Doing for Self with Personal Care Products
by Ella Muhammad
Doing for self with personal care products became a personal mission for me due to a severe skin condition called eczema. Eczema is a condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted or hardened. Skin is the largest organ of the body and it was the biggest problem for me to come to grips with.
My skin is very sensitive as most Black people’s skin is and all of the products on the market were not helping my condition.
All of the products, including dish washing liquid, washing powder for clothes, household cleaning agents and makeup, had chemicals in the products that irritated my skin. So I started to make my own products to avoid and eliminate as many harmful chemicals as possible. Taking care of yourself means making healthy choices. Making my own natural personal care products was not only economical, but it also gave me control on what entered my body through my skin. My products are made to suit my own skin care needs.
My products have no artificial ingredients, so the mystery of what is being put on my skin and absorbed into my own body is solved. It makes me feel good to have control over another part of my life.
Making my own products from scratch gives me a good feeling and peace of mind. To know chemicals with unpronounceable names are not in my products (products I might be allergic to) means not only healthy skin but a healthy outlook to the world.
Some simple recipes for your skin care can provide a healthy alternative and carry a low price tag. None of the ingredients should contain animal by-products. My grandmother who was from the South used to make all of our personal care products from scratch with most items or ingredients coming from the garden, including rosemary and sage for hair rinse, deodorant and toothpaste. Speaking of deodorant, the website Natural News published an article dated Jan. 18, 2012 that discussed a link between breast cancer and paraben. Parabens are chemicals used in products to inexpensively extend shelf life and improve product stability. The article said a study conducted on 40 women found parabens in their bodies when they were diagnosed with breast cancer. When shopping for personal care products and food, be sure to read all ingredients labels carefully to avoid unnecessary exposure to parabens and other cancer causing chemicals. Listed below is a simple recipe for deodorant. We can be our own Bath and Body Place.
Simple Basic Deodorant
2 tbsp of witch hazel extract
2 tbsp of baking soda
2 drops of grapefruit seed extract
1 drop of tea tree essential oil (optional)
1 or 2 oz. containers
Hint: When making your own products, make small batches at first. Your products will have a short shelf life without the use of preservatives.
Ell Muhamad is an independent contractor and occupational therapist. She is also a reiki master/teacher practitioner. Please consult the appropriate professional to make sure ingredients are good for your individual skin care needs.