Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Green Living List: Beauty Products

For me, using as pure ingredients as possible on my skin has always been a priority. However, balancing affordability, performance and quality has not always been an easy task.

Some of my favorite green beauty products have come by trial and error, though I have learned of many more by word of mouth. So I hope that you find something useful in my product list, and in exchange, would love to hear of your favorite green beauty products!


Dr. Hauschka

I have dabbled with Dr. Hauschka products over the years, but recently began using their line exclusively. This is due in part to recommendations of friends, and in part to their availability in my local health food store.

Of their products, I use the cleansing milk, toner and light rose cream. I also use their eye cream. The use of their line has completely transformed my usual beauty regimen, in that Dr. Hauschka believes in moisturizing at the beginning of the day, not at night. The philosophy behind this is that the skin should be able to breathe while at rest.

I love how my skin feels and especially love the toner that I spritz over my face, neck and chest every evening and morning. It's like a mini spa treatment every time.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

This is my husband's 'beauty' regimen. He uses it from head (hair included) to toe. Literally, he lathers up like a puppy with one bar of soap and rinses squeaky clean. He even uses it to shave. I tease him sometimes about his expensive beauty habit as one bar lasts about a week in our house.


I use Aubrey shampoo and conditioner for my hair. It has worked very well for me even though it is formulated for dry hair, and I don't really have dry hair. I like the Honeysuckle Rose scent the best. This is another new product that I've started using since moving east almost a year ago now. I think it's my favorite green shampoo and conditioner of those that I have tried, and it's both easily available and affordable.

I also use Aubrey moisturizing lotion, also in a rose scent. I'm not typically a scent person but the rose is very faint. Also, I love the creaminess of this lotion. It soothes dry hands in an instant, which is always something I look for when buying a moisturizing lotion. 

We use Aubrey baby body wash for washing little hands, and have found it to be very gentle on soft delicate skin. We keep a bottle at the kitchen sink and another in the bathroom  They also make a baby shampoo. However, I wasn't that fond of it (as it seemed to leave their hair flat), and that is why we use the following product at bath time. 

This shampoo and body wash was recommended to me at our local Co-Op after I had tried several other similar products. What I love about this product, in addition to its pure ingredients, is that it leaves the hair wonderfully soft and luxurious just as it claims on the bottle. Sometimes that is the biggest challenge with finding the right green product - a balance between good ingredients and good performance. This has both. 

We used an entire tub of shea butter this past winter. It's wonderful for chapped lips, hands and feet. My naturopath doctor also mentioned that it is rarely an allergen so it's especially great to use with children and their sensitive skin.


Weleda is another amazing European company. Like Dr. Hauschka, they strive to use the purest ingredients and practices in making and sustaining their products.

I love their chapstick, and am also a longtime user of their Wild Rose Deodorant.

At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if I smell like a rose garden gone wild. All of my beauty products that happen to have a scent are rose-scented. But I think because all of these lines use the purest ingredients, the scent of rose is very subtle. To be sure, I asked my husband Mike:

"Do I smell like roses?" I say with morning hair and sleepy eyes.

Laughing, he said, "Of course," and then inhaled me and went back to work.

But he can't be a reliable one to ask so I'll stick with my original claim - the scent is subtle.


I use bareMinerals mineral veil, which is a translucent loose powder that has sunblock in it. It's replaced my regular face powder. I am really not a make-up person but nonetheless, don't seem to leave the house without powder to even out my 40 something year-old complexion. Hmmm, and a few other things as well...

Gabriel Cosmetics

For mascara, lip stick and lip liner, I use the Gabriel product line. It was recommended to me years ago by someone out west, and continues to be readily available and recommended here in the east.

CHI Ionic Low EMF Hair Dryer

Years ago, I read about common household products with high levels of EMF (electro-magnetic fields) exposure. Hair dryers were at the top of that list. This product offers a reduction in that exposure.

That about sums up my green list for beauty-related products. Again, I believe that word of mouth is often the best way to learn about a new product so please, let me know your favorite green beauty products!


