I started out almost a year ago to use the "only what I would eat" rationale on my body,hair, teeth. Since then I've settled on baking soda, sea salt, essential oils (for perfume) and hydrogen peroxide as teeth whitener. I use coconut oil and sweet almond oil for my moisturizers. I have to admit...i miss my smelly, girly, toxic products almost more than anything. I spend less though and I feel better knowing I'm not putting harsh things on or in my body. What are other paleo women doing with their beauty products in this new lifestyle and still be girlie?
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I was never into smelly bath and body works type stuff, but I do like to look good and feel good about how I look!
I love Dr. Hauschka products (expensive but incredible care goes into their products, lip balm is amazing and made from the wax pressed out of rose petals). I don't use their shampoo or hair care, just facial wash (ground up almonds in almond oil and other similar items - smells amazing) and their moisturizer for day. They don't recommend a night moisturizer, they say that the face should be allowed to make it's own sebum at night, but I still use cocoa butter at night. I like some Tarte products, I like NVEY Eco concealer for under the eyes, it's organic. I still use Bare Escentuals blush but I don't really need the powder foundation, that is just crushed minerals but some say that the zinc in it that is part of the SPF protection isn't that great, but I am fine with it.
Guilty pleasures - Dior liquid eyeliner - I love it! And not so guilty is Laura Mercier's mascara - it's paraben free but does have other less desirables in it. But those go on such a small area I am not so worried - everything else, whole body items like soaps and shampoos, I am happy with the organic, sulfate free and paraben free stuff, like Dr. Bronner's.
I've found a few girly friendly lines that smell wonderful and are all natural (no parabens, phthalates, etc.)
Tarte - Tarte has some great lip stains and cheek stains/sticks. No synthetic fragrances, parabens, other yuckies - just good stuff in pretty colors.
Lavanila - This line (sold at Sephora and Beauty.com to name a couple of sources) is all natural fragrances, perfume oils, lip balms, body butters, candles. I've tried many of their fragrances, none are cloying to my nose, with a lovely subtle musky vanilla dry down. My personal favorite so far is the vanilla grapefruit, which is rich but bright/yummy at the same time. There's other non-fruity options (such as the straight vanilla), too, but the ones I've tried all smell delicious in their own right.
Great Marsh Skin Care - the ginger lemongrass lip balm, smells great, great ingredient list. Also enjoy the blend of natural oils in the rose hip serum - a few drops rubbed on the face after a shower smells very nice.
Origins - I've tried the self-tanner The Great Pretender in this line (I was looking for a self-tanner without gunk, which is RARE in the US market!). It's a pepperminty/citrusy smelling tanner, definitely ranks among the more nose-friendly scents in self-tanners I've tried. Nicely natural color, too, as long as I'm diligent about the usual self-tanning routine of evenly spreading the lotion and washing my hands/nails. (And yes, a carefully acquired real paleo tan is preferable for health benefits, but someone as naturally pale as me can definitely appreciate the boost of a little glow for pictures at special events, especially fall/winter ones!)
I make a lot of my own stuff,that way I can use essential oils to customize. It's easy and fun. You can add essential oils to your Almond and coconut oils for the smells you are missing, just make sure they are pure.
I'm in the Same (ish) boat with you. If I can not eat it or its ingredients individually then I am not going to put it on my body. (there are a few exceptions ofc: lye, rubbing alcohol, witch hazel).
I do not feel any less girly now! I feel in control and stronger for being a more natural me!
I use just water on my hair and occasionally use a bar of soap to help with any build up, took some time to work through a system. I wrote about it here if you are interested.
I started to use a natural homemade hairspray, but when I stopped with soap in my hair I did not need it anymore - which is a first in life! I use to never get a curl to hold, and now it just does on its own.
I use coconut oil as lotions. Beeswax and coconut oil for lips.
Plain olive oil soap (castile) in the shower ect.
