WHY MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
Many mainstream products contain a cocktail of chemicals that are harmful to babies and children, as well as us. They are also bad for the environment, creating pollution in the water, soil and air, and affect wildlife.
Making your own cleaning and skin care products is great for your family’s health, the environment and it can also save you money. It will also reduce unnecessary waste and plastic packaging, reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals and enhance wellbeing.
The following are just a handful of things you can make with simple ingredients you can find in your kitchen cupboard or local shops.
You can make your own all purpose cleaning spray just by using white vinegar, water and lemon peels.
Vinegar is a perfect cleaner, as it contains acetic acid – a natural disinfectant. Plus it’s safe to eat! It will remove grime, kill bacteria and leave most surfaces sparkling (avoid use on stone and granite).
To add a fresh scent and additional oomph, infuse the vinegar with lemon peels (save the peels from your cooking) for a week or two. Find the full instructions here.
Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda has a multitude of uses around the home. From cleaning sinks to freshening up carpets, it helps to neutralize odours and acts as a gentle abrasive when made into a paste. And yes, it is also used in cakes! Bicarbonate of soda is a fantastic natural alternative for many cleaning tasks.
Natural air freshener
Despite their name, mainstream air fresheners actually pollute your home and release a number of toxic chemicals that can disrupt hormones, cause headaches and have been linked to cancer.
Create a simple natural air freshener spray with water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil (Note essential oils are not recommended for use with babies under 3 months). Use an old spray bottle, shake well before use and spray in the air when needed. If you can, try to ventilate the room, opening windows on a daily basis to let in fresh air.
Coconut oil and Sunflower oil have been shown to be beneficial for baby’s skin as a natural massage oil.
Baby massage oil
Try using 100% virgin organic coconut oil for your next baby massage. Alternatively, for additional soothing properties, infuse dried calendula flowers in organic sunflower oil for up to 3 weeks, to create a gentle, affordable massage and moisturizing oil. Note the NHS advises to wait until babies are older than 1 month before using massage oils.
Baby bath time is a perfect time to slow down, relax and play. For a calming, soothing experience, try making an oat bath for bub. Grind oats to a fine powder and mix with the water until a milky white. Alternatively, put a handful of oats in an old sock or piece of muslin, tie off the top with string and pop in the bath, and squeeze gently in the water to release the oat milk. Oat baths can help soothe dry and itchy skin and can help alleviate symptoms of eczema and is super gentle for babies and adults alike.
The ingredients may be a bit more difficult to source, but knowing what’s in your moisturiser and being able to make it yourself is worth the effort. Try this natural hand and body salve to nurture and replenish your skin.
We’ve also got some lovely recipes for making your own cleansers, scrubs and hair products.