I love reading, and one topic I enjoy is natural skin-care. Ever since reading Barbara Close’s book Pure Skin many years ago, I’ve made it a priority to find and use products that will be natural and effective when applied to my skin.
Finding natural products is easier than ever, but some companies advertise products as “green” that aren’t very pure. I avoid skin-care products that contain these ingredients (list is from Pure Skin):
- Diethanolamine (DEA), Momethanolamine (MEA) & Triethanolamine (MEA)
- Artificial Colors
- Imidazolidinyl Urea & DMDM Hydantoin
- Petrochemicals (isopropyl alcohol and mineral oil)
- Paraben Preservatives
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Some of these ingredients can be irritating to the skin, others can affect hormone function and others are potential carcinogens.
Instead of buying products with these ingredients, I look for skin and hair-care products that are primarily plant-based. I buy most of these products online to save money, and can browse ingredient lists before I decide to try something new. Vitacost offers good prices and lots of additional discounts on many natural products.
When shopping for something new, I look for products that fit the above criteria and have good reviews (four stars or more). Sometimes “green” products might be pure but aren’t very effective, leaving my skin or hair feeling gross, but I’m always happy when I find something that is both natural and effective.
Here are my three favorite skin-care products:
This cleanser costs $29 with pump (but I wait for discounts), and with once-a-day use lasts over a year. I use it in the evening to wash away makeup (I only use water to cleanse my face in the morning). It removes makeup and excess oil with a base of olive, safflower, sesame and sunflower oils. Most cleansers I’ve used dry out my skin, leading to re-active break-outs, but this product works consistently to remove makeup and cleanse my skin without over-drying.
This moisturizer is $12-15, and with once-a-day use will last me about six months. I apply it to my face in the morning after rinsing, and it makes a perfect base for my makeup. It contains 12,000 IU (4 oz jar) Vitamin E (Tocopherol), which works as an antioxidant to help our skin fight it’s ongoing free-radical battle. I’ve tried other moisturizers that leave my skin feeling greasy or dry, but this one balances well. Derma E has a great line of natural products, but this is my favorite.
This shea butter is $7 and lasts me about a year. It’s a stand-by product I use for spot-treating very dry skin. Shea butter is a natural fat made from the nuts of the “karate” tree, and has even been known to increase the skin’s thickness because it helps skin retain moisture. It makes a great moisturizer for my hands, but I’ve also used it on my face as a deep moisturizer when I feel my skin needs a boost in the winter.