Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 22 2017

19 Personal Care Products I Use or Like

By Mark Sisson
143 Comments

Body care products on wooden table over gray backgroundA few years ago, I wrote a long post listing cosmetics, soaps, and other personal products made with healthy, non-toxic ingredients. It’s a sad thing when you basically have to assume the worst about the average product designed to be slathered all over the largest organ of your body—your skin. But that’s the situation in which we find ourselves now.

Today’s post is an update of sorts. What products am I using? Which ones have I used? And are there any others that I can safely recommend? It won’t be as comprehensive as the last one. It will be more personal.

In fact, let’s just go through an average day and week of personal product use. I’m pretty spartan, as you’ll see. I’ll also include other products I like (but might not always use) where applicable.

I wake up and brush my teeth. I don’t use toothpaste usually, just a swish of hydrogen peroxide while brushing. For guests and those times I do feel like toothpaste, I’ll use something like Squigle Tooth Builder or Claybrite. Squigle uses xylitol to discourage pathogens from setting up shop and adds minerals that presumably aid in re-mineralization. Claybrite also uses xylitol but throws in mineral-rich clay.

I take a shower. Most of my showers are water only. Maybe I’ll wash the armpits and other hidden regions if the situation calls for it, using AOBiome’s Mother Dirt Face and Body Cleanser (if I’m not very dirty) or Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap (if I am). Mother Dirt Face and Body Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that doesn’t destroy your precious skin biome. Dr. Bronner is that soap that comes in the crazy bottle featuring a veritable infographic. Both use inoffensive ingredients.

I spend so much time in the ocean or my saltwater pool and hot tub that I’m not ever really “filthy” enough to require a full-body scrub down. As long as you’re not just sitting in your own filth for days on end, you can get away with going easy on the soap.

About once a week I’ll shampoo my hair with AOBiome’s Mother Dirt Shampoo. Like the body wash, the stuff is designed to cleanse without negatively impacting the live surface bacteria living on your scalp. It actually supports your native skin bacteria, helps it do its job. Each ingredient was hand-picked and independently verified not to destroy the skin biome.

The next two bits will draw gasps of disbelief. That’s okay.

Next, I shave. Do I dip an oak-handled lathering brush into a mason jar of bespoke artisanal shaving cream? Do I slather on the Primal Kitchen avocado oil? Does it involve coconut? Pastured egg white meringue, perhaps?

Nope (although I do use the avocado oil for something which I’ll get to later). I use good ol’ Gillette Foamy, the same stuff I’ve used since I was 14 years old. Old habits die hard, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t obsess over everything. Nothing—and no one—in this life is pristine.

Then I apply a little Bleu de Chanel deodorant under my arms. It provides enough fragrance that I never have to use cologne. I’ve also used Primal Pit Paste and Schmidt’s. Both work well and have great ingredients—and I have them both in my medicine cabinet—but i’m just so used to the Chanel. Once, when I was camping, forgot my deodorant, and really needed it, I mixed equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Worked great, albeit messily.

And finally, a couple times a week I’ll spray myself all over with the Mother Dirt Mist and Live Probiotic Body Spray, which colonizes your body with the same ammonia-consuming bacteria abundant in soil and fresh water. Ammonia is the smelly byproduct of skin bacteria. It’s what makes us stink. Back when the product was just coming out, a NY Times writer tried it for a few weeks, foregoing soap, shampoo, and deodorant entirely. Her skin improved. Since she was no longer washing away natural oils, she was more moisturized than before. She had a smell, but not a bad one. Just a “natural” one. 

Another benefit of using this spray is that the bacteria convert ammonia into nitric oxide, which our body uses for endothelial health and general vascular function. More nitric oxide, better blood flow. I’ve noticed a definite effect.

To style my hair, I don’t really do a whole lot. I find that the constant exposure to salt water really helps my hair stay manageable sans product (beach hair is best hair). If anything, I might tousle it with a little avocado oil and towel dry it. Once every few days I’ll use a tea tree oil gel.

Another “hair product” I do endorse is collagen powder. Ever since I started taking 20-40 grams of collagen every day to help heal my Achilles tendinitis, I noticed a strange but welcome side effect: stronger, thicker hair.

If I’m spending a long time in the sun and need sunblock, I use Epicurean. It contains zinc oxide, a physical barrier to UVB and UVA (for when you’ve had enough of each). If you’re going to use sunblock, just pick one that uses zinc. They don’t exactly rub in and disappear like typical sunblocks, which is why they’re so much safer.

At night, before bed and after my swim and sauna, I’ll rub some Primal Kitchen avocado oil on my skin. I swim and sauna (yep, that’s a verb) every night but rub the oil probably every other night.

I don’t wear makeup. From the women in my life who do, I’ve seen a lot of Dr. Hauschka and 100% Pure products. Both look so clean you could probably make salad dressing out of them.

I’ve also heard good things about Feather Eagle Sky skincare products and oils.

As you can see, I’m not big on personal care products. I use what I like, and I tend to use them sparingly. But I know many readers have been curious, and many of you are probably experts in your own right, so let’s hear it:

What do you use?

What do you endorse?

What’s missing from my list?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

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143 thoughts on “19 Personal Care Products I Use or Like”

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  1. I wouldn’t want to be the guy who starts the discussion after that. Going to go roll in the mud and think this over.

  2. Within the past year I’ve stopped wearing makeup, and it’s been a real game changer. I wasn’t a huge makeup user before, but I love how much time and money it’s freed up, not to mention how much better my skin feels now that I’m not using it every day! The minimalist in me really appreciates getting rid of things that I once thought were an essential part of my daily routine.

    For special occasions (which are weddings, fancy meals out, etc) I have a blush and a mascara that I use from Beauty Counter. I use coconut oil for moisturizing, and even on small cuts or blemishes on my face as well.

    1. I love (and love so much I even consult for) Beautycounter!! The sunscreen is phenomenal, made with zinc, and smells great with essential oils.

