I've been talking about this post & have finally gotten around to writing it! I am excited because this post includes my trials and tribulations with personal care products & the unforeseen $$$ that I've spent coming to these conclusions. So, I really hope this post is helpful & prevents you from spending unnecessary extra cash while still making informed choices!
Side note: I do not have any affiliations with any of these companies (just in case anyone is wondering while reading).
Another side note: I use www.ewg.org/skindeep to evaluate product ingredients. My general rule of thumb is to avoid products that score higher than a 5 (scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best) but I always look at the ingredients no matter the score. The ingredients help me always decide whether I deem the product to be a product I would buy vs. avoid. I use the EWG score as simply a guide.
Toothpaste: I currently use Desert Essence specifically the Tea tree oil mint variety. I love that this toothpaste scores a one on the EWG scale (environmental working group) & love how my teeth feel after brushing with this toothpaste. I've tried Tom's in the past & other varieties of desert essence toothpaste but I keep coming back to this one!
Side note: Dr. Bronner's makes a variety of toothpastes I have yet to try. If anyone has tried them, I would love to know what you thought!
Body soap: I have spent a lot of $$$ looking for a bar and/or liquid soap that my husband and I both like. I currently really like Makes3 bar soaps & Vi-tae bar soaps. I've tried many of their combinations & tend to like oatmeal in mine. The oatmeal makes the lather on your skin a bit silkier (which I like).
Liquid hand soap: I use Makes3 Cinnamon & Clove liquid soap or a diluted solution of Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castile Soap.
Soaps I've tried: Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil bar (This lasts a long time but is super messy in the tub because it disintegrates quickly. It does score only a one on the EWG scale & is cost effective. So, if you don't mind the mess, this is also a good option), Aspen Kay (I simply didn't like that they used plastic to package it), Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap (so I use Dr. Bronner's for just about everything else except as a body soap. I find the soap too drying for skin but that is just my opinion!) & ZUM bars.
Shampoo: This is a tough one to comment on because everyone's hair is different & requires different treatment for the best hair days :) My husband & I have thick hair that tends to be on the drier side so we like moisturizing shampoos. My favorite shampoos are Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Shampoo, Burt's Bees Shampoo & Body Wash (fragrance free), Honest Company Shampoo & Body Wash & Acure Organics Shampoo. All score a one on the EWG scale. Price point wise I like Burt's Bees & Shea Moisture - you get 12-13oz for almost half the price of the other two.
Shampoos I've tried: I grew up using Pantene Pro-V, Herbal Essence, and Head & Shoulders. The good news is that these mentioned brands (most of their products) score a 5 on the EWG scale. However, when you look at the ingredients, some of the individual ingredients score 7-10. So while these shampoos may not be the worst products you can use, there are definitely better products that you will feel safer using. Other shampoos I have recently tried include: Avalon Organics (scores an EWG 3), Everyone shampoo & body wash (scores an EWG 3), OGX coconut shampoo (scores an EWG 4), Aveda's dry remedy (not scored on EWG), Every Man Jack Shampoo (scores an EWG 4), Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo (not scored on EWG), & various shampoo bars (these look like body soap bars but are meant for your hair).
Conditioner: My personal opinion is that you don't really need it. Many of the more natural shampoos contain many oils that make the shampoo moisturizing enough that you don't need to apply a conditioner afterwards. However, should you want to, my husband really likes Jonathon Green Routine (scores an EWG 1) and I really like Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Brilliant Shine (scores an EWG 2).
Lotion/Moisturizer: I grew up thinking Nivea was the best day/night/face cream you could buy. Later on, Aveeno lotions (scores an EWG 4) were my favorite & now (with greater investment in my health & knowledge) I love just plain almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, whipped shea butter, Everyone Coconut & Lemon lotion (scores an EWG 2) or the Makes3 lavender body salve (scores an EWG 1).
Deodorant: None most days except special occasions - on those days I use the Everyone Lotion (coconut & lemon) picture above.
Fragrance: Essential oils like lavender and lemon are my favorite. I generally apply one to two drops on my forearms & neck.
Night cream: I am using a wildcrafted green tea salve made by a local herbalist: Jim McDonald. I lather it on my face & wake up with plump, moisturized & smooth skin :) I love it!
Lip care: I use the Makes3 Lavender Body Salve on my lips as well! For a little color I use 100% Pure's lip & cheek tint. Makes 3, Badger & Burt's Bees also make lip balms that score an EWG 1 and work well!
Make-up: I don't use much anymore. But there are many great products out there! Check-out www.ewg.org/skindeep for a place to start your research!
Make-up remover: Coconut oil!
Men's Beard oil: I know this is an odd one! However, my husband maintains his beard year long & has grown fond of his beard oil that makes his (sometimes disheveled) beard look well groomed :)
I also know that I can make a lot of these personal care products at home, but I have not had the time to do that yet. However, for those who may have a little extra time to experiment with homemade personal care products let me know how your experiments go! I would love to hear about them!