Natural Beauty - My Staple Products & Devices + Toxins to Avoid
I’ve had a few requests for this post and it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for a while now. So I thought I’d share my favourite natural beauty products with you today, incase your thinking of transitioning and don’t know where to start or just want some inspiration. I have some firm favourites now that I LOVE and there is no point keeping them all to myself! I also know it can be a little mind boggling in the beginning figuring out what actually works and what doesn't.
I started using natural beauty in my early 20’s so I’ve tried many different brands that are all amazing in there own right, but I settled on these staples (below) as they work best for me and my skin type. Plus, they not only smell amazing but they actually work and I still get comments on them to this day. I highly recommend them to everyone I talk to, they are true winners!.
why go natural?
I feel reducing the chemical load on our bodies is so important especially for those of us with health concerns like MS.
Once I was diagnosed I went through every single product I used and switched it to natural including all my personal care products, hair products, perfume, cleaning products etc. Prior to diagnosis I was about 75% natural, I was still using conventional hair care, tampons, perfumes and nail polishes. Post diagnosis I’m about 95% natural (as much as I can be), with a few exceptions.
Natural alternatives are so readily available to us these days, they’re also SO much better for us and we really don’t need to compromise on beauty or fragrance today, especially with the essential oils boom. But also, once you realise the health concerns involved with the toxic ingredients in conventional beauty brands you might be shocked, I certainly was. I’ve included them below to give you an idea plus the health concerns they’re associated with. It’s pretty crazy these chemicals are still allowed in beauty products.
In our modern world we’re bombarded with chemicals on a daily basis from strong EMF’s (electro magnetic fields like 5G), to the glyphosate on our food, GMO’s, heavy metals in our seafood, plastics, and city air pollution. But a large amount come from a women's personal care products. According to research by Bionsen, a deodorant maker, the average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals on her body per day - that is so crazy to think about.
Our skin is also our largest organ and what we put on it sinks straight into our bloodstream and circulates through our precious bodies. For those of us with health challenges like MS, burdening our bodies with more toxins than we’re already exposed to will not help us at all.
After going through the depths of my heavy metal detox earlier this year I can honestly say I never want to go through that again. Toxins play havoc on our health and the health I’ve regained from detoxing has been priceless.
I feel if we don’t do our own research, industries and marketing do a pretty clever job at pulling the wool over our eyes to make us believe what they want. They are masters of trickery. But as consumers it’s up to us do our own research and vote with our dollar.
I’ve also found that most if not all natural beauty business owners are pretty conscious about every part of their business not just the ingredients but also sustainability and ethics. It seems to me that beautiful kind people create beautiful kind products which something I love supporting.
Note: I’ve tried many more amazing brands and will continue to, but all of these products below I’ve settled on for the longest and have come to LOVE, they’ve withstood the test of time. This is not sponsored, just thought it’d be helpful to share whats working for me.
Jane iredale mineral make-up
Chemicals in conventional makeup: Talc - carcinogen (cancer causing). Parabens - mimics estrogen, carcinogen. Mineral oil - derived from petrol. Synthetic colours - derived from petroleum and coal tar, ADHD in children, carcinogen. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Formaldehyde - carcinogen and harmful to immune system.
Jane Iredale makeup is just so beautiful and natural I still get comments on what make-up I use to this day. It’s also been my longest running natural beauty staple, I havn’t stopped using it since my early 20’s.
Prior to using Jane Iredale I was using Clinique and Clarins cream foundations and both made me breakout all the time. A friend suggested Jane Iredale because it’s completely natural mineral make-up (toxin and chemical free), is non-comedogenic meaning it doesn’t block pores and it never makes her skin breakout because your skin can breath under it. I had my colours matched at a salon and invested in a full range plus brushes and I’ve never looked back. It’s well worth the investment!
