25 Safer Alternatives to Common Cosmetics

Natural CosmeticsTwo weeks ago, I introduced you to five cosmetics ingredients you should avoid. These are chemicals you’ll often find in things like shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, sunblocks, and makeups – you know, the stuff you’re covering yourself in everyday. Cosmetics manufacturers use these ingredients to improve their product’s ability to clean, moisturize, beautify, or improve an odor, but they often do lots of other bad stuff in the process. So the question is, do these products need these chemicals to work like we want them to, or are there alternative products that manage to use more natural and/or less harmful ingredients while still getting the job done? Indeed, there are, and today I’m going to share my findings with you.

Now, it’s fairly common for people to switch over to a Primal lifestyle and find they just don’t feel the need for all the lotions, creams, concealers, and other body care products they used to wear. Some even ditch shampoo, deodorant, and soap altogether. Still, though, that’s not everyone. I regularly received reader requests for safe cosmetics recommendations. So let’s look at some of these safer alternatives. I’ll try to include every possible category that falls under the “cosmetics” umbrella, but if I miss anything, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment board.


When I say makeup, I refer to all those products people put on their faces, around their eyes, on their lips, and beside their noses. Powders and rouges and those sorts of things. Can you tell I know what I’m talking about? Anyway, the following brands are guaranteed to be free of the problem ingredients mentioned last time (plus most others).

100% Pure – They produce makeup and other cosmetics using food-grade plant-based ingredients (it’s safe to eat, so it’s probably safe to put on your body). They’ve also come up with their own preservative system to replace parabens, using a complex blend of herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants in place of industrial antimicrobials.

BiteBeauty – I like their mission – to create lipstick that you can safely eat (because women and the people who kiss them do eat a fair amount of lipstick) – as well as their propensity to quote Oscar Wilde. BiteBeauty uses great ingredients like argan oil and Manuka honey, and they even had their lipstick tested to ensure it was free of gluten and almost free of lead (total and utter elimination of lead is hard because lead is everywhere, including the food-grade ingredients they use).

Josie Maran – Argan oil-based makeup. They also use food-grade ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and mango seed butter.

Scotch Naturals – Many nail polish companies claiming to be free of phthalates actually aren’t, as a recent study revealed, suggesting that phthalates truly are hard to resist for nail polish makers. Scotch Naturals, however, is one of the only companies making truly non-toxic nail polish (that also happens to work really well).

Lavanila – They specialize in fragrance-free fragrances.

Pacifica Perfume – Another maker of safe fragrances.

Skin and Body Care

You’ve got your lotions, your creams, your face washes, your moisturizers, your body washes (isn’t that just a fancy name for soap?), and anything else that goes on your skin.

Weleda – Weleda grows the bulk of their ingredients in their own biodynamic gardens. All in all, they’ve got acres of gardens scattered across the world, including Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, New Zealand, and Argentina. This allows them to grow hundreds of species of medicinal plants from a variety of climates.

Dr. Bronner’s – No, it’s not Dr. Bonner’s. It’s Bronner, and it’s made with all organic ingredients, mostly oils, including coconut, olive, peppermint, and jojoba. I don’t think you need much else other than this stuff. You can use it as regular soap, hand soap, shampoo, and even toothpaste. Just be careful with the liquid peppermint soap on the, ahem, sensitive areas of your body. You might want to dilute it. Dr. Bronner’s slightly crazy tendency to rant and rave on his bottles also makes for fantastic shower reading.

Suki – Drawing on an impressive list of plant-based ingredients, Suki makes “skincare systems” for every skin type.

Indigo Wild – They’re best known for their Zum Soap, made from goat’s milk, but the rest of their rapidly expanding skin care line is safe and effective.

Primal Life Organics – This is a skincare line made by a Primal/paleo adherent who’d been making personal care products for years before she decided to make a business of it. Everything is paleo, gluten-free, and vegan.

Trillium Organics – Trillium Organics is organic, obviously, with a line of non-toxic body care products, but they also make treatments for specific conditions, like acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, and diaper rash.

Speaking of soaps, what about replacements for anti-bacterial handsoaps containing triclosan? As I said last time, triclosan actually is quite effective at targeting bacteria. If your hands are crawling with roving bands of disease-causing microbes, then, yeah, a triclosan blast will take care of them and leave you “better off.” Problem is all the other terrible stuff evidence suggests it does to our health. Luckily, we have this stuff called “soap and water” that does a fair job at cleaning our hands when they’re dirty.

Research shows that triclosan-containing hand soaps are “no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms and reducing bacterial levels on the hands,” even when you’re talking about something as pernicious and deadly as C. diff. There’s also that fact that triclosan kills the bacteria, thus providing a powerful selective pressure for future evolution of antibiotic resistance, while soap and water wash the bacteria off your hands and down the drain. Unless it begins selecting for clingier bacteria who can hang on to human skin better, there’s no danger of antibiotic resistance developing from basic hand washing with regular soap. Overall, basic soap is still best. Since some bacteria exposure is important for health, you probably don’t want to kill it all outright.

Hair Products

There’s an argument to be made in favor of going entirely without shampoo, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Some folks need/want shampoo and conditioner, only without the parabens and other toxic chemicals. People, even Primal people, also have the funny desire to style their hair into shapes, to stand in front of the mirror, tousle it and puff it up and make it stay in place. To look good, in other words (and not just naked). If you’re spraying your entire head with a mist of potentially toxic liquid to do that, you definitely want a safer option. Here are a few companies making hair products you can also use to style your hair, clean your hair, and make a good salad dressing.

Acure Organics – Acure offers face and body care, but they are best known for their organic shampoos and conditioners. The Moroccan argan oil and argan stem cell shampoo gets particularly high marks for being effective and non-toxic.

Yarok Hair – All the regular bad ingredients are absent from their line of shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products.

DIY hair wax – This recipe uses beeswax and coconut oil to create a styling, moldable hair wax free of any toxic or unpronounceable ingredients.

Men’s Products

All of the cosmetics I’ve already mentioned can technically be used by men, but the average male won’t be applying much lipstick, mascara, or age-defying lotion, however edible and natural it may be. They are more likely to use “men’s products,” however. By men’s products, I refer to shaving products, beard care, cologne, and skin care targeted at men.

Eco-Beauty Organics – Men’s products are not their main focus, but they do offer a nice selection of aftershaves, lotions, and shaving creams.

OM4 – Organic Male makes organic skincare for men. This is a nice change of pace, since most other completely non-toxic men’s products are an afterthought for companies who focus on women.

Etsy – You can find some decent men’s colognes (plus other cosmetics, for that matter) on Etsy, like this one.

A decent homemade alternative to shaving cream, I’ve found, is a half teaspoon of really good extra virgin olive oil. The dogs (and Italian food buffs) you meet will, however, attempt to lick you.


The alternative to chemical UV-filters are physical filters. You’ve got shade – umbrellas, clothing, hats, a roof over our head, that sort of thing that we all know about – and then you’ve got the physical filters that we apply to our skin: zinc oxide. These are the white shmears you see on beach-goers’ skin from time to time. You might have just thought they were really, really bad at rubbing in their sunblock, but they were just avoiding oxybenzone by using zinc oxide.

Zinc oxide is the most effective and safest UV-filter. It’s a purely physical filter, meaning it sits on top of your skin and prevents UV damage, acting as a physical barrier. It’s just as effective as a chemical filter like oxybenzone without the side effects. If you’ve already got enough unfiltered sunlight for the day’s vitamin D needs and want some UV protection, zinc oxide is your best, safest bet.

Some might worry about looking silly with white streaks all over their face and body. But, if you go the zinc oxide nanoparticle route, you can get a zinc oxide sunscreen that disappears on your skin. There is some concern that these nanoparticles of zinc oxide are absorbed transdermally and can cause health problems, but the evidence seems to weigh heavily toward the “all safe” side. One study found that while zinc oxide does penetrate some of the outer layers of the epidermis (more so when the skin is sunburnt), it does not achieve transdermal penetration for systemic distribution. Another concern is that some people have allergic reactions to zinc oxide.

Badger Balm – All their products are good, but the sunscreens are the most renown. They are very thorough with the science behind their sunscreens, and they run regular tests to confirm the safety of their zinc oxide formula. Best of all, they’ve managed to minimize the whitening without increasing the potential for toxicity.

Raw Elements Eco Formula – Active ingredient is zinc oxide. It’s thick, but stays on well even with water exposure and activity. Not too whitening, either.

Kabana Skincare – Another good sunscreen source that uses zinc oxide. They’ve even got a formula with added vitamin D, presumably to make up for the UVB you’re blocking. Not sure if that actually works, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Mexitan – They don’t just make non-toxic, zinc oxide-based sunblock. They also offer recommendations for beach resorts and produce safe self-tanner.


Some folks claim they can go without anything under their arms as long as their diet is “clean” enough, but I don’t know. I’d say it’s good practice to have something on hand, just in case your confidence turns out to be hubris. If you don’t want the aluminum, artificial fragrances, and other nasties found in regular products, you’ve got plenty of choices.

Primal Pit Paste – The best deodorant ever. It’s coconut based, so you can probably eat it in a pinch.

Thai Crystal – They’ve got a spray and a roll-on. Your choice. There’s some concern over whether it contains aluminum or not, but I don’t think it’s a huge issue unless you’ve just shaved your armpit and thus opened up a route for transdermal absorption.

Barring a product, you can also throw together your own:

Coconut and baking soda – Mix roughly equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda. It’s a bit goopy, especially in warm weather, but it gets the job done. I hear that adding some arrowroot flour or cornstarch will reduce the goopiness.

Obviously, this is far from being a complete list of all worthy alternatives. The demand for non-toxic cosmetics is only growing, and new companies are constantly emerging to address it. Be sure to leave your personal favorites in the comment section so that others can check them out.

If you’re curious about the products you use, or a new one that you’re considering, enter it on the Skin Deep database to learn about the safety (or toxicity) of its ingredients.

Thanks for reading!

TAGS:  reviews, skin/hair

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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320 thoughts on “25 Safer Alternatives to Common Cosmetics”

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    1. Does anyone have an opinion on Be Fine products? They are all food based and I have been pleased with them.

    2. Best natural deodorant I’ve found is Soapwalla’s – made in Brooklyn! It’s great. (Pricey though. Maybe better to make your own.)

    3. Best EVER all natural, real-bees beeswax, organic, smelling INSANELY good lip balm is from zambeezi.com. I have nothing to do with the company, but someone gave me a tube and I was totallt addicted – I went online and bought 24, so I could give a bunch away! Plus it’s African fair-trade and the money goes to paying the locals what they deserve.

    4. I discovered simply divine botanicals while staying at an Eco lodge in Puerto Rico recently opened by the owner of this company. She provided samples of her chemical free products and I love her stuff, especially the face soap and lotion.


    5. What about Lush cosmetics? I use their celestial face lotion, along with hair and face washes. Also, I was a long time ChapStick addict, and have recently found an alternative called youdabalm. Also, what about all the Jason products? I use their body wash and shampoo… THanks!

