Thursday, May 29, 2008

Green products for guys

There's probably no reason why guys can't use the same skincare products as women do. But there's a quite a big range of man-specific natural skincare products available, so if guys want something that smells and looks a bit more manly, they have a lot of choices. So if you're sick of your male significant other/relative/flatmate/friend using your skincare products (or if you're a guy who happens to be reading this), here are some suggestions.

Living Nature has a men's range, which consists of:
Eye Gel for Men $36
Soothing Moisturiser $34
Soothing Shaving Cream $34
Soothing Aftershave Gel $34
Gentle Cleansing Shaving Gel $34
Skin Essentials - For Men $55 (travel-sized pack containing 50ml Gentle Cleansing Shaving Gel, 50ml Soothing Plant Moisturiser, and 50ml Soothing Aftershave Gel)

Skinfood makes products which are unisex, including a shaving gel. Skinfood products are not as natural as those made by brands such as Living Nature, but they are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and artificial colours and fragrances. Skinfood products can be bought at Foodtown, Woolworths, New World and Countdown supermarkets. Their products are:

Cleans All (cleanser) $9.95
Light Moisturiser $9.95
Nourishing moisturiser $9.95
SPF 15+ Moisturiser $9.95
Mud Masque $9.95
Shave Gel $9.95
Exfoliating Scrub $9.95
Body Butter $12.95

Aveda has quite a few men's products, but I don't think they're all available in New Zealand. There is only one Aveda concept spa in New Zealand (Bodyscape Beauty Therapy Day Spa) in central Wellington), and I believe they're the only shop in the country which sells Aveda products. They can deliver Aveda products to anywhere in New Zealand though - check out their website: Men's products listed on their website are:

Aveda Men Shampoo Body Bar $27
Aveda Men Shave Cream $41
Aveda Men After-Shave Balm $41
Aveda Men Purefume™ Tonic $129

The Herb Farm makes a Men's Moisturiser - $13.80 for 30ml, $22.20 for 60ml, $33.00 for 120ml. They also include Active Natural Deodorant ($10.20), Lime Shower Gel ($13.80), and Patchouli & Orange Soap ($7.80) as being part of their men's range, although these are not man-specific product (like, they don't say 'for men' on them, so I guess they're unisex).

Weleda has a Moisture Cream for Men ($15.90), Shaving Cream ($10.90), and Aftershave Balm ($25.90).

If you're after something that's reasonably low-priced but still pretty natural, you could try one of Primal Earth's Organic Shave Gels. They cost $9.99 each, and are available at New World, Woolworths, Foodtown and Countdown Supermarkets. Primal Earth was developed buy a Kiwi guy who had trouble with allergic reactions. The products do not contain: sodium lauryl sulphates, parabens, formaldehydes, genetically modified ingredients, synthetic fillers, ethoxolated ingredients, mineral oils, PEGs, petroleum or phalates. The shave gels are available in Menthol Cool, Aloe Hydrate, and Extra Sensitive.

Another low-priced option for shaving is Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave ($14), available in Aloe Unscented, Lavender, and Peppermint.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I've read a lot of reviews (mostly on MakeupAlley, and some elsewhere on the internet) of various natural deodorants. Quite a lot of these reviews have not been all that great; it seems a lot of people are having trouble finding a natural deodorant that works.

I haven't had any problems with natural deodorants working. However, this may be because I apply deodorant several times throughout the day. Sometimes it's because I need to, other times it's before I work out, and sometimes I just get slightly paranoid about getting sweaty. Because I do tend to sweat a lot. Sorry if that's TMI.

