Natural (Homemade) Substitutes for Conventional Beauty Products

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Natural Substitutes for Convetional Beauty Products
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Natural (Homemade) Substitutes for Conventional Beauty Products

Outer beauty is at least partially a reflection of inner health and a healthy, well-nourished body will shine with great skin, silky hair and bright eyes. It seems ironic then, that most “beauty” products contain chemicals that are so dangerous to the skin. Take for instance, Apricot Scrub by St. Ives, my former beauty product of choice. I checked it out on The Cosmetics Database and found that it ranks 9 out of 10 for containing hazardous chemicals… and it is marketed as being natural!!!

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to conventional beauty products that work great. A healthy diet and good exercise plan also go a long way! These natural alternatives are also less expensive in most cases, and work so well, I’m never going back.

Natural Substitutes for Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Antiperspirant and deodorant products are some of the worst offenders when it comes to beauty products. There have been recent reports of links between these products and much higher rates of breast cancer, and doctors report that those who get breast cancer are most likely to get a tumor in the area closest to the armpit. Antiperspirants, by sealing in moisture, are the worst. Besides putting aluminum in your body, they prevent perspiration, which is the body’s natural way to eliminate toxins.

Natural Alternatives: Baking soda by itself is actually an incredibly effective natural deodorant, though it can be messy if you are wearing a dark color. Mixing baking soda with equal part coconut oil is a cleaner option and since coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and anti fungal, it is great at preventing odor. You can also buy natural alternatives, but look out for any containing aluminum of any kind, and check yours in the cosmetic database before buying. Check out my deodorant made with essential oils and my deodorant bars.

Natural Substitutes for Lotion

Lotion is another top offender for beauty products. The skin is the biggest organ in the body, and many chemicals can be absorbed by the skin and stored in fat tissue. This is especially a concern for pregnant women, as these chemicals can be passed to a baby though the placenta.

Natural Substitutes: The best natural lotion I have found so far is just pure organic Coconut Oil. It is able to penetrate the skin and the medium chain fatty acids help with wrinkles, dry skin, and other skin problems and since it is naturally antibacterial, it won’t cause breakouts. There are also countless ways to combine coconut oil with other oils, butters, essential oils and herbs to create solutions for your specific skin. See my lotion and lotion bars!

Natural Substitutes for Toothpaste

Almost all conventional toothpastes contain fluoride, which have been linked to thyroid disease and cancer. Most also have sugar, which seems counter-intuitive for a product designed to prevent cavities. Fortunately, companies are catching on to consumers being more aware of this, and are finally presenting fluoride free natural options. At our house, we opt for a natural alternative that is easy to make and inexpensive (and keeps us from getting cavities)

Natural Alternatives: Mix baking soda and peppermint liquid castile soap to make a thick paste. Squeeze or scoop onto toothbrush and brush as normal. This has a slightly salty minty taste and also a natural whitening effect. Some people use pure baking soda, which works great, but is a little bitter/salty for me. Take a look at our natural recipe and our natural squeezable toothpaste!

Natural Substitutes for Facial Toner

Though toners don’t contain as high of levels as other beauty products (typically), I wanted to include this one because there is a natural option that outperforms conventional products by far and makes people look a lot younger.

Natural Substitute: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother rubbed on freshly clean face (dilute with water! A teaspoon per half cup of water is a good ratio…). The vinegar scent fades as soon as it dries, and a few drops of essential oil in a few ounces of apple cider vinegar really helps the smell. Apple cider vinegar tightens, brightens and freshens the skin and percents dry skin and breakouts. It is also great to have on hand for heartburn, yeast overgrowth and other common complaints.

Natural Substitutes for Mascara Remover

I must admit, I was always leery of mascara remover, because it seemed dangerous to put something like that close to my eyes. Sorry to say, this kept me from using anything to remove my eye makeup for years. I would sleep with it, and use dry tissues to wipe off the racoon eyes the next morning. I do NOT recommend this! It gave me early wrinkles (fixed by apple cider vinegar and coconut oil) and lighter pigment around my eyes. I finally found a good solution, and my skin has never felt healthier:

Natural Alternatives: Olive oil and/or coconut oil are great at removing mascara and eye makeup, even waterproof. As an added benefit, they moisturize the eyes and help remove or prevent wrinkles.

Natural Substitutes for Hair Spray

Another product that makes the top ten list of dangerous products, hair sprays (especially aerosol) put chemicals into the air and consequently into your lungs and skin. Most contain substances that have been linked to cancer or disease and they can, after time, cause chemical sensitivities. Willing to try some natural options?

