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Help me become a natural beauty
March 21, 2011 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Help me become a natural beauty!

I have recently begun switching over to more natural beauty and health regimens, for obvious and less-obvious reasons. I currently do the following:

1. A modified no-poo hair care regimen. No sulfates, no silicons, no product (or very little).
2. The Oil Cleansing Method .
3. Use Dr. Bronner's soaps on my body and homemade shaving lotion/bath bombs/salt scrubs, etc.
4. Eat mostly Paleo, modified to include LOTS of greens and green tea.
5. No sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no grains.

I want more suggestions on how to become even more natural. Toothpaste? Lady-parts products? Lotions? Cosmetics? Sunscreens? Deodorant (I have tried the Lush natural deodorant and it was a big FAIL, but I'm open to trying other things. And I don't work in the summer, so I can experiment)?
posted by mrfuga0 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (31 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
 
Diva Cup for monthly lady business

Try Etsy for natural, handmade cosmetics.
posted by pised at 9:44 PM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lady-parts products: The Keeper. One of 'em will last you 20 years.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:47 PM on March 21, 2011


Tom's of Maine makes a nice hops-based deodorant.
posted by bq at 9:49 PM on March 21, 2011


Also it's likely that the paleo, no sugar, grain, wheat thing is more likely to harm, as the resulting decrease in the bacterial flora of your digestive system will make you more susceptible to more sicknesses, and also will make your body less able to turn food into absorbable essential nutrients. But if you want to disregard this science-based advice (as the scientific method of evidence-based inquiry was totally not around when we were hunter-gatherers), you should check out paleohacks.com
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:51 PM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should have clarified that I don't really do "Paleo" (as in, I'm not a Paleo fiend). I have celiac disease and because of that, I also have a dairy issue. So those two things combined make me more prone to eat meat, veggies and fruit. I think refined sugar is completely gross and I don't really tolerate most grains, either (bloating, gas, cramps, etc.). I usually use the moniker "Paleo" because it really is the closest thing to what I eat, but not because I'm on a political mission to change how people eat.
posted by mrfuga0 at 9:58 PM on March 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Have you tried Crystal deodorant? It works great for me in the winter, but doesn't quite cut it during an Arizona summer- YMMV.

You might also check out Angry Chicken for all sorts of recipes for body care items (I linked to her home made deodorant recipe).

I think your best bet for natural sunscreen is fabric: wearing hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants goes a long way to protect your skin in the summer. Stick to natural fibers (obviously?) (linen is my go to).

As for lady products, check out Luna pads. And to go a step further: family cloth.
posted by LyndsayMW at 10:01 PM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can switch to tooth powder for brushing your teeth. This has the side benefit of being much easier to take on planes with you. You can buy something like this or make your own (there are a ton of recipes, you can click around to find one you like)
posted by jessamyn at 10:12 PM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You may already be using apple cider vinegar as part of your no-shampoo regimen, but if not, it's a great way to get a little extra boost to remove any build-up, plus it leaves your hair very soft. I do a rinse of about half distilled water and half ACV every few weeks. I've also known people who swear by ACV as a deodorant (swipe it on your underarms with cotton balls in the morning) but I don't have any personal experience with that.

Baking soda works to brush your teeth, freshen your breath, and exfoliate your skin, among other uses.
posted by scody at 10:15 PM on March 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


For toothpaste, I really like Weleda. They're nice to use and among the only toothpastes I can find without SLS (even most natural brands contain it).

For deo, I spray my pits with a vodka/rosewater mix, then swipe with a crystal rock. Crystal rocks are cheap and awesome because they last FOREVER. I also use the vodka/rosewater (or orange water) as a Febreze-type spray to freshen clothes and other fabrics.

For lotion, try the massage bars from LUSH (they are basically a solid lotion). They are almost 100% natural, except a bit of synthetic fragrance that they use.

For general purpose household cleaning spray, I've switched to water/vinegar in a spray bottle. It works on sinks, counters, and appliances. I use newspaper to wipe down mirrors and glass.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 10:39 PM on March 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Menstrual cups and cloth pads FTW. On the lady-parts vein: maybe you are lucky enough not to deal with this, but there are a lot of great natural remedies for yeast infections. I don't want to get all TMI on that because it's easy for real-life friends/family to find me here, but I'll talk about it via MeMail if anyone wants.

