Animal-Based Household Products: How To Make The Switch

For over a year now, I’ve had whispers to replace most of the things we regularly use at home.

I’ve been laser-focused on my diet for the past decade or so, but there’s more to health than diet. Most over-the-counter skin care products and household goods like soaps and cleaners are filled with endocrine disrupters. These things can do a number on your hormones and overall health.

What’s worse? They’re usually marketed in a way that makes them appear healthy for you, but they’re not.

Here’s an example…

Ingredients: Plant-Based Cleaning Agents (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, C12-16 Pareth, C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine Oxide), Plant-Based Solvents (Propylene Glycol, Alcohol), Plant-Based Suds Reducers (Sodium Salts of C12-18 Fatty Acids), Plant-Based Water Softener (Sodium Citrate), Plant-Based Enzymes (Subtilisin, Amylase Enzyme, Mannanase), Mineral-Based Stabilizer (Sodium Borate), Cleaning Aids (Polyethyleneimines Alkoxylated), Fragrances, Water

(I recommend doing a Google search on some of those ingredients.)

Every time I reached for the store-bought lotion, conventional hand soap, my plastic razor, or our 7-ingredient floss, a voice in my head said, “look for something better.”

So, I finally did. I replaced about 90% of our household products with much cleaner, simpler, non-toxic alternatives…many of them animal-based.

Things like plastic-free razors, tallow-based hand soap, lotion, candles, and deodorant, and bamboo floss.

I now feel much better with what we use now compared to what we were blindly using before. There are certainly less “mystery” ingredients floating around our house.

If you’re interested in doing something similar, in this post, I list out the products we now use along with other non-toxic options.

(If you end up purchasing any of these products, my discount codes are listed at the bottom of this post.)

Lotion

I make lotion out of beef tallow. It’s super simple!

I purchased this 7 lb bucket of grass-fed/grass-finished tallow. (P.S. you can use this tallow to cook/eat if you want, too!)

After I portion out the amount I want to use, I…

  1. Melt the tallow to room temperature. (It will turn into a transparent golden liquid.)
  2. Once it’s melted, I let it sit on the counter for about 1-1.5 hours or so until it begins to firm up. You are looking for it to be whiter, thicker, and goopier, but not fully solidified…similar to the consistency of applesauce.
  3. Add essential oils to the mixture (up to 50 drops for every 1/2 cup of tallow). Note: If I’m making multiple scents, I skip this step and add the essential oils to the jars after pouring the finished whipped lotion into the individual jars. I usually add about 50-100 drops of essential oils per jar – you can smell it and/or try it (for muscle rubs with peppermint, for example) as you go along. Then I use these bamboo sticks to stir each jar and evenly incorporate the oils.
  4. Whip the mixture with a hand mixer until you reach a “lotion” texture.

I use these 8 oz amber glass jars to store the finished lotion.

I plan on experimenting with different essential oil combinations, but so far, I’ve used eucalyptus + peppermint + lemon for a pain lotion/muscle relaxant and lavender + orange + lemon + bergamot for an “everyday” full-body lotion. Both have been awesome! I especially love the full-body lotion.

I also plan to play around with the consistency and possibly add some more ingredients – olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, for example – to see if I can get closer to a “lotion” consistency. The above method yields something that feels like it’s in between a lotion and a salve.

If DIY is not your thing, Perma Earth, Toups & Co Organics and White Oak Pastures have some great options for lotion…

Perma Earth offers whipped tallow butters, both unscented and with essential oils. Their Unscented Whipped Tallow Body Butter only has two ingredients: grass-fed tallow + natural vitamin E for antioxidant preservation (100% Pure d-alpha tocopherols derived from organic plant sources).

Check out Toups & Co Organics “Balm” page. They have tons of tallow-based balms (plus a salve) with very clean and simple ingredients.

White Oak Pastures offers a tallow-based moisturizer and tallow-based salve, both with clean and simple ingredients as well.

  • Tallow Moisturizer ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Grassfed Beef Tallow, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Essential Oil, and Optiphen.
  • Tallow Salve ingredients: Grassfed Beef Tallow, Olive Oil, and Essential Oils.

