Natural Non-Toxic Skin and Body Care

Natural Non-Toxic Skin and Body Care

You guys! I’m so excited to share this post with you. It’s been a long time coming, and here it finally is! A little about my journey toward using non-toxic products. I started using some natural products in my early 20s for environmental and hormonal reasons. This was around the same time that I started to notice how much plastic we use on a regular basis and was reading about how it can negatively effect our hormones. I rid my kitchen of all plastic tupperware and made an effort to not buy or use any food packaging or containers with BPA. At this time, I was also making an effort to choose environmentally friendly, non-toxic products over mainstream, chemical-laden products, but I would say I was probably only 65% on board. I was still using toxic makeup and probably a few other toxic products.

Fast forward about 5 years. It was the middle of winter. It started as a small blemish/breakout around my mouth. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Slowly, as a week past and the blemish had spread, I started to realize it wasn’t just a break out, but I didn’t know what it was. It was red, scaly, burning and itchy. I tried using apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, anything to soothe it and try to get it to minimize. As the weeks rolled on, it got worse and worse. Finally, after the breakout/rash had been there for a couple months and was covering 40% of my face, I went to see my best friend’s mom, who is a esthetician specializing in natural skincare. She thought it might be an infection of some sort and said I should go see a doctor. I made an appointment with my doctor and when I went in, she knew right away that it was perioral dermatitis. I was grateful I at least had an answer. She also said it’s fairly common among women. I agreed to a low-dose antibiotic because at that point I just wanted this nasty rash gone. Then when I got home I spent a good deal of time on the internet reading about perioral dermatitis and what natural solutions there were. Luckily for me, after some trial and error, I figured out mine was an allergic reaction to fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate (sls). I say lucky because I was able to simply cut these ingredients out of all my skin and body care products and the rash went away. Some women who suffer from perioral dermatitis don’t have as clear of an answer to what is causing it.

This diagnosis was the ultimate push to throw out my toxic makeup I sometimes wore, my toothpaste, my shampoo, basically anything that had any ingredients that could be potential irritants to my skin. I’ve always been a sensitive being in terms of allergic reactions in my body. Over the course of my life, I’ve suffered from food allergies, seasonal allergies, mold allergies, allergetic asthma and various forms of skin allergies. With each of those, I’ve always come back to treating the problem naturally. Western medicine often acts as a bandaid instead of addressing the problem head on. I’ve found herbs and natural remedies to be far more superior in eradicating the problem in most cases. I don’t like to say that I absolutely never use toxic products because that’s simply not true, and I also think labels are extremely limiting and dangerous in that way. I still get gel manicures. I dye my hair. But products I’m using on a daily basis are all natural and non-toxic.

Here are my favorite tips for taking care of your skin:

1.) Drink LOTS of water. Like more than you think is a lot. Keeping the skin and body hydrated is essential.

2.) Avoid or cut back on alcohol, dairy and sugar. In my experience, these 3 things have strong visual effects on my skin. Alcohol dehydrates and makes fine lines and wrinkles stand out. Dairy causes me to break out. Sugar causes inflammation, making my face look tired and puffy. Not to mention, all 3 of these things are terrible for your immune system.

3.) Pamper your skin! Treat it like gold. Do face masks weekly or multiple times a week. Invest in quality products that make your skin feel good. Exfoliate! You don’t have to pay top dollar for a facial at your local spa. Just give yourself one. It’s nice to splurge on a facial once or twice a year, but take matters into your own hands and pamper your skin on a regular basis.

4.) Wear SPF and avoid the sun as much as possible. I used to bake in the sun with no sunscreen on in my early 20s. When I turned 26, something clicked in my head and I started wearing SPF and covering my head/face when I’m in the sun. I still like to enjoy the sun when I’m on a beach vacation, but I always wear sunscreen (and reapply often) and cover my face with a large sunhat.

5.) Eat clean, organic whole foods! You can’t expect to have amazing glowing skin if you’re eating a bunch of crap. If you’re already eating clean, organic, whole foods, try adding some supplements that will give your skin that extra boost. I love collagen peptides, tocos, he shou wu and astragalus, but there are so many more.

6.) Tell yourself you have beautiful skin every single day. My dear friend, Reem, who’s taught me so much about natural skincare and beauty (and who happens to have the most beautiful skin I’ve ever seen), gives her clients this advice and follows it herself. Years ago when I had a perioral dermatitis outbreak, she told me to repeat this mantra everyday in the morning when I woke up and looked into the mirror. I started doing it then and I’ve continued to do it everyday since then. Our words are powerful. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. “I have beautiful skin. I have beautiful skin. I have beautiful skin.”

