Natural beauty products can get a bad rap when it comes to efficiency and price point, but these brands offer all-natural wonders that really do the trick and won't break the bank.
While most of us understand the benefits of switching our diets from over-processed fast food to fresh fruit and veggies, many people have yet to embrace natural skin-care and makeup. This is partly because of the myth that natural products don’t work as well as synthetic formulas, and that when they do, they’re incredibly expensive. Let us put your mind to rest. We’ve found 11 affordable natural products from brands that specialize in good-for-you skin care and makeup. The best part? We tested them, so we know they really work.
Frank Body body scrub
Frank Body is an Australian company that bases its line of skin-care essentials off of one ingredient: coffee. The high caffeine content in the brand’s body scrub stimulates blood flow, which targets cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins, acne scarring and a host of other skin issues. (Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the Instagram account devoted entirely to Frank feedback here.) The scrub also includes good-for-you ingredients such as sweet almond oil, vitamin E and sea salt, which help soothe and heal skin. This is a wonder product that makes skin feel soft and smooth.
Frank Body Original Body Scrub, $16, frankbody.com.
Consonant Skincare deodorant
Deodorant has been a hot health topic for a while, but most all-natural sticks don’t work as well as our usual drugstore buys. Luckily, Consonant Skincare has developed a deodorant that’s all-natural and reasonably priced—and that works. The Dealkalizing Deodorant uses ingredients such as cocoa butter, baking soda, aloe-leaf juice and arrowroot powder. The best part? You won’t find any aluminum or propylene glycol here.
Consonant Skincare Dealkalizing Deodorant, $14, consonantskincare.com.
Bite Beauty lipstick
Lipstick that’s good enough to eat? Almost. Bite Beauty is committed to the idea that what goes on your lips should be good for you and look good on. That’s why the company’s lip products include natural and organic ingredients that protect and nourish lips. (Think organic fruit bitters, manuka honey and vitamins A and B.) The latest line of lip colours is inspired by natural ingredients that give each lipstick a mouth-watering citrus flavour, edible oils, and remarkable benefits.
Bite Beauty Limited Edition Amuse Bouche Lipsticks, $30 each, sephora.ca.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, you definitely don’t want to be getting synthetic junk in them. Ilia’s organic mascara is one of the best natural mascaras out there. With an improved formula and new colours, Ilia’s mascara offers length and fullness to your lashes without harsh ingredients.
Ilia Mascara in Nightfall, $31, beautymark.ca.
J.R. Watkins body oil
J.R. Watkins has been around since 1868 and has been committed to natural ingredients for almost as long. Although best known for its Vegetable Oil Soap, we favour the brand’s Body Oil Mist. Hydrate your skin with natural oils and vitamin E in one of three great scents; we’re partial to Coconut Milk & Honey for a lighter approach to fall. The best feature of this body oil has to be its quick drying time—a must for busy schedules.
J.R. Watkins Body Oil Mist in Coconut Milk & Honey, $9, jrwatkins.com.
Province Apothecary exfoliator
Most skin-care experts agree that exfoliation is a great way to slough off dead skin and help cell turnover, but many exfoliators are too abrasive for delicate facial skin. Which is why Province Apothecary’s Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator is so great. Made with oatmeal, lavender and green tea, this exfoliator comes dry so you can mix it with other natural ingredients depending on the season and your skin’s needs. Have dry or sensitive skin? Mix with oil. Oily skin? Mix in yogurt. Or you can mix with water for stimulating exfoliation. Province Apothecary is has released a brow serum that includes coffee and argan oil, which helps encourage sparse brows to grow thicker and stronger.
Province Apothecary Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator, $38, provinceapothecary.com.
Odacité is at the forefront of natural and organic skin care, and its products offer big results. Our favourites? The facial serum concentrates. You can expertly tailor your skin regimen to your needs with 18 different options targeting skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, sagging, deep wrinkles and fragile capillaries. Simply pick your serum, then add one to three drops to your daily moisturizer. Each serum is made with fresh natural ingredients and works hard to heal your skin. After test-driving the Jojoba Lavender Serum Concentrate (which targets clogged pores), skin was noticeably clearer after only a couple of days, making this product a must-have.
Odacité Pure Elements Jojoba Lavender Serum Concentrate, $39, thedetoxmarket.ca.
