The Best All-Natural (and Affordable!) Beauty Product Swaps to Help You Quit Your Drugstore Habit

Photo: Seth Doyle/Unsplash

Remember when we told you that Cetaphil is actually just a bunch of junky chemicals mixed with water being touted as a super gentle, dermatologist-approved face wash? Well, it’s still bad for you (or at the very least, not good for you) and, unfortunately, a lot of your other drugstore standbys are too.

That Jergens lotion you’ve been applying after every shower? Full of not-so-friendly fragrances and got-to-be-kidding-me parabens in addition to DMDM hydantoin (also known as a formaldehyde releaser). And your favorite dry shampoo? Many are made with butane, isobutane, and propane—definitely not the kind of ingredients you want floating around in your hair (and you better not go near an open flame either).

Luckily, there are plenty of clean—and totally affordable—alternatives to your drugstore go-tos that are just as powerful when it comes to moisturizing skin, banishing blackheads, or keeping you stink-free.

Here are 8 easy swaps you can make to detox your beauty product selection (all at drugstore prices, too).


If you love Cetaphil….
Try Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser, $9.99

The very first ingredient listed on the back of this cleanser is chamomile, so you know it’s going to be soothing to even the most sensitive of complexions. The formulation also features organic coconut oil, argan oil, and sea buckthorn oil,  all powerhouses when it comes to nourishing and cleansing. And instead of chemicals that are serious skin strippers, this cleanser from Acure includes antioxidant-rich botanicals like acai, blackberry, and rosehips to protect your skin—go on, toss the "trusty" Cetaphil in the trash.


If you love Jergens body lotion…
Try Alaffia Everyday Shea Body Lotion, $13.99

People love Jergens because it gives your skin that waxy coat that makes it feel like you’re keeping all the moisture in. An even better way to keep your skin feeling soft, without a scary ingredient list? Nourish it with fair trade unrefined shea butter. Alaffia’s lightweight but ultra-hydrating lotion does just that. There’s an unscented version and a nice lavender version too, but if you’re looking for a replacement for that sweet-smelling bottle of Jergens, try the one made with soothing pure vanilla extract.


If you love Vaseline…
Try Waxelene, $6.99

As you can imagine, there’s not a whole lot that’s natural about petroleum jelly. Luckily, there’s a seriously effective alternative called Waxelene. Made instead from a combination of soy oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, and rosemary oil, this thick, moisturizing formula is great on chapped lips or ultra dry hands and feet. Use it anytime you would usually bring out the Vaseline (or Aquaphor).


If you love Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash Foaming Scrub…
Try Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub, $10

Like the Neutrogena version, this scrub is specially formulated with acne-prone skin in mind. Instead of synthetic ingredients, however, it’s made with naturally derived salicylic acid from willow bark extract and jojoba beads that gently exfoliate. You’ll get that same ultra-clean, dirt- and impurity-free feel, but you won’t disrupt your skin's acid mantle or fill your pores with toxins in the process. (Also: no microbeads!)


If you love Olay Fresh Effects Makeup Removal Cloths…
Try Blum Naturals Daily Normal Skin Towelettes, $6.99

Infused with aloe vera extract, chamomile extract, cucumber extract, and ylang ylang oil, these natural, alcohol-free wipes are gentle enough for daily use and rich in vitamins and minerals. At night, use them to remove eye makeup or keep them in your bag for a pre- or post-gym refresh.


If you love Secret Invisible Solid Deodorant…
Try Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Stick, $8.99

At this point, we all know about the dangers associated with traditional antiperspirants (think aluminum, parabens, and synthetic fragrance). There are plenty of healthy alternatives to choose from. But this one combats odor and sweat. The deodorant-only brand uses plant-based powders (like arrowroot) and good-smelling essential oils (in combinations like lavender and sage or bergamot and lime) to keep you so fresh and so clean. Plus, unlike many natural deodorants, these come in stick form so you don’t have to mess with creams, powders, or sprays.

If you love Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash…
Try Yes to Coconut Oil Body Wash, $8.99

The thing about body washes that lather up like crazy? They're usually packed with sulfates—which are really good at stripping your skin of its natural oils and good bacteria. This low-lather option may not provide the bubbles of your conventional pick, but it makes up for it with sulfate-free, skin-softening ingredients like apricot, avocado, and coconut oil. And don’t be fooled by the fact that its main ingredients are all oils; you’ll feel grease-free and totally clean when you step out of the shower.


If you love Psssst Instant Spray Dry Shampoo…
Try Acure Organics Dry Shampoo, $10

You don’t need a chemical-filled aerosol spray to combat a little grease between hair washes. Instead, try this one made with organic cornstarch, kaolin clay, and elm bark flour. In addition to soaking up excess oil, it has good-smelling lavender and chamomile essential oils and moisture-boosting argan stem cells and CoQ10 to add body, shine, and a nice, fresh scent. (Though after day two on dry shampoo, give your scalp a rest.)

If you're doing a full reboot of your makeup bag and medicine closet, try these healthier options for body oil, deodorant, and brand-new beauty products. (Or get acquainted with the new labeling options before you shop.)

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