The non-toxic beauty products a Holistic Nutritionist uses November 6, 2016 Nov 06 2016 If you’ve been hearing about toxic chemicals like “parabens” or “phtalates” getting into your bloodstream and are now considering the switch to natural beauty products, you’ve clicked on the right blog post. It can feel overwhelming to know all the things you should avoid and what to look for, so I’m simply going to tell you what you need to know in less than five minutes, and also give you the exact list of products that I use, so that you can bookmark it and open it up when you go shopping the next time. Step 1: Learn which ingredients to avoid There’s plenty of amazing resources online that will tell you about what ingredients to avoid; a favourite of mine is the Skin Deep Database by the Environmental Working Group and this concise explanation of the Dirty Dozen chemicals by the David Suzuki Foundation. The main takeaway from that article is that big companies have a tendency to use ingredients that are endocrine (hormone) disruptors and possible carcinogens. Why? Often because they’re the cheapest way to get the right texture, scent and foamy lather everyone loves. Not good. Here is a quick snapshot of some of the ingredients you’ll want to avoid: PEG Fragrance (unless derived from essential oils) Parfum Parabens SLS, SLES DEA, MEA, TEA DMDM FD&C colour pigments Phthalates (DEP, DBP) Want to see a real life example? Check out this Dove shampoo ingredient list: Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Dimethiconol, Parfum, Glycerin, Gluconolactone, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, PPG-9, Sodium Sulfate, Trehalose, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylene Glycol, PEG-45M, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, CI 77019, CI 77891, CI 19140, CI 17200, CI 42090 Hmm see some culprits lurking in that list? Look at that, you’re a pro already! Step 2: choose the right place to buy natural beauty products Get your butt to a health food store or an online retailer like Thrive Market, Well.ca, or Amazon. Most drugstores and supermarkets will only carry mainstream brands (e.g. Dove, Nivea, L’Oreal) that have ingredient labels similar to the one shown above. You want to avoid these products, and familiarize yourself with some better brands below. Step 3: go shopping Bookmark this post and open it up when you’re ready to shop. That way, you can pick up some of the same items, knowing that they’re vetted by a Holistic Nutritionist and are much safer than what you would typically use. Below is a list of exactly what I use and some brands that I trust. I realize not everyone reading this will be in North America like me and that these brands may not be available to them, but you can always check out what I buy and get a sense of the ingredients list, and aim to buy something similar. Lastly, you don’t have to throw everything out at once! It’s not easy throw hundreds of dollars in the garbage can and then fork out more cash for new products. Simply buy 2-3 at a time, whenever your current products are about to run out. Or you can buy your new items all at once, but keep them in storage until they’re required. Here are the natural beauty products I buy: Hair Hair oil (once a week, I massage hair oil into my scalp, leave overnight and then rinse out) Organic extra-virgin coconut oil Total Hair Nutrition Shampoo & Conditioner Nature’s Gate Sukin Hair serum Niu Coco Prairie Naturals moonshine serum I don’t dye my hair, use mousse, gel, hairspray or any other products unless at a hair salon. Face Face wash Sukin Soapworks Creamy Clay soap (I swear by this stuff!) Note: I only wash my face once per day (at night), I find it helps to prevent dry skin and acne not scrubbing my skin so frequently! Toner Thayer’s Witch Hazel Face cream Sukin Avalon Organics Face mask Now Red Moroccan Clay Ubtan (This is basically a combination of turmeric, gram flour, rosewater, sandalwood and a few other additions). You can get packets of this from any Indian or Pakistani store, or make a similar mixture at home. Toothpaste Green Beaver Mouthwash Spry Oral Rinse Body Deodorant Green Beaver Body wash Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Body moisturizer Nature’s Gate Lotion Shea butter Cocoa butter I hope this gives you a good starting point to work from, it’s really easy to switch over to better products when you know exactly what you’re looking for and what you’re avoiding. If you have more questions, feel free to post in the comments section below. About Alina I'm a Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, Canada and my official title is Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). I received my diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I'm a coach and an educator. Follow Alina on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.