      1. I had no idea they had a sunscreen! Thanks for the tip – I’ve been meaning to do some research on that now that there’s more daylight here and I’m spending more time outside.

      2. I’m also a huge fan of Beautycounter. I have slowly converted my products to more natural, but I struggled with make up- in past years the make up was definitely of an inferior quality. Beautycounter does a phenomenal job with quality and ingredients

  3. Here’s my take on personal care products after years of experimentation: I’ve used both Dr. Bronner’s and Carolina Castile Soap, and Carolina Castile is a higher quality product, imo. I use Eco-Dent Tooth Powder – the Anise flavor. Nice taste, and no toxic fillers or fluoride. Acure Organics and Andalou Naturals make pretty good shampoo and other “beauty” products with a minimum of synthetic fillers. Rejuva Minerals, Jane Iredale and Mineral Fusion make decent low-toxin makeup. We always have Almond oil and Jojoba oil on hand – great multi-taskers. 🙂

    1. Are your worried about cavities due to no fluoride in the toothpaste?

      1. There is plenty of research to suggest that fluoride is harmful rather than helpful for teeth. If you’re worried about cavities, a diet high in minerals from bone broth and other bio-available sources is the best thing. You can also brush with mineralized clays and tooth powders to help the body rebuild enamel. Check out Ramiel Nagel’s “Cure Tooth Decay” for more information, or just about anything on the Weston Price Association website.

        1. I agree, Rachel. I am a dentist in California. No studies conclusively validate use of topical fluoride to prevent decay. Fluoride is quite toxic. Weston A. Price was a dentist and I have found his research trustworthy. Parenteral use of fluoride during pregnancy has been shown to create enamel less prone to decay for the infant; not worth the exposure, imo.

      2. Dentist here- no sugar and half decent brushing and flossing= no cavities

      3. No, I don’t worry about cavities. I stopped using fluoride a long time ago, and haven’t had a cavity since. Fluoride is a neurotoxin.

        1. Exactly. The Lancet has classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin which is especially harmful if ingested. There’s no reason whatsoever to be using products containing it. There’s a reason it’s banned in Europe.

          1. Fluoride is banned in a few countries in Europe. Many of the rest found it difficult to implement and opted to add fluoride to salt and/or milk. As far as fluoride being a classified as a neurotoxin, a meta-analysis of studies, primarily from China show that children exposed to high levels of fluoride in drinking water had lower IQs. Mind you, China is one of the places that does NOT add fluoride to the drinking water, due to naturally occurring high levels of fluoride in the water. That just shows that very high levels of fluoride is bad for the developing brain. It says nothing about the risk of the much lower levels that we’re exposed to.

      4. I’m so split on the fluoride issue. Lots of research suggests it’s toxic, others say it doesn’t help oral health. But I still can’t get over the fact that I had very few cavities until I moved to a city that doesn’t fluoridate their water. After a few years there, my mouth was full of cavities, including one tooth that cracked practically in half (chunks of tooth fell into my mouth. I still don’t know how it is that they didn’t have to pull it), and another that went nearly to the root. This, with a diet that contains almost no sugary beverages or candies, and regular brushing. I’ve recently started taking K2, to sew if that helps. Whatever the issue, the “no sugar, and regular brushing” line is solid BS.

        1. Could it be a vitamin D3 issue? Sufficient D3 intake will do far more for your teeth that fluoride ever could.

          1. That’s a VERY good question, and one that I hadn’t considered. Not only did I move from a city that fluoridated the water to one that didn’t, but it was also a move form the sunniest city in Canada (year round sunshine, even in the cold of winter), to the least sunny city in Canada (almost constant cloud cover from late-Sept to mid-June). I wasn’t supplementing with D3 in the winter until 3 or 4 years ago, so that could very well have been the issue.

            I moved back to my home town two years ago, and they stopped fluoridating the water at about the same time. I’m also taking D3 in the winter, and have recently started experimenting with K2 (which, combined with D3, is supposed to boost bone/tooth strength). It’ll be interesting to see how the changes affect the tooth health over the next couple years.

            Thanks for that tip!

      5. The FDA has approved fluoride as a treatment for sensitive teeth. Prescribing it for caries prevention is off-label.

        We avoid fluoride at all costs and my kids and I have had virtually no cavities, and what we have had are all occlusal due to simply having very deep pits.

        Diet and homecare are what matter the most. Flossing will literally make or break your oral health. Fluoride is not a miracle cure.

  4. I stopped wearing makeup many years ago, mainly because I had to be at work at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. My skin is much healthier without all that gunk on it. My showers are usually just water with soap only for the pits and private areas, but I do have to shampoo every other day because my hair is naturally very oily. I’ve never figured out how to get rid of that problem so I just live with it. I like Garnier Fructis Pure Clean. It’s not chemical-free but my hair and scalp seem to like it, which is more than I can say for some of the more natural brands I’ve tried.

    1. Shary,
      I have pretty oily hair too and I use Chagrin Valley Soap’s mud and clay shampoo bar. It took a couple of weeks for my hair to get used to it, but now it’s the only thing I’ll use. I also do an apple cider vinegar rinse to help with tangles after I wash.

    2. Stop washing. Use a natural bristle brush to distribute natural oils down to the ends. Avoid overly stimulating your scalp for about a week. Eventually it will slow down oil production naturally. At that point, you can then start shampooing once a week or as needed without turning into a grease pit 24 hours after washing.

      1. Agree 100% with this comment. I bought a boar bristle brush, stopped washing frequently and reduced shampooing to once every 5 days or so. I can sometimes stretch it to a week.

    3. See my comment on Rye Flour Shampoo, it’s my favorite and I’ve tried quite a few things! Also, if you stop stripping your scalp of the oils it is producing every other day, it will stop creating so much oil. It will take a couple weeks of greasier-than-ideal hair but it’s worth it in the end! I agree with crcrcr about the boar bristle hairbrush–I use one to distribute the healthy “sebum” oil on my scalp down to the more dry/damaged ends of my hair. I usually do this on day 2 or 3 hair and right before hopping in to shampoo with rye flour.

