The past few years that I’ve been posting my green beauty favourites at the end of the year, I select a couple of favourites as a top 5 or top 3. But this year, I have no set number, just a small collection of some products I’ve loved and why I think you will love them too. The list includes products that are my own products from my cabinet – do we really need another Instagram celebrity being paid for selling us things that they have never used? This is the real deal.
Before we begin, let’s stop for a moment and talk about green beauty and why it matters. I’m continuously baffled by mainstream society – why is it the norm to use products that have high amounts of toxic, chemically made ingredients, that test on animals, prosecutes farmers, endangers wildlife and supports big corporations? What we tend to forget is that we have the power and capacity to change this with our dollar. One thing we do know about cancer is that there is a link to the toxins found in our body and beauty products (if you’re wondering why a company would do this, just follow the money, it’s a rabbit hole). We are constantly sold these toxic products through beautiful advertisements in magazines, a vast form of false advertising through consumerism. And while some big companies do not test on animals, they do sell in China where all products have a mandatory animal testing legislation. I can’t even fathom how that legislation is validated as necessary. These big companies oblige to this for their own profits instead of making a stance for change. MAC even has an interesting response on their website about selling in China and openly state it’s not really about the animals, it’s about ensuring their products are available to all. Just think of the impact they could be making if they said, ‘no we’re not selling in China unless they remove that legislation’?! On the contrary, one of my favourite brands 100% Pure has recently posted their measures and ways of selling in China, this is an innovative and respectable stance, read it here.
Let’s start the list of my favourite green beauty products this year, in no particular order…
- Made in Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Handmade with simple and quality ingredients in small batches
Rose is one of my favourite scents and the combination with Palo Santo intrigued me. I know that burning Palo Santo sticks have become pretty common lately in air purifying and spiritual cleansing but I became familiar with it when I purchased some from a Mapuche tribe vendor on the streets of Valparaiso, Chile and it’s been one of my favourite scents ever since. This mist is one that I’ll spritz on for a few extra good vibes for my day, I don’t smell as much of the rose as I do the Palo Santo but it’s very nice to have the sweet wood smell bottled and with me when I can’t burn the sticks.
- Wildcrafted with raw Maui honey
- Hives are maintained by the creators of the products
- Dark amber glass containers prevent oxidation from the sun
- Free of synthetics, phthalates and parabens
Using oils or oil cleansing as it’s typically called works incredibly well for my skin, sometimes I even use an olive oil and castor oil mix. So I was naturally drawn to this not only for the scent but the application process was unique and has both coconut oil and olive oil in it’s ingredient list. This is the perfect start to any morning, the scent is a floral citrus scent and sure enough my senses were right as it also contains organic oils of rose, geranium and lemongrass. I also love that the creators of Queen Bee, an aesthetician and a herbalist, maintain the hives and harvest the honey themselves.
- 100% organic
- Certified “clean” by CertClean, Canada’s certifiers
- Hand made in Squamish, BC, Canada
Continuing on with how much I love oil cleansing, here’s how I end my day. This cleanser changed the game for me, I love using it – rub it all over to remove dirt and makeup, leave on for 2-20 minutes and then remove with a warm cloth, you don’t necessarily need to use a night cream after either. Not only do I love using it, I find the Chamomile soothing for sleep. In reviewing more about the company online, I really respect their stance on using the right products and less product in your skin care regime. I’m very interested to try more of their products and see more of their videos.
- Handmade in Calgary, AB, Canada
Deodorants are my favourite product to buy green, I think because they were the one thing that never worked when you bought the natural kind and they are one of the most important items that you should switch from the mainstream drug store brands that have very concerning toxic ingredients. But something started happening about six years ago – deodorants that you apply with your fingers from a jar started appearing and they worked! I have however tried a couple that didn’t work or that I didn’t love as much but I’m adding Veggiewitch into my top three favourites (Routine and Meow Meow Tweet are my other two). Veggiewitch has more of a whipped consistency but stands up through the day and smells great putting on.
- Blended by hand in Edmonton, AB, Canada
- Never tested on animals
Libertine Fragrance is one that I followed in Instagram but hadn’t had a chance to see in person. What hooked me was the Black Friday post; in response to what was happening at Standing Rock, their sale was no sale, instead all online sales were given to NoDAPL legal fees and Canadian organizations supporting Canadian First Nation communities. This was completely inspiring and aligned with who I wanted to support and give my money to. I was able to check out their booth at a craft market and smell the scents in person. I thought I would end up picking a scent called Sex and Jasmine, ever since being in the night clubs of Bangkok where jasmine oil is burned, I’ve been hooked on the scent. However, I was instantly drawn to Soft Woods as I’m a musky/dark/mysterious scent kind of girl. The scent lingers with me through the day and I even had a clerk at a store comment on it many hours after first putting it on. I love a few things about Libertine Fragrance, first of all, they are unisex – I’d love to smell these on all. Secondly, just take a look at the website content and you’ll be hooked. I’m kind of a rebel so I align well with people and businesses who follow their passions and go against the norm. We need to support more of these.
- Rated 3 (clean) on Think Dirty
- Certified organic
- Gluten Free
- GMO Free
- Soy Free
- Do not test on animals
- Packaging is recyclable glass with recyclable aluminum lid
I’ve heard about how great RMS ‘Un’ Cover Up is for a very long time. We’ve all been there, we hear the rumbling of a standout product and eventually try it and it’s… meh. For me, this one lived up to it’s hype. It’s great coverage, blends nicely and doesn’t crease. I had a bit of trouble finding my correct shade as I was between two shades depending on the light and what season it was – this is fairly common for me. I almost didn’t purchase it thinking the product just wasn’t for me. After finally settling on one shade, I don’t want to go to my backup concealers that I have on hand. This one is a keeper.
- Chemical free
- Cruelty free
- Made with wind power
- Biodegradable ingredients
- Inner and outer recyclable packaging
- No nano particles
- No irritations
Vapour is also a brand that I’ve heard great things about and decided to give it a try. My favourite foundation is Sappho (smells amazing) so I didn’t think I would like another quite like it. Vapour is a very unique foundation and that’s what I love about it. You need one small squirt and you apply it with your fingers by rubbing on your face. I love that, I feel like I’m more in control of the product and ensuring it’s evenly distributed. A little goes a long, long way with one little squirt. I kept reading on their website that it is breathable and I’m not quite sure I truly understood what that meant until I tried it. This foundation is very light, airy and somewhat watery but trust me, I think you’ll enjoy that as your day to day product. I also LOVE the fact that all the packaging is recyclable! That is something that always stood out to me as the elephant in the room when buying beauty and body products.
Be sure to check out my previous lists of favourite green beauty products for the year (2014 and 2015) as all the mentioned products are still as well loved and used today as they were then. That’s what I am loving about green beauty, the products are better than any mainstream product that I’ve ever used. Are you still needing to make the switch? Stop using just ok products that test on animals or contain toxic cancer causing ingredients and start to fall in love with the little moments of your day with these.
Photographed at Zocalo.