My Favorite (Natural) Personal Care Products

Once I started feeling comfortable with the “real food” changes I was making in our kitchen, it took me no time at all to realize I needed to move on to other areas of my house! I most certainly don’t have it all figured out, but since this question is asked so often I thought I’d share some of what you’ll find in my bathroom cabinets these days.

Natural Bar Soap

Recommended by my friend Carrie Vitt, we have switched to Dr. Bronner’s Magic Bar Soap. I am by no means claiming it’s truly “magical,” but it’s pretty darn pure and totally does the trick. Plus it comes in a lot of fun natural scents so there are plenty of options to choose from. I’ve found it for sale at both Target and our health food store (Earth Fare), and surprisingly the price is almost the same. It’s also available in bulk on Amazon.

Castille Soap Recommendation from 100 Days of #RealFood– 

Natural Make Up (that I love!)

After being a long time Lancome user I was hesitant to make the switch, but I finally did and have never.looked.back! To my surprise I like my new bareMinerals make up (recommended by my friend Vani Hari) even better than the old stuff I was so loyal to. And funny enough, after running out of my new powder one day I had to supplement with a little bit of my old Lancome powder. I couldn’t believe the smell of it, which I’d never noticed before, and seemed very artificial to me. I am becoming such a sensitive being in my old age – ha!

BareMinerals comes in both powder and packed form. The powder is supposed to be the most natural option they offer, but it’s not always realistic (due to the mess factor) so I thought a combination would be best for my needs. I got the starter kit (with powder, blush, etc.) in powder form and the eye shadows in packed form. Did I mention that I love it? :)

Bare Minerals Starter Kit on 100 Days of #RealFood

Natural Eye Make Up Remover

Believe it or not, the same exact coconut oil that you cook with in your kitchen has all sorts of uses – including eye make up remover! I used to also buy eye make up remover from my old make up source (Lancome) and was fairly reluctant to make the switch. It was one of those things you consider for a long time before you do it, but now I see the light because it truly works like a charm and is so simple!

Coconut Oil Eye Make Up Remover from 100 Days of #RealFood

Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

Now, I am not saying this is the perfect shampoo and conditioner option (when it comes to natural ingredients), but it’s pretty darn close AND it’s available at Target (LOL – huge bonus for me). One downside though is that it’s kind of pricey; I’ve tried several other natural shampoo alternatives (basically the ones offered at Target – yes, this limitation is often my reality), but my girls and I definitely like Yes to Carrots the best out of those options. As a result, I keep going back to it. And I do like their pump style lotion as well because I sure do need lots of lotion in the winter around here. So it is our favorite at the moment, but I am still open to trying others that fit the bill. I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments!

Natural Shampoo and Conditioner on 100 Days of #RealFood

Natural Deodorant (and lip balm)

Conveniently enough, I also want to make sure you know about our sponsor Primal Pit Paste today, who happens to offer a super pure, organic deodorant! Available in a variety of natural scents it is paraben-free, aluminum-free, and actually works. Just be sure you are aware that Primal Pit Paste (and most other natural deodorants) do not act as an antiperspirant. And that’s because sweating, while not lovely, is natural for your body to do so preventing it from happening isn’t exactly ideal.

So here’s what I do when it comes to this sort of thing. I have my old (probably toxic) deodorant still on hand for when I know I am going to be on live TV (or something else out of the ordinary, especially if it’s a hot day), and I’ll whip it back out for those occasions. And I happened to read in Jessica Alba’s new book, The Honest Life, that even in her quest to lead as natural a life as possible she does the very same thing with her deodorant for red carpet events and such. So that made me feel a little bit better about that decision! It’s all about balance, right? :)

PS – While you are there ordering your natural deodorant pick up some of Primal Pit Paste’s orange creamsicle lip balm. It’s my favorite (trust me, it’s the bomb as far as lip balms go)! And don’t forget our “100Days” coupon code for 15% off.

