Why You Should Start Making Your Own Personal Care and Cleaning Products Now

I am on a wellness journey and part of that involves making my own personal care and cleaning products. It has been an easy switch to using safe, non-toxic cleaning products and I feel good about the changes that I’ve implemented in my household. My personal care product adventure has not been nearly as smooth and I am learning a lot as I go. Of course, that means I want to share my lessons with you! However, I realized that while I did let my readers know that I’m making my own products, I didn’t go into a lot of detail about why I’m doing it (you can get some hints from my recent nail polish post). So, while I will share my “cheat sheet” soon, I decided that I need to provide some background first.

If you can’t wait to get started, here are some natural product recipes you might find useful:

homemade personal care products
Why Should You Make Your Own Personal Care and Cleaning Products?

If you haven’t already, check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) database, Skin Deep, and see how the products that you currently use rate on their toxicity scale. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to sell products to consumers that contain harmful chemicals and toxins, including known carcinogens, but unfortunately they are.

The Environment Working Group exists to product human health and to help consumers limit their exposure to chemicals. These harmful products also damage the environment, endanger wildlife, and threaten the health of our pets. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or wouldn’t eat it, why are you putting it all over your skin, which absorbs much of what you apply to it, or allowing it into your home to “clean” surfaces?

Here is a list of ingredients that you should definitely avoid (seriously, go read your product labels):

  • DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine) are linked to liver and kidney cancers
  • Phthalates and parabens are linked to breast cancer
  • Fragrance can mean essentially anything but usually means synthetic, cancer-causing materials
  • Imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin are not only linked to cancer, but also to allergies, chest pain, chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, ear infections, headaches, joint pain, loss of sleep, and asthma
  • Quaternium-15 is linked to allergic reactions and dermatitis. It also slowly releases small amounts of formaldehyde, which can cause cancer
  • Isopropyl alcohol can destroy intestional flora (making you more susceptible to, you guessed it, cancer), cause headaches, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma
  • PEG (polyethylene glycol) strips the protective oils off your skin and hair, making them more susceptible to toxins
  • Propylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze and can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. Stick deodorants have a higher concentration of it than is allowed for most industrial use and workers wear protective gear when handling it. However, it’s present in many brands of toothpaste, which, of course, go directly into our mouths
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which, when combined with other chemicals, can form nitrosamines, a deadly class of carcinogen. They also cause eye damage, depression, and diarrhea
  • Triclosan, is in a cancer-causing chemical class and can result in paralysis, suppression of the immune system, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems
  • Talc is linked to both ovarian and testicular cancers
  • Petrolatum prevents the skin from breathing and excreting and contains two well-known carcinogens: benzo-a-pyrene and benzo-b-fluroanthene
  • BHA, BHT, and dibutyl phtalate are suspected endocrine disrupters and may cause cancer
  • P-phenylenediamine hair dyes and “CI” followed by five digits have the potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain
  • Siloxanes are suspected endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxicants
  • Aluminum is very common in deodorant and has been associated with many health issues, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney problems, and bone disorders

Homemade productsWhat are you using to clean your pet? What about to clean your children?ย 

What products are you currently using? How does the EWG rate them?

Disclosure: if you buy any of these products from me, or do any of your amazon.com shopping through my store, my sweet boxer, B, will get some treat money. He thanks you in advance for supporting his cookie addiction and I thank you for supporting my blog.


30 thoughts on “Why You Should Start Making Your Own Personal Care and Cleaning Products Now

      1. Lol. I know. I’m onto making my own toothpaste . I mix bentonite clay, hydrogen peroxide(food grade but be careful with this), bicarbonate of soda, star anise, frankincense and spearmint essential oils. Voila

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My recipe is much simpler, but doesn’t taste the best. At least it’s safe (and it does work!). Taste is the least of my concerns, but I won’t say that my husband doesn’t complain about that, too. Maybe I will be more creative and try your recipe!


