Natural Beauty

Easy Clean Beauty Swaps for Your Body and Face

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Thinking of making the switch to cleaner products? This list of clean beauty swaps is a great place to kick-start your journey into non-toxic products for your face and body!

WHY CLEAN BEAUTY PRODUCTS ARE IMPORTANT

Many conventional beauty, face and body products contain a long list of preservatives, artificial colorants, chemicals and tons of other less than desirable ingredients that have been linked to a sleuth of health problems.

Consider how many different products you use on a daily basis, and the number of toxic ingredients you’re slathering on your body really add up!

The good news is there are plenty of amazing, non-toxic and clean options to replace all of your favorite conventional personal care products.

These clean beauty swaps will make the transition to natural products feel painless.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty

WHAT PRODUCTS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO SWITCH TO NON-TOXIC?

Products that you use in large quantities on your body OR that you consume small amounts of (like lip products) are a great place to start.

Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it, so ingredients matter!

Remember, you don’t need to switch everything all at once! It would be expensive and probably a bit overwhelming to swap all of your conventional products for clean products in one swoop.

Instead, start with just one product to switch to the natural version. Pick any from this list that feels the least intimidating to you, and go for it.

RELATED: NYR Organic Review – Non-toxic skincare and essential oils

neals yard remedies product review

Once you’ve made your first product swap, the next won’t feel like such a big deal. And if you tackle all the products on this list over a period of several months, you will have eliminated a TON of chemicals from your beauty routine.

That’s a BIG win, and something to be proud of.

LIP PRODUCTS

If you’re not already using an all-natural lip balm, this is the absolute easiest clean beauty swap out there.

There is no reason to use anything but healthy lip balm because it works so well, it is readily available, it is inexpensive and there are a plethora of choices available.

But really ALL products you put on your lips should be top priority, IMO. Since you consume some (or most) of your lipstick, lip gloss or lip balm, it’s super important to make sure it’s clean and non-toxic.

Lip Balm

NYR Organics Shea Nut and Rose Hip Lip Formula

Handmade lip balm from an Etsy Artisan             

Lip Gloss

Han Skincare All Natural Lip Gloss

Lip Stick

Clove and Hollow Lip Velvet  – this is like a stain and has SERIOUS staying power

100% Pure Lipstick and Liquid Lipstick

DIY It

Homemade Lip Balm Recipe

BODY LOTION

Body lotion is another easy natural beauty swap that gives you lots of bang for your buck. Since this stuff gets slathered all over and the goal is for it to absorb into your body, you want to make sure what you’re using is non-toxic.

Fragrance runs rampant in conventional lotions, as well as lots of petroleum based ingredients that don’t actually moisturize your skin. Lotion is usually loaded with chemical preservatives as well to make sure it has a long shelf life.

These natural lotions are moisturizing without the toxins!

Try

Andalou Naturals body lotion

NYR Organic Bee Lovely Body Lotion

DIY it

Learn how to make your own lotion bars

SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

You might not think of shampoo and conditioner as important clean beauty swaps since you rinse them out of your hair, but they are! Conventional shampoo typically has fragrance and chemical lathering agents. Conventional products can build up in your hair, making you need to wash more often.

I’ve tried LOTS of natural shampoo and conditioners, and without a doubt have a favorite. The shampoo lathers nicely and you don’t need a ton like lots of other natural shampoos.

The conditioner is thick and really moisturizes hair. Plus it’s SO affordable! The Andalou Naturals brand has a shampoo and conditioner set for most hair types, and the moisture rich set smells amazing.

Try

AAndalou Naturals Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner

DIY It

Aromatherapy vinegar hair rinse

Or give this homemade shampoo a try:

NAIL POLISH

Nail polish is one of the most chemical heavy beauty products around. It is frequently made with formaldehyde and a host of other toxic ingredients.

While many conventional brands have eliminated at least a couple of the worst offending ingredients, most still contain toxins that are hazardous.

However, there are a number of brands who offer ‘5-free’ polish, which are free of 5 toxins commonly found in nail polish.

The 5 toxins you absolutely want to avoid in nail polish are:

  • Tolune
  • Formaldehyde
  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) 
  • Formaldehyde resin
  • Camphor

I’ve tried lots of ‘natural’ or healthier brands of nail polish, and found a clear winner in all of that polish testing.

My favorite low-toxin brand, Zoya, is 10-free and salon quality. They have more than 300 colors and the polish applies so smoothly its crazy. You will be amazed at how great your nails look.

I also like nail polish from 100% Pure. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Zoya, but also a great choice for a less toxic polish that works.

Try

Zoya 10-free Nail Polish

100% Pure Non-Toxic Polish

BUBBLE BATH AND BATH PRODUCTS

Bath products are typically filled with fragrances and chemical bubbling agents, which are both on the naughty list of beauty product additives.

When you settle in for a nice bubble bath, consider how long you soak. Now, think about the ingredients in the bubble bath, bath bomb or whatever you add to your bath.

A 30 minute bath means your skin is getting nice and soft and and has plenty of time to absorb everything you’ve added to the bath, good or bad.

