Try to look pretty without poisoning yourself

Oh. This. Is. Amusing. (At least it would be if it wasn't true). Watch. I've posted about this issue before, here, but I recently stumbled across this video and thought it might be neat to revisit.

Yes, as Jackie has just discovered, the vast majority of beauty products on the market are in fact poisons. Beautifully packaged, full-of-promises-of-eternal-youth poisons.

So months ago, I cashed out of the beauty industry and committed to stop using cosmetics and other conventional beauty products. I haven't worn make-up since. I've even shunned organic creams n' things, because, damn it, what did people do before body lotions and hair volumisers? They used nature's gifts. In nature's forms. Yes. Here's what my beauty routine consists of nowadays:

  • face wash - plain ol' yoghurt. Once a week I give my face a deeper cleansing using the oil method (I use cold-pressed almond oil)
  • toner - I usually mix up my own lemon balm toner, although I was recently given a bottle of Mira's Hand Rose Water and have been using that
  • facial moisturiser - I alternate between Australian jojoba oil and pure argan oil
  • pimple ammunition - I dab with lavender or rosemary essential oil
  • toothpaste - I use Phytoshield, the lemon myrtle flavour is da bomb (and is an excellent one for anyone quitting sugar, curbs the after-dinner sugar craving)
  • shampoo & conditioner - I recently started using a liquid soap made locally in Victoria by Dindi Naturals. It contains only water, cold-pressed olive, sunflower, coconut and castor oils, kakadu plum extract, tea tree oil and bitter orange extract. No palm oil, no synthetic petrochemicals or fragrances. Sometimes I still wash with bicarb soda, rinse with apple cider vinegar and condition the ends with coconut oil. Sometimes I wash with soapwort root. I like to mix things up.
  • body moisturiser - I rub almond oil all over my body most nights
  • perfume - I don't wear any. Synthetic perfumes contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In fact I now find the smell of perfume offensive. It's too strong. It makes me feel physically ill. I dab a little essential oil on my skin if I want to smell pretty.

There's something else. It's why I haven't really needed to use hand cream or lip balm for months - I've been eating plenty of healthy fats (yes, fats!), which are well-known skin-nourishers. Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center says

"Everything you eat becomes part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look". 

Which of course, we all instinctively know, just tend to forget.

Some skin-nourishing foods include:

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • real butter
  • avocados
  • activated nuts
  • blueberries.

Quitting sugar, too, has helped. As has avoiding all processed foods. Fewer toxins in means better skin on the outside.

If you're not too keen on giving up your body butter just yet, the  Environmental Defence group have a really sweet little glossary of ingredients to avoid as you would a wet kiss from a hairy-faced nanna. View it here.

For those that have (given up conventional beauty products, that is), have you discovered any other natural alternatives? I'm constantly researching this area, trying to find out what native populations have traditionally used to care for their skin and hygiene. If you have any thoughts, sharing is caring xx


  1. Great advice. There are great organic products out there which I use (particularly Green People which is a British based company). For exfoliating my face I use bicarbonate soda mixed with my face-wash but you can just mix it with water too. As a body exfoliator I mix sugar with almond or jojoba oil. It does have some uses ;)

  2. Ooh I like that scrub, that's a good one for the sugar stored in my pantry from my pre-sugar-free days!

  3. i'm so glad Sarah Wilson put me onto you Maria!!! I have really long thick hair but am very keen to ditch the shampoo and conditioner....looking forward to seeing the results!!

  4. I use beetroot for blush (as mad as that may seem). I simply cut of a small slice and rub a bit on my cheeks (and sometimes eye-lids and moisturised lips) and blend. It looks so natural and you can apply more to build colour. The staying power is pretty good too. I've received so many compliments from friends and strangers while wearing this.

  5. Hi,

    I know this is a bit of a late post, but I was wondering, you mentioned using Dindi Naturals Liquid Soap as a shampoo, is this correct? I had a read of their website, and it sounds like the intended use of their liquid soaps are as hand washes, maybe body washes. But you feel they are ok as a shampoo too?

    1. That's right, I've used their liquid soap to cleanse my hair - their liquid soaps are pure plant oil soaps, so no different to using pure castile soap as a hair cleanser. You can use pure soaps to wash anything. The soap can build up on hair a little, so I just use some bicarb soda once a week to get rid of the build up. Works a treat. Hair is soft and shiny.

    2. Brilliant! Will definitely give them a go - thanks for your help!

  6. I read your entire blog last week, then re-stocked my bathroom and spent the weekend making tea toners and hair rinses using herbs from my garden. Yesterday I made my husband rinse his hair with bicarb then apple cider vinegar and wash his face with yogurt. Then when he stepped out of the shower, I sprayed his face with my lavendar/thyme tea toner and made him moisterise with jojoba oil . I am so excited about my new beauty (and house cleaning) routine - I've spread the econest word widely. Thank you so much!

  7. Hi Maria, Margeaux here again...I do have one question...I have rosehip oil and jojoba oil but am not sure whether to mix them as a moisturiser (I read a 2/3 jojoba, 1/3 rosehip could be good) or do one, then the other? I'm 34 with oily skin.

    1. Hi Margeaux, I love it! So happy you've made the switch (and are 'encouraging' your husband too also). It's up to you whether you try one or both oils at once... I'd probably try them individually at first so you get a sense of how each feels on your skin. Then blend and see how that feels also.

      And be sure to download my Natural Beauty Guide, if you haven't already!

      Cheers and have fun!

  8. I know I'm late to the party but you're so right about perfume! I've also stopped wearing perfume and can't stand it on other people now!! I even go most days without deodorant and have found I don't need it, crazy!! Thanks for all the chemical free tips, they are great! Jo



Flickr Photostream

Twitter Updates

Meet The Author