Day 1 – Earth Week Challenge

The first theme of our Earth Week Challenge is personal hygeine, body care, natural and checmical free recipes, products, DIYs, essential oils and more!


It's here! Day one of #earthweekchallenge2018 and today's topic is all about personal care and beauty products. This first video is a little longer so you might listen to it while you make your morning tea or breakfast. Perhaps get your ear buds while you go through your morning routine 🙂 

Personal care is where I got started with my journey to truly learning about sustainability. As I talk about in this video, it all started with learning about health when my dad and father-in-law both passed away in the same year of cancer. I started reading a lot, and realizing that even most of the "healthy" brands of personal care products that I was buying were full of synthetic chemicals and hormone disruptors. That's when I started making most of my own personal care products out of food grade products. This means that I am no longer pouring these chemicals down the drain and adding them into our water systems. Often times what is most optimal for our own health is exactly what is needed to restore the planet back to it's state of health as well! (Isn't it funny how that works?)

What is your takeaway from day one?

What have you been implementing or what are you excited to try? What on your favourite resources or products that you'd like to share? What are your favourite recipes, blogs, books, brands and channels on this particular topic? I'd love to use this page a place that we can all come back to for a wealth of resources on personal care!

Post your comments, reflections and resources in the comments below! 

Reminder: For a chance to win one of our awesome prizes, post once a day on instagram or Facebook (using the hashtag #earthweekchallenge2019 so that we can all see what each other is sharing online!) 

If you post on instagram all 5 days, you could win a sweet prize pack from @rasa_ayurveda or @sweetfloweringyogaandwellness, as well as an awesome zero waste prize pack from @cntrycupboard in Fenelon Falls, a prize from Green Street Peterborough and a FREE RETREAT from @sarovarayoga and a free month of unlimited yoga from @livingyogalove (Peterborough Living Yoga!) 

Remember to use the hashtag #earthweekchallenge2019 

About the Author Ally

Ally Boothroyd is a yoga educator and meditation teacher with a passion for yoga nidra and the healing power of conscious rest. She is the founder of Sarovara Yoga, a yoga space and women's retreat centre in Ontario, Canada. A sanctuary on the water where she fosters local community and supports health, personal growth, emotional resiliency, authenticity, awareness, and awakening. Ally also leads Retreats and Yoga Teacher Trainings in Nosara, Costa Rica

  • Candice Milroy says:

    This is an area I am clueless about. I basically have no products. Lol

    I would like to begin using the odd thing so now I can do it with all your suggestions in the healthiest and most ecological way.

    Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this earth week challenge. You have got a bunch of people thinking and motivated to do better.

    ❤️ Candice

  • Hello!

    For anyone looking to make their own products, Rosemary Gladstar has two incredible books with easy to follow recipes. She is a well known and loved herbalist. The books recipes are tried and true. They are what I use – then I experiment from there 🙂

    For self care/beauty products: Herbs for Natural Health by Rosemary Gladstar

    For self care/beauty products along with herbal remedies recipes: Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

    • Ally says:

      Thank you for this Cherianne!! I get so excited when you post your herbalist resources! I totally want to become a magical plant herbalist lady 🙂 (it’s a dream of mine lol)

  • I’m hooked on my frankincense facial elixir from Stonehouse Holistics! It leaves my skin silky and smooth and the scent is calming and earthy. I’ve also noticed that my skin tones are more even and the age spots and red blotches are less noticeable.

  • Jacquie says:

    I’ve been using “healthy” personal care products for a long time but found that some weren’t as natural as I wanted them to be. I have oily/combination skin and it wasn’t until I found a natural facial business in downtown Toronto that I realized that I was buying products for my skins symptoms and not working to heal my skin. I use facial oils now for cleansing and moisturizing as well as a shampoo with the least amount of ingredients I could find and am thinking about trying to make my own shampoo eventually. I don’t use anything on my body that I wouldn’t feel safe eating since what goes on our skin goes in our skin!

    • Ally says:

      I am loving oil cleansing as well Jacquie! It feels sooooo good and my face doesn’t get oily toward the end of the day anymore. It doesn’t feel the need to over produce oils which it used to when I was constantly stripping the oils off! Such a great revelation for me 🙂

  • Angel says:

    I posted on Instagram yesterday something completely unrelated to the topic… was a pix of our beautiful earth from my yard. 💖

    In regards to the theme, I haven’t tried making my own toothpaste yet. I did try oil pulling years ago but I have a really hard time keeping anything in my mouth for that long. It was sooo hard. So instead I buy FLOURIDE-FREE!!! I especially like Dessert Essence with Tea Tree oil.

