How to have a sin-free shower!
If you know me at all, you know that I work hard to be as sustainable/eco-friendly/natural as possible. Now this doesn’t mean I never use conventional medicine (there is a time and a place) or that I bath only once a week (gross!) or something, but I try to do my best for myself and the environment. And one of the major ways I try to do that is by the bath and beauty products I use on myself. I’ve done quite a bit of research and it’s scary that we really don’t think about what goes into something that we might put on each and every day. Our skin takes in everything in our environment and it’s our job to try and lessen the toxin load.
With that said…. natural products can be just as daunting, if not more so, than conventional ones. A lot of the ingredients are in Latin, or you don’t know how they are sourced, and how natural is “natural”. I used to just stop by Whole Foods and pick up anything off their shelves… I mean, it’s Whole Foods, right? But even there, you have to really read ingredient labels. It’s important to go as close to the source as possible, and some of those “natural” products are still really riddled with chemicals.
So then I swung to the other side of the spectrum and decided I would just make all my products. I mean, Pinterest is swarmed with DIY bath and beauty recipes, right? But what I found is 1) most of the recipes really don’t work very well, 2) they are time consuming and messy, and 3) who created the recipes? I’m not an Dermatologist. I don’t know what should go on my skin or not. I’d much rather have an expert in natural skin care create my products.
So what’s a girl to do when running to Target for anything from their “natural” aisle doesn’t work, and making my own products doesn’t either? Trial and error baby! 🙂 And lots and lots of research (check out the Environment Working Group’s Cosmetic Database)
I have officially found my favorite products, brands, and yes, some super simple, easy recipes that I would like to share with you. All to give you a sin-free shower!
While perusing the internet I found a recipe for Soap Nut shampoo. If you’ve never heard of soap nuts, they’re amazing! You can literally stick some in your laundry and the nuts essentially saponify (turn into soap) in your washer. You can use them for many different purposes, but I had never heard of using them for body care. The article also had a link for a company that sold Soap Nut shampoo if you didn’t want to make your own. That company was NaturOli. Well, needless to say, I ordered some of their products (so much more than shampoo!) and I was blown away by how well they worked and the quality of their ingredients. It was the first “natural” shampoo that worked for my limp oily hair that I could actually pronounce all the ingredients. I personally use their dry hair shampoo, facial wash, toner mist, hair serum, and facial creme. I have loved everything that I have used of theirs. Plus everything has this great herbal scent that I love (all essential oils- no fake fragrances!) My husband uses the shampoo too and really likes it. Heck, we’ve even used it as a shampoo for our dog because it doesn’t strip the oils from his skin and make him itchy. 🙂 Plus the products are reasonably priced and last a long time. Gotta love that!
Mychelle is one of those companies that I wish I could afford to use all the time. Every time I use one of their products it feels like I’m at the spa. I literally feel like I’m giving myself a facial. It’s fabulous! They have a TON of products to choose from depending on your skin type and every single product I’ve used of theirs works beautifully. This is the brand I used to get my skin ready before my wedding. 🙂 I loved every part of the regimen they give you (each product has a “step” number on it which tells you what to use first- so easy!). My absolutely favorite product of theirs is the sun screen. I put it on my face every morning. It’s very thick and not greasy and wears well under my makeup; plus it doesn’t make me break out which is a HUGE deal. They also have a makeup line that I’ve been dying to try. I’ll let you know how that goes when I test them out. 🙂
Lush is a fun company that prides itself on creating “fresh” cosmetics. Now, let me just say this early, I love Lush, but not all of their products are the most “fresh”. They have some real gems, but you should still read the ingredient list (which thankfully they provide online) and decide how “natural” you want to go. For me, I love their deodorant. Deodorant has been a really tough natural switch for me. I’ve tried all sorts of options, and honestly, most days I now just go without (not as gross as it sounds!). But in the summer when I sweat more, or when I’m working out, or I’m camping and won’t shower for a while, their Greeench Deodorant is fabulous! It’s essentially baking soda with ground up herbs and essential oils. It smells very herbally, but that wears off after a bit and you are just left with not stinky, not sweaty pits. Be aware though, you are supposed to sweat. It’s good for you. It’s your body’s way of staying cool and ridding itself of toxins. No natural deodorant is going to stop you from sweating altogether- but that’s GOOD. Also, their Toothy Tabs are great for your “office stash” in case you need to freshen on the go. They could be used every day, but that’s a bit on the pricey side for me. I also love their Fresh Face Masks. You can only get them in store and they need to be kept in the refrigerator (they are that fresh!). Super fun for a once-in-a-while treat. The best way to experience Lush is to find a brick and mortar to hang out in. Take a friend and test a bunch of stuff. It’s an adventure all it’s own. 🙂
I’ve already done a whole post about coconut oil (find it here) but it’s worth saying again, I love coconut oil! I’ve used it for my all over body moisturizer now, for almost a year. I keep a small container on my nightstand as well as a larger container in my bathroom. It’s great after shaving, for dry winter skin, and used SPARINGLY to keep fly-aways… away. Really, I can’t say enough about it. It’s also great for chaffed areas (works wonders on baby bottoms too!) and is amazing when used to moisturizer the eye area (though keep it out of your eyes, ow!). You can also whip coconut oil to make a body butter. I buy a huge jar of it from costco and spoon it into small containers to make it more manageable. The large container I keep in my kitchen for cooking. Just be aware that coconut oil has a low melting point, so if it’s a bit warm in your home or outside, it will melt (though you can still use it, just messy). All around, there are a million uses for coconut oil, but it schools the competition when it comes to moisturizing skin.
5) DIY Sugar Scrub
This is the one time I will tell you it’s ok to use white sugar. White sugar is actually amazing as a facial and body scrub. It dissolves the moment it hits water which creates a very gentle but effective way to exfoliate. And it’s super easy to make.
Sugar Scrub Recipe:
2 parts sugar
1 part oil
See, I told you that was easy! Great oils to use are olive, coconut (see!!), jojoba, or almond. You can also add essential oils or organic zests to make it smelly amazing. I personally love lemon or lavender, but the great thing about this recipe is it’s completely customizable. You can get really creative making up your own recipe. It also makes a great homemade gift packaged in a cute jar with a fun ribbon. I use sugar scrubs once a week on my face and on my legs and armpits before shaving (you get a closer shave that way). If you have kids, this is a super fun activity for them to make and use too.
There you have it! My absolute favorite body and beauty brands, products, and recipes. I know that going “green” can be really hard, but if you start with baby steps it becomes a lot more manageable… and using natural lotions and potions is a great way to get started.
What do you use on your body? Are you all natural now? Do you desire to be?
Love and Joy,