Natural Beauty Products for Real Foodies

by Ann Marie Michaels on March 18, 2009

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This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday and the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop. Visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop for more ideas for Natural Beauty Products for Real Foodies.

Soaptopia Natural Soap

Today I’m sharing with you the natural beauty products I use. When I started paying more attention to what I was putting in my mouth, I also became aware of what I was putting on my skin. As most of you know, what goes on our skin is directly absorbed by our pores.

We really shouldn’t be putting a bunch of toxic chemicals on our bodies if we want to be healthy. Read this recent article from the Washington Post: Probable Carcinogens in Baby Toiletries — “More than half the baby shampoo, lotion and other infant care products analyzed by a health advocacy group were found to contain trace amounts of two chemicals that are believed to cause cancer.” Here’s what I thought when I read that article: if even the baby products have stuff in them that causes cancer, what do the adult products have?!

While I’m not as girlie as some, I’m definitely not the hippie type and I can’t get away with being totally natural. I can’t stand the smell of patchouli, I still shave my legs and have my hair highlighted (I’ve always been a dirty dishwater blonde and I love my hair color just a little bit lighter).

I tried doing “no poo”. I gave it three full months of solid effort. It was a complete disaster. Ever see that episode of Seinfeld where they had to use the low-flow shower heads? That’s what I looked like. Actually it was worse than that because my hair was super greasy. Yuck! Apparently here in L.A. we have some of the hardest water in the country. (So if you try “no poo” and it doesn’t work for you, don’t feel bad — it didn’t work for me, either!)

I still like to get pedicures but am always too busy to get around to it so I end up doing it maybe a few times a year. I never have my nails done — I keep them short and unadorned for cooking, gardening and typing.

Most days I don’t wear makeup. I’ll put on a little powder and lipstick on special occasions (like a dinner out) but that’s about it. Since I wear makeup so infrequently, I don’t bother with the natural mineral makeups. I just use plain old grocery store powder and lipstick.

I do still like perfume. My husband buys me perfumes every once in a while. Luckily he has wonderful taste in scents. And I think it’s very romantic to get a gift of perfume. Then every time I wear it, I think of him. However, I don’t wear perfume too often. Just on the days when I want to feel extra-pretty.

Most of the time my routine is simple. I use the following products: soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, floss and toothpaste. That’s it.

I’ll share with you some of the things I love to put on my body:

Terressentials White Chocolate Lip Balms – These are so delicious I can hardly stand it. Organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla oil and organic beeswax plus some essential oils.

I also use the Terressentials Flower Therapy Silken Velvet Body Lotion. So good! We use their pump hand soaps, too. Oh, and I love their baby products. They have a great baby wash, baby lotion, and baby diaper rash product. We use all of those.

My favorite product of theirs is their 100% Organic Fragrance-free Moisture Cream — it’s 100% organic shea butter. I LOVE using it on my feet, my face and hands. It’s the best lotion I’ve ever used.

I also use natural handmade soaps from Soaptopia – This is the greatest place. They’re right in my neighborhood, so I love to go and pick out soaps. They also ship all over the country. Their soaps contain the following ingredients: olive oil, shea butter (wild-crafted from Senegal), hemp seed oil (organic), coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil and essential oils.

Soaptopia Natural Soaps

They’re not cheap but like I said, I don’t use a lot of other skincare products so these soaps are a special treat for us. And we LOVE them! (And just look at how gorgeous these soaps are in the photos!)

I also really really love Soaptopia’s bubble baths. I have tried the citrus and the vanilla scents and they are both out of this world. I use them in bubble baths — and they’re safe enough for a baby (Kate loves bubble baths too) and I also use them as a body wash in the shower.

For lotion, in addition to the Terressentials products, I use plain coconut oil. I love how coconut oil moisturizes my skin. However, I don’t love the actual process of slathering it on. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature — and I like lotion! For that reason, I’m going to order some coconut oil lotion from Tropical Traditions.

They have a bunch of different scents, but I really want to try these two: Tropical Traditions Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisturizing Lotion – Baby Silk and Tropical Traditions Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisturizing Lotion – Citrus.

