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Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out!

Being a Food Babe doesn’t stop at food. Once you’ve understood what chemicals can do in your diet – The next logical step is to understand what other chemicals in your surroundings can effect your health. Ever thought about what toxins are lurking in the cosmetic industry? Why there are so many chemicals in your shampoo or toothpaste? Check out this video for a fabulous explanation of why:

I am a firm believer that if I eat the way I do, I can avoid the impact of most of the chemicals in my surroundings, but I also want to vote with my dollars and I refuse to buy products from companies that continue to pollute the environment and our bodies with loads of toxic substances. I also don’t like the idea that something I wash my face with can potentially cause cancer over time. Yesterday I counted the number of cosmetic products I used from morning to night – My number was 15. I’d like all my Food Babe readers to do the same little exercise! Count the number of products you use in a 24 hour period. And report back here! Please share the results in the comments section below or on my facebook page – I’d love to find out your number! Next – do this crucial step to become educated about what is lurking in those beauty products. Check the list below to find out if any of your products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.

  1. BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number. Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1″ or “Blue 1″). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
  3. DEA-related ingredients. Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
  4. Dibutyl phthalate. Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
  6. Parabens. Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
  7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  8. PEG compounds. Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
  9. Petrolatum. Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
  10. Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate. Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
  12. Triclosan. Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Source – David Suzuki More details on these chemicals can be found here  

Ok so a lot your products have this sh&* in them – what do you do? Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out! *Apologies for the cursing – when I get mad I like to curse. It’s something I need to work on 🙂


Food Babe’s Tips: How to be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out

  1. Stop going to the drug store to buy your cosmetics – This may seem a little extreme – but this is probably your best way to avoid the dirty dozen.
  2. Shop in organic and natural grocery stores to look for new products – or even your pantry! Use oatmeal & salt for a body scrub, coconut oil to remove eye makeup and olive oil as moisturizer.
  3. Adopt a minimalist approach to your beauty regime – do you really need to coat your hair in a chemical bath of 5 different products every day? Think about the money you would save if you just used one or two safe products?
  4. Find brands that are committed to safe cosmetics at this site and stick with them.
  5. Use this tool at EWG to rate your current products and find new ones that are safe.
  6. Order products on the internet – I do this so I don’t have to search around town or go to multiple places to find my staples. This saves me money and time. I like Lucky Vitamin and Vitamin Shoppe for this and they have free shipping.
  7. Read magazine’s like Whole Living, Natural Health, and Alive for new product reviews that would be safer than the ones advertised in magazine’s like Glamour, Self, Men’s Health and Allure.
  8. Jillian Michaels is a huge support of natural beauty and cosmetics products – check out the ones she likes here
  9. I’ve been through a load of natural products – some are great – some not so great. Shop at stores like Sephora that allow you to bring back a product if it doesn’t suit you.
  10. A few times a week, give your face a rest. Spend a couple of days without makeup and allow your skin to naturally be rejuvenated – I do this almost every Sunday!


Don’t fall into the trap of seeing celebrities wear certain brands of makeup – Revlon is one of the worst! Many of their products and other brands you see at your local drug store contain the dirty dozen beauty chemicals.
Ordering my goods at Lucky Vitamin and Vitamin Shoppe for the next couple of months!
No makeup Sunday!

  Later this week I’ll share some of my favorite beauty products in a video post! Stay tuned!

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115 responses to “Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out!

  1. Great post! I counted….and as it turns out I use a lot.

    1. Aveda Shampoo
    2. Aveda Conditioner
    3. Dove Soap
    4. Origins Facial Cleanser (Checks & Balances in AM, Perfect World PM)
    5. Origins Toner
    6. Origins Plantscription Serum
    7. Origins Brighter by Nature facial cream by day, Origins Starting Over cream by night
    8. Origins Youthtopia eye cream by night, Origins Ginzing eye cream by day
    9. Burts Bees chapstick
    10. Bare Minerals Powder
    11. Neutrogena concealer
    12. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil
    13. Origins Mascara Beyond the Fringe
    14. Origins Rich Rewards Hair Treatment 1x week
    15. Origins Modern Friction 3x week
    16. Origins Precipitation Lotion all over 2x day

    Apparently, I am obsessed with Origins. My step-mother got me into them as they are all organic and have good business practices. Now my whole bathroom is full of them!

