Safer Skin-Care

From a fertility standpoint, the main chemicals to watch out for in skin care and hair care products are:

  • “Fragrance”: This is often a cocktail of chemicals including prohibited phthalates. Natural essential oil fragrance is typically not a problem
  • Parabens (propylparaben, butylparaben; ethylparaben; butylparaben)
  • Chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Some good fragrance-free and paraben-free products available on Amazon:


Many conventional skin-care brands make moisturizers that are free of fragrances and parabens (such as LaRoche Toleriane Ultra (US) (UK) (AU) (CA)).

If you would like to go one step further and choose a product that is primarily based on natural ingredients, good options include

Green People Anti-Ageing 24- Hour Cream Sensitive (UK) (US)
Green People Free Light Day Moisturiser (UK) (US)
Alitura Moisturizer (US)
Living Nature Sensitive Skin Night Moisture Cream (US)
Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Moisturizer (US)
HoneySkin Organics (US)

Natural face oils are also a good option. The best oils to use include Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Rosehip Oil.  Rosehip oil is more calming and anti-inflammatory, while Argan and Jojoba oil are more readily absorbed.

DIY Face Oil Recipe: 3 Tbs Organic Jojoba oil, 1 Tbs Organic Rosehip or Argan oil, ½ Tbs Tamanu Oil  (This is my version of of RMS Beauty oil, which costs $78).


Since cleansers are rinsed away and the ingredients are unlikely to be absorbed in a significant amount, any fragrance free cleanser should be fine to use. I particularly like  HoneySkin Organics Cleanser and Free and Clear Liquid Cleanser

Body Lotion

Choosing a body lotion without fragrance or parabens should be a high priority, given that it is applied over a large surface area and you are therefore more likely to absorb any chemicals present in a larger amount.  It is even better to choose a lotion that is made entirely from natural ingredients. Good natural options include:

Annmarie Skin Care – Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion (US)
Tree to Tub Organic Shea Butter Body Lotion (US)
Oz Naturals Body Butter Lotion (US)
Green People Scent Free Body Lotion (UK)
Green People Nurture Body Lotion (UK)

DIY Body lotion recipe:

Melt and combine: ¼ c coconut oil, ¼ c beeswax, ½ c jojoba oil, oil from 4 Vitamin E capsules (or 1 tsp of vitamin E oil), optional essential oil or vanilla.


It is best to choose a sunscreen that uses physical filters, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, rather than chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate.   Good choices include Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick and ThinkBaby SPF 50+ Sunscreen


There are now many brands of natural deodorant that are made without artificial fragrances, parabens or aluminum. The problem is finding one that actually works well, without staining clothes or leaving chalky residue. I highly recommended crystal-based deodorants, such as those by Crystal Essence or Crystal Body, while I many other people swear by Native deodorant.

Make Up

Replacing make-up is a much lower priority than replacing skin care, because a smaller amount is used and so you are less likely to absorb significant amounts of any chemicals used. Make up is also typically fragrance-free.  If you do decide to replace your make-up, the highest priorities are foundation and lipstick. Burts Bees and Beautycounter are good brands to consider.

Nail Polish 

The best option is to avoid nail polish altogether, but safer brands include SOPHI and Piggy Paint.

Laundry and Cleaning

To further minimize exposure to phthalates, it is helpful to replace laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies with fragrance-free and non-toxic products. For cleaning products, good brands include Seventh Generation and Better Life.  For laundry, choose any free and clear detergent and skip fabric softener.


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