Some recipes call for the following ingredients or products that can be used as is. Many are fragrance-free.
Bicarbonate of soda – 1 TBs can be used to replace fabric softener, it can be used to make toothpaste (It is even recommended instead of toothpaste when one has a dermatitis or some lip issue).
Vinegar (1/2 a cup can replace fabric softener) is available at any shop, the smallest street corner shop will stock sugarcane vinegar. The advantage of cleaning your kitchen surfaces with white vinegar is it repels ants, it helps kill mould, the smell dissipates after a short while (stating the obvs, but I get asked such things).
Gram flour/Besan can be used as a cleanser, in India traditionally it is used for all over cleansing (in the bath) but I’m not ready to try that, maybe when can’t I use available soaps anymore.
Coconut oil is available at Quartier Gourmet (Sodnac) and Health Solutions Organic Market (Ébène, etc).
Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil (less effective) can be used as sunscreen, even famous branded products use vitamin A in their products as sunscreen. Thanks, Julie Weber!
Sweet almond oil is used to remove make up but another idea is to try go without make up (though too late for some and impossible for those who do make-up). the best facial skin I’ve seen in decades are on women who said they use nothing but water. Isn’t it gross in a kissing-as-greeting culture? Idk, there’s good bacteria on skin, that we kill that with soap and stuff. Once you started using stuff (usually too early on) it’s probably impossible to have balanced skin without using products, there’s always dryness after a shower in some climates or after swimming. According to the article I linked, this can’t work if the person uses shampoo regularly in the shower, or anything on their faces.
1 jour à Mayotte shows women using coconut oil, henna in facials, as well as litchi root, ground with a flat stone (rubbed rather than ground, such light stones used to make pastes for religious ceremonies, so these stones surely sell here): they traditionally use it as a leave-on decorative mask against pimples etc.
Too much religion and not enough culture here, whereas in Mayotte there is both these customs around weddings and participation of women with knowledge of medicinal plants.
Reetha is a dried husk with which one can make soapy water or a solution which can be used as detergent or for personal care. I put one or 2 nuts in a tiny cotton bag with a machine load of washing. Top loaders are ideal bc you can remove it before rinsing. In a front loader, you have to stop the process and remove it. I’m not convinced putting it in the drawer would be better than soaking it and pouring the water in. The nuts could be reused, I think powder would go a longer way and I’ll try make powder or liquid from it soon for a front loader.
It sells readymade so I’ve yet to attempt making toothpaste with coconut oil. It cleans really well, as good as or better than Nature’s Gate.As I’m doing, one can google these things – even “[product needed] recipe” gives many vegan results.
Do you have any detergent or personal care product recipe? Could I share them here crediting you? Since we can’t find borax here. It can be simple like these ones I’m still testing: To repel lizards I was trying to post-clean the kitchen with lavender essential oil (20 drops in 50ml water), requires more than a weekly application. Then I moved to a place where lizards don’t like the kitchen. I sometimes put a few drops of pure tea tree e.o on a damp sponge to wipe counters to keep ants away. I’ve seen them walk over the cinnamon, but we co-habit, they clean up crevices and counters (I clean part by part so the can escape), sinks, walls. Coexistence and mesh/screens on windows.
Soapnuts or reetha is also called quassia and in products we may find here, shikakai. I’ve seen branded shikakai products (Are their other ingredients tested on animals?). The powder can easily be dissolved for shampoo and personal care, or as is in laundry.