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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

A Non-Toxic Approach to Body Care and Household Cleaning

Nov 26, 2015 02:05PM ● By Marlaina Donato

Those concerned about what is being absorbed into their skin when applying lotion or cosmetics or forced to choose between toxic chemical-laden household cleaners and expensive “green” alternatives will be happy to learn that essential oils can get the job done just as well without the downside. Creating our own personal care products and home maintenance solutions doesn’t require a lot of time and can even be fun. 

With this in mind, we can take our cue from the experts. “As more people become aware of the power essential oils possess, they too, can live a chemical-free life that will offer better living without the harmful effects of fragrance-based products,” says Michael J. Lausterer, master essential oil therapist of Basic Earth Essentials. “Essential oils work inside and outside the body to help facilitate the body’s natural healing response.” Lausterer’s best example is lavender essential oil; its antimicrobial properties are ideal for first-aid care and cleaning laundry, yet it can multitask as a reliable insect repellant and stress reliever. For the household and body care, Lausterer also recommends tea tree and peppermint essential oils.

Aside from investing in our health, the best part of do-it-yourself recipes is the opportunity to create custom products based on personal preferences and needs. There are many essential oils that are inexpensive, aromatically delightful and tough on germs. Others create skin-nourishing elixirs and mood-enhancing perfumes to fit personal style.

“Our skin is our largest organ, and what we put on it goes into our body,” says Jen Frey, a medical assistant, bodyworker and doTERRA wellness advocate. Frey’s favorite pampering recipe is a body cream she whips up at home with coconut oil and essential oils like patchouli. She also makes her own bathroom cleaners, including a foaming toilet scrub using baking soda, essential oils and vinegar. “Reducing the chemical load and improving air quality in the home is a very cheap and effective way to improve your family’s health,” adds Frey, recommending cassia essential oil for its cinnamon-like fragrance.

Here are some recipes to get started on creating effective, pleasant cleaners and body care essentials:

Jen Frey’s Luxurious Body Cream

2 cups extra virgin coconut oil

20 drops patchouli

30 drops Whisper (doTERRA blend) or lavender

Whip all ingredients in a mixer and store in a container.


Michael J. Lausterer’s All-Purpose Household Cleaner

1 gallon warm water

½ cup white vinegar

15-25 drops essential oil (tea tree, pine or citrus)

Combine ingredients and use as needed.


Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

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