Easy Healthy Hygiene {Raising Healthy Families}

Welcome back to our Raising Healthy Families series! Each week, we’ll bring you another great post with a tip for helping you raise your families healthfully in this not-very-healthy world.

Today’s post is brought to you by yours truly!

Once I got serious about removing chemicals from my diet, I began to realize that I was ingesting and consuming even more chemicals (and potentially more dangerous ones) via the personal care products I used on a regular basis. After experimenting with a variety of toiletry options in a trial-and-error fashion over the past few years, I’ve settled on a simple but healthy hygiene routine for myself and The Boys.

Simple & Healthy Hygiene

One thing you need to understand about me: I like to keep things simple! I decided after a while that fussing around with concocting my own products made with special-order ingredients was definitely not for me. While I certainly love for all my hygiene items to be healthy and inexpensive, I don’t want to waste a lot of time and effort in mixing them up on a regular basis. So I pretty much only make toiletries if they use one or two ingredients; otherwise I’ve found some affordable brands to purchase that I trust and can recommend. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for anyone who makes their own toiletries for their family, but I’ve decided for myself that I prefer to spend my time on other things.

If you, too, want to provide healthy hygiene products for your family but don’t have a lot of time or desire to mess around with making your own, here are my recommendations!


Although regular toothpaste gets a great score from EWG’s Skin Deep Guide, I choose to avoid fluoride, which eliminates almost all mainstream toothpaste products. I also prefer toothpaste that is made largely of natural ingredients rather than chemicals.

Some people suggest just brushing with baking powder, but others say that it’s way too abrasive for the enamel on your teeth. I say it’s disgusting, so I haven’t even tried it! Instead, I buy Trader Joe’s AntiPlaque Toothpaste, which is all natural and contains no fluoride. It contains the oils fennel, myrrh and peppermint for delicious flavor and a healthy mouth. It’s also very affordable, which is my favorite part! If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by (how sad!), many of my friends recommend Earthpaste. It’s rather pricey, though, at $7.99 a pop, so if that’s too much for you, try the widely available natural toothpaste options like Tom’s of Maine (which does have sodium lauryl sulfate).


Once again, I turn to Trader Joe’s for an affordable but natural healthy option. We lather up with their Honey Oat Soap, which costs less than $2 for 2 bars, but they also have a Lavender variety.
Aunt Mae’s Handmade Soap
If you don’t have Trader Joe’s, thankfully, I recently discovered a wonderful homemade soap entrepreneur that I am thrilled to recommend. Mae’s Natural Soap is handmade in small batches with the healthiest and best ingredients. Each bar costs just under $5, and the quality is totally worth it! Recently, Mae’s husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, and she is endeavoring to support her family with her soap-making business. {Stay tuned, because some bloggy friends and I will be bringing you an awesome giveaway of her soaps!}


Lotion has been a tricky one for me, to be honest. Many people recommend straight coconut oil as a moisturizer, but I find it to be greasy and not super effective, personally. However, it’s definitely worth a try because you can’t get any simpler or more natural than that!

I’m currently working through a bottle of semi-natural lotion that someone gave me, but when I’m done with it, I’m going to be using “hard lotion” instead. Hard lotion comes in a bar (like soap) and rubs on to your skin to moisturize, and is made with all natural ingredients. MadeOn Lotion is a popular brand with reasonable prices – you can get a 3-pack (family lotion bar, pocket-size lotion bar, and lip balm) for just over $20. You can purchase 2 family-size refills for only $15, and 2 pocket refills for $9. I love that these lotions are made exclusively with shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. Good stuff there!


Shampoo is another tricky one for me, and I’ve done a lot of experimentation with different types of shampoo and methods of hair cleaning. It’s very important, though, to find a safe alternative because conventional shampoo is filled with chemicals.

There’s the ever-popular “No Poo” method, which is super simple and effective for most people. All you need is baking soda and apple cider vinegar: put a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water, and then put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Wash with the baking soda mixture, rinse and then follow up with the vinegar mixture. After a few weeks (or maybe a month or two) of transition, your hair will be just as clean as if you used shampoo, and you’ll find you can go much longer between hair-cleaning sessions! I also found that my hair was a lot fuller and held a style a lot better when I cleaned with this method.

However, my hair really dried out after using baking soda and vinegar for 5-6 months. I’m guessing I could have tweaked my routine a little to accommodate that, but I decided I didn’t want to fuss with it anymore. Instead I use Kiss My Face Miss Treated shampoo and conditioner and L-O-V-E it. It’s expensive at regular price (around $8, depending on the store), but they often have coupons available (sign up for their newsletter); when combined with deals, I’m usually able to get a bottle for $4.


