My 7 Best Green Beauty Tips

8SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/19/2011 2:00 PM   :  44 comments   :  19,713 Views

See More: tips, green living,
When I was younger, I loved makeup. I had eyeshadows in every color, dozens of bottles of nail polish, and an overflowing toiletries case. These days, I am trying to accumulate less stuff in this life, and I also pay more attention what's in the products I put on my skin and in my body. Plus, I just don't like wearing makeup and painting my nails as much as I once did.

With Earth Day just around the corner, I thought I would share my favorite green beauty tips with you!

My skin is very forgiving, and I have been able to switch to more natural, vegetable-based soaps instead of fancy face wash. (I love the tea tree oil and peppermint soap from Orange Fuzz.)

Baking soda: Mix a pinch into your face wash or soap and scrub away. It's quite gentle and leaves my skin feeling great.

Coconut oil: Instead of pricey lotions with questionable ingredients, I keep a small plastic container of coconut oil in the shower. It's solid until it reaches 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so a bit melts each time I shower. I rub it into my skin while it's still damp (the water on my skin helps me spread it around more easily). It smells great--like a tropical vacation--and it keeps my skin smooth and silky. I keep some in my desk at work, too, and I use a dab of it instead of cuticle oil. It's also great for removing eye makeup instead of cold cream. (You could also use olive oil.) I buy coconut oil at my local supermarket. You can find it in the health food aisle. I buy the unrefined version and prefer Nature's Way brand. You can also find it online.

Essential oils: Instead of expensive, synthetic fragrances, I use a dab of diluted essential oil (usually lavender) on my pulse points.

Sugar + olive oil: Mix together equal parts sugar and olive oil for a natural body scrub.

Tea tree oil: If I do get a breakout or blemish, I add a drop of tea tree oil to a witch hazel-soaked square of cotton (I usually just use the corner of a washcloth, the same one I use to wash my face) and dab it on. Trader Joe's has the best deal on tea tree oil. I buy Desert Essence brand.

Vinegar: I use a tablespoon of vinegar to my hair when I rinse it to cut through any residue and leave it shiny and healthy.

Witch hazel: I credit witch hazel for keeping my skin clear. I use it on my face, neck, chest and back daily, and I it's also great for preventing razor burn (dab it on anyplace you would normally experience those pesky red bumps).

I do still use some synthetic products, but I need to find some alternatives in a hurry. At the end of May, I'm going to Honduras for a yoga retreat, and the eco-friendly facility doesn't allow any synthetic products. Would you be willing to share your best tips and products in the comments below?

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Comments

  • 44
    I put about a tablespoon to 8 ounces of hair conditioner in a bottle then when I finish showering, I put it into the bottom ends of my hair, not the top of my head. I then put my hair up in sponge curlers and go to sleep with these in after securing them to my head with a head band. When I wake up in the morning, my hair is soft and coiled and it looks beautiful. If I don't use too much Coconut Oil in the hair conditioner, my hair won't look oily. - 6/2/2014   7:24:43 PM
  • 43
    I make a detox bath with a 1-pound box of baking soda, 1 lb, of epsom salts, and a few drops of essential oil. Soak for 15-20 minutes. Skin is so soft when I get out, and then I apply coconut oil to seal in the moisture. - 5/26/2014   12:00:54 AM
  • 42
    Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 hemp lavender soap is the best! http://www.frugallyminded.com/home/
    why-use-dr-bronners-magic-soaps
    /
    For my hair I use equal parts water and the soap plus a splash of extra virgin olive oil. I have frizzy hair and that actually keeps it at bay. However you can use this soap for anything you would use any kind of soap or cleaner for including your teeth. Haven't tried that yet. lol. Oh However you can't use it in the dishwasher. It is too sudsy. Just wanted to share it with you cause I just started being vegan and learned about this fascinating product today. Hope its helpful. :) - 5/2/2011   10:50:21 AM
  • ZAEGA-BEAUTY
    41
    Great ideas from the author and readers. I also am a big fan of tea tree and like to use organic castile soap with tea tree oil as a natural antibacterial in the bathroom. Check out Zaega.com -another online resource for you to get green beauty tips, product reviews and an online boutique -from a cosmetic chemist who's an expert on natural, organic skin care and healthy beauty. www.zaega.com . - 4/25/2011   9:56:57 AM
  • 40
    After reading that our skin is like a sponge, absorbing everything we place on it, I started being more careful about what I put on mine. I've used "the rock" for a natural deoderant. It can be bought at a health store and I even found it once at a dollar store. I've also used baking soda and/or alcohol (is this natural?) as a deoderant = they both work well for me. I wonder if witch hazel would work. As a face cleaner, I started off using ground up oatmeal to scrub my face every night before bed. Then I switched to white sugar - when wet it makes a great face scrub/cleaner. Then I switched to baking soda. They all work well depending on your need and leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Baking soda has finer granules and so is gentler than sugar for my face. I use it all over my body. Baking soda is also effective for brushing teeth. One thing I wouldn't live without is aloe vera gel. I use it as a lotion for my face and body. It also works great as a hair gel. Light hold with no sticky! Tea tree oil and jojoba oil from Trader Joes are always in my medicine cabinet. Sesame oil slathered on skin when in morning or afternoon sun acts as a light sunscreen. Not for midday though. Coconut oil feels great and I alternate using it. All products are organic. I liked all the ideas offered in the blog and will try out the ones I haven't used before. Thanks for the tips! Your upcoming retreat sounds great. I hope you have a lovely time. - 4/23/2011   11:17:49 PM
  • 39
    Great comments and suggestions fro everyone! I'll be trying out lot's of new things.

