Favorite Non-Toxic Self-Care Products
Happy Friday, friends!
I use all non-toxic cleaning products in my house, buy mostly organic food, and shop for furniture with low-VOCs, so as you can imagine finding safe, non-toxic self-care, skincare and beauty products is a high-priority for me.
It hasn't been the easiest journey finding clean, non-toxic products that actually work, so now that I have found some products I really love, I wanted to share what has been working for me.
Of course, we all care deeply about our health and that of our family, but we don't have a TON of time to research each and every ingredient in every product we buy (and besides, if you're not a scientist, this research is hard to understand). I would guess we all care a lot about the planet, too, AND really, really hope (fingers crossed) that we're not currently using any products that could potentially lead to cancer, reproductive harm and other issues in our bodies. I'm always on the hunt for clean, non-toxic product made by transparent and honest companies that care about people, the planet, and social causes (more than just profits) - luckily there are a few of them out there, yay!
It's important to keep in mind that sometimes when you choose to buy non-toxic products you may have to pay a little more for them, just like when you buy organic food. I am totally OK with this, because the only way for the cost of these products to come down is for the demand to increase. When we buy products - we are voting with our dollars - companies will make more of the products that people are buying and less of the products that people are not. Our own personal health is the most important thing we have, so I feel there is no better money to spend than that of buying safe, non-toxic products. It's just not worth the risk.
Here are the four companies I want to highlight today:
1) My Fave Non-Toxic Deodorant
It's pretty MAJOR that I can finally say I found an aluminum-free deodorant that truly delivers and performs (after years and years of trial and failure). The Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant works so well. It glides on the smoothest (of all their scents) and wicks away any traces of odor. It's under $5 a tube and it's sold at a variety of retailers so you should have no problem finding it. I've tried other Schmidt's varieties but did not like them as well. I found them to be a little bit gritty.
I hold the Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant bar to my underarm for a second to let it warm up against my skin before applying it on (it says to do this in the directions and makes all the difference). A little goes a long way - one swipe is all you need, otherwise you will have excess product that will get on your clothes. I've also heard really good things about Native deodorant and Agent Nateur, but haven't personally tried them yet.
Why non-toxic deodorant? I could write an entire post on this, but the bottom line is that plugging sweat glands (what conventional antiperspirant does) and depositing elements like fragrance, aluminum, and powerful synthetic antibacterial agents (what conventional deodorant does) right where so many of the body’s lymph glands, critical to the body’s immune system, is just too risky for me. "Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors," says Jena Covello, founder of Agent Nateur.
2) Mineral vs Chemical Sunscreen?
The difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen is the type of active ingredients. Mineral-based creams use physical blockers—zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide—which form an actual barrier on your skin and reflect the UV rays to dissipate it. Mineral-based, physical blockers protect against both UVA and UVB radiation (the types of rays responsible for actual sunburns).
Many chemical sunscreens contain Octinoxate or Oxybenzone which are chemicals linked to all kinds of scary issues. Studies have linked oxybenzone to a higher risk of endometriosis in women, poorer sperm quality in men, skin allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage—and is added to nearly 65 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens in the EWG's 2017 sunscreen database. These ingredients are also known to contribute to the collapse of coral reefs around the world. Chemical blockers also absorb UV radiation which allows UVA to reach those deeper layers of your skin and do damage.
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist 30 SPF is my favorite mineral sunscreen because it works! We tested it on our beach vacation in Mexico in May and loved it. It's super easy to apply, not sticky, smells yummy, once rubbed in turns completely sheer, air-powered (safe for the ozone), sprays at any angle and is coral reef-friendly. What's not to like?!
It's formulated with non-nano zinc oxide (meaning it does not enter the blood stream to cause harmful effects to the body) and antioxidant-rich California Poppy. This physical formulation provides an effective shield from UVA, UVB & Blue Light rays, while being gentle and pleasant feeling on the skin. Sprays on white to help guide application, blends in easily, and dries quickly without an oily residue. It's $36 but lasts a long time and it 100% worth it!
3) My Go-To Feminine Care Products
I've been using L. Tampons for years now and could not be happier, they work perfectly and give women a clean, non-toxic option. They are only $6.99 for a 30-pack, so they are basically the same price as conventional tampons.
I am very chemical sensitive person and will literally start to feel physically ill when using a conventional tampon. No joke. These tampons and pads are made without pesticides, chlorine bleaching or fragrances. The FDA has no mandate to include ingredients in the labeling of feminine care products. There have been no studies on the effects of artificial fibers in tampons and many off-the-shelf period products contain rayon, pesticide residue, dioxins from chlorine bleaching process along with a chemical soup of fragrances and dyes. All of these toxins inside a woman's body, next to her most sensitive skin and organs, no thanks. That's a hard pass for me.
L. products are:
- Made with GOTS certified organic cotton
- Hypoallergenic + breathable
- All tampons made with BPA-free plastic applicator
- All pads are free of chlorine bleaching
- Without pesticides, fragrances, chlorine bleaching, or dyes
L. was founded by Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist who worked for the Red Cross and United Nations. Today, L. works with a network of over 2,800 female entrepreneurs and donated more than 50 million health products in 2017 alone.
I've also heard good things about Cora tampons, but have not had a chance to try them yet. I have also been thinking about trying out THINX period panties as an alternative to tampons. Have any of you tried them?
4) The Best Cleansing Bar
This Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar detoxifying cleansing bar absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a clearer, smoother, and brighter-looking complexion. It's great for those with acne prone skin. Made with purifying Japanese binchotan charcoal, antioxidant-rich organic green tea, and hydrating organic coconut oil, the gentle formula can be used daily on your face and body.
When you start using non-toxic deodorant you need a soap that can get your skin really clean. I've noticed many soaps just don't cut it. You will need a soap that can very effectively wash away odor causing bacteria from your underarms. Once this is done, your non-toxic deodorant will be able to do it's job and will last all day. If you don't start with completely clean underarms, it's not going to work, as well.
I've also noticed it works amazingly well at removing smells from my hands (like after cooking with garlic or onions), ink from our hands (after coloring with William) and oils from my skin (when washing my face - it's great for people with oily skin). It's a little pricey at $25, but I can tell you it's 100% worth it and lasts for a really really long time (like 6 months to a year of everyday use).
I'll be sharing more non-toxic favorites in the coming weeks like my favorite non-toxic toothpaste, nail polishes, skin care, lipsticks and other beauty products. If you have any non-toxic products you love, please share! I love to try new products and hear what works for you!
I absolutely love this palm print monokini. It's super flattering and comfortable. It's also under $20 and great quality, so what's not to love?! I ordered one size up (M) from my usual (S) and it fits perfectly. Check your measurements carefully before ordering.