03 August 2012

Go-To Clean Beauty Products


(This awesome guest post is by Natalie Soud of a Dose of the Delightful.)

Hello, lovely readers of A Blog About Love!  I’m so thrilled to contribute and I’m grateful to Mara for sharing her audience with me.  I struck up a conversation with Mara when I commented on one of her posts with my favorite sunscreen recommendation.  Also, last week, I had the pleasure of experiencing Mara & Danny’s class on How to Choose Happiness – I can’t recommend it enough for a dose of positive thinking!  I simply adore the message of this blog, and I’m really excited to be part of it.

Now, let’s get down to it: what’s the big deal with cleaning up the ol’ beauty routine?  For me, a light bulb went on a few years ago after I’d started changing the way I ate.  When I made the switch to eating mostly whole, natural and organic foods, it was pretty clear to me after about a week of eating this way that I felt healthier in every way!  Because of my success with this change, I started to get really interested in what’s in not just foods, but everything we buy, from cosmetics to electronics, and spent a lot of my free time looking into it.  I’d also noticed that my skin wasn’t as blemish-free, moisturized, or refreshed-looking as it used to be.

A fantastic short film called The Story of Cosmetics finally convinced me it was time to start paying a lot more attention to those long labels on the side of the bottle.

It was actually really empowering arming myself with enough information to make an informed decision about what to buy!  I’m definitely a much savvier consumer than I used to be.  There’s that age-old adage: You get what you pay for. It rings true in pretty much any industry, from food to beauty products.  With cosmetics, what’s tricky is that you might be paying for the super fancy, well-designed packaging, and come to realize that one of the primary ingredients in a cheap filler like water or mineral oil.
I try to choose cosmetics made with natural ingredients that work with my body’s processes rather than against it.  Mineral oil and petroleum, for example, are common petrochemicals in cosmetics.  There’s a lot of debate about them, but what makes me want to avoid them is that they make skin more sensitive to the sun (hello, aging!) and they create a layer on top of skin that doesn’t allow it to breathe naturally (hello, blemishes!).  They’re also made from non-renewable petroleum, which I a) don’t think belongs in cosmetics and b) want to help preserve.  The argument has been made that many products laden with synthetics and petrochemicals actually speed up the aging process – no one wants that!

The bottom line for me was that I at least wanted to know enough to make my own decision rather than falling for pretty packaging or alluring marketing claims.  I’m much more willing to pay $25 for a product made with food-grade organic oils that I know are safe than I am for a gorgeous lipstick tube with questionable content.

I’ve seen a big improvement in my skin overall since making the switch:  fewer blemishes, fewer fine lines, and more of a glow.  For me, the proof is in the pudding!

Here’s what I use in my daily routine:

FOR SKIN:
Juice Beauty Blemish-Clearing Cleanser and Organic Treatment Oil.  This totally organic brand is my absolute favorite natural beauty brand.  The cleanser smells yummy and works without being too
drying; the organic oil-based serum moisturizes without being heavy.  My skin’s never looked better!

MyChelle SunShield Coconut SPF 28.  Chemical sunscreens (like you’d find in most drugstores) are full of all sorts of synthetics, and worse, there’s been a lot of debate lately about whether
they actually contribute to skin cancer.  This one blocks the sun naturally using zinc, genuinely goes on clear, and smells coconutty!

FOR FACE:
Bare Minerals foundation in Light and blush in Golden Gate.  Though this brand isn’t organic, its mineral-based formulas earn safe, low scores on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database.  I
haven’t found any makeup that covers as well or looks as natural.

LIP COLOR:
Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Wild Child, Neon Angel, Voilà.  Red, hot pink, and coral are my three favorite colors – I love brights!  They’re ultra-hydrating and 85% organic.  Hooray!  After all, haven’t we all heard that gross statistic that we eat 8 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime?  Bonus: the packaging is simple & elegant!

THE ALL PURPOSE WONDER:
Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  We’ve gotten so used to there being a product invented for every little thing; it’s refreshing to know that one amazing item like this can be used for so many things.  For starters, I cook with it.  But because it’s very high quality, I also use it as a deep-conditioning
treatment, body moisturizer, and I recently read it can be used for shaving legs!  Fun fact: coconut oil is actually a common ingredient in many acne treatments because it’s anti-microbial and doesn’t clog pores.

MASCARA:
100% Pure Mascara.  Conventional mascara is the one item that is notorious among natural beauty mavens for being hard to beat.  This one performs & has a super-clean ingredient list, even cleaner than most other natural mascaras.

Some of my favorite resources for learning more about safe, natural cosmetics are:

EWG’s Skin Deep Database
No More Dirty Looks (a blog by two smart, witty women )
Well + Good NYC

And here are some places you can buy safe, natural cosmetics:
Nubo Nau
Saffron Rouge

Whew! I have tons to say on this topic (as I’m sure you can tell), but I hope what I’ve said is a helpful start to cleaning up your routines!  If anyone wants to talk about natural beauty further, feel free to email me at doseofdelightful @ gmail.com or visit my blog.

-Natalie Soud

(Photo and round-up by Natalie Soud)
 ______________________________________________________________________

P.S. from Mara....Isn't this info. fantastic?  I'm so into this.  I'm so glad she shared so many great resources with us.

Also, a few pages I recommend from Natalie's blog:

The "About" Page (There is a tender story behind her blog...and it will make you melt.) 
How to Make Kale Chips
DIY Peanut Butter (peanuts, salt, coconut oil, maple syrup) - I'm totally going to try this and surprise Danny (you know we are addicted to freshly ground peanut butter around here. :)

***AND, if any of you readers would like to pitch an idea for a guest post, um....we'd love it.  Truly, we welcome it and love sharing your ideas, stories, wisdom and experiences.  We really think we have the best readers ever.  :)

***Also, I will be speaking to a group of women this Sunday, at a Mormon church in Brooklyn at 12:00 pm.  The topic I'll be speaking on is "Feeling Peace in the Midst of Our Trials".  All are welcome to attend.  Send me an email and I'll give you the location, etc.


