I’ve been on a long quest to feel good and function at my best, not just so I can enjoy everyday life, but so I can have the strength and energy I need to accomplish all God has called me to do.
On my health journey, I’ve learned about environmental toxins and the harmful effects they can have on our bodies. Sadly, many of these toxins can be found in personal care products. Things like shampoo, makeup, perfume, lotions, and nail polish may harbor all sorts of chemicals that can disrupt the delicate balance of our body’s systems, including our endocrine system. With my history of hormone imbalance, this fact has been a major motivator to replace my personal care products with gentler, safer options.
It’s been about seven years since I first started sorting through my personal care products, and I am finally at a place where I feel pretty good about pretty much everything I put on my skin.
Recently, a few friends have asked me about recommendations for healthy products. Since I believe that healthy products are an important piece of self-care, and since self-care is a key piece of being able to walk out our purpose well, I decided to write about it. Plus, I hope my hours of research can save you some time and help you find products you can trust! So here are a few of my favorite, most trusted beauty products!
Root: Makeup/Lip Gloss
I searched long and hard for a clean lip gloss that works great and that I can feel good about putting on my lips (and in my mouth! We end up ingesting a lot of what we paint on our lips!).
So when I found Root, I felt like I’d found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Here was a company that is as passionate and picky about their ingredients as I am. I decided to try their Chloe lip gloss first. When it arrived in the mail, I unwrapped it and prepared for the moment of truth. Would it be everything I hoped it would be? I was so happy to find that it not only looked and smelled great, it felt great too! Finally, my mission for healthy, affordable lip gloss was accomplished!
I’ve also tried their tinted lip balm, eye shadow, and their concealer. I’ve been happy with them all. (The shade of concealer wasn’t quite right for me, but I liked its consistency. Once I find the right tone, I think it will work perfectly.) Another cool thing about Root is that they offer sample sizes of most of their products, so if you’re nervous about splurging on a new eye shadow, you can test it first (except their lip gloss—I had to buy the full size on faith. But I’m glad I did!). Root also offers skin and hair care products that look good, but I haven’t tried those yet.
Alpenglow: Lotion and Lip Balm
Even though I found some “organic” lotions that were free of the really icky ingredients, like parabens, I discovered that most still use phenoxyethanol for a stabilizer. It’s not a terrible ingredient, but, in my opinion, it’s not great either. If I can avoid it, I will.
That’s why when I found Alpenglow lotion at my local health food store I was so happy! It is hands down (no pun intended!) the best lotion I have ever used. It is super moisturizing and smells great (I’ve used the Lavender Fields version and their non-scented version). The ingredients are amazingly simple and include: Alaskan snow or rain (I ❤️ that! ), organic shea butter, organic jojoba oil, and just a few other things.
It’s made right here in my home state of Alaska, but, luckily, the company also ships to other states. Another Alpenglow product that I LOVE is their raspberry lip balm (non-tinted). It is ultra moisturizing, made with simple, organic ingredients, and it smells heavenly! You can find these and other Alpenglow products here.
Beauty Counter: Lip Gloss/Makeup/Skin Care
Before I found Root, when I was still searching for the perfect lip gloss, I found Beauty Counter. The main thing I’ve tried is their lip gloss, which is really nice. Their products have excellent ratings on the Skin Deep Cosmetics database (see more about the Skin Deep database below) and I know some people who really love them. I’d like to try more too, but their price point is a bit above what I have budgeted for beauty products at this time. I wanted to mention them though, because I think they are really good, healthy products and it’s a good option to be aware of. You can find more about them through the websites of either of my two favorite beauty counter representatives Amy or Virginia.
Carina Organics: Shampoo
I didn’t have as hard a time finding a decent shampoo as I did lotion and lip gloss. There was one I got from my local organic grocery store and used for a couple years that I was pretty happy with. Until they stopped selling it and failed to replace it with a comparable option.
Thankfully, my problem was solved when I found Carina Organics. Their shampoo doesn’t leave my hair feeling heavy or dry, and it’s made of simple, completely organic ingredients that I feel comfortable putting on my skin. The fact that they share my name (and spelled right, to boot!) is an added bonus! You can find Carina Organics products here or here on Amazon.
Zoya: Nail Polish
One beauty ritual I completely relinquished early on in my health quest was painting my nails. And a very sad relinquishment it was. I’ve always loved painting my nails. It makes me feel pretty and pulled together, and, with the neutral clothing colors I’m usually drawn too, it’s a nice way to add a pop of color. But, because of toxins, for the last five or six years, I’ve probably painted my nails just a few times. I tried several water-based nail polishes, which are pretty non-toxic, but none of them worked very well. They usually chipped off within one day.
Then, last fall I found Zoya. Zoya is free of 5 major toxic chemicals: Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Yes, there is formaldehyde in many nail polishes! Yuck! Knowing that Zoya is free of the worst offenders makes me feel better about indulging in nail polish from time to time. I still try to limit it because, even though I believe Zoya is a better option health-wise than the majority of nail polishes, it’s still nail polish. I’m pretty sure it’s still not “good” for you.
There are some other brands out there that are also free of major toxins and could possibly be equal to or better than Zoya, but I haven’t tried them. This is just the best one I know of so far. You can find Zoya here and on Amazon. (Note to Fairbanks locals—Amazon wouldn’t ship to my address, but I was able to order direct from Zoya.) You can also find my favorite gentle, plant-based nail polish remover here.
Perfume was another product I eliminated from my beauty routine early on. Why? Because most things that contain the ingredient “fragrance” (this includes perfumes, soaps, detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, etc.) are likely to contain chemicals called pthalates.
Pthalates are very toxic and disruptive to our bodies and particularly our sensitive hormonal systems. I don’t have a specific brand to recommend, but what I’ve been doing for perfume lately is just mixing a couple drops of essential oil, like lavender or vanilla, with my unscented Alpenglow lotion and rubbing that on my skin. It’s not quite the same, but it’s better than nothing.
So there you have it! The fruit of my long search for a beauty routine I can feel good about. I hope you find it helpful!
One last thing I want to mention that has been an amazing resource for me in figuring out what products to trust is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. They rate products for safety based on the ingredients they contain. On their site you can search thousands of products as well as individual ingredients. They also have an app that you can use to scan products while in the grocery or beauty store. I have found the app to be super helpful for making decisions in the beauty aisle! You can find the database here and the app here.
Here’s to vibrant, purposeful life!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV).
I want to hear from you!
What’s your favorite organic or natural beauty product? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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I wrote this post because I’m on a mission to encourage and equip women to live the life of faith, passion, and purpose that we were made for. You can help make a difference by sharing this post with a friend (or friends!) who you think would be encouraged or inspired by it. Thanks!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, with no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”