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I've not heard of some of these products, but will look for them and give them a try. We also use Dr. Bonner's soap. I use olive oil as a moisturizer as well as Jason's body lotion. We also use Jason's Aloe Vera shampoo. Once a week I deep condition my hair with coconut oil.
    Looking forward to trying some of your suggestions.
    Thank you again,

  2. Desert Essence face wash. It kills fleas as well, though tea tree oil is not recommended for dogs, but it should also kill lice in childrens hair instead of caustic, dangerous products. The product we are never without in the house is Nature Made d-alpha (not dl-alpha) vitamin E. We prick the capsules for use on sun burns, regular burns, bug bites, cuts, bad bruises and just about everything. Pharmacist recommended it for a terrible injury to my then young daughter's face and there was no scarring.

  3. I like OSEA products from Malibu, CA. Not cheap, but good products. I have rosacea and use their milk cleanser, and I love it. Cleans well, removes makeup, doesn't bother my eyes, and is very gentle to my fair, Irish, rosacea skin. I also use their Ocean Lotion for hands. I order everything online, as I'm also in New England. Love your blog and your philosophy. I'm almost 60 and proud to say I learn a lot from those much younger than me!

  4. I buy Montana Emu Ranch Super A & E Serum on Amazon to use on my face at night. It's completely natural and only contains argan oil, apricot oil and emu oil. It's the emu oil that makes it penetrate so well. I had a facial recently and the esthetician was amazed at how good my skin looked for a 55-year-old.

  5. What a great list! And you know, if you have to smell like anything, a rose is not so bad. :) I myself am a lemon gal. Have a great weekend! Kit

  6. Nice list. I'll have to try Aubrey shampoo and conditioner. I did not know that about the hair dryer.

    I am a huge fan of Now Foods Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I keep some in the bathroom in a glass dish and use it for everything. It's a great make up remover and after cleansing, I use it as a facial moisturizer. My skin has never looked better. Due to the hyalauronic acid in it, it also reduces fine lines and wrinkles. I am in my mid fifties and I don't have any wrinkles at all. I get so many compliments on my skin. I have used this religiously for five years now. I moisturize my face at night and again in the morning after cleansing. I blot off any excess and apply foundation right over it. (I also have stayed out of the sun since my mid-thirties, don't drink, don't smoke, eat mostly organic foods too.)

    I also use it for cooking (different jar, lol) due to it's health benefits. It's also great for burns of any kind. It's also anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal so it's fabulous to get rid of anything from a cold, flu to pneumonia. My son was born severely disabled (random mutation)and used to be a very sick young man with frequent pneumonias and on a ventilator numerous times and once I started using this, he was never hospitalized again. He gets 2 tbsp./day. It's been four years now and our billed hospital charges used to range form $100k-$500k a year. Now it's less than $10k and that's just for routine visits and routine lab work. I have tried other brands but this brand worked better than other organic brands.

    It's also great for people with Alzheimer's or any other neurological issue-the MCTs convert to ketones (instant energy) without the need for a ketogenic diet.

    One of the newest things I have been using with amazing results is olive oil. I used to have long beautiful nails that were ruined when I tried the No Chip Manicures. I was left with weak, peeling and dry nails. Nothing worked. Two years after the fact, they still weren't the same. I started using extra virgin olive oil after reading about it on the internet and my nails are amazing. Once I remove polish, I wash my hands and then soak my nails and hands in the olive oil for five minutes. I rub it all over my hands and nails and then soak them. My nails are growing like weeds again and no longer break or peel. I do this once and sometimes twice a week. I do my own manicures. My hands look amazing despite the fact that I do frequent hand washing since I care for my son. I know nail polish isn't natural but I love long, pretty, well groomed nails.