    I also use biodegradable soap for in the shower. I use Dr. Bronner’s castille soap with lavendar essential oil. (Btw I first bought the one with peppermint and listen to me: NEVER EVER put that stuff down in your tender lady parts. It was awful.
    OMG!!! Lesson learned. Lol). I left the peppermint to make house cleaners. A little goes such a long way.

    For hair, skin and nails, I Love Love Love Organic Moroccan Argan oil. I add a few drops of EO and use it head to toe.

    I know, baby steps. But every little bit counts. Right? And with so many awesome tips you girls have shared, i think i can take a few more baby steps. 💖

    • Ally says:

      Omgosh Angel… my husband made this mistake with POOR LITTLE AUDREY in the bath!!!! It was traumatic!!! He’s man, he had no idea what was happening to the poor little thing. He will NEVER make that mistake again!!! 🙁

      Yes, every little bit helps and we’re getting better at this stuff all of the time aren’t we? 🙂

  • Maggie says:

    Hey guys, I swear by this toothpaste in the mornings for keeping my teeth all pearly white:

    2 tablespoons coconut oil (raw organic is best)
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1 teaspoon baking soda*
    Few drops of food grade peppermint oil

  • Love all the amazing resources from day 1 – wow! I have to say my favourite personal care lately is oil cleansing and oil moisturizing. My cleanser is equal parts castor oil, almond oil and coconut oil – so simple and beautiful! and my moisturizing face oil is a blend of 2tsp rosehip seed oil, 1Tbls jojoba oil, 1 Tsp calendula oil, 1tsp camellia oil and 5 drops each of essential oils of German chamomile, lavender and helichrysum – this has been a really good blend for my rosacia . I am so excited to try the sunblock recipe! just in time for the nice weather 💞

    • Ally says:

      These all sound so lovely Angella! Wow, I pretty much want to try every single skin care regimen that people have posted!!!! lol

  • rebecca hardy says:

    Oh, sorry- after thoughts! I also do not drive unless I am going to another town. I have legs, and I like to use them! If I am going somewhere I tend to see if others need to do the same chore/task in hopes for a car pool.
    And something I do with those pieces of mail that just keep coming (not many as I’ve asked for no flyers), is to use it as a shiner when cleaning. Newspaper gets a great shine on windows and mirrors!

    • Ally says:

      This is so true about the newspaper! I get so frustrated with all the flyers. Especially for fast food and things that I would never ever in a million years buy! What a waste of paper. 🙁

  • Gwen says:

    I too have a hard time throwing out old make-up, partly because I don’t wear it very often… plus it can be so darn expensive. But I am planning to gradually transition to using more natural makeup. I know Joanne’s in Peterborough carries some, and I’m also a member of Young Living essential oils, and they have a really great line of non-toxic makeup now called “Savvy”. I think once I transition to all natural make-up, I will probably enjoy it more often and more freely. Something to look forward to.

    • Ally says:

      I have a couple of the Savvy make ups actually Gwen! (I did run out of mascara at one point) I was disappointed in all the packaging, I will definitely try at Joanne’s next time instead I think! 🙂

  • Lynda says:

    I am dealing with a painful lower back injury…does anyone have a recipe for a natural pain relieving rub…I know the store bought one I am using is full of things I really don’t want on my skin …thanks

    • rebecca hardy says:

      Hey Lynda- there are great benefits from evergreen, peppermint, marjoram, ecualyptus….if you have any of these oils around 🙂

    • Ally says:

      Hey Gwen, there are so many different variables when it comes to pain….
      but some essential oils to consider are:
      * camphor rich oils such as rosemary and spike lavender
      * coriander has a similar effect to aspirin in relieving pain by calming inflammation and supporting relaxation
      * if pain is hot use blue cooling oils like german chamomile, cypress, yarrow, also peppermint is good to cool and ease
      * another good one is juniper berry

      Any of these singularly or in combination could be added to any carrier oil, perhaps 20 or so drops to 30ml carrier

      Also important to treat all the elements that can surround pain like anxiety, stress, exhaustion – so maybe bergamot in an inhaler would be good for that or even just adding lavender to the oil.

  • Dani says:

    Thanks everyone, I can’t wait to try these recipes and I was so excited to hear about the amber essence as a perfume…been waiting for a while to find a natural perfume as I have a bit of an obessession but I know there’s a bunch of chemicals is your typical perfume. I’ll also try the sunscreen recipe as I wear it often.

