So excited to share this top 10 healthy swaps post with you! I’ve teamed up with my good friend Kate from Kate’s Clean Life to bring you our top 10 healthy personal care products. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re first swapping out your products for healthier ones. Kate and I wanted to simplify the whole process for you and make it super convenient to make the swaps without the headache.
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We are each sharing our top 10 favorite healthy swaps for 10 categories when it comes to personal care products. These are the top categories we would recommend swapping out first as they carry the most harmful toxic burden overall. Some of them are products that can build up over time and many of them are products you use everyday making them heavy hitters when it comes to exposure. As I always like to tell people, it’s not the one time or even a couple time uses of a product that matter but the products you use day in and out that matter. Keep the conventional lipstick you wear twice a year for special occasions, but swap out your deodorant or body lotion you use everyday.
Also, please don’t feel like you need to overhaul your beauty routine all at once. That can be overwhelming and stressful! Instead, just swap out a product as you use it up or do one product a month. It makes it so much more doable and also doesn’t put a huge hole in your wallet.
I’ll be sharing my top 10 favorites for each category and Kate will be sharing her top 10 favorites as well! We have some that are similar and some different, keeps things fun. We hope this helps as you make the swaps and know that these products have been vetted by us and are the best!
If you haven’t met Kate yet, allow me to introduce you! She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things health. I admire her so much and promise you won’t regret following her. She is as real and genuine as they come. I’ve learned so much from her!
Kate Murphy is a kinesiologist(human mechanics/movement expert), certified Foundation Training Instructor, Wellness Guru, and the founder of Kate’s Clean Life. She has worked thirteen years as a personal trainer. For seven of those years she wrestled with chronic pain, failing to find relief on the symptom-chasing treadmill of conventional health care. During her journey to find relief she spent thousands of hours researching and consulting with leading fitness, nutrition, and wellness experts. She truly believes that we don’t have to settle for a life of adjusting to our symptoms and rearranging our lives around problems we’re told have no solutions. The answers and freedom Kate found drastically changed her life and now it’s her passion and purpose to help other’s change theirs.
Top 10 Healthy Swaps:
This is one area when it comes to swapping out products that I want to shout from the rooftops! Why? Because everyday people use deodorant, or at least most of us should. Maybe you can get away with every other day, but you get my point. Multiply that by 365 days and you’re rubbing harmful chemicals on yourself daily!
So what are these harmful chemicals I speak of? Well, let’s first talk about the biggest offender when it comes to mainstream deodorant, anti-perspirant. What’s in anti-perspirant- aluminum. This harmful ingredient is put in deodorant for the sole purpose of blocking your pores from sweating. In essence, so you don’t get wet. There’s a problem though, we were made to sweat, and our body uses sweat as a way to rid ourselves of toxins.
So where does the aluminum go? Into our blood stream, fatty tissue, and can settle into breast tissue. Unlike toxic food that can be broken down once digested, chemicals we put on our body cannot. Instead they find a home in our fat and can wreak havoc. Specifically in breast tissue. A quote from the Journal of Inorganic Bio-chemistry states, “Over 50% of breast cancers start in the upper outer quadrant of the breast local to the underarm region.” Although, that doesn’t equate to aluminum causing breast cancer, it certainly lays a case for it. Even if you’re using a mainstream deodorant without the aluminum you’re still putting harmful toxins in your body. I can’t forget triclosan, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol and fragrance- to name a few.
Suzi’s Top Deodorant Picks:
Sublime Sage Deodorant- Where has this deodorant been all my life?! But really. I first tried this in the fall of 2019 and let’s just say I was hooked after I used it for the first time. I remember looking at it when I got it in the mail and thinking there is no way this is going to work. I don’t know about you but spray deodorants have never worked for me- not even conventional ones. That is until I tried Ursa Majors! Wow this deodorant really delivers. When I looked into it more I learned that sage actually helps dry up underarm sweat. It smells fresh but not too potent. I smell good all day. The kicker and what makes it extra special is the fact it doesn’t get all over your clothes! Most deodorants easily leave a residue all over your clothes and deodorant stains. Not this one. And guess what? My hubs absolutely loves it! It’s his favorite deodorant to date and I always keep him stocked up. And that’s saying a lot because he’s pretty picky! He loves that it doesn’t stain his clothes. I can’t recommend it enough! Get it here.