Natural Substitutes: Many people swear by juicing a lemon and mixing with a couple cups of water in a spray bottle. It works, but has to be stored in the fridge. I prefer mixing a cup of boiling water with 1-4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on the level of hold you want). Stir and let sugar dissolve completely and pour into a fine mister bottle. This will hold hair and make it shine. For difficult hair, let first application dry and apply another application.

For the natural beach waves look, make the above recipe with salt instead. This will give a flexible hold without being dull at all. Supposedly, top stylists are turning to sea salt products lately too.

Natural Substitutes for Teeth Whiteners

Most teeth whiteners contain high levels of peroxide and other chemicals. While these aren’t a necessary beauty product, white teeth make you look younger and healthier. The best treatment is a healthy diet, but some natural options can help speed up the teeth whitening process.

Natural Substitutions: Save the money on expensive commercial whitening and avoid the dangerous chemicals by using pure baking soda on a toothbrush. Brush lightly in small circles for five minutes before regular brushing once to twice a week. Alternatively, rub fresh strawberries on the gums or mix mashed strawberries and baking soda and wear in mouth tray for 30 minutes once a week. I was shocked to find that both of these actually work and make your teeth feel great (no chemical aftertaste or lingering sensitivity).

To sum all that up: you basically need coconut oil, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. These three products do wonders as natural beauty products and are also used in natural cooking and cleaning recipes. They truly are so healthy you could (and should) eat them.

Got any better ones? please tell me about them below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


81 responses to “Natural (Homemade) Substitutes for Conventional Beauty Products”

  1. Lilandra Avatar

    put active carbon on the teeth, let it on for half an hour
    your teeth get very white

  2. Liv Avatar

    I love your blog! It’s just amazing and you are very inspiring person, Wellness Mama! I’ve tried home made toothpaste, love it! Will try lotion bars soon. Thank you 🙂 I wish I knew about your website years ago. Two question: please let me know what do you mean by writing that you got rid of your wrinkles by using coconut oil and apple cider vinegar?
    For cleaning purposes does it matter if my vinegar is 5% or 10%? Kind regards

  3. James Avatar

    When working in the heat sweat would roll down my back and from my underarms. People worked a distance from me because of the odor. Store purchased deodorants worked when used a few times a day, but bad stains on my shirts. Ran across ‘Nutribiotic’ brand on eBay — unscented with grapefruit seed extract, witchhazel, and aloe vera ingredients. (Aluminum & Paraben free). Not homemade but like it better than anything else. Water can flood from my underarms, no smell, and no stains. I don’t work for Nutribiotic, but something that works so well and apparently without the usual bad chemicals involved needs acknowledgment.

  4. Rebekah Avatar

    For teeth whitening…I just recently started oil pulling. It’s a bonus too! Not only is it beneficial for your oral health but it is GREAT for whitening your teeth! It has made my teeth naturally white vs a bleached look. It’s generally recommended to be done in the morning. This morning I oil pulled and brushed my teeth with a wet toothbrush after and I felt like I just got out of the dentist’s chair. I think it can help with bad breath too. Last night I had red onions ( I think they tend to be a little stronger). When I went to bed my boyfriend covered his head with the blanket and said I can still smell onion under here! LOL Today, you’d have no clue I ate onions. At least I don’t think so….I don’t smell anything on my breath and I don’t taste it has to do something!

  5. Olly Avatar

    OMG!!! I can’t tell you enough how happy I am to have found your app!!!
    My husband and I just moved to South Korea a little over a month ago, let me tell you my skin took a turn for the worst and not to mention my hair too. My sister had told me she started using coconut and olive oil on her hair and worked great, so I did a little research and found you! So, today I did the hair mask and also started using coconut oil lightly on my face and body. My next project is going to be your deodorant and toothpaste recipes. I’ll keep y’all posted on how it works out. Thanks so much!!! Olly

  6. Anna Avatar

    Amazing post. I loved the mascara removing tip. Used it yesterday and it totally worked 😀 Thanks Wellness Mama. Btw, how did you get rid of under eye wrinkles using coconut oil and AVC. I am 24 and have a really thin skin around eyes with fine lines and dark circles. It makes me look tired all the time. I would be really reallyyyyy grateful if you could kindly suggest me something for that. Thanks. Much Love. <3

  7. Alyson Avatar

    I use Witch Hazel and Chamomile as a natural oil controlling toner that’s calming to the skin.

