*Updated April 2016*
I’m always on the lookout for ways to lower the amount of chemicals I’m putting in my body. One significant way you can reduce the toxic load your body is exposed to is through what you put on your skin. On average, women apply more than 200 chemicals to their skin daily! Think what you put on your skin doesn’t really matter? Wrong! Your skin absorbs most of what you put on to it directly into your blood stream. This is how nicotine patches work! The gold standard in skin care would be to have everything organic. I just can’t afford that, though. So, my non-negotiables when buying beauty products are these rules:
- Must be paraben-free. Parabens are the most commonly-used preservatives in personal care products. Parabens are hormone disruptors, that is, they disrupt your hormone system from functioning normally. They act like estrogen in the body and are linked to breast cancer and weight gain. When checking the ingredients on a product, look for any word ending in ‘paraben’. (For example, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.)
- Must be Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)-free. This is a cheap foaming agent used in products like body wash and shampoo. It can cause your scalp to become dry, promote the development of dandruff, hair-loss and an itchy scalp. It has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity and hormone disruption.
I highly recommend you check your personal care products out on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Here, you can search for most products and find how safe their ingredients are. I hope you enjoy having a look through my stash of beauty products below. (Please comment below if you know of any other products that are low in toxins and still affordable!)
Sukin hand and nail cream – I love to apply this before bed each night.
Sukin body wash – My hubby likes this one too! It doesn’t froth as much as some body washes, but that’s because it’s SLS-free.
Davroe Shampoo and Conditioner – I was so happy to finally find products for my hair that still made it feel nice even though they were paraben and SLS-free. As a bonus, they’re 100% Australian owned and made too!
Moroccan oil – I like to rub a little in to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair when it’s looking a bit dry.
Deodorant – This ‘Biologika’ brand is a nice natural one that smells like coconut which I got from my local health food store Go Vita.
Organic olive oil – I use this as my body moisturiser. It is best absorbed by the skin after a shower when your skin is slightly damp. I buy it from the supermarket, but pour it into this pretty glass bottle so it looks a little nicer and is easy to pump out and apply.
Sukin lip balm – This is lovely! (I also have a few Burt’s Bees lib balms which are equally great!)
Sukin cleanser – For removing makeup and cleaning my face before bed.
Kimberley Sayer day moisturiser – I was stoked to finally find a day moisturising cream that contained SPF30 and none of the chemicals mentioned above! This is the most expensive of any of my beauty products, but I think it’s worth it to get daily protection from sun damage without all the chemicals usually contained in sunscreen. Update! I have replaced this with a cheaper option, a SPF 15 day moisturiser by the ‘Essano Rosehip’ brand. This is available from my local Priceline store so is a lot more convenient to purchase too (not pictured above).
Burt’s Bees exfoliating scrub – Once a week I like to give my skin a nice deep clean by gently rubbing this into my face in the shower.
Organic coconut oil – I use this as a night cream for my face. As well as being deeply moisturising, it also has antimicrobacterial properties, so I find it treats and prevents the pimples caused by bacteria.
Eco Tan Sunscreen – This sunscreen is more of a physical barrier than a chemical barrier. It is quite white-looking, so you need to rub it in thoroughly. I like that it spreads easily. Other zinc-based sun creams I tried in the past were very thick and hard to spread over large areas like the arms and legs.
Eco Tan Invisible Tan – I love this fake tan! It looks natural and doesn’t smell bad or stain my sheets or clothes.
Hand wash – I fill up my nice hand wash dispensers in my bathrooms with this eco store branded product, available from Woolworths.
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of these companies (though I wish I was!). I am just genuinely wanting to share with you the natural yet affordable products I have come across which work great for me.