Natural and Mostly-natural Beauty Products

My skin is so sensitive, people. Sometimes I feel like it breaks out when loud music plays nearby, or a passing stranger looks at me funny. For years I’ve described my hair as “a delicate ecosystem,” and although it’s become less finicky in its shortened state it still fusses at me if conditions aren’t totally ideal. And because of my sensitive skin and fussy hair, I’ve spent a lot of time playing with various products in attempts to find what works for my personal body chemistry. And, overall, what I’ve discovered is that natural products work better for me.

I know, ALERT THE PRESS, right? But it merits mentioning because natural products can be prohibitively pricey and many of us hesitate to plunk down the cash. What works for me may not work for you, but if you’ve got any of the same issues I describe you may want to see about nabbing some samples of these products. Because my impression is that even someone hesitant to plunk down cash will do so when presented with a product that actually WORKS on a difficult-to-manage area or problem. So. Let’s dig in.

Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15 – $36

This product’s primary appeal is its lack of preservatives. Sun protection in an all-natural formula is hard to come by, in my experience, and this moisturizer definitely has some unpronounceables in it. But it DOESN’T have parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance or dye, petro-chemicals, or phthalates. And it goes on soft and smooth but never feels greasy, works marvelously on my acne-prone skin, and has been my daily go-to for nearly a year.

The Body Shop Deodry Cool & Zesty Roll-On – $5

I picked this up during a layover at the Philadelphia airport. (Which, incidentally, has the BEST Aunt Annie’s Pretzel shop I’ve ever patronized. And I’ve patronized a lot of ‘em.) I’d been meaning to try a natural deodorant for ages, and as I wandered past the Body Shop I saw they were doing a 2-for-1 deal on these roll-ons. I picked up this one and another scent, and use them both almost daily now. I am both sweaty AND stinky, and will tell you up front that this product doesn’t keep my stink completely at bay. Especially if I’ve done an hour of cardio or it’s 95 degrees and humid. But the light formula keeps me surprisingly dry, and on non-nervous, non-workout days it really does the trick. I’m loving it, and hoping against hope that they don’t discontinue it. (My favorite natural deodorant? A batch of this that Trinknitty whipped up for me. AMAZING.*)

Oribe Curl by Definition Crème – $48

Ugh, I still can’t quite believe that I shelled out this much for a hair product. SO EXPENSIVE. And I even ponied up for the Royal Blowout spray at the same time, as my stylist said the combo would be ideal for my hair. And friends, my hair has never been happier, healthier, shinier, less buildup-free, or easier to manage. Again, these products aren’t entirely natural. I could’ve sworn I was told they were food grade, but apparently that’s untrue. They are, however, paraben-free, color safe, and optimized for protecting hair from harmful UV rays. Both the creme and spray include rich natural moisturizers and essential oils that allow them to sink in and fortify the hair instead of just sitting on top and eventually accumulating into heavy buildup or flakes. My first round of purchases have lasted me for three months and I’ve got at least half of both containers left. I understand that these products aren’t for everyone considering those costs, but had to put in a good word for ‘em. I’m a convert. (And yes, I know it says the Royal Blowout is for heat styling, but it’s a multi-purpose spray, I swear. And so does Richard, my stylist.)

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers – cost varies, around $5-$7

I seem to remember several of you being disappointed in this product, but it’s been a standby of mine for YEARS. I have it in Raisin (a deep but subtle brownish-red) and Merlot (a bright fuschia-red) and although I always use them in conjunction with other glosses and colors, they make fabulous base layers for lip color mixes. They smell great, they feel great, and they’re 100% natural with ingredients like vitamin E and coconut and sunflower oils.