Also... I don't use deodorant. Gasp, shock, horror! Uninvited from meet-ups forever! But seriously, I always figured that I would start when I started getting stinky and then I never got stinky so I never started using it. Now, I don't believe that we would all smell like roses if we just didn't use deodorant. Let's not get crazy here. I've known too many teenage boys (and, yes, girls too) whose skin had never felt the touch of deodorant, and it was painfully obvious. But I do believe that not everybody needs it if they are otherwise keeping clean and are adjusted to not using it. YMMV. Like with going no-poo, though, I'm pretty sure there is a pretty awkward adjustment period if your body is used to the product.
posted by mandanza at 11:51 PM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Try sea sponges at that special Spongebob Redpants time of the month. Reusable, tick. Easy to have sex with them in and avoid the Slasher movie set vestige, tick. TMI: I'm not sure what happens to them if your partner finishes inside... haven't tested that.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 1:11 AM on March 22, 2011


I started using this recipe for homemade deodorant around Christmas time. After a few weeks of time when it worked okay, it now works *fabulously.* Also raising a hand for menstrual cups and cloth pads, SOOO much more comfortable than disposables. I've also been experimenting with "lotions." I don't have a perfect one yet, but am doing well with: approximately 2:1 ratio of shea butter to coconut oil, with some essential oil for good smells, melted together, then refrigerated for a bit to get set up some, then whipped into creamy goodness with my egg beater. It's a bit oily going on, so you can't use it in a hurry, but after a couple of minutes, it's pretty fab, has done wonders for dry elbows, feet and the ouchy dry patches I get on my fingers in winter.
posted by upatree at 1:43 AM on March 22, 2011


massage bars from LUSH (they are basically a solid lotion). They are almost 100% natural, except a bit of synthetic fragrance that they use

Whatever synthetic fragrances they do use can trigger very bad reactions in people such as myself with perfume allergies. If I need to use a room where a Lush user has been within the last two to three hours, I need to eat antihistamines to stop my eyes swelling closed and my mind becoming non-functional. The stuff just sticks to walls, furnishings, keyboards, paper and reeks.
posted by flabdablet at 2:52 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seconding Crystal Stick deodorant, or one of the equivalent competing brands. It works well and lasts for well over a year.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 5:01 AM on March 22, 2011


But seriously, I always figured that I would start when I started getting stinky and then I never got stinky so I never started using it. Now, I don't believe that we would all smell like roses if we just didn't use deodorant. Let's not get crazy here. I've known too many teenage boys (and, yes, girls too) whose skin had never felt the touch of deodorant, and it was painfully obvious.

Asked in curiosity - we often tune out our own scents unless something goes really off, so how do you know that you're not stinkier than you think you are?
posted by canine epigram at 5:48 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bought a little powder shaker thing at Sephora and put baking soda in it, and I've been using that instead of deodorant for about six months. So far, it works so great I'm wondering why everyone isn't doing it. It's been long sleeve weather for that amount of time so it remains to be seen how it works in the summer.

Mr. Llama assures me I am not stinky, and he has proven in the past to be reliable in these matters. :(
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:59 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am really sensitive to whatever they put in most lotions, so I switched to using coconut oil as a moisturizer. It's got a great smell, and because it has a melting point of ~76 degrees, it's very easy to use straight out of the shower. I will also use coconut oil as a natural hair wax to help keep frizz down.

Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial/antifungal properties, so I will add this to lotions and shampoos. It has helped me with blemishes and dandruff, and a weird issue of flaky skin on my hands.
posted by smalls at 6:07 AM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


One caveat - essential oils can be *horrendously* irritating for skin. Lush products give me hideous allergic reactions, partly because they're loaded with nice-smelling, highly concentrated oils like orange, lemon and pepper oil.

I use rosehip oil when my skin's feeling dry and find it very useful. And I swear by coconut oil in my hair.
posted by nerdfish at 6:11 AM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are one squillion books out there about "making your own beauty treatments". I first picked one up because I was visiting a friend's mother, and his mother has multiple chemical sensitivity -- so he warned me that I could not use any makeup, hair product, perfume, deodorant, basically anything made in a lab; I could wash my hair with Johnson's baby shampoo and my face and body with unscented castille soap, and that was it. At the time I was having trouble with frizzy hair on the ends, so I was fretting what to do about that; and then I stumbled upon a book that had all sorts of "natural beauty treatments" and it suggested a hair pack of honey and a mashed banana. I tried that and it worked fantastically.

