Here are some fun products that tout all natural when it comes to skincare and beauty.
Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap
Instead of body washes and cleansers and shampoo, use Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Magic Soap is all the right stuff you want to put on your skin (they have an unscented version that’s safe enough to use for a newborn, too!), and this little bar of soap can be used for your body, face, and as a shampoo. There’s scents ranging from peppermint to almond to lavender, but the rose remains my favorite. You can also get it in a gel form if you’re sharing a bathroom with multiple people and bar soap freaks you out.
Instead of toners, use Witch Hazel. If you’ve used any of the fancy face products on the market (think Dr. Perricone’s Super Detox Elixir, Murad Clarifying Toner, Olek Henriksen Grease Relief Face Tonic), you’ll see that the main ingredient in them is, indeed, Witch Hazel. Save your money on those brand names and head to your local pharmacy to pick up a bottle of the real stuff for a few bucks. This stuff is great for toning, and also helps with puffy eyes, large pores, and redness.
African Shea Butter
Instead of body and face lotion and conditioner, use African Shea Butter. I discovered pure, raw, unrefined African Shea Butter when I was pregnant and trying to avoid stretch marks. I’d lather this stuff on my belly every night before sleep, and voila! It worked like a gem! It got me thinking…if this miracle spread works so well on maintaining the elasticity of a stomach that’s been stretched to the size of a basketball and back, it would probably be pretty good for the rest of my skin too, right? I’ve been religiously using this as my body and face lotion (bonus: it also acts as a sunscreen), and while it initially goes on a bit thick, I’ve found it to be super moisturizing for dry skin and it actually maintains that hydration throughout the entire day, unlike many lotions that seem to lose their punch a few hours after application.
Instead of face oils, use Argan Oil. This was a tip I picked up in the book French Women Don’t Get Facelifts (such a fun read if you’re into natural beauty remedies, btw!) I’ve been manically trying to keep better care of my skin and in my quest for the magic elixir, I’ve spent a lot of money on brands that promise big and deliver meh. (Meaning no noticeable difference from the cheap drug store brands.) However, putting a dab of Argan Oil on my face before bedtime has been that magic cure I’ve been searching for. My skin feels quenched without feeling like an oil spill happened, and I love the glow it gives.
Instead of Crest White Strips, use Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil can be used for basically everything under the sun (and we use it that way in our house–pretty sure we’re single handedly keeping the coconut industry in business;-), but one of my favorite things to do with it is oil pulling. If you haven’t heard the term before, it’s basically putting a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, and gargling it for as long as you can stand before spitting it out into the trash. The recommended amount of time is 30 minutes, but I’ve never lasted that long. I usually do this while doing another chore (making breakfast, cleaning, putting laundry away), and I swear, even after a few minutes, you have that squeaky clean feeling of visiting the dentist. It’s literally pulling toxins and bacteria from your mouth, and in turn acts as a natural whitener and brightener for your teeth.
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Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He’s the inspiration for her first published children’s book, “Park Avenue Pound Puppy.” The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.
Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.
She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New York…as used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.