Éminence Red Currant Exfoliating Cleanser ($38)
If you don’t like the grit of a scrub, this gentle antioxidant exfoliator/cleanser is a quick way to keep skin sloughed. Red currant is a good source of Vitamin C and promotes collagen. My skin was brighter and softer right after the first wash.
Jurlique Purely Bright Eye Correcting Cream ($45)
This game changer is 95% natural and packed with two organic extracts: kakadu plum helps reduce the appearance of skin discolorations and citrus unshiu peel helps decrease the appearance of dark spots. The texture absorbs on the spot and has a nice slipperiness to it, which will help your concealer go on smoother.
Tammy Fender Neroli & Orange Antioxidant Crème ($95)
Let’s call this a super-packed multivitamin for your skin. The ultra-rich, concentrated cream (thank you, plant butter) makes skin feel so hydrated you won’t ever need a moisture mask. Not only does neroli help heal scar tissue, but it also balances overactive oil glands.
Lather Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Facial Oil ($32)
If you’re on retinols, odds are you’re dehydrated. This serum has certified organic chia seed oil and high levels of omega-3 to help you keep up healthy moisture levels by plumping up the thirsty skin from within. I add a few drops to give me a natural dewy glow when I’m desperate for a little at-home facial with mega moisture.
Kjaer Weis Lip Tints ($48)
I admit, I was sold by the glammed-up packaging. But you’ll also feel good knowing the healing virtues of certified organic rosehip oil and candelilla wax penetrate parched lips and bring an end to dry, peeling skin, so my gloss glides on easier. Dream State is the perfect nude for everyone, though these berry-tinted shades are so on trend right now.
Origins Ginger Soufflé Whipped Body Cream ($31)
Always a sucker for savory scents, this after-shower fave has that exotic scent of ginger with a tinge of lemon for freshness blended in a base of various skin-loving oils. The winner is rice bran oil, which has a slight anti-melanin property that helps protect from the sun, brighten skin, fade dark spots, and smooth my overall texture.
Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil ($90)
For unrivaled hydration from a multifunctional body oil. This geranium-scented organic oil is heavily packed with starflower, alfalfa, and arnica extracts, which are harvested from organic farms. I use it on the arms and legs (and even add a few drops to my split ends after my nightly shower) for supremely hydrated skin come morning.
John Masters Organics Green Tea & Calendula Leave-In Conditioning Mist ($24)
When I’m on the go, I tend to use water to flatten the frizz. But this nifty spray-in conditioner is my antidote. Made with nine certified organic oils, the weightless mist also has guar gum to give my fine hair a bit of volume without any sticky residue.
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment ($33)
The problem with blow-dry bars? Drying out my fine hair. So I use this insanely hydrating mask as an overnight treatment. The conditioner has rouge oleifera (ojon oil) to strengthen my lank hair before it gets blown out into a full crown of beauty.
Clark's Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask ($72)
If you’re still fearful of the face-oil fad, this mask is for you. The 10-minute moisture fix also doubles as a fantastic overnight cream. The brightly scented jasmine creation, with its algae and comfrey extracts, were safe to use directly after my monthly fruit-acid peel as it didn’t leave me with the tight, dehydrated skin that results after a harsh treatment.
Scotch Naturals Soy Polish Remover ($12)
I could never find a base coat to treat my weak, peeling nails. Turns out, it was also the highly damaging acetone removers. Acetone is a solvent capable of disintegrating even plastic. Since switching to this totally natural, non-toxic, water-based remover, my manis now last well over two weeks.
Neom Complete Bliss Hand Cream ($35)
A hand cream always sits by my bedside. I treat my too-often overlooked hands after hours with this vitamin-rich, thick lotion that has loads of acai extracts to soften as I sleep, but the subtle rose smell disappears far too fast (scented things are my thang).
Kora Organics Rejuvenating Foot Balm ($31)
Flip-flop season means one thing— I’m nervous about being judged for my feet. I love how this peppermint-y fresh vegan balm is made largely with certified organic aloe vera leaf juice, which can be absorbed through up to seven layers of skin and protect the fragile epidermis from UV damage
It’s April already, and with Earth Day approaching, I have an excuse to rethink my current product rotation and start exploring some uniquely sourced natural ingredients. The trend to go natural doesn’t seem to be slowing down: On a recent stroll through Sephora and Space NK, I noticed more shelf space devoted to toxin-free products that promise the same health and vitality as their high-tech counterparts do without the unpronounceable chemical nasties (parabens, triclosan, formaldehyde, sulfates, glycols, and even talc).
I spoke with Tata Harper, founder of eponymous natural skin and body care line, via email. “I find that women today are increasingly in tune with their overall health and wellness, and are becoming more aware of the link between what we do every day and how we feel,” she says. “As soon as your eyes open, as a consumer, to the idea that the products you use and the food you eat play an active role in how healthy you are, it's hard to go back.”
The skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs a large percentage of whatever you put on it, which makes me think twice about everything I use. Now, I get hooked reading about internationally fair trade ingredients, which guarantee that strict economic, social, and environmental criteria were met in the production and sale of ingredients like butters, oils, honey, and plant extracts. Today, we see a slew of naturally sourced elements like kakadu plum and algae extracts on labels, or else ones that emphasize the beauty of raw materials, like the hand-harvested actives found on Tata’s own 1200-acre farm in Vermont's Champlain Valley.
Sometimes these products can be worth the price. “They are almost always more expensive than their synthetic alternatives, because they're delicate and require a lot of careful quality control,” says Harper. If you’re anything like me and spend a good chunk of your paycheck at Whole Foods, consider some of these eco-awesome beauty picks for the face, body, and hair that allow you to give your skin a chemical-free breather.
A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days directing media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.