hippy-dippy version and if it would actually work, but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I absolutely love it. It gets rid of the stink and sweat, and it doesn’t stain any of my clothes like other deodorants I have a tried.

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

But before I share the recipe, I want to share just WHY I stopped using conventional deodorants and the ingredients in them that I don’t want to apply on my skin ever. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it, so being extra diligent about reading the ingredient labels is so important. After all, the toxins and certain chemicals in these products alter our hormones, burden our liver, and are linked to various types of cancers. Who wants that?

Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in conventional deodorants:

1. Parabens

Parabens are extremely common in the US, and it can be found in both skin care products and food. They are used as a preservative, but also are known to mimic estrogen and cause hormonal imbalances by accumulating in our tissues. A study showed a presence of parabens in 99% of the breast tumor tissue samples.

You can usually spot parabens on the ingredients list easily (They are found in 75-90% of all products on the market!), because they are followed by some kind of prefix like methylparaben, and propylparaben.

2. Triclosan

Triclosan is a type of pesticide that you’ll find in most deodorants on the market because of its ability to kill bacteria. It is also an endocrine disruptor and can also be carcinogenic when it comes in contact with chlorine in tap water. As we know, it’s not too difficult for our deodorant to come in contact with water, especially when we apply right after showering.

3. Aluminum-based Compounds

Aluminum-based compounds are used because of their ability to block the body from sweating by blocking the pores, which sounds ideal for antiperspirants. However, this ingredient is easily absorbed by the body and accumulates overtime.

This study has linked long term use of deodorants with earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to interfering with estrogen levels, which increases the risk of cancers, and causing brain health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Fragrances/Pthalates

Chemical fragrances in deodorant products are very common and they usually come with pthalates, which help lotions penetrate the skin and fragrances last longer. Pthalates are a bit trickier than other ingredients to spot on the label, because they are usually listed as one of the following acronyms: DBP, DHP, DBP5, and DEHP.

Pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and known to cause kidney and liver cancers. While most studies I found on pthalates and their harmful effects were done on animals, I’d rather be safe than sorry and steer clear, especially when they are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA.

5. Propylene Glycol 

Propylene glycol is used to retain moisture in products, and it’s also used the auto industry in brake and hydraulic fluid. It is a form of mineral oil, which can block the pores and cause skin allergies and/or rashes. It has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.

You may be able to spot propylene glycol (also can be listed as PEG) easily on the deodorant label, because it is usually one for the first 2 ingredients on the list.


Are you surprised by the toxic chemicals that are present in our store-bought deodorants? Keep in mind that many of these ingredients are actually banned in Europe because of their harmful effects. Until our country steps up their game, I’ll gladly make my own homemade natural deodorant to avoid these cancer-causing chemicals.

If you don’t want to make your own deodorant, these are some my top favorite safer choices that actually work:

Native Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste

Honestly pHresh Magnesium Roll-On

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in DeodorantsHomemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants

Homemade Natural Deodorant
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt together shea butter and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir together.
  3. Add essential oils, if using, then pour into a glass jar and let cool. You can cool in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  4. To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a small amount and rub on your armpits until invisible. A little goes a long way!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Make Homemade Natural Deodorant + 5 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid in Your Deodorant

Spring Cleaning: 16 Natural DIY Household Cleaners

16 Natural DIY Household Cleaners

Now that we are all moved in to our new home, I’m quite excited to tackle some DIY projects for the house. Since it’s also Spring cleaning time, one of the most important and urgent next project is: making new homemade cleaning products! Even in our old home, I concocted various cleaners for the home using safe and toxin-free ingredients for our own health and the health of our dogs.

There are so many harmful and harsh chemicals and fragrances in typical store-bought cleaning products that are linked to a variety of illnesses, so I try avoid them as much as possible. Our livers are already so burdened by the types of food we eat, as well as environmental toxins, so we should all make an extra effort to give it a bit of break and love. The good news is, you can easily make so many cleaners at home that do not cause any harm but are just as effective (and so much cheaper)!

After doing a bit of research, I put together the cleanest and the most effective homemade cleaning product recipes that I love from my fellow bloggers! Hope they work for you as well as they’ve been working for me!

1. All-Purpose Surface Cleaner: Two Ways

Image via Live Simply

Both of these all-purpose cleaners use simple ingredients you probably already have at home and are so effective in cleaning the kitchen, bathroom surfaces, carpets, and some appliances. Depending on the type of surface  you’ll be cleaning, choose either the vinegar-based or the castile soap-based cleaner!

2. Disinfecting Wipes

A healthier alternative to Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, which contains a long list of toxic chemicals, these homemade disinfecting wipes use vinegar and essential oils for a safer and convenient way to clean almost anything.

3. Homemade Dusting Spray and Wood Polish

Image via Nourishing Joy

This dusting spray comes in 2 different versions (regular and simplified), and it’s so great for cleaning furniture and wood without leaving residues. I love that it works on so many different surfaces!