  5. I spent a loooooong time one day in the shampoo/conditioner section at Whole Foods reading all of the ingredients lists and looking up things that I didn’t know what they were. I finally settled on Everyday Shea shampoo and conditioner as the one with the fewest (and safest) unpronounceable/not-obvious ingredients. The stuff works as well for me as most chemical-laden ones.

    For toothpaste, I really liked the Neem tooth powder, but I can’t find it anywhere anymore, I think they may have stopped making it. Now I use Earth Paste.

  6. Ever since I started taking cold showers a few years ago, I find I don’t need deodorant anymore. Why I don’t know

    1. I can second this. A few years ago I started taking showers where the water temp felt neutral or just-warm (for winter), instead of hot, and noticed not long after that I needed to use deodorant less often. I’m guessing it has something to do with not stressing or killing off the ‘good’ bacteria on the skin

  7. I use jojoba oil like Mark uses avocado oil. It’s the only oil I can use on my skin in any real amount, but I’d love to try avocado oil on my hair. I’ve found Jane Iredale is great for cosmetics. Just ordered the Mother Dirt products last week. I’m anxious to see how they work!

  8. Year round warm weather dressing requires daily shaving for me, which can cause dryness. Apricot kernel oil is wonderful. No aroma, not greasy. Skin feels like silk. Definitely husband approved.

  9. I use castor oil and rose hip seed oil for everything…moisturizing, oil cleansing (when needed), hair mask, under eye serum for dark circles, dark spot treatment, after sun moisture. I make my own soap for the household, either 100% coconut oil or olive oil. I make a moisturizing version for the shower and a stronger version for laundry.

    Here’s the best (and easiest) deodorant recipe that I have come up with: one pinch of baking soda and a splash of vodka…rub together in hands and apply to pits. Dries fast and works for days if you don’t wash it off. If pits get irritated or rashy, just use less baking soda next time.

  10. I am a big fan of Araza Natural Beauty’s make-up, specifically their foundations and concealer.

  11. I got creeped out by the aluminum in antiperspirants, not to mention the overly powerful perfumes, so years ago I read up on alternatives. I ended up with alcohol. I keep a tiny squirt bottle handy for emergency hand sanitation (a family member who’s immune-compromised makes that necessary) so on the rare days when one alcohol application doesn’t last long enough I can reapply under my shirt. I’m not a rampant shaver, either, and it works fine anyway.

  12. For deodorant, I use magnesium oil—a spray of magnesium chloride. An 8 oz. spray bottle is about $8 and last 6 months or longer.

    For toothpaste, Nature’s Gate brand. Mouthwash, like Mark, just a little bit of hydrogen peroxide and water.

    As an aftershave, I use hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and wipe my face.

    Shampoo, I use a small of amount of Dr. Bronner’s plus about a teaspoon of baking soda and mix with water and pour over my wet head.

    My skin bacteria will have to fend for themselves. Those products are too expensive for me.

    1. Agreed on the price of the AO Biome!! I want to try it, buy I’m looking at over $100 per tiny bottle, once the exchange rate and shipping are factored in. You’d think they’d try to lower the price. They’d have a much larger market at a third of the price.

  13. My two go-to products are Now Xyliwhite toothpaste (platinum mint) and Kirk’s Castile bar soap (original). I really like the subtle scent of Kirk’s, and even use it to wash my hair every few days..eliminating my need for shampoo.

  14. I’m a big fan of the Primally Pure skincare products and their delightful deodorant, too. Like some of the brands mentioned above, you could technically eat these products. Through the blog No More Dirty Looks (now dormant) I found many cosmetic products that were squeaky clean and enjoy the way they work and persist (no reapplying!). I have not found a clean mascara, though, and am still looking. For everything else (skin, hair, eye makeup removal, scrubs, etc.), I’m all about the coconut. Oh, and I’m loving diatomaceous earth for scrubs. The end.

    1. Try Beauty Counter and / or 100% Pure mascaras. Both are clean and pretty good. I prefer the Beauty Counter because it seems to make my lashes more visible. For occasional use (like a fancy party) I’ll use Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara for extra drama/fake lash look (pretty sure they score a 2 on EWG’s database so not too bad).

  15. Definitely going to get me that probiotic spray. I knew they made it but didn’t know where to buy it. I’m obsessed with probiotics. I take probiotic capsules everyday, I eat fermented vegetables and drink homemade raw kefir everyday, and I dump a probiotic capsule in coconut oil and swish it in my mouth everyday. Probiotics for skin? Hell yeah!

    1. Have you noticed any significant changes since doing this? Morning breath? etc?

    2. Yes, do tell what you have found using all the probiotics please

      1. Yeah in regards to swishing probiotics in my mouth I can tell a big difference. It really improves the health of my gums. As far as better breath maybe slightly. However what really improves breath is coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil (or orange, tea tree, or any other essential oil of your choosing).

  16. I use a bar shampoo from Purple Prairie Organics for soap and shampoo. I used to use JR Liggett’s, but where I bought it the price doubled so I switched. My deodorant is Nature’s Gate Organic Deodorant Sticks. I just use coconut oil or jojoba oil for conditioner and moisturizer, and I’ve started to make my own toothpaste with baking soda, coconut oil, and diatomaceous earth and essential oils. I’m going to start making my own deodorant next.

    I also don’t use many personal products, and when I do I’m a stickler for natural and organic ingredients. I also don’t use makeup, but I do use Amaranthine Massage Oil Blend from Birch Hill Happenings on my face to moisturize it and keep my 50+ skin looking young.

  17. I love Rocky Mountain Soap Company. They’re a Canadian company, unfortunately they don’t have any stores in the US, but I order online. We usually end up in BC or Alberta for vacations every other year or so, too, so I stock up sometimes.

