Switching to natural skincare and toiletry products will decrease your toxic load–and make your skin look better! Here are some of the most common ingredients to avoid in conventional skincare, plus recommendations for natural skincare you can make or buy.
When I first began my natural living journey, the most pressing lifestyle change was obvious: I needed to eat better. The thought of switching to a whole foods diet was daunting at first, but, after a while, it became like second nature.
Then one day it occurred to me that our skin is our biggest organ and that I really needed to investigate not only what I was putting into my body but what I was putting on my body–and the bodies of my children!
The components of conventional skincare and toiletry products:
There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of toxic ingredients that make their way into our skincare products and toiletries! These include:
Sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates: These are foaming agents found in many shampoos, body washes and toothpastes. These can cause eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, and possibly cancer (source).
Formaldehyde & paraben preservatives: These are synthetic preservatives that are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can disrupt your hormones and can potentially cause birth defects. Look for: butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben on ingredient labels (source).
Carrageenan: This one is very important to note simply because it is found in many “organic” and “natural” labels! But I am convinced that carrageenan is really not good for us. In fact, a Cornucopia Institute report found that
“Animal studies have repeatedly shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors.” (source)
I have personally noticed carrageenan added to coconut milk yogurt and Trader Joe’s toothpaste!!
Synthetic dyes: Personally, I try to avoid anything “synthetic” if I can!
Artificial fragrances: I also try to stay away from the word “artificial!”
Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (anything with “PEG” in front of a number: These can cause allergic reactions (source).
If you’re wondering about the ingredients on your current products, do a search on the EWG Skindeep Database to see how they score for toxicity.
The Natural Skincare Products and Toiletries I Personally Use:
Image from Vitacost.com
I’ve been using J.R. Liggett’s Bar Shampoo for about a year as well. The ingredients are simple: olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, fresh pure New Hampshire spring water, sodium hydroxide (a binder) and essential oils for fragrance. I use the original formula, but there are a lot to choose from.
I use Burt’s Bees or the Jenuinely Pure baby wash on my girls.
I used to use Bath and Body Works body washes all the time. Not so anymore! Now, my husband and I use a basic bar soap with just a few ingredients. I have not found a brand I am loyal to on bar soaps at this point.
Sometimes we get soap from Vitacost. Sometimes we’ll buy it from a local soap maker at the Farmer’s Market. I have also used and love soap from Jenuinely Pure.
We really love Free Reign Farm products, and you can get 10% off your order with code THH10.
Perhaps I’m blah, but I haven’t used any products on my hair besides shampoo in several years now. It’s important to note that I have very fine hair and do not require a detangler or conditioner. I also have not used hairspray in several years.
I love, love, love the Lexie: Naturals deodorant! I cannot emphasize this enough! I’ll be honest: I ran out a little while back, so we picked up Tom’s at the store. It just isn’t the same! In my opinion, Tom’s is safer than other conventional deodorants, but it does not work as well as Lexie’s!
Full disclosure: Lexie is a personal friend of mine (although we now live 12 hours apart), but she makes other products that I don’t rave about quite as much as her deo. Hands down, it’s the BEST.
I have also made my own deodorant in the past. It worked just as well as Lexie’s, but it melted like crazy, so I had to keep it in the fridge. That wasn’t super convenient!
Lexie actually shared her deodorant recipe with my readers in this homemade deodorant post!
I do not use lotion super often. But when I do, I typically use a lotion bar–either from Lexie: Naturals or MadeOn skincare. As an aside, Renee, the owner of MadeOn, has several homemade skincare books.
Making Your Own Natural Skincare and Toiletry Products
I have made some of my own natural skincare and toiletry products in the past, but it’s not something I do on a regular basis.
If this is something you are interested in doing to SAVE MONEY (because, let’s face it: natural skincare products and toiletries can be pricey!), these books are chock full of DIY recipes:
- Salve Made Simple by Jennifer @ Hybrid Rasta Mama ($7.95)
- My Buttered Life: Personal Care edition by Renee @ MadeOn Skin Care ($5.00)
- Natural Beauty Guide by Katie @ Wellness Mama ($24.00)
- Homemade Health & Beauty: 21 Simple Do-It-Yourself Recipes for Products You Use Everyday by Sandra @ The Sensible Mom ($0.99)
As you are making the switch to more natural skincare and toiletry products, remember to take it one baby step at a time and try not to get overwhelmed! Be vigilant in reading ingredient labels, and have fun experimenting with making your own products!
With all the toxins in our world, I sometimes I wonder how we survive! God is in control of the number of our days, but he also gave us the brains to make wise choices when it comes to our health.