Primal Pit Paste natural deodorant on 100 Days of #RealFood

A Tip for Finding Good Products

As I’ve mentioned, I am still navigating the personal care world as I continue to seek out the optimal shampoo and conditioner (as well as the “perfect” sunscreen). So each time I consider trying a new product I’ve found the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database (which is also available as a smartphone app) to be a great resource. They’ve taken the time to rate thousands of products so I always check their list to see how a product measures up before I give it a go.

And, in case anyone is wondering, the specific problem I am having with sunscreen is that all the EWG top rated options leave me – and my dark colored bathing suits – looking rather white and pasty. I’ve tried dozens of brands with no luck. So if you’ve found a natural sunscreen you love – that uses safe ingredients and somewhat soaks into your skin – please share it with me in the comments below so I can try it out (if I haven’t already!).

EWG Resource on 100 Days of #RealFood

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581 thoughts on “My Favorite (Natural) Personal Care Products”

  1. Some time ago you mentioned what you mix together with cotton rounds for eye makeup remover. I’ve looked and can’t find where you shared this. Does that sound familiar? Would you mind sharing again what you do and how you do it? Thanks!

  2. I use Toms of Maine deodorant. It keeps me fresh all day and is a lot cheaper than Native! We use Mrs. Meyers products for dish soap, hand soap etc. They are all made with natural oils. We use Natures Promise for dish tabs and Method or Seventh Generation for washing clothes. Seventh Generation has all natural toilet bowl cleaner too! Ask me, I have done the research!

  3. Kassie Stansbery

    Beauty Counter all the way! I made the decision to become a consultant after switching my entire family to safer products. With all the “green washing” I knew I wanted a reliable company with transparency!

    We use this platform to generate more momentum for better regulations and legislation so one day every product on the shelf is made with ingredients we can trust.

    1. Beautycounter has wonderful sunscreen that does not leave white residue AND it is safer.
      I used to use Bare Minerals too and I know it is touted as being “natural” but have you liked it up on EWG? Most of their ratings are not very good on safety ratings.
      Sometimes it appears that the products have an ok rating yet it says limited under that rating. That could be in part because they list vague ingredients like “fragrance.” Fragrance is considered a trade secret and can actually contain hundreds of different chemicals that could be harmful for you and your family. The companies can keep these quiet all in the name of trade secret. I am a Beautycounter consultant and love educating others about safer choices whether or not they purchase Beautycounter products. Let me know if I can help you.

  4. I am extremely chemical sensitive. No artificial fragrance and mostly natural products. I use Dr Bronners liquid for shampoo and body wash. We also like Trader Joe Tea Tree shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. I make my own deodorant and have good success with it. Thanks for sharing your picks. It’s always fun to see what others are using.

  5. ThinkSport and ThinkBaby (my whole family uses both) are awesome! And rated well on the EWG site. Also, IVE FOUND A NATURAL DEODORANT THAT HOLDS UP TO ALL DAY BAD SWEAT! It’s called “Native”. Best stuff. Even my husband uses it and he held on TIGHT to his Old Spice deodorant through all the others we tried!

  6. Badger now makes a tinted sunscreen! It won’t work for all skin tones, as it is on the lighter side, but it works great for our family. No more ghost face. I bought it for myself but even my 8 year old insists on it now.

  7. I second Beauty Counter and I’m not a consultant. Love their make-up but especially love their skincare and sunscreen. You should give it a try, it has changed my skin for the better.

  8. I would also suggest researching Arbonne products! They follow (and exceed) European standards for make-up and personal care products, which are much more strict than our country’s standards ( if we can even call them that!)

  9. I used to use bareMinerals but after some research I’ve found a lot of their foundation products aren’t as non-toxic and natural as they claim, although they are better than most popular brands. I use the ThinkDirty app and most of the bareMinerals foundations rate in the 7/10 range (0 is best). I’ve switched most of my makeup to 100% Pure which ranks between 0-4/10. I also love Everyday Shea shampoo and conditioner as well as Dr. Bonner soaps. Thank you for your blog. I love it and yours was the first real food site I followed.