      1. Lush makes great-smelling stuff, all-natural stuff. And Jason used to make a vitamin C face cream that was phenomenal.

      2. I use Lush as well (mostly the solid shampoo and soaps) and I’m pretty happy. Not all their products are preservative free tho, but fortunately they are carefully labeled and you can check the composition before purchasing 🙂

    6. my classmate’s aunt makes ($)68/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 9 months but last month her payment was ($)20459 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… c­a­n9­9.?­?­M

  1. Anyone one of a primal alternative to conventional toothpaste? I stopped using Listerine and use sea salt, but dry brushing and brushing with sea salt make it more challenging for me to brush.

    1. Been using Green Beaver up here in Canada. And yes, that’s the name! They have some interesting flavours, personal favourite is cilantro mint. But… in the list of ingredients there are a few things I cannot pronounce!

      1. Another vote for Green Beaver. It’s basically comprised of essential oils, calcium, baking soda, water and sweeteners. I’ve heard great things about OraWellness and also Tooth Soap shreds (https://www.toothsoap.com/), but I’ve never used the latter two. I think that the toothpaste recipe I once learned was vegetable glycerin, baking soda and essential oil.

        1. We’ve been using OraWellness for a few years now, almost exclusively, and LOVE it! Great company.

        2. I use Toothsoap from toothsoap.com, together with their tooth brightener 2 x week. Toothsoap is just saponified organic extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil & a flavouring oil of your choice (e.g. spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon etc) and so is non abrasive. I also use their tooth swish as a mouthwash. I soak my toothbrush in a solution of sodium bicarbonate in between uses.

    2. I have used just plain baking soda and water for years. I keep the soda in a jelly jar and just dip a wet toothbrush in the jar to get a fair sized clump to stick to it, then brush.

      1. I’ve heard that can be too abrasive, have you had any issues?

        1. arrowroot powder is a good alternative to baking soda. baking soda is pretty abrasive. arrowroot powder is more fine like cornstarch. some homemade toothpaste/toothpowder recipes that call for baking soda (or just baking soda), i’d half it with the arrowroot powder.

        2. I haven’t, I am 58 years old, still have all my own teeth, no fillings and no dental problems at all. I was raised in Arkansas – so that is saying something… right? My grandmother always used soda and water, she always had good teeth too.

        3. I use baking soda – wash your brush with warm water first if you want to take away the abrasiveness is what I’ve been told?? 🙂 After a failed root canal I did some mouth health research – definitely worth switching off your normal dental routines !!! Wow the stuff we stick in our bodies is DREADFUL!!!! Def worthwhile, thanks Mark for this post : would love to see some more home recipes for all this stuff (or link to site that has them) 🙂

      2. I use baking soda on my toothbrush and a splash of hydrogen peroxide. After brushing I spit it out and leave the residue in to bubble in my mouth as I shower. Then rinse. This whiteness my teeth.

    3. I’ve been using OraWellness brushing blend (organic essential oils) and it seems to work well. Tastes good, too!

    4. I make my own: 1 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 Tbsp baking soda, a few drops of almond essence (or whatever flavor you prefer; orange, peppermint, etc.), you could add a pinch of stevia if the flavor was too unpalatable.

    5. There’s a brand called Jason in the US that does all sorts of oral care stuff, personally I would go with LUSH – Toothy Tabs, they’re solid until you crunch them up, much better than normal toothpaste.

    6. I quit using toothpaste years ago. Instead, I use Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and dilute it to a 3-6% solution and fill a spray bottle with it. I then spray my mouth and my tooth brush, I then dip my wet toothbrush in sodium bicarbonate and begin brushing.

      It’ll whiten your teeth as well.

        1. Here in my town I get it at Sprouts Farmers Market, which is a chain of grocery stores that are best described as a blend of conventional grocery with the alternative selections of a health food store.

          Pretty much the answer to all of these questions, “Where do I get such and such an item that is unfamiliar to the CW?” is answered by “At the health food store.”

      1. I agree with Nocona. I use diluted Dr. Bronners (1/3 Cup Dr. Bronners to 2/3 Cup Water) as both my shower and hand soap so it’s already right there on the sink. The peppermint is even refreshing. I also used it for shampoo until I switched to “no poo” (1 tsp baking soda to 1 cup water followed by a vinegar/water rinse).

        1. Oops – I meant (1/3 Cup Dr. Bronners to 1&2/3 Cup Water) above

    7. I have been using Auromere toothpaste for quite some time and my husband and I are pleased with the results. It is free of fluoride, gluten, bleaches, artificial sweeteners, dyes, animal ingredients and artificial preservatives. You can find it at w w w . auromere.com/Dental_Care-Toothpaste.html

    8. Primal Life Organics has a tooth powder and mouth serum that are great. You can also check out Redmond’s clay or Orawellness.

    9. I love love love Poofy Organics toothpaste AND deo. They are local to me in NJ. I love all their stuff and wish it was on this list! (=
      I also like Earth Paste, although the cinnamon is the only flavor I can stomach.
      I am sure if I can post the website or if I did it correctly. I havent had much luck with homemade alternatives. (=

    10. I usually wet the toothbrush and brush before flossing, then rinse the brush and dip it in sea salt (kept in a small container with a lid). The biggest problem I have is if I get too big a clump of sea salt, it wants to fall off. Mixing sea salt and baking soda seems to work pretty well for keeping it on the toothbrush, but I prefer straight sea salt.

    11. Have you ever tried Peelu dental fibers? The taste is a bit obnoxious, but it gets the job done.

    12. have you tried uncle harry’s products? i like their toothpowder, and they have new toothpastes as well. i got the cinnamon – you just need a tiny amount. It’s powerfully cinnamon-y!

      1. I agree, Uncle Harry’s is the best that I have seen and I have used both the hair and oral care products which are outstanding. The ingredients are minimal and you can understand them. I still find many of the products listed here have 30 ingredients in them and I just don’t understand why. Uncle Harry’s is very simple and the prices are very reasonable.

    13. I mix seseme seed oil ( not roasted seeds but cold pressed, it should be golden not dark brown) with baking soda and some natural peppermint oil. You can add stevia or monk fruit if you prefer. Lots of good research on the use of seseme oil in India for oral health. I had a part of my gum that was receding due to injury several years ago. Dentist said there was no way to fix it but surgery and now it has begun to regenerate! Awesome! Plus my teeth are really healthy and white!

      1. Hi Stephanie….I too have receding gums and want to avoid the surgery route. What is your ‘recipe’ for your toothpaste replacement, please?

      2. Stephynie
        I also was told surgery was my only solution for receding gums. Can you reply with the recipe? Swishing with 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide has stopped the problem. But I’d like to regrow the tissue!!!

    14. I Use The Toothpaste And Mouthwash From “Dental Herb Company” But I Get Mine Through My DentIst And Not Sure If You Can Get It Over The CoUnter. Fantastic Clay Based Toothpaste And Herb Based Mouthwash. I Love It 🙂

    15. My hygienist told me that brushing your teeth with sea salt will wear the enamel off which results in cavities. I use plain baking soda and it works fine.

      1. But baking soda is also abrasive enough to wear down the enamel over time, at least for some people (including me 🙁 ). I still sometimes mix a tiny bit of baking soda with coconut oil and as far as my dentist can tell, that doesn’t seem to be doing any damage, but baking soda on a regular basis can be bad news.

        Just be diligent, baking soda users, and have a plan B if you start getting sensitivity or other problems…

    16. I use OraWellness HealThy Mouth Blend and love it. (www.orawellness.com) I’ve also tried other natural toothpastes but I deal with some sensitivity and other than OraWellness, I’d have to use Sensodyne.

    17. You can use Neem stems instead, it has been used in India for ages. Has a bitter taste but eventually one gets used to it

    18. I like Earthpaste. It is mostly clay and salt and essential oil. It leaves my mouth feeling fresh.

    19. Alexander — I’ve been reading about oil pulling for years but couldn’t be bothered swishing anything around in my mouth for 20 min. However, I have started oil pulling with coconut oil for 10 min. every night (any longe & my cheeks hurt) & the results are great. Dont ask me how, but CNO really whitens teeth without any abrasives or bushing. And when you wake up, no morning breath! Just be sure to use whole CNO, not fractionated. (You want the lauric acid.)

      But you’ve got the right idea. Commercial toothpaste wasn’t invented until the 1890s, but humans managed to keep our teeth & gums healthy for thousands of years before then. In the mornings, I like using Peelu Dental Fiber, a brown powder made from the bark of the Saldavora Persica tree that grows in Africa & the middle east. (Cheap as chips, you’ll find it at any health food store.) Don’t be put off by the color, it does not stain your teeth brown. For whitening & removing stains, 1 Tbsp. of baking & a big pinch of sea salt mixd with fresh lemon juice (just enough to make a thick paste) is great. Brush each quadrant for 30 sec. with an electric toothbrush (I use ORal-B). But it can cause sensitivity in some people so don’t use it more than twice a week.

      In a pinch, a Tbsp. plain baking soda & enough peroxide to make a paste works well too.

    20. Vicco – it’s an Indian toothpaste made of local extracts and herbs.

    21. I made up a formula with several antibacterial/fungal ingredients:
      2 TBL EV coconut oil
      2 TBL baking soda
      2 Tbl Cal/mag ascorbate powder
      2 TBL xylitol
      2 tsp real sea salt
      10 drops trace minerals
      20 drops essential oil (I use homeopathy so stay away from mint etc) my favorite is clove or cinnamon

    22. I make my own. Coconut oil, turmeric, peppermint oil, Himalayan salt and baking soda. Works great. Use all organic ingredients, of course

      Mouthwash? Water, peppermint oil, baking soda and a little brain octane or mct oil. Terrific!!

    23. The Dirt. It’s an amazing brand. They have three varieties of tooth paste, tooth powder, oil pulling mouthwash and a copper tongue scraper. They are very good and have excellent reviews. They are Paleo.

  2. I use sunscreen labeled for babies with zinc oxide. I forget which brand but I purchased it at Walmart or something like that.

    If its good (and safe) enough for my 3-yr old daughter, its fine enough for all adults. So far, so good.

    1. Who owns them is more related to the business end of things and doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t make a safe, fairly natural product.

      1. Many of Burt’s bees products contain chemicals and fragrance which can include a host of really nasty trace chemicals. Take advantage of a great free site called skindeep.org to check the toxicity of products. I stopped using a lot of BB on my kiddos after checking them out. Btw moms-their diaper rash cream works great and is truly chemical free.

        1. Here’s the link to the Skin Deep database. Even within the “good” companies the products range in their safety levels…it’s good to check, sometimes the results are surprising:

      2. I like to know where the money goes so I’m glad someone mentioned who owns Burts. I knew I had stopped buying the products years ago when the company was sold, I couldn’t remember who bought them though.

        For me it’s not just important what goes into my tummy or onto my skin – my interest goes beyond me – I also factor in the impact of a product in other ways if I can, especially where & how it is made and who the money goes to.

        If I can find a local or small company they will always get my business first – budget depending of course. For example I try to buy dark chocolate made in Ireland rather than Green & Blacks (Nestle).

