Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paraben-free Beauty Routine on a Budget!

I know on a previous entry, I quoted Annie Leonard & Ariane Conrad about American women being exposed to over 150 chemicals just in their morning routine alone, and men are exposed to at least 60. A lot of these chemicals include parabens, which are preservatives that are found to contribute to the multiplication of cancer cells. I'm sure there are other chemicals that do the same. So I've tried to come up with a system that has the least amount of chemical ingredients AND being frugal at the same time. It seems hard, and maybe it is. But if you slowly add these good things into your routine (don't do it all at once!), and slowly faze out the bad stuffs, it might not seem like such a drastic change. So... let's start our morning/evening routine, shall we? :)



Tom's Flouride Free Peppermint Toothpaste. It's pretty tasty, and a little bit goes a long way. It's a little spendy than most major brands of toothpaste - but this is all natural and paraben free. You can find it cheaper if you go to or Google Shop it! If you go to Whole Foods or any other local health food store, sometimes there will be Healthy Clippings coupon booklets that may have a coupon for you. Just be on the lookout for those coupons - that's the secret!

But if you want to take this step even further, here is my recipe for homemade toothpaste. This is THE most frugal and natural option, but it's not for all palates.
You need a small jar, aluminum-free baking soda, xylitol (powder form preferably), vegetable glycerin, spearmint essential oil. Mix these ingredients up until you get a paste-like consistency. Start with a small amount, first!


Now remember - when it comes to oral hygiene, brush your teeth at least twice a day, visit your dentist regularly, and floss, floss, floss!!!! Preferably floss with bio-degradable floss, such as Silk Floss. You can find this for a few bucks on sites like Amazon. This few bucks will last from 6-8 months. Not bad, for preventative care!


Tom's Long-Lasting Aluminum AND Propylene Glycol Free
You need to read the label carefully, because not all of the Tom's Long-Lasting deoderants are propylene glycol free. But this one is my favorite deoderant that I've tried so far. It does its job and it doesn't irritate me.

Terra Naturals
This is another deoderant that smells pleasant and is paraben free. It works and I like it, but I noticed that it irritated my underarms. It triggered my eczema, so for those of you who have eczema or sensitive skin, you might want to go with the Tom's.


Face & Body Soap:

Black Soap - originating in West Africa, it's traditionally made with only a few simple ingredients. Its effects are very powerful (yet gentle) on the skin. I had been using black soap since I was 21. Whenever I would switch to another kind of face wash, my face would eventually break out in acne. Then I'd switch to black soap again, and within a week, it'd be healed. It's AMAZING. But when shopping for black soap (you can find it at your local health food store in the beauty section), read the ingredients, because some brands will add more than just the few ingredients (cocoa pod, shea butter, and plaintain skins). So get the purest kind. Also, since it's made without glycerin, just pinch off a teeny bit off the bar and lather it up. This will make the soap last longer, since it disintegrates faster than regular soap bars. A bar of this soap runs anywhere between 3-5 dollars, but it lasts one whole year if used just for the face!

Face & Body Moisturizer

Unrefined Shea Butter
I cannot stress enough what a miracle ingredient this is. I use this in combination with black soap on my face, especially when I get a zit here or there. It seems to heal and soothe my skin. It's seriously great for sunburns, wrinkles, stretch marks, healing tattoos, bug bites, small wounds, shaving, skin allergies, eczema, skin damage from heat, dermatitis, jock itch, cold weather, healthy skin. It's really great, and it's worth the extra cost for Grade A quality, too, so read your labels!!! Again, a little goes a long way, so just pinch off a little bit, massage it in your fingers - your body heat will "melt" it, then you can rub it onto your skin like lotion.

Acne Spot Treatment for Face

Alba Botanica Acne Spot Treatment Gel
Alba Botanica products are always paraben free. This is a little trick I use for "emergencies" - not that I go out often, but I do have to show my face to my clients every day at work :P A little bit of salicylic acid and the rest are natural, soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel and flower extracts.


