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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Non-Toxic, Frugal, & Nurturing Skin Care

I'm Green Inside


Non-Toxic, Frugal, & Nurturing Skin Care


I’ve been asked by a few of you to discuss skin care. My main rule of thumb is to use few products with few ingredients - and only ingredients that help your skin. This is a big subject, but I will let you know what I’ve found to work for me…


When I was in college, I had a terrible time with my skin. It was bumpy, red, itchy, and full of acne. Mmmm… Finally I had enough. In my second year of college, I went to a dermatologist.


Honestly, the dermatologist wasn’t a very good one. He gave me a series of different acne creams and for a while I took antibiotics, but honestly his treatments made my face worse – painfully red and irritated. He was as frustrated with the results as I was. Finally, he threw his hands in the air and told me to stop using anything on my face, to use a mild soap, and to only use a little bit of olive oil as a moisturizer and see what happened. I did as he instructed. And lo and behold, my face began to clear up a little bit.


I decided that this was the best information I was going to get from my dermatologist, and set off on my own quest to clear up my skin….

 

Soap.


It was difficult to find a soap that wasn’t harsh. My dermatologist recommended a straight glycerine bar soap, but that left my skin pretty darn dry. So I experimented for a while and finally found a pure and simple oatmeal soap. Unfortunately after a few years, that company changed the ingredients in the soap and added quite a bit of fragrance.

 

So I experimented some more, and found instead a great liquid glycerine soap that didn’t dry my skin! Liquid Green Mountain soap is pure glycerine, made from olive and coconut oils. That’s what I’ve been using for the last few years. I buy it in large 32 oz. containers for $13.75, and pour it into nice ceramic soap pumps on the bathroom sink and in the shower. That bottle lasts several months.

 

There are several places online that carry it – here is where I buy it – or you may be able to ask your local health food store if they’ll order it for you. It looks like they’ve just started making gallon-sized containers, too, which would last a year! You may be able to find a local source – I’ve just found some local organic, unscented liquid soap I’m anxious to try.


You can also make your own soap. I’ve always been afraid of this caustic process, and I’d much rather pay $14 to have someone else do it. But if you have a safe space to do it and want to give it a shot, Rhonda Jean has good instructions for making cold-pressed bar soap, and if you want to make liquid soap there are very thorough instructions and recipes at Snowdrift Farm.

 

Moisturizer.


Olive oil was a bit thick for my skin – it as pretty darn oily! – so I experimented with other oils. When I was on a trip to Hawaii, I visited a small macadamia orchard where a farmer gave me some amazing macadamia nut oil. Wow. It was perfect. I coveted that little bottle until it ran out, and then I couldn’t find it again!

 

So I experimented some more and finally found filtered jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is the main ingredient in many skin moisturizers, so why not try it plain, without all the extra additives? It works! I buy a huge 64 oz bottle of Heather Loraine Filtered Organic Jojoba Oil, and with my husband and I both using it, it lasts for about six months. (The non-organic is a little cheaper, but again, this will last 6 months or more!)

 

The filtered oil is clear, and better for lighter skin, the yellow is better for darker skin. There are several places that carry it. I’ve been able to find it in my local health food store, but in the past I’ve also ordered it here.

 

Occasionally skin gets overly dry due to the climate or indoor air (indoor heating in particular tends to dry out skin). In these cases Matt and I use Vanicream moisturizer for followed by a bit of jojoba oil. Vanicream comes in a 1 lb. container, and again, it lasts a very long time.

 

Makeup.


Determined to rid my skin of it’s ails, I also went cold turkey with makeup. I know a lot of you are probably cringing, as it is extremely difficult for a woman to stop wearing makeup when she is used to covering up her blemishes, and in general giving herself a polished look. But I had this feeling that if I stopped everything and explored what was giving myself the blemishes, I might end up with clear skin! It was a gamble, and I will say I didn’t go out a whole lot during that time, but I did it. And lo and behold, it worked.


Since I finally did clear up my skin, I haven’t felt the need to wear makeup much. I do wear makeup on occasion (very special occasions like weddings and special nights). So when I wear makeup, I use high quality makeup – and not too much of it – and my skin seems to do fine. For a clear lip gloss, I use straight jojoba oil.

