Confession: My beauty routine has not always been the cleanest. But after recently learning more about all the gross chemicals the FDA fails to regulate in our beauty products, I've made it a goal to eliminate products from my collection that contain any of these chemicals. Now, I didn't just dump my entire medicine cabinet one day (for budgetary reasons, plus I don't want to be wasteful), but I made it a rule that once I finished something, I would replace that item with a clean option.
I'll admit that some things I tried were a bit lackluster, but then there were other products that knocked it out of the park—not just in the clean beauty category but in the beauty world as a whole. From the miracle cleansing balm that removes waterproof mascara in one swoop to the only natural deodorant I've ever liked, below are the 18 best nontoxic beauty products I've tried that I'm now totally committed to.
This is hands down the world's best makeup remover, and it happens to be 100% clean. The green balm melts in your hands and with one swipe over your face, your makeup is gone. It even takes off my stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner with ease—zero rubbing required and no damage to my eyelashes. I've gotten pretty much all of my friends hooked on it because I can't stop talking about it.
Another makeup remover I've recently discovered that exceeded my expectations is Pai's Rosehip Cleansing Oil. It seamlessly removes my waterproof eyeliner and mascara, and the oil consistency doesn't seem to strip my skin of moisture. If, like me, you wear waterproof makeup, do yourself a favor and give this cleanser a try.
As far as facial sprays go, this is the crown jewel. It's full of hyaluronic acid to help plump the skin and antioxidants to protect against environmental stressors. Oh, and it smells like a garden in full bloom.
Behold: the world's best moisturizer. Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a thick moisturizing cream that gives your skin a major dose of hydration upon contact and soothes dry winter skin in seconds. Containing six African oils, this miracle product feels like heaven on the skin. Despite it being super thick, it absorbs quickly and can even be worn under makeup. This is another one I've gotten all of my friends (including my boyfriend) hooked on thanks to its moisturizing powers, and it's better than products I've tried with triple the price tag.
May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon exceeds the hype. It's soothing, calming, moisturizing, and smells lovely. The blue tansy and lavender promote a calm complexion, which is particularly helpful for sensitive, easily irritated skin like mine. The balm melts instantly in your hand to the consistency of an oil and then absorbs right into your skin. The price tag on this little jar is steep, but it lasts forever, as you only use about a pea-size amount each time.
Confession: I have seriously dark circles under my eyes that seem to appear even if I've had 10 hours of sleep the night before. It's just one of those things I've come to accept, and I've purchased a large collection of concealers as a result. This brightening eye cream from Ole Henriksen helps lighten my dark circles thanks to its potent vitamin C, making concealing those bad boys just a little bit easier in the morning.
Another Drunk Elephant pick is its cult-favorite Marula Oil, which is loaded with antioxidants to soothe and moisturize skin. I use this one at night underneath a thick moisturizer (usually Lala Whipped Cream) and wake up with skin that feels calm and refreshed.
This omega booster oil is my sensitive-skin hero product. It contains omega-3, -6, and -9 plus lavender to nourish and calm my complexion and leave my skin glowing.
Pai's Rosehip Oil soothes my inflamed skin instantly as it's full of antioxidants (and formulated specifically for sensitive skin). I typically use this one at night since it's an oil, so it's a bit thicker. I layer it under my heavier moisturizer and wake up with skin that looks and feels refreshed.
Biossance has caused quite a commotion since its launch, and that's because it creates powerful products with clean ingredients. I recently started using the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil and am already hooked. It brightens my skin with zero irritation. (I have ultra-sensitive skin, FYI.)
Talk about a brightening serum. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. It makes your skin look brilliantly radiant, so much so that I usually won't wear makeup over it when I'm running around on the weekends.
It's not breaking news that one of the keys to long-term skin health is sunscreen, and this nontoxic formula from Supergoop! is the perfect consistency. It's light enough to be worn under makeup and blends into the skin effortlessly—with no greasy white residue like some other sunscreens leave. This has become my go-to whether I'm wearing makeup or not.
Finally, a natural deodorant that actually works. Kopari's coconut deodorant is a gel formula that not only smells amazing but also manages to keep me feeling fresh all day. Other natural deodorants I've tried either left me feeling so sticky I had to get back in the shower or stopped working about an hour after application. Now this formula takes some getting used to if you're coming from the non-natural deodorant world, but it's by far the best one I've found so far.
It took me a long time to realize I should be paying attention to ingredient lists in the haircare category. For some reason, I thought about what I was putting on the skin on my body but not about the skin on my head. Once it finally occurred to me, I set out to find a clean shampoo that not only washes my strands well but also won't ruin my color. (I'm not naturally blonde anymore, unfortunately, so I spend a lot of money on hair color.) This product from Playa delivers on all accounts—and smells amazing to boot.
I obviously needed a conditioner as well.
If you're looking for a body wash that smells insanely refreshing and has totally clean ingredients, look no further. Nécessaire's whole line is nontoxic and offers both scented and unscented versions of most products. My favorite body wash is the eucalyptus because it makes my shower feel like a chic spa, but my boyfriend uses the sandalwood one, which smells amazing.
For body lotion, on the other hand, I prefer the unscented version from Nécessaire. It does a great job moisturizing my skin without feeling too sticky or greasy after. I like the unscented so that it doesn't interfere with my perfume, but the brand also offers the same scent options as its body washes, which, as I've already mentioned, are heavenly.
This body butter is the newest addition to my skincare collection, and it has definitely earned a permanent place. Created as a clean option for preventing stretch marks and moisturizing skin during pregnancy, Mutha's founder just launched her line this fall, and it's already creating buzz. I personally love the thick cream for my dry winter skin right now, and it rubs in and absorbs easily despite the heavy consistency.