I use non glycerine soap and baking soda on my teeth. (Also wrote about that if you are interested)
To smell good, a mix of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel with essential oils works great as perfume.
Deodorant - baking soda, a spray of vinegar or lemon, or coconut oil. I tend to switch it up dependent on what I know ill need that day.
So since in all those areas I have cut the chemicals I allow myself 2 cheats. Eyeshadow and mascara - just the best versions I can find. My skin is super clear and i sleep enough - so no need for concealers and powders.
Mix up some essential oils into your oils that you use as lotions. As I recall lotions were the strongest girly thing ever - always with a large smell.
If I was a girl, I would use the girly stuff.
I am not a paleo woman, but still a thought or two.
Since you have found replacements -- or you have settled on them -- what precisely is it you miss about your previous products? Also, how do you know they were all "toxic"?
Being a "life's too short..." kind of guy, I have a hard time thinking that a tiny dab of your favorite perfume on your wrists or earlobes, will hasten you demise. Then again, I have never looked at the ingredients of perfume.
Kudos for being resourceful in finding alternatives. Just give yourself some room for enjoyment of items/products that (safely) foster enjoyments of a womanly kind.
Check out http://cavegirleats.com
Liz from CaveGirlEats has a great wealth of knowledge regarding Paleo-friendly beauty, haircare, and even laundry 'products'. She's written many different blog posts and also contributes a column in Paleo Magazine, which focuses on Paleo body care.
You might discover some different treatments listed on her site that you hadn't known about before. :)
Both Sephora.com and Beauty.com have "green" or natural sections. Also Skinbotanica.com is a good site for all or mostly natural stuff. Makeupalley.com has a "green board" where they talk about and give recs for natural products. You'll get great rec there.
My personal bottom line is no animal testing. After that I prefer more natural but sometimes that just doesn't cut it so I love Tarte, Urban Decay and MAC as well.
My personal indulgences:
Nahla Beauty organic skincare line. Amazing. From their website:
Completely free of toxins, petrochemicals, synthetics, parabens, dyes and fragrance oils (to name a few), our products are 100% natural, gentle and alive with healing benefits. Our skincare formulas are developed in house and handmade from scratch with ingredients like healing handmade tinctures, the purest cold pressed plant oils, organic edibles like raw honey and soothing floral waters. Sourced from small organic and biodynamic farms, wild crafters and artisan producers, our ingredients are fresh, pure and vital.
Strange Invisible Perfumes, organic perfumery. Super amazing. From their website:
Certified organic, wildcrafted, biodynamic, and hydro-distilled essences.
A wonderful skin care line is Grateful Body. I have chemical sensitivities, and they have one line made for people like me, as well as for regular, oily and dry skins. 100% organic & made in Berkeley, CA.
I'm having a blast reading about and trying Ayurvedic herbs lately. The only naughty thing I've kept around is perfume, and I've always loved masks and lotions and whatnot. I did an amla mask last night and it was amazing - just as good of results as my former expensive 20% acid peel. I'm going to cassia & amla my hair and I'm toying with a major henna change. I love honey masks and using manuka honey in particular. I'm playing around with different replacements for shampoo - rhassoul, shampoo bars, ever weakening solutions of baking soda (too harsh for me, it appears), and oils instead of conditioner - turns out my short hair can soak up a bit of coconut oil and NOT look greasy! I doctor my epsom salts with gorgeous essential oils (www.naturesgift.com - Marge is amazing and her products are top notch, way better than at the local coop or herb shop). I've experimented with the oil cleansing method. I've concocted a nice serum for my face (jojoba, avocado oil, sea buckthorn berry oil, high altitude french lavender) and put that in a lovely cobalt glass bottle, and it'll be fun to switch that up as the weather changes. Lots of safe room to play with oils. And feet - I do barefoot sports, and so I relish my callous remover! 100% old school, if a bit less prissy!