    :0) - 4/21/2011   6:24:37 PM
  • 1SONFLOWER
    38
    They sell Tom's natural deodorant at Wal-mart. Apricot worked well for me. (the unscented was not very effective)
    - 4/21/2011   12:00:39 PM
  • 37
    I LOVE witch hazel. I know you can buy it at WalMart and Target. I also use baking soda for deodorant. I don't mix it with anything--just dab it on like it is. I live in Georgia, (it is HOT here in the summer) and it still works when I get all sweaty. - 4/21/2011   10:25:20 AM
  • JKN049
    36
    Very good ideas! Where does one buy witch hazel? - 4/21/2011   9:30:15 AM
  • 35
    My daughter has waist length hair that is wavy and she conditions it every couple weeks with olive oil that she heats slightly. - 4/21/2011   1:24:21 AM
  • 34
    For everyone wanting to know where to find coconut oil, Whole Foods carries it. If you don't have a convenient Whole Foods, it's the sort of thing you can find at health food stores. - 4/21/2011   1:12:56 AM
  • 33
    If you want a natural deodorant to carry with you, try Crystal. The original form is an actual crystal that you wet with water to apply. I think it also comes in a roll-on. You can buy Crystal at CVS, Walgreen's, and Vitamin World. Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap is a great all-purpose product. You can even use it for shampoo and you can buy it at Target. - 4/20/2011   11:17:27 PM
  • SHASSYSUE2
    32
    I would love to start using coconut oil and tea tree oil, but where do you find it?? - 4/20/2011   9:54:48 PM
  • 31
    Can you bring plain castile soap with you? You could use it for all of your skin (use very dilute on the face especially!) and to wash your hair. If you bring some apple cider vinegar, you can mix 1 Tbsp. vinegar in 1-2 cups of water to make a conditioning hair rinse (I have very long hair, and I don't get tangles!). - 4/20/2011   5:35:18 PM
  • 30
    WOW!!! Great ideas, I'm 34 and so looking into more natural products and more organics. Introducing these ideas to my family too. Thank you! - 4/20/2011   2:59:12 PM
  • 29
    My husband and I love Beekman's COPA soaps. All natural and made right here in our neighborhood. COPA stands for Coconut, Olive, Palm, Almond -- the oils they use to make the soaps (no animal fat!). They smell great and are the only soap we use now. My favorite is ginger carrot. I give them as gifts all the time. Go to copasoaps.com. - 4/20/2011   2:37:55 PM
  • 28
    Oatmeal moistened with a little tea or milk makes an excellent mask. To make it into an exfoliater, add corn meal. - 4/20/2011   2:29:49 PM
  • 27
    Really good ideas. Where do you find coconut oil? - 4/20/2011   12:56:21 PM
  • 26
    Fun! I've been making my own natural beauty products for a couple years. I search online for "natural homemade skin care" or similar and find lots of sites with tons of recipes.
    My favorite thing to use is a sugar scrub w/honey, olive oil, and milk. I also use tea tree oil twice a day on my face, chest and upper back to prevent breakouts. - 4/20/2011   12:04:25 PM
  • 25
    Those are some great ideas! I have heard of witch hazel, but have never tried it. And I already have most of the other things in my cupboard! - 4/20/2011   11:37:35 AM
  • 24
    The tips are great Stepfanie, as are the additional ones from Sparkers. I have used the coconut oil for a long time and the baking soda as toothpaste - 4/20/2011   11:15:14 AM
  • 23
    Thanks everyone for all the great tips. I don't like buying products with ingredients I can't even pronounce. My skin is aging and face is dry pretty much year around so I am open to trying these ideas. Thanks for the info! - 4/20/2011   11:01:13 AM
  • 22
    As someone who loves (maybe a bit obsessed) with beauty products and trying to be Green(er), I love this article & can't wait to hear about your retreat! - 4/20/2011   10:53:00 AM
  • KMAKEY
    21
    I've been using unrefined coconut oil on my face & body for years. I also whip up a face oil & body oil using jojoba, avocado & apricot oils along with essential oils (such as frankinsense which is great for mature skin).
    Grapeseed oil is great for an eye oil, helping to keep wrinkles at bay.
    Cetaphil with baking soda is my morning face cleansing/sloughing routine. Skin is silky soft when finished. I then use organic Apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball all over my face & neck, before applying my unrefined coconut oil.
    I also make my own toothpaste with baking soda, salt, myrrh, lemon oil & pepperment oil. Gum problems are a thing of the past.
    Tea Tree & Lavender oil are mainstays in my house. Last year, when I had shingles, I put lavender oil on the sores several times a day. They never itched and I had no scarring whatsoever.
    I love using natural products. - 4/20/2011   10:05:06 AM
  • 20
    Olive oil is not only a great moisturizer for your skin, it's a great conditioner for your hair too. Every once in a while, I soak my hair in olive oil. It's a drag to shampoo out, but my hair feels so wonderful afterward.