  10. The coconut oil breaks me out if I used it anywhere near my face. However, 100 % pure jojoba oil works great as an eye makeup remover for me. Thank you for posting this as it is very important we concern ourselves with what we place on our skin.

  11. I have been buying natural goat milk products from Beekman 1802. Their “fresh air” shampoo and conditioner works great and their goat milk soap leaves my skin so soft. Natural ingredients.

  12. I use Pure Haven Essentials shampoo and conditioner and deodorant. Can recommend all of those!
    Question about using the coconut oil as eye make-up remover. I have read that if you are going to use coconut oil on your skin it should be fractionated, or something close to that. Know anything about that? I’m lost!

    1. Hi Wanda…fractionated oil means it has been put into a constant liquid form, not solid like it usually comes. I sell essential oils and sometimes we mix the oil with some fractionated coconut oil for people with sensitive skin. Hope that helps!

  13. You need Beautycounter in your life!!! I’m just north of Charlotte if you’re ever interested in learning more!

    We’ve banned over 1,500 ingredients from our beauty and personal care products and have the strictest ingredient screening process in the industry. We are very transparent, and the best part is that we don’t compromise performance for safety. I’ve tried so many supposedly “safe” brands, but they just don’t perform well.

    The shampoo you’re using isn’t horrible…it rates a 3 on EWG but it does have fragrance which I avoid at all costs. Our Daily Shampoo is a 2 and though the price is also steep ($22), you don’t need a lot at a time; therefore it should last.

    I love Dr. Bronner’s too. I definitely would stick with that.

    I would be very skeptical and careful of BareMinerals, however. I used to use their products as well, and though they have made improvements, many are still not safely formulated.

    Primal Pit Paste also rocks! Great choice there.

    Anyways, just thought I’d share my 2 cents. Would love love love to have your opinion or support for Beautycounter, considering you are basically a legend in my house and the Charlotte area for your real food recipes and pioneering for more wholesome eating habits among families. Just made your whole wheat bread today and have the steak chili in the crockpot plus the skillet cornbread going in the oven soon to accompany it! LOVE it! Take care Lisa!

    Here’s my Beautycounter site (and my blog is relativeredhead.com): http://www.beautycounter.com/alyssabritson

    I can send samples your way anytime as well since I’m local to you!

  14. I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap as shampoo and their citrus hair condition rinse after. I love it! And the bottles last a long time since they’re quite concentrated.

  15. Check out RMS beauty! I love their coconut oil based “un-cover up” as a concealer and foundation. Bare Minerals makes my dry skin look chalky.

  16. I don’t mean to sound unkind, but I think you might want to check the Environmental Working Group’s skin deep data base. Bare Minerals products are not always as safe as people think. I was very disappointed in their scores.

  17. I started using Norwex bath cloths almost a year ago, giving up soap of any kind in the shower! These cloths are amazing! I no longer need a bath bar or shower gel. Better for the skin, too! I still use Dr. Bronner’s on my face to remove make-up more easily. I also love the Norwex crystal deodorant. ( I am not a distributor for Norwex! I just love these products!)

  18. You should check out De La Terre skincare. They are 100% organic. The company is based in Asheville. I have taken skincare classes with the founder. She sells a sunscreen called sun diffuser. It is an oil and uses antioxidants to help boost our natural sun defense. It really works! she has 4 different herb rich clays that are great for your skin as well.

  19. I have used Dr. Bronner’s liquid and bar soap for years. The liquid soap works really well in the foamer bottles I have at every sink. I use the bar soap in the shower and bathtub. Both also come unscented which I like. Bed Bath and Beyond sells them for less than other stores in my area.

  20. I love the Alba Hawaiian drink it up coconut shampoo and conditioner. Also found at Target and it smells like I am in the tropics when I wash my hair.

