This post is the second part in a series of 4 posts that will offer tips and tricks on how to make the switch to natural, organic products in your home, personal care and for your family. Today’s post will deal with skincare and hair care. Stay tuned for posts on products for your whole family, as well as for cleaning your home.
Over the course of 4 years, ever since my “natural” journey began, I have tested a lot of products. It took me a long time to find most of the products I use today. In some areas, I’m still experimenting, remaining unsatisfied with some of the products I use.
Before I get into product recommendations, I want to start off by saying two things:
- A beauty routine is something that is, in my mind, incredibly personal. No two people are the same. Please don’t think that you have to follow what I suggest to the letter. These are just suggestions of products and brands that work for me. I encourage you to try things out, and to change things up when things don’t work, until you find what works for you. Beauty is meant to be fun. Experiment!
- The main thing to keep in mind when choosing natural beauty products is to always check ingredients. A lot of brands engage in green-washing, and pretend to be “green” and “natural” when they are really not. Be informed, look at ingredient lists, check your product in the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep Database. And if a brand is not transparent enough to share ingredient lists, don’t buy their products. If they are not transparent, then they probably have something to hide.
That being said, I will share with you a list of MY go-to products, hoping this inspires you to go for the natural route in your beauty regimen, and gives you a starting point in selecting products that work FOR YOU.
For the face
- I am in LOVE with Desert Essence’s cleanser for oily/problem skin. Its castille soap base does a great job of cleansing your skin. The tea tree oil cleanses and disinfects to prevent further breakouts. It also comes in a 1L bottle which is way more economical.
- I also love Cocoon Apothecary’s Petal Purity Cleanser. It is a wonderful cream cleanser that leaves the face fresh without over-drying. Smells wonderful too.
- I splurged on a Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System, used with my Desert Essence cleanser, which has replaced my usage of exfoliating products. I love it.
- For those not willing to invest, Cocoon Apothecary’s Petal Purity Exfoliating Cleanser is a super gentle cream cleanser with round jojoba beads that get the job done without overdoing it. It is gentle enough for everyday use.
Moisturizer : This has been a real challenge for me. Everything I would try clogged my pores and made me break-out. I now use the Eminence VitaSkin Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer, which has been doing wonders for my skin. The brand is on the pricey side, but well worth the investment for people like me who have trouble finding products that WORK.
Eye Cream : Cocoon Apothecary’s Eyewaken Eye Cream is marvelous. It is a light, refreshing eye cream that totally revives your tired eyes.
Mask : I love Cocoon Apothecary’s Ancient Mud Facial Mask (sensing a theme on brands I like here maybe?). It is very drying, however, so I never use it more than once a week.
For the body
- I use Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap bars in Lavender. They exist in all sorts of scents, including Unscented for sensitive skins.
- My husband uses Kiss My Face Bar Soap (I switch out the scents every time I buy one for him).
Both products are equally great, I just can’t use the Kiss My Face bars because the olive oil gives me a rash (go figure). My husband loves it though!
Moisturizer : I love the Magic Bean lotion by Cocoon Apothecary. It’s amazing stuff and smells like chocolate (yummers!). I also used it on my stomach to help prevent stretch marks and loved it.
Deodorant : I make my own deodorant using a recipe I found on the How about Orange blog a few years back. I have been using this exclusively for two years and it’s amazing! To give you an idea of how well it works, I applied some right before leaving for the hospital when I gave birth to my son, and 48 hours later, having had no shower, I still smelled very fresh. After 4 hours of intense pushing. Worth a try, no?
For the hair
Shampoo and conditioner :
- Hair care has been really tricky. I have difficult hair: thick, heavy, wavy, and on the dry side. I tried a gazillion natural shampoos and conditioners and was always disappointed. In the end I had to settle for a green-ish alternative. I use the Smooth Infusion line by Aveda. It is by no means the most natural product out there, but it is sulfate-free, paraben-free, and it works.
- My husband uses the Green Beaver Cranberry Delight shampoo and conditioner and loves them. They work really well for his hair, and are made in Canada. Most importantly, their formulation is entirely toxic-free.
Treatment : Cocoon Apothecary’s Organic Argan Oil is great. Argan oil in pure form (not the Moroccan Oil stuff that is shock-full of bad chemicals and fragrances) is great for treating split ends, for calming frizzy strays, and for overall treatment of dry hair. I use it every time I wash my hair, blending a few drops in my towel-dried hair.
So, what do you think of this list? Do you have any go-to natural products you would like to share?