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All-Natural Personal Care

There's good news when it comes to natural alternatives for personal care: With a few supplies and a little creativity, you can make your own personal care products. The possibilities are endless!

Supplies include:

  • Glass or plastic spray bottles (available online or previously used, emptied, and cleaned well)
  • Mason jars in all sizes (if using plastic tops, have a grease pencil on hand to label)
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Glycerin
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Herbs such as nettles, birch, comfrey, lavender
  • Essential oils such as lavender, plumeria, tea tree, lemongrass
  • Rhassoul clay

Suggested sources for supplies:

  • Amazon
  • SoapGoods offers an abundance of personal care supplies
  • Mountain Rose Herbs has a wide selection of herbs, oils, rhassoul clay, and more
  • Vitacost offers an excellent variety of products, with one low shipping price for any size order
  • Check your area for organic buying clubs such as Frontier Natural Products Co-op
  • Whole Foods and other health food stores carry organic apple cider vinegar, essential oils, and herbs




  1. Rhassoul clay is known historically to cleanse the hair and body. The clay binds with toxins, oils, and dirt and washes them away. Rhassoul clay is best used as a paste. Apply paste to wet hair, comb through, and rinse. Comb through again. Follow with a vinegar rinse.

    Rhassoul clay can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs. For other specific ideas on incorporating rhassoul clay into your hair and skin routine, see this website.

  2. Soap nuts may be purchased and decocted to form a liquid soap suitable for shampoo. NaturOli is one source for purchasing soap nuts. To decoct, place a heaping handful of soap nuts in 4 c. water. Bring to boil and simmer for one hour. Place in mason jar or plastic bottle. Shake well before using. Store in refrigerator. Replace once a week.

  3. Basic shampoo:
    • 10 oz. water or herbal water *
    • 1-2 oz. liquid castile soap
    • 1 tsp. glycerin
    • 20-35 drops essential oil (tea tree oil can be effective for itchy scalp)

    If using plain water, place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to blend. Shampoo as usual.

    * To make herbal water:

    Choose an herb such as birch, nettles, comfrey, or lavender. Place a handful of herbs in a mason jar. Cover with 2-4 cups boiling water. Cover and let steep for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain.

    Add 3-6 drops grapefruit seed extract to preserve for several weeks, or store in refrigerator.

The key to soft, clean hair is to restore the hair to its normal pH of approximately 5.6 after washing. This can be done by exfoliating with coffee grounds, using Queen of Hungary Water (see below) or plain raw apple cider vinegar as a rinse. Lemon juice can also be used. If using rhassoul clay, nothing else may be needed.

For more information on natural alternatives for hair, including conditioners and chemical-free coloring options, visit our section on Hair Care.


Skin Care:

The key to healthy, vibrant skin is a healthy diet full of nutritious whole foods and essential fatty acids. (EFAs are of particular importance when eczema and hair loss are involved.)

To treat the skin externally, three steps are required: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. As with our hair, it is important to restore our skin to its natural pH of approximately 5.6 after cleansing.


  1. Decocted soap nuts (see above). Best stored in refrigerator. Replace weekly.

  2. Cleansing water. Mix 1/2 tsp. liquid castile soap with 1 c. water in a mason jar. Shake before using. Stores indefinitely.

  3. Gentled soap:
    • 1 oz. grated castile bar soap
    • 3/4 c. distilled water
    • 1/4 tsp. honey
    • 1/2 tsp. glycerin
    • 5-10 drops essential oil such as rosemary or lavender

    For dry skin, add 2 tsp. avocado oil.

    Place castile soap in water overnight to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Dab with washcloth and wash as usual. Rinse with warm water.


  1. Witch hazel extract. This can be made by infusing witch hazel leaves (see above directions for herbal water).

  2. Raw apple cider vinegar is an excellent toner.

  3. Herbal astringent formula. Combine 1 c. herbal water (see above) with 2 tbsp. glycerin (or less) and 1/3 tsp. grapefruit seed extract. Shake and apply. Can be stored safely for several weeks or refrigerated longer.

