Saturday, September 07, 2013

2013 Organic Product Review Guide

Greetings Readers! It is with great excitement that I present my 2013 Organic Product Review Guide! These are products worth buying, trying and sharing. 

I love organic products. I feel so much better about using them on my skin than I do about using many of the harsh products that I have bought in the past from CVS, Mary Kay, and the mall. Born with sensitive skin, I have also been limited to unscented and hypoallergenic products, and being a girl, I’ve tried many of these as well. So today I’m going to share my experience using organic, hypoallergenic, natural and sensitive skin type products as I skip along on my quest to find the healthiest, easiest and most cost effective cleansing and beauty regimen.

Although I had been buying my natural products on The, (which I reviewed last spring on this blog, here…) I recently discovered the small businesses on, which, if you have never visited this site, is an online marketplace “to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies.” I decided to check out some of the smaller organic goods sellers, and found a few companies worth mentioning. It is important to me to try to buy products from small American business owners, and I especially like supporting female business owners.

Firstly on, is Alena over at Bella Organics, ( who was very friendly and supportive of sending me some products to test out. She grew up on a farm, and stands by her motto: “Love your body—Pure and Natural. Never any toxic ingredients, only organic, healing botanicals.” She started making organic products after having moved to the city and becoming more tired and sick. 

I wasn't allergic to any of her products and I tested many. My favorite of her batch, was the "Chocolate Lip Balm" which you can buy for $3.50. What a bargain! Expect to get one from me for Christmas, colleagues! :) Her other flavor of lip balm, was a bit dry for my overly and already dry, cracked lips, but also worked to hydrate them, just as the chocolate flavor did. 

Another product I was surprised to find in my goodie box was "Organic Sunscreen." I was very excited to see what ingredients would be in that! Its main ingredients were essential oils, zinc oxide, and aloe. It had the texture of a light facial butter, and the scent of mint. It was a very refreshing layer to add over my makeup. 

Her "Not Scented Body Butter" hydrated my legs to feel and look as moisturized as a supermodel's and wins my "Best Skin Moisturizer for the Body" award. It was the first time my husband Tom had noticed my smooth legs in years: a win! 

I also received several product samples from Ann over at Ann's Herbals, who is also on ( Ann got started making products to help sensitive skin, eczema, and itchiness, trying to avoid harsh ingredients. Her products were especially suitable for me! 

Her lip balm was the first lip balm ever to moisturize my lips for over four hours with only one application. To get this result I used her "Lavender Vanilla" flavor. It was light, smooth, and worked for hours. 

Another product of Ann's that I loved was her "Simple No Pimple" body soap bar. It was great for the neck, chest and back, and just took away the excess oil and irritants on the skin, and restored the skin to a soothing feel. I'd share a photo of the bar, but I used all of that product gleefully, and now it's gone! It is available at her website above. 

I was also excited to try the "Simple No Pimple" salve, but I put it on before bed and when I awoke it had got in my eyes and irritated them, so don't try using it like that! Luckily, having been using the aloe listed below, I haven't had too many pimples, but the salve does help when I've got one or two to deal with. 

One of my favorite Eco-Chic brands is Giovanni Cosmetics. I first tried the Volcanic Ash Exfoliating Face Wash, and ever since I've been trying more and more of their products. I highly recommend them. (Florida readers: Their "Smooth as Silk" Shampoo and Conditioner's are at Publix now!)

The shampoo smells like the light scent of grapefruit, and the conditioner really fills in dry, cracked hair in a non-greasy or dandruff building way. That smooth feeling really took the frizz out of my hair, and for September in Tampa, that's saying something! 

Another new weekly staple is the detox-mask, also with Volcanic Ash and Antioxidants. While you might think these products are too drying, the Açaí and Goji Berry really moisturize well. Giovanni's products have all really made a mark on me. They are definitely worth checking out. As you can see in the photo on the right, my exfoliating mask is almost gone because I love that one so much. It's my third tube this year! The black facial soap on the right is a lighter, daily version of the facial scrub, also great on the body areas that are prone to acne. 

Best Facial Moisturizer: Nature Republic's Aloe Vera Gel. How to clear acne? Aloe cooling gel. Who knew? Of course it soothes burns and dry skin, and it's in practically every skin care product out there, but I had never thought to put it on my face until I saw my brilliant Chinese student doing exactly this yesterday. Then she showed me the "before" pictures on her iPhone, and I was surprised how clear her face had become since the photos. "Three days," she said when I asked her how long it would take to work. I had figured about a week.

So I put it on two weeks ago. The first morning after using it, my face had gone overnight from red and itchy and raw to white, and clearing and fresh. Still, I had stress and heat acne, so I reapplied twice today. Excited to see the results after two weeks. Much improvement already! This is the jar we've been using. It's Korean and you can order it on Amazon for about $6, but honestly, we have many similar products in the USA, so I'm guessing your after-sun cooling gel with Aloe will also work. Check the percentage of Aloe.

Organic Makeup: The best brand that I've been able to find for organic make-up is Physician's Formula Organic. My best friend from college recently wore this brand for her wedding and looked radiant. I've used these products before for years, and after taking a break for a higher SPF foundation, (hello summer in Florida) I've switched back to these.

The light tinted moisturizer is great for sensitive skin, even with the light scent that it has. It does has SPF 15, too. It just seems a tad oily, so when I forget to use toner at night my skin gets greasy.

Update to Tinted Moisturizer: (9/16/13) Lately, when I put it on in the morning, I find that my eyes are extraordinarily sensitive to light. It appears I'm allergic to the scent/make-up. Back to the drawing board. 

The Physician's Formula Organic mascara is pretty heavy for an organic formula, so it's definitely better to use a lighter color (like brown instead of black) or less product.

This product, the Physician's Formula "dark circle corrector" really does help to take the sleeplessness off of your face. It's double-sided roller balls cover with a yellow tone, and then even out with the skin shades, for a more refreshed look, even when you're exhausted or traveling. Worth the $14 sticker price!

 So I hope that you've enjoyed my organic product review.

What's your favorite organic product? Please share products or brands that I should check out and review below!