I love learning how to make things myself. From Kombucha to soap to preserves to deodorant. There's so many reasons to make things yourself- it's empowering, fun, cheaper, better quality, a shareable skill and, perhaps best of all, safer.So many products and processed foods have hidden toxins in them. Preservatives, binding agents, emulsifiers, fragrances, colouring agents, and the cheapest form of ingredients.
Some of the worst offenders are cosmetic products- according to Environmental Defence, the average Canadian has used 15 products that has exposed them to 100 toxins before breakfast. ONE HUNDRED TOXINS BEFORE BREAKFAST!! Check out their information on the most common toxins here, from hormone-disrupting phthalates to carcinogenic sodium lauryl sulfates. The Environmental Working Group has a great on-line resource called Skin Deep where you can find out the rating from safe to toxic of your favourite products, click here to try it out.
What's one of the easiest products to make yourself- hair gel. All you need is a pot, water and some flaxseeds!
Here's how you do it: 1. Boil 1 cup of water. 2. Add 2 tablespoons of whole flax seed and reduce heat to low. 3. Simmer to reduce water to desired gel-like consistency, about 7 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or a strainer to remove seeds. 4. Optional: You can now stir in some essential oils for scent and add some aloe vera gel from a houseplant or the healthfood store if you want extra moisture. If you're adding aloe, add roughly 1/4 of the amount of total gel that you were left with after straining. 5. Store in the fridge and use within 1 week.
We've tested this gel and it's great. It's not crunchy or flaky. It's gentle enough for daily use and leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. It's a soft hold, good for separating waves or curls, or just for shaping.
If you would like the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association to require products to list a full disclosure of ingredients and to remove the Top Ten Toxic ingredients, add your name to Environmental Defence's petition here.