Jane Iredale created this range after working in the entertainment industry and watching women grow frustrated and careers fade because of skin problems caused by TV make-up. Her goal was “to make products that look good, feel good and are good for the skin” whilst also “enhancing the wearer’s natural beauty”, and that’s exactly what they do.
This range is completely free of parabens, talc, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, fillers and GMO ingredients. It’s also dermatologist and allergy tested.
Jane Iredale Products I use
Pure Pressed Powder - Golden Glow (key with powders is making sure your skin is well hydrated first)
Disappear Concealer - Medium Light
Mascara - Black
Smooth Affair Primer
Blush - any peaches or pinks
Lip Tint - this tints naturally to each skin tone giving a natural pinky peachy colour, it’s my fav lipstick!
Eye Highlighter Pencil
Tip: Jane Iredale is stocked in various salons around the world, do a quick google search and look for a salon close to you. They usually offer free colour matching appointments so a beauty therapist can help you test what suits you. My initial investment for foundation, mascara, concealer, blush and eye shadow was around $450 nz including brushes, the brushes are key as they apply it perfectly, I’ve never spent that much again. Now I know my colours I order it online.
kora organics rosehip face oil
Chemicals in conventional skincare: Parabens - mimics estrogen, carcinogen. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - skin, lung & eye irritant, carcinogen, kidney and respiratory damage. Synthetic colours - derived from petroleum and coal tar, ADHD in children, carcinogen. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Mineral oil - derived from petrol.
I’m so in love with this range! it’s all chemical free, certified organic and full of nutrients and essential oils that are great for the skin, and it smells amazing!!.
The main Kora product I love is the Noni Glow Face Oil which is a jazzed up Rosehip Oil. It has certified organic Noni Extract, Rosehip Oil, Pomegranate Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil which all help to hydrate and brighten the skin which I really notice. But this range is definitely more of a luxury item for me, great for treating yourself. I generally have at least one Kora product on the go.
kora Products I use
Noni Glow Face Oil
Enriched Body Lotion - this is my absolute favourite moisturiser, it leaves your skin so soft
Rose or Lavender Face Mists - great in the heat + you can recycle the bottles and fill with water to spritz when hot
Noni Glow Sleeping Mask - apply before bed and it plumps up your skin overnight, actually works!
Other Rosehip oils I use and are Trilogy and Pai.
Tip: For dewy skin under make-up mix a pump of Rosehip Oil into your primer in your hand and apply to your face, works a treat! and plumps out fine lines and stops your make-up drying out, or put a pump in with your sunscreen to make a hydrating day cream.
Wild Aloe Vera
I use the goo inside on my face as a night serum as it’s great for hydration, full of vitamins and minerals, fights fine lines, anti-inflammatory, great for healing blemishes, plus it has a nice cooling effect and is completely free.
I realised Aloe Vera was in the ingredients lists of most natural beauty products I was using, so I thought why not make use of the wild bushes that grow so abundantly here in Australia and New Zealand.
I usually grab a few leaves when I’m out walking and keep them in the bathroom to crack open and apply to my face once I’ve cleansed in the evenings. Your skin can go a little slimy and green so best to use in the evenings, once it dries then I apply Rosehip Oil. Also handy to keep in the fridge for sunburn.
Weleda skin food
Chemicals in conventional balms & body oils: Vaseline & Mineral Oil - both derived from petrol. Synthetic colours - derived from petroleum and coal tar, ADHD in children, carcinogen. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
This is hands down the best all natural “everything balm” you’ll ever invest in and it smells so beautiful! like limes and lemons. If there’s one natural product I recommend to everyone, it’s Skinfood!
All Weleda products are chemical free, certified organic and bio-dynamic.
I use it as a lip balm, in my hair to tame fly aways, as a cheek highlighter, eyebrow fixer, hand creme, eye creme or even face cream when my skin is really dry. Right now being mid winter in Aussie I’m using this daily.
You can use Skinfood for almost anything and it’s super affordable and lasts!
