***UPDATE: using benzonite clay as a spot treatment for a potential zit also works very well.
For my daily facial moisturizing and sunblock in one, I LOVE the suntegrity 5-in-1. It's SPF 30, awesome ewg rating, and feels like a tinted bb cream. It's pricey but lasts easily 5 months.
body wash in shower: none needed. no soap to dry out my skin, and water is more cleansing than people realize, once you break the cycle of removing natural oils and then replacing with synthetic ones, which dry you out, causing you to replace with synthetic ins again, etc.
for washing the kids in the bath: using a solution of dr bronners diluted with water.
hair care: putting coconut oil on kids and my own hair once a week. after the oiling, we use dr Bronner's (diluted with water) to wash it out, for two days. other 5 days a week, NO shampoo on the hair. i have been doing the no-shampoo method for days and my scalp has adjusted now so not getting greasy, and water making my hair feel clean. my curls are bouncy, not weighed down.
***UPDATE: I wasn't enjoying the experience of not having shampoo in the shower. So I'm now using a DIY shampoo of Dr Bronner's plus coconut milk. About 1:1. It lathers and smells good.
***UPDATE 2: the coconut milk had a very short shelf life in the shower and then kept going bad. Now using diluted alaffia African black soap and I like the feel and smell and it keeps my curls defined. No need for conditioner. I use the alaffia about 2-3 times a week.
***UPDATE 3: I found a brand called hugo naturals which gets a good rating on EWG. I use the shampoo and conditioner together about 1-2 times a week. Rest of the week just water. Hair is behaving nicely. Curls look fluffy and defined. Also it's nice to use the hugo bc it has a scent!
I have been using the Shea Moisture brand for their curl & style milk for my hair when I want a little more definition. The coconut hibiscus one smells like heaven. Very good ewg rating.
also using apple cider vinegar to rinse hair every week or so, but not more than that because very acidic, don't want to do this too much.
***UPDATE: I don't need the acv rinse anymore since using the diluted alaffia African black soap. My hair has no buildup with the alaffia.
***UPDATE 2: see above- I'm just using the hugo products on my hair.
some say baking soda works for them but it can be drying, so if your hair is oily, try this, but if dry, maybe not.
face scrub: sugar mixed with coconut oil makes a nice face scrub. not too often though for me because my skin is dry, not oily.
countertops, etc using 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water. if dirty and soap is needed, using 1 part bronners to 10 parts water.
for scrubbing in sinks and tubs, using baking soda mixed with bronners.
for toilets, baking soda.
for spraying on fruits and veggies (the ones where the skin is consumed), using 1 part bronner to 10 parts water.
for dishwasher, using a paste made of equal parts bronner's and baking soda. using vinegar in the rinse-aid box of the dishwasher. this is working well- just unloaded the dishwasher and no residue, no dirty dishes. everything is nice and clean.
***UPDATE: the paste was really difficult to get out of the container. Very hard after a few days. So now I'm using the recipe below after much research and trial and error. It is wonderful:
for laundry, instead of dryer sheets (respiratory impairment and also sometimes gelatin), using two pieces of cloth that each have a safety pin in them, using these two cloths in every dryer cycle to eradicate static. Using science, not chemicals!
***UPDATE: I am now making my own laundry detergent also. See the recipe below. It works beautifully:
Candles are as polluting to the air as air fresheners, so use essential oil on cotton balls in the house, or potpourri.
i think that's it for now! in the next few months as certain foods and cosmetics run out, i will think hard about what i replace them with, and eventually i can be more comfortable with what we eat, now that i am happy with what products we use on our bodies!