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Feb 25 2009

11 All-Natural, Eco-Friendly Health and Beauty Products I Love

flowers1After spending years questing after the perfect anti-dandruff shampoo or for a lotion that won’t irritate the very irritable skin on my calves, I decided that it was time to try some all-natural products. Of course, I’m as frugal as I can be, so even though I know I’m going to spend more than I might on other products, my choices are still based on “What product gives me the most bang for my very few bucks?” Sure, these are more expensive than what you can get at the dollar store, but they are way less than your typical department store products. So, without further ado, in no particular order, I present 11 of the all-natural, eco-friendly products I have tried and love. Why 11? Why not?

1. Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate and Soy Shampoo ($8.00, 12 fl oz) and Conditioner ($8.00, 12 fl oz)

I bought this shampoo in an effort to wean my scalp off of smelly, smelly T-Gel. Not only did it do exactly that, it also left my hair super-soft and ultra-shiny. Pomegranate is the dominant scent, but it doesn’t seem to attach itself to my hair the way other shampoo fragrances do. Hands down, this is my favorite shampoo ever.

2. Burt’s Bees Color Keeper Green Tea and Fennel Shampoo ($8.00, 12 fl oz) and Conditioner ($8.00, 12 fl oz)

I tried these after getting some delicious auburn highlights in my hair, and also  because I was able to save a little money purchasing them in a gift set (see my frugal tip below). Like the Very Volumizing products, they keep hair soft and shiny without heavy scent.

Frugal Tip! Purchase the Green Tea Collection Gift Set and save! The Shampoo and Conditioner together cost $16; this set, priced at $14, also contains Green Tea and Lemongrass Hand Soap and the Green & Gritty Eucalyptus and Coffee Scrub Bar (neither seems to be available on its own, from what I can tell). I love the scrub bar and will probably buy another set, since I will use all the products in it. I don’t know, however, how long this set will be offered.

3. Earth Science Almond-Aloe Fragrance Free Facial Moisturizer ($8.95, 5 fl oz)

Moisturizers containing SPF seem to desiccate my skin, and I had been battling really rough spots around my nose and on my forehead. When the manufacturer of the moisturizer  I had been using changed the formula, I decided I needed something new. Since I had had good luck with Burt’s Bees lotion on the rest of me, I figured I’d try something specifically designed for my face. Of the moisturizers  available at one of our local whole food stores, this one had the lowest unit cost, and it works like a charm.  A little of this moisturizer goes a long way, so even with multiple applications daily, it has lasted forever. It does have a faint almond fragrance, but it isn’t unpleasant at all.

4. Earth Science Chamomile and Green Tea Eye Makeup Remover ($7.95, 4 fl oz)

I’ve had this product for all of a day, but already I like it better than the Rimmel, Maybelline, and Cover Girl eye makeup removers I had tried in the past. Maybelline’s product in particular required srubbing, scrubbing, and more scrubbing to get it all off. Earth Science’s gel formula removed my eye makeup in one swipe, and didn’t seem to irritate my eyes at all. I haven’t tried it against liquid eyeliner, but then, I don’t wear liquid eyeliner very often at all.

5. Tom’s of Maine Natural Whole Care Toothpaste ($5.90, 5.5 oz)

I have to be careful with dental hygiene products, since I have had allergic reactions to some ingredients. I’m not yet convinced that this toothpaste is as effective as other brands (I guess I will find out at my next appointment in April) but I have never used anything that left my mouth feeling clean all day long, even after drinking coffee later in the morning. If you aren’t used to baking soda, it may take some adjustment, but the spearmint flavor helps mask it nicely.

6. Burt’s Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Creme ($10.00, 2.6 oz)

I paid about $8.00 at a local natural foods store. Honey makes up the bulk of the scent, and it doesn’t take much to thoroughly moisturize both hands. Bonus: The tube is nicely sized for a purse.

7. Biggs and Featherbelle Granola Bar ® ($4.49, 3.5 oz)

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see this delightful soap. A wonderful friend brought me one of these from Chicago as a Christmas present. How did I ever do without a scrub bar before this? It’s not as abrasive as the Burt’s Bees Green & Gritty Eucalyptus and Coffee Scrub Bar (See #2), so it’s good for days when skin is already a little irritated. Oddly enough, the scrubbiness proves very soothing. And the smell? I kept this bar on my desk at work for two days before I used it, just so I could smell it whenever I wanted.

Frugal Tip! Purchase the Granola Bar® 3-Pack [again, scroll down the page] for $16.99 and recieve the soap, a bath soak, and a lip balm, all for the cost of just the bath soak by itself.

8. Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Lotion ($10.00, 8 fl oz )

I generally pay around $8.00 in stores. This is the product the got me started on my all-natural kick. As I mentioned, the skin on my calves is very prone to extreme dryness and irritation. Doctors have had me go through piles of prescription topical treatments, to no real avail. While so far nothing has completely cured the irritation, this lotion is as close as it seems to get, and it’s pretty darn close. The formula is light and almost fluffy, and just plain feels good.

9. Desert Essence Lip Rescue ($2.99, 0.15 oz)

Many stores offer this lip balm for under $2.00. I think I paid $1.19 for mine. This is my frugal alternative to Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, at $3.00 for 0.15 oz, which I also highly recommend. My favorite? Shea Butter. It tastes like an Orange Julius!

Frugal Tip! This seems to be the sort of thing that goes on sale fairly regularly, at least at our local stores. Stock up when the prices fall, because if you’re like me, you’ll certainly use them.

10. Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Lip Gloss ($7.00, 0.5 oz)

As with dental hygiene products, I have to be very careful what goes on my lips, or suffer an allergic reaction. Since I don’t often wear lipstick or gloss for this reason, these glosses give me a chance to shake things up a bit. Pricey? Not really… compare with Wet ‘N’ Wild’s glosses, $1.99 for 0.15 oz at Walgreens. to get as much lip gloss as in the Burt’s Bees product, you would still be paying about $6.63 or so.  The only problem? They taste so good I tend to lick them off!

Frugal Tip! Purchase a gift set to try out different colors.

And for all you awesome ladies out there…

11. Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Feminine Care products

Seventh Generation offers a great lineup of eco-friendly household cleaners, paper products, and… you guessed it, feminine care items. Without going into too much detail… comfort, comfort, comfort. And that’s all I have to say about that. I also recommend their paper towels, made from recycled paper. I didn’t expect them to be so soft!

Wrap-up

Anyone have any suggestions for products I haven’t listed here? I would be happy to hear your thoughts!

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