“All-natural” isn’t something I typically look for in my beauty products. Perhaps not the loveliest admission, but I tend to be about results more than about the absence of parabens (yes, I know, parabens = bad; it’s just an example). As I’m getting older, though, I’m discovering that my skin is getting increasingly sensitive, to the point where some products make my skin react immediately and visibly – and extremely unattractively. When I was in LA with Francesca, for example, I decided to try a different K-beauty mask every night, and…let’s just say that this is not something that the sensitive-skinned among us should do. (Oh my god.)
So while I’m not tossing all my chemical-containing serums anytime soon – because excuse me, those things were expensive and many of them are indeed quite wonderful – I am trying to pay a bit more attention to what’s in the stuff I put on my face. Mostly what I’m looking for are products with fewer ingredients and fewer artificial scents, but I’m not especially well-versed with regards to what’s out there in this category, so back in April (a.k.a. “Earth Month”) I decided to test-run a whole bunch of eco-friendly, all-natural products. I spotlighted a few of my favorites on my IG stories, but now it’s mid-May and I’ve had more time to play around with them…and there are a few that ended up being so great that I needed to write about them here.
For posterity, you know.
I’ve used (and liked) Shea Moisture products before, but ohhhhmygoodness, their new coconut oil products are phenomenal – specifically the Baby Oil Rub, the Baby Wash & Shampoo, and the Coconut Milk Bath Powder. The Baby Rub is, yes, technically for babies – but it’s up there in the best smells of my life, and I have smelled many, many things.
…Do I use it on my children? Nope. ALL MINE. (I let them have the shampoo, but only reluctantly.)
And! If you need more incentive to try Shea Moisture products: the line was originated by a widowed mother of four who, at age 19, started selling African Black Soap and her homemade hair and body products in Sierra Leone, and whose grandchildren continued her legacy by creating products that support Community Commerce and are made with Fair Trade ingredients (and no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates, or animal testing).
LOVE BEAUTY AND PLANET
I’ve seen these products in drugstores, but never tried them because I didn’t really like the packaging, and I’m superficial like that. …Except it turns out that I’m terrible, and that the packaging is actually a big part of what makes the brand special: it’s made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, and is 100% recyclable in turn. (Ooooops.) But it’s not just the packaging that makes these products worth a try: the shampoo and conditioner I decided on (Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower, for volume and bounce) smell fresh and light and just a tiny bit sweet, exactly like clean hair should.
Skylar – a line of personal fragrances and candles – was created by a former employee of The Honest Co., who decided that she wanted to develop a line of personal scents that were cruelty-free, non-toxic, and non-irritating. Fortunately for us, the scents she developed – Arrow (spicy and seductive), Coral (fruity and floral), Isle (clean and fresh), and Meadow (floral and elegant) – are also WONDERFUL. And if you can’t decide which one to try – admittedly, it’s hard – they sell a sampler pack of 2ml sprays for $20. (My personal favorite both for body and home is Isle; I can’t even bring myself to burn the candle because I don’t want it to go away, ever.)
THAYER’S NATURAL REMEDIES
I’m a huuuuge sucker for cult beauty products – if it’s cheap and people get all weird about it, I want it – and so clearly I had to test-run Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner, because it looks like it stepped out of an 1800s pharmacy (which it sort of did), and is precisely the kind of bargain product that beauty editors get all whispery and fluttery about. The toner has been around for centuries, but was just released in a rose petal scent – and in a spray bottle – which is great, because inconvenient products (like ones that require me to locate a cotton ball) tend not to get used in our house.
I’m pretty sure you’re technically supposed to use the toner on a clean face, but I’ve found myself leaving it next to my computer and spritzing it on whenever I feel like I need a pick-me-up; it makes my skin look all pretty and dewy, and freshens up my makeup a bit. (Suggestion: Stick it in your refrigerator and use it as a cooling face spray during the summer months.)
S.W. Basics’ Cream – made with just three fair trade-sourced ingredients – is on virtually every “Best All-Natural Beauty Products” list I’ve ever seen (the Lavender scent, which has four ingredients, is pictured above, but as much as I love lavender I personally prefer the original version of this product.) It’s suuuuper rich – but not tacky or oily – and works for both face and body, so it’s a perfect product to stash in your nightstand/car/purse for whenever, wherever use.
…And there you go: My all-natural product discoveries. Would love to hear any recommendations that you have, as well!