I’m in the process of weening myself off of store-bought beauty and hygiene products. There are a lot of reasons for this; for one thing, it’s saving us a lot of money. Products are expensive, and even the cheaper alternatives like Suave or generic brands add up to quite the chunk of change over time. The natural alternatives I’m switching to tend to be much more frugal, and they tend to be things we keep around the house already.
Store-bought products also tend to violate the survival rule of only packing or storing items that have at least two or three different uses. Oh, sure, a bottle of hairspray can double as fuel for fire starting in a pinch, and as a flame thrower if you find yourself under attack by a zombie horde, but most other beauty and hygiene products are pretty much single use. Also, if TEOTWAWKI ever happens, it’s not like I’ll just be able to skip down to Walmart for new shampoo and toothpaste when I run out. Natural alternatives tend to be a little more sustainable, and by switching now, at least I’ll stand a chance of being able to keep up my beauty routine after the poo hits the fan.
One must-have item for a natural, product-free beauty routine is baking soda. This stuff has so many uses that it would behoove all preppers to keep at least a case or two in their survival pantry. In addition to many wide and varied uses in cooking, baking and cleaning, baking soda also makes a great substitute for shampoo. I’ve been cleaning my hair with the stuff for a couple of months now, and it’s never been healthier or more manageable. It also makes a terrific exfoliating facial scrub when mixed with a little water, and I think it’s fairly common knowledge that it can also be used to brush your teeth. You can even make a whitening toothpaste by mixing it with hydrogen peroxide — something I plan to start doing once our toothpaste runs out.
Apple cider vinegar is another common household staple that would come in handy in a long-term survival situation. Not only should it be kept around for its use as a home remedy for several different ailments, but also for its beauty and hygiene uses. It can be used to condition hair (it pairs great with baking soda shampoo), as a toner to help balance your skin, and to remove stains from teeth.
The other natural product replacement in my new survival beauty arsenal is olive oil. I don’t think I need to tell you all of the benefits of olive oil for health and for cooking, but you might be surprpised, as I was, to learn that olive oil makes a fantastic facial cleanser. Yes, really. I was skeptical, too, but since I’ve tried it I’ll never go back to a soap-based cleanser. My combination skin is clean and non-greasy, it has a healthy glow, and best yet, I no longer need to use moisturizer, thus eliminating my dependency on yet another product. I do add a dash of castor oil to my olive oil cleanser to help cut the greasiness in my acne-prone T-zone, and it works like a charm; and castor oil doubles as a laxative, so I’m still abiding by that “at least two uses” rule.
I’m making pretty good progress switching my beauty and hygiene routine over to an all-natural one. I still need to find an alternative for antiperspirant and deodorant, and eventually I’d like to learn how to make my own soap. Of course, I don’t know if I’ll be able to replace my makeup with natural, multi-use household alternatives, but somehow I think that if the world ends, running out of concealer and mascara will be the least of my problems… unless it means I get mistaken for a zombie. Yipe!
Do you have any natural beauty tips to share? If so, let’s hear about ’em in the comments!