 

Since makeup is so personal and I’m not an expert, I recommend trying out a few brands with very low hazard scores (0-2) at the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. And please, if any of you do use makeup regularly, do let us know what non-toxic products you’ve liked!


Water Temperature.

 

When I was in the doctor’s office once, I read in Vogue or some other women’s magazine that you should wash your face in cold water. I know those magazines are full of crazy tips, some of which work and some of which don’t. But wow, I thought: could temperature make a difference? It didn’t cost anything to try it, so I gave it a shot. And it seemed to help – my face didn’t dry out as much, it wasn’t as irritated after a shower, and my skin felt softer. After 15 years of washing my face in cool water, I will swear by it now!

 

Chlorine.

 

A few years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, my asthma began to get out of control. So I worked with a pulmonologist to get it back into control. She recommended that I purchase a few things for the house, including a shower filter. Why? Because when showers heat up, the added chlorine in our water supply becomes a vapor and travels deep into your lungs. Gasp.

 

Chlorinated swimming pools can also be hazardous, so do try to find pools that use alternative cleaning agents. (It makes sense, since it’s strong enough to change your hair color!)

 

With further research, I also learned that warm water opens up your pores so that more chlorine and other chemicals can enter your skin. This increases your risk of bladder, rectal, and breast cancer according to the American Journal of Public Health and American Journal of Epidemiology.

 

While it is important for chlorine to be added to our drinking supply so that microorganisms do not spread diseases, once the water safely reaches our homes, there is no need for it to stick around and make us sick. So we have a shower filter – any carbon filter will extract the chlorine from your shower water. After researching extensively, we settled on this one, which only needs to be replaced every 6 months. We’ve found it locally or on the website, where you can sign up for a free lifetime warranty.

 

Since we installed our shower filter, both Matt and I have noticed our skin is softer and healthier, and we need less skin moisturizer. And boy do we notice when the filter needs to be changed! We are no longer used to smelling chlorine in our water, so when we do it seems very unnatural. Here is what Environmental Work Group has to say about the hazards of chlorine.

 

Our Showerhead


Hair Products, Laundry Detergent & Clothing.


As you can imagine, when you put products into your hair during your shower, some of them do hit your face. The same goes for hair gels, waxes, and sprays. I’ll write more about what I use in my hair at a later time, but I suggest avoiding getting any hair products in or on your face. I generally wash my face after washing and conditioning my hair, so I am sure to remove any hair products. And when I occasionally use hair spray, I cover my face.

 

I found that wool makes my skin itchy, even soft wool. Other people find that synthetic fibers roughen and chaff their skin. Good old cotton seems to make my skin happiest. Laundry detergent is also extremely important to take into consideration, as conventional detergents are often skin irritants. I’ll also write more about what we use at a later date.


Final Thoughts.


Obviously everyone has different skin with different quirks, and we all live in different places with different climates. So you may not find that what I use works best for you. However, I encourage you to seek out the simplest, least toxic, least expensive, and most rewarding skin care that you can find. Because what you put on your skin can affect how your skin feels, looks, and ages over time, plus some substances can enter your body through your skin and affect your overall health. It’s worth it to take the time now.

 

Our Facial Products


What Is The Green Your Insides Challenge?


To start greening your own home.


First, start paying attention to what you put on your body, in your body, and around your body. Right now.


And then over the next few months, put it all into practice: take solid steps to green your indoor environment.


If you don’t know where to start, follow my articles as I talk about what we’ve done over the next several weeks!


Find out more here.


I'm Green Inside


What Do You Use?


I know lots of you all have gone through similar quests. What do you recommend? Do you make your own soaps and moisturizers? And for those of you who are new to all this, what are you having trouble leaving behind as you search for less toxic options? What other information can I pass on to you to make this transition easier?


Similar Posts:

35 comments to Non-Toxic, Frugal, & Nurturing Skin Care

  • I use soap that I make myself. I started a couple of years ago and it’s really not that hard. I encourage anyone who has wanted to try it to do so. Then you have complete control over what does and doesn’t go into it!

    I don’t use a moisturizer. Have somewhat oily skin, so the oils that are in my superfatted soap are enough for my skin.

    I experienced the same thing you did with your skin after switching to a mild soap and no makeup. On the very special occasions that I wear make up, I use mineral makeup.