What else? Shampoo… I use Aubrey Organics Shampoo. I also like Burt’s Bees Shampoo.

For toothpaste I use Trader Joe’s brand or Tom’s of Maine (fluoride-free).

Deodorant is the only thing I haven’t gone natural with. When I can get away with it, I will use just plain organic cornstarch (with a powder puff), but for those days when it’s hot and I have a business meeting and I’m wearing a nice blouse, I use Suave or Secret.

Don’t forget to go check out all the tips on Works for Me Wednesday and go to Kelly the Kitchen Kop for more ideas for Natural Beauty Products for Real Foodies.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly the Kitchen Kop March 18, 2009 at 4:54 AM

I don’t even know what “patchouli” IS!! Too funny about the Seinfeld episode, I wish I could’ve seen you when you were doing no-poo! :)

Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s last blog post..Natural Body Care Products for Real Foodies – Real Food Wednesday


Lavender March 18, 2009 at 8:26 AM

I love the way the soap looks, and think that using natural products is so important for our health. Goood info!


Erica @realfood2health March 18, 2009 at 8:49 AM

I’m still trying to find a good, healthy deodorant.. I remember reading somewhere that someone mixed tea tree oil and another oil with coconut oil.

I will have to look for some of your items now! Thanks!

Erica @realfood2health’s last blog post..You Plan to Fail If You Fail to Plan… Meal Plans!


Angelique March 18, 2009 at 9:19 AM

I finally found a natural deodorant that works! I spent years buying and throwing them away before I went back to Secret for special occasions, but in order to not get itchy underarms could only use it if I hadn’t shaved. Not fun.

It’s Alba Clear Enzyme Deodorant Stick (Alba Botanica). It uses Tea Tree oil to kill odors so you still sweat but it doesn’t stink. I wore it to a wedding last weekend and it got hot during the ceremony and I could feel my underarms were getting wet. I was worried but it dried quickly and afterward, there was no odor! Truly amazing. It goes on clear, doesn’t stain clothes, doesn’t have any scent.


Amanda March 18, 2009 at 9:35 AM

Thanks for this post!!! I too am trying to find all natural things for not only my skin, but what goes in my mouth.

I did find something amazing for food wise, I actually wrote about it on my blog today for WFMW… check it out :)

Amanda’s last blog post..Feeding Our Families NATURAL FOODS – THE EASY WAY!


cheeseslave March 18, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Angelique – Thanks for the tip! I will absolutely check that out!


Kim March 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Hey, I see you’ve abandoned the Terressentials Hair Wash thing. I was thinking about going back to it (loved it to death when my hair was au natural), but then I realized that half my head is bleached, so it’d probably be a bad idea. I also use Aubrey’s! And I love my jar of Spectrum coconut oil (yummmm).

PS – this isn’t to say “sls is awesome!” but remember, nothing can get “into your skin” via your pores if it’s of a certain molecular size. Remember, we’re waterproof. And water’s pretty small.

Kim’s last blog post..So Go Figure


Rosy March 18, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I like Crystal brand roll on body deodorant. It is all natural, I know every ingredient with out looking them up online. You have to put this on after your shower, and in the morning. I live in Fl, and it get pretty friggin’ hot here, and I don’t smell at all. I do get wet, but I find if I wear a t-shirt in my car (no ac) and carry a nice blouse in my bag, I can change for class if I am too wet. This is the best stuff I have used. I used to have to use the platinum antiperspirant, and would still smell. Yikes!

Also try no soap in your arm pits if natural deodorants don’t help. The bacteria that makes B.O. smell like to eat soap film. Use Apple cider vinegar, or baking soda to wash your arms.


Alyss March 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Check out my blog this week for a natural deodorant possiblity :)
Also, you can make your own coconut oil lotion by melting the coconut oil and mixing it with jojoba or olive oil. Here’s one recipe with proportions that someone tried and knows makes a good consistency:
I might try just melting some coconut oil and mixing in a little oil that’s liquid at room temperature. Let it cool, see what the consistency is and if you want it more liquid melt it again and add more oil :) And then you can add whatever essential oils you want, or don’t want!

