The Surprising Truth About Natural Beauty Products on A Budget: You Don’t Have to Break the Bank


The Surprising Truth About Natural Beauty Products on A Budget:  You Don’t Have to Break the Bank

Do you think natural, pure products are more expensive? They don’t have to be!

Have you every thought “I would love to change to natural, pure, organic products… but they are just too expensive!”

Sure, some products are more expensive.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t find great, natural, clean products for the same (or close!) to what you are paying now.

So I decided to do a “Drug Store Challenge”. I searched the most popular personal care  products on two top drugstore on-line shops ( and and compared them with some of my favorite natural products from

I think the results will surprise you!  Read on to see how some of my favorite (reasonably priced) products compared to conventional drug store prices.

Disclaimer:  Prices reflect on-line prices at the time of writing this article.  Some prices may change slightly.  


Drug Store Version:  Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo $7.50

Ingredients: 19 total ingredients, 9 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick:  Acure $9.99

Body Wash

Drug Store Version:  Dove Body Wash $8.99

Ingredients: 25 total ingredients, 9 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick:  Acure Body Wash $9.99

Body Lotion

Drug Store Version:  Eucerin 16 oz $11.99

Ingredients: 27 total ingredients, 9 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick:  Acure Organics Body Lotion 8 oz $9.99


Drug Store Version: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser 8 oz $6.79

Ingredients: 14 total ingredients, 8 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick:  Acure Facial Cleanser 4 oz $14.99


Drug Store Version:  Neutrogena Healthy Defense Facial Mosturizer SPF 30 $14.99

Ingredients:  33 total ingredients, 14 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick: Juice Beauty SPF 30 $29

Hand Soap

Drug Store Version: Softsoap Antibacterial Hand Soap 7.5 oz $2.69

Active Ingredients: Triclosan

Ingredients: 18 total ingredients, 10 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick: Deep Steep Organic Foaming Hand Wash 8 oz $4.49


Drug Store Version: Colgate Total Whitening $4.39

Ingredients: 17 total ingredients, 5 ingredients to avoid

Live-Clear Natural Pick: Jason’s Power Smile $3.50


Check out the totals:

Drug store brands:  $59.14

Live-Clear natural picks:  $81.95

That’s $22.81 more for the natural versions.  More, yes… but not breaking the bank!

Here are some other “totals” to consider:

Over the course of a normal morning applying the drug store versions you apply a total of:

  • 5 Parabens: preservatives linked to endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and cancer
  • 3 Formaldehyde releasing preservatives: formaldehyde is a known carcinogen
  • 5 Phthalates and Fragrances: linked to endocrine disruption and allergies
  • 9 PEGs and “eths”: contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane, a known carcinogen
  • 4 DEA, MEA, or TEA chemicals:  hormone disrupting chemicals that can form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines
  • 4 Coal tars: carcinogens
  • 2 BHA and BHTs:  endocrine disruptor and suspected carcinogen
  • 3 Sulfates: eye and skin irritant, can combine with other ingredients to form carcinogenic nitrates
  • 2 Triclosans:  pesticide associated with endocrine disruption and antibacterial resistance
  • 1 Retinol:  may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight
  • 5 Chemical Sunscreens:  hormone disruption and allergies
  • 23 additional chemicals with a “moderate hazard” rating or higher on EWG’s Skin Deep Database

That’s a total of 66 chemicals that are known or suspected to cause harm.

From only 7 common products applied before even leaving the bathroom each morning.

Many of the questionable ingredients show up in multiple products.   That means you are applying higher levels of these chemicals over the day than if you used just one product in isolation.  These higher levels of exposure have not been tested, nor has the combination of multiple chemicals.

The Live-Clear picks are free of all questionable ingredients.  Check out the Live-Clear Shop for more recommendations.

Click here to view the full ingredient analysis of the drug store products, and which ingredients are of concern.

Have you downloaded the Live-Clear Quick Guide of ingredients to avoid yet?  Print this guide out to easily identify questionable ingredients on product labels.  Click here to get yours free.

So there you have it.  The Live-Clear Drug Store Challenge.  Making it easy for you to fall in love with truly natural, pure, products that WON’T break the bank!

Wondering if a product you are using has questionable ingredients?  Leave the product name in the comments below.

Share this with your friends, and spread the word!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, at no additional cost to you. Only products that we know, use, love, and trust to be of high quality are recommended, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not. Read full disclosure policy here.

