How to go chemical-free and still smell nice

Want to spend less, save time, protect the environment AND have great skin and hair?

Of course you do.

Have you ever counted how many different chemicals you slather on your face and body in the run of a day? It’s absurd and so strangely normal that we never even think twice about it. I’d like to shed light on why you might care and make some simple suggestions that could make an enormous impact on your quality of life and that of those around you.

Does this mean you should only buy “natural” personal care products? No. Calling a product natural or organic doesn’t mean diddly squat since beauty care ingredients aren’t really regulated. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of companies out there that know they can earn a killing by making you believe that if you don’t buy their $100 anti-aging serum (or beauty product equivalent), you don’t stand a chance at being beautiful.

First things first, YOU ARE ALREADY BEAUTIFUL. There isn’t a single product out there that will transform you into a different person. Thank God! The things that make you unique and YOU are precisely the things that people love about you. Loving yourself, including your faults (physical & psychological) fuels a deep confidence that radiates a message to those around you that makes the world a better place. It also reduces stress, anxiety and depression which are your worst enemies when trying to clear up any health issues – especially skin disease!

While going about your amazing life, you will however need at least a few strategies to keep your self-confidence at an all-time high and your personal hygiene level acceptable for the public – you never know who you might run into.


Circa 2009: Danced-out ‘n’ sweaty…Mr. Mraz’s hygiene wasn’t much better – look at those guitar-picking nails!

I’m lazy, so my personal care routine was pretty basic and essentially unchanged since undergoing puberty many moons ago. That said, last summer I boldly ditched my not-so-natural Aveeno Naturals lotions, Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner/mousse, goats milk soap and Colgate toothpaste for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to save some cash
  2. I wanted to save the planet – less bottles in the landfill, less chemicals in our water system
  3. As I get older, my skin and body are less and less forgiving of what I put them through and the fact that all of these chemicals get absorbed into my system made me feel a bit yuck
  4. I was curious to see if this shit actually works

So I started researching and came up with a personal care routine that makes me look pretty much the same (‘cept with bigger hair) and feel better about lessening my impact on the planet and my health.

THE RESULTS: After a few weeks, my dandruff, dry scaly skin, patches of eczema, razor burns, arduous hair-taming techniques and pesky hormonal break-outs have all diminished and/or disappeared completely. The greys, I’m afraid, remain :/ (thanks, Ma!)

It’s not just me either, my roommates (also naturopathic doctors) finally made use of the supplies and have agreed that it’s the best thing ever. Direct quotes:

“Holy No ‘Poo! Let’s buy out all the baking soda and apple cider vinegar in this city!” and

“What the f***, Taryn. Why didn’t you make me try this sooner, my hair has never felt this soft.”

When I tell people that I haven’t washed my hair in several months, they look at me funny, but then they wanna know how. Since it’s tough to explain in a couple sentences (often over loud music at the pub), I decided this would be the best platform to spread the word.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sending out super easy step-by-step instructions to guide anyone who’s brave and willing to give it a shot. Best way to keep up is to throw your email into the subscription box on the right (below on mobile). Join us! I promise it will be fun, useful and possibly even life-changing…it was for me.

Dr. Taryn Deane, Naturopathic Physician, Vancouver

Dr. Taryn Deane is a naturopathic physician and health writer based in Vancouver, BC. She specializes in holistic dermatology, improving sex-drive and boosting self-esteem. Learn more about Dr. Deane or follow her on Twitter: @drtaryndeane