Looking good the natural way isn’t as hard as you might think. I’ve wanted to write about the organic/vegan beauty products I love for a long time. Some I’ve used for years and others I just started recently, but they’re all working for me. There was a time when I never applied sunscreen soaking up the sun in California, moisturized during harsh New York winters, or cared about what deodorant I used so long as it lasted long flights. My face had dark spots, my hair was a frizzy mess, and my skin was an entirely different story. But eco-friendly products changed my life!
When it comes to saving the planet and staying chemical-free, the best decision is to switch to all-natural, cruelty-free products. From shampoo to lotion, toxins enter your body and who knows what havoc they could raise in the future. It’s time to take your beauty and health seriously, and what better time to start than Earth Day!
1) 100% Pure Intense Nourish Face Balm: I’ve been a devoted customer of this organic, vegan product for years. Healing avocado, shea and almond butter smooth skin, while anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants protect and repair it. It clears blemishes and and prevents acne and uneven skin tone. I simply love it! Plus, it feels good to the touch and smells divine. $25
2) Coconut Oil: It was on my Guatemala service trip that learned about the benefits of this amazing natural product. A fellow volunteer had gorgeous, long locks and attributed coconut oil to it looking healthy and silky smooth. She went on to describe the different ways it can be used: in cooking, nourishing skin, and providing a wellness boost. I’ve been hooked every since. Whether it’s cracked cuticles or frizzy ends, I’m reaching for my extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil from Nature’s Way. $15
3) Cruelty Free Makeup: This is probably the hardest choice for most women to go vegan/eco. That said, more and more companies are refraining from testing on animals and making products free from harmful chemicals. My favorite eco-friendly company is Real Purity, which makes exceptional makeup products, from eye shadows and foundation to blush and everything in between. The best part is that you can order samples for as little as $1.50 to see if they work for you. Some other companies I like include LUSH, Earth’s Beauty, and Bite (check labels before purchasing). $1.50 & up
4) Bodhi Basics Deodorants: It’s scary switching from conventional deodorants, but aluminum and parabens (preservatives) in antiperspirants are blocking our bodies from releasing toxins, creating a buildup of these harmful substances. There are a ton of natural deodorants, and I tried a few before learning about Bodhi Basics from my coworkers who swear by these tubes made with essential oils. On my first order, I received Tea Tree Oil & Lemongrass, Geranium & Lemon, and Lavender, Rosemary & Eucalyptus handcrafted sticks (two of which were in tiny tubes ideal for traveling). They make me smell like a spa! Bodhi Basics is named after the owner’s adorable dog Bodhi. (Now you know the real reason I went with them!) $5 to $9
5) HerbOlive Hand and Body Lotion from Greece: One thing I took away from Greece (other than marrying my husband) was the amazing HerbOlive all-natural products. These are made from 100% organic olives; their scent whisks me back to the charming streets of Crete and the romance of my honeymoon. But that’s not all– the lotions are so creamy and rich that you’ll be reaching for them more often than needed. $6
6) Boots Botanics Facial Scrub: I discovered this while browsing at my local Duane Reade. They had a buy two, get a makeup bag offer, and I couldn’t pass it up. I bagged two facial scrubs. The scrub contains refining walnut shell to buff away flaky skin, while crushed apricot seeds gently sweep away impurities. I have only been using this for a few weeks and what I enjoy most is the sweet hibiscus smell that fills the room when I use it. $8.49
7) HerbOlive Shampoo & Conditioner: I’ll admit, I struggled with finding the right shampoo and conditioner. I tried several brands and I was almost ready to give up when I learned my favorite HerbOlive brand makes hair products, too! My favorite is the Hair Repair Mask with Olive Oil & Avocado for Damaged/Colored Hair. $6.30
8) Lavanila Sunscreen: This 100% natural and vegan, SPF 40 face cream is infused with antioxidants, botanicals, and amino acids; its ultra sheer formula goes on smooth and provides ample protection. This has been a constant in my toiletry bag whenever I travel and it never disappoints. Lavanila plants a tree for every order you place. $28
9) EOS Lip Balm: EOS stands for Evolution Of Smooth, and they aren’t kidding! Their lip balm, which comes in such awesome scents, including coconut milk, Blueberry Acai, and Honeysuckle Honeydew is petroleum and paraben free and heavenly to apply. I got hooked when a fellow travel writing friend gave me a balm when I visited her in L.A. I love and use it so much, I even included it in my wedding goody bags for hotel guests. Talk about obsession! $3.29
10) Essential Oils: Did you know that perfume has toxic ingredients linked to hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and even cancer? The second I learned this, I ditched my bottles and opted to go with essential oils. Made with the purest ingredients, these oils perform many functions. Some are calming when applied to skin or diffused in a room. Others can be applied to relieve aches and pains. They can also be used for alleviating allergy symptoms and digestive problems. I use both YoungLiving and DoTerra (for different reasons). I cannot recommend these enough! If you’d like, I can connect you with representatives for both. $15 and up