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Question: How can I incorporate natural products into my beauty routine?

Answer: Some say that the more chemicals you can eliminate from your beauty routine, the better.  There are several natural products that I simply couldn’t live without and are equally as effective as their not-so-natural counterparts.  Here are my favorites:

  1. Tea tree oil:  This oil is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial— talk about multi-purpose!  With this miracle oil, you can actually create your own toner.  I mix a few drops of tea tree oil with purified water in a plastic spray bottle and add either aloe vera gel or jojoba oil.  Shake it up and you have an amazing (and cost effective!) toner.  Spray on before applying moisturizer. It’s been known to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide for treating acne and is much less harsh on the skin.
  2. Coconut oil: Coconut oil has become all the rage lately, and for good reason.  It has amazing moisturizing properties and is also anti-bacterial.  Not only is this a great addition to your kitchen, but it’s a fabulous one for your bathroom.  I use coconut oil to remove makeup and as an all-over moisturizer for my body.  It can also be combined with baking soda for a natural deodorant.  Finally, one of my favorite uses for coconut oil is a hair mask.  Combine it with an oil of your choice and leave it in your hair overnight.  This method is sure to leave your locks silky smooth.
  3. Dr. Bronner’s: This is an all-natural castile soap with a variety of delicious smelling flavors (lavender, almond and eucalyptus to name a few) and it’s definitely a multi-use product. I use it as body soap, and it can be used to clean makeup brushes as well. ($18, Amazon)
  4.  Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo: This shampoo contains no lauryl/laureth sulfates, which are said to be very damaging to the hair, and it also produces a wonderful tingling effect (as the name so coyly suggests) when applied.  You wouldn’t think a shampoo from a supermarket would be worth talking about, but this will surprise you.  It adds volume to my hair without stripping it and leaves it feeling moisturized and smelling as fresh as peppermint.