Primal Beauty and Skincare

January 19, 2012

Photo by emdot

Being primal applies to many facets of my life, including beauty/skincare. As with most other primal things, it all comes down to simplifying.

In general, I go for the least amount of products and ingredients possible, thereby greatly reduced the amount of chemicals I expose myself to. My list of products is quite short: Tooth Soap, coconut oil, concealer, deodorant, shampoo, chapstick. That’s 6 items, one of which doesn’t have any ingredients (coconut oil). Ideally, I’d drop shampoo and deodorant from that list, but right now I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.


Toothpaste: In the past, I used fluoride-free and  sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-free toothpaste by JASON. I then tried not using toothpaste at all. I read that it’s just the mechanical action that cleans, and the paste is only there to make the brushing a more pleasant experience. I really wanted to like this method, but unfortunately, my teeth didn’t look or feel clean.

So I went back to toothpaste. But it’s always bugged me that I couldn’t find a toothpaste without glycerin. Glycerin is said to coat the teeth, preventing re-mineralization. I’ve been wanting to try Tooth Soap for a long time, and I decided to finally give it a shot. The one thing I’m still puzzled about is that glycerin is a natural byproduct of making soap, so although Tooth Soap doesn’t have any added glycerin, it may still have some residual glycerin? Anyways, I’m glad I tried it – I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and my teeth have never felt or looked cleaner. I use Plain Jane Tooth Soap shreds.

Toothbrush: Manual, soft bristles.

Floss: Min. 1-2x/day.

Rinse: I rinse and gargle with warm salt water in the evenings. In the mornings, I do about 10 minutes of oil pulling with coconut oil. I honestly haven’t found any noticeable benefit from doing this. It’s supposed to have many though, including detox, so who knows, I might be getting something out of it. But now that I’m so pleased with the results of the Tooth Soap, I might stop.


Make-up: I’ve stopped wearing foundation and powder, except for special occasions (it is possible, ladies, although it did take me a long time to come around to this). At first I searched for natural make-up alternatives. But, I didn’t trust any of the ingredients, there was always something that I’d qualify as crap. Which makes sense – there’s no such thing as natural make-up, because putting stuff on your face isn’t natural. When I do put some on, I just accept that it’s crap and use Clinique – at least my sensitive skin doesn’t react to it. I dilute the foundation with some moisturizer though. And I still use a tiny bit of concealer. If I do wear make-up, I use coconut oil as a make-up remover.

Wash: I wash my face with water only – no soap. I use a washcloth to exfoliate as needed.

Moisturizer: In the mornings, I use some coconut oil. In the evenings, I leave my skin alone and let it do its thing overnight. I’ve heard that’s when skin rejuvenates and that it’s best left unmoisturized. It took a bit of time for my skin to adjust and not be dry overnight, but now it’s totally fine. For whatever reason, I’m addicted to chapstick (luckily it has very few ingredients).

Other: Oil blotting paper will change your world. When your face gets a little bit shiny, just blot out the oil with a blotting sheet. It makes going without make-up much easier.


Soap: I don’t use soap, other than for washing my hands. Soap just washes away the good bacteria and oils on your skin that actually form a protective layer. This causes your skin to dry out. As for hand soap, the fewer ingredients the better.

Moisturizer: When I need/want it, I use coconut oil.

Sunscreen: Never. I’ll use a bit of coconut oil if I’m in the sun for longer than usual – apparently that’s what people living close to the equator have been doing for ages.

Deodorant:  Tom’s of Maine. I haven’t yet summoned up the courage to go without.

Shaving cream: None – just good ol’ water works great.


I wash my hair every day with natural shampoo (or as natural as I can find – currently Aubrey Organics). I’ll use conditioner once in a while. I wash my hair every day. I’d love to do the whole no-poo thing (if you haven’t heard of it, google – it’s a whole movement of people not using shampoo). Or better yet it’d be great to do no-poo and only wash every few days. But I’ve never been able to get through the adjustment period – I’m curious about how people manage, I couldn’t imagine showing up at work with greasy hair. But obviously I’m missing something (or people just start off while on vacation), because this movement has a huge following.

What does your routine look like? Which products can you not live without? Share your tips and tricks in the comments :)

Leave a Comment


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chava January 24, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Great post! I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who doesn’t use soap much. Love it on my teeth, though.. :-) Coconut oil is a must for my skin. Especially in the winter, when I look like some kind of reptile!


[email protected] January 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Coconut oil is one of my favourite things – so many uses!


Caroline January 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

For deodorant, I use coconut oil & baking soda. I just smear the coconut oil on my pits, and then use a little powder poof to dust on the baking soda. I stay non-stinky all day! Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial so it halts the stink, and the baking soda absorbs moisture and adds a second level of stink abatement. Give it a go.


[email protected] February 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I’ve heard of that as an alternative. I’m slightly weary of baking soda though (even the aluminum-free kind). I tried just coconut oil but I think it was missing that moisture-absorbing element that the baking soda provides. At some point I’d like to just try using nothing. From what I hear, you don’t really need anything. But again, I haven’t quite mustered up the courage yet :P


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