  21. There is a small start up company based in Brooklyn called “SW Basics” with truly all natural products – no preservatives and all otems you could probably find in your kitchen. In fact, the owner, Adina Grigore, is a former nutritionist that wrote a book called “Skin Cleanse” that completely shofted my paradigm about the cosmetics industry and our skin. I comment because you’d probably appreciate her teachings and products. Target has picked up some of her most popular items (bonus) but the website is great as well! Sorry for the long comment but I had to share!

  22. I have been on a quest this summer to find a great natural sunscreen….so far my top pick is Majestic Pure SPF 30+ Sunscreen 100% Natural Formula – it’s just all natural clear goodness. Pevonia Botanica is also a nice brand that i like but it can be just a bit ghostly if you put it on too thick.

  23. I have been using l’octane but not sure how pure it is; slowly converting my personal care items; anyone use toms deodorant? Origins for makeup?

  24. I have been washing my hair with water and apple cider vinegar for over 6 months and love it! I don’t have to worry about the chemicals in shampoo/conditioner anymore and although there is an adjustment period for your hair, mine went surprisingly quickly.
    As for sunscreen, I have been pleased with Blue Lizard Sensitive. It’s is rated well by EWG and rubs in fairly well even on dark skin.

  25. Christine Muldoon

    Lisa,

    Check out thenopoomethod.com
    I have been washing my hair with bakin soda and ACV for 6 months now and I love it. This way you avoid a shampoo with a paragraph of ingredients AND these items are already in your pantry! I would love to give you more info on it, if you are interested.

  26. Target has the brand acure and Shea moisture that carry shampoo and conditioner, body wash, and body lotion! I prefer acure for hair and Shea moisture for body wash and lotion! They are actually way more clean then ” say yes to carrots”.

  27. You should try Lemongrass Spa Shampoo and Conditioner. Mostly natural with essential oils and no toxic ingredients used. The other Lemongrass Spa Products are equally as good as the hair care. All products made in the USA and is a Women Owned and started Company. Check it out. You can sign up to be a consultant for a reasonable price and you need only to buy 25 dollars a month to stay active, which gives you a discount of 25 percent (basically it covers your shipping and tax) Great company with wonderful skin, hair, and makeup products, at reasonable prices. Check it out http://lemongrassspa.com

  28. SheaMoisture is my favorite haircare brand. They aren’t too pricey and you can find it at Target and Walgreens. Their products contain no sulfates, artificial dyes or fragrances and have very good ratings on the EWG skin deep database.

  29. Have you ever tried or considered LimeLight by Alcone skincare. It’s packed full of natural or certified organic ingredients. It has done wonders for me and the people I’ve shared it with!!

  30. I like the idea of Yes to Carrots shampoo. But I wish they would use natural fragrance. Since it says “fragrance” in the ingredient section I can’t bring myself to try it. Even though I have seen several people love it. If I am paying high prices, I want something I can feel good about. I have been using a shampoo bars instead. They seem to be working rather well.

    1. It is so hard to find non-toxic shampoo that I can actually rinse out of my hair and then get my fingers through my hair so I have been using this, but I also hate the inclusion of a fragrance, I like to avoid pthalates if possible, wish they would use an essential oil instead.

  31. Crazy as it sounds I use Norwex body cloths, only use water, no soap, weird but it works! I use my deodarant as you do, occsssionally I use antiperspirant. The body cloths remove it thoroughly, with just water and the cloth! Same for cleaning my house. If you want more info, I’m happy to share, feel free to pm me. Not trying to make a pitch, but sharing it because I love it, so now I sell it and would love to help educate you and your readers.

  32. Elizabeth Hafferty

    We use Shea Moisture hair products. You can purchase at Target. I like it because the ingredient list is short, and no harsh chemicals( We use the Moisture Retention.) We use Dr. Bronner body wash. I read someone had an issue with dryness. That’s why we switched from the bar. I also added aloe gel to my post- shower regime to stop dryness.

