Welcome back! Last week I posted about the natural products I use around the home for cleaning and this week I wanted to share with you the health and beauty products I use. I try to live as chemical-free as possible. I understand it is impossible to avoid them 100% and some do have their usefulness, but overall I think we are completely over-saturated with toxins and chemicals that are neither necessary nor good for our health. Below are links that will give you more info on the chemicals and their potential problems. Rather than overwhelming you all with which chemicals are potential carcinogens and which are potential endocrine disruptors, etc. I’m sharing my favorite products and give you the choice to research further yourself. With that being said, let’s get started!
Did you know that the skin is our largest organ? On average our skin covers about 18 square feet. The skin is a part of the Integumentary System which also includes nails, hair, and exocrine glands. The skin is responsible for keeping out bacteria, chemicals, and viruses, but it also excretes waste and regulates our body temperature.
Our skin doesn’t just excrete, it has the ability to absorb as well. Skin absorbs some things so well we have patches for smoking cessation and birth control. However, not everything will make it through the first layer of skin. The patches I mentioned above have been specially formulated to make it through the multiple layers of skin and into our bloodstream. Does this mean that everything you put on your skin will do so? No. If you want more info on that, check out this great article.
Now, with all that being said, some cosmetic additives are just downright nasty. Not only are they chemicals, but some can and do cause allergic reactions. I myself have allergies to synthetic fragrance, parabens, and mineral oil. I had a back patch test done years ago with a dermatologist and by the 3rd day my back was itching so bad I had to take off the patch before my appointment time. This doesn’t mean that if I wash my hands with soap that has synthetic fragrance in it that my hands will get red, swell, and itch immediately. My problem is from repeated exposure to something that sits on the skin for longer periods of time, i.e.: lotion, Tiger Balm, Icy Hot, etc.
By the way, if you don’t plan on clicking through the above links on synthetic fragrance, parabens, and mineral oil, I wanted to mention that synthetic fragrances and mineral oil are both petroleum products. Yuck. And parabens, especially Propylparaben, can be disruptive to the endocrine (hormonal) system.
With all that being said, what do I use? Right now I use Nature’s Gate Colloidal Oatmeal lotion. It’s fragrance free, paraben free, phthalate free, mineral oil free, petrolatum free, and not tested on animals. I really like the oatmeal version as it is highly moisturizing and absorbs easily. I use it on my 4 year old daughter as well.
For my face and neck I use Eminence Organics. Specifically their Sensitive Skin Care line. I’ll be straight-forward and tell you it isn’t cheap. My biggest tip for them is to order from Amazon and do NOT buy at your local spa. The prices are ridiculously inflated at spas. I first came across Eminence when I got my first and only facial at age 29. I noticed my skin was changing and wanted to talk to an aesthetician and get a facial – which I did. She was great and used products exclusively from the Eminence sensitive skin line. That day I spent $60 on a 2oz. pot of Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturizer. This is WAY more than I was accustomed to spending on face cream, but this was part of a birthday present to myself so I went ahead and got it and I’m so glad I did. The skin on my face and neck cleared up within a couple of weeks. The aesthetician explained that I was basically smothering the skin on my face and neck using cheap lotion that was designed for the body. Facial skin is much different than skin elsewhere on the body.
I wish I could tell you that I also use their face wash (which is also great), but it is too pricey. However, I do use their Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher once a week and I can tell a difference in my skin when I forget to use it. That little 2oz. pot has lasted quite a while and is fully worth the money I paid for it. I’ll be getting my sister a pot of it for Christmas 😉
Lastly I want to mention that Eminence products are natural and free of parabens, animal by-products, synthetic fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and more. Click here to read more.
Body Wash/Face Wash
My whole family has been using Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile soap in the shower for many months now. I really love the scent and philosophy behind their products. No animal testing, fair trade, and organic. It doesn’t get much better. Click here to read more about Dr. Bronner’s.
For face wash I am currently using Burt’s Bees for Sensitive Skin. No animal testing here either and it removes eye makeup well.
Don’t get me started on fluoride. That’s for another post. I’ll just say, I don’t like it and don’t use it. Right now we’re using Nature’s Gate toothpaste that’s fluoride free, fragrance free, and SLS free as well. They also do not test on animals or use animal products. My only concern, albeit very small, is that they use carrageenan in their toothpaste. Carrageenan is something that really upsets my stomach when I eat it. However, brushing my teeth with a product that has it is much less of a concern.
I have tried 2 “natural” brands in the past and I was very disappointed by both. Because of this I went back to Dove, especially because EWG gave Dove and the “natural” brand I was using that the time the same score of 4. Skip forward 4 years later and now I’m using a homemade recipe from this kind lady. Her recipe is spot on. I love it. At first I used too much and had a bit of irritation I think was due to clogged pores, but now that I only use a maximum of 2 swipes per underarm I don’t have any issues. Her recipe is great because it truly is like other stick deodorants in that it holds up inside the stick and you apply it the same way. No runny mess and no having to wash it off your hands if you would have to scooping it from a container. I bought these containers from Amazon and made a couple batches for friends and extras for myself.
One other thing I wanted to mention here as I found it very interesting when I noticed it – when I don’t eat animal products, I don’t sweat as much and when I do it isn’t stinky. If you are a lacto-vegetarian, maybe try giving up dairy for 1 week to see what I’m talking about it. You won’t notice when you stop eating it, but when you add it back in. Just something I thought worth sharing!
That’s all for today! If you have any questions please let me know! Have a great week!
I have not received any type of financial compensation from these companies. I just enjoy their products and wanted to share.