Ever think beyond the obvious implication of the nicotine and birth control patch? Our skin is an excellent form of transportation. We can transport chemical, birth control hormones, and many other things through our skin. I take care to cut down on pesticides and other chemicals through our eating habits. It would be a little ironic to then turn around and rub chemicals into our skin through our lotion, face wash, and soap, so I try to cut down on that toxin load as well.
It’s not well known, but there aren’t laws that enforce safety testing in personal care products in the US. This has meant that many ingredients in our personal care items are illegal to use in some other countries. While it would be helpful to have more regulation in this area, I think that we can take personal responsibility in this area and research for ourselves what products are safe and which are not. It’s actually simple to do! In the future I hope to share more home made recipes to use and some of the brands I personally use. But today I wanted to share two simple tips to help with the overarching picture.
Put on your skin what you would put in your mouth
If it’s safe to eat, it’s safe to put it on your skin. If it’s toxic to consume, you better not eat it either. It’s really as simple as that. While some things that are perfectly safe to use on your skin, you wouldn’t necessarily eat (like shea butter), many compeletely normal food items are great for your skin too (like coconut oil, avocado, and oatmeal).
Use the Skin Deep Database for research
If you haven’t used it before, you have to check out this website. This database has thousands of brands as well as individual listings of ingredients. You can check your make up, lotion, deodorant, baby lotion, soap and many other personal care items. They tell you which ingredients are safe, which aren’t and which ones don’t have testing yet.
Stay tuned for a personal care item giveaway. Meanwhile, I would love to hear from you all! What are your favorite (safe) personal care items!
Latest posts by KimiHarris (see all)
- 2 Ingredient Peppermint Bark - December 21, 2022
- Herbal Hibiscus Lemonade (Keto, THM) - March 16, 2022
- Creamy Curry Red Lentil Soup - December 8, 2021
I took on the “if it can’t go in my mouth it can’t go on my skin” mentality and have been making my own products ever since. It’s been exciting at times and so incredibly frustrating at other times(hair products have been the most difficult). But overall it has been more than worth it.
Actually, I just started a series at my blog, http://wildnotwise.blogspot.com, called “Simple Natural Beauty.” Feel free to check it out. Today I hope to make a huge post about my natural hair care routine. I use almost entirely edible products, with the exception of a commercial witch hazel toner and Dr. Bronner’s soap.
Jane Iredale makeup. Most of their products score well on the Skin Deep website and the line is a really high quality. Love it.
I just discovered MadeOn Hard lotion bars. Fabulously wonderful. Three ingredients- Beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil. I have no connection with the company, just love the product.
They are one of my sponsors! I love them too.
I like Tropical Traditions unscented coconut soap. I also barter for homemade emu oil soap, unscented, from a woman here I know locally. Fragrances really bother me and I don’t want to use anything unnatural on my children.
I use the Skin Deep Database all the time.
I really like goat milk soaps and lotions from Windrift Hill – a small, family-run company in Montana. They have a great website: http://www.windrifthill.com/lotions.html. I also have no affiliation with them, except I was looking for some natural soap that wouldn’t irritate my skin. I have some plant allergies where I work 3 months out of the year, and probably have mild excema . . . but this stuff is great, affordable, and lists of all ingredients are on the product and online – all good stuff goat milk from their really cute goats (photos online), shea butter, mango butter, etc. Everything’s available in lovely, non-irritating scents (this is the first time ever I’ve been able to use scented lotions) or unscented.
My biggest struggle is sunscreen. Do you just not use it, or do you use something natural?
Build up a tan slowly, so you won’t burn. Your skin needs to make vitamin D and it can’t do that through sunscreen!
You might want to check out Mexitan (http://www.mexitan.com/). They offer an entire line of natural sunscreen. We started using it after seeing it recommended by Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com). He sells the same product under his own label now. We love it.
That being said, I only use sunscreen when I am going to be outside for a period of time that would burn my skin. Otherwise, I try to soak up the sun for the Vit D.
Coconut oil can be used to help protect your skin from sunburn as well.
I’ve not tried this, but I’ve heard that cod liver oil will reduce your susceptibility to sunburn.