  33. You absolutely must check out Beauty Counter products!!! They are a fairly new company with amazing products all of which are safe and healthy for your skin. (1 or 2 on EWG) They have everything from shampoo to sunscreen to makeup and they have products for kids as well.

  34. I buy my face cleaning products from Berry herbal soaps. Awesome body lotion, face cleansers, clay scrub, body wash, etc, etc. and my makeup from My Organic Beauty on Etsy. It’s a powder BareMinerals type makeup, but about half the price. And it’s organic.

  35. An all natural protective sunscreen would be coconut oil. It has natural spf and soaks right into your skin ,non greasy and doesn’t make you look look pasty-try it.

  36. I must ask. What do you like “about” the castille soap. Why do you like it? I’m searching for a soap for me. I’ve tried everything from bars to liquid to even shampoo. I don’t liike the dry feeling from real soap but I don’t like the slippery feeling from liquid.

  37. Beautycounter product ingredients are tested with a strict screening process. The sunscreen is great for the whole family! They are partnered with the EWG too!

  38. Beauty Counter sunscreen is great! No burn at all but leaves you with color. A little pricey but worth it to me.

  39. As for natural sunscreens, look for non-nano zinc oxide ( I’ve read a lot about this when I was searching). My favorite so far is Thinksport for Kids (I use it, too). It is not pasty and sinks in well. Seems to last well even when swimming. Top rated on EWG list, too. I buy it off of vitacost.com, but one site you’ve recommended (mightynest.com) also carries it. I’ve ordered Green Goddess Organics to try for my face because I can get breakouts from sunscreen.

  40. I joined Beautycounter last fall and they have an awesome sunscreen with an EWG rating of 1. I would love to share this with you if you are interested. I was totally in the same boat as you trying all these natural/safe sunscreens and they would leave us pasty white, so I hear you on that one :)

  41. I really love AVEDA products. I use their shampoos conditions lotions and sunscreens. I’ve tried so many lines and always come back to them. Even their cosmetics are beautiful.

  42. Check out Alaffia for great coconut oil based shampoo/conditioner. For winter skin issues, I use a lot of shea butter. Nubian Heritage makes great raw shea butter in a couple of different scents. I love their frankinsense & myrrh – not being a flowery kind of girl. Our Wegmans carries both brands and both get great marks from the Skin Deep database.
    It’s also super easy to make your own ‘pit paste’ – 6 T coconut oil, 1/4 cup each cornstarch and baking soda, then just add essential oils as you please. I usually go herbal and use sage, bergamot, sometimes rosemary. Some folks are sensitive to using baking soda on their skin, but you can adjust the mix if you need to.
    Oh, and for makeup, check out Honey Bee Gardens – beautiful, all natural stuff.

  43. We found that ThinkBaby sunscreen works best for us…it’s relatively good according to the EWG, seems to keep us from burning, smells like yummy creamsicle and rubs in much better than the MANY other alternatives we tried from the EWG list over a few summers. You can get it on Amazon. There’s also a sport version, which I assume is the same but haven’t tried.

  44. Laure Friedman

    Have you tried Beautycounter? The sunscreen is fabulous… Rated #1 on EWG site… All personal care items are great! Pm for info!

  45. Check out Uncle Harry’s Shampoo and Conditioner. It only work with soft water but it’s definitely a great natural shampoo and conditioner!

  46. For all personal care products including shampoo and conditioner, make up, soap, toothpaste, and a few cleaning products try Pure Haven Essentials! They are a direct sales company (I can hook you up) and they offer an awesome selection at reasonable prices. They are completely non-toxic, but still working on becoming a completely organic company.

    1. Do they have sunscreen? I was just looking at their site last night and didn’t see any. Thanks for the information.

      1. April, they carried sunscreen last summer, but I haven’t seen it yet this season. I would check back in a couple of weeks!

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