my ideas of best products
Toothpaste - you can make a tooth powder for very little money. I make mine out of some clay I got on sale from a health food store, baking soda, Sea Salt
, and a few drops of peppermint oil. I keep this in a jar I saved from food I bought. Some people use plain baking soda all the time.
Mouthwash - forget this entirely, or swish with water-diluted vodka flavored with peppermint oil
Oil pulling - essential to oral hygiene & detox. I feel this replaces mouthwash. Get the highest-quality cold-pressed organic oil, like sunflower oil, you can afford. Do it first thing in the morning before eating. It takes very little oil each day. Check out the Oil Pulling forum for more info.
Lotion - forget lotion and embrace oil or shea butter. If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin. Coconut oil can be expensive, but a little goes a long way. You can get coconut oil at Tropical Traditions. Check out a place like mountainroseherbs.com and stock up on things at bulk prices that will last a while. It doesn't have to be scented. I put olive oil on my hair & scalp, left it for well over a day, and that was awesome...my hair is so soft now. I hear oil on the hair & scalp is very beneficial for African Americans - even though I am not, I love it.
There are people who stopped using shampoo - they use baking soda to clean their hair, then a rinse on the ends of vinegar (ew, sounds stinky). Another option is to wash your hair less & use more oil. We get in a vicious cycle with washing the hair - we strip out the natural body oils, then the scalp produces more, and then we wash more.
If you can't give up the shampoo, at least give up the conditioner :) I have been using a SLS-free, wheat-free (I don't do well with wheat) shampoo from Burt's Bees. This particular shampoo is somewhat expensive. Yes, shampoo without SLS
takes more work to suds up. I think my hair & scalp are much better off, though. I have far less dandruff. I am working toward shampooing less often.
Soap - there are so many soap companies out there making better soaps than ivory, at various prices. Try one (mountain rose herbs again?) that you can buy from in bulk. Soap will last a long time. Or try castille soap, which is in liquid form. Cut down on how much soap you use. Buy a good-quality body brush, exfoliate with that, and then take a brief shower in which you basically rinse off the dead skin & wash your smelliest areas only :)
Face - I don't know if this would work for you, but I stopped using soap on my face. It was very drying. I rinse my face in the shower & exfoliate mildly with a washcloth. On other days, I wash my face with baking soda only for extra exfoliating. I put a little oil on my face sometimes, because of this dry desert environment - jojoba (very little - expensive), olive, or coconut.
Juice - Skip. Eat whole fruits.
I came to this forum today to post this website, which looks promising. I'll post it here, too.
They sell red palm oil & coconut oil...palm oil is a tricky thing to source, because some people creating it are doing so in an environmentally-unfriendly manner. These guys seem to be trying harder.