    Egg yoke makes a terrific deep cleansing mask for your face. It's also good cleanser for your hair too.
    - 4/20/2011   9:59:11 AM
  • 19
    I love raw unrefined Shea butter. I usually add olive oil or jojoba oil, or whatever oil I have at the time plus a small amount of an essential oil to make a great moisturizer for my hair and body. - 4/20/2011   9:43:15 AM
  • 18
    I use 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of sugar and juice from a lemon , on my face daily. I open my pores using a wash cloth with hot water, apply mixture, rubbing with my finger tips, relax with it on for a few minutes, before washing off with hot wash cloth, followed by a cold wash cloth, to close the pores, before either apply make up, if using that day. I keep this refrigerated, in a tightly closed jar. - 4/20/2011   9:41:10 AM
  • SUZABELLA67
    17
    Lavendar, Rosemary and Lemon Grass are natural insect repellants.
    - 4/20/2011   9:30:42 AM
  • 16
    very informative, thanks! - 4/20/2011   7:44:32 AM
  • MEETNEWME
    15
    For exfoliating: i use lemon juice with sugar. it makes my dry skin super soft.

    I agree with Coconut oil and vinegar usage! - 4/20/2011   5:32:37 AM
  • QADUPAE
    14
    Toothpaste: Baking soda with a little hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop of essential oil peppermint or tea tree is a great replacement

    Hair: If your hair is oily and you don't want to shower just yet, blondes use 1 Tbs corn starch with 1 Tbs baking soda and massage tiny amounts into your scalp, brunettes just add 1-2 Tbs cocoa powder to keep your darker colors. Brush your hair out afterwards and you are good to go.

    Skin: With coconut oil, you can also use castor oil diluted 1:6 with olive oil for a cleanser and use aloe vera or witch hazel afterward as a toner. Castor oil is drying in large amounts, so always dilute it.

    Need to exfoliate your face? Try just sugar and water. Sugar is softer on the skin than salt, just be sure to be gentle regardless.