Chesilhurst Farm also offers unique products (like donkey milk moisturizer, goat milk lotion, and camel milk skin cream) formulated with ingredients that I’ve never seen used in skincare products before. They have too many products to list out, but give their page a browse if you’re curious about their offerings.

Shampoo

I use Perma Earth shampoo bars. They’re lard-based, outstanding, and completely transformed my hair/scalp. Read more about my experience with them here.

I recently purchased White Oak Pastures Tallow Body Wash that I tried as a shampoo. It was okay, but nothing close to the Perma Earth shampoo bars.

  • Tallow Body Wash ingredients: Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide (KOH), Grassfed Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (HEC), Optiphen, and Essential Oils.

Toups & Co Organics sells a dry shampoo if that’s your thing. They offer two versions – one for light hair and one for dark hair. The ingredients are few and clean!

  • Dry Shampoo ingredients: organic arrowroot powder, Kaolin clay, Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Ho Wood essential oil and organic cacao powder (for dark hair only)

Razors

The disposable razors/razor heads I used in the past annoyed me. The heads would pop off after just a little bit of use, and the “goop” in the ring around the blades would sometimes get stuck to the side of the tub. (Also, what is that “goop”?) Overall, the experience felt cheap and a bit gross. And I hated throwing the heads in the garbage and having to buy new ones.

I came across Leaf razors and was intrigued.

For starters, their razors are stunning.

They’re also fighting the war against plastic, so their razors are plastic-free. (Imagine if everyone used a plastic-free razor…that would keep more than 3 billion disposable razors out of landfill each year.)

And lastly, their customers RAVE about how good of a shave they get with their tri-blade technology.

So, I gave their razors a whirl. I was impressed. Each blade loads into the razor individually, which makes it easy to customize (you can use 1, 2, or 3 blades depending on your preference) and keep clean.

I also love the pivoting head.

I haven’t been using the razor long enough to report on its durability, but all of the individual pieces appear to be very high quality, and I haven’t had any problems so far.

The best part is that I no longer have to throw away plastic razor heads and buy new ones.

The razor kit comes with 10 blades. When you run out, you just buy more blades. And once you’re done using the blades, you can store them in a blade tin. Once your blade tin is full, drop it off at a scrap metal drop-off to be recycled or send it back to Leaf.

It’s a zero-waste shaving system. How cool is that?

Shop Leaf razors here.

animal-based household products

Toothbrush

We use bamboo toothbrushes.

My husband started buying these for us a few years ago and we never really looked back. animal-based household products

Floss

I use bamboo charcoal floss.

Our old floss had 7 ingredients. They weren’t necessarily bad ingredients, but it felt silly to me that floss would have 7 ingredients.

I looked for a more minimalistic floss and came across both silk floss and bamboo charcoal floss.

Silk floss is made from silk made by silkworms, and bamboo floss is made from, of course, bamboo.

I chose the bamboo floss as I didn’t love the idea of silkworm farms. Even though the silk floss product was labeled cruelty-free, I’m a hippie in that regard, and going with the bamboo felt easier on my mind and heart.

  • Bamboo floss ingredients: bamboo charcoal fiber, vegan candelilla wax, peppermint essential oil.

My husband still swears by his 7-ingredient floss though. It’s his favorite. His bottom teeth are crooked, and it’s the best floss he’s found that can get into the nooks and crannies.

animal-based household products

Toothpaste

We are currently working through our stash of Hello toothpaste that my husband panic-bought one random day when he was scared about the state of the world, but after we’re through with that, we plan on trying coconut oil only.

I have heard of other folks doing this with success. animal-based household products

Laundry detergent

My mom passively sells essential oils and she got us a bunch of Young Living Thieves laundry detergents a while back, so we’re still working through our supply of those.

When we run out, I will be trying Branch Basics.

I was considering trying distilled vinegar in place of laundry detergent because I saw other people doing it. However, I recently heard arguments against it and am no longer convinced it’s as good of a detergent replacement as I once thought.

Branch Basics is pretty unique in that they have one formulated product that turns into a variety of cleaning products, one being laundry detergent. I will report back once I try it out.

My husband got this chlorine-free bleach (it’s basically just hydrogen peroxide) that he uses occasionally as well. We don’t use fabric softeners.

