Organic Makeup and Skin Care all about organic makeup and skin care -- going as natural as we can Wed, 29 Feb 2012 02:36:10 +0000 en hourly 1 What’s in a Brand – Dove Wed, 29 Feb 2012 02:36:10 +0000 julena The next star of the ‘What’s in that brand’ series is good old DOVE.  (You can see previous entry for OLAY here).

Ingredients most commonly seen on labels of Dove products:


Dove is a brand owned by Unilever, the world’s third largest consumer goods company.  They can afford some serious advertising on a national and multinational scale.  And you’d have to have been living under a rock to miss all the ‘fabulous’ ‘real-looking’ women of all shapes and ages.  Blissfully using Dove, of course…

And while I normally applaud any effort to free the women of this world from the onslaught of unrealistic beauty expectations, in case of Dove it’s just another manipulative marketing ploy.

I simply cannot buy that these ingredients on my skin can contribute to anything other than REAL health risk.

Here is a bigger view of the ingredients word cloud (click to see full image).

No, thank you.

I’ll stick with my organics…


]]> 1
What’s In That Brand? – OLAY Sun, 26 Feb 2012 04:56:47 +0000 julena You think you really know your makeup/skin care brand?

Think again.  After some digging in EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and playing with wonderful wordle clouds, I am more sure than ever that mainstream cosmetics should not come anywhere near a human’s skin.

I’ll share some of my findings over the next little while in a series of posts aptly titled ‘What’s in that brand?’ …

And the first star of the series is:

(drum roll please…)


The brand that promises you those age-defying miracles!  Just how do they go about delivering them?

ingredients in products by OLAY

It is amazing how far the skin care companies are willing to stretch the truth about their products.  Somewhere behind the far fetched marketing messages, the beautiful professionally retouched models and the fancy product packaging is the truth of what is actually inside.

And that truth can be really ugly.

Do yourself a favour.  Read the the labels before you put anything on your face.  Consult the list of ingredients to avoid if you are not sure what you need.

But honestly, if it reads like a chemical experiment, it’s probably not all that good for you.

No matter what the pretty model says.



If you want to see ingredients in better quality, click on the image below for bigger resolution :

Ingredients in Olay Products

Source data/methodology:

I pulled all the products listed for OLAY on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database .  I then checked what ingredients are listed for each product.  Then using the free tool on I made a word cloud to see which ingredients come up most often.  The larger the word, the more products include that ingredient.

Then I had fun with photoshop to make it all presentable.

]]> 1
Organics Review: BeeAllNatural Organic Lip Balm Sun, 19 Sep 2010 20:59:21 +0000 julena Product Name:

Bee All Natural Organic Lip Balm By Bee All Natural.


About the brand:

Bee All Natural is a one woman show ran by Rachel Nonis. Based out of Shelby Township, Michigan, Rachel started her company because she was tired of buying products that claimed to be “natural” but “still have garbage” in them. No she makes all the products from scratch, packages it, designs and prints the label . In her own words “I want to create products that I can be proud of. Proud of selling, using and standing behind 100%”.


USDA certified organic, food grade quality.


Rachel sent me three flavours to try:

Peppermint, Natural and Grapefruit
I absolutely make these flavours. They make me hungry. Probably best tasting balms I’ve had in ages. Good thing they are organic in case I eat too much! I can’t even pick a favourite, but pushed against the wall I’d probably spill “grapefruit”.


To die for. This scent reminds you what food is supposed to smell like… I keep forgetting that these balms aren’t for eating! Thank god they are food-grade…


Really pretty little tubes. These balms look playful and simple. Fits in my little wallet, which is perfect.


Nothing to complain about. All ingredients are natural and almost all are organic. These products are food-grade quality. Personally I love the coconut oil — i think its responsible for the awesome taste/scent.

Also, I love that all the products are created from scratch, never a prebought base. (Did you know that a lot of manufacturers just buy a standard base, add a couple of useless ingredients and branding, and sell the “new miracle product”? This industry really needs a shake up. Luckily you don’t have to worry about that with these balms!)


I’m so destructed by taste and smell that I wasn’t even paying attention to performance at first. But the performance is perfect. It does what a lip balm is supposed to do.


$3.50 per tube. The products can be purchased from the website as well as various stores.


Absolutely awesome. Highly recommended. Probably my new favourite lip balm!

PS: There is also a facebook page where you can find information about contests and giveaways. I urge you to try it.

