My Favorite All-Natural Body Care Products
What is Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Pyridoxine HCI????
A few years ago I made the choice to slowly transition out my super chemically body products for products containing ingredients I had actually heard of. My body routine didn’t match my plant-based diet, even though our skin is our largest organ. I realized I needed to treat my external body with as much care as I was putting into eating and drinking the “right” healthy foods and beverages. Many of the products I use now are homemade, by me or someone local.
I have never been “high maintenance” with my hair and body routine…I can probably count on my fingers how many times I’ve blown my hair dry in the last 5 years…True life: the only reason I even own a hair dryer still is because I blow my body dry when I’m cold getting out of the shower…So it may not have been as hard for me to make this transition as it would be for many women. Although I wish I had more volume and curl to my hair, I have been blessed with my mother’s straight and very easy to maintain Japanese hair, so I usually don’t even brush it before leaving the house.
My absolutely FAVORITE body and hair product is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. This stuff is. AH-MAZING. I probably have 5 or 6 jars of coconut oil scattered around my house. It has so many great uses – cooking, cleaning my face, moisturizing my body and hair, and cleaning the house. Trader Joe’s coconut oil is my go-to. In my experience, it’s about half the price ($5.99) of any other I have been able to find. Coconut oil is super moisturizing and has anti-bacterial properties. As part of my beauty routine, I use coconut oil for:
- Removing make-up: rubbing it on my eyes and wiping it off with a washcloth
- Washing my face: see the facial scrub recipe below!
- Oil pulling – an amazing ancient Ayurvedic technique that draws in all the nasties and toxins
- Moisturizing my body and face in the shower, or post-shower (as you would other body lotion)
- Leave-in conditioner: can be lathered on hair and left in for several hours, sometimes I do it overnight. I usually put more in the ends of my hair, where it’s typically more dry.
- Chapped lips
Essential oils are a must. I’m going to leave the explanation of endless uses for them for another post. For fragrance purposes when I’m making my own body products my favorite blend is Eucalyptus and Lavender, and maybe a little Rosemary. Something to note with essential oils is that a little goes a long way.
- For shampoo and conditioner, I use a local, Columbus based, company for my all-natural needs. Earth Elements, who also ships for those who don’t live in the area(!), sells plain unscented bases and I add my own essential oils to the bottles. They also made a myriad of other all-natural beauty products (soaps, scrubs, lotions, etc.) and essential oils. Their products are a little more expensive than I would normally spend, but they last for awhile and are so great! I use only about a quarter size for each wash and I have a LOT of hair.
- Essential Oil Diffusing: My diffuser is my life. Particularly when the air is cold and dry – AKA now, it is so refreshing. I use my diffuser by my bed while I sleep, when I take baths, and when I practice yoga in my home space.
An easy and fabulous DIY facial scrub, that I’ve been loving this winter, is: Coconut Oil (sub Extra Virgin Olive Oil), baking soda, and your favorite essential oils. Baking soda is a great gentle exfoliate – salt and sugar scrubs are a little to harsh on our delicate facial skin.
I have been around the block with natural deodorants. I have tried crystals, sticks, sprays, roll-ons, and creams…pretty much everything that is offered in the Whole Foods deodorant section. Finding a natural deodorant is hard! I wanted to be all-natural, without smelling all-natural and all-ripe at the gym or in yoga. I didn’t want to be that person you run by and their horrific stench lingers in your nose even after they’re 30 feet behind you. Enter Primal Pit Paste. I honestly wish the company would’ve chosen a more appealing name, but this stuff works. If you’re weirded about by rubbing cream into your pits, they also offer roll-on. They also have “light” and “strong” varieties, depending on your needs. I’m into the Lavender jar paste, but I’ve also tried the Thyme & Lemongrass scent. All have been great and all have kept me from being stinky even after my sweatiest workout.
For hand soap, facial wash, and body wash, I turn to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I buy the liquid unscented in this also, so that I can add my own scents depending on my mood and season using essential oils. Castile Soap can also be used for cleaning your home…it is an all-cleaning soap. I love it! I usually use foaming soap containers, mixing half water/half castile soap and a few drops of essential oil.
What are your favorite natural cleaning products?