July 27, 2017

Our guest blogger Debbie Cope is the founder of Purity Fragrances, an Auckland-based company producing a range of New Zealand-made, all-natural, essential oil-based eau de toilette sprays that are ethanol and synthetic-fragrance free. Debbie is sharing her top tips for removing harmful chemicals by opting for natural alternatives.

I started making my own fragrances, moisturisers and cleaning products after developing an interest in aromatherapy, inspired by the book Like Chocolate for Women. When I stopped using commercial cleaners I noticed that our familys health improved. Gradually I moved towards using all natural products, many of which I make myself. Here are a few of my recipes.

Household cleaning products

You don’t need chemicals to clean your home – natural products do a great job, and I find they are a pleasure to clean with.

Dishwasher powder: Use washing soda or Soda Ash, add one tbsp per load along with a few drops of pure peppermint essential ois. White vinegar makes a great rinse aid.

Laundry powder: Mix a cup of baking soda with a cup of washing soda, 60mls of castile liquid soap and 15 drops of your choice of pure essential oils. Blend in a food processor. Use 1.5 tbsp per wash. Put a few drops of pure essential oils in the final rinse or rinse compartment of your washing machine.

Air freshener: Fill a spray bottle with water, then add a tsp of vodka and eucalyptus essential oil, lavender and pine. Or alternatively just mix peppermint essential oil and water if you don’t have vodka.

Glass cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with a mix of white vinegar, water and two drops of any pure essential oil you like – sweet orange is good. You can omit the water for a heavy-duty spray.

Multi-purpose cleaning paste:  Combine ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of cream of tartar with 1 tsp of castile liquid soap and pure peppermint or rose geranium essential oil. Add water to mix. Or just sprinkle baking soda and vinegar and one or two drops of essential oils on the surface to be cleaned and rub – it will fizz!

Personal products

Your skin is your largest organ and what you put on it goes into your bloodstream. Lots of women have told me they feel unwell when they use commercial cosmetics and fragrances, so here are some alternatives.

Eye make up remover: Calendula oil on a water dampened cotton pad is great, and soothes the eyes.

Make up remover: Use any cold pressed oil coconut oil is good, as is sweet almond oil. Softly massage it into your face, then fill a basin with warm water and one drop of pure lavender essential oil. Submerge a soft face cloth, then wring out and hold over your face inhaling the relaxing aroma. Rinse and repeat several times until all make up is removed.

Facial moisturisers: Again, cold-pressed oils are good, go for organic if you can find an affordable brand. Play around with your own blends until you find something you love. Good oils to try are rosehip oil, sweet almond, jojoba oil, Evening Primrose oil, avocado oil and peach kernel oil. Keep the darker coloured oils to a minimum and blend with a lighter oil. A drop of rose, rose geranium or lavender pure essential oil can be a lovely addition.

Deodorants: There are lots of lovely natural brands available now. I love New Zealand brand Its All Good which is a little pot of coconut oil, Shea butter, baking soda and essential oils which you rub on. It works well for me, even after exercising, and it's soothing to the underarm area.

Body moisturiser: Use a bottle of cold pressed oil. Find a small stainless steel or glass pump bottle, add two drops of your favourite essential oil and keep it in the shower. Turn shower off and while still wet, rub one or two pumps of oil over your body. Then pat your skin gently with a towel. This is a lovely nurturing ritual it only takes a few minutes and your skin stays soft all day.

When making your own products to use at home, always use only pure essential oils and patch test essential oils blended with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil etc, on your skin before you use it. Good organic stores should stock pure essential oils or you can buy them online at lotusoils. 

For bottles and aluminium pumps, try Arthur Holmes

My favourite castille liquid soap is Dr Bronners a little goes a very long way. Dilute it with water and use as a body water or bath soak. 

Also, I would really encourage you to find your local organic store and spend some time wandering. There is a great selection of natural NZ and international brands available if you are not wanting to make your own. Your wellbeing will thank you for it.

All the best, go well. I wish you health, happiness and pleasure.

Find out more about Purity Fragrances at www.purityfragrances.co.nz