I'm currently using Lavender Creek Farm Deodorant. This comes in either roll-on or solid. I have the solid. It costs around $9.80. I've seen the roll-on in Homestead Health, but not the solid (my Mum bought mine for me from the Lavender Creek Farm in Te Horo), but you can buy it online at their website

I have The Herb Farm Fresh Natural Deodorant in my bag at all times for top-ups. This is a roll-on deodorant, it costs $10.20, and you can buy it at Nature Unplugged or Commonsense Organics. It does have a slightly strange smell, but I don't notice this at all when I'm wearing it. The Herb Farm also makes Active Natural Deodorant, which has a more unisex scent. Another roll-on I like is Miessense Aroma free Deodourant ($11.95). It also smells slightly strange (maybe it's the sodium bicarbonate?), but again, not noticable when I'm wearing it. As well as the Arome Free, Miessense also has Ancient Spice and Tahitian Breeze deodorants.
I've never tried crystal deodorants, but if you like them or want to try them, you could go for The Body Crystal Stick ($17.95), sold at Hardy's stores, or Deonat Deodorant Stick, $4.90 from Life Pharmacy stores.
There are also a range of deodorant sprays out there, such as Sukin Deodorant ($12), and Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant ($22.40).
For something completely different, you could try one of Lush's powder deodorants, such as Mr T Deodorant Powder ($11.90), or one of their new deodorant bars like Teo ($12.50, but it's not available until August).

I'd like to try one of the Alba Botanica Clear Enzyme Deodorants at some point, because I find solid deodorants work well for me. But most of the reviews I've read for it on MakeupAlley aren't very positive. Has anyone out there tried this deodorant? If so, what did you think?
Anyway, some other options:
Roll-on: Dr Hauschka Deodorant Floral Roll-On $32, Dr Hauschka Deodorant Roll-On Fresh $32, Avalon Organics Theraputic Deodorant $12.95 (available in Lavender, Lemon, Wild Yam, Rosemary, and Peppermint)
Solid: Nature's Gate Organics Deodorant Stick $11.95 (available in Chamomile & Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass & Clary Sage, Lavender & Aloe, and Tea Tree & Blue Cypress), Lush Aromacreme $14.50 for 100g
Spray: Natural Instinct Natural Deodorant $12, Weleda Sage Deodorant $19.60
Powder: Lush The Greeench $14.50, Lush Coconut $11.90

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ingredient Spotlight: Manuka Honey

Honey has been used for healing wounds for centuries. New Zealand Manuka honey is particularly effective, as some strains of it contain a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The higher the UMF number, the stronger the healing and antiseptic properties.

I have a jar of UMF 20+ Manuka honey, which I use for putting on cuts and burns. I used to use it as a weekly facial mask, but now I use a clay mask instead.

At the end of October last year, Manuka honey brand Comvita launched Huni, a skincare range using UMF 20+ Manuka honey as a signature ingredient. To quote their website (

'Huni™ is made in New Zealand and the natural ingredients are free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate detergents, artificial colours and genetically-modified plant materials.'

The packaging is pretty funky, with hexagonal bottles (imitating the shape of the beehive - it actually took me a while to figure this out!) and colours that evoke honey.

The range consists of:

Everyday Cleanser $38.99
Any Time Toning Mist $28.99
Every Day Moisturiser $45
Every Night Moisturiser $48.99
All Day Body Lotion $35
Every Day Soaps (available in Every Day Kowhai Soap, Every Day Propolis Soap, and Every Day Royal Jelly Soap) $9.99 each
Every Day Whitening $48.99
Night & Day Serum $69

I found those prices on their website - they will probably vary from store to store. The products can be bought from Life Pharmacy and Health 2000 stores. I'm quite keen to try the Every Day Whitening, which is intended to help reduce the effects of pigmentation. I have quite a few red marks on my face from acne (which is now gone, but the red marks are still there, if you follow), and a product like this might help to fade them. However, it is intended for normal to dry skin, so I'm not sure if it would be too pore-clogging for me. It is also quite pricey, though I guess a little probably goes a long way, as you're supposed to apply it to specific dark spots, rather than over the entire face.

