Saturday, August 30, 2008

'Tween products

Preteens or ''tweens' (ages 8 - 12) will have different skincare needs to younger kids. Puberty often brings oily skin and/or acne, so a foaming facial cleanser containing witch hazel may be helpful - try Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser, $12 for 125ml, or Natural Instinct Foaming Facial Cleanser, also $12 for 125ml.

This is nothing to with skincare or anything - but, if you want your daughter to use more natural menstrual products, check out Natracare. They make enviromentally friendly menstrual products - their tampons are made from organic cotton - and their website is pretty cool - check it out at It has a lot of really interesting info on it.
For girls who are just starting to get interested in makeup, suggest they try a glossy lip balm like Living Nature Lip Balm, $16 for 10ml, or a tinted lip balm like Alba Botanica Terratints, $8.99 for 4.2g.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hair styling products

Although there is not quite as much variety of natural hair styling products as there is natural shampoo and conditioners, there are quite a few options.

For gel, Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, $25.50 for 200ml, is pretty good, as is Miessense Shape Styling Gel, $29.95 for 250ml. I have used both of these, although I prefer waxes to gels.

I am currently using Giovanni Glam Traxx Stick Wax, $27.50, but I can't find this product in the new packaging, so it may have been discontinued. However, Giovanni makes Wicked Wax, although they call it a pomade.

I really like Ecokid Bubbalicious Shaping Paste, $25.95 for 100g. Yes, it's designed for kids to put in their hair to keep headlice away, but I find it works great on my hair, which is wavy/curly - it helps define the curls.

Folr anti-frizz serums, I like Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Super Smoothing Anti Frizz Serum, $25.50 for 78ml. To hold my hair in place, I use Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz $25.50.

Some other options:

Gels: Aveda Brilliant Retexturing Gel, $19 for 25ml, and $56 for 150ml; Aveda Confixor Liquid Gel 250ml, $49 Alba Botanica Strong Hold Style Gel, 198g.
Waxes: Aveda Custom Control™ Gel Wax 100ml $56

Mousses: Giovanni Styling Foam Natural Mousse Air Turbo Charged $25.50, Aveda Phomollient™ Styling Foam 200 $38

Clays: Ecokid Tuff Stuff Matte Hair Clay 100g $25.95, Aveda Men Pure-formance Grooming Clay 75ml $49

Hairsprays: Aveda Witch Hazel Light Hold Hairspray 250ml $38, Aveda Brilliant™ Hair Spray, $13 for 50ml, and $49 for 250ml

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cool brand: Living Nature

Living Nature was founded in 1987 by Suzanne Hall. The brand's signature ingredient is Manuka honey. They hold the following standards:
No Synthetic Preservatives
No ingredients we consider potentially harmful
No Mineral Oils
No Irradated Ingredients
No Herbicide or Pesticide Residues
No Genetically Modified Ingredients
No Animal Ingredients (except for honey, beeswax, and carmine)
No Animal Testing
Always Use High Quantities of Bioactive Ingredients
Only Use Recyclable, Reusable, Reduced Packaging
Living Nature makes skin care products, body care products, mother and baby care products, men's products, hair care products, healing products, and makeup. I have quite a bit of their makeup - their eyeliners are great.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Leave-in conditioners

After washing my hair, I slather it in leave-in conditioner, to help combat the dryness and frizziness. I use A'kin Lavender & Anthyllis 24 Hour Intensive Leave-In Conditioner 150ml, $15.30. Leave-in conditioners give your hair a bit of extra moisture, and help to protect it against heat styling.

Some other options:

$25 and under: Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Leave-In Hair Treatment 150ml $22.50, Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner 250ml $22.50

$30 and under: MOP Leave-in Conditioner 200ml $30

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hair masks

Once a week I use a hair mask - Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructer -instead of a conditioner. It's $22.50 for 200g. It is intended for hair that has been colour treated, and heat styled a lot, which mine isn't, but it is quite dry with a tendency to get frizzy, so the mask helps with that.

Some other options:

$20 and under: A'kin Ginkgo & Jojoba Intensive Moisture Vitamin Mask 150ml $15.30

$30 and under: Trilogy Botanical Moisture Mask for dry hair 95ml $29.95

$40 and under: MOP Extreme Moisture Treatment 200ml $32, MOP C-System Reconstructive Treatment 200ml $37

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ingredient Spotlight: Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is great for soothing skin, particularly burnt, irritated, or sunburnt skin. Having your own aloe plant is a great idea, because you can use the gel straight from the leaves.
Alternately, you can buy an aloe vera gel. A lot of aloe vera gels don't contain all that high a percentage of aloe vera, but Natural Instinct Aloe Vera Gel contains 98% aloe vera. It is $12 for 125ml. Sukin Aloe Vera Gel is also $12 for 125ml, but I prefer the Natural Instinct gel, because the Sukin one has alcohol in it, which can sting burnt skin.
I have recently been using the Natural Instinct Aloe Vera Gel as an eye makeup remover, and it works quite well. It does sting my eyes a bit, and I do have a bit of trouble with my contacts getting blurry and irritated, but usually rinsing them a bit more thorougly than I would have previously seems to help.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kids' products

We've covered products for babies, but what about kids? There are plenty of natural, eco-friendly personal care products that are designed just for kids.