I'm not living an all-natural beauty lifestyle -- but I still have a lot of these kinds of books, because there's something just plain fun about them; it's REALLY easy to find excuses to give yourself an indulgent "spa night" at home when all you need to spend is 20 bucks tops at the grocery store. And they really do work.

Can't recommend any one book because there are a ton of them. Hit a bookstore with a notepad and browse.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on March 22, 2011


Vodka as deodorant! That screams "timesaver"!
posted by thinkpiece at 6:43 AM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Egg Bomb!

Read 50+ posts on makeupalley about how incredible it was. I have a ton of naturally very thick and coarse hair so I was all "nuh uh" but tried it anyway and yep, my hair became shiny soft and manageable. I doubled this recipe and used a little extra olive oil:

Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon honey. In a seperate bowl, beat the yolk of one egg. Mix the oil/honey emulsion with the egg and saturate your hair. (double recipe for longer hair) Leave in for 30min, shampoo and condition as usual

Do it with dirty hair. When it's on your head you'll wonder a) is it supposed to feel like glue on my head? and b) wont the olive oil be hard to wash out? The answers are a) yes, but it washes out very easily and b) no, and I'm not sure why. Possibly something to do with the egg?

Love this thread :)
posted by moons in june at 11:05 AM on March 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


You don't need deodorant if you're eating as well as you say.
posted by cmoj at 11:37 AM on March 22, 2011


canine epigram: Asked in curiosity - we often tune out our own scents unless something goes really off, so how do you know that you're not stinkier than you think you are?

That did concern me, so I took to periodically asking my most forthright, straight-talking friends if I was ever stinky. They always said no. I'm pretty confident that my boyfriend would tell me if I smelled bad, too, because I've discussed the no-deodorant thing with him.

I also do notice on the occasions when I do start to smell. Hard exercise in high heat can make me smell funky if I don't shower after exercising, and I notice it, so I figure that's a good sign.
posted by mandanza at 1:28 PM on March 22, 2011


I live in Texas and am 100% sure that natural deodorants just won't cut it under my professional clothes in the summer. If you're in a similar situation, I hear Mitchum makes a ladies deodorant that is less chemical-y for those who need something more than the Jason or Tom's of Maine stuff.

I buy makeup at local health food-ish stores (Whole Foods-type places) and have had good luck. It can be pricey, but if you buy nicer than drugstore makeup already, you should be good.
posted by elpea at 2:46 PM on March 22, 2011


I have been using Eco-Dent toothpowder for years. Easy for traveling, and doesn't make orange juice taste horrible.

I wear real mineral makeup (not the trendy kind now sold everywhere that is full of all kinds of random crap)- my favorite retailer currently is Silk Naturals, though I also like Lumiere (though their website is ugly, their products have been good).

Lotions I make myself. There's is good information at this site, especially if you like to experiment. Look for more specific links on the bottom right.

Sunscreen- I use only mineral sunscreen, though be warned it doesn't go on invisibly. It's very effective against both UVA and UVB, though. I don't wear it on my face, though, I wear a hat + mineral makeup with titanium dioxide in it.

Deodorant- usually just some sort of essential oil concoction I've made that includes sandalwood or vetiver plus whatever seems good in a jojoba base.

Soap- a big indulgence, because Dr Bronners got boring fast. My favorite isn't completely all natural though- she uses synthetic fragrances sometimes. The soap is perfect for my skin though- one of the only kinds I've used that isn't drying.

There's lots of natural soap sellers on Etsy too- I try to find ones that really make their own recipes, instead of just using melt-and-pour (because I can do that myself!).
posted by oneirodynia at 5:38 PM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jojoba oil is a great moisturizer - it's about $5 at trader joe's.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:25 PM on March 22, 2011


Last time I checked, both the DivaCup and the Keeper said on the packaging that they shouldn't be used if you have an IUD. This may not apply to you, but IUDs do seem to be popular among the natural-stuff crowd because you can avoid systemic hormones that you would be taking with the pill.

