The most difficult thing in my transition to natural products was finding all the ingredients for recipes. I mean, where does one find bees wax for goodness sake?In order to make your transition easier, I thought it would be helpful to create a resource of the products
In order to make your transition easier, I thought it would be helpful to create a resource of the products I personally use and recommend, as well as a guide of where to find them.
Where to find INGREDIENTS
Since I buy all my ingredients locally, this shopping guide is targeted to South African consumers. However, if you are not South African, I recommend looking on Amazon. I’ve found everything there, but it’s not cost effective for me to buy from them when there are local options.
You can buy directly from many of the brands themselves but it’s easier to buy everything from one place; so I buy most of my ingredients online from Faithful to Nature. I prefer to find new products on Faithful to Nature because they have a strict ingredient policy which determines what they sell, and their online shop provides the ingredient list for every product! If I already know a brand/ product, then I am happy to buy from either Dischem or Wellness Warehouse when Faithful to Nature is out of stock.
products that I personally use & recommend
Please note: You can support my blog by purchasing from Faithful to Nature within 24 hours of clicking the links on this page. It’s at no extra cost to you. I make a small commission which I use to keep the Natural Nerd website running. If you purchase through my links – Thank you, I sincerely appreciate your support. And to express my gratitude, you will also get a R75 discount when you spend R350 or more online at Wellness Warehouse. You can redeem your discount here.
|Coconut Oil||Castile Liquid|
|Shea Butter||Arrowroot powder|
|Raw Honey||Aloe Vera Gel|
|Acai Berry Powder||Glycerine|
|Vitamin E Oil|
Looking for something I haven’t mentioned? Please feel free to ask me in the comments section of a recipe post, or via my social media channels. I will be glad to help where I can.
Which essential oils should you use?
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the volatile liquids of the plant. They are obtained from properly distilling any part of the part including the seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, fruit, flowers or branches.
How can you determine their quality?
Essential oils can be perfume, food or therapeutic grade. The best quality and most pure are therapeutic grade oils, and therefore they are also the most expensive. Perfume or food grade essential oils are diluted & may contain other synthetic substances. When buying, you should be skeptical when reading the word “pure” on a label, as South Africa does not have very strict labeling policies. You should also read the product packaging carefully to determine whether the ingredient listed is the scientific or botanical name of the essential oil. For example, if a product’s ingredient list just reads “Lavender oil” then it’s more likely that this essential oil is not 100% pure, as opposed to a product that reads “Lavandula angustifolia” or “Lavandula officinale” which is most likely pure.
Soil and Burgess & Finch:
These are by far the best quality in my opinion, yet the most expensive brand of essential oils. Soil offers certified organic essential oils. These therapeutic grade oils are more ‘concentrated’ and pure than other brands, and therefore more effective. If you can afford it, then these are my most recommended brands of essential oils, especially if you are more interested in the healing/ aroma-therapeutic benefits of essential oils rather than the fragrances. You can buy from the Soil range here, and from the Burgess & Finch range directly from their website, or from Dischem.
This is an affordable brand of essential oils, and many of the essential oils in my own collection are from Windrose. I am slowly replacing these with Soil or Burgess & Finch oils, one bottle and one salary at a time. I recommend this brand for anyone starting out in natural DIY and aromatherapy. I also recommend using more affordable brands like this for recipes that require scents such as perfumes, sprays and soaps, as these are perfume-grade. Windrose offers a wide variety of essential oils (unlike Dischem’s house brand), and their products can also be found at Dischem.
Dischem’s house brand:
This is another very affordable brand that offers perfume grade essential oils. What I particularly like about this house brand is that it offers larger quantities for common essential oils like Lavender and Tea Trea oil; for example 20, 25 or 100 ml bottles are available. However, their selection is limited to just a few common essential oils. Also be aware that Dischem has two ranges of essential oils, and each range has a different packaging design. One range lists the ingredient by its botanical name, and the other by its common name. I’m not sure if there is any real difference between the two, but the range with the botanical name is more expensive, which is why I suspect it is of better quality.