This post is sponsored by Native Deodorant. All word and opinions are my own! Thanks so much for supporting brands that keep The Kitchen Paper up and running!
This post has been a long time coming — natural body care and natural beauty products are a thing I’ve been easing into over the last few years, and am eager to learn more about. People are usually shocked to learn how few products I use, and curious to hear more details: here you go! This is the full rundown of what I put on my body. It’s not very much, to be honest. This post is kinda long, but I wanted to give you the full rundown!
As a teenager I used every product under the sun. I’m genuinely shocked at how many different hair products, lotions, makeups, nail polishes, etc. I had in my possession up until even just a few years ago. I wish I could remember what exactly started my slide into fewer/more natural products, but I’m not sure I can pinpoint it. Maybe it was traveling in Asia for a year, and not being able to carry as much? Maybe it was growing up a bit and not caring so much about using “the right” product or looking a certain way? Maybe it was becoming 100% bike-reliant and realizing I’d always look a little weird? Maybe it was learning more about my body and what worked/felt right? No matter what it was, it was a gradual process until last summer. Last summer, I had a scary confrontation with hormonal birth control which left me exceptionally aware of what chemicals/hormones/ANYTHING I was putting on/in my body. I haven’t written publicly about that situation at all, although I plan to eventually, but the moral of the story is: I had underestimated how much it matters. As soon as I pinpointed the problem, I went on a rapid detox plan to get everything gross OUT asap, and actively sought out more natural products to make or buy. Why would I keep poisoning myself!? [Edit: I realize this is an extreme word. Many people need hormonal birth control for various health reasons. For me, it was doing more harm than good.] (that said, I still have a long way to go. It’s a process, and I’m doing the best I know at this point!)
Here’s the full list of what I use:
Natural deodorant has a bad reputation, but I think it’s time for that to change. Companies are figuring out what works, and making their products more effective! Native is made in the USA and boasts a lovely list of natural ingredients in their deodorant, which is both aluminum and paraben free. The major thing I noticed when I switched to Native was the texture — it’s much more solid and substantial-feeling than other natural deodorants I’ve tried. For me, this is a great thing! I’m not a fan of the thin/slimy feeling of other brands. They have some amazing scents (Eucalyptus & Mint? Oakmoss and Basil Leaf? OMG!), but they’re definitely on the strong side — so if you’re not into fragrant deodorants, go with the unscented! Native feels great upon application, which is important to me. Plus, how cute are those labels? Branding game ON POINT! (srsly tho). I definitely don’t get sticky throughout the day!
Check out Native to find a scent that’s right for you — and use discount code kitchenpaper10 to get 10% off any order of 2 sticks or more!! One stick is usually $12, but for a generous size. I know price can be a sticking point for people when it comes to natural products, but this is an area that I think it’s so important to invest in: we only get one body, so why not treat it right?
Home made, baby! This could not be easier or more effective: baking soda + honey. Not joking. I mix equal parts raw/local honey with baking soda until it forms a paste (usually I do 1/4 cup each at a time), then take a small fingerfull every time I wash my face. Just lightly scrub it in, and rinse it off. Done! You’ll have gentle exfoliation without putting microbeads out into the environment, and honey is so beneficial for your skin.
Coconut oil. Straight up coconut oil. I slather it from head to toe every time I step out of the shower, let it soak in for 15-20 minutes before getting dressed, and that’s it. I have naturally pretty dry skin, so this works perfectly for me. The second trick to keeping my skin moisturized (get ready!): less soap. I don’t wash with soap except where I need to. This means arms/legs, torso are pretty much soapless!