If you have young kids who love bubbles in their bath (what kid doesn’t?), this is a great swap for them as well!

The good news is, there are plenty of clean swaps for bath products!

If you love bath bombs, check out these handmade bath bombs made with natural ingredients and scented with essential oils.

Try

Alaffia Bubble Bath (my top pick for adults and kids, and it’s a HUGE jug)

Handmade bath bombs from Etsy Artisans

DIY It

Try a detoxifying Epsom salt bath

How to make bath salts

BODY WASH or SOAP

Handmade lemon poppyseed soap by yours truly

More cleansing products with lathering chemicals = an easy clean beauty swap.

I’m a soap maker, so made the switch to bar soap for my family more than 15 years ago.

Besides being a clean alternative, bar soap has lots of benefits over body wash. It’s zero waste, lasts a long time (if stored properly), takes up less space in the shower and is usually made with natural and healthy ingredients.

Bar Soap

Etsy for TONS of handmade options

Handmade soap from NYR Organic

Shop your local farmers market

Note: You’ll still want to check for artificial fragrance in the ingredient list and skip the brands that use them.

If you aren’t quite feeling the bar soap love, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. There are good options for body wash as well, and it is fairly easy to find a natural body wash (just make sure to check for artificial fragrance).

Bodywash

NYR Organic Shower Gel

Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap – this multi-purpose liquid soap is completely natural and works for SO many things. It’s great as a body wash and comes in a bunch of (essential oil scented) scents.

PERFUME OR FRAGRANCE

If you’ve been checking out your ingredient labels to see how toxic your favorite products are, you might have noticed perfume labels don’t have an ingredient list.

That’s because even though fragrance is synthetically produced and can include any number of chemical compounds, companies are not required to disclose what is in it.

It is considered a trade secret so brands can simply put ‘fragrance’.

So you really have no idea what you’re getting with perfume.

When you think about how you smell it all day (and people around you do as well), it’s an obvious clean beauty swap.

Try a natural perfume made with essential oils instead. You might find it doesn’t last all day like you are used to, but once you eliminate artificial fragrances from your beauty routine you probably won’t miss the all-day scent.

I used to be a Clinique Happy girl, every day. I opted to just stop using perfume and now I can’t stand the smell of it!

TRY

Pure Essence Natural Fragrance from NYR Organic

Kahina Giving Beauty Perfume Oil

Detox Market for a big selection of natural fragrance choices

DIY It

If you’re already into essential oils, try making your own perfume. It can be really fun mixing scents and figuring out what you love. This article gives a great intro to how to mix your own essential oils for perfume.

Or go au-natural and skip the perfume all together.

DEODORANT/ANTIPERSPIRANT

Deodorant was the very first clean beauty swap I made in my own life over 15 years ago, so I have a soft spot for natural deodorant. (Is that weird?)

Deodorant is an important product to switch because it assists with detox and is absorbed right into lymph nodes.

Conventional antiperspirants contain aluminum, which stops you from sweating by clogging your pores. You will not find a clean antiperspirant because there is not a natural and healthy way to stop you from sweating.

So when you make the switch to natural, you will sweat more until your body gets used to it.

Even though it might not seem like it at first, this is a good thing! Your body needs to sweat to eliminate toxins, it is part of your natural (and normal) detoxification process.

I’ve been using various natural deodorants for about 15 years, and I’ve tried LOTS. Some work really well, and others, well, not so much (I’m looking at you, salt rock deodorant stick). For a while I made my own deodorant, which I really liked.

But I don’t always have time to DIY it, so I do have a few favorite brands.

Try

Smarty Pits Aluminum Free Deodorant – My favorite baking soda free natural deodorant for sensitive skin.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant – My husband’s favorite natural deodorant. It goes on smooth and is a great neutral scent. This does contain baking soda, so if you have sensitive skin like me, try Smarty Pits instead.

DIY It

Homemade Deodorant Recipe with essential oils

SUN PROTECTION

Sunscreen is another important clean beauty swap because many of the chemicals used in traditional sunscreens are known toxins that have not been researched enough to prove they are safe.

Sunscreen works by absorbing into your skin and providing a chemical barrier to keep you from getting burned. But there is plenty of mounting evidence that these chemicals are readily absorbed into the bloodstream and need to be further studied to determine their safety. (source)

Many chemical sunscreen ingredients are linked to skin irritation and hormone disruption. The chemical ingredient oxybenzone is particularly worrisome, as it is known to lower testosterone levels. (source)

In fact, the FDA is proposing that all sunscreen ingredients be further tested for safety since there is currently inadequate studies to show their safety.

Chemical free, or mineral sunblock works by creating a barrier on top of the skin to protect it from sun damage. Zinc Oxide and titanium dioxide are the 2 most common barrier sun blocks.

The drawback of barrier sun blocks is that since they are not absorbed, they can leave a white film on your skin. I’ve tested lots of natural sunblock and here are my top picks that won’t leave you looking like a ghost:

For Face

Andalou Naturals CC Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30

For Body

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

Suntegrity Unscented SPF 30 for Body

For Kids

Think Baby SPF 50

Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

What is your favorite clean beauty swap that you would add to this list?