All-purpose cleaner

As I mentioned above, Branch Basics offers one formulated product that turns into a variety of cleaning products: surface cleaner, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, laundry detergent, and more.

To learn more about the ingredients they use in their formulation and why (and more about the cleaning variations), check out the How It Works section on their website.

Deodorant

I was so excited to find Toups & Co Organics Natural Deodorant. It is made using tallow, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, magnesium hydroxide, and essential oils. They also offer an Extra Strength variation that includes baking soda.

We’ve tried their Lime + Bergamot and Balsam Fir + Cedarwood scents. They smell wonderful and I highly recommend both. I got the Lime + Bergamot scent for myself and the Balsam Fir + Cedarwood scent for my husband. Lime + Bergamot smells like slightly sweet fresh laundry. Balsam Fir + Cedarwood has an earthy/woodsy smell to it.

animal-based household products

Perma Earth also sells deodorant, both fragrance-free and essential oil-based.

Their Fragrance-Free Natural Tallow Deodorant has the following ingredients: Local Pasture-Raised Grass-Fed Suet Tallow, Magnesium Hydroxide, Certified Organic Cornstarch, and Natural Vitamin E.

Personally, I like that Toups uses arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch, which is why I chose their deodorant. Perma Earth is a solid second choice though if you don’t mind the cornstarch.

Hand soap

We used to buy conventional hand soap from Whole Foods, and I hated it. The paragraph-long list of ingredients had me wondering if it really took that many ingredients to make good hand soap.

Newsflash: it doesn’t.

I was so excited to find White Oak Pastures Tallow Foaming Hand Soap. We have three sinks in our house, so I bought three individual hand soap containers in their citrus flavor and one hand soap refill. I plan to buy only refills in the future.

Check out these ingredients…

  • Tallow Foaming Hand Soap ingredients: Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Grassfed Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Essential Oil, Optiphen.

Candles

If you’re looking for a toxin-free candle, it doesn’t get much better than White Oak Pastures candles. Their candles are made of just three ingredients – beeswax, tallow, and essential oils – and they have different scents available based on the season.

They just launched their fall scents! Banana Bread, Allspice, Cinnamon, Pecan Pie, Simmering Spice, Spicy Pumpkin, and Tobacco & Flannel.

I tried Banana Bread and Pecan Pie. Both were AMAZING! (And smelled remarkably just like the labeled scent.)

animal-based household products

Perma Earth also sells candles and wax melts made with just tallow, beeswax, and essential oils (plus candle color wax). They have nearly two dozen options available currently.

They also offer an unscented version if you’re just looking for ambiance (or if you don’t do well with scents).

Whenever I place a new order with White Oak Pastures or Perma Earth, I like to try out a new candle or two. 🙂

Body soap & wash

We use White Oak Pastures Tallow Soap Bar, but they also have a Pastured Pork Lard Soap that looks interesting.

  • Tallow Soap Bar ingredients: Grass-fed Beef Tallow, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sodium Hydroxide and Essential Oil.
  • Pastured Pork Lard Soap ingredients: Pastured Pork Lard, Distilled Water, Refined Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide and Essential Oils

Toups & Co Organics has a bunch of clean soap bars too:

  • Everything Bar ingredients: organic virgin coconut oil (saponified), organic grapefruit essential oil
  • Charcoal Face Bar ingredients: 100% Grass-fed tallow, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, activated bamboo charcoal, sodium hydroxide.
  • French Green Clay Soap ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil, French green clay, rosemary essential oil, tea tree essential oil, geranium essential oil, ylang ylang essential oil and lavender essential oil. animal-based household products

animal-based household products

Same with Perma Earth.

Their shampoo bars (LOVE them – read more about that here) double as standard soap bars.

They also offer bars specifically formulated to serve as full-body soap, along with scrub soaps, facial soaps, pig tallow (lard) soaps, and cow tallow soaps.

They have bath bombs too for those who love a good, wholesome soak.

And if you like body wash, White Oak Pastures has a Tallow Body Wash:

  • Tallow Body Wash ingredients: Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide (KOH), Grassfed Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (HEC), Optiphen, and Essential Oils.

