In my ongoing mission to eradicate synthetic chemicals from my daily routine, here are some of the personal care products I am comfortable using and endorsing based on both ingredients lists and packaging.
I’m using my Chagrin Valley Café Moreno shampoo bar. My scalp feels so much better now that I am not using SLS-based shampoo. Surfactants like SLS strip hair of its natural oils, causing the scalp to produce more. Many people go through life with unnecessarily greasy scalps because of this. After a few washes with my Café Moreno bar, my oil production has started leveling out, and I can go for a few days between shampoos without feeling greasy. (Note: I went back to using my Lush shampoo bar to use up the rest of it — I just hate throwing anything away — and I couldn’t stand how greasy my head felt just one day after shampooing. I may be forced to throw away the rest of my once beloved shampoo.)
Saponified oils of clove infused olive, babassu, coconut, castor bean, unrefined shea butter, rice bran, and expeller pressed canola; brewed coffee; essential oils of clove, patchouli, ylang ylang, and lavender; vitamin E oil; and rosemary oil extract.
Absolutely nothing you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce!
Packaging: nothing but a small paper bag.
My friend Emily has been following the “No Poo” trend and started using baking soda instead of shampoo, which I may try when I run out of my Café Moreno bar. She said her thick hair is softer and more manageable and she’s gotten tons of complements on it since she switched to baking soda.
I’ve picked up a few Zum goat’s milk body bars from Indigo Wild, which are manufactured right here in Kansas City. My current fragrance obsession is lavender, so I love the formulas like Lavender Rosemary and Lavender Oatmeal, which are encrusted with exfoliating herbs. I also picked up some clean (non-girly) scents like Rosemary Mint and Lime Basil for Ryan. Packed with essential oils, these soaps make every shower a luxurious experience and leave my skin feeling soft.
Zum soaps are easy to find around Kansas City, but I’m not sure about their availability in other markets. My local health food store carries lots of other Zum products as well, so I may try out some more of them. The company also manufactures a few vegan products.
Saponified 100% food grade olive, coconut, palm, and castor oils, in a goat’s milk base, with pure essential oils and mineral pigments.
Packaging: Zum bars come almost bare, wrapped simply in a small paper sleeve.
Facial cleansers have always been a challenge for me. For a while I’ve been using Lush’s Coalface bar (which does contain SLS, but I spent around 20 bucks for a big chunk and still have quite a bit left. Again, I just hate wasting anything …). I’m not sure what to try next. I have a hard time finding cleansers that keep my oily skin under control.
I did buy a Burt’s Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub, which contains yummy-smelling finely ground peach stone and willowbark, a natural source of Beta Hydroxy Acids, which help unclog pores. And although Burt’s Bees has a Garden Tomato Complexion Soap and accompanying toner for oily skin, I’m hesitant to use them simply because the company’s product line is a little limited, and doesn’t include a moisturizer specially formulated for oily skin. The Burt’s Bees nifty online product advisor recommended its Carrot Nutritive Day Creme, and even though they describe it as “lightweight,” I really need something that is going to help control oil.
I have a few samples and some product lines I’m looking into and will post my findings as I learn more.