        I’m glad to see Dr Bronner on the list as I’ve been using those products for over 20years, my favourite regular/camping soaps – now available in Ireland so I don’t have to get my relatives in the States to bring them when they visit 🙂

    2. Burt’s Bees has started quietly reformulating almost all of their products- adding soy and wheat! I can’t buy anything anymore from them because they are getting away from natural formulations!

    3. Burts Bee’s doesn’t use high quality base ingredients, even if they are natural, and are, again, owned by Chlorox, in case you aren’t okay with giving your dollars to Chlorox!!
      I still question Pacifica’s scents.
      Happy to see Acure, Weleeda, and Badger mentioned, there really are an abundance of high quality skin and body care products, many are small hand made products available in independant health food stores and farmers markets around the country. I work in this industry.

    4. In late 2007, Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees: that’s when the formulations changed for the worse. i won’t buy most of their products.

  3. Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap. Nothing will make you feel like more of a man.

    1. The smell of pine tar does remind me of my grandpa! Like being 6 years old visiting on the weekend again…

    2. Some people have to be careful with Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap. I used it; and before I could get it rinsed off, it had burned my skin. I had painful rashes that lasted for weeks. I just wish someone had told me the risks before I used the soap. However, I am glad that it works for some people.

  4. I love this list for the cosmetics! Last year I learned about the oil control method for face cleaning and moisturizing, game changer. Olive oil or jojoba oil for cleansing and moisturizing, witch hazel as an astrigant, baking soda as an exfoliant. Cheap, natural and works!

    1. wow this sounds great! Thanks Malita, any chance you have a link we could learn more from ?? 🙂

    2. I wash my face at night and put on EV coconut oil about an hour before bed. You only need enough to barely cover your finger tip and your skin will look amzing!

  5. An online company called Herbaria makes all-natural soaps and shampoos that are very easy on the skin and scalp. I like their stuff and am therefore giving them a thumbs-up here since Mark invited us to do so.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I understand, Lush products are very safe as well–they use mostly natural ingredients and are very vigilant about using only safe synthetics, when they employ them. The only real danger with their products is spending too damn much when you go into one of their stores…

    1. Lush has a high propensity towards “greenwashing” – their products actually contain sulfates, artificial fragrances, and parabens, but they market them as natural and hope you don’t notice. Their fresh face masks are safe, as are their lip scrubs. Almost everything else has preservatives or fragrance added.

      1. I agree, Lush products are extremely safe, not to mention ethically sound. They do use what they deem “safe-synthetics” (sulfates and vegetable-based parabens), meaning that they have been used for over 90 years in the cosmetics industry. Plus, the usage of these ingredients is the barest minimum, with preferences being made to natural lathering agents and preservation methods.
        In the interest of transparency with their customers, they list out all of the ingredients on all of their products and even label which things are synthetic and which are natural. As for fragrance blends, almost all are a blend of essential oils. The ones that have a synthetic component are labelled clearly (also, they will always label any natural ingredient that has to be even slightly synthetically processed as a synthetic).
        They main selling point for Lush is that everything is “fresh and handmade” not necessarily that it is all-natural or organic, which I’m thinking is why it didn’t make the cut for this list.

        1. I like to judge a product on whether or not I can understand most of the ingredients, an if it’s more than nine letters long you can assume there may be cause for concern. By comparison though I would say Lush is acceptable. They also have a range of solid shampoo/soaps which contain very little preservative. And definitions of each and every ingredient they use is up on their site. Given the choice I’d go for a bit of SLS and a paraben or two over the likes herbal essences or pantene any day!

        2. Maybe Lush didn’t make the list because of their reported links to terrorism. Google “Lush cosmetics terrorism” to check it out for yourself.

  7. I use juice beauty SPF moisturizer and also their lip gloss. Everything all-natural and very clean.

  8. regular baking soda for the pits – been using it for years! a bit messy to use but cuts the odor while allowing the body to ‘be’ natural…

  9. Tea tree oil added to Tom’s of Maine deodorant = totally works!

    1. How do you add the tea tree oil? A drop each time you use it? Sounds intriguing.

        1. I use magnesium chloride oil spray. its deodorizing and its a great way to absorb some mg. Honestly though I can go without. I sweat when I workout and drink mostly water, so I really don’t get stinky :). As opposed to when I was a smoking drinking fiend and had yellow sweat stains under the pits of my white shirts. Yuk!! Thing of the past.

  10. Lemongrass Spa makes all these products with NO chemicals whatsoever! I loved their products so much that I became one of their consultants!

    1. There is no such thing. Everything is a chemical. Some are natural (like water) and others are synthetic (like dioxin) but everything is a chemical. If Lemongrass Spa sells products with no chemicals, then the bottles must be void of anything including air, because air is a compound of chemicals.

      So please, could you pass this information around so that consultants and reps for all these MLM and MLM-type companies will stop running about the internet offering their “chemical-free” products to folks who can’t remember their basic high school chemistry lessons?

      Thanks. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  11. The coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch deodorant is more effective for me than any commercial product I have ever used – the commercial products seem to stimulate more underarm perspiration, which the “primal paste” slows it down, naturally.

    It took about two weeks of use to adjust. I will never go back – you can mix some fresh lavender or another natural scent in with it if you like.

    1. Totally agree with this as the most effective thing out there, and I’ve searched the world over for something to contain my sweatstink! My problem is that my pits get irritated after too many days of using the baking soda, even though it’s diluted with corn starch and coconut oil. But then again, I shave my pits and Duncan probably doesn’t shave his. (Amiright?)

      1. I find that it’s successful enough for me without the baking soda. I use coconut oil with a little bit of peppermint oil, and I add in about 1/4 tsp colloidal silver per 2 oz of coconut oil. You have to shake it vigorously, as the colloidal and the oils don’t mix, but it’s been working for me.

  12. Lemongrass spa products offer natural soaps, cremes, lotions, balms, hair care, makeup, face care, body scrubs, ect. Everything is handmade in CO with the highest quality ingredients. They are amazing and good for your skin! Sold through I dependent consultants across the country. Love love love the products, and the company owners.

    1. I switched to Lemongrass Spa last year when my other all natural product company went out of business. I have sensitive skin and none of their products have irritated my skin. I highly recommend the facial cleaning products, hand soaps and body lotions. I’m not a fan of the powdered makeup because it settles into fine lines. We didn’t have much luck with the deodorant and are using milk of magnesia roll on (People’s Pharmacy) instead.

  13. 100% Pure is great! Their eyeshadows and mascara stay put like “normal” cosmetics. I also really love their body creams (the kids’ products are cheaper, and the bottles are bigger!), but strangers absolutely will follow you around trying to sniff your skin and/or making comments about eating you. Avoid them if you’re easily creeped out.

    1. I have tested 100% pure products and I have to disagree. Not only have I been able to grow Staph, but the inconstancy of their labeling practices should be enough to have them closed down permanently. It’s not what you think it is.

  14. Granted, I’m a guy, so its a little simple for me than some of the women used to wearing make-up and lotions 24/7, but I keep it fairly simple…I wet shave with an ‘old school’ shaving cream with mostly natural ingredients. Then, take a shower using only Ivory soap (I know it’s probably not technically “all natural” anymore, but it appears fairly benign and lacks any of the big bad chemicals Mark named last week), then when I get out of the shower, I douse a rag in rubbing alcohol and rub it under my pits and across my chest (where I normally sweat). I sweat very heavily and very easily (I used to be weighed in and out of every XC practice in college due to the trainer’s concerns over my water-weight loss), and I very seldom stink at the end of the day using this routine. If I workout at lunch, I’ll normally just rinse off in the shower (no soap) and wipe down again with the alcohol (because I’m normally still sweating even after the shower and 10 mins of sitting at my desk), and I’m back to non-smelly again. Seems to work pretty well, and it’s a pretty cheap way to go about avoiding all these chemicals and remaining clean and stink-free.

  15. Great post. I like experimenting with new products occasionally.

    As a suggestion I offer MooGoo as a company whose products I have liked before.

  16. I’ve been shampooing with my own concoction of aloe vera gel + bit of coconut oil + tiny bit baking soda for about a year. I make it fresh each time I use it. Love it and it doesn’t sting the eyes 🙂

    1. What brand of aloe vera gell do you use? Me, I’m in love with Fruit of the Earth brand. It does not have color or alcohol added to it and does not irritate my skin, like so many of the other brands do.

  17. yeah most of burt’s bees stuff still has soy and canola oil in it :/

  18. For those of us who live in the Great White North…aka…Canada; there’s a company in Canmore, Alberta that makes a line of all natural soap, liquid soap, facial care, body lotion etc. It’s great. I have been using it for years now and just love it. The company is called the Rocky Mountain Soap Factory. Check it out. You can even get on their e-newsletter list if you like.

    1. I second that, Rocky Mountain Soap products are great. I have been using their deodorants, bath salts, lipbalms and soaps for years. Particularly love the Spot removal soap, all natural, works great on dirty clothes that my children supply me with all the time.

  19. Honeybee Gardens http://www.honeybeegardens.com makes really great mineral makeup and also has a line of awesome nail poishes that are water based.
    As far as I know they are all natural, but do your own homework 🙂

  20. I have recently start using Hugo Naturals (gluten free and vegan). I haven’t done enough research though on them to determine if they’re free of all the rest of the junk though.

  21. Great post. A lot of people don’t realize that what you put on your body is pretty much the same as eating it. Once I told my mom I stopped using Burt’s Bees because their chapstick has canola and soybean oil in it and she said, “well it’s not like you’re eating it.” Uh…yeah mom, it is. Haha.

    1. My mom was the opposite. She wouldn’t let me wear lipstick or chapstick because it wasn’t “natural.” She always told me I was basically eating it. This is the same woman that would spread an algae concoction on my face for a mask at night and made me drop dairy as a teenager so my acne would clear up. (She is/was also against factory farming and wouldn’t let me buy clothes from companies that were made in sweatshops.) Now in my 30s I almost never wear makeup and people always compliment me on my complexion. You’d never know I had a cystic acne problem as a teenager. I love my “hippie” mom – she raised me well. 🙂

  22. Naturoli makes great all natural products. Their shampoo is the best I’ve ever used.

  23. Any suggestions for those of us who color away the gray in our hair?

    1. Renae, I have a blonde haired friend who was way more “natural” than I wanted to be (read dirt floor, etc) who when going gray, said she used crushed up rubarb bulbs on her hair to bring it back to blonde. It looked great to me. Don’t know if that will help for your hair color.

    2. I’ve used Light Mountain Natural henna hair color products with success before. The kicker is that, without the chemicals that make your hair more receptive to dyes, you have to leave it on for several hours for the color to take. If you prefer to mix your own, you’ll want to go for a mix of henna, indigo, and cassia for the base, then add ingredients like ground cloves (red highlights), lemon juice (gold/pale highlights), rosemary oil, and lavender oil.

