Friday, July 24, 2009

Suds Up for Less Than $7 With This Karma Free Shampoo

Kiss My Face is a staple brand in the natural cosmetics movement. I've seen it around for at least 20 years; my parents' friend owned a chain of health food stores in our area when I was growing up, and her store shelves and bathrooms have always been stocked with the products. For those who want a truly natural brand that really works: behold! This one is fantastic. Lathers well, cleans without stripping color, and rinses safely to wherever your water goes, biodegradable and paraben free. A real winner at $6.22 for a sizable bottle. Smells fresh and clean, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Again With the Arcona

Arcona's Tabula Rasa may just be the answer to my adult-onset acne. Basically, if I touch my face, I'm getting a zit. Sunscreens are really doing a number on me this summer, too. I am currently half-way through my first vial of Tabula Rasa (that's "blank slate" for all my non-Latin deciphering friends) and I am seeing vast improvements.  
I think it's really soothing, and it calms and heals inflammation that gone unchecked might otherwise erupt into Carbuncle City. Arcona directs you to squirt the product onto a swab, but I found too much of the valuable fluid was seeping into the cotton. Using my patented more is better approach to blemish fighting, I apply a squirt of Tabula Rasa to my clean fingertips and sweep it directly onto my icky areas. I get mine at Click on the image above if you want to learn more about this product, or Arcona the brand.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally: a Truly Natural Skin Solution


     You may recall my disdain for most exfoliants; you may have read my entire rant regarding plastic nanobits polluting our waterways once we rinse so-called microbeads down the drain. I have found the ultimate solution for facial exfoliants and its name is Arcona!
      In a season of sunscreens, lotions, sweat, garden dirt and bad behavior (summer in Indiana), Arcona's Raspberry Resurfacing Pads rescue this dirty girl twice a day, and my skin texture is better for it! With ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid, congested skin clears up as the textured pads help slough off pesky top layers of dead skin and makeup residue.
     Arcona products are are "cosmeceutically formulated with pure, natural ingredients cold-processed in small batches to keep them fresh, active and super-effective,"  according to ARCONA products are formulated without petrochemicals, binders or fillers, parabens, SLS, perfumes, or dyes. Therefore, this product meets Kitty's approval for eco-friendliness and efficacy! Meow!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fabulous Organic Conditioner

I had to go find a virtual version of this product because my own container is mangled, and therefore unsuitable for a photo shoot. The poor thing is already on its way to be recycled, having suffered all manner of extractive tortures.  First, I twisted and wrung the tube to get every last bit. The next morning, I squeezed and cussed and managed to harvest a small daub, hardly enough to do more than my bangs. The day after, I relied upon magical thinking and came up short until I thought to scissor off the top and scoop out the very last bit of John Masters Organics' honey and hibiscus hair reconstructor. A must for kittens of every stripe, except Muffy who naturally grows perfect wig hair and therefore needs neither highlights nor flat irons. Meow!

Beautorium: Cosmetics Cloud 9!    

By their own definition, Beautorium stocks "carefully edited" product choices, "hand selected from the very best in natural and organic beauty from around the world." Beautorium picks the lines it carries according to criteria such as "Natural/Organic certification by the world's most reliable independent third party organizations." Indeed, with strong brands like Dr. Hauschka, John Masters Organics, Korres, Juice Beauty, and Pangea Organics, this joint is poised to become your Kitty's new natural beauty one-stop mothership! 

     Also, Beautorium aims for cruelty free and/or vegetarian products,  and "effective ingredients with proven benefits." Better yet, they list all the ingredients for all of the products they sell, in the event you are trying to avoid anything specifically in your formulas. Best of all, they don't skimp on the samples! Now get over there and do something nice for yourself now!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Beware of Greenwashing When Buying Cosmetics!

Nothing makes your Kitty snarl and growl like greenwashing. Greenwashing is what sheisty, shady companies (and industries, and governments...) do to sway modern consumers. By using slick PR campaigns and words like "natural," "botanical," or "eco-friendly," some manufacturers make caring, health-conscious and environmentally-aware people think that otherwise toxic/polluting products and practices are really "green."
Just because a product is labeled natural does not mean it's organic, good for you, good for the environment, or medicinal in any way. Botanical ingredients may have been grown irresponsibly with no regard for product purity; even certified organic ingredients can exist alongside toxic carcinogens and/or nonbiodegradable parts (yes, some of the stuff you use to exfoliate actually contains plastic bits).  
Take Archipelago Botanicals for instance. A nice brand, a luxey brand. Its attractively packaged bath, body and "aromatherapy"-type products line the shelves of fabulous boutiques and spas everywhere. According to one website purveying the brand, "Sunflower Oil softens and hydrates. Aloe Vera cools and calms. Vitamin E protects skin from damaging free radicals." Nice, right? And yet, there they are right at the bottom of the ingredient list where they often lurk: parabens. Parabens! Perish the thought! Skin-irritating endocrine disruptors are definitely NOT green!
That said, Archipelago doesn't tout itself as an organic, green brand. But some cosmetics emporiums who resell their lines do exactly that by grouping said products with so-called "green and natural" brands. I've seen it with my own eyes in a few boutiques. Many people don't think a few parabens to ensure product purity are a problem. After all, who wants moldy, spoiled products?
       Most people layer parabens (known most commonly as  methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216) and butylparaben) on several times a day, since the vast majority of cosmetics brands still use the toxic buggers.  If you have sensitive skin, the proclivity to develop tumors when exposed to estrogen-mimicking compounds, endocrine/metabolism problems, or you just plain give a crap what gets washed down the drain along with your body gels, shampoos, detergents,deodorants, and conditioners well then, parabens are a big, huge problem.
I think the single most helpful and influential website on the web is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database. I consult it daily to learn what poisons are out there waiting to be consumed by a product whore like myself. Keep using the products in your arsenal until they're used up (unless of course you consult the database and find your lipstick or what-have-you is a level 10 offender!). It's never hip to waste good makeup or money. But when you shop to replace those former staples or get the hottest new thing, do so armed with knowledge.
If you're behind the movement but you don't have the time for research and unlimited resources with which to conduct your own product trials, then you can cull resources (including this blog) to get some good, honest information. Check the Skin Deep website or go to Organic Divas dot com. They only carry the very healthiest products for your and the environment (I have no relationship with them, aside from admiration). Further, they have compiled a list of the "Dirty Dozen" chemicals in cosmetics, which you can download and take along to the store. Genius! Just be sure to print on recycled/reused paper!