Men: don't be afraid of green products

Photo: istockphoto.com/Jim Jurica

Not to embrace any negative stereotypes, but men tend to despise shopping more than those forced trips to the latest Hugh Grant romantic comedy, thus they usually make hasty decision as to what to load their bathroom shelves with.

Consequently, you're likely to find chemical-laden and potentially harmful soaps, shaving creams, deodorants and other lotions and gels in your husband or boyfriend's medicine cabinet. Help them out and use this guide to stock up on green products that not only treat the environment with respect, but also actually work.

Shaving Creams
Most of the leading brands of shaving creams contain triethanolamine (TEA) or diethanolamine (DEA). Both act as an emulsifier, preservative and foaming agent and both have been linked to liver and kidney tumours. They also can irritate the skin and hair. A healthier alternative is to choose shaving creams with natural ingredients. Read more about creams and gels in our article The Green Shave.

In the Shower
According to Skin Deep, a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products, some popular men's shower body washes and shampoos are loaded with dangerous chemicals that can lead to a myriad of health concerns. There are a number of green products for the shower made especially for men that provide a deep cleanse, with earth friendly ingredients.

For a refreshing body cleanse, Pangea Organics should be a staple -- they offer six concentrated shower gels for all different types of skin. Best of all, they are made without detergents, sulfates or synthetic preservatives, which tend to leave your skin dry. Their Indian lemongrass with rosemary gel is an absolute treat and is a great way to start the morning. For traditional bar soaps, Burt's Bees can't be beat with their invigorating peppermint shower soap that offers a delicious scent and a deep cleanse.

Healthy hair
Traditional shampoos and conditioners, because of their chemicals, tend to deplete your hair of not just dirt but also natural oils that keep your hair healthy. BeeCeuticals creates an amazing purifying shampoo and conditioner made of 100 percent organic holistic honey blend. For dry and damaged hair, Burt's Bees Raspberry and Brazil Nut Shampoo offers a quick fix.

After the Shower
When your mouth and teeth need a good cleaning, there have never been as many green options as there are now. J/A/S/O/N Natural offers a wide variety of quality, long lasting toothpastes and mouthwash in a variety of flavors. Their Healthy Mouth plus CoQ10 Gel Toothpaste contains organic tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic) and Aloe Vera gel to calm down your aching gums. The Sea Fresh Toothpaste and Mouthwash is one of their more inventive products – they actually contain biologically active algae, sea salts and minerals! This natural product is sure to tackle even the most intense morning breath.

For a more recognizable brand of toothpastes, check out the popular Tom's of Maine brand, which is carried in many traditional grocery and drug stores. Their cinnamon-clove toothpaste is a personal favorite, and it will leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh. Tom's of Maine does not use unnatural flavors, but natural oils that offer amazing flavors. The natural silica in their toothpastes also provide with gentle whitening action.

In between the pearly whites
Of course, you can't forget to floss -- even though most of us do. Natural dental floss can be a it of a challenge to find, usually requiring a trip to a natural grocery store like Whole Foods. Look for floss with tea tree oil, which will aid in attacking some of the bacteria between your teeth. Dessert Essence offers a quality, affordable tea tree oil dental floss.

Pucker up
Now that the mouth is clean, be sure to protect your kissable lips with a protective lip balm. Consider Kiss My Face brand lip balm, offered exclusively at Whole Foods. For every purchase of their $3.49 balm, $1.00 will be donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection. Who knew protecting your lips could also help protect the environment!

By this time in our post shower routine, the hair should begin to dry, so you better rustle in some gel to style. End your hygiene habit with Aubrey Organics offers the long-lasting B-5 Design Gel, which will hold your hair in place using herbal gums, and not plastic (which you will find in many hair gels).

Did you ever think feeling so fresh and clean could be so healthy for the environment?

Jason Antebi is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA. He is in training to be a green metrosexual.