  4. Queen of Hungary Water. This is a more elaborate toner, easy to make and full of medicinal qualities. This recipe is adapted from the book Better Basics for the Home:
    • 6 small handfuls lemon balm
    • 5 small handfuls calendula flowers
    • 4 small handfuls rose petals
    • 3 small handfuls comfrey
    • 1 small handful rosemary, lemon peel, and sage

    Place herbs in a gallon glass jar. (You can halve this recipe for a 1/2 gallon jar.) Cover the herbs completely in raw organic apple cider vinegar. Screw on lid tightly. Let sit for 4-6 weeks. Shake the jar several times a week.

    Strain the mixture. Combine remaining liquid with equal parts witch hazel extract. Rose water may also be used.

    Dab on face and massage into skin. Queen of Hungary Water also makes an excellent rinse for hair. Can be stored indefinitely.


  1. Homemade cream kefir mixed with lavender makes an excellent moisturizer. Kefir, as with any soured milk product, is loaded with lactic acid, which is one of the alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs stimulate collagen production, which makes the skin more elastic and appear more youthful.

    Cream kefir can be made by blending 1/4 c. homemade kefir and 2 c. raw or store-bought cream (avoid ultra-pasteurized). Allow to ferment for 24-48 hours, stirring several times. To learn more about kefir, see our articles on the Health Benefits of Kefir and How to Make Dairy Kefir.

  2. Basic moisturizer. Combine 1/2 c. aloe vera gel with 1/8 c. glycerin. Stir to blend. Dampen face and massage onto skin. Stores for several months.

  3. Flora De Mayo Cream (from the book Better Basics for the Home):
    • 1/2 c. aloe vera gel
    • 1/8 c. glycerin
    • 1/2-1 tsp. royal jelly
    • 1 tsp. plumeria flower essence (can use lavender essential oil)

    Combine in bowl, stir vigorously to blend. Dab on fingers and massage into face. Keeps for 6 months refrigerated.



  1. Baking soda is an excellent odor neutralizer. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda onto a damp washcloth and pat on the body. Make a baking soda spray by blending 3 tsp. baking soda with 1 c. water in a spray bottle. Add 3-5 drops tea tree oil for added protection.

  2. Queen of Hungary Water (see above) can be applied with a cotton ball or spray bottle.

For recipes including a probiotic deodorant and a deodorant cream using zinc oxide, see this website.


Tooth Care:

There are a myriad of ways to clean our teeth. Baking soda, coconut oil, bentonite clay, and peelu are a few of the ingredients used in natural toothpaste.

Author Stephanie Tourles offers this simple recipe in her book Organic Body Care Recipes:

  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, finely ground
  • 1 drop peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, clove, or cinnamon bark essential oil
  • A few drops tap water

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix them thoroughly with a toothbrush, your finger, or a small spoon until a smooth, thick paste forms. The paste shouldn't be too runny; it has to stay on your toothbrush. Dip your toothbrush into the paste and use as you would regular commercial toothpaste.


Lip Balm:

Lip balm is simple to make with a double boiler or fondue maker. A standard recipe uses carrier oil and beeswax.


Hand Lotion:

  1. One simple option is high-quality coconut oil, applied daily.

  2. Anhydrous lanolin is another excellent natural option.

  3. Rich Lotion for Chapped Hands (from the book Better Basics for the Home):
    • 2.5 oz. apricot kernel oil and avocado oil (equal amounts mixed together)
    • 1.5 oz. shea butter
    • 1/4 oz. beeswax
    • 4 oz. rose water
    • 1 tbsp. glycerin (if buying rose water, it already has glycerin)
    • 1/2 tsp. grapefruit seed extract
    • 20 drops lavender essential oil or oil of choice

    Combine oils, shea butter, and beeswax and melt in fondue maker or double boiler. Add remaining ingredients and mix until creamy. Keeps for 6 months.


Transitioning to all-natural personal care products is a process. Allow yourself to make changes slowly. As you try one recipe, or choose a healthier product, you’ll enjoy a new sense of empowerment. You may just find a new glow on your skin and shine in your hair!


Below: momsAWARE founder and president, Andrea Fabry, talks about all-natural
personal care products and demonstrates a few of the recipes outlined above.


"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

This site is dedicated to a true friend and mother — Barbara Dell Kessel (1929-2009)