 

Skin care

Perma Earth, aside from all of their other skin care products linked in this post, offers clay face masks with formulations like collagen + egg white, dead sea mud, lavender + oatmeal, and green tea + aloe.

Toups & Co Organics has a plethora of skin care products you can find on their Skincare page. Things like serums, cleansing oil, body oil, primer, and more.

100 Percent Pure also has a ton (4 pages worth of browsing, to be exact) of products…Flower Water Toner, Nopal Cactus Cleanser, and Seaberry Moisturizer to name a few.

Araza Beauty has a small selection of skin care products as well.

I’m not huge on toners, primers, and that sort of skin care, but if this is up your alley, give the above pages a browse.

Lip balm

I used to work for a CBD company and I have tons of leftover CBD lip balm that I still use. But if I were to shop for a new one…

Toups & Co Organics has a lip balm that looks clean and great. They also offer a tinted version of their lip balm, if that’s your thing.

  • Tallow Lip Love ingredients: 100% grass-fed tallow, organic shea butter, beeswax, organic orange essential oil, organic vanilla.
  • Tinted Lip Balm ingredients: 100% grass-fed tallow, organic olive oil, organic beeswax, mica.

animal-based household products

Perma Earth also has tons of lip balms. Their Ghee & Tallow Butter Balm, for example, is made with Local Grass-Fed Tallow, Local Grass-Fed Ghee, Local Raw Beeswax, Pure Lanolin, Local Raw Honey, and Natural Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherols).

If you like scents, they have a bunch of scented options as well.

And White Oak Pastures sells a Pastured Lard Lip Gloss (in four different shades!) if you’re looking for a little shine.

  • Pastured Lard Lip Gloss ingredients: Lanolin, Pastured Pork Lard, Waxelene, Shea Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Distilled Water, Vitamin E, Beeswax, Mica Powder (No Mica Powder used in the Untinted Lip Gloss)

animal-based household products

Baby lotion + wash

I don’t use soap or lotion on my daughter’s skin yet (just haven’t felt the need to), but if I did, I’d use Toups & Co’s Baby Wash + Baby Balm Set. I bought the set and have it on hand in case I ever feel the need to use it. The ingredients are gentle and zero chemicals are used:

  • Baby Wash ingredients: Purified water, organic coco glucoside (saponified coconut oil), organic aloe vera, guar gum, rosemary seed extract
  • Baby Balm ingredients: 100% grass fed tallow, organic virgin olive oil, organic essential oils of german chamomile and blue yarrow.

You can also purchase the two separately. Both can be found on Toup & Co Organics “Baby” page.

Update: since writing this post, I tried the Baby Wash on my daughter. It was gentle, did the job, left a very mild/fresh scent, and overall, was a great experience!

animal-based household products

Make-up

Toups & Co Organics offers an impressive selection of makeup products.

You can find everything you would expect in a standard makeup routine – foundation, primers, lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, blush, eye shadow, bronzer, highlighter, etc. – just offered in a much cleaner version than you’d see in your standard beauty store. Check out Toup’s array of makeup products here. animal-based household products

Araza Beauty is another clean makeup brand, with products like coconut cream foundation and avocado butter eye + brow pencil.

Araza Beauty is Certified Paleo through the Paleo Foundation, meaning every ingredient they use is free from soy, dairy, legumes, grains, gluten, and anything artificial.

100 Percent Pure also offers clean makeup options with products like cocoa butter lipstick and eyeliner pigmented from black tea leaves. Their process is cruelty-free and they source their pigments from fruit, vegetables, tea, and cocoa to avoid commonly used FD&C colorants and heavy metal dyes.

Nail Polish

100 Percent Pure offers low-toxic nail polish made without the 20 common toxins found in conventional formulas. They currently have nine colors to choose from, and also offer a couple of options for base coats (horsetail + ridge filler) and one top coat.

Insect repellant

If you live in Texas as I do, or in another place that is swarming with mosquitos and insects, you understand wanting to keep those little buzzing creatures as far away from you as possible.

White Oak Pastures offers a Farm Essential Spray that is made using herbs and vegetables from their own garden along with essential oils that smells good (note: it is very strong…a little goes a long way!) and naturally repels insects.