Tata Harper Fortifying Body Lotion
The Tata Harper brand gives a new meaning to organic beauty products. The luxury brand is known best for its efficacious skincare offerings and beautifully scented products. This lotion delivers on powerful anti-aging benefits to the entire body. The lightweight product feels like a serum and helps reduce the appearance of spider veins, tones with a trio of rose extract and helps minimize cellulite. Not to mention it's crazy hydrating, without leaving behind any sticky residue.
Tata Harper Fortifying Body Lotion, $90, beautymark.ca.
Lush face masks and skin tint
Lush Fresh Face Masks are so fresh they must be stored in the fridge. Everything from the product to the packaging is sustainable. Try the Rosy Cheeks Face Mask, which helps soothe and calm skin. Made with calamine and rose oil, this mask cleanses, nourishes and calms without leaving skin dry. After one use, redness is subdued and pores look visibly clearer. We also have to mention Lush’s skin tint, which works wonders as a foundation on its own or when you mix it with your regular moisturizer. This tint creates a your-skin-but-better look and feels like you’re wearing nothing on your face.
Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask, $13, lush.ca. Lush Colour Supplement in Light Pink, $17, lush.ca.
Pai face cream
Pai Skincare provides organic solutions for sensitive skin—meaning the products are gentle but work hard. Take the Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream. This cream with essential fatty acids, geranium oil and thistle oil (which is rich in omega-6s) helps clear congested skin and balance oil. Say goodbye to your oily T-zone without starving your skin of moisture. Because it dries quickly to a matte finish, the cream is also a great base for makeup.
Pai Skincare Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream, $64, paiskincare.com.
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When to toss old product
You have to let go of the old to make room for the new—and there are new products being released every day. Remember that beauty products do expire, especially the liquid ones like foundation, mascara, and skin-care. There should be a guideline on the packaging (it will look like a cream jar with a number on it—that number is the amount of months after opening that the product is good for), but if you can’t find it or don’t remember when you opened it, here are a couple of things to look out for.
Look for changes in consistency. Lumpy formulas or a separation of oil and pigment are red flags. If the smell resembles something rotting or the colour has darkened or oxidized in the bottle, it’s time to throw the product out.
If there’s a bad odour when you open the lid or the product is crumbling and breaking apart, you probably shouldn’t use it. Also, if you constantly have to scrape off a top layer of grime, throw it out.
If you detect a bad odour or if your lipstick is drying out or applying patchy, toss it. If your lip gloss is goopy and coming out in lumps, you don’t want to put that on your lips.
Quick tip: If you live in a warm climate, it's a good idea to keep your skin-care products in the fridge to preserve freshness.
There are times when you find yourself not using certain products because they’re stored in the backs of your cabinets or drawers. Out of sight is out of mind so get those products back in sight. Try pulling them out the night before and keep them on your vanity or dresser so you can remember to add the items to your rotation.
When to give away perfectly good product
If you’ve got products that are as good as new but you don’t find yourself using them, take a moment and ask yourself: Why did I buy this product? Why did I stop using it? Can I add this to my makeup routine or skin-care regimen?
Chances are if you haven’t used it yet, you probably won’t. Perhaps pass it along to a family member or a friend who might get better use out of it. Or even take a box full of your unused items to a women’s shelter. If you are going to donate, make sure your items are in clean and sanitary condition.
How to sanitize your beauty products:
For powder compacts, wipe the powder with a piece of Kleenex to remove the top layer. Then, take a new piece of Kleenex—fold it or cut it down to the right size—and place over the powder to avoid bacteria from getting into the fresh layer. If you threw out the box, seal with tape; no one but the new owner should be opening it. This works for face powders, blushes and eyeshadows.
For lipstick, lipgloss and other stick products, wipe them down with a piece of Kleenex sprayed with the cosmetic disinfectant. Once again, seal boxes or the products themselves with tape.
Always use a mini spatula for products that are in jars so you’re not dipping your fingers in there. Also, don’t throw away the plastic divider that covers the cream. When you want to give it away, all you have to do is seal the outside with tape.
Cosmetic sanitizers can be found at most beauty stores and makeup artistry stores. Always keep a sanitizer and a brush cleaner on hand.
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