  18. I’ve been using Acure Organics products for several years and am so pleased with them. They’re affordable, made with clean ingredients, and work well. I especially like the sensitive skin lotion and body wash, though the scented products have never bothered me. I use Acure shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and scrub. My partner uses their cream cleanser and his face looks a lot better.

    100% Pure products are EXPENSIVE. I’ve only used their mascara and liked it okay, but I couldn’t continue to justify spending $25 on mascara that wasn’t great. I recently purchased Ecco Bella mascara for $16 on Amazon and like it a lot better.

    I have yet to explore the world of clean foundation, powder, etc. Still on that cheap ELF train…

    1. I don’t think 100% Pure products are worth the money. Mineral Fusion has some pretty good products and they’re fairly cheap on Amazon. Acure is a great brand, and Thrive Market sells it, yay.

    2. Check out Honeybee Gardens. Half the price and just as clean.

  19. You’ve probably mentioned this before in another post, but do you use a shower filter? And if you do, what kind?

    1. We use Berkey Water Filters and Berkey Shower Filters. Work great!

  20. I’ve been oil cleansing my face for over a year now with argon oil. And after my shower I apply more. It has really kept my skin clean and smooth. I tried both coconut oil & sweet almond oil, but neither worked as well for me. I think it’s personal; I gave the sweet almond oil to a friend & she liked it so much she’s on her second bottle.
    For shampoo I like beauty counter. I wish I were close enough to salt water to dip in there often, but beach hair doesn’t seem to be my birthright.
    I use the coconut oil based deodorant from tropical traditions. I love it, but it’s not strong enough for my new teen & pre-teen. For them, the best deodorant in the world is lemon juice! Swiped under each arm keeps them from getting stinky in the Florida heat.
    I’m really looking for a good sunscreen for beach days or other long days in the sun, but the most natural options I’ve found are very expensive (including the one Mark linked). I’m open to suggestions if anyone knows of an affordable good one.

    1. Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. I’ve been using this stuff for years, it’s available fragrance free, and is about 5.99-9.99 a 4 oz bottle. (depending on where you buy. I usually buy on Amazon, ebay, or swansonvitamins, depending who is cheapest). You have to read the ingredients, only some of their sunscreens are made with physical blockers, the rest are all chemical blockers

  21. For teeth and face: Olive oil. Griffin remedy shampoos, Acure and Desert Essence conditioners, Kiss my Face plain Olive Oil soap, Bronners Lavender, Everyday Coconut body lotion, Mag spray deodorant with some essential oils of lavender and tea tree added, mineral makeup, ghee in a tube as my lip balm. I used to be a MAJOR product lover, but the chemicals finally took a toll when I turned 30. Switching to very minimal and simple is SO easy and has saved SO much money. Not to mention I have basically no toxic burden compared to when I was younger.

  22. Loving hearing about personal care from a guy’s point of view! And great list of products. I have done the baking soda/coconut oil deodorant thing myself. Even wrote a few blog posts on it. Works like a charm but can be a bit irritating sometimes. Not good when you decide to ride a mechanical bull on the beach. But that’s another story! I can totally vouch for 100% Pure Cosmetics, and also like Annmarie Skincare. I love personal care products, and I’m always trying new things, but if you are trying to simplify things a jar a coconut oil goes a long way. I still swear by it to remove makeup and wash my face at night. It’s also a great all over body moisturizer (as is avocado oil!) Oh, and the collagen….don’t even get me started! Amazing for hair, nails and skin. I always tell people that is the one thing that has made the biggest difference in the firmness of my skin…it’s better at 50 than it was at 40.

    1. Are you talking about ingesting the collagen or using it topically? Or both?

  23. Mother Dirt Foaming Face + Body Cleanser–YES. I love that stuff. I am loathe to wash my hair and only bath about twice per week. I wash my hair about twice a month. I live in the northeast, and for the first time in forever, no dry cracking hands or flaky shins… my skin is GOOD on Mother Dirt! I also use the AO+ Mist, but in the hidden parts. Stopped wearing most makeup too, but I have started putting castor oil on my eyelashes. I am going to try the collagen powder you recommend.

  24. A quality straight razor and brush, along with a shaving soap made from tallow. Can’t recommend this enough. Learn how to use it, and it’ll give you a lifetime of smooth shaving. The only side-effect I’ve found is a marked increase in chest hair.

    1. I stopped shaving altogether 7 years ago. I love the beard, and can’t ever see myself getting rid of it. But sometimes I truly miss the ritual of lathering up the hot soap on a badger hair brush, and the feeling as you slather it on your face on a cool morning.

      1. I maintain a short beard to keep my face protected Fromm the elements, but keep my neck clean. Otherwise it itches.

  25. Just asking: Do you get any money for recommending these products?

    1. I would guess that he does. At least the ones on Amazon. But I also get the feeling that Mark doesn’t recommend something unless he truly believes in it. If it wasn’t such a pain to order from the States, I would have any problem supporting his work here by ordering through his links.

    2. Kritische, thanks for your question. It’s definitely a fair one. I sell the Mother Dirt products on Primal Blueprint, but I choose to carry the brand because I’m a personal fan of them for my own use. Beyond that, I’m not paid to promote any of these specific products over any others.