Natural sunscreen can be made using choraphyl water. basically take some grass clippings, soak them in water till its nice and greenish, then add it to a lotion, coconut oil, or simply spray it on. it’s not a great alternative but it helps.
I’m a BIG fan of No-Poo. I started it several months ago and haven’t looked back! I have a series on my blog called “I’m Not a Dirty Hippie” where I write about natural personal and household care products: http://hippie-status.blogspot.com/search/label/I%27m%20Not%20a%20Dirty%20Hippie
I recently got almond oil which I use for general body moisturizing. I also got some wonderful shea butter for my hands. (both from Rose Mountain Herbs).
I use Kiss My Face olive oil soap. Facial moisturizer and shampoo and conditioner from Dr. Ron’s Ultra Pure.
Still working on a deoderant solution. And some sort of hair styling stuff.
For deoderant I found a product through a family company, Wilderness Family Naturals. I have been using the same stick for over a year. It works great for me. Much better than anything I tried at Whole Foods or the baking soda method (which irritated my skin).
Here are the ingredients from their Floral Mist scent (really does not smell flowery though): Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Unrefined Sesame Seed Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Chamomile Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil and Lemongrass Essential Oil.
Here is their website: http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/category/body-and-skin-care-deodorants.php
thanks – I’ll chk it out.
I’ve just ordered some Made On Lotion bars- although I plan to start making my own soon- and their bug repellent bar; I made a homemade batch of lipbalm that tastes great (coconut oil, honey, beeswax and peppermint ess. oil); olive oil as eye makeup remover; soaps from Lusa Organics (not that I’d want to eat these but I feel good about using them), etc. Admittedly, I’ve reverted from some natural products back to less healthy versions as I was having issues with the former. So not a PERFECT system. Also, my husband and teenage son are super resistant to some of the more natural products while my girls are more interested. It helps to get them involved in making the homemade versions.
I make my own lotions and try to make haircare products. Mountain Rose Herbs is the best for all the ingredients.
I use homemade soap and coconut oil as a moisturizer. I love knowing exactly what ingredients are in my soap.
After trying out the MadeOn Lotion Bars, I started making my own moisturizing creme with beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and calendula (to help my eczema). So much better than the petroleum-based products I was using before! And I gave up shampoo/conditioner and started making my own deodorant. I’m officially crunchy now. 🙂
I use and adore EARTH TO BODY. They are a fantastic company and are always looking for solutions to help people with any skin issues. LOVE THEM!!! 🙂
I used to live close to a soap shop that uses only natural ingredients in their soap, and I really need to order a big batch now that I’m far away. I was very pleased with it, and there are lotions and I think shampoos too. http://www.sunriseshowers.com/soap.htm#barsoap.
Also I just bought some deodorant products from LUSH, which for those of you that haven’t heard of it, is a store that makes natural body products (some more natural than others). The store is in many large cities but you can always order online if you don’t have one near. I’ve been looking for a “working” natural deodorant for years (crystal deodorant and others did not work for me). It may be too early to tell but so far it’s worked very well. It’s just a solid bar that you rub onto your underarms. There are three types to choose from. I couple it with some coconut cornstarch based deodorant powder I also got from LUSH, just for extra insurance. I want to try their bar shampoos next.
Thanks for this article and the reminder to keep things as natural as possible with body care!
I LOVE Lush! Great stuff–I just wish there was a shop close to where I live! I love their deodorants! I think I’ve tried them all and have also used the Karma body powder for deodorant (smells so awesome). Love Aromaco and Aromarant–very earthy and works great. With those two (the solid deodorant bars) I find that if I moisten them with a little water first they apply really easily (they didn’t apply well “dry”).
I would love to have some ecomnomical and easy choices for personal care items. I have 5 kids and can’t afford the hair products for us all. I have tried making a few but none work well so we are back to using the bad stuff. I would love to see more info on homemade, easy, products that work, especially a conditioner for curly hair.
I use olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil on my face and hands and my children’s faces. I use baking soda as an exfoliant on my body and face and honey as a natural antiseptic and acne helper on my face (smells so good!). At night I use a mixture of baking soda and sea salt mixed with a little aloe vera juice to brush my teeth (doesn’t give you that minty fresh smell or taste for morning brushing but is so good for your gums). And a year ago I started making my own deoderant. Arrow root powder or corn starch mixed with baking soda (equal parts) and then softened up with coconut oil (but I’ve used olive oil too) until you get a dry toothpaste consistency. Coming from a “sweaty girl” I really love the stuff!
