Eco-friendly products to get you squeaky-clean, teeth to toes

If you’re trying to green your lifestyle, there’s no better place to start than your own body. These eco-friendly products will get you squeaky-clean, teeth to toes.

By Rebecca Schneider

If you’re trying to live a greener lifestyle by eliminating toxins in your household, why slather them on your body?

Reading the labels on conventional body-care products will make you want to take another shower! Chemicals like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and artificial colors and fragrances are prominent ingredients in many personal-care products. Choosing Eco-friendly alternatives is not only better for the planet, you’ll also reap the benefits of highly effective natural products.

I put plenty of Eco products to the test, and this list contains only affordable body-care products that are effective and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and artificial colors. (A few, marked with an asterisk, contain artificial fragrances.)

Now that’s a fresh feeling!

cleansers

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

The selection of natural body washes hasn’t been too exciting in the past, but more manufacturers are now producing interesting and often luxurious options. Pangea Organics, a local Boulder-based company, is committed to producing products with sustainably sourced ingredients. Its rich body washes leave skin super-moisturized, the perfect counterpoint to Colorado’s dry air.

Selections: Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom, Italian White Sage with Geranium and Yarrow, and Canadian Pine with White Sage. Available at local natural products stores and www.pangeaorganics.com; $16 for 8 fluid ounces.

Just for Men

When it comes to cleansers with conscience, men have gotten the short end of the stick. But Every Man Jack has stepped up to the plate with a line of super-affordable products ranging from deodorant and shaving cream to everything in between. The body washes and scrubs smell so good that a few men might find their wives or girlfriends sneaking some of it.

Selections: Cedar-wood, Citrus and Signature Mint. Available at local natural products stores  and www.everyman jack.com; $6-$10. (*)

Brush Up

We all know oral hygiene is important, but fluoridated toothpastes are a point of contention for some people. Enter Vitacare line of fluoride-free dental products with fresh flavor combos. Each product contains fluoride alternatives to fight cavities (xylitol), protect against plaque buildup (a combination of vitamins A, C, D and E and cranberry extract) and strengthen tooth enamel (calcium).

Selections: Açai and Mint, Pomegranate and Mint, and Key Lime and Mint. Available at www.vitacareworld.com; $5.99 (toothpaste); $8.99 (mouthwash). (*)

saving

Saving Face

Colorado’s dry climate leaves most of us begging for a facial cleanser that can battle blemishes while not stripping skin of precious moisture. LUSH’s Coal Face is a solid cleanser that helps send pimples packing, but doesn’t leave skin tight and dry—just fresh and clean. Don’t let the sinister color fool you; this black soap is gentle yet effective at battling grime. If your skin is super-dry or sensitive, stop by a Lush store and get a customized recommendation and perhaps a free sample.

Available at: LUSH in Boulder and www.lushusa.com; $12.95 for 3.5 ounces. (*)

No Sweat

It’s a common conundrum: Go for more-natural, aluminum-free deodorants that offer zero perspiration protection, or opt for conventional controversial concoctions that keep you dry? The Body Shop has come up with the ideal solution. Its DeoDry line of combination antiperspirant and deodorant uses a blend of volcanic minerals that absorb moisture to keep you dry and odor-free. One caveat: While these antiperspirants do a good job of keeping day-to-day perspiration at bay, if you exercise hard or sweat excessively, you may want a brand that offers full protection.

Selections: Fresh and Floral, Chilled and Breezy, and Cool and Zesty. Available at The Body Shop and  www.thebodyshop-usa.com; $5 for stick or roll-on formulas. (*)

Oomph Appeal

Shampoos without sulfates are a bit tricky, as sulfates are responsible for the satisfying suds we’re all used to. Desert Essence’s Green Apple and Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner are a natural exception. Chemical-free, clarifying and voluming, this product pair has an unmistakably fresh scent and gives hair plenty of oomph as well.

Available at: local natural products stores; $8.99 apiece.

Oldie But Goodie

How could we make a list of the best green body products and not include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps? These certified-organic, fair-trade castle soaps have been around for more than 150 years. A bottle of liquid soap lasts forever because it’s highly concentrated. And talk about convenient—you can clean every part of yourself from teeth to toes with Dr. Bronner’s soaps. These oil-based, Eco-friendly soaps are fully biodegradable, so you can also use them to clean up while camping.

Selections: Almond, Citrus Orange, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Tea Tree and Unscented Baby-Mild. Available at local natural products stores and www.drbronner.com; $4.49 per bar; $2.99-$16.99 for 2 to 32 ounce liquid.

Don’t Forget Fido

While no one’s fond of wet-dog smell, few can resist snuggling up to a soft, clean pet. Buddy Wash’s soap-free liquid doubles as a shampoo/conditioner with a subtle scent that lingers for days. Since it’s a shampoo and conditioner in one, you only have to rinse your pooch once instead of twice. What dog wouldn’t give that two paws up?

Selections: Green Tea and Bergamot, Lavender and Mint, and Rosemary and Mint. Available at local natural products stores, independent pet stores and www.cloudstar.com; around $10.49.