3 Easy DIY Recipes For A Bone-Healthy Mouthwash, Hand Sanitizer, And Hair Styling Product

Avoiding toxins is an important aspect of bone health, and that includes the toxic chemicals often found in store-bought personal care products. The solution is to make your own, and in today’s post, I share three of my favorite personal care product recipes.

You’ll learn how easy it is to make (from scratch!) a refreshing mouthwash, a fragrant hand sanitizer, and an effective leave-in hair gel and conditioner.

I really enjoy DIY projects, especially when they are simple to make, contain easy-to-find ingredients, and protect bones.

Let’s begin with …

Mouthwash

Like toothpaste, many store-bought versions of mouthwash typically contain fluoride, which is very toxic to bones. Fluoride is also added to tap water, and even some bottled water. Copious research has connected fluoride ingestion to an increased risk of hip fractures and many other health problems. In fact, fluoride follows the same absorption pathway as magnesium, so it’s readily absorbed into bone.

But that’s not all. A startling British study found that a chemical in certain mouthwashes – chlorhexidine – is linked to high blood pressure and heart attack.1

This DIY mouthwash contains no harmful ingredients and has a refreshing flavor.

Minty Bone-Healthy Mouthwash

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure water, preferably distilled
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a glass bottle or jar and shake well to combine. You can keep this mouthwash handy on the bathroom sink; no refrigeration is necessary.

Variation: Antibacterial Mouthwash

To make a mouthwash that has antibacterial and antifungal properties, try the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2-3 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3-4 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is absolutely everywhere it seems. But that does not mean it’s healthy or effective. In fact, the opposite is true. Despite increased use in cold and flu season, colds and flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and hand sanitizer does not kill viruses.

Most hand sanitizers contain a chemical called triclosan, a liver toxin that has been shown to cause cancer in mice.2 A functional liver is absolutely crucial to your bone health. Not only is it a primary detoxification organ, but it also is responsible for the synthesis of nutrients and compounds that your bones need for mineralization.

Triclosan is also an endocrine disruptor and harms the immune system. That’s the last thing you need when trying to stay healthy!

DIY Hand Sanitizer

This sanitizer doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals, and it has a moisturizing effect.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 drops essential oil – some good ones to try are basil (antiviral), clove (antiviral and antifungal), peppermint (antibacterial), or orange (also antibacterial)3
  • 25 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel extract (you can also use vodka that’s 80 proof or above)
  • 8 ounces pure aloe vera gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil

Directions:

In a small glass container, swirl the essential oils and Vitamin E. Swirl in the witch hazel and aloe vera gel, and store at room temperature – it should last several months. Shake before use.

Hair Products

Hair products can contain a lot of toxic chemicals, such as those typically found in styling gels.

Styling gel gets its ability to hold from polymers, which are synthetic, vinyl-based substances like Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). It’s startling that this chemical is still in use – as far back as 1986, research showed that lethal liver granulomas formed on the rat livers when PVP was administered regularly.4

Liver health is so critically important to bone health that you’ll want to avoid any exposure to PVP.

Another styling gel ingredient is Carbomer, used to thicken the product and give it its gel-like characteristic. When used in artificial tears, Carbomer gel formulations have shown marked toxic effects in vitro.5 This is especially worrisome given the proximity of hair product to the eyes.

Other ingredients found in a typical hair gel include Disodium EDTA, Bensophenone-4, Fragrance, Aminomethylpropanol, Oleth-20, Dazolidinyl urea, and Dazolidinyl iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

I prefer the simple, easy-to-spell ingredients in the DIY hair product below, and I’m sure you will too!

Bone-Healthy Multi-Purpose Hair Gel

This recipe makes a healthy, pleasant-smelling product that can be used as leave-in conditioner, styling gel, frizz-tamer, and more.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin* (use ½ teaspoon for a stronger hold)
  • ½ cup hot water, preferably distilled
  • 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil (personally, I like lavender or bergamot)

*If you want to avoid animal products, you can substitute agar-agar, a natural, algae-based gelling agent.

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the hot water and the gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved. Refrigerate until the liquid is set, about 3.5 hours. Once it is firm, stir in your essential oil and transfer to whatever container you will keep it in (a squeeze-type bottle works well). Refrigerate.

To use, work about ¼ teaspoon of the mixture through damp or dry hair. Use more if you have long hair.

Isn’t It Empowering To Know About These Easy DIY Products?