You might find some interesting ideas by checking out the personal care section of your local food co-op or even whole foods. The co-ops near me have a wide range of super-duper-natural to not-natural-but-scented-like-patchouli-so-it-sorta-counts products, and even some little notecards with recipes for how to make your own stuff at home out of "ingredients" sold at the store.
posted by vytae at 6:26 PM on March 22, 2011


pure Aloe vera gel is a lovely moisturizer, and also works as a hair-styling gel
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:37 PM on March 22, 2011


Drinking lots of water and sleeping with a humidifier can help cut down on lotions and make-up needed in the first place. Making sure you get plenty of essential fatty acids in your diet will also help with the quality of your skin and hair, reducing the need for products. Avoiding onions, garlic and other strong foods will decrease the odor of your sweat. Recent studies also say that eating a diet that contains lots of beta-carotene rich foods will give your skin an attractive glow and healthy coloration. Cardiovascular exercise and a good amount of fitful sleep always help.

For products, I recommend Ladycup to replace pads and tampons at every opportunity. Sachets of lavender instead of dryer sheets and baking soda instead of dishwasher powder. I use Jojoba, grapeseed, castor and almond oil in various combinations in place of face wash, face cream, eye makeup remover, eye cream, lube (not with condoms...will cause them to break), body lotion, hair mask and lip gloss.

If you do happen to get sick, I recommend lots of ginger, lemon, honey and cayenne pepper. Salt water gargles for sore throats. For PMS I have good luck with grapefruit juice. For menstrual cramps I recommend orgasms and heating pads, but probably not together.
posted by tinamonster at 10:20 PM on March 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just a story about the IUD + cup issue vytae brought up. I have had my copper IUD for nearly a year now, and my divacup has been my main menstrual protection for two years, with cloth pads for backup and light days. When I was getting my IUD, I'd heard about this issue so I looked to both online communities for divacups and IUDs and the medical professionals who helped with my IUD for answers.

The nurse was absolutely adamant that it was a terrible idea to use them together, but the online communities and both doctors were fairly sure it was hogwash. The belief is that the suction from the cup increases the chance that you'll expel your IUD. AFAIK this is entirely hypothetical since cups aren't popular enough yet to warrant any mainstream scientific study. The IUD LJ community had a long poll/discussion which concluded that the IUD expulsion rates for their cup-using members were not significantly higher than for users who used tampons, pads and sponges instead. My doctors were also gathering information about what their IUD patients used for menstrual protection so they could prove it was a myth. At the time I got my IUD in, they said the numbers were about even for cup users and non-cup users and said they saw no reason for me to worry about continuing the use of my cup. It seems that the warning on the packaging is simply corporate butt-covering, but I'd strongly encourage you to ask a few doctors of your own as the consensus may have changed in the last year.

Sponges and cloth pads are a couple of other alternatives which are relatively environmentally-friendly. TBH I find cloth pads to be a little high maintenance for my lazy self, but it's not too bad if you have a washing machine. (You don't want to leave those things unwashed for long, trust me!) Cups are mega easy to use and take care of, once you've figured out how to get a good seal when you put it in and take it out without making a mess, which can take a couple cycles for some people. If you don't work in the summer then perhaps you can plan to change your cup at home until you get the hang of things. TSS isn't a worry so the main issue is changing it before it fills up, which is 6-16 hours for me. I've never tried sponges.

As a sidenote, I love LUSH massage bars. (And bubble bath, and shower bombs, and soap, and and and.) I use them at night, so hopefully I'm not giving people allergic reactions all over the place the next morning. They always leave my skin really soft and I personally think they smell great. I was a little skeptical about whether they're actually environmentally-friendly but if that's the case it's a great bonus for me!
posted by purplecrackers at 2:47 PM on March 24, 2011


massage bars from LUSH (they are basically a solid lotion). They are almost 100% natural, except a bit of synthetic fragrance that they use

Whatever synthetic fragrances they do use can trigger very bad reactions in people such as myself with perfume allergies. If I need to use a room where a Lush user has been within the last two to three hours, I need to eat antihistamines to stop my eyes swelling closed and my mind becoming non-functional. The stuff just sticks to walls, furnishings, keyboards, paper and reeks.


I realise that not all people get on with synthetic fragrances, but honestly essential oils can be just as irritating. I mentioned LUSH because for a commercial company, they produce some of the most overall natural products readily available (even if they're not 100% natural). It's almost impossible to find 100% natural products, and it's not necessarily desirable/better because natural ingredients can still cause reactions, and there are practical issues like shelf life before bacteria starts to grow.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 3:49 PM on April 11, 2011


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