I have to confess, I’m a natural skincare lover. I believe in clean ingredients and very few to no chemicals. My first major foray into natural, organic skincare was at the age of 20 when I stopped using soap on my face (one of the best decisions I ever made) and started looking for natural alternatives. Much has changed in the world of natural skincare since then. Many new organic skincare products pop up seemingly every day; you just have to wander the ever-expanding natural care isle at Whole Foods to get the picture. Today, I decided to share the love and tell you about my top seven time tested and much loved natural skincare and makeup products.
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with any of the companies listed here, nor am I getting compensated for this review.
7. I am a lip balm addict. I can’t stand the feeling of dry lips, so I always have one in my purse. I’ve tried a variety of lip balms, but none compare to the lovely Hurraw! Balms. These babies are natural, raw, organic, vegan, and come in a staggering variety of flavors. The quality is outstanding. They are soft, creamy, buttery, moisturizing and tend to stay put for a while. The mainstream favorites Burt’s Bees lip balms don’t even begin to compare (ever since the company was purchased by Clorox, many, myself included, have noticed a marked decline in the quality of their products). Hurraw! balms are moderately priced and worth every penny, especially if you have a dry lip phobia like me, have actual dry lips, or live in a dry or cold climate. Moon Balm is my current favorite (it’s a specially formulated night time balm), but I can’t wait to try Earl Grey. Currently, Hurraw! products are available online only, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time before they become available in stores.
6. The purchase of Aubrey Organics products marked my first major overhaul of my skincare routine all those years ago, and I’ve remained a loyal customer ever since. If you are new to the natural skincare game, I highly recommend giving them a try. The company has a comprehensive line for every skincare type, as well as fantastic lotions and shampoos (with natural shampoos, always remember, they will not foam as much as chemical ones). I use many of their products off and on; their Rosa Mosqueta dry skin moisturizer deserves an honorable mention. (In fact, this company uses some of the most powerful moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients, such as Rosa Mosqueta seed oil, or sea buckthorn oil, in most of their products). The one product I buy the most consistently is the Sea Buckthorn & Cucumber with Esther C Facial Toner. This is a fantastic toner that helps remove traces of makeup and refresh the skin, preparing it for the application of serums and moisturizers. Beware, this toner contains some alcohol, so if you prefer a no-alcohol toner, try Vegecol with Aloe toner from their sensitive skin line. You can find Aubrey Organics products at Whole Foods and other natural stores.
5. REN is another natural skincare company with consistently good product reviews (available both in the US and the UK). Overall though, it’s a pretty expensive line, but the one product that is worth it is the Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish. $35 is a steep price, but since you’ll be using the product about twice a week, you will find that it will last you a very long time. It exfoliates extremely well, but is also very gentle. In the US, REN is available at Sephora.
4. If you have dry, itchy or sensitive skin (year round or only during the cold months), I highly recommend you check out colloidal oatmeal washes. The best one I’ve tried is Rainbow Research Unscented Colloidal Oatmeal bath & body wash. It’s absolutely fantastic: non-drying, non-irritating, it’s a life saver for dry, itchy skin. They also make a lavender-scented one. These are available at Whole Foods and other natural stores.
3. Another somewhat pricey product that lasts forever is Boscia’s Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil. Cleansing oils in general are absolutely fantastic for removing makeup; the secret is that while they remain oily on dry skin, they become milky and wash off with no oily residue once they come in contact with water. I’ve tried other makeup removing oils, but always keep coming back to Boscia’s. One bottle easily lasts me 6 months with daily use, so it’s a fantastic investment. It also removes all makeup, even the most stubborn waterproof kind. Always make sure to follow up this oil with toner to finish cleansing and to refresh the skin.
