April is Earth Month, a great time to re-energize with eco-friendly beauty products. So wake up and smell the coffee. Coffee soap, that is, with BodyCoffee's energizing body bar ($9), a glycerin-based bar soap made with coffee and peppermint extract. Or if you prefer to get clean with a liquid product instead, try Organic Surge's invigorating shower gel in citrus mint ($6), a high-foaming gel that will perk you right up in the morning. From a lemony scrub to an energizing lotion to a scent-stimulating fragrance made with food-grade ingredients, just click on any of the images above to discover more.
I am sure you are well aware of what the word natural means, but in the beauty sense, it's actually more scientific than you would think.
For a product to be approved and labeled natural, its materials have to be 100% in their original state. This means their inherent chemical bonds must be intact.
In the cosmetics world, materials can be processed only enough so that the physical shape is formed (the shape of a lipstick, blush, etc..) by means of grinding, chopping or packing, but the chemical structure needs to remain unaltered.
I love retro packaging and natural products, so I simply must get my hands on some of this Filthy Farmgirl soap very soon . Don't let the name fool you: These brightly wrapped bars are anything but tainted. In fact, they're made from 100 percent natural ingredients — including homegrown herbs and coconut and safflower oil — and the labels are printed on recycled paper.
The bars ($5 each) come in a dozen yummy scents with cute, sassy names: I'm especially curious to try Silly Sarsparilla, Cinnamon Temptation, and Peppermint Patootie. As Polkadotrobot pointed out, Filthy Farmgirl offers free shipping on all U.S. orders, and the company offers free samples if you spend a mere $10. (That's just two soaps!) For more details, read more
Origins and Scottish singer KT Tunstall have joined forces in support of Project Sunshine, a non-profit that helps children and families dealing with AIDS, cancer, and other serious medical conditions. Tunstall had been searching for a company to partner with and felt that Origins was the best fit, because of its organic style and earth-friendly products. When Tunstall became the face of Origins, the singer and the brand chose Project Sunshine as their charity of choice.
Every time Origins opens a new store, it donates 10 percent of the first day's sales to the local Project Sunshine chapter. On Monday, Tunstall will play at Project Sunshine's annual gala, and the Empire State Building will be lit in yellow in support of the charity.
To read about Tunstall's five favorite Origins products, read more
I have always liked Burt's Bees products, but now I have an even better reason to admire the brand. According to Women's Wear Daily, Burt's CMO Michael Indursky wants to lead an effort to regulate the so-called natural-beauty industry.
While shoppers are increasingly drawn to natural and organic beauty products, there is very little regulation of the category. In fact, Indursky's first step will be coming up with an official definition of what "natural" means. According to WWD:
"A natural product should not have parabens, any synthetic preservatives, sulfates, animal products or anything with suspected potential human health risk," Indursky said.
He said he was looking to apply the definition to items that contain 95 percent natural ingredients.
Ideally, if products didn't meet that qualification, says Indursky, they would not be allowed to use the word "natural" in their names. Products that did meet the requirements would get a special insignia.
I, for one, think this is a great idea. It's unbelievable to me how many products marketed as "natural" or "organic" are packed with chemicals. After all, just because a lotion contains herbal extracts does not make it natural. It sounds like a massive undertaking, but I'm glad that Burt's Indursky is taking it on.