The Serum By Elizabeth Dehn – $48

I’m actually a HUGE fan of all the products in the By Elizabeth Dehn line, and use the shea cream on my cuticles and the face mist when I’m feeling greasy and gross but can’t wash my face. They’re all amazing. But the serum is my favorite. It is the most divine smelling concoction of all natural essential oils ever formulated – including shea oil, calendula oil, rosehip seed oil, evening primrose oil, and almond oil – and it does wonderful things for my skin. I use it nightly as an under-eye treatment and it’s made my bags less noticeable. I’ve used it on cuts and scrapes to aid the healing process. I use it just about any time I need intense moisture or healing on any body part at all. It’s like a little bottle of magic, I swear.

Do you use any of these products yourself? Any other recommendations for natural or mostly-natural beauty products?

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  • http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/ Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    You’ve given me some hair ideas, Sal. I’ve been thinking about the Oribe line, but not sure if it might be too heavy for super-fine curls?

  • Carol

    I’m with you on the Burt’s Bees lip shimmer. Lovelovelove. Hate shelling out $5 every time, but once it’s home with me I remember how much I love it. Best thing for me is that it fits in my pocket so goes with me anywhere. I’ve tried a lot of things in their line and my current favorite product is the cranberry/pomogranate sugar scrub. Does the trick for my hands and feet.

  • winding ways

    I use the same pure night moisturizer that Marilyn Monroe used: Vaseline.

    • http://www.beautybets.com beautybets

      Sadly, Vaseline is about as unnatural as you can get. Anything with petroleum, or petrolatum as it’s often called in beauty products, has been found to cause hormone disruption (ie is potentially cancer-causing). It also can clog pores. Coconut oil is a great alternative!

    • Veronica

      Actually, Marilyn didn’t use Vaseline but rather, she absolutely swore by Nivea cream. I actually like Nivea myself. But prefer olive oil and emu oils. I am 51 and people are always floored guessing me twenty years younger. My skin is very healthy. But I think it’s far to note I live a very healthy lifestyle as well and also have pretty good genes. My grandmother looked fairy young for her age as well.

  • http://healthymamarama.blogspot.com Kristen

    A cheaper and really great natural brand for soaps, face soaps, and lotions is Dessert Essence. I have used their face wash and face moisturizer for years and my skin is happy. I also like Korres for makeup, but it can be pricey.

  • Kelly

    Great post and very timely for me; I’m trying to switch over to more natural products. Does anyone have any natural and/or organic shampoo recommendations?

    • Tara

      I have a few favorites. The shampoos/conditioners from the Alba Botanica Hawaiian line are great and smell delicious. I also really like the Shikai line for colored hair. Giovanni’s haircare line is also nice and quite inexpensive. I would suggest http://www.drugstore.com for any natural product purchases. Their sell at a great discount and offer free shipping with a minimum purchase.

  • Lindsay

    I got all 3 of Elizabeth Dehn’s products and they’re crazy awesome. I wish SO badly that I could have had her products when I was a teen. I use Soapwalla’s natural deodorant and it is great. Clean beauty is the way to go.

  • http://fashionflirt.wordpress.com Becca

    My roommate and I have been planning 2 trips to Minneapolis over the the next 12 months or so, and I’m so pumped for the trips for a few reasons. One of those (many) reasons is that I’ll be able to (finally) procure Elizabeth’s products, as international shipping is not allowed. But smuggling? PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE!

    • http://www.elizabethdehn.com Elizabeth

      Becca! If for some reason you don’t make it to Mpls, please check out our retail partners who ship internationally! Pretty Mommy is awesome and has lots of other yummy goods to boot. http://www.shopprettymommy.com

  • http://www.stuffjewishgirlslike.com JewishGirl

    Oooh, I LOVE Burt’s Bee’s Shimmers! They are such a great pop of color while still looking natural and undone. Sadly, it seems like it’s sort of my job to lose them, so I’m constantly buying more.

  • danielle

    i’m a fan of burt’s bees acne face scrub, and i’ve been using their chapsticks for years. my favorite is the medicated one with clove oil, it smells like chai tea and i love it.