    For my hair I use baking soda and vinegar. I have been for more than three years now and wouldn’t switch back to shampoo.

  • For moisturizer, I used aloe vera gel, with no additives. My skin tends towards oily, and this is the only “moisturizer” that doesn’t cause breakouts.

    And it’s cheap!

  • I use locally made soap for washing, witch hazel as a toner, salve that I make (beeswax, calandula and almond oil) or homemade cold cream (with almond oil or olive oil) for a moisturizer-but very limited on my face, and the salve for lip balm. I also “doctor” my shampoo. I make a herbal tisane (usually lavender, rosemary, and calandula) and use the tisane to dilute Dr Bronners. I don’t use conditioners, sometimes I run my hands through my hair with a little of the salve on my hands. I’ve been meaning to try rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar on a regular basis and someday I am going to make cold processed soap.

  • I also use my own homemade soap. I also use coconut oil as a moisturizer and occasional hair conditioner. I also keep an aloe vera plant growing in my kitchen window sill – it’s great for occasional skin flareups!

  • A (long, sorry) soap story:

    Over the summer I decided to switch to Crystal Mineral Deodorant. My parents used it my entire life but when I started puberty, well, the natural stuff didn’t work for me. For the next five years I used a commercial deodorant with plenty of fragrance, a fragrance that at the end of five years I was just sick of. Plus, it had aluminum in it. So I wanted to gradually switch back. I’m also a longtime user of shower gels instead of plain soap. So, just switching deodorant, it never really worked. Then, because of reading blogs, I decided to try plain soap (which we DO have tea tree oil vegetable soap in the showers at home). Miraculous–the deodorant began really working! Gradually I stopped using the shower gel and started even disliking its scent, a scent I’ve been in love with for years.

    When I got back to school last week I brought a bar of Star of David soap, Honey Almond Kosher Soap. It smells good but not overpowering, but I wanted to finish off the (different from the summer’s) shower gel I’d left here first. The first few days here, my skin felt unbelievably clammy, and I needed a shower every morning instead of every other. I knew the deodorant really wasn’t going to work, but I didn’t realize how badly soap-free shower gels feel in heat and humidity. So three days in I switched to my nice kosher soap. HURRAH! No longer clammy after drying off. :) I could probably take a shower every other day if I weren’t doing vigorous activity each day. (Got to take advantage of the outside weather before it snows.)

    Because of how well soap has worked for me, I instructed my mom to visit the Health Food Store (locally owned store) near our home to buy me an acne-treating face soap bar and ship it to me as a replacement for my chemical-ridden esthetician-recommended acne scrub and subsequent products (which were ridiculously expensive and lasted so long that I had a ton of extra product because I always thought I was running out of something, but the last bit lasted MONTHS). I tried to go to Whole Foods to find something, but after being scandalized by how seemingly green-washed all of their facial products are, I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything. At least at the Health Food Store there were BARS of soap that claimed to clear up acne, and didn’t need you to buy this, this, and that other product to help it. I should have bought those when I was there then. But Whole Foods is generally trusted in the environmentally-friendly-community, so how could I have known?

    So, I guess instead of asking for answers, I’m taking it upon myself to do my own bits of experimenting. I’m not really used to that. I’m used to being handed the Right Answer. Still, I’m glad I’m on the path towards feeling better about my skin care (and everything else in my environment).

    I guess I kind of am partaking in the challenge, if in only a little bit.

    Okay, now to address the rest of your sections:

    Makeup: I must be the only person in the world that doesn’t wear makeup. Me and my best friend. And I STILL have acne. Since I know this isn’t an issue for me, I’m not going to kill myself if I start wearing makeup to make myself feel prettier some days in the coming weeks.

    Water temperature: I am DEFINITELY trying that, starting tomorrow morning.

    Chlorine: Wow. I didn’t know this. I’m going to have to pass it on.

    Hair products: see makeup. Although I won’t indulge in putting stuff in my hair. It makes me feel even weirder than makeup.