I’m about to turn 31, so my skin goals have changed considerably as I’m starting to notice the effects of aging. It’s always best to consider your skin goals before deciding which products to buy. That being said, here are the products I’m currently using:

Cleanser: Eminence Lemon Cleanser. I also love Dr. Haushka’s Cleansing Milk and Cleansing Cream. I usually just wash my face with a cleanser at night. In the morning, I typically wash my face with warm water and finish with several splashes of cold water.

Toner: January Labs Restorive Tonic Mist and Mountain Rose Herbs Rose Geranium Hydrosol. I’m obsessed with spritzing my face. I do it like 20 times a day. The main reason I use a toner is that it balances pH, preventing the skin from becoming too dry or too oily after cleansing, and it tightens your pores. January Labs Tonic Mist also reactivates the Revitalizing Day Cream when spritzed throughout the day.

Serum: Cellex-C Hydra 5 B-Complex. Hyaluronic acid is really good for treating PD.

Day Cream: January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream.

Night Cream: January Labs Retexturizing Night Cream. I’ve seen greater results using this line of products than any other product line I’ve ever used. Highly recommend.

SPF: Suntegrity Face and Body.

Body Moisturizer: Coconut oil is such an amazing moisturizer, and it’s cheap! If you’re looking for something more, I’ve recently been using Drifter Organic Body Butters, and I absolutely love them.

Soap: Pre de Provence Honey Almond Soap. I’ve been using this stuff for years, and I will never, ever stop using it. It’s the absolute best.

Shampoo: R+Co Color Shampoo. I only shampoo 1-2 times a week. I use Acure Dry Shampoo on days in between. I don’t condition (don’t tell my hair stylist that).

Deodorant: Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Geranium.

Floss: Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Floss.

Toothpaste: Radius Coconut Oil Toothpaste Ginger Citrus.

Perfume: Le Labo Gaiac 10.

Makeup: As you’ve probably noticed if you’ve ever seen me, I rarely wear makeup. I use Mineral Fusion Pressed Base on my face occasionally/when I go out, Gabriel Cosmetics Mascara and Blush.

Face Masks: For the most part, I make my own inspired by the recipes in Elemental Energy. Recipes below! I’ve also been using January Labs Power Peel Exfoliant, and I love it.

Mountain Rose Herbs is a great resource for buying ingredients to make your own skin care products. For all of these masks, mix all ingredients until well combined using a small wooden spoon. Apply to face (and neck, if desired). Let sit for 10-15 minutes then rinse face with warm water.

Charcoal Rose Detox Mask
3 capsules activated charcoal
2 teaspoons bentonite clay
1 Tablespoon rose water
Optional: rose petals

Spirulina-Silver Anti-Aging Mask
1 1/2 teaspoons spirulina
2 tablespoons 100% aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon colloidal silver

Matcha-Honey Firming Mask
1 Tablespoon matcha powder
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 Tablespoon 100% aloe vera gel

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29 comments

Lisa Grover April 19, 2017 - 4:45 pm

Thanks so much for sharing – my skin has gone haywire since I have entered perimenopause and I have been slowly researching an trying non-toxic skin care and make up for a while. Your advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Have you ever tried the Indie Lee or Kopari skin care line?

Reply
alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:29 pm

Hi Lisa,

So glad you’ve found some of what I’ve shared helpful. I’ve never tried those lines. I will look into them though.

XO

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Sasha April 19, 2017 - 6:36 pm

Ali,

This is so fun! Thanks fir sharing your story and what you use. I had a perioral dermatitis outbreak a few years ago too. It sucks! Chinese herbs took care of it in my case. And eliminating all the products I was using. Thanks for the tip about positive thoughts because I think that’s a huge issue for me personally. I’ve always had negative feelings about my skin and I’m sure it just perpetuates the problem. I just started doing facial oil pulling. Have you tried it? As for deoderant, I personally use a mineral salt crystal deoderant and find that it works really well for me. I also love my Auromere ayurvedic toothpaste which has neem and licorice in it and Trilogy’s rose francium must. Thanks again for sharing!

Sasha

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:31 pm

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Sasha! I’m glad you’ve found some of what I’ve shared to be helpful/inspiring. I’ve never tried facial oil pulling, or maybe I have…? Is it different than regular oil pulling? I’ve done the kind when you swish coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. I love it! It’s so great for gum health, too.

XO

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Reem April 19, 2017 - 8:03 pm

Thank you Ali for reminding me of my own advice. 😉 I’m down to talk skin anytime! I’m always researching and testing natural skin products and beauty methods! Muah!

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:31 pm

You’re such an inspiration, Reem! Thanks for all your tips and advice.

XO

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Kate April 19, 2017 - 9:17 pm

I just started my natural deodorant venture and found some good recommendations from Katie Lemons blog, Twist of Lemons. She tested out tons of different all natural deodorants, so maybe this will help you find a product you like or lead you in the right direction! http://twistoflemons.com/the-quest-for-an-all-natural-deodorant/

Also, have you tried any products from Coco Kind? I’ve only tried her facial cleansing oil (which is great) but have heard lots of good things.