  26. I searched high and low for an anti-perspirant/deodorant with aluminum and that wasn’t sticky. I finally found (and love) Tropical Traditions (.com) roll-on. It’s just pure coconut oil with essential oils for fragrance, and I think it has grape seed extract for a preservative, if memory serves. I buy 6 bottles at a time and then don’t have to think about it for a year or so. Plain baking soda works fine for tooth brushing, I don’t think we need fluoride if we eat low carb and no sugar. South of France plain old milled bar soap for washing, (I found Bronner”s too harsh). I get the soap at the health food store, comes in a box for about $3 and lasts a long time. It is just lovely to use, and smells great; doesn’t melt away fast in the shower like some. I tried all the health store face products and they all clogged my pores so I stick with the Clinique line. I figure if they allergy test it twice on 600 people, it’s probably pretty benign, and it’s all completely fragrance free. I wear very minimal makeup anyway. (Like Mark’s Gillete foamy, I don’t obsess about everything.) I don’t worry much about stuff I put on quick and wash off quick like hand soap and shampoo, but I do make sure it’s gluten free. And I have to put in a plug for my all time favorite minimalist shoes from SoftStar, they are so awesome and use only American leather tanned without formaldehyde. (My feet skin touch them all day when I’m not wearing socks. )

    1. Thanks for the heads up on SoftStar shoes. I checked them out. Awesome, and I live in Oregon too! I’m finished with 5-fingers…a pain to get on and off.

    2. I concur about SoftStar shoes, if you have a problem with your feet stinking, just stop putting them in plastic for hours and let them breathe! There are so confortable I’m still not ever them and it’s been 2 years now!

  27. Native Deodorant is hands down the best natural deodorant I’ve been able to find. I made my own for a while and have tried a zillion other store brands. Even my husband switched. They offer a variety of good scents but best of all, one daily application gets the job done for the entire day no matter the circumstances.

  28. I love a brand of soap called Goat Milk Stuff. Family owned/operated – they use saponified goat millk instead of glycerin as a base. Natural colorants and wonderful scents (or unscented). They make specialty soap bars as well for hunting, natural bug repellent, rashes, etc. I find it makes my skin softer when I use it, though I don’t scrub down every day (usually just the pits and nether regions). I use these soaps to shave.

    I really like EO Products for hair care. I still can’t really go more than a day or two without washing it (the no-poo method was awful and I hated it). EO makes natural products that are pretty good and sometimes even sulfate free. I’ve been using Mother Dirt’s Shampoo lately but so far I’m not impressed. Seems to make my hair dry but still lets it get greasy at the scalp. It’s a tiny, expensive bottle to boot, and with long hair I have to use more of it. I color my hair, so having products that won’t further damage my hair are important. I still keep some dry shampoo around though (Suave).

    I also switched to wood brushes/combs and a boar bristle a while back.

    I also just started using Native Deodorant. I got the sensitive skin version (no baking soda) and the unscented regular. In the past I’ve eventually had skin reactions to the baking soda deodorants from other natural brands, but I want to see if this one works out. So far, so good.

    I’m about to try out LiviaOne probiotic spray (kind of like Mother Dirt’s but cheaper) as it seems to be good for the face and acne, etc. Even for the mouth. Mother Dirt, so I hear, is still good for the pits and nether regions. I may give it a go at some point.

    I use 100% Pure foundation or tinted moisturizer, and recently went back to a cheaper Maybelline powder (the natural stuff was getting too pricey). I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but I decided that the main thing (foundation) should be natural. Mascara/eye shadows are still mainstream products, but I don’t wear it often. I sometimes use Lanacane anti-chafing cream as a primer.

    I don’t usually slather my skin (lazy) but I’ll use Jojoba oil on my face and Sweet Almond Oil or Apricot Oil on my body. Sometimes Coconut Oil but I find it doesn’t soak in as well. I also keep some Neutrogena hand cream around.

  29. Does anyone have shampoo recommendations for dandruff-prone hair? I’ve tried the acv + baking soda, Morocco method, and just shampooing less but still nothing agrees with my scalp. Right now I’m using 100% pure kelp + mint shampoo, and I like it but I still have to wash my hair 3 times/week to wash out flakes in my hair, and ideally I’d like to cut down the hair-washing (because I’m a busy gal!)

    1. I often rub some of my beard oil into my hair, while it’s still damp from the shower, and it seems to help a lot. It’s actually a very old method of maintaining your hair. It’s mentioned in the Bible, and other religious texts.

      I doubt you’d want to smell like the beard oil scents, but you can buy unscented, or make your own. Jojoba oil is usually the base, mixed with sweet almond, coconut, or any number of other oils. You don’t want a lot, though. Just a small dab, or it won’t get absorbed, and it’ll end up looking greasy.

    2. Rye Flour is the best (and simplest) form of shampoo I’ve tried! It truly cleans my scalp and hair without stripping it. It’s PH-Balanced (unlike baking soda) and it’s cheap!

      Use a fine-mesh sifter to strain out the larger particles. Then just make a paste with the flour + water each time you want to use it. I store the sifted, dry rye flour in a container and just shake up the amount needed with water in a small, lidded container each time I use it. You can add as much or as little water as you like to create the consistency you prefer. I rub it into my scalp, diluting with a quick splash of water from the shower partway through and leave it for a minute or 2 before rinsing thoroughly and finishing with conditioner and/or a water-diluted Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (also PH-balanced).

      Because I do use products that tend to leave a build-up on my scalp, I use a clarifying product (read: detergent or soap) on my scalp about once a month. Typically this is Dr. Bronner’s (and yes, I do know this is not PH-Balanced for the scalp but I do this very sparingly).

    1. Try a good squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice on hair/scalp while in the shower maybe once a week to cleanse – it works and it’s cheap and all natural

      1. In a double boiler, melt the 4 tbs of coconut oil. Or… if you are like me and don’t have a double boiler, you can simply stick a jar in a pot filled with shallow water, set the burner on medium-low, and put the coconut oil in the jar for it to melt (be sure not to get water in the jar). After the coconut oil is melted, remove the jar from the pot, wipe the water off the bottom, and set it on the counter. Next, add all of the other ingredients using a plastic or wooden spoon since a metal spoon will negate the effects of the bentonite clay. Stir everything together. The consistency will be runny but uniform, but it will harden into a thicker paste once it cools. So pop the jar into the fridge to set, stirring every five minutes to keep everything uniform. After about 15 minutes, you should see it start to thicken. At this point, I transferred it into one of these squeezable silicone tubes.
        And there you have it! Your very own all-natural whitening & remineralizing toothpaste.

