Better living through nature
Last week I wrote about the problem of animal testing in the cosmetics industry. The practice is neither required by FDA regulations, nor terribly useful for determining human reactions to a given product, and new alternative tests continue to be developed to eliminate any basis for using animals to test products. Some of the biggest and most pervasive companies, such as Proctor & Gamble (Clariol, Cover Girl, Max factor, Oral-B, Pantene, Crest, Oil of Olay etc.) and Johnson & Johnson (Aveeno, Clean and Clear, Listerine, Neutrogena etc.), use animal testing; and their products can be hard to avoid, especially in your beauty routine.
Fortunately, the market is full of companies that are certified cruelty-free, and if you’re feeling creative you can make some products yourself!
You can easily make herbal scrubs and cleasers at home.
Photo by Nate Long/Courtesy Flickr
For most homemade products, the recipes are relatively simple. Whether you’re looking for skin care, facial cleansers, lotions or lip balms, it’s easy to add your favorite herbs and essential oils for a product that is completely natural and exactly personal. You can also use these recipes to make healthy herbal gifts. Today, I want to focus on skin care, especially scrubs and cleansers.
Two natural sources for skin health are chocolate and honey, and we have several recipes that use each. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate (at least 35 percent cocoa), helps skin through a heavy dose of antioxidants that protects your skin’s elasticity and prevents damage by free radicals. Chocolate also helps moisturize and smooth skin, and can decrease sun sensitivity. Click here for chocolate-based recipes.
Honey naturally attracts and retains moisture and can help both your skin and hair retain flexibility and softness. Its antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities help your skin heal over blemishes, acne, scrapes and burns. Check out our honey-based recipes.
If you’re not much interested in chocolate or honey as principle toiletry ingredients, don’t worry, there are other options. Here are several recipes you might like to try for either your own skin or as a gift to someone else’s.
Scrubs—Exfoliating skin scrubs help remove impurities and dead skin cells for softer, smoother and healthier skin.
• Lavender Soy Body Scrub
• Volcanic Clay Body Scrub
• Herbal Sea-Salt Body Scrub
• Rosemary Spa-Style Salt Scrub
• Gentle Cleansing Scrub
• Refreshing Facial Scrub
Cleansers—Keep your skin, and especially your face, refreshed and clean with natural herbal cleansers.
• Herbal Cleansing Lotion
• Gypsy Herbal Astringent Lotion
• Irish Moss Seaweed Lotion
• Fennel Leaf Cleansing Lotion
• Cleanser for Dry Skin
• Cleanser for Oily Skin
• Cleanser for Normal Skin
Cruelty-Free Companies—Of course, you may not want to make your own scrubs and cleansers. If you prefer to buy your beauty products, here are a few companies you might check out for quality cosmetic cleansers that have never been tested on an animal.
• Aubrey Organics uses only natural and high quality plant extracts and vitamins in their hand-crafted products.
• Better Botanicals uses Ayurvedic tradition to promote healthy skin.
• Castle Baths offers handmade herbal and essential oil bath products, and also offers products for your pet.
• Coastal Classic Creations indulges in environmental and luxurious soaps and lotions.
• The Body Shop seeks renewable resources and sustainable raw ingredients for their wide range of bath and beauty products.
Visit the Leaping Bunny website for more cosmetics companies that pledge to never test any of their products on animals and use natural or organic ingredients. And check back later this week for more recipes and recommendations for cruelty-free natural make-up.