Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Natural Facial Cleansers: What To Use and Where To Buy Samples (All Natural Cosmetics)

A few months ago someone asked on a forum where to buy samples of all natural facial cleansers. I decided to post my response to her here (edited and with additional information, of course), because like many people, I prefer to buy samples myself, before buying full size (though nowadays I craft the majority of what I use).

What are some brands of all natural face cleansers and where can I buy samples of them?

As I've mentioned many times before, my favorite facial soaps are the soaps from Heart Of Iowa . And J. Lynne Cosmetics sells samples of these soaps. Out of the many brands of all natural soaps I've tried these are the only soaps I will use on my facial skin (other natural soaps dry out my facial skin too much). They gently cleanse the skin, without leaving my skin tight and dry. Note to other all natural purists, some of the soaps do contain synthetic fragrances while others are all natural, so be sure to read the ingredients before buying. My favorite is the shea soap, but I also like the carrot soap (when my skin is less dry) and the dead sea mud soap as well (to remove toxins, when my skin is more oily).

Dr. Hauschka makes an awesome non-drying cleansing milk and cleansing cream that is perfect for dry and normal skin types, however this company is a bit pricey. They sell sample kits of their skin care, and you can find their products at places like Whole Foods or on their website. The sample kit is an economical way to try their products before investing in the full sized products. For the most part, many of their products are all natural formulations, though some of them do contain synthetics.

Aubrey Organics sells travel sizes of their skin care on their website, in their "travel a go-go" kits, which include cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and mask. They are offering them half price on their website now, which kind of worries me because I think they may be getting rid of their travel kits from their product line.

A great place to try all natural cleansers is Cosmetics Without Synthetics' website, which sells many different all natural or nearly all natural brands. They have samples of nearly every product they sell.

Terressentials also sells sample kits of their cleanser, toner, and facial creams/lotions. I actually haven't tried their facial care yet but have tried other products (like their hand soap) and met them at the D.C. Green Festival a couple years ago. This is a company with a conscious, and I'm going to try their facial skin care soon.

Another company I wanted to eventually try was Alexandra Avery's skin care line. Avery is a well known aromatherapist, and her skin care has won many awards. She sells a sample kit that includes many of her products.

And of course, you could always miy! Great all natural cleansers are honey and/or clay. You can mix them up or use them separately. I prefer rhassoul clay (a clay from Africa that is used in many spas) since that is non-drying, and has actually been shown to reduce dryness. You can get it at Garden of Wisdom or Mountain Rose Herbs. Monave also sells a clay-honey cleanser (you can buy samples of any Monave product, if it's not on the website, just e-mail them to ask). I don't clean my skin all the time with clay and honey since it's picky and I'm trying to use only vegan cosmetics now, but when I used to use this, it worked great and made my skin feel so soft! For vegans, I've tried using agave nectar, and it seems to clean as well as honey, and also made my skin soft. However I am not sure if agave has as much nutrients as honey, since it is mainly frutose.

I also used to use yogurt (with or without honey) to clean my skin, which works great for all skin types. Be sure to get plain, unsweetened, organic yogurt.

An infusion of soapwort root (an herb) can be used in place of soap, which may work for you. It is very gentle. It doesn't sud much but it will get your skin and hair very clean. I've been using soapwort this winter since my skin has been quite dry this season. I just bought soapnut, and hope to also try yucca root soon too.

You can also use a carrier oil to clean your skin. Some people with dry to normal skin may be able to clean with an oil, tone, and then moisturize, but if your skin is oily or dehydrated and prone to clogging then you may want to follow it with a soap, because otherwise your skin may become too greasy and your pores may clog. If you just want to use a cleansing oil, I suggest kukui nut or camellia oils (my favorite oils, both very light and fast absorbing). Some people also love olive (a medium weight oil), or almond or apricot (both light weight but not as light as camellia), and extra virgin coconut (used for dry skin, and some people with normal skin) to cleanse. Some people also prefer to use cold cream, but it is hard to find an all natural cold cream on the market (I need to retry the formula for Galen's cold cream eventually, and I actually just made a non-greasy, clean rinsing cold cream. I am so proud of myself).


Anonymous said...

hi solarkat...please post more info on your clean-rinsing cold cream...miy minds (mine!) would like to know what went into it.

(lamicuz from GOW forum)

Solarkat said...

Hi Danielle,

I use a lot of the lighter weight oils (like camellia), and it helps to make a lotion rather than a cream. Also I've been experimenting with different emusifiers; try using less wax and more of the other emuslifiers like borax and gums.