  • shelley

    I have done the whole route with the natural products and had mixed reviews with a lot of them. I love Burts Bee Lip Shimmer, that will be in my purse forever. The Tea Tree collection from Body Shop is great for teen skin..just ask mine. I use Jameison Provitamina E on my dry sensitve skin or the one made by Webber Naturals and the new Dove Hair oil products..especially the leave in conditioner on fine curly curly hair is fantastic! Not all natural but doing the best i can…by the way I often in the winter dust my pits with baking soda and with a few drops of tea tree oil in it..that works well for me as long as that skin is not too sensitve..I am always on the hunt to better natural products!

  • Elizabeth

    Sally, you’re a mind reader. I just finished a lengthy e-mail to my sister where I laid out my whole skin care routine because we both have supersensitive skin and after working with an allergist and dermatologist I’ve finally gotten to a stable place. I finish that e-mail and then click over hear and look what you’ve got today!

    Anyway – here it is in a nutshell.
    First off – sunscreen is great for us pale ladies but watch out for those chemicals! See what the CDC says here http://www.ewg.org/analysis/toxicsunscreen
    Vanicream (bad brand name, I know) makes a great non-chemical version. Pretty greasy though, so only for extended days in the sun.

    On a daily basis I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. The whole line of Laura Mercier products is safe for chemically sensitive girls like me. Expensive, but worth it after dealing with years of scaling skin,

    My holy grail? A long-wearing lipstick for the chemically sensitive. I use Revlon’s Colorstay because I feel naked without lipstick and hate to reapply, but I suspect this product would not meet my dermatologists approval. Indeed, my lips are a bit chapped at the edges. Anybody got something with no benzophenones, PPD or formaldehyde in a long-wearing formula?

    • Katharine

      I don’t react to NARS lipsticks (while I do to Revlon, and many others — including MAC which is terrible for me!). I hadn’t really been paying attention, but I think the NARS ones may in fact be free of these. (Their nailpolishes are, according to Google, but I’m not turning up specifics on the lipsticks, except that they contain a lot of natural ingredients and some colours may contain parabens for preservatives.)

      Very long-wearing, and beautiful colours.

  • Elizabeth

    Also – it’s important to note that “natural” is tough to define. Everything from blueberries to gold has chemical properties. What’s key for me is finding out which chemicals I react badly to. Then I avoid those. I was standing in a Whole Foods recently looking for a good hair gel that avoided my bad chemicals. The lady at Whole Foods told a customer who walked up “None of this has any chemicals!” I laughed out loud. What a ridiculous statement! Everything on earth is made up of chemical compounds. Some natural occurring substances are completely toxic (uranium, anthrax). You can’t avoid chemicals. You can avoid chemical ingredients that are known to cause bad reactions. A good place to review the chemical content of potential products is http://dermnetnz.org/. Pale New Zealanders living without the protection of the ozone layer know a thing or two about skin care.

    • Becky

      Yes, thanks for mentioning this. I like GoodGuide (www.goodguide.com) for finding products that don’t contain stuff I think might cause problems, based on my experience. If you try to find products with no suspected problems there’s not much left to try — you have to apply some judgement.

      People should keep in mind the old saw, “the poison is in the dose.” Lavender essential oil is wonderful stuff, for example, but if you use enough of it, it can mimic estrogen in the body. Things you put on your skin *can* go right through.

      The best thing about “natural” ingredients is that they might have a long history of use by humans, so if problems were going to crop up, we probably already know about them (see, history of lead and arsenic in cosmetics). Be suspicious of things billed as “natural” that don’t have a history of routine use!

  • Elizabeth

    Oops – triple post. Sorry. NZ didn’t have what I was thinking of. For that you wanna go here.

    http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=revlon+colorstay&h=Go

  • Anne

    I have used Aveda products on my hair for about 20years. I use Aveeno products on by face and body ( my derm. them too). I use Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in red dalia. I like it so much I have about 3 tubes of it now. they are all kind to my body and pretty kind to the environment.

