I LOVE making my own crap. I thought I'd be stressed by it....another thing I need to do with my time? But no. No, I actually really enjoy it. I feel good about the ingredients and the product I create. I get a little excited about trying a new recipe. I love hearing from friends who've tried it and found their own success. It is awesome.
But I know what you're thinking.
Great Jen, glad about your feel-good crunchy feelings...but what about some tangible benefits?
Has it impacted my health? Have I noticed any significant changes in my bank account? How do I feel physically? Do I sleep better? Do I have more energy? Do the products actually work? What do my doctors think? ANY positive effects other than, "Ooo, goodie, look at me! I'm crunchy!"
Well, in one word, kinda.
I have to admit, aside from feeling mentally calm and more emotionally stable, I feel, physically, much the same. My new toothpaste doesn't make my teeth any cleaner or whiter. It cleans them really well and my mouth tastes and feels great, just like when I used regular toothpaste. My face wash has impacted my skin health - my skin has never been more blemish-free and smooth. My hair bounces between terrible and great. Right now it's having a great moment, but that could change tomorrow. My armpits can't tell the difference. I rarely, if ever, use the lotion.
Basically, I feel pretty much the same. I don't regularly get blood work and I can't test my internal toxicity. I did get that terrible respiratory flu, so take that for what it's worth. I haven't needed to go to the doctor, but then again, I rarely go to the doctor for anything. My weight hasn't changed at all. Basically, I feel, physically, pretty much the same as I did before I tried the crunchy products.
I have not seen a significant difference in my bank account. Granted, I have yet to go through one full container of anything I've created yet....I might end up seeing some changes down the road. But right now, no - I am not raking in the dough from making my own products. I haven't felt a difference at all.
Sleep and Energy?
No difference here. I am not jumping up and down with bountiful amounts of energy and I'm sleeping like I always do...about 7 hours a night, waking up maybe once in the middle of the night, no real problems falling asleep, and I always, always wake up groggy. I have never woken up like the Folgers wife. Ever.
Do the Products WORK?
Check out the individual posts for more details...but in a nutshell, yes. The products do what they are supposed to do. My toothpaste cleans, my face wash cleanses and softens and controls acne, my deodorant leaves me stink-free, my shampoo cleans my hair, and my lotion moisturizes. They do what they're supposed to - in some cases, they work better than the commercial products I was once using....but in most cases, they work the same. Nothing crazy to note.
What do Doctors Say?
I have only seen one medical professional since starting my experiment...and to be honest, I wasn't even the patient...the patient was my older daughter. She's been using the toothpaste. She saw the dentist. Perfect teeth, needs to floss more. These are the same dental visit results she's always had. No cavities. Same.
So there you have it. If you ask me in terms of tangible, scientific, measurable results, I can honestly tell you I haven't seen much of a difference.
But if you ask me how I feel about it all? How does my heart feel? How happy do these things make me? Is there a difference in my overall life?
Huge. Enormous. Significant uptick in personal satisfaction and emotional well-being. I feel wonderful about it. I feel safe. I feel secure. I feel self-reliant and independent. I feel smart. I feel like I'm doing something good for my kids. I feel like I'm standing up for what I believe in.
In that regard, the emotional one, commercial products don't stand a chance against the crunchy life. I am hooked. I am actually pumped about growing my own herbs this spring and creating my own infusions for next year's cold and flu season. I feel like I'm teaching myself something I can pass to my own kids, and maybe grandkids. I'm learning new things and feeling wonderful about it. I am not afraid of putting lotion on my kids anymore.
It's freeing....and all other reasons aside, that feeling of freedom deems the crunchy life absolutely worth it to me. It's worth the time and effort and research to feel this good about the things I put on my body everyday. I may not have lab results and dollar signs to prove it....but I've got a lighter heart, a more knowledge-seeking soul, and a happier spirit.
So, I hereby conclude Jen's Crunchy Life Experiment, Personal Care Edition. I hope you've enjoyed yourself as much as I have. I will post updates as I continue to tweak recipes and formulas. Thank you so much for learning along with me!