Safe and natural beauty for your Health and Wellness
Within the past 10 years, the awareness about health, fitness and wellness has opened the door to many opportunities in the world around us. In a recent study, it is reported that an astounding 20.4 million people practice yoga in the United States. That number has dramatically increased since 2008 when the number of yoga practitioners was only 15.8 million. Because yoga is more popular, many more studios have opened up, with much success.
In addition to the trend of health and wellness, activewear labels have been created in order to meet the demand. People are exercising more and they need exercise clothes. It is only natural that our concerns about our well-being will extend to skin care. About 10 years ago, while I was working at a big fashion company, I thought I finally “made it” so I deserved to buy the best skincare label out there : Chanel, Christian Dior. They were the most coveted brands out there – that’s not to say they aren’t any more, but at the time, natural and organic skincare was not something I, or most people, were too concerned with or aware of.
The shift towards natural skincare and beauty seems like the next logical process in the evolution of self-care. Recently I attended the Indie Beauty Expo (founded in 2015) which is a representation of independent beauty and wellness brands housed under one large arena for 2 days where press, buyers, and shoppers can experience and learn more about mostly new and fresh brands.
Most of the brands at the expo are focused on products without parabens and phthalates, which have been found to be linked to increased risk of breast cancer. That’s some scary news, but it makes sense. We exercise to stay healthy and in shape - we eat nutritious foods so we can stay strong, but the products we are putting on our skin are just as important.
Vapour Organic Beauty
Vapour products embody purity, performance and progress, using the purest organic and natural ingredients. The company operates its own USDA approved organic lab where product quality, integrity and purity standards are meticulously protected. Vapour products never contain toxic chemicals, parabens, phthalates or nano-particles.
Visionary Advanced Solution Serum ($125) is amazingly lightweight and effective. I put a small amount on my face after cleansing at night and noticed a dramatic difference – a reduction of dryness and wrinkles. This complements the Essence Restorative Night Treatment ($90), which I put on afterwards for a nighttime moisturizer. What’s great about VOB is that they also carry beauty products as well. My all-time favorites are Artist Eye and Multi-use palettes ($46) because they offer a variety of color options and are great for travelling!
Ayuna’s message is “Less is Beauty”, which reduces skincare to the essential. Instead of a long list of products to use, Ayuna provides a simple 4-step regime – consisting of 2 daily product (cleanse – SOAP; treat & hydrate – CREAM) and 2 weekly products (exfoliate – ESSENCE; mask – BALM) – which provides everything your skin needs. While using the line, the soap cleaned my face better than any cleanser and the exfoliating essence was gentle enough while being effective. I absolutely love the cream, which is moisturizing without feeling thick or oily. The scent is light and simply delightful. Ayuna is a true eco-luxury line – clean and green without sacrificing the frills of luxury. Prices range $38-$240
Ogee’s promise is to provide products that are free of petroleum derivatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde, or GMOs, all the while promoting the values of green and organic living, tempered with luxury. All products are blended, filled, certified and packaged in the United States using 100% recycled paperboard, with no animal testing.
The Daily Facial Cleansing cloths ($20) are spectacular – removes makeup without having to scrub your face bare. Prior to discovering this item, I was using a drug store brand, which was loaded with chemicals. And just to think of what I was putting all over my face – preservatives with names I couldn’t even pronounce.
The Jojoba Restore face oil ($44) is 100% natural and certified organic and hydrates my skin without feeling as though I layered a coating of thick oil on. The great thing about the oil is that you only need a small drop, so the bottle lasts a long time.
Sparitual was founded in 2004 by Shel Pink, who wanted to create a brand to honor the collective mind, body and spirit. The Earl Grey collection is 100% Vegan, 100% nature-derived and 74% certified organic. The collection includes a Body Souffle, Sugar Scrub and Oil Salve – all meant to deliver results and a luxury experience to the skin. Prices range $34-$55
In addition to bath and body products, SpaRitual also carries a big selection of vegan and DBP – free nail lacquers. The polishes are also free of toluene, camphor and formaldehyde found in most drug store brands nail polishes.