      1. I am likely past 50% gray, with mostly white all around my face. I’ve been using Light Mountain Naturals henna for a few years, and a couple years ago switched to using their straight “Red,” which they don’t recommend for gray/white hair, as it doesn’t take as well. (They recommend their 2-step “Color the Gray” for us, but the other colors are fussy and can go green-tinged even if very careful to use all distilled water. And you have to do 2 processes, which was too much work for me!) I leave the plain Red on for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours, and spend the time doing paperwork or reading online. I get a great red/orange, that most people think looks natural – I get lots of compliments from strangers! It smells great, like the garden. My hair grows so fast, I get white roots before it fades, and I re-do about every 4 weeks. It’s also very economical, even though I have thick, longer hair and use about a box and a half.

    3. YesI I am a brunette who is about 50% or more gray, and about a year and a half ago I wanted to go chemical free with my haircolor so I started using pure ground henna/indigo leaves bought online from Henna Hut. I color every one or two weeks with their “dark brown”. I wash hair first, using no conditioner, then mix up a bowl of the powder by adding enough warm water to it to make a paste about the consistency of yogurt. I put the color on with a wide paintbrush, doing my roots every time and my ends every other time. No-one even noticed I changed what I was doing, the color looks so natural, and just the same as I looked in my “chemical color” days. I do color more frequently, like I said, about every week or two, because I live in Texas and am in the sun a lot so it fades quickly. But it is very cheap too- about $2 each time I color. Guilt-free!

      1. By the way, I leave the color on for about 45 minutes and I dont add any oils or anything else. Not needed if the henna is fresh. My brunette girlfriend also started doing it when I did, and neither of us will ever go back to chemicals. As I get older, I may step down in color to the light brown.

      2. Lora
        I’m also in Tx. I use skin grade henna from an Indian grocery store. Mix it with lemon juice for 12 hrs. Then mix an equal amt of the Light Mtn dark brown with it. I do leave it on for 6 hrs. I only color every 8 weeks with very little fading. It is a beautiful cinnamon brown color. It turns more red over time but never fades to gray. I’m now on the hunt for indigo from an Indian grocery store. I understand it won’t fade either and I can mix the indigo and henna to get the color I want. The reason Light Mountain fades is because the henna and indigo need to process separately and they don’t do that.

    4. I use coloura henna products they have a neutral one too that will just condition and add shine to your hair. I am very chemical sensitive and this works great. I am a redhead and use the red sunset to bring my hair close to its natural color.

    5. Light Mountain Hair color is less than $5 at iherb.com; it consists of only organic henna. Kinda messy to apply but works and lasts a long time, fading only a bit over months.

    6. Henna may work for you, as others have said. I’ve used it with pretty good results. The need to re-color more is a nuisance, though.

      I’ve read a theory on the cause of gray hair that says it’s a result of catalase deficiency. Catalase is an enzyme that breaks down excess hydrogen peroxide. When you don’t have enough catalase, the hydrogen peroxide produced by our bodies bleaches the hair from inside as it grows. Supplementing with the nutrients that would allow your body to produce the catalase is claimed to be better than supplementing with catalase because it will be broken down before you can absorb and use it.

  24. I’m “post-product” in a lot of categories – it seems to me that switching “better” for “worse” products, without wondering whether they’re necessary, is like switching from popping a pill to popping a supplement. Not nearly a big enough switch.

    I wash my face with raw honey, sometimes use a little coconut oil. I still use soap, partly because I get really dirty, gardening in actual dirt. And I use baking soda for a lot of household things, occasional self-care stuff. I occasionally do the baking-soda hair thing, and/or a vinegar rinse, but find I’m needing even that less and less.

    For toothpaste, we sometimes use a salt one from Weleda, and sometimes a product from Himalaya. I used to use so many different goos and creams – I love the feeling I’ve slipped the shackles by Just Not Buying It.

    1. I agree. Toothpaste in particular seems to have been dreamed up by somebody clever.

    1. Arbonne products are vegan and botanically based. They have toothpaste and deodorant that are awesome. Arbonne does not contain parabens, pthalates, artificial colours, or fragrances. If something smells like a strawberry it’s because it’s REAL in the ingredients! Their products also do not contain mineral oil or petroleum as well as SD40. Another biggie is there are no animal products or by products (vegan) and NO animal testing!

      1. I use a lot of Arbonne products and they are great. Vegan and botanically based, just like Kelly says. In addition to the skin products I use their protein powder and it is the best I’ve ever tried.

        1. Arbonne has some of the worst ingredients I have seen in personal care products. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about their line. Their baby line is horrible! It may be “vegan” but it’s loaded with PEG’s and estrogen mimickers.

  25. I have used nothing but virgin coconut oil as toothpaste for a long time. I refuse anything w/flouride. Dental tech had fits, but tells me my teeth are remarkable! But, spitting in the sink can clog the drain – so spit in a paper towel. Tropical tradition has a great natural deodorant. BURT’S BEES is a giant NO NO on my list – lots of bad stuff. A real natural way to stop perspiring under the armpits – be sure your armpits receive natural sunlight – 12 mins exposure usually does it. I make my own body lotion and face cream – my base starts w/Mercola body butter and/or Tropical Tradition CREAM – then I add loads and loads of vitamins and oils — I have a clamoring group that wants a jar as soon as they run out – absolutely sensation results and NO harmful anything. THANKS for all the info that you give all of US.

  26. I like the Kiss My Face brand for soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Their bar soap is only three ingredients if you get unscented. The deodorant isn’t perfect, but it’s not an antiperspirant, it keeps me pretty dry and has a fragrance free option. And it held up during a disgusting heat wave we had here a few weeks ago, so I’m sticking with it.

    I have sensitive, finicky skin and hair that did NOT tolerate any of my numerous attempts to switch to natural products, so with shampoo, face lotion and makeup, I look for paraben-free and non-animal tested, and call it a day. I only wash my hair once or twice a week, and wear only eye makeup and concealer, so I feel okay about that. I’ve spent years dealing with skin problems and finally had them sorted out with a simple soap and moisturizer, and I’m not willing to have them act up again by going product free or switching to oils – which is sadly what happened.

    1. I like their bar soap, too. Have used it for a couple of years now. Buy in bulk (6 large bars) from Amazon

  27. I tried shaving with coconut oil and it was a nice, clean close shave, but my face was too oily the rest of the day, even after rinsing and toweling. And the sink had an oily film left in it too, which meant I had to break out the bathroom cleaner to get rid of the stuff or use a ton of hot water to rinse it away. I’ll probably just keep the coconut oil in the kitchen from now on.

  28. My favorite homemade toothpaste recipe: Beware: spit in trash – clogs drains
    5 parts calcium powder
    1 part bentonite powder
    2 parts baking soda
    3 parts xylitol powder
    2 parts coconut oil
    1 part castor oil
    1/2 tsp. stevita powder (opt.)
    10 drops grapefruit seed extract
    1 tsp. mint essential oil. *mix & add water to desired consistancy

  29. Check out ava Anderson non-toxic at http://WWW.avaandersonnontoxic.com her products have been on the market for about three years and are organic and chemical free. My wife and I where so impressed we actually became consultants. I am extremely picky about my hygiene products and this company and their message does it all.

  30. I’ve been using milk of magnesia as deodorant for a couple of months now. It works better than the commercial stuff and is a lot cheaper.

    1. We switched to milk of magnesia deodorant (check out People’s Pharmacy online) about 7-8 months ago and we love it! We tried several “all natural” deodorants with terrible results so we were thrilled with this easy roll on. Reasonably priced, quick shipping. It will leave white marks on your clothes when wet.

  31. Burnout sunscreen is another option for natural zinc oxide sunblock. I don’t know if I can post links here, but the address is burnoutsun (dot) com. They also have zinc oxide lip balms. ZO usually irritates my skin enough that I’m forced to use the “hybrid” products with avobenzone and other chemical sunscreens, but I’ve found I can tolerate the Burnout products pretty well.

  32. My husband and I cut out the middle man for shaving products and just use an aloe vera plant – cut off leaves when needed, perfect, regenerating gel 🙂

  33. My neighbor has a company called Red Apple Lipstick which is also in this gluten free, non-toxic . I provided a hyperlink in my last comment, and I’m guessing that is still why it is in moderation.

    Anyway, just wanted to add one more name to the list. Nothing in it for me personally.

    1. Yay! A Red Apple Lipstick shout out! : ) I agree that they are totally awesome!

  34. I have stopped using anti-bacterial soap, deodarant and face wash. I found out that the anti-bacterial soap was actually contributing to body odor!!! EW !!! No thanks. I now use what I call “whiskey pits” for deodarant. I keep a bottle of cheap vodka under the sink, put a little on after my shower, a schmeer of coconut oil, a dusting of baking soda mixed with a shelf stable probiotic. Works well so far.
    For face washing I’m using some crystalized honey. I use the coconut oil for my face after washing as well.
    Have been looking for some good mascara and self tanners, so thanks Mark, I will look for the ones you mentioned and see what’s available in Oregon.

    1. I just switched to using vodka as deoderant, since baking soda can be irritating. Used it for a week now and it has about the same odor killing power as the baking soda/coconut oil combo.

  35. I’ve cut out soap and replaced it with…nothing. A good old fashioned scrub in the shower is all you really need. Dry brushing areas of rough skin occasionally before getting wet helps. A dusting of baking soda on the pits and voila, clean. I also used to use coconut oil like bath gel. Like oil cleansing for the whole body. But I found that I don’t need the oil anymore. My body knows how to take care of my skin and I don’t like to disrupt the pH or beneficial bacterial biome I have going on. Being primal makes life so much easier 🙂

  36. Arbonne’s promise is to provide pure, safe and beneficial products which are botanically based. The company is 33 years old and has never faltered to the above promise.

  37. Hats!!!! You’ll have protection and attitude!! They go a long way towards protecting face and neck. And……if men knew just how insanely attractive they look in hats (No, I do NOT mean dopey baseball caps), they’d wear them for sure. Copy the Texans or wear a camo wide-brimmed, stiff-brimmed fishing hat.

    Jason “healthy mouth” toothpaste is good.

    Sun spots are a problem. I don’t think they’re age spots because they only occur on sun-exposed skin. What to do?

    1. Try a lactic acid solution with Koji acid. Use carefully. It helps slough off the spots if you use it weekly. Sun spots and age spots are the same thing.

  38. Awesome post. Long before Pit Paste, there was Pit Putty which is made by Bubble and Bee Organic (and works better for me). They have a entire line of organic products. Check out her ‘Chemical of the Day’ blog (she’s a chemist) which has a searchable database of ingredients and how safe/unsafe they are.

    Also Griffin Remedy. Love their hair and lotion products! Their motto “what goes on your skin goes into your body”.

    1. Agreed! Bubble and Bee has the best organic products I have used!!

  39. I like Red Apple Lipstick for lipstick and eye shadow. The lipstick feels really nice. I believe it’s shea based.

    I make my own soap with coconut, olive, shea, and castor oils. My skin is happier for it.

  40. Question:
    I’ve been using colloidal silver gel for deodorant & it works great. My own idea, do you guys think it’s safe?

    1. Probably depends on what makes it into a gel. The silver itself is pretty safe. There was a guy in the news a couple of years ago who turned blue from drinking large quantities of colloidal silver, but I think otherwise he was one healthy blue guy.

