Going Organic Part 2

Last month I wrote this post about how I’ve decided to switch over to organic for all my personal care products. Some of them, like soap and shampoo, will include my husband. But most, like my face lotions and sunscreen, are for myself. It seems I use a LOT more personal care products than he does.

I received such a wealth of information from reader comments that I made a list to keep in my purse, and I thought I’d write up a post as a sort of “organic roundup” that will hopefully be helpful for all of us. I’m including the categories I most need to replace, along with some of the reader suggestions, plus where to purchase if they included that information.

So if you want to go organic, but don’t know where to start, here are the tested recommendations of my very smart readers:

Dr. Bronner’s tea tree bar soap
Publix pure castille soap
Organic, homemade soap sold in specialty shops or online
Alaffia shea butter soap (Whole Foods)

Burt’s Bees
Alba Botanica
Keys (online)

Giovanni (drug stores, Target, Whole Foods)
Nature Clean
Burt’s Bees
L’Occitane for hand lotion
Renew lotion from Melaleuca
Earth Mama Angel Baby baby lotion

Organix (drugstore)
Desert Essence
abba (salon)
Dr. Bronner’s
Kiss My Face
Ligett’s bar shampoo
Aubrey’s organics (Whole Foods)

Burt’s Bees for lips
Physician’s Formula organic (Walgreen’s and Target)
Dr. Hauschka

Mountain Rose Herbs for organic jojoba oil for bath, moisturizing, and massage lotion
Melaleuca for all products including Nicole Miller makeup and Renew lotion

The website Saffron Rouge carries many organic brands, including Badger, Dr. Bronner’s, Weleda, and Dr. Hauschka

The products and brands that got the most raves and multiple mentions were Aubrey’s organics shampoo, Burt’s Bee’s, and Badger lip balm and sleep balm. One reader wrote that she’d been using the sleep balm on her eye area for a short time and her crow’s feet had entirely disappeared.

I’m working on switching over our soap first, and so far I’ve tried Dr. Bronner’s, but it got a thumbs-down from my husband, who isn’t a big fan of peppermint. I’m not too worried about finding organic soap, but I do need to find a brand that’s affordable for everyday use.

And here’s another category: a product that isn’t specifically labelled or marketed as organic, but which doesn’t have any of the offending parabens or other ingredients listed by Vanessa in this post. The facial moisturizer by Bioelements that I’ve been using for the past few years falls into this category.

You can check the toxicity of a product at Cosmetics Data Base. Also, if you want more details about any of these suggestions, go back to my original Going Organic post and look in the Comments section.

Thanks again to everyone for contributing your knowledge and experience, and if you have more ideas you just have to share with us, feel free to leave them in the Comments section. I’ll post updates on products I’ve tried over the next several months.

UPDATE: L’Occitane is NOT organic, and Origins and Bioelements both score relatively poorly at the cosmetics database, so I’m going to have to switch facial cleansers and find a new face moisturizer. I’m learning every day!


  1. VoluntarySimplicity says

    Great info! Thank you. I just read an article on "cheater" organic brands and some of the brands you listed also made the list of cheaters. Check it out and let me know what you think. Here's the article:
    There's also a youtube video of a recent protest, but I haven't watched it yet and so I didn't want to link it here.
    Thanks for your blog. It's one of my regular reads.

  2. carolyn says

    For what it's worth – my husband likes the method brand of shower gel, which isn't organic but doesn't have any of the offending ingredients. I don't know if you use shower gel – I use soap, but my husband refuses. The method brand is available at Target.

  3. Alea says

    Thanks for compiling a the lists of products. I am hoping to do a thorough evaluation of the products I'm using and see what/if changes need to be made.

    BTW, I use Dr. Bronner's diluted as an organic insectide, so I would have trouble bathing in it too. :-)

  4. Raffaella Arnaldi says

    I can't comment on most of these brand since I'm not in the US, but why L'Occitane? I love their products but they're not organic.

    You can analyze products' INCI by looking up for each ingredients on http://www.biodizionario.it – the site is Italian, but has a clear colour system – from 2 green dots (safest ingredients, least toxic and polluting) to 2 red dots (avoid at all costs). This "dictionary" was developed by a chemist who's involved in a certification called "Ecolabel", so it's very reliable.

    This is what an INCI by L'Occitane looks like: http://forum.saicosatispalmi.org/viewtopic.php?t=9587 (it's sunscreen)

    Please have a look at my own post about organic cosmetics :-)

  5. Raffaella Arnaldi says

    Yay for Weleda, Burt's Bees and EverydayMinerals – the best mineral make up, in my experience.

  6. Angela says

    Voluntary Simplicity- The link didn't work, but I did get to the website and read a great review of Aubrey Organics shampoo- it convinced me to try it.

    Raffaella- Thanks so much for your comments. I just read your post, and you're right, it can be confusing, and it's nice to have some way of rating these products. For example, I was looking up my Origins products, which I thought I could keep using, and they don't rate very well. It's clear this will be a "one step at a time" learning process. Also – Occitane – I did think they were organic and was seconded by a reader, but I will look into that as well.

    Thanks for all your comments!

  7. Raffaella Arnaldi says

    My pleasure. :-)

    I know in the US there are no certifications for this branch of cosmetics. In Italy the interest for this kind of products is growing, there are several certifications, some less strict than others – you have to get informed about them, but at least you can choose.
    In European countries like Germany organic cosmetics have been a reality for some years now, and prices are lower, which I'm envious about!

  8. Karen says

    you do have to be careful with "organics" … many, many of them (i dare to say most, unfortunately) still have some really weird stuff in them.

    For face moisturizer, my two favorite brands are Beauty Without Cruelty and Avalon Organics. No funky stuff, and both contain SPF 15 — that's REALLY hard to find in natural face moisturizers.

    good for you making the switch!! by the way, if you haven't tried dr. bronner's almond soap as a body wash it's really yum, like washing up with a cookie!

  9. Samantha @ Mama Notes says

    Oh thank you for this awesome list!! I have been wanting to go with organic/natural face products for a while but don't know where to start!

    I just bought some Alba Botanica face wash… hope i like it. I will try some of these suggestions, thanks! :)

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