    • Anne

      my derm likes them too….sorry folks. I’m just drinking my coffee now.

    • Tara

      Aveeno is made by Johnson & Johnson, who tests on animals. They also use parabens in their products, so I wouldn’t really consider them “natural”. Lots of people don’t realize this, so I just thought I would point it out.

      • Elizabeth

        Again, this is why “natural” is tough to define. It seems like the important question is:
        – What motivates you to select products? Concern for your own health? Recognizing that your skin is very reactive? Concern for the planet.

        I’m primarily concerned about my own health. That’s why I look for products that don’t have the chemicals I’m sensitive to.

        Another good one for people like me? Cetaphil.

      • Nancy

        Really, Johnson & Johnson?! I can’t believe so many companies still do animal tests for cosmetics. I recently learned that L’Oreal tests its individual ingredients (not finished products) on animals. I was really sad to learn that as my most-used makeup right now is mostly a combination of products from L’Oreal and Maybelline, which I learned is also owned by L’Oreal. (L’Oreal now also owns The Body Shop. When did all this consolidation happen?!)

        I have tried to think of a way around it, but I can’t justify giving my money to support the suffering of animals just so I can have a reliable mascara. Believe me, I HAVE tried to rationalize it, because it has taken me YEARS to find clump-free, smudge proof mascara that can withstand my oily eyes. Sigh. (I know, I know, not really a big problem in the scheme of things!)

        In any case, thanks for this new (to me) info about Johnson & Johnson.

        • Tara

          Nancy, of the drug store brands Revlon and Almay (who is owned by Revlon) are safe from an animal testing perspective. Estee Lauder does not test on animals, nor does MAC. Urban Decay is a great make-up company. They don’t test and are vegan (even have synthetic make-up brushes). It’s actually really easy to find cosmetics and other beauty items that are free of animal testing. Here’s a great resource: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.aspx

          • Nancy

            Thanks, Tara. This list is helpful! Now I just have to try a lot of different mascaras and eyeliners from those brands…who knows, though, maybe I’ll quickly find ones that work for me. In any case, I’m convinced that its better that this “experimentation” will be on my own face rather than also on some unwilling animals’! :)

            When I was reading about L’Oreal I read something about European Union rules prohibiting their tests on animals, but this rule will not kick in until 2012 (or maybe 2013?) I hope the EU lasts until then! (Well, I hope that for many reasons.) In any case, I hope this will also translate to other companies such as Johnson & Johnson, and that those EU formulations will also be sold in the U.S.

        • Katharine

          Oily eyes? I have a recommendation! According to this link (http://www.spaboutique.ca/product.asp?pid=4178) Blinc Kiss Me Tubing Mascara does not contain animal products, and is not tested on animals, and it is the ONLY mascara I’ve ever tried in my whole life that doesn’t bleed out around my eye area or smudge. I am the bane of eye makeup.

  • Tara

    I have lots of favorites since I almost exclusively use natural hair/skin products. I love the entire Alba Botanica Hawaiian line: http://albabotanica.com/?title=Hawaiian. My favorites are the Jasmine and Vitamin E face cream, the Green Tea sunblock and the Cocoa Butter hand and body cream, but I haven’t tried a single product from this line that I don’t love. Another favorite Alba product from their regular line is the Midnight Tuberose shower gel; amazing scent! http://www.albabotanica.com/?id=64&pid=216

    For toothpaste, I have 2 favorites – Burt’s Bees Multicare (http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/toothpaste-multicare-formulas/) and Kiss My Face Triple Action (http://kissmyface.com/product/item/2).

    I still haven’t found the perfect deodorant, but my favorite so far is Weleda Wild Rose (http://usa.weleda.com/our-products/shop/wild-rose-deodorant.aspx). It keeps the stink at bay 95% of the time, and smells wonderful.

    That’s just a small handful of the natural products I use and love. I could go on all day if I tried to list them all!

