Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Green Beauty Products I Use (2015)

Greenies, it has been a long time since I updated you all on the "green" beauty products I'm using so it's time to pull back the curtain...or in my case, open my make up drawer and see what's inside. Let's take a peek!

Some of you may remember this post from two years ago, back when I was pregnant with Mila, when I shared the beauty products I was using then. But, like anything in life, my beauty products are always changing as I find new ones, trade up to cleaner products, and try to find the ones that work best with my body, all while trying to stay within a budget.

Before we jump into my products, let's chat for a second about why it matters to use "greener" beauty products anyway. I mean, isn't it enough that you're eating healthy, working out and recycling? Unfortunately that's not enough. There are chemicals and toxins lurking in your beauty products that are getting absorbed into your skin, mouth, and body as we speak. And although you may think some government agency is out there protecting you and keeping your safe, you're wrong.

A few years ago I saw this video on YouTube and it forever changed the way I saw my personal care products. It's called, "The Story of Cosmetics" by The Story of Stuff Project.

The video sheds light onto all of the chemicals and preservatives found in traditional personal care products and how they some are carcinogens and neurotoxins...say what? I thought that since it was on the shelf, it was safe? Wrong.

Now I don't know about you, but reading about all those chemical names and trying to find out if your personal care products are "safe"  can be a daunting task. But it doesn't have to be. Thanks to a website called, "Skin Deep" by the Environmental Working Group. It's a cosmetic database that lists thousands of products and "grades" them by giving them a rating from 0-10. Ten being the highest in potential toxins and zero being the lowest and safest. This makes it easy to know how your products rank and from there you can start the task of swapping them out for products with lower scores in the pace that works for you.

Personally I found that it worked best to swap out each product as it ran out to see if I could find a safer, greener version. But for you, it might be best to toss them all out and start fresh. Either way, head over to and see how your products rank.

Now that we've covered that let me share the "green" products I'm loving and using right now...

Here's a video breakdown of not only, the GREEN products I'm using, but also HOW I use them everyday...

The "Green" Beauty Products I'm Using (2015)

Body Wash/Hand Soap/Shave Gel- My go-to for all things soap is Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap.  It's plant-based, all natural, organic, and it has no additives or foaming agents.  Even better, Dr. Bronner's has 18 different uses! In order to make body wash I dilute some Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap about 40-50% with water and then put it in my shower.  Other scents they have include: baby mild, citrus, lavender, almond, and rose. Read more about why this is my favorite soap in the post, "A Green Alternative to Toxic Soap."

While I'm in the shower, I lather up with this Natural Loofa Exfoliating Bath Sponge to get a little bonus exfoliating in while I shower.

Face Wash + Toner I use Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash to wash my face twice a day and I basically use the Desert Essence Blemish Stick as a toner in how I follow up washing my face with a few swipes of the Blemish Stick. I've been really happy with these two in how they have kept breakouts at bay and my skin clear and smooth.

Face Cream + Eye Cream To keep me moisturized, I use Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer  and Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Eye Cream around my eyes. I went without these two moisturizers for a week when I first tried out the face wash and I found my skin was a little dry and tight, these moisturizers saved the day and made my skin soft, supple, and moisturized. Love them.

Lotion- To get a little color, I use this self-tanner: True Natural Self-Tanning Lotion. I love that it has a cleaner ingredient list than most self-tanners and it gives me just the right amount of glow. Even better, all you have to do is put it on after the shower like a lotion. Obviously you'll want to put it on carefully (aka make sure you rub it in well) so you don't get streaks, but that comes with the territory of using a self-tanner.

As you can tell by my pictures, this tanner does not give me a very dark tan like I just got back from the beach, but it's just enough to have a little color and that's all I want. Just so you know I also you use this on my face too.

I use the self-tanner after I get out of the shower in the morning, but before I go to bed, I lotion up again and this time I use Desert Essence Organics Hand and Body Lotion in the scent "Fragrance Free". I have used this lotion for years and throughout both pregnancies with the girls and never got any stretch marks. I love it and the way it moisturizes my skin in a non-greasy way. 

Can you tell I like Desert Essence Products?
It's true, they are one of my favorite brands because they combine eco-friendly ingredients with low prices! Most of the products you can find in this post all cost between $7-10, which might sound pricey compared to traditional beauty products, but in the world of green beauty products it's actually a great price. So if you are trying to stay on budget, like I am, this might be a grand brand for you to check out. (Disclaimer: I am not being compensated by Desert Essence, I purchased all their products with my own money and this is my honest opinion of them).

Deodorant- So in the past I used to make my own deodorant, but the baking soda in that recipe started to irritate my underarms a bit, so I switched to this really cool baking-soda free one:  Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream Baking Soda Free and I've been loving it.  My arm pits are happy and I've noticed a decrease in irritation...woo hoo! Now usually I stay away from anything with a scent, but the "Grapefruit" scent of this one is subtle, sweet, and natural. I actually really love the way it smells. Now word of caution, this is just a deodorant, so you will still sweat, but that is just a natural bodily function, so it's all good...but at least you won't stink (thanks to this deodorant!).

Here's what it looks like up close....I just apply it to my arm pits like a lotion. 