]]> 20
Review of NO MORE DIRTY LOOKS – The Truth About Your Beauty Products Wed, 25 Aug 2010 03:45:11 +0000 julena Now that the truth about what’s lurking on your beauty counter is spreading like wildfire, the publishing houses are jumping on the green wagon and putting more and more information out there. Which is really nice of them. Because as exciting as all this search for safe makeup and natural skincare can be, not all of us have the time/money/patience to do it.

And so I’m very happy to introduce you to a new essential read on the subject that recently arrived on the market.

NO MORE DIRTY LOOKS – The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, by Siobhan O’Connor & Alexandra Spunt

No More Dirty Looks - The Truth About Your Beauty Products

So what is special about this book?

It’s practical. It’s fun. Its focus is beauty products and healthy choices, and not a political agenda (though, it’s hard to avoid some politicizing on the subject…) It presents good research with practical applications.

Personally, I love the book’s writing style. As I already mentioned – it’s fun. It uses simple language and simple explanations of convoluted terms and practices. Though I must add a warning for the extra sensitive types – sometimes the language gets a bit PG using s**t type words…. But those are always in context and, in my opinion, used totally deservedly…

The structure of the book is simple and intuitive. In an entertaining (though scary in retrospect) string of personal anecdotes the authors describe how they stumbled into questioning the beauty industry (suffering through the stench of toxic fumes just to get the hair straight should eventually ring a bell for most thinking people… ) and the shock they experienced while uncovering mountains of evidence that this stuff isn’t safe, but no one in power is doing anything about it.

And you know what — I get it. That realization can be nerve-wracking. For those of you still doubting the shadiness of the beauty industry, what do you think of this:

“They’ve read the same reports we have, and then some. So why are they selling us these things? In the words of one industry scientist whose employer charges $250 for a 2-ounce pot of face cream, “Because we can” (p.4).

However, let me assure you. This isn’t just a book about how bad things are and that you should just write to the congress (though you should). It gets practical right away.

There is a very good section on the “dirty” ingredients you should be on the lookout for in your products. (Note: I listed some of the major ingredients to avoid some time ago, but the book’s list is more detailed, plus it includes an ingredient blacklist in an appendix that is really long and scary.) The book has great description of these offenders, including how to spot them, risk associated and studies that indicate that.

No More Dirty Looks covers every major product category relevant to human appearance, gives its background, potential hazards, things to look out for, a list of products you CAN buy in that category and even tips on how to make your own. It even has a recipe for making your own mascara! (! (Disclaimer – I haven’t tried it yet, but the thought is intriguing).

I particularly loved (and was disturbed by) the background story of shampoo. Did you know that it didn’t even exist as a product we know now until 1930s? Me neither…

There is also a very basic diet/lifestyle guide at the end. Some statistics, while true, read like pure entertainment. For example, statistically, all married men are healthier, but only happily married women are (now how is that fair?). And did you know that hugging and other physical bonding has a rejuvenating effect on the skin?

In short, this book is a great overall guide for those who don’t have time to do all the research. Probably one of the most practical and realistic guides I’ve seen. And it’s an easy read – took me only a few hours to get through it.

My only criticism is that the list of recommended products seems to focus too heavily on a limited set of already well known (in the green world) manufacturers. The brand research for things we can use could’ve been wider. I think this is a missed opportunity to introduce the lesser known makers of quality organic/natural products to consumers.

But overall, I recommend this book to any woman who wants to take charge of her appearance in a healthy way. And it should probably be “the guide” given by parents to their daughters when they discover themselves in the mirror.

]]> 19
Old Products, New Infection Risks: The Dangers of Expired Makeup Mon, 23 Aug 2010 02:09:52 +0000 julena The following is a guest post contributed to Organic Makeup and Skincare by Tisha Dotson. This article discusses the whys and hows of special care required for your organic products. It’s not as simple as buying and putting things on the shelf. So read on to learn some valuable tips that might save you from some very unpleasant bacteria encounters.

When we consider purchasing the best makeup, we often take into account several different factors like price, ingredients, whether or not the product is tested on animals, packaging, and skin type designation. However, once the purchase has been made, just as with other products, we have a tendency to think that the decision-making is over. What many do not consider is that taking care of our products is just as important in maximizing their effectiveness as is purchasing the right kind of products.

When it comes to makeup, proper care is absolutely critical. This is especially true of organic makeup. Why? Simply because organic products do not contain the fillers and preservatives that synthetic makeup products do. As a result, organic makeup products do not have a very long shelf life, and since most manufacturers do not print expiration dates, we must be ever-vigilant about the product’s state on our own.