  8. Elizabeth Avatar

    I was wondering about the deodorant substitute, I tend to sweat a lot in my underarms, would it still work/ will I still sweat excessively? The only reason I hesitate in your solution is that I do not want a nasty surprise of stains if I find this only blocks odor. Everything else, however, is wonderful and I will try without hesitation! Thank you very much for the article!

  9. Sarah Boxer Avatar
    Sarah Boxer

    I have combination skin. Oily around crease of nose and on top of nose and chin but dry everywhere else. I also have Roseasea=service redness on cheeks and nose. I rarely have a breakout. Perfect skin as a teenager but red as an adult. I absolutely love the Lady Soma Renewal Serum. I have been using Lady Soma for 3 weeks and my skin looks younger and healthier.

    Its not greasy at all!!! Its wonderful for wrinkles and moisture protection.

  10. Jane Avatar

    hi, i’m wondering what kind of coconut oil should i use? should it be VCO (virgin coconut oil)? also, do i need to use apple cider vinegar? or can i use other vinegar (like cane vinegar)? 😀 thanks

    1. Anna Avatar

      I remember Katie replying to a post somewhere on the kind of coconut oil..for consuming, go for non refined coconut oil and for topical application any kind would work. I am not so sure about the vinegar though, sorry .

  11. Aselya B. Avatar
    Aselya B.

    Good info! I’ve been using coconut oil for the past 2 years. And sometimes alternate the coconut and almond seed oil … just cause it smells oh so good 🙂 Question: would you have any recommendation as what to use instead of an eye cream? Would plain coconut oil be enough? Thanks ahead!

    1. Melissa Avatar

      I’ve done coconut oil mixed with vit E oil before, then just switched to straight vit E. I’m 31 and don’ really have lines but my 61 year old mum can see improvement with fine lines around her eyes. Or I’ve read carrot oil is supposed to be good to mix in.

  12. Alex Ho Avatar

    are some organic shampoo that mix with a little chemical to help the hair loss
    disease; i dont
    think organic only can cure your hair problem. The acceptable level of chemical
    in some special organic shampoo can really help your disease. I think you
    should go to medical store to find out those line of product, remember
    beneficial chemical with organic natural ingredients.

  13. Brandi Senkus Avatar
    Brandi Senkus

    Hi Katie! I love your blog & enjoy trying new recipes. I was wondering if you had ever tried using witch hazel instead of water when making lotion? I love your lotion recipe that doesn’t use water but wanted to try to make something a little creamier just to compare. I’ve read that using water shortens shelf-life & was wondering how witch hazel would work. Any thoughts appreciated! Thanks!

  14. Elizabeth Avatar

    I’m a little late when it comes to reading this, but I thought I should point something out. If you use the strawberries on your teeth too much, the natural acid from the fruit can weaken your tooth enamel. While it’s much safer than teeth whiteners found on the market, use strawberries sparingly; maybe once a month, to be safe.

  15. Lisa Whitaker Avatar
    Lisa Whitaker

    I’m having great luck with soaking my mouth in activated charcoal (5min) and then brush with homemade toothpaste for whitening. Also, I use green clay powder for a between washing soak up of oil in the hair around my face…it’s not as noticeable in my dark hair as starch based powders.

  16. Marie Strang Avatar
    Marie Strang

    Some people mentioned the “no ‘poo” method. I have curly hair and read a book called _Curly Girl_ by Lorraine Massey, who also advocates for not using shampoo. I haven’t used any shampoo for months now; I just use conditioner to clean my hair. An apple cider vinegar rinse works well to make the hair soft, too. The vinegar smell goes away once your hair dries.

  17. Laura Avatar

    I’ve heard of people using honey instead of body soap… What do you think of that?

  18. Laura Avatar

    Thank you so much !! I’ve been looking for natural cosmetic substitutes for ages, and I’ve been experimenting various things that sometimes succeeded, but quite often failed… I’m really realising more and more how much we polute our bodies, thinking we are doing good to them! I want to know even more about natural stuff !

  19. Vani Avatar

    Thank you for the article! I had a book a long time ago that had a recipe for making hair gel by boiling flax seeds in water, until a gel forms. I use it all the time. It seems to strengthen my hair as well. Just remember to keep it refrigerated, because it can spoil after a week or so without being refrigerated.

  20. Estefania Avatar

    I’ve also heard that lemon juice mixed with water can work as a shampoo, it can also be used as a mouthwash and to improve discoloration in the elbows and knees. Thanks for all the tips, these were great!

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