Green Up Your Act!

So you’ve cleaned up your diet in true January style, but what about your beauty regime?

DetoxIt’s just as important to be chemical-free inside as out, so you may want to have a closer look in your bathroom cabinet to check your current self-care products are serving you as well as your nutritional regime.

As you can imagine, being a vegan of 18 years, and a practising naturopath and herbalist for 12, I have tried ALL manner of ‘green’ beauty products with wildly varying degrees of success. In the early days, natural deodorants created more mess than baking with tired toddlers and many chemical-free shampoos left me feeling like my head had been freshly rinsed in the nearest chip pan – not a good look! There always seemed to be a trade off: products were either good for the planet or the person, but rarely both.

Fortunately, times have changed for the better and now there are a plethora of stylish, effective and widely available (in-store or online) truly green self-care products that allow you to put both yourself and the planet first!

This list is compiled as a result of my family, friends and I being natural product guinea pigs for the best part of 20 years and is something I could have done with when I first went plant-based. I hope you enjoy greening up your act!

1) Raw virgin organic coconut oil – seriously, I don’t know where I’d be without this bad boy. I get panicky when down to the last solid inch of it’s multi-purpose goodness. It’d be quicker to say what you CAN’T use this for! In our house, it’s used as a facial moisturiser, dry heel and shin rub, eye make up remover, lip balm, cooking oil and one of three basic raw chocolate-making ingredients. At Platinum Healing we like Pukka:

2) Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner – YUM! Bursting with essential oils and wild harvested plants, these award-winning products are attractively and biodegradeably packaged, widely available, fairly priced and most importantly, the shampoo foams up a storm despite being SLS-free. My hair feels clean, fresh and silky after using my favourite version : Lavender and Geranium Shampoo and conditioner:

In addition, my kids love to splash around in the oh so gentle lavender and geranium oil bubble bath-no tears when it gets in their eyes either!

3) Green People Minty Cool Toothpaste : Plaque nope, tartar not yet and a dentist recently asked me if I ate sweets or drunk coffee? Almost choked on my pink mouthwash. Thank you very much Green People! Even my fussy kids ask for this clay-coloured, fresh-tasting toothpaste which contains none of your usual nasties, a bonus as kids always swallow toothpaste!

4) Finding an aluminium and alcohol-free deodorant that keeps you fresh and dry has been something of a holy grail and I believe a very personal thing. Some folks are smelly but dry, others are wet but odour-free. I am blessed with smelly AND wet! With that in mind, formulas that have best suited me over the years are lovely local,  West Sussex company Green People’s natural rosemary roll-on deodorant  :

and Soap Walla Citrus Deodorant Cream.  It’s a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way and it absorbs wetness like magic!

5) Epsom Bath Salts : For big, indulgent, relaxing baths where you get to absorb the magnesium trans-dermally whilst you soak. Get ready for an awesome night’s sleep! Too busy for a full bath? Try a  foot bath using a washing up bowl instead. Can be almost as relaxing and you’ll still benefit from the toxin-pulling effects of this wonderful, ancient natural remedy. Try mixing a tablespoon of Epsom Salts into a tablespoon of almond or melted coconut oil in a small tub for use as exfoliating foot or leg scrub.  Homemade beauty at it’s simplest:

6) Pacifica solid perfumes : A range of handbag friendly, cutesy packaged perfumes in unusual scents – think Star Jasmine or Blood Orange – that are so gentle I can let my seven year old play with them and not worry about her getting a load of chemicals on her baby soft skin. Loving the shared mother-daughter use!

7) Whilst not strictly body care, it’s use has greatly benefited my own and my patients hair, skin and nails over the years. What am I talking about? Good old essential fatty acids of course! These healthy fats seem to moisturise us from the inside out. In fact, my fingernails usually let me know when it’s time to reorder these wonderful fats found in the optimum ratios in this classic Udo’s formula that has been around for years and is still super popular :

What are your green beauty must-haves? Anything you’ve grown to love and wouldn’t be without over the years? Lets hear it!

Love, Rachel x

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Blog post written by Rachel Boon – Platinum Healing’s Naturopath and Medical Herbalist.