Personal Care Products


Sources for ingredients & containers:

Websites, apps & other resources:

Toxins in cosmetics:

  • The Story of Cosmetics
  • What is Prop 65? [lots of details]
  • Ingredients to avoid in body care products, from TreeHugger:
    • Coal Tar: A known carcinogen banned in the EU, but still used in North America. Used in dry skin treatments, anti-lice and anti-dandruff shampoos, also listed as a colour plus number, i.e. FD&C Red No. 6.
    • DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps.
    • Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane: Never listed because it’s a by-product made from adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make other chemicals less harsh. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the U.S. Avoid any ingredients containing the letters “eth.”
    • Formaldehyde: Probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos. Banned in the EU.
    • Fragrance/Parfum: A catchall for hidden chemicals, such as phthalates. Fragrance is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.
    • Hydroquinone: Used for lightening skin. Banned in the UK, rated most toxic on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
    • Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.
    • Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.
    • Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.
    • Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.
    • Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.
    • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.
    • Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.
    • Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.
    • Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.
    • Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.
    • Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.
    • Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.
    • Toluene: Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development, it’s used in nail and hair products. Often hidden under fragrance.
    • Triclosan: Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Avoid the brand Microban.



Simple Deodorant (contributed by Rose)


Makes one 4 oz jar.

  • 1 TB coconut oil (you can use more of this if you find it too dry)
  • 1 TB baking soda
  • 1 TB arrowroot powder
  • 4-6 drops of an essential oil of your choice


  • Put the coconut oil into the glass jar, and put the jar into a small pot over low heat with water up halfway on the jar, or in the microwave for about 30 seconds [or until the oil melts]. It should be completely liquid before mixing in the other ingredients.
  • Add the arrowroot and the baking soda, and stir everything together while the jar is in the pot, or just after taking the jar out of the microwave.
  • If using pot on stove: After everything is combined, pull out the jar.
  • Mix everything one more time and add the essential oil.
  • Put the jar in the fridge for an hour or so, until the mixture solidifies.
  • Apply with fingers.

Homemade deodorant1

(image from

Rose’s Simple Deodorant recipe cards (4 to a page)


Luscious Lip Balm  (contributed by Dorothée)

  • 1 cup olive, apricot, almond, or grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup granulated beeswax
  • A few drops of pure essential oil to taste
  • Optional: alkanet, to add reddish tint
  • Simmer the oil in double boiler or saucepan over low heat.
    • If tinting with alkanet, add alkanet to oil before essential oil and beeswax.
    • Strain alkanet powder out of oil with cotton cloth. Compost alkanet residue, put oil back in pan over low heat.
  • Stir in essential oil and beeswax until it is melted [about 10 minutes].
  • Pour into 1/4 or 1/2-ounce containers.
    • Don’t let the mixture cool too much before pouring. If the lip balm begins to solidify and cling to the edges of the pot or measuring cup, quickly reheat the oil.
  • Let cool completely before putting lids on containers [balm will solidify and change color]

(Image from Mountain Rose blog)

Luscious Lip Balm recipe cards (4 to a page)

Salt Glow Body Scrub (contributed by Dorothée)

  • Fine sea salt, enough to fill your container 3/4 of the way
  • Olive, grapeseed, apricot, or almond oil, enough to saturate salt in container
  • Dried herb(s) of choice (optional), approximately 1c
  • Essential oil of choice (optional)


  • To infuse the oil, place dried herbs and oil in blender.
  • Blend on high for 3 minutes.
  • Place the mixture in the sun for 2-8 hours.
  • Blend on high once more for 3 minutes.
  • Strain the herbs out of the oil with a fine cloth.
  • Place the salt in a widemouthed jar and pour the oil over it.
  • Mix in your essential oil of choice.
  • Combine the ingredients with a spoon. Store in a cool area.
body scrub
(image from

Salt Glow Body Scrub recipe cards (4 to a page)