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Cosmetics and Personal Care Products I Use

By: Missy B

In the comments sections of my last post Making More Lip Balm, a reader asked if I would share which products I use and where I get them. Why, I’d love to!

Before I begin, I’d like to recommend you watch the video of The Story of Stuff about Cosmetics. It was a real eye opener for me and made me take a closer look at the labels and ingredients of the products I use every day.

I’ve since spent a lot of time researching products trying to find ones that I can feel good about using. Other resources I’ve used in my search for healthy products are the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website and Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database which allows you to search for a product or ingredient to see its rating of safety. I also only buy products that aren’t tested on animals, but that information should be on the label.

Non-Toxic Makeup being appliedThis is not a list of the perfect products so I’d love to hear from you about which products you love to use. I am always on the lookout for a great product/brand–they are so hard to come by. And I have tried a lot!

What to Know About Non-Toxic Makeup Products

Be wary of things with the words “organic” or “natural” on the label, because that does not mean they don’t contain hazardous ingredients as well. You really need to read the labels and learn what those indecipherable words mean. So, suggestions please!

Be war of FRAGRANCE! Argh! Why do companies feel the need to put horrible perfume-y chemical smell in everything!? If you’ve done any research on products you probably know fragrance is a big unregulated free-for-all of a word. No thanks! That said… a lot of products I am about to list DO have fragrance in them (I will mention it) and I am trying to find replacements for them. Lines that I otherwise really like, such as Alba and Burt’s Bees just ruin it for me with the word fragrance on their label. I like my products unscented or to get their scent from natural essential oils like peppermint and lavender (which would be listed as such on the ingredients label), NOT some chemical (AKA, the all-encompassing vague “Fragrance”)! Continuing…

Chemicals to Avoid in Makeup

Here is what is in my bathroom right now and my thoughts on them (and a few notes about past things I’ve tried).

Shampoo – Avalon Organics Revitalizing Shampoo (Peppermint) – Love it! The smell and the ingredients! Everett likes to use vinegar and baking soda sometimes too, and he swears it works just as well as shampoo. I have a lot more hair than he does so shampoo works better for me.

Conditioner – Avalon Organics Revitalizing Conditioner (Peppermint) – Love it!

Face Wash – Avalon Organics Vitamin C Cleansing Gel – Love it!

Toner – Avalon Organics Vitamin C Balancing Facial Toner – Love it!
But, it has salicylic acid in it so I am not using it while pregnant because high doses can cause birth defects. So I currently use Witch Hazel on occasion – Like it – but it dries out my face a little.

Other face washes I really like but have fragrance:
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions – helped clear up my skin in the past and I could really use it now, but again salicylic acid.
Alba Coconut Milk Facial Wash – Love this in the winter – very hydrating.

Face lotion – currently, Avalon Organics Vitamin C (sensing a pattern here) Renewal Facial Cream – Love it! Although it may be a little thick come Summer.

Previous face lotions I like but again – fragrance:
Alba Sea Plus Renewal Cream
Alba Sea Moss Moisturizer SPF 15 – in Summer I definitely like a sunblock and really like this. Nice and light, but fragrance!

Ones I didn’t like:
Burt’s Bees Radiance SPF 15 Day Lotion – Didn’t like it! Made my face feel dry and sticky! Royal jelly, maybe? And fragrance.
Not even sure the brand really – it’s from Target and says: Active Plant Extracts Organic Face Hydrating Day Cream. This did not list fragrance in its ingredients, but it sure smells like it! Very Perfume-y. Don’t like. And also makes my face feel tight/dry and sticky.

I’ve also tried Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion with Royal Jelly and did not like it! And the smell was nauseating to me.

Body Lotion:
Seed Lavender sage, Citrus Blend and Unscented. Love them all! From Scents from essential oils and they smell amazing! Here is a review on Compare The Brands.

My mom did buy me some Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion for Stretch Marks, which I have about emptied now. I’m pregnant – which gives me all the more reason for wanting natural products, but I really don’t want stretch marks! So far completely working its magic though!

Other face products I like and use occasionally but have fragrance:
Alba Sea Algae Enzyme Facial Scrub and Alba Deep Sea Facial Mask

Deodorant – when I wear it (which has not been often since we moved to the country. So far Everett hasn’t seemed to notice.) Kiss My Face Liquid Rock I also own and used to use, but seldom do anymore, Secret Unscented Invisible Solid.

Toothpaste – J/A/S/O/N Powersmile – Nice!

Hair products – I don’t think I’ve used any natural products for hair. I don’t think I’ve really seen any, but I’m sure they exist. I usually don’t put anything in my hair, but when I do I use some Frizz-Ease like Dream Curls or Finishing Creme and TRESemme Curl Hydration Lotion Creme.

Soaphome made! Love it! Unless we run out then I buy Canus Goat’s Milk Soap Fragrance Free – very nice!

Lips – I only wear my own lip balms these days. Love them!

Makeup – I switched to mineral makeup a few years ago and really like it, but am still searching for the perfect powder foundation. I usually end up buying several small sizes or get samples and then mix them all together and use that. Some of the brands are Everyday Minerals, Pure Luxe, Aromaleigh (no longer around), Zosimos, Orglamix and Affordable Mineral Makeup. I don’t like Bare Escentuals as it contains bismuth oxychloride. Also, watch out for powders with talc in them.

Another ingredient I really try to avoid is Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate, a known carcinogen found in so many products such as shampoo, toothpaste, soaps, face washes, even baby shampoo and washes!

I would love to hear suggestions on safe baby products you use, too. I’ll be needing them soon!

I usually buy my products at the grocery store. But, in a small town the selection is a lot more limited than your average health food store. I buy the mineral makeup online and I will probably end up buying other products on this page more often if I can find the ones. Although, I’d prefer to buy from a local, natural source.

