Several months back, I wrote a post called Detoxifying the Beauty Routine, which describes why I decided to quit using mainstream makeup and body care products. Since then, I’ve been really excited to see some of my friends and family also choosing to toss out the familiar drugstore products and start exploring natural alternatives.
The most daunting part about making that transition is figuring out what to buy. Once you’ve tossed out the makeup remover, face wash, and shampoo, you’re still left at the end of the day wondering how you’ll clean yourself. Going fully natural does not mean ending your beauty routine; it just requires you to become a conscientious consumer who reads labels and is a lot pickier about what you put on your skin.
Since I’ve tried loads of different natural products over the past 1.5 years, I thought I’d give a quick run-through of what’s in my bathroom cabinet and make-up bag. That way, if you’re interested in detoxifying, here’s an easy place to start.
In the shower and bath:
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap is amazing. It’s a big company that offers lots of different products, but I buy the big 32-oz peppermint liquid castile soap. The whole family uses it as body wash, and it leaves a delicious tingly feeling. My husband uses it as shampoo. I also tried the Baby Mild Bar Soap when I found it in Toronto, and it was great.
Weleda is a German company that makes all-organic, chemical-free skin and baby care products. Since it can be a bit pricey, I buy the Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash, which smells amazing on the kids, makes great homemade baby wipes, and makes my own hair feel silky soft without any conditioner.
Face Care Products:
Green Beaver frosty mint toothpaste is our family mainstay. (They make lots of other strange toothpaste flavours, like cilantro and apple and orange, but I’m not a big fan. The mint also suds up the most, which makes it most similar to regular toothpaste.)
Another face wash that I loved is Rose Mosqueta Facial Cleanser from Aubrey Organics.
For toner, I use plain witch hazel on a cotton pad and it does the same job as any typical chemical-laden toner.
This was the toughest thing to change, because I had an established make-up regimen. First of all, I don’t wear foundation or powder, so I don’t know anything about natural equivalents for those. I stick to eye makeup, and bought almost everything from Honeybee Gardens, which has an awesome website that also offers free samples. They make shimmery mineral eye shadows (my fave colours are satin, martini, and sedona) and great beeswax-based mascara. Best of all, their prices are competitive with any at the drugstore.
Lip balm and gloss comes from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company, handmade in Canmore, Alberta. The apricot balm is to die for, along with their luscious body butters and sexy yling ylang massage oil. My husband uses their aftershave and — best of all — they make a natural deodorant for both men and women that really works, as unbelievable as that may sound.
To be honest, this is the most challenging to figure out. I don’t yet have a standard, but I’ve tried everything from Green Beaver shampoo and conditioner to Toronto’s Soap Works’ all-in-one shampoo bar (that latter one wasn’t so successful). My best luck so far is with Desert Essence Red Raspberry Shampoo, but interestingly, their lemon tea tree shampoo was one of the worst I’ve ever tried. Still working on that…
I now swear by Weleda’s Calendula Diaper Cream. Two stories about it: First, my baby’s diaper rash wouldn’t go away. I slathered him with Penaten with every change, aired him out, switched up diaper types, all to no avail. After a week of it getting progressively worse, I bit the bullet and bought Weleda’s rather pricey diaper cream. In two days, his rash was gone. Second, I’ve been suffering from an eczema-like irritation on the palm of my hand that has gotten progressively worse for months. I didn’t use the cortisone cream that my doctor prescribed. Last week, when my skin was tearing open and searing with pain, I read that calendula is a good substitute for cortisone creams, so I slathered up with diaper cream. The next morning, the rash was all but gone. After a week, it’s almost perfectly healed — after six months of discomfort.
I might sound like a broken record, but I’ve never felt better since detoxifying everything. My skin is clear, never feels dry or tight (I almost never use moisturizer because none of the facial washes throws off the natural pH balance). I’ve become surprisingly sensitive to the strong smells of mainstream body washes and lotions. Last week, I grabbed an old bottle of St Ives facial scrub in order to feel ‘squeaky clean.’ After my shower, I could hardly smile because my face was so tight and dry; it felt awful! Into the trash it went…