    [My] final thoughts: I am going to start experimenting for myself. Also, I’d recommend searching through Etsy for handmade soaps and moisturizers and all kinds of stuff. I haven’t actually tried anything from one of the Etsy soap stores, but now that I’m getting “into” soap instead of using my same standard shower gel that I’ve had for ages, I think I should try some handmade ones! Unique and special. How about a different soap for every day of the week?! ;)

    Hey, here’s something that’s a bit of a pain: Sunscreen! I’ll spend every summer for the next few years trying to find the best I think. Wish there were sample bottles for a week’s use…

  • I use Dr. Bronners 13 all in one peppermint hemp oil soap. The liquid. It comes in a 16oz Bottle that lasts me for months, as it only takes a few drops. The bottle is a #1 PETE bottle, so it is recyclable. Once in a while I Use Dr. Bonner’s lavendar soap, but mostly the peppermint- besides it tingles your naughty parts!

  • I’ve read that you don’t really need soap at all, just a good scrubbing. I still use soap on the pits and naughty bits, but that’s it. I found a really gentle soap at my local Mexican market. It’s called Lirio, and the ingredients are “neutral soap base, glycerin, and fragrance.” The fragrance is actually really mild, and it hasn’t irritated my skin at all. For my face, I use OCM (oil cleansing method) with castor oil and olive oil. It works really well, and there are only two ingredients!

    I also use the no-poo method for my hair, and I don’t miss shampoo at all! I do use conditioner, but one without silicones, or else I just use apple-cider vinegar as a de-tangler.

    I still use makeup, but when I run out of what I have, I’m going to try and get mineral makeup so I’m not just heaping tons of chemicals on my face.

    I’m looking forward to getting more great ideas from this challenge!

  • I use Dr Bronners with cool water for my face, oatmeal soap in the shower, no makeup (I get an awful red-eye reaction to all makeup I’ve tried in the last 10 years), nature’s gate shampoo (I just ordered a bar of Liggett’s bar shampoo to replace that when it runs out), and this week I’m replacing my conditioner with a vinegar rinse with a couple drops of tea tree oil for scent, with an application of coconut oil every week or so if my hair starts to seem dry.

    After I figure out whether the new hair regime works, it’s on to find a low-chemical alternative to my shower gel for shaving. With extremely sensitive skin I have to use a thick product for this, or I end up with awful razor burn. And I’m not going to give up my weekly shave.

    Thanks for the tip about the shower filter – I’ll definitely look into that, though I’m not sure how the filters would hold up with our semi-hard water. Does anyone else with hard water use a shower filter?

  • Oh, I forgot to ask, can the shower filter you have be used with a shower head I already have? I recently invested in a low flow head that turns itself off when the water gets hot, so I don’t waste hot water. I’d like to use both if I can…

  • Kim

    Face: a.m. – just plain cool water, spray moisterizer in the winter only….p.m. use olive oil to remove organic mascara, Dr Bronners diluted to remove mineral makeup. Spray on moisterizer.

    Moisterizer: homemade concoction of favorite tea (chamomile or mint), 1 t. aloe vera gel, 1 t. glycerin in a spray bottle. If I need extra, for extreme dryness in winter, I’ll use coconut oil.

    Shower: Dr Bronners diluted in a spray bottle for body, with body brush. Moisturize body with coconut oil, or in the summer just my spray.

    Shampoo: Tried Dr Bronners, made my hair terribly dry. Now I shampoo every other day, alternating between Aubrey shampoo and baking soda/vinegar rinse. Currently conditioning with a conventional conditioner when needed, to use it up, then I’ll see how long my dry hair can do without it. I’d like to wean myself off of shampoo and conditioner altogether once I run out.

  • I don’t know if you know about the book Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond, but it’s a great resources to ‘greening’everything in your home, from cleaning and cosmetics to hobbies and constructing. It doesn’t only give info and recipies, but also a buyers guide, because we can’t make everything ourselves. They also have a website: http://www.betterbasics.com/

    I’ve been doing the green cleaning for a while now, and I am beginning to dabble in green cosmetics (for when I actually use them)

  • I cleanse with a touch of Dr. Bronner’s All-One peppermint soap and moisturize with almond oil. I would love to use Evan Healy’s (super-gentle, essential oils- and hydrosols- based) Blue skin care, but financing that would require kicking my artisan cheese habit.

  • Ok, you all, I am so sorry it took so long to respond to your awesome comments! I hope you’re still coming back to read a reply, and to find the answers to your questions. (Anyone, anyone come back? Is there an echo? Sigh.)

