I’ve been wanting to create a few posts about some of the natural remedies and alternatives floating around. Some of these methods are extremely popular and even touted as THEBESTTHINGEVAR by some users.
But once you start digging, it starts to get sketchy. Sure, these items involve organic products or they’re mixed up in a cozy kitchen, or that other crunchy lady said it worked. But… These alternatives…
Do they actually work?
Are they safe?
Do they make a lick of sense?
I love natural options as much as the next hippie, but far too often, the answer to these questions is a big ‘ol nope. Snake venom is natural, but I’m not gonna brush my teeth with it, ya know?
Instead of rewriting what other exceptional writers have already written, I’ve decided to do a link round up post. This also proves I’m not just being contrary and that many others have come to similar conclusions as myself. I’m not crazy.
I preemptively apologize for the bubbles I’m about to pop.
#1 No Poo
I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard of the No Poo method. If you haven’t, the quick overview would be… Use baking soda to clean your hair and then follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse. There are variations, but these two ingredients and steps are the most common. Here are a few great reads about why this method isn’t the greatest and how it can actually really damage your hair.
#2 Mixing Vinegar & Baking Soda
This combo runs amuck all over Facebook and Pinterest. If you read the links above about the No Poo method, you likely already see the issue. Vinegar is used to neutralize and balance the baking soda. Sooo… What good is a neutralized cleaner? Turns out this mixture reacts to create nothing more than salt water. The end results achieved can actually be attributed to the combo of water and elbow grease and not those fizzy bubbles you see. (Those videos of people effortlessly wiping away years of burnt on oven gunk? Dark magic. Lies.)
#3 Coconut Oil as an Emergency Moisturizer or Facial Oil
This one is hard for me. I love coconut oil and use it for so many things. (see my Two Ingredient DIY Everything Butter) But the facts are facts, and coconut oil is just not meant for some uses or users. For some skin types, it can be *extremely* drying and is also a well-known comedogenic oil… meaning it has the potential to seriously clog pores. I regularly hear from friends or see social media posts along the lines of “I use coconut oil every day, and my skin is so dry!” We’ve been living a lie, people!
#4 Lemon/Lime Juice on Skin
This isn’t one I see as often as the others, but it’s quite significant. Lemon juice is often recommended to lighten skin or as a liquid for facial scrubs. Turns out it actually can have the opposite effect and can be pretty dangerous. Skin darkening, uneven patches, dry skin, second degree burns… Um, no thanks.
#5 Homemade Detergent
Am I stepping on any toes yet? This is one I haven’t used personally, but I did have a close friend use homemade detergent for an extended period. (years!) Being the receiver of many a hand-me-down from her (and being incredibly grateful for them!) I did notice a significant difference in the fabrics. The materials felt unusually heavy and filmy…I’m assuming this is a soap build up? Homemade detergent also massacred her cloth diaper stash
Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest, but it’s also pretty darn disappointing. We aim for “better” with our natural, home made with love, money saving, DIY products only to find out they’re bogus?
But when we know better, we do better! And the whole point of searching out natural alternatives is to find something that actually works and is safe for us, right?
Just keep swimming.
What are your honest experiences with these natural methods?
Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to replace these alternatives?