    1. Wow – Thanks for listing all of your products Alyssa – it’s fascinating to know how many products us ladies use on a daily basis! I’ll have to check out Origins next time I am at the mall 🙂

      1. Kathy, the reason Arbonne hasn’t signed it because unfortunately the EWG/Skindeep has their own agenda … I can assure you we are PURE and SAFE, TOXIN-FREE.

      2. I remember going to an Arbonne “party” and when reading the ingredients on the list, I couldn’t get myself to purchase their products. You should read the book “No More Dirty Looks” by Siobhan O’Connor to learn more. You will be surprised at what “natural” companies use in their products. It is very disheartening and eye opening.

      1. It’s frustrating when sales reps for certain products find these blogs and start claiming their products are safe. Arbonne claims to be natural, (like all of the greenwashing companies try to do) but when I’ve looked at their product ingredients, they contain alot of bad ones.

      2. Agree- another example of Green Washing… key is to read the ingredients, not just the marketing claims!

      3. Arbonne does not claim to be natural. Pure, safe and beneficial. Nowhere does it say natural. That word has no regulatory meaning. Animal by-products are natural do you want them in your product? I think worse then consultants pointing out good product is an uninformed person bashing that product.

  2. I’ll be changing as soon as I get home (real home, i’ve been on vacation for 4 months). Here are my current daily things and I starred the ones i’ll be changing asap

    1. Pantene Shampoo *
    2. Dove Conditioner *
    3. Dove Deep moisture body wash *
    4. Philosophy face cleanser *
    5. Arm and Hammer Toothpaste
    6. Crest Mouthwash
    7. does floss count as a beauty product? haha
    8. Philosophy Moisturizer
    9. Sephora Eyeliner

    1. Check your toothpaste, too. We were using Tom’s until we saw they use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. So disappointing. Now we use a natural Xylitol toothpaste.

      1. I stopped using Tom’s as well when I read the ingredients… now I use Jason’s Power Smile. Not all Jason’s products are free of questionable ingredients, but their toothpaste is! I like it a lot, and so does my husband (my biggest critic for “natural” products!)

  3. Food babe! I miss you … Let’s get together over a fabulous meal at Luna’s ASAP. I am searching on your blog for the EWG app for iPhones. I thought I remember you sayIng something about one. Is that true?

  4. Have you looked into The Honest Company’s ( products? I like the idea of one stop shopping and the price point is good. Just want to make sure before I buy!

  5. For completely chemical free hair dye, I use henna and indigo at They also have a shampoo and conditioner that is excellent and 100% chemical free. There are absolutely no preservatives in their products just fresh natural plant ingredients. I have found that many natural or organic products still have chemicals. Everyone should check them out.

    They don’t sell any products in retail stores because with the lack of preservatives, the products must be used within a year.

    1. Hi Renee,
      Tell me more! I’ve always been curious about natural hair color because I get my hair colored so often and I worry about the chemicals! You have used it? Easy to apply? How long does it last? Thanks!

      1. I researched Henna a year or so ago, and it seemed like a very labor intensive process!! I decided to just ditch the dye all together. I grew my hair out for 8 months and then chopped off the remaining cosmetic color. So now, at 40 years old, I’ve embraced my salt & pepper hair. lol My hair is SO much healthier. I like to think that now I am too (without slathering all those chemicals on my scalp every few weeks!) 😉

      2. Henna is not a mess at all and does not stain my skin or the floor. Just put the henna in a bowl, mix with warm/hot water to a yogurt consistency and apply. It is like putting mud on your hair. Ha! Leave on 1 hour and rinse the henna with pure water until clear. Afterwards, let the henna set for 24 hours(don’t go over) and then you can use shampoo and conditioner on your hair. To become comfortable with henna, you have to experiment several times so don’t plan a major event if it is your first time using henna.

        You must follow the instructions exactly as indicated on the package. For example, I was using a brown color and the directions say to leave the henna on for 1 hour, because if you go over 1 hour, the indigo will lose its effectiveness to dye your hair and the henna will take over and make your hair red. I have had that happen. Also, you hair must be squeaky clean by shampooing several times without using any conditioner or the henna will not hold. I have had my hair turn green or blue before it settled over a 24 hour period into a nice brown color. That was scary. It is fun to mix colors to get a prettier shade. Healthy Home Market sells the pure henna and indigo in bulk and I experimented with mixing the colors.

        I have used for over 2 years with satisfaction. They have a forum so you can ask questions. . You don’t have to add lemon or coffee to the dyes because their dyes are so fresh. Only old henna requires added ingredients.

