Get Organic In The Shower


We've tackled organic skincare and makeup, but what about the entire rest of your body? Emily's beloved bath recipe is pretty eco-friendly, but I usually take showers, and my 10 minutes under the tap needs to be pretty straightforward. Which is to say: I'm not the kind of person who gets fancy in the morning, so I want a few simple products that get me clean, exfoliated, and moisturized before I turn the water off. Here's what I usually do (if you have other product suggestions, leave 'em in the comments! I'd love to hear them):

A lot of people are off shampoo and conditioner completely—they use an apple cider vinegar rinse or one of the other seemingly endless DIY hair cleanser recipes—but I have fine, lank hair, so I've never been completely successful in joining Team No-Poo. Instead, I like to use Acure Organics Shampoo and Conditioner. They have a whole line of Fair-Trade-certified, organic haircare products—many of them are USDA-certified organic, although the shampoos aren't—but I like the one in the blue bottle because it's all minty and refreshing, plus it's for fine, thin hair so it really soaks up the oil. Then, I just use my Alterna Translucent Dry Shampoo for a couple days in between, to avoid over-cleansing.

If I'm traveling or just in the mood for something a little sudsier, though, nothing beats the classic Lush Shampoo Bar. They're literally little round cakes of shampoo that come in tins so you don't have to worry about the three-ounce rule, and they're great. You just work them up in your hands like you would bar soap and then massage the resulting lather through your hair. Because I love all things minty, their Dr. Peppermint shampoo has become my dopp kit buddy, but I also know people who won't use anything but their jasmine-scented Godiva bar because it makes your hair smell so darn good. (Note: For people avoiding all surfactants, these do contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, not to be confused with the 'real' SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which is the chemical that gives people the most cause for concern.)

Body Wash
Normally, when it comes to body wash, I'd just recommend a nice dry brushing before you get into the shower followed by a rinse with your favorite Dr. Bronner's castile (I'm an Almond kinda girl myself), but a while ago I started using John Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Wash and now I'm utterly addicted. It's certified organic and makes you smell like a fancy creamsicle, which is great. The only drawback is that I now want either a Push Pop or an Orange Julius pretty much all the time.

Body Moisturizer
If, like myself, you hate putting on lotion after you shower, or feel like it just takes too much time, Ro's Argan Body Conditioner might be your ticket to happy hydration. It's a cream that you can smooth all over in a few seconds, it smells like rose jam, and it makes your skin incredibly soft. Unless it's incredibly dry out and I'm being exposed to winter radiator heat, I don't need any extra hydrators at all when I'm using this stuff. Since you're using it on wet skin, it really locks in the moisture; I wish they'd do a version for your face, too.

Alternately, the answer is very, very simple: organic coconut oil. It's light, it's inexpensive, it smells great, and it sinks in beautifully. I put a jar next to the shower so it softens up (but doesn't quite melt) while I'm washing up, then, before I even turn off the water, I dig out a scoop out, massage it all over, and then give myself a final rinse to get off any excess so that I don't have oily clothes later. Then I get out, pat myself down with a towel—I never rub my skin, because it's dry enough already and shaving/in-shower exfoliating is all the scrubbing I need—and head off to brush my teeth and get on with the rest of the day!

—Lacey Gattis

Image via tumblr; by Lina Scheynius.

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  • J

    Thanks for the great post Lacey. Just wondering if these shampoos and apple cider strip hair color?
    Thank you!

  • s

    as long as you don't use baking soda anywhere. that shit ruins your skin's acid mantle. far too high pH.

    • bluesky557

      Preach. I cringe whenever I see someone recommend baking soda.

    • jl

      i'm doing a bit of reading on this claim and i've found that baking soda has a pH of about 8.3 which is much lower than typical soaps and detergents...even dr. bronners has a pH balance around 8.9...tap water typically has a pH of 7 or 8 depending on the area... don't see how baking soda could be any worse other than that it is abrasive, but so is a luffa or wash cloth.

      • WhenThePagesWereBlank

        pH is a logarithmic scale so the difference between 7 to 8.9 is 100 fold.

    • Ruby

      it's baffling how many beauty myths are out there...or misinformation about pH scales.

  • Julia

    ITGloss is more ITGreen!!! thank you Lacey for yours advices, keep spreading the word! Love from Switzerland <3

    • Emma Hager

      I feel this! We need more eco-voices out there! Thanks, ITG, for taking that initial step in some of the content found here.

      There's no reason we can't maintain/indulge ourselves while still maintaining quality of life on earth.

