The Adventures of DIY Scrubs, Toothpaste, and Hair Woes

Hey, it’s been a while. How are you? How are things? Anyway, since my last post I figured I’d try out a couple of more diy things to replace the products I have in the shower/under the bathroom sink/wherever else I can stash stuff (I have a very tiny apartment). So far I’ve tried the coffee scrub (in hopes to replace my coconut scrub that I really don’t want to give up), toothpaste, and more hair experiments. I purchased a big bottle of liquid castile soap because I seem to be allergic to most liquid soaps but I’m stubborn and I want to get through the last bottle of body wash before I venture into making soaps. A little torture in the name of laziness isn’t that bad…is it?

Anyway, onto the first thing: Body scrubs!

So a few years ago I tried making a sugar scrub out of brown sugar and olive oil. I must say I was very, very happy with how it felt, even if it did make the shower a little slick and my mother suspicious. The problem was brown sugar and olive oil are both staples in my kitchen and I didn’t want to store another mysterious tub of stuff under the sink. I’ve read that used coffee grinds are really good for the skin; nice and abrasive for exfoliating, helps with cellulite, and the potential for some sort of colour to get onto my pasty white legs. There is a fair amount of coffee made in my household, at least a pot every other day, so I had plenty of grinds that were otherwise tossed that I could scoop from the press.

Now, for the past year or so, I’ve been using the coconut body scrub from The Body Shop and I really like it. All gritty and smooth at the same time! The coffee grinds had some competition. I scooped about 1/4 cup of grinds from the press and smoothed them over my damp legs. They are VERY abrasive so I didn’t have to be all that rough. I found that the 1/4 cup was more than enough for my legs and arms; I was a speckled mess before washing everything off. I didn’t get the silky, moisturized feeling like I do with the store-bought scrub BUT my skin was definitely smooth. I think next time I’ll try adding a little coconut oil to the grinds for the moisture oomph. I think the grinds are a great alternative for someone looking for an intense exfoliating scrub, plus they’re practically free so that’s an added bonus. I definitely recommend clearing everything from the bottom of your shower first before you rinse off as I was finding coffee grinds for a couple of days tucked in the corners. Messy, yes, but worth it. Onto the next one!

Toothpaste. This one scared me to try. If there are any dental hygienists in the crowd, please let me know if what I did is terrible for my teeth and I will never do it ever again. There are many, many recipes for DIY toothpaste out there, most of which involve mixing peroxide with baking soda. That may work for small doses, but the chemical reaction would end up making a mess and become useless for a larger batch so I opted for a simple recipe of baking soda and enough water to make a paste (I used maybe 2 tbsp of baking soda). My theory is that baking soda is abrasive (goodbye, plaque) and a deodorizer (see-ya bad breath) so a straight baking soda paste would work just fine. After I would brush with the paste and rinse a few dozen times (baking soda is an acquired taste) I would swish a very small amount of peroxide to kill off any bacteria and neutralize any baking soda left behind. The taste was disgusting, the texture was worse. My teeth were so smooth, though, so I wanted to do it again but I just…I couldn’t. Maybe there is a better recipe out there (maybe I should add some peppermint extract next time?) but until I use up what’s left of my paste I don’t want to tackle another one. Not a total fail, just not a pleasant substitute.

And now: my continuing hair experiments. I’ve been searching the web for people with similar issues to what I’m having with my no-poo experience. I have this gross buildup that just. Won’t. Die. I’ve tried baking soda and apple cider vinegar, only vinegar, only baking soda, baking soda and lemon juice, only lemon juice, eggs (whole), and coconut oil. I’ve seen multiple suggestions to purchase a boar bristle brush and I would gladly throw that money down if it wasn’t more than my monthly vehicle payment. So far I’ve found the egg works the best, when it doesn’t leave tiny bits of scrambled whites in my hair even though I’ll take a cold shower, that is. The problem with the eggs, other than risking omelette hair, is I find that my hair is clean, shiny, and bouncy for all of a day and then back to weighed-down and gummed-up. Most days my hair doesn’t look terrible but I know it’s heavy. I know it left weird gunk in my brush this morning (which is apparently called sebum). Maybe my hair just really goes into sebum production overkill and the only thing I can do about it is spray on more diluted lemon juice. Maybe my concentration of lemon juice isn’t strong enough. Maybe I haven’t stumbled onto a weird mysterious cure for it yet.

Have you done a version of coffee body scrubs, toothpaste, or discovered the answer to my hair issue? Let me know, I’d love to alter my techniques to get the best results possible!

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