Hi, friends! How are you? We’re talking all about nontoxic body product swaps today. And this post is entirely not sponsored. I researched, found and paid for all of these items on my own. This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while, because it’s becoming increasingly important to me, and you’ll soon see why …
Before we get to that — let’s do a super-short weekend recap. Ours was pretty routine, so we can cover it quickly. Dave was working on Friday night at a game, so I was home chilling with baby Brady and Rudy the pup. On Saturday, I taught Bootybarre, then we went out to a late lunch for big salads from our stand-by spot, Urban Plates, and did some shopping for some upcoming trips we have. On Sunday, we were out and about for lunch again and were on a mission to find a big mirror for our mantle in the living room, and we were successful, landing on this beauty from Pier One. The rest of the day was spent doing all the usual Sunday stuff at home, like giving little Brady a bath (so cute, every single time), doing laundry and making a pizza in the pizza oven. I mean, pretty thrilling stuff, folks. And I had every intention of having this post published sooner on the blog, but Brady’s lack of naps put a bit of a wrench in my productivity, so thank you for your patience.
Now that we’re caught up, let’s talk nontoxic body product swaps …
Understanding that healthy living is more than fitness and food
To start, let’s get some background …
Over the past five years, I’ve completely opened my eyes to true healthy living and what that means. And I must admit, that for the first few years, I sort’ve thought healthy living was nothing but food and fitness — you know, going hard in the gym and eating a lot of chicken and salads — ohhh boy.
Well, now I know that it’s much more than that. It’s self-care. It’s mindfulness. It’s having strong relationships. It’s having balance. It’s acknowledging and appreciating your natural hormones (because nobody wants hormonal imbalances … been there and done that). It’s trying to live a more environmentally friendly life and being good to the planet. And it’s also about avoiding toxins as much as reasonably possible — but without getting obsessive about it.
I have so much work to do when it comes to all of the home and beauty products that I use, and I’ll never be completely toxin-free, because I like to get my hair done, and I’m not about to give up self-tanner either. However, there are a few swaps that I’ve made recently that are for the better, and every little bit counts in this scenario.
Why do clean body products matter? Our skin is our biggest organ, and it plays a huge role in our lives. It protects us, accepts and feels touch, is our bodies’ heating and cooling system and so much more. And whatever you put on your skin is absorbed directly and quickly into your body, so it’s actually pretty important that you try to choose cleaner products when you can. And as a note, there aren’t as many federal regulations on body products, so it’s up to you to look at the ingredients, and you should be informed.
Five nontoxic body product swaps I’ve made to my daily routine
As always, nobody’s perfect, and you don’t have to throw out everything in your medicine cabinet right now, but maybe start with one item and go from there. That’s what I did. Just one thing at a time …
And by the way, I would always use up whatever conventional product I had before, because I hate to waste stuff — even if it’s “toxic.”
Here we go …
Natural deodorant instead of conventional antiperspirant/deodorant
This is a big one, so it gets mentioned first. I tried to use natural deodorant a few years ago and thought it was okay, but I wasn’t truly motivated to make the switch, so I didn’t and went right back to my old standard of Secret. Then, after I got pregnant, I thought it was the perfect time to clean up some of my body products.
Right around that time, I got sent an awesome care package of natural deodorant from EO brand. And while I loved the deodorant wipes they sent just because they were convenient, I didn’t like the actual deodorant, which came in a spray form. It didn’t work for me. I feel like I smelled and maybe was sweating even more than normal when using it. Granted, I definitely had some hormonal swings while pregnant and even now postpartum to be accounted for, so it may have not been product specific, but since then, I’ve finally stumbled on a natural deodorant that I like, and it’s about time I share it on the blog.
I found this deodorant by Schmidt’s at, of all places, Target, where it’s pretty cheap. However, my Target only carries one scent, and there are tons more available at health food stores and online. When I researched the brand, I loved what I found. Schmidt’s natural deodorant has no aluminum, no artificial fragrance, no parabens, no phthalates, and it’s certified vegan and cruelty free. Why does all this matter? Because aluminum in conventional antiperspirants is supposed to clog your sweat ducts to stop you from sweating, and that isn’t actually a good thing, because your body needs to be able to naturally eliminate rather than trap the toxins it wants to remove. In addition, conventional deodorants have synthetic fragrances and chemicals, like phthalates, which can cause headaches, allergies, fertility issues and more. No good, people. No good. These chemicals are called “endocrine disruptors” because they mess with your natural endocrine system, and it’s a huge mess you don’t want to be in.
So does natural deodorant work? Yes, in a different way. It absorbs some of the wetness, rather than blocking it. And the natural ingredients neutralize any odor. I don’t even notice that I’m wearing it, which means it’s not causing any issues, and it’s working how it should. And yes, I’m a big sweater.
Here’s what you should know about switching to natural deodorant: Some people say to go a few days with NOTHING to let your system rebalance, then start the natural products. With Schmidt’s, you want to apply it by holding the stick under your arm for about 30 seconds to let it soften and warm up the product so that it goes on smoothly — you’ll notice it’s a bit hard at first. Also, if you develop a rash or irritation, make sure you aren’t putting it on too soon after shaving — one of the active ingredients is baking soda, which can cause redness if you have sensitive skin at first. Other than that, it will take a little while for your body to get used to it, but then you should have smooth sailing.
