Oh right, it’s Earth Month, isn’t it? I used to be so into my organic beauty prodz… but then vanity took over and I realized that wrinkle prevention was a higher priority than chemicals, and that a life without YSL lip gloss was a sad life indeed. Also: one too many of my hippie granola beauty products either separated on me, or leaked, or started to smell weird, etc.
So now? I kind of do a mix of natural and mainstream products, and I’m okay with that. My philosophy is pretty much all-natural below the neck—since one naturopath I interviewed years ago told me that chemicals are more easily absorbed when you apply them on large surface areas of fatty tissue, such as the thighs. But I’m less picky about what I put on my face… and if a natural brand can compete with a mainstream one, then HELLS YES I’ll use it.
The other thing is: I swear it’s getting easier to make green choices without having to sacrifice performance. Here are five newbie naturals I’ve recently discovered that definitely hold their own. In honour of Earth Month, give ‘em a shot!
Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner
So there’s this new category of skincare products that’s all the rage lately—it’s the one-step cleanser/toner. It’s actually not really new in that many French brands have sold them for years, under the name “micellar” cleansers. Anyway, at least half a dozen have crossed my desk in the past six months alone, so let’s just says it’s a THING. And the one that makes me happiest of all? Weleda’s. It comes out of the bottle as sort of a milky white liquid that quickly dissipates, and it smells all gorgeous and fresh and lemony (but not in a toilet cleaner sort of way either). You can use it either alone or on a cotton pad—heck, I’ve put it on just to “refresh” my face mid-afternoon and haven’t rinsed off (even though you are supposed to). The bottle will last forever, too, since a few drops go a long way.
Dr. Hauschka Almond Body Moisturizer
During my green beauty obsession, I used to use Dr. Hauschka’s body oils as moisturizers. They are great, and I’m not knocking them, but oils can be messy and it sucks when you want to get dressed before they’ve absorbed… or even worse, you get them on your clothes. So I couldn’t be happier that Dr. H. is now getting into proper body moisturizers. This one just might be the best I’ve ever used, and that is saying a lot! The packaging is ultra-luxurious, and so is the lotion itself (rich and creamy but not greasy). Of course, it also contains good-for-your-skin ingredients like St. John’s Wort, avocado, macadamia and olive oil extracts. But the best part is the almond SMELL. Like marzipan. OMG!
Lavilin Roll-On Deodorant
I think I’ve written about Lavilin before—it’s an herbal deodorant line developed in Israel that neutralizes odour by eliminating bad bacteria (while allowing good bacteria to stay). Because you know that sweat itself doesn’t smell, yes? It’s only when it meets the bad-guy bacteria that it creates what we know as B.O. Anyway, as far as natural deos go, this one has always been my top pick… except for the fact that it was next to impossible to find, and it only came in a cream format that was a little awkward/weird to apply. It still does, but they’ve now come out with this roll-on that I like waaay better. How you use it is a little different from other brands. You need to go through an “adaptation period” of applying it nightly, and this can take up to seven applications. But after that, it’s smooth sailing—a single slick can work for up to 72 hours or seven days. Did you hear me? SEVEN DAYS. They’ve got better Canadian distribution now, so look for it at pharmacies and health food stores.
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser
Did you know Neutrogena had a naturals line? Why yes, they do! It just arrived in stores last month, and so far is comprised of two cleansers and a scrub. This one, the gel cleanser, is my pick because it’s a cheaper dupe for my go-to Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. It smells really good, is not at all drying, and just produces a nice gentle lather when mixed with water. Plus, it’s a great choice for acne-prone skin because it contains a natural form of salicylic acid found in Willowbark. I’m currently trying to avoid products with chemical sulfates, since I read they were irritating for sensitive skin, so this is perfect for me for that reason as well. (It’s also free of parabens and dyes.) Well done, Neutrogena! You can buy it here for just $11.99 from Well.ca (free shipping in Canada; no minimum order).
Eminence Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum
With beauty editors hammering on about retinoids so often, you probably know by now that it’s an anti-aging essential. (And why I won’t be giving up my Retin-A wrinkle-preventing prescription any time soon.) But I’m using this too, for good measure—it’s an eye serum that contains a “natural retinol alternative.” (It’s a complex containing chicory root oligosaccharides and tara tree, and they work to smooth the appearance of wrinkles.) I love that brands like Eminence are on the forefront of combining naturals with science. This also has a plant stem cell complex to improve skin elasticity; neroli oil and coconut water for hydration; and carrot extract as an antioxidant and source of vitamin A. As with all Eminence prodz, the scent is to die for, and you can wear it either alone or underneath your favourite eye cream or (in my case) chemical products.
Are your beauty products mostly natural, mostly chemical, or a mix?
Would you use more naturals if the performance and/or packaging was better?
Have you tried—or do you want to try—any of these guys? They’re ALL great, I tell you!