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So, now that the whole infertility thing is out of the way, I feel like I can finally start talking about some of the topics that have grabbed my attention over the past year, one of those being natural beauty, personal care, and household products. Like I mentioned in my post on infertility, a friend who was on the same journey mentioned that she had switched over all of her products to non-toxic versions, which inspired me to do the same.
I had considered this switch before. I had even tried it once or twice, notably with natural deodorant, but I had never detoxed everything. It really helped that someone I knew had done it and was excited about it. Plus, she had some great recommendations for me, which I would love to pass along with some of the products I’ve discovered on my own.
How to get Started
First, beauty and personal care products are really expensive. Switching every product at once might not be financially feasible. I picked some of the heavy hitters to start with and then replaced other products as I ran out. This strategy also allows for plenty of time to research your options and possibly even order samples. I also recommend downloading the Think Dirty app and scanning your existing products to see which harmful products they contain. I now use the app at the grocery store to check products before purchasing them. You would be shocked out how many “natural” products rate a 9/10. I try to find products at a five or below.
If you start with switching to one natural product, deodorant should be top of your list. Conventional brands are filled with hormone disrupting toxins and aluminum, which are absorbed directly into your system through the large pores in your underarms. The challenge is finding the right one.
I tried several natural deodorants and even going without before picking up Schmidt’s at my local Whole Foods. I will openly admit I was influenced by a barrage of advertising on social media along with their beautifully-designed packaging. I found other natural deodorants felt slimy or slick, which totally grossed me out, while Schmidt’s feels creamy and then totally dry. I love this deodorant so much and will never use anything else. It smells great, it actually works, and it doesn’t irritate my skin. Think Dirty Rating: 3
I would recommend not wearing any deodorant for a few weeks before switching to Schmidt’s or any other natural brand. Your body needs to time to detox all of the toxins in your system, which isn’t very pleasant, but it is necessary. You might find you don’t need any deodorant at all.
Just like with deodorant, I tried several natural shaving creams before settling on Dr. Bronner’s. Unlike the other shaving creams I tried (and also coconut oil), this soap doesn’t junk up or dull my razor. It also results in the smoothest closest shave I’ve ever experienced, even with conventional shaving creams and gels. I also love the peppermint smell and little tingle. Think Dirty Rating: 0
I’m a wholesale member and distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. I have been using their oils for over a year now, but I only recently started ordering some of my household and personal care products from them as well. I love the Morning Start Bath & Shower Gel because it feels so fresh and clean and doesn’t irritate my skin, which has happened with other body washes.
You can sign up as a member with Young Living and save 24% on all your orders (no minimum or selling required) or you can purchase retail via their website.
I used to use whatever body lotion was on sale at the grocery store, but when I started to think about it, I realized that body lotion is one of those products that I apply all over and absorbs into my skin. I found this body lotion at Whole Foods, and I think it’s an awesome value ($14.99 for 32 oz), works really well, and smells absolutely delicious. Think Dirty Rating: 5
Natural Skin Care
I use this serum first thing every morning, and it feels so refreshing and light. It preps my skin perfectly for the cucumber moisturizer. I have dry skin, and this product gave it that extra little boost of moisture. This little bottle lasted four months.
I follow up the serum with the coordinating cucumber moisturizer. One little pump can cover my entire face when paired with the serum. My serum recently ran out, but I still have plenty of moisturizer left in the bottle after five months of daily use. As with the serum, I love the fresh clean feeling of this product. My skin looks instantly better after applying it.
I apply this thicker night cream most nights after cleansing. It has a pretty fruity smell. A little goes a long way. I have not used up my first jar after five months, though I don’t use it every single night. My skin definitely looks fresher on mornings after applying this cream.
I couldn’t believe it when 100% Pure sent me a full-size version of this eye balm for free when I ordered the other three products above. I use this product in the evening before applying the Ultra Riche moisturizer and sometimes in the morning after a sleepless night. It’s very light and absorbs easily. I feel like it’s brightening up my undereye circles and firming up that delicate skin.
I randomly found this face mask scrolling through the discover tab on Instagram. There was a video of this absolutely stunning woman who demos natural beauty products slathering this disgusting looking green slime all over her face. I had to check it out.
I ordered my clay powder on Amazon for under $10.00 with no misgivings. It has almost 5 stars with over 13,000 reviews! The tub contains about a pound of clay, and I expect it to last for over a year. This is totally an amazing bargain. I mix the powder with equal parts water and Braggs apple cider vinegar (you have to use real vinegar). It mixes into a smooth, green, watery looking slime that I slather all over my face around 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick with a small spatula. If you use the vinegar, you will feel a nice tingly sensation as it dries. I leave my mask on for twenty minutes, but you should test it out first with a shorter time period.