        Right now, there is a 15% off sale so that will take care of your shipping charges. I sound like an advertisement but I just had to make the transition because if you dye your hair over 6 to 8 times a year using traditional dyes, you increase your cancer rate. My hair is difficult to dye and it is not always perfect but with henna it only helps your hair to use it more often.

        Oh, I forgot, you may not like the smell although it is fine for me. Remember, it is just plants that you are smelling.

        It seems to be quite a bit of trouble to use henna because it takes over a 24 hour period before the dye is completed. It is a part of my routine and I am use to the habit. I have used regular hair dye several times and can always go back to using henna anytime without any trouble coloring over the chemical dyes.

        You have short hair so you could have fun with the henna.

    2. I often wish that salons would offer henna as an alternative to chemical dyes. I have used henna at home but what a mess.

  6. Can you please share with us all the products you use? That would be very helpful! I have acne and had recently tried using all natural products and essential oils. Not working yet…ok currently trying pratima skin care

    1. Kristen – not Food Babe but I thought I’d share a couple of things that have worked well for me. I’m 38 years old but always seemed to have a breakout going on somewhere or another. I don’t have bad skin necessarily, but it’s definitely not good skin. Anyway, I’ve found the following works really well: (1) I remove makeup with organic jojoba oil; (2) cleanse with raw honey, and every week or two apply a honey-cinnamon mask; (3) use fresh organic lemon juice as a toner (I just slice some off and rub straight onto my cleansed face – I have tough skin though and some people find this burns, so you might need to dilute with water); and (4) apply Andalou Naturals Clear Overnight Recovery – it is AMAZING. Smells yummy and keeps me glowing and clear. Anyway… just wanted to throw that out there. I used to fall for the advertising and spent several hundred dollars every few months on things that didn’t work nearly as well as what I can, for the most part, find in my kitchen. Good luck!

      1. Try french green clay mask. You can buy french green clay — from Mountain Rose Herbs is where I buy it from… just buy a 1 lb bag of it, it is super cheap and in powder form. After washing your face, put some powder (maybe a half tablespoon, or more depending on how thick you want it) in your hand, and then add water and mix up. Apply to your clean face. Let dry for about 15 min… (all my instructions are not firm — you can leave it on for 5 minutes still with good results, you can use more or less, make it less thick or more watery). This stuff is AMAZING.

        Try it. It sucks all the yuckiness right out of your skin.

        French green clay is a bit different than bentonite clay. If you use bentonite clay, you will still get good results but you don’t let that dry on your skin.

        It is super cheap, and works amazing. I have not found ANY product out there that works better for my skin than a french green clay mask once a week. I have tried a lot.

        I am 38 also and my skin looks like I am in my 20s, no wrinkles, blemish free. I also use a homemade night cream that I made with homemade beef tallow from grassfed cows. I used that, avocado oil and essential oils, and made a cream. Holy cow… awesome stuff!!! I found it online and before that I used ozonated olive oil on my face for about 7 years and then a few years ago switched to coconut oil. My youngest sister is 26 and I am 12 years older than her, she looks her age but everyone thinks she is my older sister!

        Good luck 🙂

      2. I was wondering if you buy the beef tallow or if you make it yourself..where do you get the avocado oil and what essential oils do you use?

      3. Great tips! Would you mind sharing your homemade night cream recipe, as well as the others?? Thanks in advance!!

      4. I didn’t see all the requests (I wish I was notified somehow when people replied to my comment so I apologize! Someone emailed me through my website so I was able to find out about the request for my night cream made with tallow).

        I make my own tallow from grassfed beef cow that we purchase once a year — when we pick it up at the butcher shop we have to ask for the suet (and I ask for the marrow bones and joint bones so I can keep my dog happy and make bone broth, although I HATE beef bone broth compared to chicken bone broth.)

        Here you go:

        NIGHT CREAM:

        I melt the tallow in the double boiler, (you don’t have to use a double boiler if you don’t want to, but then you have to use low to medium heat and watch it carefully). Then add a liquid oil — I use avocado oil. (but you can use sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, whatever you have) About 1 part liquid oil to 9 parts tallow.

        Then, once it cools down so it is just warm instead of hot, I use essential oils — both for their awesome scent and medicinal qualities. I use tea tree oil and lavender, with a tad of lemongrass. All of those oils should be easy to find at a low price and high quality… (I use Mountain Rose Herbs right now because I am sick of the battle between the MLMs).