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:33 pm

Hi Kate,

I just started using Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Geranium, and I absolutely love it! Highly recommend. I’ve never tried Coco Kind. I will check them out. Thanks!

XO

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Lindsay April 20, 2017 - 12:04 am

Ursa Major of VT has an amazing all-natural deodorant that uses hops instead of baking soda!! It seriously works, for me & my bf.
Can’t wait to try your masks! Thanks for sharing.

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:34 pm

Hi Lindsay!

I just started using Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Geranium, and I absolutely love it! Highly recommend.

XO

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Bogdana April 20, 2017 - 2:04 pm

Dear Alison, do you buy products from Amazon? I find it very handy to find all of them there, then prdering from the websites of the companies. However after I found that doTerra doesn’t sell on Amazon, that seller that claims itself as a doTerra is actually fake, I am afraid to buy something else. But it is cheaper and faster…
What are your thoughts on it?

Thank you!

Reply
alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:49 pm

Hi!

I don’t usually buy products on Amazon. Like you said, I always try to buy from the brand directly or from a local shop if possible. I also love Le Vert Beauty and Derm Store. Both carry a wide variety of brands. Hope that helps!

XO

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Coll April 20, 2017 - 7:22 pm

ali, thank you so much for sharing your journey and compiling these amazing tips! can’t wait to try some of these masks and products. xoxo

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:49 pm

Aw thanks, Coll! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

XO

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Lyssa April 21, 2017 - 3:58 am

Schmidt’s Geranium sensitive skin formula natural deodorant is the bomb! I’m a delicate flower too, and I tested sooooo many before finding this gem. Highly recommend.

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alison wu May 1, 2017 - 9:50 pm

Yes! I just started using it, and I LOVE it. So great to finally find a good one.

XO

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Mieshel May 30, 2017 - 2:13 am

I have tried many natural (or more natural ) deodorants, including Schmidt’s and Handcrafted Honey Bee, but the best product I have found was milk of magnesia. Just dab a bit (or put in a spray bottle) on each armpit and let it dry (dry it for a few seconds with a blow dryer) before getting dressed. Lasts all day, sometimes 2 days!

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Natalie May 10, 2017 - 12:05 am

Hey Alison, love your blog so much! It’s hilarious because the exact same thing happened to me – I have just turned 26 and after years of baking myself (yep even face) in the sun, with little regard for the damage I might be doing to my skin, I’ve seen the light! Now I cover up constantly and I’m all about that non-toxic life but am still on a learning curve so it’s great to hear your advice.
Natalie x

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alison wu May 18, 2017 - 2:15 pm

Hi Natalie,

There is definitely a learning curve! Always good to be open to learning and new information. I’m glad you’ve found some of what I’ve shared here to be helpful.

XO

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Jenny August 14, 2017 - 6:09 am

Hi Alison,

I am in my early 20’s and there are already a lot of things I’ve used when it comes to my beauty skin care. I just love the fact that choosing non-toxic product could really mean so much to me especially with the environments.I will definitely share these ideas with my friends. I am hoping that you could share more thoughts and helpful product related to beauty. I’ll be updated with your blog, thanks for sharing.

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alison wu August 16, 2017 - 3:06 pm

Hi Jenny,

So glad you’re inspired to use natural/non-toxic products. I will be sharing some more DIY recipes soon!

XO

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Wendy C. September 10, 2017 - 12:11 am

Hi Alison,

I always make DIY skincare and Spirulina-Silver Anti-Aging Mask is interesting to try. I usually use lemon and baking soda as a face mask to treat my acne and dark spots but can’t wait to try something different. I hope Spirulina-Silver Anti-Aging Mask treats my skin very well too. Thanks!

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alison wu October 25, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Ooo! That sounds interesting. I’ll have to try that one.

XO

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Cindy September 11, 2017 - 2:30 am

I agree that words are powerful, and thank you for sharing the mantra. I will begin repeating this, and am excited to see the results! I think that I will use the words “Glowing” skin because that resonates with me more than beauty. Thank you!

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alison wu October 25, 2017 - 5:28 pm

So glad to hear that! XO

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Mia October 26, 2017 - 4:32 am

Do you use any resources for deciding if a product is toxic or not or do you just read labels? How do you know what products to buy and what products not to buy? Am I generally safe at a natural beauty/grocery store?

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alison wu November 1, 2017 - 3:12 pm

Hi Mia!

Great question. I think buying from a reputable brand/source that you trust is key. Also doing the research. I usually look up ingredients if I’m trying to understand what they are. Also there is an app called Think Dirty and a website called Skin Deep that can help.

XO

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