Given that Earth Day is just around the corner, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite personal care brands that are not only safer for humans , but are also kinder to our planet.
When I first embarked on my natural skincare journey a few years ago, my primary motivation was health-related. Suffering from hormonal imbalances (including hypothyroidism), I was on a mission to gradually eliminate endocrine disrupters and toxins from my personal care routine.
My logic? Well.. while personal care products are typically not ingested orally (toothpaste being an exception), it seemed quite bonkers to slather heavy metals and toxic ingredients over the body’s largest organ-our skin. While diet is undeniably a major factor in one’s health, chemicals absorbed through the skin bypass the filtration system of the liver and can enter directly into the bloodstream.
Even more alarming? When it comes to cosmetic and beauty products sold in the United States, consumers are essentially unprotected by the FDA In fact, under current legislation, cosmetic companies aren’t required to conduct safety assessments on their products or disclose ingredients on their packaging.
While this “non-toxic” endeavor is quite a complex issue (and quite confusing given I am not a scientist, expert or medical doctor), the products I have listed below are , at the very least, a better alternative to harsher products which have the potential to not only cause disruptions to human health, but to our environment as well.
Regardless of the various scientific findings and opinions involving this convoluted matter, it really boils down to making better choices one purchase at a time.
Here are some of my favorite personal care brands…
- Pacifica- Being abnormally sensitive to smell, perfumes have always been tricky for me (most give me a headache or make me want to vomit). As soon as I came across Pacifica’s body sprays and perfumes, I was completely addicted. Not only do they smell delicious (Indian Coconut Nectar Is my favorite scent), the blends are 100 percent Phthalate free and completely vegan/cruelty-free- using a blend of natural oils. I am also pretty in love with their Sea Foam Face Wash which is sulfate-free. In need of a body lotion instead? The delicious scents offered with their body butters will not disappoint. Plus, the lotions are formulated without the use of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil or triclosan.
Earth-Friendly: Not only does this company manufacturer their products in recyclable packaging, they offer their own recycling incentive program for customers. The company also allocates a portion of their proceeds to support clean water.
- Aveda-In case you haven’t noticed, I have a ton of freakin’ hair. How did I manage to grow my locks so long? One crucial component to my success is the type of products I use. I do my best to nurture my hair with high-quality, plant-based products. To protect my color, I religiously use Aveda’s “Color Conserve” Shampoo. Not only is it much gentler than most shampoos, infused with certified organic lavender, geranium, grapefruit and other pure flower and plant essences, it will leave your shower smelling like a high-end spa. To intensively moisturize my hair, I use Aveda’s “Dry Remedy” moisturizing masque- once a week. I also use “Damage Remedy” daily hair repair before heat styling.
Earth-Friendly: Aveda is the first beauty company manufacturing with 100% certified wind power. How impressive is that? In addition, Aveda’s packaging is comprised of post-consumer recyclables. Each Earth Month, Aveda partners with Charity Water to help fund access to clean water.
- Schmidt’s – While converting to naturally derived personal care products, I have experienced plenty of failures….especially where deodorant is concerned. Basically living in the gym, my body requires something super effective (I sweat like a man). After using tons of plant-based deodorants (and scaring/stinking away lots of innocent by-passers) , Schmidt’s is the only freakin’ one of them that has worked for me. I find the “Rose + Vanilla” scent particularly effective. Given that most mainstream deodorants contain aluminum, finding a non-toxic version should be a top priority to those of you just beginning your “natural” journey. I would rather smell like a dirty hippie than put toxins on my lymph nodes…just sayin’! Thanks to Schmidt’s I don’t have to compromise.
Earth-Friendly: Not only does Schmidt’s offer their own recycling incentive program, for select purchases, they are donating a portion of their proceeds to protect animals and conserve the environment (via the Jane Goodall Institute).
4. Dr. Bronner’s – I am sure most of you have heard of Dr. Bronner’s by now, but I thought this brand was still worth mentioning. In terms of a naturally derived, all purpose soap, you really cannot go wrong. While you can use this product as a shampoo, toothpaste, facial soap or even hand soap, I prefer to only use it as a body wash (be sure to dilute before use!). My personal favorite is the “18-in-1 Hemp Lavender Pure-Castile Soap”. Using it in the shower is like a relaxing aromatherapy session. I also use it to occasionally clean my make-up brushes.
Earth-friendly: Not only are Dr. Bronner’s products sold in post-consumer recycled packaging, the company utilizes solar panels to manufacture their products.
5. Acure- As far as natural facial care is concerned, Acure has been my favorite. Free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, Phthalates, Silicone or Petrolatum, their products have a very light and clean feel to them. With oily skin, I try my best to stray from “greasy” products. I am currently loving their “Brilliantly Brightening Night Cream”.
Earth-friendly: A portion of this company’s proceeds go to charitable organizations such as Turning Green- described as “a student led movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities.”
6. Boka- During my search for a fluoride-free toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth (and actually backed by a legit dentist), I came across Boka. Free of parabens, endocrine disruptors and fluoride, the active ingredient, Nano-Hydroxyapatite, is 100 percent non-toxic. n-HA not only fortifies and remineralizes the teeth, but acts as an anti-plaque agent. Even better? Unlike most charcoal formulations, Boka is mess-free.
Earth-friendly: For every toothbrush purchased, Boka donates one to their non-profit partner, Surge- an organization committed to providing clean water access.
While I will return to my regularly-scheduled home/DIY content next week, I felt compelled to share a cause I find of considerable importance. Unfortunately, our legislative and economic systems don’t adequately serve the well-being of it’s people or the planet. It is up to us, the consumers, to make smarter decisions for not only our bodies, but our environment. Although I am still relatively new to this matter, I hope I provided some basic direction for those of you just starting out. (At the very least, hopefully you won’t have to live with stinky armpits as was my case when I was just learning the ropes).
Wishing you all a happy Earth Month! Now get out there and design some good vibes!