    Lisa, Good to hear that it’s easy to make soap. Maybe I’ll get together with my sister over the holidays and we’ll make it together… hmmm… Or get together with some local bloggers… hmmm… Deb G?

    Also good to hear that the no poo works for you. I’m weaning myself from shampoo all together, and will write about shampoo soon. I’m looking for a good recipe for the baking soda and vinegar method, if you have one!

    Sonnjea, Perfect! I have often thought of doing that myself. If you grew your own aloe it would be free…! (I see Greene Onion is taking that approach.)

    Deb G, Those sound fabulous. Now I feel silly buying anything! The salve would be a great replacement for the lip balm I still use… I just started using plain vinegar & water, infused with some roses, as a conditioner. So far I love it.

    Greene Onion, Ok, you all are seriously kicking me in my butt for not making soap myself! Sigh…

    Stephanie, Thank you for your wonderful comment! So interesting how the shower gels change your skin! Wow. It’s good to hear that the crystal works for you. I tried it once and it didn’t work, but I can’t remember what kind of soap I was using at the time. May have to give it another shot! (I use a non-aluminum deodorant only.)

    It’s true, it’s all an experiment to find the right products for us. We all have different skin, live in different climates, like different things, and have different lifestyles…. So there isn’t one “Right Answer,” except to find something that is sustainable and works for you!

    Sunscreen… yeah, it’s extremely tough, especially when you have to watch the ingredients and make sure it works (at the Skin Deep website).

    Rob, Yeah, I actually don’t like the Dr. Bronner’s for that very reason: the (all over body) tingles. But I know I’m a minority. : )

    Heather, A friend of mine from India never washes her face and swears by it. Since she told me that a few years ago, I’ve learned that I don’t need to wash nearly as often – maybe once every 4 days.

    I’m learning as much from you guys as you are from me, so I’m looking forward to getting more ideas, too!

    Lori, I am the same way with shaving: I’ve always had to use a cream. I use Kiss My Face unscented. But lately I’ve been using just my Green Mountain Soap, very lathered. It’s thicker than a bar soap and it actually works for me. You might give it a try (Green Mountain Soap comes in small bottles if you just want to try a bit.)
    The shower filter can be used with any shower head. It comes with a low-flow shower head, which we gave to our local charity.

    I read this in an FAQ with a company selling the filters, “Will the AQ-4100 remove marble, limestone and other hard water deposits from showering water?
    Yes, the AQ-4100 removes most heavy metals that cause scaling and hard water deposits in the shower or bathtub.”
    I’ve written them to ask if this is the case, and I’ll let you know what I hear!

    Kim, Thanks for the moisturizer break-down – that’s great! What ratio do you use for the baking soda/vinegar rinse?

    Samantha, I will put the book on my library list – thank you!

    Danielle, LOL. Sometimes we have to choose what’s truly important. : ) Almond oil – interesting. I’ve wondered about that.

  • Notify Comments checked — no echo, just those of us subscribed to hear what people say in response :)

    The problem with Skin Deep is that most of the “good” products are extremely hard to get. California Baby, one of their top sunscreens, was sold out when I went to get sunscreen at Whole Foods (at least they had that one though). Ah well. It’ll work out.

    Different climates–you’re right. I did notice that my hands, which were extremely dry all my life growing up in California (I used to think cream moisturizers were the most evil thing in the world because not only did they not work, they burned my skin upon contact), but barely noticeably dry by the end of my first year of college in the Midwest. So even switching climates changes things.

    Maybe that’s the answer!

  • We’re a Dr. Bonner’s household and buy it in a huge jug that we fill into a smaller container for the shower. We’ve been using it so long though the tingle has gone away. We also use Liggett’s shampoo bar which works great. The Burt’s Bee shampoo bar leaves a funny film in our hair. And lastly we use straight jojaba oil as a moisturizer, lip balm, all over feel good. I love it. It feels clean and even though it’s an oil, it doesn’t leave an oily film. I’m still working on alternatives for plastic containers of deoderant, better toothpaste options and a good clean hair conditioner. But our shower is a Zen retreat compared to the products that used to live there. I’ll have to try the cold water face treatment Melinda. It sounds, well it sounds wicked cold, but healthy all the same. Thanks.

