Hello. I’m Christina, and as a South African, I struggled to source natural recipes which used ingredients that were easy for me to source locally. Most of the information I gathered was from international sites and in US measurements, and many of the recipes I found were inadequate. So I started this blog in an attempt to make the natural journey easier for my fellow South Africans than it was for me.
Why did you choose the natural route?
In a nutshell? Well, I want to be able to control (and pronounce) the ingredients in my products. The long story – well, my reasons for pursuing the natural DIY lifestyle are three-fold.
First, I want to live healthier by choosing what I put on and inside my body, and avoiding unnecessary chemicals where possible. I don’t believe that every single chemical is bad for you, but I do thrive on making informed consumer choices, and limiting my exposure to controversial ingredients and confirmed toxins.
Second, I want to care for our planet and all of its creatures. By making my own products I have drastically reduced my waste, since I just keep cleaning and re-using my own containers. I also have a cleaner footprint since making my own products. For example, now all my grey-water is biodegradeable and eco-friendly. Where possible, I also try to formulate recipes that are vegan-friendly by using plant-based ingredients, even though I am not a vegan myself.
For example, I don’t see the point in using palm oil for soap, when coconut oil is an equally excellent option. If there is a plant-based option, then I think it is always the better choice. Some of my recipes allow animal-based ingredients, like glycerine and bees wax, but I always present the vegan alternative, like vegetable glycerine and soy wax.
Third, I want to be money-wise. I realise that I could just buy natural and organic products, but if you’ve seen the cost of natural and organic brands these days, you will understand. I find that it makes more financial sense to make everything myself, because all of my recipes are either cheaper or the same price as retail products.
Do you sell your products?
No, I do not sell my products. To make a viable income, I would have to mass produce my products, which just means more waste and fuel at the end of the day, which is counter-intuitive. I’d far rather empower others to make their own products, because the more people who do this, the less plastic and packaging waste there will be. So instead, I make an income through some of the links on this blog when you click and make a purchase, and I also teach people how to make products through my online courses, and by hosting the occasional workshop. That’s how you can support me and this blog – make a purchase from Faithful to Nature or DIY Naturally through my links or enrol in my online course.
What started this lifestyle change?
Acne. Yes, pimples started this whole natural DIY thing. I had already been on Roaccutane for a year, which did actually work. However, three years later, my bad skin returned. I was determined not to go on Roaccutane again, because of the side-affects and negative things I had heard about it. So, as we all do, I turned to Google. I searched for natural remedies, and found one that was particularly easy and affordable to try – honey. Having already tried the “eat six carrots a day” remedy, I wasn’t getting my hopes up.
So I lathered my face in honey every night for about two months, and all my acne had cleared up and my scars had faded. This magnificent result led me to a bit of a honey obsession, but I also started reading and questioning the ingredient lists on all of my products. Feeling inspired and spontaneous, I threw out every artificially scented and chemically created product I could get my hands on. Which, in hindsight, might have been a bit extreme, but this was it, I was committed.
Why Did you start a blog?
I slowly started replacing my store-bought products with homemade versions that I gathered from other blogs on the internet. Many recipes I tried were a complete fail – I wondered if these bloggers actually made and used their products themselves, because some of them were so ineffective or ill-researched. So I started improving their recipes, and experimenting, researching and teaching myself to formulate my own products. I am by no means a professional, but I am personally happy with my own recipes. If someone else is too, then that is a bonus.
Since there’s no fun in keeping these basic secrets, I decided to share my tried-and-tested recipes, research, reviews and rants about my transition from naive to natural. Plus, I’ve done it in grams so you don’t have to keep converting those US measurements. What a pain that was! If you’re a South African, then you will also benefit from knowing where to find the ingredients locally, and not on Amazon for a change 🙂
Now there’s no need to go the to extreme like I did and throw everything away, you can just take it one step at a time. I would strongly recommend getting rid of your roll-on/ antiperspirant. Go on, throw it as far as your perspiring armpits will allow. The stuff is down right bad I tell you! Here’s why. But don’t fret, my recipes will still leave you smelling fresh like a daisy at sunrise. Try my DIY roll-on recipe and my body spray.
Enjoy browsing through. Please leave your comments/ suggestions/ questions, and please share these simple secrets – your body, and the environment will thank you for it.