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If you know me, you know that I have long had a passion for (maybe even annoyingly) bringing awareness to the fact that many personal care products are not made with the safest ingredients to put on our bodies. I even used to sell Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products, not because I wanted to make money but because I genuinely felt strongly about helping people find and switch to non-toxic products. I don’t sell any non-toxic products anymore, but I still feel strongly about it and would love to share some tips for finding some to add to your daily routines.
The video below explains a bit about the problems with the personal care industry. Give it a watch if you have the time. One of the most shocking things is there is essentially no regulation on personal care in the US. Because of that, some companies make a safe version for Europe (where there are regulations) but continue to make a toxic version for us in the US because it’s cheaper and there’s no one stopping them. So it’s not just that they can’t make their products safer; it’s that they don’t want to because it’s all about the money for them.
I will share some of my favorites below, but I want to discuss a few points that I think seem to be some common hesitations to switching to natural products.
- “Toxins are everywhere, you can’t avoid them, and there’s no way I can replace everything I use.” You don’t have to replace everything! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even making one switch helps reduce your overall toxic load. One reason I love using natural personal care products is that it is something I can control. Plus, I like them and feel that they work well for me. I know I’m still exposed to toxins every day, but this is an easy way to lessen the load.
- “Natural stuff is way more expensive” Sure, it’s true that some natural products are more expensive, but some conventional products are more expensive too. Natural products aren’t always more expensive, and as more people switch to non-toxic products, more become available, which helps lower the cost overall.
- “Natural stuff doesn’t work as well” I have heard this one often, and it’s typically from people who say they haven’t actually tried any to compare. I think this is such a broad generalization-yes, I’m sure some don’t work as well, but others work the same and often better. One natural product I think proves this well is natural stain/odor removers. Because of the enzymes used, they are SOOO much better at removing any biological stains/odors. They don’t cover up smells with scents; they remove them.
- “It’s too hard to figure out which ones are safer” Reading labels and figuring out what to avoid can be overwhelming! Luckily there are some great resources available to help you figure out what to choose. I’m going to list some below, but EWG’s Skin Deep Database is one of the best. You can search products that you have and see how they rate and exactly why they rate that way.
One of the first products I switched to a natural version of originally was deodorant. This seemed like an important product to switch first for me personally because of the history of breast cancer in my family.
When I first switched there weren’t a ton of great options available, especially that were readily available in places like Target or the grocery store, but safer option are becoming easier to find. My favorite brand currently is Schmidt’s. It is easy to find at the grocery store or Target, isn’t crazily priced, and works well. They also have a few different scents as well as an unscented version.
One tip for any natural deodorant is to let it warm up before applying. Meaning let the bar sit on your skin for a moment before swiping. Because of the natural ingredients used, natural deodorant can sometimes seem rough when applying if not warmed up slightly.
2. Shampoo and Conditioner
My very favorite hand soap isn’t even a real hand soap, it’s Dr. Bronner’s castile soap mixed with water in a refillable foam pump bottle. It’s super easy to make, less expensive per bottle than premade hand soap and works well.
A tip for any natural sunscreen is to knead the bottle before applying and rub in the palm of your hands before applying. Natural sunscreens are thicker than ones that you might be used to because they don’t use nanoparticles. They will never rub in the same as a conventional sunscreen, but doing those things can help them spread better.
5. Razors/ Shaving cream
I found Billie razors maybe about a year ago and I will never switch! They are AMAZING! They have shave soap built into the razor, so I actually don’t even use shaving cream at all with them, but they do offer a shaving cream, as well as some other personal care products that are certified by EWG.
I have yet to find a toothpaste I truly love for adults from a “natural” company. For kids, we’ve found several that have been awesome. My kids love the toothpaste from Pure Haven and Jack and Jill. For some reason I just haven’t found one that Mike and I love yet, BUT regular Colgate toothpaste is rated just a 2 on EWG’s database, so that’s what we’re currently using. Proof that things don’t have to be marketed as “green and natural” to be ok!
One difference to be aware of in natural mascara is that they will not be waterproof in the way we are used to with conventional mascara. That’s because what makes most mascara waterproof is
8. Eye Shadow
Beautycounter is the only natural eyeshadow I’ve tried that has actually worked well at all-like there’s no comparison. Others that I have tried literally don’t seem to have any color to them at all. The Beautycounter ones go on smooth and actually have color to them!
9. Lip Balm
A winter staple for sure! My favorite is good old Burt’s Bees. Easy to find anywhere, reasonably priced and works well.
I find having a safe lip balm is especially important for the kids because I’m pretty sure they eat more of it than goes in the lips. 😅
10. Bubble Bath
Everyone here loves a good bubble bath. Our favorites that we’ve tried are thinkbaby Bubble bath and Trukids Bubble pods. I actually tend to gravitate more towards the Trukids ones because they are in pods so I can tell the kids they get a certain amount of pods, instead of them trying to dump a whole bottle in. Both of these foam very well, but the kids always want more bubbles no matter what.🤪
Here are some resources to help you learn more about finding non-toxic personal care products!
EWG’s Skin Deep Database This is an awesome database where you can search your current products to see how they rank.
EWG Verified Products Looking for the EWG verified label on bottles lets you know it’s safe!