      Coming from a family (and especially a mother) that is very environmentally conscious, for a while it was struggle to try to find the happy medium between my passions (fashion, beauty, etc) and trying to uphold the values my parents so diligently drilled into us kids. I think with the right amount of willingness to invest time into research,I can satisfy my inner extreme-liberal-earth-freak while still indulging in the frivolity and consumerism that I have come to love about fashion.

  • Talia

    W00t. I need to try that Alterna Dry Shampoo. Klorane is too gunky, I can't make it more than 36 hours without feeling unclean.

  • District Style

    I've always wanted to go organic with shampoo/conditioner, but every time I try, I find it makes my fine hair look limp and greasy. Perhaps the Acure shampoo will do the trick!

    • Jayanthi

      Dermorganics have great shampoos and conditioners too.

  • Elizabeth Mayce

    I've never tried the Lush shampoo bars, I'm worried it would be so drying, what do you think??

    That Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Wash looks amazing, the smell must be unbelievable! XO

  • Addison Cain

    Dr. Bronner Baby Mild is my ride or die... I tried the peppermint for a while, but that was a little too much to handle. Otherwise, Nubian Heritage Goat's Milk & Chai is great too.

    • Vicki

      Totally agree on the peppermint, I felt so dry after using it. I do love the Nubian Heritage line and I'm glad you mentioned it, I love the Lavender and Flowers one (in my shower right now) and the Indian Hemp and Vetiveir too! I also LOVE the Lush Olive Branch body wash, enough to spend $30 on the large sized bottle a couple times a year! :)

      • Addison Cain

        You're a woman after my own heart! I'm now thinking I need to try Lavender and Flowers.

        • Lauren

          just don't try the Rosewater. It smells like candy, and it's gross.

          • Addison Cain

            I appreciate the warning lol :)

  • bijoux

    coconut oil dries out my skin. what is wrong with me??

    • Sharareh

      Same with me. Maybe it is because skin also takes humidity from the air and too much oil blocks this kind of osmosis...

      • bijoux

        ooh, I like it. Just scientific enough. Good, I'm not the only one.I like apricot oil though, it's light.

    • Raevin Long

      Same! Other oils work for me just fine, but coconut is a no-no for my ultra dry skin. Shame because it smells SO good! Then again, I'm someone who needs water retention in my skin versus additional oils. I'm always crossing my fingers for some magical, clean ingredient, hydrating body gel or serum moisturizer in a hyaluronic acid base. How amazing would that be?!

      • Sharareh

        Oh yes, hyaluronic is the bomb! And if you want it oil free aka as serum it's always so expensive. I'm considering buying it pure and mixing into my body lotions... should be possible.

    • Sylvie

      Me too. I've liked using it as a pre-shower face mask though.

  • Alex

    Awesome article!! I've used most of these products and really love them. One tip about the Ro's Argan Conditioner from Lush, if you put that on right before you get a spray tan, the dha has a really hard time soaking in because of the oil content! Wish someone would have told me that before a $40 spray tan didnt develope!!

  • Sharareh

    Plain Soap! My new best friend for everything :)))

    • Sara

      Mine too!

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I'm a big fan of Acure Organics for hair. I'm about to review their Moroccan Argan oil line for my site. I may have to try the Pure Mint as my rotating shampoo. I love an ACV rinse. I use it as a buildup remover not as a no poo conditioner. Have you tried the Salux? It's my shower must have! I got it a few weeks ago and honestly I'm not sure I can function without it anymore!

  • Emily

    I really dig Nubian Heritage's black soap body wash, it makes my skin glowy and soft and smells really nice!

    Also a block of raw unrefined shea butter is my skin's favorite moisturizer.

  • Teresa

    Oh god, I love the Godiva bar. It's so good when paired with Karma solid perfume. I only use it twice a week because of the SLS (both forms are comedogenic which doesn't play nice with my face skin), and use Eco Store shampoo and conditioner the rest of the time. Eco Store is a New Zealand-based brand who don't use harsh surfactants or silicones, and works really well with my flat hair.

    I think now that it's winter and my skin's drier, I finally have an excuse to splash out on a pot of Ro's.

    Another good green kiwi brand is Sans Ceuticals, which I'm pretty sure is available in the States now. Gorgeous body and hair products!

  • Eliza

    I'm obsessed with Acure's skincare, I've been meaning to try their shampoo (and SO cheap too)! I do the every-other-day wash but I also have the thinnest, finest hair on earth and look like an actual greaser if I don't use real shampoo at least four times a week.

