Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Natural beauty products {update!}.

Almost two years ago, I did a post about natural "beauty" products (for lack of a better name)...you can find it here. I've been meaning to do an update on that post for quite a while now, because I've changed some of the items I use.
Basically, I try to use products that are as natural as possible. There are certain types of chemicals and things I try to avoid, and I like it when I actually know what the listed ingredients are. It would be ideal if I could make most (if not all) of these things myself, but as you can see, I'm definitely not there yet. (Also, I don't wear make-up so you'll be disappointed if you're looking for natural make-up recommendations here!)


I'm still using the goat's milk soap that I make myself. I've been using only homemade soap for probably four or five years now, and I've been making my own for about two years. It's just basic soap but I love it! (Last summer I started selling some soap at the farmers' market for a bit of extra money, and -sneak peek- it's also going to be for sale in my new Etsy shop. Which is why it's labeled.)


When I wrote my last post, deodorant was the one major product I hadn't figured out yet. Thankfully, after some trial and error, I think I'm finally happy with what I'm using.

I went into more detail last time, but apparently I'm sensitive and any deodorants with baking soda break me out. I started using Deodo Mom, which is a deodorant originally created for pregnant women who wanted to avoid aluminum. It's the first (and only) natural deodorant I have tried that hasn't given me a rash, because it doesn't contain any baking soda. In my experience, it works okay. It doesn't work nearly as good as I wish it would. It's better for the winter than the summer...because Virginia summers are hot and humid.

Then about a year ago, I decided to try Truly's. It had mostly good reviews and they also offered a money-back guarantee (except the $4 shipping charge doesn't get reimbursed). I used it for a month with no problems, and I was so happy to have finally found a natural deodorant that worked well! But then I broke out again. I'm not sure why it took a month to affect me, because the other ones I've tried have started feeling irritating after just a couple of days. (Maybe it contains a lower amount of baking soda, or one of the other ingredients helps balance it out or something?)

So here's my routine. I can use Truly's for three to four days before my skin starts feeling irritated. When that happens, I switch back over to Deodo Mom for a couple of days, and then repeat the process. It's not perfect, but it's working for me right now. Of the natural deodorants I've tried, Truly definitely works the best and I would use it everyday if I could. (Deodo Mom comes in several forms, but I like the cream kind in the jar best. You do have to make sure you close it tightly or it will dry out. I've tried all of the other kinds and even though it's supposedly the same formula, they didn't work as well for me.)

I've seen several recipes for homemade deodorant for sensitive skin that don't include baking soda, and eventually I want to try to make those. But they call for ingredients that I don't have on hand, and they're ingredients that usually come in bulk amounts. I just hate to spend money on ingredients to make a deodorant that might not work!


Still the same as last time. :) I ditched my Bath and Body Works lotions with the lists of unknown ingredients. I use this locally made goat's milk lotion and Burt's Bees body lotion. (The Burt's Bees lotion is 99% natural and my little cousins that I babysit tell me that it makes me smell like vanilla frosting. Smelling like dessert is a good thing in my book!)

Face Wash

I'd been using this face wash from Burt's Bees for several years, but sometimes my skin would look a little dry after using it. I still use it once every couple of weeks, but now I use raw honey to wash my face. We had some older honey from Dad's hives stored upstairs that had crystallized into basically a solid form (and maybe even fermented a little, because it smells stronger than normal honey). We heated it up to make it the right consistency again, but the taste is a little off. So I don't feel guilty about using this honey on my face, since the only use it would probably get otherwise is sweetener for my dad's coffee. :)

The honey seems to be working just as well as the face wash did. It is a bit messier, so I have to make sure I don't leave a trail of stickiness everywhere when I wash my face. I just wet my face with a warm washcloth, put the honey on my face and leave it on for about two minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.

I also occasionally use coconut oil on my face. If I start getting a zit, I'll put a bit of coconut oil on that spot and then wash it off with a warm water. It seems like that helps the zit clear up a lot quicker than it would otherwise.


I'm still using this Tom's toothpaste. Most of their toothpaste is not fluoride-free, so you just have to make sure to check the label!

Lip Balm

I've long since ran out of the locally made lip balms I was using, so it's back to the original Burt's Bees kind. I love this stuff, but I'm still planning on making my own lip balm soon. We have beeswax from my dad's hives that we have to clean, and then I have to get one more ingredient and some empty lip balm containers before I can try to make any.


When I wrote the last post, I had my hair routine under control. But now a lot of things have changed. I'll try my best to be brief and not repeat too much from last time, but there's a lot to say! :)

My hair is naturally wavy/curly and fairly thick (though not as thick as it used to be). It's oily at the roots but the rest of my hair has a tendency to be dry and sort of coarse (and frizzy if there's any moisture in the air!). Over the last couple of years I've had a bit of a problem with what I thought was build-up from the homemade flax seed gel I was using. It got a lot worse this past winter, so I decided to switch to a store-bought natural gel instead. But I did some research and instead of product build-up, I think my problem is dry scalp. That sounds ridiculous to me, since I've always had oily hair at the roots. Anyway, that's made me change my hair routine quite a bit.