        Hope this helps. It is SUPER simple to make. I can make a 3- month supply easily in under 10 minutes (and that includes cleaning up). And if you want it softer just use a little more liquid oil. I don’t even measure these days, and my last batch was a teeny bit more firm that I wanted it to be so I will use more liquid oil the next time. The avocado oil does turn it a yellowish color, but that doesn’t get transferred to your skin… it goes on clear.

        The rest of my recipes that I have gathered from the web and have not created myself so I don’t hold any copyright (neither this face cream — I also got it from the internet) but have tried these, can be found here:

        I originally made this for the ladies at church we had a night of different classes and I taught how to make homemade products…. so it isn’t anything fancy, I am not a graphics designer, lol. But at least you can see some of the recipes. 🙂

      5. I am 47 years old and had acne break outs all these years, and I don’t wear makeup. It was mostly on my face, up until 2 years ago when I discovered I had an intolerance, not allergy, to peanut butter. Now that I have stayed away from that, I haven’t had any problems. I have also figured out this past year that black tea and chocolate will give me migraines.
        I highly suggest to watch for patterns after eating certain foods, and realize a food can affect you several days after eating it.

  7. Hi Food Babe! I had a facial which felt wonderful yesterday, but this morning I woke up with a red, itchy, swollen face. I switched to organic/chemical free face products a couple of years ago and I must be really sensitive now to whatever “crap” they used on my face. Any natural remedies/suggestions to help ease the swelling/itching/redness on my face without using Benadryl? No more facials for me unless I have approved each product they put on my skin. Lesson learned. Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!

  8. Hi, I started using Bareminerals years ago because it was supposed to be natural and good for me. As I am clicking on all the link to the other sites, no one has recommended Bareminerals. Do you have any input?

    Thank yoU!

  9. I have psoraisis and have used Tgel for years. That is coal tar and is obviously bad for me. Any ideas on a natural product that would alleviate my psoriasis?

    1. Kelly, my husband used TGel for years and has insisted that nothing else worked for him…until now. He has started using a coconut based, all natural shampoo bar for scalp health made by a wonderful family company here in Central Florida, and he has had no flaking or itching at all. He is usually very skeptical about all my natural stuff, so I was surprised he even tried it. The company is called Coconut Clean. I love all their products and they smell heavenly. I’ve been to their workshop and have seen how they make everything – very pure, 100% natural. Check them out!

    2. You may want to look into for a good soap they also have great bar shampoos too. I love their stuff and they fact that it is a small family business.

  10. I wash my face with water-like my 84 year old mother always did, use homemade toothpaste-she used baking soda, am using little samples of shampoo and conditioner, until I decide which homemade method to use for my hair-which is short. I occasionally use Curel hand lotion. I want to find a home version of a bath gel, but don’t have that figured out yet. I use very little make-up…a bit of blush or rouge-yes, I am old-fashioned, eye brow pencil, and lip gloss or lipstick. I go to the gym a lot in the morning, so don’t usually wear make-up there. I am 64 and don’t work away from home, so don’t use make-up very often. (Sorry about the long sentences that are probably very incorrect grammatically!)
    The biggest item I use a lot of, is chapstick or lip gloss, because I am always dry in SoCal! I have a recipe to make my own that I want to try. But I just found an organic version of softlips-chai tea flavor, at the 99cent store! I was so excited! It’s the little things!

  11. Oh my gosh, Food Babe, you are beautiful without make-up. I’d never wear it if I looked like you!

  12. I just started using Kiss My Face’s Natural Active Life deodorant, which works well and has a really nice, almost incense-like smell, without any aluminum, parabens or artificial fragrance. But… the first ingredient is propylene glycol, which was mentioned under #8 above. Is there any way to determine if it’s contaminated? Is there a concern for the environment with it’s use in cosmetics? I did a quick read up on wikipedia, and it didn’t set off any alarms.

  13. Hi Laura, I would avoid propylene glycol. Kiss my Face has some great products but you really have to check each individual product for the dirty dozen chemicals. Everything in a specific line might not be clean.

    1. Propylene glycol is a known carcinogen and a poison. If you dog licks it off your garage floor from an accidental spill, it will die. It is sweet to the taste so a dog will like it.

