With repetition and practice, good eating and exercise habits serve as a starting point to great health, but the buck shouldn’t stop there. During my research journey to pescetarian, I discovered that a large percentage of the items I had sitting in my bathroom cabinet and make-up bag contained harmful chemicals and toxins that either only mitigated the problem on the surface or made the situation worse, altogether. Of course, I didn’t want my clean eating to go in vain, so I decided to swap a number of my usual skin and hair care products for more natural, plant-based items. Here are just a few natural product swaps I’ve made so far en route to a clean temple.
Neutrogena Acne Therapy System SWAPPED FOR Dudu Osun Black Soap and Shea Moisture Problem Facial Wash and Scrub
The Neutrogena Acne Therapy System has three parts; the Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser, the Acne Control Lotion and the Oil-Free SPF 15 Lotion. As a teenager, I was an avid user of this product, but now that my skin has changed with age, it no longer yields the same results. On top of that, I look at the ingredients now, as I do with all of my product choices, and see things like Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate and Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose. Huh?! Toss! Guiding rule; if I can’t pronounce it, 9 times out of 10, it’s not meant for my skin’s absorption.
I use my Shea Moisture scrub during the day to wash my make-up off because it cleans my skin without over-drying it. A product that can do bad (good) all by itself, Dudu Osun Black Soap works wonders at restoring my skin to its healthy state. A West African skin care staple, it only contains natural ingredients such as pure honey, shea butter, osun (Camwood), palm kernel oil, and lemon juice. Added bonus– it’s manufactured in Nigeria. Whoop! There it is!
Neutrogena Acne Therapy System Acne Control Lotion SWAPPED FOR Fresh Cut Aloe Vera
Widely known as a beauty elixir of the ancient Egyptians, aloe vera has amazing moisturizing and inflammation healing properties. Not only does it fight acne naturally and soothe the skin, but it contains potent antioxidants like Vitamin C and beta carotene which help with signs of aging. I’m only 25, though, but I see no harm in starting early!
Queen Helen’s Mint Julep Masque SWAPPED FOR Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, and Tea Tree Oil Mask
Boy, did I love to slather my face with some Queen Helen’s back in the day, but as I stated earlier my skin has changed. Much of what worked for me as a teenager no longer suits my skin care needs. I discovered Aztec Healing Clay while walking through the isles of Simply Wholesome (my FAVORITE store in L.A.) and I was drawn in by the claim “world’s most powerful facial” and “feel your skin pulsate.” Needless to say, when I took it home, studied a few ways to use it, and tried it for myself, I was SOLD. According to Aztec-secret.com,
“Aztec Secret is volcanic Ash from when the Earth was formed It is the foam residue left as the planet cooled The foam residue formed a pure clay vein layered between white sand, near one of the lowest parts of planet Earth. When a facial or clay poultice is applied to the skin it forms a negative charge. Poisons and toxins stored in the epidermis have a positive charge…,”
so it detoxifies the skin by attracting and drawing out these impurities, hence the reason for the pulsating sensation which, by the way, actually does occur during the process! Apple Cider Vinegar is a well known toner for skin, and lastly, even just a few drops of tea tree oil contain powerful antibacterial properties. Not to mention, I think it’s one of the best smells in the whole world!
Bentonite Clay Mask
- 1/4 cup of Aztec Healing Clay
- 3 or 4 teaspoons of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (or water)
- 5-10 drops of Aura Cacia Tea Tree Oil
- glass bowl
- plastic or glass spoon (do not use any metal utensils, as this will disrupt the negative charge of the clay)
Mix all ingredients together in the bowl until it’s smooth; it will most resemble the consistency of Greek yogurt. Smooth a thick layer onto the face and neck and let the mixture dry for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with cool water and a wash rag, and moisturize as usual. Store the remaining in an air-tight glass of plastic bowl.
Colgate Advanced Fresh + Whitening Toothpaste SWAPPED FOR Coral White Tea Tree Toothpaste
Fluoride; must I say anymore? Apparently, yes, since a large portion of Americans are unaware of its harmful effects. According to a video by Michael Connett, an attorney with the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), the persistent intake of fluoride through water, cosmetic products, and toiletries can lead to many medical issues such as increased lead absorption and increased tumor and cancer rate. Even worse, he claims that,
“More people drink fluoridated water in the US alone than in the rest of the world combined.”
Lipton Green Tea Superfruit SWAPPED FOR homemade Ginger Tea or Prince Of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals
There was no real reason for this swap other than the fact that I truly wanted to get back to knowing what was exactly in my food. Known as a natural painkiller, ginger helps fight against colds and like other items mentioned earlier, helps with inflammation. I found out about ginger tea a few years ago when my housemates, who were singers, drank it regularly to soothe their vocal chords. It became one of my best friends during this journey (ginger tea, ginger candy, ginger juice in my smoothies), simply because I love the soothing effect it has and the spicy flavor it brings to any dish. You can purchase the Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals or you can use my recipe below:
- 5-10 1/2 in. pieces of ginger root( depending on the strength of taste)
- 3-4 cups of water
- Honey or agave(add according to your preference of taste)
- 1/2 Lemon (juice, optional)
In a small or medium pot, add the ginger pieces and bring the water to a boil for about 15-minutes. Add in your flavoring ingredients and you’re good to go!
I do not own any pictures shown here.