Monday, February 21, 2011

St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub

My skin breaks out from time to time, so to help keep my skin under control I enlisted St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub ($6.50). I've been using it about once week for the past few months and I have to say, I don't think it's the right scrub for me :(

On the plus side, it contains Salicylic Acid (1%) naturally-derived from willow bark and has a refreshing soapy, green tea kind of scent. On the negative side, the grains are REALLY abrasive! The product label claims that the 100% natural green tea in the formula helps calm and prevent redness, but I haven't seen much of a difference. Possibly because the exfoliants are countering any calming benefits by irritating my skin to heck. Check out the gritty stuff in the image below.

The ingredients list says the exfoliant is "Hydrated Silica", aka sand?! The grains are so rough I'm actually considering using the rest of the bottle as a foot scrub. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to pass on this scrub. Scrubs with gentler exfoliants like walnut shell powder, sugar, or salt will be easier on skin and less likely to irritate. If you have a few extra moments you can even whip one up at home - just mix some sugar or salt into your normal facial cleanser and scrub away. If you have normal skin and want to try this scrub I would recommend trying gentler exfoliants first and then purchasing it if you need more intense exfoliation.

Green Beauty Blog Rating: D

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Garnier Fructis Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

Is there any shampoo or conditioner scent that you simply love? I myself am crazy about the scent of Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner. In college I used Garnier Sleek & Shine but stopped once I noticed that parabens were included in the ingredients list. The other day I was daydreaming that it would be nice if Garnier released some natural shampoos....and lo and behold, there they were when I walked into CVS today! Garnier Fructis 98% natural shampoo and conditioner.

I took a sniff and the products still had that nice green appley, citrusy scent - just like a vinho verde (delish, check them out). I didn't buy any since I'm still working through my current shampoo and conditioner, but I couldn't help thinking about it later. I did a quick search online and couldn't find the new natural Garnier Fructis products online. So maybe they're limited edition? When I saw them at CVS they were in a little promotional section of the store along with other new cosmetic releases.

Anyway, I'm excited enough about the new natural versions of my favorite shampoo and conditioner to venture back into CVS and seal the deal. Hopefully more haircare companies will release natural versions of their products, fingers-crossed!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm - Lemon Drop

Dear Punxsatawney Phil, THANK YOU for predicting an early spring!!!! After the cool and brief summer we Bay Areans had last year I am dying for some sunshine. EOS's smooth sphere lip balm in Lemon Drop is helping me usher in sunny days with a sweet, citrusy scent and a little SPF :)
I've enjoyed EOS's Smooth Sphere lip balm in other flavors and was excited to try this new one. The texture of the balm is thin and moisturizing without being either too oily or waxy. The flavor is sugary and lemony, a lot like the flavor of Fresh's lip balms and glosses. If I close my eyes and apply I can daydream that I'm sitting in the sun drinking lemonade (which is a lot better than working on spreadsheets in my cube).

To protect your pucker from the summer sun this balm packs SPF 15 in the form of Octinoxate and Oxybenzone. Some researchers these chemical blockers can be harmful because they absorb UV radiation, which can then be absorbed into skin. So, I wasn't thrilled when I saw them included in the ingredients list. But after some thought I've come to peace with it. Physical sun-blockers like Titanium and Zinc Dioxides can be tricky in body products since they often leave a white cast. So between chemical and physical blockers, I think EOS chose the right type of protection for this product.

For a cheap, cute beauty fix I definitely recommend this lip balm. It's got great natural and organic ingredients, attractive packaging, awesome flavor, SPF, and a price point under $5 USD. What more can you want from a lip balm?!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: A-

February Wish List

A February wish list just for kicks :)

The Body Shop LOVE ETC... Solid Perfume, $10

Korres Cherry Oil Lip Glosses in Beige, Light Purple, and Rose, $17 each

Kiehl's Essence Oil Roller-ball in Musk, $16

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom, $7

Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil, $8