  • Marie

    I use products that are considered “natural.” I don’t really know what that means, but I guess I look for a short ingredient list or a just a single ingredient to get the job done. Ideally, I would like to streamline my routine and use less products, though.
    I have the Boscia moisturizer. I actually use mine as a sunblock over moisturizer because my skin is drier than yours, but still acne-prone. No breakouts, good product, just not enough moisture for me. Maybe I will try the Vital Daily Moisture SPF 15.
    That serum looks great, but I use straight up jojoba oil (the second ingredient in the serum) on my face and hair and everywhere. Works great and is $12 at my health food store.
    For nightime, I am really liking Jamieson – Vitamin A Night Renewal Treatment or Cosmetic Lad from Lush (both are made in Canada.)
    A-D-E Creamy Cleanser by Earth Science is great for getting off light makeup and it smells so good. Loooove.

    • http://www.beautybets.com beautybets

      FYI – The Serum’s first ingredient is shea butter oil, which as some incredible benefits you won’t find in jojoba. Shea is actually a natural form of Vitamin A, so it has the anti-aging effects of a retinol. It also combats free radicals and helps diminish sun damage. Hence the price point.

      • Julia

        Shea is incredible, agreed. Unfortunately some of us are allergic to it. It’s a tree nut thing. Shea nuts are a potentially allergic substance just like shellfish, peanuts, etc.I used Euro-made creams with shea butter for quite a while in the early 90s and could not figure out why my sensitive hands had broken out in eczema so badly I had to wear gloves! Last year my husband innocently bought some toilet paper and kleenex with shea butter in/on them. I didn’t notice until my private parts began to burn and hurt and itch, ugh–thank heavens my face is tougher, and I sneeze less than I go to the bathroom! Finally I figured it out and as soon as I began using normal paper products, the discomfort went away. Just a word to the wise here–the vast majority of people won’t have this problem, but for those who do it is acute, and frustratingly, even though tree nuts are generally considered rough on the allergy scale, still, EVERYONE lately is putting shea butter in stuff. I can see why–like I said it’s amazing stuff and I recommend it. But for me, it’s also a bit frustrating…I have to be so careful. For my skin, I prefer lanolin (does miracles for fine lines and chronic dryness), as well as glycerin, avocado oil, rosa mosqueta oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil, which is especially lovely and gentle. Oh, and cocoa butter is wonderful as well. ;-)

        I too love the Burt’s “lipsticks” lol. Wonderful little guys. I use them alone! The colors are pure and so pretty. I also love some of Burt’s Bees products–they’re a mixed batch imo but the good ones are SUPER. I especially like the lemon poppyseed facial scrub–works beautifully and smells good enough to eat. They also have an orange oil facial cleanser I use a lot, and their beeswax/royal jelly night cream and eye creams are heavy and way rich, like a special treatment really–but they do wonders for my sensitive Irish-type skin. Oh, and lately Origins is suiting me very well again. I especially like their “Perfect World” moisturizer.

  • Leah

    I use olive oil or sweet almond oil to cleanse my face if I wear makeup, and a sunscreen and that’s it. Usually water is enough to cleanse my face and it preserves the natural balance of oils I’ve worked to hard to create. Works a treat.
    I wash my hair once a week with organic shampoo (I don’t condition my limp, fine hair, best tip my hairdresser ever gave me!) and I use Dr Bronners to wash my body, only on places where it’s necessary. My skin and hair are happy and using so few products is super easy on the wallet, not to mention I don’t need to keep track of what’s in my myriad of beauty products.

    However, I will admit to using a clinical aluminum-laced deodorant. I have yet to embrace my stink and so I don’t expect others to – I spend a lot of time at the gym! I am going to try out your deodorant suggestion Sally, to see if it works for me :)

  • http://www.jauntydame.com Rebekah

    Ooh, I wasn’t expecting a post like this. Fun!