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Our next on-line class:  How to Forgive, Truly Wed., Aug. 8. 8:30 pm ET.

19 comments:

  1. I've always been an organic girl myself - but ever since I got pregnant - I've been much more conscious of what I'm putting in my body and on my skin.

    For skincare - Kahina Giving Beauty is WONDERFUL!! Expensive, yes. But it's natural and supports women in third world countries. Plus, my pregnancy skin has been amazing! I adore it!!

    Thanks for a wonderful guest post!

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    1. Hi Mara! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! I am obsessed with Kahina too - just discovered it last week and cannot get enough. Funnily enough, I posted about it on my own blog this week :)
      x
      Natalie

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  2. Thank you for the recommendations!! I've been searching for the right mascara after switching to organic/natural products a few years back so I'm excited to try one that works for you.
    One thing I would totally recommend is Emu Oil. It's a miracle worker for those of us with scar tissue, sun damage or really dry sensitive skin. It's the only thing I can use on my neck and decolletage that my skin reacts to with joy. :)

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    1. Hi Lena! So glad you enjoyed the post! I'm excited to look into emu oil - thanks so much for the recommendation! x

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  3. I really liked this post! I've been thinking about this a lot lately and it's nice to see other people think it makes a difference too! One of my favourite bloggers (Elise Cripe) blogged about organic skincare changes she made: (http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/golden/2011/10/recent-skincare-changes.html) and (http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/golden/2012/02/skincare-update.html) and I found it really enlightening!

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    1. Amanda, thanks for reading it! I love Elise's blog as well and will be sure to check her post out!

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    2. Amanda, thanks for the link to that post....it's awesome. I'm so happy to have all these resources.

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  4. great post! I've recently been focusing on what I put on my skin. One great recommendation is Dr. Bronner's soap. I believe it's all natural and organic. I use it for my face and for hand washing, and sometimes even as body soap in the shower (I use it in a foaming dispenser). A little of the soap goes a long way - it's very concentrated, so you put a little soap in the dispenser and then fill it with water. My skin has never looked better, and I don't get that tight feeling after washing my face. The label lists about 100 other uses for the soap, too :)

    Another product I started using is Physician's Formula Organic makeup. Specifically the mascara. It's the first mascara I've ever used that doesn't make my eyes burn! The rest of the line is so-so (the blush is good, but I'm not a huge fan of the other products) but the mascara is great.

    I also love bare minerals! When I run out of the physician's formula blush, I'm totally replacing it with bare minerals! I have an eye shadow and I love it. I also use Bare Minerals glow pads at night (contains glycolic acid) and they're great for keeping my skin clear.

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    1. I love Dr. Bronner's! Lavendar is my favorite. Also - nice to hear there's a cheaper mascara that could work. Thanks for sharing !

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  5. Hi Karen! So glad you enjoyed the post! I've tried Dr. Bronner's and it is such a great all-purpose cleanser. My skin tends to be a bit on the dry side, so when I've used it in the past I have to dilute it quite a bit as you mentioned. Right now, I use it as a common ingredient in DIY cleaning products I mix up!

    So funny - I just saw the Physician's Formula mascara in the drug store and decided to buy it and try it since it's relatively cheap. Can't wait to see how it turns out! It definitely passes the ingredient test...my only hesitation so far is that I wish the design were a little more attractive - but I know what's inside is way more important!

    Thanks again for reading :)

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  6. I love Josie Maran's line. It's not necessarily full of easy-to-read ingredients, but it is organic and mostly made from all-natural products. I'm particularly obsessed with her Argan Serum Matchmaker Foundation. The liquid foundation only comes in three shades (light, medium, dark) and it literally BLENDS to your skin tone. It comes out white and completely blends in to my face. I just love it. I also really like her sunscreen line.

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    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for reading the post! I haven't tried Josie Maran's line, but am definitely looking forward to looking into it more! I'm glad to hear it works for you - sometimes it feels so hard finding something that works because our skin is all so different!

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  7. Natalie, thank you so much for this post! It really got me thinking about ways that I can use more natural beauty products. I already use coconut oil as lotion, but could definitely use some better products in terms of makeup. I have a question though - I love the watercolor brushes you used in the collection photo and was wondering where you found them or if you made them yourself. LOVE!

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    1. Hi there! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and glad to hear it got you thinking :)

      Aren't those brushes cool? I hunted around and found these high-res ones: http://www.noskill1343.com/2010/09/watercolor-photoshop-brushes-high.html#axzz22s4lg4qM

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  8. I think this is all fake. Love yourself and appreciate what the lord gave you if you really care about yourself and the enviroment don't use any of this disgusting stuff. You cheapen yourself and the man in your life that values you for you. I love myself the way the lord made me and too many women hide their true beauty with these prducts, even a little is too much.

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  9. i also try my best to stick to products made with natural ingredients bec i know its kinder to my body and our planet.

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    1. Kumiko, thanks for reading the guest post and so glad you also enjoy natural products!

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  10. I am a vegan girl and got inclined to the use of organic cosmetics after noticing the after effects of the chemical beauty product. I feel the natural beauty products that I purchased from the online store of My Beauty Bazaar are a game changer. My favorite is Almay Smartshade concealer. This concealer not only altered the colour of my skin for good but also just cleansed out the dead pores and made my skin blemish free.

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