    My current face serum is made of: your choice of carrier oil (I use grapeseed or almond oil, or both). Then 2 drops each of: lavender & cypress and 3 drops each of: copaiba, frankincense & palmarosa. Best used in a glass jar with pump top.

    I was once warned about how harmful talc (baby powder) can be and it’s something I use a lot of. I’ve switched to this “love your body” all natural powder:


    • Ally says:

      Hey Dani!!! Thanks for the baby powder resource! So good because the last people we want to put harmful chemicals on is our little baby’s bums!!! I have to order some more amber resin from my lady, but I will be doing that soon as I’ve had many requests now!! I will have it in the studio if you’d like some 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Lovely video! I heard a cbc radio show that talked about how we over bathe, stripping our bodies of natural protection. I don’t shower as often, I only use any deodorant ( even homemade) if I really feel I might need it. I would love info on sun screen or anything else for sensitive skin as i have roseasea. I am loving all the comments and info!

    • Ally says:

      This is so true!! We’re constantly stripping our holobiome off! I posted a sunscreen recipe below! You might have to scroll down a little bit to find it! 🙂

    • Ally says:

      Hey Lisa, did you see Angella’s post about about a really good blend of oils for rosacia?

  • Sacha says:

    I absolutely adore my Rasa Ayurveda products. I use the 3 part facial system and regularly slather my skin in their wonderful tri-dosha Abhyanga oil.
    I am looking forward to trying this face mask recipe. Thank you! xo

  • Karen says:

    I’m very new to this and started to take some baby steps last year. I started to make my own foaming hand soap with liquid Castille soap, distilled water, and EO. My favourite mixture so far is lavender and bergamot.

    I’m worried about putting oils down the drain. A question I have is about the use of oils and if anyone has had any problems with their septic or plumbing?

    • Ally says:

      I LOVE lavender and bergamot!! That’s one of my faves to put in the diffuser or also in my body scrubs too!

      Interesting question about the oils down the drain!! I’ve been pretty aggressively putting oils down the drain for about ten years and we haven’t seemed to have a problem… fingers crossed lol…

  • Dorothy Chambers says:

    I use natural deodorant, my own mouthwash made with clove oil and distilled water, natural tooth paste. I also made a day skin moisturizer and evening skin moisturizer, my own lip balm , and my own facial wipes with witch hazel and skin oils for cleansing. So neat to not add chemicals, to recycle jars and to make less of footprint

    • Ally says:

      Oh clove mouthwash sounds really nice!!! Isn’t it nice to use all natural? Now when I can really smell/feel the difference in things that are full of chemicals. They just FEEL yucky!

  • Rachel says:

    Love this message! Small acts, big impact. I love my young living oils so I can make my own personal care products, all the way to replacing advil for headachs/period cramps with a peppermint/lavender roller.

    I use the think dirty app to look up healthy products.

    In Dec I swapped to a plastic free tooth brush. I’ve used the bar shampoo/condition bar and also haven’t found one like I. I’m using YL now but hope to find a bar to remove my waste from the plastic bottle. I’m also on the hunt for a better deodorant, I recently purchased 2 Green Beaver ones and I’m not happy with them. Hopefully I can find some better products with the help of others in the challenge.

    Looking forward to tomorrow!

    • Ally says:

      Hey Rachel! This is awesome… did you happen to see my post about detoxing the under arms below? I have to do this sometimes in order to “get natural deodorants to work” – maybe TMI but it’s true lol… I posted a link with an article about why this can be helpful below! 🙂

    • Mona Eckert says:

      Since you are in the YL community, I’ve heard that thieves toothpaste serves well as deodorant! I haven’t tried it yet myself, but plan to.

  • Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much for all the delightful information!!! I’m always on the hunt for sustainable, eco friendly face, skin and hair products. I use a combo of rose hip, frankincense, Jojoba and coconut oil on my face and Shea butter on my skin. My hair is a disaster but at least it’s purple… Haha. I am so thankful to part of this earth week challenge ❤️❤️🌎

    • Ally says:

      Hey Kirsten! I used to have bright fuchsia hair lol… it was pretty much the best. That sounds like such an epic combo for the skin!!! I’m definitely going to have to try it. Gosh there are just so many amazing ideas on this page! I’m so excited!