    Ears: hearing a little dulled or clogged? Put 2 drops of mineral oil in each ear once a week to loosen up ear wax. You can put the drops in before bed and put cotton balls in the keep the oil from getting on your pillows. I just put them in before work and use the cotton balls for about 10 minutes while I get ready. - 4/20/2011   4:43:01 AM
  • WALELA3
    13
    I love the tips. Some of them I've used for years. If anyone is interested in finding more tips similar to those left, there is a great site called Pioneer Thinking. Women from all over the world leave tips and beauty advice.

    Thanks I enjoyed them all. - 4/20/2011   2:09:48 AM
  • 12
    I've been using these tips for a long time and use the essential oils in sugar scrub. Never used witch hazel, I buy food grade coconut oil and use every once in a while for stir fry meals. You can add 1/2 tablespoons of tea tree oil to a 16oz bottle of shampoo and shake well before using, takes care of scalp problems (dandruff, dryness, etc) - 4/19/2011   11:41:08 PM
  • SHARON03GRIZ
    11
    Good information! I am going to try vinegar for shinier hair, and the sugar and olive oil for the body scrub. Thanks! - 4/19/2011   11:39:45 PM
  • 10
    I love coconut oil,too. Also shea butter, just pure natural with no scent or anything. It is fairly solid at room temp, gets soft in warmer temps, stick in the fridge and it gets solid. When it's solid, just run your fingers over it to get a small film. Also great because you can pack it in your suitcase, not a liquid so you don't have to limit yourself to that little 3 oz bottle. Stick it in the fridge before you go and it's a solid. Work it with your fingers a bit and it softens right up. Bath and Body Works' Too Shea is a perfect size. Big enough to last, small enough to pack well. I thin film of shea butter can also calm frizzy or fly-away hair without making it gooey or greasy looking. Vitamin E capsules are good for lots of things. Pierce one and it is great for chapped lips, softens them overnight. Also good if you get dry, scaly patches of skins sometimes. Good on cuticles at night (with gloves since it's kind of gooey.) Grapeseed oil is very skin friendly. Sinks right in, doesn't leave a real oily feeling. - 4/19/2011   11:12:13 PM
  • 9
    Baking soda. Add about 2 cups baking soda under faucet when you're filling the bath tub. It makes the water feel silky smooth and skin smell fresh and clean. - 4/19/2011   10:59:38 PM
  • 8
    Also use baking soda to brush your teeth. - 4/19/2011   10:53:10 PM
  • 7
    avocado is good for your skin too! - 4/19/2011   10:17:15 PM
  • 6
    Jojoba Oil is good as a moisturizer, make-up remover, lip balm, hair conditioner. It tends to be a little pricier that other natural oils but I think it is worth it. I started using mainly natural products last year and have enjoyed learning new things about natural ingredients and their benefits. I also love Chagrin Valley All Natural Handmade Soaps which can be ordered at www.chagrinvalleysoap.com . They have generous sized sample bars (1.5 oz) that you can order for a cheaper price than the full size bars. My favorites are the Aloe Aloe Aloe, Shea Rose Clay, and Castile & Calendula Baby soaps, and Cafe Moreno shampoo bar. - 4/19/2011   10:07:53 PM
  • 5
    I'm a huge fan of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap. It can be used for so many things. They have a variety of scents and the peppermint version is truly refreshing! - 4/19/2011   6:11:50 PM
  • 4
    TY!! Love finding out that things I already have can make my skin amazing! - 4/19/2011   6:11:04 PM
  • 3
    I love coconut oil, it smells great and it works like a charm for dry and itchy skin. - 4/19/2011   6:03:53 PM
  • 2
    I have seen my mom use olive oil to wash her face. She just rubs it on and then tissues it off. I guess you wouldnt really need moisturizer after, but it may not be best for oily skin.
    I also has a friend who uses Weleda products and I believe they are completely organic and synthetic free. - 4/19/2011   4:02:32 PM
  • 1
    Natural Deodorant:
    Ingredients for homemade deodorant:

    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup corn starch
    ~5 tablespoons coconut oil

    More or less CNO depending on consistency you want (it will get harder when its cool and softer when its warm). You can also add a few drops of your fave essential oil for sent. Works great as a deodorant, however it's not an antiperspirant. Have fun at your retreat!!!

    - 4/19/2011   3:00:38 PM

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