Guest Banana: Natural Cosmetics and Your Health

Today’s post is by Sara Streeter of D Street Wellness. Sara is an Internet friend that I met back in 2010 when she asked me to photograph her wedding. Since then, she has become a Certified Health Coach on a mission to free women everywhere from the shackles of yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, shame, and guilt related to their bodies and lifestyles. I love Sara’s outlook on living a healthful life and am so pumped she is guest posting today! Take it away, Sara!


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, so in honor of healthy breasts and healthy bodies, I’m going to get real about the ingredients found in cosmetics and beauty products. Frankly, our health and beauty industry can do better.

Just like the food we put in our mouths, what we put on our skin becomes a part of our cells and bodies. As a passionate advocate for holistic health, I wholeheartedly embrace all natural skin care products. Let’s face it, not everyone can get away with the no poo look (including me), but there are good options out there that use natural and safe to use ingredients.

Have you ever counted how many cosmetic or beauty care products you use as you’re getting ready for your day? Some women may use as many as 10-12 different products in their bathroom. Have you ever wondered what is in each of those products? Thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database, we all have the ability to see what those profit-driven cosmetic manufacturers are putting in our products.

I am a label reader by nature, so I was always aware of the long list of scientific ingredients found on my shampoo bottles. Since I didn’t know what any of the words meant, I never thought much about it. That all changed about 10 years years ago when I was introduced to the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database. The Cosmetic Database is an online safety cosmetics database that was created by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.” In their database they have over 60,000 cosmetic products that have been analyzed for safety based on their ingredients. Search for a product by brand name to learn about each of the ingredients – including their toxicity level and what effect they could have on the body. Each product gets an overall score that tells you how “safe” it is considered for use. It was an eye opening experience to learn about harmful the ingredients; even more shocking was that my beloved beauty products were full of toxic ingredients that were known or suspected to harmful to the body when absorbed through the skin.

Over the past 10 years I have been slowly switching out my regular cosmetic products with less chemicalized alternatives. One of the first things I changed many years ago was my underarm deodorant. I ditched the clinical strength antiperspirant and started using all natural deodorant. I never really fell in love with all the options I had for all natural deodorant – they were either too expensive or totally ineffective– but I also wasn’t willing to use regular stuff. When I realized how simple it is to make my own deodorant at home, I quickly made my first batch and haven’t bought a stick of regular deodorant since.

I still use some products that contain ingredients that aren’t totally natural, but I have learned to check the database and read the labels. I know what I’m putting on my body, and I stick to natural as much as possible. Knowledge is power!

If you’re looking to eliminate some chemicals from your morning beauty routine, try out this all natural deodorant. It’s easy to make, smells delicious, and it’s made with all natural ingredients that are fairly easy to find. And the best part? It totally works.


Lavender Vanilla (All Natural) Deodorant

2 Tablespoons shea butter*
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Tablespoon (or ½ ounce) cocoa butter*
2 Tablespoons baking soda
3 Tablespoons corn starch (organic is best!)

Optional Fragrance: 10 drops lavender essential oil and 10 drops of vanilla*

Melt all ingredients together. I melted mine in a glass pyrex mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water.
Stir until oil/butters are melted and the baking soda and corn starch are dissolved.
Add the essential oils and give it another stir.
Pour in a jar and allow to cool.

To use, scoop up a small (pea-sized) amount in your fingers and rub it on your skin until dissolved.

*Find these at a health store or order online



Editor’s Note: I have totally used the above natural deodorant, thanks to Miss Sara, and I LOVE IT! Trust me, I’m about as far from a granola loving hippie as you can get, so I was skeptical, but this stuff works wonderfully and smells so good. A definite game changer for me, and I highly recommend it! Also, it seems the Cosmetic’s Database is currently down, but it should be back up soon! Until then, try out the above recipe and be sure to contact Sara if you feel like making your life a little healthier.

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4 replies
  1. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I go vacillate between wanting to be a granola eatin’ hippie and stopping at McDonald’s for a Diet Coke. I’ll be sure to try this recipe though on one of my more naturally inclined days! 🙂


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