These Are the Best Gifts for Eco-Beauty Users
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of eco-beauty.
This trend, which has been around for the better part of a decade but which has really only become mainstream in the last 5-7 years, is the result of men and women across the world demanding better standards in their self-care and beauty products. Part of it is environmental concern - the conflict associated with using environmentally damaging ingredients while also being cognizant of how ingredients are sourced, etc. Another aspect of this trend is the natural side to beauty. People are becoming more aware of the need for more natural, less artificial beauty products which are actually good for our bodies, inside and out.
But just because something is natural doesn’t always mean it’s ‘better';’ a lot of eco-beauty products are marketed as ‘eco-friendly’ but are actually brimming with conflict ingredients which do nothing positive for our bodies. This is all part of the eco-beauty trend, where often, fast beauty is preferred over quality-made products consisting of consciously curated ingredients.
This brings me to our topic at hand: how to choose the right products for eco-beauty users when it comes time to gift or give.
Trust me; I understand the struggle. There was once a time when people would constantly gift me LUSH giftcards at major holidays, because they knew I liked eco-beauty products but weren’t sure where to buy them, or what to buy. Given my experience with green beauty, I hope this list of product suggestions can help you shop for yourself (because you deserve it!) or a loved one interested in making the switch to eco-beauty. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Let’s start with one of the more common eco-beauty products you can find virtually anywhere these days: natural deodorant. My rule of thumb with natural deodorant is pretty simple: it should contain nourishing butters and essential oils while being free from harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances. Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s easy to be fooled by ‘natural’ deodorant products when you don’t know which ingredients to look for, and which ones to avoid.
Consider this: shop small-batch with brands like Fat and the Moon or Meow Meow Tweet, which are found on many online retailers, as well as sites like Well.ca. I put together a straight-forward roundup of some of my favourite natural deos so you don’t have to spend countless hours searching for the perfect one.
Lip balms are literally the bomb dot com. Most people use lip balms to prevent chapped lips, give themselves an elevated pout, or to nourish their skin. Given that lip balm is now a pretty versatile and common product found in tints, stains, and lipsticks, a natural lip balm should be simple enough to find, no?
Here’s the thing: many store-bought lip balms will contain a nourishing base, such as a wax or butter, but they may also contain artificial fragrances, colourants, dyes, and chemicals which help give them their shade(s), texture, and keep their shape. All of those artificial ingredients? They’re no bueno. A natural lip balm is one of the easiest eco-beauty products to gift because everyone could use one, and many natural brands have added them to their roster of green beauty items. Whether they’re plain or tinted, natural lip balms are where it’s at!
Whether we want to admit it or not (read: I don’t want to admit it), SPF certainly has its place in a beauty routine. That’s because SPF plays an important role in protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, which can not only age us, but cause skin damage and photoaging. Now, that all sounds like pretty scary stuff, but what if, like yours truly, sunscreens simply ruin your beauty routine?
I’m right there with ya. I avoid sunscreens like the plague due their often greasy, thick nature; you know what I’m talking about - the white, goopy sunscreens which sit on the surface of your skin like a layer of grease, and make your face look like an oil spill?
Well, it just so happens that some natural SPFs don’t cause a white cast or a greasy feeling to the skin, which is great news for all of us SPF-fearing beauts out there. As a hot tip, when looking for an SPF to gift someone, look closely at the ingredient list to ensure it contains ingredients like zinc oxide or raspberry oil, which is a natural SPF itself. My personal advice is to stray away from the mainstream SPFs and go small-batch, instead!
Everyone knows that a girl’s secret weekday weapon is dry shampoo. This is a fact.
But not all dry shampoos are created equal; the aerosol dry shamps, for example, are brimming with gross ingredients, which makes it pretty damn difficult to justify their use. I can’t even begin to preach about avoiding store-bought dry shampoos because, hey, I’m not perfect! I’ve used them! There’s something to be said, however, for using a natual alternative.
Here’s a little quote from my collaborative piece for The Note Passer: “According to publications like The Daily Mail and Wired, most of the dry shampoos commonly found on drugstore shelves are filled with nasty ingredients such as alcohols, liquified petroleum gas (seriously!), butane and other additives no one can pronounce. Maybe it’s time to put down the cheap dry ‘poos and opt for natural, nourishing ones instead.”
Natural dry shampoos are often made with quality essential oils and gentle powders, such as arrowroot powder, which don’t damage hair follicles or dry out the scalp. They are also easy to travel with and often smell far better due to their natural fragrances!
From hair to face and body, natural soaps are all the rage. Seriously, please LOVE natural soap. It’s a big hit, and I’m not sure anyone is truly surprised, given how amazing natural soap can be. It’s nourishing, cleansing, detoxing, and simple to use, all in one little bar. And, not to knock regular ol’ liquid soap, but natural soap bars are also incredibly easy to travel with and simple enough to find.
Back in 2016 (yes, two years ago, don’t hate me) I wrote a post about shampoo bars, which people seemed to find hella informative. Oddly enough, most of the tips in that post can apply to regular soap bars, too. For example, take this brief excerpt from that post, which can also be applied to natural face and body soaps:
“When looking for a shampoo bar, keep an eye out for ingredients like shea, mango, cocoa and other nourishing butters, along with coconut, jojoba, avocado, argan and other moisturizing oils. Essential oils may be used to promote certain properties, such as rosemary and lavender for healthy hair growth, or chamomile to keep blond hair looking bright and, well...blond. They may also be used to add natural fragrance to a bar. I avoid shampoo bars that utilize palm oil, palm derivatives, artificial perfumes or fragrances, and SLS. Instead, I focus on sourcing shampoo bars with highly nourishing butters, oils, and botanical extracts.” Read that post here.
Natural soap makes such an awesome gift for a few key reasons: it’s travel friendly, often contains better ingredients than store-bought soaps, and actually nourishes your hair and/or skin. People also love the novelty of handmade, small-batch soap, making it the perfect gift for your eco-beauty pal (or yourself!).
Yet another trendy product to grace the eco-beauty scene in the last few years, facial oils are obsessed over by pretty much anyone who’s ever tried one. That’s probably because facial oils are incredibly nourishing for the skin and are a great alternative to many facial treatments when it comes to clearing the skin, assisting with the aging process, and keeping the skin healthy after sun exposure (to name a few).
Though many mainstream brands sell facial oils, not all facial oils are good oils, even if they’re made with skin-nourishing ingredients. For example, some facial oils may contain artificial fragrances, which do nothing for your skin but simply lend a scent to the oil itself. Those are the types of oils to avoid; my ‘rule of thumb’ for facial oils is that, if the ingredients can’t be found in nature, it’s not going on my skin.