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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eco friendly facial cleansers

Reader Amanda emailed me asking:
I was wondering if you could do a review on your favorite eco-friendly facial cleanser. I am in the market for a new cleanser and want to get the best product for the least money that is the most eco-friendly. Who doesn't?! I am sure that you have a wider experience with these products and was hoping you would be able to help me out.

Well, let me tell you, I've used the gamut of cleansers. For a long time I used Noxzema to wash my face, but that got expensive (I was young and poor), so I switched to the generic brand of it. I then moved on to some drug store foaming facial cleanser that was similar in creaminess but easier to use.

From there I got fancy (by now I was making a lot more money) and began using Estee Lauder cleansers. At last (now more concerned about the products I was using) I settled on Alba Organics Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser and was pretty happy with it.

Now, let me back up and tell you a little about my skin type. I used to be a complete greaseball in my teens, then moved into greaseball status only in my T-zone in my 20s and now I am somewhat greasy in my T-zone but dry around my mouth in my 30s. So, in spite of trying everything from drugstore brands to department store brands, I found the organic choice to be equally effective. (As an aside, I love, love, love! Alba's Kona Coffee After-Sun Lotion as a body moisturizer - I just have to stop myself from wanting to lick it. It's a freaking vacation in a bottle. My facial moisturizer habits are a whole 'nother post.)

About a year-and-a-half ago I decided to do something rather crazy. Well, at least for someone whose skin tends to break out like crazy. I switched to using plain ole soap. Not Dove or Irish Spring or other petroleum-based soaps, but Dr. Bronner's. I was half expecting my face to explode, but it didn't.

In fact, my face felt less dry than using some of the other products. I use the bar soap in the shower in the morning and the liquid soap (diluted with water in a foaming pump dealie) at night. And I haven't looked back. No plastics, no petroleum, no nada. Just fair trade, vegetable-based organic oils wrapped in paper or refilled in bulk. And, even better, it's super cheap compared to the other products and I don't have to have multiple bottles of stuff taking up space.

So, even if you have ├╝ber-finicky skin, you might want to give a natural or homemade, cold-processed, soap a whirl for washing your face. If that's just too risky, then check out the Alba line of cleansers. They have a coconut milk one that looks divine for dry skin.

What facial cleansers do you all use? Is it organic?

18 comments:

hedgeshappenings said...

I love the Kiss My Face olive oil bar. It has great lather, a great feel, and doesn't dry out my mid-forties face or neck!

Paper wrapping, obsessively organic!

die Frau said...

Ditto on Kiss My Face olive oil bar. Plus, it's a bar, so it lasts forever. I've been very happy with it, as has my combination skin. I just rinse with water in the morning and use the bar at night.

amandaginn said...

I like the fresh scent and clean feel of Desert Essence's Thoroughly Clean Face Wash.

Amber said...

I wash my face with honey. It felt a little weird when I first started, but now I love it and wouldn't go back. It's totally awesome for my sensitive combination skin. :)

Accidental Huswife said...

I have similar skin, that's gone the same path from oily to dry around cheeks and mouth. And, I still was getting breakouts into my 30's. The thing that cleared it all up was to stop using any kind of commercial cleanser. This sounds crazy, but I use warm water and raw, virgin coconut oil. No breakouts, ever, anymore. Pores are smaller. Dryness gone. It's amazing. I've been meaning to do a post on this -- I should really get around to it.

Terra said...

I've used the Alba Coconut cleanser and it is AWESOME. Of course, I really like Alba Botanica products in general. But, being frugal, I have to day that I too, really love both honey and coconut oil. They soften and moisturize, and seem to really kind of plump the skin - honey is a humectant, and local!

Jenni at My Web of Life said...

I love this new blog of yours! I have also migrated to plain ol' bars of soap. I love Dr. Bronner's but I have also found a bar in our health food store that is a shampoo and conditioner in one (which I use on my body as well). It feels a bit wierd rubbing a bar on your head but I've got the whole family doing it now and I certainly don't miss all those plastic bottles.

As for my face, a friend recently bought me a Norwex cloth. NO SOAP NEEDED and my break-out prone skin has been looking great!

Deanna said...

I've tried the Kiss My Face olive oil bar and didn't like it for two reasons: the size of the bar and the smell. Other than that it was just dandy.

Honey, huh? How does that work? Oh, nevermind, I just looked it up. Does it remove makeup at all? From what I was reading, people mixed it with either baking soda, brown sugar or crushed aspirin if they wanted to exfoliate.

I might just be tempted to try it, using coconut oil as a moisturizer. But I'm afraid of giant zits.

What the heck is a Norwex cloth? Is it like a ShamWOW :)

Yoga Witch said...

I have recently posted on this issue (skin care), and have found the less is more approach to be wonderfully effective. However, I hope you will post on your moisturizer when you get a chance. I am experimenting with lots of things, but have not found an ideal solution. My skin is SO DRY!

Here's my "story" on facial cleansers: http://greenspell.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/leave-your-face-alone/

Marissa said...

Ha! I recently did the same thing. I was using Dr. Bronners, but switched to Ballard Organics since it is local. I use the "uber moist" bar and I absolutely love it.

LynnieBee said...

I have been using the Kiss My Face Olive Oil Bar on my body for months now and it never ocurred to me to use it on my face. I tried it today and so far so good. I have had a terrible time finding facial cleansers and moisturizers that actually work on my picky skin and aren't awful for the environment and my body. So, today, I went out and bought the Alba Coocnut Milk Cleanser and the Pineapple Scrub. I'll start using them tomorrow and we'll see what happens.

I also use a honey scrub on occasion, I mix honey with cornmeal, rub it into my face, and leave it on as a mask for 10-15 minutes, my skin is sooooo soft afterwards, I'll have to try the brown sugar too!

Kitten said...

Have you ever tried making your own cold process soap? That's a way to control exactly goes into the product and also add skin-beneficial extract and oils.

If soap making isn't appealing, I have to suggest African Black Soap, the real raw stuff, it is extremely mild and moisturizing.

Mandy said...

I have actually been using the olive oil method. Check it out here http://walkslowlylivewildly.com/index.php?s=olive+oil+method. My skin gets very crazy when I'm pregnant, but this seems to calm it down. I only wash my face w/ the olive oil/castor oil blend 2-3 times a week. I use coconut oil everyday as my moisturizer and it is awesome! I was afraid that it would make my skin look awful and greasy, but it actually did the opposite.

Megami said...

I use the olive oil method as well, alternating with Lush products.
I use sweet almond oil to moisturise around my eyes.

Anonymous said...

raw honey works wonders... i don't even like it much (to eat) but for my ridiculously dry & sensitive skin, the raw honey leaves it feeling wonderful. i've been using vitamin e and mario badescu products (which all work well) as moisturizer, etc, but i'm going to try the coconut oil...

buy viagra said...

Sounds like a great idea the creation of Eco friendly facial Cleansers, I've always been in favor of nature so this idea seems perfect, I'm always looking for environmentally friendly products, because so much pollution now nature is being affected.

Anonymous said...

I use skinfood - a New Zealand product that is fantastic, natural and cheap (even including postage from Amazon).

anushka sweety said...

Thanks for hosting! This week I’ve shared a post about my decision to stop eating corn and cucumbers and other summer produce until they come into season again where I

live.


Best Facial Cleansers for Sensitive Skin