Beautiful You, Beautiful Earth

I wrote earlier about how cleaning out your medicine cabinet and how to get rid of old medicines. If you’re like me, expired prescriptions are only the tip of the medicine cabinet iceberg…floes of clumpy mascara, foundation that has separated out, blush that is no longer powdery but has that hard, shiny surface, and lipstick that has the funk all litter the hinterland of my bathroom.

Let me just put this out here right away: I have generally been a fan of cheap makeup. I’m not proud of it, but there it is. While I would love to be an Elizabeth Arden girl, or, heck, even a Neutrogena girl. I’m more the Cover Girl and Wet’n’Wild type. In my defense, I don’t wear makeup all that often, having taken a nearly 3 year hiatus from everything but mascara as I had that wonderful–although, sadly, fleeting–phenomenon known as the “pregnant glow.” (No, I wasn’t pregnant for 3 years. But between pregnancy #1, post-partum but pre-hair loss period #1, followed immediately by pregnancy # 2 and post-partum period #2, I’ve been in a state of hormonal bliss since summer 2005). Now that my youngest is 9 months old, that glow is fast segueing back into the half-dry/half-oily skin of my pre-baby days. Ick.

I have also generally been a fan of the whatever-is-cheapest school of personal products. I’ve never had brand loyalty (except for baking soda-based toothpaste, to which my husband has a perverse aversion…now THAT’s a test of a marriage!) to anything. But, with more in the news (see here and here for a good round-up of all that is bad in personal care products) about toxic chemicals, and general interest in not using petroleum-based products, I’m planning on making the switch as soon as my current bottle of cheapo Costco generic runs out…which, given Costco sizes, might not be in this decade.

But what alternatives are there?

More importantly, what enviro- and body-healthy alternatives are there that don’t break the bank?? While I can see splurging on something you don’t use very often–like, perfume–I can’t really justify spending $5 for a bar of soap that is gone in a week. Or $20 on an 8 oz bottle of shampoo. So, if anyone has suggestions for home-made or less-expensive natural beauty and bath remedies, I’d love to hear it!

Leaving cost concerns behind for a moment, I’ve heard good things about the following lines:

  • Zosimos Botanicals Mineral Makeup and Natural Skincare. Appears to have a wide, wide range of products, with inexpensive samples (~$1.50). All products are “handcrafted in small batches using gentle plant-based raw materials, including pure plant oils, natural waxes, and the highest quality herbs, floral waters and essential oils. No animal testing is performed to produce any of our products. Nor do we use any petroleum products, talc, parabens or bismuth oxychloride.” The regular sizes of their products ($12.50 for a bottle of body wash, size not indicated but looks to be 8-10 oz; $5 for a bar of soap) are a bit dear; however for something like face scrub that lasts a longer time, I might be persuaded.
  • Local store in Middletown, MD. Skin, body, hair, and baby products. If anyone has tried their hair mud washing system, I’d love to hear about how it worked!! Although my hair is chemically treated, and they do warn against using their mud on treated hair…
  • Based in Rhode Island. Skin products, on the expensive side for my tastes, but if anyone has personal experience, please chime in.
  • Based in Colorado. Cheap trial sizes for a lot of things. Although I’ve never been a fan of the multi-step skin regimen, as my “regimen” consists of washing my face with the generic hand soap pump sitting by the sink and occasionally using whatever moisturizer is at hand. But, I’m willing to be convinced that there really is a benefit to doing more for my skin!
  • Based in Australia and they sell through a home-business model as well as their website. Also really expensive, and they have to ship from Australia, so they definitely aren’t a good “local” choice.

General De-Tox Info…

  • The Green Guide ( is a fantastic resource for recommendations on environmentally friendly products.
  • The Environmental Working Group ( has information on tons of topics, including mercury in fish, safety of personal care products, pesticides, sunscreen, and many more.


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