  14. I’ve been going through the EWG’s Skin Deep website to see how the products I normally use rate, and I’ve noticed that some companies (like Revlon) have quite a few products with 1-3 ratings. Not of all them of course, but the drugstore concealer, mascara and lipsticks I use are all rated low to medium hazard, whereas Bare Minerals foundations all rate a 7 (high hazard) as do some of Tarte’s products. I was just wonder how you reconcile these types of rating with the desire for natural/organic/vegan products. I’m trying to switch over to all-natural and the conflicting information is making my head spin!

    1. Hi Rebecca – it can be hard! You really have to look at each individual product because there can be lots of variation within a brand – they can have great ratings and terrible ratings (even natural brands) Good luck!

  15. Question! Question! I have found a brand that is all pure, completely natural cosmetic products, but the eye shadows are online made of Iron Oxides and Mica, etc. which are metallic. These are all the CI compounds that were referenced to stay away from. Any suggestions of other eye shadows that don’t contain these? The brand is Alima Pure, and I love them! But I want to be as smart as possible before replenishing my stock. Thanks!

  16. What do you think of Aveda products … I’ve a lot of their hair and skin care products.
    Also, Clarins and Sheseido.

    1. Hi Ranjana – You can look up specific products on this website. You really want to try and use products rated 0-2 (green) You can see Aveda products here.
      Most brands will have some products with good ratings and some not so you really need to find your specific product. Good luck!

  17. I have been using Jergen’s Natural Glow moisturizer and St Tropez bronzing mousse and both have a rating of 6+. I would love to embrace my white-ness, but until then, do you have a suggestion for fake tans? Tanning in the sun and tanning beds are out of the question! I’ve never done that, and I never will!

  18. 3. Brochure image and text enhancement applications for free ?Besides publishing software, you can also actually get image enhancement and text enhancement applications for free over the Internet. So when the company announced that it had a new design concept to show off, Mini lovers everywhere were abuzz with excitement over what the new car would look like except that it isn’t a car at all . it’s an electric scooter.. jordan retro 13

  19. I get a lot of my products from the natural choice apothecary at the metrolina festival in Charlotte. I’m supporting a local family run business (a homeschooling vegan mom!) that I can be confident uses all natural, organic, ingredients, recycles and lives by eco conscious business practices. The prices are great and I don’t have to worry about the footprint of having them shipped across country. The only chemical product I have not been able to break free from yet is liquid shampoo/soap. I’m still looking!

  20. 1) WFM 365 Herbal Mint Shampoo
    2) WFM 365 Lavender Conditioner
    3) WFM 365 Herbal Mint Shower Gel
    4) Rembrandt Whitening toothpaste
    5) Murad Clarifying Cleanser
    6) Murad Gentle Exfoliating Gel
    7) Spectrum brand Organic Coconut Oil (face and body)
    8) Tom’s of Maine Deodorant
    9) Revlon Colorstay Concealer
    10) Bare Minerals Loose Matte Foundation (occasionally)

    I’m trying to do better. I’ve eliminated a lot!

  21. So my regime is fairly basic

    1- Avalon organics peppermint shampoo and conditioner
    2-desert Essense face wash
    3-kiss my face olive oil soap
    4-kiss my face lavender moisturizer for legs
    5-green beaver sensitive skin moisturizer
    6-kiss my ace sport deodorant
    7-vegan eyeliner(forget which brand)
    8-green beaver lip gloss or dessert essence lip gloss
    9-organic argon oils to frizz hair product
    10-organic mineral bronzer/powder(rarely use)
    11-green beaver peppermint toothpaste

    That’s all I can think of.. I use cocunut oil also as a sort of mouth wash, oil pulling it’s called.

    Can you please tell me if the kiss my face lavender moisturizer and dessert essence products are ok. Thank you

    1. Angel, do you mind me asking how long you’ve been oil pulling? I just started this week and I love the way my teeth/mouth feel after. Have you seen any benefits from it? I’m also using coconut oil.

  22. Only ONE left on the shelf. Consistently the only thing left on my self with is not good for me is Sunsilk Shampoo.

    With dark indian roots like you have…who needs makeup. If I do, use just Biotique Kajal and a lip balm. And its sad to see the same junk I saw in the US now invading the Indian markets!

  23. Happy with my count :-))…
    1) Ava Anderson Shampoo
    2) Ava Anderson Conditioner
    3) Pai Camelia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
    4) Pai Geranium & Thistle Skin Cream
    5) Pai Rosehip Oil
    6) Pai Rice Plant and Rosemary Tonic
    7) Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal
    8) Origins Silk Screen Powder Make Up
    9) Tarte Lip Tint
    10) Ava Anderson Styling Cream
    11) Peter Rabbit Baby Shampoo and Wash

  24. I love 100 Percent Pure’s make-up, body scrub, shampoo and conditioner and skim care. All of there stuff is fantastic, almost all vegan, lots of organic-great company. I also use some Acure Organics shampoo and conditioner.