Alyss’s last blog post..Coconut Oil Killed my Stink!


Betsy March 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I use the Topical Traditions citrus lotion (and lavendar) and love it! My face does, too.

After the Thrifty Oreganic posted her recipe for coconut oil deoderant, I mixed some up. So far so good. We’ll see how it goes when the temp’s in the 90s for weeks on end in Texas.


Betsy March 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

By the way, are you familiar with the EWG cosmetics database? They rate products on the amount of toxic ingredients.


Beth March 19, 2009 at 5:28 AM

Ann Marie,
I love your site! Thanks for all you share!
I emailed you the other day, but am unsure about the address. Can you email me via this comment so I can ask my question?
Have a great day! Beth


Annmarie March 19, 2009 at 8:49 AM

We love homemade soaps. You should also check out Goodnight Moon Soaps


Amara March 19, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Doesn’t TJ’s toothpaste have glycerin in it? I thought that was bad for teeth…?


Maureen March 19, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Thanks for sharing your “dirty little secrets” about sometimes using mainstream products and highlighting your hair. As someone who is still transitioning to a Slow Food lifestyle it’s nice to hear that I can keep some of the small indulgences. :)


Kaylin March 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Castor oil does amazing things for skin. It is a bit sticky feeling so I mix it with coconut oil (which I melt first by putting a small container of coconut oil in a cup of hot water). The combination makes both smooth on the skin better. I use it on my face after I shower and it soaks in and doesn’t make my skin feel greasy but moisturizes beautifully. I’ve thought about mixing in a drop or two of lavender or something to make it smell nice too. Castor oil has been used in the middle east for a couple thousand years as a skin softener.

I find that I haven’t needed deodorant every day since I started eating better. I still sweat but it doesn’t smell. I’ve heard that coconut oil with tea tree and lavender oils works great.


Dove March 19, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Hi Cheeseslave,

Oh-ma-gawsh, I’m surprised that you use those ole chemical-laden deodorants. That stuff goes right beside our precious breasts, AND often women swab it over shaved skin — so it’s good and primed to absorb the chemicals :(

I haven’t used any of that mainstream stuff in years. Here’s what I do for the odor aspect of it. I use a healthfood store brand deodorant that I think works pretty good. Nature’s Gate — it has some natural ingredient called “Oak gall” that’s supposed to make it particularly effective. Before applying it, I “prep” my underarm by washing with tea tree soap and then swabbing with witch hazel (some people just use witch hazel for the whole de-odorizing deal). That works for me, and I feel clean and chemical-free :) As for the perspiration, I use dress shields by Kleinert’s.


Dove’s last blog post..Tarot Wands: Peaceful versus Fiery Energy


Mandy March 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Great post! That soap looks quite lovely – I am very low-maintenance when it comes to products, so I like that you said that is your excuse to buy it. Might have to borrow that excuse. :-)

Just a suggestion for deodorant – mix 2 parts arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and 1 part baking soda and pat onto underarms. I used to do 50:50, but the baking soda can be hard on your underarms, especially if you shave. The 2:1 mixture works really well for me and doesn’t irritate at all – and talk about CHEAP!


Natalie March 20, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Someone mentioned before that they used coconut oil and baking soda. I tried it and could not believe I had an actual “fresh” smell for over 24 hours!

All I do is melt a piece of coconut oil in my hands, apply on my underarms and then dip into baking soda and again apply to underarms. Works like magic! Normally I apply after shower at night and then reapply in the morning, don’t have to but choose to for security =) I can’t say too many good things about it!

Here’s the deal though, my husband gets red underarms (painless, itch-less) from baking soda even from the smallest amount, not sure why. So not sure if the baking soda would work for everyone. But, heck(!), worth a try!!!

Great post Ann Marie, love the links!