Another range that uses Manuka honey as a signature ingredient is Living Nature. A number of their body and haircare products contain Manuka honey, as do all of their facial skincare products (except for Night Radiance Oil), and men's products.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lip balms

I have extremely dry lips. From about the age of nine I would get a crack in the middle of my bottom lip every winter. So it's essential that I have a really good moisturising lip balm on me at all times. I've tried a lot of natural lip balms, but my favourite is Weleda Everon Lip Salve, $11 from Commonsense Organics, Hardy's, Health 2000, Homestead Health and some pharmacies. It's amazing for healing and preventing dry, cracked lips.

I also like Living Nature Lip Balm ($15), and Miessense Jaffa Lip Balm ($11.95), which tastes really yummy. Miessense products can be bought at Conmmonsense Organics, Hardy's and Homestead Health. I haven't seen the lip balm in any of these stores lately though, so if you'd like to try it, you can order it from the Miessense web site:
If you don't mind spending a bit more money, you could try Dr Hauschka Lip Care Stick, $19.00. I have used this before, but I prefer the Weleda one, because it works just as well, and is a lot more affordable. Dr Hauschka also makes a lip balm in a pot, $23. Dr Hauschka products are sold at Hardy's, Health 2000, Homestead Health, Nature Unplugged, Commonsense Organics and Farmers.

If you're wanting a vegan lip balm, you could try A'kin Sweet Blossom and Jojoba Pure Essential Lip Balm, $9.50. I didn't find this moisturising enough, but as I said, my lips are extremely dry. For someone with lips that aren't as dry as mine, this would probably work fine.
Some other options:
$10 and under: Viola Organics Lip Balm $6 (available in Unscented, Calendula and Mint Fresh), Apicare Revive Me Beeswax Lip Balm $6.90, The Herb Farm Lip Balm $9.00 (available in Vanilla & Orange, and Calendula & Lavender)
$20 and under: Evolu Healing Lip Treatment Balm $16, Trilogy Intensive Lip Treatment $17

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I'm currently not using a proper moisturiser; I'm using Natural Instinct Aloe Vera gel. It keeps my skin hydrated, doesn't clog pores, and it's only $12 (can be bought at Commonsense Organics and Homestead Health). I may switch to a proper moisturiser at some point, as winter is on its way and my skin may need a bit more nourishment.

I have tried Living Nature Balancing Day Lotion before. It's intended for normal to oily skin, and it's nice and light, and leaves the skin feeling pretty mattified. It's $45 at Hardy's, Health 2000, Farmers and selected pharmacies.

Another good option for oily or combination skin, which I used to use, is A'kin Unscented Pure Emergency Gel, $25.20, which is intended to cool and soothe the skin, but can also be used as a moisturiser on oily, sensitive or fragile skin.

Another A'kin moisturiser is White Tea & Aloe Vital Hydration Gel Creme, an oil-free moisturiser for combination and oily skin, $33.95. Akin products can be bought at Hardy's, Health 2000, Homestead Health and some pharmacies.

If you have dry skin, you might like to try Living Nature Nourishing Day Cream, $54, suitable for normal to dry skin, or Living Nature Rich Day Cream, for dry to mature skin, also $54.

Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Cream, $32.90, is another option for dry skin, and can also be used as a rinse-off face mask. Trilogy products can be bought at the same stores as listed for Living Nature.

If you are lucky enough to have normal skin, you could try Evolu Moisturising Day Cream for Normal or Combination Skin, $44, available at same stores as Living Nature and Trilogy (sorry, repeating myself a bit here). Or you could try Sukin Facial Moisturiser, $12, which is suitable for all skin types.

For sensitive skin, you could try the aforementioned A'kin Unscented Pure Emergency Gel, A'kin Unscented 24 Hour Pure Moisture ($34.90), or Evolu Moisturising Day Cream for Dry or Sensitive Skin ($44).

