When I first discovered my gluten allergy, I remember being really confused seeing shampoos advertising themselves as gluten free. Why does it matter if you’re just putting it in your head? It’s not like you’re eating it. Well, actually, you are. Your skin is.
Beauty truly does come from within. Of course your joy and your kindness and your heart. But not just your character. Also literally your insides. Your organs and the information you provide them in the food you eat, and the water you drink, and the chemicals your skin drinks up. Your skin is your largest organ, after all. Whatever you put on it, it absorbs. It truly becomes a part of your cells. So parabens that work as preservatives and phthalates that soften plastics and sodium lauryl sulfates that make products foam – these get into your system and bind to other chemicals to cause carcinogens or maybe even worse for us ladies xenoestrogens that absolutely whack up our whole endocrine system. This stuff is real and serious and honestly infuriating when you realize there are 1328 chemicals the EU has banned from their cosmetics, while the US banned only 30. 30! Compared to 1328! That to me says the US government cares about 2.25% of our health or only 2.25% more about its people than its money.
But instead of just getting pissed at the state of our system, just like my passion in government-regulation in our food, I decided to stop complaining and instead take matters into my own hands. I’ve worked for years to raise my awareness on ingredients and labels in food products, and now I’m doing the same with my cosmetic products. In an effort to reduce the toxic load on my body, I’ve been in the slow process of transitioning my products over to natural and non-toxic options. It’s been a journey finding ones I actually like, but I wanted to share all my current favorites with you, to help empower you to do the same! Alas, my current non toxic beauty and skincare favorites:
Note: none of these products are sponsored! The Botanics cleanser, toner & oil were sent to me but with no expectation to share about them. And the rest I’ve purchased with my own money. As always, these are my honest opinions!
D E O D O R A N T | I’m starting with deodorant because it was the first product I switched on my non-toxic journey. I was reading so many studies about the metals and fragrances in deodorant being linked to breast cancer, and after my aunt was diagnosed with it, I said “yeah I’m not waiting another second” and I scoured Amazon for a natural version. The hunt was long. Real long. Like probably 8 different tries and lots of smelly armpits. Because lets be honest, the aluminum and artificial fragrances were there for a reason- they worked. But I never gave up the hunt for a real one that work. I really liked the Lavanila brand for quite a while, and I still recommend it as a good one. But Native deodorant has since replaced it as my favorite. I’m obsessed. It goes on like real deodorant, it nourishes and moisturizes my insanely sensitive armpits, and it actually works! One thing I love about them is they’re constantly rotating their scents for the seasons, so it’s easy to get a new fresh smell every time you switch out for a new stick. I’ve tried the Coconut & Vanilla, the Strawberry & Rhubarb, the Orchid and the Lime & Coconut and they’re all so incredibly scrumptious. Just do yourself a favor and buy the 3-pack. You won’t regret it.
C L E A N S E R S | One of the next products that got me fired up to switch to non-toxic was my cleanser. I used Cetaphil for years. Like truly, at least 15 years. It was soft and gentle and fragrance free, so it couldn’t be bad, right? Sadly, so wrong. It’s rated on the ThinkDirty app with an 8/10 on the toxicity scale! And I had a really hard time parting with it because I just loved the way it made my skin feel. But I’ve found the Botanics Softening Cleanser to be the perfect replacement. It doesn’t strip my skin of moisture but it still cleanses well. I use this simple almond oil on an organic cotton ball to wipe my mascara off and I absolutely love it because it works while moisturizing my lashes. And then I use either the Cocokind organic rosewater toner or the Botanics refreshing toning spritz. If I wore make-up that day or just feel like I need an extra clean, I might wipe it off with a cotton swab, but often I just spray then moisturize.
C O C O K I N D S T I C K S | It’s safe to say I’m thoroughly obsessed with these cute babes. I use the turmeric stick to spot treat anytime a pimple or redness pops up, and the anti-inflammatory powers of the yellow magic truly helps to reduce the ugliness and speed the healing. (Pro tip: use it on your blemishes underneath the chlorphyll mask.) And the mymatcha stick is a lifesaver for those “I need a good cry” days (which admittedly have happened a lot in this crazy season of life). A little pat and rub under the eyes helps the dark circles and puffy bags.