Shampoo and Conditioner- Many of you remember that a few years ago I used the "No Poo Method" for washing my hair which involves washing your hair with a simple baking soda and apple cider vinegar mixtures. And for almost 2 years that method worked great for me and I had no issues at all. But after Mila was born, I started experiencing postpartum hair loss like I never had with Avery. I gave it some time hoping it would go away, but I kept pulling more and more strands of hair out every time I would wash my hair or brush it. After a while  I started to wonder if the no-poo method was causing the hair loss to increase or if it had no effect at all and it was just the postpartum hormones that were causing me to lose hair...either way I had to do something.

My stylist suggested I try: Keraplast Intensive Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner  which incorporates a protein called keratin, which is derived from sheep's wool (yes, so sorry vegans) and tit works to rebuild and strengthen hair.  After a few weeks I noticed the hair loss stopped and my hair started looking healthier. Looking back I still wonder if it was the hormones that caused the issue, because the no-poo method worked just fine for me for years, but now that I've been on the Keraplast shampoo and conditioner, my hair looks better than ever. It seems longer, thicker, and just curlier.

In case you're wondering, you have to buy it through a stylist or a salon that distributes it, you can look here to see if there's one close to you.

I know it's not ideal, because there are some pesky ingredients in it that I wouldn't go out seeking to have in my "green" product line up, but for now it's working for me. I've learned in this green journey that I'm not looking for perfection, just progress. 

Hair Gel- Back in the day, I used to used expensive curl creams from my local health food store that cost me an arm and a leg, but these days I skip the store bought products altogether and make my own...using flax seeds!

Hair gel from flax seeds? You bet!
This is one awesome gel that is made from flax seeds and water, and only costs me 16 cents per recipe! It helps define my curls softly (so they aren't crunchy) and decrease frizz (most of the time. Read more about how to make it in my post, "How to Make Flax Seed Hair Gel".

Eye Liner-  I so loved my old eye liners of the past, but when it was time to go green, I had a hard time finding ones that I liked that didn't irritate my eyes, cost me a fortune, or wear off after just an hour or two. But I struck gold with this Jane Ireadale Eye Pencil in Black Brown. This stuff last so long that it's almost difficult to get off before you go to bed...which seems like a bad thing, but for me is a sign that it has some lasting power. Even better it's vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. 

Another favorite is Mineral Fusion Eye Pencil in the shade "Rough" and although it's great for a little lighter shade on my eyes, I use it most to fill in my eyebrows, mainly because it matches my eyebrow color perfectly. And hey, we all can use a little help on our eyebrows right?  (

Don't forget that eye pencil sharpener! If you use natural eye pencils, this is a must: Mineral Fusion Eye Pencil Sharpener.

Eye Shadow: I use Larenim Eye Shadow in "Bewitched Beige". Nothing fancy here, just need a little light shimmer for my eyes.
Larenim Eye Shadow

Mascara- A great affordable and healthy option I use for my mascara is Organic Wear Physician's Formula.  Their mascara is free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, and parabens.  

This is another product I've used for years and always seem to go back to, you can't beat it's low price ($7-8 online) and excellent color and lash effect. 

 Concealer- I don't use any foundation, powder, blush or bronzer, just this concealer for under my eyes and if I have any small blemishes. It's called: Bella Mari Concealer Medium Beige. This one is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free and actually contains SPF about one multi-tasking concealer!

Lip Balm- This is a difficult one to find vegan because most lip balms and chap sticks use beeswax, but I'm glad I continued my search because it led me to my new favorite brand: Hurraw! Mint Lip Balm. This lip balm company rocks, they are gluten-free, vegan, no-GMO and even RAW! This mint one is my favorite. I especially like the little tingle it gives my lips after I put it on, but if you aren't a fan of that they have a multitude of other flavors such as: Black Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut, Coffee Bean, Grapefruit, Orange, and Lemon just to name a few.

Avery's favorite Hurraw! Moon Balm...she says it "tastes like a cookie!"

Toothpaste: For the last area in my beauty routine I'm going to talk about my toothpaste. As with the deodorant above, I do have a recipe for a toothpaste on my blog, which you can find here,  but I'm always open to trying something new and after a recommendation for this Uncle Harry's brand I knew I had to give it a try. To give more than just one of their products a try, I purchased this Uncle Harry's Remineralization Kit that gave me sample sizes of 3 products:

What I find so interesting about these products is that they do not contain baking soda or xylitol, common natural toothpaste ingredients, and instead use things like: calcium carbonate, sea salt, mustard seed powder, and essential oils (for the tooth powder). Even cooler was the way you put it on by dropping some powder onto your palm, getting your toothbrush wet and then scooping up the powder to brush your teeth with. Quite the change from traditional toothpaste in the squeeze tube, but you know me, I love anything that's a little off the beaten path. 

Their products (the tooth powder specifically) claim to be capable of: balancing the ph in your mouth, freshening breath, restoring tooth enamel, and gently whitening. And as for the remineralizing liquid it a solution that I use throughout as a little mouthwash after I've eaten anything to reestablish a healthy ph in my mouth.  Very cool. 

A word of caution, these products are strong...the essential oils used are very powerful in their cleaning action and in how they can do a lot to freshen your mouth and your breath so go easy on the amount you use (especially on the mouthwash!). I can't wait to see how they help my teeth in the long run, since in the past year or so I seem to have been more prone to a cavity or two. 

Well that wraps up my entire beauty routine, I hope this helps to give you some ideas when it comes to "greening" your beauty products. If you have any questions about the products I use, I'd be happy to answer them.

Do you have any favorite "green" beauty products that you're using right now? Share below!

*Disclaimer: I purchased all of these products with my own money and this is my honest opinion of them.*

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