Go-to Nontoxic Skincare & Makeup Products
Although I grew up spending Saturdays at NARA and Bobbi Brown makeup counters getting lathered in product for Prom and other high school events, I really didn’t know better. If I had been educated on the toxic ingredients in typical makeup products, and the impact that they had on my skin and hormones, I probably would have reconsidered which makeup counter I was sitting behind.
So many of the popular makeup brands used by teenage girls and women are disruptive to our health in a variety of ways. The following ingredients are typically found in makeup products, and have a powerful effect on our hormones and fertility as women.
Phthalates (which have an ability to mimic human hormones, and therefore can be disruptive to the endocrine system)
Lead (a known neurotoxin that has been linked to miscarriage and fertility issues)
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (BHUT, DMDM hydantoin, bronopol, methenamine and quarternium-15, to name a few…)
Petroleum-based compounds (which enhance the penetration of other ingredients into your skin)
Parabens (known to mimic estrogen and cause breast cancer)
Oxinoxate (another hormone disruptor)
Artificial fragrances (made up of a variety of chemicals and fillers)
The list goes on…and you can find a lot more information on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database – including EWG-Verified products (aka products that are trusted and nontoxic)!
When I started making real shifts in my lifestyle after graduating college, makeup and skincare was one of the first things that I tackled. I was starting to transition off of my hormonal birth control at the time and knew that acne would be a side effect of doing so – so I felt like I had no choice but to do everything that it would take in order to keep my skin naturally clear and free from harmful chemicals. So, I tackled my makeup bag and bathroom cabinets with full force.
Switching over to nontoxic products was seriously one of the best decisions that I’ve made for my hormonal and overall health. I have seen an incredible difference in the way that my skin looks and feels, and I feel at peace knowing that I’m not surging my bloodstream with endocrine-disruptors and toxins via products that I’m putting onto my skin.
I know there are an overwhelming amount of products and brands to choose from in the nontoxic beauty and skincare market right now (which is not a bad thing!), so I wanted to share all of my favorites with you guys so that you could find it easier to start shopping and switching out your own products! Below, I’ve categorized products based on what part of the body they are for. All of these products are PURE and are my above-all favorites at the moment.
FOR THE HAIR
This has been a tough one for me because honestly I’ve tried so many nontoxic shampoos and conditioners at this point and there are only a few that I’ve truly enjoyed using and that haven’t left my hair feeling like a limp, tangled mess (which, unfortunately is sometimes how it is when you decide to use shampoo and conditioner that don’t contain all of the nasty, penetrating softeners). It’s hard to let go of haircare brands that leave your hair smelling delicious and feeling super soft, but honestly these products are not at all good for your body and are worth leaving behind.
Here are my go-to faves:
1. BeautyCounter Daily Shampoo & Daily Conditioner
You have to be a little careful with how much conditioner you use here, because when I’ve used a bit too much my hair has looked pretty greasy. However, absolutely love these products even though they are a little more expensive.
2. Avalon Organics Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner
This product is basic and gets the job done. I’ve gone through multiple bottles and don’t really have any complaints! Plus, I’ve always found it on sale at Whole Foods or Sprouts.
3. Alaffia Everyday Coconut Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner
This is hands down my favorite brand of nontoxic shampoo and conditioner that I’ve found at Whole Foods & Sprouts. It smells really good and I love the conditioner. I also really love the company’s mission – to empower and build up African communities that have been harshly impacted by poverty and inequality.
FOR THE FACE – SKINCARE
This was the easiest thing to tackle because I discovered SkinKC in Kansas City and immediately fell in love with all of the products! Sadly, SkinKC is only in Kansas City at the moment, but a majority of the products can also be purchased online. Plus, not EVERYTHING that I use for skincare is the SkinKC brand.
This is what’s up:
1. SkinKc Lemonaide Foaming Face Wash
The simplest, best face wash that I’ve found. It feels good, cleans my skin and makeup off, and smells good too. I’ve been using this for a full year now! I also love that it’s foam.
2. SkinKC Fruity Face Scrub
I recently purchased this because I wanted an exfoliator for my face. This is very gentle and smells good! I have to use quite a bit of it to get the exfoliating effect, but I think it’s worth the purchase.
3. SkinKC Daily Greens Nourishing and Hydrating Repair Cream
This moisturizer is so light and refreshing. I mostly use coconut oil for my moisturizer, but this is what I love otherwise.
4. Lemon Lips Shiny Lip Balm
I LIVE FOR THIS STUFF. Truly. If you order only one thing based off of this blog post, order this lip balm. It’s so smooth and feels so good on your lips. Plus – it’s lemony goodness.
5. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, Broad Spectrum SPF 30
One thing I don’t like about a lot of natural sunscreens is that they turn my face WHITE AF. Although this sunscreen does have a bit of a tint on my face because it uses zinc for protection, it’s not nearly as bad as others. Plus, I love the feel and smell of it and it doesn’t wear off easily! There are also tinted sunscreens available if you want your sunscreen and makeup base in one.
6. SkinKC Cranberry Orange Sugar Scrub
Aside from making my own scrubs sometimes, this is the only one that I purchase as of now! I love having a scrub that I can exfoliate my body with 3-4 times a week. Also, this scrub is super moisturizing because of the oils, so it not only smells and feels super good but also leaves your skin hydrated.