M O I S T U R I Z E R S | It took me (and my skin) a long time to get on the oil train, but I’m now forever on board. I started with Cocokind’s chia oil, but it’s quite heavy so I don’t recommend starting with it. I use a mixture of all of these. I really love the Botanics nourishing oil because it’s a blend of almond oil, rosehip oil and some other softer and lighter oils. I usually add a drop of the Burt’s Bees naturally ageless repairing serum to my Botanics at night because I love the pomegranate and evening primrose. I use the Burt’s Bees radiance eye cream to blot on my eyelids and undereyes for some good eye moisture and protection. And not every day, but every other day or so I’ll use the Sundown Naturals Vitamin E oil to blot on to specific areas that have a little pigmentation or coloring. This stuff is thickkk. In fact, when I first got it I thought it must have been a bad batch. But it’s not. Just lightly dab it in places that need it instead of trying to spread it all over your face. The jojoba oil I mostly use as a carrier for my essential oil blends (I’ll do a whole other post on that.) And the Body Shop tea tree lotion is one I use periodically at night if I’m fighting breakouts because tea tree is a natural killer of the bacteria in blemishes and I’ve noticed it work wonders in healing up acne faster.
M A K E – U P | I’ve never been a big make-up guru (I’m basically inept at any make-up application skills), and truly most days I don’t wear any at all (thanks to my naturally glowing skin from all the above products!), but I am finding a few natural basics to be a really great addition to my daily routine. I loveee the Pacifica dreamy cover bare-faced serum foundation with SPF 20. It does just enough to smooth over imperfections in your skin but not enough that anyone else would even notice. For days when I want extra coverage, I’ll also layer on the Pacifica ultra cc cream radiant foundation with SPF 17. If needed, a spot treat with a tiny dab of the Pacifica transcendent concentrated correcting concealer. I’ll cover that with the Cocokind facial powder to smooth out any unwanted shimmer. And then I’ll dab the Cocokind macabeet on my cheeks for a little pink blush effect. I’m still searching for a natural mascara I actually like, but I find curling my lashes with this pretty curler helps add a little lift as a finishing touch. And truthfully I’ve worn eyeshadow and eyeliner only a handful of times in my 24-year-long life, so I haven’t even tried to search for any non-toxic options.
M A S K S | We all know a girl needs a few trusty masks in her life for those bougie moments. These two are mine. The Cocokind chlorophyll mask is a gentle but effective one I like to use once or twice a week or randomly when blemishes pop up. I love it because the ingredients are literally edible. In fact, I could easily put it in my morning smoothies. And then I use the Indian Healing Clay mask (only $9 on Amazon and it lasts foreverrr) when I need a more heavy-hitter. Its only ingredient in bentonite clay, and mixing it with apple cider vinegar works WONDERS.
L A S H S E R U M | Maybe not the most pure and natural product of the bunch, but in my opinion it’s so worth it. I will say, I was naturally blessed with some long lucious lashes (thanks dad), but I’m never going to say no to thicker and longer. Especially since mascara is just the worst to take off. I’ve been applying this natural eyelash serum from Amazon to my top lash roots most nights before bed and they have undeniably been growing. I’m into it. Especially at only $30 compared to the leaders at $80-$150 a tube.
S E L F T A N N E R | Ya girl is pasty white, and a little bit of a glow always makes me feel more radiant. But I’ve been making a serious effort to protect my skin from sun damage, so pasty white I stay. I go through phases with self-tanner, loving the glow and hating the stink. But this Beauty by Earth self-tanner is pretty darn clean and it actually smells pretty darn amazing.
T O O T H P A S T E | And lastly, another product I struggled with many bad finds over. Once I got my thyroid diagnosis, I learned that fluoride can be bad for thyroid health and realized my favorite Crest with Scope (and lots of fluoride) just wasn’t worth it if it was a small simple switch I could make. I tried way too many fluoride+SLS -free toothpastes that just didn’t work. And if I brush my teeth and my mouth feels anything but clean, I’m not going for it. This Jason’s Powersmile Whitening Paste has that tingly-clean minty freshness. And it doesn’t leave your mouth feeling coated in a weird starchy texture. And it’s not $10 a tube like some of the others. A total non-toxic score.
I hope you love these as much as I have. It’s actually been a fun process testing out new products and just enjoying the journey.
A few tips for your non-toxic transition:
- Don’t freak out and do it all at once. As you use up your products and need more, simply replace it with a non-toxic option.
- Give it time. Your skin and your armpits and your body might need time to adjust. If you don’t like it on your first use, don’t give up on it. See it through to know if you really don’t like it or if you just need to give it that adjustment period. Especially with your skincare, give it time. My skin definitely had an adjustment period to all of these products but I’m so glad I stuck it out because now I can confidently rock no make up or just a few oils and know my skin is glowing on its own.
- I used to use the Think Dirty app to suss out all my products, but I’ve heard that they were recently bought out by Procter & Gamble (one of the massive conglomerates that produces all of our favorite toxin-laden products) and since then a lot of their toxicity scores have been changed! I’ve read that the EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database is more reliable, although much less expansive.
These are small and simple (and truthfully affordable) swaps to love your body a little better. And for that we say YAY! Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram if you try any of these – I’d love to hear what you think!