Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NATURAL BODY CAREBody care is an area of natural living that I have not yet made any real changes in my life. It feels very overwhelming, with lots of conflicting information (or little information at all!). It is time for me to dive into studying and researching and making changes. I have been thinking about it more and more, especially in the morning, when my eyes are burning and watering for 10-15 minutes after putting my Aveeno Daily Facial Moisturizer on. Not good. What goes on our skin seeps into the rest of our bodies, so it seems a little counterintuitive to only focus on what is going INTO my family's bodies, but not ON them. I use more products than anyone else in my family. My children only use Tom's of Maine toothpaste and bar soap (links below). My husband uses Colgate toothpaste, and Old Spice deodorant, but everything else we use is the same.

The products I currently use:

-Shampoo and Conditioner (various brands)
-Tom's of Maine Bar Soap
-Suave spray Deodorant (I was using Tom's of Maine (Calendula), but it just smells awful! And that defeats the purpose, doesn't it?!)
-Arbonne Foundation
-Mascara (various brands)
-Eyeliner, eyeshadow (used very infrequently, various brands)
-Aveeno Facial Lotion
-Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm
-Tom's of Maine Toothpaste
-Clinique Astringent

Growing up, I was well acquainted with using natural herbal remedies for every day maladies. Oregano was used for fever blisters and cold sores. Tobacco leaves were used on stings. Aloe was used on burns. Chamomile healed and soothed a whole host of ills. But when it comes to every day skin and body care, I am pretty clueless. I have switched to Tom's of Maine and Burt's Bees for many items, and I know they are better than most other brands, but I still haven't researched them enough to know whether they are really natural or not.

When I am in the kitchen, I sometimes use items found there on my skin. When I am baking, I will dab any vanilla extract on my fingers behind my ears, for a natural perfume and often use olive oil on Bauer's bottom, or on my hands, in place of lotion.

I would really like to get away from using conventional body products altogether, but I am not ready to go no-poo.

So, this is an area that I will be looking into more in the coming weeks and months. I would love to know what you use, and what natural products you really like. I have heard good things about Aubrey Organics, and of course, Dr. Bronners. Do any of you use these products?

As with most other areas of my life, I will be making small, slow changes that over time, will (hopefully) result in a more natural, simple, and frugal way of living. I welcome your thoughts and experiences on this topic. It really seems overwhelming. Perhaps I will focus on finding one product at a time to use in place of the chemical laden products I currently slather on my skin. :)

*Creative Commons image from creo que soy yo on flickr.com


  1. I used to use avacado oil for hair, nails, washing my face, moisturizing lips, eyebrow and eyelash grooming (instead of mascara). A good cold-pressed olive oil works well too. In fact, you could try Kiss My Face Olive Oil bars. I find them at around a buck a piece in Giant (while they're 3+ at Trader Joes).

  2. I love Aubrey organics. I use them for my facial care. For shampoo I use Nature's Gate as we use ALOT of shampoo and it's less than $6 for a good size bottle. Coconut oil makes a great moisturizer too. I would suggest starting with a natural deodorant as this is a particularly vulnerable area-lymph nodes and all. My husband and I use the Thai stone which lasts forever:

  3. I look forward to reading your findings on all of this! I feel light-years behind on the green/natural living, but it is so very interesting to me. Please keep posting what you find!

  4. I use, and love, these haircare products (available at BiLo): http://www.giovannihaircare.co.nz/products.htm

    Also check these links out:

  5. I like Dr. Bronner's peppermint castille soap - you can use it so many different ways.

  6. I too am on a budget. I love the following:
    D tox System replentishing body lotion from giovanni...it has Acai and Gogi Berry antioxidants in it, but it just smells so yummy!
    I use baking soda for brushing teeth and when I need a shot of fresh breath...I dab a bit of peppermint oil. Oh..and I love this soap I found at Brighter Day one has vitamin C and smells like oranges and the other like grapefruit. JASON shampoo rose smell and tea tree conditioner.
    That's it for me!

  7. We use the Dr. Bronner's cleaner and like it. Also Seventh Generation, Tom's of Maine (I like the lavender soap!) and Burt's Bees. I've looked for JASON, but haven't found it here yet.

    I also remember the tobacco and aloe remedies from childhood. I bought Clean House, Clean Planet, a book on making your own cleaners, but haven't done a whole lot of mixing yet. I have made a vinegar grease cutter/window cleaner and use it. It's not quite as effective as the commercial kind, but it works well enough. Meanwhile, I've found that washing many of the same surfaces in just a little dish soap, then rinsing and drying with an almost dry towel, works quite well.

    I think you've got the right idea about small, slow changes over time.

  8. This post really got me thinking and inspired me to do a little research on conventional body products in general. I came across this really interesting site where you type in any brand and it tells you the hazard rating. Click on the link to the product you want to read about and it will show you what the ingredients are linked to (ie cancer, allergies, etc). Anyway, just thought you might find in interesting, too....


  9. Anonymous12:25 AM

    Baking soda, tea tree oil, honey, and shampoo are the only products I use in my bathroom (except makeup, but I rarely if ever use that so I have no advice in that area). I use baking soda and water to form a paste in place of soap. I use honey and baking soda for a face wash. Mix the two ingredients together in my hands and massage into my face. I leave it on while I shower to let the honey moisturize, and rinse it off at the end. Honey is also used in place of shaving cream.

    For deodorant I use tea tree oil applied with my fingers and then dust with baking soda. Tea Tree Oil is also used on my face to treat acne.