  41. Mark, I know you totally don’t understand, but posts like this make my heart beat faster, kinda like chronic cardio, and create an uncontrollable urge to get out my credit card and order up pretty much everything. I may be primal, but you’ll have to pry my mascara wand out of my cold dead hand…hopefully a primal mascara wand…

    1. Amen sista’
      With blonde hair for eyelashes (read invisible) and “fish belly white” skin (read translucent skin that you can see the dark blue blood vessels in my face – strangers come and tell me I got ink on myself – uh, no, that’s just my see thru skin)….. This means I “tan” my face with enough make up powder to distract people from looking thru it and use mascara so that when I bat my eyes at people it has a remote chance of working.

  42. Essential oils work great for perfume and have many beneficial elements. Make sure the ones used can be taken orally and are pure. Many of the oils sold in “health food” stores aren’t pure even though they state they are because they aren’t distilled properly and have carrier oils. If it states don’t ingest don’t buy it. Young Living make some great blends and the lemon or mint can be added to a homemade toothpaste.

  43. Plain white vinegar for as anti-deodorant. It won’t stop the perspiration but does stop the odour. It changes the ph of your armpit and keeps the bacteria from forming and causing odour. I find it lasts all day.

    1. Thanks for saying that about white vinegar as an effective dedorant Cath. I’ve been using raw apple cider vinegar and was wondering if it was necessary to use that type. There’s a sweetness to the odor that I’d rather avoid. I assume you use it straight? (I have a 50/50 vinegar/water solution handy with a couple drops of lavender and peppermint oil that I use as a hair rinse so it’d be nice if that worked.)

  44. As far as makeup I have started using RMS Beauty and I LOVE IT! All of the products are completely natural ingredients and feel great. And all but one of their tints are completely natural minerals. You can use the cheek stuff on your lips, eyes, whatever. Its pricey but lasts forever and even the free samples I get last me for a long time.

  45. I have started using SheaMoisture for hair and body…does anyone have an opinion of this company? They seem awesome…organic and natural ingredients, none of the stuff Mark says to avoid!

  46. I use coconut oil as a deodorant, it seems to take a few days for your body to adjust and then works perfectly. Coconut oil is a great all over body moisturiser but was too rich for my face, but a minimal amount of almond oil was just right. I have natural curly hair and I use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) for washing and after towel drying, spray 50/50 water and vinegar as a leave in conditioner, my hair has never looked better. You realise you don’t need any of the toiletries you used to buy, after some adjustment time the body just takes care of it self.

  47. Thanks Mark, this is helpful! Do you know of any companies that specialize in hair/body products for babies and young children? I’m looking for a safe, chemical free shampoo for my toddler. I usually get artisan home made soaps (goats milk and such) but shampoos are hard to find!

    1. Since shampoo is just hair soap, could you use the same soap for the baby’s hair, just diluted a little? Is there anything specific about no-tears formula baby shampoos other than that they are just not as concentrated?

    2. Check out http://www.bausc.com. FABULOUS products with a super-delicious and totally non-toxic baby/kids line. They have a 3-in-1 wash that you can use as a body wash, shampoo and bubble bath! I use it myself for all of those, and it’s the best cleanser to remove makeup!

      1. P.S. – the Bausc.com Clementine Shampoo is also a really good makeup remover and body wash, and can be used for bubble bath too – great for kids AND adults!! I think all their body wash products can be used for the above too….

    3. Check out Bausc.com, they have FABULOUS baby and youngster products…..their “flavors” are out of this world!!!

  48. A good source for a wide variety of sun-protective outback hats is sheplers.com.
    Stylish, very high quality, very wide range of types and styles. With a great hat you’ll need much less sunblock, maybe none.

  49. sorry. but the best shampoo, body soap
    is the land of Moroccan or Syrian -ghassoul-

  50. Thanks for this listing. Of course, as per usual, the make up/cosmetic offerings, are for skin tones far paler than my own. Guess we browngirl will have to wait another 35 years for folks to catch up to the thought that maybe WE’D like to have natural products AND healthy skin, too. Imagine!

  51. I guess my own experience has been really different. Maybe after four years of primal, I still have some detoxing and balancing to do, but as far as cosmetics goes, I rarely find that the natural stuff is as good, particularly the purer it gets. I wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, I use coconut oil for deodorant, and I actually like beef tallow for Chapstick, but baking soda for toothpaste made my gums raw and the best cleanser for my skin is Cetaphil. As far as actual makeup goes, some mineral stuff works, and some just doesn’t look or feel as nice as some more synthetic stuff. I try to meet in the middle and choose mineral-based makeup, but some of the facial stuff ends up being a compromise. But that’s my take. I also just like makeup!

    1. Deanna – I have been contemplating the ACV route as I have dry scalp and have read that it can help. I have also read that it strips color from hair….do you have any experience with this? Thanks for you time 🙂

      1. I don’t know if it strips color from commercially-colored hair. I had been dying my hair various shades of the rainbow for years, but since I finally settled on red for a while, I’ve been coloring with henna. ACV has not messed with it all. If I wanted to change color, it would have to all grow out!

        In the end, ACV is the only really super-natural homemade cosmetic thing that I prefer over commercial products. As for the dry scalp, I can’t really speak to that. My skin tends more toward oily, and I found that because of that, I need to use greater amounts of baking soda and ACV than most websites recommend to get good results. I would guess, though, because of that, it would be really good for not stripping natural oils from your hair. It took me a while to find the right balance, though: the wrong proportions and I ended up with greasy hair or I ended up with greasy hair that had baking soda in it. Not fun.

  52. For sunscreen, try Elemental Herbs sunstick. Unscented, just zinc oxide in a base of various plant oils, none of which are canola. It claims to be coral reef safe too. A little oily, but hey, no parabens or oxybenzone.

  53. Got any opinion on chlorophyll as a natural deodorant?
    I took chlorophyll tablets for about a year and it seemed to minimize all bodily stench, including morning breath, and I didn’t use any external deodorants. It can get pricey, which is one reason I stopped, but I”m considering going back.

  54. Great fond of Lush products

    almost everywhere in the EU, you can find it in the US as well – check Lush.com

  55. Check out the honest companies products https://www.honest.com/?new_nav=true
    Jessica Alba’s book The honest life has a lot of great information about all the chemicals in well pretty much everything and offers good alternatives for everything from home decorating to the clothing you wear to make up. It’s scary enlightening. For example, flame retardants on my son’s pajama’s. She takes all the research she’s done on creating a safe, toxic free life for her children and puts it in the book. Great for parents! Non-parents too!

  56. Vodka in a little pump sprayer works just fine for deodorant…you can always add a few drops of essential oil if you want. I added rosemary to mine.

    Coconut oil is great hand lotion, so is EVOO.

    Baking soda and water for shampoo, apple cider vinegar and water for rinse. Sometimes I use my godchild’s home made glycerine soap instead of shampoo, too.

    Honey spread on the skin and allowed to get tacky, then patted all over makes your skin come alive! Rinse off and look great…

    I haven’t used soap on my face for 40 years…just warm water gets the job done!

    No need for expensive cosmetics here…

  57. Any opinions on Mineral Fusion? I want to make sure that it’s safe for my hair!

  58. I’m a fan of the products at Chagrin Valley Soap (https://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/)

    I don’t use deo either, and it’s fine – as long as I’m very careful with my diet. Once I slip up (if I even have coffee) then, man, it’s bring on da funk! HA! That’s usually incentive enough to get me to watch what I’m stuffing in my pie hole!

  59. I recently have been having horrific allergic reactions to more “natural” products. I personally don’t use any natural products at home, other than just buying the cheap CVS brand hair products that don’t have parabens or sulfates. However, I have been watching my friend’s baby a lot recently and she uses everything natural in her home (basically just any alternative product that whole foods sells). I used the baby safe, natural sunscreen and broke out in welts everywhere I put it. When I slept over, she had freshly laundered the bedding in some kind of “natural” detergents, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a swollen face and my throat feeling constricted. I have a lot of food sensitivities, so I am aware that my body isn’t very tough.

    Anyways, the point of all of this is that I’m wondering if it would be safe to convert over to using more natural products such as the ones listed above with my history of sensitivity? I know allergic reactions are always a risk when trying new products, but it seems that products claiming to be more natural are the only ones that are giving me such severe reactions.

    Also, does anyone think there is something natural products use as an alternative substance that is supposedly safer for normal humans, but maybe I’m just allergic to that? Was wondering if there was an easy answer.

    Thanks xoxo

    1. It’s tough if you don’t know exactly what’s causing the allergic reaction. You could do a similar approach to an elimination diet, only with cosmetics. Pick one that appeals to you and has a minimal list of ingredients and try it. If you have a reaction, try to find one that has two or three of the same base ingredients. Keep sampling until you get a good idea of what the most common ingredients are and how they affect you. Otherwise you may need to get a skin test from allergy specialist. But there’s no point in suffering, even if it means avoiding those “natural” products.

    2. I had a reaction to the lavender in a lot of those natural products. I avoid lavender completely now, don’t get the rashes and stuff like I used to. And I stay away from “preservative free” water based products. That’s just asking for trouble.

      Also, just because something claims to be natural, doesn’t mean it is good for you. Crude oil is natural, doesn’t mean you should swim in it 😉

    3. I would recommend learning how to muscle check your self. That way, when you want to “test” some item you can do it in the store before you buy it. It’s just a positive (good/ok for you) or negative (bad for you) response your body does. That might save some you some money both in the allergy/tolerance testing by a MD as well as buying, trying, tossing expense.

    4. My mom is allergic to everything botanical and animal under the sun. If she uses sunscreen or puts on a lotion with plants extracts in it, she gets itchy and rashy.

      Similarly, my own breakouts seem to get worse when I use natural products, and I wonder if that is my own allergic reaction to botanical products. After four years of Primal, I know that dairy sets it off, I know that sugar sets it off, and I know that even if I don’t eat those, my skin isn’t always awesome. The next experiment for me is trying some less “purely natural” face products and just going for sensitive skin products to see if they at least calm things down. Natural soaps, and especially the oil cleansing method, are a disaster for my face. So I’ve been wondering the same thing.

    5. Hi Stevie,

      Have you tried the brand Original Sprout? It is literally free of any type of allergen you can think of including Lavender oils, honey, peanut oil and gluten. My whole family has been using this for a month now and our skin and hair have never been more luscious. I really recommend it to anyone, as my daughter is allergic to a lot of things and my husband has psoriasis, so if it works for them it could work for you. The website is http://www.originalsprout.com

  60. Jane Iredale cosmetics score very well on the EWG website for being free of common nasties. Not cheap, though, which is why conversion of my “face toolbox” is a gradual process.

    1. That’s what I’m going to be using for my wedding! I *adore* Jane Iredale products, but they are very pricy – you’re not kidding!

  61. Love this post. So useful. Thanks, Mark!

    I especially like that you’ve included the names of brands and products. I’ve seen quite a few posts and articles filled with general ingredients to try to find (or avoid), which makes for a ton of search work on the readers’ part.