There's heaps of other options. For example:

For oily/problem skin: Miessense Purifying Moisturiser $51.95

For combination and oily skin: Evolu Moisturising Day Cream for Oily Skin $44, Antipodes Rejoice Light Day Cream Certified Organic $52.50

For normal to oily skin: Weleda Iris Moisture Cream $23.90

For normal to dry skin: Comvita Huni Every Day Moisturiser $45

For dry skin: The Herb Farm Rosehip Face Cream ($13.80 for 30ml, $22.20 for 60ml, $33 for 120ml), Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream $43.90, Miessense Rejuvenating Moisturiser $62.95

For sensitive skin: Miessense Soothing Moisturiser $62.95

For all skin types: Natural Instinct Facial Moisturiser $12, The Herb Farm Rose Face Cream ($13.80 for 30ml, $22.20 for 60ml, $33 for 120ml), Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream $38.95

Monday, May 12, 2008

Natio Mineral Radiance

Australian beauty brand Natio has a new makeup range called Mineral Radiance. While not all of Natio's products are natural, this range is; Natio's website describes it as:

"Ultrafine mineral make-up to nurture and brighten skin tone. A luminous colour palette. Pure enough to sleep in."

The range consists of a bronzer ($23), a blusher ($15), and four shades of eye shimmers ($15 each).
Natio products can be bought at Farmers stores and some pharmacies. There are also little brocheres about the Mineral Radiance range which list all the ingredients.

I haven't purchased any of the products in this range yet, but I tried the blusher at Farmers a couple of weeks ago. Although it's shimmery, it still looked quite subtle when I put it on my cheeks. I'm intending to buy it and at least one of the eye shimmers, so expect another post on Mineral Radiance at some point.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I never used to bother with using a toner, but lately I've been using Avalon Organics Lavender Hydrating Toner because of the salicylic acid in it (salicylic acid is good for oily skin). It's been pretty good for preventing and treating acne. It's $21 at Health 2000 stores, and is intended for sensitive skin.

Other options for toners:

$15 and under: Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner $12, Natural Instinct Toner $12

$20 and under: The Herb Farm Rejuvenating Facial Toner $18.60, A'kin Orange Blossom & Chamomile Toner $17.90, Weleda Iris Facial Toner $18.70

$30 and under: Evolu Hydrating toner $30, Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner $25, Comvita Huni Anytime Toning Mist $29.99, Antipodes Resurrect Facial Toner $24.00, Living Nature Nature's Hydrating Mist $29.00

$40 and under: Living Nature Hydrating Gel $38.00, Living Nature Extra Hydrating Gel $38.00

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Cleansers are an essential part of a good skincare routine. My personal favourite is Sukin's foaming facial cleanser, which can be bough for $12 at Health 2000 stores (and $9.90 at Commonsense Organics). It comes in both pump top and flip top lids.

I also like Weleda's Iris Cleansing Lotion which retails for about $19.90 at Health 2000 and Hardy's stores. I've also tried Skinfood's Cleans All cleanser, but found that too pore-clogging, and Natural Instinct's Foaming Facial Cleanser, which I found too drying. However, it may be alright for someone with oilier skin than me. I have combination/oily skin.

There's heaps of great cleansers out there, at a range of different prices. To list a few:

$10 and under: Skinfood Cleans All Cleanser $9.95

$15 and under: Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser $12, Sukin Cream Cleanser $12, Natural Instinct Foaming Facial Cleanser $12, Natural Instinct Cream Cleanser $12

$20 and under: Weleda Iris Cleansing Lotion $19.90, The Herb Farm Energising Gel Cleanser $18.60

$30 and under: Kosmea Purifying Cream Cleanser $30, A'kin Sandelwood & Neroli Pure Facial Cleansing Gel $28.90, A'kin Rose & Geranium Pure Creamy Cleanser & Toner in One $28.90

$40 and under: Living Nature Purifying Cleanser $38.00, Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser $38.00, Trilogy Cream Cleanser $38.90, Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser $39.00, Antipodes Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser $37.50, Evolu Relaxing Cream Cleanser $35, Comvita Huni Every Day Cleanser $39.00

Please note that these prices vary depending on where you shop.