Isaac wrote in…
“Hey I was wondering if I could get advice directly from Logan Christopher. I saw an article he did on testosterone in men and said how he doesn’t use commercial products for skin maintenance like lotions and other stuff because they have chemicals that lower testosterone. I was wondering what brands and products he would recommend for basic skin and hair care? If you could forward him this email that’d be great or if you could answer that’d be great as well!”
I’ll get to the alternatives in a moment, but first for anyone new to the topic here’s a little piece from my large article on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, must read if you’re interested in having healthy hormones.
Here’s a little excerpt:
Parabens are very common in personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, lotions and more. Estimated daily exposure if 5-50 mcg/kg per day in adults and 15-230 mcg/kg per day in infants and toddlers!
Oxybenzone is found in most sunscreens. It has been implicated in destroying coral reefs and thus been banned in Hawaii and parts of Florida. Bad for the environment, bad for us with weak estrogenic and anti-androgenic effects.
I have a theory that is backed up by some data that the reason that women have more thyroid problems then men is, at least in part, because of the use of more skin and hair care products generally.
The general principle to strive to follow is that if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, it shouldn’t go on your skin. You’re body is absorbing and “eating” it either way.
First off, think back to our ancestors. They didn’t have any of this stuff! And yet somehow they were fine. In general, you need much less than is sold to the modern day man or woman. Our culture overdoes it on many things, this area included. My wife, who used to be an esthetician and thus in this field, agrees.
So yes, ditching the chemical glop is one of the easy things you can do for your health.
Now, only what do I personally do instead? All of what follows is more expensive than the regular stuff. Just like there is ultra-processed junk food, there is ultra-processed body care products. Organic, natural and real stuff is going to cost more…just like our herbs.
Not to mention one of the dirty secrets of the skincare industry is that just because it says organic, doesn’t mean it is good.
The higher costs of these products can be somewhat balanced by realizing you need quite a bit less than most people use.
I use Lost Empire’s herbal soap for my hands and in the shower.
Occasionally, I’ll use some different soaps but they’re always similarly low ingredient and all natural. For a liquid soap I like Dr. Bronner’s which is readily available in many places.
Shampoo and Conditioner
For shampoo and conditioner, first of all I only wash my hair about once a week or so. I generally get these from Living Libations. They’re very expensive, but also the highest quality stuff out there from what I’ve seen. You’ll see their products make the list several times.
And please don’t forget to get a shower filter if you’re on a municipal water supply! I use an Aquasana shower filter.
For deodorant I’ve used a few different things. The problem with many natural deodorants is that they don’t work so well but I’ve found a few that do. Toms of Maine is one of them. Currently, I’m using Clay Dry deodorant from Zion Health. I’ll also sometimes or the Poetic Pits from Living Libations as well.
Antiperspirant should absolutely be avoided if health is your goal.
For tooth paste I actually mostly use tooth powder. This is typically use baking soda mixed with Pearl Powder. (Roughly 2/3rds baking soda and 1/3rd pearl.)
The stuff from Living Libations, like Ozonated Happy Gum Gel or Yogi Tooth Serum is also great.
I use a bamboo tooth brush and a copper tongue scraper as well.
I don’t really put stuff on my skin very often. Don’t feel like I need it.
For those occasional times when I do feel like I need something, I’ve used the moisturizer from Primal Derma.
And that’s it for me!
How to Dive Deeper
Before wrapping up, I’ll mention one other great resource on this topic. The Environmental Working Group has the Skin Deep database. You can search for an ingredient, brand or product and get detailed information on how great or poor it is.
Here’s an example some items from a common brand, one I recall using regularly as a kid…
And here is ethylparaben, a common ingredient in many with “strong evidence” as a human endocrine disruptor from the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption.
Use this website to check on what you’re currently using.
And if you’re using such natural stuff that you can’t even find it on that website than you’re probably good to go.
Feel free to share your tips and products in the comments below.
(Disclaimer: Several of the links above are affiliate links for which Lost Empire Herbs will earn a commission if you click through and choose to buy.)