  25. This was fun!

    I use the following:

    1. Miracle Soap (all natural) to wash my face
    2. To moisturize I use all homemade products, from shea butter, coconut oil, pastured tallow, essential oils, avocado oil or almond oil (all natural, no preservatives)
    3. Mascara — drug store brand because I cannot find a good natural brand that doesn’t clump and that thickens. This is my one vice
    4. Eye liner that is organic (no chemicals)
    5. ELF eye shadow (sometimes)
    6. Lipstick — this varies from some organic brands to one that I have that is a drugstore brand, which I probably use 2-3 times per week. That and my mascara are the only ones I am ashamed of on my list.
    7. Shampoo — make my own coconut milk shampoo
    8. Use coconut oil for conditioner maybe once a week
    9. Make my own body butter with no chemicals in it to moisturize my skin
    10. Toothpaste that I make myself — I have two versions — one with a bentonite clay base (earth paste) and one with a coconut oil and baking soda base).

    I have found that changing my food was not nearly enough. We filter our water. We grow our garden and orchard organically. We make our own household cleaners. I even make homemade laundry soap and use dryer balls when I don’t have the clothes on the line. I use vinegar as a fabric softener as the dryer sheets are so toxic. So excluding dirt that gets tracked in our house, you could lick our floors and not get exposed to any chemicals. All my cleaning products you can ingest without any harsh side effects (except vinegar tastes disgusting and the essential oils may burn your throat).

    I still am bad, as I mentioned, I use drug store mascara and sometimes a lip gloss from the drug store. But, compared to how I used to be, it is awesome. 🙂

    Vani — love your site, and you look absolutely beautiful without makeup on!! You look stunning with makeup on as well!

  26. I have always used a minimum of products though they haven’t always been healthy. I still need to change some over.

    I just got some natural and organic deodorant and body wash & shampoo from

    Aluminum, paraben, sulfate and glycol free.

  27. I use at least 20 products a day. A good portion are all natural or organic and I’m working on changing the rest. It take a long time to replace each and every product when you have to research everything! I recently became a consultant for Celadon Road. It’s a fairly new company but their products are great. They work well, smell yummy and are all natural and organic. 82% are made in the US too which is always a plus and the ones that aren’t are all fair trade. Check it out at
    I also try to let my skin “breathe” on Sundays (and give my hair a day without washing too). Too bad I don’t look like her without makeup though!

  28. Does any one use Alba products? They are supposedly natural but I was wondering if anyone knew more this brand. Thanks!

  29. I have suffered with adult acne since a teen and I’m 54. Found a brand of chemical free cosmetics that I have been using for a month and my skin looks amazing. It is Larenim and you can only find it at health food stores or at Vitacost. At their website, you can buy sample sizes to try, which is very convenient and the amount they give to you for $3.00 sample is very generous. Love this website. Thank you for your passion about health. I share it!

  30. I went on this quest a couple of years ago and my routine has never been easier.

    1. Yes to Blueberries or Cucumbers Shampoo & Conditioner
    2. Dr Bronners Lavender Castille diluted as Body/Face Wash
    3. Burts Bees Radiance Night Creme (day & night, I live in the desert)
    4. Bare Minerals concealer
    5. Gabriel Cosmestics powder foundation (#1 on ewg safe list last year)
    6. Physicians Formula Organic Eyeliner & Mascara
    7. Yes to Cucumbers Body Butter with added organic Coconut Oil (again, the desert)
    8. Yes to Carrots Cream Facial Cleanser
    9. Yes to Grapefruit Exfoliating Scrub
    10. Once a month Henna & Indigo hair color

    My only vice that I have yet to clean up is Elnett hairspray, which I use only on date night. 🙂

  31. Check out Ava Anderson Non Toxic. Quality natural and organic products without harmful chemicals. What you see is what you get!

  32. Hi Food Babe,

    I’m a professional make-up artist and use lots of different cosmetics.
    I research the products on the SkinDeep/EWG regularly. I have found toxic products in vegan or natural or organic lines as well as safer or safe cosmetics in the Drug store brands.
    I wish there was such a thing as Brand that was totally pure and clean line. Each cosmetic needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. Companies are created with the best of intentions but not every product lives up the claims, as we all know.