    Especially cool that you’ve mentioned Weleda. I especially like their salt toothpaste, and I’ve just tried out their citrus deodorant, which is quite good and way cheaper than the Clarins one I’d been using.

    Olive oil is so useful for more than eating it. Great idea to try it for shaving. It’s the best ever hair conditioner. You can leave it in anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. The few-days approach works especially well when you’re at the beach and no one really cares what your hair looks like. My hair is pretty long, so I like to completely douse all of it with olive oil and tie it back for a wet beach-y look. After a few days of that, when I wash it out, I have the softest, shiniest hair ever.

    A very well done post! (Oh yeah – one more thing: A great natural teeth whitener is baking soda, made into a paste with a bit of fresh lemon juice – really works well for a once a week treatment. More than that may not be good for your enamel, so I read.)

  62. For teeth, I highly recommend oil pulling (google it – there’s a bunch of information and even a free ebook online). I use olive oil mostly but coconut oil sometimes; then I floss and brush using hydrogen peroxide. My teeth have never been whiter!

  63. morrocomethod.com is where I buy my shampoo. It is a raw, vegan, and gluten-free company.

    1. Check out Blissoma it’s a skin care line based out of St. Louis completely natural herb based and mostly organic skin care line!! There are more lines out there that can make the same claims but they are usually smaller and have less money for marketing. I love this line!

  64. My favorite natural product line is KEYS. There are very few ingredients in them and I especially like the skin care products. The creams are excellent.

  65. I use Moo Goo products, especially their deodorant which is edible and smells so good from the essential oils. They explain on their website why they choose to use or leave out ingredients. Good Australian small business 🙂

  66. I have a friend who sells Lemongrass Spa products. All natural and made in small batches. Great stuff.

    Also, I just decided to stop coloring my hair and go natural. I think the more women who decide to go naturally grey, the more accepted it will be.

  67. I am loving Primal Pit Paste but I can’t seem to shake the redness and irritation under my arms from using it. No odor, just a rash. Any suggestions? Great product otherwise.

    1. I had ongoing irritation problems with the otherwise fabulous ‘baking soda/coconut oil + other things’ deodorant mix. Waiting and hoping it would stop didn’t work (well, I lost patience after 10 months).

      First, it’s easy, satisfying and cheap to make yourself.

      Second, I would say always use arrowroot instead of cornstarch.

      Third, Crunchy Betty has a fantastic recipe, which involves infusing dried calendula and chamomile flowers in sunflower oil and adding that to the other ingredients (i added a vanilla pod for extra fragrance). Google it. She explains why this works.

      Lastly, many of the popular essential oils can be quite irritating for some people, including lavender, lemon and lime. I’ve settled on sweet orange and LOVE it.

    2. Switch out some or all of the cornstarch to arrowroot. Plus wait an hour after shaving to put it on. Worked for me. 🙂

  68. A great product, and very primal, is JR Liggett’s Bar Shampoo. It can be used as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and shaving cream. It was made for backpackers and is safe for fish and plants in and around streams and lakes. I’ve used it for years. I use the Ultra Balanced bar.

    For deodorant, I simply use Cypress and Lavender essential oils. I put a few drops of each in the palm of one hand, rub my hands together, and apply to my armpits. Works very well, and I always get told how nice I smell. I buy mine from Birch Hill Happenings for their quality and purity at a reasonable price.

    I use coconut oil to moisturize in the winter, jojoba oil in the summer.

  69. Btw, I don’t like Grandpa’s Pine Tar shampoo/soap because it has “vegetable lecithin” which can be soy and what you use on your skin goes in you since the skin is our biggest way to absorb everything. My other choice besides JR Liggett’s would be Dr. Bonner’s.

  70. If gray hair is due to hydrogen peroxide in the scalp, is there something that can be used as a shampoo to lower the H O in the scalp and thereby slow or reverse gray hair?

  71. Toothpaste: Even the “natural” brands like Tom’s will often have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) in them, so read your labels. I use Miracle Soap, sometimes with baking soda for extra scrubbing. Works great with no irritating essential oils.

    Soap for your face: again, I use Miracle Soap. Please avoid using bar soap on your face, and sometimes on the rest of you, depending on your skin. The ingredients that make a bar soap hold together WILL clog your pores and cause breakouts. Liquid “soap” is a better route.

    Coconut oil: it’s great for everything. Makeup removal, moisturizer, conditioning dry hair (massage in, let sit awhile, wash out with a very mild shampoo).

  72. I use 2 web sites for safe cosmetics: coastalclassiccreations and rejuvaminerals. They are rated safe by the skin deep site and I have been very happy with their products. I also like Shea Terra Organics for skin care products. You may want to google “oil cleansing method” for good skin care that uses safe, home remedies. I use the oil cleansing method and my skin has never looked better.

    For deodorant, I use 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 arrowroot starch and it works for me. Used Badger sunscreen when I went to Florida this summer and my fair, sensitive skin survived. There are plenty of safe alternatives for personal care products, it just takes a little work to figure out what to make or where to purchase.

    1. I forgot something important – i used coconut oil to shave my legs and no lotion is needed once you get out of the shower. Best personal care find ever!

  73. I found a great deoderant that doesn’t make a mess of my shirts and sprays on like a water mist. I can go a full two days without washing if I have to and still do not smell. It is called Dr. Mist. Check it out at https://www.drmist.us/ Here in Canada I buy it at my local health food store and it costs CDN$10 per bottle which lasts a month.

    I’ve been impressed by how my shirts aren’t staining under the arms and I can wear them at least twice before washing – saving the fabric from wearing out.

  74. Thank you for this informative article Mark. I switched to Dr Bronner’s several years ago and use it at home and when backpacking for body, face, and hair (teeth-out on the trails).
    Recently tried Burt’s Bees brand of lip balm and it was awful. Threw it out.

  75. Pitty Party (available on Etsy) is a wonderfully effective natural deodorant. Love Potion Perfume makes wonderful scents with safe ingredients and no chemical fixatives.

  76. This list is awesome, it can be SO overwhelming trying to stay on top of what all the bad ingredients are, much less remembering them all as I am in the aisle at the store trying to pick something. I’m pleasantly surprised to see ALL of my normal products made the list, I especially love 100%PURE. Thanks Mark!

  77. I have been using essential oils mixed with other natural and safe products to make skin care supplies. Virgin coconut oil with frankincense, Meleleuca, lemon, and lavender oils make a nice moisturizer and a little goes a long way. I have very dry skin and it soaks right in. My age wrinkles are disappearing as well, and sun spots clearing up. I use salt and baking soda with Meleleuca oil for exfoliating. Castile soap diluted with purified water and Meleleuca works great for scalp cleaning and body shampoo. Coconut oil and lavender is my dry hair conditioner, doesn’t take much. Coconut oil applied in shower to skin then rinse and towel dry does a good job of moisturizing. Baking soda with clove and spearmint oils for tooth cleansing.
    I am working on recipes for deodorant but diet is my best weapon for eliminating BO. By the way, I use doTERRA oils.
    Great post and replies, I will incorporate some of your ideas!

    1. Your moisturizer sounds like just what I need. Could you give me your “recipe?” I’ve never tried to make my own skin care product.

  78. What about Auric Blends perfume oils? I love their Egyptian Goddess perfume, it’s all I use.

  79. I like LUSH products- I use their henna on my hair. I have heard good things about their other products but don’t use them myself.

  80. Shampoo/conditioner: I buy what claims is ‘natural’.

    Body stuff: I use baking soda and crystal mineral ball. Works really well for me and is easy. Sometimes I use vinegar.

    Cuts and scrapes: I use hydrogen peroxide.

    It’s pretty simple. 🙂

    If I use lipstick which is the only make up I wear (and only for interviews or special occasions) is a bee’s wax base and natural colouring.

    Mmmmmmm my life is simple and I love it. 😀

  81. Check out http://www.organicrituals.ca
    By far the highest quality skin, body and bath products I have tried. They are all handcrafted in small batches using only ingredients we can easilty pronounce! Well worht looking into and adding to the great list!

  82. I don’t really trust the “natural” products either. I’ve pretty much switched over to making my own beauty products. For shampoo, I rinse with a baking soda solution followed by a rinse of apple cider vinegar solution. For deodorant, I mix coconut oil and baking soda. I do use soap, but it’s plain Dr. Bronner’s. I am currently experimenting with tooth powder – straight baking soda is too abrasive, so I’ve got a mixture of bentonite clay and baking soda, with a bit of cinnamon. Facial moisturizer is either coconut oil or avocado.

    I keep a bottle of shampoo, a tube of toothpaste, and a stick of deodorant in my bathroom for camouflage – just so that visitors don’t think I’m an unwashed hippie.

    1. Jaja, your post seem like written by me. I do the same, exactly. Now experimenting with toothpaste.

  83. Blissoma is an awesome skin care line, young company based out of St Louis and has been around for about 5 years. They have the best gel cleanser and clay masque. I’m an esthetician so I’ve tried out my fair share of beauty products and I love love this line!

  84. Anyone recommending Jason brand be careful lots of the formulations have chemicals including parabenes in them. I have infrequently over the last couple of years had what looked like a chemical burn on my scalp and even less often show up on my neck and ears. I was just running out of my Jason brand shampoo and conditioner and was shopping for replacements. As I have celiac disease I limit gluten and a bunch of other ingredients including mark’s list of chemicals to avoid. I realized one of my products had wheat protein and several of those other chemicals in it. I threw it away and now my scalp is healing up.

  85. For ladies looking for higher-end clean, high performance makeup, RMS Beauty, W3LL People, and Ilia make awesome products. These brands are popular with (and some are developed by) makeup artists, but they’re extremely safe and clean and tend to have nicer ingredients than the cheaper organic brands.

    I’m a big fan of Max Green Alchemy shampoo and conditioner- they’re totally clean and they perform well, unlike a lot of health food store brands, which I find too drying. Acure is nice, but I find it makes my scalp get oily much faster.

    http://www.natureofbeauty.com and http://www.spiritbeautylounge both have a great selection of clean/organic brands of makeup, skincare, and hair care.

  86. When my son was born 13 months ago, started to make cream for him, not sure why never did for myself before! He never had nappy rash and super easy – organic calendula oil (make by infusing flowers in oil), warm over hot water, add beeswax, more or less depending on how thick you like cream. Amazing, can also use any herbs instead of calendula eg lavender.
    My sister is a big lover of 8 hr cream (in fact any chemical laden promise!) but even she loves this so doing something right!!

  87. I use pure cold pressed coconut oil for sun screen, I mix coconut oil and baking soda with 100% pure essential oils (peppermint) mixed in a small container and scoop onto my toothbrush. My teeth are the whitest they have ever been. Any bacteria or gut problems disappear. I use coconut as my skincare range and am in my 40s with no wrinkles!

  88. Check out the products at http://www.organicrituals.ca Handcrafted, small batch, totally natural skin, body and bath products. I’ve been using them for years and have converted many. The best part is we could eat all the ingredients! Really worth trying.

