Top 5 for Beauty and Hygiene

Beauty/Hygiene, Buy, Recipes, Self-love / Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Mari’s soap, local DIY

I’m so excited to have started hosting events with Sustainable Living Tokyo (SLT). In February, we hosted SLT’s second meetup about BEAUTY and DIY. We talked about how to move towards more sustainable choices.

That day, I met 12 inspiring girls. It was really nice to see such a diverse group of strong, intelligent and driven women from 10 different countries – all passionate about making the world better in their own way.

Cici gave a great presentation and we made two DIY recipes, a body butter and a lotion. We talked about products and it got me thinking about all of the switches I’ve made. Since I started this journey to a more mindful lifestyle five years, I have tried a lot of different products and DIY recipes.

These are the ones that I use regularly, and they are awesome!

My Top 5 DIY Discoveries for Beauty and Hygiene

5. Apple cider vinegar

4. Bentonite clay

3. DIY deodorant

2. Mari’s soap

1. Shea butter

Quick Overview of Each

Here is a quick overview of uses and the pros and cons that I’ve found of each. I also have instagram posts about them if you’d like to read more (links below).

#5 Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

It balances pH and has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal benefits.

Why I love it (+)

  • Internal use – improves skin and gut health.

How to: About 1 tbsp of ACV in warm water, or the recipe from Dr. Mona in my Instagram post in the link above or watch her YouTube video here.

  • External use – diluted as a toner for acne treatment.

How to: Apply to face using a makeup remover pad

  • Large glass bottle (946 ml)
  • the BRAGG’S brand I have is natural, organic, unfiltered

Things to consider (-)

  • Comes wrapped in so much bubble wrap from iHerb
  • Shipped from the US

#4 Bentonite clay

I absolutely swear by the stuff. Great internally and externally. I love how it doesn’t dry out my skin, but draws out the impurities and leave it feeling softer, cleaner and tighter.

Why I love it (+)

  • Internal use – great detox (I drink it for an upset stomach, or after an oily meal), improves gut health.

How to: Mix about 1 tsp of powder in warm water, let sit for 5 minutes. Then, drink the water leaving the stuff at the bottom.

  • External use – as a clarifying mask, or as an ingredient in DIY recipes like this simple toothpaste by Jean.

How to: I make it for “internal use” (drink or pour out), then apply the clay left over on the bottom to my face. Let sit for 10-20 mins until dry. Then, use a warm wet cloth to remove. There is another simple bentonite clay mask recipe I got from Polly, one of my fav instagrammer’s. I wrote about it here.

  • abundant and natural occurring mineral
  • traditional remedy, in it’s pure form (no processing)
  • can be zero waste (got mine in bulk at a market in Tunisia)
  • can be used in other DIY recipes, like toothpaste

Things to consider (-)

  • not local (have seen it in France, and Northern Africa)

#3 DIY deodorant

This has been the best DIY replacement I’ve made so far. It’s so simple that I really regret not doing it sooner. This recipe is made with only 5 ingredients, and because we can handpick our ingredients, we can make a better quality product for less money.

Why I love it (+)

  • made with pure natural, organic ingredients with are healthier and better for the environment
  • bulk ingredients
  • can easily create your own recipe
  • cruelty-free ingredients

Things to consider (-)

  • the adjustment period for your body, not as strong as chemical-based alternatives
  • made with ingredients that aren’t local
  • ingredients sold in plastic packages

#2 Mari’s soap

I’ve been bragging about this soap a lot lately, but seriously, it’s so good. I like it more than other natural soaps I’ve used, mostly because it gets really sudsy and I can use it for all kinds of things. I use it on my body and extra sensitive face, as well as for washing my dog, Jack. I also use it to hand-wash my delicate laundry. You can also use it for dishes, and to wash your hair.

Why I love it (+)

  • multi-purpose
  • made with just a few organic fairly/sustainably sourced ingredients
  • no plastic packaging (I get it wrapped in a minimal amount of paper instead)
  • bulk ingredients
  • made in Japan

Things to consider (-)

  • not locally sourced ingredients
  • must have shipped from Gifu Note: (+/-) some varieties are made with palm oil, however it’s “Palm Done Right” habitat friendly palm oil.

#1 Shea butter

If I had to choose one product to take with me to a desert island, this would be it! I have tried all kinds of organic and natural products, and oils over the years, and this is the BEST hands down! It doesn’t seem to clog my pores on my face like coconut, olive and jojoba oil did. I literally feel like my skin looks younger and more supple, and I haven’t had chapped cracked hands since I started using it exclusively two winters ago.

Why I love it (+)

  • one pure unrefined product, no fillers
  • large size container (lasts me about a year)
  • ALAFFIA Fair for Life Fair Trade, vegan, handcrafted shea butter is available through iherb (free shipping over around ¥4,500)
  • good all over your body (lips and face included)
  • can be used as an ingredient in numerous DIY products, like my deodorant by Polly, the body butter by Wildly Organic we made at the meetup (email me if you’d like the time-saving simplified directions the attendees of our Feb meetup got). Tip: if it’s too thick for you, just mix it in your hands with a little jojoba or other pure oil and apply it directly to your body that way.

Things to consider (-)

  • not locally sourced (shipped from Africa –> US –> Japan)
  • plastic container
  • the unscented one smells a bit like charcoal (the passionfruit extract one smells great though)

I hope this is helpful to those looking to be more mindful.

All-in-all, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. It wasn’t easy to let go of the mainstream popular products and find ones that I liked just as much. Now, I have more natural, sustainable options, and have minimized the number products I use.

Picking up items locally when traveling to different areas of the world is a great tip, however, not always an option. I love using these items, but am always looking for more sustainable local alternatives.

If you know of something better, please comment below. I’d love to upgrade, and let the rest of the Mindful Community know, too.

This year, we’ll be growing our communities in efforts to share valuable information with each other, and get local businesses to realize there are a bunch of us out here that would love to support them if they make better decisions.

If you’d like to find out more or support the cause, please read about Mindful Michi here or follow me on instagram.

And for Sustainable Living Tokyo, check out our instagram here. We can’t wait for this month’s SLT “Let’s Grow Together!” Zero Waste Hanami Celebration. Hope to see you there!


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