Zero Waste Financial Freedom: TOILETRIES

The other day I took you through some DIY cleaning supplies recipes, their cost breakdowns, and your potential savings if you switch from generic cleaning supplies.  

You can also reap savings by making some of your own cosmetics and toiletries, with the added benefit of knowing exactly what's going into them (no mystery un-pronounce-able ingredients, thank you very much!).  I've made quite a few of my own cosmetics over the last few months, and today I'll take you through the recipes, costs, and savings of my homemade body butter, lip balm, and deodorant.  (If you're looking for my homemade face moisturizer recipe, it's right here!)

BODY BUTTER

THE RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter

Fill a pot with a few inches of water, and place over medium heat.  Place a glass or metal bowl inside the pot, resting on the rim.  Place all ingredients in the bowl.  Heat until all ingredients are melted.  Once melted, place the bowl in the refrigerator until completely cooled and solid.  Then, with an electric mixer, beat the ingredients for 5-10 minutes until they have the consistency of whipped cream.  Transfer to a glass jar or container.   

THE COST BREAKDOWN

  • 2 oz almond oil at $0.71 per oz is $1.42
  • 2 oz coconut oil at $0.49 per oz is $0.98
  • 2 oz shea butter at $0.89 per oz is $1.78
  • 2 oz cocoa butter at $0.94 per oz is $1.88
  • Total cost of ingredients is $6.06
  • The total quantity of the above is 8 oz, with a price per ounce of $0.76
  • The average price per oz of the top 5 body butters on Amazon is $1.75
  • 8 oz of body butter from Amazon costs, on average $14.00

The takeaway: you save about $7.94 when you make 8 oz of body butter versus buying the same amount of body butter from Amazon.  You also keep potentially harmful ingredients off your skin and out of your blood stream.

LIP BALM

THE RECIPE

  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated beeswax or beeswax pellets
  • A few drops of peppermint essential oil 

Fill a pot with a few inches of water, and place over medium heat.  Place a glass or metal bowl inside the pot, resting on the rim.  Place the coconut oil and beeswax in the bowl and stir occasionally until both are fully melted.  Add your essential oil and mix well.  Carefully transfer the mixture to your containers (I used two individually sized jam jars).  Do this quickly, as the mixture will start to cool and harden with in a few seconds. 

THE COST BREAKDOWN

  • 1.5 oz beeswax at $1.39 per oz is $2.09
  • 2.5 oz coconut oil at $0.49 per oz is $1.23
  • 0.01 oz peppermint essential oil at $4.10 per oz is $0.04
  • Total cost of ingredients is $3.35
  • The total quantity of the above is 4.01 oz, with a price per ounce of $0.84
  • The price per oz of Burt's Bees lip balm is $14.98 (four .15 oz tubes costs $8.99 on Amazon)
  • 4.01 oz of Burt's Bees lip balm costs $60.07!!!

The takeaway: you save $56.72 when you make 4.01 oz of lip balm versus buying the same amount of Burt's Bees.  I didn't believe my own math at first, but this is legit savings!!!  Check out my worksheet if you don't believe me.  (All ingredients prices are averages of the top Amazon sellers of each product, broken down into price per oz.)

DEODORANT

THE RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • Essential oils 

Combine equal parts coconut oil and arrowroot powder (I used about a quarter cup of each).  Add the essential oils of your choice (I used tea tree, lavender, and peppermint).

THE COST BREAKDOWN

  • 2.0 oz arrowroot powder at $0.95 per oz is $1.90
  • 2.0 oz coconut oil at $0.45 per oz is $0..98
  • 0.01 oz peppermint essential oil at $4.10 per oz is $0.04
  • 0.01 oz tea tree essential oil at $3.02 per oz is $0.03
  • 0.01 oz lavender essential oil at $3.65 per oz is $0.04
  • The total cost of ingredients is $2.95
  • The total quantity of the above is 4.02 oz, with a price per ounce of $0.73
  • The price per oz of Tom's of Maine deodorant is $1.72
  • 4.02 oz of Tom's of Maine deodorant costs $6.91

The takeaway: you save $3.96 when you make 4.02 oz of deodorant versus buying the same amount of Tom's of Maine deodorant.  


Stay tuned for a post coming soon about the chemicals in cosmetics and their potentially harmful side effects, some tools for spotting them, and some brands dedicated to providing safe products.  In the mean time, have fun trying these DIYs and saving loads of dough!