DIY Conditioning Detangler

Sadly, most household and personal care products are laden with chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Um, no thanks. If this topic is of interest to you whatsoever, I encourage you to check out EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. When I plugged my commonly used household and personal care products into these resources, I was appalled by what I found. That, my friends, is when I embarked on my journey of knowing better and doing better.

As part of that process, I’ve slowly phased out toxic products and have instead embraced products made with plant-based ingredients. Hair care products will be the last category of products to go, and I’m starting with detangler. Yep, I’m a 29 year-old chick who still uses the stuff. I’ve got lots of extremely fine hair, making for an easily tangled mess. My ends also tend to get extremely dry and frizzy, making a high-quality, conditioning detangler a must in my beauty routine.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I ended up creating my own. There’s something incredibly empowering about knowing exactly which ingredients go into something that I use almost daily. Of course, I included a variety of essential oils in my DIY concoction. After engaging in some research, I decided on the following: Sandalwood to lock in moisture, Ylang Ylang to combat static and frizz, and Clary Sage to add shine. Aside from serving as effective ingredients for a conditioning detangler, these essential oils smell fan-freaking-tastic together. Possibly the best part about this project is that I was able to throw it together in less than five minutes.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 oz spray bottle
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp. fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. alcohol-free witch hazel
  • 15 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
  • 10 drops Sandalwood essential oil
  • 10 drops Clary Sage essential oil

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and shake well to combine
  • Spirtz over ends of hair just after a shower and comb through

DIY Charcoal Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

It’s no secret that have struggled with acne for the greater part of my post-pubescent life. Although it’s been well under control for several years, I was continuously on-the-go and traveling over the summer, and both of those things tend to wreak havoc on my skin. Now that life has calmed down a bit, I’m attempting to get my skin back in check.

I’m sure most of you have at least heard about activated charcoal as the latest and greatest beauty hack. For those of you who haven’t, it’s most known for whitening teeth, banishing bloat, and attacking acne. I recently received a sample of a charcoal mask and absolutely loved what it did for my skin! However, when I researched the price of the full bottle, I was less than thrilled.

In an attempt to save a few bucks and ensure that my beauty products are as non-toxic as possible, I decided to make my own. While I won’t go into detail about the toxicity of most beauty products on the market, I encourage you to check out EGW’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to learn more. Keep in mind: our skin is our biggest organ, and it absorbs everything!

The ingredients that went into this mask were carefully selected, and here’s why:

  • Bentonite Clay
    • Due to its negative electrical charge, pulls toxins (which generally have a positive electrical charge) away from the skin
    • Unclogs and shrinks pores
    • Helps regulate sebum production
    • Controls redness and inflammation related to both acne and scarring
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Contains alpha hydroxy acid that works to remove dead skin cells and reveal vibrant, healthy skin
    • Contains malic acid, which serves as a potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent that removes toxins from the skin
    • Balances skin pH, thereby balancing sebum production
  • Activated Charcoal
    • Proven to absorb thousands of times its own mass in toxins
    • Unclogs and shrinks pores
    • Helps regulate sebum production
    • Controls redness and inflammation related to both acne and scarring
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
    • Has potent cleansing properties that work to remove toxins from the skin and prevent further clogging
    • Studies have shown that it is gentler, yet more effective than benzoyl peroxide
    • Helps regulate sebum production
    • Controls redness and inflammation related to both acne and scarring

You probably noticed that the ingredients selected have similar functionalities. This makes for a potent and highly effective face mask. As such, I recommend that this mask is used no more than two times per week, as overuse may lead to dried-out skin. Further, you’ll notice that the mask will tighten over the 10 minutes in which it is left on. This is to be expected. That sensation simply means that you are experiencing the bentonite clay and activated charcoal in action! :)


What you’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup bentonite clay
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup activated charcoal powder
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 40 drops tea tree essential oil
  • An airtight, 16 oz. container

What you’ll do:

  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl; transfer to container using a rubber spatula
  • To use, apply a quarter-sized amount to the face; leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water; tone and moisturize as usual
  • Be sure to store in the refrigerator as it does not contain preservatives

DIY Garden Spray

As a city dweller, I take pride in my urban garden. Between veggies, herbs, and flowers, I’ve got containers upon containers of homegrown goodies come summertime. While most gardeners in the ‘burbs and countryside have to worry about a whole slew of insects, rodents, and even large animals such as deer, the most common pest that I’ve come across in the city is squirrels. Ugh!