  7. I am glad to know about the Aubrey shampoo you recommend. I've been using one by Jason Cosmetics that is okay, but I'm not crazy about it. I'll try your suggestion. I use body lotions that are free of parabens, like the ones by Alba Botanica. I always choose the fragrance free versions. For toothpaste, I use Tom's of Maine. And make-up wise, I have switched to Bobbie Brown mineral make-up and loose powder, which I am very happy with (though not considered "green," my skin is happier since I've been using it). My go-to for lips is either Palmer's Cocoa Butter or Bert's Bees peppermint lip balm. For color on my lips, I love Origins lip balms and liquid lip color, which also has peppermint. I love the way mint feels on the lips!

  8. This is very interesting and informative. I am glad you posted this so we can try them. I also read about the coconut oil and if I weren't in my pj's I would run out now and get some. Hey if dream mom says no wrinkles then I'm getting it.
    I have one tried and true skin regimen that I have been doing since I was 12 and I too get complimented on my skin. Noxema. I use noxema and have never used soap or any other cleanser on my face but it. Not to take off my make up but after. I use the make up remover sheets from Neutrogena, and a merle norman eye makeup remover but then it's noxema. I've taught my sons to use it and always have a jar in the shower. My latest wonderful product is from Mayron's goods, the baby milk. I use it all over my body. it is natural and safe for all types of skin. Love it! But I am definitely taking notes as I read this post.

  9. I've been a long-time reader of your blog, but thought I'd finally comment since so many of your favorite products are mine, too! I love the Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose line and the Rosa Mosqueta lotion. I've tried nearly all of Aubrey's formulations, and Honeysuckle Rose and Island Naturals were the two that worked best on my thick, somewhat coarse hair.

    I do have a question about Dr. Hauschka's facial products, as I've been wanting to try those for so long but keep getting scared away by the price. Have you noticed a difference in your skin? Do you do the whole routine with the warm compress and the "press and roll" technique?

    For my kids, I use the shampoo/body wash and conditioner from The Honest Company. It has a nice sweet orange/vanilla scent and makes their hair nice and silky. I think they're soon going to be stocking this line at Target. We also use their toothpaste for kids.

    I also have a weakness for homemade soaps and, in particular, Casco Bay Soap from Maine. Her scents are all so lovely, and her soaps sell for $4 a bar if you buy them through her website. She always throws in a free bar when I order, too.

    I am normally not a perfume person, as I can't stand harsh, artificial scents, but I do occasionally wear a roll-on perfume by Pacifica (sold at Whole Foods) in their French Lilac scent. It is very light and wears off quickly, but it smells so much like a real lilac bush in full bloom--it's heavenly! If you ever tire of smelling like a rose...try smelling like a lilac!

  10. Dear Anon,
    I do feel as if my skin is softer and more radiant. Also, it seems to be lasting a long time as just a dab of lotion covers a lot.
    I do not do the regimen you mentioned however. I'm too busy! I wash with the cleansing milk and spray toner at night. Morning I wash again with cleanser, spray toner and then use light cream and eye cream.

  11. Dear Anon,
    I do feel as if my skin is softer and more radiant. Also, it seems to be lasting a long time as just a dab of lotion covers a lot.
    I do not do the regimen you mentioned however. I'm too busy! I wash with the cleansing milk and spray toner at night. Morning I wash again with cleanser, spray toner and then use light cream and eye cream.

  12. Dr. H. also makes a great mascara!

  13. Thank you so much for this post!! I have always wondered what kind of body care products you used. I'm curious what you use to clean your teeth? Toothpaste? Baking soda? I've used the Jason brand of toothpastes for several years and have quite liked them. A neighbor said she recently switched to using just baking soda, but I don't like the taste of it plain :) I'd love your opinion.
    Thanks so much!!

  14. Thanks, Catherine. I'm going to get the trial-size kit of Dr. Hauschka's facial products before I invest in the full-size items. I do find the philosophy of not moisturizing at night to be intriguing (and so counter to the conventional wisdom of slathering on rich creams at night), and it seems to make sense. My husband is always after me to stop using lip balms for the same reason--he thinks I'm fooling my body into not creating natural moisture for my lips and, thus, I'm actually drying out my lips by continually applying lip balm. But it's a habit I just can't break!

