Read the Label: My Favorite Clean Skin and Hair Care Products
Last updated: April 2023
Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration in the United States bans only 11 chemicals from cosmetic industry products? (Hair and skin care products are included in this category).1 I just recently learned this!
And what is astounding is that other countries, like those in the European Union, ban over 1,300 ingredients, which I think provides a much safer and more protective marketplace. Also, cosmetic companies in the United States are not required to have FDA approval for bringing these products, other than color additives, to market.1,2
The importance of consumer education
This relaxed regulation makes consumer education more important than ever! I think there are so many products that can be potentially harmful to our sensitive dry eyes on the market in the United States. For a list of some ingredients that I try to avoid, see my article on my favorite clean makeup products.
In learning all of this, I started reading labels, and I have completely overhauled the products that are in my bathroom cabinets and in my shower. This is my preferred list of clean skin care and hair products.
Skin care and hair products that work for me
Face wash/makeup remover
I currently use Heyedrate Activated Charcoal Soap Bar and Face Wash to wash my face in the evening. Formulated by eye doctors, it contains plant-based ingredients, whereas my old face wash, which was marketed as a “pure” product, contained harmful chemicals like alcohol and phenoxyethanol.
I also love my MakeUp Eraser: it’s a reusable, machine washable cloth wipe that effectively sucks up makeup, dirt, and oil. Plus, it exfoliates my skin, leaving it soft and supple. I have both the larger size and the seven-day set of mini washcloths.
Next, I use Heyedrate's Tea Tree Face Wash to wash my eyelids in the evening. It is extremely gentle to me and specifically made for eyelids. I follow up with a spritz of Heyedrate’s Lid & Lash Cleanser. In the mornings, I only use the MakeUp Eraser with some warm water to prevent my skin from drying out.
Eye cream/face moisturizer
I saw so many recommendations on dry eye forums for Bee Naturals' Queen Bee Peeper Keeper Eye Balm that I had to try it. It provides just the right amount of moisture for my sensitive eye area, and I also use it on dry spots on my face and even on my lips.
Shampoo and conditioner
Before my dry eye issues started, I gave little thought to the shampoo and conditioner that ran across my face in the shower every day. But then I started reading labels and learned that my old shampoo contains sodium laureth sulfate.
I opted for a more natural option, Daily Shampoo and Daily Conditioner by Ingreendients. It leaves my hair feeling clean and healthy. In addition, I stopped using hairspray, as the one I was using contains alcohol. I no longer spray anything with alcohol anywhere near my eyes.
Body soap, lotion, and deodorant
I hit up my local farmer’s market for a few bars of homemade goat’s milk soap. I also peruse the soap section at Whole Foods for their bar soaps with simple ingredients. (Again, I was disappointed that my longtime “pure” soap of choice was not so pure).
I also learned that my go-to brand of body lotion contains parabens. So I switched to Cetaphil’s lightweight Moisturizing Lotion. It is paraben-free; however, it does contain alcohol, so I do not use it on my face. In addition, I use paraben-free and aluminum-free deodorant by Native.
So many thoughtful, new clean skin and hair care products are available nowadays. We as consumers just have to be diligent in doing our research on these brands to determine what is safe until we see a change in regulation.
What are your favorite clean skin and hair care products?
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?