I’m going to tell you a little secret: I don’t wear deodorant every day. I can always tell when my diet is bad because then my BO is bad, too. (TMI, I know. Sorry.) And that’s when I need deodorant. But when my diet is healthy and I’m not doing any strenuous work, I don’t have a need for deodorant.

But when I do, I don’t want to use deodorant made with aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. That’s enough to scare me away from it, so I concentrate on using aluminum-free deodorant when I do need it. Tom’s of Maine is a deodorant I’ve used on occasion, and it gets a low score of “1” from EWG. However, it still has ingredients that concern me, so I’m happy I’ve recently found an alternative with Lexie Naturals. Lexie:Deo is made with sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oil (tea tree and lavender). A 2.25oz  tube is $6.50, which is a couple dollars more than the average deodorant at the grocery store, but significantly better for you and your health!


  1. I haven’t jumped on the no-poo bandwagon yet… but I have been trying out the oil cleansing method. I’ve only washed my face with a mixture of castor oil and EVOO for the past 3+ weeks and so far so good. I haven’t seen any life changing, shout from the rooftops results quite yet, but I certainly haven’t broken out and my face feels extra smooth. I’m going to keep going with it and see what happens.

    I should definitely revaluate the rest of my products!

    • Amber, I tried that briefly but right after that my acne started to get out of control (I don’t think it was related to the oil cleansing; I think it was purely hormonal). I started using plantain tincture as a toner, and just washing my face with plain water and a wash rag. My skin is finally healing, so I might try the oil cleansing again!

      • The oil clenasing method didn’t work well with my acne/skin – but using raw honey & baking soda is working great. I’ve been doing this for over a year now & my skin is great

  2. I love this post! Thank you! I’m wondering though…what do you do about makeup…and what would you recommend? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Renae, thank you! Thus far, my approach to makeup has been mostly to minimize it, lol. I don’t wear foundation or powder because I feel like those can be really damaging to your skin over time (I don’t have any scientific proof of that, just a hunch and a feeling). When I can afford it, I buy mineral eye shadow and blush because it’s completely natural, but I haven’t researched it as far as how healthy it is for your skin. I assume that it’s better than the chemical-laden drugstore makeup at any rate. I am also interested in trying to make my own mascara but I haven’t bought the supplies yet. Oh, and for lips, I like to use a simple natural tinted lip balm. It doesn’t add a lot of color, so I still go for old-fashioned lipstick if I am going somewhere special. I hope that helps!

      • Thanks!!

        • Hi Renae,
          Just dropping in and thought I would give my two cents. Recently I heard a lot of ladies talking about “Cowgirl Dirt” makup which is natural from minerals. They say they like it a lot, the price is good, the owners of the company are Christians, and they have nice variety of lip gloss, foundations, makeup etc. You may want to try it! I haven’t yet…but I would definitely give it a try!

    • Hi Renae!
      I use make up from Everyday Minerals. It is reasonably priced and they will send you free samples so you can see what colors work for you. (You have to pay for shipping, but $3 isn’t bad.) I’ve been wearing this make up for several years, and I love it!

  3. I use hard lotion bars – but also make lotion – which really keeps the skin soft. Here is the recipe I started with.


    For the oil portion – I use 3/4 cup grapseed oil (get cheap at Trader Joe’s) & 1/3 cup cocoa butter (sometimes I do a bit less & use coconut oil to make it up to 1/3 cup) & little less than 1oz beeswax pellets.

    For the other portion – I just use 1 cup distilled water.

    I’ve been making this for a few years (my Mom uses it as face lotion – I use it as lotion for on the kids)

    • Do you use it on your face too? If not what do you use? Thanks

      • I have never been able to use face lotion (I have oily skin & my face breaks out – I have really acne prone skin). I wash my face with raw honey & baking soda – and my face stays soft just with that. I don’t put anything else on it.

      • I have been working on going natural for about a year now and this is what I have been using. I first started with honey and using baking soda when I wore makeup then used apple cider vinegar with the mother when I used the baking soda, but I got tired of using the baking soda it seems to be so rough when using it a lot. So, I read on a blog to use coconut oil and I thought my face is already so oily and has always been and I have always had acne, well better since I’ve gotten older but anyway I have been using that with witch hazel with lavender essential oil in it well I love it. My face has been a lot less oily and just looks better. It washes my makeup off a lot better to, you just put a small amount on your face and wash off with warm rag. Then use your witchhazel with lavender EO. 1/4 with about 10 drops. For makeup I use Lucy minerals it is all natural makeup and the store is located right by me. You can google it and they are on Facebook. They have very good prices, theybdo alot of good sales, last a long time and she ships everywhere. Hope this helps.