If this brand doesn’t work for you, there are others out there you can try too. I’ve only used the bergamot + lime scent, and I’m planning to try the charcoal + magnesium scent next. I’m a convert, and I feel good about this change.
Almond oil instead of baby oil as makeup remover
Okay, are you sitting down for this one?
Did you know that baby oil is actually a byproduct of crude oil and gasoline? It’s a mineral oil, which entirely synthetic — nothing natural about it. This is NOT something we want to put on our babies. And I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t use baby oil to remove my eye makeup and other makeup all the way up until last year (it’s a trick I learned of first in college and continued for far too long). When I learned how bad baby oil was, I decided to use my trusty almond oil to get rid of my makeup instead. Bye bye, baby oil!
I’ve written an entire post about almond oil, so you know my love for it, and it is an incredibly versatile and wholly natural product you can use to remove makeup (even waterproof mascara, which is likely toxic in its own regard, but as I said at the beginning, we pick and choose what products we want to be clean and which we keep as is … every little change helps), it moisturizes the skin and just feels great. And it totally works. You won’t miss baby oil at all! I even use almond oil in my hair, by the way.
Natural toothpaste instead of conventional toothpaste
Sometimes I like to see if Dave will participate in my “healthy living endeavors” and I had him try my new more natural toothpaste, and he wasn’t a fan. Oh well! Nonetheless, I’ve been using Hello natural toothpaste for almost a year now, and I literally cannot stomach using regular Crest or other conventional toothpastes any longer after making the switch. They just taste wrong.
Toothpaste not only goes on your teeth, it definitely gets absorbed in your mouth and goes into your bloodstream too, so of course you want the ingredients to be clean. I tried Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and thought it was okay, but I’m much more a fan of this Hello product, particularly the pure mint and whitening flavor.
So does it work? Yes, just like regular toothpaste. The taste is great, it does a good job cleaning my teeth (and I never have cavities, in case you’re wondering), and has a fresh and light texture to it.
This Hello toothpaste is free of artificial sweeteners, free of micro-beads, free of artificial fragrances and free of triclosan, which is a controversial ingredient in most conventional toothpastes, also considered an endocrine disruptor and has been linked to a host of issues including cancer. Uh-oh.
I’m definitely interested in trying more of the Hello toothpaste flavors, and I also want to try the toothpaste from Schmidt’s as well. This is another change I will definitely be sticking to.
Coconut oil instead of fragrance body lotion
I have to give a shout-out to coconut oil, in its unrefined and purest form, because it does everything, including serving as an excellently clean and nontoxic body lotion.
I have a separate jar for the bathroom than I have for the kitchen, and I use coconut oil as my all-over lotion, sometimes my cuticle oil and sometimes even my chapstick. It’s that good. And I rubbed coconut oil on my big pregnant belly every single day to keep it moisturized during those long nearly 38 weeks. Speaking of pregnancy, I was lucky enough not to get any stretch marks, but that is thanks to genetics, not moisturizing.
Now remember, when it’s cold, coconut oil is a solid, so you have to warm it up in your hands in order to rub it into the skin. It’s easy to do though. And it does an excellent job moisturizing the skin, in my opinion. I’ve never looked back to fragrance-ridden body lotions full of questionable ingredients.
My favorite is Trader Joe’s organic coconut oil, because the price is certainly right, but there are plenty of great options out there. Three cheers for coconut oil!
Rosehip oil instead of facial lotion
This is the newest addition to my clean beauty and nontoxic body arsenal: Majestic Pure Rosehip Oil. What is it? An oil naturally extracted from the seeds of roses, or something like that. I purchased this kind on Amazon, and it’s the first brand I’ve used, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I like it.
My skin is a little blotchy and dry during this lovely postpartum time, so I’m applying rosehip oil nightly after washing my face to see if it helps. So far, it definitely helps with hydrating my skin. And it’s a much better choice than slathering my face with a bunch of chemicals that I can’t pronounce.
The weird thing about rosehip oil is that it’s orange, and so when you put it on your face, you get a slightly orange hue — making it a better choice for evening application rather than before an outing. Nonetheless, I like that I can liberally rub it all over my hands, cuticles, neck and eyes, which isn’t always something you want to do with a toxic or very expensive face lotion.
Apparently, much like almond oil and coconut oil, you can use rosehip oil for just about everything, and I’m all about multipurpose and super clean and natural products.
So there you go! That’s five swaps!
Some thoughts on choosing cleaner nontoxic body products
As I said at the beginning of this post, there’s only so much we can do and control (like the products used on you when you get your hair done, etc.). When you think about avoiding toxic products, you may get a little overwhelmed.
But I like to think of it like this: Every single little change you make is a benefit, so even if all you decide to do is check the labels of one of your body products to make sure it’s free of the harsh stuff (like all of the products shown above and below), then that’s a win.
What to look out for? The following words on the ingredients list: parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben), artificial fragrances, aluminum, phthalates and triclosan to name a few.
Just remember that your skin absorbs what you put onto it, so try and be mindful when you can. I’m on a quest to change up my beauty routine a bit too, and I plan to report back and share more on that soon.
Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have any other product or brand recommendations for me to try! Be good! Be mostly clean! But don’t get carried away! 🙂Healthy living is more than food and fitness. Check out these nontoxic body swaps on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
Do you use any natural body or beauty products?
What’s one change outside of fitness and food you’d like to make for your health?