Up until a year ago, I was using Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner. But I was never super-pleased with them, especially the conditioner. I had to use a lot of the conditioner...it seemed like I was having to buy more every other week, and that stuff isn't cheap. Our Target doesn't have many sulfate-free shampoo choices, but I stumbled on Shea Moisture. {Note: Because of where it's located in the store, I think that this line might be targeted at ethnic hair. But it works well on my hair, so I don't think it really matters!} No sulfates or parabens or other nasty stuff. It's a little more expensive than Burt's Bees but it's a bigger bottle and it's often on sale. And the best part: the bottle of shampoo lasted for about 7 months, and the conditioner lasted about 6 months. I love that! I have no problem paying $9-10 each for shampoo and conditioner if I only have to buy it twice a year.

I started off with the Coconut and Hibiscus ones and really liked them (they smell good, too). The first time I used them, I thought they might make my hair feel too oily, but I used less shampoo and it wasn't a problem anymore. When I ran out of conditioner, that kind was out of stock at Target, so I had to get the Raw Shea Butter kind instead. It turns out that conditioner doesn't work as well on my hair as the other did. I have to use more of it and to me, the smell is really strong.

Lately, with my scalp being dry, I switched back to Burt's Bees' More Moisture shampoo (while still using the Shea Moisture conditioner). I don't really know if it's helping, so I might just switch back. Also, I want to try using the Shea Moisture Deep Cleansing shampoo every once in a while to see if that helps.

I tried several things to help my scalp (including coconut oil and olive oil), but so far the only thing that has worked is raw honey. (Again! Honey is good stuff, you guys.) I wash my hair three to four times a week, and before I wash it, I massage honey into my scalp (mixed with just enough water to make it not sticky). I leave it on for at least 30 minutes, but it works better if it's on for at least an hour before I wash my hair. It's kind of a pain, and it does feel sticky in your hair after about 5 minutes, but it really is helping and it rinses right out with warm water before I shampoo. I don't realize how much it helps with my dry scalp unless I skip it.

I'm currently using the B5 Design Gel from Aubrey Organics as my hair gel. I really like it! It has a bit of a strange smell...it's very plant-y and now that I think of it, maybe it's aloe vera that it smells like? (That is one of the main ingredients.) Anyway, it smells odd for a hair gel, but the scent doesn't linger in your hair. It works about the same as my homemade flax seed gel, and it's nice that you don't have to make it every two weeks or keep it refrigerated. But since they work about the same and this kind is much more expensive than my homemade gel, I might switch back. I'll decide when I finish this bottle. :) It does last quite a while, even though I have to use more than the recommended dime-sized amount. I've been using this bottle for about four months and I still have a decent amount left.

What sort of natural products do you use? Do you have any recommendations?


  1. I love using Avocado oil to cleanse my face, it's really gentle, but effective and it doesn't dry my skin out afterwards. I also use oils to moisturize, as they do such good things for my skin - get rid of flakiness, oily patches, fine lines, redness and best of all ~ minimize the break outs! I'm an oil cleanser convert. :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. I've heard of oil cleansing, and I'd love to give it a try sometime! I actually did try it for a few days, but I didn't really have the right types of oils...

  2. I found this post really interesting! It's so great that you try to keep all the products you use as natural as possible - and even make some things yourself.
    I'd love to try out some of the things you mentioned. Right now, the only beauty products I make are homemade sugar scrubs, which I really enjoy making/using.

    By the way - your blog is looking lovely! The new blog title is great.

    1. Thanks! There are so many things that you can make yourself. It's just that I'm not very good at experimenting. I want things to work the first time around, and I get frustrated when they don't, ha. And with some homemade beauty products, there's a transition period and you have to wait a while to see if they're working properly with your skin, hair, etc. But it's worth it when it does work!

      Thanks. :)

  3. very interesting! I only wash my hair once a week! I have thick, wavy hair but it is not curly like yours. It actually has become LESS wavy with pregnancy (who knew) and I kinda like it better now. I never use burts bees...after looking them up and seeing how they rate on that one website that rates cosmetics ( http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ ) I just threw them all out. I use coconut oil on my face and also brush my teeth with it. I use deodorant.... honey and black seed by nubian heritage. I also don't like baking soda in mine, but I don't have sensitive skin, and I don't break out much. Before I became a gestation machine, I washed my face about every three days. But now I do need to wash it daily or I break out from, I suppose, the sheer amount of hormones in my body. I no longer use conditioner. I know. I didn't know it was possible. But it is. I wash my hair with tea tree stuff from some organic place to help me with my dandruff. Oh, and I but aloe on my skin a lot because stretch marks. Whee :P

    Anyway, every person is different and everyone has different skin! I'm glad you found many things that work for you :)

    1. Wow, I wish I could only wash my hair once a week and not use conditioner! My roots get oily so quickly that it's pushing it for me to only wash my hair 3 times a week, and if I didn't use conditioner I wouldn't be able to get a comb through my tangles. But that sounds awesome. :) I'll have to check out some of the other things you use!

  4. Love Burt's Bees products and am addicted to Pure and Basic's lotions. I tend to use Jason (toothpaste), and Burt's Bees lip gloss-type products. Beyond that, I probably use a wide range of things - from Giovanni to Nature's Gate. I guess I like to switch around because of all the new scents they add to their product lines. :)

    1. I'll have to check out some of these! I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to switch around...when I find something I like that works I want to stick with it, ha! :)


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