I’ve spent the past few years playing around with + testing out natural beauty products. I am not like a “beauty” person—I wear make-up like 2x a month at this point in my life. But I do know that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body.
Your skin is your largest organ (I think—I’m not a biologist). Either way, it really matters what products we put on our faces, soak in during shower and/or bath time, and rub all over ourselves.
Especially since the majority of products on the shelf these days (a.k.a. the ones I’ve been using for years!) contain ingredients no one can pronounce, no matter what language you speak. They’re loaded with chemicals that are not so healthy. I wouldn’t open a jar of chemicals and knowingly douse myself in them. But when they’re packaged all pretty and branded to make you feel like you are about to become the most beautiful person ever when you use them, it’s easy to forget and overlook all the nasties inside. Fake scents are great at covering up what’s really lying underneath.
Sidenote: This list is to help, nothing else.
At this point, my sister would already be rolling her eyes and annoyed with me. She’d probably say something like:
We get it. Everything is bad for you.
I know it can be super annoying to have someone preach about how unhealthy certain things you actually enjoy are. When I used to smoke a pack of cigs a day (the exact opposite of natural beauty), the last thing I wanted was for someone to tell me: Um, yano smoking is bad for you. DUH! It’s called an addiction person, back off.
Basically, I get it too. We can’t all be 1000% healthy all the time. I’m definitely not. But because of some of my past not-so-healthy habits, I’ve now started learning healthier habits—and this is just one piece of my current wellness puzzle. And I wanted to share this because I’ve spent lots of time finding what works (and what does not so much work).
Disclaimer: I’m not all natural 100% of the time. Because life.
Even though I use these products regularly, it doesn’t mean I never use products that have chemicals in them. I’m human and I live in the heart of the United States of America. The land of McDonald’s, plastic and hot dogs. But just like with eating, I try to keep a 90/10 rule in mind. I limit my use of things with lots of chemicals in them. I believe (again—I’m not a scientist) that once in a while, this won’t cause total harm to our well-being. Our bodies are magical and beautiful machines that can detox from anything. It’s just the repeated use of chemical products every single damn day for years = no bueno.
Bonus: Natural Beauty Products = Less Expensive
Once I started regularly using this stuff, I realized I was spending waaaaay less on products. Because most of this stuff lasts for a while and a lot of the fancy brands are just expensive bottles of chemicals with pretty packaging. Thanks but no thanks. So just one more perk to keep in mind 🙂
Best All Natural Beauty Products
On my hunt to become a healthier human being, I’ve tried, loved, hated, and felt iffy about lots of all natural beauty products. I put together this list of the ones I really love. I use these (almost) every day myself. I hope it helps!
This one was the most difficult to find, so it’s going first. Essential oils are lovely and I use them all the time, but I could not for the life of me find a natural perfume that actually lasted all day. And the funniest part is I didn’t even find it—my mom did! She went to a Farmer’s Market in Woodstock, IL and met the founder of SAOR and bought me the best smelling perfume oil I’ve ever had in my life. And it actually works and contains no water or alcohol. The perfume comes in a little bamboo box and has bergamot in it, which is my favorite. SAOR is also the Gaelic word for “to be free”, which I’m into. The best part is part of the proceeds went to Opportunity International during the holidays, which I’m also super into.
Shampoo + Conditioner
By far, this one has taken me the longest to figure out. I have really thick hair that tends to get dry. Lots of natural shampoos don’t lather and then I end up walking around with a head full of caked on product that wasn’t properly rinsed out. Like most of the best things in life, these two gems popped up out of nowhere. My aunt gave them to me as a gift for the holidays and I’ve been obsessed ever since. They smell yummy and you only have to use a little dab. Also, I love their product descriptions: A creamy, nourishing shampoo to cleanse and tame belligerent hair. And the conditioner for stressed hair. Sounds about right.
Aesop Nurturing Shampoo
Aesop Nurturing Conditioner
Sidenote: When I run out, I’ll usually get some Acure Shampoo. I like the one with lemongrass. Smells so yummy (naturally, of course).
Body Stuff: Wash, Soap, Scrub, Lotion
This one is tricky and was the hardest for me to switch to. Because I was so used to heavily scented body wash products, so I just didn’t feel clean when I started using all-natural things instead. For body wash, I try to stick with the old tried and true Dr. Bronner’s. I like the one with lavender. I also will get handmade soaps from Farmer’s Markets and Whole Foods because I’m really granola like that. I’m obsessed with the Lavender Salt Scrub from Trader Joe’s along with their Body Butter. And my favorite all purpose body thing is coconut oil. I rub it on my face, my arms, my legs—everywhere. I’ll usually do this like an hour before bed so it has a little time to soak into my skin.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap – Lavender
Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub (way cheaper at the store)
Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter (get it at the store – but this price actually isn’t too bad!)
