making the switch to eco products
With many of us reducing or removing nasty chemicals from our lives, Megan Bedford looks at how we can make the switch in beauty products.
Body IF YOU LOVE: A LONG LASTING ANTI-PERSPIRANT TRY: Soft & Gentle 0% Aluminium AntiPerspirant Roll On 50ml, $8. Dr. Hauschka Rose Deodorant, $35.
Conventional antiperspirants are chock full of aluminium salts, which do a dab job of stopping up your sweat ducts and stemming any underarm perspiration. Consternation over the (hotly-debated) health effects of said aluminum means, for many, avoiding the ingredient is a better-safe-than sorryapproach. Most non-toxic deodorants are designed to mask a natural odour with a blend of plant extracts and essential oils, but some now offer anti-perspirant qualities by utilising the likes of bamboo powder and horsetail plant.
IF YOU LOVE: A GOLDEN FAUX GLOW TRY: Eco Tan Invisible Tan, $40.
While we vociferously support the proof that a fake tan is far safer than a real one, most fake tanning products are a cocktail of chemicals that are artificially derived. With the expanse of skin treated by body products being much larger than the face, it’s worth considering one made from natural organic ingredients, particularly when it’s as good as this one and goes on colourless so won’t stain clothing or linen.
Skin IF YOU LOVE: A HEAVY DUTY MAKE-UP REMOVER TRY: Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil, $35.
The most effective way to remove make-up used to be a foaming gel or bi-phase make-up remover applied to a cotton pad, but it always required an element of elbow grease to get the job done. In recent years, oil cleansers have offered an effective alternative that won’t strip away the skin’s protective layer in the process, whether you’re wearing make-up or not. The kind-to-skin cleanser works on all skin types (yes, even oily ones!) and rinses away easily. This one is made of pure plant oils and using it is akin to receiving a mini facial.
IF YOU LOVE: A DO-IT-ALL DAILY MOISTURISER
TRY: Evolu Balancing Day Cream, $55. A simple, straightforward moisturiser that keeps hydration levels stable without overloading the skin with anything too heavy. A good year-rounder, from a company that certainly isn’t new-to-natural – they’ve just entered their 21st year, and are still updating and innovating to ensure formulas are bang up to date. →
IF YOU LOVE: A THICK EMOLLIENT CREAM FOR DRY PATCHES TRY: Weleda Skin Food, $23.
Touted by a wide number of celebrities (Victoria Beckham, Julia Roberts, Adele and many more) and beauty experts – it’s even been compared to a cost-effective swap for famed luxury La Mer cream – there’s absolutely no doubt about the effectiveness of this all-natural cream. A winner in winter, it’s designed to treat rough, dry patches all over the body, but those in the know use it as a dense face cream, applying to dehydrated complexions before bed and revelling in a healthy glow come morning. It’s also good after resurfacing salon skin treatments, such as peels.
IF YOU LOVE: A SOOTHING LIP BALM TRY: Lanolips Tinted Balm, $18.
Most lip balms are made with petroleum jelly, which works well in maintaining the natural barrier that exists on your lips, but is a by-product of petrol refining, so definitely not eco-friendly, even if generally considered safe. Other products select beeswax instead, but then add the likes of peppermint, camphor or lemon, which can actually dry out and irritate your lips. Our favourite alternative is Australian brand Lanolips – it uses medical grade lanolin, which mimics skin lipids, making it perfectly compatible with your pout.
IF YOU LOVE: A HIGH-TECH SKINFORTIFYING SERUM TRY: Plantae Rosehip Fruit and Seed Serum, $70.
The only New Zealand organic skincare line with every product certified, Plantae is well worth checking out if you’re keen on all-natural products. The Nelson-based brand has admirable and far-reaching ethics, but it’s the potency of this serum, with concentrated plant extracts full of vitamins A, B C and E, plus studies to prove its stimulation of skin’s collagen and elastin, that rounds out our appreciation for the line.
Make-up IF YOU LOVE: AN ALL ROUNDER MASCARA TRY: Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara, $52. Living Nature Thickening Jet Black Mascara, $41.
Historically, natural mascaras haven’t made a convincing case for a cleaner switch, due to being either too gummy or too wet, with little staying power. Traditional mascaras rely on minuscule plasticised fragments, synthetic pigments and preservatives, while natural ones use waxes and pure mineral pigments. You won’t get 24-hour wear from these natural options, but they are excellent alternatives to more traditional formulas, and they’re also great for those with sensitive eyes. One thing to be wary of is that eye make-up is notorious for harbouring bacteria, and with fewer preservatives it’s wise to stick to suggested shelf-life guides: typically around three months.
IF YOU LOVE: CREAMY, PIGMENT-PACKED LIPSTICK TRY: Eye of Horus Bio Goddess Lipstick, $37.
One area we’re now well catered for when it comes to natural beauty products is lipstick. A number of bigger brands have clean options (Natio, Burt’s Bees), and there are also the niche notables (Bare Minerals, RMS, Illia). We’re a bit biased towards our lovely locals, including Living Nature, Antipodes and Karen Murrell. All create creamy, comfortable colours. But our current crush is on Eye of Horus, an Australian brand known for its excellent natural eye options, which has extended into the lip category, with recycled (and recyclable!) paper tubes too.
Cotton buds are one of the most reached for tools in professional make-up artists’ kits.