I love animals of all kinds. I also love using all-natural products whenever possible. As such, store-bought and toxin-filled products just weren’t cutting it for me. I’m not in the business of hurting harmless critters or myself; I simply want them to stay away from my labors of love. After a bit of research, I’ve come up with a recipe to keep the squirrels away without harming them or poisoning my food. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. unscented Castile soap
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 16 oz. glass spray bottle

What you’ll do:

  • Add the filtered water and red pepper flakes to a small pot; bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature
  • Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer; add the liquid to the spray bottle; discard the red pepper flakes
  • Add the unscented Castile soap and peppermint essential oil to the spray bottle; top with filtered water until the bottle is full; apply the lid and give it a good shake
  • Give your plants and the soil below them a good spritz every several days, especially after rainfall

DIY Dry Shampoo

Hellooooo, ladies! If you are an avid dry shampoo user such as myself, you will love this post! I am a dry shampoo junkie. I go through cans and cans and cans. Between work, school, maintaining a social life, enjoying hobbies, and working out, whose got time for daily hair washing and styling?! Quite honestly, I should have invested stock in Batiste a looooong time ago. However, as I’m on a mission to rid my apartment of all things toxic now more than ever, I almost fainted when I realized what goes into that aerosol can.

Upon researching how to make some dry shampoo of my own, I was blown away by how simple (and cheap!) it is to make. As an added bonus, I made mine with peppermint and lavender essential oils. They not only make the final product smell wonderful, but have functional benefits as well. The tingling sensation of peppermint on my scalp is also amaaaaazing! It’s truly incredible how much more I have incorporated essential oils into my life since joining the Young Living community. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and know that I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to learn.


  • Corn starch: adds volume
  • Baking soda: cleanses
  • Peppermint essential oil: anti-itch
  • Lavender essential oil: anti-dandruff, strengthens hair, promotes hair growth

What you’ll need:

  • A 4 oz. powder shaker with lid (I purchased this one from Amazon and it is perfect for this project!)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional for brunettes: 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the shaker, apply the lid, and shake well
  • Shake the dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and use your fingers to work it into your scalp; allow to sit for roughly 5 minutes
  • Once 5 minutes has elapsed, brush the remaining dry shampoo through your hair and style as usual

DIY Rosewater

A friend, Arielle, reached out to me to see if I had any good techniques for making rosewater at home. At the time, I had no idea, but being that I love rosewater in cocktails, I was up for the challenge. I researched a variety of techniques and am sharing what I believe to be the simplest, yet most effective method. This project requires only three ingredients and takes only 15 minutes from start to finish.

Aside from being super yummy in cocktails, rosewater can be found in a number of natural beauty products due to its countless benefits for skin and hair. To learn more about these benefits and for more ideas regarding how to incorporate rosewater into your beauty regime, click here

I must note that a 4 oz. bottle of rosewater spray that I purchased several months back had a price tag of more than $10. Meanwhile, the stunning bunch of spray roses that I bought for the purpose of this project cost me only $6. Even more impressive, those roses yielded a whopping 32 oz. of product. I’ll let you do the math. Needless to say, it is completely worthwhile to make your own rosewater.

What other uses do you know of for rosewater? I’d love to hear about any and all ways of putting this beautiful elixir to use!

Note: I used spray roses because they are half the cost of regular roses, but yield the same amount of petals that a bouquet of regular roses would. Either variety will work perfectly. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch of spray roses
  • 4 cups of distilled water
  • 2 tbsp. of premium vodka to preserve freshness (optional but recommended)
  • A quart-sized mason jar

What you’ll do:

  • Remove the petals from the stems and place into a colander; rinse thoroughly
  • Add the petals and distilled water to a medium pot; simmer on low to medium heat for approximately five minutes, or until the petals have lost their vibrant color
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard the cheesecloth and petals
  • Stir in the vodka, pour into a quart-sized mason jar, and store in the fridge for up to one month