The mask leaves my skin totally smooth and hydrated and sucks all of the yucky stuff out of my pores. If you can apply the mask before showering, then you can rinse it off in the shower. It can be a little messy to get off in the sink. I usually rinse my face continuously and use a wash cloth to get it off.
The charcoal face mask was my first Beauty Counter purchase. It has a pleasant smell – a little minty – and works in about ten minutes. I also find it much easier to remove than the Aztec clay. I use this mask when I want a quick pick-me-up for my skin but don’t want all of the mess associated with the Aztec clay mask.
I purchased the charcoal soap along with the mask and used it pretty routinely for several months. I like the soap and felt a noticeable improvement in my skin when I used it. It definitely does not fully remove makeup, so I recommend pairing it with another product. I often use coconut oil to remove stubborn eye makeup.
TJ’s cleansing oil was a random find while grocery shopping, but it’s turned out to be one of my favorite, cheap skin care products. I used to dabble in oil cleansing but hated the mess of it. This oil blend comes in a handy pump. I rub one pump of oil into my dry hands and apply to my dry face, rubbing it in as much as possible. Then I dampen my hands with luke-warm water and rub them all over my face again. This creates a subtle lather. Finally, I rinse and pat my face dry before moisturizing. This oil usually removes all of my makeup even stubborn mascara. If I see I a little left under my eyes, I will remove it with some coconut oil. My skin feels amazing after using this oil.
Alright, I have to admit that even at 38, I don’t feel like washing my face every single night. However, I always use one of these wipes at the very minimum. I prefer the Cucumber and Sage because it seems to do the best as removing makeup; however, I like the Grapefruit as well. I can usually find these on sale at the grocery store and buy multiple packs when I do. When I travel, I bring along a wipe for each evening in a plastic bag, which is much more travel-friendly than worrying about oil spilling all over my bag. Think Dirty Rating: 5
I’ve ordered this face oil from Beauty Counter twice now and used it as my primary moisturizer before switching to the 100% Pure products. I like the subtle floral scent and how soft it leaves my skin. It can be challenging to apply makeup after using this oil, so now I mainly use it at night.
I received a 5ml bottle of frankincense oil in my Young Living starter kit. I did a little research on how to use it and discovered that it can be very beneficial to your skin. When I first received my starter kit, I was in the throes of my terrible face rash. The rash would come and go, and when it first receded, it left many dark scars all over my cheeks. I applied a few drops of frankincense to my face every night until the bottle was gone, so probably a few weeks. Miraculously, the scars completely faded and now they look a little like light freckles. I will probably reorder frankincense soon but use it in a blend with other oils as it is very expensive.
Full confession: I have not switched out my hair care products yet. I have fine thin hair, and I can’t use just any old thing on it. I’ve been paying up for “good” hair care prodcuts, mostly Aveda, since I was in college. They make a huge difference. I do want to make the switch and am interested in Beauty Counter’s new line of hair products. If anyone has any good recommendations for fine thin hair, I would love to hear them.
So, collagen protein isn’t necessarily a beauty product, but I do thinking adding it to my routine has helped my skin, hair and nails. Since I’ve been taking it, every time I go for a hair cut, my stylist remarks on how quickly my hair grows.
I initially started taking it to help with joint pain and a recurring nerve pain in my neck. It definitely helped ease that pain almost instantly. I ran out of collagen back in the Spring and didn’t purchase any for a few weeks. I noticed that my joint pain, mostly in my hips, returned after a week or so. I also suffered from really bad eczema during my first trimester. Once I started taking the collagen again, both the pain and the eczema disappeared immediately. It was almost magical.
I subscribed to Dr. Axe’s collagen for a while, and then I switched to Vital Proteins because I wanted to buy it quickly when I ran out of the Dr. Axe. Dr. Axe does have a subscription program, and I will probably start ordering my collagen again that way when the Vital Proteins runs out. I mix one scoop with my coffee or tea every morning, and the seven grams of protein it contains are a nice bonus.
I switched over most the products I apply to my face in late December / early January, and within a short period of time observed a noticeable difference in my skin. I still break out in small red bumps (not actual blemishes) when I eat too much dairy and gluten, but most of the time, my skin is perfectly clear. The rash has not returned at all, even though I haven’t been using any sunscreen. I know this is bad, but I couldn’t find a natural one I liked, and a little part of me wanted to see if I really did have a sun allergy. Definitely not!
I don’t think the products I was using before caused the rash, but I don’t think they were helping my skin. I used to be the kind of girl who wouldn’t even go to the grocery store without makeup. Now I really only wear makeup for work and if I’m going out. Maybe part of it is getting older and being more comfortable in my own skin, but I really do see a marked improvement in the quality of my skin’s tone and texture after going natural. Stay tuned for another post with my favorite natural makeup products.
Are there any must-have natural beauty products you think I should try? Let me know in the comments.