Virgin Coconut Oil Body LotionĀ 

It’s circa 2.30 am now my side of the world, and I just made my first batch of natural body lotion. Since I was having insomnia again I decided I might as well do something – so I went to the kitchen and took out the half cup of organic virgin coconut oil that I had put in the refrigerator earlier, and started whisking away using my hand mixer. Apparently that was one way to make natural body lotion with just one ingredient – the coconut oil – so I had to try it out. 

It was quite a bit of work because of the solid state of the oil after refrigeration, but after some huffing and puffing I ended up with two mini jars of rich, luxurious, fragrant creamy coconut paste.  I think it qualifies more as body butter than lotion, considering its thickness. No thanks to the tropical climate in my country, though, the result of my hard work soon started showing signs of melting, returning to its original liquid form. Virgin coconut oil melts at temperatures over 24 degrees Celcius, and the average room temperature in Penang is 30 degrees. 

So I placed the two jars in my refrigerator, and will find out later in the morning what whipped coconut oil looks like in a solid form. Nevertheless, I hope it works as a rich luxuriant body butter as I am eager to replace my existing conventional body lotion from the Body Shop, which contains paraben among other synthetic chemicals. 


Thrive, Not Survive: My Journey towards Nature

I wonder how people saw to their survival in the ancient age, without the modern trappings we have today. So many things have been created for convenience, but do we think enough about how sustainable it is to keep using disposable this and that, and buying products that are not only laden with chemicals but also come in non-biodegradable packaging that we simply throw away?

Many of us tend to see it as a way to save time and reduce hassle – after all, life in the digital age is fast-paced and competitive – so why bother reusing old things when we can easily replace them with new ones?

Yet I suspect one of the reasons why stress is such a big part of modern life – is because everytime we create waste and consume synthetic substances, deep down we know that we are putting our health, the environment and our future generations at risk – therefore our conscience gnaws at us, leading to subconscious negative energy and stress.

Maybe this is why I find it so therapeutic to go back to basics whenever I can. I have always enjoyed collecting old bottles and this year I finally did something about my long-held interest to experiment with DIY natural products. My journey began sometime mid-March, with some baking soda, extra virgin coconut oil, organic rice bran oil (I bought it because I wanted a healthy cooking oil with a high smoking point, the amazing benefits it has for my skin and hair were sheer serendipity!) organic castile soap, kaolin clay, and essential oils.

I started by making my own toothpaste and body wash, and to date the list of commercial products that I have replaced with my DIY natural alternatives are:

1. Toothpaste
2. Body wash
3. Facial toner
4. Facial moisturiser (though the replacement won’t really count as DIY, because I simply started using organic rice bran oil on my face!)
5.Makeup remover (also doesn’t qualify as DIY for reason similar to the one above)
6. Hair conditioner
7. Clothes detergent
8. Dish washing liquid

Next on my list should be my shampoo, though I am currently using a store-bought organic one.

So far it has been fun and rewarding. I love being able to reuse old bottles to store my homemade products. The organic apple cider vinegar works great as a toner, and the rice bran oil is the best moisturiser I have ever had. These two cost a lot less than the commercial skincare products I used to buy, so I look forward to the long-term savings. And it feels great washing my dishes, knowing that there will not be toxic chemical residues from the wash! Same goes for my laundry. And no more fluoride in my toothpaste!

This journey to go back to nature has convinced me that things and decisions made in the name of speed and convenience, more often than not, help us to merely survive, but not thrive.

I won’t be able to give up on all conventionally mass produced daily products. But one thing for sure: my quest for all things natural and organic will be a lifelong progress.