  • Farm Essential Spray ingredients: Geranium, Citronella, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Lavender, Floral Water, Rubbing Alcohol, Witch Hazel, Vegetable Glycerin, Distilled Water.

Perma Earth also offers insect repellant (they call theirs “Bug Off”), but in lotion form. They offer a lotion tube and body butter.

  • Bug Off Lotion Tube ingredients: Local Raw Beeswax, Local Pasture-Raised Lard, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Neem, Castor Oil, Essential Oils of Vanilla Oleoresin, Citronella, Geranium, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Patchouli, & Clove, Tapioca Starch* and Vitamin E (for preservation).

  • Bug Off Whipped Tallow Body Butter ingredients: USA Grassfed Tallow, Organic Neem Oil, Essential Oils of Citronella, Lemongrass, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Clove, Patchouli, Cedar, Lavender, and Vanilla Oleoresin, plus Natural Vitamin E (for preservation)

Sunscreen

Both my husband and I have fairly dark skin, so we don’t wear sunscreen. If I had fairer skin or simply wanted to wear sunscreen for some reason, I’d use Toups & Co Organics tallow-based sun balm or Perma Earth’s sun cream.

Instead of using zinc oxide (which is found in most traditional sunscreens), both Toups sun balm and Perma Earth’s sun cream are made with non-nano zinc oxide. Unlike standard zinc oxide, non-nano zinc oxide does not penetrate the skin or enter the bloodstream.

The base of both products is grass-fed tallow. Tallow is loaded with vitamin A, D3, K2, E, and B12, great for the skin, known to fight off wrinkle-producing free radicals, and has a natural SPF of 4.

Perma Earth’s sun cream has an SPF range of 35-50. Ingredients are similar to Toups, but it is unscented and doesn’t include olive oil, coconut co2, or vanilla. If you don’t do well with scents (or just prefer fewer ingredients), this may be a better option for you.

  • Toups Sun Balm ingredients: Grass-fed tallow, organic olive oil, 20% non-nano zinc-oxide, coconut co2, vanilla extract

animal-based household products

  • Perma Earth Sun Cream ingredients: USA Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Suet Tallow, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, and Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherols for antioxidant preservation).

Dish soap

The one household product I haven’t been able to find a good substitute for is dish soap. If I find something good in the future, I’ll post an update here.

Update: Branch Basics confirmed their formula can be used to wash dishes! You can use their dishwasher tablets or use their formula to wash dishes by hand. Check out the below articles to learn more.

I will report back with my feedback once I try this out for myself.

Non-Toxic Ways to Hand Wash Dishes, Clean Your Sink & Dishwasher

8 Effective Natural Alternatives to Dish Soap & Dishwasher Detergent

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Discount links & codes

If you’re interested in purchasing some of the items mentioned in this post, use my links/codes to get a discount!

White Oak Pastures: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout. Note: This code can be used once per customer.

Leaf Shave: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.

Toups & Co: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR10 for 10% at checkout.

Araza Beauty: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.

Branch Basics: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.

And if you like deals: I created one giant hub that lists out the products I (and my family) use and/or recommend with explanations about each. I am also partnered with the majority of these companies and have plenty of discount codes available for use. To take advantage of the deals (or if you’re curious to learn more about what I and my family use to optimize our health), check out my Discounts Hub .

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Ashley Rothstein
Ashley Rothstein

Ashley Rothstein develops tasty, whole food, animal-based, fat-filled recipes that include a moderate amount of minimally toxic plant foods. To fix her own health issues, she bounced around between the carnivore, keto, and paleo diets for a few years. After experiencing and studying each diet philosophy, she learned she feels her best by merging the three and following an animal-based diet with time-restricted feeding. As a glut at heart, she likes to channel her creativity and create meals that are healthy but also satisfy her inner gluttonous spirits.

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2 Comments

  1. Jasmine
    November 22, 2022 / 9:52 pm

    Hi Ashley, I use Branch Basics and the water/concentration mixture for hand soap is what I use as dish soap! It works great. I put it in a foaming pump bottle.

    • Ashley Rothstein
      Author
      November 23, 2022 / 1:46 am

      Funny timing. I was just told by Branch Basics that you can use their formula as a dish soap. It’s actually on my calendar to update this post tomorrow with that info. 🙂 You beat me to it!

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