Category: Reviews, The Transplants

Comments (17)

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  1. Casey Brooks says:

    Try Simply Pure Products – I love them!! Locally made in my area.

    Also, my sister in law has just started selling them.

  2. Laura Jeanne says:

    I use Avalon Organics shampoo too–the lavender one. It smells lovely! Like you, I avoid anything with “Fragrance” like the plague, but essential oils are another story, they smell wonderful.

    I don’t use a lot of personal care products. Soap, I usually use some local handmade unscented bar soap. For deodorant, I use Tom’s of Maine, same thing for toothpaste.

    For moisturizing, I either use virgin coconut oil by itself or some coconut butter lotion I bought from an Etsy seller called Joyful Girl Naturals. Also from her I have some bee pollen facial cream which is pretty nice.

    I rarely wear makeup, but for lip balm I love Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Oil lip balm.

    I guess that’s about it. I haven’t used anything but water to clean my face for years now, it gets dried out too easily.

  3. TracyDK says:

    For my son, we use ivory soap (the only bad thing in there is the fragrance), and I’m really trying to find a good tearless shampoo that works for him. Right now we’re using Johnson and Johnsons. I just saw some Burts Bees the other day that I’m going to buy and try. He’s 2 and leaning his head back is not something he does well, especially if there is water involved. For his bum, we use food grade corn starch. Works great. But for rashes (which he’s rarely had) we use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Generally 2 treatments and he’s right as rain.

    For myself I use, Ivory as well. For my shampoo I use baking soda with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Really, if you use a wet version rather than a paste, you can get long hair really clean with it. (1tbsp/cup water, and if your hair is REAL long you could double the recipe)Put it on when your hair is dry, concentrating on the roots and eventually your hair will start squeaking. Then use (3tbsp acv/cup water) to rinse. I find that using the acv works MUCH better than conditioner.

  4. Dawn says:

    Check out Bubble and Bee! I use their shampoo with a vinegar rinse, deodorant, face lotion, body butter, lip balm, lotion stick, shower gels, bar soaps, and make your own spray. The owner, Stephanie, is a great source for questions and she writes a blog about chemicals in products.

    Right now I use USDA organic cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil for lotion on my kids. They love the smell and you can get a pretty big jar of it for a decent price.

  5. Carrie says:

    I love Avalon organics shampoo! I never got the hang of baking soda and ACV so I just shampoo once or twice a week. I just started using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water 50/50 to brush my teeth. I have sensitive teeth and just found out after years of using sensodyne that it is the toothpaste (abrasive) that causes recession not the brushing! For face/body wash I use honey and baking soda 50/50. It works amazing! I want to make my own lip balm and soap since being inspired by you! I too use Everyday minerals and do the same thing! I bought a large size of multitasking neutral and just add sample colors until I have something that approximates my coloring.

  6. Anna says:

    anything California Baby is great for my kids- and I use them sometimes, too!

  7. starr says:


  8. Heather says:

    My daughter and I made a sugar scrub that we use about once a week. I found the recipe online, three ingredients – sugar, honey, and coconut oil. We actually tasted it when we made it (I don’t like coconut, so I didn’t like it). My skin feels really soft afterwards, I don’t feel like I need lotion.

  9. Whole Foods also carries MineralFusion mineral make up that doesn’t have the Bismuth Oxychloride, parabens, mineral oil or other toxins. I am going to go buy some today. I have been using Bare Escentuals for years, but have noticed the red blotches I occasionaly get and the itchiness when I get hot. I thought I was just getting old or something, but now I am sure its the Bismuth! I’ll report back on the MineralFusion in a week or so.

  10. Missy says:

    Thanks Marianney – can’t wait to hear back about that!

  11. Missy says:

    Thanks Dawn! I ordered a few products from Bubble and Bee and really like them. Their coconut and lime shea body butter smells so good I want to eat it – on a beach somewhere!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Missy – thank you so much for sharing Seed Lotion with your readers! What a pleasant surprise! Have you tried our new Hand Cream? Body Cream? Pls stay in touch!

  13. Rather than moisturizers, try an oil mix right out of the shower, when you are still warm and damp ~ Balance the heavy and light oils to get a good mix, sweet almond balances castor, sunflower, balances grape seed, etc ~ add your favorite essential oils plus a bit of carrot seed for wrinkles and massage in every day. AMAZING.

  14. Milore says:

    I only use 2 types of soap for my home and body…Dr Bronner’s Castille Peppermint soap for the body and his Sal Suds for everything else. The former has actually taken the place of deodorant (essential peppermint oil does the trick it seems).And for my body and hair moisturizer I use Unrefined virgin coconut oil from Whole Foods. Working for me so far.

  15. Tonya says:

    One company I’ve found is called Sweetsation it offer allot of skin care products for pregnant women and babies all of it taking into account the safety of the ingredients. I’ve tried their lip balm and while it’s supposed to use aromatherapy to help with morning sickness it hasn’t really helped that much, but it does have a nice lemony scent that is very pleasant without being overwhelming. They sent a sample of one of their body lotions along with the lip gloss and the body lotion smelled wonderful.

  16. Megan A says:

    This is so shocking. I was recently able to locate the only product in the entire world that is honest to God “Chemical Free” I am repulsed that I have been poisioning myself, and my babies and was blind to the truth and fooled by marketing execs who can basically use gasoline in skin cream without ever having to tell me the consumer they are doing it.

  17. Nicole says:

    I have an app on my Iphone called The Chemical Maze (complete edition). It’s a little pricey at 6.99 but I have gotten more than that out of it in just a few weeks.
    Just type in the big words and it will tell you what it is!!
    I love it.

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