I have been trying and testing the most cost-effective non-toxic, biodegradable personal care products.
I started with a more DIY approach, but in time I found ready-made products I liked more and were easier than making things myself.
Here is what I use and recommend now.
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And for removing toxins from the skin I love this charcoal soap.
I wash my face using the oil cleansing method (for acne-prone skin) or the soaps above.
For cleaning up between showers you could wipe your face with a Microfiber Face Cloth.
I recently tried Rose Hip Oil which is supposed to be very good for preventing acne. I really liked how it made my skin look.
It was the most luxurious of the three oils and I was really happy with that brand.
I have used Desert Essence – Fragrance-Free shampoo for years.
Some people prefer how Jason brand fragrance-free makes their hair feel.
I also tried the no shampoo method!
I use this detangler.
For black hair, coconut oil can be added to conditioner, argan oil can be used after shampooing, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil can be used as a sealant.
BODY SCRUB & SHAVING CREAM
Mix olive oil with brown sugar to make a simple exfoliating face or body scrub.
I wash with soap after exfoliating or you can rinse the sugar off with water and then use the oil as a shaving “cream.”
If you prefer a lathering shaving cream try this all-natural recipe or just use soap.
A simple, cheap and very effective lip balm can be made with two ingredients: beeswax and almond oil. Here are the instructions.
My go-to ready-made made lip balm with simple ingredients that don’t dry out your lips is Bert’s Bees with Shea Butter.
For a scent-free balm try this one.
Tom’s of Maine used to be the go-to natural toothpaste before it was bought by Colgate-Palmolive. Now their toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate or fluoride.
Instead, I use Jason brand All Natural Whitening.
If you do need mouthwash (and you probably don’t), use a natural one like Jason All Natural Mouthwash.
These biodegradable bamboo brushes are on my wish list.
Tom’s of Maine brand deodorants work well but the really effective ones contain zinc ricinoleate or aluminum.
The point of a “natural” brand was to get away from those toxins. The Healthy Deodorant (pictured) comes highly recommended. The best natural solution I have found is this magnesium oil. I don’t know how it works but it does, and I’m smelly.
Many people have recommended just using baking soda. Wiping down with vinegar first and letting it dry, can help kill bacteria that are making
you smelly. Wiping down with baby wipes throughout the day helps too.
My favourites are Seventh Generation (unscented), Nature Clean (a Canadian brand) or ECOs brand. Eco Nuts Soap might be an option if you can tolerate their natural scent – I found it strong.
There are some non-toxic options for Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets and Chlorine-Free Bleach. Or try these cool chemical-free, reusable Dryer Balls to reduce energy bills and soften fabric.
Or try these cool chemical-free, reusable Dryer Balls to reduce energy bills and soften fabric.
I really like Badger Sunscreen which comes recommended by many people who are super sensitive.
It has simple ingredients, is fragrance-free and uses non-nano zinc oxide as the sunblock.
Non-toxic, scent-free styling products are only just starting to become available. I use this to help my hair hold curls.
For black hair, try Shea Moisture. For various hair types, Moroccan Method uses simple, pure ingredients and offers free shipping across Canada.
For homemade recipes try this natural orange juice hairspray; this grapeseed/jojoba, essential oil & vit E hair serum. A simple solution – glycerin de-frizzes and is my go-to hair product.
For chemical-free makeup try The Honest Company.
Marcelle Brand can be found on Amazon and at most drugstores – it is scent-free and hypoallergenic but not necessarily non-toxic (it is the main brand I use).
Vitacost also carries natural makeup lines.
MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS & BIRTH CONTROL
While many companies will be willing to sell you pesticide-free and chlorine-free Tampons and Pads, those items are so wasteful and expensive compared to menstrual cups. Menstrual Cups are convenient and save you tonnes of money.
Hormonal birth control can be harmful to our bodies and harmful to the fish in the rivers.
Safer options include latex-free and spermicide-free polyurethane condoms (scent-free).
I use this non-toxic, scent-free hand sanitizer. It has a very faint smell which I don’t feel is problematic at all. It works as well as the standard alcohol-based ones (kills 99.9% of germs).
If you don’t tolerate that one I like Essante Sanitizer as well. The thing that I really liked about it was that it cured all my skin fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, and it barely has a smell. (This is an MLM but I am not a member and do not make a commission).
To lighten my hair I use hydrogen peroxide. Just the kind you get from the drugstore. It does create a chemical reaction with the hair that has a bit of a strange smell, but it doesn’t last. Then I use henna to dye my hair.
Henna has a very earthy smell which comes from the plants that are used to make it. You should test it first to see if you tolerate it. I have used this brand that is a very good price but doesn’t come in different colors, and this brand which comes in a variety of colors. Both worked very well, and they do cover grey! I use them to dye my eyelashes too.
I have looked deeply into the salon brand hair dyes here. None of the permanent ones are totally non-toxic.
I would first suggest trying pure henna or other henna or plant-based dyes like Hairprint or Palette by Nature before the semi-permanent salon brands and then the permanent.
I use Zoya which claims to be non-toxic. It has a strongish chemical smell when wet (but not as bad as the typical brands) but once it’s dry (about 20 minutes) I find it to totally benign.
My new favorite is Sophi which I find to be almost odorless when wet, much better than zoya.
I have looked into a lot of the natural self-tanners out there.
Almost all of them contain DHA. It may be naturally derived, but this ingredient may not be safe.
This one is truly safe and natural. It’s expensive though!
I use this cream (pictured). The first ingredient is controversial and likely toxic. I have tolerated it well. It has a slight natural scent. It is the only thing that helps my acne.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist with 6 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.
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