Frankincense essential oil
Chemicals in conventional air fresheners: Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene; terpenoids such as linalool and alpha-terpineol; ethanol, benzene, toluene, and xylene and phthalates - migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, respiratory difficulties, mucosal symptoms, dermatitis, infant diarrhea and earache, neurological problems. Formaldehyde - carcinogen and harmful to immune system. Phthalates - endocrine disruptor's, breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
This is the BEST natural hack for clearing pimples and clarifying the skin I’ve ever come across. A friend of mine got me on to this last year and it was a revelation!.
It takes the redness and inflammation out of pimples almost over night. Whenever I’m having skin trouble I either apply a tiny amount of straight frankincense to the blemish (I don’t think your meant to do this) or I put a few drops in my moisturiser or Rosehip Oil to apply to my face in the evenings. Frankincense is anti-inflammatory, I notice it clarifies my skin and takes out redness. I also use brands Springfield's and Eco, they all smell slightly different but do the same job.
grants mint toothpaste & zoom botanicals activated charcoal
Chemicals in conventional toothpastes: Triclosan - endocrine disruptor, especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant. Artificial Sweeteners - Aspartame - neuro toxic, headaches, dizziness, cancer, MS, Alzheimer's.
I’ve been using Grants for years now. It’s all natural and made by a family here in Australia that really care about health. It also tastes good and my teeth haven’t gone brown or fallen out yet and I’ve used it for 4 years.
I also oil pull with extra virgin organic coconut oil first thing in the morning (rather inconsistently) and brush with activated charcoal which is a natural teeth whitener.
Axilla black Chicken DEODORANT paste
Chemicals in conventional deodorant: Phthalates - endocrine disruptors, breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Triclosan - endocrine disruptor, especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, skin irritant. Aluminium - heavy metal, linked to Alzheimers, breast cancer. Parabens - mimics estrogen, carcinogen. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
This natural deodorant smells so delicious!! and is completely chemical and toxin free. Made with natural ingredients including baking soda, shea butter, arrowroot, kaolin clay and essential oils. You only need a pea sized amount so a pottle lasts me at least a month, if not longer.
I’ve trailed so many natural deodorants over the years and I’ve come to love the pastes. I also love Schmidts natural deo but these guys have got me on the smell, I’m a sucker for cloves!. If you like Doterra OnGaurd you’ll probably love this deo.
If your new to natural deodorant it might be your hardest transition. Natural deo’s won’t stop you from sweating as much as chemical deodorants do, but the baking soda does help to absorb some moisture. Because of this I keep some in my bag so I can reapply at lunch when I get too hot and sweaty.
But the alternative is just not an option for me. Anti-perspirant deodorants contains Aluminium and we apply it under our arms by our lymph nodes and our breasts. Aluminium is a toxic heavy metal and has been linked to Breast Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.
If your finding your sweat is smelling, some great ways to ease this is to do regular infrared sauna’s (only if you can handle them), also drinking plenty of water, staying away from polyester fabrics, getting regular exercise, getting out in the sun and eating a clean diet. These all help to activate your natural detox pathways and will help minimise your smell.
But don’t be afraid of sweat, sweating is super healthy and we should actually be concerned if we don’t sweat. Sweat is one of our bodies main ways to expel toxins so if we aren’t sweating we’re storing those toxins up inside. We want those toxins out not in!.
Hanako natural perfumes
Chemicals in conventional perfumes: Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene; terpenoids such as linalool and alpha-terpineol; ethanol, benzene, toluene, and xylene and phthalates - migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, respiratory difficulties, mucosal symptoms, dermatitis, infant diarrhea and earache, neurological problems. Formaldehyde - carcinogen and harmful to immune system. Phthalates - endocrine disruptor's, breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
I’m in love with this company and their ethos. They do a range of all natural perfumes which are some of the best smelling I’ve found. I love the blends, the packaging is always beautiful and they make the perfect gifts for your girlfriends.
