Home Apothecary

crunch·y [kruhn-chee] adjective, crunch·i·er, crunch·i·est.

  • Crunchy granola: health-conscious and environmentally aware (“One of those crunchy gals who insists on making her own cosmetics.”)

It’s getting mighty crunchy around here. Why? Take a gander at this list of ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. Making your own cosmetics is not only better for you, it’s simple and cost-effective. Win, win, win.



You know how antiperspirants are aluminum-laden and store-bought deodorant just leaves you smelling like fruity B.O.? Try this. So simple, and it works.

Original recipe from Riddlelove.

  • 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8 drops tea tree oil
  • 20-24 drops essential oil of choice (I used lavender)

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over very low heat. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and arrowroot powder. Let cool for a few minutes, then stir in tea tree oil and essential oils. Pour mixture into empty, clean deodorant containers or a glass jars (apply with fingertips if using jar). Store in the fridge if your house is warmer than 75 degrees. Recipe makes a double-batch.



Admittedly, I am not crazy about all-natural toothpaste. It doesn’t leave your mouth minty-fresh. However, your teeth do feel clean, so there’s that. And you’re not filling mouth with sugar, dyes, fluoride, sulfates, etc., and that’s what we really care about, right? (I have to remind myself daily so I don’t reach for the Crest.)

Original recipe from Crunchy Betty

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. baking soda
  • 3-4 tsp. stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  • 20-25 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Store in a small, lidded container.


Green Tea Face Wash

I love, love, love this face wash. It’s luxurious and invigorating. I look forward to using it every morning.

  • 3/4 c. green tea (steeped in distilled water)
  • 2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. witch hazel
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. liquid castile soap
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp. vitamin E (or 1200 IU)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Store in a clean bottle.


Ylang Ylang Hairspray

It does not get any simpler than this.

  • 1/2 c. filtered water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vodka
  • 5 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Bring water to a boil, remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Cool for a few minutes, then stir in vodka and essential oil. Cool completely, then transfer to sprayer bottle. (To preserve, will add 5 drops rosemary essential oil next time.)



There are a lot of techniques for making rosewater. This is a simple one. If you have a bush full of roses in your yard (as I do), then making rosewater is practically free! Just be sure your roses are pesticide-free.

Rinse any bugs or debris from rose petals and place in a pot. Pour in enough filtered water to cover. Bring water to steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat and let petals steep until they lose their color and become somewhat translucent (about 30 minutes). Pour through a sieve into sterilized jars, squeezing excess water from petals. Store in the fridge.


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19 thoughts on “Home Apothecary

  1. Next question: I saw a recipe for probiotic deodorant on your pinboards. Do you think you could just add probiotics to any homemade deodorant?

    We use a tooth powder consisting of sea salt, baking soda, and peppermint e.o. Adeline, surprisingly, doesn’t mind using it, and I like it better than what I was using before, which was nothing on my toothbrush. Jake told me it is disgusting, but later apologized, saying it’s just hard to get used to that salty taste when you’re used to sweet mintyness.

    Win win win. Throwing in an Office reference: always a win!

    • honestly, i don’t know why one would really need probiotics in one’s deodorant when the recipe above works on its own (besides, probiotics are expensive). But if you want to add them, it’d probably work–you just have to get shelf-stable probiotics instead of the refrigerated variety.

      no way i could get used to using nothing on my toothbrush! i really am getting used to the coconut oil one though. i feel better knowing that coconut oil is the raddest thing out there (along with tea tree oil). i know it will be an uphill battle getting my boys to switch to my homemade concoctions.

      “and i, to you, in addition, feel the same feelings that you are as well.”

  2. Pingback: Home Apothecary II « Coffee & Corduroy

  3. do you think I could use psyllium husk powder instd of arrowroot powder in the deoderant? I happen to have some lol

    • gosh, i don’t know anything about psyllium husk powder! arrowroot powder is a starch (like cornstarch), which i suppose is used to absorb moisture.

  4. Pingback: Home Apothecary V | Coffee & Corduroy

    • it takes off eyeshadow, but i’m not sure about eyeliner or mascara because i don’t wear them! my best guess would be yes, since the facewash contains regular castile soap.

    • i’m not sure! i’ve kept this facewash in the shower for many weeks without it showing any signs of going “bad.” if you are worried about it, you can add vitamin e oil and/or rosemary essential oil or refrigerate to extend the shelf life!

  5. I followed the recipe for the face wash exactly but it’s super thin. Like a straight up water consistency. Does it thicken up over time, or did I do something wrong?

    • Gosh, mine has never been runny before! You could increase the amount of xanthan gum, which will thicken it. Did you use a blender? The blender definitely makes a difference in the consistency.

  6. How long does the rosewater keep? I’ve always made it like tea, just steeped the petals in the jar and then picked them out, and its always molded on me within a week or two. Does boiling it fix that? Or does it go bad quickly?

    • I’m not sure of the shelf-life for homemade rosewater, but I refrigerated mine and it kept much longer than 2 weeks (never any signs of mold). Be sure to use clean rose petals and distilled water, for starters. Boiling probably helps, though I’m not sure how much–spoilage is usually due to the lack of preservatives.

    • My facewash is light-colored and frothy when I first make it, but in time it loses the froth and gets darker in color. The texture and color can vary quite a bit from batch to batch, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you don’t like the facewash or it doesn’t get the job done, you might want to toy with the recipe a bit—or come up with your own!

  7. Pingback: DIY Face Wash | Simple, Minimal and Blissful

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