Coconut Oil (get it anywhere, just make sure it’s organic and unrefined)
Face Wash + Exfoliant
It took me a while to find these two too. I have super sensitive skin so I have to find things that are gentle and won’t make my whole face turn red. But I also want to be able to keep my pores clean so I try to (gently) exfoliate at least 1x per week.
Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Super Gentle Face Wash (for daily wash)
Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub Sea Kelp (for 1x per week scrubbing)
This stuff is like manna from the heavens. It is also very intense. It even says on the packaging: World’s Most Powerful Facial. You can mix it with water or with apple cider vinegar. It will cleanse your pores like there’s no tomorrow. Warning: if you have sensitive skin, prepare for your face to be bright red for 1-2 hours post-use. This isn’t a bad thing (it means it did its job) but if going somewhere soon, plan accordingly. I’ve made that mistake a few times, showing up places looking like I have a sunburn in the middle of the winter and such. I’ll usually leave this on for no more than 20 minutes tops.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
I’m a big fan of Tom’s. I go for the fluoride free antiplaque and whitening version. I’ve spent way too much of my life in a dentist’s chair, so this was one I was hesitant about switching up. I thought the chemicals might be helping to keep cavities away. Weirdly, I’ve been cavity free ever since I switched to a better, more natural toothpaste and stopped using mouthwash. Instead, I do oil pulling with coconut oil. To be really cool and “oil pull”, take about a quarter-size amount of coconut oil, plop it in your mouth and swish it around for as long as you can (10-20 minutes is best). It is kinda gross when you first start it. But once you get over that, it becomes addictive. Just be sure to spit it out not in your bathroom sink, because it can clog your pipes.
Dr. Tom’s Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste
Coconut Oil (make sure it’s the kind you would use in the kitchen – organic and unrefined)
This was really fun to test out! (insert eye roll) Especially since I was a regular Degree and heavy perfume user most of my life. Switching to a natural deodorant is a process. For a while, you will stink a little bit. There’s no way of getting around it. I just learned to embrace it and took way too many baths. After much trial and error, I found two below that actually work for a full day. It’s truly a miracle. Sidenote: when I really want to be safe, I will throw a little Dove deodorant on from time to time. Usually for like a party or something where I just really don’t want to risk accidentally smelling like a female lumberjack.
Crystal Essence Chamomile & Green Tea
Nfuse Deodorant (note: contains magnesium too which is a perk + created by 2 women)
Concealer + Blush + Eyeshadow
By no means am I a makeup person. My little sister has been teaching me how to do makeup for years. And she’s 8 years younger than me. Like when I was 20 and she was 12, she showed me how to apply concealer properly. I have NO CLUE what I’m doing when it comes to makeup. I used to cake on Cover Girl powder in layers and wear black eyeliner every.single.day. I wasn’t goth, just thought that was a good look for a while. Concealer is the first makeup product I wanted to swap because it’s like lotion and just soaks into your face. I found 2 products from RMS beauty that I’m obsessed with. They’re a little on the pricier side when you buy them both at the same time, but well worth it. They last for a while and are totally pure and non-toxic. I use the “un” cover-up to even out my skin tone a little bit and the magic luminizer on my cheekbones and sometimes, eyelids. They have great tutorial videos on their website too. I also bought their brushes and they work wonderfully.
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up (I use the 00 color b/c I’m very pale)
RMS Beauty Magic Luminizer
Bath time is my favorite time. I probably spend most of my money on books, food and bath products. I loooove taking a bath so much that sometimes I even do it twice in one day. There’s so many bath bombs and products out there, some with fake shit in them, like color dye and other toxins. Lush is a great place to get bath bombs that are fun and fizzy. I like to create my own bath recipes and add in whatever I’m feeling like at the moment. Epsom salts, essential oils and some sprays. Maybe apple cider vinegar or ginger if I want to detox a bit. I’ll probably write another post with bath recipes because I love them so much. But for now, these are my favorite bath products.
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soothe & Sleep Lavender
365 Epsom Salt Magnesium Sulfate
Radha Tea Tree Oil (add a few drops to cleanse and purify skin – go gentle on this at first if you’re not used to it)
Great Lakes Sacred Essences Miracle Spray (adds a little magic to the tub)
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