Toss: Expensive brands with parabens and other toxins
Use instead: Coconut oil, ghee, or Banyan Botanical’s Beauty Balm. It’s an Ayurvedic blend of ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, shatavari root, ashwagandha root, vidari kanda root, fennel seed, licorice root and geranium essential oil. I also use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, which smells fabulous.
Toss: Sunscreens with chemical blocks, such as avobenzone or oxybenzone.
Use instead: Physical blocks with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide; long sleeves, sunglasses and hats. I avoid the midday sun and limit my outdoor adventuring to the early morning and late afternoon hours, which are usually the nicest times to be outside anyway.
Toss: Aluminum-based deodorants
Use instead: Crystal Rock (potassium alum). I always thought body odor was a fact of life; I didn’t realize that it was actually a symptom of poor digestion. After I cut out onions, garlic and coffee, my body odor decreased dramatically. Now that my diet is cleaner, my armpits don’t smell as strong and the rock works great! Bonus: I don’t have to wash my clothes after a single wearing.
Toss: All synthetic fragrances
Use instead: Sustainably harvested essential oils. They last longer than synthetic perfumes, connect me to the powerful essence of plants and transform subtly throughout the day. I especially love Hale Pule’s Sattva blend.
Toss: Fancy lotions with parabens and other toxins
Use instead: Coconut oil (also works as sexual lubricant) or sesame oil infused with Ayurvedic herbs. These beneficial oils soak right into the joints and lubricate the ligaments.
Rash ointment/burn relief
Toss: Synthetic gel or petroleum jelly
Use instead: Ghee, comfrey salve or fresh aloe vera leaf. I keep an aloe plant in my kitchen to treat burns and excess sun exposure.
Toss: Major brand cleaners with ingredients, such as triclosan
Use instead: Vegetable-based soaps, such as Miracle Soap, and scouring powder, such as Bon Ami. Between these two, I can clean everything from mirrors to ovens. I add a few drops of bleach when cleaning toilets.
Toss: Imidacloprid, DEET
Use instead: Neem oil and a spray made with citronella, tea tree and lavender essential oils, Neem oil smells strong, but it makes my dog’s coat extra shiny and keeps the pests at bay. (It’s also great for my hair.) I use the essential oil spray to freshen bed sheets and curtains and deter mosquitos and bedbugs.