  • Kelly Solotarow says:

    Ally, thank you so much for once again coming through with an amazing challenge!!
    I wanted to share what I have done for over a year and I feel better than I ever have!! I have used nothing but water to replace all of my skin care and products for my body.
    As I run out of skin care products, shampoo, tooth paste, deodorant…I stop buying them.
    I bought a machine from
    Japan that makes 7 different types of water.
    With the right kind of water you can remove all the oils from your skin and eliminate bad bacteria. You can use water as makeup remover, for acne issues and for toning and tightening your skin, spray water on you to be able to shave, just to list a few things. You can use essential oils to add scents to the water for deodorant and shampoo. You can also use water for brushing your teeth, there are so many uses that people use every day to become healthier and to help the environment.
    Electorlyzed reduced water and electrolyzed oxidizing water is the water I use, different PH levels do wonderful things for your body and the environment.
    I love the change I made and I feel so much better for helping the environment and myself become healthier!!
    Thank you again and look forward to tomorrow!! ❤️

    • Ally says:

      This is SUPER cool Kelly! I love the simplicity of this entire concept! And I’m so glad that it’s making you feel so great!!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Thank you Allie, I learned a lot this morning. Personal care products are my money pit! I’m looking forward to learning how leave a much lighter environmental footprint!

    • Ally says:

      Making your own products is soooooo much more affordable than buying all those crazy expensive ones! We save so much money this way! I’m excited for you to try simplifying 🙂 I’d love to hear how it goes! Ox

  • Kay'la says:

    Hi Ally!

    Thank you so much for facilitating this challenge. I acknowledge the time it takes to coordinate something like this, and appreciate that you’re holding space for the greater community to come together and make a healthy, conscious shift in their lives [and for the benefit/well being of the planet].

    I’m glad that you started us off with Personal Care. Its something I’ve been working on for the last few years. It’s amazing how different my skin and hair feels [and looks] when I use natural products versus processed/chemical ones.

    I recently started using grapeseed oil and peppermint, lavender and rosemary essential oils to stimulate hair growth and maintain a healthy scalp. I love it [especially when the oil is warm]. My curls are lush and manageable, it smells amazing and no dandruff in sight. It’s like a spa for my noggin 🙂

    Thanks again… I look forward to tomorrow’s video!

    In gratitude,


    • Ally says:

      Kay’la!!! You have no idea how excited I am to try this!!! If you managed to get through listening to my whole video you will know what a struggle hair has been for me lol… thanks for sharing this amazing tip with the group!!! 🙂

  • We posted a facial recipe on instagram today! 🙂

    1.5 tbsp ground mung beans or oats
    1 tbsp matcha green tea powder,
    1 tbsp raw honey
    1/2 tsp of ACV
    3-5 drops of EO’s for your skin type
    2.5-3 tbsp of water!

    What are your favourite combos of Essential Oils for your skin? Ox

  • Patty says:

    Hi Ally! Thank you for creating this wonderful forum for us to share and enpower one another!
    I have been gradually been changing my morning routine over the last year. I presently tongue scrap, oil pull and brush with baking soda with a drop of sweet orange essential oil. I use a homemade Argan and Vitamin E with Frankenstein EO for a nourishing facial oil. Bentonite clay masque with Lavender EO for deep cleaning mask. Dried rose and calendula flowers in hot water to steam.
    One area I am struggling is with a natural deodorant. I have stress sweat and most products don’t help…I stink!! The best to date has been Arbonne. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Carly Reid says:

      Hi Patty, my favourite natural deoderant is by a brand called Native: If you’re in Ptbo, I’ve also heard there is a great one available at Juniper Ptbo…can’t remember the brand.

    • Ally says:

      Hey Patty! This is wonderful!!! I am totally going to try some of your routines, they sound AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing! One thing that I have noticed is that I need to do a “detox” of my underarms sometimes… I sometimes will do this when I’m in the bath. Here’s a great article on it and why some of us may want to do this process! Has anyone else tried this?

      • rue says:

        Hi Ally and Patty,

        This is a natural deodorant that I have used with success, (thanks to an amazing naturopath – Pascaline at Natural Panacea). Use a 60ml glass jar.

        20 g virgin coconut oil (this needs to be softened or melted – so I just leave it in a warm oven for a little while)
        to the coconut oil add:
        2 g vegetable glycerin
        15 g white kaolin clay powder
        20 g baking soda
        and essential oils that are your favourites,
        for example 20 drops each of lemongrass, bergamot, sweet orange, and 10 drops black pepper essential oil (this is my fav combination)

        Stir the ingredients together, and you’re done, just let it cool. The consistency changes depending on the temps in your home and the time of the year so adjust the coconut oil amount to suit the consistency that works best for you. I like a past that I can
        scoop on a nail and then rub into the area.

  • Ally says:

    Skin Toner – does anyone make their own? I currently use Rasa’s Vata toner but before that I was making my own:

  • Ally says:

    Another post about “oil cleansing” for your face! Does anyone do this?

