Thursday, September 23, 2010

About Face

One of the most difficult things about switching from conventional beauty products to greener ones is knowing what to buy.  I went through a long period of trial and error.  Not knowing which ingredients to avoid and being uneducated about ingredient "lingo", I wasted so much time and money. In no way are my following recommendations meant to imply that I'm an expert on skincare. Rather, these are some products I've found to be beneficial for me and my skin type (which alternates between combination and normal(ish). I notice these variations depend upon outdoor (and indoor) weather, as well as hormonal fluctuations. I again encourage you to use as a resource for learning which products and ingredients to avoid.  Many books have been published about natural/organic/green beauty. Check out a few from your local library to start educating yourself!

I've had a few people ask me what I use to wash my face. To be honest, I switch up my facial care routine slightly when the seasons change. As the seasons change, so too does our skin's moisturizing needs. One of the most dramatic changes I ever made was using face lotion on my whole face, even the oily T-zone.  It amazed me that my T-zone slowed it's oil production once it received the correct amount of moisture. Similarly important, but often ignored, is moisturizing the skin on your neck. But I digress, I meant to discuss facial cleansers. I'll save the topic of facial moisturizers for a different day.

Some facial soaps that I recommend:

I {heart} Calendula, 5 ounce bar, $4

Calendula Castile soap, $3.35** for 5 ounces

Nature's Edge Farm's "I {heart} Calendula" is a nice facial bar that works equally well on your entire body. Unfortunately, this soap is NOT currently available. It's on the curing rack and will available in a few weeks.  This soap is worth the wait as it's neither overly drying nor does it leave you feeling greasy. Keep a close eye on Nature's Edge Farm new website for the I {heart}Calendula as well for some tempting autumn soaps that will debut very soon!

In the meantime, try a new formulation that's extremely gentle on your face, Calendula Castile. It's available now at a ridiculously low, moving sale price on Etsy**. This palm oil free soap is made with olive oil that has been infused with calendula. Calendula petals also add to the "pretty factor" of this soap as does the fleur-de-lis stamp. Packaged very "greenly", this bar features a handmade lotka paper label.  **I've been using this bar for the past week so that I could give you my honest opinion about it as a facial bar. I have to tell you, it's very nice. The bar isn't a high lathering bar which makes it particularly well suited for the face. It has left my face very soft and well cleansed.

Rose Clay soap, 5 ounce bar, $5.50

In the winter months I like to use Aunt Nancy's Rose Clay Fragrance Free Facial bar. This gentle bar gets it's rosy pink hue from rose clay. This soap is so mild that I've used it to remove mascara  without any irritation whatsoever!

 Baby Face soap, 4.5-5 ounce bar , $6
 Michigan-based Relic Soap Co. makes another mild facial bar that I adore for washing my face each morning and night. I used it for most of the summer but think it would be an ideal bar in the winter months as well.   Baby Face  artisan soap is so gentle that I actually use it to wash off my mascara. Baby face does contain lavender essential oil, but it is not overly fragranced in the least! Other key ingredients include goat milk, french rose clay, chamomile and calendula flower extracts.

Some soaps that I would LOVE to try:

Alchemic Muse's Sublime Skincare Complexion soap.  Alchemic Muse offers 6 different formulations to choose from. 

Sublime Skincare Complexion soaps,  2 ounce bars, $6
 Botanika: "to balance and refresh oily, acne-prone skin types"
Nectar: "excellent for any skin type"
Paradox: "brighten and revitalize dull skin"
Oceania: "to nourish and purify the skin"
Elixir: "to rejuvenate and restore mature skin types"
Panacea: "to soothe and restore problem skin types"

Rosehip & Geranium facial soap, 3.5 ounces for $6
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium makes a Rosehip & Geranium soap for normal to combination skin that sounds divine. I've purchased plenty of items from Charlene's Etsy store and have had loved all of my purchases. This facial soap is currently only available on her main website, Please visit her main site or her Etsy shop for other indulgences for the bath.