An article in the Green Beauty Guide outlines the problems with expired makeup. Perhaps because of the lack of an expiration date on makeup, it is very common for women to store cosmetic products for years and years. And of course, makeup, whether or not it’s organic, is expensive. As such tossing products away unnecessarily can hit our pocketbooks pretty hard. But the dangers posed by expired makeup are far more damaging than the economic cost of keeping cosmetics products up-to-date.

According to the article, old makeup can harbor dangerous bacteria. With foundations, expired makeup can cause what is called peri-oral dermatitis, which is manifested by little red bumps that look like acne. Expired mascara can cause conjunctivitis, an eye infection that is also known as pink eye. What’s more, women should be particular vigilant when it comes to lipsticks and lip balms, especially if there’s the possibility that it could have been used by others. In many cases, women can get cold sores through a herpes virus that can easily be absorbed by lip products.

Experts say that when it comes to cosmetics products, go with the smell test. Even if it has only been three months since purchasing, if the product smells strange, then it probably contains bacteria and should be thrown out. It’s also very important to consistently change makeup applicators, which are also breeding grounds for bacteria. While it may be difficult to justify throwing out expensive cosmetics products, the cost will be significantly less than having to deal with a potential infection.

This guest post is contributed by Tisha Dotson, who writes on the topics of medical coding certification.  She welcomes your comments at her email: tishadotson86 @gmail . com.

]]> 2
Review of Some Miessence Organic Skin Care Products Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:54:24 +0000 julena Once you start searching for organic makeup or skin care products on line, it’s hard not to run into Miessence. It is a complete line that is sold through independent representatives. I guess it’s sort of a home based business opportunity for those interested in selling it.

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with Miessence. I’m not their representative. I was, however, contacted by a number of representatives. One of them, Annie, sent me a few samples, some of which I’m about to review. So if the product appeals to you, check out her Miessence store.

Ok, let’s get started.

Annie sent me a number of products, but in the interest of time I’m only going to review two: the moisturizer and the cleanser.

Product names:

Miessence Soothing Moisturizer

miessence soothing moisturiser

Miessence Soothing Cleanser:

miessence soothing cleanser

About the brand:

The company that produces Miessence is called ONEGroup which is an achronim for Organic and Natural Enterprise Group. It is Australian based and it produces a whole reange of skincare, haircare, health care and cosmetic products. It makes product that are certified by ACO (Australian Certified Organic), the USDA and IFOAM (Organic Federation of Agriculture Movements, in Europe).

The company distributes its products via independent representatives. (Sort of like Mary Kay and Avon).


According to the web the moisturizer is about $40 for 50 ml and the cleanser is $40.95 for 250 ml bottle.


This is where this brand shines. Miessence got it covered. The products are certified organic by Australian government, the USDA and IFOAM. They are certified organic to International Food Standard. You can’t get better than that.


Both products come in recyclable plastic tubes. To quote from the bottle: “100% Recyclable non leaching Plastic”

Reading the ingredients:

Both products are concoctions of organic oils and extracts. I did not spot any ingredients I could complain about. Bravo.


The products have similar scent. For some reason it reminds me of a certain cooking oil but I can’t quite place it. I wouldn’t say that the smell is the product’s strongest feature. That’s one place where some tweaking wouldn’t hurt. But it’s not all that bad either. Just different…


The moisturizer is a very thin cream, almost watery. The cleanser is also a gentle cream mix, though a bit less runny.


The cleanser does it job perfectly well. I used it to wash off all the fancy organic makeup I’ve been wearing lately (a layer of foundation, brow pencil, mascara and some shadows) and it all came off without excessive rubbing. It also felt gentle and not in the least irritating.

The moisturizer was a bit too light for my skin. And a bit watery – my skin was softer than without cream, but I felt as if there was a tiny tight film on it. (Annie also sent me a really small pack of Miessence Rejuvinating Moisturiser. I wasn’t going to review it officially, but after I tried it I wish she sent me a tube of that one! It was exactly what my skin was craving).


Cleanser – I haven’t tried it on tough mainstream makeup. But for regular cleansing and removing of natural makekup I would definitely recommend it. It’s pure and gentle.

Moisturiser – this particular moisturizer is not for someone with really dry skin. Probably for normal but I wouldn’t know… I think it’s a bit too thin. For really dry skin try the rejuvenating moisturizer.

In any case, do give this line of organic products your consideration. I think they really get what it means to be organic.

Tips: Annie also sent me a set of small sample packs. Which supports my theory that most reputable companies have samples. So if you are unsure about a product you could probably try asking for some samples or buying really small size packages before you plunge into a full blown shopping spree.

]]> 38