4.  No-Streak Window Cleaner

Image via Whole New Mom

It took me a while to find a natural glass cleaner that works as well as Windex without leaving a film or streaks, but this window cleaner really does work SO well! You can use it on everything, besides marble, and I’m always so happy and satisfied with the results.

5. Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Using a combination of simple ingredients and non-toxic liquid dish soap, these dishwashing detergent tablets are so easy and convenient to just pop into your dishwasher and let them do all the work!

6. Liquid Dish Soap

homemade liquid dish soap

This liquid dish soap is my own recipe that I’ve been using and perfecting for years now and I still love it! It cuts through grease easily and doesn’t leave a residue on the dishes like some DIY dish soaps I have tried.

7. Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever

Image via Crunchy Betty

When it comes to cleaning bathrooms, I absolutely hate doing it, and I want something powerful so I can get in and out quickly. This homemade bathroom cleaner works beautifully and I’m able to do just that with it, while still using non-toxic ingredients!

8. DIY Natural Toilet Bombs

Not only do these natural toilet bombs look pretty, they clean the toilet like nobody’s business! I also love that they make the bathroom smell so nice with the addition of essential oils. Plus, it’s such an easy way to clean the toilet!

9. Homemade Anti-Mold Spray

Seeing mold build up in your home is the WORST. Nothing grosses me out more, so I’m so happy to find a recipe that not only removes mold, but prevents it from starting! This anti-mold spray is so simple and easy to make, but the tee tree oil in it makes it a powerful but safe anti-fungal for your home.

10. Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

I have tried SO MANY homemade laundry detergent recipes in the past, and this one is my absolute favorite! It cleans my clothes just as well as the store-bought brands and makes A LOT for super cheap. I use castile soap instead of Fels Naptha soap, and love how great it works!

11. Homemade Dryer Sheet

There are so many harmful unnecessary chemicals in commercial dryer sheets so I stopped using them a long time ago. These reusable dryer sheets soften clothes and reduce static naturally with vinegar, and you can add your own scent to your clothes with addition of essential oils!

12. Natural Air Freshener with Essential Oils

Image via Hello Glow

Ever since I started making a conscious effort to avoid toxic fragrances, I actually get a headache when I walk in the store and pass the aisle with cleaners and air fresheners. This natural air freshener uses just 3 ingredients, and makes the house smell soooo wonderful with your favorite essential oils!

13. Natural Bleach Alternative

I know it’s a struggle for many people to find natural bleach that actually works. Well, look no further, because I couldn’t believe how well this natural bleach alternative took out stains from my clothes after an overnight soak! You can even use it in your washer, or as a cleaner for sinks, tubs, and toilets.

14. Grout Cleaner

Is there anything baking soda and vinegar CAN’T do? This DIY grout cleaner is so effective for cleaning all your tiled floors, and it’s perfectly safe to use. Grab an old toothbrush and get scrubbing, and you’ll have clean and sparkling tile grouts in no time!

15. Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Image via Clean Mama

Our new house has hardwood floors (which I LOVE), so I’ve been searching for a good, natural cleaner ever since moving it. This easy breezy hardwood floor cleaner recipe is so simple to make, and keeps our floors super clean and smelling nice!

16. Easy Homemade Carpet Cleaner

We don’t have carpets anymore, but our old apartment was carpeted and this easy homemade carpet cleaner was our go-to for stains and general cleaning. Especially with 2 dogs (one with skin allergies) who are laying on the carpet all the time, we didn’t want to use any toxic chemicals that they could be ingesting. This carpet cleaner worked beautifully every time for any kind of stains we had!

 

Spring clean your house with these toxin-free and natural DIY household cleaners!

Guest Post: How to Heal Hormonal Acne Naturally

Amie, from Rebelle Nutrition, is a fellow NTP and Beautycounter consultant with a passion for healing the body from the inside out. Like me, she was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time, and turned her health around with the power of real food. She started having way more energy and vitality, but her skin issues and hormonal acne took a bit more work and digging around to solve beyond simple nutrition. So here she is to tell you what steps made the biggest difference and resulted in the radiant, clear skin she has now. I hope her story and advice help you on your skin care journey!


Amie Tollefsrud - Hormonal Acne

Eating real food but still suffering from painful hormonal acne?

Here are the steps you might be missing.

So you’re eating a nutrient-dense, whole-food diet but still have annoying (and painful) adult acne. This was exactly my story a few years ago when I first made the change to a paleo-ish style way of eating. My fatigue, joint pain, and acid reflux all improved drastically, but the one thing I could not seem to get a handle on no matter what I tried, was healing my hormonal acne. It continue to pop up, month after month, no matter how “clean” I ate or how dedicated I was to my “natural” skincare routine.