Gina March 21, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Have you tried Emu oil? It is WONDERFUL! I think it’s like, the 2nd most easily absorbed oil by the skin — I think the first is Jojoba oil. I love to use it on my face or any dry patches anywhere. It absorbs better than Coconut oil (which I also love, especially as a sunscreen), and is anti-inflammatory. However, it does tend to have the faintest aroma, almost like lard or chicken fat, so if you don’t like that you could easily incorporate an essential oil into it.


Lolaloves13 March 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM

For those that can handle the sweat, lemon takes care of the smell. My husband and I both use lemon and it works for us. After I shave it does tingle a bit. Fortunately, I don’t shave there very often. I also use the coconut oil for all over mosturizer. I really want to try all the other products you mentioned!


Helena March 26, 2009 at 8:51 PM

I use Eco-Dent toothpowder. I think it does have SLS in it but it’s glycerin and fluoride free (I’ve got cinnamon flavored, cinnamon hardens teeth. I also have lemon-lime flavored–I was excited to get away from mint!). I think there is a kind of toothpaste called Miessence which doesn’t have glycerin, and that is actually paste. Glycerin coats your teeth so that nutrients and things don’t get absorbed (and makes them weirdly sticky). It takes a lot to wash it off. When I run out of Eco-Dent, I’m going to make the super cheap mix of baking soda, salt, and dried peppermint and bentonite clay. But the tiny bottle of EcoDent does seem to last forever :)


Natural Beauty Tips March 27, 2010 at 6:38 PM

That’s an interesting take you have on the term “no poo.” For African American women, “no poo” means refraining from using harsh shampoos and other sulfates that oftentimes dries out our hair.


Donna Amos September 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM

My husband and I were very interested in natural body products so a few weeks ago he found a recipe for toothpaste. It contains baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, sea salt, stevia, and water (and lemon juice if you want it). The whiting results are amazing! We also use achohol in a spray bottle for deorderant. It kills the bacteria that causes armpits to stink. It saves us a bundle on commercial deodorants and is so much healthier because deordorants contain aluminum. Thanks for this article and keep up the good work!


cheeseslave September 22, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Donna – What great ideas!

Ann Marie


Corner Cabinet  October 13, 2010 at 11:17 AM

i remember my grandma who loves shea butter so much. “-


Track Lighting Kits December 22, 2010 at 11:50 AM

well, Shea Butter have some special medicinal properties too aside from cosmetic applications ,,*


D. January 21, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Avalon and Tom’s of Maine, even though they’re supposed to be natural, aren’t very good products from what I understand. I think I got that information from EWG (environmental working group dot org) or Organic Consumers Assn. at oca dot org. They contain stuff that shouldn’t be in there, I guess. I use a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda and a little drop of essential oil (spearmint is what I like) for my toothpaste, or even just plain baking soda with a little sea salt mixed in. That’s also what I use in my neti pot (baking soda and sea salt – no oil !) I have, however, used coconut oil in my nose (sorta like Vicks) for moisturization when it’s dry. No strange ingredients and no petroleum base.

The EO products are all I can find for body that are truly good, although I usually just make my own with products from Mountain Rose Herbs. I use arrowroot and kaolin clay for body powder, etc. They had a page of Spa ideas, too. I also use coconut oil mixed with brown sugar for a body exfoliator/moisturizer for the shower, although you have to stand on an old hand towel or something so you don’t slip and fall.

Another good site for natural skin care stuff is at Daybreak Lavender Farms dot com. Also for soaps I like Dr. Bronner’s for body and household cleaning. I love their Sal Suds. Smells heavenly, as does their almond soap.


Karen A. July 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I am bookmarking this so I can check out some of these products!


LeahS July 19, 2011 at 11:03 PM

I want to learn how to make all this stuff but it is HARD and it’s ingredients that I don’t want to waste. I need a soap making mentor…


coconutfreek July 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I love to splurge on soap bars….. I am a lotion, soap, body wash person. not much make-up, just powder and a bit of eyebrow liner. but I love nice scents. I am going to take the step of making my own soap one of these days, that intrigues me.


Brendan September 13, 2011 at 9:41 AM

I sort of found your blog site by accident, but your site caught attention and that i thought that I might post tell you that I like it.


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