The more I've learned about all of the the toxic chemical compounds contained in standard beauty products and cosmetics, how they are absorbed into the skin, and the cancers they're linked to, the more grateful I've become for the range of amazing natural beauty solutions on the market today. That said, they're not all created equal. Many claim to be natural but still contain SLS, parabens and a host of other chemicals, and many simply don't work! Below are bath & beauty products I use that are not only chemical-free, but also extremely effective. From anti-aging, acne control and stretch marks to all of the day to day necessities these are my favorites. Certain products (like shampoo) are not included because I haven't yet found those perfect favorites. Check back because I will update as I find them!
1. Weleda Stretch Mark Oil - This combination of oils helped me to avoid stretch marks during both pregnancies. It's most effective if you apply it liberally & at least 4-6 times a day.
2. Weleda Foot Balm - I apply this weekly after foot soaks in the winter and daily after each shower & pumicing during sandal season. It's refreshing and sinks in without feeling greasy.
3. Aura Cacia Organic Jojoba Oil - Helps smooth frizzy hair ends (just apply a tiny bit, then use a round brush to smooth ends together) It's also a gentle, non-greasy skin moisturizer.
4. Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil - Of all the coconut oils I've tried, this is by far the smoothest and most effective for skin that seems to be perpetually dry. I apply it after nighttime showers and my skin literally soaks it up and feels velvety the next day.
5. Bentonite Clay - When I notice little breakouts I mix a little clay & water and apply to affected areas each night for 3 or so nights. It pulls toxins our of the skin & helps dry the surface of the skin which creates microscopic cracks in the epidermis that allow trapped dirt and oils to escape.
6. Aura Cacia Organic Almond Oil - Perfect for baby massage. Also an effective light facial moisturizer that will not block pores.
7. Weleda Shower Gel - Strongly scented with essential oils. I use this periodically when I need a little aromatherapy boost.
8. Weleda Skin Food - Great for softening extra dry skin (hands, knees & elbows). Smells absolutely yummy...
9. Homemade Sugar & Honey Exfoliator- Mix a 1 tsp of organic sugar with 1 tsp of honey. Apply to face, using a circular motion & focusing on areas that need the most smoothing. Remove with warm water, again using a circular motion to continue the exfoliation as you rinse.
10. Zuzu Luxe Oil-Free Foundation - Gives light but effective coverage without blocking pores. Works best when applied to slightly damp skin (or with a dampened sponge)
11. Hemp Organics Lip Tint - Moisturizes and adds a subtle wave of color. I usually apply over a simple beeswax-based lip balm like Nanak's.
12. Zuzu Luxe Lipstick - A little treat when I want more dramatic color. It's gluten-free and lead-free...
ANTI-AGING & BREAKOUTS...
1. Kavi Glycolic Acid - I like to use this once a week for 6 week periods once at year. Glycolic acid is derived from sugar can and is non-toxic. Kavi makes this effective professional grade peel that works on fine lines, uneven pigmentation, uneven texture, enlarged pores, etc by creating rapid skill cell turnover. After 1 treatment your skin cells will continue a pattern of rapid turnover for 3-7 days so the visible results are quick. (It's moderate EWG rating comes from the fact that it's acidic and can irritate sensitive skin when it's left for too long). The 2nd to last ingredient is listed as a possible toxin with a moderate rating, so I still keep my eyes open for a replacement but for now I'm okay with it.
2. ClearWave Phototherapy Acne System - Blue spectrum light is a completely non-toxic solution for those of us who struggle with the "A" monster. After years of subjecting my skin to countless chemicals in effort to eliminate breakouts, these completely chemical-free, drug-free phototherapy treatments proved to be the most effective. I first received Blu-U treatments at my dermatologist's office 7 years ago. Within a month I had flawless skin and I've been able to maintain the results ever since at home using ClearWave phototherapy and bentonite clay masks (see top of page).
1. Sisal Body Brush - No loofah or body brush compares to this one. When used daily this brush completely transforms your skin. It is so rough that it can be hard to use at first. But it truly exfoliates, encourages skin cell regeneration, encourages blood circulation (which breaks up toxins stored in the lipid layer of your skin). I use it in the shower (just make sure to always let it dry outside of the shower), but it's actually designed for dry brushing which is another excellent way to detox and tone your skin.
2. Titania Foot File & Pumice - Of all the pumice stones and foot files I've tried this one is by far the most effective. Dampen feet in warm water in the shower, use the pumice side to remove roughness and then the file side to make your feet velvety smooth. I use it in the shower daily and it makes for amazingly soft feet everyday of the year.
3. Preserve Recyclable Razor - I love this razor because it's easy to grip and it's compatible with the generic versions of the Gilette Sensor refills. It's practical, eco-friendly and cost-effective.
A CHEMICAL-FREE MANI PEDI...
Step 1: Smooth nails using the coarse side of an emery board-style buffer.
Step 2: Buff nails to a glossy shine using beeswax-based buffing powder P.Shine and a buffer.
Step 3: Mix 1 Tbsp of salt with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Apply to hands and and feet. Rub into cuticles and gently massage skin before rinsing with warm water . Remove excess oil with a towel.
1. Homemade Salt & Olive Oil Moisturizing Exfoliator - This amazingly simple mixture (made by mixing 1 part salt and 1 part olive oil) exfoliates and increases circulation, and will leave your skin nice and soft.
2. Chamois Buffer - On their own these do not produce remarkable results but when used with P.Shine people will swear you're wearing a couple coats of clear polish.
3. Emory board buffer - Again, when used alone these do not compete with clear polish, but they are great as a primer for P.Shine powder.
4. P. Shine Polishing Powder - Even nail polish and removers that are free of know carcinogens like formaldehyde, toluene and DBP still contain toxic chemicals like Phthalic Anhydride. Until recently, when I was craving color, I indulged using safer brands like Priti, but more and more I feel it's not worth it, so I returned to this old favorite. Unlike other buffing methods it creates a smooth shine that looks exactly like clear polish. Sprinkle it onto your nails and then buff using a chamois buffer. The shine goes way beyond just buffing alone and it lasts and lasts.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THE BEST DEODORANT ON EARTH...
Anti-perspirant is possibly the most toxic beauty product people use on a daily basis. The aluminum and parabens they contain not only block sweat glands (defeating their purpose & causing them to form cysts) they've been linked to breast cancer. To add insult to injury, aluminum oxidizes when combined with your sweat and creates those lovely permanent yellow stains in your white tops.
I've probably tried every natural deodorant on the market and they all had one thing in common. They didn't work! Crystal deoderant is the first natural deodorant that worked 100% for 24 hours or more. Just wet it and apply it after showering. It's invisible, will never stain your clothes, and unless you drop it in the sink (it shatters like glass) one stick can easily last for over a year. It really doesn't matter which brand you use, just make sure it's the crystal and not the liquid version (which doesn't seem to work as well).