This post has been in the works for literally years, starting with way back when I decided to switch all my personal care products to natural versions. It’s been a super long process because first I used up what I had, and then whenever I would try a new brand if I didn’t love it I would still use it up before trying something new. Finally I’ve come to a place that I’m pretty happy with, although I’m sure I will still try new things (and update as I go).
So as I’m choosing products what I think about is:
1) Is it natural and safe? There are some brands that I trust (you’ll notice several) but I also use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database. I try to choose products that are in the 0-2 range on their website, but in a couple cases I went with a 3 because I loved the product and it was just fragrance or something like that bumping it up. Also, not everything is in the database so then I have to check ingredients.
2) What’s the price? There are some awesome natural products out there but they can get super expensive. I’m on a budget so I’ve been trying the cheapest stuff that fits my other criteria.
3) Where can I get it? I know ordering stuff online is pretty easy but I like to be able to go to a physical store that is close by and pick something up if I need it. I get most of my stuff from Target, Whole Foods, HEB (a local grocery store), or Ulta.
4) Does it work and how do I like it? This is where I evaluate the product for itself, how it works, do I like how it smells, do I have any problems with it, etc. It helps that I have normal skin with no special issues so most products work on me pretty well.
Okay let’s get to it: this is what I’m using now!
Cleanser : Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Cleansing Milk. This has been a favorite for years. It works well to remove eye makeup and I love the pump dispenser and citrus smell.
Exfoliator : Mineral Fusion Facial Scrub. I use this about once a week. I used to be so bad about remembering it but then I started keeping it in the shower and it’s much easier to grab and use that way.
Moisturizer : Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Daily Moisturizer. I actually prefer the Vitamin C version because of the scent (I adore citrus), but the lavender has a better rating.
Eye cream : BareMinerals Firming Eye Cream. Do I notice a difference when I use eye cream? Not really yet, but I’m in my 30’s now so it’s pretty widely recommended. I admit that I skip it a lot though.
Facial sunscreen : Mineral Fusion Brush On Sun Defense. This is a little extra sun protection for everyday wear (i.e. when I’m mostly inside) since I have fair skin. I love how easy it is to apply. I’m still looking for a favorite stronger sunscreen for when I’m outdoors a lot.
Foundation : BareMinerals Pressed Powder. (Mineral Fusion also has a good one, but I find the compact really hard to open.) I love mineral powder foundation because, as you can probably tell, I go really light on the makeup anyway and this evens out my skin tone while still looking natural. I’ve tried the loose powder version and it’s just a little too messy for my liking.
Blush : BareMinerals READY. I think I try a new color every time I get one and they’ve all been good. I use this lightly though. Again, the pressed version is just easier than the loose kind. I use this brush to apply it.
Concealer : BareMinerals powder (and I use this brush to apply it). I don’t use this very often but it’s pretty effective in dealing with mild red spots and blemishes. I’m still on the hunt for a natural cream concealer for when I get a bad blemish.
Mascara : Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!. I have tried SO many natural brands of mascara, hoping to find a cheaper one, but I keep coming back to this. From what I’ve tried, it’s the best all around.
Hair, body, and miscellaneous
Shampoo : For my kids I use The Honest Company (it’s in my favorite orange vanilla scent) and I use it sometimes as well. Most of the time I use Nature’s Gate (note the price in that link is for a pack of 4). It lasts a really long time.
Conditioner : I don’t use conventional conditioner anymore, but I love the The Honest Company’s Conditioning Detangler spray. Smells and works great, and Meredith loves me to spray her hair too.
Lip balm : I can’t stand dry lips. I’ve actually found that Lanolin – which I had on hand from breastfeeding but hardly ever needed for that purpose – works amazingly well for this, which makes sense. And I usually only need to apply it once a day. I also love Pacifica Lip Tint for a hint of color.
Deodorant : I was so resistant to giving up my antiperspirant! I hate to sweat, but that stuff is so not good for our bodies. I tried several brands and so far my favorite is Kiss My Face Active Life. I have to be honest though, there was a big transition period where my body adjusted to operating without antiperspirant. I’ve gotten to a good place, but it’s been a combination of giving it time to adjust and getting used to sweating a little. If I work out, I’m still going to sweat. If I’m outside during the summer for long, I’ll still sweat. That’s the reality of going without antiperspirant. But at least I doesn’t smell bad. :)
Toothpaste : I do like Tom’s of Maine and it was my go-to until I started having trouble finding this SLS-free version. (SLS is linked with mouth sores, which I deal with from time to time.) Some stores also only carry it in peppermint, which I hate. So I started ordering toothpaste from The Honest Company as well, and I think I’ll probably stick with that. I love their kids’ version too.
By the way, if you can’t tell, I love The Honest Company. I used their diapers for Liam before we switched to cloth, and now I get their essentials bundle. It’s awesome because you don’t have to get it every month, but only when you want it. I usually order one every 3-4 months and get the stuff that I’ve run out of. If you want to try it, I’d be grateful if you used my referral link to sign up.
Body lotion : This is one product that I still want to experiment with, but I do like Kiss My Face Vitamin A & E Moisturizer. I really want to find a citrus scented lotion though. This one is kind of an almond/earthy/milky smell which is fine but not my favorite.
Menstrual care : Getting real here for a minute! Thankfully I haven’t needed this much at all in the last several years (thanks kids!) but I switched to the DivaCup and never looked back. If you are curious about it I’d direct you to this blog post. I also switched to cloth pantyliners (mine are by Charlie Banana) for the light days when using the DivaCup isn’t necessary.
Okay, whew! I think that’s pretty much everything I use! I know there are a lot of ways to make your own products as well, but I’m a working mama who would rather spend my spare time in other ways, and I’m dubious as to whether I could make anything that would compare to this. I do, however, want to make my own household cleaning products, and that’s my next venture!
Please share with me if you have any natural products that you love, I want to try them!
Referral links included where available. Thanks for your support!