12 DIY Ideas To Save Your Money & Your Health

So its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue.  My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product.  I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”

Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
    Parabens are estrogen mimickers.”  This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones.  I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
    As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products, and in my quest to avoid chemicals, I have also been back on track of making some of my own cleaners. There are some wonderful healthy products out there, but they usually end up costing an arm and a leg, so have been quite motivated to make my own.
    My inspiration comes hugely from Pinterest on a board I’ve named “Make Your Own.”  It is starting to become one of my favorite boards, and I plan on implementing a lot of the pins that I have put on it.
    Here are a few that have caught my eye on
    {wanna follow me there? Click here.}

    6 DIY Homemade product ideas

    1. Anti-Eczema Lotion Bars.
    My youngest deals with a few patches of eczema every once in awhile.  I like to have something on hand, and I usually buy it from our local health food store.  I compared the ingredients in these bars to the product we use and love and they are super similar.  Makes me happy as the one we buy is not cheap!
    2.  Peppermint Oil Insect Repellent
    It is natural, smells good, and is green, too!
    3. Coconut Scalp Treatment Oil
    This post is by Destri at The Mother Huddle, whom I love.  She, too, is a licensed cosmetologist and knows what she is talking about when it comes to the scalp and hair.
    4. Instant Olive Oil Sugar Hand Scrub
    This one is also from The Mother Huddle.  Love that I can grab 2 ingredients in my kitchen and have soft hands within minutes.
    5.  Natural Wood Polish
    Equal parts olive oil and vinegar!  So easy.  So cheap!
    6.  Homemade Air Freshener–those store bought sprays are full of chemicals and can trigger allergies, not to mention the propellent in aerosol sprays!

    6-12 homemade cleaning products, cough syrup, gunk remover
    7.  DIY Super 40 Load Dryer Softener Sheet
    Take your favorite liquid fabric softener and soak an old hand towel or flour cloth completely with it. Wring it out and let it dry completely, then throw it in with your next load. This mega-fabric softener sheet should be good for at least 40 loads of laundry WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! (If you want to be super green, I have heard that vinegar in the rinse cycle is great for making clothes soft.)

    8.  DIY Organic Dry Shampoo
    This intrigues me.  The link has great directions on how to make it, just not how to use it.  If I make it, I will let you know what I figure out.
    9. Spring Clean Your Mattress
    Use baking soda and essential oils.
    10. Goo Gone Substitute
    Coconut oil + baking soda. Gets the sticky off!
    11.  Bathroom Air Freshener
    Put a few drops of essential oils into the toilet paper roll.
    12. DIY Cough Syrup
    Frugally Sustainable has tons of awesome “make your own” ideas.  Love that site!


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  • Mary Robinson
    December 21, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Love your blog. I am posting it on my blog

  • Mae Carkuff
    July 25, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Be careful with the “magic erasers” I have heard from more than a few people that they can lead to respiratory problems, especially in people with asthma or other breathing difficulties. Luckily, I am not one of those people, for I would surely give up cleaning altogether without them 🙂
    Also, adding about a 1/2 cup of white vinager to your washer during the rinse cycle works well as a fabric softener, although it will not help with static. As an added bonus, it does a great job of getting tough smells out of your laundry (and no, your clothes will not smell like vinager)

  • Laurie Sublime
    June 24, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Another idea for fabric softener – skip it completely! My mom never used it and I never have either. Thanks for all the great links!

  • Anonymous
    May 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Love these tips…..but please don’t use fabric softener. It’s FULL of nasty chemicals. I’ve used dryer balls for almost 2 years and love them. Occasionally get static …but only minor. Love that we don’t have chemicals coating our clothes anymore and so much cheaper. I bought the two balls for $20 and I’m still using the same ones!

  • marlece
    April 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    wow, I am a cosetologist as well, I’m in the dark and feel silly for not being aware of this. THanks for the info.

  • Julie
    April 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago via pinterest and have already found it SO useful. Love this post. Thank you!

  • lisa
    April 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    This is my first time on your site and I want to thank you for spreading the news about parabens! I have stopped using products containing this item as best as I can for several years now, and have educated my kids and clients ( I am a nail technician) on the health concerns. Thank you, thank you!

  • rkbsnana
    April 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Yay! Thanks Amy

  • reneeb
    April 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I love this post. I have been trying to switch over to using far fewer chemicals. I tested positive for BRCA1 and it has really made me think about everything we put in and on our bodies. I want my children to be aware also.

  • mama faith
    April 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Very interesting. As a cancer survivor too (Leukemia) I am always looking to see what they are finding out about this type of thing.

    I did a post yesterday on a natural cleaner that I use that does great on all the white I have in my house. I will have to check out some of these that you posted. Thanks for the info!

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