    Check the items that you are using before you throw them out!
    You can also find reviews/ratings on

    1. Hi Diana – that is such a great point. You can find good safe products in common, drugstore brands and poorly rated products from “natural” brands. You have to look up each product.

  33. 1. Dr. Bonner’s Castile baby soap – for face wash and body
    2. Dove soap for body – on last bar
    3. Green Beaver daily sunscreen
    4. Revlon mineral powder
    5. Mac blush
    6. Badger balm for lips and body
    7. Various lipsticks – Revlon, carmex, burts bees
    8. Aubrey shampoo and conditioner
    9. Coconut Oil for my face
    10. Eye cream – Costco
    11. Cetaphil – on last bottle and phasing out

  34. I rarely wear makeup. When I do I typically use 3 products rarely 5. I use a lot of natural products and have for years. Hard to believe when there are so many safe, natural substances for us to use from cleaning to beauty that society leans towards chemicals. Most days I honestly use 1 or 2 of these types of products if that. Thanks for sharing with others!

  35. Try Nezza Naturals! Awesome products that are handmade & natural. The owners are really kind and well informed people and they put a lot of care into everything they make. They ship all over.

  36. I’ve been sort of obsessed with trying to avoid toxic beauty products for awhile now and here is what I’ve been using-
    Deodorant- My friend has this AMAZING line of non-toxic soaps, shampoos, cleaning products, creams etc. that they make personally and sell at farmer’s markets and online. It is called Refyll. Aside from being super environmentally conscious (you bring your bottles, jars, etc. to the farmer’s market and they fill them for you), they use all natural ingredients, and their products are super affordable! I have tried every “natural”/organic deodorant out there and theirs is the only one that truly works for me.
    Hair- Desert Essence Shampoo and Aveda Hair Conditioner- Clove
    Makeup- 100% Pure mascara and eye shadow, Aveda lip gloss, Ecco Bella lipstick
    Perfume- Amma’s Rose Perfume- This is a blend of sandalwood and rose essential oil. This product just makes me happy!
    Hand Soap- Whole Foods foaming hand soap (I admit I don’t know how “clean” this product is, but it doesn’t contain SLS)
    Toothpaste- Just started using the Xylitol toothpaste Spry, and I use Grapefruit Seed Extract tooth gel
    For occasional breakouts I use Ascended Health Triple Skin Healing Oil. My 10 year old was starting to break out and I used this for a few days and it seems to be clearing up very nicely. I also use AnneMarie Gianni’s Skin Oil to moisturize my skin. I might try using the plain olive oil though to see how my skin does with that. I also use coconut oil for my hands, feet, and face.
    Thank you for all your thorough information!

  37. I use three, maybe four products daily: Dr Bronner’s castile soap (shampoo, facewash, body wash), Shea Moisture conditioner, and coconut oil. Don’t usually wear makeup except sometimes Bare Minerals mascara.

  38. Fantastic article! I’ve been going this route for years, and at 52 I’ve never gotten more compliments on my skin in my life. People literally ask if I’ve had “work” done! I make my own deodorant that works MUCH better than “natural” commercial ones, pure organic argan oil as a moisterizer (also the main ingredient in my homemade hair oil/conditioner), homemade flax seed hair gel, and I dye my hair permanently black with henna and indigo. This shampoo is the one of the few things I don’t make: (The lavender is the best). Thank you for this!

  39. After using products that claim to be natural, only to find out they contain many concerning chemicals, I searched for years for a product that is upfront and really what it claims to be. I found Miessence to be just that…. And the products work! I not only became a happy customer, but a rep as well. You can check out the difference, as well as every ingredient at

  40. Ugh. Okay. I thought I was good because I switched sunscreen to DeVita as well as my under eye cream. I use CeraVe face wash and moisturizer, which score a 3 via that tool, because it has a paraben listed waaay at the bottom of the ingredient list. Dang it. But the kicker is that I’ve been using CeraVe because it works well with the Retin A I’ve been using 2-3 times a week to prevent signs of aging. Of course the Retin A (tretinoin) is the REAL concern – it scores an 8!!

    So please tell me, Food Babe — what do you use to keep your skin looking so great? I’m guessing a lot is luck with your genes, and I’m sure healthy eating has a lot to do with it as well, but what I’m talking about are those fine little wrinkles that seemed to pop out of nowhere the second I turned 30. I wash my face clean every night so my skin can breathe, and I only wear a Mac powder (no foundation) during the day (though, crap – I should probably look at the ingredients on THAT, too!). I’m very curious about what works for you!