    I’m currently using:

    – Coconut oil as a body moisturizer
    – Xyliwhite toothpaste
    – Jojoba oil as eye makeup remover/light moisturizer
    – Hurraw! lip balm— the black cherry works for lips and cheeks
    – Desert Essence Organics body lotion in Vanilla Chai
    – homemade deodorant
    – Evan Healy clay mask

    If you’re ever feeling flush, try Evan Healy’s products; so clean, so fragrant. I had no interest in aromatherapy until I tried her goods. My skin still looks crummy, though, so I may try something more toxic soon…

    • http://www.elizabethdehn.com Elizabeth

      Awesome list. I agree with every product, especially the Evan Healy line. It’s actually incredibly reasonable considering that it’s far better than department store brands that cost 3x as much.
      @Rebekah – let me know if you want brainstorm solutions to your skin woes before you try something toxic! I have lots of ideas.

  • http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/ Kim

    Have you tried Fruit of the Earth Aloe on your hair? We have similar hair and since I started using that in conjunction with some other gel like Giovanni, which is also natural, I have no frizz! I can even go a second day.

  • Ruth

    I second the A-D-E Creamy cleanser by Earth Science. Earth Science also makes an Apricot moisturizer that is quite nice. These products are very affordable. Lush is a bit more pricy but a great company for natural products, I love their Celestial moisturizer and Angels on Bare Skin (a very gentle) scrub. If your skin is very dry, I agree with the poster above who said Vaseline for an overnight moisturizer! I was skeptical before I tried it, but it does not break me out, it’s a single ingredient, and it makes my skin look great the next morning.

  • Michelle

    I use nothing less than 30 SPF on my face, so I typically use a separate moisturizer and sunscreen. I’m just starting to really focus on skin care, so I don’t have a favorite *anything* at this point, but I’m using Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas MINERAL Natural Sunblock, SPF 30 right now. It’s a little whitish at first, but it soaks in.

    Sunscreens for the Alba Botanica line are also worth looking into.

  • Michele

    I fortunately don’t have sensitive skin, but it is prone to acne. I’m young and don’t have a ton of money to spend on expensive products, so I’ve found Burt’s Bees is both afforable and great for my skin.

    More about my new regimen on a post a wrote yesterday! So timely, Sal :)

    http://projecttwostyle.blogspot.com/2011/10/skinhair-care-regimen.html

  • Becky

    Most of my beauty regime consists of Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid castile soap, Liggett’s bar shampoo (original flavor), and diluted apple cider vinegar conditioner (rinsed out — I don’t smell like pickles). My sister mixed up a batch of shea butter, Vitamin E, and essential oils that I use on hands, elbows, and knees if they get dry. If my whole skin is dry (in mid-winter, mostly), I use a small amount of straight jojoba oil, applied after the shower and before drying off, and then let myself air-dry in a warm location. Occasionally I splash diluted cider vinegar on my face & rinse it off, when I think I it could use some gentle acid exfoliation.

    I echo the love for Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers.

    The best thing I ever did for dry skin/hair was to incorporate more fat into my diet. Seriously. I’d eaten low fat all my life (this did NOT prevent hellacious acne well into my twenties), and a few years ago I decided to try “intuitive eating.” What do you know, my skin became just lovely.

    I use non-“natural” moisturizer and deodorant; cheap brands that have been around forever, have relatively short ingredients lists, and work like champs. Every time I consider trying something new, I ask myself why, and normally it’s because I want to spend money on beautiful packaging that promises something I can’t get from a bottle anyway. If I were genuinely unsatisfied with my current products I’d try the simplest stuff first, though.

  • Judy

    Love Dr Haushka products, they are organic and holistic, made in Germany. Expensive, but they last a very long time. I have been using these products since I discovered them at age 50 and my skin looks better now (3 years later). I will admit I am also having semi-regular facials so that is probably helping, too.

