Since filming OVERLOAD: America’s Toxic Love Story, people ask me all the time what my favorite personal care products are. This was one of the most maddening parts of trying to clean up the toxic load my body was carrying because these products that clean us and beautify us have SO many ingredients.
Chemicals that sneak into these products include phthalates, parabens, mercury, and formaldehyde. These and a thousand others make up the long list that have been banned in the European Union but are sold to US consumers thanks to our lax laws. Also, trade secret rules at the FDA make it so a company has a loophole to not disclose all ingredients contained in their products. When you see the catch-all word “fragrance” those specific ingredients don’t have to be listed. Dozens, if not hundreds, of chemicals can hide under the generic word “fragrance” in one product.
So — US products are made with hidden ingredients and ingredients banned in other countries and many ingredient names read like someone only with a chemistry degree could interpret.
Needless to say, this is the area that took me the most time to find cleaner products. Then it took me even more time to find ones I actually liked.
Below are some of my favorites I use nearly every day
Giovanni Heat Protector – Doesn’t make your hair oily or heavy. Has a great naturally-derived scent and protects hair from styling damage. It took me SO long to find an affordable heat protector that actually worked. I have LONG hair and it does not look good frizzy. If you saw my film, you know this is an area I had trouble finding any alternative. But at last, I did!
V05 Unscented Aerosol Hairspray – I might get teased by some people for using this old-school brand, but I swear by this product. This was another super hard-to-find option. I want an aerosol hairspray – without all the toxic additives. It also helps reduce static cling on clothes too! Sometimes you can even find it at CVS or get them to special order it for you for $3-4 a can.
Unscented Dove Soap – Doesn’t dry out my skin and totally affordable. It’s a great, basic, every day soap for the whole family.
SheaMoisture Body Wash – If I want to smell good and/or have a more luxurious lather, I grab these super-sudsy options made with all naturally-derived scents. I love their Coconut Oil body wash as well as the Lavender & Wild Orchid. If I work out a lot and want an even deeper skin cleaning (or for those with oily skin) I use the SheaMoisture African Black Soap or the Alaffia African Black Soap both have anti-bacterial properties.
SheaMoisture Body Scrubs – Made with a variety of scrub and emollient ingredients including sugar, coffee, organic safflower oil as well as shea and cocoa butter and the naturally-derived scents I swear by, these scrubs are perfect when you need a little polishing and pampering. It is available in Lavender & Wild Orchid, Coconut & Hibiscus, Raw Shea & Cupuacu. For super invigorating options, check out their Mint and Ginger or Coffee and Coconut Oil scrubs!
Rooted Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser – How I love this face wash so. It makes my skin feel super clean but also very hydrated and soft. Formulated with 7 antioxidants, I have loved every Rooted product I have tried but this one is in twice-daily rotation. If ever you can’t get it at the link above, check it out on grove.co
SheaMoisture Lotions and Oils – All scents they have are amazing, but I love the African Black Soap lotion (great for dry AND oily, breakout-prone skin) and the Lavender & Wild Orchid oil the most! Lotions are also available in these scents – Coconut Oil Lotion, Raw Shea Butter and Coconut & Hibiscus and these oils – Fruit Fusion and Coconut. I have never met a SheaMoisture body product I didn’t love.
Weleda Hydrating Night Cream – When I say I have dry skin, I mean dry. So dry I use a night cream during the day and this is the one. It smells amazing and super clean. In fact, this used to be my night cream until I found the upgrade below. For day time, it provides the perfect amount of moisture without being too heavy.
Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover – Removes even the darkest polish and doesn’t dry out my nails.
Shea Brand CBD Restorative Lip Balm – Plumps my lips up , keeps them moisturized and stays on well without any strong taste or scent. Beautiful packaging too!
Ambre Blends Essence Oil – Invoke is my personal fave, made with jasmine, neroli, sandalwood and rose. I get compliments all the time about what “perfume” I am wearing. I love sharing that it’s a fragrance created with organic essential oils that smells super feminine without anything artificial.
These are links to products that might be available elsewhere but you definitely want to buy them at Sephora for price (and color options if applicable)
Tarte Gifted Mascara – Lengthens and separates beautifully.
Tarte Creaseless Concealer – It’s a pretty heavy concealer so you definitely need a good eye cream on under it but the thickness allows me to use less for a natural looking result.
Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream and Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream – So this is where I do start to get a little spendy because, once I tried these, it blew what is now my day cream out of the water. I need a hydration punch at night and these deliver. A little goes a long way for both.
BITE Beauty Lipstick – Food-grade organic lipstick that smells divine, glides on easily and stays on a long time. At $24 a tube, it’s expensive, but I apply it multiple times a day and a tube lasts me nearly a year.
The Ordinary Buffet Peptide Serum – Booster moisturizer that I love at an incredible price.
The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane – If heaven made a skin oil, this would be the one. It’s the very last product I use at night to seal in the work of the Repair Cream and Hyaluronic Acid (which I put all over my face before my Biossance)