          1. 4 tbs coconut oil
            3 tbs sesame oil
            4 tsp bentonite clay
            4 tsp calcium magnesium powder
            3 tbs baking soda
            15 drops essential oils (I do 3 drops each of peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, clove, and myrrh)
            12 drops trace minerals

  30. Primal Derma is tallow based skincare with wildcrafted essential oils. Great product. primalderma.com

  31. My list includes Uncle Harry’s fluoride-free toothpaste (and mouthwash when I can handle the burn!), Dr, Bronner’s castile soap or bar soaps from farmer’s markets, and Primal Pit Paste or Crystal Ally Spray Deodorant. I absolutely love everything I’ve tried from the Simply Divine skin care line. I’m minimalist with make-up but do like Red Apple Lipstick, especially their amazing lip balm.

  32. I would LOVE to read the article from your wife….to help us women out. Pretty please 🙂

    1. I agree and wonder if she highlights/colors her hair? I do both, and would like a perspective on the products she would recommend…

  33. Do you have any product suggestions for people with eczema? I know personally I have to immediately put on some sort of moisturizing cream after any part of my skin gets wet to prevent it from drying out (particularly after showering or washing your hands). The only problem is a lot of the “moisturizing creams” out there have a ton of problematic ingredients, even including the “National Eczema Association” approved products. I’ve use CeraVe and some others but are there any other better suggestions?

    1. Pure oils, like almond, avocado and jojoba are kind to the skin. Emu oil is good as well.

      1. Do you have any specific products to recommend? I always have some avocado oil around so I can try that. Does it just absorb into your skin or does it stay oily on your skin?

        1. Hi Greek, I have had very good luck with jojoba oil mixed with shea butter and a dab of water (only a drop, just enough to mix the two and make it easier to use and spread).
          I don’t know how “good” it is but I’ve had good luck with Burt’s Bee honey and grapeseed hand cream.

    2. Try the diet approach. After cutting out sugar and grains and incorporating lots of coconut oil ( low carb-hi fat diet) my eczema of 40 years has miraculously disappeared!!!!

      1. Thanks Gypsyrozbud. I’ve actually been pretty good on the diet for a while and although it does help, it definitely did not completely eliminate my eczema. What seemed to help the most was infrequently wetting my hands and always making sure to have a cream on hand. While my eczema has been under control for over a year now it has never “fully gone away”.

    3. In addition to the diet and pure oils suggestions, you can try a company called Naples Soap Co. They have a line of natural products specifically for eczema.

    4. I would recommend you try a shower filter. I don’t have eczema but my husband has, and even though he eats really badly, it still helped him significantly. Good luck!

      1. Couldn’t agree more about the shower filter. The chlorine in the water is horrible for the skin and body. Additionally, I started realizing that in some cases the eczema could be caused by a fungus/virus in or just under the skin so I rotate a colloidal silver gel into the rotation to help kill anything that might be causing problems. Still early, but seems to be helping.

  34. Anyone know if Tom’s products are a good alternative? I’ve used their deodorant and they claim to be a healthy line but I’m not super knowledgeable about all of their ingredients.

      1. Agreed, if memory serves, most of the Tom’s choices also still contain fluoride, which is a big no no in my book.

  35. I have had some skin issues throughout my adult life. Going Primal helped, but did not cure. I have found that Dessert Essence Tea Tree Oil face soap, Jason’s Tea Tree Oil Body Wash and Nature’s Gate Tea Tree and Sea Buckthorn shampoo have been natural and effective cleansers.

  36. Thanks for the great Article Mark. Essential oils for deodorant – vanilla and sandalwood. I shave my head, so no shampoo or soap. Dr. Bronners in the shower for the nether regions. Shave by using just a wet razor after a shower. I dont shave my whole face, since I have a beard, I just trim that with a beard trimmer. Magnesium Oil after the sauna at night. Toothpaste is described in my blog, but it’s a powder based on bentonite clay, baking soda, magnesium powder, calcium powder. Dentist says it’s working perfect. Peppermint essential oil for breath freshener if I need it. I heard peroxide for teeth may not be good if you have metal fillings in your mouth. I use regular dental floss, but have heard Living LIbations has some wax free stuff. Keep the great articles coming.

    1. I’m interested to know more about this toothpaste. Where’s your blog? Clicking your name takes me to a GoDaddy page saying the URL has been “parked”

  37. I *personally* don’t *care* but thanks for sharing. 😉

  38. Check out third rock sunblock excellent stuff so clean you could eat it and it actually can help heal your skin besides being a great sunblock

  39. Alpine Pure Oil by TellurideGlow for face, body and soul is amazing for natural skin hydration and has built-in aromatherapy that is to die for.

  40. Definitely Magnesium Oil as a deodorant. Warning: do NOT use directly after shaving armpits. On any irritated or broken skin it stings and itches and you’ll only end up scratching your armpits all day (and look like a monkey). The other half has also tried it but gets the itching no matter what and had to give it up.
    Rose Hip Oil disappears into the skin real nice and quick and doesn’t leave an oily feeling.
    Generally, when it comes to skin and hair care, less tends to work better. It’s also cheaper 🙂

  41. I do love 100 % Pure products but recently discovered Honeybee Gardens, which is just as clean, highly rated by the EWG and costs half as much. Plus I like the idea of supporting a company based in my home state.