After about a year of research, trial and error, and intense healing, I discovered 5 key steps towards healing hormonal acne that have worked wonders for not only myself, but dozens of my Nutritional Therapy clients who come to me with the same problem. Keep in mind, these steps are intended for those people who have already made the switch to a nutrient-dense, whole-food diet. Improving the quality of the food you eat is the first step towards healing; after which, I recommend bringing in the “big guns” aka these 5 steps:

1. Don’t guess, test!

Unfortunately, there are plenty of nutrient dense foods that can still cause a histamine response (or “sensitivity”) in our bodies. This is especially true of foods we eat on a regular (or even daily) basis. Without rotation and a wide variety of different nutrients, our bodies can create antibodies to these foods, causing a number of physical manifestations such as joint pain, eczema, migraines, or painful acne. If you are eating a paleo style diet that has removed inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, soy, sugar and other processed goods, it might be time to look into food sensitivity testing. But don’t worry, you don’t need to run out and spend hundreds on expensive testing just yet. There is an easy at home test I like to do with clients, called the “Coca’s pulse test” that measures your pulse rate in response to eating certain foods. Here’s how to do it: 

Pick 1 food that you suspect may be causing you problems (coffee, eggs, milk) make sure it is only 1 ingredient and not a combination of different things (banana bread, for example, would not be able to decipher it is the bananas, wheat, or eggs causing the reaction).

Take your pulse for one full minute, record.

Put the chosen food in your mouth and chew but do not swallow for 20 seconds.

After 20 seconds, take your pulse again for one full minute with the food still in your mouth (do not swallow). Record your findings. Spit out the food and rinse your mouth if you plan to test again.

What are your results? An increase of 6 beats per minute or more indicates a stress response from that specific food, and may mean an elimination protocol may be needed. The higher the pulse increase, the greater the response. (Want to watch a video tutorial of this? Go HERE!)

2. Heal your leaky gut

You might be wondering, but WHY is my body creating antibodies to delicious and nutrient rich foods? The answer: your gut is “leaky”. Leaky gut is the term used to describe the process of increased intestinal permeability; which means that undigested food particles are able to make their way into the bloodstream – instead of being properly digested an used as fuel. This causes the immune system to elicit an “attack”, aka a histamine response or sensitivity reaction (i.e. increased pulse rate). Leaky gut is at the root cause of nearly every health symptom imaginable, and I find that repairing the gut lining is one of the most successful ways to improve a variety of skin related conditions – specifically acne. Some of my favorite gut-healing nutrients include L-glutamine, collagen peptides, plenty of nutrient rich bone broth, and DGL

3. Change up your skincare routine

I’m willing to bet that if you have acne, you’ve already tried nearly every product on the market, am I right? As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I tried so hard to make the oil cleansing method work for me, but all it did was create a mess of my bathroom and make my skin look greasy. When I finally learned about Beautycounter, a company that aims to remove harmful toxins and chemicals from their skincare products (without compromising performance), I was sold. I now consider myself to be a bit of a Beautycounter whore; but when I first started out, there were 3 products that improved my adult acne better than ANYTHING else I’ve ever tried. Seriously.

Charcoal Bar for cleansing (morning and night)

Purifying Charcoal Mask (2-3x a week for a spa grade facial)

Balancing Face Oil for moisturizer (I know what you’re thinking, oil on acne?!? But hear me out- Beautycounter specifically formulated this oil for acne prone skin, to moisturize and balance out levels of skin sebum and actually reduce excess oil production – how cool is that?)

4. Get off the treadmill

I know, I know. This is one that my clients, nor I, wanted to accept. But the truth is, if you have hormonal acne and you continue to do intense workouts in the form of running, cross fit, cycling, or anything that elicits a stress response in the body – this is likely to be a key player in the formation of your acne.

Intense exercise leads to heightened levels of stress in the body, causing increased cortisol output and insulin production. For women especially, this can also throw off the delicate balance of progesterone to estrogen – amplifying testosterone levels and causing increased oil production, clogged pores, and – you guessed it: acne.

5. Zinc supplementation

Zinc is an amazing skin-healing mineral that most of us are deficient in, despite eating a good diet. Zinc has been shown to lower chronic levels of inflammation and prevent acne-causing bacteria on the skin to become painful and inflamed. It also helps reduce the bacteria on the surface of the skin that causes acne, reduces keratin production that leads to clogged pores, and balances hormones by keeping levels of acne-causing testosterone in check. If you aren’t getting daily sources of zinc from foods like oysters or pumpkin seeds, I recommend experimenting with zinc supplementation in the form of zinc picolinate for around 3 months or so (make sure to work with a practitioner). 

There you have it! If you are already eating a real-food diet but still struggling with hormonal acne, I hope that these 5 key steps will be as life-changing for you as they have been for the clients in my practice. 

Want more? Download my free e-book: Acne Free in 30 Days HERE

Amie Tollefsrud is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and minimalist living in Maui, HI. She recently downsized to a tiny house by the beach with her husband, where she spends her days surfing, building her online business, and figuring out how to cook real food without a kitchen. Find out more by visiting her blog, Instagram, or Facebook page.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Guest Post- How to Heal Hormonal Acne Naturally