Alba Botanica Sunscreens
Alba Botanica makes a variety of sunscreens for different needs - sunscreens for the face, for sensitive skin, fragrance free, etc. And they're all not only paraben free, but they're, as their labels say, very emollient! It's soothing and contains a bunch of natural ingredients, such as aloe and other flower extracts. I love this stuff!!!!

It's very important to avoid parabens and other harmful chemicals in your hair. The skin on your scalp is very absorbent, and for those of you with long hair, it gets all over your face, neck, etc. Keep your hair healthy and as free of chemicals as possible! I've listed two of my favorite brands, but if you can suggest other brands you like, please comment and share! :)

Alba Botanica is always paraben free. Nice scents and light products. Although the only complaint I have is the coconut conditioner - I have to squeeze the bottle with all my might, because it's SO thick, and I have to use tons of it to work the knots out of my long hair.

Giovanni is my all-time favorite brand so far. Everything smells nice and pleasant without being too overpowering, and I've noticed my hair looking healthier. The conditioner is very efficient - I don't have to use much for it to work on my long hair, which is great on cost-effectiveness!


This is the huge kicker for crazy chemicals! These are the products I have found that are paraben free, have few natural ingredients, and is cost-effective IF you find them at sources like These products last a long time, as long as you use clean practices, such as cleaning your makeup brushes regularly and not letting other people use your make-up to prevent cross contamination.

Aubrey Organics Silken Earth Foundation Mineral Powder AND Powder Blushes
This is a great company that uses very high quality, natural (non-man-made) ingredients such as mica and rice starches, creating a light, organic and natural foundation and blushes. They even have a shimmer powder that makes your skin look sparkly for a night out! :D I love sparkles :)

HoneyBee Gardens Eyeshadow
These powders are also as great as Aubrey's products. Their eyeshadow powders are really sparkly and it makes me feel so cute :) If you want to use an eye primer, use a tiny bit of shea butter over your eyelids! :D Love it! HoneyBee Gardens have a great line of other natural cosmetics, including non-toxic peel-off nail polishes! But get these products at I cannot stress how much savings you'll get from doing that!

Beauty Without Cruelty Paraben-Free Mascara

I'm also going to throw in this article today, hehehe :)
11 One-Ingredient DIY Face Masks

So thanks for being patient with taking so long for this entry. It's been super busy lately, but this has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Thanks!

~Jenny Bunny <3


Deva2101 said...

Awesome post bunny, I will have to try some of these when it is time to repleinsh my beauty needs! Thanks!

alterna180 said...

Thanks jennybunns!! Where can I get the black soap? I want to try that! And the Shea butter for makeup primer too. Is the Shea butter non-comedogenic?

Jenny Bunny Bunns! said...

You can get black soap at Sevenanda or Return to Eden - even Whole Foods (although the smaller stores have the more "pure" brands). Again - if the ingredients lists more than 4 things and/or if you can't pronounce the ingredient, don't get it!

Shea butter does not clog pores, believe it or not. And you only need the thinnest layer on your face for it to protect you from the elements and keeping it moisturized. Sevenanda and Return to Eden have the best brands, too - local and Grade A stuff :)

helen said...

When buying mineral makeup watch out for Bismuth Oxychloride and Micronised Titanium Dioxide. Both are not good for you when ingested and since mineral makeup is a loose powder you ingest a lot of it. I buy Physicians Formula mineral makeup and it works fantastic and lasts a super long time! A lot of times they have a 3 dollar off coupon attached to the container so it's a steal for 7 bucks!

Jenny Bunny Bunns! said...

Thanks for the tip, Helen! Yes, bismuth is yucky. THe products I mentioned use pure, natural (not man-made) mica. It's wonderful :)

Jennie said...

Thank you! This is such a great source of information and the answer to a lot of questions I had and didn't even know! LOL I just started using the Giovanni(sp) shampoo a couple of weeks ago and my husband even commented on how well it is working for me! I've got super fine, oily hair and I've tried just about every product on the market and the organic Giovanni is the best by far *and* it is less expensive than what I was getting at the salon!