  4. For a face/body soap I use only homemade soap or a bar ofCastile soap (plain or scented)–it’s all natural and about a buck a bar. You can find it almost anywhere, including Wal-Mart and Target. For my face moisturizer, I put 2 drops of EVOO on my finger, wet it with water, rub all my fingers together, apply to my face. Add more water to my fingers and repeat. Yes, my face is wet. Leave it for about 4 minutes, apply makeup as usual. Your face needs both the oil and water, so both are important, and the water thins out the thickness of the oil. For natural makeup, Whole Foods (and other places?) have Zuzu makeup. Arbonne’s makeup is great. The US allows a huge quantity of ingredients, many bad. Arbonne takes 500 bad-for-you ingredients off of their possible ingredient list. For deodorant, I have tried Tom’s and Trader Joe’s and Burt’s Bees, but find that the deodorant crystal (from health food stores or Whole Foods, online(?) works best for me, and it lasts forever, so that makes it really cheap per use.

  5. And for toothpaste, I use liquid Castile soap, peppermint. Yes, it can taste a bit like soap sometimes, but it’s healthy…… No flouride, no sodium laurel sulfate, no radiator fluid (propeline glycol–sp?), no wall-painting-prep chemicals (tri-sodium phospate). Pure Castile, no poisons…. I just chose to get used to the taste, and it’s not as bad as you think.

    • I’m having a hard time imagining myself brushing with Castile soap, and I know for sure no one else in my family ever well. But that is a super simple option, and very healthy for sure!

  6. I love using baking soda mixed with the peppermint Dr Bronner’s for my toothpaste. My teeth feel smooth and the peppermint is so refreshing! I also like using baking soda with coconut oil for washing my face, rinsing with warm water on a washcloth. As for DO, I can’t leave my Lady Speedstick, oh well…I do smell good!

  7. I love this post! I’m getting excited to shop and look for this organic stuffs! Very informative and healthy! Thanks 😀

  8. When I was pregnant, I stared reacting to deodorant and found the crystal has aluminum in it too. I found using rubbing alcohol under my arms after showering and then apply baking soda works great! Plus the rubbing alcohol gets rid of little red bumps after shaving and kills surface bacteria.

  9. Sheila Bright says:

    I also dont like making huge ingredient items.
    I make my own deodorant. Coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch and few drops of tea tree oil.
    I make my own face cleanser.
    Witch hazel with tea tree oil (about 15-20 drops per bottle)
    I use the vinager and tea tree oil for hair

    • I might try the witch hazel toner. Some have said it’s drying, though. Have you found that to be the case?

    • I started making that recipe for deodorant and have to tell you…I work hard and get wonderful hot flashes (boooo) and I have never smelled better! I have been known to tell people to smell my pits…lol!! It’s a mindset I think..we have to stop believing the commercials!

  10. I have been using the Crystal Body Deodorant Stick or Roll-On. Works great if I am eating well. Any thoughts as to how it measures up on your health meter?

  11. Might sound strange but when I shave my underarms I stink! But if I use an epilator I rarely do. I don’t know why that is. But I use a liquid crystal and it works. I’ve tried all kinds of other natural options and nothing else worked.
    For toothpaste I use baking soda with a pinch of sea salt, peppermint and Theives oil. Tastes yummy. No aftertaste. No toxins and the cleanest teeth ever. My dentist always says I have such nice teeth!
    I use the oil cleansing method now and it works well. No magical change in my skin but its not as dry. I have been breaking out like mad and have tried salicylic acid, prescription benzoyl peroxide plus clindamycin, differin, regular benzoyl peroxide, etc and nothing was helping. Started using YL lavender essential oil neat to my face twice a day with frankincense at night and its going away! Essential oils rock!
    I also use Arbonne because they avoid so many things and continually improve. No by products and none of the common toxins. Plus they’re gluten free and I have Celiac disease so that’s super important to me. Their makeup is great. And I use their shampoo and conditioner. It works great on my color treated hair. I spend a lot on my hair and don’t want to kill it with baking soda and vineagar. Plus I am not willing to spend a month or longer waiting for my hair to convert. Even one day of greasy is too much for me! I can go 3 days between washing my hair now and that’s good with me. Everyone has their limits! :)

  12. Jenny C. says:

    I’ve been no-pooing for over 2 yrs now and I love it! If my hair gets a bit dry or frizzy I just add a tsp. of honey to the baking soda mixture or put a little coconut oil on the ends. I also make my own deoderant out of coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch. I have not found a toothpaste recipe that is simple enough for me, but recently we switched to Redmond’s Earthpaste and I really like it! It’s slightly cheaper than Trader Joe’s at $5 a tube on Vitacost.

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