Primally Pure Deodorant- From an affordable price, squeaky clean ingredients, smell good scents and no irritation Primally Pure deodorant has it going on. Overall the formula works so well! They have a couple blog posts that really help understand natural deodorant. Check out what you need to know about using natural deodorant and also their blog post on the science of natural deodorant and why their formula works so well.
My hubs loves the Charcoal Deodorant. I love their Blue Tansy. Although, I tried the Charcoal and I have to say I would use that any day too! It’s crazy because the more I tell people about their deodorants the more feedback I hear on how amazing they are. It seems to work for the majority of people. Use code GURLGONEGREEN10 to save 10%. Get it here.
Kate’s Top Deodorant Pick:
Primally Pure Lemongrass Scent- As a personal trainer and somebody that is quite active, finding a clean deodorant was at the top of my list, and one of the first swaps I made. I have tried over 3 dozen clean deodorants, and nothing competes with Primally Pure’s lemongrass deodorant. I’ve been using it for over 6 years, and it just works! Get it here!
2. Shampoo and Conditioner
The scalp is 4 times more absorbent than other parts of our body, it’s important what we use when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. A study even showed how massaging a certain oil with a medicine into the scalp was absorbed almost the same as an oral dose(Source)! Definitely showing the power of the scalp to absorb ingredients. I get e-mails all the time from readers telling me that natural shampoos don’t work for them. Now, I understand it definitely depends on the shampoo and conditioner you’re using, but it also could be a phase you’re hair is going through. Hair can go through a detox period where it actually gets oilier before it gets better when transitioning to a natural shampoo and conditioner. Mainstream products are full of such harsh ingredients that strip the hair every time you use them. Your hair gets used to feeling “clean” you think, and so when you switch to a gentler shampoo and conditioner your hair freaks out. It’s used to constantly being dried out everyday and used to overcompensating by producing more oil to nourish your hair again. Give your hair 6-8 weeks to detox.
Suzi’s Top Shampoo and Conditioner Pick:
Christina Moss Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner- Love this shampoo and conditioner! It gets my hair clean and doesn’t weigh it down. It doesn’t have a scent and is made for the most sensitive scalps. Something I love about it. It is great for any hair type. I used it and my fine, thin hair loved it and so did my sister with thick hair. Comes in a tube and a little goes a long way. Suds up a little and gets my hair feeling clean. My sister loved it as well. Super impressed with the ingredients, no scent and lower price point compared to others too. Especially great if you don’t do scents or have a sensitive scalp. Get it here!
Kate’s Top Shampoo and Conditioner Pick:
EVOLVH’s Volumizing Line- I’ve searched far and wide for a clean shampoo and conditioner that didn’t leave my hair feeling heavy and weighed down. EVOLVH’s volumizing line is nourishing, yet leaves my hair feeling soft and bouncy! I’m hooked! Get it here!
3. Body Wash
This is another heavy hitter because we use body wash everyday if not every other day. Especially because as we shower are pores on our skin open up, letting whatever we are putting on them in even more then when our skin is dry.
Suzi’s Top Body Wash Pick:
Aleavia– This is my favorite body wash! Their Orchid Body Cleanse smells so lovely! It basically transports you to Hawaii the minute you open up the bottle- and I’m all about that. Aleavia is all my family uses for a body wash.They are a completely natural prebiotic skincare line, that specializes in putting the friendly bacteria back on your skin. Here is a quote from their website-
“Aleavia products are alkaloid based bio-stimulants which actually feed a wide variety of friendly microorganisms on the skin causing the healthy bacteria to go into a feeding frenzy. This ultimately results in much higher activity levels of normal friendly bacteria. Over a short period of time, the “good guys” will completely overwhelm any harmful bacteria, virtually eliminating skin disorders of many types. Our skin care products accomplish this on a molecular level using a combination of 100%-natural, organic, and environmentally safe ingredients.”
They also help balance the ph of the skin, all while conditioning it. Now, you may be thinking they must put a ton of ingredients in their products…but that’s not the case! They use just a handful of ingredients and all completely natural. I’m obsessed and I think you will be too! Check out their whole line here.
Kate’s Top Body Wash Pick:
Ursa Major Morning Mojo Soap- I’m not a huge fan of body washes because most strip the skin of moisture and disrupt the skin’s delicate balance. Ursa Major’s “morning mojo” bar soap is gentle and doesn’t strip my skin of it’s natural oils. It smells so refreshing too! Get it here!
