Green Beauty Products Review: Journey to the Natural World

I LOVE beauty products! Ever since I was a kid, I paged through “Dynamite,” “Seventeen” and “Tiger Beat” magazines in hope of finding the right product to transform me into a beauty queen. Plum eyeliner, tubes of the latest L’Oreal mascara and Lee Press-on Nails were among my favorites. Even well into adulthood, I still played with makeup. Thanks to my former roommate, who worked in the beauty industry, we hosted lipstick naming brainstorm sessions and enjoyed unique samples. I seldom veered from my favorites, though. Until this fall, when helping with my vegan diet, a nutritionist friend questioned whether I planned to go vegan with my products, as well. Then and there, she ignited a new adventure – finding natural and vegan girly-stuff.

I remember learning that the skin is our biggest organ. So, it makes sense that anything slathered on my body would be ingested into my system. If I’m giving up dairy and meat, for fear (whether it’s valid or not) of consuming additional hormones into my estrogen-positive cancer body, then I should give up products that have milk, soy and additional toxins? So, I paid close attention to all the items used in my daily routine and started reading labels. Since science has never been my forte, I was thankful to fall upon the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living app. (The Skin Deep database now combined with the FoodScores app.) It made shopping for new products easy, as I just scanned the barcode. Testing items was my excuse to go shopping often to revamp my beauty bag.

Below are items that were selected based on the following criteria: effective for its purpose, overall low toxicity number 0-4 (according to EWG’s database) and smells/feels feminine:


1. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps – Best product ever. It can be used for a body soap, facial cleanser and hair shampoo. The 18-1 Hemp Peppermint smells fresh and gives that light effervescent clean feeling.

2. Cold Pressed Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Coconut Oil is the new rage. I’m reading everywhere about the benefits to eat it and use it on your skin. I use it as eye makeup remover, overnight heel lotion and to grease my ponytail frizzes into place.

3. Mineral Fusion Makeup – The graphite mascara works as well as, if not better than, the bests of Lancôme, Dior or L’Oreal. The nail polish remover is gentle and acetone-free; the lipstick stays on respectfully with a solid-matte feel.

4. LaVanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Lavender  Natural Deodorant is a hard category. I almost broke the bank trying several different brands. My favorite works well for ½ day with exercise or just reapply late afternoon. There are some fragrances, thus the medium toxicity number (4). Overall, the scores are low, though.

5. Desert Essence Organics Grape Shampoo/Conditioner – For those who color hair, this is fairly low in toxicity (scores medium due to allergens). It cleans thoroughly and smells like grape Hubba-Bubba bubble gum.

***Winning the “fun” category is EOS – Evolution of Smooth lip balms. These fruity egg-shaped lip balms are 95% organic and 100% natural. An added bonus is that my kid loves the bright colors and often uses them to play catch. If you haven’t tried them, the flavors reflect the season and they smell so good, you can almost taste it.

***The runner-up award goes to Juice Beauty Facial Products – I’ve used a few. They smell fruity and fresh and most items have low toxic levels as it relates to cancer. Because the Dr. Bronner’s soaps work well as facial cleanser, this isn’t necessary. But I have tried, used and liked their facial cleansers and moisturizers, so I thought it was worth noting.

My favorites:

What are your favorite organic, all-natural or non-toxic self-care products?

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a commission with no costs to you. I pro-actively try various products and then affiliate myself with these items that I already use and love.


  1. Love EOS eggs. And while I wanted to believe they were just the right thing to use for my daughter, I now feel REALLY good about it! Have you tried the Intelligent Nutrients products yet? I really do love what I’ve tried so far, especially their hand sanitizer spray (which can also be used as a dry shampoo and an on-the-go fruit/veggie wash). All products are organic (I think vegan), edible and have multiple uses.

  2. Caryn Sullivan

    Awesome Katie. Thank you. I just skimmed the site to learn more. It is organic! I will look further to see if it is vegan. Knowing that Aveda founder, Horst, created this brand, too, brought back many memories of growing up in Minnesota. For those who want to learn more about Intelligent Nutrients before I get a chance to review the products myself, check out:

  3. Ann Dunne

    This is a cool post! Thanks for doing the research. Just went to While Foods and got the mascara. Can’t wait to try it! They didn’t have the deordorant…bummer. I was looking for a shaving cream that works and the gal said none of them really do. So she suggested I try the Alaffia African Black Soap. Apparently it foams up really well for shaving. I’m going to give it a try. She said it’s like the Dr. Bronner’s in the fact that it’s all purpose. Keep posting the great suggestions!

    • Caryn Sullivan

      Thanks for the suggestion on the Alaffia African Black Soap. I will try it, too. I actually use the Dr. Bronner’s for shaving. It does foam a little, but not a ton.

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