In January of 2018, instead of making the usual resolutions that we’ve given up on by the end of the month, we decided to break it up by dividing some big goals into manageable chunks.
Each month, we invite you to overhaul one aspect of your life to reduce toxins, improve health, and increase your peace of mind. Our promise is that these changes will be easy to implement, helping you avoid resolution overwhelm.
(If you’re just joining us, here is January’s mini resolution on upgrading junk foods, February’s with a medicine cabinet detox, March’s on improving indoor air quality, April’s five ways to clean up your cleaning products, May’s on making your yard non-toxic, and June’s on water safety.)
Happy July! I want to dedicate this month to making over your collection of personal-care products. This is one of the our only mini resolutions that isn’t about your children; my bet is that most of you are much more careful about what you slather on their little bodies, and you are probably already using mostly Good Stuff on them.
So this month, I am going to recommend the best natural skincare products for the adults in your home.
Toxins in Skincare Products
As is the case with so many of the products we review on this site, synthetic fragrances are often the biggest offenders in skincare products.
Manufacturers don’t have to disclose exactly what’s in their fragrance blend. You’ll just see “fragrance” or “parfum” listed in the ingredients, but often this means dozens of chemicals, hormone-disrupting phthalates usually among them.
Other chemicals that you want to avoid in skincare products include:
- Synthetic preservatives, like parabens (benzylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben etc.), which mimic estrogen and are implicated in breast cancer. Other toxic preservatives include BHT and methylisothiazolinone. Food grade preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate are somewhat controversial, but safer than their conventional counterparts.
- Chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which are endocrine disruptors. Safer sunscreen ingredients include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
- Foaming agents like cocamidopropyl betaine and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a suspected human carcinogen. Safer surfactants include lauramine oxide and sodium lauryl sulfate SLS).
(Read about the difference between sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate here.)
Best Natural Skincare for Babies & Kids
This post focuses on the best natural skincare products for adults, but due to their small size and developing immune systems, babies and children are even more sensitive to toxins.
Swap out conventional hair- and skincare products for truly nontoxic options. These Safe Product Guides can help:
Best Natural Skincare Products For Grownups
Here’s my strategy for upgrading to the best natural skincare products: start with the stuff that stays on your skin for extended periods, that you use on large areas of your body, and that you use daily or almost daily. You’ll then move on to the adult personal-care products that you rinse off immediately, such such as soap.
The list that follows is in order of importance (deodorant is first because your shaved armpits make for easy-entry of the many toxins found in conventional antiperspirant brands).
Avoid these deodorant ingredients: parabens, fragrance, potassium alum
Read our Safe Deodorant Guide.
Avoid these lotion ingredients: PEG chemicals, parabens, fragrance, benzyl alcohol
Read our Safe Lotion Guide.
Avoid these body wash ingredients: BHT, cocamidopropyl betaine, fragrance
Avoid these bar soap ingredients:
Face lotions/toners/anti-aging products
P.S. This month we focused on skincare since I think that’s most important when it comes to personal care. Check the following posts for help with other personal care products:
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