Tag Archives: beauty

Green Skin

No, I’m not talking about this look:

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but it is pretty wicked, as my friends in New England might say. 🙂

Awhile back, my sister told me about this cool website, Cosmetics Database, where you can look up beauty products and see their score in terms of safety and environmental impact. You can search via keyword for a particular product you’re interested in, or search a topic like “Makeup” or “Skincare” and sort by score.

I have been trying a lot of different products lately, searching for the right balance of eco-friendliness and effectiveness. I just realized I’ve been stuck in the A’s – most of the products I’ve been using are by Alba, Avalon, Auromere Ayurvedic, Almay and Aveda. Heh. Many of these fall in the mid range, with a score of about 4-6. I’m not crazy about this, but I haven’t found anything I love with a lower score… yet. Avalon Organics is a great line my sister likes, but I’m not crazy about the smell of lavender, which is in the shampoo best suited for my hair. I swear, I’m the only person who feels this way – everyone I know loves the smell! I adore violet, but lavender, not so much. I would like to try some of their other shampoos, though. I’ve been using their Vitamin C Moisture Plus Lotion SPF 15 which I like, but rates a 6 out of 10 on the hazard scale. I was using Giovanni shampoo for awhile, which you can buy in bulk at my local co-op. I liked it, but it wasn’t perfect for my hair, which tends to be kind of coarse. If I’m not careful, I lose the battle of the Jew-fro. 🙂 Aveda has a reputation for being “natural” and “plant-based” but many of their products still contain fragrance and less than natural ingredients.

Right now, I’m using Alba Coconut Milk Extra-Rich Hair Wash and Mango Moisturizing Conditioner, which smell great but rate a 5 on the hazard scale. Not bad in the scheme of things, but not great. I also hate the amount of plastic I go through with these products! Buying in bulk is a great option, as I mentioned, but that’s not an option for everyone, and sometimes they don’t have the right products that work for specific hair needs.

mango conditioner

For soap, I really like Dr. Bronner’s. I’ve got a bar of the Citrus and of the Almond right now and they’re great – and only rate a 2! I used to be a Dove addict, but this has been an easy switch. They smell delish! Looks like Dr. B also makes a full-line of other products, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for those. Their Magic Liquid is great, too, for a variety of purposes, but it definitely doesn’t cut it as a shampoo for my hair!

soap

There are so many products labeled eco-friendly out there right now, but it’s hard to know which are real and which are greenwashed. Hopefully Cosmetics Database can help us sort through and find what we’re looking for!

What eco-friendly beauty products do you like? How do they rate on the hazard scale? Have any to recommend to me?

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A Green Prom

I love this idea Whole Foods and Teens Turning Green are sponsoring – Project Green Prom. It encourages students to “green” their proms by making more eco-friendly choices for their hair, makeup, transportation, flowers and more. Love it! They have some great tips on what beauty products to look for, and it’s awesome that they suggest buying used dresses and accessories, or those made of sustainable materials, as well as shopping locally. There are actually some great links in the Fashion section and beyond that I hadn’t seen before, so I encourage you to check out this site even if, like me, you are well beyond your prom-going days!

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It cracks me up that they suggest transport via Rickshaw. I would LOVE to see high school students all dressed up in their eco-friendly prom gear ridin’ a rickshaw. Please, if anyone out there is doing this, send me pictures! I’ll send you some kind of prize, promise!

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On the Prom note, if you have any bridesmaids or prom dresses lying around, check out this site, Donate My Dress. It lists organizations that will collect your gently-used, fashionable dresses and accessories and give them to high school girls who can’t afford them. I just gave a bunch of my old dresses to the Princess Project in February. If you missed the deadline (like I did two years ago), put a note on your online calendar and hold on to them for next year!

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Pretty Green Mani

Did you know most nail polish is not vegan? I didn’t, until I saw this line of nail polish by SpaRitual advertising itself as vegan and free of DBP, formaldehyde and toluene. Now, I’m not vegan (this green girl has gotta have her yogurt, cheese and ice cream), but it’s good to know for those who are trying to eliminate all animal products.

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Wikipedia says all nail polishes have been rid of DBF since 2006, so that’s not really an issue, but it’s still great to see a company dedicated to sustainability and eliminating toxic materials. According to the website:

SpaRitual is committed to creating eco-friendly products and packaging perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer. We use Vegan ingredients from around the world, including many specially sourced and selected plant essences that are wildcrafted OR organic. The formulations are naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes. SpaRitual is constantly monitoring sustainability issues and strives to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness…. In addition, our bottle is crafted in Italy from reusable glass with up to 50% recycled materials and is recyclable with proper care.

Gotta love that.

Anyway, I picked up Days of Wine and Roses (oh, how I wish that is what my days were actually filled with!) and it’s super cute. A nice dark purple with hints of sparkle. I found it at a cute beauty supply store in my stepsister’s neighborhood, which is sadly going out of business. Remember: support your local business if you want them to stick around! Anyway, it’s MadKat in North Beach for any SF locals, and all their products are 30% off until they close at the end of the month. They also have a few eco-friendly haircare lines, in addition to this nail polish.

Now I know the most eco-friendly thing to do would be to skip nail polish all together. But I love my pedis, and a nice manicure can really pull together a cute outfit, so this is a great option for the pretty green girl in all of us!

Tell me: What’s your favorite “green” beauty product?

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Green hair, green beer

Happy Fake St. Patrick’s Day, all!

So, in honor of St. Patty’s (I’m celebrating today and Tuesday!), I thought I’d do something “green” for my hair. I’ve been on the search for great green hair products and have tried a bunch, but I haven’t found any that have worked great for my dry, thick hair. I had been thinking about making a homemade deep conditioner for awhile, and when I realized I had an avocado in my fridge I wasn’t going to eat in time, I thought, perfect! It’s rare that an avocado doesn’t get eaten in my house, but I got two of these non-Hasses from my CSA, and I didn’t really love ’em. So avocado deep hair treatment, here I come!

I looked up some recipes online, and most involved mashing up the avocado with mayo. I’m not a mayo fan, and thus didn’t have any on hand, but I decided I’d try using olive oil (2 tsp) and a dash of honey.

Well. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan. Maybe the mayo was key – or maybe I should have really pureed the avocado. I have pretty thick hair and one avocado did not go a long way. So I basically ended up with chunks (ew, I hate that word! why did I use it? Ha, oh well) of avocado randomly dispersed around my head. I kept it in for about 20 min, and then rinsed it out with this new Aloe vera shampoo I got on one of my little local business supporting walks.


I know – how MySpace are these pictures?? 😉 Just being goofy. I mean, I basically had guacamole on my head. Which reminds me – can anyone name where this quote comes from, “These people are such avocado heads.” It’s my favorite show of all time!

I just dried my hair (and, honestly, combed out the rest of the avocado, ha) and while it’s not quite Pantene-commercial-shiny, I think it looks healthier, bottle-free! Hopefully I’ll get some cute pics tonight. 🙂

If you don’t have avocados on hand, there are lots of other things you could use to make a homemade deep conditioner: olive oil, bananas (I don’t buy them, but if you have extra on hand that are starting to turn and you don’t want to make banana bread, this would be a great alternative), yogurt or milk & honey, etc! I plan on trying out a bunch of different concoctions in the future, but you could totally Google any extra ingredients you have lying around to see what you can do with them!

Off to meet some friends for some green beer! For me, that means a local brew!

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