My Favorite Clean (and Affordable) Skin Care Products
Did you know that approximately 60% of the ingredients in our skin and beauty care products we use on a daily basis gets absorbed into our bodies? With that being true, I want to highlight today the importance of choosing safe (and effective!) skin and body care products that support health in the same way eating nutritious food does. The products we use on our skin can have a similar effect as eating healthy or unhealthy food. They can cause disease, reactions and ill health the same way eating toxic ingredients can.
The average woman puts about 168 different chemicals on her face everyday, according to a study done by The Environmental Working Group in 2015. This may seem like a lot, but if you take a look at the back of your facial care products bottles, chances are you’ll see a long ingredient list of chemicals, and suddenly 168 different chemicals doesn’t seem so out of sight. If you’re like most people, you have no idea how to pronounce these ingredients either, let alone what they are, or what they do to the body.
The U.S. is very lax in terms of their allowance of the ingredients and chemicals used in skin care products. Other countries across the world ban as many as 1,300 of these potentially harmful chemicals, but the U.S. has only banned 30. That statistic itself is alarming and should prompt you to wonder what’s in all the products you are putting directly into your body everyday that other countries deem as unsafe.
Many of these chemicals are cheap to produce, are very effective, but have nasty health side effects that go beyond just a skin reaction. Many chemicals used in skin care products are known to be carcinogenic, endocrine or hormone disrupting, toxic, negatively affect fertility, promote allergies and so much more.
I became aware of the dangers of skin care ingredients many years back, but I, like most people, was hesitant to throw away all my products at once and didn’t know where to look to find cleaner and safer options. I knew it was something I wanted to eventually change in my life, but ditching all my favorite products wasn’t happening overnight. Over five years later, I can confidently say that I have replaced 99% of my skin care products to safer options that contain less harmful ingredients that I feel good about using. It has taken a lot of trial and error to find out what works for me, to find options that aren’t outrageously expensive, and to also find products that are easily available.
Today in an effort to help you make the transition to cleaner and safer beauty products, I am going to share some of my favorite brands and products that I use and recommend! I want to show you that it’s entirely possible to get nearly the exact same level of effectiveness as your old products -some for nearly the same price- that are so much safer and better for your health. I also want to show you that you don’t have to be a total hippie to opt for safer options either! Natural beauty products are not all patchouli scented and disgustingly thick or nasty. The market is incredibly vast and expansive these days with truly amazing products!
Most of the products listed below that I use can be found in natural health food stores such as Natural Grocers, Whole Foods and Sprouts. If you can’t find them at your local store, Amazon is usually where I order from.
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub - This scrub is formulated with walnuts, green clay and lemon to really refresh skin, I notice a big difference in my skin when I use this product. It contains no harmful micro-beads, which have been banned by the FDA, but were previously found in scrubs like this.
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner - Witch Hazel is very good for acne prone skin as it is a potent antibacterial agent and antioxidant filled. It’s very soothing and cooling on the skin as well.
Mychelle Clear Skin Serum - I swear by this serum, and this might just be my Number One product recommendation! I notice a big decrease in my breakouts when I use this serum.
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum - I just began using this serum, which is a bit more on the expensive side, but it works beautifully. I like this brand because it uses active ingredients which are more effective. They also make a vitamin A serum that I’m going to try after the vitamin C is gone.
Jojoba Oil - A super affordable, highly nourishing oil that I use everyday, especially in the winter months when dry skin is a problem. Using oil will not break your skin out!
Argan Oil - Another very affordable oil that can be blended with other oils to make your own serums. I get mine at Trader Joe’s for around $7.
TheraNeem Neem Cream - This cream is my go-to! I use it at night before bed as an eye, face and neck cream. Neem is very helpful for acne prone skin, as mine tends to be. Smells like vanilla, too!
Acure Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion - Acure is a great brand that is really affordable, and super clean in terms of ingredients. I use many of their products and you can even get them at Target which is convenient.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Cream - This lotion is really moisturizing, I've been using it as a hand cream in the dry Colorado weather, and it's working great! Smells minty and fresh too.
Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya Body Wash - This stuff smells so good, yet doesn’t contain any artificial fragrance. Fragrance is a problem in conventional cosmetics because companies are not required to list what the fragrance is made of. When you see fragrance on a drugstore product it could literally be made of anything, and you have no idea.
Andalou Shampoo and Conditioner - I use this brand most often because it always seems to be on sale at either Natural Grocers or Whole Foods, plus it smells great and moisturizes my thick hair well. No Sodium Lauryl and Laureth Sulfate, which are foaming agents that can be very disruptive to skin and internal organs.
Desert Essence Shampoos and Conditioners - This is a great budget friendly line of shampoos and conditioners that have nice scents like lemon, green apple, coconut, mango and raspberry. Lathers well too!
Evolvh Hair Products - A luxurious line of hair care products that I highly recommend if you want salon quality products with better ingredients. I don’t use this brand regularly because of its price point, but if you want a splurge or want really soft hair, go for it.
Madison Reed Hair Color - Traditional drugstore hair dye is very carcinogenic, but this brand doesn’t use any ammonia, or PPD, SLS or parabens. It makes your hair so soft and smooth after using, they have many colors to choose from and it’s really easy to use.
Himalaya Fluoride Free Toothpaste - I use only fluoride free toothpastes, as fluoride has been proven to not prevent cavities and is a known toxin! The risks that fluoride present both in toothpaste and drinking water do not outweigh the possible benefits, so I avoid it. This toothpaste is also free of Sodium Lauryl and Laureth Sulfate, which are foaming agents that irritate skin, cause organ toxicity, and developmental problems. This toothpaste still foams great without those nasty ingredients.
Jason Sea Fresh Toothpaste - Another great toothpaste with natural and clean ingredients that foams well and has several flavor options.
Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss - This floss is unlike any floss I’ve used and I love it! It’s made of a cloth like material and it expands to clean way better than regular floss. Plus it’s much easier to grip and doesn’t slip out of your hand, which when it comes to flossing is important... because really, I don’t need any more reasons to not want to floss every night. :)
Dr. Tung’s Tongue Scraper - I recently started using this handy little tool after learning that having a clean tongue can influence the body in a lot of positive ways just beyond oral health. Toxins and bacteria are scraped away, sense of taste and digestion is improved, and overall oral health is greatly increased when less bacteria is present in the mouth.
Oral Essentials Mouthwash - This is a super minty mouthwash that doesn’t use any alcohol, unlike traditional brands, which can actually be very damaging to sensitive gums and oral tissues with long term use.
Essential Oxygen Whitening Mouthwash - I like this mouthwash because it really does whiten teeth naturally using diluted hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide also kills germs and does an excellent job at freshening breath along with essential oils like peppermint and clove, which are supportive of oral health as well.
There are so many resources you can take advantage of when trying to learn what products are safer, and which are to be avoided. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is the best website to begin researching and learning more. They also have an app that you can use on the go when you’re looking for products. The Think Dirty app is also a great tool because you can scan the barcode of products when you’re at the store and it gives you a rating from 1-10 on “dirtiness” right when you need it!
I also love sites like Safe Cosmetics, and The Organic Bunny when looking for cleaner products. Beautycounter is also another great brand and website to learn more, however I don’t like using a lot of their products because of the high cost.
Please share your thoughts and questions with me! Do you have any favorite safer beauty products that I should add to this list? I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you try any of these products!
Note: I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned above, I simply love their products and chose to share my own personal opinion. All Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a product using my link, I receive a small compensation for referring you. Your support is appreciated!