Made with pure essential oils which are ethically sourced, wild crafted and organic where possible. Each product also has an affirmation. My personal favs are the I AM BRAVE spray which is really refreshing and uplifting, and I AM LOVE SPRAY - for a natural perfume when going to a special occasion, Ben even comments on this when I wear it.
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) listed 20 common perfume ingredients on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list, such as benzene, benzyl alcohol, limonene, acetone and ethanol. Many of these chemicals list headaches, nausea and other complications as side effects.” - leaf.tv
Now that I’ve been using natural perfume for years I can’t handle the potency of conventional perfumes anymore, they are so strong and over powering to me now. It’s crazy how much your sense of smell changes when you go natural.
invisible zinc sunblock spf 30 - face
Chemicals in conventional sunblocks: Benzophenone, PABA, Avobenzone, Homosalate and Ethoxycinnmate- Endocrine disruptor's and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body.
For those of us living in Australia or New Zealand, using sunscreen daily in our skincare is a must for anti-aging. I was told by a beauty therapist in New Zealand we should wear at least an spf 30 on our face daily because our sun is just so strong down here. The spf in your foundation doesn’t count either! we need more protection.
I choose the zinc based sunscreens which are physical blockers as opposed to conventional sunscreens which use the above mentioned chemicals. The only drawback with zinc based natural sunscreen is you can go a little pale. I apply my powder over top which gives me some colour back or you can mix in a natural tinted moisturiser. Mixing it with a few drops of Rosehip Oil will help it disperse more smoothly over your face with less whiteness, while hydrating at the same time. I also wear a hat and glasses whenever I can.
natural instincts spf 30 sunblock - body
This one comes in a bigger bottle so it’s great for the body and is really easy to apply. I’ve been using this sunscreen the last 2 summers, it’s done a great job.
I let my skin soak up the sun for at least an hour before I apply any sunblock to my body, but when I’ve been in the sun for too long I’ll apply sunblock so I don’t burn. In my view it’s okay to enjoy the sun but we do need to avoid getting burnt. Aside from the skin damage the heat radiating from burnt skin flares symptoms for me and generally makes me feel awful. I also try to avoid the hottest part of the day by staying indoors and getting outside earlier or later.
Yarok Feed you ends leave-in conditioner
Chemicals in conventional hair care: Propylene glycol skin irritant and perpetrator, dermatitis, hives. Parabens - mimic estrogen, carcinogen. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - skin, lung & eye irritant, carcinogen, kidney and respiratory damage. Synthetic colours - derived from petroleum and coal tar, ADHD in children, carcinogen. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
I was put onto leave-in conditioner by my hairdresser when I suffered hair loss post diagnosis. I have fine hair so oils tend to way it down and at the time I didn’t have much hair to play with so I needed something light and hydrating.
I bought this one by Yarok and I’ve been using it a few years now, I also love the one by Acure. Yarok is 100% vegan, free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates, chemicals and gluten, and they use organic ingredients where possible. It’s also really good value for money. I find it softens my hair, gives it some hydration and tames fly-aways.
I spray this into wet hair then blow dry as it’s a heat protector as well, also helps in summer after swims when my hairs a lot drier from the sea and sun.
For shampoo and conditioner we use either Organic Care or Sukin from the supermarket. Both brands are chemical free. I use extra virgin olive oil for hair masks and body oil. We also use natural soaps like Eco Store.
natra care organic tampons
Chemicals in conventional tampons: Rayon - linked to toxic shock syndrome. Dioxin - from bleaching, hormone disruption. Non Organic Cotton - pesticides & herbicides linked to cancer and autoimmune disease. BPA in plastic applicators - linked to hormone disruption and cancer. Fragrance - allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
Probably THE most important thing for a women to use is organic plastic free tampons. We put tampons directly inside our bodies for hours at a time and the vaginal walls are really permeable and absorb toxins straight into our bloodstream.