I could really use some suggestions on skincare! Even though I'm 55 I still have really oily skin that looks blotchy, and I'm starting to get tiny broken blood vessels on my cheeks and little bumpy whiteheads, but they are deep under my skin. I am getting lines around my eyes, too! My skin looks terrible without some sort of makeup. Short of dermabrasion, what can I use to get my skin into shape?
The only thing 'paleo' about my life, is my diet. Mostly because I have difficult skin which does not appreciate most 'natural' products.
I'm a girl for sure, I use about 5 different products on my hair every day as well as my facewash, various lotions, perfume (oils), and nail polish. Oddly though, I rarely wear makeup.
Try spraying Rosewater (can be bought online, organic stores) like you would with perfume, smells so good!
I use homemade goat's milk soap made by a friend of mine. She uses different scents in her products (all natural). I just like the oatmeal/honey, but there are plenty of options from herbs/essential oils. Look around at local craft fairs and farmers markets for people selling homemade soap. Some is just as bad a B&BW, but some is really excellent.
PS - I still dye my hair and use (sulfate-free) shampoo so I am not all that pure :)
Thanks! I have been using coconut oil, but not on a regular basis. I definitely have witch hazel in the bath cabinet. I know lavender oil is very soothing, maybe I'll add that to the witch hazel.
I will definitely up the liver. I like it, but don't eat it as often as I should.
I love this topic! I was never big into sprays and fancy creams but I certainly do like to feel clean, pretty, and feminine. I remember the first time I was ever suspicious of any self grooming product was deodorant, during puberty I was like 'Wait, if the sweat wants to come out and stink, but this stuff sticks it back in, where does it go? That can't be good.' More or less, haha. Guess what - after a few years of puberty, I never did feel like I sweated enough to need it! A few years ago I tried baking soda & vinegar hair washing, couldn't hack that at all but I did settle on a simplistic, nontoxic routine that I like. There are some other great Paleo-esque tips I have for beauty as well:
1. Soap - additive free, made from clean fats, often with essential oils for smell. This is what I use to wash my hair, face, body, and to brush my teeth. Washing with soap gets my hair un-oily enough so that it looks & feels clean & soft, but is protected from the outside by the remaining natural oil layer. It may sound strange to brush teeth with it but I think it gets them even cleaner than the old toxic toothpastes I used to use. The taste takes a little getting used to but is better with a good herbal soap with a nice scent. Dr. Bronner's is a standby of course, and their soaps have enough floral oils to have a little benefit - rose oil essence is antiviral, for instance. I also love only having 1 step in my cleaning routine. (Frankly I'm surprised more Paleo men don't get onto soap for this reason. It would be even easier to manage for those without long hair.) After I scrub all over, I squeeze the suds out onto my hair and use them kinda like shampoo. I prefer bar soap to liquid soap because it's cheaper, more portable, and lasts longer, but I like to try different kinds and local homemade soaps for fun. They've begun to surpass even the Bath/Body works in variety, haha.
2. Vinegar Conditioner! Washing with soap (or baking soda, even) leaves the hair kinda raw, because it's very alkaline. The pH of hair proteins is acid, so putting a weak acid solution on freshly washed hair restores their preferred pH. This means that simple vinegar water works great as a conditioner! Makes the hair soft and stronger, with no added oil, which is less necessary when not using stripping sulfate cleaners. I keep diluted vinegar in a squeeze bottle in my shower and just refill it. I do not recommend raw vinegar for this because you'll get lumps of mother dumped on your head, but cheap apple cider and rice vinegar both smell neutral and nice.
3. Coconut oil sunblock & moisturizer - This is the only thing I put on my face on a regular basis anymore. So many people think putting oil on their face will make them break out, but it's just not true - after you wash, whether with soap or sulfates, your skin has less protective oil and needs a little extra. In the summer I dissolved a stick of nontoxic sunscreen into my jar of coconut oil to thin it out, which has worked beautifully. I'm sure there are lots of great oils to put on your skin.