  • Stephanie & Katrina, I’m glad you’re still there! Thanks so much for your comments. I love reading about our different experiences, different climates, different feelings about oil and water… I’m thinking about compiling all of our different products so those who are looking can see the all the things we use.

    Lori, I’ve finally received word from Aquasana. Here’s their response: “The system will work just fine with hard water but will not soften the water. The system will take out the contaminants that make water feel hard (dry skin and brittle hair) but will not take out the natural minerals that cause water to be hard. Some people get hard water effects confused with contaminated water effects. The effects of hard water is difficulty getting soap spuds and allot of scaling on tubs, pips, and fixtures. Contaminated water will cause dry skin, brittle hair, rashes, itching, etc……..Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Thanks for following up with the Aquasana folks. I didn’t expect it to soften the water, just last reasonably long despite the extra minerals running through the filter. I’ll definitely think about making the investment.

  • No problem. Actually, I sent him a follow-up question regarding the filter life. His response was this: “The filter is designed to last 10,000 gallons which can range 4-6 months depending on the size of your family. Hard water will not affect the filter life span.” Hope that helps!

  • [...] a new day. I really feel great today. My skin feels more alive than it has (which has to do with some experimentation with soap, I think), my hair felt soft and cute and flirty all day, and I learned how to layer my clothes so [...]

  • So, I stopped using my chemical-laden acne wash and products that bleach every fabric my face touches (pillowcases, towels) in order to try a less-drying BAR SOAP… though admittedly one said to be for made for acne, and not a homemade one either.

    And while it worked for the first few days in the transition, where my face was nice and soft and NOT DRY for once… currently I want to run screaming back to the aesthetician for more of the CHEMICALS. My face hurts. The pimples and redness have been spreading like a rash, and it is driving me absolutely crazy–to the point that I can hardly concentrate on my work for an hour and a half because my face hurts and I just want it all to stop.

    The sad thing is I wasn’t this worried about it when I went to the aesthetician to rid my acne. I guess I got used to having a clear-of-acne forehead over the last year and a half.

    Maybe my skin is sensitive, period? There *is* aluminum laurel sulfate in my shampoo, so if I stopped using that, I wonder if it would help my face? Should I just switch to a Dr. Bronner’s soap or another homemade plain soap? Or a plain oatmeal soap like what you tried first? (Rhetorical questions!) And yet I hate the idea of dropping these things; I have half a bottle left of my shampoo still. It feels too wasteful to just drop everything because my face no longer looks clear of acne, and I can live with it if I have to… and yet it’s painful and I’m used to not having it and I don’t feel CLEAN with a face like this. And spreading like a rash.

    I’m sorry — I just really needed to vent all this. I know there’s no “quick fix” to anything but… I’m new to all these green changes and I’m new to paying attention to my body’s reaction to what I do to it and it’s frightening how much self-hatred I’m going through all of a sudden. And I don’t know what to DO! I wish there were a way to search a bunch of blogs AND ONLY THESE BLOGS on Google so I could find what people are saying about different soaps and ways to wash hair and etc.

  • [...] please take a look at her plea below and see if you can help. (The original comment is here and is reproduced with [...]

  • I’ve noticed that most lotions have started severely irritating my eyes (it’s painful), though not my skin. I have to scrub my hands before I can touch near my eyes. I dont care to do a ton of experimenting so if anyone has any suggestions that would be helpful.

  • Aradia,

    Yikes! My skin itches and breaks out after using most lotions. I think it could be the perfumes as well as the SLS or SLES or DEA or whatever other irritating chemical is in most lotions.

    My philosophy is that using just one or two ingredients makes it a lot less likely that your skin and eyes will react badly. And if you do have a reaction, you’ll know what ingredient caused it. So, since most lotions have an oil as their main moisturizer, why not try the oil itself rather than all the extra stuff?

    I strongly recommend just moisturizing with a pure oil (see the post above for my own experiments). Also, several people have recommended straight aloe vera gel. You could try that as well – it makes my skin feel very soft and supple. Just make sure it is pure aloe vera, without any added dyes, perfumes, or preservatives.

    Good luck!!!!

  • [...] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by dhdesign on 2008-09-11 Non-Toxic, Frugal, & Nurturing Skin Care http://1greengeneration.elementsintime.com/?p=302 – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by [...]