Enter your name and email to download the free Ingredient Quick Guide.


  1. Wow, financially I was expecting a bigger difference. What a nice surprise. The number of toxic ingredients was really shocking: eww!

    • I agree! When you look at the total ingredients, plus the small price difference… it’s a no brainer! There’s a range, just like all beauty products, but it IS possible to find affordable 🙂

  2. Do you comment on makeup? I use the Bare Minerals products… Just curious. Thanks!

    • Hi Kim! I am working on adding makeup to the site, so timely question! Bareminerals has a few questionable ingredients, and an additional concern with mineral makeup is that you can inhale some of the ingredients. Here is a link that shows all ingredients of concern from EWG’s Skin Deep database:
      I found a more natural, organic mineral makeup line called Christopher Drummond ( The ingredients are a lot better. One product I wouldn’t recommend on the site is the facial serum. It has Vitamin A, which I would stay away from because of the increased link to skin lesions when exposed to the sun. Let me know if you try it, and what you think!! If you want to try non-mineral makeup here are 2 brands I really like: 100% Pure and Vapour (links below). Good luck!!

  3. Thanks – I will check into those products! 🙂

  4. So ironic i have been wondering whether or not to invest in Acure products and randomly came across this page. This was a really nice comparison you did. Im glad i found this page and will def be following it now , thanks for the great info . 🙂

    • Hi Jessie, Glad you found this post! Acure products are great – you won’t be disappointed. If you use facial scrubs, try their Brightening Facial Scrub… I love it (so does my husband!). Thanks for reading! 🙂

  5. Thanks for posting, sincerely appreciated as I’ve been educating consumers about the harmful affect of toxic skincare for over 20/years and love when I meed like minded women.

    I hand-craft pure botanical skincare using only organically cultivated or ethically wild-harvest plant material and their by-products (oils, butters, etc.). Here’s one of my best selling formulas: “Mountain Rose Facial Oil”

    Organic ingredients: Rose Hip Seed Oil; Evening Primrose Oil; Extra-Virgin Olive Oil; Unrefined Avocado Oil; essential oils of American Sweet Orange, Italian Bergamot, Brazilian Rosewood, Nepalese Lemongrass, Moroccan Rose Geranium. Oh my ….

    Just finished b-school, site is currently being upgraded (you can sign up for newsletter) and we should be live end of week. It’s lovely …

    Warm regards,
    Elise Muller, Proprietor / Artisan
    Mountain Spirit Botanicals

  6. Hi Liane-
    I really enjoyed reading this article and all of the great information you supplied! It has inspired me to switch out a number of the products I am using, but I am feeling guilty about “tossing” all of my old products. Do you know of a product recycle program? I know “beauty” products in general already take up a majority of our landfills.
    Thank you again for all the time and information you put into this piece.
    Hope you are well,

    • Hi Ari,
      GREAT question! I think this should be a new article topic! Some environmental advocates recommend people treat unused beauty products as “Hazardous Household Materials” (HHMs), and be disposed of through their town’s HHM program. I came across the following while researching my next article (on antibacterial soaps) that shows triclosan is showing up in the water supply and fueling resistant bacteria in streams and rivers ( So dumping soaps and toothpaste with triclosan down the drain or in the landfill is not a great solution!

      Here’s a few tips from environmental groups:
      1. Take it back – can you return the product, or mail it back to the manufacturer with a letter outlining the ingredient you are not comfortable with? This sends a strong message to the manufacturer, and helps drive change
      2. Will your town take it as part of their Hazardous Household Materials program? That would ensure the product doesn’t get dumped back into the environment… but most programs require you pay them to dispose of the materials. Also, not all towns will recognize beauty products as HHMs.

      I just sent an email to our town to get more information and their thoughts on safely disposing of these products. I will post the response back to let you know!

      Not an easy solution, for sure. But it’s the right question for us to be thinking about!

      • I agree in sending products back to the company and letting them know the ingredients you don’t want in personal care products. My customers have done this with their toxic products and I believe the more we voice our opinion, the better quality of life for all. Our purchasing power is mighty, mighty powerful. Thanks again for your wonderful site and heart-felt efforts.

    • Thank you for this information Liane!
      I know Whole Foods recently organized a recycle day for electronics, maybe they would be interested in one for “beauty” products!

  7. What an amazing comparison! The general opinion is that organic/eco products are always more expensive and unreachable. Thanks so much for sharing!


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