4. Makeup- not really much. I don't use any kind of foundation except for special occasions, becasue I find the more stuff like that I put on my face the more I have blemishes that 'need covering up'. When I gotta feel extra pretty I use the Physicians Formula Organic Wear mineral powder, on top of my coconut oil which helps it to stick a bit. I also like the organic mascara from that company, mascara is my only everyday makeup item. For lipcolor, the Burt's Bees lipglosses are nice. You can use them like a cream blush too.
5. Hair brushing/combing with non-plastic brushes. I've heard that plastic combs break hair more, and I believe it. I mostly use a special resin comb and boar-bristle brushes. The boar bristle brushes are really great and can nearly make me feel like I've washed my hair if I brush long enough. They move the oils down to the ends of your hair from your scalp, which helps make it super soft and shiny.
6. NO syntetic hair dyes or bleach! I believe some of them have been linked to cancer. You can still dye your hair without toxic chemicals, of course! I'm currently on a mix of henna powder and beet juice to make mine red. Chamomile and lemon are lighteners, indigo + henna makes black, plus there's 'natural' hair dye mixes aplenty at the health food store.
That's all I can think of for now. I do buy some premade conditioners from organic brands that are sulfate- & paraben-free, but I don't like to use them on my hair more than once a week or so. Partly because of the expense, partly because I don't think it's necessary. Since adopting this routine I also find that I feel much better if I skip or miss a shower day than before, I feel like I get less oily and nasty than I did before. I think it's probably good for skin & hair to rest from washing every now & then - only as far as it feels comfortable, of course. Anyway - I still feel like I can be girly and feminine without half the toxic products I grew up using. And I think it actually works better too in terms of making you more attractive.
LUSH Products - I can't rant and rave about them enough!!!!!! Not 100% natural/organic but damn near close enough without the price tag! My favorite is any of their coconut products (Trichomania shampoo!) as I have a lot of fine, curly hair. It's perfect. The people in the stores give great advice!!
I also like Origins, but they are expensive.
Yes, you can still use girly things- I just stick with the natural ones, and yes, I still shave.
I've resorted back to normal products like deodorant and shampoo, it doesn't have to be all or nothing
A couple of sites with TONS of recipes for the DIY spa. I also like to steam my face with green tea. Basically I boil a small pot of water with green tea steeped in. Then throw a towel over my head and sit with my face over the pot allowing the antioxidants from the green tea that come out in the steam to penetrate my skin. You can also steep a bag of green tea and rub the bag of tea all over your face as a toner followed with some coconut oil for moisturizer.
Coffee makes an excellent scrub, combine that with cocoa powder and coconut oil and you have an awesome bath scrub that smells AMAZING and it's so moisturizing. I've tried it and I love the way my skin feels afterwards. Plus the caffeine in the coffee has a small amount of antioxidant properties along with the cocoa but caffeine is also an anti-inflammatory.
There are also teas out there that you can drink that are supposed to help you smell good from the inside out. I know sage, rosemary and peppermint are all herbs that when ingested the oil from the leaves is secreted through the skin. Sage has antibacterial properties so when it is secreted it is said to help keep the bacteria that makes you smelly from forming. At least that is what I have read. No personal experience though.
Yes, you can still be girly, there are plenty of natural options out there, as all the other answers have demonstrated.
I thought I would provide this link to perfume in particular though, as it's hard to find good perfume that doesn't have chemicals. My favourite brands are Aromantik and One Seed:
And secondly there is a skin care brand called Rasasara Skinfood that literally does what you mentioned - only uses ingredients that you could eat. Here's a blog post about them:
Full Disclosure: these links are to a website that I own.
Everyone's allowed to smell the way they like, but my personal preference is that people do NOT smell. There are a lot of people with chemical sensitivities and allergies that would probably prefer we all tone it down. Nothing worse than getting stuck on a crowded bus besides someone who smells like they took a perfume/cologne shower.