This is perhaps the most exciting recipe I’ve made in the last year — homemade face lotion! My jar is halfway gone right now, so it’s not OMG PRETTY … but it’s real. I use this every day on my face, which is a pretty classic T-zone situation: dry cheeks, medium-oily t-zone. Bev has the recipe on her blog. I followed mostly the recipe mostly to the T, but I used different whipping methods (an immersion blender instead of a mixer), but used all the same ingredients she did. This. stuff. is. amazing. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. I was wary about putting so much oil on my face, but have loved using it and not had problems with being too oily (it soaks in!). This recipe uses stuff like avocado oil and beeswax pellets, all stuff you can find on Amazon! Don’t be scared by the expensive ingredients — this stuff will last you FOREVER.
Here’s the honest situation with my makeup: I use 3 products. I use mascara, eyeshadow, and brow pencil. That’s it. This is an area I think I could honestly do a lot more research, so please let me know if you have thoughts or recommendations here! I basically googled “natural/organic mascara” and the same for eyeshadow, and went with one of the first few results for each. I’m using Ecco Bella mascara and Mineral Fusion eye shadow. The brow stuff is not natural and I’m not sold on it and I would loooooove a recommendation. Ecco Bella Mascara is great — I actually think it’s making my natural lashes longer! It’s not going to give you supermodel eyelashes, but that’s not what I”m going for so it works for me. It makes my blond lashes dark, slightly longer, and not unnaturally thick. Mineral Fusion is perfect as an eyeshadow because it has all three colors in one compact container, goes on well, stays in place, and comes in colors I like. You can also select your own and make whatever combinations you want. I love them!
Another place I’m open to recommendations: I’ve only ever tried Tom’s, and have no complaints! Do I need to look further? Anybody have a natural toothpaste I absolutely MUST TRY? I have thought about going straight baking soda, but haven’t quite built up the courage for that.
Shampoo & Conditioner
I’m in love with my shampoo and conditioner. I use Giovanni 2chic, and alternate between the blackberry/coconut milk and the avocado/olive oil. They smell SO good. They leave my hair feeling AMAZING. I’ll be totally honest: I found them in the natural section and bought into the packaging and haven’t fully done my research and could probably find a more natural solution here. GIMME YOUR THOUGHTS! (Yes, I have done no-poo. It’s fine, but not sustainable for me.)
Good ol’ Dr. B’s. I honestly use whatever soap is around, but love a good natural one. Marc used Dr. Bronner’s when I met him, so when we moved it it was an easy transition. I’m not a huge fan of our current flavor (Tea Tree) but looove eucalyptus! They also have unscented, to which you could add your own essential oils. As I mentioned above, I use the bare minimum of soap: only in the areas I need to. Arms and legs, unless they’re covered in mud, really don’t need soaping up! If you have dry skin, this will literally change your life (srsly. Not exaggerating.)
These are a bit of a random throw in — I use essential oils in a variety of ways, but definitely recommend going for a high-quality brand (doTerra or Young Living) for the purest oils! I sometimes put them in my coconut oil for my body, definitely in my face lotion (frankincense!), use some for menstrual cramps (panaway), in baths, etc. I’m barely breaking the surface here — there is so much more you can use them for!
A few miscellaneous extras
- Diva Cup: This one actually started 10+ years ago because it’s so much easier than tampons — not to mention more environmentally friendly and better for your body. HIGHLY recommended for any/all who menstruate! There are also a lot more competitors on the market these days, so there are options for a menstrual cup!
- Nail Polish: N/A. Literally haven’t worn it in years. Are there natural brands I should look into if I ever decide to wear it again? Lemme know!
- Hair styling products: This is an area recently maybe actually done a bit of a backslide. I’m in love with R+Co products, and use two (mannequin paste and badlands dry shampoo) on a semi-regular basis. Anybody have knowledge about R+Co (like, are they actually natural and I didn’t even know it! HA! Doubtful.) or have an alternative I should try?
And there you have it! That’s everything I use! Here’s a picture of my medicine cabinet — not a whole lot goin’ on in there:
Am I forgetting anything? Leave your questions if you have any — I’d love to have a conversation and ESPECIALLY want to hear any recommendations in the areas I haven’t quite found my natural fit yet. Help a sister out! xoxo2