Four Friday Favorites: Natural Products

Whenever possible, I try to use natural and/or organic products. We use only natural dish soap, cleaning wipes, multi-surface sprays, toilet cleaner, sulfate-free hand soap, and organic toilet paper. My mom belonged to a coop when I was a child and we always had the very uncool crunchy peanut butter and whole grain bread (no white bread and Skippy in our house).

Still, when it came to beauty products I used to feel like I had to choose between conventional products that worked or all-natural alternatives. Now, natural beauty brands make products that are as effective as conventional ones but are far friendlier to my sensitive skin. I am now buying mainly natural skincare and makeup that are cruelty-free and free of these dirty chemicals. Below are four of my favorite beauty and personal care items, in no particular order.

1. Acure Moroccan Argan Oil is certified USDA Organic, and is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids and proteins. My facial skin is on the drier, sensitive side and since I've started using this product, the texture of my skin has improved dramatically. I also rub it into my cuticles at night, and it can even be used on hair or dry elbows. It's a healing, multi-use oil that I never plan to be without again.

2. Tata Harper Clarifying Spot Solution is for blemish-prone skin, and it treats breakouts but doesn't dry out the skin. The first week that I tried this, my skin was in the middle of a bad hormonal breakout (full disclosure, I had switched birth control methods). I noticed right away that the painful, hormonal pimples along my jaw switched from being hard, to the kind that you can easily pop. The second quick change was a reduction in redness and inflammation, and pimples seemed to heal extra fast. The only breakout I've had since I started using this spot solution was when I forgot to apply it while PMSing. If you don't like the scent of juniper, you probably won't like this smell. Tata Harper products are quite expensive but when I use them, they make a drastic difference. They're also 100% non-toxic, and are created just a few miles from my house.

3. The Konjac Sponge Company 100% Natural Vegetable Fibre Face Sponge With Nourishing Mineral Rich Pink Clay for Tired or Devitalised Skin (whew!) is a hard sponge that becomes very soft and moisturizing when wet. The Konjac sponge was developed in Japan and is derived from the Konjac plant. I received this sponge in my Petit Vour beauty box last month, and use it after my face wash in the shower. It smooths my skin, refines my pores, and feels like a mini facial.

4. Organic Tampons (by Natracare and Seventh Generation, specifically) are free of fragrances, deodorants, chlorine processing, and pesticides. Cotton is one of the dirtiest crops when it comes to pesticides, and pesticide residue has been found to cause infertility, hormonal imbalance, and even cancer. Similarly, many conventional tampons come with plastic applicators that contain phthalates, which mimic human hormones and have been found to be endocrine disrupting compounds (they are also found in many conventional perfumes). I have used both Natracare and Seventh Generation for tampons, and the occasional pads, and love their products.

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