    I use the Cleansing Cream, followed by the Clarifying Toner and then the Normalizing Day Oil in the morning, at night I wash with the Cleansing Milk and then use the Clarifying Toner again, and no moisturizer at night. Yes, you read that right! This at the advice of the woman who gave me the Best Facial Ever on my 50th birthday. I also use, at her recommendation, an ayurvedic clay mask, called Sarada Ayurvedic Pimple Remover, which is a powder you mix with water, milk or yogurt. I always use plain, organic yogurt. This stuff seriously rocks! I hardly ever get pimples anymore, but it is great for enlarged pores and also for redness. And it is very inexpensive!

    My makeup has sunblock in it, so for daily use that is what I use! Of course I use regular sunblock if I am outside.

  • http://sololisa.com lisa

    I swear by Consonant Body, a Canadian organic skincare line. Their products were first sent to me by a publicist a year ago, and after I ran out I immediately went out and bought more. That’s how you know it’s good stuff! I’m hooked on their foaming face wash, eye creams and moisturizer.

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  • Claire

    I have always had very sensitive and reactive skin and scalp. Over the years I’ve learned that less is more. Dirt has never harmed my face–skin care products have! I’ve narrowed down to just a couple of products and seldom experiment.
    But the biggest thing to make a positive difference for me was getting rid of shampoo. What a difference! Scalp better, hair easier and better looking and facial skin is nowhere near as reactive (I also have mild rosacea.) as it used to be. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced. I use mild solutions of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I miss the aesthetic experience of lather and a nice scent, but I’ll never go back.

  • http://www.rubybastille.wordpress.com Laura

    Any Arbonne users? I have sensitive skin too – alternately oily/dry, seasonal excema, the whole shebang – and I used Clinque for a long time until my mom started selling Arbonne. It’s botanically-based and annoyingly expensive, but their skin and hair products are lovely – I’ve had coworkers ask me what shampoo I use and my skin has become much much better.

  • http://spidersilkstockings.blogspot.com/ Cel

    Hm, I’ll have to try one of those Body Shop deo’s. I’ve tried a couple natural deoderants, a solid crystal, a compressed powder bar from Lush (SO not worth it) and a few others. Time to investigate. And maybe if I can find arrowroot powder and the other ingredients I’ll try my hand at making a batch of that homemade stuff…

  • lilyandjinks

    I am a recent convert to natural skincare after years of trying every ‘dermatologist-approved’ product under the sun. I’ve been using Moogoo and my skin has never looked better. Before this I had a nasty run in with some ahas that made my skin much worse…. (not affiliated, but a very happy customer!)

    Ive used natural shampoo in the past, but theirs leaves my hair glossy and doesnt strip colour, unlike others I’ve tried. Yet to try their deodorant but I used to get Sugarlips natural deodorant from etsy before they closed shop, which was amazing stuff. I’ve always had a thing for handmade soaps, loved Bathing in Luxury soaps before customs took an issue with a couple of packages (I’m in Aust)

  • http://redtrike.blogspot.com carolyn

    I have the best natural mascara. It’s called, wait for it, Natural Mascara and it’s made by Pure Anada right here in Canada. http://www.pureanada.ca/?page_id=176. I’ve been using it for years and it is every bit as good as any other brand I’ve used with the bonus of being natural. I’ve had great success with a variety of natural shampoos and conditioners, but I don’t have difficult hair. I used to get dry scalp in the winter but that’s gone now that I don’t use harsh shampoo. I have yet to find a good natural deodorant. I may try the body shop one, but I am pretty anxious about the stink factor.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      Catchy name. ;)

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  • http://dashingeccentric.blogspot.com/ tiny junco

    just popping in with an “obvious but bears repeating” comment – just because a product uses more natural products doesn’t mean it will necessarily be less aggravating to sensitive skin.

    also, if your skin is super sensitive a trip to the dermatologist may be worth your while (if you have medical coverage available). many times even with medical insurance you may have to wait one or two months to see a specialist, even so it can be very helpful if you are like me and have had skin troubles for years on end. it is possible that you have a condition/s either causing the sensitivity or making it worse.