  89. I use Intelligent Nutrients for shampoo/conditioner and RMS Beauty for makeup/skin-care.
    I love 100% Pure mascaras (my favorite is the blackberry – it smells the best and leaves my lashes purple).

  90. Mangos are in the Anacardiaceae family along with pistachios and cashews. Also in this family … poison ivy, oak & sumac. I love pistachios & cashews but have recently developed an allergy to them. Mango seeds contain the same toxin … so I would be reluctant to rub mango seed butter on my skin.

  91. I definitely put coconut oil on my face before, and after a week I totally broke out, I highly DO NOT recommend doing that! ha! Whoops, but hey, it’s all about trial and error. I am now on a Rose Hip Seed Oil kick, lets see how long this will take me to break out!

  92. Hello Primal World!

    My favorite hair and skincare is from Max Green Alchemy and I do believe they are in the good column……prices are good too!!

  93. My favorite products come from http://www.Bausc.com. The owner healed herself from major illness and developed a line of products that are totally free of gluten, chemicals, artificial fragrances, dyes, solvents and GMO’s!! They come in the most incredible “flavors” that you really could eat! Some of my favorites: Tickled Peach Body Wash, Pear Naked Body Lotion & Body Souffle, Cherry Scrub and the list goes on and on!! Oh, and they have a fabulous Cucumber Mint Deodorant Powder! They also have bar soaps, baby and kids’ soaps, lotions etc, and really amazing facial lotions for aging skin! Something for EVERY BODY! 🙂

  94. I am having the worst time switching to natural deodorant! I keep getting a rash . . . I call it pits of fire! S far Toms of Maine is the only one I can use. Even made one on my own and got a rash. It was coconut oil based.

  95. Weleda makes the BEST lip balm! It’s called Everon — I’ve been buying it for years.

  96. thank you! oh thank you for doing the research and finding some safe makeup that is not just powders! the price point of the 100%pure line is very affordable, and josie marin has a lip and cheek stain marker! us primal ladies still like a little makeup.

  97. For the past 15 yrs, I’ve used pure emu oil as a moisturizer. I’m 58 with no wrinkles and receive tons of complements on my skin. Can’t get much more primal that emu oil! No additives whatsoever.

    I simply wash with a good goats milk shea butter soap then smooth on the emu oil. I’ve used several different brands, and they all work well. Just make sure it’s pure.

  98. Miessence out of Australia has some amazing products, including a deodorant that hubby and I have been using for years.

  99. Don’t waste your time on the thai crystal roll on. Mine turned into a smelly petri dish

    1. Light mountain is good but fades in 4-6 weeks. Using Henna and Indigo, both skin grade will get any shade of red and brown.

  100. Enlightening post, as always, Mark. Though I wonder what you (and readers) have to say about Paula’s Choice cosmetics. If anyone has done her homework in terms of science article sifting and synthesising, it’s Paula Begoun, probably the foremost critic of the beauty industry. And she says the science seems to favour parabens, for one thing. I love Mark’s posts because they’re entertaining and backed by solid evidence, but this is one post where I simply had to reply with my two cents. “Natural” or “organic” isn’t always better.

    I’m not affiliated with Ms. Begoun in any way – I’ve just been following her work and using her products (on and off, mind you), but each time I do my skin gets visibly better. Still, I’d rather not put anything on my face if I can help it (especially when it comes with a hefty price tag), which is one reason I’m dabbling in the primal diet. My skin could be better.

    1. Maya, I agree with you regarding Paula Begoun, and her philosophy that “natural” may not necessarily be harmless. Her products have really helped my skin, and I appreciate that they are fragrance-free. That being said, I am actively removing/greatly reducing chemicals from all aspects of my daily life, especially anything that touches my skin. Paula’s Choice products will be reduced as well. She does have her “Earth Sourced” line that has less chemicals. I haven’t tried it yet.

      Thank you all for your great suggestions and recommendations.

  101. I switched to Crystal brand mineral rock deodorant recently and so far it’s holding up really well. Two days ago, I hiked up a super-steep mountain trail near my house in 100-degree heat and while I did sweat a lot under my arms, there was no odor at all.

    I’ve also recently switched from conventional shampoo (Herbal Essences, to be precise…ugh) to “Every Day Shea” shampoo and conditioner by Alaffia. It’s made of good stuff and all of the ingredients they get from Africa are fair trade. So far it’s working well. My hair feels a little oily after washing, but I think that’s just because my head’s going through an adjustment period from the conventional crap to this more natural stuff.

  102. Terresentials! They make clay shampoos, lotions, and all your bodycare products. I love their frangrance-free face lotion and facewash the best. All of their fragrances are plant-based oils. Many of the plants they use are grown on their own organic farm!

  103. This article was great, and exactly what I was looking for, but unfortunately I’m in Australia and it would be good to have recommendations for products here in our market. Is anyone here from Oz that has recommendations???

  104. I wouldn’t call Weleda as very safe brand, it is better than conventional one’s like Dove and L’oreal, but it also has a mark of 3 and more in SkinDeep database

  105. No-one seems to have mentioned Sukin Australian Natural Skincare?
    Found a few of their products at our local chemists (drugstore) in Australia..

    Not sure if they are a better alternative? but I have used and still use their products for my sensitive skin .. ok so the shampoo doesn’t foam up so good, but that’s probably a good thing?
    Ingredient list is on their website if anyone wants to back me up on this?

    Not affiliated with this in any way, I just really like their products!

  106. Mark, please be careful when endorsing brands that have lavender or peppermint essential oils in them. Paula Begoun -who is probably THE authority on cosmetic ingredients- has done a lot of research on what is proven to be effective or harmful. She can back up all her statements with peer-reviewed scientific research and that research shows that lavender and peppermint (among other things) are harmful to our skin. And still we see it pop up in so many cosmetic products, including ones of the brands you endorse. Not good.

  107. Hi, I would like to add in the list for grokette: reusable menstrual pads. I know it may sound disgusting at first, but the more I think the more it makes sense.
    The ones you buy in supermarket were damaging my skin because they don’t allow it to breath, they are pure plastic and so were retaining the odours. Very bad for us and for the environment.
    If you are interested in reusable ones, there are many people who made them (or you can do them yourself). Plenty of tutorials on youtube.
    Since I went paleo, my period became a bit more regular and half a day shorter. Since I wear these pads it is another half day shorter and always on time. They are neither bulky nor smelly. Washing is easy. I highly recommend them.

    1. Yep, I’ve been using them for a while and cloth/reusable menstrual pads are better for numerous reasons. I just throw them in with my other wash.

      1. Some women use sea sponges as reusable tampons. You can find videos on youtube.

    2. Instead of tampons, I’ve been using a menstrual cup for about 10 years. They come in different materials (latex/rubber or silicone). The first one lasted just two years, but the replacement I bought in 2006 is still working fine; mine were both the latex/rubber. On my heaviest day I may need to rinse and replace it once, but otherwise it will last me 24 hours. I bought mine online (The Keeper), but I imagine other brands are pretty similar.

  108. I love 100% pure! Another alternative for deodorants and shampoo is chagrin valley! The postage to europe is insanely high but you americans can buy you some cheap long lasting, well working stuff there! My favourite brand all time is terre d’oc for makeup and john masters organics for hair(my hair does not really cope well with shampoo cakes because of its length). Love that more people wants natural products. And no antiprspirant works better than coconut oil and baking soda, Ive been hiking sweating in the sun for days before I actually need to wash my armpits.

  109. My 2012 New Year’s resolution was to switch to chemical free body products & cleaning products. After lots of trial & error I use Mercola products for skin, hair, teeth & laundry. For the arm pits we use a local product that works for me, but not hubby, so will try some of the suggestions – what a great resource these comments are!

  110. I just wanted to share the company Chagrin Valley. http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com. I have been using their products for 4 years and I’m hooked!!! Their deodorant is awesome, and all organic. I also die for their shower bars, lotion bars and body oils. I have recommended their products to anyone who will listen and everyone is a fan.

    1. Well, I just bought some of the dreadlocks shampoo… I’ve been having a hard time finding a shampoo that doesn’t make my hair feel brittle and tangly (when wet) and like straw (when dry). The liquid version has salt in it and I worry that I’ll have the same issues, but at least the ingredients list looks a lot better than the shampoo I’m using now. Here’s hoping..

  111. I didn’t see any pre-shave lotions for electric shavers mentioned in the list or in the comments, but I will throw in my support for rubbing alcohol (with maybe a bit of olive oil, baby oil, etc for lubrication) as an effective electric shaver pre-shave lotion.

  112. Are you familiar with Red Apple lipstick? They are a new company and state they are gluten free and healthy. I’d like to know your opinion.

  113. I have been using a deodorant with probiotics I found on Etsy at Frugally Sustainable ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/FrugallySustainable?ref=shop_sugg ). It works much better for me than the lavender deodorant I bought from Primal Life Organics. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of their other products, but the deodorant does something odd with my body chemistry…not a pretty smell. The jasmine deodorant from Frugally Sustainable initially smells like a Tootsie Roll, however, due to the cocoa butter/jasmine combo. Not a bad thing, just took me by surprise. The shop also sells solid perfumes and other handmade products. I am currently enjoying the “Lover” scent.

    Thanks for this list. I am trying to replace my toiletries with healthier options as they run out, but it’s hard to get info on it all.

  114. Putting in a plug for BlackBox Cosmetics! Lots of botanicals, NO parabens or other nasty stuff. There’s a link on my website, above.

  115. Any idea for make up available in Korea? None of these companies ship to Korea, some ship to Japan but not Korea. There are some brands in Korea that claim to be organic and natural but when I read their ingredients (sometimes they are not even listed) they are actually not. Any ideas?

  116. Deoterant and Antiperspirant recipe

    I’ve been using it for months in our TX heat!!
    1/4 cp arrow root
    1/4 cp baking soda
    8 TB coconut oil, melted (melt by putting container in hot water. Don’t microwave!!)

    Whip until creamy. If you keep your house cool enough you can put it into an old deodorant container. Otherwise just use 2-3 baby food containers. Works great!!!

  117. 1) Remove make-up and/or washing your face check out OCM- Oil cleansing method

    2) Face cleanser: 1/2 tsp-1T of raw honey rubbed in your hands to warm up, spread on your face and rinse with water.

  118. What about kiss my face brand? Ive never seen these things in store. Is there anything on this list that’s college student on loans can afford?

  119. “Lavanila – They specialize in fragrance-free fragrances.” What is the point of fragrance-free fragrance?

  120. Hi there Mark
    Have you heard of Miessence, they are Australia’s greenest certified organic company that make personal care, cosmetic, household and superfood products. For those reading looking for options in Australia try looking at


    We also ship international if you are interested but not a local 🙂


  121. Some good products that I’ve tried (and I’m a purist) are:

    Face wash/moisturizer: The Vital Image
    Foundation: Devita, Everyday Minerals
    Blush: 100% Pure
    Mascara: Dr. Hauschka, Earth’s Beauty
    Sunscreen: Badger Balm
    Hair: Max Green Alchemy
    Deodorant: Real Purity
    Lotion: Acure
    Soap: Dr. Bronners
    Laundry: Biokleen

  122. Look into Keys Care. I’ve been using their products for awhile because they’re gluten free and organic. Very clean product. They also have a line for pets.