4. Body Lotion/Body Oil
When you’re using a body lotion or oil everyday, the load can build up. This can have a big impact on your overall health if you’re not careful. Since body oil and body lotion is applied on a large portion of our bodies- our largest organ the skin, the exposure can be that much greater due to the surface area. Add that in with how a body lotion or oil is applied everyday and you’ve got a recipe for harmful chemicals to build up.
According to the CDC:
Dermal absorption is the transport of a chemical from the outer surface of the skin both into the skin and into the body. Studies show that absorption of chemicals through the skin can occur without being noticed by the worker, and in some cases, may represent the most significant exposure pathway. -CDC
I think we often think about exposure in terms of food or even cleaning chemicals, but not the everyday products we put on our skin- like body oil. This can present a problem as these are the products we are literally touching with are hands and applying to our bodies everyday.
Suzi’s Top Body Lotion Pick:
Free + True Body Prophet- Obsessed with this body lotion! They actually call it a body serum. In my mind it’s a cross between a body oil and a lotion- it’s like a creamy lotion/oil. Whatever, you want to call it, it’s so good. I was introduced to the brand in a Beauty Heroes box last year and fell in love with the product. For a beauty blogger to go through a product you know it’s a big deal! I literally scraped the bottle- it’s that good. I love how it comes in a glass pump bottle, makes it so easy for application. I also love how it smells. Such a light scent, nothing overwhelming. Plus, it has antioxidants that help to protect your skin. The overall feel is so lightweight. It absorbs instantly into the skin and doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue. If you’re looking for a new body lotion that easily rubs in, hydrates but isn’t too heavy- this is it. Get it here!
Kate’s Top Body Lotion/Body Oil Pick:
True Botanical’s Body Oil- Our skin absorbs everything we put on it, which is why swapping out toxic body lotion is number one the list! I have searched far and wide for a good moisturizer, and I finally found it. True Botanicals body oil is one personal care item that I can’t live without. I have never had softer, more supple skin in my whole life. It’s a game-changer! Get it here!
To first understand natural perfume and fragrance one must understand the fragrance industry in general. This is an industry that isn’t regulated by the government like one might think. Here is a direct quote from the FDA’s website:
“If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.” (3)
So in essence when you see the word “fragrance” on a label of a product there could be dozens and dozens of other ingredients in it as well- and more like hundreds to be exact. A company does not have to disclose their exact ingredients in their fragrance since it is looked at as “trade secret” by the Food and Drug Administration. You might think, what’s the big deal with fragrance? A lot actually. As more and more people are being diagnosed with allergies, sensitivities, respiratory issues, nervous system damage, kidney damage, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and inflammation in the intestine- just to name a few…it starts to be a big deal.
Suzi Top Pick for Natural Perfume-
by Rosie Jane- I don’t know what it is about by\ Rosie Jane scents but they are just so good! I’m not a person that loves scents in general. Whether they are natural or not but by\ Rosie Jane has definitely changed my whole outlook. These aren’t too strong and are more complex than just one fragrance note. It wears SO well! It’s only $25 and you get all 7 of her scents in the cutest box! Then once you’ve tried them you can purchase the larger size. I can’t recommend her fragrances enough. I love the scents Madie, Blake, Angie and Dylan- clearly it’s hard to choose! Check out all of by\Rosie Jane fragrances here!
Kate’s Top Pick for Natural Perfume:
Leahlani Bless- Synthetic fragrances are downright dangerous and linked to so many health issues. This swap is a must. I’m not a huge fan of anything that’s
overpowering or too strong. Leahlani’s “bless” fits the bill. One whiff and you instantly feel like you’re on the Hawaiian Islands—with a hint of floral, citrus, and fresh tropical air. I’m in love! Get it here!
6. Natural Lip Products
Studies show that women re-apply their lipstick/lip product at least 5 times a day…so that’s a lot of toxins continually on those kissers. And they also say women consume over 7 pounds of lipstick in their lifetime…whoah! Pretty crazy. So instead of consuming ingredients like tar, lead and other harmful toxins, I think I’ll stick with consuming natural ingredients like vitamin e oil, jojoba oil and castor seed oil.
Suzi’s Top Lip Balm Pick-
Henne Organics- It’s so nice that their lip balm comes in a stick form, making it easy to apply to the lips without getting your fingers all messy. Plus, it hydrates for a long time! The ingredients are amazing too and the ingredients are squeaky clean. They even have tinted lip balms that I love too. Check them all out here!