  42. I saw at least one mention of the EWG in the comments… The Environmental Working Group publishes an analysis of the toxicity of ingredients in personal care products. Me personally, I go simple. I use unscented olive oil soap (Kiss My Face, usually), and coconut oil for moisturizing and tooth care. For cleaning the house I use baking soda. I would like to just mention that fragrances in skin care products are generally irritating to your skin…

    1. I have been washing my hair with an egg yolk or two, depending on how long it is, for years. I will often put a drop or two of olive oil and a drop of rosemary, lavender, and geranium essential oil. It has been far better than any commercial product I have used. I sometimes rinse out the yolk with a quart of water and a tablespoon or two of ACV. Since I started using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for my teeth I have had countless comments on my white teeth. If I have a craving for toothpaste I use Dr. Bronner’s or Earth Paste (clay based). Both are fresh and strong feeling. I use Dr. Bronners as body soap. I didn’t use any deodorant for years, but once I started working as a nurse, I felt it was necessary. I use the Thai Crystal (there are other brands of the same product). One crystal has lasted me almost a year! I don’t wear it when I am not at work though. In the past I used to put a couple drops of tea tree in my arm pit, but that had mediocre results. Essential oils for all things skin….dry skin, eczema, warts, and athletes foot. They work great, just do your research first!

    2. Yes! My thoughts exactly, especially with the peppermint soap in the nether regions-ouch!

  43. I do oil pulling/swishing with coconut oil about 5 mornings a week. Follow with baking soda in very warm water rinse. I have not had plaque build up since doing this for the past 4 years.

    At night I wash my face with a very warm wash rag (only water). Then I apply Vitamin E oil.

  44. Great list!

    I’ve wanted to try that AO Biome for years! Unfortunately, I’m looking at roughly $100 per bottle, once the exchange rate, and shipping are factored in. I’m thinking the lack of good bacteria from my daily shampooing could be contributing to my eczema. It completely disappears in the summer, when I’m in the garden every day, and in the woods or lake on weekends.

    I’m an electrician, so I have to shampoo every day on weekdays. On weekends, I just use water unless I’ve done something that requires shampoo. When vacation time comes around (and during extended periods of unemployment), I cut down to one or twice a week. I’ve tried a few brands of shampoo over the years, but have recently settled on a company based out of Turner Valley, Alberta called the Outlaw Beard Products. They make a great beard shampoo bar, which I use on both my beard, and my head. It’s all natural, I get to support the local economy, plus I get to enjoy the scent of cedar and tobacco as I shower.

    I’ve been bearded for nearly 7 years, so I obviously don’t shave, but I’ll often use either a beard wax, or beard oil from the same company to keep the beard from looking like a rat nest. The residue on the hands gets rubbed on the head.

    As a side note for Mark, I HIGHLY recommend shaving with a badger hair brush, and a good shaving soap. As much as I love the beard, and hated having to shave all the time, sometimes I truly miss the ritual of lathering up the badger hair brush, and the feeling as it slathers the hot soap on the face in the cool morning air.

    As for deodorant, I just don’t use it. The store bought stuff gives me a horrible rash after a few days (I’m guessing it’s the aluminium), and for some reason I just don’t stink without it (my girlfriend can confirm this), except for a rare day here or there, so I’ve just never bothered looking for an alternative.

    For toothpaste, I used to use just baking soda, but lately I’ve been using Crest. I’d like to switch back to baking soda, since I feel that my gum line has been receeding again since switching back to Crest.

  45. All this stuff is expensive in India. The toothpaste (Zion Health Claybrite Extra Strength Toothpaste, 3.2 Ounce) costs Rs 1710/- on Amazon India. Very frustrating.
    Cost of goods and services as a percentage of income is high in India. Need to be rich to afford these things.

  46. Great article and good information. I already use a number of the products you suggest, but not the Chanel deodorant ;-). What do you use as an aftershave?

  47. Thanks so much for this post. For over five years I’ve done water-only showers with no products. Once you get past the first couple of weeks, you’ll realize you should have done it long ago. Sometimes I use a rinse of apple cider vinegar and water in the shower. I’ve made toothpaste from coconut oil and peppermint oil but didn’t really like it so I’m going to try the hydrogen peroxide. For deodorant, I mix equal parts baking soda and arrowroot powder with a bit of coconut oil to bind it and some essential oils. I like cedar wood. It works SO MUCH better than any over-the-counter stuff and, in my experience, better than Primal Pit Paste. Once you make the move away from conventional chemical products, you will realize what a profound impact this will have on your health.

    1. Cedar is supposed to be antibacterial and antifungal, which it’s such a popular wood for outdoor furniture, so this makes sense. I’ll have to give it a try.

  48. I recently started using a collagen powder as well. I’ve been more conservative on the dosage, but I think I’ll kick it up a little now that I see you’re using more. Thanks!

  49. This is awesome Mark! For me, Ora Wellness tooth care products have been a lifesaver (with a paleo diet of course, no need for fluoride – I second Ramiel Nagel’s Cure Tooth Decay book). If you need more traditional toothpaste Redmond Earthpaste is good. Tom’s floss is most effective wi/ least chemicals.

    Acure had a great air-foam shave cream which has unfortunately been discontinued. Any other ideas here??
    Moving to a safety razor has really upped the shaving experience and made me feel more like a real man 😉

    Moroccan Method has an amazing line of Apple Cider Vinegar shampoos/conditioner.. not a bad thing in them! Bronner’s soap is of course my favorite soap.

    1. Forgot to mention.. Fatco makes incredible face products (moisturizer esp for those of us above 5K feet) and deodorant.

      1. Have been using the fatco deodorant a few weeks ago and i Love it!

  50. I tend to keep it REALLY simple…a friend’s home made goat milk soap when I need it, my home made deodorant (a spray of vodka with tea tree and lavender oil), lotions made from coconut oil, olive oil and whatever essential oil smells good at the time. (Or straight olive oil.)

    Glad to have a recommendation for shampoo though…I use one from the health food store but it still has a lot in it. “No poo” was too stringy for me…

  51. I use sodium bicarb as toothpaste – just a lttle on the brush. Then use diluted hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash in the water pic. Works well and has really tackled chronic gum disease.

  52. Love getting the up close and personal look at Mark’s beauty regimen, as well as hearing people’s ideas about products they like. I’m planning to try Solar-D sunscreen, because it blocks less of the UVB, thus letting in more Vitamin D.