2. I know that this is two out of seven, but I have to recommend another Aubrey Organics product. Many years ago, when nothing else would help my dry skin during a particularly vicious cold winter, Rosa Mosqueta Luxurious Moisturizing Lotion saved both my skin and my sanity. I’ve tried many lotions since, but can’t think of any that compare to the miracle that this product performed on me when nothing else worked. Aubrey offers a wide range of lotions, but this one is their most popular and my personal favorite. I’ve known people with psoriasis and other skin conditions use it to great effect. The lotion doesn’t feel greasy at all; it hydrates and moisturizes without any oily residue. Try a sample at your local Whole Foods and let me know how it worked for you.
1. If there is one product I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying (and one I’ve remained faithful to over the past 7 years or so) is Dr. Hauschka’s Mascara. I use the regular formula in black, but they have other colors available, as well as a Volume formula (that one didn’t work out for me for some reason, so I stuck with the regular one; but perhaps I’ll give the Volume formula another try one of these days). I can’t say enough wonderful things about this mascara. It’s natural, nourishing, smells fantastic and is safe for contact lens wearers. I know that the price bites, but consider that this mascara lasts 6 months as opposed to the usual 3 you get our of regular mascaras. I love my lashes and won’t allow anything else go near them; I’ve seen too many women lose the quality of their lashes after years of regular mascara use and I can’t risk the same. However, just so you know: the regular mascara will not deliver dramatic results, unless you already have long lashes (try the volume formula if that is what you’re after). However, if you have reasonably long lashes, you can get very dramatic results with a couple of coats (beware: it takes a bit longer to dry than most mascaras out there). You can always curl your lashes beforehand if you want a more impressive-looking result. Dr. Hauschka’s makeup line is available at many natural stores, but Whole Foods has a great return policy, in case you feel that the product didn’t work out for you.
As I was writing this article, my original top five favorites expanded to seven, and I had to fight myself to keep things short, since I kept remembering so many other great products. This can only mean one thing: another natural skincare and makeup post down the line! If you are thinking about switching your skin care routine to a cleaner, chemical-free one, I hope this post will help you. And if not, try a couple of my suggestions and perhaps, like myself many years ago, you too will be converted!
I’m so glad someone else is also interested in natural skincare products!
Dr. Hauschka is really amazing. I am allergic to the color black and most mascaras give me itchy eyes, but the volume mascara of Hauschka does no such thing. I use the color pearl anthracite, which is perfect for my soft coloring.
I stopped using soap a few years ago. I shower with water only and it’s super!
I also stopped using cleansing milk and moisturizers. Instead I wash my face with water and use olive oil to remove my eye makeup. The (mild) olive oil is also used as a moisturizer. It’s great! My very dry, allergic, skin is now calm and glowing.
Ineke, yours sounds like a great skin regimen! In general, I find the rules of labeling so much stricter and therefore more consumer friendly in Western Europe than here. Here, a lot gets through that shouldn’t.
Valeria, it’s the labeling that made me think. I found this ingredient list on the internet. It’s from a moisturizer for sensitive skin, and one of the more “friendly” brands.
Now, why do I want to put al this on my skin? It’s madness.
BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER
HYDROXYPHENYL PROPAMIDOBENZOIC ACID
Ohhh yeah, Hurraw! is my holy grail of chapstick. I have a coconut one that I carry around with me everywhere, the texture is heavenly and I love that it absorbs in, stays smooth on the lips, and doesn’t make my lipline break out! I gotta go chase down the earl grey one, I have a weakness for that tea…
I agree the quality of Burt’s Bees products has declined lately, but the one product they make that I love is their Radiance cream. I have oily skin so I can only use it in the evening (or in the winter) but it smells great, absorbs well, and leaves my skin dewy looking.
I still mean to try that mascara…
My absolute favorite natural skincare: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeeVoo?ref=shop_sugg
Anecdotally I find Betaine HCL to be VERY effective for digestion. I can feel and see the difference. I’ve tried just betaine HCL supplementation, as well as the NOWfoods Super Enzymes that Robb Wolf recommends. I prefer the Super Enzymes. I find it hard to believe that many big names in the fitness business are wrong about this. ,
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