{eco beauty} 4 eco lotions + magic skin potions

when it comes to my beauty + make up routine, my look is decidedly bare. all i ask for is a clear complexion + bright, nourished skin. so my pulse quickens when i hear of new face + body moisturizers made from plant extracts with no artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives. skip down for a quick guide to 4 small wonders, powerful moisturizers for a fresh face + dewy skin {oh, and each + every product comes from an independent + woman-owned enterprise}.

the right moisturizers protect + revitalize skin; they are high in antioxidants + vitamins that help neutralize free radicals + infuse thirsty skin with vital nutrients. they clarify + promote an even skin tone by bringing balance to your skin. i've chosen four remarkable plant-based + cruelty-free beauty brands that do it all:

1// conscious coconut: you've got to love a company with one stellar product that contains just one superb ingredient. this moisturizer is crafted from cold-pressed, USDA organic certified coconuts; it can be used as a daily moisturizer to even skin tone + it smoothe lines like a dream. for every purchase you make, a child is given a meal through a partnership with feeding america food banks. to date, 35,000 children have been fed via donations from purchases of this wonder product. conscious coconut works directly with the growers + farmers to source virgin coconut oil from fair trade farms in both thailand and the philippines. this conscious collaborative helps these farmers build sustainable businesses, which positively influence their communities + ensures that they’re compensated justly. conscious coconut has only one magic ingredient with remarkable antibacterial + anti-fungal properties: the coconut. a woman-owned business led by danielle conte. 

2// tay skincare: this small-batch + artisan-crafted skincare collection has a deliciously warm, floral scent. tay translates the abstract scents of nature into perfect botanical moisturizers that soften + soothe skin. you'll find no parabens, sulfates or petrochemicals in their light, effective lotions; only fair trade + organic ingredients. tay has made it one of their goals to support their sources, as well as the earth's natural resources. in collaboration with the fruit tree planting foundation, tay makes donations to bring fruit + trees back to local + global communities, including public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, international hunger relief sites + animal sanctuaries. planting fruit tree orchards helps combat world hunger + global warming, strengthens communities + improves the surrounding air, soil + water. their magic ingredients include shea butter, mushroom extracts + sea buckthorn. a woman-owned business led by sarah tay. 

3// juice beauty: juice beauty is an organic skincare line that is used by three generations in my family. i love the lightweight texture + subtle fruit notes of these moisturizers, each made of certified organic + antioxidant-rich ingredients. if you're in the u.s.a. you can scoop up a bottle at ulta as well as their online boutique. in my family, the stem cellular neck cream is a fave {we use it everywhere, not just our necks} + the aromatic overnight cream is also a hit {we use it during the daytime too}. their magic ingredients include jojoba, shea butter, a proprietary blend of fruit stems cells + vitamin c, infused with grape formula. a woman-owned business led by karen behnke. 

4// devita natural skincare: i've been using this moisturizer for four years now, and if products could have a personality, i'd say this one is bright, fresh + zesty. just as coffee helps some battle fatigue in the morning, this lotion helps awaken my skin. it absorbs quickly, leaving a non-greasy finish + a beautiful sheen to the skin. devita skin care products are 100 % vegan + paraben free. they never contain GMO's. devita products are never tested on animals {only humans!}. their magic ingredient is organic aloe vera for soft, smooth skin {and it this is a must have if you have sensitive skin}. a woman-owned business led by cherylanne devita {doctor, entrepreneur + ceo/president, this woman does it all, my friends}. 

bonus// athar'a skin essentials: inspired by ancient eastern traditions + ayuverdic knowledge, this organic + vegan cream is made with absolutely no harmful chemicals, fragrances, synthetics or parabens. loaded with antioxidants, protein + vitamin e - this luxurious cream provides intense hydration while reducing wrinkles + dark circles. athar'a helps to provide shelter + food to orphaned children and generously aids in the renewal of our earth's resources by donating a portion of sales to three stellar nonprofits: trees for lifegive light + charity water. their magic ingredient is moroccan argan oil for increased elasticity. a woman-owned business led by sara davoodi. 

for a full body lather// try weleda lotion {at naturalia in france or target in the usa} or andalou organics lotion {at target in the usa or online here}. 

