My Fav Non-Toxic Products
Being healthy is more than just what you put in your body. It’s also important to think about the products you are putting on your body, too. After all, your skin is your largest organ and much of what you place on it is absorbed into your bloodstream. Think about that. I'm sure you don’t want toxic shit entering your blood, right? On top of that, it’s also necessary to think about the products you use in your house, because we touch and inhale those as well.
Not to be a Debbie Downer or burst anyone's bubble, but most commercial products are loaded with toxic ingredients such as endocrine disruptors which are chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of human hormones. That's why it’s imperative to check labels carefully and do your research. Knowledge is power and the more informed we are as consumers, the better equipped we are to make wise purchases. It may be cliché, but I truly believe we vote with our dollars.
So, what should we avoid when on the quest for non-toxic products? There are a whole slew of bad ingredients out there, but I’d say the worst offenders/the ones you really want to avoid are:
BHA and BHT
Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI” followed by a five-digit number
Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
Sodium laureth sulfate
I know it can be overwhelming, but fortunately there are plenty of great, non-toxic options and they are becoming more widely available and reasonably priced. Plus, more and more brands are starting to market themselves as non-toxic, which is awesome (look for fragrance free, sulfate free, paraben free, etc.). But again, don't be fooled by some marketing phrases such as "natural," which are not regulated and basically mean nothing. You really just need to check the ingredients for yourself and be aware of what to look for.
Going non-toxic does not have to be hard and it’s not necessary to be wasteful and toss out everything you own (but if that’s what works for you, go for it). Personally, my transition has been slow. As I’ve used up products I’ve replaced them with non-toxic versions. I’ve also had some fun - and saved some bucks - by testing out a few easy DIY products, too (see below for my DIY body scrub, household cleaner and glass cleaner).
Alright, now the fun part: products!
Here is a list of some of the non-toxic (or at least less-toxic) products I've used and recommend. I’ve researched/checked the ingredients of all of these, and looked at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) database - which rates products as low hazard, moderate hazard or high hazard - to see the toxicity level when possible. Note: not all of the products I use were listed in their database.
SKINCARE & MAKEUP
Face Reality Ultra Gentle Cleanser Just a really great, basic cleanser. Gentle enough to use morning and night. This has been my go-to for years.
Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner I like to use a toner after my face wash to remove any residue and restore my skin's pH. This is a very natural, basic toner with minimal ingredients.
Vitamin C & E serum I love this stuff! It's like a little cocktail of vitamins for my skin. I swear it helps add some life into my skin when I put it on in the morning. It also adds extra moisture, which is great in the winter or just anytime if you live in a dry climate like I do.
Mandelic Serum I use this every night and it keeps blemishes at bay. If you've never heard of Mandelic acid, you should check it out. It's an alpha hydroxy acid derived from bitter almonds, and it's total game changer.
Face Reality Clearderma Moisturizer This stuff has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is great if you have acne-prone skin. It's also really moisturizing, but light and absorbs quickly into the skin.
Suntegrity "5 in 1" Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Hands down the BEST non-toxic sunscreen I've ever used. This is tinted, but the shades are on the lighter side. If you want more coverage, definitely get a darker shade than you normally would.
Environ Skin EssentiA® Range Hydrating Clay Masque I love to use this mask once a week to keep my skin in tip-top shape. You can leave it on for 30 minutes or longer (it can even be used as an overnight mask).
SCBI Stem Cell Hydrating & Firming sheet mask If you need a moisture boost - or just want to feel like a radiant, glowing goddess - use this mask. No other sheet mask even comes close.
Heritage Store Rose Water The best makeup-setting spray or anytime-you-just-want-a-refresh spray. Pro tip: keep this stuff in the fridge. There is nothing more refreshing than spraying your face with cool rose water.
Alaffia Ultra Hydrating Body Wash in Coconut Lime This has a great ingredient list, it lathers well and I like that it comes with a pump so it's easy to use in the shower.
The Grandpa Soap Co. Rose Clay Soap This is just good-old-fashioned soap sans phthalates, sulfates, parabens, EDTA, glutens, animal by-products, artificial fragrances or colorants. And it's pretty and pink... what more do you want?
DIY Body Scrub Take equal parts oil of choice (I used Vitamin E oil, but coconut and oil work great too) and sugar or salt (I used brown sugar). Mix and use. You can also add essential oils if you want to get fancy.
Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Pump Hand Soap You gotta wash your hands so might as well wash 'em with the good stuff. Dr. Bronner is an OG in the natural/non-toxic realm. I'm a big fan.
Amber Bath LemonAID Body Butta I'll be honest, I was hesitant to try this but it has changed the way I hydrate my skin. It's an in-shower moisturizer that you put on while the water is still running. It's scented with essential oils and smells freaking amazing.
Alaffia Unscented Shea Body Lotion I like to have a good-quality lotion that keeps my skin soft and when I find unscented, that's my jam. And again, I like pumps. They're so much better than a squeeze bottle, amiright?
Alaffia Unscented Shea Butter When you really need serious moisture, go straight for pure shea butter. This is best to put on right after you shower while your skin is still slightly damp. Heads up, you do need to warm it up in your hands a bit before you apply.
Spry Oral Rinse I'm kind of obsessed with mouthwash and this is literally the best I've used. Ever. Plus, my dentist recommended this. So it must be legit.
Spry Toothpaste Again, my dentist said this stuff is good. And it's non-toxic so it's really a win-win.
Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap I love Castile soap because it's economical and budget friendly. I use it as a dish soap and as the base for my DIY household cleaner, but it has 18 uses!! You can check 'em out, here. I like to buy the unscented one and then add my own essential oils.
Non-Toxic Household Cleaner (DIY): ¼ cup Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ teaspoon essential oil if desired (I add lemon).
Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner (DIY): 2 cups of filtered or distilled water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 10 drops essential oil of choice (I use lemon). Just add everything into a bottle, shake and use.
Puracy Natural Stain remover Just a great stain remover. It gets out blood, oil, grease, etc.
OTHER NOTABLE PRODUCTS
Essential oils If you want to transition to non-toxic products, essential oils will be your best friend. You can buy/make fragrance-free products and then add any essential oil(s) you want. Not only will they make things smell lovely, but different oils have different benefits. Looking for non-toxic perfume? I definitely recommend rollerballs. And you can also replace toxic air fresheners and room sprays with an essential oil diffuser.
My journey of detoxing my household/skincare products is not over yet. I have definitely found some great products, but there are a few I am still working on. The biggest struggle for me has been finding a non-toxic deodorant that works. I know aluminum-free is absolutely the way to go, but every time I’ve tried a natural deodorant I’ve been really unhappy with it. Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!
And if you have any questions or product recommendations, please leave them in the comments below.