  41. 9 products If I wear makeup, which I rarely do. Granted I’m sure the products I use aren’t the best choices for avoiding potential toxins, but my life is stressful enough.

  42. I already knew I was guilty of having and using too many products. After reading this article, I experimented this morning. I usually put a couple different things on my hair before I dry it. This morning, I just put in a homemade leave in conditioner I purchased from someone who makes all natural soaps and lotions. Wouldn’t you know, my hair actually turned out better then when I put all the extra goop in it. Now to sort through and remove a lot of the unnecessary bottles and stuff in the cabinets.

  43. I LOVE this article. I work for Neal’s Yard Remedies in the UK. We have been making our certified organic skin care products by hand since 1981. We just launched the brand here in the US and I am one of the trainers for the company. I teach the same message that you shared in your article. You MUST check out our products. I believe they are possibly the safest skin care on the market. I am happy to send you samples!

  44. **During and After Shower:
    Aveda- Damage Remedy Shampoo
    Aveda- Damage Remedy Conditioner
    Pangea Organics- White Sage with Geranium & Yarrow Body Wash (for shaving too)
    Pangea Organics- Pyrenees with Lavender & Cardamom Body Oil
    Pangea Organics- Pyrenees with Lavender & Cardamom Body Lotion (mixed with the oil)

    **Skincare Routine:
    Pangea Organics- Wild Plum & Willow Cleanser
    Pangea Organics- Adzuki Bean & Cranberry Facial Scrub (3x per week)
    Pangea Organics- Tangerine & Thyme Spray Toner
    Pangea Organics- Geranium & Pomegranite Balancing Oil
    Pangea Organics- Argan with Willow & Rosemary Facial Cream (mixed with balancing oil)
    Pangea Organics- Mandarin & Rose Lip Balm

    ** Curly Hair Routine:
    Pure Coconut Oil as an overnight hair mask (2x per month)
    Ojon- Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Oil/Serum
    Curly Hair Solutions- Curl Keeper
    Ouidad- Hydrafusion Intense Curl Cream
    Treseme- Climate Protection Finishing Spray

    It Cosmetics- SPF 50 CC Cream
    Maybelline- Dark Spot Correcting Concealer
    Physicians Formula -Translucent Pressed Powder
    It Cosmetics- Vitality Glow Anti Aging Matte Bronzer
    Stila- Eyeliner & Mascara

    21 products! Eeeek! I *definitely* need to work on switching out my HAIR product and MAKEUP products. I know what I am currently using is not very safe and would LOVE any suggestions for natural curly hair styling products and natural make-up brands!

    However, I am very happy with my skin and body care routine as Pangea Organics is an amazing grassroots brand. As you can see I use almost all of their products and I didn’t even list their body scrub or face mask that I use a couple times per week. I actually sell their products now because after using them for years I decided to join the movement and share the Pangea love with my friends and family since i am so passionate about the brand. They are truly a role model for all businesses, ecocentric and otherwise, from their founding principles to their product formulations. I believe Food Babe would approve too! They do not use ANY harmful ingredients while making products that outperform many non-organic products I used to use. Plus, they really care about people and the environment!

    “Always: Nurturing, Handcrafted, Organic, Fair Trade (whenever possible), and Cruelty-Free
    Never: Petroleum, Sulfates or Detergents, Synthetic Preservatives, Artificial Colors or Fragrances, or GMOs”

    To learn more, feel free to browse my website! Read the ingredients in the Shop section and discover more information about the company. I recommend reading the following: Pangea Story- About Us, Product Info- FAQ and Formulation! I think you would be impressed! WEBSITE: Also, Please contact me via facebook with any questions!

    XoXo- Michelle

  45. Great article, Food Babe! I was astounded 4 years ago when I learned of all the nasty stuff in products that my whole family was using!! Food, detergents, cosmetics—no wonder we had so many sensitivities—I thought we had weird problem skin/bodies. The problem is not us, it was products. Our “see the light” was all because of NYR Organic and the company’s mission to educate. No greenwashing, signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. I share because I am passionate about helping people and know that it is frustrating as can be to read all the label and sort the junk from the good. Good thing we have social media and google to do our research—though time-consuming, it is important! I’d love to help—reach me via my website and make sure to click on my “About Me” page:

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