By Shannon Argentina McDonald
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Everyone wants to look good and smell good, but at what cost? What if I told you that pristine personal hygiene is attainable without harming yourself in the long run?
After watching the documentary Stink on Netflix, I have become more aware that the cosmetic products we use are not heavily regulated by the FDA and corporations can put just about anything into our shampoo, lipstick, lotion, perfume and other products. Yikes!
Some ingredients that are still allowed in the U.S. have been banned as toxins and carcinogens in other countries, like the E.U. The second I realized this, I beelined for my bathroom cabinet. I realized that many of the products that are marketed as being “natural” and “clean”, actually are not. That counts for some of the ones sold in health food stores.
After diving into a deep rabbit hole of research and a lot of trial and error, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite non-toxic beauty and self-care products. None of the products on this list are sponsored, they are just products that I have researched and am either in the process of trying out or have loved forever!
BODY WASH: Dr. Bronner’s
I love either the peppermint or eucalyptus Castille soap in the summer since they are cooling, or the rose or lavender in the colder months - but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Shampoo & Conditioner:
After discovering that my favorite “natural” shampoo and conditioner actually contain fragrance and dyes, I have just ordered these EWG verified shampoo and conditioners from Amazon.
Moisturizer: Everyone Lotion in Lavender & Aloe or Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Energizing Body Lotion (I have recently had luck finding both of these at TJ Maxx!)
Toothpaste: Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride-Free Anti Plaque & Whitening Toothpaste in Peppermint or Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint All-One Toothpaste
I alternate between these two kinds of toothpaste, and both leave my mouth feeling clean and minty! Just a side note, I recently got this electronic toothbrush since my gums were often sensitive and in pain with a normal brush, and I am in love. Both of these are whitening, but if you want to step up the whitening, even more, I suggest using a different toothbrush with some natural activated charcoal powder or paste.
Self-Tanner: Beauty by Earth Safe & Effective Self Tanner
This summer, I have been much more conscious of how damaging UV rays from the sun can be to the skin if overexposed for extended periods of time. I love that golden, glowy look as much as the next gal, but tanning booths, chem-cloud spray tans, and overexposure to the sun can lead to devastating consequences like cancer, and can also lead to premature wrinkles down the road. I love the ingredients of this self-tanner and it is EWG verified. I exfoliated using a dry brush and a homemade coconut oil sugar scrub beforehand and then applied this evenly all over my body, including my face. The next morning, I woke up tan and glowy without any streaks or splotches! And when this fades, it fades evenly without leaving any weird cheetah spots. Loving this stuff this summer!
Face Wash: Desert Essence Tea Tree Face Wash
Desert Essence is one of my favorite brands for clean products, and this face wash is very refreshing - just don’t get it in your eyes! I also love using a Konjac Sponge, which is a Korean natural fiber tool that is quite inexpensive (i found mine at Walmart). It gently exfoliates the skin and gives your skin a deep clean!
For moisture: Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Mask
An exfoliating mask that is good for taking care of little bumps and dead skin buildup: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
For breakouts, cleansing & detoxifying: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - this mask is hardcore! It really pulls the gunk out of your skin and you can feel it working. This comes as a powder and you can either add filtered water or apple cider vinegar, and I like to apply it using a makeup brush or paintbrush!
Since it is summertime, I am currently loving the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Daily Shade Facial Lotion with SPF 18 to protect my skin from the sun. Another great facial moisturizer with clean ingredients is Pure Haven’s Refresh Moisturizer. Pure Haven also has a lot of helpful information on their site about clean cosmetics. I also love 100% Squalane Oil and Rosehip Oil as serums to lock in moisture and add a pretty glow.
For complexion: I am currently still using Pacifica concealer and BB cream once in a while, but I am not 100% sold on these two products since the ingredients do list “parfum.” Until I find another affordable alternative, this is my favorite and it does work great, and they both have far better ingredients than most other BB Creams, foundations and concealers. They also have many ingredients that are beneficial for the skin, such as jojoba, rose, ginseng, and kelp extracts, and are affordable options. A higher-end option that I love is 100% pure, and they also carry foundation, BB cream, and concealer.
Mascara: 100% pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara
This is a splurge that is well worth the cost! I am in love with this mascara and it lasts without getting clumpy or going bad. It is made with great ingredients including berries, cocoa, and black tea and smells amazing! I could not recommend this one more.
Eyebrows: Zuzu Luxe Cream Eyebrow Pencil
I have had this Zuzu pencil since 10th grade and I just graduated college and am still using the same one! This shows you how long it lasts, especially since I use it often.
Highlighter/eyeshadow: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Satin Eyeshadow
This is a bit on the pricey side, and I received it as a gift - but it lasts and can be used as eyeshadow or highlighter beautifully! I put it in the corners of my eyes, on my cupids bow (the little divet above top lip), and on my cheekbones. I also love Cocokind’s highlighter sticks!
Lips: Soothing Touch Lip Balm in Vegan Vanilla Chai
I recently discovered this lip balm at a local health food store and the scent is amazing, like cardamom and french toast! The products that we put on our lips are very important to pay close attention to since we are basically eating whatever goes on our lips. If we apply red lipstick made with harmful ingredients like dye, lead, and coal tar, those things are being ingested right into our bodies. I personally do not wear lipstick, but check the EWG for naturally made alternatives!
If you are curious about any of the products that you already own, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database and search ‘em up for a breakdown. They also have an app that allows you to scan the barcode of any product!
Learn more about different chemicals lingering in products, here!