    Anyway, I love your blog and find it so inspiring. Nice to have you on the East Coast now!

  15. Thank you for sharing, and I enjoy seeing the comments, too.

    I like the gardenia scent in the body lotion and shower gel from Shi Kai. Gardenia can be really overpowering. This is a pretty gardenia scent, but I do wish it lasted a little longer.

    Take good care, Em

  16. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite products. I have been using Rodan + Fields Soothe skin care line and love it. I notice a huge difference in my skin. I love Dr. Bronner's soap too and use it to clean my floors. The scents are natural and gentle.

  17. I just love this post and could talk about this topic for hours!

    I use a lot of 100% pure products, including their skin care and also makeup. I highly recommend their coffee eye cream - it smells delicious and I could jump in a vat full if that was possible. I also love their honey almond body cream and carry their virgin coconut hand cream in my purse. I use so many others of their products as well.

    have u ever tried the goats milk soap at whole foods? I like that as well.

    I have also used some of shea terra products, mostly their argan oil.

    I have to agree with the reader who uses pacifica French lilac scent. it's my favorite. my second favorite is the Tahitian gardenia scent. I like some of their lip products as well.

    I also like some of the burts bees lip shimmer products.

    I am definitely going to try the shampoo and conditioner that you recommend. I have tried several, but haven't loved any of them. a couple things that I haven't found decent replacements for are deodorant and toothpaste.

    Thanks for writing such an interesting post.

    linda r (phila burbs)

  18. Dear Natalie, I read "Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye" by Doctor Ellie Phillips about a year ago and have been following Ellie's oral health care plan since. For the first time in my life, my annual dental checkup didn't include any heavy duty scraping. The hygienist and dentist both wanted to know what regimen I practiced, as my mouth, teeth and gums looked so good.
    Best, Catherine

  19. For years I used an organic lavender soap (recommended by my doctor) for my acne prone skin. But they discontinued it. I was devastated, but remembered that glycerin was a major ingredient so I tried a plain 365 glycerin bar of soap and it works pretty well. So I'm wondering, is glycerin soap good for the skin? Also I read that hemp oil is noncomedogenic and have begun using it for dry skin.
    I can't wait to try all the products you recommended. Thanks!

  20. As long as you floss beneath the gums daily and brush twice a day you will prevent bacteria over growth. The products are personal preference but it is nice not too have additives, artificial sweeteners and detergents in the oral health products. As a dental hygienist I recommend the Tom's of Maine products thanks to my husband. He has always claimed our American toothpaste and mouth rinses have too much sugar, artificial sweeteners in them.
    I am going to give the Dr. Hauschka's products a go. Trial size samples for the facial care products listed on Amazon are fairly priced. Thanks everyone for your comments and thank you Trisha for starting the conversation!

  21. Thank you for all the suggestions. While I wish I could transform our entire diet/product list immediately to clean living I am learning that it is a process. I have been researching and making changes for several years now--starting with making my own cleaners. I would love to grow and harvest all our own food but being a military spouse makes it difficult to begin a garden and then move. So, I am working on changing recipes to unprocessed foods. Lastly, I have been taking a look at products I put on my skin. I am in my mid-thirties and can start to see some signs of aging. I started using Obagi last winter but then learned about the dangers of Parabens which their products contain. So, on the hunt again and looking forward to getting into a steady/regular skin routine. Wondering if anybody has a daily facial sunscreen to recommend?
    Thanks for all you share and post! You are an inspiration and I swoon over your photos. Looking forward to my husband retiring from the AF so we can settle down and create the home I day dream about. For now, I will work on green/clean/natural living one product/ recipe at a time!

  22. Thank you for sharing all of these products. Just today I finally ran out of my lotion, and referred back to your list. I'm going to try out the Aubrey rose lotion as well as the baby shampoo. I don't have much on my beauty shelves, but I do love Dr. Woods Pure Black Soap with Shea Butter. I use it in the shower and love it as a face wash - not too drying and leaves your skin feeling clean and great. Thank you again!


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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