Beneath Your Mask
Founder Dana Jackson created Beneath Your Mask to repair the damage to her own skin and hair after a lupus diagnosis. She believes beauty should be safe to absorb and not challenge the immune system. The Body Elixir uses 19 pure plant oils and botanicals helps to firm and tone skin, replenish moisture levels and restore a healthy glow. All the products are Vega, GMO free, Phosphate and Sulfate Free. Many products include exotic ingredients like Sea Buckthorn Berry, Camellia Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil and Camu Camu. Prices range $30-$90
Ranavat Botanics was founded by owner Michelle Ranavat because she wanted others to experience the powers of luxury infused with purity in their daily lives. The products of this line are meant to be discovered as ritual treatments, which take time and presence of moment. For instance, the Lavender Tonique ($40) is steam-distilled from handpicked lavender from the Himalayas and evokes a serene meditative surrounding. The masques line is inspired by the ancient science of Ayurveda and uses rare organic herbs such as Moringa, Neem, Sandalwood and Gotu Kola to naturally unveil beautiful skin.
Odacite is one of my absolute favorite brands because it was founded by Valerie Grandury in 2009 as she was healing from breast cancer. She looks to her products as bringing new life into your skin. Each product is formulated with unique ingredients, freshly made without any toxic ingredients. The vibe is very French skincare meets the green California revolution, so you can be gorgeous and healthy or the many years to come.
The Odacite Green Ceremony Cleanser ($55) is formulated with powder-to-foam efficacy to clean the skin while helping to clear surface impurities and stubborn build-up while energizing the complexion. The high chlorophyll content of organic matcha and spirulina acts as a powerful detoxifier, but it is gentle enough to use daily – day and night.
Odacite also has a small line of body care – included is the Invigorating Jasmine – Mimosa Body scrub ($49), which uses walnut shell powder to remove dead skin cells. The scrub doesn’t just exfoliate though – the Certified-organic complex of algae and rice extracts bring both firming properties and moisturizing benefits. Plus, the scent is simply divine!
INIKA Organic uses naturally nourishing ingredients in all of their products, whith are over 50% certified organic, 100% Vegan and Cruelty – free. The line is often used by top celebrity artists all over the world. The brand uses the finest Australian botanicals and pure minerals to produce makeup which contain no petrochemicals, synthetic substances or mineral oils. All products are paraben-free and contain no harmful fillers.
The Day to Night eyeshadow palette ($62) is the perfect travel companion because it is easy to carry and practical. It contains an array of earthy hues – from gentle pinks to sultry plums & natural browns. The palette is inspired by the Earth’s natural pigments, which are neutral enough to be flattering on all.
The Long lash mascara ($33) is the first Vegan mascara available and it doesn’t sacrifice on delivery. It absolutely highlights your lashes, while containing natural ingredients and being cruelty – free.
What I absolutely love about the Organic Lip Glaze ($25) is that it includes Certified Organic Shea Butter, Rosehip and Jojoba Oils, and Candelilla Wax which help to provide a more nutrient-rich glaze that glides smoothly on the lips. These are all - natural ingredients! The glaze is packed with antioxidants and skin-caring ingredients, this emollient formula helps to hydrate and heal. This is especially helpful in the winter months when I find my lips are mostly chapped. The glaze is available in seven shades that lend a subtle shimmer.
INKA’s Certified Organic Vegan Lipstick ($39) also contain only natural ingredients such as Certified Organic Argan, Avocado and Jojoba Seed Oils create a creamy, flawless application. My favorite color in this product is the Honeysuckle.
Kora provides a range of Australian-made skincare products co-founded by supermodel Miranda Kerr with the help of chemists and aromatherapists. The brand launched in 2009 and offers a blend of natural and certified organic ingredients. I instantly fell in love with the face kits known as “Daily Ritual”, offering smaller trial sizes which are perfect for testing out and also bringing for travel ($32). Another absolute favorite product is the Noni Glow body oil ($58) which helps to moisturize the skin with a combination of Noni extract, Rosehip, and Sunflower seed oils. The fragrance is light and delightful, without being overwhelming.
Jené Roestorf created Luxe Botanics to pass on the message “nature to nurture”, using conscientiously crafted plant-powered, true-to-nature ingredients merged with scientific innovation. For instance, the skincare is centered around active core botanicals known for their traditional use and for their specific skin-transforming powers. Hydrating Marula nut oil from Kenya, Brightening Camu camu berry extract from Brazil and Clarifying Kigelia africana fruit extract from Malawi are the core ingredients, and each formulation is designed to enhance their unique natural properties. Prices range $45-$85.
Late last year, Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, which is a bill to strengthen regulation of ingredients in personal care products. In her testimony to the Senate Health Committee, Feinstein said, “Our skin is our largest organ, and many ingredients contained in these products–whether it be lotion, shampoo, or deodorant–are quickly absorbed by the skin.”
These words ring so true to me and make perfect sense. If we care for our bodies by eating right and exercising, it is just as important to be more selective about the products we are using.
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