Ideas for Moving Toward More Natural Body Care

One of the easiest parts of The Great Skincare Experiment (at least MUCH easier than giving up caffeine) was beginning to transition to more natural body care. I say “more natural” but like food, I’m well aware that skin care is a marketing mine-field full of buzzwords to make you think you are doing a body good. There are a million resources out there to help clarify what you “should” and “shouldn’t” use, but I’m not going to link the them because they make my head explode. So much information about THE PRODUCTS YOU ARE USING RIGHT NOW ARE KILLING YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT OMG, but quite frankly, I just can’t get motivated by alarmist tones. I find the recommendations overwhelming, and I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed I just don’t do anything, which um…doesn’t help.

I decided to take a small step during my skin care experiment to see if I find some products that didn’t have parabens or pthalates that I enjoyed just as much as my old products. I focused on these two things because both P-words are thought to affect some of the natural hormone activity in your body, and hey — that aligns right up there with my reasoning for loving Paleo — because it keeps my hormone levels healthy and in check! Plus, let’s be real, avoiding only 2 things seemed to be something small and manageable that I could handle.

I wanted to share the stuff I’ve been using for a month because:

A. I’ve really enjoyed all these products and talking about beauty products is fun.

B. All of these things are easy, affordable changes to make and a good place to start.

HOWEVER, IT IS WORTH NOTING:

C. I’m not an expert and I don’t really want to be. I’m just trying to move towards better decisions and have fun with it, so if this doesn’t help you or if you CAN’T BELIEVE THE AUDACITY OF MY RECOMMENDATION BECAUSE OF (INSERT OFFENSIVE INGREDIENT HERE), feel free to ignore it. Okay? Okay!

Now let’s talk about some natural body care products that are pretty cool:

(Clockwise from the top left)

1. Avalon Organics Vitamin C Refreshing Cleansing Gel – It’s a citrusy smelling gel facewash that doesn’t leave your skin feeling particularly dry. Also – it works well with the Clarisonic, foaming up just enough but not making your face feel like a bubble bath. I’m not into bubble bath face really, but if that’s your bag — GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF!

2. Yes to Blueberries Daily Repairing Moisturizer
– I was feeling a little sad about giving up all of my age-defying chemically face products but this has been a nice substitute. Note, it doesn’t have a sunscreen in it and I am not recommending a natural sunscreen because I haven’t looked for found one. Bad Holly! Doomed to a lifetime of wrinkles!

3. South of France Acai Pomegranate Bar Soap – I am a pretty steadfast showergel user but sometimes I just want a bar of soap. The only bars of soap that I have found that don’t make me feel sticky afterward are Dove bar soaps. Dove actually isn’t *that* offensive, but I thought I’d experiment with some hippie soaps. :) This one smells FREAKIN AMAZING and doesn’t make me feel sticky either. Score.

4. Lavanila The Healthy Deoderant in Vanilla Lavender – Do you use deodorant with an anti-persperant? THEN YOU’RE GOING TO DIE OMG!!!! Is that true? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what is a documented fact: most hippie deodorants without an anti-persperants really suck ass. That’s just science. Tom’s of Maine is the most offensive in my opinion. Their deodorant sticks may smell good but your sweaty armpits won’t after CrossFit, let me tell you. But this Lavanila, which is baking soda based, actually freaking works! Can you believe it? I almost couldn’t. CROSSFIT TESTED!!! If you aren’t allergic to baking soda: TRY THIS. The price is steep, yes. But it really does work.

5. Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner – Less sudsy than regular shampoos, but very delicious smelling and I felt it worked just fine. I will continue to look for a shamp/cond combo that I LOVE, but in the meantime this one is nice enough and pretty affordable. Plus, I use the Burt’s Bees Pomegranate chapstick and I feel very secretly smug when my lips and hair smell the same. Kind of like when my underwear matches my outfit. Wait, what????

6. Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion
– Alright stop what you’re doing (cuz I’m about to ruin?) and pick up this lotion immediately. Years ago Elizabeth recommended this lotion based solely on its smell being “the best clean smell ever” and so I purchased it sight unseen, smell unsmelled. And I’ve almost used nothing else since. It’s an amazing lotion (aptly named “very emollient”) but it’s the smell that I love. Dear Alba Marketing Team – “Original Scent” doesn’t really help much as a descriptor, but I will say this: it kind of smells like you have just taken a shower in a Hawaiian waterfall. And you totally did it in a string bikini and you looked tan and AMAZING the entire time! I think it is floral and clean but for people who don’t like floral scents (which is people like me. Floral stuff? BLECH!) Anyway, PLEASE GO GET THIS.

7. Alba Very Emollient Bath & Shower Gel (Honey Mango Scent) – I don’t know how many scents there are in this line, but who cares — this is the one to buy! It’s warm and fruity and the shower gel itself is super moisturizing. I was so in love with it I bought the (somewhat) matching cream shave. (I’ll talk about that in a sec! Hold tight!)

8. Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes – I’ve told you before that makeup removing quick wipes are one of my workout essentials, so these are a nice chemical free version. It’s like a mini-facial in a towelette. I hate the word towelette. It completely kills the spa vibe, actually. But regardless, these are lovely.

9. Alba Very Emollient Mango Vanilla Cream Shave – I enjoy shaving with coconut oil in the shower just like every other person who has just discovered that coconut oil is all the rage. But you know what I don’t like? GLASS IN MY SHOWER THAT IS NOT THE SHOWER DOOR. (Hell, I don’t even like glass shower doors all that much!) You see, I have the dropsies, like, all the time. Adding water doesn’t help the situation, so coconut oil in my shower is a no go unless I put it in another container and that’s ugly and far too sensible a solution. I just buy new things! Like this cream shave. Which is (oddly enough) VERY EMOLLIENT. And smells just like the Alba shower gel I just raved about. Win win!

*****

Hopefully this helps you if you are contemplating taking a step towards more natural body care. I’m sure there are many awesome products out there that just Rule The School, but these were mostly affordable, drugstore options that helped me get the ball rolling. Feel free to recommend your faves in the comments!

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