My teenage daughter and I really like Mychelle skincare. She had very severe acne until I finally took her to a holistic dermatologist. The derm. got her on Mychelle skincare (for acne skin) and also diagnosed her with food allergies (which has made a huge difference in her skin). I use the Mychelle skincare products for more dry or mature skin. I find them to be super effective both both my and my daughter’s skin types and I love that there is nothing nasty in it. Iherb.com sells it at the best discount I’ve found.
I shop at Running Wild Spirit (www.runningwildspirit.com) in Maltby, WA. They have lovely hand-made soaps and body products…even stuff for animals! Have natural bug-off stuff, sunscreen, candles, and bath fizzies for mom and for kids, etc. LOVE them! My boys call it the “soap store”, and it’s one of their favorite places too (they’ve spent their allowance there on more than one occasion!).
I get my “make-up” stuff at http://www.everydayminerals.com. Minerals for your skin…you can’t beat that!
I alternate between grapeseed oil and coconut oil on my skin, I can’t believe the compliments I get on my skin. My son uses honey for acne. He doesn’t like it but he knows it works. A little goes a long way. I am also from the belief if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t put it on your skin.
how do you use honey for acne? do you apply it directly or dilute it at all?
My personal favorite is just baking soda under the arms after a shower. Keeps me from smelling all day! I also make my own diaper ointment with oils and beexwax and herbs. Just whatever I have on hand that’s good for the skin and it it works great.
I like to make my own deodorant as well…and have made hard lotion, similar to MadeOn. I’d like to try out some of the companies listed above, they sound great!
Homemade deodorant is my latest ‘discovery’ – didn’t like commercial ones (all those chemicals!) and they never worked anyhow. Passionate Homemaking blog has a very simple one using extra virgin coconut oil, arrowroot and baking soda – and it works a treat! No more smelly armpits, yet the glands can still perform their proper function (of sweating!).
I use extra virgin olive oil on my hair and skin – worked great on a pregnant belly (no stretch marks with preg #1 and only a few with preg #2).
My new best friend is Shea Butter that I got from Mountain Rose Herbs, and I have some cocoa butter on the way. I use the Shea butter for my body and face, and amazingly it doesn’t clog my pores or anything! I use baking soda in my shampoo, for deodorant, for brushing teeth, and sometimes to wash my face. I use coconut oil for eye makeup remover and sometimes for lotion and for brushing teeth. I still use less-than-perfect shampoo, but I figure one step at a time!
Yes, I love that recipe for deodorant as well, and it gets pretty hot over here in Brisbane, Aus. We have aloe vera for cuts and burns. I made liquid soap from my laundry soapnuts, and it was SO easy and natural, just doesn’t froth up as much as other types; maybe that is why it doesn’t dry out my hands even when I’m washing them all day long (it feels like). Staying well hydrated does wonders for your skin, too.
I absolutely LOVE Arbonne’s products. My skin has always been prone to acne and I have thin hair that can get greasy easily, which means making stuff doesn’t work for me (unless I want acne and grease….). Arbonne’s motto is ‘pure, safe & beneficial’ and they have made amazing strides over the last two years to really make that the case (I checked all the ingredients on one of my favorite products on Skin Deep and was impressed with the 0-2 ratings on 95% of the ingredients. The other 5% were in the 4-6). My skin now glows (I had someone at the grocery store stop me to tell me that! NEVER would that have happened before!) and my hair is healthy, shiny and easy to manage. I love their makeup, too! I love that I can get all my products from one place. They cost more than some health store products, less than others, but for someone like me with ‘tricky’ skin and hair, it’s worth it (besides the fact that most last me for several months)!!! LOVE their baby line for my little one. The diaper rash cream is AMAZING (even with cloth diapers) and the lotion has healed her cracked skin w/in days. I love Arbonne! 🙂
I’m an Arbonne fan, too!!! I’m probably older than most of you. The Arbonne products have made a significant difference in my health. And people comment about how young I look. They’re shocked to know that I AM a Grandma! I especially appreciate the Prolief which the bio-identical progesterone (in physiological doses – not mega). It balances all the other petrochemicals that act as estrogens and are so hard to avoid!
