I never used to worry about the food I ate or the products I used, but after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I began exploring my options for restoring my health. I started with diet and then moved on to researching healthy beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group:
Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system.
The makers of personal care products argue that these toxins are used in such minuscule amounts that they cause no harm. The problem is, we don’t just use one of these products. Most of us are using multiple products. These toxins get absorbed into our bodies and impact our health.
In my research, I found the Think Dirty app and began scanning the products I’d been using. I was shocked to see how poorly they scored. The lower the score the better; I try to stick to products that score a three or below. I gradually replaced all my makeup and other personal care products with healthier options. As I began the transition to non-toxic products, I discovered that there were a few that just didn’t work as well as I hoped they would. But after some trial and error, I found products that I really like. Some of them cost more, but I use so much less of them that I think I’m actually coming out ahead on cost. These are my favorites.
Acure Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner – I have naturally curly hair and usually co-wash my hair (wash with conditioner – the recommended method for curly girls). I regularly wash with this conditioner and occasionally use the shampoo. This is by far the best shampoo/conditioner I’ve ever used. I have really liked all the Acure products I have tried. I don’t need lotion regularly, but when I do I like Acure’s.
W3LL People Narcissist Foundation Stick – I LOVE this foundation. It’s just the right amount of coverage for me. If you prefer heavy coverage this might not be for you. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it can sometimes be hard to find in stock. I usually buy it at Pharmaca or at Target (online).
Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow – Prior to switching to healthier products, I had just found a shadow that I liked that lasted. Before, it seemed like I would apply eye shadow in the morning and by mid-day it didn’t look like I was wearing any. I was not excited about beginning the search again. I think this was the first one I tried because it was available at Sprouts. They have a really great return policy so if you are experimenting with new products that’s a great place to begin the search. I think this shadow works as well as it’s less healthy predecessor.
Mineral Fusion Blush – I like this blush as much or more than any I used prior to going healthier. A little bit goes a long way so it’s also economical.
LaVanila Sport Luxe Deodorant – Deodorant is the product I had the hardest time with. I tried the homemade version but the baking soda was too harsh on my skin and made me break out. It seems that’s an ingredient in a lot of the natural deodorants because I had that problem with several other brands. They either made me breakout or didn’t work. I really think different things work for different people so you may have to experiment with several before you find something you like. This has a nice clean scent that would work for a man or a woman. It seems expensive for deodorant but it works and a stick will last several months. It is deodorant, not anti-perspirant, so you will still sweat – it just won’t smell bad.
LaVanila Vanilla Lemon Fragrance – Regular perfumes are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to unhealthy chemicals. They almost always score poorly in the Think Dirty App. Some of this is probably because the scent formulas are proprietary and nobody actually knows what’s being used in them. I love this Vanilla Lemon fragrance and stick to it for daily use. It has a nice clean (not overpowering) scent. I will occasionally use my formerly beloved Very Irresistible for special occasions.
W3LL PEOPLE Nudist ColorBalm Stick – This lip balm lasts better than some of the unhealthy lip colors I’ve used in the past. It doesn’t last as long as the Revlon ColorStay that I used to use, but it’s much healthier. I like the cherry.
SOD Cream – It seems like people are looking for a fountain of youth elixir when it comes to moisturizer. This is not that, but I feel like it works as well as any moisturizer can. SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) is an antioxidant that regulates collagen and elastin formation and is supposed to keep skin strong and smooth. I use it before I apply my foundation. I feel like it moisturizes and acts as a primer for my foundation.
W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara – I did not have high expectations for this all natural mascara. Like all the other W3LL People products I’ve tried, it did not disappoint. It has provides good coverage without clumping and doesn’t smear off.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – This was probably the biggest adjustment for me. It took me some time to get used to this soap. I’ve found the best way to use it is to mix it with water and use this foaming soap dispenser – a little goes a long way. I use it to wash my hands, face, and body and also use it to shave my legs. I use the non-scented version in my homemade eye makeup remover. My favorite scents are the Almond and the Peppermint. Trader Joe’s has a really good price on the Peppermint and Sprouts sometimes massively marks down the price; I will stock up if I happen to catch a sale.
Witch Hazel – Witch hazel is a plant native to North America. The leaves and bark from the plant are used to make an astringent. I usually mix mine with a few drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil and use it after washing my face. I often buy the Target brand or Walgreens brand. It can be found with the first aid supplies, by the rubbing alcohol and peroxide.
My skin is definitely healthier than it used to be. I’m not sure if it’s the change in products or the change in my diet. I suspect that it’s a combination of both. Have you changed swapped out your personal care products for healthier alternatives. What products to you love?