4 Green Beauty Prods that Work
The Fab Four (L-R) 1. Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Ultra Moisturizer, $12 at Shoppers. 2. Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, $13 online at freshfaced.ca 3. Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser, $9 at Shoppers. 4. Kevin Murphy Easy Rider Anti Frizz Crème, $36 at select salons here.
Green beauty is something that I’ve always been interested in. It just always made sense to me that natural equaled “better”. Later, having kids brought on a hyper-awareness of what I put in and on my body. My once interest became my preoccupation (my husband might say obsession). I’ve spent a good deal of my adult life exploring the lesser-known lands of the paraben, phthalate and petrochemical free. It’s not been easy. Finding a product that really works is hard enough. But finding one that works that’s also good to you, the animals and the earth can seem nearly impossible. There’ve been many moments when the herbed scent of yet another ineffective, off-textured moisturizer has sent me running for the promise of the popular commercial brands. I never stray long though, and despite my occasional slip-ups I remain committed to discovering my own personal collection of effective eco-beauty products. These four are my keepers:
#1 Kiss My Face’s Olive & Aloe Ultra Moisturizer
I’ve been a longtime devotee. Body moisturizers can be quite a polarizing category: Some love the light texture of a runny lotion, others insist on creams that spread like butter. Some need multitasking moisturizers enhanced with self-tanner, or sunscreen, even anti-aging antioxidants (phew, try saying that five times fast!). There’s scented, unscented, shimmer, exfoliating, oil-based, whipped. One girl I know swears by Vaseline. Another won’t use anything found in a drugstore. We all have different skin needs and different expectations of our body moisturizers so I won’t be offended if you aren’t totally with me on this one.
What it is: A thick and creamy moisturizer that both soothes and moisturizes thanks to its two main ingredients and the help of additional herbs and flowers. It is fragrance free which makes it well suited to sensitive skin and free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulphate and animal products which makes it well suited to pretty much everyone else as well as our planet. It is not tested on animals and it is fully biodegradable. It also knows how to play the violin and is fluent in three languages. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little.
Why I love it: Though this simple body moisturizer does absolutely nothing other than moisturize, it does it damn well. Applying moisturizer can feel like a chore, no? All of that rubbing and putting your leg up on the counter and pulling your shoulder out trying to reach that elusive spot in the center of your back. It’s a lot to ask at 7 a.m. So can we all agree that there’s nothing worse than realizing halfway through the day that your skin is once again as flaky as a croissant? Well, with this cream, you’ll never have to worry about late-afternoon scaly skin again. Though it goes on thick and white, be assured that within a couple of minutes, it absorbs completely leaving smooth, soft skin (absolutely no sticky film) that lasts all day. In this case, simple equals superior.
#2 Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
Why I love it: It works! Oh, and also…it works! Believe it, my friends. This 100% natural, animal, earth and body friendly deodorant keeps you smelling, well, like you, the just-out-of-the-shower you, and actually manages to absorb minor wetness too, despite not being an actual antiperspirant. I’ve been completely devoted to it since my first smear. Speaking of which, if I absolutely had to find fault with this product, my only criticism would be the method of application. Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I just don’t feel like dirtying a fingertip. And don’t balk at the price. Though $12 a jar, there’s enough product in it to last you a couple of seasons. You can buy your own jar at the Soapwalla Etsy store or at soapwallakitchen.com. Helen is a fan to his too, read her review here.
#3 Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser
I’d walked by this brand many times in the drugstore but never gave it much consideration. I’ve always been kind of leery of drugstores brands. I suppose I’m a bit of a snob that way. In any case, a combination of too much time to kill before a late movie and a newly rediscovered Shopper’s gift card hidden amid the myriad random cards in my wallet led to my giving this cleanser a crack.
What it is: A milk-based cleanser enriched with green tea antioxidants and soy proteins to smooth and calm sensitive skin. It’s made from 98% natural ingredients and is paraben, phthalate & SLS free. This company (which is part of the Yes To Carrots brand) proves its commitment to reducing its environmental impact by using only local, organically grown vegetables, buying carbon offsets for their business travel and offering their employees financial incentives to take the bus to work rather than their car. And so you can feel good about where your beauty dollars are going (though you won’t be spending many on here), a percentage of their revenue is donated to their very own eco-project: the Yes to Carrots Seed Fund.
Why I love it: This mild cleanser takes off all of my makeup (waterproof mascara, excepted) while leaving my skin feeling balanced. I’ve used other cleansing milks in the past, none of which were ever quite able to remove all of my makeup and many of which left my skin feeling more moisturized than clean. It was kind of like washing the dishes with mayonnaise. Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser manages to clean and soften. It’s also reasonably priced so I don’t ever feel guilty when I decide to go for that extra pump. And did I mention that it has the most delicate, incredibly fresh scent? Would you believe it smells like cucumbers? Real ones. Find it at your local Shopper’s Drugmart.
#4 Kevin Murphy Easy Rider Anti Frizz Crème
About two years ago, I walked into a salon I’d never been to before and asked a hairstylist to completely chop off my chest-length hair. About an hour later, I walked out with a dab of Easy Rider worked into an awesome new pixie cut. Cut to present day. I’ve still got the hair, the product and the stylist.
What it is: A flexible hold cream that smooths frizz and softens thick hair. It’s packed with pure essential oils, natural antioxidants and minerals to strengthen all hair types and help prevent breakage. Best of all, this product is sulphate, paraben and cruelty free, made from sustainable and renewable resources, and packaged in a recyclable container that uses 40% less plastic than one of comparable size. The company also donates a percentage of their product sales to the Australian Conservation Foundation to help educate and drive reductions in global carbon awareness.
Why I love it: I’ve got naturally wavy, often puffy and course-looking hair. One little dab of this cream warmed up between my hands and smoothed through my tresses gives me shiny, sleek hair that never EVER looks or feels dirty. This last point is critical for me. I can’t stand the feeling of dirty hair, which is what led to the eventual rejection of most of my prior hair products. Also, Easy Rider gives me just enough hold to easily achieve a tousled or smooth look in seconds. What gal doesn’t love versatility?