  • Jennifer Monforton

    Ro's Argan is one of my faves! Perfect for a lazy gal who doesn't like to moisturize- and it smells great! xo

    • Bertiebeetle

      It's amazing. I hate standing all cold and damp and having to lotion up. It's kind of expensive for moisturiser but it's just so good!

  • Nicole B.

    Ooh that tip about rubbing on the coconut oil *in* the shower sounds great. Every time I've tried using coconut oil as a moisturizer it never quite worked out for me, I'm definitely going to try that!

  • Caroline

    I'm on vacation in Prague right now, do you think I can get them here?

    • Sylvie

      Caroline- you must check out the organic skincare store there! It's in a little courtyard by the restaurant Country Life, but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the store. It's in the old town off the main square

      • Gosia

        Hmm, I think I know which brand you mean. They have a beer based line, right?

    • Gosia

      Yes, I guess. I would choose Alverde ( DM drugstore own brand) for skincare/ makeup and Alterra (Rossman own brand) for skin and haircare. Isana Med line (also by Rossman) has few good products and their shower oil is amazing.

  • Kitt Noir

    Excellent post and links thanks :)

  • kimberlyloc

    Agree, the peppermint one kind of sucked all the moisture out of me! The almond one is very nice, though.

  • kimberlyloc

    I have fine, lank hair, too, girl, so the no-poo thing just isn't for me, either. Acure Organics haircare is legit though. I also really like Beautycounter's shampoo/conditioner. Have you tried it? I pretty much always go back to Acure, though, because it's so affordable and easy to find at Whole Foods.

    I was intrigued by the Godiva Jasmine bar (huge jasmine fan here), but besides the damn sulfates in there, why the heck do they need to throw in the PEGs and propylene glycol? Same with the body conditioner — why the parabens? Lush disappoints me a lot. They could be SO GOOD.

    /rant over

    • ITGLacey

      I know—I love Lush because I think they're genuine in their desire to create environmentally friendly products, but they don't seem to be budging on parabens or SLS. I do understand that most people want suds and a specific kind of product texture, though—it's hard to convince a lot of users that their hair is getting clean if it's not super bubbly & the product doesn't "feel" like traditional shampoo.

    • Tajna

      Try herbal henna on your hair! It's a miracle for making hair strong,conditioned and thick. I use herbal henna once a month,you put in on for however long you want,nice pungent smell,"cook" it under heat/sun and rinse out.My red is truly auburn now and very healthy.Also organic collagen supplements help a lot,such as BioSil,to add more volume and hair renewal and growth.

      For the MOST healing skin trick: try to find some Croatian kantorian.You can only get it in Croatia,it is a tiny yellow flower grown on the island of Hvar during the summer.Just go there to buy it! The flowers are soaked in olive oil for 40 days and the resulting liquid is incredibly healing and potent.I use it for my seriously fading acne scars.If you are on Hvar,you can find it at my friend Anton's store has many local products and is the sweetest person.Tell him Tajna recommended you! I love to give the Croatian economy business,it's not going so well.

  • Sylvie

    Best shampoo: shikakai powder. Or Rahua if you've got the dough. Washing your hair with baking soda is the worst advice anyone ever gave.

  • Nudey

    Dr. Alkatis shampoo is the bees knees for my grease prone hair! I like on my tips Intelligent Nutrients conditioner.

  • ITGLacey

    Thank you, Lauren! That was a great read! :)

  • Divya

    I was hoping you'd do a organic hair care products post too! and here it is! you are going to be a huge enabler for me! :P

  • Bosanbo

    For really great, affordable shampoo bars that are sulfate-free (not to mention free of other bugaboos), I really recommend Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve. Their products are amazing, and they have a big selection. I started using them a few years ago, when I got fed up with breaking out from various products.

  • Brooklyn Groove

    Griffin remedy has amazing shampoos and body gels- free of parabens and sulfates. great prices around $11 and less

  • cristina

    I am also using organic coconut oil and this is very effective for me. My skin gets enough moisture and naturally smooth with this. I recommend this kind for everyone!

  • L

    I'm bummed out that you added RO's Argan Body Conditioner to your list of "organic" beauty products. This product is not organic and not even natural especially since it lists paraben's in it's ingredient list.


GNC SuperFoods
GNC SuperFoods Certified Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Acure Organics
Acure Organics Shampoo, Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell
Acure Organics
Acure Organics Conditioner, Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell
ALTERNA ‘Bamboo Style’ Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo
Dr. Bronner's
Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Soap, Peppermint
john masters organics
John Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Wash
Sur La Table
La Tourangelle Organic Coconut Oil

Dearest ITG Reader,

We're working on something new called Glossier. It's launching soon(!) and we want you to be the first to know updates.

xo, Emily