To keep kids' teeth clean, try Snappy Jaws toothpaste, $5 for 100g, from Health 2000 and Commonsense Organics. It's free from fluoride, sugar, and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, and it comes in three different flavours: Punchy Pineapple, Awesome Orange, and Strawberry. Another kids' toothpaste is Weleda Children Tooth Gel, 50ml for $6.80, available from Health 2000 and Commonsense Organics. It is designed especially for milk teeth.

To protect your kids from the sun, slather them in a kids' sunblock, like Dr Hauschka Sunscreen Cream for Children SPF 30, $40.20 for 100ml. This is quite an expensive option; a cheaper one is Alba Botanica Kids' Sunscreen, SPF 30+, $19.95 for 118ml. Both are available from Health 2000, and the Dr Hauschka one from Farmers, Hardy's, and Commonsense Organics as well.
Headlice is often a problem when children are young (it sure was for me!), and there are many natural products to treat and prevent lice. Ecokid is an Australian brand of hair care products for kids, designed to prevent and treat headlice. The range consists of:

Prevent (Shampoo) 250ml $25.95
Prevent Sensitive (Shampoo) 250ml $25.95
Nourish (Hydrating Conditioner) 250ml $25.95
Daily Leave in Tonic (Leave in Conditioner) 500ml $29.95
Tuff Stuff (Leave in Clay) 100g $25.95
Bubbalicious (Shaping Paste) 100g $25.95
Lice Bomb (Nasty to Lice, not kids) 50ml $32.50

I have used Bubbalicious, and while I'm not a kid, I really liked it. I think it smells great, but apparantely lice don't agree, and it helps keep them away. Stockists can be found on the Ecokid website. New Zealand brand Botanica also has some products to treat head lice: Mr Nits 50ml and 100ml ($27.90) sprays, and Mr Nits Once-a-Week 100ml bottle ($19.90). Nature's Nurse has Lice Lather Treatment Shampoo, $18.95 for 100ml, Lice Lather Preventative Spray, $15.95 for 100ml, and Head Lice & Nit Removal Comb, $11.95. Check out their website for stockists.
For kids who like to paint their nails, there are some safer options out there. SHE Australia Nail Varnishes come in fourteen colours, and are free from formaldehyde and toulene. $14.90 each from selected pharmacies. Sparitual nail polishes are free from formaldehyde, toulene, and dibutyl phthlate. They come in heaps and heaps of different shades, although I've only seen a small selection available. I've seen them at Nature Unplugged, and Bodyscape Beauty Therapy Day Spa (New Zealand's only Aveda concept spa), both in Wellington, although I'm sure they're available in other parts of the country. The nail polishes are $25 each.

For bubble baths, Unearthed has four kids' bubble baths: Planet Bubbles, Bubbles Me Hearty, Sea Bubbles, and Bubble Magic, each $7 for 375ml. They are free from parabens, SLES, artificial colours, and artificial fragrances. They do, however, contain Ammonium Laureth (or Lauryl, can't remember which) Sulphate, so if you want to avoid sulphates altogether, you could go for Bod for Bubs Bubble and Squeakie Clean, $24.90 for 300ml. I mentioned it previously here. It is intended for babies, but it would be fine for anyone to use. Unearthed bubble baths can be bought at Hardy's and selected pharmacies, and Bubble and Squeakie Clean from Nature Unplugged, and Hardy's.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Products to treat eczema

Fortunately, I don't suffer from eczema myself. But a lot of people do, and there are natural treatments available.

Xma Ease is a cream made with all natural ingredients, including collidal silver and jojoba oil. It is free of steroids. Available in a 60ml tube ($21.50) and a 100ml tube ($36). It can be bought at an number of different pharmacies and health stores - check out their website for stockists.

Some other good products are Natralia Nourish Eczema & Psoriasis Wash 200ml (not sure of the price), and Natralia Nourish Eczema & Psoriasis Cream 50g (22.99). Available at Health 2000 stores.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Product review: Natio Mineral Radiance Blush 'n Brush

A while ago, I mentioned Natio's Mineral Radiance range. I finally bought the blusher a couple of weeks ago. It was not easy to find! It was sold out at Farmers, and I managed to get it from a pharmacy a few weeks ago.
Packaging: A tube, with a brush on top, so the product comes through the brush. Can be unscrewed.
Price: $15

Size: 3.1g
Suitable for: All skin types

Available at: Farmers, selected pharmacies.

Pros: Affordable, nice colour, good quality

Cons: Packaging is not all that great, only comes in one colour.

Verdict: I really like this blusher, but the packaging isn't that good. The brush isn't very good quality, and feels scratchy and painful on my face (would be even worse for someone with very sensitive skin). But I have solved this problem by uscrewing the container from the brush, tipping a bit of blusher onto a tissue, and using a blusher brush to apply it. But be careful with this - if you're clumsy (which I am), and/or in a hurry (which I often am), you may spill it all over the place. Fortunately, I have not yet done this.

The colour of this (Rose, according to the website, although it says Rose Glow on my one - go figure) is a nice warm pink, which works well on my skin tone - I'm white with yellow undertones. However, it obviously wouldn't work on all skin tones. It has a bit of a shimmer to it, but it's pretty subtle.

So overall, a great product, not so great packaging. I think this would be better in a traditional mineral makeup style container - one with holes for the powder to come through. But it is very reasonably priced for mineral makeup, it's a nice, good quality product, and my way of applying it works well, so I really can't complain too much.