  53. Great discussion.

    Of course, y’all are likely familiar with EWG’s Cosmetics Database. An awesome resource for personal care products.

    I use Pure Earth Elements skin care line, made by Diane Seago Atkins, a holistic health PhD. Find her on line. The products are divine, pristinely sourced, smell and feel great on, and I believe free shipping!

    I only wear make-up, like many of you, when we go out. I spend my days working out and teaching yoga & INSANITY, and caring for my four standard poodles. People and even aestheticians freak over my skin. I believe it has to do with eating a primal diet, living a primal lifestyle, and Pure Earth Elements. I literally want to eat her products when I open them. Amazing.

  54. Curious about your saltwater pool. I would love to have one but I don’t get along with chlorine. What pool ‘chemicals’ do you use?

  55. Personally, I find it curious that you won’t use a Tom’s type tooth paste or one from Dr. Bronner but you do use Gillette’s shaving cream when there are a myriad of home remedy/ Dr. Bronner type alternatives. The fragrance thing for the pits was also curious but although I don’t use anything there, there are times that maybe there should be…especially after drinking coffee. I guess it speeds up the metabolic rate and thus, body heat. Well, that’s where an alcohol wipe comes in very handy.

  56. I see that the Squigle tooth builder has fluoride in it – not a lot – but just wondering your take on fluoride

  57. I use activated charcoal powder to brush my teeth and gums everyday. The charcoal pulls the coffee, tea and wine stains from my enamel instantly and brushing my tongue keeps my breath fresh and clean. I also swish with hydrogen peroxide after I floss and A dab of toothpaste, with the charcoal powder helps. this tube is Jason’s mint, no fluoride.

  58. Love all the natural product suggestions! Am trying to replace all of my facial and body washes and lotions. Women ~ do you prefer lotion or oil moisturizers? And which brands, types?
    Thanks!

  59. Great topic! Too many comments to read but If anyone mentioned, Fruit of the Earth, 100% aloe vera gel. It claims 100% pure aloe vera gel but it has some vitamin E and stabilizers but no color or fragrance. It’s great pre and post sun exposure and is the best hair gel ever.

  60. Face – honey
    Body – water
    Underarms and privates – Aleppo soap
    Hair – water
    Deodorant – apple cider vinegar but my husband uses rubbing alcohol with great success

    As for my teeth, I don’t endorse glycerin, sodium lauryl sarcosinate or fluoride.

    What I would endorse is something similar to the Mother Dirt products but for the mouth. The mouth has a microbiome too and I’m sure it would be really beneficial to have a products to help restore a healthy mouth microbiome.

    What I can actually endorse is Earthpaste toothpaste but boy would I like it if the tube would be easier to use. I’m actually planning to transfer it all to a better tube and be done with the damn tube!

    I also make my own mouthwash with xylitol, essential oils and calcium carbonate.

    1. I’m really curious now! I hate to buy sunscreen because I only need 1 or 2 times per year and it makes me need to wash with soap or I feel super icky.

      I love how sunscreen companies are all competing to tell me that it’s dangerous to use coconut oil if I google it, hehe.

      Anyway, thanks for the tip!

    2. I found that while googling: “Aside from Red Raspberry Seed Oil, most plant oils protect only against UVB rays.”.

      I don’t know if it’s true or not but I don’t like that!

      1. Hmmmm, that’s interesting. Thanks for that, maybe I should reconsider? My skin doesn’t burn easily, but I’ve been using noting but organic coconut oil for two years. No butprns, and we spent two months in the Florida keys.

  61. I don’t use any hair products. Haven’t in the past…. 7 years? I simply don’t overwash my hair. Just water usually. If you train your hair, you don’t really need any product (This applies to guys. Unsure what it’s like with longer hair) My natural skin oils hold my hair in place. People are pretty shocked to find I don’t use hair products. I never use a comb either lol. Wet hair, hands through the hair and push it back. Done.

    It helps that I rarely have to shower. I produce dry earwax, and my genes say I rarely if ever smell (google it if you’re curious XD). I kid you not. I’ve gone months without taking a shower, and people (females) have told me I smell good. This sounds like a bold faced lie. But I kid you not, it’s true.

    Ahhhh genetics ftw 🙂

  62. Rye Flour is the best (and simplest) form of shampoo I’ve tried! It truly cleans my scalp and hair without stripping it. It’s PH-Balanced (unlike baking soda) and it’s cheap!

    Use a fine-mesh sifter to strain out the larger particles. Then just make a paste with the flour + water each time you want to use it. I store the sifted, dry rye flour in a container and just shake up the amount needed with water in a small, lidded container each time I use it. You can add as much or as little water as you like to create the consistency you prefer. I rub it into my scalp, diluting with a quick splash of water from the shower partway through and leave it for a minute or 2 before rinsing thoroughly and finishing with conditioner and/or a water-diluted Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (also PH-balanced).

    Because I do use products that tend to leave a build-up on my scalp, I use a clarifying product (read: detergent or soap) on my scalp about once a month. Typically this is Dr. Bronner’s (and yes, I do know this is not PH-Balanced for the scalp but I do this very sparingly).

  63. Crystals work great for deodorant and last forever! My armpits feel healthier than ever, not to mention these salt crystals contain healthy minerals that I feel good about applying to my skin (like magnesium). The natural deodorants that have gained popularity have not worked out for me at all–the PH imbalance caused by baking soda created a purplish-red rash under my arms. Tom’s deodorant just made me sweat more. I have tried multiple brands (including Schmidt’s) and even made my own. Very happy with my crystals!

  64. Akamai products are great, natural, paleo, toxin free, super simple and healthy – mineral toothpaste, skin fuel and 3 in 1 bar (wash, shave, shampoo)..at akamaibasics.com. Aside from those, living libations, dr hauschka, annemarie gianni, badger….to name a few.