Suzi’s Top Lip Gloss Pick-
Fitglow Beauty Lip Serum- Ok, this product is just gold! Trust me when I say there’s nothing else like it out there. It feels like a gloss but doesn’t look gooey, or sticky at all. It isn’t fully a lip gloss really even though it’s hard to not put it in that category. I’m not a gloss girl and if you’ve read my blog long enough you know that. The name really says it all- it’s a lip color serum. A serum that performs so well! It offers color pigment but isn’t all over the place. I’ve become an addict of it and I can’t stop wearing it! A new product fave for sure. Love the colors Buff, Go, and Gospel! Check out all the colors here.
Kate’s Top Lip Gloss Pick:
Chocolate Sun/Ogee’s Tinted Lip Oils- I’m not a huge gloss girl, just because I don’t like the feeling of “sticky lips”. However, Chocolate Sun’s moisturizing chap stick appears like a gloss, nourishes my lips,and is not a bit sticky. You cannot beat it! When looking for a hint of color, my favorite is Ogee’s tinted lip oils.
7. Hair Spray-
Did you know aerosol hairsprays top the list when it comes to toxic chemical exposure? You wouldn’t think working in a hair salon would be considered such a toxic job but it is. As a former hair stylist myself I realized this to be true. Think of all the countless hours you’re breathing in harmful chemicals from color to hair spray! Aerosol hairspray is basically a concoction of harmful chemicals, from glue, polymers, and solvents. The propellant used to make aerosol hairsprays are anything but natural.
Suzi’s Top Hair Spray Pick:
Josh Rosebroook- First off, I love the smell! It doesn’t smell heavy and toxic like conventional hair spray. It has a list of essential oils but the ones that stick out to me are the rosemary and lavender. I love knowing exactly what I’m breathing in, no hidden fragrance! Second, it doesn’t goop up when you spray. It actually has a mist feel(but a good mist obviously), and it’s not an aerosol. Yeah, pretty cool. Lastly, it just works. With my hair being fine and thin, this product delivers hold throughout the day, volume, and doesn’t get crunchy…you know what I’m talking about. It’s just good stuff. I would recommend this for anyone transitioning from a mainstream hairspray. It’s going to give you the look and feel of what your used too. Get it here!
Kate’s Top Hairspray Pick:
Josh Rosebrook- Finding a clean hairspray is tricky! I found that most were super heavy and left me with helmet hair. Josh Rosebrook knows what’s up! I absolutely love how this hairspray offers a nice hold, but without being too stiff or heavy. It’s a staple for me. Get it here!
8. Nail Polish-
I get questions all the time about nontoxic nail polish. People usually refer to the words, non-toxic nail polish but I prefer natural nail polish. I don’t think nail polish is horrible and I use it myself but I also think even natural nail polish isn’t perfect. I love the look of freshly polished nails. I want to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible for sure! But I also want to enjoy my life and not constantly be “afraid” of chemicals. It really comes down to making an informed decision for yourself. I used to really avoid anything and everything when I first went green- nothing was safe! Then I slowly came out of my shell and realized I can’t live that way forever. It’s about balance! They say stress is linked to so many health issues- I agree. Sometimes just relaxing and enjoying life is better medicine for us than avoiding everything. So with that being said I do paint my nails if I want too now with better natural nail polish options.
Suzi’s Top Nail Polish Picks:
Aila- My favorite brand of nontoxic nail polish that I’ve found is Aila. I love how rich their colors are and the variety! Plus, they perform like my conventional nail polishes. The formula is so smooth, it doesn’t get gunky, they’re as clean as they come while still being effective and they’re color range is so chic! I don’t feel I have to sacrifice at all! I love the colors Bodega, Namaste, and Room 212. Their Better Than Gel Topcoat is also amazing and rates a 1 on the EWG! Check out all the colors here.
Dazzle Dry- I feel like a broken record but the proof is in the pudding! This natural gel nail polish option is literally changed my life. It acts like a gel polish but in all the right ways. They’re free of all the big offenders when it comes to nail polish toxins too. It doesn’t ruin or strip your natural nail like conventional gel polish does. My nails actually feel stronger after using! It also dries in 5 minutes- yes let me repeat myself, 5 minutes and lasts for 7-10 days. As a busy mom this is basically my favorite thing ever! Check them out here!
Kate’s Top Nail Polish Picks:
Aila- I don’t wear nail polish much, but when I do, I wear Aila’s! It’s super smooth and lasts longer than most. I love all the color options as well. You can’t go wrong with Aila