Save Our Bones is all about knowledge – such as knowing what foods are best for bones and knowing where toxins are “hiding” and how to avoid them. You need to know what to do to build your bones and keep them healthy. But it’s also crucial to know what could harm your bones so you can steer clear.

Unfortunately, complete avoidance of toxins is impossible in our modern world. It makes sense to choose bone-healthy alternatives whenever possible, so DIY recipes like today’s are certainly a step in the right direction.

It also makes a whole lot of sense to cleanse your system periodically to remove any residual toxins that inevitably accumulate in your body.

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Do you have a bone-healthy, natural recipe for personal care products you’d like to share? Feel free to post it in the comments below.

Till next time,

References

1 Ahluwalia A, Haydar MA S, Kapil Vikas, Lundberg JO, Pearl V, and Weitzberg E. Physiological role for nitrate-reducing oral bacteria in blood pressure control. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2014.

2 Mei-Fei Yueh, et al. “The commonly used antimicrobial additive triclosan is a liver tumor promoter.” PNAS, November 17, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1419119111. Web.

3 Pattnaik, S., Subramanyam, V.R., Kole, C. “Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” Microbios. 1996; 86(349): 237-46. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526

4 Van den Bogert, C., et al. “The effect of doxycycine on polyvinylpyrrolidone-induced granuloma formation in the rat liver.” Virchows Arch B Cell Pathol Incl Mol Pathol. 1986; 51(1): 39-50. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2871661

5 Diebold, Yolanda PhD, et al. “Carbomer-Versus Cellulose-Based Artificial-Tear Formulations: Morphologic and Toxicologic Effects on a Corneal Cell Line.” The Journal of Cornea and External Disease. July 1998. Vol 17, issue 4. Web. http://journals.lww.com/corneajrnl/Abstract/1998/07000/Carbomer__Versus_Cellulose_Based_Artificial_Tear.15.aspx

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15 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Marlyn Pruder June 4, 2016, 5:56 am

    DEAR VIVIAN

  2. Connie Kucharski September 30, 2015, 9:05 am

    Do you have a non-toxic recipe for hair spray? I need something to hold my hair style in place. I do use a non-toxic hair gel that consists of cooked and strained flax seeds. Thank you. I really enjoy your emails. Connie Kucharski

  3. Susan Rose August 17, 2015, 5:29 pm

    Tea Tree Essential oil shows clearly on the label in the several stores I checked that it is not for consumption and in fact showed concern about it contacting any mucus areas. It was listed as topical use only. How can you put that in mouthwash with that kind of warning?
    Please advise. Thank you.

  4. Grace June 11, 2015, 1:31 am

    Great out to will try immediately

  5. Susanne June 9, 2015, 8:36 pm

    Hey Vivian

    These recipies are just great. I just have one quistion. I am allergic til tea tree oil, most essential oils actually, is there anything else I can add instead of tea tree oil ?

    Best wishes
    Susanne

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 10, 2015, 2:23 pm

      Hi Susanne,
      You can use grapefruit seed extract instead if tea tree irritates your skin. 🙂 GSE is also a potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

      • Susanne June 14, 2015, 9:01 pm

        Thank you so much Vivian

        • Susanne June 15, 2015, 8:36 am

          Hi again
          It just cought my attention that you also are using tea tree oli in mouthwash, can I use Grapeseed oil in there instead too?

          Best wishes
          Susanne 🙂

  6. Teresa ochoa June 9, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Thank for the recipes. But in this modern world, it is hard to find all this free time to prepare all free chemical, care products. Besides, plástic, containers, mostly usted for storage are not recommended.
    For styling hair, and keep curls, natural y we used, plain, beer, in Venezuela. And avocado with coco nutrientes oil, for conditioner. That is how I gres up with.

  7. shula June 8, 2015, 5:50 pm

    THANKS

  8. Rochelle June 8, 2015, 9:19 am

    As for commercial nontoxic products, Ava Anderson Nontoxic has an amazing line of personal care and home care products. The hair care line is amazing. And they now have toothpaste.

    avaandersonnontoxic.com

  9. QcCity June 8, 2015, 7:23 am

    Good recipes. Yet one must beware of plastic containers for long term storage (several months) of fatty products, here the essential oils.

    • Mary March 31, 2016, 9:20 am

      You’re correct about plastic. It’s always best to store your homemade products, particularly those using essential oils, in dark glass containers to keep them fresh and effective.

  10. L.D. June 8, 2015, 6:12 am

    Great stuff!!! Thanks Vivian, I’m passing them along to some friends. We need all the help we can get…

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 8, 2015, 9:25 am

      By all means, share with your friends! 🙂

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