I've switched over. I'm a convert. Even with my being so health-conscious with my food and exercise, I didn't really think I'd one day be using soap that has hemp in it. Or that I'd be parting from my failure-proof aluminum deodorant and delicious-smelling shampoos and hair masks, even though I knew there were things in there that probably weren't too great for me.
How big of a deal could it be, anyway? It just seemed too hard.
Too hard to learn which of those unpronounceable ingredients were the bad ones because they all sounded too similar; too hard to dump out all my not-exactly cheap cosmetics and beauty products to replace them with things I didn't know would even work; too intimidating, basically.
Have you guys felt this way before/now?
Switching over to all-natural beauty products free of harmful toxins and chemicals can be really intimidating and it's weirdly difficult to find information on what's okay and what's not. Especially when it's widely known that the beauty industry has very loose regulations on safe ingredients.
I am really not an expert in this field, the way I am with nutrition and fitness, but I wanted to share my journey to switching over to all-natural products because I know that a lot of you guys are interested in overall health and might be struggling with the same stuff as me.
How I started the process
I honestly don't think I would have been ready to take these steps a few years ago, because I was barely coming to grips with learning how to truly live a healthily balanced life when it came to my workouts and nutrition. So, I wasn't going to try to learn about overhauling all my toiletries, when I was already having a tough enough time with the workout and eating part. Little lifestyle changes, big outcomes, after all- I knew I'd work my way there.
So it happened quite gradually, then I finally reached a moment where I was ready to jump in a little more aggressively.
About two years ago, I switched to natural hand soaps, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. Then I went sulfate-free for shampoos. Then another few months later, non-toxic sunscreen. Then a few months ago, I was finally ready for an overhaul of all my hair and body products, along with some makeup.
My reasons why I made the transition
I started thinking about how concerned I'd get about organic, pasture-raised eggs, yet I slathered Lord knows what all over my skin everyday... My skin. The largest organ in my body.
It felt a little backwards to me.
What I put on my skin that stays there all day. Lotion. Deodorant. And after having a scare of finding a lump in my breast earlier this summer, that little voice inside my head about all the links between aluminum-based deodorant and breast cancer started to get a lot louder. After all, your armpit is right where some major lymph nodes are too.
All that aside, I personally have some unique issues that really cemented my decision to switch over to natural products. After struggling with exhausting autoimmune issues for the past 3 years that come with wildly unpredictable hormonal imbalances, I started to read more and more studies on how disruptive toxic household cleaners and beauty supplies were to my endocrine (hormone) system.
Sick and tired of being sick and tired, it was worth it for me to find out. When it comes to my health now, my motto is "do what I can, where I can, as much as I can."
So what do I use now?
I say the reasons why I'm doing it, present tense, because I'm still working on it. I'm sure there are products I'm using that aren't 100% pure, but only 95% or at least free of the major bad guys, but that's good enough for me right now. I'll learn more and evolve as I go. I mostly focus on trying to avoid sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, as those have most damaging evidence against them.
I still haven't found certain products I am going to marry for life, like face wash and I'm struggling with nail polish, but I do have current favorites I've been quite happy with so far!
My Current Favorite Natural Products
Soaps: Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
I personally prefer the bar soap (and I'm usually a body wash kind of girl!) to the liquid. Better lather, and I think it bars give me more uses than the liquid. But the liquid is awesome for an easy travel product- shampoo and body wash in one! Only made with pure and natural ingredients, it's an amazing multi-functional product.
The Intelligent Nutrients shampoo is great for an everyday gentle wash, and it smells deliciously pepperminty and refreshing. However, I have hair that feels greasy if I don't wash it everyday and I workout therefore sweat a lot, so about once a week, I'll use Dr. Bronner's to get a deeper clean.
Conditioner: Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic
I love this conditioner. My hair doesn't feel weighed down or greasy, just soft. I'm still on the hunt for a deep-conditioning mask for occasional uses in addition to this though!
I've tried so many different kinds of natural makeup removing cloths but this is my favorite so far, and they're also super convenient for traveling. Extra-soft cloths soaked in organic honey + jojoba and citrus oils, AND how cool is this: they're biodegradable. Bury them in a garden or flower pot, and they disappear in 60-70 days! Also, how cute is the packaging.
Toothpaste: Tom's of Maine
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest personal fan of this one, but some people adore it. I'm still on the hunt for one I like more but this will do as it's all-natural and perfectly minty. I'm just weird about toothpaste and I grew up on the SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)-ridden Crests and Colgates so I hate the lack of lather; but I'd rather not have the sulfates, so Tom's it is!
I was a Bath and Body Works junkie before but yeah, no bueno. Olive, Shea, and Jojoba-based Honest lotion is my favorite lightweight, non-greasy one for summertime when my skin isn't as dry. Aloe, Jojoba, and Coconut-based Puracy is amazing for this cold weather/dry skin season. Yes, I use the baby lotion because I love the lavender + grapefruit scent, but they also have fragrance-free versions! Both have no silicones, parabens, zero harsh chemicals, and both vegan.
Hand Creme: Sabon Hand Cream in Patchouli Lavender Vanilla
Wrote about this one in my favorite healthy tips for flights, but I'm never without this in my bag wherever I go. Shea butter + aloe based, paraben-free, and the smell is my favorite out of everything on this list. It's a MUST for me in winters especially, considering I wash my hands 100x a day thanks to dirty gyms and training!
This. This. I will be writing an entire post dedicated to the painful process of transitioning to natural deodorants (hello, I sweat for a living and am already paranoid about any hint of body odor), but this has been a lifesaver. I've tried 5 different ones before this. Yep, 5. This one is charcoal-based, with NO irritating baking soda (the one I tried with that almost burned me for life), and feels amazing. No stickiness, no wetness.
Hand Sanitizer: Honest Hand Sanitizer Spray
Also wrote about this one in my favorite healthy tips for flying, but cold and flu season is here and it's an necessity. It's alcohol-based, no dangerous FDA-banned antibacterial here. I love both the lavender and citrus scents.
Concealer: Honest Beauty Duo
An awesome portable compact, and the concealer blends quite well. I hate wearing makeup, but I still struggle with acne issues and this natural concealer doesn't irritate my skin or make me break out. It's good for heavier spot coverage! Still searching for an all-over face (still clinging onto my Giorgio Armani Silk Liquid, but who isn't...)
Lipstick: Glossier Generation G Matte Lipstick
Also an underrated product to focus on-- lip product! I think I've probably eaten a full tube of lipstick and lip balm in my lifetime, so extra important that it's natural. No parabens, and is mineral + antioxidant based. It glides on like a smooth balm but has awesome pigment like a matte lipstick. It's also shockingly smear proof (and kiss-proof hehe). Crush is my shade for a pop of color, while Like is my everyday look.
Mascara: Buxom Lash
Paraben-free and phtalate-free, and that's a good thing since it goes on right near your eyes. I've used this one for forever, even before doing this natural thing, and it's my favorite to separate and lengthen my lashes.
What about you guys- Any natural products you're loving? And how do you feel about natural beauty products?
Created in partnership with Kaia Naturals