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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13 comments to Ideas for Moving Toward More Natural Body Care

  • Kathleen
    November 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I haven’t tried the Yes to Cucumbers towelettes, but I tried Yes to Blueberries and they did nothing to remove my mascara. Probably technically I wasn’t supposed to rub them on my eyes, but that’s what I need these things for. Do you use them to remove eye makeup?

    • Holly
      November 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      So I don’t use the wipes to remove makeup, mostly because I just use them right before the gym to get off all my blush/foundation. I still use eye makeup remover to get the rest of the gunk off. I’ve never found ANY wipe that was any good at mascara. Mascara? Y U BE SO DIFFICULT????

  • Rebecca (Bearca)
    November 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I have not even read the whole post yet, but major props to you for working in a Humpty Dance reference into a post about natural body care. Seriously. MAD RESPECT. :)

  • Jill
    November 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I had to sing the entire song. Physically impossible to not sing the whole thing once started.

  • Mallory
    November 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve tried the Yes to Carrots moisturizer, and it smelled so bad I returned it! I may have to try the blueberries one.

    • Holly
      November 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      YES!!!! I hate the Yes to Carrots face stuff. I don’t mind the hand creme for some reason but gag on the rest of it. The blueberries doesn’t smell like blueberries, it still has a bit of that wet hay kind of smell, but also fruity, so I don’t find it offensive at all. The cucumbers stuff though, SMELLS GOOD! I just wanted a moisturizer with some anti-aging crap too. (SOB)

  • K
    November 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I am not a natural face potion kinda gal (I like to use stuff to nuke my breakouts and my wrinkles and my oil), BUT! the Burt’s Bees face towelettes are GREAT! My husband uses them mostly, but I’ve used them in a pinch and they have taken off my two coats of waterproof mascara without issue.

  • Erica
    November 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    A nice affordable sunscreen is cerave… Not sure if it has bad things but my derm recommended it.

  • Amanda J
    November 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Holly,

    I was gonna send you a email today on this topic. Have you considered the multi e book pack that was advertized on Mel site earlier this week? I bought it and there are several great natural homemade skin care books in the pack. I think it has a time limit of like today or tomorrow so go look at it!

  • Heather BTV
    November 3, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Hi Holly!
    So cool that you are experimenting with more natural skin care products! I work for Seventh Generation, and we just launched a new line of body care, including body wash, body lotion and bar soap. I hate it when my friends try to sell me stuff, so I don’t push, even though I adore our products. I don’t have the authority to give stuff away, but just wanted to mention our products if you wanted to check them out. You can buy them directly from us at seventhgeneration.com, or from other online retailers like Amazon and Drugstore.com. I think that Whole Foods will be carrying them soon also. Anyhoo, thanks for mentioning all of these great natural products. I’m particularly fond of the Yes line and Alba. Good stuff! Oh, and thanks for all the work you do on your blog, I really enjoy reading!
    Take care,
    Heather

  • Lauren-Marie
    November 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I’m a big fan of the Yes to Carrots brand shampoo and conditioner as well as their under eye cream. I saw you said you didn’t like the smell but I’m not sure if the shampoo and conditioner smell the same as the other stuff. I love that product line. I’m excited to try this lotion you mentioned, I’ve been using straight coconut oil before bed and while I feel moisturized and cream pie like I would also like to not grease stain any more sheets.

  • Jess
    November 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Baking Soda and coconut oil!
    Baking soda washes hair & body & can be used as a deodorant.
    Coconut oil moisturises everything.
    I do use a regular shampoo and body wash Organicare or Eco Store (NZ) a few times a month but I keep everything else as basic as possible.

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