    Keeping the sun off of your skin (not just sunblock, but hats and parasols) i find to be one of the best strategies for keeping my skin calmed down. Worth a try to see if it helps you! steph

    • http://blog.indieknits.com Cory Ellen

      I second this. I have irritatingly finicky skin – oily, but dry, and very prone to infections and contact dermatitis – and I just recently had to throw away all of my Burt’s Bees regular chapstick because my lips broke out in hives from using it. This after using it religiously for years and never having a problem. I think it may be the lanolin, which is basically sheep grease and about as natural as you can get!

      I switched over to Neutrogena Naturals lip balm, which lacks the lanolin, and my lips are much happier.

  • Stephanie

    I have several recommendations for skin care. The one I currently use and have decided I can’t live without is Organic Siren/Celtic Complexion out of Florida. If you buy from her tell her I sent you. She has a promotion going that is buy one get one. She has a serum that will get rid of rosacea too. My skin is softer and better looking because of her products. All hand made in small batches. The other product lines I recommend are Evan Healy and Body Bliss (www.BodyBlissStore.com). They are all natural and Body Bliss uses organic ingredients as well. Check them out. They are all wonderful. Plus Body Bliss is locally made for those of us in MN.

  • Margot907

    Burt’s Bees baby oil is the most amazing nighttime moisturizer I have ever used. It makes my skin glow! I also use it all over after a shower. It works better than any lotion I have ever tried. It is not a specific product, but I recently switched to the oil cleansing method for my face and the results have been impressive. My face is baby soft now.

    I don’t know how natural they are, but I really like the Covergirl natural tinted balm or whatever they call it. I have three shades.

  • http://thisisrosie.ca Rosie

    I used to use Burt’s Bees lip shimmers, but now I’m either wearing gross chemical heavy lipsticks because they last longer and then colours are opaque, or I’m wearing the Burt’s Bees lip balm. I wear the balm every night, and any day when I’m not wearing lip stick, and I’m pretty sure that it’s what keeps my lips amazing.
    On a skin note, I’m fairly sure my moisturizer is all natural, but I’m not positive. Anyways, it’s the Olive and Almond milk moisturizer by Petit Marseillais, if there is anyone in France who’s reading this.

  • WendyK

    I highly recommend that anyone with sensitive skin check out cosmeticscop.com (consumer advocate Paula Begoun’s Web site) and her Paula’s Choice products line. She sells her own products but reviews a huge number of drugstore and department store product lines in her free Beautypedia database. She reviews cosmetic/skin care formulations and alerts you to any potentially irritating ingredients, including some “natural” ingredients that are still irritants (see http://www.cosmeticscop.com/are-natural-and-organic-ingredients-better-for-your-skin.aspx) as well as problems with packaging that would affect the stability of the product.

    I use a mixture of well reviewed drugstore products and Paula’s skin care products, notably her wide range of BHA options, which are ideal for my skin but hard to find elsewhere. I’ll admit that I still like Burt’s Bees lip shimmers for their subtle wash of color, even though Paula flags the peppermint and rosemary oil they contain as skin irritants. I do avoid the lip shimmer during the winter months when my lips are very dry, though.

    • http://www.twitter.com/celeloriel Celeloriel

      I second this wholeheartedly. I have rosacea, and combining my dermatologist’s suggestions with Paula’s picks has really helped me choose products that do not irritate my very sensitive skin.

  • http://storiesfromtheoldneighborhood.blogspot.com/ tess

    my favorite moisturizer is castor oil that I got from a nice craigslist giver, before that it was olive oil

  • http://smackingdowntheapathy.blogspot.com D

    I use a slightly modified recipe to make the homemade deodorant shown on Trinknitty’s page. Love it. And baking soda and red wine vinegar to wash my hair. For my face I use burt’s bees lotion, but it doesn’t seem to have any sunblock in it, so I am considering switching. For the most part, I am happy with my (mostly) natural products!