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Clean Skincare Products that Won’t Break the Bank

By now, you have heard a lot of research and information about how many of our beauty products contain harmful ingredients that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

The US is well behind the curve in regulating skincare products. The FDA has only banned 11 chemicals in the US - compare that to the EU, which has banned almost 1,400! That means your shampoo/conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant and all skincare products may be full of toxic ingredients that - although not banned - you really wouldn't want on your skin or hair.

There are 12 TOXIC ingredients you need to avoid: Parabens, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Fragrance, Mineral Oil, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Aluminum, Plastic micro-beads, Triclosan, Coal Tar dyes, Polyethylene Glycols (PEGS) and Siloxanes. These all have many different names so it can be very confusing when looking at labels. Why are they bad? Chemicals linked to various cancers, hormone disruption, birth defects, asthma, neurotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergens, carcinogens, irritants, liver, kidney and thyroid problems and Alzheimer's disease. YIKES

Our skin is, after all, our largest organ, and anything we put on it gets absorbed into our systems. Many common skin care products contain toxic chemicals that can dysregulate your hormones and wreak havoc on your health. This piece of eye-opening information was the leading reason I decided to CLEAN IT UP one product at a time.

A few years ago I found an app that helped me weed through all the noise and helped me make better decisions when choosing my skincare products. The app is called “think dirty” and it provides detailed information about the products you are using now and products you want to purchase at the store or online. You scan the barcode and the app tells you to what degree a products scores on the 0-10 scale. The 0 is completely clean and the ratings go up for there.

The "think dirty app" used to be free but now they charge subscription fee. But, before you buy the app read the rest of this article. Products are now available whereas a few years ago it was really hard to find "good" clean products that actually worked. My favorite line of affordable clean products is the Native brand. This brand is clean across the board and I am a big fan. The line continues to grow and the products are reasonable priced.

I have been finding and replacing beauty products for the last five years. My goal is to give you some of my favorite products. My goal was to replace products with products in green zone 0-3. And my quest was to find Clean Products that would not break the bank.

I have been finding and replacing beauty products for the last five years. My goal is to give you some of my favorite products so you won't have to spend hours scanning products. New products and formulations are coming out every day. I will concentrate on products that are applied directly to the skin since they are absorbed directly into your system.

#1: Shampoo and conditioner-

The Native shampoos have a great feel and a great lather. Many clean shampoos I have tried do not have a lather, and I found I did not like that very much. Native products have a more reasonable price point of about $10 per shampoo or conditioner. Also, I have not found any products that score more than a 0 on the “think dirty app” There are various types of shampoos and conditioners based on your hair type and goals. My hair is thick and wavy, and I like the Moisturizing and the warm cider and cinnamon in the fall and winter months and the coconut and vanilla for the rest of the year.

Check them out here and find the best option for your hair type

I have been through many disappointing expensive clean shampoos.

#2: Deodorant -

Many clean scents to choose from.

#3: Dry Shampoo (amazon's gives you the best prices and more savings when you buy 2 or 3 packs)

This is my go-to dry shampoo. Be sure to get the unscented version for a clean product rating of green 3. The scented versions are red 8 on the “think dirty” scale. Hopefully Native will come out with this product soon!

Not Your Mothers – Clean Freak Dry shampoo Unscented * Has to be the Unscented version. (Single) $9.50

#4: Body lotion

Stay with unscented when possible. If you want to add a scent, use a quality essential oil. (Lavender is great to add to lotion and the tub)

It is hard to get out of the bottle but good when you want a thicker lotion.

Province Apothecary Hydrating Rescue Balm, 60 g. $27.00 on Amazon. This is more of a cream that can be used for lips, feet, and hands.

*You can also make a clean version – Check it out here

Native also has a new line of body lotions. I currently am using the the lavender rose and it smells great. I like the lotion although is a little watery.

#5: Body/face Oils

You may or may not be a fan of body oil but it is rather easy to find a clean version. 100% coconut oil, and almond oil. My go-to after-shower product is the first product listed below.

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil 16oz- Moisturizing Hair & Body Oil, Carrier Oil $14.44 (Amazon). * I have purchased this at Natural Grocers but it was more expensive.

*This product comes in a bottle with a dropper and I like to add a drop to my face and my hair.

#6: Hair Color (this one IS a toughy!)

This is a henna product and takes much longer than other chemical hair coloring products. However, the chemical hair coloring really irritates my scalp, so this is the best I have been able to find thus far. The product comes in other colors as well. I buy two at a time because I have long hair.

#7: Sunscreen

Sunscreens can contain sooooo many chemicals and endocrine disrupters, making the question, “is a sunburn better than the chemical overload delivered from slathering or spraying on these chemicals better?”. We do not want either! FYI- I am not a fan of spray-on sunscreen as it is difficult to get good coverage, and spraying it on can piss off your downwind neighbors at the pool or beach.

Just for faces:

Native Coconut & Pineapple Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion - SPF 30 - 1.7 fl oz $23.99.Feels great going on, and it smells wonderful. A perfect 0 on the “Think Dirty” app.

*Love the tinted glow this product provides and the great price.


*It is hard to find a clean sunscreen that does not make your skin look white from the titanium dioxide - this one rubs in nicely for full coverage and does not make you look ghostly.

#8: Lip balm/moisturizers

Did you know Vaseline petroleum jelly contains parabens? Not good. Here is a cleaner version

*Many of the EOS products scored 0, and they have some great scents.

#9: Body wash

NATIVE! Love the cucumber mint !

*Surprisingly products that are not that clean! Aveeno, Cetaphil, and Nivea products.

Think Dirty adds products every day. You can also submit products that are not rated for “think Dirty” to evaluate.

Not perfect, but a good place to start and a lot better than it was several years ago.

Native products are also available at Target and on

While writing this article Native added toothpaste!

Let me know if you have discovered a reasonably priced “clean” product that you love.

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