    Here’s one of my recipes:

  • Ally says:

    My Sunscreen recipe!

    1/5 a cup Shea Butter
    1/2 tsp-1tsp of Zinc Oxide (more for more blockage)
    1 tbsp of Coconut Oil
    40-50 drops of Carrot Seed Oil (more for more blockage)

    Carrot seed is the magic ingredient. People also use coco butter and coffee in Costa Rica and the sunscreens smell AMAZING… And no! I don’t get burnt 😆

  • I have always felt strongly about the things I put on my skin. I am a huge plant lover and study herbalism. Health isn’t just about nutrition but about self care and self love. I practice that daily by using the products I make.

    I started my business, Blue Jay Botanicals with the passion of helping people feel good about what they use on their skin, but also connect with nature while doing it. I am a wildcrafter and gardener, love being able to share our local plants with people.

    My favourite and the most popular is the cleansing grains. If I’m having a groggy morning, a quick wash with the grains brightens my face up. I also use it for a natural exfoliate & acne treatment.

    Followed with pure rose water and face serum, this facial routine is one I can’t get away from. It feels so good knowing what I’m putting on my skin!

  • Nelle says:

    I’ve found the Think Dirty app ( useful for identifying products that are cleaner. I make my own household cleaners and some skin care products, like body butter and scrubs.

    • Ally says:

      That’s great Nelle! What a great App!! So helpful!!! Do you have a favourite skin care recipe that you’d like to share with us? Ox

  • Rebecca Hardy says:

    #earthweekchallenge2019 (making sure it’s this one…as the email said 2018?) Today, I did my regular routine of brushing my teeth with baking soda and spearmint essential oil, as well as looking forward to my evening routine of a raw sugar scrub followed by 100% raw natural organic shea butter made by a wonderful lady I meet every year at the county fair. Sorry- I really don’t do much in terms of “beauty”, this cat is pretty natural 🙂 To boot I mixed my mint, lemon, and cucumber in my mason jar of water to help keep my digestion and skin healthy. I like this idea of sharing tips…and yes Lisa, recipes please!

    • Ally says:

      I will post a PDF to my deodorant recipe too but I must admit, it’s not as good as Lauretta’s (sweet flowering wellness) products lol… and yes, I am pretty good at having typos everywhere! Hopefully people know that it’s 2019 😀 hahahahaha I love that you mentioned your detox water from the morning! Such an amazing way to keep skin healthy!!!

  • Chris Cordy says:

    I have been working hard to reduce my footprint – one of my more recent changes is non packaged soaps and shampoos. The soaps I made myself, the shampoos I purchased from Simply Natural Canada – they are having a 40% off Earth Day sale today if anyone is interested in non packaged/sustainably packaged personal care items

  • Lisa Diem says:

    I make my own skin care products. Body butter, facial serum and deodorant. I also use oils from RASA Ayurveda for my morning and evening routines. I know that their products are good for both the environment as well as myself. I use lots of oil as part of my daily routines lol!
    I use nature clean laundry soap and reusable dryer sheets and dryer balls from County Cupboard:)

    • Ally says:

      We love our oil don’t we 🙂

      Do you have a deodorant recipes that you’d like to share Lisa? I’m ready to try a new one!!! Ox

      • Lisa Diem says:

        – 1/4 cup baking soda
        – 1/4 cup arrow root powder or corn starch
        – 5 tablespoons coconut oil
        – Essential oil
        Combine the powders together with a fork and then add the coconut oil add one spoonful at a time, until it’s a paste. (You may want to add more oil, but not too much more) Then add in whatever essential oil you want!

        • Ally says:

          Thank you Lisa!!!! My underarms can’t handle the baking soda so I will probably replace with Bentonite Clay or something lol… I think I have really sensitive skin!!!! This is so helpful, thank you for posting! Ox

  • Maggie Bradamore says:

    I use Arbonne which is pretty good environmentally and with toxicity level to my body but I realize that I need to start making my own products (out of local ingredients) to reduce packaging, carbon and money spent! Thanks Ally! love recipes that I can do at home. super helpful!

    • Ally says:

      That’s great Maggie! My friend Alexa loves their products too (she’s an earthy mama for sure!) I will be posting some of my favourite recipes here in the comments today as well so watch for those! 🙂

  • Ally says:

    Here are some of my favourite facial products!!

  • Ally says:

    As promised, here is a link to the Morning Routine PDF 🙂

  • Ally says:

    Here are some of my favourite products on Etsy (including deodorant!)

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