  • Matthew C

    Thanks for sharing these interesting body care products. I enjoyed reading about your no ‘poo and deodorant recipes.

    I will let you in on a secret!! If you can find a university or such that is working on Biofuel, then you can get this hard to find glycerine soap in bulk. It turns out to be a by-product of the Biofuel conversion. For every gallon of diesel they product, they produce five gallons of glycerine! Donate some money to help their green-energy research, and I am sure they will give you this useful waste product. Bring a gallon-sized jug and be ready to add fragrance when you get home.

  • Matthew C, I heard that on NPR yesterday – I had no idea! Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

  • Kylee

    I purchase my sunscreen at FreshandGreen.com. They have the Keys Solar RX, which was rated #1 by the EWG. It is thin, not thick like most natural sunscreens. It gives great coverage and it doesn’t have any weird smells. I use that for my whole family and we love it.

  • [...] adjust my schedule so that I’m spending more time at home. I also read some great tips from One Green Generation about natural skin care. Since reading it, I’ve been using Vitamin E Oil as my moisturizer on [...]

  • Ellie

    Just to say this is all very interesting and I am really interested in the baking soda/vinegar “reciepe” for hair…. I have started to use “Faith in Nature” which may only be a UK thing but on the whole it works for me, even now down to not needing to wash my hair every day. Moisturiser I tend to use coconut or rose oil, or now in winter both, but my face still feels dry! However after reading the bit about showers and chlorine, i am now reminded that i do have a shower filter downstairs I shall try and use immediately.

    Just a small note for those poor people still suffering with ache despsite all good attempts to clear their products… Sadly may I recommend you look at your diet as well. Milk and gluten are sneaky products that can really encourage skin break outs of any type, as well as asthma.

  • I too use as few products as possible with the least number of ingredients. I always had perfect, clear skin up until I hit 32. Now I get an occasional small breakout, but take care of it with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water, about 1:1. I recommend starting with a lower ratio though, to see how your sin will handle it, maybe 1 part ACV to 2 or even 3 parts water. My teenage son uses it and it works well for him.

    As for washing my face, I use Dr. Bronner’s Almond bar soap, and follow with an oil like olive, almond, or coconut (organic of course), depending on my moisture needs. I tried using Burt’s bees facial cleansers and moisturizers at one point, but they only made my face breakout – I have very sensitive skin – plus they were just ridiculously expensive. Now I’m looking into making my own homemade lotions and body butters since I still like to use products that have a nice scent to them, and are a little bit thicker for areas like feet, hands, and elbows.

  • Malorye

    Melinda,

    I have found Macadamia nut oil at Mountain rose herbs.com. I love it, you should definitely try it. It is cheap and all natural. I also use their organic liquid castile soap…it is fragrance free. These two items, and your recipes for shampoo and deodorant have helped me totally simplify my beauty routine. My skin has never looked better, and I feel healthier and happier just knowing I am using chemical free products!!

  • Paula Dabbs

    Have to say, THANK YOU so much for your blog!!
    Not often you find a decent website which isn’t just trying to scam you anymore :P

    I’ve already saved it so I can keep visiting! :D

  • Jorie

    I discovered begreenbathandbody.com on the safe cosmetics database. All of their products got a perfect score of 0 for safety which is pretty rare! What’s also great is that most of the products are around $8, and you can order almost everything in a trial size for $2-3 each. I have tried almost all of their products and they are fantastic–my skin has never felt this soothed! The website could use a little work, but the products are perfect! I’m so glad I found them! :)

  • WOW, I just found this blog and read through every comment. I too struggle with acne (I’m 27) and want to stay away from chemical products but when my skin flares up it takes everything to not run back to those products. It’s like an addiction!

    I started using the oil cleansing method with castor oil and olive oil. It worked really well and kept my skin pretty much as acne-free as it was when I was using the chemical stuff. Then I read that jojoba oil was even better for some poeple, so I greedily switched to that. Now my skin is more acne-filled again so I think I will try the olive oil again and see if that was the problem.

    I’m excited to read through other posts in this blog and hear about other people’s experiences!

    • Welcome, Allison! Glad you’re enjoying the reading. I’m taking a few more days off before I start up writing again, so peruse the archive of posts and I’ll be back by the time you’re done! :)

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