Conventional brands are made with synthetics that can leave behind fibres. They’re also heavily bleached creating a by product called dioxin which is detrimental to our hormonal system and the environment.
I pick this brand up at my local health food store and have used them for years. They use 100% organic cotton, are chlorine and plastic free, and are committed to clean personal care products for women.
Skincare - face
Unfortunately I havn’t been able to transition back to natural cleanser, exfoliater and moisturiser. Only because I had so much congestion and breakouts for months after leaving hospital, probably from all the steroids. I tried using organic brands for months but my skin just got worse which was upsetting given I was pretty disabled. I was desperate for something to help me that would work.
After trialing a sample of Alpha H I noticed a real improvement in my skin. It’s a glycolic acid based range and works by exfoliation which is exactly what I needed, and it’s been amazing!!.
It’s cleared up so much congestion and pigmentation I had and exfoliated off so much dead skin, it’s made a massive difference. Although it’s not 100% natural I wanted to include this for anyone suffering with problem skin - it really is the pitt's when you have skin problems and other health challenges going on.
Products I use…
Alpha H for Normal/Oily Skin
Triple Action Cleanser with Thyme
Micro Cleanse Super Scrub
Balancing Moisturiser with Gentle Exfoliant
Natural beauty devices
This basically a small hand held roller for the face with tiny little needles. The idea is by rolling this over and over the face it pierces the skin and encourages new collagen to grow. I’ve used it on and off for years. The best thing I love is that it helps to minimise pores and allows my skincare to sink in deeper so I see better results. It also helps minimise the appearance of scars.
Joovv Go Red Light therapy device
I got this after seeing so much on redlight therapy and I have to say - to anyone in there 30’s looking to up their beauty routine, I HIGHLY recommend red light therapy. It’s a game changer.
Whenever I use my Joov I notice my blemishes healing almost over night (not joke), less redness in my skin (love this), less puffiness (love this also), more even skin tone, decrease in fine lines - this device really works.
If your skeptical about red light therapy I’ve written a post on how it works and the health benefits here. It’s completely natural and health promoting, this form of red light encourages collagen production and reduces inflammation.
I use mine in the evenings after I cleanse so my skin is nice and clean. I do 10 min on the centre on my face (t-zone), 10 min on one side, then 10 min on the other side. It literally feels like it pulls inflammation right out of my skin which is great to wake up to.
My natural staples in a nutshell
Jane Iredale Make-up
Kora Organics - Rosehip Oil
Wild Aloe Vera
Grants Toothpaste & Activated Charcoal
Frankincense Essential Oil
Axilla Black Chicken Deodorant Paste
Hanako Therapies Perfumes
Invisible Zinc Sunscreen Face spf 30
Natural Instincts Sunscreen Body spf 30
Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave in Conditioner
my Natural beauty devices
Joovv Red Light Therapy Device
So thats about it for me! I’m not entirely perfect but I do my best to be as natural as I can.
The best advice I was given on natural beauty is to focus on changing the products that sit on your skin for hours at a time. Things like moisturisers, serums, oils, deodorant’s, tampons etc as these have a chance to sink in, as opposed to the ones you wash off quickly like cleansers and soaps. Even if you just swapped out one product at a time over the months till you felt confident, it’s well worth it!
There are so many cool natural beauty ranges to choose from these days too so just have fun with it, I swear more and more are popping up all the time, we are seriously spoilt for choice. It just takes some trial and error to find what you love and what works for you.
Here in aussie I shop at www.thenourishedlife.com and www.adorebeauty.com where they stock most of these brands. Otherwise most health food stores, department stores like David Jones and even supermarkets have natural alternatives these days.
Let me know how you go or if you have any recommendations too, I’d LOVE to hear yours! feel free to share in the comments below.
I hope you’ve all been well and good!