{don't forget the tip} natural products are spectacular multi-taskers; the same oils you use to moisturize your face + body can be used as a face wash, hair conditioner, make-up remover, for treatment of scars + infections, after sun care, itch relief + shaving cream {the perfect product for wanderers + adventurers who like to travel light}. now all you have to do is choose a moisturizer. if you're new to plant oils, find out how i became fast friends with plant-based oils here + learn more about botanical ingredients + their healing properties herethe cosmetic, skincare + haircare industries combined are an $80+ billion per year industry, and have been unregulated for decades. stacy malkan, founder of the campaign for safe cosmetics is a health and environmental activist who has shed light on the issue of toxic ingredients being used to formulate our everyday bath + beauty products by the world’s largest cosmetics companies. she asks the following poignant questions in her book not just a pretty face:

why do companies market themselves as pink ribbon leaders in the fight against breast cancer, yet use hormone-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that may contribute to that very disease?

why do products used by men and women of childbearing age contain chemicals linked to birth defects and infertility?

stacy shares the following glad tidings, "while the major multinational companies fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, entrepreneurs are developing safer non-toxic technologies and building businesses on the values of health, justice and personal empowerment." for some of that healthy glow, click on over to any of the indie brands listed above. 

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{feature image via conscious coconut}

{eco beauty} bug off: 4 natural insect repellents

while cool weather is settling upon some parts of the world, summer is blooming in other parts like australia + new zealand. i'm devising a way to eventually make my way to all the exotic, warm-weather destinations across the globe, in the meantime, this little nomad is over the moon to be heading to the lush + verdant city of portland, oregon {along the pacific coast of the united states}.

and while paris + chicago are cooling down, my best friend who lives in oregon happily reports that the weather is mild + temperate: perfect hiking + mountain climbing weather. as we hit the trails, nature will offer all the beauty + majesty that i so love, but it will also offer something else: mosquitoes, ticks + other biting insects. so what are we going to do about it? read on insect warriors:

we're going to find a natural solution, of course! there are important reasons to eschew conventional products used to repel insects, specifically chemical ingredients known to be harmful to health including deet. deet is a registered pesticide; it is absorbed through the skin and passes into the blood. research shows deet affects the central nervous system, and when combined with other chemicals, can lead to learning + memory dysfunction.

here are four healthy options for all the hiking, biking, beach-going + nature-loving folks who just want to enjoy the sunshine + the great outdoors sans all those toxic chemicals:

1/ meow meow tweet: made with witch hazel, lavender water, apple cider vinegar + lemongrass essential oil

3/ intelligent nutrients: made with cedarwood bark oil, rosemary leaf oil, peppermint oil + geranium flower oil

4/ naked botanicals: made with witch hazel, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, citronella oil + lavender oil

5/ butterbean organics: made with neem oil, citranolla oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil + peppermint oil all-natural, small-batch sprays made with ingredients that will protect you from pesky critters, that's the way to enjoy nature! for full ingredient lists, click on links.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{eco perfumery} essence + alchemy: 8 sensual, sustainable scents

"scent has a profound impact on our lives. smell is one of our strongest senses with the power to evoke different states of mind, and to change our perceptions." lisa hanson

perfumes, like personal style, are such a beautiful expression of self. mandy aftel, renonwned natural perfumer, observed that "aromas can take us anywhere." they serve to comfort + soothe: a deep, bright aroma can uplift + invigorate; a warm, softly aromatic perfume can calm your mood + restore your body's balance.

natural, clean perfumes are created with organic essential oils + plant extractives derived from nature's bounty {flowers, fruits, leaves, roots + more}. most commercial cosmetics + personal care products are made with unsafe petrochemically derived ingredients created in a lab {synthetic fragrances, phthalates + parabens*}. lucky for us, there are lots of sustainable + naturally derived alternatives.

the ingredient lists of eco perfumes often read like a botanist's private journal through a field expedition: notes of birch, amber + pine {those are ingredients worth trying} or cedar, juniper + vetivert {now we're on the right track}. the following bespoke perfumes offer sweet, sensual + downright intoxicating aromas!

