When I began my health quest around 2008/2009, I wasn’t even thinking about the hygienic products I was using. I’m believe I was still using Proactiv system skin products and who knows what else. As I learned more about the body, how it absorbs, how the skin breathes and behaves – I began to worry about everything I had been using. The first category that alarmed me was deodorant, which I noticed was common knowledge in my new LA circle. They made me feel like I was way behind on this. I eventually understood that its not a good idea to use an aluminum product over the sweat glands, lymph nodes, and breast tissue in that area (aluminum is the dominant ingredient in mainstream deodorants/antiperspirants and is widely known as a common skin allergen, and also a suspect in problems of the brain, cancer, and other diseases).
In 2008, awareness was still building and there were not nearly as many options available. Slowly but surely, I changed out almost all of my products over the years. I’m not perfect or completely chemical-free but I like to try my best. I figure I’ve done enough damage all these years that every little bit counts. People often say, “natural and organic stuff is too expensive”. Almost everything, natural or not is getting more expensive. Yes, it can be, but with all the current options it doesn’t have to be much of a difference at all. I figure I’m already going to spend money either way, I might as well get exactly what I want even if its a few dollars more. Not only that, but many chemical ridden formulas really aren’t cheap. Take mainstream makeup brands and shampoos/conditioners for instance. Walk into a salon or major beauty store. They can be so pricey! The products below are practical, completely reasonable and many of them really last awhile too. Most of these items can be purchased in your local stores or on Amazon.
1. BODY SOAP: Dr. Bronners Peppermint Body Bar Soap – $3.49 at Trader Joes. I used to be all about liquid soap until I tried this. The ingredients are straightforward and the company is well-known for their social responsibility. If you don’t like bar soap, they have a liquid version in several scents. This soap leaves you feeling super fresh and invigorated. I also love to find local soap vendors like my friends at No-Tox, yet I’m recommending Dr. Bronners because its one of the best brands available in stores nationwide.
2. DEODORANT: No-Tox Aluminum-Free Deodorant – $14 – I’ve reviewed this item already but I can’t stress it enough. Its officially the only aluminum-free formula I have ever tried that works. I have NO secondary recommendations.
3. FACIAL MOISTURIZER: Jojoba or Rosehip Oil – $12-$16 – If you told me to put oil on my face 5 years ago I would have cringed. I was too busy drying the crap out of my skin, subsequently breaking out and wondering why. Then I learned that too much drying actually makes your skin overproduce oil therefore causing breakouts. These days, I slather my face in oil as a moisturizer every day which balances it and doesn’t clog my pores at all. Its also good to moisturize for anti-aging reasons. If you buy these types of oils, look for cold-pressed, unrefined, and organic as possible if you can find it. I’ve been using Leven Rose brand. The Jojoba oil mimics your own facial oils. I like it because it gives you that ‘glowy’, healthy look.
4. SHAMPOO: Seaweed Bath Company Balancing Seaweed Shampoo – $10-$14 – I love the scent and lather in this seaweed-based shampoo. It also has soothing properties for the scalp. Men will like this one too!
5. CONDITIONER: Acure Lemongrass Argan Conditioner – $10-12 – I have a hard time finding hair products because my hair is wildly curly. This conditioner is not only aromatic, but almost perfect in terms of ingredients. Its so rare to find a store-bought product that you can feel this way about. Its also great for detangling, something that is a must in my conditioners. This brand has several scents and the lemongrass is my favorite. For the price, this one can’t be beat.
6. TONER/FACE MIST: Caudalie Grape Water Mist – $10/ 2.5 oz – Ok – so maybe this one is girl-friendly only. This is a weird addiction I have. I’ve been really into rosewater facial mist or toner, then I found this. It has a ever-so-slight sugar-like scent and is so refreshing. Its great for flying, and as a glowy/dewy finish over makeup or revival of your makeup after a long day.
7. CHAPSTICK: No-Tox Spearmint Lip Balm – $3 – Every one needs lip balm. This is the one of best I have found from my local No-Tox brand! Can’t rave about them enough! The scent and texture are perfect and the ingredients are on point. They also make it in a coconut scent. I really like Dr. Bronners Peppermint Lip Balm and Whole Foods 365 brand organic lip balm too.
8. TOOTHPASTE: Weleda Salt Toothpaste – $6-8/ 2.5 oz. This is going to sound weird but I swear, its awesome. The salt in this cleaner toothpaste literally feels like it exfoliates your teeth, almost like when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist. Best of all, no fluoride. (Tidbit: Fluoride was originally a registered pesticide that we are apparently supposed to be comfortable with using in our dental products, drinking water, and more…you may have heard this recent announcement in the news) If you are more of a paste-person, Jason brand has safer fluoride-free versions.
9. NAIL POLISH REMOVER: Priti NYC Soy Oil Nail Polish Remover – $13/2 oz. All these years, up until last year, I’d been using regular nail polish and nail polish remover at home. I had just assumed the cleaner versions were bogus. I randomly picked up a bottle of this, thinking in no way would it work. I like it because I feel it serves 2 purposes: it removes your nail polish, but also conditions your cuticles at the same time. Just apply it to a cotton pad, hold on your nail for a few seconds and start to wipe off.
10. MOUTHWASH: Nature’s Answer Perio Wash – $11/16 oz. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in Listerine or similar? Its like gargling with gasoline. The amount of alcohol in mainstream brands does the complete opposite of what it should accomplish. There are plenty of alternatives and even easily homemade versions you can make with different oils and other natural ingredients. Natures Answer, and Jason are my picks.
Need any other recommendations? Comment below!