    1. Hey Daryl yes I’ve tried the exact one you made. I moved over to using apple cider vinegar and distilled water as a toner. Stings a little and smells a little – but thr benefits are great and the smell quickly disappears.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I am in the process of doing the same thing, so I am going to be going home and reading my product labels and soon switching over most things. I have already started making my own cleaner for cost and to avoid headaches after using the toxic cleaners. Thanks for the insight!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once you know something, you can’t “unknow” it. As soon as I realized what I was putting on my body, I couldn’t continue to do it. Even some “all natural” products can’t be trusted!

      I’m glad to hear that you’re making the switch ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I love making my own personal care products. I’ve found it is not only a great way to save money, but it is the only products that seem to work on my skin. This is a great piece to post. Thank you for doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I remember looking at my anti-wrinkle cream and deciding I’d rather have the opportunity to get old and wrinkled rather than rub chemical compounds all over my face. It’s all about perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this. I’ve been making my own cleaning spray for a long while. I haven’t fully transitioned yet, but working towards that. I stopped buying commercial skin and hair products and make my own body and hair butter. I also make my own room fragrance. When I’m not making my own products, I source not only ethical ones, I look for ones that are made of natural or organic ingredients even if they are on the expensive side. 100% pure essential oils are a staple in my home as a disinfectant for sinks, washing clothes to a diffuser. Above all, it makes me proud to know that what I am putting on my skin or using in my home is made by me. I have a long way to go, but it’s a journey. Keep up the good work and together we can keep sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have a long way to go, too, because there is a lot of trial and error to find what works for you. Many of my usual “staples” are converted to products that I make, which is great, and I am only adding to that list.

      Do you blog about your “all natural” efforts? If so, I will definitely check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey there thabks for responding. Yes I do blog about my natural products – I think I have at least 2 blogs on them. I hope to do a lot more as my tagline is life, style, wealth and wellness – although I seem to blog more about life. I’ve certainly got some great blogs to check out from all these wonderful comments.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello and thanks for asking. I use either vodka or witch hazel as a base liquid and I like to use geranium and/or pataouli – but the chooses are endless based on your preference of fragrance. I just invested in buying a starter pack of essential oils rather than buying them individually. I hope this helps dear.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. On your list of toxic chemicals is Propyline Glycol. It used to be in Kool-Aid until some activists (including me) got them to remove it. The story went like this…
    You loved it as a kid; you trust it as a mother; the antidote is on your anti-freeze bottle in the garage.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Such a meaningful post. Listing all those dangerous ingredients shows just how many chemicals we freely expose our bodies to. I’ll bet quite a few people (at the very least) will think twice and consider alternative options. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think in a lot of cases, it’s unknown. I’m not sure that the average person considers something like, say, baby shampoo and even fathoms that it would be toxic. I’m trying to show that people need to think critically about their choices – but I know that I’m preaching to the choir ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been doing some research on my own, as my husband and I are preparing to move into our first home together in about a month. I have bookmarked this and plan to reference it often.

    For personal care, I discovered LUSH Handmade Cosmetics back in December thanks to a wonderful friend. Every ingredient is natural, not tested on animals, eco-conscious, and I’ve seen a huge difference in my skin since then. I’m encouraging everyone I know to try them out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad to hear that you’re making these important changes. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Personally, I don’t care for LUSH products. Most of them are pink (or other artificial colours), contain fragrance (which is a blanket statement that can mean literally anything – and it’s not anything good), and the EWG doesn’t rate them very highly.

      When I started this journey, I fully intended to buy products, just not the ones I was using. I tried to find a brand I could trust, which proved to be futile. Unfortunately once companies get commercialized and become successful, they start selling out and adding a bunch of crap into their products. Since I couldn’t find a brand with ingredients that I found acceptable, I started to make my own stuff. If I’m not willing to eat it, then I don’t put it on my skin.

      I’m a crazy hippie though ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely not a company I trust or rely on, but I know a lot of people do since it’s advertised as “natural” and “homemade” (neither of those terms are regulated).


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