{the goods} here are just a few of my favorite eco, artisan perfumes, because the nose knows:

1/ florescent: susannah compton, a self-professed "maker at heart" is the founder + formulator of florescent fragrances, a line of hand-crafted, 100% botanical perfumes made from real flowers, herbs, balsams + spices. susannah is a clean beauty enthusiast who launched florescent in 2015 after working with botanical aromatics for years, blending for therapeutic purposes. eventually she embarked on a personal journey to craft rare botanical essences. sans synthetic fragrance, sans chemical additives + cruelty-free

2/ one seed: seeing a gap in the market for natural perfumery, liz cook decided to yoke her passion for natural health + cosmetics to her passion for entrepreneurial business. liz creates artisanal perfumes made with organic + natural ingredients in the land down under {that's australia!}. she uses plant extracts + essential oils to create original + earthy fragrances, with 10% of profits donated to organizations that help disempowered people throughout the world including australia hope international. one seed offers custom-designed fragrances + aromatherapy blends. organic ingredients, sans synthetics + cruelty-free

3/ lurk: founder + perfumer anne nelson sanford notes that "scent is a really intimate thing. when you have a crush on someone there's this deep affinity for what they smell like. when we use natural elements we're unlocking actual sense memories, rather than approximating through chemistry." * a self-declared tomboy, sanford was always interested in beauty products from a science perspective. sanford was inspired by a passion for sustainable living, eco beauty + the power of essential oils to create . she hand pours and blends her gender-neutral perfumes with organic ingredients. sans synthetics + cruelty-free

4/kahina giving beauty: pioneering entrepreneur katharine l'heureux has put thought into every aspect of her ethical business, from sustainable sourcing to green formulations and environmentally-responsible packaging since 2008. she is dedicated to protecting the environment + giving back to the indigenous people of morocco who grow, harvest + produce her raw ingredients. kahina's warm + exotic fragrances are made with fair trade ingredients sourced from small family farms + cooperatives {offering marginalized women a means of financial and social independence}. 1% of annual revenue is donated to organizations that directly benefit the women of south morocco. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

5/ skin + bones: crowned the natural "oil mixologer" heidi jenkins considers her work with clean skincare + aromatics a part of the burgeoning safe cosmetics movement. heidi launched skin + bones in 2009 with only a single product, her jojoba-based moisturizer. it has since expanded to include a warm, luxurious parfum. heidi believes what you put on your body should be as pure as what you put in it. learning of the healing powers of essential oils {the skin-restoring benefits + therapeutic properties} + drawing upon traditional native american medicine, heidi created her own potion of nurturing essential oils derived from organic botanicals. organic ingredients, sans alcohol, sans chemicals

6/ french girl: kristeen griffin-grimes describes herself as a musician, a dreamer, a former author, and a "farmer at heart with a vaguely engineer-like mind." she's the creator behind the popular, organic skincare line french girl, founded in 2010. kristeen handcrafts her pure + simple products in seattle, washington from wild-crafted ingredients. organic essential oils are sourced from around the globe including the south of france, north africa, australia + the mediterranean basin. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

7/ethica: this online ethical retailer has a collection of scintillating scents for eco boys + girls including perfumes from hi wildflowers botanica + williams + murray + soul sunday aromatherapy rollers {all made with botanical ingredients}. all natural, vegan perfumes. ingredients are sourced from companies who use only ethical practices in line with their own. natural ingredients + cruelty-free

8/ olo: self-taught perfumer heather sielaff hand blends and bottles each fragrance to order in portland, oregon. heather started olo in 2009 with only $200 + an assorted collection of essential oils. her talent truly flourished when she harnessed her creative outlet to her own indie startup vision. olo's blends contain locally sourced essential oils, fractioned coconut oil, key accords and absolutes. sans aldehydes, sans alcohol + cruelty-free

{*the skinny} most cosmetics + personal care products are unregulated in the u.s.a., hence manufacturers are allowed to use hazardous chemicals without labeling them as toxic {fragrances, which are used to scent, are neurotoxins + allergens; phthalates like dbp, which are used to hold scent + color, are reproductive and developmental toxicants}. essential oils have been used throughout history for their physically + emotionally healing properties {and to tempt would-be lovers: legend has it that cleopatra had the sails of her ship soaked in jasmine to lure mark antony}. essential oils boost immunity, ease tension + headaches, promote focus + relaxation, and even help treat depression + insomnia. join the clean beauty revolution. for more information, read no more dirty looks.