I love Arbonne products, too! I am probably older than most of you. I have found that they make a big difference in my health. And people can’t believe that I’m a Grandma! I especially appreciate the Prolief, which is bioidentical progesterone. It balances the petrochemicals which act as estrogens and are so hard to avoid even when we try!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Terressentials: http://www.terressentials.com/ It’s 100% food grade organic skin care/bodycare and it’s so luxurious! It seems expensive at first but a container of lotion, face soap and toner lasts me 6 months. 100% awesome product with ingredients I can pronounce….I’ll take it!! 🙂 (I’m not associated with the company…other than living in the same state. 🙂 )
Toothpaste — make my own. Deodorant — make my own. Moisturizer — coconut oil. Now shampoo and body wash I do buy, but I make sure it does NOT have all that nasty stuff in it. If someone has a shampoo and body wash recipe, I’d love to have it cause I’d more than likely be making my own!
I use a spritz of vinegar as deodorant. Once it dries there is no odor from it or from me all day.
white vinegar or apple cider?
I do the oil cleansing method for my face wash, coconut oil and cornstarch for deodorant, coconut oil for moisturizer for whole body, and a baking soda and distilled water paste for shampoo. Still working on toothpaste and my make-up ranks pretty decently but I don’t use it often. Also going to make our own chap-stick for my daughter’s 6th birthday party— she is a chap-stick fen and is excited to make her own!! 🙂
Saw others comments on shampoo and deodorant.
We use two raw egg yolks, one Tb. of raw apple cider vinegar and water to fill up a half pint jar. I beat it all together and it makes a great shampoo, especially for oily hair. My daughter has had wondeful results for this. We also use Giovanni 50/50, but I don’t know that they have the best scores.
Also, I am very happy with the Naturally Fresh deodorant crystals. Never thought I would be able to use those, but they have worked great for me.
One thing I didn’t like about the skin deep website is that they give essential oils a rating of “6” because they can cause skin irritation. Most commercial products are not going to put enough essential oil in to cause skin irritation (they’re too expensive!). I think essential oils are great and good for your health.
You are so right, Kimi! We are trying use less chemical products in our home and on our bodies, but it’s not easy. I’ve used the Skin Deep Database and I’m going to check out the other links that your kind and concerned commenters have offered.
The only bar soaps that we use are from the Oregon Soap Shoppe http://www.oregonsoapshoppe.com/webfiles/whatsinitforyou.html. We could order online, but we prefer to drive from Iowa to Oregon, IL…just because the Shoppe smells so wonderfully fragrant. I have allergies and am sensitive to some scents, but the Soap Shoppe never triggers my allergies…just puts me into a euphoria of dreamy fragrance. (no, my hubby and I have no affiliation with the Oregon Soap Shoppe; we just swear by Lynnel’s soap)
My son has severe eczema, coconut oil and cocoa butter are the only things I can put on his skin without sending him into a fit. Everything commercial BURNS his skin. We usually stick to coconut oil because he likes the smell. 🙂
I use colloidal silver gel as deodorant and on pimples; coconut oil, almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and olive oil as face moisturiser and on my abdomen to prevent future stretch lines (when I have babies, Lord willing!); beeswax, olive oil, and vitamin E balm as lip balm; zinc and castor oil ointment with viatmin A on my eczema and hands; a homemade all raw products natural soap from New Zealand company “The Mermaid Bay Soap Company”; another NZ made product, Phytoshield toothpaste; olive oil and lavender oil as mosquito repellent and sunburn soother; etc. I try to keep costs down as using basic oils has been a WONDERFUL way to do this! I’ve started buying and researching essential oils and adding them to my oils to make them smell yummier. *smile*
Organic Siren has fabulous all natural skin care products. I love the Celtic Complexion Cream and Youth Serum. Thanks to all for the other homemade suggestions as well.
I came across a brand of soap and incense called, Juniper Ridge. It’s made up of wild harvested ingredients and smells like the mountains. Love this stuff!