Avoiding hazardous chemicals in moisturizers

Coconut Oil, what I use to moisturize everything

Most conventional moisturizers will contain both pthalates and parabens, the dangers of which have been discussed in my previous blog, Products to avoid when pregnant or around children.

As discussed, the way to tell if your moisturizer contains any of these products is to read the ingredients label.  If it doesn’t have an ingredients label, that’s a sure fire sign there’s something you don’t want in there.  However, most products sold in grocery or drug stores do have ingredient labels.  You want to read for any ingredient ending in the word paraben, such as “methylparaben”, and you want to watch for the word “fragrance”.  Unless it tells you specifically what the “fragrance” comes from (fragrance from essential oils, for example), then you know it comes from pthalates.

One solution is to buy natural or organic moisturizers.  However, you still have to read the label.  The word “natural” has no official meaning.  Any product can slap the word natural on its bottle.  There is no regulation regarding it’s use.  Furthermore, even organic products can contain these elements.  The organic label on personal care products is not regulated the same way that the organic label on food is.  Organic hand lotion can be very misleading, it can be just as bad as conventional kind.  So always, always, always read labels.

Personally, I think organic products are expensive, and I get really bored with reading labels, although I’ve gotten pretty good at skimming them to find red flags.  Where ever possible, I try to find a home made subsitute for organic personal care products.  Moisturizers have been the easiest replacement I’ve found.

I use food grade oils.

There are no parabens, pthalates or petrochemicals in food grade oils.  They are perfectly safe to eat, let alone put on your skin (by the by, putting something on your skin is the next best thing to eating it.  Your skin absorbs everything you put on it and puts it into your blood stream, which is why they are able to put birth control hormones and nicotine on patches).  Furthermore, they have been used for centuries for this very purpose.  They are cheaper than organic products – hell – they are cheaper than most conventional products too.  And they work better.

I use coconut oil, mostly.  I find it works best on my skin type.  Its solid at room temp, but little bits can easily be scraped and melted in my hands to rub on my skin.  I use it everywhere, even my face.  Other popular oils for skin care are:

  • Olive Oil
  • Apricot Seed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Canola Oil

Of course, the prices of all of these vary.  Apricot seed, almond and jojoba oil are too expensive for daily use, I think.  Coconut and olive oil are just right for my budget.

What if you have oily skin?  The acne prone wouldn’t dare put oil on their face, would they?


I used to have terrible acne.  I called it my zit beard, no joke.  I was a regular pizza face.  You know what made it go away, finally, when I was 22 years old?  I stopped using soap and I started using oil as a moisturizer.  Not only did my acne go away, but so did my acne scars.  Now my skin is so good I don’t feel like I even have to wear makeup all the time.  I found that my skin, which I always thought of as oily and acne prone, was actually closer to normal skin … if only I’d stop carpet bombing it with harsh chemicals that do nothing but strip your skin of all its natural protection.

I learned this in a book called The Truth About Beauty, by Kat James.  A fantastic book that really opened my eyes to the world of holistic health.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with skin issues, weight issues, or just interested in learning more about holistic health.

(Note:  I did not read the newer version of this book, I only read the old one)

Sites you might want to check out to learn more about using oil as a moisturizer:

Informed Beauty

The Oil Cleanse Method


About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
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5 Responses to Avoiding hazardous chemicals in moisturizers

  1. missiworld says:

    Kat James’s book is miraculous. And I also highly enjoyed this blog about the natural oils that you can use. I just learned a few weeks ago that extra virgin olive oil is a great makeup remover.

  2. jessimonster says:

    So is castor oil.
    Yeah, I loved Kat Jame’s book, although I perused the reviews on Amazon.com, and apparently a second edition has come out where she swears off grains and beans entirely, and encourages the consumption of a lot of meat and dairy products, and I don’t know if I’m down with that. I’m more of a fan of Michael Pollan’s food principals, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. I think most of our carbohydrate consumption should come from fruits and vegetables, but a few grains here and there aren’t going to kill us. Furthermore, while I don’t think eating a little meat isn’t going to kill you either, I think meat is better approached as a side dish, if you’re going to eat it. Dairy consumption should be rather limited as well. And idealy, if you’re going to eat meat, it should be pasture raised or wild.

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  5. AmySNYC says:

    I have normal-to-dry skin at any time of the year, in the night or in the morning and even under make-up. I use Made from Earth’s Vitamin Enhanced Face Firming Serum. Its organic. It smells great too.

    In fact the delightful-but-not-overpowering scent is what attracted me to the Made from Earth product line in the first place, in addition of course to it being organic and paraben-free. This product has been reigning on the top of my list of facial moisturizers for a while now.

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