Farely Strange - Homemade Toiletries

Farely Strange - Homemade Toiletries

Naturally fragrance-free and chemical-free haircare, skincare, and cosmetics made with simple kitchen ingredients.

After having a severe, negative reaction to one of my medical treatments, my sense of smell has been so heightened that the slightest whiff of perfume, cologne, fragrance, air freshener, or essential oils can send me spiraling into weeks'-long migraines. A few take-charge actions have helped me gain some control over this debilitating condition.

Firstly, my Mr. Wonderful and I changed out all of our household cleaning and cosmetic products to only include fragrance-free or unscented products (even those with "masking fragrance" were removed). It is imperative that our City-Ranch and Beach-Ranch be safe-havens for me where I can escape the scented outside world. I will write y'all about these household cleaners some other day when the mood strikes. Pinky swear.

Secondly, I shared what little information I have about this condition with my closest friends and family. What a relief! Everyone has been extremely accommodating. My mother no longer uses scented toiletries on days when she knows we will be together. My sister and brother keep bottles of my preferred fragrance-free hand soap (I use Seventh Generation Free & Clear) underneath their kitchen sinks for when I pop by for a visit. My girlfriends abstain from perfuming theirselves before we go out on the town. My clients (I am a Realtor in my real life) have also been wonderful, and they look out for me, asking me to wear my surgical-like filter mask if they sense that a property has potpourri or the dreaded plug-ins. Now that the people I am with are in-the-know, I don't feel embarrassed when I have to quickly escape a scented room or store or if I ask that we not hug each other today (it can take a week to remove someone else's perfume from my hair even after the briefest of embraces).

Probably the most significant change was brought about by the migraine-free and low-FODMAP diets in a modified conjunction. By restricting my food intake, I have reduced my GI pains and bloating, which has in-turn reduced my scent sensitivity (perhaps due to lowering my general inflammation). Lately, I have been on a campaign to further reduce the number of chemicals I'm putting on my body in an experiment to see if that, too, helps with some of scent and migraine issues. Yes, that step might make me sound strange to some of you (ahem, Dr. Klaff) or maybe you think I've gone all hippie? But, hey don't judge until you see what I'm up to with my homemade, fragrance-free, chemical-free, kitchen-made toiletries. I will keep a running post, so check back here for some kitchy updates.

This Balm's the Bomb Lip Balm

This balm is so amazingly soft. I use it every night just before going to bed to keep my lips from becoming dry while sleeping. In the morning, after getting ready for the day, I add some balm to my lips as a primer for my lipstick or lip gloss.

  • 3 grams beeswax (I use Hilltop Gardens Pure Beeswax available at my local Whole Foods)
  • 8 grams shea butter
  1. Bring a small pot of water to boil on stovetop at high heat.
  2. Place beeswax and shea butter into large glass jar; cover tightly with metal lid. Place jar into boiling water; keep jar upright (I prop metal spoons between the pot handle to rest on the jar lid). Allow wax and butter to melt (it will take several minutes).
  3. Once melted, turn off burner; using tongs, remove jar from pot. Using pot holders or thick kitchen towel, carefully unscrew jar lid. Pour melted contents into clean, small container with lid. Allow balm to harden (this will take only a few minutes) before affixing lid to small jar.
  4. When ready to use balm, take cotton swab (I use Q-tips; other brands tend to break with pressure) and with pressure, swirl one end around hardened balm. Apply to lips. Do not double-dip; that's disgusting.
  • Both beeswax and shea butter have their own, unique scents. I am not bothered by them when they are in their pure form. When they have been overly processed or have lingered on a shelf next to other scented products and absorbed those odors, then I do have trouble. Try them out for yourself and see what you think. Raw shea butter in a package is much more strongly scented than when it has been melted and combined with wax, in my experience.
  • It makes me feel pampered to use the small jars from room service honey and jams. You know, the miniature ones that only fit enough sweet stuff to cover one side of a bagel?
  • Store at room temperature.
Complete Facial in One Oil

This facial oil does it all: make-up remover, cleanser, moisturizer. Kinda like the shampoo-and-condition in one bottle fad of the '80's...but for your face. It doesn't get more simple than this. I know it sounds weird to clean off oil with oil, but it works in some kind of fancy shmancy chemistry way. Remember Ponds Cold Cream: basically, it was mineral oil that removed purple eye shadow, fuchsia lipstick, and Tammy Faye Bakker mascara. Even dermatologists are on-board with the oil cleansing method.

  • Grapeseed oil
  1. Into a small clean, lidded container, add grapeseed oil. Tighten lid.
  2. When ready to use, simply pour a little oil onto your clean fingertips. Gently massage in a circular, upward motion all around face, neck, and eyes. If you have worn make-up, be sure to rub fairly vigorously and use cotton eye pads or cotton balls to remove eye make-up with oil.
  3. Take a clean wash cloth, run it under warm water, and gently wipe over face, neck, and eyes. Be gentle around the eyes.
  4. Done. Simple, right?
  • I use grapeseed oil because it is unscented, light, gentle, and fairly low on the comedogenic ratings index of pore-clogging factors. Pore-clogging is exactly why I do not use coconut oil on my skin, at all.
  • Be very careful to not double-dip into the oil. Use clean hands or cotton pads/balls only. You do not want to spread bacteria into your oil bottle. This is why I only pour about 1 Tbsp of oil into my bottle at a time and then wash it thoroughly before adding more oil. I try to resupply my oil once a week.
  • I'm not saying no one needs a dermatologist-approved facial cleanser (hint: teens, you might need acne wash; been there, done that). I'm just saying for me, this method works. I had been using Neutrogena Ultra-Gentle Hydrating Cleanser which is fragrance-free.
  • Those little bottles of alcohol found in hotel mini-bars and aboard your favorite aircraft are the perfect size for a week's worth of facial oil.
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