by Alana Schachtel
Native Foods Cafe
Happy spring to all! I hope this season has been as enjoyable for you as it has for me. Spring offers so much entertainment: watching and listening to the great bird migrations, tracking the blooming of trees and flowers, and starting up your gardens! Spring is a time of rebirth, and this spring-cleaning I propose you throw away all of your toxic cosmetics and toiletries for natural products.
I used to rely on cheap shampoos, conditioners, and face products from my local convenience store because who doesn’t love things cheap and convenient? However, I did a little more research on all of the toxins in the products I was using daily, and had to make a change to my daily routine. You are not only what you eat, but also what you use. It hasn’t been easy making a change, in the world of natural cosmetics there are many great and not-so-great products out there. After many years of searching, I have found the products that work for me! Here they are:
In the past I have tried Clearasil, Proactiv, and countless other convenience-store bought face washes to balance my skin. I have rather normal, combination oily/dry skin. However, most face washes either over moisturize or strip away all the oil and dry my face out. What has worked the best for me is a bar soap made with essential oils and natural clay. I really like Pure Life’s Organic Volcanic Clay soap. This Pure Life soap is organic, cruelty free, vegan, and 100% biodegradable! The ingredients are simple and effective: organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, organic natural volcanic clay, organic herbal extracts, organic sesame oil, organic olive oil, organic essential oils, pure spring water. My face feels balanced and thoroughly cleansed after I use it.
Auromere’s ayurvedic products are wonderful. Their toothpaste is free of fluoride, gluten, bleaches, artificial sweeteners, dyes, animal ingredients and artificial preservatives. However, it contains “Peelu” which is a natural tooth-whitening fiber. Auromere’s toothpastes are available in licorice, fresh mint, and cardamom fennel. You can pick up a tube of this wonderful, naturally whitening toothpaste at your local Whole Foods Market.
Shampoo and Conditioner:
Ah, the battle with an effective yet natural shampoo and conditioner has spanned over the course of YEARS. A lot of unnatural shampoo’s and conditioners contain sulfates, which cleanse hair so thoroughly that they strip away natural oils and fibers. A lot of natural shampoos and conditioners I have tried have done a mediocre job cleansing my hair, and leave it rough and knotty. One day, as I was perusing the beautiful isles of Trader Joe’s, I came across “Tea Tree Tingle” shampoo and conditioner. Intrigued, I scanned the ingredient list: water, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, nettle oil, thyme oil, birch leaf oil, chamomile, clary, lavender, coltsfoot leaf, yarrow oil, mallow, horsetail oil, soybean protein, coconut derived c12-14 olefin sulfonate, cocamidopropyl betaine, tocopherol (vitamin E), trace minerals, citric acid (corn), sodium hydroxymethyglycinate (sea salt), grapefruit seed. (They also do not test on animals!) I had my doubts that an ingredient list so simple and natural could yield salon-quality results. I don’t know which part is better, the invigorating cooling mint sensation as I lather up my scalp, or how shiny and wonderful my hair looks afterward!
Although there are many wonderful body washes out there, I have to give this one to Trader Joe’s again. Their Refresh Citrus body wash smells and works so wonderfully! Trader Joe’s does not test on animals and the citrus-smell is from essential oils, not some synthetic fragrance. I love Trader Joe’s products because they are affordable and honest.
Night Time Serum:
At night, as well as in the mornings, I use the Pure Life Volcanic Clay soap. Afterwards, I use Brittanie’s Thyme Night Time Restorative Facial Serum. This little elixir is a miracle! It balances and brightens my skin. It is USDA certified organic, gluten free, and vegan. The ingredients are as follows: Aloe (which helps balance a healthy pH), Hemp seed oil (has fatty acids which balance moisture, and contains Vitamin A,C, K and D which is necessary for calcium absorption, especially useful to vegans), Rosemary extract (a natural preservative, rich in antioxidants!), Cyrpress oil (helps tone skin tissues), Sweet orange oil (a natural anti-inflammatory, it has reduced my puffy under eye circles), and Geranium oil (which is antibacterial and improves circulation.)
Alaffia products are fair trade, which means they pay a fair price to the manufacturers of their products. They get their Shea Butter from small African Villages that use natural nuts of the wild Shea Trees. Shea butter is extremely moisturizing and has been proven to reduce wrinkles, stretch marks, and sun damage. I use their Neem and Shea Butter Skin Recovery Face Cream. It smells wonderful, and neem is a natural anti-inflammatory! This moisturizer does not make my face oily, it balances out my complexion perfectly.
I hope you are inspired to ditch your toxic toiletries for these products that will surely make you look and feel great!
Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, natural products, vegan beauty products