FOR THE FACE – MAKEUP
Thank goodness there are so many nontoxic makeup lines coming out of the woodworks these days. Even brands like Clinique seem to be making a conscious effort to provide products that have less harsh ingredients. Although there is quite a bit to choose from, I’d argue that the brands I’ve highlighted below are top-tier…
Also, because I know people will ask – I don’t use blush so I don’t have a good recommendation there.
1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Powder Foundation
I’ve never really been one to enjoy liquid foundation, but it’s always been hard for me to find a good face powder that has enough coverage without feeling cakey. I’m obsessed with 100% Pure’s face powder and have been using it for over one year now. It’s light, matches my skin tone perfectly and stays on all day. The brand also has a cream and liquid foundation if that is more your style. This stuff has NEVER made me breakout, either! I even feel good sleeping in it over-night, although I rarely do.
2. W3LL PEOPLE Natural Bio Bronzer Powder
This bronzer provides the perfect amount of color to my face. Awesome ingredients, and I like that it’s powdered (again, not a cream/liquid foundation/bronzer fan).
3. W3LL PEOPLE Natural Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer
This is truly the only nontoxic concealer I’ve found that provides incredible coverage, lasts a long time and doesn’t make me break out. My face has always been pretty sensitive to concealer, so I’m so happy that I found this one that does the job well and doesn’t clog my pores.
4. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara
This ish is AMAZING. If you watch my Instagram stories when I have makeup on and wonder why my eyelashes look so long, it’s because of this mascara. I put on multiple layers, but this stuff is amazing. Also, I can sleep with it on and it doesn’t irritate my eyes or skin. It honestly gets thicker and better as the months go by too…I swear the stuff works better everyday.
5. RMS Beauty Eye Polishes
I rarely use eyeliner or eyeshadow, but when I do, I’m using RMS Beauty Eye Polish. It’s creamy and shiny. Only downside is that it doesn’t dry – so it stays creamy and soft on your lids. HOWEVER, I still advocate for these because the colors look gorgeous and shiny on the eyes and pair well with other shadows if you want to layer colors that you already have.
FOR THE BODY – SKINCARE
I am not a big body products person, so I haven’t been very adventurous with my product use in this section. The items below are ones that I’ve just fallen in love with and have never strayed from!
1. SkinKC Naked Gel: Face and Body Wash
So pure, so clean. Simplest yet best body wash that I’ve found. At the store in Kansas City you can find versions of this gel with scents like peppermint and citrus.
2. Alaffia Neem Mint Shower Gel
I love the Alaffia brand (mentioned them in the hair section because I use their shampoo and conditioner). Their body washes and shower gels are awesome. I’m linking you to the Neem Mint one because it’s my favorite, but there are also other natural scents like coconut and pineapple that are wonderful too.
3. SkinKC Apricot Orange Light Body Lotion
This lotion is so light and refreshing and moisturizes without leaving you greasy. When I’m not using coconut oil for moisturizer, this is my go-to.
4. Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant – Lime Mint
I know this is a tough one for people. I feel like regular antiperspirant is the last thing that people are willing to give up because they know about the “detox phase” that your body goes through after discontinuing use of regular deodorant. Although it’s true that your body goes through a 2-4 week detox phase when transitioning to natural deodorant, it’s SO WORTH IT! Antiperspirant literally blocks your sweat glands – preventing you from sweating. Sweating needs to happen because this is one of the main ways that your body detoxes. Natural deo lets your armpits breathe!!! and is so much better for your endocrine system.
I know this is crazy, but I literally don’t use perfume or any other fragrances in the morning. The reason is because they are literally straight chemical!! Not tryna put that on my body. Instead, I just put on my deodorant and let my natural aroma flyyyy. However, I have fallen in love with two “fragrances…” that serve as my ‘perfume’ when I want them.
1. Essential Oil – Bergamont
I love this scent. I put 7-10 drops on the inside of my arms in the morning and it lasts until the afternoon! You can reapply as much as you want to. Essential oils are a great alternative to perfume because they are pure and have a ton of healing properties. If bergamot isn’t a scent that you love, then find one that you do!
2. Rose Water or Spray
Not linking this one because I’ve only been able to find it in stores at SkinKC. However, I know that this is available at other apothecaries and natural skin stores! It’s literally just water infused with roses. It smells so good and is really refreshing. You could easily make your own if you wanted to! It tends to be pretty pricey in stores because roses are so expensive.
Just as my transition from regular skincare and beauty products to natural ones was a journey, so will yours be! Don’t put pressure on yourself to throw away everything in your makeup bag and bathroom cupboard today. It took me months to fully transition over. I would suggest just picking a part of the body to start with – maybe the face and armpits because the face is coming in contact with makeup and skincare products daily and the armpit detox takes a few weeks so you might as well get started!
As I mentioned, there are so many wonderful brands out there, and just because I’m not using products of other brands doesn’t meant that they aren’t just as great! A few other nontoxic skincare and makeup lines that I have used, heard of or will likely experiment with at some point include…
If there is a brand that I didn’t mention, please share with me below! I’d love to try some new things this upcoming year. Also, if you have questions regarding the transition to nontoxic products or the armpit detox, I’m here! and love hearing from you guys so please reach out.