  123. Has anyone ever tried Melaleuca’s products? They claim to be all natural/toxin free without phthalates or parabens, they dont’ even have safety caps. Any good?

  124. I’m a huge fan of Griffin Remedy Body Lotion, which I also use for face moisturizer and hand lotion. I love the Bulgarian Lavender! Found it at my health food store, but also at some larger Whole Foods, or at https://griffinremedy.com They also make really good all natural shampoos and conditioners.

  125. I’ve been thinking about making my own vitamin C serum but recipes call for vegetable glycerin. But is this something I should stay away from? Is it toxic?

  126. My philosophy is that if you can’t eat it, it shouldn’t be on your skin. So I’ve been chemical-free for years.

    I use a method called oil cleansing where one uses olive oil and castor oil for cleansing (https://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method) or often just plain honey which makes a great antibacterial cleanser. I use a drop or two of grapeseed or jojoba oil as a moisturizer afterwards. Want to exfoliate? Crush a strawberry with honey and make a mask (strawberries contain salycic acid which is a key ingredient in acne scrubs and washes).

    For home cleaning, a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar mixed with water and the juice of half lemon is a very effective spray cleaner and disinfectant. Need to scrub your sink or tub? Baking soda. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

    If you’re a do it yourself kind of person, there are a ton of cheap, easy recipes for making natural skin care and cleaning products for your body and home floating out there in the blog-o-verse. Crunchy Betty and Wellness Mama are both great places to start for anyone who is interested.

    Second to MDA, this is the best change I’ve made in my personal life. I reduce exposure to chemicals, save money and my bathroom cupboards are no longer cluttered with toxic junk:)

  127. “They produce makeup and other cosmetics using food-grade plant-based ingredients (it’s safe to eat, so it’s probably safe to put on your body).”

    WOW…I hope you did not hurt yourself falling for their marketing! 100% Pure is one of the few cosmetic companies that actually had to issue a recall of their eye shadow last year, because an FDA investigation found it contaminated with hazardous bacteria.

    100% Pure is also using illegal colorants – the FDA has very few rules for cosmetic ingredients but the use of colorants – because colorants can be so hazardous – are strict. 100% Pure uses colorants that have not been FDA-approved.

    This company is a perfect example of “greenwashing” – telling consumers what they want to hear but not backing up their statements with science, safety testing…or even the truth. I reported them to the FDA for these and other reasons.

  128. My favourite deodorant is:
    Miessence Tahitian Breeze Roll On.
    It just takes a little longer to dry than the toxic ones I used to use!

  129. I ditched detergent- based shampoo about a month ago and started blending up botanical mixtures myself. Its based on eggs, and i throw in bananas, cucumbers, avocados, lemons, or whatever else is in the fridge 🙂 i leave it on for about 30 mins, and it rinses clean- even gets pure coconut oil out! I’m still expirimenting to find more recipes, does anyone have any advice?

  130. just a little bit of baking soda and water (sans coconut oil) is the best deodorant i’ve ever used

  131. For teeth, I’ve used oramd before, very strong taste. Currently using a Real Purity brand toothpaste (although it has glycerin so not the best because supposedly it prevents your teeth from remineralizing). I’ve tried brushing with magnesium oil (Ancient Minerals brand) probably once, the taste is something you’d need to get accustomed to, but magnesium is an important nutrient for proper teeth and bone health. Magnesium oil may also help reduce/prevent tartar buildup. I also read that people can brush with activated charcoal to adsorb stains and produce whiter teeth 🙂 haven’t tried it yet but probably soon.

    I’ve had good results using shampoo from Nurture My Body, and actually use the body wash as shampoo now since most of the ingredients are the same and it’s a little cheaper. Organic ingredients so it’s a bit pricey, but haven’t been able to find another natural shampoo that gives good results. Tried Dr. Bronner’s and baking soda/vinegar, couldn’t get either to work for my hair. Just ordered a shampoo from Real Purity, haven’t received it yet to try but ingredients looked ok.

    Have been using a foundation and mascara from Real Purity.

    For anyone interested, you may be able to find recipes/instructions for making your own cosmetics. I tried one recipe for mascara, I may have done something wrong because it didn’t turn out well. Others who posted on the blog were enthusiastic about it.

  132. Another company that I feel could have made this list is VSachar MD. I wanted to introduce our product; safe, nontoxic cosmetics for pregnancy. I am a high risk pregnancy MD (Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist),and just introduced our line. Anybody who wants safe, non-toxic makeup can use our products. We are against animal testing/Peta certified, and most of our products are Gluten and Vegan. We have a beautiful website at http://www.VSacharMD.com with lots of medical information.

  133. Carry on cruelty free products! Using natural products is the best thing for your skin because you are nourishing it with natural oils, not drying it out. Your skin will feel soft, smooth and keep you feeling good all day. These products are really latest natural products.

  134. What a very useful 25 safer alternatives tips to common cosmetics problems. I will memorize this and keep it tag on my PC. For now, my issue is my wrinkles and I’m using Lift Wand to gradually remove it. Hope it works too.

  135. Innovative Body Butter with Essential Oils! Do you want to modify your life style? Body Butter will revitalize your skin leaving it feeling soft and smooth. Take these new Body Butter products and alter your life style. That makes you good-looking.

  136. Mainly excellent natural handcrafted soaps! Our quality natural handcrafted soaps are made using vegetable oil and No animal fats are used in any of our products. Using these natural products and make you very nice-looking.

  137. A topic near and dear to my heart, as I love body care/cosmetics and also love trying to be as “natural” as possible with them.

    Soap is one of the easiest things to go natural on—I use a Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap that is fragrance-free. I try to avoid fragrance as much as possible in my body care, especially for body lotions that sit/absorb on your skin. I’ve also used Everyday Shea body wash, which has very minimal ingredients and no fragrance. Also quite economical, can be used for shaving, etc.

    For body lotions, plain ole sweet almond oil works well. Slap it on, good to go. Many people love coconut oil too, but I don’t like smelling like coconut so I avoid it. Plus it makes me break out really badly.

    I’m experimenting with Acure hair products at the moment, that has been the hardest for me to switch over. My hair and scalp are finicky, prone to oil and dandruff. I might try Dr. Bronner for my hair next. Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse is nice, but my hair is curly and needs lots of moisture.

    I like Silk Naturals for makeup. Their lipsticks have a lot of different colors, and are cheap. I use Weleda Everon lipbalm, but that’s just because I love the rose scent and it works so well for me.

    I also use Weleda Almond care line for skin, but have been experimenting with different lines. My skin doesn’t like a lot of products, gets clogged easily, etc. Sunscreen is physical protection only, I do love my sunscreen…Currently testing out Alba Bonatica Fragrance-Free mineral sunscreen for body. Good stuff.

    With that said, I can’t give up some other toxic stuff just yet (Retin-A!). I’m not a purist, but like a happy medium. For example, I love perfume and have a nice collection that I’m not going to throw away—but will look into natural alternatives in the future. Honore de Pres is one such fine perfumer, along with Pacifica.

  138. Well over two weeks ago after 40 years of soaps and shampoos and loving them all, I ditched the lot.
    Hair- I use a rinse of baking soda (2 Tbsp) in 1 ltr of water, and/ or ASV.
    Result- very clean bouncy hair, wont go back
    Soap- ditched it apart from down below and face.
    Result- skin feel just as clean and less dry.
    Deodorant- after years of being a bit sweaty and a bit smelly mixed with the scent of the deodorant I was wearing I ditched it and using soap on my pits. Instead mixed up the coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch mix.
    Result- massive reduction in sweating and NO smell ever!! This had been the biggest result and I am never going back!
    We also made a face cream out of Tello and olive oil and it is the best cream I have ever used. My lines have reduced and my skin tone is very even for the first time in ages.
    I am converted!

  139. We used to have those problems all the time but switched to Lavilin all-natural deodorant and we are all set. Great deodorant – safe and smells good too.

  140. I much prefer natural products for use as cosmetics, or atleast products containing some natural ingredients! Natural options really do bring the best out of your skin. And I often find they are much cheaper and have multi-purposes!

  141. arm and hammer for deodorant! has one of your DIY ingredients (baking soda)

  142. My best friend as so many issues with cosmetics and break outs I found your findings to be very helpful to pass along to her and she’s trying different ideas each day. Thank you

  143. I’ve not found anything better, more economical or more gentle, than apple cider vinegar. I don’t think it matter much but I dilute it 50/50 with water.

  144. Great Article, I love seeing people educated on what they are putting on and in their bodies! Talking about safer alternatives to makeup ingredients.. May I suggest iamgreenminded.com? They are the first all natural makeup brand to formulate all zero-comedogenicy makeup(pore clogging), also offer natural zit zapper, pH skin sprays. Its great stuff!

  145. This is great thankyou! Would you be able to do the same for Australian based companies please or at least ones that have warehouses in Australia. Also, have you done much research on NU SKIN and ARBONNE? Thanks so much for your time 🙂

  146. A very affordable 100% pure, organic, chemical-free, additive-free everyday skin care company. Offering vegan deodorant (no beeswax), body butter, hand cream, foot salve, and baby products – body cream and diaper cream. Check these products out as well – ingredients are listed on every products on their website. All products are hand crafted in small batches.

  147. I love these brands : Arbonne, Dr Haushka, Green Beaver, Weleda, !00% Pure. There are many choices nomadays!

    My favorite home-made facial cleanser :
    1 teaspoon greek yougourt with equal pars of coffee grounds
    (add a few drops of lemon juice for combunation/oily skin, or sesame or almond oil for dry skin)

  148. I started using a soap, from a lady I found at a farmers market on cape cod. It is fantastic. She has a small business with her daughters and sells on line. It has cured my eczema, which I have had for years! saltysoaps.com I used the face it bar and the seaweed bar.

  149. There are more highs than lows, and I know it is right for me, but I cannot tell you that it is right for you.
    There are numerous pharmacies out there which sell fake drops.
    Having a variety of foods to eat is helpful to staying on plan. I think the cast aways on Survivor get more calories than that.
    The diet is based on the premise of surviving on 500-800 calories a day along with injections or sub-lingual
    doses of HCG to reduce appetite and reset the hypothalamus.

  150. I used to use Burts Bees products, but they were not moisturizing enough – and the overall quality not where I wanted it to be. I ONLY use natural products. I now have been using Made from Earth’s Valencia Orange Lotion, and I like it. Will try it for another week and let you know how it goes. So far so good and it smells great!

  151. Vintage Traditions, is a small company that makes deoderant and body balm made from tallow (from grass fed beef) and essential oils. I was hesitant to try this at first but now I’ll never go back. Tallow based products are the best for your skin because tallow is the closest to your own body oils.

  152. My favorite natural skin care brand of all time is Beecher’s Botanicals (www.beechersbotanicals.com). Everything is handmade, organic and chemical free – and the packaging is minimal and adorable. My favorite are their handmade soaps! The best I’ve found!