Natural Living Product Standouts Of 2021
Whether you’re looking for the best clean mascara or non-toxic pans for your kitchen, I’ve put together a roundup of natural living products that stood out to me in 2021. From an all-natural rubber yoga mat to the best sparkling water maker, I’m sharing my favorite natural living products of 2021 in clean beauty & skincare, personal care, zinc-oxide sunscreen, kitchen, fitness, eco-friendly underwear and healthy home.
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With 2021 coming to an end, I’ve put together a roundup of all of the natural living products that stood out to me this year. I’ve started trying to swap out products housed in plastic to more eco-friendly alternatives like cardboard and bamboo. Some of the products made the list last year and I still love and use them so much that I’ve also put them on this year’s standout list. If you’re looking for high-quality natural and sustainable products to start you off on your natural living journey, look below for natural living all-stars in clean beauty & skincare, personal care, zinc-oxide sunscreen, kitchen, fitness, eco-friendly underwear and healthy home.
Replacing your plastic bottle of body wash with a bar of soap is one way to reduce your plastic footprint. I’ve tried many bars of soap that leave a thick, gunky residue behind, so I searched for a bar that would be long-lasting, create a creamy lather and not leave a gunky mess, and I’ve found the holy grail: Follian Bar Soap. Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m also constantly testing and trying new shampoo brands, and Carina Organics Daily Moisturizing Shampoo and Carina Organics Daily Light Conditioner have really impressed me. Dry hands are my nemesis, and Honest Eczema Cream works really well to moisturize and hydrate my skin, and it rubs in easily. I also keep a pump bottle of Griffin Remedy Lotion on hand- sometimes a pump is easier to use, and I really like this brand (their shampoo is nice too).
I came across Doctor Rogers products earlier this year, and I am so impressed that this is now my staple face cream. Here’s why I love this brand so much: Doctor Rogers, a board certified dermatologist, was frustrated by the healing process being hindered by unnecessary ingredients, and she was compelled to make something better, to help our skin and our world. All Doctor Rogers RESTORE products are safe, effective, and made with proven, plant-based, biodegradable ingredients in recyclable packaging. I use the Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream and it soothes and moisturizes my dry, sensitive skin. My teenage daughter is testing the lighter version, Doctor Rogers Restore Face Lotion, and she loves it too.
Indie Lee is a clean skincare brand that I started using as samples and was so impressed that I’ve continued using a few products, like the Indie Lee Restorative Eye Cream and the Indie Lee Stem Cell Serum. Indie Lee uses natural, naturally-derived and organic ingredients to create their line of clean beauty products. The company is Prop 65 and EU compliant, which means they formulate without 1300+ banned ingredients in their skincare.
After years of trying a bunch of clean mascara brands, I still stand behind Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara. This year Ilia came out with a volumizing mascara, and although I love how it thickens my lashes, I always seem to get smudges under my eyes.
I came across Clean Faced Cosmetics on Etsy when I was putting together a post on eco-friendly makeup, and the Clean Faced Cosmetics Lash Lengthener caught my eye. Here’s my quick routine for longer lashes: I dip a spoolie in the Clean Faced powder, tap off any excess, and very carefully apply to my lashes. I wouldn’t do this with contacts in because this lash extender is a powder formula. I then apply Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara, and the combo of the two products really makes my lashes longer and fuller.
Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
I’m an everyday sunscreen wearer, and at this point in time, zinc oxide is the only sunscreen ingredient I will wear (in the United States, ingredients in other countries are not approved for use here yet). I did a deep dive into how different sunscreen ingredients work and why I use zinc oxide- you can read more about it in my Natural Sunscreen Guide here. There are 2 brands of sunscreen that I’ve worn this year that are standouts- Cocokind Daily Sunscreen SPF32 and Fresh Monster Mineral Sunscreen SPF30.
Poppy & Pout Lip Balm is a clear winner- it comes in a cardboard tube and thoroughly moisturizes lips, with tons of flavors to choose from.
As a dentist’s daughter, I’m obsessed with floss. I have some favorite brands, but this sustainable option, Ojook Silk Floss, ticks all the boxes for great performing floss coated in enamel-building hydroxyapatite. It’s also biodegradable and comes in a reusable glass jar. And speaking of dental hygiene, have you switched to a bamboo toothbrush yet? Next time your plastic toothbrush needs to be replaced, give bamboo a try- you won’t be sorry!
Bala Bangles are all the rage right now. I have a pair of Bala Bars and I love them- they’re wrapped in silicone, so you won’t have to worry about being exposed to phthalates like you would from other fitness weights.
I tossed our old yoga mats and replaced them with natural rubber mats. Although rubber mats give off a strong rubber smell for the first month, they are well worth it. The Manduka eKo Yoga Mat is my favorite. This mat cushions my joints and bony parts and has subtle grippy ridges so you won’t slip.
This summer I wrote a post on sustainable underwear and tested different eco-friendly brands. Although I like all of the brands I tried, I prefer my Boody Women’s Underwear. They are so soft, don’t ride up and don’t shrink in the dryer. Bamboo doesn’t require pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation to enhance its growth; instead it grows like a weed. It has even been recorded to grow as fast as 47.6 inches in a 24-hour period! Jeremy has been testing men’s sustainable underwear, and he’s partial to the Boody Men’s Boxer Briefs.
Jeremy grew up in a town greatly affected by a water system that was contaminated with PFAS chemicals. Dupont had dumped chemical byproducts into the nearby river and exposed a large number of people to PFOA chemicals, leading to serious health issues and the eventual discontinuation of PFOA in Teflon products (only to be replaced by another harmful PFAS chemical). I have several posts on PFAS-free alternatives to products you may be using every day: PFAS-Free Makeup, PFAS-Free Bakeware, and PFAS-Free Winter Outerwear For Kids.
If you’re looking for high-quality stainless steel baking sheets, TeamFar Stainless Steel Baking Sheets are the way to go. I’m in love with my Field Cast Iron Skillet since it’s slightly lighter than most other brands (I picked up a Lodge in TJ Maxx and my Field skillet feels much lighter), and it’s highly non-stick if you keep up with the seasoning. My Caraway Fry Pan, with a ceramic non-stick, PFAS-free interior, is perfect for eggs and other food that you want to slide right out of the pan (just be careful not to scratch the interior).
Another kitchen item that deserves a mention are the Ukonserve Stainless Steel Lunch Containers– my kids have been using them for the fall semester and they are so nice and go right in the dishwasher. I have a whole post on stainless steel snack containers if you’re ready to replace your plastic ones with an eco-friendly and non-toxic version.
As someone who hates vacuuming, the only way I’ll even attempt it is with a Dyson V11 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. The fact that it’s cordless is a huge bonus, and you don’t need to change heads when going from carpet to hardwood flooring. Dust can harbor phthalates and other harmful chemicals like flame retardants, so vacuuming is important if you want to reduce toxins in your home.
The Soda Stream Aqua Fizz Sparkling Water Machine has been a big hit in our house, and this is the second year running. It’s an eco-friendly way to enjoy sparkling water without all the plastic bottles, and it can easily make a drink feel fancy.