Tips and tricks for natural body care
Make this your healthiest year yet. Follow these five green beauty resolutions for a naturally beautiful new year!
1. Scrutinize Skin Care and Cosmetics Labels
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database receives about 10 hits a day from me. It’s become my best friend this year, as I’ve weaved through numerous skin care labels. I admit, though, I can be lax when it comes scrutinizing makeup. It doesn’t make sense to take care of my skin with organic products, but then paint my face with petroleum.
Luckily, I’ve been discovering more and more eco-cosmetics lines every day. One of my new favorites is Monave. Monave mineral makeup is weightless, beautiful and has an excellent color payoff. It’s made from pure, oxidized mica and crushed minerals—same active ingredients conventional makeup contains, minus the added chemicals. I love jazzing up my eyes with shimmery versatile powders. Simply layer the shadows to produce bold, smoldering eyes—and custom colors!
Monave mineral eyeshadow is healthy for your skin and fun to apply. Photo Courtesy Monave.
2. Whip Up More Natural Home Remedies
I’ve shared a few natural home beauty tips in the past, but have recently begun concocting natural home remedies again. When winter wind and drying indoor heat made my oily skin become flaky, I knew no conventional scrub could help me. That’s when I decided to mix two tablespoons of olive oil with kosher salt to make my own natural face exfoliator. It worked! For two nights, I gently scrubbed my skin with this two-ingredient miracle, and topped off my face with a light layer of olive oil—so long, dry skin! (And just in case you're wondering, no, spreading olive oil on oily skin won't result in breakouts.)
Before I resort to buying a new product to treat the skin care trouble of the day, I’m going to take a look in my cupboards for natural solutions. Keep your bathroom and kitchen stocked with olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, kosher salt, essential oils, honey, tea, lemons and cucumbers—all of these little wonders will work magic on your skin. Stay tuned for more recipes with these natural ingredients. I have some great ideas for deep conditioning your hair, de-puffing your eyes and drawing out impurities from your skin.
3. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
Yes, even in the dead of winter, the sun’s powerful rays can penetrate your skin and leave you with a sunburn (think of all that sunlight reflecting off of the glistening white snow) and sun damage. Prevent sun damage by wearing a natural sunscreen every day in 2010. Find sunscreens with active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide; these are natural minerals proven to aid in sun protection. John Masters Organics makes an excellent, hydrating mineral SPF 30 sunscreen formulated with certified organic aloe leaf juice, jojoba oil, shea butter, green tea extract and calendula extract.
John Masters Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen costs $32. Photo Courtesy John Masters Organics.
4. Purge My Beauty Stash
Unlike wine, cosmetics don’t get better with age. Most makeup and skin care products don’t come with expiration dates, so it’s up to you to know when it’s time to let something go. This is even more true with natural beauty products formulated without preservatives. Here’s a general idea of when to get rid of beauty products:
• Cleansers/Moisturizers: Toss after six months. Active ingredients in natural cleansers and moisturizers will break down over half a year’s time, so be sure to only buy what you can consume in that amount of time. If you make your own cleansers and moisturizers, it's smarter to make them in small batches, for use within 24 hours.
• Liquid Foundation: Toss after six months. Foundation becomes thick and goopy, which makes for uneven application. Plus, liquid foundation is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria (especially if you dip your fingers in it or use a dirty sponge).
• Powder: Toss after two years. I don’t know anybody who has been able to make her powder last that long, but after a couple of years, powder can get dry and cakey.
• Mascara: Toss after three months. Don’t chance it with makeup that can affect your eyes! Mascara (natural or conventional) can easily go rancid and dry up, so this one is an easy toss. Just look at the consistency when you take the wand out.
• Eyeliner Pencil: Toss after two years. Luckily, every time you sharpen your eyeliner pencil, you eliminate the old surface and any bacteria on it—just be sure to give your sharpener a good wipe-down with alcohol.
• Lip gloss: Toss after a year. Lip glosses with wand applicators invite bacteria, and pots of gloss aren’t much better (unless you’re diligent enough to apply it with a lip brush or cotton tip every single time). Lip gloss can also become very goopy and sticky, so again, check the consistency before you apply an aged gloss.
5. Exfoliate and Moisturize More
It’s important, especially in winter, to exfoliate, slap on body oil and smooth in lotion—but it seems like a daunting, time-consuming routine every morning. It will be a little easier for me now with my Yes To Carrots Smooth Over Body Spa Kit. Instead of relying on my tired loofah to exfoliate my arms and legs, I can slide on this cute exfoliating glove, squeeze some Carrot Rich Moisturizing Body Scrub into my hand and slough away flaky skin from head to toe.
Yes To Carrots Smooth Over Body Spa Kit costs $20. Photo Courtesy Yes To Carrots.
Once I’m out of the shower, it’s easy to pump a little Aromaflora Bath and Body Oil into my hands and spread it on my legs (while they’re still a little damp). Aromafloria’s USDA certified-organic body oil’s convenient (and hygienic!) pump keeps this step in my new routine a little less hectic. The oil is very moisturizing, so I can go without body lotion after this step. Just apply some lotion at the end of the day before you go to bed, and you should be set!
Aromafloria Rosemary & Mint Bath & Body Oil costs $20. Photo Courtesy Aromafloria.
What are your green beauty resolutions for the new year?