Product Girl Green Guide: Eco-Friendly Skin Care

With Earth Day right around the corner, Sunday, April 22, now seems like the natural time to share our top picks in eco beauty. All week long, we’ll be sharing our green recommendations in makeup, shower staples, skin care and more. Today, we’re sharing the eco-friendly skin care products we can’t be without. Read on for lots of plant extracts, oils and the most brilliant multitasking balms and creams.

1. Acure Facial Cleansing Crème, Olive + Mint. This creamy cleanser helps encourage new cell growth and actually helps you look younger. Literally, with each use, you are washing away worry lines! Organic acai berry, fair trade organic olive oil and Organic Chorella Growth Factor (to boost collagen…a.k.a. younger-looking skin!) are the star players. The cleanser is a fresh minty green color, and the smell is naturally sweet. ($14.99, Acure Organics)

2. SIA Botanics Blueberry Oxygenating Exfoliator. This brand recently popped up on our radar. All of SIA’s products are grounded in botanical bases and do wonders for damaged skin, blemish-prone, dull, dry, YOU NAME IT! The oxygenating action comes from jojoba beads which exfoliate the skin so gently you hardly know it’s happening. Blueberries and cranberries offer a surge of antioxidant power and olive and hibiscus are on standby to decongest pores. ($20, SiaBotanics)

3. La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes. La Fresh has a wipe for everything (and everyone!) — nail polish remover, insect repellant, body refresher, deodorant, puppy dogs, etc. We love the Makeup Remover Wipes and how they easily break down stubborn eye and lip makeup. They contain zero alcohol and no artificial fragrance or parabens. Look for a six oil blend of olive, jojoba, sesame, grapeseed, vitamin E and lavender. The lavender scent is very soothing at the end of a long day. True story.  ($9.99 for 24, La Fresh)

4. Weleda Skin Food. One of the best skin care products, ever. It can be used on dry hands, elbows and even your face. I even use it as a highlighter on my face as it gives a believable, natural dewy look to the skin. Organic pansy extract, known to be a mild antiseptic, calms irritation and essential fatty acids, vitamin E and organic sunflower seed oil heal the skin as well. It’s like a garden. It’s also super affordable and lasts a very long time. ($11.50, Weleda)

5. TAY All-Purpose Shea Butter. We live for a good shea cream. And Tay’s is about as pure as it gets. Organically harvested shea butter, from the Women’s Coop in West Africa, is infused with USDA Organic rosemary essential oil to create a truly aromatherapeutic cream. The scent is earthy and the benefits plentiful: hydrates skin and scalp, doubles as a hair styling aid and works wonders on ragged cuticles. The engraved wood packaging is also so unique. We love this! ($28, TAY Everyday)

6. One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm. Balms are a gift to the skin, and to those who never have enough time in the day. Pure, cold-pressed plant oils do the job of cleansing your skin and moisturizing it. The old oil breaks down oil story – it’s legit and this stuff works! Skin Savior is a precious organic blend of coconut oil, sweet soy seed oil, beeswax, mango seed butter, chia seed extract and more. We love to use this on our face, but also massage this in to the skin – anywhere head-to-toe – for an extra dose of pampering. ($68, One Love Organics)

7. Stark Skincare Green Tea Detox Clay Mask. By now, we’re all familiar with the “just add water” exfoliator, right? A brilliant idea that Stark takes one step further with a “just add water” mask. It’s a gentle, but powerful, blend of clay, green tea and fruit extracts that leaves skin brighter and cleaner after just one use. Green tea helps repair damage done by the sun and pollution and the mineral-rich clays remove impurities from the pores and improve skin’s clarity. The apple extract contains alpha hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate and improve skin elasticity. All of this in a POWDER! ($30, Stark Skincare)

Beauty VIP of the Week: Weleda Gentle Cleansing Milk

I crave simplicity, yet, recognize that I’m way too OCD to actually achieve that on most days. For example, take my nightly cleansing routine. I absolutely MUST get every trace of makeup off. I use an eye makeup remover, a cleansing oil or lotion, followed by my Clarisonic + face wash and a post facial mist or hydrating water pre-serum/moisturizer/etc. It’s more time intensive than perhaps it needs to be, but I dig my rituals. Except when I want to be simple. Which is where Weleda’s Gentle Cleansing Milk enters the picture and gives me exactly what I need.

Cleansing Milks have always been one of those “good in theory” products for me, but always seemed to fall short in practice. But not the Weleda. Which is why it is this week’s Beauty VIP. Aside from eye makeup, which I insist on always being “step one,” this breaks down all of the makeup on my face AND doesn’t need a follow-up cleanse. Just a one-stop shop that happens to smell like a fancy spa and leave my skin soft and supple. I love that this is an effective natural option, with natural essential oils and organic jojoba seed oil to help break down the makeup and moisturize the skin.

I snagged this at Target (Target coupon code) last month during a clearance sale, but you can find it at Whole Foods and other e-tailers like for about $19. L-O-V-E this new bathroom counter staple!

An Oil-Lover's Paradise Found in Weleda Body Oil Essentials Kit

Once you discover how amazing oils are for your skin, you never go back. I can actually think of my life in two eras now…B.O. and A.O. (before and after oil — although the former doesn’t quite have the connotation I was hoping for, even with the added punctuation).

As you can imagine, in this A.O. world I’m living, I get very excited about trying new oils. When I saw the lovely rainbow that is the Weleda Body Oil Essentials Kit, I was downright giddy. Everything from Lavender and Pomegranate to Wild Rose and Sea Buckthorn, with promises of regenerating, relaxing and helping smooth out cellulite?  Yes please.

What’s even better is that Weleda’s body oils are formulated naturally from plant, nut and seed oils and with consistent use can truly benefit the health of your skin. Plus, they smell and feel amazing — and moisturize like no lotion can.

I live for a few drops of the Lavender in my bath water, but have been using the others as moisturizer post-shower, while the skin is damp. Just take a small amount and massage into the skin until absorbed. No residue, no mess – I promise! The small sizes are great for finding your faves, but don’t be surprised if you want them all!